Saturday, Sunday and the majority of today were spent in preparation for Hurricane Matthew, which is approaching Haiti. Gary, along with the boys and his Bible study group, have spent days preparing for what could potentially be the worst storm since 2007. Our open-air home sits on high ground, so it is likely to be spared much damage – particularly in thanks to all these guys. They bagged the compost and anything loose outside at both our house and the Farm House. Solar panels were bolted down, gas filled in trucks and in reserve tanks. Diesel was stocked up on for the Farm House generator. Outdoor furniture was brought indoors. Tarps were placed over the roof because it tends to flood our house when it rains. Water and food are stocked up on. And when I spoke to Gary last, he was heading out to take down the wind turbine because the excessive winds on the way could destroy it. And, bless that man, he promised to bring the goats into the basement for safety.

We know how fortunate we are to be able to prepare like this. Our neighbors across the street, however, live in a tin and tarp lean-to. They saved up for years to build the concrete wall that now surrounds their home. Pierre has 5 children and very little. But we see him spend time with his kids daily. We brought him our first harvest of plantains and he brought us his first harvest of corn. Our boys play soccer in the street together. My heart is worried for them. But, being the man he is, Gary assured me that he would watch out for Pierre and his family, and told me that he had purchased extra tarps should they need them.

Our road after a slight drizzle looks like the bottom of a creek … it is a muddy mess and, in order to cross the road, you should prepare to take off your shoes and slog across. The ravine behind us fills with water and washes trash “downstream”. One of the last times we had a lot of rain, a woman gave birth and pushed her newborn down the flow. (The story ends well – the baby was found shortly after and taken in by a woman who had been unable to have a baby.) The hill behind us was recently stripped of its trees in order for corn to be planted. Now that corn season is over, the hill has little to hold it together – it could potentially mudslide into the ravine. The amount of rain and wind anticipated could be disastrous, even deadly, to many in our community.

There is something about hunkering down in one room together to ride out a storm or danger that brings a family closer. We have done it many times since we moved to Haiti. But this time, the girls and I are still in the US. It is difficult to be away from home during times like this. As much as we are happy to be safe, we wish we could all be together.

As we get updates and learn of damage, we’ll be sure to share how you can be helping and praying more. For now – we simply ask that you pray for God’s protection over the boy half of our family, this land, our home, friends and neighbors.

Psalm 91

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
This I declare about the Lord
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
he is my God, and I trust him.
For he will rescue you from every trap
and protect you from deadly disease.
He will cover you with his feathers.
He will shelter you with his wings.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
nor the arrow that flies in the day.
Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
Though a thousand fall at your side,
though ten thousand are dying around you,
these evils will not touch you.
Just open your eyes,
sand see how the wicked are punished.

If you make the Lord your refuge,
if you make the Most High your shelter,
no evil will conquer you;
no plague will come near your home.
For he will order his angels
to protect you wherever you go.
They will hold you up with their hands
so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
You will trample upon lions and cobras;
you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!

The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
I will protect those who trust in my name.
When they call on me, I will answer;
I will be with them in trouble.
I will rescue and honor them.
I will reward them with a long life
and give them my salvation.

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