Wednesday, 20 September 2017

From one miracle to another

The second session of intensives is over and now residential classes have started.  Over the past two weeks we had...

Dr Charles Lake working with Jodnel teaching Discipleship and Evangelism.



Dr Steve Tsoukalas teaching Philosophy for understanding Theology



Dr Don Little teaching Isalm and the christian faith.


It is interesting having all these doctors coming for dinner and listening to their theological discussions (most of which goes right over my head!!) and getting to know them for the little time there are here.  There were travel issues because of Hurricane Irma but we enjoyed having Charles for a few extra days!

Bill has his first class this morning teaching  Old Testament wisdom literature and then on Friday he teaches Introduction to the New Testament.


My routine feels a lot more manageable than last year!With Sam being in school from 8am - 2.30pm means I can work in the clinic the three days he is in school that gives me two days at home with the boys...which is great.



Its always easy to figure out where Sam has been playing...




I was a little worried about Sam being in school for so long especially as he is still only 3 and it was a new teacher. When I picked him up on his first day he said ' Hello, why are you here to get me already?' No need to worry then!!


We've been asking and asking about Withlande (I had previously written Woudislande, that is her sister, you can see how I got confused) and keep being told she isn't too bad and the baby isn't too bad.  I just found this really difficult to believe.  She was so ill, needed 3 pints of blood, miraculously got one and was sent home from the hospital.  How could she be not too bad?
Stacey called in to see her on Sunday and she and the baby are doing great!  The baby is getting bigger, feeding well and looks healthy.  It really is a miracle so thank you to all who prayed.



I'll finish with one more miracle from one of my patients last week.  This lady first came to see me in August she had suffered from a stroke about 4 weeks before.  She could not walk or stand or move her right arm.  She also didn't understand much of what I was asking her to do and she was neglecting her right side.  I explained to her daughter that because of her lack of understanding that therapy may not work very well for her. 

She came back last week, walked in the door by herself, talking and waving her right arm.  It took me a few minutes to remember so I took out her notes to make sure I was remembering the right person.  I couldn't believe the difference so I asked what happened and when?? Her daughter told me
'last week I had a dream and in the dream I saw my mum walking around the house and talking with no problems at all.  So the next morning I  got up and ran to my mum's house to find her walking and talking and having full understanding. She had been healed.'


They left that day praising God for his goodness and healing in their lives. 


Friday, 8 September 2017

Hurricane Irma part two

Well Irma has been and gone and things did not go as they were forecast to.  All of this week we have been checking the national hurricane centre for updates and every single one put the north coast of Haiti under hurricane warning.  I am sure you have read in the news but this wasn't any old storm,
 Irma was a category 5 hurricane, the strongest one to hit the Caribbean in 100 years.  




We live just east of Cap Haitian right beside the coast.

So on Tuesday we asked you to pray for us and for Haiti.  We asked you to pray that the storm would move north away from Haiti's coastline.  We know of people in Northern Ireland, in Canada and in the US who were praying. And God answered.



Yesterday morning we woke up to a little light rain and wind and were waiting for the storm to start.  Every single website we checked said the North of Haiti should be getting heavy rain and gale force winds.  Throughout the day we had short bursts of wind and heavy rain but by 7pm the rain had stopped and overnight we had a bit of wind.  We have experienced much stronger storms here,  in fact just last Wednesday it rained hard for about 30 mins and a natural river formed over the grass outside our house.  Yesterday with Irma we didn't get any of that.


This is last Wednesday after a heavy downpour...a natural river has formed which the kids took great advantage of!

The grass behind Joel is the same spot after an afternoon of Hurricane Irma...


We do not yet know the effects in the city centre, which floods almost every time we have heavy rain, or further along the coast closer to the DR.  But what we do know is that Haiti did not get the battering which she was expecting.  God had his hand over Haiti yesterday and what we were experiencing was a miracle.

Thank you for your prayers, had hurricane Irma hit Haiti with the force it was predicted to,  I'm sure most of the north coast of Haiti would have been destroyed.

Let us take a moment to say thank you to God for his answer to the prayers of many people.  Let us also continue to pray for those who have been devastated by this hurricane and for those whom it will hit over the next few days.







Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Hurricane Irma

We are asking for your prayers as Hurricane Irma approaches.  If it continues on the predicted path it will cause a lot of destruction here in the North of Haiti.




We are not worried for ourselves, but for our friends, neighbours, colleagues, seminary staff & students.   Many of whom live in houses built with mud and sticks with a tin roof, or a small 2 room block house.  These kind of houses will not withstand a category 5 storm.




Everytime we have a heavy rainfall there is flooding in town.  Along with the flooding comes mudslides and an increase in cholera and malaria. So you can imagine how much damage will come with this storm which is expected to dump 10 inches of rain along with  100mph +  winds.
 



Please pray with us for the path to change.  For protection for the people of Haiti and the other islands which are affected.  We are praying to God to calm the storm as we know he can do.

We will keep you updated as we can, but it is likely we will lose internet as the storm comes.

Thank you for your prayers.



Sunday, 27 August 2017

A God of miracles

Last Saturday we went to see Michilene's daughter, Woudislande, and her brand new baby girl.  She had given birth by emergency c section the Monday before and was sent home from the hospital with no pain killers.  Early on Tuesday morning Michilene phoned me, Woudislande's wound was not looking good, she was still in a lot of pain and they were going back to the hospital.




Later that day we heard that she was severely anemic and urgently needed a blood transfusion but the hospital had no blood, neither did the other major hospital in the north and neither did the red cross. By Thursday there was still no blood and we heard that the problem is that one of the machines which analyses the blood for hepatitis B, is broken.  This is the only machine in the north of Haiti.  Eight people from Michilene's family had been to the hospital the day before to donate blood but because it can't be analysed it is not allowed to be given. 

To be honest the situation looked hopeless, everyone we spoke to said there was nothing she could do but wait.  So here was Woudislande, in critical condition, unable to get out of bed, struggling to feed her new baby just waiting for the only thing that will save her life....the blood transfusion.  

So we did the only thing we could, we prayed.  Woudislande had people from Haiti, Canada, Northern Ireland and America praying for her...praying for a miracle. Imagine that, this young girl from a small village in Haiti which is famous for its voodoo, has probably hundreds of people, from hundreds and thousands of miles away praying for her healing.

And God answered.  Early on Friday evening Elsie (Michilene's sister) phoned, they had found blood and she was getting the transfusion as we spoke.  Literally a miracle.  God provided exactly what she needed, exactly when she needed it. 


Stacey went to see her and the baby today, she is looking much better.

She is not out of the woods yet and is still incredibly weak but she got that life saving treatment which she needed.  Praise the Lord. 

On Friday morning in clinic devotions Dr Rodney was asking for testimony's from the week past.  A story was told of a woman who came to Bethesda, very sick and covered in burns.  She has been ill for a long time and has been going to a witch doctor to get better,  it wasn't working so she decided to come to Bethesda.  The burns are probably a result of whatever the witch doctor was doing and now  she is being treated for TB and is on her way to getting better.  Dr Rodney's question was this ' where do you see God in the story?'



It's easy to see God is Woudislande's story, providing the impossible but do we look for God in the stories when its not that obvious?  In staff meeting on Monday night we were reading Acts ch 1 and discussing if we still see God doing miracles today?  If not, why not? Why is it not as obvious as it was in the early church?

Maybe the problem is we don't look for the miracles, Dr Rodney challenged us to look for God in every situation, see where he is and how he is working. Where do you see God working in your stories and situations today?

Please continue to pray for Woudislande, pray that each and every day she will get a bit stronger and that she will be healed completely.  Pray for Michilene as she spends 24 hours a day at the hospital with no bed and no chair, spending each night sleeping on a sheet, on the floor.  Pray for her baby girl, who is living in a hospital with a very sick mummy who can't possibly be providing all the nourishment that her little body needs. 

Today we are praising God for his hand at work in a seemingly helpless situation and for the body of Christ coming together from different parts of the world to pray for Michilene's family. 

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Urgent...



We have something very exciting about to happen here at Emmaus....... Keep reading ( this is straight from Stacey's blog so I can't take the credit for the great writing!!) and find out how you to can be part of what is about to happen.




