Friday was a GOOD day!  My dear friend Mona finally got her teeth!  Praise the Lord!  After many dentist visits (each which took her 2 hours to and fro her house), the fit was finally perfect and she has some new pearly whites!  The dentist did a great job. In her words, she grew a third set of teeth, better than the second!  A special thanks to everyone who donated money for this cause… Mona wanted to tell you thank you:

“Thank you very much for helping me get three new teeth!  Now I can smile wide again!  And I want to tell you that now I will not hide my face when I laugh or smile anymore; I will keep my head up high!  You encourage me very much and I am so grateful.” 
 -Mona.

It was so fun to be a part of this.  Again, I cannot tell you what a special lady this is, and how dear she is to me. 

Here are some pictures of Mona’s new smile: (scroll down on previous post to see the before shot!)

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hello everyone,
just a quick note to say I wrote a blog on the Mission of Hope website, and you can find it here:

http://www.mohhaiti.org/blog/beach_day_with_3_cords

 
 
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We had a scare last week in 3 Cords, and it shook me to the core just like the earthquake did.  In many ways, it was scarier, because I was told one of my best friends here, Marie Maude, an employee of 3 Cords, probably has cancer.  The visiting dentist found a huge tumor in the bone of her jaw, and most of the time, this means cancer.  The tumor had eaten away the entire root of one of her molars, which was not a good sign.  Not only that, most of the time it means that that cancer came from either your lungs or breast, meaning it is probably in many parts of your body, and too late to cure.  When the dentist told me that, my heart sank, remembering the time Marie Maude told me sometimes she has difficulty breathing.  I didn’t even tell anyone that last detail because I was too afraid that my worst nightmare would be true. 

Before any of this happened, the whole 3 Cords team (myself and other North American staff that help out with it) had decided that Marie Maude would be the one we promote to be the supervisor of 3 Cords.  She is really and truly one of the most amazing people on the planet: dynamic, funny, welcoming, and not only that, she reaches out to those that other people don’t want anything to do with.  She makes a point to see everyone deeper than their skin.  And honestly, you just don’t see this often in Haiti.  She is one of a kind, and everyone who meets her falls in love with her. 

Well, the morning after I heard the devastating news, I was reading in my Bible, and read “the Lord takes pleasure in those who hope in His steadfast love.” (Psalm 147:11).  I prayed that God would give me hope, because by myself, I had little.  I couldn’t focus throughout the day on anything but praying that God would save my friend.  Anytime I told someone to pray for her I would end up in tears.  Then, a few days later, God gave me a hope.  I remembered who the God is that we serve.  I had hope that God wanted to save Marie Maude, and that even if that wasn't his plan, He had purpose in it.  He never promises an easy walk, but He does promise that He is good.  And every day we have a new opportunity to trust that or not. 

Well, a few days ago, we got the results of the biopsy, and Marie Maude does NOT have cancer!  She had an extremely rare type of fibrous cyst that perplexed the doctors, but nonetheless, it won’t kill her.  Marie Maude will be with us for a long while… we hope in the Lord!!!

As an update, Marie Maude was just promoted to be a supervisor yesterday, making the ministry/business more self-sufficient and helping it to run better on a daily basis.  We are all really excited about this!  This means 3 Cords can GROW! 

Here are some pictures of my beautiful friend Marie Maude:

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hello again!  just wanted to write a quick note to tell you all that a few people have responded to my last post about Mona, and we now have all the money we need to get her new teeth!  we are SO grateful for this!  thank you for your help and prayers.  i will definitely share pictures once it's done!  
 
 
Over the past few weeks, we have had multiple groups come down here to work on preparations for a Spring tour that Mission of Hope is doing through its subsidiary, Lespwa Means Hope (www.lespwameanshope.org).

The tour will be visiting university campuses, and this video was just completed for the tour. We are really excited about it, and wanted to share it with our friends (you). And if you have any friends, family, coworkers, neighbors who are currently in college who might want to be a part of this, please let us know. Also, any feedback on the video would be much appreciated before we send it out to universities. 

Here is the video: http://vimeo.com/19998242

Also, this week I (Jay) wrote a blog for the Mission of Hope website. We are not supposed to post the same blog on our personal blog site because it apparently hurts the search engine rankings for Mission of Hope. I don’t know what that means, but it sounds like it makes sense. So here is a link to that blog: http://www.mohhaiti.org/blog/why_we_hope

 
 
hello again!  i've been meaning to write and let you know the update on mona's teeth.  many of you sent money to help her get 2 false teeth implants, and i am so grateful for that!  

last week, i took mona to a dentist in port-au-prince that i know through a friend. (it's always good in haiti to know who you're working with because there are a lot of corrupt doctors and dentists that do the wrong thing intentionally to keep you coming back!)  long story short, the estimate he gave me for $250 in december was for teeth that can come in and out, like a retainer.   mona and i had our hopes on teeth that would stay in permanently; she jokingly said she doesn't want her teeth to fall out while talking!  i don't blame her.  anyhow, the price for 2 permanent teeth is actually $550.  when the dentist told us that, my heart sank, but then God reminded me that He is faithful, and we need to wait and pray.  if you'd like to send some money for mona, you can send it to the same address as before:

diana cherry
1441 penman rd
neptune beach, fl 32266

that's all for now.  just wanted to keep you in the loop and let you know we are still working on getting this beautiful friend some teeth!
 
