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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January

01/11/2011

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hello faithful friends and supporters and prayer warriors!

i just wanted to send two quick updates:

1) before Christmas, i wrote a blog about my friend mona who is missing teeth and needed money for fake ones.  we got the EXACT right amount of money!  thank you so much if you sent something or prayed for this dear friend.  i called her today and told her i had the money, and she was ecstatic!  she never thought that would happen!  hopefully we can go in the next few weeks to get the teeth made!  i will make sure and get pictures.

2) i also just wanted to say a huuuge thank you to those of you that sent sewing machines, fabric, etc., to the container i let you all know about.  it all came two days ago, and it's wonderful!  I can't wait to start sewing with the 3 cords ladies!  so exciting!  

thank you thank you thank you for all your love and support!

keep haiti in your prayers tonight and tomorrow, as the haitian people remember and grieve jan 12, 2010.  the whole country is shutting down tomorrow so everyone can spend the day with their families.  mission of hope will have two church services.. pray for God to continue to hold His people here.