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May 3, 2013

Edmonds Family Update – Partner Newsletter May 3rd

Rebuild Hope in Haiti
Partner Newsletter
Greg, Heidi, Haley, and Luke Edmonds
Missionaries to Haiti with Global Partners
Let me start by simply saying, “Thank you!”  Thank you for making a difference in Haiti with your prayers, financial giving, special gifts, and/or your mission team visit.  Together we are building God’s Kingdom in the lives of Haitian men, women, and children.  Lives have been changed, and we pray that Haiti will never be the same.  Special Prayer Request for Our Family
Our first term commitment with GP ends this December and we are seeking God for His clear direction of what is next.  Please join us in praying for guidance and wisdom for the next step of ministry that He has for our family.  We want to be wherever He leads us…whether it is back to Haiti for more ministry here or back to the US for a ministry role there.  Thank you ahead of time for praying for His clear direction over these next few months.  We knew for over 14 months that we were headed to Haiti and now we find ourselves possibly within 7 months of the end of our service here.Home Ministry – Summer 2013
We will be returning to the US for our annual time of Home Ministry during June, July, and early August, and would love to reconnect with as many of you as possible during this time.  Please e-mail us at heidiedmonds@yahoo.com if you would for us to visit your church or group on a Sunday morning, Sunday night, or other time.  We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible this summer!!

Update on new La Gonave Ministry Center/Guesthouse
As Summer 2013 is rapidly approaching, we have placed part of the new building into service with 4 bedrooms (22 beds), the dining room, and kitchen nearing completion.  The completed building will have beds for 42 people (9 bedrooms), a large dining/conference room, a commercial kitchen for food preparation, a new office for the mission, and a base camp for teams to retreat to following their daily ministry for many years to come.  The Guesthouse is not simply a place for people to stay.  It is indeed a Ministry Center from which ministry IN THE NAME OF JESUS is taking place all over the island of La Gonave.
Thank you for your continued prayers and support of the ministry of the Wesleyan Church in Haiti through the La Gonave Ministry Center/Guesthouse…“to the least of these.”  We are nearing the end of construction and we still need close to $20,000 to complete the building and furnish the bedrooms.  The building must be complete by the Opening Ceremonies of the new Hospital scheduled for September 26th through October 3rd of this year.

Village Health Haiti (Ministry led by Global Partners Missionary Lowell Adams)
The following is the November 2012 report from the Village Health Haiti program that Lowell Adams, a Global Partners missionary to Haiti, has started and is overseeing. They had over 700 salvations from October 2011 to October 2012, and have provided much needed health training in remote villages all over the island of La Gonave. The Village Health Haiti program has been a huge blessing to the ministry of the Wesleyan Mission here in Haiti. There are currently two Haitian men running the program and the report below is from one of them.
Hi pastor low (Lowell Adams) here what we got as a report:
 New latrines:258
 Bibles given:158
 Health given:95
 People accepted Christ: 170
 Pits dug for latrines:450
 Thank you, Met Yves (Met Yves is one of two Haitian men overseeing the program)
Lowell and Robin Adams are currently in the US for medical leave and Home Ministries.  They would love to share with your church or group how you can become involved in this dynamic ministry.  Their e-mail is lowellnrobin@hotmail.com.
Facebook Post from April 25th, 2013
I was reminded today of how blessed I truly am as I listened to the “mother” of a local orphanage in Haiti tell the story of one of the first girls they took in. They went to a neighboring town to see if there were any true orphans who were not being cared for, and were told of this particular 7 year old. Her father had abandoned this girl and her mother when she became pregnant with his second baby. The mother and the baby both died during the childbirth leaving the 7 year old girl orphaned. She went to live with her grandmother who basically turned her into a child slave. She was the servant of all the family, and was cooking, cleaning the house, and washing the clothes at the age of 7. The orphanage “mother” and her husband went to the home for a visit to meet the girl and inquire about her. They found all of the adults sitting around with the little girl waiting on them. Today, I watched as that little girl ate some peanut butter and crackers sitting on the front porch of her new home. A home where she is loved, appreciated, and cared for by a wonderful couple that operates this particular children’s home. It was a thrill for me to hold a plastic bucket as the kids laughed and smiled as they threw tennis balls at me (and I think they may have hit the bucket too). But my day had already been complete when I looked at that little girl and saw a smile break out on her face when one of the ladies from the team asked if she wanted to come sit in her lap. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me.”This story is from the newer children’s home here on La Gonave that we are sending teams to partner with.  The name is New Beginnings Children’s Home, and it operated by Bernard and Katie Cajuste.  Bernard is one of the Haitian twins who works for WISH, and Katie is his wife of almost one year.  They have an incredible heart for these precious children!

