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••  •  • ••  • •  • •  •••      April, 2018      ••  • ••  • •  ▪▪  •••  •  •  

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.  
Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

Colossians 3:1-2 

<<Salutation>>

          One of the things we really miss by living in a tropical country are the drastic changes of the seasons in the Midwest.  We are looking forward to enjoying the season of Spring in Iowa.  No better time of year can you witness the birth of new life as winter looses it’s grip to the sun and warmth.  This year it has been slow but sure...but still sure.

A Look into our Lives


          Josiah’s newest cover song

            Many of you have asked to be kept informed of Josiah and his music adventure.  He recently recorded a cover song.  This is what he had to say, “Hey Everyone! I'm super stoked about this new cover of Hillsong's "Touch of Heaven!" Thanks to Ali Polovko and Joey Sommers for their incredible talent. Also Sam Boeke did an awesome job on the video, and Ben Hughes on the mix/master! Hope you all enjoy! Comment, like, share!!!”  You can watch it here: Touch of Heaven.  

          Here is a link to Josiah's channel to listen to all his music and covers that he has done. Be blessed!
 

            Coffee with Charles  
           
            Sometimes it’s the simple things that mean the most.  The other day I was helping solve a broken water pipe issue.  I needed an additional set of hands as it was located on a roof at the Joshua project, so I walked over to Charles's house to see if he could help me.  Charles is a full-time worker on staff who helps primarily in the agriculture.  He’s a hard worker and has a mild-mannered disposition with a strong work ethic, and a servant’s heart. He was right in the middle of making a pot of coffee, Haitian style.  He asked me if I wanted a cup of coffee, and then gave me coffee in his only cup.  It was delicious! It’s every day type events like this that truly give us a sense of joy and acceptance as we get to know our friends on a more personal level. 
 


         We are going LIVE!

          So many exciting things are happening; and, we thought you would like to see them for yourself  by showing you.  

          We are very excited to announce that we have started a YouTube
 Channel called LWC Missionary Moments.  We believe it will help you capture the work that Laborers With Christ (LWC) has been involved in.  We look forward to sharing what the Lord God is doing with Laborers With Christ (LWC) through this very popular and engaging platform.

     In our first episode, Les shares about the impressive work on the FAAGRIC (FA) farm at the Consolation Center of Haiti (CCH).  We are sure you will be impressed with the progress and the new things happening.  We invite you to come along on this journey with us.  To do so, please click the image to watch the video.  Also, please do us a favor and give us feedback.  We would truly appreciate it.

     There are four ways to engage with us and share how you enjoy this new platform:

                       

CCH Update

        Agriculture:

         This past three months, there has been a renewed effort for us to concentrate on the self-sustainable agriculture projects.  This time has also coincided with the addition of a new Haitian farm manager on staff at the Consolation Center of Haiti (CCH), and the best time climate-wise to grow garden variety vegetables.  The “winter” months in Haiti are similar to the Midwest in the U.S., November thru April.  What isn’t similar are the temperatures themselves…this period is when our highs are in the mid 80’s and the lows in the lower 70’s.  These “winter” temperatures are ideal for growing garden variety vegetables. 
         

        Thanks to a generous gift to Laborers With Christ (LWC) towards self-sustainable agriculture from Altoona United Methodist Church, we were able to get a great start with purchasing seed and more farm tools to “capture” the ideal growing season.  We have also had friends and churches respond to the Seeds of Faith Project that we promote every year, to get seeds for Nigeria and Haiti. We are very grateful for the financial assistance and the results that are truly impressive.  It’s the best our gardens have ever looked. 


            

          As you can see, the Seeds of Faith Project is doing very well.  We want to take this time to thank all those who contribute to this vitally needed project and for these gifts in seedthat grow.



The Jesus Story Book Picture Bible


We have had so much fun using different methods to teach with the Jesus Story Book Picture Bible.  

First we gave the little girls a chance to participate and read in front and read before their peers.  Their little attention spans grew while they listened to their friend.  At the end, the girl that read got to choose the next girl for the next week.   

