It has finally rained!!! After months and months and months of no rain, we finally got enough to mention. The creek bed still dries out after each rain, but it does flow during the rains. We pray the rains keep coming. Thank you for your past prayers and continued prayers for this issue..
All our schools started the first week of September without any problems. However, the second week had a difficult beginning. HCDF never inserts itself into anything political even though there is always a lot of political discussions and events going on all the time especially during this election year. The current president of Haiti made a decree regarding Fond-des-Blancs that none of us liked. A fraction of the population decided to show their discontent through rebellious boycotts. They shut down all roads coming into and going out of here to stop businesses from operating. They asked that all school close their doors for an indefinite period of time. Jean called the organizers to let them know that L’Exode schools would not be shutting down at all. We opened the next day with less than a hundred students combined coming to the schools. The teachers came and we functioned like any normal day. The demonstrators decided to attack what we call the secondary school which houses 7th through 11th grades.
They came ready to burn tires in front of the school and disrupted classes by throwing rocks onto the buildings which ended in loud noises scaring the students and some rocks actually protruded into the classrooms through the fiberglass awning we use to help give more light. We were given advance warning they were coming and had closed the main gate and had all the children upstairs near one another. Jean invited the leaders into his office for a discussion and fortunately their followers did not try to barge into the school yard. The discussion did not change much, but with Jean standing his ground and many people standing with him, the rebellion fizzled away. The students were scared, but also brave. They stayed together and we sang songs such as “This is the Day” and “Jesus Loves Me” loud enough and often enough to tell the people outside they were not afraid. We were able to feed them before sending them home and they were guided home on mountain paths instead of running the chance of clashing with the demonstrators waiting for them somewhere down the road.
The next day all the students came and all the other schools opened. It seems none of the other directors wanted to close, but they were frightened of the consequences if they didn’t. Seeing that Jean stood up to them and the majority of the community favored him doing that they all opened their doors to continue the education process. We agree with the complaint, but not in how it was being dealt with. The students are not old enough to vote and making them stay home is not going to get the parents to join a non-logical revolt. All the school days since then have been blessedly normal.
Our friends in Iowa arranged for a pre-fab building to be sent to our farm. It will be put together in January. For the moment we are calling it the “transformation” building. It will be used for milling and bagging the corn and other produce. The more transformation we are able to make, the higher the profit level will be. As the farm grows, there will also be a butcher room and meat packaging room. We continue to be very excited about how well the farm is doing in such a short time and, of course, the main blessing is that it has already started feeding the school children.
Jean and I will be traveled during the month of November. We were blessed to be sponsored to attend a convention in Guatemala the first week of November and then we were in San Diego to meet and spend time with our new granddaughter, Aria Nohaumia, who was born October 3rd to our son Lemec and his wife Tara. Aria had to spend a couple of nights in the ICU because of fluid on her lungs, but she stayed strong through that and is at home with her parents and growing bigger and stronger every day. We watched her on SKYPE several times before meeting her in San Diego. We will have to settle for SKYPE again, but we are thrilled for the time we had to be with her in person. She is a beauty and becoming full of fun personality.
This year Jean and I have more than our share of blessings to be thankful for during this holiday season and the years to come. We look forward to watching Aria grow and develop. We are excited to see the progress of the farm so quickly and the promise of even more success. We have been proud of the students in the school for many years and expect to continue to be so. They are all very pleased and proud to watch their school grow with more opportunities for them. Our son Josiah will be joining us in our ministries and could be bringing along a couple of friends with him. They will all be much needed additions. We will give more information on their duties in the January letter.
Jacques will not be staying, but he will be home for Christmas this year. Nothing better than having children (even grown children) home for Christmas. We hope all you will be feeling so blessed also
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!!!
Yours in Christ,