Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas gifts

This is the best part of the Christmas festivities.  The kids were absolutely thrilled to receive little gifts.  Wish you were here to see this!
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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

May the joy of Christmas born so long ago...
find a place in your hearts today and every day.
We thank you for your prayers and support over the past year and wish you His peace for 2012.

Congrats !

Jimmy and Harold were the winners yesterday of the ESPWA NAN NOEL competition.  This was the third edition of the contest and it continues to be a fantastic overview of the talent here.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas gifts

I received a phone call out of the blue from Father Fred Charpentier (middle photo).  His friend, Brigitte Pierre, had some gifts to distribute to children and he directed her to us.  It was going to be a very lean Christmas this year but no longer.  All the little ones will be receiving a new present thanks  to Brigitte and a South Florida organization named "Breakfast with Santa".  Thank you very much and may God bless you for your thoughtfulness.
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Saturday, December 17, 2011


The elementary school had exams this past week.  It was stressful but all worth it.  The kids are now on Christmas vacation.  The teachers get to rest and the housemothers...not so much.
Photo is of the older pre-school class.

Security training

Mr. Jean Lexima, front in dark t-shirt, held a training session with our security people this morning.  In light of some recent events, we are looking to reinforce the security here.  Mr. Lexima is a Haitian-American who has experience in these matters and we are grateful to him for his help.  Today was the first session of many to come. 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Springfield's finest

From the top:  Dokte Doug, Tim, Karen, Lori, Emily and Jill
Our friends from Springfield left us very early yesterday morning after a busy week of painting, cleaning, sorting and inventory work.  Many kids have been asking for you which shows the positive impact you made while with us.  May God bless you and keep you in His care.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Prison ministry

The kind folks from Springfield brought lots of personal hygiene stuff for the prisoners in town which they delivered yesterday morning.  Needless to say, the detainees were extremely grateful.
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friends from Springfield

mingling with the kids
getting a tour
A couple of shots of our visitors from Springfield, MO.  They'll be with us for the week.  The community of Schweitzer Methodist Church has been super supportive these last couple of years.  
God bless 'em.
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Bracelet man

This is Jonas Jeanty.  He makes a personalized bracelet for each of our visitors.  If they want to order others for family or friends, Jonas will oblige for a small fee.  Jonas is a graduate of Espwa and becoming a shrewd businessman.
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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Poor Internet

Hi Fellow Bloggers-

This is Paige updating for Father Marc. He apologizes for his delay in posts. He currently has no internet at his house, making it impossible to update. We are working on fixing this problem. Please stay tuned.


New Mattresses

Before coming to Pwoje Espwa, a majority of our resident children did not have a bed to lay their heads on at night. Many slept on the ground or a small mat, or covered themselves with a piece of fabric alongside a family member, but very few had a mattress to call their own. 

Since coming to Espwa, all of the children have a bed to sleep in, though they are no longer in optimal condition. The mattresses are handmade and only a couple inches thick- more supportive than the ground, but not even close to ideal. 

Below is a picture of a few mattresses stacked up on a bed. Some of the smaller children choose to share a bed so they can have more support by stacking their mattresses on top of one another. Some of the mats are torn and the foam is coming out, pictured below. 

Unfortunately, we do not have the funding to provide all of our children with a new bed and mattress. Please keep our children in your prayers as you lay your head down on your bed to sleep tonight.  

Sunday, November 27, 2011


These are the fine folks who visited us this past week. 
Top, left to right:  Mike, Frank and Regina
Bottom: Janina, Francine and Stephanie

Thursday, November 24, 2011


In the early years of my work down here we did not celebrate Thanksgiving Day.  A few years ago, Linda and Peter Faford managed to get some turkeys down here and the Thanksgiving meal has since become traditional.  We will soon be carving the turkeys and enjoying all the associated goodies.
It is most appropriate to thank you, our supporters and benefactors, on this special day.  We wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving Day.  God bless you all.

Special thanks to the current visitors who brought down all we needed for our feast.  I'll get a photo of the group and post it later.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

International Day of Children's Rights

Sunday was the International Day of the Child with a focus on their rights.  We had a special meal, a program that underlined their individual rights, an afternoon of dancing and singing.  The kids had fun.
Having fun can be exhausting!

Team painting

That's Mike Irr with a few of our guys painting the wall of the Guest House.  Mike is part of a small group who is spending Thanksgiving with us.  The other visitors were in another area so I'll try and capture them for a later post if the internet plays along.


I've been trying to post these last three days but have not succeeded (obviously).  We have signed up for a better/faster internet program with HughesNet but it is not working for me.  Guest House seems to be doing all right so there's a problem with my connection.  Sorry about this.  Keep checking as the glitch may be fixed soon.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Marie Carmelle Gilet

This is Marie Carmelle who suffers from sickle cell anemia to the extreme.  She has been told that she needs her hip replaced and that can only be done in Port-au-Prince.  Her family is dirt poor so she has turned to us for help.  Our budget doesn't allow us to do this but maybe you or someone you know could help out Marie Carmelle.  Maybe you belong to a group or club or school or church that would like to help?

