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Summer Update from Haiti

July 29, 2013

Dear Friends & Family,

The last couple of months has seemed like a whirlwind to us.  At the end of May, Kendra brought in a team from Omaha. They are a wonderful group of people and it was a delight to host them. While they were here they conducted music class and crafts for all the schoolchildren. They held a field day for the school and also took one class to the beach for a field trip. It was great having Kendra here and seeing her flourish in her role as a leader.  

Brad, Emma, and Kara left with the team and have been staying with Brian’s parents this summer. They are having a blast there; however, it has been a little weird here without them. At first it was kind of neat because we realized how little we spend on food when they are gone! But now we are really missing them and ready to get to Omaha to spend time with them. Emma and Kara will come back to Haiti with us then. Brad will be staying in Omaha until December. We have talked about letting each of the kids stay there for a portion of their senior year so that they can get a job and begin to save money for a car, college, etc. He will also be taking his ACT’s for college entrance and continuing in homeschool, as well as getting his driver’s license.

Since they have left, Brian has been working on the building of the clinic and finished up the building of 6 latrines for the  project that he did last year. He also just received word that Cross will be granting us the money for 6 more new houses that he will build by the end of spring next year. As far as the building of the clinic goes, he has the walls, floor, windows and doors on but the roof will have to wait until more money is raised. I have continued with my English class and am at the halfway point, with 3 more months left once we return. I had started with 10 students in the class and it is now shrunk to 6 left.  When school starts in September, I will start as the school nurse.  It will mainly involve seeing the kids when they are sick, as well as, handling the 2 physicals per year that need to be done on them.

Please continue to pray for us in regards to getting the tap-tap business going. We are still waiting on paperwork. Here in Haiti, paperwork can take forever. Hopefully it should be done and ready by next week, however, we have thought that before, so please pray! Money has also started to come in for our homebuilding fund but we still have a long way to go. Please pray for us in that endeavor as well. We are really excited about the possibilities of “belonging” in the community that having our own home will provide.

Since we will be in Omaha for a month, we want to be able to see and catch up with as many of you as we can. We greatly appreciate all you do for us.

Love you all and hope to see you soon,

Cody

Please continue to pray as the Lord would lead for us. God is so good, and we continually need your prayers. If you would like to donate to us, please send checks with a note designated to Brian & Cody to: Much Ministries, Inc.

P.O. Box 24599

St Simons Island, GA 31522

Albuquerque Update – June/July 2013

July 12, 2013

 

loving the peoplebehind the ART

Matthew just finished 9 days in the studio, recording a worship album with Drew Weir and team from Kearney, NE. The project had a lofty goal to get all the tracking done for 10 songs, however Matt enjoyed reconnecting with the team he first met 18mths ago at a Storehouse retreat.

To free up some beds in our home, Carolyn and the kids took a quick trip to Omaha for a week. [God provided gas $ even while we were there!] We drove into Omaha in the rain, it rained during our visit and we met rain on the way out of town….Ah Ah…it was refreshing. Time with Grandma and Grandpa, swimming lessons and reconnecting with friends were the highlights for the kids. Watching God refresh the kids was the best gift for mommy!

Our kids are key to what God has for us here and it has been emotionally/spiritually tiring for them to be Kingdom standard bearers. This week in the news, New Mexico is the lowest state in the nation for child quality of life. (Two weeks ago in the news, 30% of children in the state are hungry at any moment!) Alana, Callum and I went to be with the Hub family one night. 

We returned this week to participate in a spontaneous street garage sale on Saturday and we will host the 3rd Annual Summer BBQ at our house at the end of July.

Matthew, Carolyn, Alana, Callum & Eden

Spring Update from Haiti

July 12, 2013

Dear Friends & Family,

We had a wonderful Christmas trip back to the States and have now been back in Jubilee for a little over a month. Coming back has been wonderful …. the girls have really embraced living here and are jumping into learning Creole more than ever, Brian has started up the house project again, and I have started an English class with some of the women (+ 2 men) in Jubilee. 

Brian is finishing up the last 7 houses he has left to build with the Cross International grant. He just finished 3 houses since we have been back. One of them we built for Leila, a single mom with 3 kids who had no house. Watching her excitement as she received the key and was cleaning out her new home and hanging a curtain on the door was priceless.

