a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals
Marchand, Dessalines evokes community. Our life is surrounded and filled with people. Community is evident on the construction sites, in the hospital, in the neighbourhood, on the streets, at the market, at the wells, in the churches, at our gate and even in our living room. This abundance of community has been something we have had to acclimatize to! People walk everywhere. Front porches are living rooms. The hospitals are for all family and friends to gather and support (most times in very large crowds). The markets are for congregating daily to buy and sell. Churches are gathering places for Christians. The dirt streets are soccer pitches. We experience a very vivid contrast when we come back to Ontario, and are able to spend days in our own private little world and home. (Which, for those who are wondering, and haven't met us on the street or in the market yet, ... we are back in Ontario for a few weeks, planning and preparing for Britt & Mark's upcoming July wedding :)
Let us share with you some of the wonderful ways we have experienced and shared in community during our winter months in Dessalines. We have had the privilege to continue to work with a great group of people at the hospital. Burt works continuously to oversee the construction work, with a crew of 20+ guys. The hospital has really taken shape over the last few months with the construction of 2 operating rooms, an emergency and x-ray room, plus the addition of a second story. Sandy works with the hospital administration, both at the daily operations level and as well as with the hospital board. There have been numerous changes for the hospital in both construction and administration, which we look forward to resulting in a stronger community hospital overall.
Burt and Ian have taken on a few community construction projects ... the highlight certainly being Neuselum's house. It has been a family effort, with all pitching in to create a sustainable living space after the damages of the rainy season and Hurricane Sandy last year. This building project has truly been an example of a group working towards a common goal. When no shovels were available Neuselum's madame was seen digging the dirt with a pot!!
Two other community projects were taken on for ladies that work for us, both in desperate need of toilet facilities. Paulette and Lidi were grateful for the upgrades!
We have also had the joy of sharing fellowship with short term missions teams this winter. They have arrived with heart, mind, body and soul ready to serve God by helping the people of Haiti. This is such a good refreshment for us!
Last, but not least Sandy experienced rest for the body and renewal for the soul on a women's retreat in Port au Prince. The weekend was a reminder that spending time in the Word, prayer and listening to our Lord can only result in a closer walk with Thee, certainly a desire of everyone's heart as we can become overwhelmed to balance the demands of ministry life.
It is refreshing to be back in Ontario for a few weeks, giving us time to re-focus, renew, spend time with family and friends, and did I mention earlier ... plan a wedding!! We always strive to remember God's words in Hebrews 10:24,25 "And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching."
May you each experience a blessed Easter celebrating and remembering the death and resurrection of our Saviour, Jesus Christ!