Monday, May 20, 2013


Ortiz Children In Haiti Airport
The Ortiz family has now been on the ground in Haiti for a few days. We had a great reception by the Haitian and American staff here at NVM. They lined up outside of our new house and cheered as we drove up, led us on a tour of our new place (which was humbling, since it is far more than we expected, even after seeing pictures of the progress), and then prayed for us in our new home. The first couple of days, we unpacked our bags, got acclimated, worked on Creole, and we’re still trying to get into a regular rhythm of life. I imagine we’ll be working on that for a while!
Weather-wise, the days are hot – mid 90’s, but the evenings are great. They cool off and there is a nice breeze. There have been a few nights were it has rained. We are in the middle of the rainy season, which goes for another month or so. Since our house is next to the future hospital, we can hear the rain hitting the metal roof as we fall asleep. For alarm clocks, we have the sun itself, which shines brightly before 6am, and a couple of roosters who follow soon after!
 Saturday was a national holiday – Flag Day. The NVM school had a group of students that marched through a few villages along with a band, singing, dancing, and showing some national pride. What impressed me the most is that these kids are the future of Haiti and they are being brought up with hope. Not just hope because they are getting an education, though that is certainly great; They have been given a hope in Jesus Christ with which they can infuse their generation and their country. There is hope in him! The kids were impressive and drew quite a bit of attention. We had a great deal of people follow along and at certain points, they would stop and dance in front of the crowd. Our family rode in the back of a pick-up truck, waving our own Haitian flags and following the procession. Several other kids not in the parade walked alongside the truck for a while and we struck up conversations with them. At the end of the parade, we somehow piled about 30 people into the back of this truck to get back to NVM campus. It reminded me of the tap-taps. Tap-taps are trucks that are used like taxis. They usually have a covered back, with benches in it. People climb on and pay a guy sitting back there. When they want to get off, they tap the truck. There is a saying about tap-taps here: “How many can fit in a tap-tap?” “Always one more.” That certainly felt true of our truck that morning!
Sunday morning we attended the campus church. As always, we enjoyed worshiping and singing with the Haitians. They are incredibly passionate people and it comes out in their corporate worship. We were introduced to the congregation as a missionary family and I was asked to say a few words. I declined talking in English and addressed them in Creole and told them that we were glad to be here and briefly explained that when we were here last, God showed us that Haiti was to be our home.
They certainly liked the sound of that – or that I said it Creole, or both – but once again, we received such a warm welcome. That evening, we led both teams that are here as well as the staff in songs to worship together and enjoyed that time, as well.
Our timing to come could not have been more perfect (God’s timing!). Two days after our arrival, Mark Thompson, the new executive director of NVM arrived, as well. He will be Pastor Pierre’s counterpart in the States. Mark is here to spend time with the staff to get to know us, as well as meet with Pastor to get in synch with him, and also to set goals and priorities for the ministry. It’s been great to sit and talk with him, be encouraged, and know the vision and the steps for NVM’s future. There is a lot of transition happening here with several people leaving this summer and new people coming on board – to include us.
Tonight, we played a friendly soccer game: Haitians vs. Americans. Between the two short-term teams here, they put together a team and asked me to join. It was great fun and perhaps the only time I’ve seen the Americans beat the Haitians! American Airlines lost my right running shoe, so I had to use another pair (Mikalah’s tennis shoes!). Within the first 5 minutes of the game, I was missing the whole sole to the right shoe. Though I finished the game alright, I think I’ll be feeling it in the morning…


  1. It is so great to hear from you and see the pictures and video - makes you seem not so far away and puts precious faces in front of me that I'm praying for.

    So fun to read about your welcome and it brought tears to my eyes to know that you're being loved on and taken care of. I had to smile at the soccer game - you truly surprised me when you said the American team won. I'm sure that doesn't happen often.

    Love and prayers to all of you!

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  3. I'm glad to hear that your home there was better than expected. It's always nice to have a few comforts. And I pray that you and your family stay safe and healthy and that God uses you to show His love to many! And I have no clue how you get a new pair of shoes over there. I seriously doubt you can just run to Walmart. But - I am sure the Lord will provide.