Back to Haiti Update: Summer 2018

This blog post is coming to you from the living room of my parents’ new house in Jacksonville, North Carolina—an answer to prayer and a dream come true! Until 2014, my parents always spent their summers at my grandparents’ house. When my grandparents passed away in 2014, my parents (and I) were suddenly left without a place to stay when we were Stateside. After spending a large part of the summer of 2014 in a trailer on a friend’s property, my aunt graciously allowed us to stay in her home while she was abroad. This summer, however, after 37 years of marriage, my parents finally acquired a place to call their own! Earlier this month, their friends held a housewarming party for them. After living in that trailer, it was nice to sit in this living room and know that we didn’t have to go anywhere or pay rent to anyone.

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This was an especially hard year at the Bible college. Just before Christmas break, some students came to me and expressed their dissatisfaction with one of our professors. They had studied very hard for their final exam and did not believe that they deserved as low a grade as they had received (several of them had failed). I initially disregarded it, thinking it would blow over. Students complain. As the spring semester began, however, I noticed that the students were still upset. When the students who had failed were informed that they would have to take a remedial course, they refused, demanding instead to see their graded final exams from the previous semester. When the professor brought those in, it quickly became clear that he had not graded them fairly. Despite clear evidence of his own wrongdoing, the professor became defensive and refused to repent. We suspended him with the understanding that he would be reinstated if he would only write an apology. Sadly, he refused. At the end of the semester, with a heavy heart, we had to terminate his employment at the Bible college.

To make matters even more complicated, his wife is the school’s secretary. She has mostly sided with him in this affair, making our working relationship has become very complicated. Ending someone’s livelihood in a nation where there is 60% unemployment is always difficult, but when their significant other thinks you did it in bad faith, it becomes much more so. I will be returning to this situation in August and I would appreciate your prayerful support. We are also praying for many new students and haven’t had many sign-ups so far. The financial situation in Haiti remains so difficult that it is hard for students to commit to a four-year theological education. We did send four graduates out into the world at the end of May, however.

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Since returning to the United States, I have been able to travel to West Virginia to see my sister, who had just given birth to her second baby, Lorelei. Both mom and daughter were even more beautiful than in the pictures. My 4-year-old nephew, Sam, was a lot of fun to be with, too. He speaks very clearly now and is incredibly energetic. Since I only get to see him once a year, I am always amazed at how much he has changed from year to year. One of the pains of missionary life is the realization of how much of his life I have missed in between visits.

Looking ahead, my brother Gabe will be coming to visit from Oregon right after the 4th of July. I hope to get myself prepared for next year’s Bible college and high school classes. I will be returning to Haiti on August 23. If you would like me to come speak about the work I do in Haiti or even if you would just like to catch up, please send me a message using the contact form. I’d love to hear from you!

 

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