Monday, September 22, 2008

In Memory of Madna...

Madna Henry was a bright young lady of 15 years old.
In the Mountain Top Ministies Gramothe school since it's beginning, Madna was always an excellent student with a promising future, preparing to enter high school this year.
Just before her untimely death, those in the MTM Gramothe clinic were able to confirm her confession of Jesus Christ as her Lord & Saviour as well as pray with her.
Only God knows the illness that struck Madna & took her to her grave.
MTM has been steadily progressing towards being able to have the Gramothe clinic open full time as well as the vision to build a hospital near by.
Please pray with us that this vision will become a reality for the people of Haiti.

Friday, September 12, 2008

MTM Gramothe School Toilet House...

Okay, here they are, the missing pictures of the MTM Gramothe School Toilet House being tiled!

An outside view, boys to the left, girls to the right...
Praise the Lord!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

This week in Gramothe...

Greetings from a dryer, less windy Haiti! Praise God the hurricanes have moved on, for now.

The country continues to suffer greatly as the masses of people whose homes & lives have been destroyed are now looking for food for their families. Most have lost their gardens & entire fields along with their homes. We're not sure any of us know the depth of the devastation that continues to take place in Haiti right now.
Please pray.
Hard times are still ahead as the usual flow of food products nationwide will not be available. It's mind boggling to hear reports & to try to imagine what has happened here. Deforestation, definitely one of the root causes of so much of the flooding.
A confirmation, the Haitian government has ordered that all schools remain closed until October 6th. It will be a difficult year for students to have lost a full month of school.

On that note we would like to take time to brag on the MTM school director, teaching staff & on the Lord...All but 2 of our 6th grade students passed the national exam! This is an incredible reflection on the MTM school director & teaching staff as this is an extremely difficult test that few students are able to pass. We are very proud of our staff & students & of course, praise the Lord!!!

On to what has been going on in Gramothe this week...

The workers are laying tile inside of the bathrooms that are being built for the PreK-11th grades. YES! Finally a real bathroom for the students to use!
There will be 6 porcelain toilets on each side (boys & girls) with a hand washing station on the outside of the bathroom. I had trouble downloading pictures, but will try again tomorrow.

While in the village today, Willem found "Dr." Tika. He told Willem about the destruction to his home. The roof had blown completely off his house & the front door was literally ripped off of it's hinges by the wind.
MTM is praying to find donors to help us to build "Dr." Tika a new house that would consist of a sleeping room, a "receiving" room & a covered front porch, all made of solid concrete block, guaranteed not to blow away! If you would like to assist in this project, please designate your donation as "Tika's house".
You might notice that the prefix of Dr. is in quotes. For those of you who don't know Tika, he has been the only midwife/doctor in the Gramothe area for many, many years. He is at odds as he cannot find someone to take over his trade :) He is not real respected by the people of the village, they tease him mostly, but Willem has found favor with Tika by showing him off to all the "foreign" doctors as the "doctor" of the village. Tika is a jolly little man, always happy, always carrying something somewhere & always a delight to see & say hello to.

Tika & his "for life" bride...

Tika at the opening for his door (the door is behind him...

Collecting the tin that had blown away & strategically putting rocks on the roof as weights helps give Tika temporary shelter from the elements. This is what he has to work with so this is what he does.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Something new for the mountain!

Yes, you're seeing right, that's a bull dozer currently working above Gramothe! A new road is being graded that will connect Gramothe to the top of the mountain. Now, this road is fine for an ATV, but I'm not quite sure it's ready for a vehicle!
Needless to say, the people on the mountain have been so excited to see such an event. Everyday I can hear the dozer working from our home & when looking out I can see the crowds standing on the side of the road watching!
This is really something new for the mountain!
Many wait to see how this will affect their ability to get crops to market as well as needed supplies into their villages. We wonder if they really understand the impact this will have on their lives.
Time will tell.

Gramothe Dry Food Distribution...

