First I must apologize for not posting this much sooner-due to my lack of experience at blogging, my multiple attempts to blog while I was n Haiti in November with our Treasurer, Doug Hart and the originators of Holistic Humanitarians (the group who has partnered with us under the umbrella of LTR with the purpose of raising the money to build the Medical/dental clinic), Angie Hedges and Joan Hunt, were met with dismal failure.  The good news is that our only failure during this trip was the inability to post a blog.  This was undoubtedly the most rewarding trip I have had of the now 10 trips I have made to Haiti.  As the saying goes, God works in mysterious ways!

On  arriving in Port au Prince, I was pleased to see that things continue to improve at the airport and on the drive to Carrefour.  Road improvement, dismantling of tent cities and the general nature of things see to be slowly but surely getting better-traffic on the other hand has not improved at all!  The following day we were able to get to LaConcorde to see the kids before Angi, Joan and I bid farewell to Doug who was to stay in Carrefour to work on mentoring Benjamine, Frantzcesse and Frantz as well as work with the kids while the rest of us proceeded to Jacmel.  The usual bit of disorganization followed as we checked into the Hotel de la Place, which I may add, I find rather charming in  a  rather odd way, but others find a bit disappointing.  I was then able to show Angie and Joan around Jacmel to include St Michelle hospital, the new land site, the new nursing school, etc.  During this time we were fortunate enough to meet with our neighbor and friend, Charle Eglin, who was kind enough to introduce me to Dave Bird.  Dave as it turns out is an architect and commercial contractor from California who has vast experience in building earthquake proof structures.  Shortly after the earthquake of Jan 2010, Dave and his wife moved to the Jacmel area and have been working with a group called Calvary International Devotional Missions who contracts with other NGO’s to do construction.  Upon meeting Dave it was very obvious that he was the person to do our work.  I was able to view several of his projects, all of which were very good.  His knowledge and experience are invaluable and as luck would have it, he has agreed to put up our fence, arrange for the well to be put in by Water for Life as well as organize with Global Compassions the placement of a metal 18 foot diameter building which we will be able to use for storage of food and supplies which will be rodent proof!  Everything seemed to be moving very fast with plans to start constructing the orphanage in February!!!  Now, we just had to get the money. (Miracle of Christmas #2!!)

Shortly after returning home from Haiti, we had our board meeting with agreement to provide the money for the well, the fence and the new storage building.  Barb and I then flew to Denver 2 days later to attend the graduation of daughter Cara from the Denver School of Nursing.  Cara and 14 other students had gone to Haiti with Barbara ad 2other professors to complete their Community Health requirement.  They all had a very rewarding time and were happy to see Barb again.  (This is where the #2miracle occurred.)  After the graduation ceremony, we were informed by a family attending the ceremony, that they had approved us for a grant of 150,000!!!  (This was after Barb had opened the envelope and after peering at the gift without ner much needed reading glasses, said to m, “Oh look, $1500.  It was then that I informed her that the gift was for $150,000 after which time the tears started flowing.)  This unbelievably kind gift has enabled us to start building the orphanage in February which we hope will be completed by May!!  I hope in the near future to be able to share with you the details of the gift from this amazing family.

Since then, we have had a number of other very kind gifts and pledges which makes us very optimistic that we will be able to get this, our first project, done ahead of schedule.  We will keep all of you posted about the happenings as they occur and will post new photos as construction proceeds.

It seems only appropriate that during this holy season of new birth and beginnings, that the beginning of this gift from God of a new home for the children of La Concorde will also be born.  AS in the Christmas prayer we read in our church on Christmas Eve, “it is now the time for the true meaning of Christmas to begin!!”  Halleluiah!  God is Great!

Happy New Year to all

Rick