Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Joyeux Noel!



TEAM TUGWELL  living, learning, & loving in Haiti
Merry Christmas 2013

Family Life
Christmas greetings from Haiti! Our Advent season has been full of sweet moments decorating our painted white twig Christmas tree and delivering one to our neighbors – listening to the ooo’s and ahhh’s each evening as the city power comes on and the kids gather around their tree with flickering lights. The reason we celebrate is evident in Haiti with nativity sets at local businesses and the sounds of worshipping the King from area churches long into the night. We haven’t missed the “commercialness” of Christmas in the USA or the cold weather, but we certainly MISS THE PEOPLE! This includes YOU! Praying you have a wonderful Christmas and New Year!
We celebrated Thanksgiving with a large group of Haitian friends and other missionary families and then a day at the beach. The kids have been busy packing up toys, blankets, toothbrushes, and
some clothing items for our neighbors. Of the 4 families, 3 are complete with a mother and father. Odette is widowed with 5 young children. We want to encourage the family and build up the parents. For this reason, we do not want the kids to know us as the ones who are giving to them but instead look to their parents and the Lord – who is the ultimate good gift giver! The Dads came over to retrieve the family boxes of goodies after dark last night and we heard squeals of delight from their children this morning! We have had great evenings of fellowship with other families this month, cookie decorating parties, lots of youth group activities and play practice for Louis, and Lily will sing in the Christmas program at our church with our Haitian neighbor, Ruth, tonight!

Our home has become a hang out for young people on mission – a house of prayer - and we frequently have other families over in the evenings. We have a great community and feel very supported by our friends and church!
Titus Task Haiti Update: We visited Pastor Andre last week. The land that we have tried to purchase for 2 years finally seems to have a closed door. We are all a little sad, but encouraged that he has found a new location and it seems that it can move forward in a timely manner. We hope to have this new land project finalized in the first half of 2014. We are so thankful to all who gave to this project and hope for you to see the final results soon! The sweet girls in the photo to the right are from Pastor Andre’s school – they were glad to play with my phone and get a break from their end of semester exams!
Outside the Bowl
We had a great visit from the OTB team in early December. We spent time planning for the next year and went to an inspiring prayer meeting for Haitian Business leaders. We have had some small setbacks with the utilities in the Super Kitchen and have seen those resolved this past week. Noel has been reflecting on how important it is to build our house on the Rock. This has been evident in the natural sense as we have seen problems at the kitchen because the land is literally like sand. We received a reference from our friends at Compassion International for a very qualified applicant for the Kitchen Manager position last week. We interviewed her and then offered her the job yesterday. Her name is Rocksande – a strong follower of Jesus whose Mother named her for exactly the verses Noel has been thinking of. God is everywhere and speaking to all of us all the time – sometimes more subtly and other times very LOUD and CLEAR! We are excited about the team the Lord has assembled for the kitchen. Our friend Pey has been hired for full time security and facilities maintenance – I know some of you will be glad to hear thisJ We had a visit from the First Lady of Haiti’s assistants last week. They were “very impressed” with the Super Kitchen and asked a lot of questions about how we could multiply this ministry. The first of the year we will complete staff training and be cooking 5 days a week!
We are praying for the Lord’s protection to be over your family, His provision to meet your needs spiritually, physically, and emotionally, and His Presence to overwhelm you this Christmas and draw you near to Him. He loves YOU and so do we! Joyeux Noel!

Noel, Lori, Louis, Lily, Silas, and Esther Joy
   

Monday, December 2, 2013

Thanksgiving!





We had a great Thanksgiving weekend. Community meal with about 50 people in our neighborhood, family fun day at the beach, piano concert and call to Revival in Haiti with Esther Shin - a young Christ following Korean composer and pianist. My heart could not be more thankful that The Lord has allowed us to live, learn, and love in Haiti. Bondye beni Ou!





Friday, October 11, 2013

Learning

We still don't have our container with our homeschool curriculum, but that doesn't mean they aren't learning. I found this paper of Lily's today. Precious. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Long overdue...

This update has been thought about too many times to count over the last 3 months.  AND since it has taken me 3 months to sit and type with internet access this could end up a book...will do my best to condense what feels like a "whole lot of life" into a reasonable length for a blog post.  I have added a Photo Link tab to our Smug Mug account where interested parties :) can view more pictures of our life here in Haiti.

We hit the ground running on July 14 - settled into our new home and started doing life here.  That included some cleaning and organizing of our home and repairs to our family vehicle, plenty of flat tires, frequent trips to the grocery store, getting to know the wonderful people that lived on our property hosting our first short term mission team and welcoming the kids Teacher, Heather and her family that got her settled here.  Then we were all GIDDY to receive our friends (26 of them) from The Pointe in Siloam Springs.  We had a God filled, fabulous week serving together in multiple settings - including Orphanages, the Maternity Hospital, Pastor Andre's church with a Pastoral Conference to about 50 Haitian Pastors, Revival meetings in the evening, medical clinic, a housing project, worship, fellowship, and a lot of PRAYER!  Their visit really laid the foundation of prayer for our time here in Haiti - it was really hard to say goodbye!

