Thursday, December 1, 2011


Hi all,

I realized last weekend that the news article (which has apparently had quite a readership!   It's fun to have my patients come in and tell me that they saw the article, for example), which came out on Friday after Thanksgiving, was published 5 years to the day from when Jen and I sent off an email to Vanessa at Angel Missions Haiti saying that we would host Anderson for heart surgery.

We had no idea what that 'simple' decision would mean for our family, for our church, for my work, for the joyful introductions of so many people to Pestel, and the good work that would be furthered on behalf of Pestel.

I received a couple of photos from the September trip with Vitamin Angels.  Thought I'd pass them along to you.  

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Hi all,

This article was featured on the front page of The Patriot News

It is nicely written and came out on Friday.  My wife went out and bought 10 copies    :)

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Bonus email

Hi All,

I was just sent these photos from Water Missions International.  They show a bit of the very real challenge WMI faced in getting out to Pestel to install the water unit on the island (village of Boucan Philippe).  The technicians were halted by very bad rains (you'll see!).  Then they had to transport the items by boat out onto the island, and in order to do it they had to construct a special 'box' to hold some of the containers upright.  Then, from the big boat to a smaller boat....then hand-carry the items out to the housing unit....

  Thanks to Water Missions International for the fantastic work and the amazing water purification unit!!  And to Variety International for providing the funding to be able to undertake this important project for the people of Boucan Philippe!!

You can learn more about Water Missions International at

And Variety International at

A few Haiti updates

Hi all,

Thanks to all who have volunteered to help with the data entry!  We still have a bunch more, so if you're interested please let me know.

I'm attaching a couple of photos that were sent by Sister Fidelis.  This is her guest house which is well underway.  They are hoping to finish sometime in the late winter or early spring at this point.  It will be a two story building on her property up in the mountain village of Ferye.  This is really exciting!!! One of the photos shows the view from the guest house veranda.  Very pretty spot.

Also, Sister Fidelis and her community in Pestel recently celebrated 10 years of her commitment to and life in Haiti!!!   Congratulations Sister Fidelis!   We all rejoice with you and we would not even know about Pestel, Haiti if it were not for your persistent concern and care for Nelson, the boy who received a heart valve replacement.  

We simply do not know how God might wish to use even our smallest faithful responses.  

Yesterday I met with my Chair to explore with him something I'd like to do:   I want to recruit some of our family medicine faculty to work with an organization, Heart to Heart International, in Haiti.   It's a fantastic, well-organized group that provides ongoing care in Leogane, Haiti....the city at the epicenter of the earthquake.  I met with them in September and was very impressed.  The purpose of recruiting them to Haiti is many-fold, including care for the underserved, increase interest among faculty in helping Haitians, preparation in order to bring the Global Health Scholars Program to Haiti.   I would like to do this in 2012, if possible.  The scholars (about 3-4) would likely spend 2 weeks with faculty in Leogane in the clinical setting, organized by Heart to Heart International.  Then they would spend another 10 days or so with me in Pestel in the community health setting.  In that way they would get a really robust experience, while contributing over time to the people of Pestel.

My Chair enthusiastically supports the idea.  He definitely thinks it's a good idea.  It's one thing to get the green light...but it's quite another to get enthusiastic support with the green light.



Sunday, October 23, 2011

It's that time again...

It seems like we just finished data entry.   :)

If you're willing to do some data entry please email me.   There is good news and not-so-good news.

The not-so-good news is that there are lots of records.
The GOOD NEWS!!  is that we only have to enter about 10 items per record!! 

{how's that for a spin!}

So it will go fast if there are many hands.  This is NOT like the household survey which took a long time per form.  This will be a faster process.

I'm attaching the template (excel spreadsheet) if you want to see how it is set up.    You would

1.  Save the spreadsheet with your name in the title ("Save as...")
2.  Enter your initials where it says to
3.  Start entering the information horizontally (in rows).   Most of the cells are drop-down boxes.   If the worker left the answer blank, just leave the cell blank.  Select the answer that is closest to the answer the worker put down.  
4.  For the height/weight cells:  just enter the number  (11.2) but don't enter "cm" or "kg" etc.  

This data is important because it is the follow-up data on height, weight, and anemia  to be able to compare with 2010's information.   We want to see if the Vitamin A and Albendazole campaigns made any difference in malnutrition & anemia.

What do you think?  Easy right?!?   Would you be willing to help?   I'm hoping to have this all entered before Thanksgiving.  


Monday, October 17, 2011

And again

This is a VERY popular medical student website.   Nice to see the reprint.  And this will be a much bigger readership:


Thriving Villages website

Thriving Villages blog

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Water treatment unit update

As many of you know, Variety International generously provided funds for a water treatment unit to be placed on the island (Cayemites), which is part of Pestel region.   The village was responsible for constructing a housing structure to keep the water unit safe.   Water Missions International is currently installing the unit, and I received this update from them today.  Please pray for safety for the workers, and that the installation would go well.  
FYI:  Cholera is largely spread by contaminated water.  This kind of water treatment unit cleans up contaminated water and makes it safe.  It will be a great benefit to the people in the village of Boucan Phillippe!

Dear All,


I would like to give you an update of the installation in Boucan Philippe, this is the project in the Grand Cayemites island off the coast of Pestel in the south of Haiti.


The technical team composed of Wilson and Franklin left Monday early morning to the location and had a good trip until they passed the village of Beaumont already nearing Pestel. They had to spend the night of Monday sleeping in the Freightliner and Tacoma because the river had flooded with the recent heavy rains and about 75 vehicles including ours were stuck waiting for the river to lower its flow. They were able to get some food.


On Tuesday morning at about 11AM they were finally able to cross the river and continue on their way to Pestel.  By last night they had already safely travelled by boat with all the equipment to the Grand Cayemites island. On the way back to Pestel to spend the night the rain was so heavy that it started to flood the little boat and everyone was taking water by buckets out of the boat so it would not sink. They made it safely across.


This morning early they were on their way back to the island to start the installation and they hope to complete it today if possible.


Wilson was saying that cholera is a very real danger in that area and this morning he saw two people arrive at the hospital in Pestel with last stage cholera. The hospital reported having cases every day.


Please pray for Wilson and Franklin safety and safe return to us.





