Follow me… I know a Shortcut!
II Samuel 6: 1David again brought together all the able young men of Israel—thirty thousand. 2 He and all his men went to Baalah in Judah to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the Name, the name of the Lord Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim on the ark. 3 They set the ark of God on a new cart and brought it from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab, were guiding the new cart 4 with the ark of God on it, and Ahio was walking in front of it. 5 David and all Israel were celebrating with all their might before the Lord, with castanets, harps, lyres, timbrels, sistrums and cymbals.” So many times we are excited about our plans, which for sure include God’s plans for us, however, they are not following 100% what God has planned for us. Romans 12:2 tells us that God’s will is good, pleasing and perfect. King David and Israel were so excited about recovering the Ark of God that they went ahead and used a cart to bring the ark of God as soon as possible to their destination But what was God’s perfect will for transporting the Ark? Exodus 25 10 “Have them make an ark of acacia wood—two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high.11 Overlay it with pure gold, both inside and out, and make a gold molding around it. 12 Cast four gold rings for it and fasten them to its four feet, with two rings on one side and two rings on the other. 13 Then make poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold. 14 Insert the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark to carry it. 15 The poles are to remain in the rings of this ark; they are not to be removed. God’s perfect desire for transporting the Ark was that humans had to carry the ark on their shoulders, which would take significantly longer time and require way more attention and efforts than transporting through a cart. God uses people to achieve His Will on Earth. However, people like shortcuts. The story continues in II Samuel 6: 6 When they came to the threshing floor of Nakon, Uzzah reached out and took hold of the ark of God, because the oxen stumbled. 7 The Lord’s anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore God struck him down, and he died there beside the ark of God. Because Israel and King David wanted to transport the Ark as soon as possible they tried a shortcut. It’s part of human nature to try to achieve goals using the least effort as possible, trying to go through shortcuts. However, in Christian life shortcuts many times bring us to bad results. In this story we see that Lord’s anger burned against Uzzah and he died. Most times we will not necessarily die a physical life for disrespecting God’s will, but we can burn years of our lives following a path that is not leading to where God has us to go. Ephesians 5 14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. Bible tells us to be wise, redeeming the time. We have been used to tell everyone we are so busy, we are always too busy to study the Bible, to pray, to call our friends and share the Gospel with them, we are always so busy to do everything, however, God has brought us all to a time of waiting this year. 20/20 is known as the perfect vision, have we been allowing God to open our eyes for His plans for us along this year? How have we been using our time during this year? Are we following God’s will – which is good, pleasing and perfect – for our lives along this year? Ecclesiastes 3 tells us that there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under Heaven and a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing We understand now is the time to refrain from embracing, we are spending less time with social gatherings and more time by ourselves and, hopefully, we have more time to listen to the Holy Spirit and understand what God wants to tell us. What has been God telling you along this year? What are His plans for your life? II Samuel 6 9 David was afraid of the Lord that day and said, “How can the ark of the Lord ever come to me?” 10 He was not willing to take the ark of the Lord to be with him in the City of David. Instead, he took it to the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite. 11 The ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite for three months, and the Lord blessed him and his entire household. After a terrible situation – Uzzah’s Death – King David took 3 months to meditate on what was God’s way to transport the Ark. Sometimes we feel stuck, particularly as most of us see our plans for 2020 impacted by this time of waiting. II Samuel 6 12 Now King David was told, “The Lord has blessed the household of Obed-Edom and everything he has, because of the ark of God.” So David went to bring up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with rejoicing. 13 When those who were carrying the ark of the Lord had taken six steps, he sacrificed a bull and a fattened calf. 14 Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the Lord with all his might, 15 while he and all Israel were bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouts and the sound of trumpets. King David decided to go ahead and transport the Ark of God the way it was intended – by humans – carrying the Ark on their shoulders instead of oxen. God is the master of second chances. Maybe this year brings a second chance for us to have time for God, to listen to His will for us and proceed glorifying Him. Just like happened to King David. David went further and decided to sacrifice a bull every six steps, for sure this increased significantly the time to transport the Ark of God, but David had realized that when he is with the Ark of God, hence, God’s Presence, there is no reason to rush and transport through oxen’s cart just to reach their final destination ASAP. We are living a society where time is money and the acronym ASAP is so frequently talked about. Now God brought us to a season where time is a resource we have abundantly whereas the hugs of our loved ones (which sometimes we have took for granted) is missing from our schedule. Romans 8 28 And we know that in all things except a pandemic God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. As you can see, Romans 8 does NOT say “except a pandemic”, nope, there is no space for that in the Bible, it says in all things God works for the good of those who love Him. There is no place in the Bible that says that something doesn’t work for the good of those who love God. Of course we don’t enjoy watching a pandemic destroy so many people’s dreams and lives, but if we decide to love God, in all things He will work for our good. There is NO EXCEPTION, everything we go through will work for our good when we love God! Let’s love God today with our most valuable resource: our time! If you would like to start a relationship with God please repeat these words, speaking with your heart to Christ: “Lord Jesus, I accept You as my only and enough Savior and Lord. Please forgive all of my sins and write my name on the Book of Life, because from today on my life is Yours! Amen!”