Then I, Catherine, got up to read in creole, which not only got their undivided attention, but they got a kick out of hearing this white Madam reading in their language.  It really helped this white Madam with Creole language learning and with the flow of speaking.  I tried to read with expression which meant PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE.  For a couple of the stories I used clips from YouTube to drive a point home and added maps and other visuals for interaction and clearer understanding.  When we reached the new testament, we took a break to do a study on the Armor of God and then a study on Worship.  

Now we are coming to the finish line with The Jesus Story Book Picture Bible.  We have been having some older girls read while the younger girls watch a video that came with the study and put it on mute since the video is read in English.  We then replay the video and asked questions to see how well they listened.  They have done a fabulous job listening and interacting.  

A very popular song I chose to go with this study was from Praise in Motion spelling J-E-S-U-S since it is His story. Some of you who have attended a Monday night bible study know the song.  Here is a link to the song so you can listen to it if you wish.  

One thing we invested in was a portable mic to be heard above any noise.  Each week I asked one of the girls to volunteer to come up and sing in the mic and others to do hand motions.  During our last bible study this past Monday, we played eight (8) of their favorite songs.  Eight girls got to choose the song they wanted to sing.  The atmosphere was really charged up and they sang with every ounce of energy they had.  

We know they are fond of this Picture Bible Story Book and have enjoyed looking at the pictures.  We would like thank good friends of ours, a couple who would like to remain anonymous, for so generously donating a book to every girl. 

Nigeria Update

           

     




Nigeria travel update
 
          We have all heard news about the trouble in Nigeria.  As you can see at the top of the diagram below, the travel advisory is at the same level for both Nigeria and Haiti according to travel.state.gov.  It's a bit ironic to us that both places have the same level of travel concern. Presently, being on the ground in Haiti, we can tell you that it is becoming more risky to enter the country.  Things seems to be escalating with regard to demonstrations and road blocks. Should people be traveling to Haiti? It's really boils down to where a person is going, and the network of in-country help on the ground to handle situations that arise. This concept is no different then the situation in Nigeria. 
             
          As you can see from the above map, the area we would have traveled to in Nigeria (marked by the dot, indicated by the arrow), is an area of lesser concern according to travel.state.gov. Yet, it is an area high enough in concern that they suggest seeking their website advice page, before traveling, which we have.  In the past, in addition to prayer, we have always relied on friends on the ground for advice, and we continue to follow this procedure. 

          After a number of conversations, our Nigerian advisory board has suggested we postpone our trip. They originally recommended we have a police guard for each one of us while traveling.  We asked about the need for such measures, and they then shared things are a bit unstable and the current political climate is causing part of the problem.  It was decided to postpone any travel to Nigeria at this time.  

          Thank you very much for praying with us in this decision process.  We ask for your continued prayers for the people in Nigeria, especially our friends.  As much as we all want to see each other again, we want to be wise.

Nudging's

 

       Short-term thinking with long-term consequences

          Picture this scenario.  You go to the local farmers market and buy vegetables.  You can barter back and forth until you have an agreed upon price.  Then the produce is put in a bag, and you take the items home.  Upon further inspection in your home you realize that some of the produce was sold to you intentionally in rotten condition.  You have a couple choices, what would you do?

          In Haiti this is a common occurrence, and there is no recourse for the misleading sale. Once money is exchanged and you leave the area, in the Haitian’s mind, the score is 1-0 and he/she won…end of story… “game” over.  It’s that type of thinking that has made it hard to export products out of Haiti.  They don’t really comprehend that each transaction either builds upon the next or discourages future possibilities.   However, in a western-mind, typically the “game” isn’t finished.  The score may be 0-1, but wait till round two…if there is a round two.  It’s the ole adage, “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me”.  Usually a new place will be found to buy produce, because that earlier salesperson proved to be unethical.  Two very different mindsets.  One is smiling to himself because he was able to sell some poor product for a good price…the other is smiling because they know they will never buy from that person again.

