Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas... Joyeux Noel...

Our family takes great pleasure in wishing you a wonderful Christmas season, and a Happy New Year 2008. We pray that this will be a great season in your life, when the fact of Jesus’ coming to this world will take significance in new and meaningful ways.
One our favorite Christmas songs is Michael Card’s “Joseph’s Song.” In that song Card imagines what was going through Joseph’s mind while holding baby Jesus. The refrain sings:
Father, show me where I fit into this plan of yours.
How can a man be father to the son of God?
Lord, for all my life I have been a simple carpenter
How can I raise a king? How can I raise a king?
Through these words, one sees a Joseph who is perplexed and humbled, yet very aware of the task at hand and asking of God to help him carry out his responsibilities. As we read the Christmas story with Daniella this morning (Sophie was sleeping, like baby Jesus would have doneJ), we could not but stop and ask God to show us anew what his plans for our lives were, and more, to show us the part he intended for us to play in the redemptive story that continues to unfold. We also thanked God for two other very precious gifts to us, Daniella and Sophie, and prayed that he would show us how to raise them in his ways.
Whereas Joseph played a very unique part in the story, our situation is not very much different from his. At some point in time each person needs to wrestle with what to make of Jesus and there is no better time to ask God once again to show us where we fit in his plan.
Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Road to Recovery

We want to take some time to thank you for your continued prayers on our behalf. We are doing better. Daniella continues to improve and is coughing less. Please pray that the cough will go away completely and will not return. It has been a cycle. She gets better, and then the cough comes back (as if out of nowhere). Sophie’s x-ray did come back normal. However, she is still coughing and is very congested. Lara is also feeling much better and has regained much of her strength back. This was a huge blessing as I was gone most of the time this week because of class. I am still trying to stay healthy, although I am not 100% at the moment.
Overall, we are feeling better than we felt two weeks ago. We credit your prayers for that and are grateful.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The Test of Winter?!

We thank you for your continued prayers on behalf of our family.
This note is to request special prayers for Lara and Sophie. They have been coughing too for a couple weeks now. Lara's cough got so severe that we went to the doctor yesterday, and she was diagnosed with acute bronchitis. She is taking medication to alleviate her pain and remedy the situation.
Sophie's cough got worse on Friday. I just returned from the doctor (Tues., 4:00PM) and they said it is either bronchitis or pneumonia. We have done a chest x-ray and are awating the results.
I am still standing and doing my best to stay healthy. Pray that God will touch the girls so that they can get better (Daniella continues to improve). Pray that God will give me extra strength as I continue to care for them, write, and get ready for an intensive course next week.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Latest on Daniella

Good afternoon,
Here is the latest on Daniella. We went to the doctor on Monday, and found that the fever was caused by an ear infection. Daniella is currently taking some antibiotic to take care of that problem. Upon further review of the tests and discussion, asthma has been ruled out. However, Daniella continues to cough. The doctor has administered a new allergy medication, and has set an appointment for us to go see a specialist if the cough does not go away.
Daniella is visibly doing much better and is back to being her old self. As we continue the treatment we also crave your prayers.
Thank you very much.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Update on Daniella

We hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Thank you very much for your prayers on behalf of Daniella. The x-ray result came back on Monday and her chest and lungs are clear. At this point, it does not seem that asthma is the case. However, she continues to cough and has been running a high grade fever. We have called an explained the situation and are currently (Sunday, 10:30AM) awaiting for the nurse to call back and let us know whether to bring her in or not. If not (since they close at 12 noon), we will take her back to see the doctor tomorrow morning.
We thank you for the care and support you demonstrated toward our family during this time. We continue to cherish your prayers on our behalf.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Prayer Request for Daniella

We would like to request prayer for our daughter Daniella. She is almost 2 1/2 years old. She has been coughing since June, when we returned from Jamaica. We have been to the doctor several times, and she has been treating it as an allergy. However, the cough is getting worse. She now coughs so hard that she wakes herself up at nights, and recently threw up a couple times. We took her to the doctor, again, on Tuesday and now she is thinking it is asthma. We have taken a chest x-ray, and have one appointment on Monday and one of Friday of next week. In addition, Daniella just developed what looks to be a bad case of conjunctivitis (a possible side effect of the new medicine she has just started).
Please, pray for God healing hands to touch her, that the doctors will be able to get to the bottom of this so that she can get to feel better, and for us to know how to cope with this.
In spite of all that she is her usual self; therefore, we have a lot to be thankful for.
We thank you in advance.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Visiting Big Blue Nation: Friendship and Sport

I recently had the cultural experience of attending a University of Kentucky (UK) football game. It is something that I have always wanted to do, but was waiting for the opportune moment. I have a very good friend, Wesley Denham, who has been encouraging me to attend a football game. We have already been to a couple of Cincinnatti Reds' games, and a few UK basketball games. This was supposed to complete my cultural awareness of American sports.