COVID 19 Haiti
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 chronicles 7:15Hi,I pray that this email finds you each healthy and safe adjusting to this unexpected season we all find ourselves in. It has taken me a few weeks to gather my emotions, thoughts and process yet another difficult transition season. Life in Haiti was finally getting back to normal and I had found a new schedule. Education with my students and staff were going well, therapy and outreach were running well, staff Bible study was started back up, staff meetings were going well full of great ministry plans, and I was at peace. Then Covid 19 hit. We prayed that it would somehow miss the island of Haiti and Haiti would be spared. As friends from the US started sharing of schools being shut down and church’s being shut down and businesses being forced to close to allow for social distancing, I realized my planned fundraising trip to the US was not going to look the same. All 3 churches I had lined up would need to cancel. The Continuing Education class in Florida was cancelled and honestly the toughest blow was when Nathan’s relocation to the US was postponed indefinitely meaning once again our few weeks of in person time gone. I was left with a hard decision to make. Do I still go to the states when I know all my plans were cancelled or do I stay in Haiti where I could at least keep ministry going. Over the next week I realized that ministry in Haiti would become severely limited if not impossible. I learned that this virus was worse than I originally realized and even more dangerous for people with compromised Immune system, which I have. I thought about the fact I live on my own now away from other Americans who understand my complex health and know how to handle if I have a seizure. I started to realize it was not wise for me to stay in Haiti in my current living conditions. So I decided to keep my original plan of leaving Haiti on March 31 for 6 weeks. Needless to say days later the borders to Haiti were shut down no-one in and no-one out. I began shifting my emotions to ok God…I guess I am staying and I better prepare. I started buying in bulk and stocking up on bottled water, propane, food, etc. But deep in my gut I was uneasy about staying. As the days of Quarantine in Haiti went on I realized I would go crazy if I stayed in Haiti cooped up in my little house that has no yard as I live in the city now. My inverter is still broken so no refrigeration, very limited power, and sharing my small 2 bedroom house with 2 Haitian roommates who I love but it is a small space to share 24/7. I had no movies (I realized they were left at NWHCM, my laptop had broken, no, to limited internet signal at my house, etc.). I contacted missionary friends in Cap Haitian who have a beautiful compound that is safe, spacious, has safe drinkable well water, power, internet and fellowship. I decided if I could not get stateside I would go live with them. I had peace about this plan. I saw that AA had flights out the next week and booked one for Thursday but later found out that flight would not happen. The government was approving just a few flights out of Haiti. There were over 1,000 expats trying to get out of Haiti and it was extremely stressful, full of uncertainty if planes would even take off as a few loaded passengers and were on runway then not allowed to take off. It was hard to reserve a seat on a plane due to so many trying to get out. Even worse was the only flight with seats available were price gauging $1,200 a seat! I had to rent a private MAF plane to get me from my town to PAP the capital or to Cap Haitian. I had to be certain a plane would take off before I flew to PAP. I am extremely thankful for 5 STAR GLOBAL MINISTRY who worked tirelessly for a week problem solving and making decisions of how to get me back to the states. I can look back now and see God’s hand all over my travel plans. Wednesday morning I took an MAF flight from PdP to Gonaive where we picked up 3 other missionaries who would be on my plane out and continued to PAP.We all shared a van to the big airport where we checked in and began out 5 hour wait for our flight out. It was so exciting to see a missionary friend from Cap Haitian who had by a miracle got her 2 adopted special needs children’s passports and visas that morning and was on my flight! Something we had been praying for, for an entire week.At 7 PM when are flight was to leave we still had no plane on the ground. at 9PM the plane landed. We loaded up. As I was sitting on the plane a flight attended came yelling my name saying a girl in the back with kids needs you. I knew right away it was Courtney. They asked me to bring my stuff with me. Turns out the airline wouldn’t let her fly without 1 Adult per child. She had 3! Thankfully another missionary was there to sit with 1 and I sat with Sancara and she sat with Woodly. I won’t go into details but apparently just getting on the plane was a disaster that the staff for both the Haiti airline and the airline we flew should be ashamed. I was just so thankful I could be there to help. That started a night of an adventure I will never forget. I cuddle Sancara the entire flight praising God for this sweet ones adoption being