Friday, March 30, 2012

This may ruffle some feathers!

I just finished reading "Toxic Charity" by Robert Lupton this week. Has me thinking even more than I normally do about the impact NGO's, churches, foreigners, foreign governments, mission trippers, etc on the majority world. Here some quotes to chew on.

In the United States, there's a growing scandal that we both refuse to see and actively perpetuate. What Americans avoid facing is that while we are very generous in charitable giving, much of that money is either wasted or actually harms the people it is targeted to help. (pg 1) (I would lump Canada and Canadians into this statement as well)

...But what is so surprising is that its outcomes are almost entirely unexamined. The food we ship to Haiti, the well we dig in Sudan, the clothes we distribute in inner-city Detroit-all seem like such worthy efforts. Yet those closest to the ground-on the receiving end of this outpouring of generosity-quietly admit that it may be hurting more than helping. How? Dependency. Destroying personal initiative. When we do for those in need what they have the capacity to do for themselves, we disempower them. (pg 3)
Thoughts, comments?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Group of 8 from Saskatchewan arrive tomorrow am and are here until Monday. Please pray for safe travels, good health and meaningful experiences.

Please pray for health, strength, patience, wisdom and energy for me and Cal while we host them.

This is the beginning of the crazy season - after they leave, another group of 8 arrive a week later and 4 days after that another group of 8 arrive! Then we have a little break until the 2nd week of May when a group comes and then finally a group the last week of May!

Thank you for praying!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Just throwing it out there...

I've been going back and forth in my head as to whether I should write this blog. Why? Because it's an uncomfortable subject for me. It puts me in a vulnerable position. In my head, it opens me up to criticism and judgement and that is scary. All to often I do not put my faith and trust in God to meet our needs and that creates fear and is destructive. What subject can do this? Money!

One of my greatest personal challenges about serving in Haiti has been fundraising for my personal needs.  I hate asking for money for myself. I'll gladly ask for money to support others or organizations I know that are doing good work (I used to work in the fundraising department of a non-profit). But asking for myself - so hard, and so humbling!

Cal and I live on what I consider a modest budget here in Haiti for a missionary, about $900/month. I don't put that number out there to be comparative or prideful, just as a reality. We have chosen to live a simple life here and because of our circumstances (location and surroundings) we are able to do that. That amount is enough for all our expenses with the exception of my health insurance, travel to/from Canada and ministry tools (i.e. repairs to computer, books, etc).

We have been blessed with some committed individual and church supporters and we are so thankful for them. However, we still do not raise the amount needed monthly to cover our needs. That being said, the ECCC (my sending organization) always forwards our monthly support, even if the money has not been raised, trusting that the money will come in.

So why am I writing this? Would you consider helping filling in the gap by giving a one-time gift or even better by becoming a monthly giver? It doesn't take much and every gift helps.

For example:
$20/month pays for cellphone minutes.
$25/month will buy propane for our stove.
$30/month can help pay for our motorcycle repairs.
$40/month pays for our internet costs

If you feel led to help, you can look over at the right of this page under "Support me financially" or at the top under "Support" to learn how to make a tax-deductible gift via cheque or online.

Thanks for reading and thanks for the support you give - financial and otherwise.

Bondye beni nou!
God bless you!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The times are a changin'

Daylight savings time, that is.

New president, new time! Under Preval, Haiti did not observe daylight savings, just like the Dominican Republic. But now, Martelly decided that we will. The public awareness campaign apparently wasn't very strong as I only learned about the time change on Sunday night - whoops! Church still started at it's regular time too.

Being a Saskatchewan girl, I'm quite fond of the non-observance of daylight savings. It just makes sense to me. Why torture yourself with getting up an hour earlier, especially when you are so close to the equator that it doesn't really make a difference!

But anyways, the time has changed. There is nothing we can do about it, at least until there is another election and the president decides to change it again! Now I just have to drag myself out of bed every morning...

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Sunday morning, I woke up way too early. My tummy was rumbling in a way that insisted I spend more time than usually necessary in the bathroom. This started at 4 or 5 am and I was not able to go back to sleep. I decided that it probably wasn't a good idea to go sit in a hot church for 2 or 3 hours later that morning, so elected to stay home. Cal and I made some breakfast - hoping it would all stay in me, and then Cal got ready for church while I rested and watched tv shows on my laptop.

By the time he came home, close to noon, I hadn't made any more trips to the bathroom and thought it might be nice to go outside at least once during the day. Before lunch, we decided to go for a moto ride to his father's garden in Acul Jeannot to see the baby calf our (by our I mean the family's) cow gave birth to last week. This is a big deal. In Haiti, a cow is called a "Kane Bank" or bank account. You can gain more "interest" by raising a cow and it's even better when you get a calf! A big asset for most Haitians.

Acul Jeannot is a section of Haut Limbe which is probably a 30 or 40 minute walk from our house. Every morning, Cal's dad walks to his garden to work and to check on the cow. By moto, the trip is 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the amount of rain we have had.

The house Cal's dad grew up in.
Before we went to the garden, we drove a bit further so that Cal could show me the house where his dad grew up. His grandparents are no longer living, but the house is still there unoccupied. Along the way, we passed many people making the 40 minute walk home from church in the midday sun. I'm so thankful we have a moto!

it's a boy!
After looking at the house, we backtracked to the garden, and saw the cow and calf! He was pretty cute.

We started on our way back home and along the way we met 2 young boys walking with machetes. I immediately saw blood dripping from one of the boys knees that was wrapped with a dirty cloth bandage. The boys had been in their garden cutting wood for charcoal and were walking home. The boy had cut his knee with the machete. Cal asked if they would be going to the hospital and the boy replied that his mom did not have the money. We decided to drive him with us to the clinic and sent someone else to get his mom.

We called one of the nurses to meet us at the clinic and they were able to stitch up the boy and clean the wound. I can't imagine what kind of infection he would have gotten had we had not passed by him. As Cal says, "God sent us there today". I kinda have to agree.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Pause and a rest

Sorry for my absence! it's been busy around here. On Wednesday we finished hosting a group from the Breton church for 10 days and I'm working on catching up on all the stuff I neglected while they were here!

It was a good group and we did a lot (even if they may not think that!). The biggest accomplishment was doing a huge chunk of sorting, organizing and pitching a bunch of medical supplies in the depot! Thanks to the rubbermaid bins they brought, we now have the majority of the supplies safely stored in containers that prevent any rat or mouse from entering!! The cockroaches may still squeeze their way in, but oh well! This is a huge burden lifted and we even have a written inventory of all the supplies we have now! Thanks everyone for your help!

After dropping of the group, I've taken it pretty easy for a few days, catching up on sleep and taking some time to relax. Yesterday we took of to the beach by motorcycle with our friends the Hamiltons. 4 on one moto, 3 on the other! We were quite the attraction on the trip. It's normal to see 3 + Haitians on a motorcycle here - not so normal to 3 + Canadians. We enjoyed the beautiful ocean, ate some great fish with plantain and all got nice and rosy from the sun!

In just over 2 weeks, the next group arrives, with 4 more coming after that before the first week of June! Please pray for good health for Cal and I. We both were fighting colds when the last group was here which takes a lot of energy out of us. We want to be able to give our best when we are hosting!