 
hello everyone!  just wanted to share our amazing day with you all!  if i do say so myself, we (me, bri [an awesome girl who's coming in may to help with 3 cords long term], and christi [our close friend and product designer]) threw the most incredible party ever!  we decorated our "craft lab," decked it out with hearts and gifts and chocolates, and the ladies LoVED it.  so much so they busted out in song and dance upon seeing it.  and the dancing lasted for an hour and a half!!!  dancing on prosthetic legs!  halleluyah!  check out our pictures from the day :)
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Ps.  Bri and i found our new favorite store in Haiti! a massive fabric store!  amazing!
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hello everyone!  what a great week!  after i sent out a list of what 3 cords needed, you all responded!  and my oh my... it's incredible!  we now have 4 sewing machines, and lots of fabric!  and God sent us the perfect lady last week, ruth, to teach sewing classes to the ladies!  the ladies love it.  sewing is a very valued skill in haiti.  even if three cords closed one day (which i hope it never does!), the ladies could support themselves by sewing.  so that makes us love our new sewing kick all the more! :)

here's ruth in action.  the ladies loved her!  and don't want her to leave wednesday!
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here is our new set-up! 
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here is louphine..one of the most precious ladies ever.  she's been hand-sewing mini purse/wallets ever since we started, because she only has one arm and cannot braid.  at first she didn't think she could do anything, but now she's super proud of all she can do!  here she is learning to sew on the machine (which she loves!  as it's much faster than sewing her little purses by hand!)
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here is denise with her finished purse!  denise was a natural, and will probably end up being our sewing teacher down the road, to teach more haitian women when we can hire more.  when she started sewing for the first time, it was like she'd done it all her life.  i wish you could have seen how proud she was after finishing her first purse!  here's a glimpse.
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here's a close-up of the purses we are going to start making to sell.  i was super excited i got to make a purse too!  whoever would have thought i'd get to learn in haiti of all places, with the most amazing women ever!?
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As most of you know, this past week was the anniversary of the earthquake, and it was a busy week with media crews, church services, and reflecting on the year that has passed. 

I (Jay) wrote a blog for the Mission of Hope website this week. I tried to post this a few days ago, but I couldn't figure out how to use our blog (I blame it on a Weebly malfunction, though it could easily be blamed on user error!) Anyway, you can read the blog about how Haitians are processing life 1 year later here: 

http://www.mohhaiti.org/blog/a_week_to_remember

Thanks for continuing to keep up with us and pray for us. We are grateful for friends and family who continue to walk alongside of us and encourage us, especially through this past year since the earth in Haiti quaked. We thank God for his provision for us, as he sustains us daily, through both joy and pain, and we are thankful that we get to continue to live and work here with the people of Haiti. 

Also, I don't know how we forgot to mention it a couple of weeks ago... but better late than never, so.... Happy New Year everyone!! We hope you have a wonderful 2011.
 
 
as many of you know, today is the one year anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti. this morning i went down to the church service at Mission of Hope, expecting to see people dressed in black, mourning.  instead, it was jam packed with people singing and worshipping the God that spared their lives last year on this day.  It is so hard to believe a year has passed.  my heart has been challenged, broken, and encouraged this year, as i get to work with a people that persevere and savor life unlike any other.

in memory of jan 12, 2010, i want to share a story with you that one of our amputee patients shared with me yesterday.  he was coming in to have his leg remade, as his first one is now too big.  his name is henri alfred, and he is one incredible human being.

henri was coming home from work when it all happened.  as he stood in front of the four story apartment building, he saw it begin shaking, and the slow rumble turned into violent shaking within seconds.  he started running the opposite way, only to run towards another wall that was collapsing towards him as well.  the only other direction was a deep, rocky ravine.  he dove into it, and smashed his right ankle on a large rock.  it was bleeding pretty bad and he could not walk on it.  after the shaking stopped, he hopped on one leg about 100 feet and layed beside a wall on the ground.  He thought it was all over, and he was waiting for help to come.  Then the aftershocks started.  The wall he was under began shaking.  He raised his arm, and started praying to God that He would save him.  Miraculously, the wall fell to his right and to his left, but the part that should have fallen on him fell the other way!  henri KNEW God saved his life.  after that, henri could not find medical care for many days, but finally he got taken to the Dominican Republic for care.  by that time, his leg had already become infected.  first, they amputated his foot, but they found that the infection had already spread higher and they needed to cut again.  then the same thing again- the infection had already spread.  after FOUR amputations below the knee, the doctors told henri that he would most likely lose his knee if the infection had spread higher after the forth amputation.  henri said he prayed and prayed and prayed, because he had a friend that was an amputee pre-earthquake, and knew how much easier it is to walk if you have your knee.  again, God showed up and SAVED HIS KNEE.  it was not in fact infected anymore, and his leg began to heal.  henri had to wait about 6 months to get a prosthesis, because there were so many patients and so few labs at the time.  but seeing him walk for the first time was the best thing i have ever seen.  of all the patients we’ve ever fitted, he was the most excited to walk again.  after about 3 steps, he left the parallel bars and just pranced around like he never missed a beat.  he said he missed walking so much he couldn’t stop!  he kept praising God that he could walk again, and told us how excited he was to be able to work again.  it was the most beautiful thing i’ve ever seen.

yesterday, i asked henri how he felt because it was exactly one year after the earthquake.  he said, “i feel like life before the earthquake was like the first half of a soccer game when he wasn’t able to score a goal.  but life since then is like the second half, and he’s already scored four goals and still has time left!”

in other words, to henri, life is better now, after the earthquake.  he told me about how his relationship with Christ is so much deeper now, and now he has found joy.  and life.  he has gratitude for each day. and he knows, with every step he takes, that God saved his life, that God loves him, and that God has a purpose for him. 

i pray today that i could live more like henri alfred.

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