Monday, September 17, 2012

Answered Prayer!!!

I just wanted to update everyone on a little bit of answered prayer.

As I wrote about previously, Cal's dad fell ill about a month before we left Haiti. He became very weak, had difficultly walking, eating and had headaches. In the week or so after we left, he became very unresponsive.

Praise God, in the past few weeks he has been recovering greatly! He is able to walk with the aid of a cane and is up and about visiting. Just yesterday he was walking down the street in Haut Limbe - something he hasn't been able to do for 2 months!

We are so thankful for the help of Dr. Manno, Dr. Fred and Dr. Joselie at Eben-ezer Clinic who have been caring for him. We are thankful to all of you who have been praying for him. And most of all we give glory to God for the work He has done! Amen!

Monday, August 27, 2012

In Canada!

Hi All!

Yes, we did make it to Canada - sorry for the silence. Cal and I arrived in Saskatoon on August 10 at about midnight after a long day of travel - delayed flights, rushing through customs and security and catching all of our flights.

We left Haiti the first week of August and spent a week with friend and fellow Covenant missionary, Tammi Biggs, in Santiago. It was a great transition week for us. We were able to enjoy some of the things the DR has to offer, relax with friends, watch the Olympics and enjoy some good Dominican food before heading to Canada.

We've been here two weeks now and have enjoyed time here with my family. I've been keeping myself busy by teaching myself Haitian cooking. Cal says that I improve each time I make something, so I guess I'm on the right track.

We will be in Saskatoon for the foreseeable future so we ask for your prayers as we continue to transition, dealing with culture-shock (Calvin) and re-entry culture shock (Janelle), and as I begin seeking employment in Winnipeg.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

2 more sleeps.

Wow! Time is flying by way faster than I ever imagined. The past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind and I don't think it's going to stop anytime soon. On Friday, Cal and I will leave Haiti on the bus and head for Santiago, DR where we will spend the week until we fly to Canada on August 10.

This past weekend we held a spiritual retreat for the clinic as well as key leaders in the community. Thank you so much for praying it as it was a great success in my mind. Some major decisions were made and there was a good time of sharing. The clinic now has a new leadership (board) and I believe that God is at work and that we will see great growth in the future.

I want to ask you to keep praying for Cal's dad. He has still not recovered from his illness. We don't have a clear diagnosis, but he is experiencing headaches (less than before) and weakness in his feet and legs which makes it really difficult for him to walk. We've been spending a lot of time with him, encouraging him to eat and exercise so that he can recover. It's difficult to leave him at a time like this, but we have confidence that God will continue to heal him.

Packing kicked into high gear yesterday and today. I have all the things Cal and I will take packed into 3 checked bags, 2 carry-ons and one backpack! I'm so impressed with us! Now we just hope that all our bags make the fairly short connections we have on the way to Saskatoon.

We been enjoying time with friends and family, going to soccer games and beginning our good-byes. Please keep us in your prayers over the next few days.

Monday, July 23, 2012


I've been slowing packing (cleaning, purging, organizing) for the past few weeks. It's amazing what you can accumulate in 2.5 years! I've found a lot of things that I have held on to "just in case" which I actually I think is quite justified as when you live in Haiti, you never really know when you'll need something and can't just run out and buy it (body wash, shampoo, clothes patches, cough drops, etc). Turns out a lot of the "just in case" stuff was buried at the bottom of a rubbermaid and I had forgotten about it. Whoops!

I've been sorting through things and really asking myself "what do we need?". When I did this exercise in Canada, I ended up keeping a lot of stuff. When I do this now, living in Haiti, the "keep" pile is a lot smaller and the "give" pile is bigger. When I think of my neighbours around me, it's really hard for me to justify bringing home 8 pairs of shoes (all summer shoes) to Canada. It's been such a joy to bless those around me with these small gifts.

At the same time, I've been going through my clothes and have realized just how hard Haiti is on them. Getting handwashed and lined dried every week has really done a number on them - stretched, faded & worn. I do believe we'll have to do a clothes shopping trip upon arrival - especially to get seasonally appropriate clothes!

I do believe that we'll be able to get everything into 3 checked bags plus our carry-ons, which I think is pretty impressive. I moved down here with 2 checked bags and 2 carry-ons and this time Cal is with me! What I haven't accounted for is the gifts that people will want to send, namely casav which is a traditional Haitian flat bread that weighs a ton and seemingly lasts forever!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Question #3 - What has been your most challenging experience living in Haiti?

Anonymous (would love to know your name) asked me this question.

It's hard to name just one challenging experience - there have been so many (earthquake, cholera, outbreak, learning Creole, etc.). But one of the most challenging things for me on a daily basis has been learning to give up my independence and control. There are so many things that I just can't easily do for myself. As we don't have a car, we just can't decide to drive into Cap to visit someone or go out for dinner. I need someone with me to go to the market. If there is a problem with the water or electricity I have to wait for it to be fixed.I think that  I have come a long way and have learned to be more dependent on others.

Related to giving up control, with so many needs and poverty here its easy to get overwhelmed and want to fix everything. I think I have learned that it is not my place or responsibility to do that. I can do my small part, but in the grand scheme of things, only God has the power through his people to really change things.

Thanks for the questions! Keep them coming!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Question #2 - Can I see pictures of where you live?

Anonymous asked me to post some pictures of where we live and of daily life.

Here is the front of the house we live in. We live in an apartment in the walk out basement.
Our kitchen/living area

my office - i know you are jealous!
 For some pictures of daily life, check out this post.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Question #1 - What do you eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner?

My Auntie Roxanna has the first question - "What do you eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner?".

We always have coffee, usually just a small cup each. My coffee consumption has dramatically decreased since moving here! Most Haitians only drink coffee in the morning, not throughout the day like North Americans do. Cal was just telling me this morning that he has just learned to "like" coffee since we've been married.
We eat eggs several times a week - boiled, scrambled or fried. It's a good extra source of protein for us. We occasionally have oatmeal or cornflakes. Cal often fries some salami. Sometimes we just have bread and avocado if we have it.
And we usually eat some fruit - bananas usually or mangos when they are in season.

During the week, Marlene (our cook) makes us lunch. It's our biggest meal of the day and she normally makes something Haitian for us. We will have rice, bean sauce, beef in creole sauce, rice and beans cooked together, fried chicken, fried plantain, beet salad, beef and corn gratin, Haitian spaghetti, macaroni casserole, Haitian stew, etc. She usually makes us fresh fruit juice as well.
It's always good and basically fills us up for the day.

I've gotten really lazy with suppers. When we were first married, I tried to make supper everyday - soup, pasta, leftovers, etc. But, I soon realized that we really didn't need to eat that much. Now that we have the dinner portions under control (if we have extras, we usually invite someone to eat with us or give it away), we don't feel obligated to eat up the leftovers. If I have lettuce, I will sometimes make a salad. Usually, Cal ends up eating something at his parents' house (they still leave food set aside for him) and I'll snack on some fried goodness that we buy down the road!