“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.” ~ Colossians 3:23 ~
As we write this Prayer Letter, we marvel at all the Lord has done in our lives this past year. Today marks the 1st Anniversary of the devastating Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake. It is estimated that more than 300,000 souls lost their lives in those 30+ seconds! At least another 300,000 were critically injured. There are still millions who are living in tents and tarp covered stick frame “shanties”, trying to carry on…
The Lord led our family to move back to Haiti to open a Christ Centered Home for handicapped children and those youngsters who lost a limb in the earthquake. Our goal is to provide Christ’s love in a family setting; Biblical instruction, a complete education in Creole, French, English and Spanish as well as skills for future employment. In June 2010, we found a place to rent and moved to our present location, 38 mi. north of Port-au-Prince.
June, July and August were very busy months, getting our ‘85 Suburban cleared from customs, the property ready for the work to be done, helping with reconstruction work for earthquake victims, and building the three temporary structures for Shiloh Children’s Home. We had two teams come in during that time who were such an encouragement and blessing to us! In Sept. and Oct. we had our third and fourth teams, as well as two other groups of visitors. They were all such a blessing! They helped paint our new buildings, built 3 more buildings for another needy orphanage and have been very instrumental in getting much of the preliminaries done for Shiloh Children’s Home.
Near the end of Oct. we got our first two children! Jason (5) and Caleb (4) were abandoned at Grace Children’s Hospital in Port-au-Prince, in 2009 and lived there for over 1½ yrs. Neither can walk or talk, but Jason is progressing well and should be walking soon! Caleb has more issues; he is on medication for seizures and appears to have severe brain damage. He is a sweet, smiley little boy, and we have seen some improvements in him already. We finally were able to get an EEG for him this week. It was interesting seeing him hooked up to 23 electrodes all over his head, as they examined his brain waves, while he lay fast asleep. We should have the results later in the week, which, Lord willing, will give us a clearer picture of his problems and how best to help him (i.e. types of medications that will work best for him, exercises and stimulation that will help him reach his full potential; whatever that might be). We know that the Lord has made this little guy and we feel privileged to be able to love and care for him, as he is. Still, we want to include him in every activity possible to allow him as much opportunity as we can.
Maurice came to us in early Nov. He is 2 yrs. old and was abandoned on a pile of garbage, where the rats were eating on him! A Pastor’s daughter found him and was taking care of him the best she could, until she got a job and was no longer able to. He also cannot walk, talk or coordinate his movements well. We have been working with him for two months now and he is greatly improved! He’s gained some much needed weight, can almost roll over and is beginning to say some words! Praise the Lord!
In Nov. we had our 5th great team! They got so much accomplished, helping us get the roof on our new Multi-Purpose Building among other things! The ladies on that team did a dental clinic for the children in the neighborhood and helped to medically evaluate our three little boys. What a blessing they all were!!
In mid-Nov. Ginger and JoHannah were able to go to the states to help our daughter, Kimber-Leigh and family when they had their third baby: Ephraim Frank Maxson, born on 11/29/2010. Isaiah turned 3 while we were there and Renae 17 mos. We were so glad to be able to see all of our children and grandchildren, and be of some help to them. We now have 11 precious grandchildren on earth and 4 in heaven; as Tj and Susan recently lost one. The Lord has been so gracious to us; through blessings and trials, always faithful! We are so rich in Christ! II Cor. 12:9
Tom, Jeremy and Joshua stayed in Haiti taking care of the three little boys, and our newest resident, a little girl, who came shortly after Ginger and JoH left for the states. Betty turned 2 on 12/30. She is from another mission organization, awaiting adoption. She doesn’t walk or talk yet, but seems to be developing normally, just a little delayed. She is quite jolly and a big encouragement to Maurice, who watches her every move and tries to copy all she does!
The Lord has blessed us with a wonderful helper for a few months! Alayna, a young lady from our church, felt led of the Lord, along with her parents, to come down and give of her time and talents to help us out! What a blessing she is, helping with all the daily tasks as well as spending time helping the children learn new skills!!
On the home front, the Schmidt family continues to grow! We have been blessed with 3 new grandsons in 2010 (Katie & Justin’s, Becky & Joe’s, and Kim &Ben’s) and we have another granddaughter due in April 2011 (Katie and Justin’s third). Matthew and, the love of his life, Frances are engaged to be married on Sept. 3, 2011, so we will be in the states for that Blessed event!!
We also plan to visit some churches while stateside. Anyone interested in having us come and share about our work here, please contact us so we can plan our time in Sept and Oct.
Please continue to pray for Haiti as they try to settle the election results and work towards rebuilding this broken nation. We would also appreciate prayer for the hired help we so desperately need as well as a permanent location for Shiloh Children’s Home.
In Christ’s love,
Tom, Ginger, JoHannah, Jeremy and Joshua
“But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” ~ Matthew 19:14 ~
A Ministry of Harvest International, Inc.
P.O. Box 6690 • OCALA, FL 34478-6690 • PHONE (352) 622-1818 • FAX (352) 622-2569
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org • http://www.johannahsjournal.blogspot.com/ • http://www.harvestinternational.org/ http://www.shilohchildrenshome.blogspot.com/