The falls colors this year have not been as spectacular as I remember them but they have been great, especially the last couple of days. The sun has made the countryside come alive with reds, yellows, and orange. On many occasions, I have missed the changing of the leaves because I was in Haiti. This year the Haiti mission trip was planned for October 20th, which meant I would be here most of the early fall.However, because of security concerns,the trip was canceled.
It is raining today and with more rain, in the forecast, it is possible that the leaves will be falling rapidly, especially if it is windy. It is very disappointing not being able to go to Haiti. Most of all I am missing my friends in Haiti. Those who were in the area most affected by the hurricane are on my mind and heart. I long to see them, comfort them, pray with them and hug them.
Donna remarked to me that if we had gone to Haiti this morning, as planned, we would have missed a surprise visit from my son Jason and his girlfriend. He is living in Florida and made a quick trip up to visit family. We had a great time together this morning. Was that the reason I needed to be in town?
In the grip of His Grace,
Norman and Donna Dobbs
The adventure has started. Yesterday was a 12 hour trip from Albany, NY to Port Au Prince, Haiti via three different flights all superbly timed by God.Total waiting time in the airports was less than an hour combined. Waiting for take off and deplaning was another story.It was near an hour going thru Haitian immigration, baggage claim and customs.Last evening was a joyful reunion with my good friend John Mchoul. Today is a planning day and recuperation.My next travel with be another twelve hours plus by bus to Pestel where I will meet Dan Quinta.Early tomorrow I will be driven to the bus station- a place where all the buses park along the curb – and find some transportation to Pestel. As Paul wrote,” Fritz has left me and Paula is staying with her sick sister.”(Looks like it is just you and Me God, and of course Jesus and the Holy Spirit)
Today started with Rebo coffee and cinnamon buns.John stopped in and said “Let’s go” It was before my shower,which I never got. We headed out in monstrous traffic and on muddy roads.(October is rainy season here) We are at “the property” where John’s office is located as well as the learning center and the bakery. A woman came in with hot chocolate and fresh baked rolls.
Later the baker came in with chicken pate-like a turnover with chicken filling.I love Haiti.And now a pizza has arrived
Thanks to all who are praying and have contributed to this trip.Your blessings are the same as mine although in a different manifestation. God has told me that I am here to learn.I ask Him if he would make it simple and quick. What do you think?
Where has the time gone? Although we were ready to leave last week we still had some work to do. On saturday evening we went to the church in Deye Moulin which is under a tree but also now has a tarp over it. There were mostly children and some young people present. About 15 adults showed up and there were some in the shadows beyond the tarp. It was necessary to change the message I had prepared since we had a younger audience. Delson (our interpreter) made me look good. He was fired up. On the way to Deye Moulin I found I was to preach the next day at Pastor Chery’s church. Fortunately I had been preparing for weeks and felt like a pregnant woman in her 8 month. It was ready for birth .Pastor Chery very graciously asked me to share a few weeks before but the time was not right. The congregation responded well to the message and I felt drained afterwards.
On Monday we visited the hospital again and prayed for nearly 50 people .It is difficult to see so many children in pain in very unsanitary conditions. We also visited 2 adult units. In addition the people ask also for food and money. If you give to one then you need to give to all.
We are grateful to Al and Bev Carpenter who let us use their apartment while they’re in the states. All the kids from the orphanage have had access to us and we have enjoyed our time with them. Donna has made a hit with the kids and the staff. Yesterday we both let the kids comb and brush our hair and fix us up with barrettes and scrunchies. They enjoyed all the attention. Today we broke out a couple of beach balls. We are badly in need of quality soccer balls and small nets for here and Fritz’s home. Son Son is coming in a few minutes for my Kreyol lesson. Bon swa. Good Afternoon. See some of you soon. If you click follow, you will get an e-mail evertime we post
In the grip of His grace,
Norman and Donna
The last time the city sent water was on Wednesday evening about 8:00 pm. We discovered it in time to fill half of a 5 gallon bucket. Today we needed to get water from the well for cooking, taking a bath (sponge ), and washing dishes and clothes. After carrying 7 5 gal buckets up the stairs, I was tired. Tomorrow I am going to put some water in them and try again. The past several days have been hot and humid. We try to get out in the morning and get home before 1;00 P.M. Being a block from the ocean we often have a breeze. When we don’t, it is uncomfortable. There is a fan in our bedroom but we try to save electricity by just using it at night.
Yesterday we visited the hospital again and prayed for over 40 people. One woman, a christian, showed marked improvement over our Wednesday visit. A man called John lost his leg below the knee due to some type of infection. He too is a christian. He was crying out to God yesterday when we visited. He believes God will restore his leg and we agree with him. Keep him in prayer. For privacy sake I am not posting his last name.
While we still have things to do, we both are ready to go home. The hot weather is draining. It is a welcome relief to go shopping and enjoy the air-conditioning while shopping.God has been working in our ministry and developing us as we minister. He is faithful- not fickle. Continue to lift us up in prayer. God is not finished with us here. Walk with the Lord today and be a blessing.
