...to the realities of our “other world” life.
Tomorrow we leave on another a short trip home to Haiti to address some of our responsibilities there and to introduce Tania Grace to our home abroad.
Why are we still in the US??
Several reasons have led us to remain here...
1) Our support has been coming in steadily at about 40-50% of our budgeted needs.
2) Transition for Tynan & Emma into “normal” life back in the states for a while.
3) Rebecca is preparing for her midwifery program by working in L&D this contract.
4) In order to gain funds to upgrade our electricity situation.
5) Spending the holidays with our older girls, Tania & Ana and our grandson, Oliver.
The complexities of a life of ministry...in Haiti...bring unique challenges.
To explain these 5 points a little further…
We are able to bare-bones “exist” in Haiti on 40-50%, but it doesn’t allow for regular vehicle or household maintenance costs, utilities, travel, evacuation & health insurance or next year’s rent. Without those needs addressed, we had to send Rebecca to the US to work and cover/provide them. We are also looking at moving to a new housing situation for 2014, low cost US based insurance, providing short term housing and other creative ways to address the support gap.
Coupled with Rebecca’s need to have her US maternity and birthing skills refreshed, it seemed like a good option for her to take a job for 2-4 months, before starting her training. This has turned into one 2 month contract in postpartum & one 3 month contract in Labor & delivery. She should be ready go after such a substantial refresher AND hopefully there will be a little extra to stabilize us until our support reaches 100% again.
The electricity issues remain a big factor in Haiti. So, we are having to make some longer term investments that allow us to sleep better, reduce stress, spend less time addressing power problems, and ultimately be more effective in our ministry there. Our fridge is no longer working AT ALL during the day unless the generator is running. We can’t conceivably run the generator all day at $5/gallon of gas, to refrigerate our “island” priced food supplies. So we are hoping to put in a basic solar powered system and switch over to using a chest freezer with a thermostat that converts to fridge temps. It should take 90% less power & run fine on solar throughout the day! It will also mean that our batteries won’t be drained for nights without power, so we can sleep through the night with our fans.
Lastly, extended time in CA addresses our family's needs. While Tynan & Emma have been fabulous helpers in Haiti, we have all realized that after 2 years there, they need some time doing the things that other kids their age are doing...getting jobs, driving, having a “social life”. They have also expressed not wanting to have to do that at the expense of separation & lack of support. This was a main reason for extending their furlough & remaining nearby while they navigate this period in life. It allows time for them to decide their future plans either here or abroad. At the same time, our oldest, Tania Grace, has just moved back to No. California, so we are providing some “family” stability, encouragement & support for her as well, while she settles in and starts a new career. In late December, Ana & Oliver will be in the area for a visit, so nearly all of us will be together for Christmas!!
With our big projects still in development, a lot of our work can be done from here at the moment. Rebecca is planning & grant writing for the birthing center. Ted is continuing to develop other areas of Apparent Project’s ministry reach in both the US & Haiti. There is some organizational transition and planning for 2014 that we will participate in with the Seattle-based Apparent Project team & board members in December & January as well.
Please keep us all in your prayers this holiday season as we seek to follow and glorify God… in this ministry... with our family… in the US & in Haiti… in English, Russian, German, French & Haitian Kreyol… and above all as the unique individuals that He has made each one of us to be!!