Monday, October 20, 2014

Thank you Lily and Al, Cathy and Gary, and Carol. Thank you.

You all did a lot of work in intense heat and humidity.  At the same time you laughed and enjoyed yourselves with the children and even us adults.  You were a hard working, fun loving group - easy to have around.  Thank you  'new' members of our HATS-Haiti family.  You are loved.  You are appreciated. 

Seven came, five left. Keith was first in van to leave but we dragged him back out.

Lily and Jonathan

Cathy and Magdala

Al and Carol with Ti Luc & Karena

Donations being organized

Birthday party preparations for Ti Luc and Jonathan

Birthday boy Jonathan with Gary

Fun times with the kids

Cathy with her hubby Gary at his best

Returning home for supper

Paymistress Carol

Hi folks, Karen here.

We have internet again - yay!  We found a different way to get internet on site - thanks to Luckner and here we are.  This is the last blog the team members wrote the night before they left.  This will be followed tomorrow by a thank you to that team that also has been sitting on my computer for far too long.  Then Keith will do one and we will be blogging as per normal again.  Thanks for your patience and understanding while we were without internet service.

Blog - October 13, 2014
It is with great difficulty that we write this final blog tonight, knowing that tomorrow we have to say goodbye to all the beautiful children & wonderful people at HATS. We have a torrential rain storm outside with loud claps of thunder and lightning. 

We attended devotions at the school again this morning. It is such a joy to hear the children singing.

Today has been no different then the rest of our week: Al, Gary & Keith finished up the benches they were working on. They built 15 and have materials cut for another 15 to be built by another team. When the children met this morning it was good to see everyone could be seated.

The school has an enrollment of over 400 children and even though school has begun some children still  didn’t have their books.  This morning Cathy, Joan, Carol and I went to the library to assort and repair books to meet their needs.

Library

Lily Library

Cathy Library

When Lunchtime came we were privileged to help with feeding the school children. It was an interesting process. The same meal is prepared everyday over a charcoal fire by the cooks. The children eat their meal mid morning and then the teachers start the the next subject with them.

School cooks

Lily’s new kitchen

Healthy food for 400

Inspection by the BOSS

Cathy & I had fun making Newfie  Bongos this afternoon.  The children are so musical and love to be the recipient of a drum or tambourine to play in church.

Bongos

Newfie bongos

What a joy it has been to have been Haiti for a week. We have grown to love the children and feel very close to them. We have experienced Germaine’s great cooking. We have seen the beautiful scenery. We have enjoyed the singing and the way the Haitians praise God. We are going away a changed people with a great appreciation for what we have.

Little sweetie Magdala



Thank you Keith and Joan for giving us the opportunity to be a part of your team to HATS-Haiti.  Thank you for your leadership.  It has been a great experience.  We wish you all the best as we leave you behind in Haiti.

Thank you KAREN for allowing us to be a part of your awesome family. You are indeed an inspiration to all of us. Your dedication and commitment to the Haitian people is commendable.

Lily and Al

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The HATS-Haiti Mission...

...is still without internet.

This zone lost service last Monday afternoon in a huge thunder and lightening storm - the day before the team left. As usual restoration of it is is taking far too long. We are all okay here. Keith, however, has been writing his witty blogs which eventually you will get to enjoy.

...it is all about the children...

Karen

Thursday, October 16, 2014

All is well...

...at HATS Haiti, it is just the internet that is broken (and the usual other issues I'm sure). Blogs will resume once Karen and crew get back on line. I'm sure Keith has a backlog of information and pictures he is anxious to share as soon as he can, meanwhile please keep praying for Haiti and the kids.

Jim


Monday, October 13, 2014

Oct. 12, 2014

Carol

“Praise the Lord now…I will praise Him everyday…Praise Him everyday…I will praise the Lord!

Loue bon Dieu…map e loue chaque jou…loue chaque jou…map e loue bon Dieu!”

It is my turn…Carol… to share with you some of our experiences of this Sunday…Thanksgiving Sunday.  It began for me before 5:00…sitting on the roof…time spent listening to the roosters, the donkeys, the goats and seeing the sun rise...such a beautiful sight…Thank You for eyes to see it and yes, ears to hear it!  There was much to be thankful for…after breakfast… Ti Luc and I were singing and I was telling him that I was thankful to be here with him.  For years now, I have prayed for him…and the whole HATS family…I have followed their many adventures…but now I am here and part of the adventures…Thank you Lord!

As I type this, there is a lovely little fan cooling me down…Thank you Keith!

I have also just enjoyed a Haitian Thanksgiving dinner with Karen and the team…Thank you Joan!

Now…about our day…

We all dressed in our Sunday best and walked over to the Church…located on the School grounds…with timbrel bags in hand and rhythm instruments balanced…I  tried to balance one on my head…I was able to do it…but  walking with it was much more difficult…I only managed a few steps…I’ll think I’ll need a few more lessons!   Everyone helped, even the little ones…one big family off to Praise and Worship.  The church has some beautiful new benches…Thank you Guys!  They quickly filled with the arrival of the extended family…the children from the School and some of the Teachers.

It was a joy to see some of the older children take their place in the service…leading worship, reading scripture and playing in the “band”.  I sat close to a few of the little ones and was blessed to hear their voices being lifted in praise… “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart”…I was filled with emotion as I joined them… “And I’m so happy, so very happy...”  I am indeed happy…very happy.  The message reminded us of God’s promises...Thank you Gary!  There was a special timbrel presentation by the children …Thank you Lily and Cathy!  We also heard “Ton nom…Emmanuel”, God is with us…Thank you Joan and I helped a little!  At the close of the service everyone was given a little treat…a gift of a cold pop and biscuits…Thank you Team and Thank you Karen!  We all walked back the house to have our treats here…in the shade…did I mention that it was hot today…Haiti hot!