Elsa Paula

Finance & Administration

Water Missions International

Port-Au-Prince, Haiti

Changing Lives Through Sustainable Water Systems

Thriving Villages website

Thriving Villages blog


Myself, Mitch Neuhasuer (from CinemaCon/NATO), and Bill Hopkins (Variety International)



Thriving Villages website

Thriving Villages blog

Friday, October 7, 2011

Really wonderful news

Yesterday morning Jen and were in Washington D.C. at an annual meeting for a group called The National Association of Theater Owners (NATO...not the North Atlantic Treaty Organization  :).    Bill Hopkins from Variety International had flown in from LA in the day before.   We were presented with a check for $100,000 as a donation from NATO to Variety International's Children's Fund, with the funds designated to the work in Haiti!!

I'll try to get a copy of the photo so that you can see the "big check".  

The donation will be used to initiate the well-drilling effort throughout Pestel.  Earlier this year after Dr. John Lane had visited the area, he came away with the recommendation that we should drill for wells in Pestel.  We then approached a couple of well-drillers in Haiti, and in order for them to go out to Pestel we needed to be able to commit to a minimum of 10 wells, which could run from $5000 to $10,000 per well.  So we knew we would probably need something like $100,000.

Through a series of 'unrelated' events, NATO contacted Variety International a couple of months ago because they wanted to make a generous donation to VI.  After learning about the Haiti Project they met with folks from VI in Los Angeles and announced that they wanted the donation of $100,000 to go to the work in Pestel.   

When Jen and I received the email about the donation (which we were asked to keep under wraps) we were simply floored (and are still!).   The amount was exactly the amount we had written up as needed to engage the well-drillers.  And there was no doubt whatsoever that this funding was to be used for this purpose.  

Can you see how God works sometimes?   

Our new organization, Thriving Villages International, is committed to continue running on God's timing and provision.  That means you are not likely to see us doing typical fund-raising efforts.   We have learned through these sorts of experiences, and so many others (for those who have been following along, you likely remember many of them!), that God desires TVI to proceed in a fashion different from most.  It's part of the challenge as we seek to be faithful and wait patiently, and its a part of the joy of receiving donations that come from the heart.  People and organizations give as they are prompted and their timing has been incredible.  

It is not always comfortable, but it is right.  
And boy, when you receive these sorts of confirmations!!!    

Keep in mind:  we did not seek out NATO.  In fact, I will admit that I had never heard of them.  NATO did not know of our desire to well-drill for the exact amount.   

Now that's pretty  awesome!!     
Thriving Villages website

Thriving Villages blog

Sunday, September 18, 2011

September news

A couple of things

1.  Please begin praying about a couple of storms that might develop in the Atlantic.   While it's way to early to know if they will do anything at all, we have seen that God can move hurricanes  (remember last November?) and so He can also quell storms.    

2.  I'm supposed to head to Haiti this Thursday and accompany a group (Vitamin Angels) out to Pestel for a site visit.   I also have a list of meetings with different groups, so I'll be busy.
3.  I got this nice update from Sisters Fidelis and Jo about the guest house that they are building!!!    Really exciting news:

Here is your first glimpse of the guest house construction. This picture was taken on Monday, the 12th of September, the first day of construction. The foreman is in the white shirt, Boss Melonm (pronounced may-LOME).

Just know the work is going very well. The truck driver is keeping us well-supplied so that the crew of 15 have been as busy as bees all week. The foundation and the cistern incorporated into it are far along to being finished.
The side of the building toward the sea will be higher because of the sloping terrain, so people on the verandas will have an even better view of the sea dotted with islands.
This is quite exciting, and Sr. Jo and I will try to keep you up-to-date on its progress.

Sister Fidelis

Thriving Villages website

Thriving Villages blog

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Hi all,

Some last minute requests as I get ready to head to Pestel later this week:

1.  Does anyone have a good template for Inventory?    For whatever reasons, my brain simply does not seem to be able to develop one.   For starters I just need a way to keep track of what items I leave in Pestel so that when I go back down again I know what to bring and what not to bring.   Something ideally update-able.   Items like    towels...soap...shampoo....bed nets...batteries...lights....and so forth.   And the Quantity.
I'm open to ideas!    

2. Any extra stethoscopes lying around?    I'd like to leave some stethoscopes in Pestel instead of bringing one every time.  Last time I forgot one and had to use Dr. Seneque's   (and he only has one!)


Thriving Villages website

Thriving Villages blog

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Educational note from Pestel

Hi all,

I just received this very encouraging report (translated from French into English by my mother-in-law, Lois Beck) from Father Parnel.  He sent this from Pestel.  You'll recall we sent some money last year to help with the education in Pestel:

We are writing to share with you our deep joy: The Ministry of Education has just published the results. All our students (This year 16 pupils from 6th and 12 pupils from 9th. ) finished with very good grades. We are all the more contented because this is the first time we have had pupils take the State exams. 
We are using this chance to renew our most enthusiastic and cordial thanks for your important participation in the education of the youth of Pestel and for the well being of the inhabitants of Pestel in general. 
--Fr. Parnel Lundy

Makes me pretty happy   :)   We're talking about the future of Pestel

Thriving Villages website

Thriving Villages blog

Saturday, September 10, 2011


Hi all,

I was working on some of the mapping of villages throughout Pestel today, looking for obvious errors.   Check out the attachment.  

I am increasingly impressed with the Haitian workers (APPAS).



Maps of Pestel

Hi all,

I was working on some of the mapping of villages throughout Pestel today, looking for obvious errors.   Check out the attachment.  

I am increasingly impressed with the Haitian workers (APPAS).

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Talents update

You'll recall that our church, Slate Hill Mennonite Church, did a really clever fund-raiser based on the parable of the talents.  Individuals received $10 and were then asked to use it to raise funds for TVI's solar fruit dryers.  

They were able to raise $1800 for Thriving Villages through this effort!!   That's 6x the amount invested!   In short, they trounced the servants mentioned in the parable (who only doubled the amounts given to them)!  

But consider the ongoing ROI (return-on-investment):   the solar fruit dryers may allow some of the villagers to sell dried fruit....and since 1/2 of the fruit they currently sell spoils or becomes damaged in transport.  This has potential to increase their income, provide nutritious snacks to school children (as an example), improve health....

And then the joy of all that returns to the giver....and to folks like Johnny Zook who spend a good deal of time thinking through practical solutions like this.

