Monday, June 27
Hello Friends and Family! Thank you so much for your prayers! We had the first session of our single moms conference today and had a great turn out! Although we had a tentative shedule for this conference, we readapted it this weekend to meet some of the specific needs that were brought to our attention by Jody, Beth, and the Haitian women. We are DEFINITELY meeting a desperate need by pouring into these single mothers and connecting them with a support system. When we previously met with the 4 haitian women that the Pastor had identified as leaders, thier faces just GLEAMED with joy/peace when Alison explained that we wanted to help them establish a group of friends to talk to, share life with, pray with, and simply be there for one another.
After Lesha, Jordan, Kennedy, and Maya talked to the ladies about their small group and what it meant to them, we encouraged the ladies to get into 4 small groups. There was about 8 women in each group. Two mothers from Parkside were also able to share thier testimony about being in a small group with other mothers for the past 16 years and how that has been a great support to them. Alison also shared with them a passage from Isaiah 54. The Haitian moms seemed to be receptive and interested in all that was shared during the conference. We had a panel of moms (Lesha, Rosemary, Karen, Andrea, Kim) who shared with the mothers a variety of advice on discipline and prayed over all of the Haitian mothers. It has been encouraging to observe and be apart of Alison take her passion and job in the states and relate it to Haitian women and just pour it into them as here. Please continue to pray that these small groups would take root, begin to connect on a personal level, and that they would make lasting friendships.
At the end of the conference the women were given an opportunity to ask questions that we would strive to prepare their small group leaders to answer tomorrow during the session. Some of thier questions seemed typical of any single mother, but some of thier questions really brought to surface some of the different struggles they face because they live in Haiti. I thought I would share some of thier questions with you: If your child is crying of hunger & the crying drives you crazy, what should you do and should you spank them? If one member in our small group is in need, and the other members want to help, but can’t, what should be done? What should be done with children you can not take care of? If you have 6 children and only 3 pairs of shoes…should you give the first 3 shoes, or give none of the children shoes to be fair and not show favoritism? How can you help a mother and her children when she is thrown out of her home and you yourself can not take care of feeding, clothing, or handle basic needs?
Please keep Lesha in your prayers as she shares her personal testimony with these ladies tomorrow and the rest of the girls share on wednesday. It was also awesome to have Parkside lead VBS with the children at the same time as the conference because the mothers were able to have break from tending to thier children and were able to completely focus on what we had prepared to share with them. Praise God for the way He Works!
Along side of the conference and VBS, the guys Labored away at tiling the 30×10 garden, spreading poop, and placing bags so that we can place seeds soon. Those guys have been working early in the morning when its cool-er (if that exists in Haiti) and even when its scorching hot in the middle of the day to make sure this project gets completed. What I already love most about the short 10 days of this trip is knowing that we are leaving behind something that will hopefully sustain itself when we are gone and impact the lives of these Haitians we have come to love. To think that we are half-way through this trip, but that we will be leaving behind trees to grow (that will produce work and income to families) and established small groups of women who will hopefully continue to pray and support one another through life is really neat. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, for your prayers for us and the people we meet… you are a huge part of this trip- just as much as we are!
“All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will bow down before Him, for dominion belongs to the Lord and He rules over the nations.”
God Bless, Crystal Fritz
This is Alex from the Savannah group. We are all so greatfull for your prayers, things have been running very snoothly for Haitian standards. Today it was long hot day for us guys (and Becca). We made major progress with our agricultural project. We got a lot of help from the parkside guys and random Haitians. They helped us turn up the soil so much quicker than we could imagine. What took CB and I two hours was done in a short 30 minutes. We then turned in the manure. We left a quarter of the field unfertilized to use as a test plot. We then dug trenches and planted 400 bags of dirt. All we have left to do is add another 100 bags, and plant the seeds. God is so good! We were planning on only having three shovels and 5 people, but instead he provided plows, and about 20 shovels through the parkside group. Just like when Jesus fed the masses, he gave us more than we ever needed.
I can see real life change happening here. Not only in our group members, but in the Haitians as well. Children are being loved in the smallest, but most meaningfull ways. It is crazy how a hug, and remembering a name can further God’s Kingdom. It is very encouraging to me to be surrounded by so many God loving people, I can only imagine the impact we are having on the Haitians here in Le Mole.
Hey there Parkside! This is Kim Orlemann giving you a rundown on all that God is doing through us here in The Mole. This morning was wonderful as we started our VBS. It was so cool to have the so many kids just come up and grab our hands and walk to the church with us! They did a lesson on David and Goliath (Seth) and the kids loved it! They also did face painting, tattos, balloons, and a great deal of singing. I was so touched on the way home a little boy about 9 came up beside me and just took my hand and walked back to the village. When we parted he said “Au revoir, Jezee ren man ou” Goodbye, Jesus loves you! And we thought we were here ministering to the them!
Another blessing was that Karen, Andrea and I were able to share with the Savannah group in ministering to the single moms. In Haiti there is quite a stigma attached to being a single mom and it was teall wonderful to be able to make them feel loved and important! The women formed small groups and will be meeting the rest of the week and hopefully well into the future! What a seed to plant in encouragement and support!
In the afternoon we met with the teens at the park and taught them basketball skills. We had quite a few town kids who came out to learn and play. After some time playing we took them back to the church and shared with them about forgiveness and opening themselves up to the Holy PSpirit. Please be praying that we can tear down the boundary between the church kids and the town kids. We made a lot of headway but there is more work to do. Again, there were a lot of younger kids that came and we ran another improv VBS including the Hokey Pokey!
It has been such an priviledge to serve God and to see what he is doing in the lives of the servants you have sent. It has changed hearts and lives for His Kingdom. We appreciate the prayers, the love and the encouragement you have continued to give us! See you all On Friday!
Somebody comment and let us know if Brody has arrived!!