Little Michelle

This little girl accompanies her mother here every day.  Her Mom sells hard candy, small packs of crackers and the like to anyone who passes by.  If she's lucky she'll make enough money to buy some food for dinner for her small family.  Michelle eats lunch with us whenever she's here.

Medical Mission

We are blessed by the presence of a surgical team from Doctor Mike Blood's medical mission team from Indiana.  The team is in town for the wedding of Merline and Vladimir, two Haitian doctors, who have been working with Dr. Blood for years now.  The surgeon, Doctor Ike, and his assistants have been here working from dawn to dusk since Monday morning.  The whole team is here today (about 40 people) so lots of folks will be seen.  God bless these kind and dedicated people.

Close Out Evaluation

The staff spent most of Monday and Tuesday participating in an evaluation of the AIDS Prevention Program that was sponsored by USAID and Cross International.  Protocols and procedures were evaluated and lessons learned were underlined.  This project is now over and we learned much in the process.

Building update

The work on the kitchen-dining room roof is moving along as you can see from the above photos.  We are really, really anxious to start using this building.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Tim (drum) and Patty are from Wisconsin, are here for the week and were enacting an African folklore story with a group of our boys just outside our finance office this afternoon.  Good to have you with us, Patty and Tim.  See the fellow in back taking a photo?  That's our old friend, Dokte Jerry, the pediatrician from Alaska who is with us for a month.  He is such a gift to us.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


What do you do when you have time on your hands and a huge pile of soft sawdust from the carpenter's shop just sitting there?
That's what I thought, too.

Reading time

Our little Julio with his new friend, Anne
Our friends from Minnesota took time to sit with many of our children who showed them how well they read.  This is great encouragement for the kids who will now work hard to show how much progress they can make.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Clinic well

Here's the well digging team we hired for the clinic well.  They use the old fashion method of doing it by hand, slowly turning the pipe that works its way down, inch by inch, to fresh water.  Lucky for them and us that we have lots of clay and sand underground with very few rocks.  Notice the young man helping his team by sitting on the pipe!

Matthew 25:36

UN Representative Moussah (Burkino-Faso) and Nathalie checking out the food stuff for the special meal that the 500 detainees in our local prison enjoyed yesterday, the International Day of the Prisoner.  Thanks to the support of Cross International and Catholic Relief Services, the prisoners were treated to rice, beans and chicken along with fresh juice.
The special day began with the liturgy which was followed by a music program.  Photos are not allowed of the prisoners so that's all we've got to show you.  I can tell you that the detainees were deeply appreciative.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Update- Jean Raymond

This is the photo I posted a while back (in the spring) of Jean Raymond.  So cruel were the other children in his area that Jean Raymond refused to go to school.
This photo was taken yesterday when Jean Raymond got back from school.  He has new friends and is doing very well in school.  He has no trouble pronouncing words anymore, can drink normally now and, most significantly, can smile.
Smile Train with Surgical Volunteers International are to be praised for their fantastic work.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Update- brothers

I've been asked a couple of times for an update on the three brothers who were in an accident back in early July.  I am very happy to report that the three are doing amazingly well.  The oldest, Jameson, had his mandible repaired and is fine now but with fewer teeth.  He was absent when the photo was taken.  Judeson (above) has pins in his leg but gets around pretty well.  No soccer for the immediate future.  Getro who suffered a fractured skull is on the mend and is attending school.  Thanks to all who made donations to help them.  The boys and their family are most grateful and ask God to bestow His blessings on you.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Update: kitchen and dining room

Our crew had a steep learning curve on this part of the project.  They are now in the groove and the roofing struts and panels are going up.  The larger panels weigh in at 300 pounds so you know this is challenging.  We are very relieved to see this progress.


Margaret and Christine
Christine was here this week not just to visit her sister, Margaret, but to work on our Master Plan.  Christine visited us last summer and decided to make Pwoje Espwa her Master's Thesis subject.  She has produced a masterful work that incorporates weather, climate, appropriate building technologies, children's social and psychological needs... What a terrific gift to the children of Espwa!

Saturday, October 15, 2011


The rain started pouring down almost as soon as the crew gathered this morning to work on the roof.  That's Ely sitting about twenty feet up trying to stay dry.  Good thing he's thin.

Homecoming of sorts

These young men are graduates of Espwa and now working for S2H.  they've come back from projects in PaP to work on our kitchen/dining room roof.  Good to see them and have them back.

Good news

TiBoss (Jocelyn Nelson) and Stephen Runnels
Stephen Runnels of S2H is with us for the next two weeks to finally put a roof on the kitchen/dining room.  We've been waiting for months but there was always a hindrance.  We are very happy to have everyone and everything finally in place to get this done.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Still more rain

From left: our Guest House, our small clinic and our storage containers
Entrance to the children's village
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