finalized, for all the progress she had made since 2 years ago when I first did her evaluation for therapy. Honestly I was struggling with so many emotions of guilt for leaving, worry about my family and friends I was leaving in Haiti with a deadly virus that had hit the island, and so on. Holding Sancara was therapeutic for both of us.Getting off the plane once again was a challenge as we had 3 kids under the age of 5, 2 of which have cerebral palsy. We had a total of 6 carry ons, 6 backpacks, 2 car seats and a double stroller and 3 adults to carry everything. We asked for help from the wheelchair assistant people since we had 2 special needs kids and they refused to help us since the kids were not in a wheelchair. Needless to say we got creative and we made it to customs, through customs, picked up 10 large suitcases to add to the mix and made it outside which is when it finally hit… all the emotions of 3 adoptions finalized. 2 families lives changed forever. 3 kids in forever homes! PRICELESS!I made it to my hotel at 3AM and thankfully my flight had been cancelled and rescheduled 5x and now was not till 5PM. Thankfully the hotel let me stay in the lobby all day. After my flight was cancelled for the 6x and moved to the next day we rescheduled on a another airline and I made it home by midnight. I spent 14 days in Quarnantine and I am praising God that I remained healthy and so did my parents. Those I am still struggling with guilt and missing Haiti and the uncertainty of when I will get back to my Haiti home. I know my social distancing will be way better utilized stateside. I have been participating in daily AOTA continuing education related to Covid 19 and Telehealth. I signed up to take a 10 hour medical course on disaster preparedness for epidemic and pandemics. I have started taking a disaster preparedness course offered by WFOT I have wanted to take for years and now have the time and internet connection to do so. I took a course on ADHD in the schools. I am committing this time to improve my creole and have been trying to do at least 1-2 hours of studying daily. I started working out 3-4x a week. I am also able to daily interact with my staff in Haiti. I don’t know what the next weeks and months will look like exactly but I know the one who holds me is the same God holding those I love in Haiti. Please pray for me as I find peace in this season, for me to maintain my health, to find a routine and God’s purpose in this season. COVID AND HAITICovid 19 has been devastating to countries around the world and Haiti has many disadvantages compared to countries like the USA, ITALY, CHINA, UK… There is no such thing as self-isolation when you live day by day or in Haiti we say egg by egg. Where you have to go out and work if you want to eat that day. When the majority of people rely on public transportation which consists of 15 people in the back of a pickup truck. When your house is one room with 8-10 people living together. Where majority of people don’t have running water and have to go to a public watering hole to get water to even wash there hands or make food for the day. How does Haiti prevent the spread of Covid 19?There was a very informative article published that shared the following:”The population of 11.3 million has access to 64 ventilators and somewhere between 30 and 123 ICU beds, some malfunctioning. Experts warn that many hundreds of thousands may die from Coronavirus.Dr. John A. Carroll, who has worked in clinics, hospitals, and orphanages in Haiti since 1995, has written that:“…THERE IS NO TREATMENT IN HAITI THAT WILL BE ACCESSIBLE BY THE MASSES. BUT THERE IS QUARANTINE TO STOP TRANSMISSION. BUT HOW DO WE ISOLATE PEOPLE IN THE HAITIAN SLUM WHERE THE POPULATION DENSITY IS SO HIGH AND PEOPLE NEED TO HAVE HUMAN CONTACT IN ORDER TO SURVIVE?…THE BREADWINNERS IN THE HOUSE NEED TO SCORE SOME BREAD BECAUSE THEY ALL NEED TO EAT. AND THIS FAMILY’S NEIGHBORS NEXT DOOR DON’T HAVE THE TIME OR ABILITIES TO HELP OUT BECAUSE THEY HAVE EQUALLY SEVERE CHALLENGES SURVIVING THE SLUM ALSO.”This is the reality that the earth’s poorest and most marginalized face as the virus spreads. They don’t have the option to stay inside. On Sunday, March 29, local medical experts interviewed on Radio Kiskeya, one of the country’s most important radio stations, suggested that up to 800,000 Haitians could perish from the virus. We spoke with Dr. Ernst Noël, of the Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy (FMP) in Port-au-Prince, who stated that the number of 800,000 is not exaggerated. In his view it is highly probable that more people will die due to Coronavirus than perished in the 2010 earthquake. He added that large-scale foreign investment and monumental local efforts would need to be undertaken to avert such a catastrophe. “Unemployment is already sky-high. With six million of Haiti’s 11 million citizens living below the poverty line of $2.41 a day, according to the World Bank, most will face a grueling dilemma of how to feed themselves and their families while avoiding virus infection.”TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE CLICK HEREThis image is a comparison of social distancing in a developed country verses social distancing in an underdeveloped country. As of today there are 33 confirmed cases and 3 deaths in Haiti. This number is not believed to be accurate as testing is very very limited and not available country wide. Haiti is in the beginning stages of its fight against the virus. It is encouraging to see so many non-profit organizations working hard to ensure people are educated on the virus. Many are setting up public hand washing stations. Hundreds of people have started making cloth face masks, etc. Please pray for Haiti’s medical staff as they will be on the front lines. Pray for Haiti’s government to make wise decisions for the people and their health. Pray that people will be educated and understand the seriousness of Covid 19 and how important the safety measures are. Most of all Pray that Haiti turns to God. God is what Haiti really needs. Honestly its what the US needs and what the entire world needs. I keep praying this virus causes us to turn from our wicked ways…humbles us…and we turn to prayer and God. COVID AND THE OUTREACH PROGRAMAt the beginning of March as we watched the world battling Covid 19 and we realized it was just a matter of time before it hit our little island. We knew when it hit it would be devastating especially for the vulnerable population we work with. We began praying for Gods wisdom and guidance on how to prepare and respond. March 19th during our weekly staff meeting we finalized our Covid 19 plan which included…Once there was a confirmed case between Gwo Morne and ~Ansefaloure (Nord Quest Region) we would shut down the clinic, fun activities, parent education.