On our way to Church…everyone helping

In Church

The children taking their place

The reminder of God’s Promises

The Timbrels

Later in the afternoon the children and I found ourselves in the Devotion Room, drawing , playing games and singing…oh have we sung!  I brought a few songs with me…Thank You to my friend in Montreal!  The children have taught me a few…it is just a joy to share my love of music with them.  So many of the memories that I will treasure on the cold winter days in Montreal…when I will enjoy thinking of Haiti hot…will be of the children and I singing…Thank you God!

We made our way outside when we heard the sound of the hockey sticks and the older ones playing…Thank you Al, Gary and Keith!  So, as the sun was setting on this Haitian Thanksgiving, I walked back to the house singing and smelling a lovely chicken dinner that I would be privileged to share with Karen and the rest of the team…a big Thank you to the Patterson family for sharing me with this family!

Colouring…with Franklin…my class mascot…oh, the stories he has to share with the friends at home

In the playground

God is great…
God is good…
Let us thank Him for our food…
By His hand we must be fed…
Give us Lord our daily bread…
Amen

We are all indeed thankful for our daily bread and the bread for the children…Thank you to the many HATS supporters!

Carol

Saturday, October 11, 2014

October 11, 2014

The blog today is coming to you through the experiences of Gary.  What a wonderful adventure it has been! Time is passing so quickly and the team only has two full days left. It seems only like yesterday that we arrived. We have been so blessed and honored to be at this mission in HATS.

Today was an early start as usual. Some members of the team went for an early walk with the older children and others continued to prepare the job site for the team’s project.  The number of benches in the church has increased by twelve and they have been placed in the church for tomorrows’ worship services.

Church Bench Delivery

Ready for Church

Some of the team visited Radio Creole today. The station is owned by Luckner, the school principal and he permitted some of the HATS children to come and view a special soccer match between Brazil and Argentina on his studio television. Such an invitation is a treat because most homes do not have a television signal and having such modern technology is considered a luxury.

Luckner

Radio Creole

A message from Cathy today:

The ladies were treated to a visit to the town market in Verrettes today.  How Karen can maneuver her truck around the paths and alley ways, dodging horses, donkeys and motorbikes is amazing!   Staying very close together for security, we wandered the market just as the locals do.   The sights, smells and atmosphere cannot be portrayed in pictures.  They can buy just about anything in the open market, from fresh goats heads, to freshly slaughtered chicken (with feathers and all), to piles of charcoal.  And as you will see from the picture below, there is a parking lot in the back for their horses.  Thank you again to Karen for sharing that experience with us.

Market

Market valet parking

We also had a visit from two ladies who made homemade crafts. The workmanship was immaculate as expected, displaying the pride and talent that Haitians have in both their country and abilities.

Craft lady and Cathy

One feature that I was not expecting was the beautiful landscape which surrounds this vast country. The hills roll majestically around the villages capitulated by large towers of stately greenery.  These settings only enhance the beauty of the Haitian people.

Lush landscape

HATS backyard

Needless to say the food has been exquisite.  We have been so blessed with the expertise of Germaine, our team cook. She has made the transition from our home land so much more pleasant.

Germaine and veggies

Fritay

I ask that you continue to pray for the team and all those associated with this beautiful ministry.  Remember the greatest command which was given by Christ was to share his love with the whole world. We continue to live in Christ’s faith to help make his world a better place. God Bless!

Gary

Blog – Oct 10th -2014

Cathy and Gary sharing with you today.

Another fantastic day here at HATS!  There are lots of new experiences for us and lots of fun with Karen’s beautiful children.

First of all, it’s raining buckets right now – a welcomed reprieve from the heat of past few days.

Our day, however, started with staff devotions led by Germaine, one of the ladies who work in the kitchen.   What beautiful singing, what energy, and smiles.   Just a bit of a challenge for us, to say the least, to read the words of the songs in Creole.  The tunes are recognizable, though, and we are improving!

This morning we accomplished a lot with 7 more benches made by Gary, Al and Keith, while Lily and I finished cleaning out and organizing the storeroom.

Then it was off for an adventure.   Karen took the time from her busy day to take us outside the compound and into the village of Deschapelles.   It was a bumpy ride in the back of her pick-up truck!  To see how the people live, the shops along the streets and the Albert Schweitzer Hospital was just amazing.

All aboard

Street market

Carol loves singing with the children and gathers them around her, after school in the afternoons, to sing, color, and just hang out.  She is practicing a special song with them for church on Sunday.   Lily, Joan, Carol and I are teaching them to play the tambourines in rhythm and will be doing a drill at worship on Sunday to the song “Give me Oil in my Lamp, Keep me Burning” – one of the songs the children can sing in English.

Give me Oil

Starting young

Birthday boy drummer

This afternoon we had a birthday party for two of the boys who had birthdays this month. 
Ti Luc is now 9 years old and Jonathan is 3.   We celebrated outside with singing,  gifts and a party lunch.   The children sure enjoyed the cookies that Lily and I made!  Later the children were off to continue the celebration with a rare treat – to watch a movie. They were so happy and excited.

Jonathan opening gifts

The cakes

The party girls

Happy boy

Now, for us, we’re hoping for another good night’s rest in our little tents.  Hopefully the roosters won’t start too early in the morning!!!

Cathy and Gary