We've been saving it, this first day of school, for something really-big-deal special.

Today is full times 12, with men and women from across Haiti in...





Systematic Theology
Inductive Bible Study
and Church Administration classes.



This afternoon, another 35 men and women will join us to continue their education and training with masters classes, half in Biblical Principals for Teaching class, and the other in Doctrine of Humanity and Christology classes.

Haiti ultimately has a major sin problem. And the sin problem, it destroys and kills. That's what you see here, that's what the world sees here. That's what we see in America, that's what we see everywhere.

And we're here, our staff of 20 with a dozen regular visiting professors, is here, giving all our lives to meet that problem full-on with the only solution : an only Savior through whom true redemption comes.

We're modeling Him. We're teaching Him, we're studying Him, we're drawing near, and we're doing all we can to give Him all we can to 100+ students, who are in turn continually teaching Him, studying Him, drawing near, and doing all they can to give Him all they can to ten of thousands throughout Haiti.

There are many many symptoms our great sin problem produces. The needs are great and many and deep and wide. And every time God points one of them out and fans a flame of passion and conviction in any one of us, EBS does all it can to equip he or she who is needed and called, to fill their hands with what is needed and practical.

And until today, that has included sending and serving just about all OVER the place in Haiti. And there is still much-much to do, and today, praise the Lord, we are on it.

But a few months ago, a trusted ministry partner who has helped teach our "Islam and the Christian Faith" classes in the past sent us an email, "URGENT".


We watched this 3 minute video he sent us.




Paul told us that 100,000 refugees from North Africa have been arriving in Sicily each year, exactly what you see in that video. You've heard why they're leaving...horrific civil wars, horrific injustices, horrific living conditions, horrific threats of human trafficking, horrific like we don't understand. The kind that makes you depart Libya and put your toddler in an unsafe, overcrowded wooden boat that everyone onboard knows often capsize, and head to who.knows.what.maybe.something.better.


If they are saved by the Italian coast guard, they are brought to Sicily. And put in housing, for one to two years, waiting for their paperwork to be processed. To get a work permit. Many speak English, but the many from West African nations such as Mali, Senegal, Guinea, and Cote d'Ivoire do not.

As reality would have it, they come from countries that have the EXACT same problem Haiti has. America has. Canada has.

That same sin problem that rampantly destroys and kills. They need housing, they need work, they need medical care, they need a safe place. And praise the Lord, Italy is working over-time, every moment, to provide that, especially the port city of Catania in Sicily, where some 2/3rds of refugees coming to Italy go.




Our partners are working there through an association of Sicilian evangelical churches and missions agencies partnering under the banner of "Care for Catania". They know the GREAT need, and have a vision to start a discipleship making movement among Muslim-background refugees on the island of Sicily, and the need is very unique.

Missionaries who speak French, and who have similar cultural backgrounds are desperately needed to connect with the French-speaking Muslims from West Africa in Catania.

Do you know who that is?

That's Emmaus.  Emmaus is overflowing this morning (right here, 10 feet from me, look at those pictures above) with missionaries who speak French, with similar cultural backgrounds and understanding to the desperate men and women flowing from West Africa to Catania.

Do you have goosebumps?  'Cause I have goosebumps.

And everytime God points one of them out and fans a flame of passion and conviction in any one of us, EBS does all it can to equip the he-or-she who is needed and called, to fill their hands with what is needed and practical.

TODAY, today that means that Emmaus is sending two of our missionaries, two of our very, very best. And I've gotta say I kinda hate sending them, because they're fourth year students, and when it comes to brains and when it comes to heart and when it comes to character they are our BEST.

Which is exactly why we are sending them, and exactly why they are AFLAME and passionate and ready to go.  

They'll be starting with a three month internship and will be playing a strategic and significant role in starting that discipleship making movement.  Their assigned tasks are to:
     -build bridges of trust with Muslim background refugees and share the gospel
     -begin new Bible studies with interested individuals and groups using the Discovery Bible Study process
     -Disciple new and existing groups who have expressed an interest in pursuing God through scriptural stories
     -Identify leaders within the newly formed groups
     -train the identified leaders to take responsibility for the groups

Jean William and Rujerry are in great need of your prayers.  

