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Always Fun to Flip on Couches

In this issue:

"You Will See."

If you have eight minutes, watch this video. It will be time well spent.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2X8AET_a2o
 
E3W, the filmmakers who visited Lifeline with the April team, tried to encapsulate all of the ways Haiti Lifeline is partnering with our Haitian brothers and sisters in Croix-de-Bouquets, Haiti. We think they accomplished this pretty well.

We hope this allows you to understand Haiti Lifeline Ministries better as well as give you an opportunity to see the fruit of your generous support. Fair warning: your eyes may get sweaty watching this. 

Special thanks to our fabulous film friends, to Sam Billen (Primary Colors) for the music and to so many others who made this possible. Feel free to share!

Denton Shipment Delayed

As many of you know, Lifeline relies heavily on annual shipments sent through the U.S. Air Force Denton Program. According to this article, "The Denton Program was created to allow private U.S. citizens and organizations to use space available on U.S. military cargo planes to transport humanitarian goods to countries in need." 

Shipments usually include a literal ton of grain, grown and donated by farmers in Kansas, other food items, clothes, shoes, and supplies. The 2016 shipment also contains the new Lifeline playground equipment as well as trusses and roofs for two more churches.

The shipment was prepared and ready to go in July, but due to unforseen delays, it is still sitting in Kansas waiting to be shipped. Please pray with us that God will work on our behalf to get the shipment to Haiti as quickly as possible. The food is essential and greatly needed due to the recent droughts and high food prices (see below) and the team is set to arrive the third week of January to take the building supplies to the churches.

We could not get this shipment together without John & Elaine Ratzlaff. We would like to extend a HUGE thank you to them, the U.S. Air Force and everyone else who worked toward making this shipment happen.

Partnering Together

Partnering TogetherTo say Lifeline is a collaberative effort is an understatement. Nicole Diuodonne has walked the road day after day at Lifeline. Her vision and compassion for the mothers of her home town began Lifeline’s work over 20 years ago and she continues it today. The caretakers, teachers, and other staff are the heart of Lifeline. They teach, love, and lead the children day in and day out. Teams from the US are able to accomplish much is short bursts (and these are the things that are easy to quantify for our American results-based thinking), but for the rest of the year, the rhythm of Lifeline is set by the mamas, teachers, pastors, and children.

Beginning in the late ‘90s, a core group from Kansas have given their time and resources. Over the years, others took on areas of responsibility, many of them mundane and thankless, but vital. In recent years, with the expansion of social media, the band of allies has grown and also includes the faithful support of several churches. These many hands, each doing what they are called to do, in capacities large and small, allow us to look back at 2015 to see all that was accomplished.

In the words of 2 Corinthians 9, This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

It is easy for those of us accustomed to American plenty to lose sight of God’s faithful provision for us. We can easily credit our own resourcefulness and forget the One who makes the sun rise, the rain fall, and gives us our daily bread. We can become numb to the story of redemption that God is revealing in our lives, in our families, and in our society.

But sometimes this story is made plain.

Walking alongside Nicole and the people of Haiti, it is a gracious irony that in the face of staggering need, the blinders of our self sufficiency fall away. In this place where human effort is frustrated by forces too large and where we are often left bewildered by the magnitude of the work, we can again become acutely aware that the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies are new and are demonstrated every morning. With eyes of wonder, we have seen the ordinary become extraordinary--a meal eaten, a thirst quenched, an ailment addressed, a child held, a mother reassured, a prayer spoken, a praise sung, a heart renewed.

Whether at home in Haiti or supporting the work from home in the US, we partner together for the sake of the Gospel (Phil. 1:3-5) . God’s faithfulness, his steadfast love, is played out in his constant provision for Lifeline through the committed work of his people. Witnessing that work is an indescribable gift. Thanks be to God!

Prayer Requests

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. I Thessalonians  5:16-18
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6



Please join us in prayer for:

 
  • Wisdom, health, and strength for Daniel & Nicole as they make decisions and lead the church and orphanage.
  • Direction and discernment for the HLM board.
  • Praises that in December four children have gone home with their forever families. Several more are nearing the end of the process. Please continue to pray for efficiency and quick movement in the Haitian adoption system for the families still waiting.
  • Continued protection and provision for the children at Lifeline.
  • Quick delivery of the Denton shipment.
  • Peace and cooperation within the Haitian government and safety as the election has been disputed.
  • Protection and provision for those caught in the border conflict between Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
  • For the drought to end and crops to flourish.
  • For safety and success for the January construction and church building team which is scheduled to travel on the 16th. 

One Body

25 Churches 10 Years

One Body LogoThe goal announced by Lifeline in 2014 and laid out recently at Topeka Bible Church now has a name: One Body. The vision is to work with 25 churches in the next 10 years.

Many congregations in Haiti do not have a building or, if they do, it is partially finished or has sustained serious damage. As the church building is the hub of the church body and community, we hope to see these churches have a place for worship, learning, and reaching the community.

By pairing American and Haitian churches, they can work together to share resources for the physical needs and spiritual growth of the Haitian church. How this can be accomplished is an exciting prospect.

As these relationships are developed, we hope that mentoring in business and industry can help the congregations develop long term opportunities for sustainable income. At the same time, the churches can encourage each other spiritually through sharing Biblical resources, pursuing discipleship, and developing friendships.

The goal is not to build for the congregations, but to work alongside and with them.

Please see the information on the Lifeline website or contact Lifeline for more details. 