~The staff would transition to Home Continuing Education Curriculum I had been preparing for each staff member.~ The next vitamin handout we would give 2 months worth of vitamins.~We would start giving Vitamumba 2 weeks at a time.~The nurses would no longer do homevisits but work from home and only go to hospital when necessary to help children. ~The next parent Education in 8 days would be on Covid 19 and how to prevent getting it and the spread. We planned to bless them with a bar of soap. Well at 9:00PM that night as I was at the STAND building working on printing the Education Plans and some various books I had gotten in creole (The printer only works after 6 when on Generator power) The President of Haiti came on the radio. There were 2 confirmed cases of the virus in Haiti. One being in the Nord Quest zone. He ordered immediate shut down of the airport as of midnight no one in and no one out. No gatherings of more than 10 people. No over crowded tap-taps. A country wide curfew.To say I was a little overwhelmed was an understatement. We had a fun activity planned for the next day expecting 40 families to do tie dye shirts and movie time. I contacted all my staff and informed them we would need to go to NWHCM and inform all the parents we would not be having the fun activity and why. Give them vitamins and seizure medication refills and inform them all programming was cancelled till further notice except medical care. Then all the staff headed back to STAND where I prepared the staff for working from home and blessed all the staff with payroll early for them to prepare to stay home as much as possible including buying food. I was also able to bless them with a home sanitization packet to help them clean there homes and stay safe as they had to go out. The last 3 weeks has gone overall well. Just like majority of you reading this our lives and schedules have been disrupted. We are learning the new normal for this season. The students are reading Disable Village Child and have daily check in via whatzap and every week have an exam facilitated by one of the therapists. The 3 Rehab Technicians have been busy reading a variety of therapy books and watching educational DVDs they check in daily as well. They are taking turns calling all the families to check on them and encourage them to continue home programing for therapy. The nurses have the book where there is no doctor book they are studying and preparing parent education seminars from. They are also busy calling the families and educating them on the virus. They also have been busy coordinating medical care for kids that are sick. We continue to have weekly Bible Study via whatzap thankfully everyone has a copy of the book and we also have our weekly staff meetings via whatzap. COVID 19 OUTREACH BLESSINGNeed: $1,000 ($20 per family)As stated above we had to shut down the clinic quickly. I have been burdened with how we can bless our families who are spread out all over Northwest Haiti without risking more exposure to the virus. Also how we could educate them on the virus and teach them how to prevent it and protect their families. With rising food prices we know the concern goes beyond the Virus to hunger and malnutrition. Our families were unable to do multivitamin Pick up this month. Many of our vitamumba kids didn’t come get their supplements.I love our staff and I am so proud of them, I shared my burdens and concerns and we all brainstormed and they said they have protective gear and they will go to the families houses and deliver the supplies and educate the families.The Plan is to Give each family -1 bottle hand sanitizer-1 bar of soap-1 bottle Clorox-2 months multi-vitamins Moringa and calcium supplements-2 months Vitamumba -beans-rice-oilThe staff will go by moto using their protective gear to hand deliver these packages to the families.We estimate we need $3,000 to create this care package for our families. Thankfully we have $2,000 donation already.I know these are difficult times for everyone and things are uncertain but would you please pray and consider blessing our families who are in desperate situations right now. This year has been a struggle and now this virus on top is devastating. For $20 you can help us make sure they are educated, know they are loved, and we get the kids the nutritional supplements that they need to stay healthy and help them fight the virus if they end up getting it.If you can’t donate would you please share and then pray for Gods protection to surround our families and for their health. Pray that our families draw closer to God in this uncertain time and find their hope and strength in Him. Pray for God’s hedge of protection and safety around the staff as they deliver the packages. Pray for the families we serve for their health and protection of their children and families. TO DONATE1. ONLINE CTEN WEBSITE- www.cten.org/autumnmarshall/ 2. PAYPAL: email@example.comNathan UPDATEAs I mentioned above unfortunately Nathan’s move to the US was postponed indefinitely. He was just 2 weeks out from moving. He had secured living arrangements and started paying his mom’s schooling in the US, had begun moving his grandma and selling his belongings when he found out that due to Covid 19 they would not be moving him till covid outbreak is over. His area of Brazil is the epicenter of the outbreak in his country. He has been on house lockdown for over 4 weeks now. He is back to working for the Brazil side of the company and also working certain aspects of