Hello! First let me say thank you Lord for helping with what I was sick with worry with in my last update. Thank you Lord and thank you those who he used to help....or who served him, whether you know it or not, by helping. I am no longer sick with worry but pretty sure that we will get to the other side. Yes, several landlords are again calling me and pressuring for their money, but things are looking better. For one, we have, I believe, 6 or 7 donated computers in the US and what seems like a safe way to get them here. Sure, nothing is sure until the internet center is set up and running, but things like that are a step in the right direction. Teachers were paid on time at the end of September and that is a PRAISE! We are out of debt to the 12 de Julio house - hostel, English education - and many months less debt on the boys' home school, whew!
I am planning things for my trip to the US - flying to NYC on Oct. 31st, then to Nova Scotia, Canada on Nov. 4th (thanks again, Crystal!), then to Blacksburg, VA on Nov. 9th (thanks again, VT!), then to Winchester around the 14th, (thanks Mom who will pick me up by car), then back to Puerto Plata on Nov. 26th (thanks again, again, VT!) A huge praise - VT paid for not just my flight to and from VA, but also Ilayas'!!! Whoohoo!!
I feel like I am racing the clock getting things done on the computer before I (still no set in stone but in the works) begin law school in January. I pray that I can continue to be dilligent and get everything done that I should get done before that time. I also pray that I have lots and lots of opportunities to meet and speak while I am in the US. I pray for strength for me and the kids as we travel and pray that we don't get sick as we'll be going from warm to cold. I pray that people's hearts are open to receive what I will share and I pray that they will dig deeper than they are used to digging in order to help change lives.
Now let me get on to the requests. I guess I did already share some requests there in that prayer. Here are more.
First, the monthly sponsor money that will come in this month will cover boys' home and school expenses (the first program we began with and one where we have totally dependent parties) and grassroots school rents but will not cover grassroots schools teacher payments. So I still don't know where that money will come from and should most definitely pay them before I go to the US.
Willy Denis... a wonderful young man who has been with us since 2007. Here is a blog post interview of him. He needs a passport. He needs a visa too but we'll start with a passport. Passports cost $60 and then there are the photos, copies of documents, and transportation. $80 would cover it I believe.
A teacher who has worked with us since 2007 who I will not name is in a bit of a pickle. This is my main reason for writing this post right now as I just talked to him more about his pickle. Last year he had a conflict with a woman. It seems as though this woman had romantic feelings for him or... something. I interacted with her quite a bit as she also taught in one of the schools. I will admit that that was a mistake to have her work as she ended up not having the patience and maturity that one should have to work with children. Anyway, she grew a hatred for this other teacher who fell in love with her cousin and they joined their lives together. He told me about this hatred that she had grown for him and the problems it was causing. She seemed quite dramatic, not just in this situation, but in many situations.
He stepped out of his house one day in May and stepped on something that began shooting pain up his foot and body. He knew that he had stepped on a poisonous powder that is prepared with magic by someone who is an expert in voodoo. He also knew that the woman who had grown a hatred for him had paid someone to prepare it and had it placed outside of his door in an attempt to kill him. You may not believe this, but I will tell you more here of other similar instances. He barely had any money but struggled his way to find other family members who provided him with the funds to make it to Haiti. He knew that he would not find the treatment that he needed in the Dominican Republic, as these sicknesses needed to be treated by the same knowledge that created them. So he made it to his family in Haiti.
They had a "maso loj" come treat him, who is a person who has studied this type of... chemicals and magic I suppose. He told him that he could treat him but it would cost him 30,000 pesos. If he were to go to a hospital, the doctors would likely give him a shot in attempt to treat the sickness but it would react badly with the chemicals that were in him and he would die. The teacher told him that he could not pay that and got the man to agree to 15,000 pesos. The man told him that he needed the money by September or October at the latest. He said that his whole body felt horrible and his waiste felt as though two men were pulling on it by ropes tied around it in opposite directions. He truly thought he would die.
After drinking the medicine this man prepared for him, he felt his body begin to calm down and after a few days, he was okay. He came back to Puerto Plata, but didn't tell me about this debt until lately. He told me that the reason he had not told me is because he was always so embarrassed to be sharing his problems and to have such problems. And it is true that this man has had more than his share. He has been a leader among his family in honestly earning money and in a way without harming others. I have respected him all along and tried to support him in his path and he has honestly respected me as well and supported me as well. Here is another blog post that tells about his effort to work and the hardships that he faced.