A Quick Look at 2015

  • 7 teams visited: three medical, one vocational, two vacation Bible School, and one church building
  • A 60,000 pound shipment of food and supplies is ready to be sent through the Denton Program.
  • Approximately 1400 people were served  by the medical teams
  • One church has a roof installed on its building.
  • About 1000 children were able to attend vacation Bible schools
  • About 200 pastors, elders, Sunday school teachers and pastors’ wives shared in learning with six American teachers and preachers for the annual pastor’s conference at Bethel church, where Daniel pastors.
  • Basic repairs and maintenance were kept up by team members. (The girls’ dormitory sink was repaired at least three times...Nod to Matt Vincent who knows well the trials of many girls using bathroom sinks.)
  • The Fourth Capitol Craze Race was held in September with 500 racers, 35 sponsors and 120 volunteers. $32,000 was raised and was earmarked for various needs at Lifeline.
  • The Lifeline primary school has been in session for the 2015-16 year and has about 350 students.
  • Lifeline has also been able to financially assist other schools, including one in the town of Mirebelais. Close to 1000 children are reached in this way by Lifeline. (For more information on the educational system in Haiti, see this article.)
  • The library is open on a daily basis and an English class is being taught to the older students.

Medical Team Expansion

Two FacesOver the last couple of years, there has been increased interest in our medical and dental teams traveling to Centre Children International. Because of this interest and also due to the overwhelming need for healthcare in Haiti, Haiti Lifeline partnered with Washburn University and St. Francis Health Systems. The Allied Health students from Washburn University have become an integral part of medical teams and have opened the door to spread the love of Christ locally. St. Francis has been a supporter of Haiti Lifeline for many years and has paid for healthcare providers to travel with Haiti Lifeline in the past.

This explosion in interest has resulted in our first ever back to back medical teams in November 2015. On both of these teams, our focus was to demonstrate the love of Christ by offering dental and medical care. The first team focused on providing care to the Lifeline children and their caretakers ("Mamas"), as well as to the pastors and their families that attended the Bethel Church Pastors Conference. The second team focused on providing care to the community of Croix­ de­ Bouquets, the city where lifeline is located  and in Mirebelais, a mountain community.

This year St. Francis donated an ultrasound machine. Some of the most touching moments from our medical clinics was watching young mothers see their children for the first time. This will allow us to provide better health care not only to expectant mothers, but will also help in many other capacities.
 

A Nothing can be a Something


Child SponsorshipAs you saw on the video, Lifeline’s work is multi-faceted, serving the needs of the children at Lifeline, the surrounding community, and reaching to churches throughout Haiti. Several funds exist to help ensure that donations given are used toward their purpose. Some of these are temporary and used for a particular purpose, like the fund set up for construction of a new playground. Some are used for ongoing expenses, like the library fund which covers the library expenses.

The most important fund is called the General Fund. This is used for the ordinary work of Lifeline. This includes the budget for food and education as well as the myriad of miscellaneous expenses needed to run operations. Increased costs in Haiti, the delayed Denton shipment, and soaring food prices, as well as other factors have drained the general fund. Please consider donating to this immediate need.

You may also set up a monthly sponsorships: $40/month provides basic necessities for a child at Lifeline: food, clothes, and education. The updated sponsorship cards can be seen on the Lifeline Facebook page. Click here.

As always, any gift of any size is valuable. All donated funds go directly to the work in Haiti. As Nicole said in the video, “A nothing can be a something with God.”

Bonn Anivèsè Ayiti!

Credit:Courtney KilbyThe Haitian New Year means much more than turning over a new page in the calendar. January 1, 2016 marked 212 years since Haiti declared independence after a bloody years-long revolution fought with France. This day not only established their new nation, but also gave them permanent independence from brutal slavery.

To remember and celebrate, Haitians today continue the tradition of preparing and eating Soup Joumou. Gloria Board, a transplanted Haitian living in the US who teaches Haitian Creole, explained why making the well-loved soup is an important part of Haitian culture.” We [the Haitian slaves] were not permitted to eat certain things during slave time so when Haitians won freedom we started a tradition of eating pumpkin soup (once forbidden) every Independence Day, January 1st. Some of us eat it during other celebrations too.”

The name translates to “Pumpkin Soup”, but is not prepared with what we know as pumpkins in the US. Instead, a variety of squash is used. A recent discussion on the All About Haitian Culture Facebook Page concluded that the closest variety to what is used in Haiti is winter squash. However, recipes vary. Most important, says Gloria, is using fresh vegetables, not frozen or canned. She cringed at one recipe that suggested frozen. And, she says, even simple substitutions, like an onion for a scallion, can "change the taste a lot”. She said the best way to get a great tasting soup is to spend time hunting for as many fresh ingredients as possible.

Check out this recipe for Soup Joumou here and learn more about Haiti’s Independence Day here

Current Events Impacting Haiti

Drought impacts food prices and availability
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-haiti-drought-idUSKCN0QV24R20150826

Elections held, results questioned. Recounts demanded, riots continue. Runoff election
postponed 
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/26/haiti-elections-2015-voters-face-long-wait

President Martelly Announces Presidential Runoff Election is January 17th, 2016
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-35211376

Struggle at the Dominican Border 
http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2015/oct/12/eyewitness-dread-despair-deportees-haiti-dominican-republic-border

 
 
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Editor's Note:

Our desire in printing the newsletter is to keep you updated on the many happenings at Lifeline. Several of these include updates and announcements of ongoing fundraising efforts as many people have taken up the call to meet the diverse areas of need within Lifeline. It is not our intention for the newsletter to be a plea for funds, but instead a means to keep you informed and encouraged by the ongoing work. Gal 6:10
Copyright © 2016 Haiti Lifeline Ministries, All rights reserved.


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