Well, all teams and logn term missionary members of Haiti ARISE have left the field for a few weeks. Marc, Joe Park, Val and Howard Horner flew out on Dec 6th, a week after the Cochrane Valley Community Church and Crossroads Church teams left. These teams were an amazing blessing and got a lot of work done! All the long termers were looking forward to the break already. After just two months of intense work, serving and adjustments to life in a third-world nation, the few weeks off will be a refresher for them. Everyone will return to their posts on January 1st, with the addition of Wade and Marilyn Fitzpatrick and the opening of our Annual Pastors/Leaders conference that is held the first week of every year. This year we are blessed to have MFI pastors Bob McGregor from Vancouver, WA and Phil Jaquith from Mexico, as well as Shawn Hubert and Dallas Lundell from Crossroads Church in Red Deer, WA. It will be an incredible time.
Of course, having the long term missionaries away for a few weeks does not mean operations at Haiti ARISE shut down! It will continue to be a busy season this Decemeber. Classes at the Technical Institute and Bible College, as well as the Elementary school will continue until Dec 21st. Then the leaders are planning a community-wide rice distribution, as this season is always challenging with food prices rising and poor families hardly able to afford the costs. There will also be a Dec 31st all night church celebration to bring in the new year and mark the January 1st Independence Day.
Work also continues, as the Goat Farm wall is being resurrected and two more EachONE BuildONE community homes are being built. Work on the technical school has slowed a bit with no teams there, but will start back up right away in January. Unfortunately, the school will not be ready to open for operating classes in January as we had hoped, as there is still a lot of inside work to be done. But it is coming!
So, stay tuned for January activity... conference, a tile team, a team to come work on the Children's Village, and we will be doing our Gift Distribution in January from the Online Gift Catalogue purchases you make! It's not too late! You can get a gift that really matters for someone you love this Christmas. Check out what is available throught our Online Gift Catalogue.