It is a good reminder that we ought to take stock of ourselves periodically to see how we are spending the talent God has given us.

Thanks to all who were involved in this!  It has been a great encouragement and thrill to see it


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

September updates

Hi everyone,

This is the first time since I've been at the medical center that they actually closed a number of offices and cancelled medical school classes FOR RAIN.

I received an email from Sister Fidelis:  she made it safely out to Pestel!   She wrote, " just arrived Saturday to see the new road and the foundation [for the guest house] with my own eyes."

Very exciting to hear that this work is already underway! 

Planning for a well drilling effort in Pestel continues with a series of very clear evidences of God's hand blessing the work.

I don't think I've ever really used that word before in my emails:  blessing.  But it just seems appropriate.

There are times when I really wonder about certain directions for the work in Pestel, whether or not a given decision or line of thinking is part of God's plan.  But there have been others like this well drilling one where steps in a certain direction have been greatly encouraged, often in ways that are VERY surprising.  

I'll tell you more about what I mean by that in a little bit when I am at liberty to    :)



Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Interesting article

Hi all,

I heard this newsbit this morning about how researchers used cell phone towers and to track population migration after the Haiti earthquake, also during the cholera outbreak at the end of 2010 (and into the current times).  

I found the original article.  What you can see from the attached photo is an arrow that I placed on the map, pointing to Pestel.   The size of the ball indicates the # of people who migrated from Port-au-Prince to Pestel just after the earthquake.

This indicates that 10,000 people migrated into Pestel after the earthquake.   

What our household survey indicated was that 1/2 the families surveyed took in, on average, about 4 people.   If there are 10,000 families (est) in Pestel, then 5000 families took in 20,000 people.   

So we'll split the difference and say 15,000

The article:

The newsbit:

Friday, August 26, 2011


Hi all,

I received verbal support from my Chair today regarding my request to submit a sabbatical proposal.  This is a big step!   That means he and my department of Family and Community Medicine will support a proposal that I put together.  

Now I need to refine and develop my proposal, then submit it by the end of December.

Thanks to all who were praying about this issue.  I see it as a potentially very big and important step forward.  There are still plenty of details and items to be worked out before I even submit the proposal.  

Vitamin A campaigns

Hi all,

I just double-checked my math with one of my colleagues, and so I'll share this with you:

A new article just came out that looked at all the evidence behind doing Vitamin A campaigns in places like Pestel  The results confirmed prior studies.  Well done research.

The article confirmed that by providing twice yearly Vitamin A (as we have been doing in Pestel since early 2010) we reduce child deaths (ages 6 months to 5 years) by 24%.   

I did the math this morning
That means through just the Vitamin A campaigns 180 children's lives are saved each year in Pestel!!!

And can you guess the cost to save each of those children's lives?    

$200 per life saved

That means, we spent $35,000 last year on the child campaigns.  And we did more than just provide Vitamin A with that money.  But if you divide 35,000 / 180  = $200.

Take-home:  we got fantastic bang-for-the-buck.  

And there are a lot more benefits to a lot more kids beyond even this.  Consider the # of kids who will retain their vision, have boosted immune systems, reduce episodes of diarrhea, and so forth.

But I certainly think that's well worth celebrating!!!

It is one thing to celebrate numbers and good results, but I'd also ask that you consider the impact on a family that did not lose their child last year because of this effort.

"Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord."   

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tropical storm update

The tropical storm has turned into a hurricane.  
It was projected to drive straight over Haiti, but now it appears to have moved slightly to the north so that it is still going to affect Haiti, but not a direct hit on most of it.  

I remember one of the hurricanes last year...Gustav I think it was...that was making a bee-line for Haiti, and most specifically Pestel.   This was just when I was planning to travel to Pestel and had to cancel the trip.  
We had prayed about the hurricane also and we saw it take a sudden westward (leftward) shift out to sea in the hours before it was to pass over the area of Pestel.  

There was still significant crop and land damage throughout Pestel, but the reported loss of life was related to individuals who tried to cross a swollen, flooded-out road.  

I think we should marvel at these sorts of answers to prayer.  I'd be tempted to think it was such good luck, if I didn't see that God answer prayers in a multitude of ways.  

Prayer is not magic, though.  Prayer is aligning our hearts' desires with God's heart, our will with His.  Prayer is an appeal and a confession and a praise.  As Christ said when the worst of the "hurricanes" was rushing at his very life:  Not my will but Thine be done.

I don't think prayer is resignation, in the sense of 'giving up' or a sense of fatalism.  It is often instead a rest, and one that sometimes takes a good bit of energy on our part as we bring under discipline that which hinders us from resting in God.

Please pray for my mom.  She is in the hospital right now for an infection.  Many of you know that she just completed her chemotherapy, and while that was really hard on her body, we are so thankful that she's reached the end of it.  But it's been a very long season for her and for my dad.  

Monday, August 22, 2011

A few more updates

I'm passing this on to you in advance of it's official publication (in the monthly Slate Hill Church Hilltop Happenings) so that you can see some of the creative ideas people brought forward on the $10 fundraiser.   Pretty cool, huh?

Also, some really really really good news from Sisters Fidelis and Jo:  they have informed me that they are in the process now of building a guest house in Pestel!!   This is a really wonderful development and will really be a excellent expansion of the good work that has already been going on in Pestel for years!   I'm excited to see it!  From my perspective this provides a crucial element to the work moving forward.  The house is being built in the mountain village of Ferye where Sisters Fidelis and Jo both live.  
This is a video from 2008 of the property:
[I should probably make an updated version] 

What Did Slate Hill Do With Ten Bucks and a Talent?

The challenge: to turn ten dollars and a talent you have into resources for expanding the reign of God. During this summer, participants in Slate Hill: Mission in Motion, the intergenerational Christian education series, had the opportunity to invest time and talent into raising money to buy supplies to make solar food dryers, which will be used in Haiti to preserve food for sale at markets and for eating in the off season.  Designed by Johnny Zook and supported by Thriving Villages International, the nonprofit started by Ben and Jen Fredrick, a solar food dryer like the kind that will be built in Haiti sat at the front of the church throughout the summer as a reminder of where the ten-bucks-and-a-talent money was heading.

So what talents did people put to use to go along with the ten dollars? The following is not an exhaustive list, in part because the projects were just finishing up in late August and early September, but it includes at least some of the participants and the creative projects they did:

--Betty Zimmerman made purses and sold them at the Messiah Village gift store, with proceeds benefiting both the solar-dryer project and a Messiah Village fundraising project.