          While we learn to deal with this sort of mindset in Haiti, it’s honestly not a foreign mindset.  What?  Each one of us is granted a lotted numbers of days.  The overall average life expectancy is 79 years in the United States.  The sad reality is we treat this rather short period of time, when compared to eternity, as the most important time in our lives.  Decisions, relationships, purchases, commitments, and goals are typically all based on this short-term timeframe.  We are prone to function as if the “game” of life is not related to any other events in our “life”.  But that’s not true. Just like the Haitian vendor, we fool ourselves if we believe there are no long -term negative consequences with bad short-term decisions.  All around us our culture sends us a message with the mentally of, “He who dies with the most toys wins”.  Do you see how that type of thinking has the 1-0, I win…”game” over feel?   

          It say’s in Romans 2:6, and I’m not quoting verbatim, that God will render to every man according to his deeds.  That’s pretty much saying there is going to be a round two.  What you’re doing during the here and now, does have huge implications for how you live your life eternally.  The Bible admonishes us to keep our focus despite our surroundings. 2 Corinthians 4:18  While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.  So, it boils down to the question; do you want to be smiling because you won round one (temporal), or because you won round two (eternal)?  It’s either one or the other!!!!  Allow these words to sink in, and thanks for reading!

Culture Corner

 

          Haiti is the only country in the world to gain its independence as a slave nation, a fact that remains a source of great pride.  Haiti, however, does have a cultural acceptance of slavery practice even today under a different name.

          This brings us to the topic of restavèks.  In the Creole language, “restavèk” means “to stay with.” Yet for the children who are called restavèk, that definition is incomplete. A restavèk is a child in Haiti who is sent by his or her parents to work for a host household as a domestic servant, because the parents lack the resources required to support the child.  Parents unable to care for children may send them to live with wealthier families; often their own relatives or friends. The expectation is that the children will receive food and housing (and sometimes an education) in exchange for doing housework. Unfortunately, it often goes wrong with the children living in abusive and neglectful situations and sometimes is referred to as a type of human trafficking.


                     

The Story of the Haiti's Restavèks:

         
The child is born to parents in a rural community and the child enters a family with too many mouths to feed.  When the child becomes of age to go to school, most children in Haiti “school” is a foreign word, especially if they live in the countryside.  Any hope the child has of receiving an education is to be sent by the parent to live with a family in the city, or sometimes sold into restavec situations.  This is perceived to allow the poor family to free themselves from the economic burden of keeping their child fed and clothed.  The parents talk to a relative, or perhaps an acquaintance or even a stranger, who lives in one of Haiti’s larger cities hoping for a better life, education for their children and a happy future.

          The city-dwelling family has their own set of problems. The woman of the house must cook and clean, wash clothes by hand, purchase fresh groceries each day, and with no running water, daily trips to the well are necessary. On top of all this she needs to raise her children with little help from the child’s father.

          So with the rural family struggling to feed their children, and the urban family desperate for more help around the house, an arrangement is made.  The arrangement is to help with chores and attend school. The woman of the house decides she’ll be of more use in the home helping with these chores than at school.

One Starfish at a time

 

           Medline Verly

           We first introduced Medline to you in March of 2015.  As we mentioned then, her background was shrouded in mystery.  Medline is getting close to 14 years of age.  She is smart, responsible, and very respectful.  She is one of the up and coming leaders in the middle age group of girls, and she is a great Christian example to her younger sisters.   She has, as long as we’ve known her, had a sweet, quite disposition.  We have never heard her raise her voice or display any sense of anger.  We know she is not perfect, but some can naturally be boisterous and loud, she is the exact opposite.  

          We got a chance the other day to begin to understand why and learn more about her, as her father visited CCH for the first time.  It turns out his voice was soft spoken, and he had a very low-key personality. 

          In Eddy’s office, we had a heart wrenching conversation, as our eyes were once again opened to the harsh reality of trying to survive in a poverty-stricken country.  Medline’s father was asked if Medline had any other siblings.  He said, he had four children in total, and Medline was the third born.  We asked about the three other siblings, and he responded with a quiet demeanor, two others are in restavec situations, and the third is doubled over due to a tumor in his lower back…  For us, it presented a stark contrast of Medline’s probable life without CCH and the huge blessing CCH has represented to her and her future.  

