Times,They Are A’Changin’

It’s been over three months since I’ve blogged.

Lots of personal changes have taken place. I started a full-time job. And quit after a month. (Reasons too many to go into–)

After a 25-year absence in an elementary classroom, I’m returning this fall as a substitute teacher.

Some of you know a short story of mine appeared in a mystery writers’ anthology this summer. The main character, Fancy Raeford Hodge, is a Durham born-and-bred amateur sleuth. She was and is such a kick to write!

The Lord led me to finish editing my mystery manuscript after 7 years of working on it. If and when Dead Doc is published, it will be appearing under my own name.

A new website with  my newly-acquired domain (jeanhuffman.com) is in the works. The main character, Fancy, will have her own fun blog.

Readers, this is where I tell you “From the Church House” will soon be coming to an end. It’s been a  hoot  . . .and to be honest, sometimes a worry, when I wasn’t sure if anyone was reading. . . .Regardless, the Lord has taught me a lot through this baptism of fire, and I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.

I covet your prayers. If this writing thing flies, it will fly. If it doesn’t, that’s okay, too. It’s always been His idea and I just want to be obedient. May The Lord bless you abundantly!

ALWAYS Lookin’ up,

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Meet Pierre and Breeth

Pierre2013In eight days, I’ll be in Haiti as part of the Ridgecrest Baptist Church mission team which is partnered with Haiti Outreach Ministries. HOM focuses its work through four separate church/school campuses in the Port Au Prince area, under the supervision of Pastor Leon D’Orleans.  Our mission team will serve through construction, electrical upgrade, and painting projects.

I’m thrilled to go again, for lots of reasons, but there are two primary ones!

This is the second year Al and I have sponsored a primary child in one of the schools.  In Haiti the need is for sponsorship is great, because the country is too poor to provide public education. Through sponsorship, Pierre will be educated, fed one meal a day, and taught about Jesus.

Our child’s name is Pierre Mischael Lorisme. He is 5 years old and a K-1 student at Repatriote School. As you can see, he looks a bit dazed in his picture!

He’s quite the artist–the valentine he made shows he can color pretty well in the lines . . . .

And his end-of-the-year report card from June 2012 shows he’s an average student in most categories,  but especially strong in following directions. Keep on learning, Pierre!

I had so much fun picking out the items I will give to Pierre. His lime-green-and-black backpack contains all the usual stuff–underwear/socks/shoes, toiletries, school supplies, a few toys and candy. When we get to the Haitian grocery store, I’ll be sure to buy his family a bag of rice and a bag of dried beans to tuck inside.

My ladies’ Sunday School class, the Daughters of the King, also sponsors an HOM child. Her name is Breeth Chinaida Jhoolycka Damassee. That’s a big name for such a little thing! She’s only 4 years old and in the Pre-K class at Cite Soleil school.

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Her backpack contents are below. I had a blast packing her backpack as well!

One of my fellow DOTK’s is also part of the mission team — Marilyn Thayer. She and I can’t wait to see Breeth and Pierre in person, see their faces light up. You can be sure we’ll take plenty of pictures!

Would you also consider sponsoring a needy child to go to school? Haiti Outreach Ministries always has a backlog of children who need sponsors. . .  PRAY and see if the Lord would like you to be involved in this very worthwhile ministry. . . you can easily change a child’s life for as little as $360.00 a year!  (www.haitioutreachministries.org)

We covet your prayers while on our mission trip. Please pray for the 24-member team during our week’s stay, March 28th through April 4th. Pray for God’s presence to fill us as we serve the people of Haiti and for our team’s continued safety and health.

“But Jesus called them unto him, and said , Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. ” Luke 18:16

Lookin’ up,

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The Packing Begins . . . .

HaitisuitcasePacking for Haiti, that is . . .  but let me back up a bit.

I know I’ve been out of pocket for a few weeks.  I gave myself permission to take a short blogging sabbatical while I concentrated on landing a new full-time job.

Big changes are a’comin’ –  the Lord gave me a job offer this week! One that will utilize my healthcare knowledge and, I think, be a great fit for me personally.  Everything I asked for in terms of salary and benefits were met, or exceeded . . . Only God could do something like that in today’s economy.

I still have 24 days until I start my job, though. This was a gracious concession by new employer that will allow me to journey to Haiti with my church mission group over Easter break.

Which brings me to Part Two of today’s blog . . .  the packing challenge has begun!  Only 13 days until we’re on the plane to Haiti!

Trying to squeeze in everything one needs for this trip requires a bit of finesse. Besides the usual work clothes (t-shirts and scrub pants) and necessities, there are other requisite items.

First, work-related supplies. Yes, Haiti has a hardware store that is affectionately called “Home Depot” by the old-timers. But what you find there is extremely expensive. So you bring your work stuff with you if you can.

I will be painting again (in Haiti, there’s “always something to paint!”), so disposable trays, rollers, brushes, garbage bags, and disposable gloves are going.

Secondly, I also have now embraced a gluten-free diet and will have to bring some food items. At Walls’ Guest House we are provided two wonderful meals a day (fresh fruits, some veggies, and main dishes). But for worksite lunches, we’re on our own.  Port Au Prince does have grocery stores (and surprisingly, fairly-well stocked by anyone’s standards), but GF foods will PROBABLY not be on the shelves.

The last wrinkle to consider: Two backpacks for the sponsor children I will get to visit! Inside are underwear and socks; school supplies; new clothes and flip-flops; and fun surprises, such as toys and candy.

That’s a lot to include, and the main reason I’m working on it now! What a difference a week makes—in the end, most of what we take is used or left behind. The old suitcase comes back with a few souvenirs and dirty ziplocked work duds, saved for the next trip there.

Would you consider praying now for the Ridgecrest Baptist Church Haiti team? We leave Thursday, March 28th and return a week later, April 4th. Pray that we may put a small dent in this country’s needs while we’re there, but most importantly we represent Jesus Christ and His love for all people.

Lookin’ up,

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