--Paul Sollenberger baked cookies and sold them at the Slate Hill rummage sale.

--Julie Zook made jewelry and sold it at various church functions.

--Lucy McAloose made packages of cookies to sell.

--Nancy Nisly and Janet Zimmerman sold whoopie pies and Nancy sold zucchini bread during coffee time.

--John Eby made greeting cards and Joyce Eby made mini-loaves of zucchini bread and pies to sell during coffee time.

--Lorraine Myers made blueberry and rhubarb jam and sold it at the Slate Hill rummage sale.

--Dave Haury baked four batches of butterhorn rolls and sold them during coffee time at church.

--Dottie Seitz made apple, strawberry-rhubarb, and blueberry pies and sold them to friends and family.

--Jeremy and Stacy Stoltzfus made pulled pork barbecue to sell at a kids' soccer game on August 21.

--Matt and Ben Fasick, Micah and Ellie Frederick, and Sam, Isaiah, and Henry Weaver Zercher bought additional refreshments to sell at the soccer game on August 21.

--Isaiah and Henry Weaver Zercher sold spinach and radishes from their garden to neighbors and grandparents.


Several people, like Dottie Seitz, reinvested their initial profits in order to produce more items. Dottie took the proceeds from sales of her first pies in order to buy supplies for future ones.  She says that when people heard that the profits would be used to make solar food dryers, they were eager to donate even more than she was asking for per pie. "People were very willing and glad to give to that," Dottie says. "My cousin gave me twenty-five dollars for one pie!"

Slate Hill: Mission in Motion was coordinated by the Evangelism, Peace, and Service Commission in cooperation and with support from the Christian Education Commission. Thanks to Luisa Miller for keeping attendance with the "passports" and to Rose Haury for making the Slate Hill: Mission in Motion banner.

-- submitted by Valerie Weaver-Zercher


Sunday, August 21, 2011

August news bits

Hi all,

During the summer months our church (Slate Hill Mennonite Church) has been featuring a different missions group after the church service.  As part of this missions in motion summer series, the coordinators put together a very clever fund-raiser.  They made $10 available to anyone who wanted to use his/her talents to try to raise more money for Thriving Villages.  Specifically, the funds will be used to help provide solar fruit dryers that Johnny Zook as developed for Pestel.   

I think the idea is fantastic, and is based on Jesus' parable of the talents.    I'll see about getting you a write-up of the different ways people used their gifts.  

One really creative way occurred today after church.  Several of the kids in our church have been planning a soccer game fund-raiser that happened after church today.  As part of that, some of the $10 was used to purchase drinks and food to sell at the soccer game.  

It's really exciting for us to see people excited about participating in helping the people of Pestel.  And it's amazing to see young children coming up with creative ways to participate all on their own!  

A couple of weeks ago our church held a rummage sale.  Pat and Bill White put a tremendous amount of time and effort into this, and half the proceeds were donated to Thriving Villages!!   They raised over $800 for Thriving Villages!

I'll let you know how much the $10 fundraiser brought in.  I think the final total will come next week, or thereabouts.

This is really about allowing us to participate in the good work that God has laid out.  It's not and has never been compulsory.  In fact, you've probably seen a general lack of appeals for donations and so forth.  That's been intentional, and is our way of operating as we try to determine how best to navigate forward in God's will.   If people are compelled it is because the message is somehow ringing true in their lives.  

There are a couple of important items that we'd ask you consider praying about:

  • Tropical Storm Irene.  It's going to hit Haiti around Tuesday.  
    • A tropical storm can cause significant devastation, especially in a place like Haiti.  The word I received about the last tropical storm is that it did not appear to cause much damage.  That's based on limited info, but I also didn't see much in the news.
  • Political situation in Pestel.  Recently the new representative to the Haitian govt for Pestel died (gunshot).   An investigation is underway.  
  • Sabbatical.  I'm putting together a proposal to take a sabbatical next year (July 2012-June 2013).  I'll be meeting with my Chair this week to talk about it.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A few items

Hi all,

I received an email back from Wings of Hope, the orphanage in PAP that had two children recently die.  The cause was cholera, and they've been able to stop the cholera and all are back to normal health now.   Thanks for your prayers!!

My friend Charles forwarded this new website to me, just released by the World Health Organization.  It's on Nutrition issues.   

What's encouraging to me to see is that their initial focus is on some of the areas that we're engaged in for Pestel:  
Vitamin A
Iron deficiency anemia

I was pleased to read this in particular:
In settings where the prevalence of anaemia in preschool or school-age children is 20% or higher, the WHO recommends the intermittent use of iron supplements as a public health intervention to prevent anaemia and improve the iron status among these children.

Pestel's anemia prevalence is 50%.  As part of our Anemia Campaign in Pestel we are trying the intermittent (weekly) dosing of iron in some Sections and comparing it to daily dosing of iron in other Sections.  

So the WHO site is good validation that we're on the right track!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tropical storm Emily

Hi everyone

I've been watching a storm down in the Atlantic, and it appears that it will go over Haiti sometime tomorrow evening or Thursday morning

I've sent word to Dr. Seneque so that he can notify the workers to spread the word.   It does not appear to be a hurricane at this point.


Thriving Villages Blog

Monday, August 1, 2011

Pray for an orphanage in Haiti

Hi all,

In the past I have helped a couple of orphanages in PAP.  One of those orphanages is called Wings of Hope, and they provide care and love to about 30 or so handicapped and severely disabled kids.  Many have cerebral palsy and seizure disorders, and mental retardation.  A number of them are wheelchair bound, for example.   The orphanage is amazing.

Over the weekend, though, I received an email that 2 of their children had died.  Both inexplicably.  I knew both of them.   This morning I received another email, that I will share below.
I have emailed them back to see if there is anything I can do, and I will pass that along to you once I find out.  

Please pray for the community of Wings of Hope.   You may recall that they had to abandon their orphanage after the earthquake caused severe structural damage.  I blogged about this last year.  

--------------------- Email from Wings of Hope------------

Please keep the children of Wings of Hope, and their caregivers, in your prayers. Some others are now sick and we are doing everything we can for them physically and medically, but also know the value of surrounding them in prayer.

