Friday, November 30, 2012

Lots of Good Things!

Sorry I haven't posted for awhile but that doesn't mean things haven't been busy.  Martie and Charley were reunited on Tuesday of this week in Jacmel - yay!  It is a hard thing to be separated for that long!
Donna Conte from FBC, Mtg. was able to travel with Martie and is spending a week in Jacmel.  Tommy and Joy are doing well and will be traveling back to Montgomery on Dec. 3 and will be in the States until Jan. 2.

Andy and a small team (Beth, Carrie and Emmalyne Phillips, Mark Williams and daughter, Claire) arrived safely in Jacmel today.  There is also a vision team there from Gateway BC.  Andy carried down the first of many uniforms for the students at the church schools.  The sewing circle at Taylor Road needs lots and lots of help making these uniforms so please let me know if you have some extra time.  You do not have to sew, because they need folks who can cut out patterns and iron.  Several other churches have plans to help out but, we still need others.  Making over 1200 uniforms is a major undertaking!!!

Construction at Children's Hope in Jacmel is well on its way as you can tell by the pictures below.  It is a rare site to see this much metal in Jacmel or anywhere in Haiti actually.  In fact, it is causing quite a bit of attention.   Charley decided on this method rather than block because it cost about the same but goes up faster and should be stronger.  It is quite exciting to watch the homes being built.

Another blessing that has come our way was a very successful Art and Crafts Show this week in Montgomery.  Sara Denney, Natalie Stanley and Eegee Williams began to have a vision for this project after a trip to Jacmel in September of this year.  They asked for donations from artist and crafters throughout the Mtg. region and many people responded.  The Art Show raised around $4300!!!  Thanks so much to these dedicated ladies for all of their hard work, time and sacrifice.  They are big encouragers to CH!

Sara, Natalie, and Eegee

The big hit of the Art Show was from a newly discovered talent:  Mary Evelyn Amster who is in the 5th grade and a member of FBC, Montg.  Mary Evelyn began painting these ornaments this week for the Art Show and really couldn't paint enough to keep up with the demand.   At last count, I believe the sale of the ornaments was over $500.  A big thanks to Mary Evelyn for using her talents to help orphans and to her mom, Ann, who drove all over town making many trips to purchase ornaments.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Cool Connections!

We could share story after story about how God has and continues to provide for orphans and vulnerable children.  It is a blessing to experience Ephes. 3:20 continuously.  I would like to share one such story!  A number of years ago, Andy met  Matt Garretson while working on a case out of state.  Matt is an attorney and he and his family live in Chicago and are faithful believers.  Our families even got to together one summer at Lake Martin and we seemed like old friends in no time.

The Garretsons had been to the Dominican Republic (DR) many times on mission trips and saw the tremendous need for clean water.  Over the last few years, they have navigated through many challenges in the DR but now have a successful ministry/business there called Filter Pure.

It had been a while since Andy and Matt had spoken but they recently reconnected when the Garretson's, who are adopting from DR, got their referral.  Andy learned of the work they were doing in the DR and that they even had a presence in Jacmel (can you believe it????)!   The very next day,  Andy saw a series of emails between Charley and the head of another ministry organization discussing where to purchase 5 gallon water filter buckets.  The name of the organization was Filter Pure.   Andy immediately called Matt again to verify the name of the organization and well, you guessed it...Filter Pure.  

Matt and his wife, Jill, donated enough Filter Pure water filters for each of the five church schools to have several.  Now the children (over 600 now) can have clean water to drink while attending school!

God connected Charley and Martie to church schools in Jacmel...Charley connected to Dave Byrd from another mission in Jacmel...Dave connected Charley to Filter Pure.   In the meantime, God connected Andy and Matt years ago (from different parts of the country) in the US...God called the Garretsons to DR and the Birchfields to Haiti...God connected the Garretsons and Birchfields in Haiti!  What a mighty God we serve!  Thanks to Matt, Jill, Katie and Annie for your generous donation of water filters to Children's Hope.  Also,  may God bless your family as you become the parents and sisters of Emilie Grace!

We are also very grateful for the six men from FBC Decatur who spent a lot of long, hot hours working at Children' Hope in preparation for the children to move onto the new site in December/January.  Thanks also to Dr. David Parmer for giving each of our kiddos a good check up during the trip.  Tommy and Joy continue to serve faithfully as hosts for the teams, and they look forward to hosting many other teams in 2013!

