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

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