We had a third short term team and the rest of our days have been spent learning how to live here and developing relationships.  Noel has become an excellent driver - skillfully weaving in and out of Haitian traffic every day.  It is funny how nervous I was at first and now all really seems pretty "normal."  We are part of a community group that meets every week - around 14 adults and 17 kids so that is a highlight for all of us.  We have trained staff at our home for the times when teams are visiting and have developed a great love for all the ladies that help cook and clean and Yodi who keeps everything running at the Guest House.

The Super Kitchen at the Maternity hospital in Cite Soleil is nearing the finish of the remodeling phase and the container with all the contents for the kitchen including the huge steam pots is currently at the Port awaiting delivery in the next few days.  We have spent quite a bit of time as project managers for the remodel and God is stretching us daily in this role!  We see His hand at work and Noel has lots of opportunities to encourage English speaking Physicians, and the young men working on the remodel and I (lori) have had the gift of encouraging young Moms and praying for them as they labor, recover from surgery,  and some after the loss of a baby.  There is also a room adjoining the super kitchen that is where all the sheets and surgical drapes are sewn and I have a special Haitian lady named Mdm Pierre that I get to visit with.  She encourages my Kreyol, but also speaks English as she lived in Oklahoma for a time when she was younger.  In addition - the government is building a National Nursing School on the grounds of the hospital and they are training new obstetrical/gynecological nurses there.  In exchange for the use of the building, Outside the Bowl has agreed to feed all patients and staff in the hospital daily so we are very welcome there - the Medical Director frequently reminds us that his hospital is our hospital.  We feel the Lord opening doors and going before us constantly.

The reality of daily life here is both wonderful and hard.  Wonderful in the moments that we GET to spend just loving people.  We are learning so much - every minute of the day - about who GOD is when life is HARD.  The Haitian people are amazing - we know so many with great faith and great hope, they love well, they live in community well, they share everything they have, they pray hard, they want more of God, and they don't give up.  We also see the very hard reality of poverty every day.  The hunger, the disease, the one who has lost hope...It is a privilege to learn and love here.  Our kids are the most effective missionaries, in our opinion.  They have the instant connection of play and it seems most people are interested in how we all became a family.  Louis is awesome as he makes friends fast - and his Kreyol is completely back:)  All the kids say they love it here - they miss people, but other than that they are doing fabulous.  We all miss friends and family...it is a gift to hear from you by email or facebook.  We haven't had any consistent way of getting internet until today with the exception of our phones.  It seems I am terrible at composing emails on my phone!  The reality of living somewhere that does not have modern conveniences makes every day tasks difficult.  We spent 2 days at the bank to open a checking account, 3 visits to the cell phone office, and often stand in lines for long lengths of time only to be shuffled elsewhere - not much is fast or easy here. An exception is getting a tire fixed - this is SO EASY - you can find somewhere to fix a flat on every corner which has served us well.

We have loved being in the Onaville Guest House and the generosity of the ministry allowing us to live there has been amazing.  We had concerns about what it may be like to live in a Guest House as a family of 6.  It has been good, but we have realized the impact of not having much time together with just our family as well as the house being set up as a dormitory, and being so far out of the city and the places that God has called us to serve.  We have taken the last couple weeks to pray and evaluate where God wants us and what is best for our family and have made the hard decision to move in town.  It was difficult to say "see you later" to the friends we have already made, but we will be checking in with them frequently.  We will be renting a home in the Delmas area soon.  Delmas is the area where Pastor Andre's church and land that we are still trying to purchase is located.  It is the area that many other missionary families live in as well as where our church is located.  We are all excited and also amazed at the Lord's way of directing our steps.  Even though we have all been ready for our container and to get settled - it is the Lord's provision that we will not have to move our belongings twice here.

To sum up our last 3 months - or really 6 months - I would say transition and total dependency on the Lord.  It is the right perspective - we are not HOME yet - we don't feel at HOME here really - and isn't that how we should be...I think it is easy, with all the comforts of American life, to get lulled into feeling like this world is our home...not so in Haiti.  We are not home and we long for Heaven -  for Jesus to come and dry every tear, heal every disease, and take us home.  And until then we are loving being here and each day holds many opportunities!

We want to say THANK YOU to all who are praying for us - we feel those - and thank you to all who have supported us financially and encouraged us in our ministry here.  We welcome any inquiries about how to be involved with the Outside the Bowl Super Kitchens or to partner with our family at ltugwell@outsidethebowl.org or www.outsidethebowl.org.

May the Lord bless you and keep you,
The Tugwell Family
Noel, Lori, Louis, Lily, Silas, and Esther Joy:)



Thursday, May 9, 2013

BIG NEWS!

