Insights into these Shoes' Soul

Welcome to our blog! You'll get glimpses into the fabric of our lives... find out what is happening in our family, learn what our latest adjustment is to life in the US, find out what is going on in our minds, see what makes us smile, and hear what makes us tick. You'll also get ministry updates! We hope these insights into our souls will make you smile, keep you informed and challenge you to pray for us.



Wednesday, October 27, 2010

And Now for the Good News!

Update on Jules

On Oct. 24, Jules celebrated his 56th birthday.  He is doing very well.  He’s anxious to get back to Haiti as soon as he can.  The majority of his doctors have cleared him to return.  The current issue is that he’s still having significant pain in his back (a dear friend arrived from Haiti recently and, not realizing how fragile Jules was and the possible consequences, gave Jules a joyful, giant bear hug, injuring his back).  He is getting treatment for it and those doctors believe it will clear up in just a few weeks.  At this time, he has been declared cancer free!! What a huge Praise the Lord for this special man!!

If all goes well, Jules would like to return to Haiti in November.  Pray for his continued recovery and financial needs.  He sends out big greetings and thank you-s to everyone.  He is very appreciative of the many financial gifts he’s received as well as the phone calls, cards, letters and especially the prayers of so many people.

We’ll keep you up to date on his departure plans.

The Hope for Kidz Hot Lunch Program has begun!

The start of the Haitian school year, in the middle of October, marked not only the beginning of a “normal” school year – a good healing point for Haiti – but it also marked the beginning of the the Hope for Kidz Hot Lunch Program in specific pilot schools.   It was estimated that this pilot year ti jean 2 tunedwould feed 800 children with a hot, nutritional lunch.    However, when word got out that those schools would be serving a hot lunch, families responded in droves, registering their children in those schools.  The result is that we are now feeding 1,300 children each school day!  The kids were very excited about getting a meal at school. 

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Update on Amy

Amy has seen the retinal specialist and has surgery scheduled for November 1Here is what she wrote in her blog:

I am stateside.  I arrived with absolutely no problems.  I left my house at 3am, was at the airport by 7am and on the plane about 9am.  Both the flight from Port to Miami and from Miami to Jacksonville left right on time and I was safely in Jacksonville a little ahead of schedule.

I had an appointment made for 8am but was told it may be a long morning as I will have to be worked into the schedule.  Just this morning, the Ladies from the Bible Study I attended before I left for Haiti prayed that God would give me a connection with a Doctor who had a heart for Haiti and a heart for the work I am doing there.  My mom got a call today saying that the Dr who would be seeing me had changed.  When she talked to that Dr. my mom found out that she has been to Haiti numerous times.  God has definitely been working in the details!!

The appointment yesterday morning wasn't actually for the surgery- it was a consult to see what the problem really was.

The surgery has been scheduled on November 1.  I have to be at the surgery center at 8:15am.

Bottom line, there is more substantial damage than just the bleeding.  There is scarring at the back of the retina and if not repaired, it could mean detachment of the retina and eventual complete blindness.  the bleeding was actually a separate yet related problem.  I consider it a blessing over all as the problem could have continued and become completely non=repairable.

It is a problem associated with diabetes and poorly controlled blood sugars (I guess Haiti has been harder on my system in that way than I realized but I am working on getting them under control and will just have to continue changing what I do when I return…)  As of now, the laser surgery can help stop the bleeding and remove some of the scar tissue.  The recovery process, he said in general is a two month process.  If the process goes smoothly, then after two months he will sign off on the recovery and I, ideally, will be free to return to Haiti.  As far as my vision, I am at 20/25 in my right (good eye) but at about 20/100 in the left eye.  There is a 3 in 4 chance it will improve some and a 1 in 4 chance it will not.  I am trusting and believing for the former.

I am working through what this all means and what life will look like over the next couple months.  While things have turned out differently than I thought, I know that God’s hand is in this and I will trust Him to continue to guide me through.

I am missing Haiti very much today.  I woke up to find news of a cholera outbreak in the North Western part of the Haiti.  My heart breaks for a country whose people has already experienced enough grief and tragedy in the past ten months to last more than a lifetime.  Keep Haiti on your mind, in your thoughts and in your prayers.”

Continue to pray for Amy.  You can find her blog here.  We will post updates as we receive info from her. 

 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Urgent Prayer Needed

Amy & a friend, Tiburon summer 2010 RMI missionary, Amy Long, is in need of urgent prayer.  She is experiencing retinal bleeding in her left eye.  She is not in pain, but does have very blurry vision in that eye.  This seems to be an issue brought on by her type 1 diabetes.  She was able to go to a special eye clinic in Cayes on Monday to get this diagnosis and was told that she needed immediate laser surgery. 

She is flying home to Jacksonville, FL tomorrow (Wednesday), and will be staying with her parents.  God’s hand has been working for Amy already.  Her mom has been able to get her an appointment with a retinal specialist at 8 a.m. Thursday morning!  It is possible that she’ll have surgery the same day.

Pray that God will give the doctor wisdom as he diagnoses the problem and performs the surgery.

Pray for peace for Amy as she flies home leaving responsibilities (RMI has 3 back-to-back teams right now!) and facing some serious unknowns regarding her eyesight.

Pray that surgery can be done quickly, that the damage will be minimal and her eyesight will be fully restored.

Pray for Amy’s financial situation since this medical crisis is unexpected.  Her insurance will cover some of the costs and some gifts have already been received to help cover her deductible.  She will need finances to cover her plane flights and other unforeseen expenses.  Any gifts for Amy’s expenses can be sent to RMI designated for Amy’s ministry account.