Charley delivering Filter Pure water filters and school books to one of the church schools

The "Mighty FBC Decatur" team

Haitian workers laying block at CH

FBC Decatur team

Maintenance building completed!

Charley delivering more Filter Pure water filters and books to another church school

FBC, Decatur team member painting inside of maintenance building

Stock pile of cement ready to be used in additional construction of CH - thank you Lord for providing cement!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Stitching Up Some Blessings!

Last Spring, Martie and Charley said "yes" to a God sized assignment.  They agreed to come alongside  a couple of church schools who were struggling to just make it through the year.  Through the course of the summer, there are now five church schools that they are overseeing.  God has provided above and beyond the imaginable!  By working through His children, He provided books for the children, money to build outdoor kitchens for each school, and a connection to another mission who will provide food so each child will have a hot lunch every day at school.   

By God's grace,  over 600 children in Jacmel are receiving an education in addition to our children at Children's Hope.  Having that many children means there is a HUGE need for uniforms; two per student actually!  Well, God is at work through the sewing ministry, Every Stitch a Prayer,  at Taylor Road Baptist in Montgomery to meet this need.  This ministry has agreed to make jumpers, shorts, skirts for all of the children, but they need help!  They need folks who can cut patterns, iron, sew simple patterns, and give financially to help purchase fabric, thread and elastic.   I was so deeply touched by the desire of these women to serve, to give of their time, and their genuine love for the Lord.

 If you are interested in helping, you could even work from your home once you have the supplies and sewing instructions.  Ladies from the ministry are also willing to go to other sewing groups in order to get them started at their own churches.  Bottom line is we need helpers and the sooner the better!  If you are interested in helping with cutting, ironing or sewing, etc., please contact Judy Denner at 334-514-8132 or; Susan Mims at 334-271-3521 or Jenimae Beckham at 334-277-9673.  To help financially, please contact Alissa Irvin at or 334-467-5588.

Another way to help is by donating money for uniform yellow shirts to go with the jumpers, shorts, and skirts.  They are $5 each and we will need just over 1200 of them.  We will be ordering in bulk to get a better price and get the same shade of yellow.  Again, if you want to help with the shirts, please contact Alissa Irvin.  This would be a great project for your Sunday School class, family, office or church to take on for the Holidays.  You could also make a donation in honor of someone instead of purchasing a Christmas gift.  But please know we need to purchase the shirts in November if at all possible.

Many times, we want to give or serve but just aren't sure what to do which is why this could be such a meaningful project.  It is hands on and you know your money is going directly for what it was intended, so let us hear from YOU!  Be a part of this God sized assignment and watch Him at work!

Ladies at Taylor Road hard at work.

Working with royal blue fabric for the uniforms

Another faithful servant!

Judy Denner cutting out a pattern

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Involvement from Other Churches!

An extra unexpected blessing of CH has been the opportunity to partner with other churches.  Many churches have been touched and convicted through the work in Haiti.  As a result, they are continuing to send teams and offer support and encouragement.  I would like to just high-light a few of them here.

Decatur FBC has sent numerous teams to Jacmel.  In fact, they have a six member team on their way as I write this post.  We are very grateful for Dr. David Parmer (pediatrician) and Mark Corzine who are leading this endeavor.  Their church also kicked off their church orphan ministry called "Children's Promise" this past sunday.  They had over 100 members attend a special luncheon where plans for the ministry were presented by Reese Hamn.  A donation was taken for the lunch meal which consisted of the Haitian staple.... beans and rice!  Children's Promise will donate a portion of the money raised to Children's Hope!  What a blessing it is to see God's Church coming together to care for orphans!  We look forward to what the Lord will do through this ministry.

Lunch at FBC Decatur

Beans and Rice but are these cookies!

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Reese Hamn in background speaking about Children's Promise

Each child at CH has his/her own bulletin board and members spent time in prayer for  all 23 children.

Coosada Baptist Church is having its first fund raiser to help support the sewing center.  They are excited to be involved, and we are so thankful for them!  Hillcrest BC in Enterprise have also been very involved in sending mission teams down over the past two years.  This church is becoming very involved in missions and recently held a Missions Expo at their church.  Our very own, John Bush was invited and spoke to five groups.  Again, we are so thankful that God is opening the eyes of His Church to the needs of orphans and other outreach efforts in Haiti.  Thank you churches!

Stay tuned and next week you will hear about Taylor Road Baptist and what they are doing!!!