Wesley and I met in 2001 while playing a pickup soccer game during my first year at ATS. We became good friends. As it turned out, he and Lara were friends also; needless to say that Wesley is one of the closest friends our family has. He is one of three people (Brenda Wahl, and Jared Holsing) who has been physically present with us in Russia, the United States, and the Caribbean. He made the trip to Russia in December of 2003 to attend our Jewish/Russian wedding celebration, and came to Jamaica last year to teach an intensive course at CWC. He is originally from KY, so the blood in his veins is blue, I imagine.

Well, this is a great time to be a UK fan. The football team is having what is hailed as their best season in a long time, so I thought it was the appropriate time to catch a part of the action. It was a very memorable time. I could not believe the amount of people who went to the game only to sit outside and grill burgers! It was great to see a marching band upclose, because "Drumline" is one of my favorite movies. Of course, there is the great feeling of being in a stadium filled to capacity, cheering for the home team. The best part about the experience was that I got to share it with a great friend.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Caribbean Wesleyan College in the News

CWC made news today in Jamaica. Follow the link below to read the article.


Sophie Margueritte: 3 months and counting...

Sophie turned 3 months yesterday (October 31st). She is doing well and growing rapidly. She weighs 13lbs, and measures 58cms. Her personality profile would probably read like the following:

Likes: Music--Once I am fed and burped, my parents can put me down. I sooth myself while listening to some music, and eventually fall asleep.

Dislikes: Being put on my tummy. It takes too much work. I can only take it for a tiny bit. On my back, I can manage to move around some. I prefer the sit up position where I can look around and see everybody.

Distinctive marks: A bald spot on the back of my head, and an angel kiss on my forehead.

Major Happenings: On a recent trip to Jamaica, my parents dedicated me to the Lord at Savanna-La-Mar Wesleyan Holiness Church (October 21st). Reverend Edna Myrie prayed that I would become a missionary.

Sibling Rivalry: None yet. Big sister and I are getting along very well. She treats me very gently and runs to my crib when she hears me cry.

Favorite Passtime: Sleep. And when I am awake, hit all those noisy things that hang above my head, and interact with my family. I smile back when they make funny faces, and respond when they talk to me. I do not understand their language though, I hope they get mine.

Aspirations: Hhmm?! Perhaps, performing in a ballet at the Bolshoy Theater in Moscow alongside my sister. But that is just a dream. Actually, I need to start walking first and I need to finish college too.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

CWC's New Campus Buildings Dedication

On Sunday, October 21st, people gathered from all over the Caribbean and the United States to offer thanksgiving to God, and celebrate the complition of the new campus facilities. Representatives from World Hope International, Global Partners, the Jamaican Government, the several districts that form the Caribbean Wesleyan General Conference, and from other denominations were in attendance. It was a wonderful time that marked a significant turning point in the life of the college. We can sense renewed interest in the affairs of the college, and we are all very optimistic about what God has in store for the future of Caribbean Wesleyan College.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

On the Road Again!

We made a quick trip to Jamaica over the weekend to attend the dedication service of the new campus buildings at Caribbean Wesleyan College. We left on Thursday (Oct 18), and returned on Monday (Oct 22nd). More to follow...

To Florida and Back (Part 2)

We arrived at Abson's parents on Sunday evening (Oct 7). We stayed home most of the time, enjoyed delicious Haitian cooking, and spent quality time with our parents. Grandpa Celius and grandma Wilna enjoyed spending time with their precious granddaughters. One evening, we took advantage of the babysitting available, and went to the Bayside area. We enjoyed a quiet evening together and listened to some great music.

On Friday, we left Miami for Brooksville. There, we visited with Rev. Dr. Wayne and Virginia Wright. We took a tour of the village, and spent some time with the Wrights and some of their friends and family members. We stayed overnight, and left Saturday morning around 5:00, and reached home safely in time to witness the end of the classic/thriller between UK and LSU.

Family picture

Dr Wright is giving Lara a crash course on "how not to crash a golf cart" ahead of our tour of the Wesleyan Village.

Monday, October 15, 2007

To Florida and Back! (Part 1)

Last week (Oct. 6-13), we took a road trip to Florida. Abson's father (Celius) has not yet had the opportunity to meet Sophie, and we wanted to take Sophie to him, and visit with some friends along the way.

We left Wilmore around 4:45 AM on Saturday. We stopped in Chattanooga, TN, to visit with Patrick and Myriamme Gue. Patrick and Abson grew up together in Haiti and are the best of friends. Patrick is also, Daniella's godfather. He and Myriamme are in the process of moving to South Carolina, where they will be planting a Haitian Wesleyan Church.

