As many of you may know, our Board Chairman, Brad Bouma and his wife Barb have spent the last few days down in Haiti visiting our dear friends at New Vision Ministries. Much has been accomplished in the small town of Montrouis since we were there just a few months ago and much continues to be done as the Reeves family continue to invest their time and love into helping the wonderful Haitian people.
We 've been thrilled to receive daily updates from the Boumas regarding progress being made and various developments across the board. Brad was able to spend some quality 1-on-1 time with Dr. Kerry and see much of the growth that you have invested in both through your prayers and finances. Brad spent an afternoon checking in on the feeding ministry that we support and was pleased to see a great deal of organization and leadership from Pastor Caesar and the many pastors who work with him to continue to feed and educate 1,500 children across the area. One of the biggest areas of stress that many missionaries experience comes from a lack of family time and space, but Brad and Barb were very happy to see that the Reeves family, along with another couple serving at New Vision have finally been able to move into their own homes. Though it may seem small to us, this one opportunity can have a huge impact on increasing the effectiveness and longevity of New Vision Ministries. Brad also reported that although the fishing season is coming to an end, thanks to the many improvements and additions to the fishing ministry, the fishermen are now beginning to take tourists over to Ile De La Gonâve (Gonâve Island). Although this may not necessarily provide fish for the fishermen, it gives them the opportunity to provide for their families year-round and continue to build the local economy. In the past few months, New Vision has also begun the Montrouis International Church and has seen steady growth with 40+ people in attendance right now. It's so encouraging to see that our dear friends are growing and increasing the work the God has called them to do.
Below is an email from Brad recounting their first day in Haiti. We are thankful that Brad agreed to be the Chairman of the Board and we look forward to seeing where God will take us.
We arrived in Port Au Prince Wednesday afternoon. The airport was busier than we have ever seen it. Wesner met us just outside of baggage claim and we worked our way through the parking lot where Dr Kerry was waiting. Barb and I loaded up and we headed to Montrouis. A few miles after leaving the airport I noticed we were on a different road. We were on a dirt road dodging huge potholes full of water and making mud as we went. I asked Kerry why we were going this way, and he informed us that there was construction on the main highway and we were taking a "Haitian shortcut." He said there are 3 things you need to know about a Haitian shortcut - 1: The route is always longer, 2: The road is always rougher and 3: It always takes longer.
After riding "shotgun" with Dr Kerry the last 2 days I've come to the realization that conducting business and navigating life here in Haiti is just a big Haitian shortcut. This is not necessarily a bad thing, it's just very frustrating for someone of my personality. The traffic is almost always bad, the horns are honking and there are motos and tap taps everywhere. You just park on the side of the road and everyone goes around. If something breaks or you get a flat tire, you just stop on the road and fix it. Every trip to town takes twice as long as you think it should, is a million times more dangerous than in the US and you're in every store twice as long as you think you should be. This is just a fact of life here.
I write this because I have an even greater appreciation for Dr Kerry and his team. They deal with this everyday and still accomplish great things and build relationships with great people. Most of us would allow the Haitian shortcut to drive us crazy. Really life here is just that way. It's a blessing to spend your day on a Haitian shortcut. You encounter lots of great people and maybe God will use you to impact just one Haitian that you meet on your shortcut.
Blessings to the New Vision team as they navigate the highways God lays out before them. For them "1: The route is always longer, 2: The road is always rougher and 3: It always takes longer," in life and on the road.
We are grateful for partners who are willing to take the time to reach out and help those in need and we hope that you will continue to pray for Brad and Barb, for the Dr. Kerry and his family, and for everyone involved in bringing the love of Christ to the people of Haiti.