Thursday, January 24, 2013

January Newsletter

Happy New Year!! I hope everyone has had a great start to 2013! It was about a year ago when I wrote my first support letter for long term service in Haiti - now I've been in Haiti for over a month and am looking forward to many more. 

Adjusting to life in Haiti has taken time, but I feel more at home each day. The holidays made for an unusual schedule, but the slower pace allowed me to acclimate in my own time. Currently, I spend a lot of time working on learning Creole. I study on my own, work with a Haitian tutor and work with the Wilson's daughters to improve my language skills. I can understand far more than I can manage to say most of the time. I am so thankful for my very patient tutor, Phanette, who is improving my Creole tremendously. 

It didn't take long to settle into my house. The living room and spare room still need to be painted, so I'm living in the back half of the house - but I have more than enough space. I become more comfortable here every day. I've also opened up a bank account and received my first piece of mail and first package through MFI. God continues to help me feel settled in small and big ways. 

Right after the new year HAFF hosted a team of high school and college students from Ada, Michigan, led by a former board president. I was thankful to have people to speak English with - but I was also encouraged by their willingness to serve. It was a busy week, jam packed with activities , many of which were new to me. Their visit was exhausting but so rewarding for the American and Haitian staff here. They kept a detailed blog of their trip here

The new school term started for our students last week and I began visiting classes. Instead of jumping into teaching right away, I took some time to sit in and observe our different courses and teachers. It is a great chance to work on my Creole and to get to know the way a Haitian high school functions. School in Haiti is so different from any classroom in America. This week, I began working with our Haitian teacher in some of the English classes. I knew a few of these students prior to teaching and I am excited that I have already formed some relationships with them. I am also spending time brainstorming ways HAFF can further invest in the lives of our high school students. We are in the beginning stages of working on an after school program. It is my prayer that this program would flourish and give our students joy, value and hopefully improve their performance in school. 

I am also working on social media for HAFF. I am beginning to craft and write blog posts in partnership with Connie, our stateside co-coordinator. Soon I'll have our Facebook page updated as well as a new Twitter page. We hope incorporating more social media into HAFF will allow our supporters and visitors to stay more connected to our work here. Part of this work for me is taking lots of photos, something I love to do. I love the opportunity to capture what is happening here in Central Haiti. The chance to show and tell peoples stories of this beautiful country is a privilege. I am so excited to help bridge the gap between people who pray and support Haiti and Haitians themselves. Stay tuned here and to the HAFF blog - and check your mail boxes for the latests addition of HAFF Happenings soon!

As you can tell, I am keeping busy - and will continue to do so in the coming months. I look forward to updating you on everything happening here in Haiti.
Thank you for your continued support. You are each a part of my journey, you helped to get me here and you are so special to me. Thank you for being a part of what God is doing in Haiti!

All my Love,

Prayer Requests:
For me:
- I would learn Creole at a rapid speed
- I would begin to see how I can best fit into teaching English - and working with our high schoolers
- The Lord would open up ways for me to serve the young children in our community
- My adjustment of being away from family and friends - as well as their adjustment

- HAFF would see a growth in partners and financial supporters this year
- Wisdom and boldness for the HAFF Executive Committee as they make ministry decisions
- God would continue to provide for each ministry need

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