his new job. He is super busy and overwhelmed with work. His Brazil co-workers are jealous of his job transition and are now trying to prevent his move. With all that said please pray for Nathan as Quarantine is lonely, work is overwhelming and not fun right now, and this is the 2nd time in the last 6 months we missed our planned 4 weeks of time together in person. Pray for him to find peace, for God’s perfect timing on his relocation, and that God would use this season to strengthen our relationship and trust in God. Prayer of Praise is that his surgery went well and he is almost completely recovered. We have been able to do many fun things the last 2 weeks since I have had good internet in the US like watching Circus Soleil online together, watching movies, participate in an online Bible study with a few couples from my church, see the sight and sound Jesus play, and even play Yahtzee over Skype. Today we celebrate our 2 year Anniversary! I am so thankful that God brought him into my life!!!!TITUS UPDATEThank you to everyone who has been praying for Titus. He is doing really well. He is up to 10lbs now and has adjusted to life at home well. He is a good eater and sleeper. He had his first early intervention Telehealth visit and they agreed he is doing well. He did a few weeks ago have 2 surgeries 1 for a hernia and 1 for his eyes. Both surgeries went well. We now pray for his eyes to grow and develop well. Only time will tell if he will have vision problems. They have been blessed with eye specialists in Erie and Pittsburgh that are taking great care of Titus. Adam and Chelsea were able to move into their new renovated house at the ranch this past week which is a huge blessing. Pray for them as they finish the details on the house, unpack, and get settled in. We hope to be able to go help them unpack and finish up some of those small details this week. Autumn Marshall OTR/LMiriam Center Therapy CoordinatorVice President & Alternate Delegate of HAOT President 5 STAR Global MinistryBLOG: www.autumnsreflections.blogspot.com Youtube: Autumn MarshallCommission To Every Nation- www.cten.org/autumnmarshall/ Northwest Haiti Christian Mission– www.nwhcm.org5 STAR Global Ministry– www.5star-ministry.com
We will all die!
We will all die, eventually, within the next 120 years. Gen. 6:3 Then the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” Year 2020 has just started and on the first days of the year we already have heard so much about the chances of a World War starting as well as a new pestilence coming to most countries in the world. Matthew 24;7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. Jesus has warned us that this would happen, but it is not the end yet. The truth is, when most people are in panic, we should throw all our anxieties to Jesus: I Peter 5;7 : Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. The world is crying out about Coronavirus, something interesting about this Virus name, corona in Latin means crown and this virus’ name comes from it’s structural proteins in spike forms. Should we protect ourselves from this Virus and take refuge into isolation as much as we can to protect ourselves and our loving ones? Yes, indeed, as Bible says: Proverbs 22;3 The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty. We should take refuge and be prudent. However, we should not panic. We will pray for ourselves, our children, our loved ones and we will trust God in His protection for us. We will be prudent and as we see danger, we will take refuge. Above all, we will cast all our anxiety on Jesus because He cares for us. That being said, we don’t need to panic, because the truth is we will all die, eventually, probably within the next 120 years and it probably will NOT be because of Coronavirus, but we are NOT eternal in our bodies in this Earth, we are Eternal in our Spirit and we will go live in Heaven! Jesus already has won Coronavirus at the Cross: I Corinthians 15; 55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? Isaiah 53;5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. And how did Jesus win against death and which wounds have we been healed by? John 19;2 The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe Jesus wore a Crown of Spikes for us, some researchers says the jagged spikes from the date palm could be up to twelve inches in length. They were meshed together then rammed on Jesus’ head. Jesus wore a Crown of Spikes for us, to free us from all sin, all shame, all death and even this Coronavirus, with it’s Crown Of Spikes, Jesus already has won against this all for us when He was crucified. We should not fear, as long as we give our lives to Jesus we can trust and be reassured in His Words, that one day, if He does not come before that, we will die, but the great news is we will awake up to Christ, in Heaven, where there will be no more tears, no more sin, no more fears, no more pain, we will live forever worshipping God and living for His Will, for the centuries and centuries! Amen! If you would like to start a relationship with God please repeat these words, speaking with your heart to Christ: “Lord Jesus, I accept You as my only and enough Savior and Lord. Please forgive all of my sins and write my name on the Book of Life, because from today on my life is Yours! Amen!”