I started my English class with 15 ladies and 2 men here in Jubilee. They all work with Kathy making marketable art and selling it through the website and to the teams we have come in. They are a really talented and creative bunch. They wanted to learn English so that they can speak with the people coming in on the teams. We have been having class 2 days a week for 2 weeks now. 

Homeschool is going well. I think we are finally finding our groove about ½ ways through the school year. It has been interesting to teach our kids and see the different ways in which they learn. The girls have also made friends with some of the little Haitian girls and occasionally have them to our house to do their nails. Brad has been our resident sports coordinator scheduling basketball games and Frisbee for us all to play. They are doing well, and Emma and Kara are doing great at learning to speak Creole. 

We have had many teams come in over the last month, and they will continue into summer. It has been great meeting so many new people and sharing our love for Jubilee with them. A guy on one of teams who was a Marine taught us ladies self-defense. It was a great time trying the moves and the best time was seeing Emma able to take down Brian. It was priceless!

So over all things are going very well, however it is at times heavy and frustrating. Especially for Brian because so many people come to him with requests for money, food, houses, etc. 

Our house is slowly coming along; we still need things such as dressers and kitchen cabinets built, so once again it gets to us after a while. However, I’m reminded of all those that don’t have even the basics of what we have and it causes me to cry out to Jesus that I be content in all things. One of the main things we need is a bigger solar panel and new charge controller for it. We have bought some, but they are not enough to fully charge our batteries to run our invertor. As we come upon the hotter season soon, we need more to be able to power fans all night and computers most of the day. 

Love,  

Cody

 

Greetings from Haiti!

November 6, 2012

October 7, 2012

Dear Friends and Family,

We have been in Haiti for a month now and are finally starting to get settled in to our home, the culture, the neighborhood, and our new lifestyle.

Today is Sunday, and we usually look forward to being able to sleep in, as Sunday morning is usually a quiet time in Jubilee. The other mornings are very noisy with people getting up early to work, to school (which is right under us), and to go about their normal day. However, this morning I knew something was out of the ordinary because it was even noisier than usual. Apparently a couple of 17 year old boys, with the help of a local business man to fund them financially, had built a one person airplane and they were going to see if it would fly today. The air seemed alive with excitement. Later they did try to fly it, not getting off the ground yet, but it was exciting to see the attempt. Who would have thought that two 17 year olds with the help of youtube would try and set out to accomplish this great thing?

That is a part of life here in Jubilee…the beautiful and encouraging mixed with the devastatingly hard realities that have become our everyday. While in the midst of the hard things here; it seems that the little joys are that much more joyful and exciting.

Speaking of the hard things, Brian will be walking in the funeral this afternoon for one of the friends here in Jubilee. His 12 yr old daughter died a couple days ago, a very unexpected tragedy, as she had a fever for 3 days and then just died before any test results from the hospital came back. Please pray for this family, that the Lord would comfort them in their grief and He would make Himself known to them in a greater way than ever before.

I have been helping in the clinic with a lady that had a seizure and fell into her cooking fire, getting burns over one leg, partially on another leg, and one arm from the elbow down. Kezia, who is one of the nurses here, has been teaching me how to scrub her burns to remove the scar tissue. She has to be scrubbed everyday. It is incredibly painful for her and the only thing we have to give her is vicodin.  We are on the 2nd week of it and we will probably have to scrub her for about 2-3 months. It is by far the hardest thing I have had to do here yet, and I know it can get worse. 

Brian started to work on the next project of houses but due to an issue concerning funds, he has to slow the work down. Please pray that the funding would be available for us soon.

The girls have started working in the school, helping with the preschool classes. They were even able to substitute for one of the teachers that was sick last week. I think it was very stretching for them but really good. Brad has started going out and playing basketball with some of the neighborhood boys. Please pray that all of the kids would make genuine friends here in the community soon. Homeschool has been going well and we are adjusting to that. One of the teachers, Julie, has agreed to teach the girls geometry as I have not been very good at it (Thank God for Julie!).

Last week we were really feeling homesick. It has been a very difficult adjustment and it hasn’t been easy, especially without Kendra. Please continue to pray for us.

Thanks for all your prayers and support. We love you all.

Cody

Smith Family Moved to Haiti

September 16, 2012

Brian and Cody Smith and family are transitioning into their new home in Jubilee, Haiti. The Smith family has felt God’s heart in Haiti for many years, making several trips to the country every year. They will be working with the school there, loving and living among the Haitians. Building a community to last and spreading God’s love and grace.

