Ending one year and beginning another has motivated us take a good look at God’s faithfulness to us; not just this past year, but for the 67 years the HOH has been functioning. Over these years, we and the country of Haiti have weathered all kinds of storms, and through it all God has proven to be consistently faithful to us. We should not be surprised, Psalm 36:5 tells us just how vast God’s faithfulness is: “Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds." Psalm 89:8 tells us God’s faithfulness surrounds Him.
One of the ways the faithfulness of God struck us was having a good look at some of our growing kids. We shared these pictures on our weekly updates recently and several people shared how much they enjoyed seeing that. So, we decided to share it here with a larger group of our partners, as well.
These 5 kids all came to the HOH as infants having either lost their moms in childbirth, or shortly thereafter. Due to extenuating circumstances, they were not able to return to their homes and remained at the HOH permanently. As the years have gone by, they have grown and matured. Each on has become a follower of Jesus and they each show His love to the other kids by giving back to the HOH. They are all in High School and can testify to the faithfulness of God in their lives. They recently came across an old photo they had taken before going to school one morning and then they recreated the picture as they are now, years later.
Another glimpse of God’s faithfulness has been the kids we have been able to help get an education through the HOH. This past December, two more of our young men graduated with technical certificates in cell phone repair and electricity. It is our hope that these certificates and the skills they have learned help them as they move ahead to become more independent and transition to life on their own. Due to the lack of jobs in Haiti, it is often helpful to have a variety of skills to do several different things to support themselves and eventually their families.
These recollections of the faithfulness of God give us hope as we move ahead into this new year. There are several areas where we are waiting in expectant hope for God to show His faithfulness once again. Here they are so you can be in prayer with us about them.
The first of these is the issue we have been having with our shipping company. The items we placed on their boat back at the end of September are still on the boat and the boat is still sitting in Miami, unable to make the trip to Haiti. This includes some of the mattresses you all helped us purchase, some Haitian Creole Bibles for the HOH kids, and other supplies. This means that the kids’ Christmas gifts have never even made it on the boat, nor the supply of food we wanted to get to them, nor the rest of the mattresses. Being able to ship items into the HOH is a lifeline for our ministry. The cost of having to purchase everything in-country is vastly more than what it costs to ship certain supplies in.
While food was certainly our biggest expense increase over the last year, our overall expenses increased by almost 60%. This is likely not a big surprise to many of you, as you’ve seen your own living expenses increase dramatically over the past years. For us, it is the combination of the security situation in Haiti added to the inflation rates around the world. We watched God be faithful in providing for this increase over this past year. Pray with us as we trust Him and watch to see what He is going to do again this year.
The conditions in Haiti continue to deteriorate. It is heartbreaking to watch this country we love spiral into more chaos and insecurity. There are so many needs all around us, and while Linda helps all she can, the need is always greater. The draw to put hope in other things, other people, other leaders, other countries is foremost in many conversations. We know many who have left Haiti to try and find hope elsewhere, and that affects the level that things are able to continue to function. We know you have been praying for the situation in Haiti and maybe even face some discouragement in doing so. We encourage you to continue to pray for God’s intervention even there.
And while we wait and watch to see how God is going to show Himself Faithful once again, we are not siting and do nothing 😊. All the activities of the HOH are off again in full-force. Our students are back in school, we are taking in and ministering to kids who have great medical needs, and through our family devotion times as well as church services, the Good News of Jesus is being shared.
For her part, Jenny plans to start traveling again in the coming months to visit supporters, report on the work being done and to hopefully raise more support for the ministry. The places she hopes to visit this year so far are Texas and Michigan (and Manitoba of course). If you live in these areas, or anywhere in between them and Arkansas, feel free to get in touch with her if you’d like her to make a stop out your way.
We are very thankful for your partnership in serving the Lord through the House of Hope. Together we have the privilege of bring hope to the children and young people God brings to our home. Thank you for your part!