We do not know exactly what is causing this, but we are treating the symptoms with the best medical care we can. And surrounding them with prayer, tenderness and love.

This is a scary time for everyone — the children who are sick, the people who are caring for them, and the other children who wonder what is happening to their friends and who are frightened that they might be next.

Your support, friendship and love is what sustains us. Please stand with us now and surround everyone involved with your prayers.


Their website


Thriving Villages Blog

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Water in Pestel

Hi all,

I did some quick analysis on the water-related questions from the 2010 Household survey.  I've attached the findings.  This data was collected by the health workers (APPAS) late last year.

A few notes:   First, this is not all the data.   The water related questions were only 1 section among many many sections in the survey.  Also, about 85% of the data has been entered.  Unfortunately one of the sections (Section 3) submitted data that is almost entirely uninterpretable.  That's a real shame. 

Keep in mind that we will analyze the data based on geography....we may see geographic patterns to some of these answers.  We can also analyze it based on other factors, such as household size, rate of diarrheal illness in the community, and so forth.

The summary:    
  • There is very little potable/drinkable water in Pestel.
  • 1/2 of people do not currently do anything to make their water safe.   1/4 of them let the water sit and settle to make it safer.
  • The average hike to get water:  145 minutes.
  • 1/2 collect rainwater in buckets or cisterns.   Again, we'll likely see a geographic distribution to this because the streams only exist in certain areas.  
We are in the early stages of planning a well-drilling venture for the people of Pestel!   Obviously this is going to be a very big project and it will take time to pull this together.  We are really excited about the possibilities that are beginning to open up.  And we'll keep you informed!!

There are many parts that are already moving, at different speeds, and many individuals who are exploring possibilities.  

We realize that a life-giving project like this is in line with our mission:  
Thriving Villages is a Christian organization called to demonstrate God's goodness and compassion. We will work collaboratively and holistically with individuals and organizations, utilizing our gifts and skills to address issues of health, poverty, and development in rural Pestel, Haiti and beyond.

But we also must discern the timing, the pace, the implementation, and many thorny issues along the way.  

As you pray for the work (and workers!) please consider this important area in particular.

Thriving Villages Blog

Sunday, July 24, 2011

About the artists

Just a couple of more notes of interest regarding those recent photos:

The photographer is Steve Miller, and  you can view more of his work here at

The painter is  Brad Schmehl and you can view more of his work at

Thriving Villages Blog


I think this is really neat.  I'm attaching some photos that Sister Fidelis sent me.
What you're seeing is the work of 3 artists:
1.  The original photo was taken by Steve Miller, the professional photographer (and friend!) who has been to Pestel a couple of times with me.  If you have the Haiti calendar you know very well how God has blessed the work of his hands.
2.  The 2nd is a painting of Steve's photo, done by a local artist who typically fetches thousands for his paintings.  He was obviously drawn to Steve's photo.
3.  The third:  the frames for the photos were made by the man holding the pictures.  You can see that he is similarly proud of his work.

Sister Jo is also in one of the photos, and she has also been gifted with incredible artistic talents.  I had the joy of watching her do some work with ceramics when I visited the Sisters of St. Francis in Sylvania, OH.  She also has started up arts therapy classes in Pestel to help some of the kids who moved back to Pestel after having lived through the earthquake.  [sidenote:  so far it appears that about 1/3 of families in Pestel took in, on average, 4 people after the earthquake who returned to the area from PAP]


Thriving Villages Blog

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cholera in Haiti

Hi all,

I've seen several reports lately about cholera making a resurgence in Haiti.  Partners in Health is reporting that they saw 15,000 cases in June, up from 4000 in April.
It appears to be worse in the rural areas, and is being accelerated by the rainy season. 

Thriving Villages Blog

Saturday, July 16, 2011

I should have waited for two more minutes...

Hi all,

After I sent that email I went down to check my mail.  I was quite surprised to see a letter from the president of my alma mater writing to notify me that I've been selected to receive the Messiah College's 2011 Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award.

This is a very wonderful honor, and again, incredibly humbling.   Heaven knows I'm anything but 'Distinguished'!!

This is more encouragement that the work of Thriving Villages is on the right track.

Take another look at the kids in that photo.  I find that I tend to look past their clothes and surroundings and directly into their eyes.  Those are kids with hopes and joys.



Thriving Villages Blog


Hi all,

As I was going through stacks of stuff (that have been accumulating for a bit now) I came across this photo.  I had mentioned this snap (that's what they call them in India!  Fun!) back after my June trip because I was so pleased to have received it from one of the workers.  

The worker came up to me, beaming, and said through a translator, "This photo for you.  These are some of the children in my section that received the medication."   I could tell he was very pleased.

And I am too.  

Thriving Villages Blog

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Map of Pestel

Hi all,

BIG thanks to Novneet who has been working at plotting Pestel's villages using specialized software.  I'm attaching a view from Google Earth.  You can see what Novneet has done:  the 6 sections of Pestel are outlined (the borders are official borders), and the villages within those sections are placed.   Though what you're seeing is just a photo, in Google Earth I can click on any of those points and it tells me what the village name is, what the GPS coordinates are.   But it'll be able to do A LOT more.  We can set it up so that it tells us how many kids are in that village, the rates of malnutrition....

And he can change the color of the village marker, for example, to red if the degree of malnutrition is above a certain %.   In that way we'll be able to determine by looking at the map the areas with greatest needs.

Same thing can be done for water.   Many of you are doing data entry.   The data you enter will be converted into totals and averages.   For example, one of the questions on the household survey relates to whether people have to pay for water....and also how far they have to walk to get water.    We will be able to use this information to better determine where wells might be placed.

Just one example.

Pretty cool, huh?

We had to have the workers collect that GPS coordinates on the villages because that information simply did not exist.    Next, once they are done obtaining the GPS coordinates on the rest of the villages we'll scour Google Earth to look for possible villages within the sections of Pestel.    If we find some, we'll send the workers to those GPS coordinates (Geocaching anyone?   :)

Let me know if you're interested in helping us scour the countryside of Pestel from the comfort of your own living room     :)    


Thriving Villages Blog

Monday, July 11, 2011

Quick note

We shipped down some medical supplies for the Anemia Campaign today (as it turns out the workers ran out of lancets last week, which is what we sent down today).  Jen took the 5 heavy boxes to the UPS store.

