Dear friends at St. Michaels,
Greetings from Port-au-Prince, where life continues to hop along at its usual bustling pace. As I write, I am listening to dogs barking, car horns blaring, and children at the school down the street chanting their school lessons. Yesterday my day’s soundtrack included the hubbub of a frantic chicken that had accidentally flown from my neighbor’s yard into ours and found itself face to face with our two big guard dogs. There is never a dull (or quiet) moment here!
A recent highlight for our family was hosting a visiting work team from Southside United Methodist Church in Idaho, where my father pastors. The church had funded the building of a sturdy concrete block house for our house helpers, Georges and Chrismene. As the process was nearing completion, they came to help with finishing touches, including painting and building window screens. They also served at our church and at a local orphanage before taking a couple of days at the beach to appreciate the beautiful side of this island nation.
Unfortunately, I (Liz) contracted what we believe was the Zika virus while the team was here, so I was not able to fully participate in the group’s activities. I was down for about three days with joint pain, fatigue and a body rash, with the last of the symptoms disappearing after about ten days. We know many people who have also contracted Zika here; for those who are not pregnant, it appears to just be like a nasty flu without lasting effects.
We continue to live in political limbo here in Haiti, where the twice-postponed presidential elections are now scheduled for April 24, with results to be released in mid-May. The election process (which began last August) has been fraught with political marches in the streets; these are usually peaceful but it is not unusual for then to be marred by violence. We regularly receive emails from the U.S. Embassy alerting us of known demonstrations and advising that we avoid those areas. With the regular safety precautions that we practice, we are not concerned for our own safety but would covet your prayers for this country, that the election process would finally come to a close and that a godly new leader would be installed in a peaceful manner.
One final note of interest: two days before it was slated to happen, Haiti’s interim president made the decision that Haiti would not go on Daylight Saving Time, as it usually does. So while we are usually the same as Eastern time in the U.S., we now join Central Time for a few months. This wreaks havoc for Tim in his role as flight scheduler for the MAF-Haiti program, as many of our flights relate to passengers with flights connecting to the U.S. He is now having to contact everyone who has booked a flight over the next nine months to have them reexamine their flight schedules and make sure the MAF portion of their itinerary still works!
We thank you for your gift toward our ministry last year; without partners like you, we couldn’t be here!
Tim and Liz Schandorff