Archive for 2016

On the road again…

For anyone keeping track (or trying to), the last 4 months or so have not gone according to our original plans.

In our minds, Jamie was going to be in the US for the month leading up to Mara’s birth, and a month afterwards, then she was going to visit Finland so Mara could meet her extended family, and I was going to head back to Haiti.

But God had different plans in mind.
In the end, our 2 month departure from Haiti became more like 5, but it’s been great, even if my guys back in Jacmel may not be so sure yet.

Our Finland plans didn’t work out as intended, so I “had” to travel with Jamie and Mara over there, which was pretty great if I’m honest. I kinda wanted to go all along, but was trying to be fiscally responsible and that her mom could take care of her while she was there. Then, her mom’s plans changed, and some dear friends chipped in to cover the additional costs of me heading over as well.

Then, the biggest delays to getting back to Haiti came because God provided our “new” vehicle.
Today, I dropped off our 2000 Isuzu Trooper at the docks, loaded with baby stuff and tools. We didn’t make a big deal about gathering the stuff to put in the truck this time because we realized that we needed to be quite selective with our limited space, but we certainly used up every cubic inch we could safely secure in the back of this thing.

And now, it’s time to head back to Haiti.

I’m excited (to get back to work with the guys), terrified (about what may have broken while I’ve been gone), nervous (to bring our daughter with us into the most politically unstable Haiti I’ve ever experienced), and relieved (because as great as it was to stay with my parents and catch up with friends, it will just be nice to get “home” and settle into life with Jamie and Mara in Haiti).

I’m also ready to move forward again.
I’ve been confused about direction lately, and I think it was mostly that I was overthinking things.
I wanted to get more involved in discipleship and building a church since they were “more evangelistic” than what I was doing. I felt like I wasn’t doing enough.
But you know what? I’m an engineer. And I’m actually a pretty good one. God has put me in a position to learn and grow into a role in Haiti that is quite unique.
And everyday, I get to work with Anderson, Gayly, Fleury, Waly, and Bouki, and we may even pick up some new people.
I’m looking forward to getting more involved in aiding other ministries again.
I was getting weary of that. Mostly because of the turnover I’ve seen.

We’ve seen friends leave for health reasons, family reasons, or even because they screwed up and had to leave
We’ve seen organizations grow well enough that they don’t need help, or implode
We’ve made new friends, only to say goodbye after a few short months.
We’ve seen Church on the Beach, which was awesome for a time, then got derailed, and now, only Sarah Wallace remains in Haiti from our original group of ex-pats that started it…
It’s crazy, because I moved to Jacmel to be with the missionaries there, and now there’s only a handful of us that remember what 2011 was like.

And for a while, all of that had be growing weary.
But you know what, our day to day life is still a worthwhile ministry, even if I was starting to doubt it. It may not be glamorous, but it is good.
I am looking forward to getting back to the workshop and working with my guys.
We have more ministries to help, including a few solar setups on the docket, and I’ve got more ideas to try with them so that we can develop their skills, and the technology to help other missions in Haiti as well.
And I’ll have a role in New Perspectives Church which Pierre and Lorphene have started. It may not be flashy, but God calls us to a daily walk with Him, taking care of each day as it comes, and I’m ready to continue that journey.

Comments (1)

It’s a Girl!

On Monday, April 4th, at 7pm, Jamie delivered our little girl, and now we are blessed and excited to introduce her.

Born weighing 8lbs 2 oz and 20 inches long, she arrived after a rather long labor and we are thankful to all of you who were praying for us through this time that God was able to sustain Jamie through the process.

Meet Mara Linnea Knipple
1st Week

Mara has several stories behind it, but it is a name that God put on Jamie’s heart before we even knew we were pregnant. In our minds, Mara is short for “Maranatha”, which was used as a greeting in the early church meaning “Come, Lord Jesus”, reminding all to look forward to his return. It is also a reference to East Africa where Jamie grew up, or specifically, the game park know as “the Mara” (Maasai Mara).
Linnea is a good Scandinavian name, but is also a reference to Lynn, which is my middle name as well as my dad’s.

We were released from the hospital on Wednesday and now we will continue to stay at my parents place in Pennsylvania for at least a month or so. (And we are thankful for that, as Grammy has come to the rescue of these sleep deprived parents a couple times already)

As many people have asked what this does to our plans, we will continue to follow where God leads, including the fact that He has lead us to Haiti for this season of life. We look forward to introducing our little girl to her new “uncles” Anderson, Waly, Gayly, Fleury, Bouki, and Daniel.