Long-story-short:  it wasn't cheap to send the items down.  BUT when she was describing to the store owner where they were going he offered to reduce the charge by 20%, which amounted to a $300 savings!

That's pretty awesome!   Gifts and donations and resources come in different ways, and it's always exciting to share about it.

There are a number of ways of looking at this.  Some that come to mind:
1.  "Hey!  that's lucky!"
2.  Someone just gave $300 in services
3.  We just saved $300 that can now be used for other purposes

The mistake would be in passing this (and other gifts) by too quickly.  But it's worth a moment to thank God for multiplying and blessing the work of our collective hands.  

Thriving Villages Blog

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Data entry

Hi everyone

I'm hoping to get the household data entry finished up by the end of July.   The data will be very important as we plan for 2012.   

I still have about 40 surveys that need to be entered.  If you are willing to help with the data entry please let me know.  I can send you 10 pages (or more if you'd like!)


Thriving Villages Blog

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Almost no drama for the week....

I think I've steeled myself for a certain level of drama, especially in Pestel, but for some inexplicable reason there was none this time!   The time in Pestel was really very nice.  I enjoyed the experience very much, and felt like I got most things done that I wanted to

The travel was a different matter.   16 hours to Pestel from PAP, instead of 8.   And 13 hours from Pestel to PAP due to a crazy 'detour' traffic jam.  I have a bit of video that I'll send.  Unreal.

And to top it off, my airline woes continued.  FIrst, I had one of the stranger experiences at the airport that I've yet encountered.  A big guy took my bags as I stepped in line outside.  Usually I don't let them them do this, but he really grabbed them and trucked off, yelling out "Fast lane!  Express lane...follow me!"   A mass of people stood in front of me to get inside.  I called out to him to bring the luggage back, but then several of the workers also encouraged me to follow him, grabbing my hand and pulling me after him.   He then had me climb up and then hoisted me (literally) into the front-end of the tight group, all packed in like sardines wriggling to get through the door.
Arguing erupted as some of the Haitians (rightfully, in my opinion) didn't want to let this worker through with my luggage (but he was a big guy, and the airport police stepped up over the wall to try to wrestle him, the luggage, and me through.  
The way I got through the door was something like being birthed.  I mean, it was very strange.  I was pushed from behind while airport police grabbed my arms from the front, and I somehow landed inside into a cleared out space with my luggage, and the mass behind me.
I ended up paying ($$) dearly for that one, and it did me no good whatsoever.  

I used a different airline than the one I typically take.  The flight was to leave at 2pm and I had prudently arrived 2 hours in advance.   After waiting in line for a solid hour, and realizing I had only passed through stage 1 of 5...I began to wonder if I was going to miss the flight.  Well, it turned out that the computers weren't working well and they were having a difficult time printing out tickets  (When I did finally make it to the front I was met with, "Sir, there is a problem with your ticket...").   Anyway, the flight was delayed anyway by 2 hours, so it didn't end up mattering too much.  Except it was hot.  And I did get my ticket.

Finally we were ready to board and they let us go up to the walkway that led to the airplane.  But the plane had not fully unboarded yet, so we stood in this long, thin, poorly air conditioned glass hallway.  After about 30 minutes we were finally allowed on board, but it was too late for a poor 80 year old lady who fainted and vomited.   Yours truly responded to "Is there a doctor on the flight?"    I won't relay the account, but it was less than satisfactory from my perspective.  I couldn't get anyone to translate for me initially, and when someone did, they received quite contradictory commands from some other guy who essentially kept telling them to do all the wrong things.   Ugh.

So what's the point?  I don't know!  I guess I just needed to get that off my chest.

Sometimes this stuff just ain't easy.  And there's usually a bit of drama thrown in there somewhere.

Thanks for all the kind and gracious words, by the way!!   You really made my day!
Thriving Villages Blog

Thursday, June 16, 2011

What do Mennonites and Haitians have in common?

What do Mennonites and Haitians have in common?

There are many answers to this one, I'm sure.

When I began attending the Mennonite church we started receiving a publication called The Mennonite. It was (and is) a wonderful magazine, and one thing jumped out at me. There is a steep learning curve on the number of organizations that Mennonites are proud of. MCC, EMM, EMU, MDS and so forth.

To those who are Mennonites these terms are obvious, but to the uninitiated they can become a dizzying collection of letters that you suspect mean something important to someone. You're not in the loop yet, and as you peruse the pages of The Mennonite you see more and more of these organizations, often listed out in the same sentence. Some of the acronyms become so complex and lengthy that you wonder why they just didn't use a clever word-string like "WeDoGoodStuff".

Haitians seem to love acronyms as well. For example, there are 5 Pestel organizations that are working with Heifer International: KPA, OEJEDP, REJEDP, SOUP, and ASSOPAD. (How do you like that last one?) And of course there are more than just those five.

Yesterday, not to be left behind, the 18 workers and 1 manager of our health program recommended that they develop a name for their 'organization.' I thought that made sense, given that we've been calling our work generic terms like "Vitamin A Campaign", "Child Health Campaign", and "Anemia Campaign". Ok, I said, let's come up with some names. "Oh no, Dr. Ben, we already have three names that we talked about as a group." They wrote the names up on the board, and of course they all had acronyms.

Now I'm pleased to announce that a new organization exists in Pestel! I can tell they and Dr. Seneque are quite pleased with it. The new organization is APPAS.

(I subtly suggested that ASAP could be clever because of it's connotation in the USA. Oh well)

I think I have this right: Association of Peasants from Pestel Advancing (or Assisting) Health.

Not bad!

Look out Mennonites. The Haitians are starting to catch up!

PS: I would like to find funding to print up shirts (they really want matching, labeled shirts) with APPAS on it, and we'll print out new name badges for them. This will help identify them to the villages and I think it helps to highlight the important work they are doing.

Thriving Villages Blog

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Quite an honor...

Hi all,

The hospital has been without electricity all day, and they finally got it turned on about an hour ago.  So Dr. Seneque thoughtfully sent someone to pick me up and bring me (by!) to the hospital to check email.  

I was going through email and almost deleted this one because I thought it was some announcement....but it turns out that it is VERY good that I did not delete it.   

This, of course, comes as an incredible shock to me.  I am quite sure they picked wrongly, but I'll certainly take the opportunity!   This will fall about a month after the "White Coat Ceremony", held in August for the incoming 1st year medical students.  I have been asked to be the keynote speaker at that, which is another honor (and surprise).

