Greetings from somewhere in the United States! We are nearing the end of our furlough and want to give you a quick synopsis of what we have been up to these past four weeks. As we mentioned in our last update this month’s blog would be shorter than normal as we would be on furlough…so here goes. We left Haiti on September 19 and spent a night with good friends in Florida before flying to to Michigan. We spent four days at a retreat in Holland (MI) right on the shore of Lake Michigan at a place called Camp Geneva. The retreat was put on by an organization called Potters Inn and part of program they call the Soul Care Institute. This program will be a two-year journey which will include six, four-day retreats wherein we receive some teachings on caring for our souls and have dedicated time for silence and solitude in a setting that provides space for reflection, rest, and Sabbath. In between the retreats there is some required book reading and reflection paper writing. Shelly heard about the program and discovered that the retreat dates lined up perfectly with our scheduled furloughs. Wow!!!  We are both excited to be able to participate in this program as we truly believe it will strengthen and protect us as individuals and as a couple during our time of serving in Haiti.
After the retreat we flew to California to visit Darryl’s family and to give a mission update at his home/growing up church (Escalon CRC). We had a wonderful time presenting and visiting and being with family. We also were able to spend a day hiking and enjoying Yosemite National Park. We hiked 15 miles and enjoyed a beautiful day together. Next we flew to Iowa for a sweet reunion with Shelly’s family and our beloved dog (Numa). We participated in a couple of MH4H events and spent a half day in Pella, where we lived for 12 years prior to moving to Michigan. Darryl spoke in chapel at Pella Christian High School and we both had the opportunity to spend some sweet time with some dear friends.
We then drove back to Michigan and spent a couple weeks there. We were able to give a mission update at our church (Faith CRC) and Darryl gave a chapel talk at Holland Christian High School. (click here if you would like to listen to that talk). We did a lot of hiking, coffees with friends, a little soccer officiating (Darryl), lots of reading, and just enjoying our home.
Overall it was a great furlough! We enjoyed beautiful cool weather (neither of us have sweated for four weeks), some fall colors, and we feel rested and recharged. We are scheduled to fly back to Haiti on Tuesday, October 22 and are ready to be reunited with our friends and colleagues there and to continue the good work of Many Hands for Haiti. We continue to be encouraged by the wonderful support that we received from so many of you through your prayers, notes, gestures of kindness and financial support. We will be sending out a year-end support letter to our current financial supporters sometime in November so heads up on that. We are grateful (and amazed) at the response we have received from so many. Thank you!!!
Prayer Requests for this month

  1. For safe travels and for us as we transition back to living and working in Haiti.
  2. For Haiti as there is a lot of political unrest and socioeconomic hardship.
  3. For us as individuals and as a couple as we care for our souls
  4. For our work in Haiti. That is might be fruitful for Haitians and the Kingdom.
  5. For our children and respective families while we are away from them.