I have realized it has been a few months since I sent an email update and so much has happened that I don’t even know where to start! I am excited to give you a glimpse of all that happened. I say glimpse as I am going to try to keep this as short as possible while still sharing all God has been up to in and through ministry these past few months.For the past year I have been diligently working to pull all the details together to launch the new outreach center in Port Du Paix (PdP) which is an hour from NWHCM St. Louis Du Nord where all outreach events were previously held. This is a huge transition not just for me as it involved me moving to a new town but also a BIG change for the outreach families who now will have therapy in PdP for 20 weeks a year instead of 10, have new therapy time schedule, and will still have parent education and fun activities at NWHCM in St. Louis Du Nord. Thankfully all these supplies from the boat arrived 3 weeks before grand opening. We were able to paint all the cabinets dad had build for storage of all the new clinic supplies and toys thanks to help from NWHCM interns. We got the clinic all arranged moving the STAND tables upstairs and laying the new foam floor tiles down to create pediatric treatment area thanks to help of a visiting church team working at a local school. Upstairs we turned a closet a depot and office was created by adding shelves and a metal gate to secure money and all supplies. The amazon wish list of supplies for the clinic was a huge success and all items were purchased and shipped on the boat and arrived! It was alot of work but we are fully up and running.The first week of the new clinic was a little slow due to continued political unrest causing riots and making it uncertain of safety for traveling. Many families didn’t want to risk the travel this past week. Although we did have 44 of the 77 children scheduled for therapy. It was nice to have a slower first week to get used to new schedule, new space, and new supplies. The new schedule is that everyday there are 3 groups of kids for therapy each day and each group has 7 kids. One group starts at 8AM, second group at 10:30AM and final group at 1:30PM. The children receive 2 hours of therapy followed by 15 minutes of prayer and devotion. One day per month they receive their week worth of vitamins and get their weight taken. MEET OUR AMAZING STAFFLionel is the director of the outreach program he has spent the last 4 months learning from Presiendue and has been a great addition to our team. His role is coordinating and overseeing all the other staff, regulating/buying supplies, and overseeing the financial aspect of outreach and doing receipt reports. Jenny is the lead Rehab Technician and I over the therapy aspect of the outreach program. She has been interning with me the last 4 months and has grown greatly in her leadership skills and is very capable of running the program. She is also my translator to ensure things are communicated clearly to my staff during staff meetings and education. Joseph- is a Rehab Technician he has worked at the Miriam Center for the past year and has completed my 4 month pediatric course. Sony- is an Activity Assistant who has been working at the Miriam Center for the past year and has completed my 4 month pediatric course. He plans to go to school in fall to become a Rehab Technician.Nancy- is a volunteer Activity Assistant. She has worked at the Miriam Center for 7 months and has plans to go to school in the fall to become a Rehab Technician. She wants to keep growing in here skills before school. Miss Marlee and Miss Roselande- are Pediatric Nurses who works for the outreach program. Their role is to run the multi-vitamin program and Ricket vitamin program, to advocate for kids in the hospital ensuring they are getting quality care, doing medical homevisits to check on kids and doing post-hospital clinic follow up homevisits. The nurses play a key role ensuring the kids get the best medical care we can provide. Please check out my facebook page for tons of pictures and updates from the new clinic. I am posting multiple times a day. A plus to the new clinic in Pdp is better internet. ANNUAL MEETINGSOur annual outreach meeting happens the last Friday of May every year. This is when we have all the families come to a big meeting in which we change out their calendars/schedules for the next year. I have put countless days and hours preparing for the meeting starting while I was stateside in February where I created and printed everything with dad’s help so it would be color coded. I carried in over 30lbs of paperwork! This year the schedules had to be different as the program was expanding and moving locations. Instead of 4 groups of kids we would have 7. Instead of 10 weeks of therapy per year they would receive 20. We had a record number turn out for the annual meeting 140-150 families. Some were given new calanders/schedules, some were given graduation invitations, and sadly some got moved back to the waiting list due to poor attendance the year before. Since that meeting we have had 2 more smaller meetings catching people who were unable to make the main meeting. It was definitely a crazy hectic day but honestly could not have gone better minus one big paperwork mess up that gave me a slight heart attack lol. TRANSPORTATION ASSISTANCEWe have many families who travel hours one way to receive services. The cost of coming 37x per year (20 weeks therapy, 12 parent education seminars, vitamins pick up, and 4 fun activities per year) is to much. We have an aspect of the program where they can apply for transportation assistance. This year we had over 50 families apply for assistance. I set a limit to start of being able to hand out only $2,500USD worth of help. Well honestly after homevisits and narrowing it down to this amount we still have kids that desperately need the transportation assistance help. So far through facebook I have been able to raise $2,000 towards this need. I am really trying and praying about raising $2,000 more dollars to help more of these families who truly need help to get to their 37 appointments. The assistance we are providing doesn’t cover their full transportation but part of it. I believe that all the families would give something but for most it covers 1 way. Would you pray about sponsoring 1 child for transport for this year. If so you can respond to this email how much you are willing to give and I will send you a picture and story of 1 of the kids waiting for transportation assistance. Thank you for standing in the gap for these families and seeing the benefit and the program and wanting to help the families receive the help they need to succeed. 