So you can rejoice with me!!

Dear Dr. Fredrick,


During Alumni Weekend (September 16-17), we will be celebrating 40 years of medical school graduates from Penn State College of Medicine. As I am sure you know our first class graduated in 1971. There will be a celebration event on Friday, September 16 during Alumni Weekend and as part of that celebration we will be producing a publication to share with those in attendance. The publication will be entitled "Four Decades of Shaping the Future of Medicine".


Former deans as well as Dr. Cheston Berlin and Dr. Graham Jeffries will be featured in the booklet and we would like to feature you as one of the 40 individuals we have selected who have impacted and shaped the College of Medicine and the Future of Medicine. Your work has brought much pride to the College of Medicine. Would you be willing to be profiled in this publication?


Thriving Villages Blog

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Email #3

Ok, so here's the thing:   I'm sitting in Dr. Seneque's office right now where he has electricity...and that means a fan is blowing on me.  So I am not at all eager to leave.   I may just keep writing emails all night as an excuse to stay put....

I'm attaching a photo of a mom and her two kids.  I saw the mom last night when she was having a bad asthma attack.  She had an inhaler, and I wrote a note for her daughter to go to the clinic and get some prednisone.   The pharmacy doesn't have prednisone.   Scratch that.
I showed her how to use the inhaler correctly and gave her some instructions.

This morning she was doing great!   She was pretty happy and so were her kids.

Another brief note:  I received an email that I have received $1500 grant to help with the anemia campaign!!  The timing on that is very good.

Thriving Villages Blog

Email #2

This email has no connection with the prior.  

The training went well today, but it's going to be a nail-bitter to see if we can get all the material covered in time.  Every day requires a substantial modification of the plan for the next day.  We tackled Medical Records today....I gotta tell you:   the workers are really great.  But it's also clear that I'm stretching them beyond their educational training.    They are eager, interested, engaged...all the things you want from learners.   I do find myself having to 'step back' to describe something that I had taken for granted they would know/understand.   Sometimes they just don't have any reference to work off of.   That requires a level of creativity on my part....frankly, fun and challenging.  As long as it all works out ok!!

I met with KPA's leadership this afternoon.  I have got to say:  Sister Fidelis has done a Fantastic job in organizing and developing this group!!   They are a true breath of fresh air (actually, more appropriately right now, they are a true breath of cool, refreshing air.  It's hot!).  And they are so well grounded in their love for the neighbors.  It's a true testament and witness to Sister Fidelis'  own heart.   I 'pitched' a couple of thoughts to them to potentially help position them in case (or, When) Heifer increases their involvement in Pestel.  They are very interested in the solar fruit dryer that Johnny Zook has developed, and will be providing us with some feedback on the Char-Rocket stove later in the summer after they've had more time to work with it.

They also mentioned their desire to start up an orphanage.   Again, this gives you a glimpse into the sorts of items that are on their heart.   I think I've told you about their community gardens:  plots of land cultivated by members of KPA, and some of the produce is sold at low cost to needy families.   They also have a program that helps impoverished families with essential needs (such as a roof for the house).   

These are not wealthy individuals in the sense of finances.  They are wealthy in terms of their spiritual wealth.  They are really filled with God's love.  You should meet them.   :)


Thriving Villages Blog

Email #1

Hi all,  I'm going to send a couple of separate emails because the content/tone is so different.  I hope you'll excuse the profuse outpouring....

June 14, 2011

Yesterday after I wrote in an email that 6% of children in Pestel have severe malnutrition, I finished up my online work, closed down the computer, and went out to meet Dr. Seneque in the health center. On the other side of the room, lying on an old gurney, was a small child, a limp sleeping infant. I went over and looked at him and my first thought was that he was dehydrated and may have cholera. But then I recalled that they were treating cases of cholera in tents outside (there are several patients with cholera in those tents even now. Dr. Seneque said that with the Cuban medical teams, they treated 8000 patients for cholera). I looked more closely and saw that he was dehydrated, but also malnourished.

There was no IV running, no nurse attending to him, no medical therapy. I thought all of this a bit odd. I stepped outside where I met Dr. Seneque and I mentioned the little child. The boy has malnutrition, he said. His mother had passed me going into the hospital as I went out, and the mother and boy were there, not because of the child, but because of the grandmother whose right leg has a bad wound on it. She was lying on a mattress on the floor parallel to him, and I had seen her as well but I didn't know they were related.

IV fluids could have killed this child with severe malnutrition. The medical tendency to fix this problem quickly has actually been shown to do harm. It turns out that the boy was not even in the hospital for himself, but was given a bed to lie on to sleep.

Here is one of the 6%. And it is a great sadness to see him and know that he is not unique in his illness. Imagine 100 people in a room, and 6 people out of that 100 have the same very visible problem. Now imagine another 16 people with a moderate or mild case of the same problem. This is the situation of malnutrition in Pestel. There is no error of hyping up this problem, any more than there is in over-dramatizing a destructive tornado or hurricane. Telling it just as it is is horrifying and tragic enough.

NOW:   I am back in the clinic and the grandmother is in the same position as yesterday, but I didn't see the baby and mom at first.  I happened to go out to the back where an acquaintance greeted me, then showed me over to the baby and mother.  The baby looks to be about 3 months old by size, but the mom said she's 6 months old.  It's a girl, not a boy.   Her skin looks pretty rough with some rashes and splotches.   She's a tiny thing.

The mom is depressed.  She looks so sad.   As hard as it is to see the baby, it is equally as hard to watch her breastfeed the child with the little girl's eyes staring straight up at her mom, and her mom being expressionless....sad.   

Thriving Villages Blog

Monday, June 13, 2011

Hello from Pestel


We left Port-au-Prince yesterday at 6AM and arrived in Pestel in the dark at 10:30pm.    It's supposed to be an 8 hour drive...but we had car trouble.  :)   The radiator blew a hole in the bottom, and fortunately it happened when we were next to a garage that could repair it.

It made for a very long day.   

The training went well today, and the materials I brought and the strategy for the Anemia Campaign seem to be acceptable to everyone so far.   Actually, what's really cool is that Dr. Seneque is sending out Vaccinators this week to vaccinate as many kids as possible, and we can give the Vaccinators the child-carried records so that they can start updating them.    If the vaccine campaign had happened last week the child-records would not be in Pestel....and the kids would have gotten vaccinated, but then next year no one would know who-received-what....   So some kids get too many vaccinations while others never get any.    

