Since we arrived back in Haiti after a short week break, we hit the ground running again. But we also came back to attacks of sickness & power issues that we’ve all been battling and praying for God to show mercy and bring them to pass quickly. We have had some wonderful families & couples with us as mid-term missionaries this season, and it has been a blessing having so many kids and young people around. Though we have loved having everyone that is here, it’s made the residence house full even when there are no short term teams and has tested the capacity and ability of the house and everyone in it to support so many mid-termers at once for this long. Living in community is how God teaches us temperance, support and love for one another as we rub each other and learn to share in what we have, so we know that God always brings good out of it. Not long after Marc and I stepped out for the week, the Lorenc family all fell sick with a myriad of sicknesses that are as common as the cold and flu is in North America. Amebas, malaria and thyphoid, they really passed through the baptism of fire and we all felt for them. And with them all sick at once, with fevers and sleeping in the same room together, the air conditioner was pretty much a must to be on all day and night. We found out pretty quick that this put a lot of stress on our power system, as city power stayed true to its irregular nature and hardly contributed to charge the inverter batteries all week, and the generator could never quite give them enough umph to get them to a place of holding a solid charge for very long. We’ve known for a while our electrical system in the residence house needed some work. This just confirmed it all the more. We are really in need of a complete re-wiring, new batteries and probably pretty soon a new generator or an overhaul of the deisel beast that has been serving us for almost 10 years now. We also had been having significant issues with other gas and deisel powered machines/ engines on the worksites- generators breaking down, cement mixers not working- it just seemed to all come to a head. As we entered back after being gone for the week, everyone was feeling the stress and we decided to call everyone to prayer- staff, missionaries & workers. We all gathered together for two mornings to pray for God’s deliverance, protection and chase away any attacks of the enemy. The spirit of heaviness seemed to lift, but the testing isn’t finished.
Our own kids too were visited with the childhood epidemic of chicken pox. It’s been going around rampantly lately with kids in Haiti. Ariana was the first to receive it, Asher took a little hit (since he’s had it before when he was little it wasn’t much), then this week after we got back home Kiki, Jasmine and Miesha all were struck. It’s been pretty miserable in our house too and I completely sympathized with the Lorenc’s in their illnesses. As a mom, the burden and responsibility to care for all these sickies usually falls on us. With chicken pox in Haiti, called lawojol, there is a very set remedy that all the Haitians swear by and you can be sure that anyone who finds out you have chicken pox in your house will tell you. Bathe, often, in salt water and/or with korosol leaves, or in English its called soursop or jackfruit, and slap the water on the patient, don’t just pour it over their heads. Bathe many times a day and don’t itch! Then I found out another Haitian remedy that is not as common, but even more effective- make a paste of baking soda and Haitian Rum, Bakara, and rub it all over the body leaving it to dry. This dried out the blisters really fast. At the same time, we’ve had power issues at our house too- for some reason in Haiti, power problems and sickness always seem to walk hand in hand…. City power has been consistently irregular, our battery charger died, the light in our bedroom stopped working and we’ve spent $15 US every other day on deisel so we can have power from 8-11pm and some AC to help the kids sleep in their misery.
At the same time all of this has been going on, God has still been moving powerfully and we are still blessed! Our youth conference was this week, Monday- Wednesday, with 3 guest speakers from CrossRoads Church in Red Deer and our own Pastor Everson. The whole event was amazing! We had over 550 youth from 40 different church all over Haiti, from Port Salut in the far southwest of the island to past Gonaives. The theme was from 2 Tim 1:7 “For the Lord has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.” All the messages flowed so well together and we concluded the last day with an afternoon at the beach complete with dance, singing and baptism. It was beautiful!
We then had a wonderful Good Friday service and Resurrection Sunday service this morning, to celebrate the great work of the cross! No matter what the challenges, the attacks, the suffering that may come our way, He is still victorious! His blood covers all. It is amazing that even when things seem to not be going well, in Christ we can still find tremendous peace, joy and reassurance that we are where He wants us to be and through the testing, He can turn it around to be a learning experience. I will be honest, I’m pretty tired and done with sickness and am praying God would be gracious to not allow Austin to come down with chickenpox. He’s the only child in our house that has escaped it. And I am really praying that none of the missionary families get it, as none of them have had it before. But in all things, I rejoice. I am grateful. God is good, He overcomes. I am reminded of Psalm 103 and declare it: He heals ALL of our diseases and forgives ALL our iniquities.