Saturday is/was a busy, busy day for Pastor. Workmen were here at 7 prune plants and help replant the prunings up near the orphanage, which meant more coffee and food needed as Pastor likes to feed his laborers. The widows started arriving at 8 a.m., sitting outside until we met with them at 9:30. The teachers were here for a meeting with Pastor as well. After Mark and I left for the market, 7 more people came, needing help in a variety of areas. Right before lunch, I let a man into the compound who had traveled from a town east of Pignon to seek aid from Pastor. His wife had “lost her mind”, his daughter had been severely beaten (by whom, I don’t know), and they had no food. Someone had told him to go see Pastor Francois, so he made the trip here to find this man he’d never met in hopes of getting help. Pastor sent him off with beans, rice, and other food to help fill their bellies.
When Pastor finally took a little nap late afternoon, he told me at dinner that he had dreamt the Americans came to the gate, and he and I were there to try to help them. Poor guy, can’t get away from his work even in his sleep! Once again, thanks to all who support the work here–the needs are endless, really, but I agree with what Joey Lankford says as he and his family serve in Africa:
“Sometimes you think the despair is greater than anything you could every get through. Obedience–that one step journey that got you here–is going to sustain you while you’re here. Because you can’t save everybody. There are kids walking around without parents and you really have to lose the God complex. Let God be God, love the people He puts in front of you.” (From July/August issue of Relevant Magazine, “Leaving it Behind.”)
Our last market trip, with some of the hardest working kids you’ll ever see:
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Son, age 14–came 10 yrs ago with Emil and Yonel after hurricane. He is Pastor’s mechanic, always helping with the car, truck, generator. He also is the little boys’ barber, cutting their hair with a razor blade attached to a comb…!
Dieulene, age 18–cook in training, works very early in the morning until after dinner every day in the summer. Chedelin is her brother. She always has a beautiful smile on her face.
Ediana, age17–also cooks and helps in the kitchen and wherever else Papi or Madame need her. Emanise (from Friday’s trip) is her younger sister.
That makes 8 trips to the market, taking 38 kids. We didn’t take the 4 youngest, and 2 olders chose not to go. Thank you to our City Group at Mill City Church, for helping make these shopping adventures a reality for our kids!

-Jill Bell