Thursday, December 28, 2006


Can't you almost see the vitamins in these greens?

Below: We've been following the building of this ship with great interest, from wondering what they were going to do with that pile of logs, to watching them hand-hew the beams, and then through the slow building process.

More views of the ship, outside and inside.

Above: Shipyard "au Mole"

Below: The new basketball court, with the trade school where we first lived and worked in the background.

The players painted the lines themselves, and know enough English to express the important stuff.:) Below you see the court in use--the kids, big and little, love it. Our bicycle pump gets a workout pumping up basketballs!

This is Defren Augustine. We hope that is the correct spelling of his name; he doesn't read or write, but God has given him a gift for gardening. He will be taking care of the community garden while we're at BHM for our three month orientation. Below you see the garden as it looks today.

Friday, December 22, 2006

"Madame Richard, Madame Richard, loan me your wheelbarrow," a voice demands. I look out my kitchen window (what, not even a "please" this morning?) I'm guiltily glad, since she was so rude, to tell her someone else is using the wheelbarrow today. A minute or two later, I hear the same voice asking Keith, who is out on the front gallery, to let her use the wheelbarrow. "Your Mama is lying to me; she just doesn't want me to use your wheelbarrow today," she tells him. My indignation rises, as Keith tries to persuade her of the truth; soon she marches off, unconvinced and I continue to fume....

"They use our wheelbarrow all the time," I think. "How dare they accuse me of lying the one time it's not available. The next time she comes, I'm going to have a sermon for her....."

And then I hear a Voice saying, "Are you doing it for her, or for you, or for Me?"

He comes banging on our gate very early; we're not even out of bed yet. "Some cream for a burn," is his request. Keith, our first aid guy, goes to see, while I start breakfast. I listen with half an ear while I mix up pancake batter, and soon Keith is back in the kitchen, frustration boiling over. "Mom, you have to come see this--he put GAS on his burn 'to make it feel better'; it's a mess, and he won't let me bandage it!" I sigh, and grudgingly leave my breakfast preparations--we're going to be running late all day, and I hate that. The burn IS a mess (he did it on a motorcycle muffler), infected, oozing, and needs to be thoroughly cleaned up, but first we have to convince him. He doesn't want it to hurt; we need to put the cream over all that mess, he tells us, and he'll go home. We talk and talk; finally, exasperated, I tell him either he does it my way, or he can go home without help. Rich shows up and offers to get his machete and help with the amputation this guy will be needing in a few weeks if he doesn't accept treatment (drama is big in this country). Finally, after a lot of time and energy has been wasted, in my opinion, he grudgingly agrees, and we go to work. We soak the leg in mild salt water for awhile, and do a lot of careful pulling away of dead skin, put on the begged-for burn cream, bandage him up and send him on his way with instructions to come on the morrow, but not quite so early. I sigh again; I already know that request was vain. Come he does, every morning before we get up, and calls and bangs on the gate until we show up, bleary-eyed. Now that we've convinced him, he's become the doctor. "Look, you missed that spot. Put more of the cream on; that's not enough. More tape; this is not good." And I fume and sputter to myself and to my family; but the crowning moment is the day I tell him the burn no longer needs to be covered. He is aghast. "I can't walk home like this. It will get dirty!" I override all his objections, give him a little burn cream to keep the burn moist for a few more days, and send him on his way.

"He didn't even say thank you," I mutter to myself as I gather up the used bandages one last time, and march back up the stairs to our living quarters to put away the first aid kit once again.

And again I hear the Voice, "Did you do it for him, or for you, or for Me?"

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Out on the road to Bombardopolis; looking back down toward Mole, and the beautiful bay.
Keith, Tyler and Laurie
Here we are: 21 years and counting.:)
I took this picture in August on our way back up to Mole after furlough; one of the reasons the 170 mile trip takes us 12-14 hours.

Mixing cement for the basketball court.
More of the work in progress
Our faithful truck hauled many a load of rock, sand and gravel.
Here the pad is all poured and they are putting on the surface coat.
More of the same; I just put this one on, because I caught Rich running with the water bucket--his usual speed.:)

Merry Christmas everyone!

Here in Haiti, we miss many things about our American-style Christmases--family, friends, food, even the cold weather we were used to at Christmas time--but we're thankful the real reason to celebrate doesn't change. The gift of salvation Jesus came to bring is the same precious gift in every country, culture, and climate. Let's honor Christmas in our hearts the whole year through (yes, I've been watching A Christmas Carol).

We're celebrating a couple of things in our family today. It's our wedding anniversary (21 good years), and Mike and Kent arrive back in ND for their Christmas break and we're going to get to talk to them on Skype. They're in Basic Training, so we haven't had any communication with them to speak of since the last of October, and we're looking forward to a good "catch-up".

The next couple of weeks will be busy with all the last-minute tasks involved in closing up the house, and getting ready to travel. I haven't written a to-do list yet, but I know Rich already has a big one in his head--I have to write mine down on paper.:)

Ok, I'm going to quit writing and post some pictures; they're each worth a thousand words anyway, right?

God bless you all!

Friday, December 15, 2006


The baby tomatoes in the community garden are looking good--so far. Gardening has a lot more challenges here than in good old North Dakota!
A view of our house from the street. Don't those window screens look great? The guys have been working on screening our many windows between other projects--20 down, 8 to go! After that, we need 5 screen doors! This house has 11 outside doors!

Below: When Rich isn't working on mission projects, he's usually fixing something. Here he's fitting a board to fill in a hole in our truck bed, where he had to cut out a rotten spot.

Above: The view from our rooftop. Below: Keith and his friends are doing yard work. Well, some work and a lot of talking. They're using a small hand scythe to cut the grass.

Laurie and our ferocious watchdog, Waldo--not really ferocious, although he does love to intimidate folks who are scared of him.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Hi Out There

We thought this might be a great way to bring folks closer, and give you all a peek into our daily lives here in Mole St. Nicholas, Haiti. We've just passed our two year anniversary in Haiti, and are excited about what God is doing--more about that in later posts. For now, hi from all the Byers's--we're looking forward to sharing with you.