I was able to see Anderson for a bit Saturday night and he continues to do well.  Nakesha had a graduation party on Sunday and her mom was VERY busy making all sorts of things for the party.   BIG three-layer cake...baked goods etc etc.  

I spoke more with Dr. Seneque about UNICEF's request that we consider tackling malnutrition, and he thinks it's a very good idea.   He is quite eager for it, actually.   He had been getting supplies from Medicines for the World but at some point that stopped.  So he's very familiar with the protocols etc.  This is a HUGE problem with HUGE and complex solutions.    I am praying for wisdom. 

By the way, not incidentally all of the supplies made it to PAP, and about 1/2 of the supplies made it out to Pestel.  I think that's remarkable, especially when you hear about the incredible difficulty I had in the airports (Dulles, then Miami).  

The next big question mark is whether the cell phone data entry process will work in Pestel or not.  It would be really really nice if it just went smoothly.

It's exciting to tell people about the work going on here.  It's really mind-blowing when you sit and add it up quick....all the things that have happened, and are happening....all the people who are participating and organizations that are 'signing on'.   It's no small matter, in my mind.

I don't know if it's hot where you are, but it ain't too pleasant here.

One last thing:   I received a photo from from one of the workers today.  It is a picture of about 5 or 6 kids from up in his section (Section 4).  He wanted to give it to me to show me some of the kids that we're helping.   This small gift means a great deal to me.

Thriving Villages Blog

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Appendix A

Ok--so you might be nervous opening an email from a physician with the word "appendix" in the title.  But it's not THAT kind of appendix....

I put together a couple of clips from my visit to Unicef's depot.   Nothing fancy (and no music...sorry).   But what is cool is that I showed these clips to my kids and they were so excited!  They were thrilled that all these medicines are going out to help the kids in Pestel.   

And of course I am too!


Thriving Villages Blog

A moment to reflect

It's a worthwhile exercise to pause at times and take stock.

You have seen these numbers:

  • $3...the cost per child to run the 2010 campaign. This will increase to $5 per child in 2011 because of the Anemia Campaign.

  • 12,000...the number of children that received Vitamin A and Anti-parasitic medication twice in 2010 and once in 2011 already. That means we are well on the path to eliminating Vitamin A deficiency in all of Pestel! We planned to reach about 50% of children in 2010, but instead we have reached about 80% of children!! We are ahead of schedule.

  • 50,000...the number of Vitamin A capsules provided by Vitamin Angels. They provided the same number of Albendazole tablets. They have identified our project in Pestel for a site visit with an external auditor in 2011.

  • 230...the number of villages that we've identified in Pestel, and we're still counting. We have mapped these by GPS. We can see gaps on the maps where the workers still need to visit/explore. Through this approach we intend to reach the furthest child in the furthest village.

  • 7...the average Hemoglobin level on the island (Section 6). Normal hemoglobin levels are above 11.

  • 25%...percentage of children with some degree of malnutrition. 6% of children from ages 6 months to 5 years have moderate-to-severe malnutrition. UNICEF is interested in partnering with us to tackle this very large and daunting problem.

  • 1 in 8...the odds of a child born in Pestel dying before the age of 5. We expect this will improve already because of the Vitamin A supplements (which boost immune function, reduce death from measles and other causes). Immunizations are about to begin which will further reduce death from other preventible diseases such as tetanus. Further reductions will be seen as we drill wells, install water treatment units such as the one to be placed on the island (Water Missions International), and address elements of malnutrition.

  • 1 million...tablets of iron that UNICEF is providing for the new anemia campaign. The original plan was to pilot the anemia campaign on the island with 1400 children. We are instead expanding this to 12,000 children throughout Pestel!

What you may not have seen:

  • 4...the number of new health workers that we added to the ranks in 2011. That brings our team up to 18 workers with 1 manager. 19 Haitians are now being given meaningful work with reasonable pay, thanks largely to Variety International's ongoing generosity.

  • $20K...the amount that Variety International has provided to install a robust water treatment unit on the island (this funding is beyond their annual commitment!). The unit is designed by and installed by Water Missions International.

  • 5..Haitian community organizations in Pestel with which Heifer International is now working. 5...also the number of goats that each of the 120 recipients will receive from Heifer, with the expectation that recipients will eventually give away 5 goats to their neighbors. Heifer's involvement is very important because they bring a solid resource base with them, decades of experience, and provide elements of economic development, personal responsibility training, and community involvement in decision-making.

  • $350...the annual amount that Dr. Seneque needed to begin immunizations. The request went out by email and was provided within by a donor within 24 hours. This is just one example among many. We have witnessed this kind of generosity repeatedly. Individuals are generously giving in a faithful (and quiet) response to God's leading, churches are becoming involved, organizations are being directed by God to participate. It is an exciting work!

  • 15,000...child health records that were brought down to Pestel in June. Each child will receive a unique medical record number, and their parents will have a record that they carry home with them. The record includes information on immunizations received, Vitamin A & Albendazole administration, and the child's levels of hemoglobin and malnutrition.

  • 20...cell phones purchased that are compatible with's program to allow health workers to collect data on the children using cell phone technology. This will hopefully reduce the time to collect, enter, and analyze important health data from Pestel. This kind of data provides a higher level of credibility for the work, and organizations are very interested in this. I will be sending the data we entered last year from the Child Health Campaigns to UNICEF because they are interested in seeing it.

  • 4...the number of trips to Haiti I've taken so far in 2011. Again, I am able to do this because of a very caring family that feels the weight of all this, generous donors, a supportive boss, and a great deal of prayer and encouragement from people like yourselves.

  • :) … on the faces of the parents and children. Smiles on the faces of the health workers who wanted to celebrate completion of a full year with the program! Smiles on the organizations when they see that we've collected baseline data. Donors smiles when they see their gifts being well-used, and the joy they experience through participation.

God is multiplying each and every gift and effort. We seek to do well with what we have been given because we know that pleases God. May our responses be faithful, and may God be recognized for pouring out His Goodness on the people of Pestel as He has already begun to do in a most visible way.

God is good to you too and desires good for you. He desires that you seek Him for He is Good, The Source of Goodness.



Thriving Villages Blog