They will be taking two classes this next four weeks, one of them specialized in sharing the Gospel with Muslims, and we plan/hope/pray to send them mid-September for Catania.  A fabulous gift that came from Matt's time at Eaton Rapids paid for HALF the entire trip, but we are in great need of more help to get them both funded in time to go mid-September.  Jean William and Rujerry have been traveling church to church throughout Haiti all summer, raising support and prayers from churches in Northern Haiti, and now we are coming alongside to help them finish.

The sin crisis...the refugee crisis...the Muslim crisis...these are needs MET by Jesus, if only those who are willing to BE Him and who are perfectly equipped for this target audience are ready to GO.  It may not be YOU.  It may not be ME (though watching that video a few times has me chomping at the bit!)

But it IS Jean and Jerry, and we feel that Emmaus has a responsibility to send them.

If God's made or making this burden YOUR burden, please help us find the last $5000.  Please commit to praying for these young men, praying for Sicily, praying for the hundreds of thousands of refugees around the world.  

Please share this post with friends and families and churches who will help and pray and KEEP praying.


Heavens, send the $20 in your wallet in an envelope.  Post-note it ITALY. 
Emmaus Biblical Seminary
Unit 1153 - EBS
3170 Airman's Drive
Fort Pierce, FL  34946

If you have any questions, EMAIL me, and I will find the answer.

I'll be keeping you up on their preparation, trip, funding and outreach throughout the semester here.  As always.  I never stop. writing.  As you know.


What has gripped me most is Jean William and Rujerry's hearts...to go to a place they've never been to a people from another place they've never been, to freely and finally give them Jesus while they're getting the precious help that they need...In a place where they can finally freely hear about Jesus.  I'm overwhelmed by that.  This is a great risk, a great inconvenience, a great discomfort, that deeply inspires and blesses my heart.

 It's what we're asked to do in Haiti, it's what we're all asked to do in the world.

But what gripped me as much are the faces of the people on these boats, and the great risk, the great risks they are taking.  One of the Italian rescuers explained it well..."They have nothing to lose, which is...is terrible to understand."

I don't.  I don't understand that.  But I DO know, dearly, Who it is they have to gain, the WHO that changes e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g.

And if Jean William and Rujerry are going, they WILL SEE HIM.

Praise the Lord.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

smack bang in the face

At the end of last year I was so ready to leave Haiti for a bit of a break.  I was so tired of many things, tired of driving on the pot hole covered road everyday, tired of cooking, tired of sweating and feeling dirty, tired of being asked for money, tired of not being able to help everyone, tired of disappointing people who I couldn't help,  tired of speaking Creole and tired of having no one else here from my own country.







We had a great summer and a good break but when you get back to Haiti, there is no settling in period, no smooth adjustment to how life is.....it just hits you smack bang in the face.  The minute you get back.

First, the airport is just chaos.  Trying to get our bags took at least 45 minutes.  Then there is the drive home, yet again chaos.  Rubbish piled up at the side of the road, potholes, millions of motorbikes everywhere, people still out at 6.30pm trying to selling some fruit and veg to make a little money for the day and all this before I even speak to anyone.





Everyone I have spoken to since we got back is struggling.  It's almost September and school is about to start so that means school has to be paid for and new school shoes and a schoolbag and a lunch box and a uniform and school books.  For most people the thought of it is overwhelming and they have no idea how they are going to do it.  And its not cheap.  Yverose (who looks after the boys when I'm at the clinic) came to see us the day after we got back to say hi and welcome back.  She is on her own with 4 girls and asked if she could have her August pay now so she can get everything she needs for school but I know the pay she gets will not cover everything she needs to buy, never mind food for the month as well.

Then there is one of the groundsmen at the clinic.  Last April his wife became ill, then in May she fell and broke her arm.  He has been borrowing money to pay for medical care and has already spent his wages for August.  He has two kids to send to school in two weeks and has no idea where the money is coming from.