Please continue to pray that God would give us wisdom regarding what work we should be doing, when (and where) we should be traveling, and for favor regarding getting proper paperwork for Mara and (hopefully) letting her and Jamie visit her extended family in Finland.

P.S. We also announced in our last post that God has provided a family vehicle for us to take to Haiti. In case you missed it, here is what our 2000 Isuzu Trooper looks like:

WP_20160402_001

And look to our last post for more information 🙂

Leave a Comment

Jehovah-Jireh {Family Car!}

So, we have big news to announce.
No, it’s not the birth of our little girl yet. Apparently she’s on her own timetable and didn’t get the memo that her due date was last week…
But, we have a car to bring her home in.

We’ve been praying about our vehicle situation for a while now. Our two trucks have been temperamental lately.
While they both still serve their purposes, reliability has become and issue, especially in regards to traveling over the mountains that we cross leaving our home town of Jacmel. So, we’re hoping to return to a point where the little truck (Ford F150) is essentially the work truck for anything in Jacmel, and the big truck is ready for out of town work. At this point, a new wheel bearing in the little one and a new battery for the big one should get us back in business on that end.
However, in addition to reliability, we’ve been praying about a vehicle that can:
(a) hold a child seat, since both our trucks are single bench seats
(b) be safe to travel to Port Au Prince when necessary (this includes reliability, but also working air conditioning so that we can keep our windows up while in traffic as that is a more dangerous situation)
and (c) carry other people when they come to visit (we’ve typically had to borrow a car when people come to visit).

All that said, I’ve been keeping an eye out as we’ve been praying about a car that would work for our needs.
In the end, we actually have to thank God for the opportunities He showed us, and that we feel He has finally provided a great car for us.
Two weeks ago, we came across a 2000 Isuzu Trooper and took it for a test drive.
It looked good, but we still continued to pray about it, eventually leading to us putting a small down payment on it of $200.
Then, we got back to praying that if this was to be our vehicle, God would provide the rest of the funding. Within that week, we received two donations. One that was for $2000, and one that was for $1500. So we received $3500 of the $4000 that the car cost within the first week, and someone else has already expressed interest to help us with the rest.

So, here is our new vehicle, with my parent’s Ford Explorer for a visual reference as well.
WP_20160402_001

WP_20160402_003

Isuzu is a brand that is commonly sold in Haiti, so parts should be easier to find that for our Ford and Chevy.
Also, this has 110,000 miles on it, with very little rust underneath since it spent most of it’s life in Virginia and Texas.
It passed PA state inspections already, but I will go to a friend’s garage and we’ll do a little maintenance work together before we send it down.

Additionally, please keep it in prayer as are still working out the details of when it will go down, and the details of how everything will work out financially, as shipping and import fees will probably be about the same as the purchase price.

And, please continue to pray for Jamie and our little girl. They are both healthy, but we’re anxiously awaiting her arrival now that she’s a week behind the doctor’s prediction 🙂

Leave a Comment

26Feb16 – Prayers

This morning, I’m sitting in Jacmel, and I want to open up to those of you who are willing to pray for us.

Right now, Jamie is in the U.S., preparing for the arrival of our daughter, and I’m here to finish up a couple jobs before I head back up to be with her.

Scratch that, that’s my problem.
I’m not here to do a couple jobs. I’m here for a couple more weeks of ministry, but I’ve been distracted lately. It’s been great to have work for the guys, and I know they need the income…
But I’ve gotten distracted from why I’m here.
I’ve been a boss, and an employer, but I’ve been failing to minister to them through it all.

And I’ve been doubting myself, my skill, my passion, and my doubts have been crippling. I find myself wasting time, essentially procrastinating, because of my own insecurity.

So, as I know you have been faithful to pray for our needs, for our health, and for our little girl that is almost here, today I ask that you would pray for me. That I would be filled with His Spirit to have the strength, peace, wisdom, and grace to fulfill the ministry He has called me to, because on my own, I can’t do anything.
And while I know that, my spiritual life has been slipping, and even my times of prayer seem much more difficult. So please join me in prayer, that I would continue to grow nearer to God, to get back the intimacy that I had with Him, and even surpass that level.

Thank you.

Leave a Comment