If you would like to receive prayer updates from Brian and Cody, you can contact Cody via Facebook or email the Storehouse with your request.

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At the airport before departure!

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The new house in Jubilee, Haiti.

 

Cross-Cultural Work in Afaghanistan

September 7, 2012

The Storehouse is Helping Support a New Cross-Cultural Worker in Afghanistan!

While this worker’s identity cannot be revealed due to the risky nature of her job, her move to work in ending gender-based violence has been one that she has felt God calling her to for many years. She will be working with an organization as a psychosocial advisor, building the capacity of their national counselor staff, creating a network among agencies doing similar work so that more collaborative efforts can be done in this field, and finally, developing a manual (in Afghanistan’s national language) on how to deal with women who’ve experienced sexual abuse.

This worker asks for prayer that she may have grace and wisdom in this new position and environment. Also for safety and health in Afghanistan, a country filled with conflict. Because the organization she works for is a small NGO, funds are an issue that she is trusting God to provide. If you feel led to partner with her in prayer or finance, you can request more information or join her mailing list by emailing, Kristin@storehousemovement.com.

Update from Lindsay Blake

March 30, 2012

Hello friends!

Happy New Year!
I pray 2012 is starting off well for everyone!

I left Kona 38 days ago.
I spent 80 hours traveling.
I’ve been in South Sudan for 34 days.

My team has seen 17 salvations.
All 7 students have delivered at least 3 fiery sermons.
We’ve discipled many South Sudanese through Bible studies and a youth camp.
We’ve prayed over countless South Sudanese.

We’ve talked and prayed with 1 Major General in the SPLA.
We’ve talked and prayed with the South Sudan Speaker of Parliament [second in line – after the Vice President – to take on the presidency role].

We are nearly finished building our first rain catchment tank that will hold 800 gallons of water.
Picked over 100,000 peanuts in the YWAM garden.
And laughed, cried, played with and listened to 210 orphan children share their stories.

We’ve seen with our own eyes 7 chickens and 3 goats lose their lives to our dinner plates.
We’ve eaten 100+ packages of Malt & Milk Biscuits [our favorite South Sudan treat].

Six new songs have been written [including myself].
Some have played nearly 25 games of “Mono Deal”.
We’ve celebrated 2 birthdays [one turned 19, the other 21].
And have made 1,000,000+ memories together.

As we head into the second half of outreach, I am so grateful for what God has already done.

– I have watched my students stretch and grow.
– I’ve watched students step out during village evangelism to share the gospel message from Genesis to Revelation.
– I’ve watched students break free from fear and deliver sermons to church congregations and youth seminars.
– I’ve watched students struggle as they lay down their rights to live in community.
– I’ve watched students question the faith of their youth only to grow closer to Jesus.
– I’ve watched students burst into tears as God gives them more of His heart for His people of South Sudan.

Co-leading an outreach of students is the most humbling, stretching, difficult, exciting experience of my 30 years of life. This is my greatest lesson in serving. I am responsible for people’s lives, discipling them to follow Jesus with their whole hearts, and making sure their time is extraordinary. My dependence on the Lord has strengthened as well as my need to hear from Him daily.

Our next 40 days will be filled with more mercy ministry, evangelism and discipleship. We are in the process of communicating with Cathy, a Ugandan working with Confident Children out of Conflict in the capital city of Juba. She recently rescued a young girl from sex trafficking from a place known as “Hell’s Gate”. She would like us to run two camps – one for girls and one for children in a slum. Please pray as Esther and I work out the details. It is much more expensive to live in Juba and budget is an issue.

On February 24, four of us plan to fly up to Wau to build another rain catchment tank for a new YWAM base. The details of this trip are still up in the air. Please pray as we ask God for guidance, direction and wisdom.

Our team is small and young.
Moments can be challenging.
For some, this is their first time away from family and it can be difficult.
But we are growing close as a family.
Continue to pray for unity.
Pray for continued health. Besides a few stomach aches, we are doing very well!

Please pray for me as I co-lead this glory team.
Pray for the Lord’s strength and wisdom.
I know I cannot lead well without His guidance each and every day.

I will land back in Kona on March 12, 2012. I hope to share more [including photos and videos] in the weeks to follow.

I love you all!
Lindsay


Lindsay

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“Art should cause violence to be set aside.” – Leo Tolstoy

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