Monday, August 31, 2009

P. J. Stack

On August 27, 2009, PJ Stack saw the culmination of a year long dream to design, build, and ship a see-saw water pump to Father Marc's orphanage. In that year, he met amazingly generous parishioners at Santiago de Compostela, discovered a gifted engineer to help him refine and construct the design, and experienced the determination of scouts, neighbors, and friends who all worked to make his dream a reality.
PJ achieved Boy Scouts highest rank and became an Eagle Scout on August 27, 2009. While that journey is complete, the path has left a life long impression on our family and reminded us of the blessings we have that we may not have even realized were out there in the first place. For that gift, we are forever grateful.

The above words were penned by P.J.'s father. We, here, are very grateful for all the effort and energy that was put into this successful project.  May God bless P.J., his supportive family and all those who helped in this endeavor.

Male and female

These are our new nubian goats.  This is an agricultural project that will hopefully provide more milk for our children.  The females produce as much milk as a cow but require much less food and grazing land. Their milk does not have to be pasteurized and makes for some really good cheese.  I don't think our friends from Wisconsin need to worry just yet but in a while...

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Fancy tees

A couple of shots of the little guys wearing their new, colorfully hand-designed t-shirts that we received from southern California.  The guys looked really sharp for church this morning!

Louinda and Maxime Louis

Exchange of rings symbolizing fidelity without end.
Blessing of the couple.
The arch is a symbol of good fortune.

Mr and Mrs Maxime Louie

Maxime and Louinda tied the knot last evening at the cathedral in town.  Deacon Peter and I officiated while hundreds of family and friends were there to offer prayers and support.  Maxime has been with us six years and is a pillar of strength and reliability.  Louinda works in our accounting office and is a charming, dedicated young woman who loves the kids.  They make a great couple and we wish them all the best.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Easy Cross Video

Andy Topp (from New Jersey) was down here last week and recorded Easy Cross, one of our rap groups, on video.  Wanna see them in action?  Just click on EASY CROSS VIDEO under links on the right.  The English name of the song they wrote and perform is "Hypocrisy" and it is about how destructive lying is to relationships and society.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sunday, August 23, 2009

California containers

It all started three years ago.  Clothing, school supplies, mattresses, chairs, a safe et cetera... were put in storage lockers after clothing drives and Advent trees and school projects.  We finally received the two containers this morning around 7:30 and had to unload them pronto.  We managed to do this and Mass only got delayed a half hour.  We are very grateful to the folks in southern California especially to our friends at Santiago de Compostella for their dedication and generosity.  I can't begin to list all the stuff but can tell you that everything was of value.  Thank you all very much!

Containers arrive !

Boxes of clothing and mattresses getting offloaded and stored.
With the doors finally opened, the unloading begins.
Anticipation on the part of our older boys as the truck arrives.  Getting the doors opened was a real trick and we finally had to break the seal.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Food Distribution Center

We distributed food from USAID to our neighbors today.  There are 800 families on the list.  All were represented and more showed up.  It was not easy controlling the crowd but our security managed.


Claudia's father passed away a couple of months ago.  She lives with her mother, aunt, brother and sister in Sitwon.  She attends our pre-school and hangs out with our girls.

Friday, August 21, 2009


This is Annette.  She has been coming to see us regularly for the last month but we can't make heads or tails of her situation.  She is not well mentally and does not answer questions coherently.  She typically spends the day in the same spot and we bring her food.  And then, before anyone notices, she's off somewhere.


Our crew poured the roof on the pre-school today.  The cement was mixed on the ground with sand and water; it was then shoveled into buckets which were hand carried or passed up to the roof.  The guys on the roof made sure that the cement was evenly poured. It took all day and these guys were tired at the end of it.  I was sweating just standing there looking at them work.  Congrats to you for such an accomplishment.

Meet Smail Joseph

Smail (pronounced: smy) and his brother, Woosman
Woosman has been with us for five years and he was joined by his brother, Smail, this week. Smail was living with his grandmother who could no longer provide for him.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Winzor Cadet RIP

It is my sad responsibility to officiate at Winzor Cadet's funeral this afternoon.  Winzor is one of our graduates and was working in our agriculture program.  He just turned 22.  You may have seen him operating the tractor when you visited.  He died last Saturday from what we believe was liver problems.  Please keep him and his family in your prayers.  I have no good photos of him on file or I'd post one.

A new coat for school

Ecclesiaste, Miliste, Gerald, Jimmy, Castel, unknown and Enock
The secondary school is about to get a face-lift with a new coat of paint.  Even though yesterday was one of the hottest of the year with no breezes, the boys were out there doing their best.