Tonight Willem, Stephen, David & I hopped on the ATV's & rushed to Gramothe to distribute rice and oil to locals there. As we were driving up the truck that had carried the rice was coming down.
As the Haitian night was falling, 200 people lined up to recieve 2 marmiets (our measurement for a 5 lb. coffee can) full of rice and a bottle of oil. Everyone went home happy while another 200-300 wait in anticipation for their turn tomorrow night. That will be 400-500 families that will have food.
Thank you to those who have generously given to make this night happen. I'm sure these precious people will sleep well tonight knowing they have food for their families tomorrow.
Praise the Lord!

Pictures from around Haiti...

We've received so many emails from both well wishers in North America and other missionaries trying to stay in touch with each other.
Below are some pictures from around Haiti.

The following 4 pictures were taken in Gonaives...

Notice the people on their roof tops...
A line of people leaving the city...
Pictures from Les Cayes...

Pictures from Hinche...

Port Au Prince area...
(The above pictures were provided by Missionary Flights International website.)
I also have pictures from missionary friends in Passe Catabois near Port de Paix, but I was not savvy enough to get them into this blog. This morning they sent the following text message, "Ike is over, no internet and no e-mail. No drinkingwater. Houses are destroyed.
Greetings from Rob and Anne-Marie"

Please continue to pray for Haiti.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Dumay Dry Food Distribution...

Just after the destruction of hurricane Hanna and just before the arrival of hurricane Ike, Mountain Top Ministries was able to conduct a dry feed distribution in the village of Dumay this past Friday. The hundreds of people that came to recieve rice and oil were victims of recent flooding and were grateful for the food that their families would now have.

Thank you to those who contributed to make this happen.

"Ike" update..

We are receiving many emails from well wishers in North America, thank you for your prayers and concerns.

In our area, this evening, the weather has stabilized, though we continue to receive rain. There are reports that the public electric company is out surveying the damage here in the mountains but we don't anticipate a quick recovery. Most of the main lines are down and they will have many broken poles to replace. We and others fortunate enough to have generators are running them for short periods each day. Fortunately, roads are clear of trees and brush so we are able to get to the store and the schools that are open have remained on their normal weekly schedule.

We are hearing from friends in other parts of the country that are still receiving heavy rains and wind. There is much flooding in areas near Port de Paix, Gonaives, St. Marc and Jeramie. Haiti has been hit hard. Many have lost their lives, their possessions and their homes.

The Haitian schools open tomorrow. Gramothe is ready and food supplies have been delivered for their lunch program. The MTM Dumay school is also scheduled to open tomorrow. We are waiting to hear word from the school director about the status of the area with the passing of hurricane "Ike". More about a dry food distribution that Willem as able to do there on Friday in the next post.

Again, thank you for your many prayers for Haiti. Please, keep praying that the Haitian people would somehow see God Almighty glorified through this tragedy that has covered their land.

Willem & Beth

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Gustav, Hannah & here comes Ike...

Thomassin 46

Thomassin 46

Thomassin 48

These were common scenes as I drove the boys home from school this past Tuesday as hurricane Hannah blew into our part of Haiti. Port Au Prince was calm, but the further I drove into the mountains towards home, the worse things became. Suddenly, all those scenes from t.v. newscasters standing in hurricane force winds reporting as debris flew past, came to life in my head!

Though we didn't recieve the rainfall that other places in Haiti did, we got wind like never before. The big difference that we can figure is that Hannah blew in from the north instead of the south, which is the usual path that most of the hurricanes follow. We'll be without electric for a while, however, we are quite blessed when we look at places like Gonaives that are under water, much like the floods of 2004 with hurrican Jeannie.

Gramothe is faring well. The people are able to get out & move about & mostly only the bannana & plantain crops have been harmed. We are still waiting for reports from Dumay, but know that they would have been threatened by the swelling river that is nearby. Schools in Haiti open September 8th, that's next Monday. Ike is forecasted to hit us Friday or Saturday. Rain is falling now, it looks like a wet week ahead.

Thank you in advance for your (continued) prayers for the people of Haiti.

Sincerely in Christ,

Willem & Beth