The time seems to be flying by.Next week we will be on our way home to a much colder environment. The days have been hot and humid. Most nights we have a cool ocean breeze which dies out early , followed by a lull and then a breeze from the other direction coming from the mountains . Usually we start out using a fan but by early morning things have cooled to a point where we shut off the fan and enjoy the cool morning. At times we need to cover with a sheet.. The Walkers have had a large group visiting this week so we have seen little of Gary and Denny. Carolyn is still in the states but will be returning on Feb 25. We have been visiting the hospital regularly and have free access to the wards. Our routine is to go to the children’s unit first.Today we prayed for about 25 children-one with encephalitis. Many of the children have head injuries and stomach problems.Some are frightened by our appearance while others readily take our hands. One little girl let me hold her today and did not want to return to her mother. Donna is enjoying it all- except the long route home from a walk to the beach. Ask her about that. We just had some folks visiting the orphanage. They are from Wisconsin and know the Carpenters. They are staying around the corner from us. It is just like Sesame Street.
Last week we went up the mountain to Jeanton and Cannot where we visited a one room school with three classes. Then we walked up the mountain to see a friend, Sergil. Please pray that his vision will be restored. He has headaches frequently . It is from untreated cataracts, I believe. Although we have been out to the church under the tree several times I had yet to preach there.Walk with the Lord today and be a blessing.
Every day in Haiti is different. Today we started out early to visit the hospital. Joe took us in a three wheel motorcycle fitted with a small truck bed in the back.We rode in the back on a bench (a board across the back). At the hospital, we went to the pediatric unit and prayed for healing for about 2o children and then went to an adult ward where we prayed for about 10 people including the nurse who asked us to include her).Before leaving I felt the bottom of my eyeglass frame pop just as it did the evening before we were leaving to come here. There is something like a fishline running underneath the lens. I took my glasses off since I did not want to lose the lenses. Now I can still see but not read. Donna and I went up to the market to meet Joe but since we were early we decided to get something to eat.There is snack place above the Ginou market so we headed there.Although I cannot read, Donna can. But she cannot read Kreyol. Luckily the word FRITE was large enough for me to read. We order fries for two. When they came the order included 3 small chicken legs each.Off to the market which was fun asking Donna how much each item was. Gave that up and just got what we needed. Past the time for Joe to pick us up and no Joe.Checking the phone I don’t discover his number. Thirty minutes after the appointed hour (or half hour as it was} we took a motorcycle home.Joe arrived 2 hours later and explained he had a tire problem. Although I endeavored to reach him by phone when we got home I was unable to connect and the recorded announcement was in French.
This day was certainly different from Saturday when we took a walk to the beach and upon returning home found that I had taken the motorcycle keys and not the one to the house.Life in Haiti can be challenging. Walk with the Lord today and be a blessing.
Love, Norm and Donna
It has been a full week since we arrived here in Haiti. We eased into the beat of the country and then Tuesday-Thursday we traveled up the mountain to Kenscoff. The first morning we took 4 tap-taps and arrived at our destination 40 minutes late.Some of the group arrived later.We ministered (taught) for 3 hours and started the trip home, stopping at a grocery store to get things for supper.The next day we stared earlier and took a different route which found us there 40 minutes early. On the way back we took a motorcycle for the last leg. It pays to work smart. Yesterday we took a motorcycle the first lap and then 3 tap taps. At the end of teaching we had a healing session and all the attendees-and some people who came from the street- came up for prayer. We prayed for each one- all for healing of body and some with problems in their home and marriages. What a wonderful time followed by singing and rejoicing. we were also able to bless the ministry financially thanks to the generosity of many of you.
Today we must say goodbye to Fritz and Magdaly and all the children. We had planned to stay until Tuesday but plans change. Gary is driving in from St Marc to take us there. Tonight we will be part of a street ministry in Deye Moulin. Fritz and his wife have taken good care of us. Tonight we stay in the Carpenters home at the orphanage while they are in the states. New people, new surroundings and new work to be done. Both Donna and I love Haiti. She has been doing remarkably well.Hopefully I will be able to post more after the weekend. Bondye beni ou. ( You guessed it! God bless you.
Early this morning I awoke to singing very near me. Reaching for my glasses, to check the time, I found my glasses were very light and then realized it was only the wing. Have you ever searched for the screw from your glasses without magnification ? Picking up all the pieces I went down to the kitchen where Pastor Gary was having coffee and asked for his help. He needed to locate his eyeglass repair kit so we waited until after devotions. It is a joy to sit with three people who regularly teach or preach the word and read scripture together and then discuss and comment on what we have read and the application of that word to our current situation. Afterwards Madame Carolyn found the kit and behold I can now read fine print.
Today we are headed to Port au Prince, to the airport,so that the Lovelands can leave for upstate NY.We will also meet Bethany Joy Painter who is returning from southern Indiana.Last night she slept at JFK. Having done that myself, I have great empathy for her plight. It has started to dawn on me that my time here in St Marc is short. It will be with regret that I leave. Tonight I will go with Pastor Pierre to the Nazarene Church for a healing service.It is with great anticipation that I look forward to this evening. God is alive and at work in St. Marc. Have a great day in Jesus