3 OUTREACH MOM’S NOW OUTREACH STAFFNahomie’s mom collects, dry’s, and powders moringa leaves each week. Brianna’s mom takes the powder that Nahomie’s mom makes and places them into various size capsules forming our moringa vitamin’s that in the next year will replace our multi-vitamins that we currently buy from the states and hand out to the active outreach kids on a monthly basis. What is Moringa Tree? It is a superfood that is nicknamed the miracle tree. It is packed full of vitamins, protein, and calcium. It has been proven to have dozens of health benefits. We have been using Moringa powder for years already in the Miriam Center kids food and as a main ingredient in the Nutrition food that we make for the nutrition aspect of the outreach program. Nahomie’s mom’s salary has been covered. We are still looking for monthly donors to help cover Brianna’s mom salary of $20 per week equalling $80 per month.We most recently hired Wilter Jean’s mom to be the cleaning staff for the STAND clinic. She will be coming Monday through Friday at 4PM to wipe down all the equipment, sweep and mop the clinic. We are still looking for someone to become a monthly donor to help cover her salary she like Brianna’s mom makes $20 a week.All 3 of these mom’s were unemployed secondary to having their special needs children and not being able to go out and find work. Nahomi and Brianna mom are working from home and Wilter Jean’s mom has older children who are able to watch him by late afternoon to come clean. NEW HOUSEI have officially moved to PdP which is 45 minutes to an hour from St. Louis Du Nord where I have lived the last 10 years. Moving is hard no matter where you live but in Haiti brings on a whole new level of challenges. I am thankful to so many friends who helped me find a house, pack my stuff and move. It took 2 big trucks and 2 little trucks to move all my house and the outreach clinic supplies. I have decided to rent a house with my lead Rehab Tech Jenny. We are living a short 5 minute walk from the STAND clinic. Our new house has 2 bedrooms, a nice living room, kitchen, and bathroom. I have upgraded to running water (part of the time), electricity everyday for 10 hours, and better internet service in this bigger town. The transition has been overall smooth but I sure do miss the Miriam Center kids and still finding a new rhythm to daily life. I am praying I will be able to stay healthier with running water and power that will allow me to cook meals ahead and refrigerate or freeze. I will be able to heat food up quickly in the microwave. The new clinic runs from 8AM-4PM and have been getting home around 4:30 or 5:00 compared to getting home at 9 or 10PM. This is a big difference. Overall I feel this change will be good. I could not have done with move with out a TRIBE of supporters from around the world. Thank you to everyone who has been praying me through this transition. Thank you do my boyfriend Nathan who has completely changed his schedule to make sure to be available and supportive the last month. Thank you to my parents who have been busy helping me stateside. Mom has been busy sewing curtains for my new house and dad has been gathering supplies and doing western union runs. My NWHCM family has helped me on the ground with packing and actually moving. I feel blessed by my amazing tribe. STAND MAY TRIPWe saw a record breaking number of kids during the 2 weeks of STAND in May. Both weeks we had 3 amazing therapists that helped evaluate, treat, provide home exercise plans, fit AFO’s/shoes, make hand braces, etc. We had an amazing team of Haitian therapy trainees who helped build all the chairs, standers, walkers, etc. This was the first STAND trip that I have had a leadership team which made my weeks go much smoother. Lionel the director for the outreach program ran the pediatric front desk and he did an awesome job. Jenny the lead Rehab Tech ran the building area which saved me hundreds of flights of stairs running up and down checking on things. This allowed me to not be completely exhausted at the end of STAND weeks which was super helpful as I had just moved a few days before and the day after STAND left we started transforming the clinic to prepare for the Grand opening of the Pediatric Clinic. 4 MONTH PEDIATRIC THERAPY TRAINING-GRADUATIONI can’t believe 4 months has passed by so quickly. The days were long & challenging but the weeks and months flew by. Every Monday afternoon, Tuesday Morning, Thursday afternoon, and Friday afternoon we had education time slots. The 4 Rehab Techs and 6 locals (planning to go to therapy school) learned a variety of treatment techniques, knowledge about various pediatric diagnosis and how to treat, and had lots of time to practice new skills with the kids at the Miriam Center and outreach program. At the end of the 4 months they took 3 exams to ensure that they learned the information. They all passed and received a certificate of pediatric Continuing Education. The Rehab Techs had 4 options of places to apply that are hiring and looking for rehab techs that had completed training specializing pediatrics. The 6 locals had a chance to apply for activity assistant positions for the next 6 months while they wait and prepare to go to either Rehab Tech school or OT/PT school. We ended the 4 months of training with a nice dinner where everyone received their certificate’s of completion. 17 LAWS OF TEAMWORK BY JOHN MAXWELL TRAININGWhile I was in Oklahoma with No Boundaries International I studied and learned the 17 laws of teamwork and decided to train my 13 therapy trainees and outreach staff on these 17 laws believing it is knowledge that would make us all better team players and individuals. I happy to share that they enjoyed doing the training and all shared what they learned was helpful. MIRIAM CENTER NEWEST CRAFTBefore moving to PdP I wanted to make sure to help the Miriam Center kids make a new craft for their “store.” The older MC kids love making things in therapy and then selling them to visiting teams. The kids who help sell all get a $1 each time to buy a treat and the rest of the funds go back into the Miriam Center. This time we had fun making various trees. The Itty Bits make footprint palm trees and the older kids make hand print and finger print trees. They are even laminated to last longer. They turned out so cute! Come to Haiti so you can buy one!AHE/HAOT WEBSITE- NATHANS HARDWORKNathan has been extremely busy on the weekends working hard on