The man that he owes is now calling him and pressuring him, threatening to cause the same sickness to return to him if he doesn't pay. Again, you may not believe that this is possible, but this teacher does believe it is possible and is fearful of it. There was another teacher who said that he stepped on a powder as well years back. I did witness his foot that had a large, open infection that would not heal. He struggled and struggled with it, going to the doctor's and treating it as an infection with no luck. Finally, he went to his home town in Haiti to seek treatment. He came back with a healed foot. Lastly, at a parent teacher meeting on Sunday, teachers told me that my husband's cousin who I thought was still in the area was now in Haiti with a foot that was being prepared to be amputated. I had not heard that he had also stepped on a powder and his foot had grown into a very poor condition, but that is what they said. He went to Haiti to seek medical attention. From what I was told, his foot was rotting and had a bad odor. It sounded like gangrene to me. I was just told tonight that he is apparently near death. I pray that he does not die. I pray that he does not die, although I don't know whether he will or not, I still pray that he will live and be healed. That may have sounded faithless... and therefore disobedient? I admit that I have been discouraged praying for healing for people and not being able to see it here on this Earth. However, I still have faith, I just know that there is a lot that I don't understand.
Hearing this news about my husband's cousin saddened me quite a bit because... one, some things that go on are just so horrific. It sometimes reminds me of gangs in the US and how people can have such hardened hearts to kill each other. I hear of such things among Haitians too often. I pray that their hearts are softened and that this custom ends. I pray that they, as a nation, value lives and value themselves and each other and stop this. It also saddened me because... of ignorance and lack of resources that causes people to lose their lives. It just breaks my heart. I have seen it too much at this point and it breaks my heart.
Anyway, if anyone can help this teacher, he is asking for a loan of 15,000 pesos, ASAP, and will pay it back through working at the school. He is fearful as he faced death and escaped it before and now feels that it threatens him again. More about my observances of voodoo here. I will say it again - it is not a game. And by the way, 15,000 pesos is about $383 US.
Lastly, I will put in my normal request. Please do go ahead and get this visa credit card! I don't know what to say. I can't abandon Project Esperanza to make more money... but this is an easy way you can help me make money..which people need to buy the most basic necessities in life like food and clothes and health care. If you think that Project Esperanza does valuable work. I do what I can - giving language lessons and always try to get some writing gigs. But I really don't have any spare time with Project Esperanza. And with starting law school soon... I do believe that that is the path that I should take, but it will mean even less time for other personal money making endeavors. It will open up doors to make much more money in the future, which is one of the main reasons I am doing it, but during the time I'll be in school... well.. we know how that goes. It's a swap. So I neeed to raise some personal support.
I also set up this cafepress site - Good Fruit Designs. It's an idea and concept I have had for years. The "good fruit" graphic there is not the best and I may change it/redo it when I can but then again maybe some will like the "little kid drew it" look. I have two more designs I want to do and then would love to have design contests where other people do designs to portray different positive themes and receive a percentage of the profit of sales of their design. All of this is outlined on the site. But this is another thing I would like to use to raise personal support. So if you purchase these items, you will help me down this path of running Project Esperanza, going to law school, and raising a family.
Oh, and if you didn't already know, let me also share that I created a cafepress site for Project Esperanza Apparel and More as well. This has already had several sales - yay!! Another praise!
And one last thought... someone here keeps saying "everything happens for a reason". She says this even when she hears how things have not worked out or how people have been abusive, etc. I would not so much agree with this but would argue that "in all things, God works for the good of those who love him," (Romans 8:28). While these two phrases are similar, there are big differences because one assumes that everything happens is good and perhaps a good god's will whereas the other assumes that there are good and bad things that happen.. things that are within God's will and things that are without.. but he can use them all for good.
I would argue that we have much choice in what we do here on earth and some people choose lovingly and others choose selfishly and unlovingly. And the fruit of one choice is good and the fruit of the other choice is bad.... I would argue that we each have power... power to do bad.. power to do good.. and power to do nothing... and when we do nothing, we often lets bad go on. God gives us a new day every day with 24 new hours. When I see a young man lying in his bed at 10 or 11 o'clock, I rant and rave about this - you are wasting the gifts that God has given you!!! If we ask him, he gives us the tools to change all of this evil. While I am grateful for those who do answer requests, I can't help but to remember all of those who don't, and while I don't necessarily know much about all of those who don't, and what they do do, and why they don't, and all of that... and I don't judge or investigate... I do know that a lot more who don't could do and it would make a world or five worlds of difference. I want to see change. I want to see change from the Hell on Earth I discovered 6 years ago (Hell on Earth with angels trapped in it, one could say) and see Heaven on Earth. May your kingdon come. May your will be done.. on Earth as it is in Heaven. May thine be the kingdom and the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.