Bishop Poulard drops by

The newly appointed bishop of Les Cayes, Monseigneur Poulard, visited us yesterday.  He's been a bishop for 21 years and was recently transferred here.  We hope to collaborate on several levels.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Birthday celebration

Here's a shot of all the performers present at Peter's gala.
Baobab danced in celebration.

Deacon Peter Faford celebrated his 65th birthday today. The kids decided to do something to honor him though he wanted nothing done.  Their appreciation of him would not allow this day to go by unnoticed.  

Happy Birthday, Peter

Easy Cross performed their latest song for Peter.

Lifaite, Jonas and Jeannot sang best wishes to Peter.
Our folklore group danced in honor of Peter.  
Peter is celebrating his 65th birthday today.  May God bless him with many more  years.

Tailors' Workshop in Les Cayes Prison

Thanks to a generous donation from Joyce Harmon, a Cross International benefactor, we were able to build a work space for the Prison Tailor Program.  There are twenty graduates, forty students and a long waiting list.  This is the only activity allowed by the prison authorities and it provides prisoners with a skill set so that they have something they can do when they leave.  In the top photo you can see the sewing machines made possible by our kind friends at Practical Compassion.

Weight-lifting area

Here's the space we'll be using for weight-lifting.  Gonna try and find some funding for a roof.
Here are the elements of the weight-lifting group. Most were made by us and all were designed by big Francois, our security chief. These will be placed in between the containers on the gravel bed the teens spread out there.
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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Weight-lifting gym

A few of the older boys spreading gravel in between containers where the weight-lifting equipment will be locate.  We've made our own and the boys are excited about getting with the program.


Duval is not having a good morning.  Asked him what was wrong and he gave me the traditional "Nothing!" answer.  Guess when he is ready we'll find out.

Pre-school and soccer

We had a little competition this morning testing our goalies.  Various boys kicked the ball and the best to stop them won a prize.  In the background is half the pre-school ready to receive a poured roof which we will do Monday.


Meet four year old Samuel.  His father passed away last year; his mother is handicapped and cannot provide for him.  An uncle brought him to us.  I can assure you that he is not a happy camper these days.  It will take a while for him to adjust but soon (hopefully) he will have friends and be busy with pre-school and playing.

Susan's Swim

As I write this Susan Midgett is moments away from plunging into San Francisco Bay to swim from Alcatraz to shore.  Our thoughts and prayers are with her.  If you want to show your support, it's not too late-- make a donation for the new clinic via our  Thanks very much for helping Susan reach her goal.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Scholastic achievement

We just got word of the results from the national exam for sixth graders.  This exam is not easy and must be passed if one wishes to attend secondary school.  Carlens, shown above, was our highest scorer and was high as a kite when the results were announced.  Congrats to him and all his successful classmates.

Castine, ME

Jack MacDonald and Father Wallace
Elaine Gardener doing face-painting
Pony rides behind the church  (get a load of that view!)
Many, many years ago I was pastor of two small churches on the coast of Maine.  One of those has been faithfully supporting our ministry here in southern Haiti.  It is very gratifying and encouraging to know they care about us and the children.  The photos above are of the annual parish picnic held on the grounds of the church, Our Lady of Holy Hope, in Castine, Maine.  It was also a fundraiser for us and very successful.  Thanks to all who made this possible!  May God bless you.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

S-O-S for Haiti

Please click on the the lifesaver at right to read about Susan Midgett and what she hopes to accomplish this Saturday.  She needs our help to reach her goal in raising $100,000 towards the building of a new clinic that will serve the medical and dental needs of our kids and those of our neighbors.  Join us in praying for her safety and for her success. God bless you, Susan!


I often get asked what my days are like so I thought I'd share with you what happened this morning between 9:30 and 10:15. I was sitting under the thatched roof gazebo up near the containers and the folks shown below came to ask for help. The living situation for most of our neighbors has deteriorated and so we get more requests for assistance. We are not in a position to help them all and must turn many away. If you know anyone looking for a worthy charity, please think about referring them to us. The needs are great but the resources are very limited. Thank you.

Frantz Estinvil

Frantz Estinvil is 18, was abandoned by his mother a year and a half ago, has three brothers and three sisters. He hasn't been to school in four years due to lack of money. Frantz is currently living with a woman and helping her around the house. He feels mistreated, despised and humiliated. He would like to learn a trade and live with people who don't hate him.

Roodney Desir

Roodney Desir is 15 years old and is one of seven children. His parents cannot send him to school so he would like to transfer to our school and maybe learn a trade after graduating from primary school.

Alphonse Valdy

Alphonse Valdy came to see me yesterday. His father died a while ago and his mother cannot find work. Alphonse has 2 brothers and a sister and they are living in an abandoned house that is ready to drop. He is 15 years old and would like to return to school.