Wow, we are sure going to miss them.

My Grandpa asked me last week “Stephen, how do you think the change in roles affected your time in Haiti these last 3 months?”

You see, when we arrived we weren’t sure if we would be teaching (like we had done in the past) or overseeing a classroom taught by DVDs, or if our main focus would be more on the discipleship/youth leaders/more-time-for-Mikey/technical skills training. Sure enough, that’s what our role was. We didn’t know how that would affect us, or the kids, but we had been praying that our roles could be more along these lines. We saw how valuable education was, but last fall when Anna’s hand got an infection that required us to fly out for surgery, we (and the mission) realized that the kids needed Haitians to oversee the Abeka Video School program so it could continue even when we could not be there.

We saw the great need for youth leaders to connect, disciple, and just do life with these 30 kids as they grow up. Anna wanted more time to be able to spend with Mikey. I wanted more time to teach the boys mechanics class. So it worked out.

As I look through the pictures on my phone I am reminded of all the fun times that we have had with these kids. So this next section is going to be an over view of my phone’s camera roll over the last 3 month.

I got to show Carl the Airliner that we fly on to come to Haiti, he was amazed at how many people just kept coming off of that thing!
Anna, Maria, and Jamesly knitting on the porch
Screen Shot 2018-05-11 at 6.29.27 PM
My twin brothers were able to come and make some fun videos and really connect with the kids. They all continue to ask “when are Paul and Luke coming back?” (photo credit Paul and Luke)
Screen Shot 2018-05-11 at 6.29.53 PM
My twin brothers were able to come and make some fun videos and really connect with the kids. They all continue to ask “when are Paul and Luke coming back?”                (photo credit Paul and Luke)
David, Anna, and Maria reading “The Chronicles of Narnia” picture book.
Teaching the kids spoons on fun nights (later we found out that they were playing spoons to gamble for each others crackers they get at recess. We are such great influences aren’t we? haha)
Soccer tournaments, starting out with the Haitian national anthem.
Egg sandwiches after the soccer game (because they played so hard for those 90 minutes)
Spending the night on the boy’s side of the orphanage
Going to the beach with all the kids, what a blast!
The beach wore some of them out completely 🙂
Seeing some of the boys take initiative to make a garden, and being faithful with it was encouraging to see! They are growing cucumbers, carrots, and sweet peppers.
This one reminds me of Alaska, except it was probably about 75 degrees that morning!
Dressing up Mikey in his “swag” and taking him to Naton (the fancy store in town)
Making model airplanes with Jamesly (I’m not sure who had more fun)
Taking apart model airplane motors and putting them back together to show them how they work.
Watching a movie under the fort we built in our living room.

When we would try and explain to the younger ones that we would be gone for 5 months over the summer so that Shaggy (that’s what they call me) can go to school to be a pilot they had a hard time understanding that. They would say “Ray and Bonnie always leave for one month, why will you be gone for 5 of those?” So you all know, Lord willing,  we plan to return back to Haiti this fall to continue working with these guys that we have grown to love.

On our last Saturday there, instead of having Bible study at our house we wanted to leave the oldest class of 8 with an idea for what they could continue to do for the summer when we are not there. We all met in their classroom and challenged them to do this every week until we come back in the fall. Pray for them to be faithful in this time. It was such a good time we had there that night, being serous and taking prayer seriously. (something that doesn’t always happen)

Prayer night in the classroom

So to answer my grandpa’s question I told him, “Well Grandpa, with these new roles we have really been able to grow deeper in our relationships with the kids. We are getting to know their individual personalities, strengths, weaknesses, and how to relate to them on their level better. And the hardest thing we are realizing is, wow, we are sure going to miss them.”


A Christmas Update

I’ve wanted to post some pictures of the kids that we have been working with and I felt led to do that today, Christmas Eve. Let me explain why.

For those who haven’t kept up with us, Anna and I got married in April. People called us crazy when 5 months later we went to Haiti for two months to start serving with Grace Mission, mainly working with the 33 orphanage kids. It was hard adjusting to life in Haiti at first, but by the grace of God we made it and are actually excited to go back in January. 🙂 We got back from Haiti a week before Thanksgiving and traveled around seeing family, speaking at churches, and seeing many of you great people for 3 weeks. These last 3 weeks before we head back to Haiti have been here in Chicago. Anna has been making sugar cookies (see picture below, she’s amazing), as well as getting to spend time with her family. I’ve been studying hard to take my Instrument written exam for my Pilots license. The hope is that this summer when we go to Alaska, (May 22nd-beginning of August is the plan right now) that I will be able to get my instrument rating. The mission we will be at is called Kingdom Air Corps and we will be attending the summer training program they offer.

I wanted to post these pictures at this time because Christmas is the reason we are doing what we are doing. It’s the reason we gave up great jobs (Hey, I miss you guys at Precision Autobody, and I know Anna misses the Samuel family). Its not because of the holiday itself but it’s because of Who’s Birthday we celebrate. It’s all because of Jesus. He is the one that we are following and trusting and has made it possible for us to do this. Yesterday was 8 months since we have been married and it’s only because of Jesus that we have the love and patience and grace to be a team working in the same direction. It hasn’t been all easy though, but has been so neat to see how he has brought us together so much through all of this. We wouldn’t want to be anywhere else than here, in the will of God.

I want to say a huge thank you to those who, being led by Jesus, have supported us through many prayers and financial support. We couldn’t have done this without your obedience to Christ’s leading in your lives.







Group Photo! 
Anna helping Roden-flor and Judline learn to Knit




In Cap Haitian, Haiti
Colorado-Hiking in Estes Park


Colorado- Hiking in Estes Park



Look at those! 

This Life We Live (in photos)

David and Joshua, enjoying mangos fresh from the backyard.
Anna and Mikey
Sunday afternoon entertainment: Stephen giving motorbike rides to the kids
Sunday afternoon trek up the mountain.
View from the top of the mountain
Stephen and Joshua enjoying the Haitian football (soccer) game
Sunday’s soccer game.. almost exactly like America.


Just riding around..
School reading time.
Fixing bicycles with Carl.