developing a custom website for AHE/HAOT the National Occupational Therapy Society for Haiti. He has added every detail we have asked including it be in multiple languages (french, creole, English), have member only page, have PayPal attached and a way to pay dues online, fundraising page, etc. The work he has done would have costed our association thousands of dollars and he is doing it all volunteer. We are so blessed. Check out the website at www.ahe-haot.com. SURPRISE BIRTHDAY PARTY’SI had 2 memorable birthday party’s this year. The first was at the Miriam Center where Bertho and I shared a birthday party thanks to Stephanie and the nurse. It was so much fun to celebrate with the kids. Especially as I have been missing them alot since moving to PdP. The second was definitely a surprise that Nathan (all the way from Brazil) and Jenny through for me Monday after my birthday. I can’t believe they even got a cake made with pictures of Nathan and I on it (didnt know this was possible in haiti) and decorated the wall with Ductape. I celebrated with all the new STAND Haitian Staff. EASTER OUTREACHShortly after getting back to Haiti after my unexpected time stateside due to the unrest in Haiti we celebrated Easter during parent education. I had started planning this event a year and half ago when after Christmas I got the idea to buy candy canes super cheap and found a candy cane heart ornament on oriental trading website for a very cheap discount price. I planned to do something at Christmas but my staff felt it was more appropriate for Easter. So this Easter we had 120 parents that we shared the biblical representation of the candy cane that Nathan did a wonderful job writing and Jenny translated. They went home with 5 candy canes, candy cane ornament, and a paper with the story of candy cane on it. It was our best attended parent education to date! WOW THATS ALOT THANKS FOR BEARING WITH ME!!! AS YOU CAN SEE GOD IS UP TO SOME EXCITING AND AMAZING THINGS!UPCOMINGMISTY AND MICKEY COMING TO HELP START SPONSORSHIP. I am super EXCITED that my friends Misty and Micky are coming to spend a week with me in pdp to specifically help me take sponsorship photos and collect sponsorship information. As I have been praying the last few months on how to move forward with fundraising and gaining the needed funds God has laid on my heart sponsorship. I hope to officially launch sponsorship for the outreach kids this fall. I will be looking to get all 140 active outreach kids monthly sponsors for the year. I haven’t finished all the details yet but God gave me a sign I am headed in the right direction when Misty contacted me about coming days after God gave gave me this idea. She used to be a photographer and this is one of her passions another one of her passions are special needs kids in Haiti. It is going to be an EXCITING week. Would you and your family pray about becoming a monthly sponsor for 1 child in the program. The money would go to helping them with therapy, medical assistance, transportation assistance, parent education monthly, and 3 fun activities per year. My hope with sponsorship is getting that child and family prayed for each day as well. That their sponsors would commit to being their prayer warriors as well. I plan to open a facebook page for outreach and post pictures daily. You can follow that page and look for pictures of your sponsor child. MY TRIP TO BRAZIL-PLANS WHILE THERE– I have decided to take a much needed break August 22-September 22 and go to Brazil to spend a month with Nathan. Life has been very stressful and overwhelming and busy with all the change, transition, and growth that I am EXHAUSTED on every level. Nathan and I found out that his work would not approve his vacation for this November to Haiti and he would not be able to come to Haiti till February. We both didn’t want to wait a year and a half to see each other in person and so we began looking for tickets. We are thankful that come February he has bee approved for a month vacation to come to Haiti and do ministry alongside me for a month. God confirmed it by finding a cheap 1 way ticket and using my frequent flyer miles to get back to Haiti. We are both excited about the trip. While in Brazil we have lined up 2 church’s for me to speak at. We will also be working on developing the outreach facebook page and developing a blueprint for a website for 5 star global ministries that Nathan will be working to develop the rest of this year. Most of all Nathan and I plan to spend quality time together and do some fun stuff together like going to the zoo, going bowling, etc. I can’t wait for August 22 to get here! GRADUATION– The first Friday of July is our annual outreach graduation and annual celebration of all the outreach kids progress last year. This by far is going to be the largest graduation we have ever had as we not only have 20 kids graduating from the therapy aspect of the program but we also have 20 Ricket Vitamin Children graduating from that program. Each family is allowed to bring 4 guests to graduation on top of the 150 outreach families who will be their for parent education (but instead will participate in graduation). We are expecting over 400 people!!! It is so big we will have to host it at the church and have 2 separate graduation processionals. It is going to be a great day of celebration. We will celebrate developmental milestones reached by kids who are not graduating, we will hand out prizes of kids who had perfect attendance or almost perfect attendance to the program, and there will be a slideshow of pictures to look back on the year. With that said I was not prepared for this event to be this big. I expected 15-20 graduates not 40. We are going to need close to $800 to pull this off including graduation gift and food for everyone in attendance. Decorations were bought a year ago in the states when on sale after graduation season. FINANCIAL NEEDSGRADUATION- $800USD TRANSPORTATION FOR OUTREACH- $2,000USD BRIANNA MOM’S SALARY- $20USD PER WEEKWILTER JEAN’S MOM’S SALARY- $20USD PER WEEKTO DONATE1. ONLINE CTEN WEBSITE-www.cten.org/autumnmarshall/ 2. PAYPAL: firstname.lastname@example.org