If you want to send Amy a card, her address is:  Amy Long, 3114 Starburst Way, Jacksonville, FL  32223.  Her email is amy.long@rminet.org.  She will updating her blog regularly, too.  We will also post updates as we receive them as well.

At this time, it is uncertain as to how long she’ll be in the US.  It will depend entirely on her medical situation and her doctors.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

What happened?

I’m not sure what happened, but it seems that our summer evaporated. One minute it was here and the next it was gone! I don’t know how it happened, but it did. And now it is fall, or at least what passes as fall here in Southwest Florida!

The summer

Our summer involved a lot of travel, hard work & 2 weeks of vacation.

We traveled to Greenville, South Carolina to help one of my sisters and mom move into a new house. As a short sale, the closing date on the house was moved back and moved back until after we arrived. Since the closing was imminent they allowed my mom to sign an early occupancy agreement, which in turn allowed them to move in the day we arrived. When we got there, at 10 p.m., it was their first night in the house. The very first thing we had to do was to borrow a ladder from the neighbor so Dan could replace the batteries in all 8 smoke alarms. Yep – all 8 were chirping, all over the house! We unloaded a lot of things, set their refrigerator up, set up the air mattresses and fell into bed at midnight. It would have been a better night if my air mattresses hadn’t sprung a leak! I was so tired after our long trip from Florida and the unpacking that I just slept flat on the floor.

For the next 12 days we worked from sun up to way past sun down. Dan especially worked tirelessly. He installed a complete closet system, a workshop in the garage, fixed item after item around the house, retro-fitted the kitchen with rollout units, loaded and unloaded a 26 ft. U-Haul truck and a storage pod…and much more. I unpacked boxes, vacuumed and cleaned the house, cooked the meals, cleaned after meals, helped here and there.

In the meantime, Dawn was in Haiti for 5 weeks working with RMI. I hope you’ve been able to keep up to date on her blog. She’s written from the heart. You can find it here. She had a fantastic time. She hadn’t been back since we moved here 4 years ago. Going back as a short term missionary was different than being a missionary kid there. She was able to go outback with 3 teams, helped a new missionary unpack, helped in the Hope for Kidz Program as well as the Homes for Haiti Program. She found that being in full time ministry was hard work, that there were hard times, and fun times but that it was very rewarding.

When she returned to the states, she flew directly to South Carolina and we went for our annual trip to the dentist. We are so grateful for a dentist in Gastonia, NC who takes care of our dental needs as a service to the Lord. For us, it means a day getting our teeth cleaned and any and all work being done in one sitting! That’s a long time, but we are thankful for this dentist’s gift to us. It’s a real blessing!!

Dawn spent the rest of her summer in Tampa house sitting for her pastor & his family and picking up odd jobs here and there.

Her sophomore year of college started early with volleyball camp. Classes started in late August. She was able to get a part-time campus job, which will help her out. Take a look at the Trinity College of Florida web-site here. Trinity chose her to be one of the students pictured on their website. She’s the blond in the fuzzy brown sweater.

We’ve been able to get attend several of her volleyball games and have enjoyed the chance to see her in action. The team is doing well and hopes to go all the way to nationals in November.

Devon continues to be involved with Ultimate Frisbee. Recently his Naples team, Fatal, came in 2nd in the state of Florida. He & the team went to the regional competition in Austin, TX and even though they had a blast, they were knocked out of the competition. Nationals are in Sarasota at the end of October and he plans on being there.

The Fall

Our fall has involved a lot of traveling, especially for Dan. He’s been to conferences in New York, South Carolina, Colorado and Florida. He’s also traveled to Haiti. Here is the most recent promotional video (http://www.vimeo.com/14437267) that was done for RMI’s Homes for Haiti program. Over 55 homes have been sponsored! Food for Haiti has been able to distribute thousands of meals. One Christian school class recently sent money for 11 cases of food! The students took on the challenge for 4 cases of food and raised money on their own. One young man set up a lemonade stand and earned $40! When they put the money together, it came to enough to buy 11 cases, not 4! That’s feeding 11 families for a month ($25 a case).

We’ve had a number of visitors already this fall, which we always enjoy. The entire RMI missionary staff and our Haitian administrator spent 4 days together in September in strategic planning meetings. It was a great time together, learning, sharing, planning, praying and eating together. Intense days, but excellent! Benjamin, our Haitian administrator, arrived several days early to spend time with us. His mother, Madame Camille, worked faithfully in our home for 25 years and was an integral part of our ministry. She was a fantastic cook, known especially for her bread. We’ve known Benjamin since he was a little kid. Dan took him deep sea fishing where he caught some good sized fish. We ate the catch with Devon, and all of Dan’s family (they’ve known him since he was little, too). They went to a movie, we went to church and generally showed him around town.

I’ve been kept busy with keeping the communications dept. of RMI going. It’s a lot of behind the scenes kinds of work, writing blogs and facebook entries, putting together brochures, flyers, re-doing the RMI display are just some of the things I’ve been doing. I was at Trinity College’s missionary conference for 3 days and held a workshop (while Dan was in NYC at a conference). I gave Dawn a part of the workshop time to share what she’d been involved with over the summer in Haiti.

Wow, I think that brings us up to date! The rest of the fall is going to be full of activities, travel, conference and a mini-vacation. Make sure you check out the RMI blog for more updates! There’s no slowing down for these stateside missionaries!!