After several months of waiting on God to show us His timing - He has sold our home and business.  We are so excited to have Steven and Tabitha Radford as part of our team.  God is using them to give us the timing of our GOING!  Steven is a Physical Therapist and will be taking over 3DPT.  It was our prayer that God would provide a caring person to maintain the business of 3DPT in our community - and He has.  They are purchasing our home - we pray it is a blessing to them and their daughter Mia as it has certainly been to us!  We have made wonderful friends here in Siloam Springs and our community has supported and loved us in more ways than I can count.  We will greatly miss our lives here, but at the same time we have great excitement for all the ways God will teach, train, and team us up with others in Haiti.  We look forward to meeting new friends and serving together as a family.  It will be a life changing experience for sure:)

We close on our home June 17 and will spend a couple weeks saying "see you later" to friends and family and then move to Haiti in early July. 

Our friends from We Care Haiti have been working hard on our new home in Haiti.  Our home will also serve as a guest house - probably will accomodate a group of 24 - maybe a few more.  Our first group of lots of friends from Siloam Springs - will be coming to see us in early August.  We will serve Pastor Andres' church in Port au Prince and hope to be a blessing to a church in the neighborhood we live in as well.  The group is coming for a week - and includes some of our kids best buddies so they will make our first few weeks exciting! 

We are thankful for your prayers as we continue on this journey!  By the GRACE of GOD we will get to Haiti and love people with the LOVE that HE HAS GIVEN to US! 

Love to all,
lori

 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Update in Pictures

Super Kitchen - Tijauna

In January - We visited the Outside the Bowl Super Kitchen in Tijuana, Mexico. We had a wonderful time getting to know the founders of OTB, Jae and Debra better as well as spending time with some other OTB Staff, Eric and Deja. We definitely heard from the Lord as we cut giant carrots together and dreamed about the super kitchens in Haiti.
 
In February - on Lily's 10th birthday, I (lori) took her to Haiti! It was an amazing few days watching her interact with people and make herself right at home. While we drove through the streets, I heard her say "everything is so beautiful here." That is probably not the first thing people think when driving through the streets of Port au Prince, but Lily has eyes that see the beauty in all people and the hope of things to come! She was so fun to travel with and can't wait to make Haiti HOME! The photo above is the house that our generous friends from We Care Haiti are letting our family make home for the first year.
 
Our future family room:)

What a view! Our new home has a screened in porch across the front of the house - we have a view of Port au Prince, mountains, and to the west a few miles is the ocean.

Lily climbing one of the trees in our yard. We will enjoy having  coconut, almond, avocado, and cherry trees in our yard.
We also have chickens and will likely add more layers when we get there and plan to have a large garden.
 

Our friend, Rocky.  We have asked him to prayerfully consider working and living with us. Rocky grew up in the states and has been back in Haiti several years. He speaks fluent Kreyol and English and is trained in security operations. 
 

Lily had fun seeing how big our water resevoir for our roof is...thankfully we found her before it was hoisted to the roof. Took lots of man power on a windy day to get it up to the roof - the guys did a great job.
 


Favorite part of the hotel that we stayed in this trip was by far the parrot! Lily was excited to spend time each day visiting:)

I (lori) first met Judith in November when she came to the house while we were looking at it. Judith has made effort to help keep the house clean ever since then and we were very excited to see each other again. She does not have any support of her family and lives with her 11 month old little girl - Nathanielle. Judith has expressed much interest in working in our home and I am excited to be able to share life and resources with her once we get moved. 
 
 
Our new friend Carmel - from Boston. She is Haitian American and has started an orphanage in Haiti in the last several years. What a great sister in Christ she is - a prayer warrior and strong woman of the Lord.



The Brazilian Soccer academy that is just down the street from our home. Not sure a lot of details about teams, but hope this may be a place for Louis to play.
 
Back in the states - we overnighted in Miami to see our friends, the Fullertons. How fun to celebrate the girls' 10th birthdays together. Emma and Lily were in the same Orphanage for the first 9 months of their lives. The Fullerton's were friends of ours from Memphis - we got to know each other during the adoption process in 2003 and traveled together during our adoptions - the first child for both of us. It was a miraculous time and our 2 families will be life long friends.
 
 
"Uncle Wes" and our 4 kids at Convoy of Hope in Springfield, Missouri. We had great meetings with the wonderful team at Convoy - wondering if God would allow us to partner together to feed more people in Haiti!
Wes is our global coach. He and his wife Allyson, were part of the team that anonymously gave us a gift for our adoption in 2006. We have remained connected - especially when Louis came home in 2010 and have continued to wonder how the Lord would team us up in the future to love people in Haiti. Wes got us connected with Outside the Bowl and has been instrumental in helping us get to Haiti - navigating how to finish well in Siloam Springs, sell our home, move our family, ETC!
Land in Delmas that we are in process of purchasing for Pastor Andre and the church he Pastors as well as their school, and prayerfully a medical clinic and super kitchen.
 

Lily with our friend Mr. James with We Care Haiti - our friends that are giving us our living accomodations for the first year! So thankful!