Jesus Washed My Dishes? (Facebook post from March 13th, 2013)
Heidi despises leaving dishes on the kitchen counter, but had left a few dishes laying beside the sink throughout the day because she was busy helping with the mission teams we are currently hosting on the mission compound here in Haiti.  We were finishing up in the guesthouse with the teams around 8pm and would soon be heading home to get Haley and Luke showered and ready for bed, take a shower ourselves, AND WASH DISHES before going to bed.  (FYI…there are no electric dishwashers here on the compound!  You heat water, add bleach, add detergent, and then wash and rinse by hand.)  The newest team had just given me one of the items they brought for us and I wanted to show it to another missionary family as they walked out the door.  They left the guesthouse before I did and I finally caught up with them as they approached the house that MY family lives in.  I had interrupted their journey to our house to wash our dishes.  Evidently they had overheard Heidi saying that she had been so busy that day that she had not washed the dishes all day.  I walked into the house with them and stayed with them as they washed our dirty dishes.

This reminded me of the words of John 13 which tells the story of Jesus leaving the meal with His disciples and taking the place of servant “foot-washer.”  It begins when “He got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist.  After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.”  The story concludes with this teaching moment…”When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am.  Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.  I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”  Thank you Rod and Michelle Geiszler for showing/reminding us what it truly means to be servants!  I think that is the kind of thing that Jesus would have done!!

La Gonave Mission Team Update for 2012
Number of teams:  64
Number of people on teams:  489 (team sizes ranged from 2 people to over 20 people)

Hurricane Sandy and Mission Team Smuggling
October 2012
Hurricane Sandy visited us in Haiti before bearing down on the East Coast.  We had a visiting mission team from Presque Isle, Maine working with us during the storm, and they were stranded with us for an extra day.  The port authority of Haiti informed us that no boats were allowed to travel to or from the mainland, and there were no available flights on the small Mission Aviation Fellowship planes that transport people to and from the island.  The team had to reschedule their flight out of Haiti for the next day HOPING that the ports would be open for us to transport them back to the mainland.  That afternoon contact was made with a speedboat captain who said he could get the team over to the mainland if they wanted to go.  We assessed the conditions of the sea, saw that it was not too rough to cross, and the team jumped at the opportunity to not miss their flight for a second day even though no boats were supposed to leave the island.  I will add that they crossed safely and they made their flight back to the US.  The call came to me the next morning asking if I had been on a flyboat that morning, and I had not.  The caller then asked if I had brought medicine to the island that morning even though no boats were allowed to travel, and I had not.  They never asked about a team leaving the island the day before, and I did not volunteer that info!!
Cost of call to flyboat captain:  25 gourdes
Cost of flyboat to mainland:  $240
Smuggling a team off the island to catch their flight:  Priceless!

Facebook Post on September 4th, 2012
Last night I put Haley and Luke to bed. We read a small book for Luke and then his Bible for little boys. Haley prayed and then Luke prayed. Haley then said, “Dad, I didn’t tell you this before, but before we left to go home for the summer and you left the door from my bedroom to the front room open one night…I heard a voice that didn’t sound like you from the front room. I’m not sure if it was God, but He said, ‘Haley, don’t be afraid. You are doing what I want you to do.'” I asked her what the voice sounded like and she said, “It sounded like a deep voice.” Here is the background to this story…Haley is a 7 year who is afraid of her own shadow…literally at times. Her bedroom is the very first one in our mission house here in Haiti and it has a door that opens into the front living room. From where she lays she can see through the dining area and into the small, dark depot that I keep tools in. She will not let me leave the room before I close that door. There are a few times since we have lived here that I forget and she doesn’t notice it open before I go out the other door to our room.

Tropical Storm Isaac
Aug 25th, 2012
Tropical Storm Isaac passed over Haiti on August 25th.  We went to bed a few hours before landfall expecting it to pass to the West of the island of La Gonave.  Greg went out during the storm (around 3:30am) to check on the compound and the part of town around us.  We found out later that the storm went almost directly over the island around 5am.  The island received several inches of rain and strong winds.  No significant damage was done.  Greg has always wanted to be in a Hurricane and thought it was “pretty cool.”  The highlight of the storm was watching the ravine turn into a raging whitewater rapid for over 24 hours.  One of our Haitian friends pulled up to the ravine and watched a goat go racing downstream toward the open sea.  To quote the fish in Finding Nemo, “Sharkbait, hoo ha ha.”

Facebook post on May 23rd, 2012
“Amazing Grace how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.” I thought of the next two lines of that song here in Haiti last week as a surgeon was doing cataract surgery and a Haitian lady came in who was blind. After removing the cataracts and inserting a lens into one of the woman’s eyes she left the Wesleyan Hospital the next day seeing out of one of her eyes!! “I once was lost, but now I’m found. T’was blind but now I see.”

The story reminds me of when John the Baptist sent his disciples to Jesus to ask if He was the one, or if they should expect someone else.  Jesus replied to the messengers in Luke 7:22, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor.”

God sends us an amazing assortment of teams and team members.  Each team and person is doing their part to build God’s Kingdom here in Haiti.   Heidi and I are so thankful to be a part of hosting these teams and helping facilitate their work and ministry to the Haitian people.

Thank YOU for giving financially to support our ministry in Haiti.  We cannot be here without your financial gifts, but we would not be here without the prayer support that goes up from each of you on a regular basis!  God is calling each of us to obedience, and His challenge is still before all of us to PRAY, GIVE, and GO!  What is he calling you to do?  Will you obey?

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