Update from Haiti

We tell each other many times a day how glad we are that we are here together.  We are also more than thankful that we are people of faith.  We have no doubt that God is walking/carrying us along this journey.  It is filled with joy for the most part.  Perhaps if we had known in detail about the living conditions we would have had second thoughts.  We knew that there is no potable water here.  Every little thing that requires water must come from a bottle.  It makes us two eco-conscious people cringe with the hundreds of thousands of plastic bottles used each day.  The house we are living in was once a lovely “gingerbread lady.”  Rehabbers in American could do wonders.  But shall we say it is past its prime.  We have to be careful in our bedroom to not fall through the floor.  The kitchen is a nightmare.  We probably should never let anyone see it because you would think we are certifiable to eat anything that comes from it, yet tasty meals come to us twice a day.  The bathroom, well that’s another story.  There is no hot water so we take a cold shower each day in bathrooms that have the floor covered with water from leaky toilets.  Thank God for hand sanitizer and sanitizer wipes.  We rode home from school today standing on the back of a pick-up truck on rutted roads that you can’t imagine.  Chicago and its potholes have nothing to complain about.

But in spite of all of that it is a marvelous experience.  We both finally got in the groove with teaching.  Bob had a wonderful breakthrough with his students today and he is still smiling.  The lack of resources is challenging but we are making due.  Everything takes longer to teach than we expect.  Bob works with an interpreter.  He is in his 4th day tomorrow and is still teaching what he planned for the first.

I’m teaching ESL.  After settling in I’m doing okay.  In fact it is fun.  It is amazing to have young adult students sing, Head and Shoulder, Knees and Toes and If You’re Happy and You Know It” with smiles from ear to ear.  I’ve also found a way to let them tell me about their lives and hopes for the future.  God is more than good.

The people of Haiti have warmly welcomed us and we enjoy being with them.  Our students are respectful, eager to learn and filled with gratitude for the opportunity they have.  They are fun to be with and are fascinated by a couple who are married 46 years.  Our love for each other has touched many.

We only have electricity a few hours each day so Bob saves his computer battery power.  My computer didn’t survive the trip.

We feel the love and support of all of you and most especially we cherish our relationship with each other.  Without a doubt we would be nowhere without the love of the One who made us and sent us here.  We know that our parents are with God smiling on all that we are doing.  Keep us in your prayers as you are in ours.

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About Rita & Bob Boeke

Rita Boeke has experience teaching scripture and with her husband Bob has experience in enriching marriages through workshops and retreats. They post a weekly blog at thewonderofmarriage.com and co-authored Forever and a Day: An Invitation to Create a Marriage that Lasts a Lifetime.
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