My wee friend came to visit last week and she was not in a good mood.  We had a good chat and it transpired her and her boyfriend are having problems.  On top of that she is entering her last year of high school and school fees this year are adding up to be about $300. She lives with her aunt along with about 10 other people and has no idea where that money for school will come from.  We kept chatting and she tells me about girls in her community that sleep with men for a meager 100 gourdes. £1.25.  $1.60. That's it.  A few days later another friend tells me the same thing and how it happened more during celebrations, sometimes the price is as low as 25 gourdes.  Unbelievable.

Then there is Michilene.  Michilene is still not feeling well and been in the DR over the summer to try to find out what is wrong with her.  Her husband is still in Brazil and still not working. Her father is extremely ill and nothing can be done for him.  One of her daughters gave birth to a baby boy in July, her other daughter just gave birth to a beautiful baby girl on Monday by emergency section.  We went to visit her and the baby on Saturday and after a little conversation I asked what medication they gave her, interested to see how things differ after a section in Haiti.  Michilene handed me the bag of medicine and I saw vitamin C, Iron and amoxicillin.  There were no painkillers!  I couldn't believe it, I can't imagine driving home from the hospital on a pot hole covered road 3 days after having a cesarean with no pain relief.  She must be in agony!  Now Michilene is trying to pay for school for her other kids, helping her daughter after her c-section, a new baby in the house, AND the stress of her father being ill!





Life for people in Haiti is just so hard.  It's overwhelming and stressful just listening to friends never mind living it.  I can't even imagine.  I would have lost all hope and some people are in despair, their kids will just have to miss a year of school.  Yet in others I see hope.  They might not know where the money is right now but they are trusting that God will provide.



So there it was....hitting me right in the face.  The difficulties and suffering that come with poverty: not knowing how your kids will go to school, not knowing where the next meal might come from. Being thankful you and your baby are alive, but in agony and, due to a lack of education, you don't know that you're not taking painkillers after having a c-section.  Feeling that the only way you can earn a very small bit of money is through prostitution.  Its overwhelming and its difficult to not be able to help everyone.  Then this morning we were at a local church here in Sacenvil and Bill was preaching and I was encouraged.  There was a real sense of community and of family.  During the worship time you could feel God's presence and I was so encouraged to see people pouring out their worship before a mighty God despite their daily suffering.

We are here to reach people for the gospel and to be like Christ in a dark place.  Part of that is helping those in need, part of it is loving one another and having grace even if its the 10th time that day you have been asked for money, part of that is sharing what God has done for every person we meet and all of that is being Jesus to the people around us.

Please continue to pray for us.  Pray that God would use us for his glory, that we would see the Lord working in people's lives to see Haiti changed for Him.  Pray for Bill as he starts teaching tomorrow and teaches everyday for the next two weeks.  Pray that we would be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit in who to help and how best to do that.

We're thankful that God is in control and all these problems don't depend on us for  a solution and are humbled that sometimes he chooses to use us.


Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Want to know whats going on?

As we were travelling and speaking we were able to share about the work of EBS through a great video. However many of you didn't get to see it because it wasn't ready until we were almost leaving Northern Ireland.   So if you missed it, or didn't hear us speak anywhere, or want to watch it again,  here it is....it shows exactly what God is doing in and through EBS.





When we were speaking this summer, I forgot to leave out a form where you can sign up for our prayer updates.  I send out a prayer update by email once a month and our official prayer letter gets sent out by OMS once a quarter.  EBS also sends out email updates as does BMC, if you would like to sign up for any of these updates please send me an email to julieedler@hotmail.co.uk and I will make sure you get what.  

EBS and BMC each have a facebook page which you can follow....



Now you will be well connected with all that's going on in Haiti!!

We have been back for a week now and the boys have settled well back into life in Haiti and have been enjoying playing with Lily, Sofie and Nora next door.  It's pretty hot and poor Joel has is just sweating all the time but it doesn't seem to bother him!







 I started back at the clinic last Friday and have had a few patients.  This year I will be working Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays.  The new physio building is well under way and Dr Rodney it should be done by September.  I can't wait to get into it!! My current room is small and with the electricity not working it is incredibly hot, not just for me but for my patients too.   With more space I am also looking forward to starting group classes and education sessions. 




Bill had staff meeting yesterday and is getting ready to start class on Monday.  He will teach systematic theology as an intensive for the first two weeks.  So its been all go since we got here!!