          We couldn’t imagine the hard decisions he has had to make over the course of his life, nor the regret and hurt he must feel in doing so.  We asked him to try and get us pictures of his crippled son or bring him to CCH, with the thought of trying to do something medically to help the young man.  We hope he returns, but he said he came from quite a distance.

          The last picture in our mind was when he gave Medline a kiss on the forehead, a hug, and walked away.  Please pray for Medline and her family. 


Note:  Medline's father and brother did return.  He has a severe curvature of the spine, and we are in the process of evaluating the next steps for him.

Nutritional Nuggets ~ Natures Pharmacy

                ABC's of Vitamins and minerals

 
 
1. TOP 10 Diseases & Conditions Part 1 of 10: Heart Matters. (633,842)
2. TOP 10 Diseases & Conditions Part 2 of 10: Cancer Wars. (595,930)
3. TOP 10 Diseases & Conditions Part 3 of 10: You Take My Breath Away (155,041)
4. TOP 10 Diseases & Conditions Part 4 of 10: Accidents Happen -unintentional injuries; 5.2% (146,571)
5.  TOP 10 Diseases & Conditions Part 5 of 10: Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 1 in 6 (140,323)
6.  TOP 10 Diseases & Conditions Part 6 of 10: Alzheimer’s disease: 1 in 10 (110,561)
7.  TOP 10 Diseases & Conditions Part 7 of 10:  Diabetes 1 in 4 (79,535)
8.  TOP 10 Diseases & Condition Part 8a of 10:  Influenza (part one) 1 in 10 (57,062)

       It's Gone Viral
    "The Winter Fever"

                        click the title above

 
          You should know that there is not just one primary cause of pneumonia. This illness can actually be brought on by different type of germs, virus, bacteria, or fungi you inhale.  Knowing the cause of pneumonia is extremely important, as it is crucial in determining the course of action.  Find out where you are vulnerable so that you can take actions for prevention.

  1. Which surroundings can increase your risk for Pneumonia?
  2. What any honest physician will tell you.
  3. Which of these habits makeup your list?
  4. Inexpensive but Powerful Remedies.


                     

                                     

We only have one life to live.  Your best life CAN be now.  Here's how:  find foods analyzed for nutrient quality - all specific to help you prevent  "going viral".


Please click here to read more about the steps that you can do to begin your best life now on Catherine’s Genesis Health blog.  


Revisit past Nutrition Nuggets about Natures Pharmacy regarding the benefits of individual fruits and vegetables.  If you are interested in learning more about improving your health, please visit and follow Genesis Health today.

 

“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.” Hippocrates
Promoting a lifestyle of preventative care!

 
WELLNESS PRINCIPAL:  Health comes from within.  You cannot buy it in a bottle.

          Please visit Catherine’s Pinterest boards by clicking this link:  Catherine's Place.   There, you will find a variety of healthy sources, natural solutions, recipes, God's Creation, and SO MUCH MORE.  Grab yourself a healthy snackmake yourself comfortable, and take time to browse the wealth of information and be not only inspired but uplifted.

Prayer & Praise 

 

Pray for safe travel as we return to the U.S.on May 8th.

Praise the Lord for clear direction regarding the potential trip to Nigeria.
Please pray for Medline and her family.
Continue to pray for our daughter Rachelle and baby, as she gets close to the due date.
Please pray for our summer schedule in the U.S., and our speaking opportunities. 
Praise the Lord for His goodness and faithfulness to us!


Rejoice in the Lord always!

 Deciding to Win Round Two,

Les & Catherine

   Ministry (U.S.)                               Les & Catherine DeRoos

                                          Laborers With Christ                                      c/o Agape Flights CAY 26466
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                                          Phone:  (712) 200-1139                                  Phone: 011 509-3857-8345
                                          E-mail:  faagric@yahoo.com                           E-mail:  faagric@yahoo.com
                                          Web Site:  
http://laborerswithchrist.org                 
                                                                                                   

Laborers With Christ On-Line Donations

 

     Just click on this link: Love gift to Laborers With Christ You can also visit us at laborerswithchrist.org and go to our Financial Support page. Thank you so much for your willingness to partner with us in ministry.

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