Helping Hurricane Victims in Haiti

Jeff and I will have the privilege to travel to Israel in January with Fr. Rick Frechette and a group of people associated with an outreach in Haiti called NPH. They have recently gone through many trials during the storms in Haiti. Below is an excerpt of his website news as well as an address where you can direct your contributions. We hope you can help! In the U.S., NPH is supported by Friends of the Orphans. Your contribution will help NPH meet its needs and continue to help its neighbors affected by this latest natural disaster.

Please mail checks to:

Friends of the Orphans Mid-Atlantic/Northeast Region

8618 Westwood Center Drive

Suite 405

Vienna, VA 22182 or Call 703-848-2072 to find out about other ways you can help.

Just a week after Hurricane Gustav hit Haiti, Hurricane Hanna struck with massive winds and rain and caused even more flooding and mudslides.

Located 5,000 feet above sea level on 15 acres in Kenscoff, located above Port-au-Prince, Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos (NPH) is home to over 450 orphaned, abandoned and disadvantaged children and supports an additional 150 who live with their families. The home has 19 residential cottages, an open-air amphitheater, chapel, farm and a primary school (grades 1-8).

While Gustav caused no major damage at the home, Hanna has left a path of destruction that is still being discovered.

Fortunately none of the children, volunteers and staff at NPH have been hurt. Outside of the home, people have not been so lucky. In the last few weeks, Hurricanes Fay, Gustav and Hanna have killed more than 100 people with the country's deforested hills collapsing under the relentless rains. Many homes are filled with mud and people have been forced to climb on roofs to save themselves.

This year, living expenses have continued to escalate beyond the reach of most people who live on $2 a day.   The situation has resulted in violent demonstrations.   On Monday, September 8, 2008, there will be a national organized strike and all schools will be suspended due to an increase in tuition.   While the NPH school will remain open, road blocks are expected and they may cause transportation problems.   In addition, food has just increased another $10 per kilo bag.   The current storms have destroyed gardens which has intensified the food crisis. People are being forced to eat argile "cookies" which are actually made of clay, because they cannot find enough food.

All nine NPH homes have outreach programs to serve people in their surrounding communities. Father/Dr. Rick Frechette, National Director of NPH Haiti and Medical Director of NPH International, reports that the NPH team is continuing its efforts to help their neighbors as much as possible. Near NPH's children's hospital in Tabarre, located next to Port-au-Prince, - the only free pediatric facility in the entire country - the team is distributing food and household goods. "On Friday, I will be going to Gonaives by United Nations helicopter to help the sisters of Mother Teresa," states Fr. Rick. "They were flooded up to the second floor and some of their patients drowned."

In the coming weeks, NPH will continue to distribute food, as well as help people replant their gardens and rebuild their homes.

Emily Returns From Israel!

Over the summer I had the opportunity to take my family to the Holy Land with a wonderful group of 50 pilgrims. I returned with the children, while Emily remained in Israel to excavate at two archaeological sites, Kadesh and Hippos. She returned home the end of July and we were excited to have her home again. I am eager to work with Emily as she brings the field of archaeology to the Great Adventure.

Here is a photo of Emily cleaning a mosaic floor from the Byzantine Era at Hippos, near the Sea of Galilee. This excavation counts toward her degree from the University of Minnesota in Classical Archaeology.

Emily is also learning Biblical Hebrew at the U of M and may teach beginning Hebrew to those interested in the Twin City area.

There are upcoming opportunities to travel with us to the Holy Land and Greece/Turkey next year. Check out the information under Pilgrimages. Our family tour in June was so wonderful that we plan to do another family tour in the summer of 2010.

Music for the Lenten Season

VickiA dear friend of ours, Vicki Kueppers, a vocalist and cantor, has recently recorded a meditative CD of sacred songs for Lent, "Lenten Reflections." The recording also features pianist Steven C and the vocal ensemble "Voice Trek." Check out her website to hear samples from her CD and also order there as well. Her music and ministry has blessed our family and we're sure you will be blessed as well by her clear, beautiful voice.