Around 11:30AM, we left Chattanooga and arrived in Oviedo, Fl 10 hours later, stopping for 15 minutes every 2 1/2 hours. We spent the night in Oviedo at Dr Tapiwa and Bertha Mucherera. The Muchereras are dear friends of ours. Dr Mucherera helped us wrestle with cross-cultural issues while we were dating, opened their home to us while we were commuting between Jamaica and Wilmore for Abson's PhD studies. Their children Shamiso, Ru, and Nesu love Daniella to pieces. Bertha is also currently pursuing PhD studies and she and Abson have covenanted to keep each other accountable. We went to church on Sunday morning, had lunch with them, then left around 4:30PM.

We then stopped at Boca Raton, Fl, to visit with some of Abson's relatives--Leony, Angena, Juna, and Cherline Constant. Leony and Wilna (Abson's mom) are first cousins. Leony is also Abson's godfather; therefore, the two families enjoy a very close relationship. Abson is still 'big brother' to Juna and Cherline. After dinner and fellowship, we took the 45 min drive that led us to our final destination.

Ru, Nesu, Daniella, and Miso, after church.

At the Muchereras, just before saying "God be with ye" or 'goodbye'.

Cherline, Daniella, Angena, Sophie, and, Juna

October Birthdays Celebration

October is a great month. I even consider it to be the best month of the year. The reason is very simple, I came to the world on October 5, 197? [I do not want to reveal how young I am :-)]. In addition, Lara was also born in October--the 24th.

Last weekend, we decided to celebrate our birthdays together, and invited some friends over for a little party. We had a lot fun!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Guess Who!

Below are pictures of Daniella and Sophie taken at 7 weeks of age, respectively. Can you identify which picture is Daniella's and which is Sophie's?

Fellowshipping in Jamaica

Last month (September), I went back to Jamaica for two weeks, to oversee (help with) the beginning of the semester at Caribbean Wesleyan College. Those were two very busy weeks as I was trying to take care of as many academic matters as possible. We also were still in the process of moving into the new office building.

During that time, I had the chance to enjoy some fun time with Dr Clifford Van Sickle and Professor Mary Maness. Both are retired professors from Oklahoma Wesleyan University, whom I invited to come to CWC to teach two week intensive courses. Dr Van Sickle thought Speech and Communication, and Mary taught Principles and Methods of Teaching. Mary Maness and I met in Haiti in 1998 during a Teacher Training Seminar that World Hope International organized. I was Mary's translator, and we became great friends. She was the person who encouraged me to choose Asbury Theological Seminary as the place to do my graduate studies. And I met Dr Van Sickle a couple of years ago, through her.

I also enjoyed some fun time with Dr Timothy Iwagami and Priscilla Iwagami. They are the newest additions to our faculty. They are originally from Japan. One night, Priscilla was kind enough to give us a taste of Japanese cuisine: we had Japanese pankaces made to order--the real thing!

Lara and the girls did not travel with me, and that was the hardest part. But the two weeks went quickly by. They went so fast that I did not even have the time to share with you what was happening :-). Below are some pictures that are worth a couple thousand words.
Mary Maness is giving an object lesson during Chapel.

Dr Van Sickle sharing the word of God at one of the chapel services.

Orientation--Because of the new facilities (new regulations and so on), both returning and new students had to attend.
I also spoke at one of the chapel services. With me are Dr Timothy Iwagami and Priscilla Iwagami. Dr Iwagami holds a PhD in NT studies from Manchester University, England; and Priscilla is currently doing a Doctor of Ministry degree at Asbury Seminary, her expertise is in the areas of Christian Education and Spiritual Formation.

Japanese Pancakes... yum, yum, yum!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The blessing of friendship...

We recently were blessed with the visit of Jared, Claudia, and Daniela Holsing. Jared and Claudia are missionaries with Global Partners--the missions hand of the Wesleyan Church. They are making preparations to go on the mission field and came to Wilmore to pay us a visit. We have many friends in different parts of the world, but our families share a special bond of friendship, and have a lot of things in common among these:
-Jared went to Haiti and preached at our wedding in June 2003.
-Lara and I had the opportunity to participate in Jared and Claudia's wedding in Washington DC in September 2004.
-Coincidentally, we have given the same first name to our first born child respectively--Daniella Joseph and Daniela Holsing. They were both born in June!
-We are both cross-cultural families who have been called by God to minister to a third culture: Lara (Russia) and I (Haiti) are ministering in Jamaica. Jared (US) and Claudia (Columbia) will be going to Europe.
We had a great time visiting together, and could not but thank God for the blessing of friendship. The Holsings are very close to our hearts, and we would encourage you to pray for them as they prepare to go to Europe to minister.

Daniella meets Daniela.

Another great friendship is in the making. Friendship begets frienship!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

What does it take to be a big sister?

If you were to ask Daniella this question, she would probably ask: "one just needs to have a younger sister!" Well, from the time Daniella first saw Sophie at the hospital, she demanded that we give the baby to her. She is the first one to run up to the crib when Sophie starts crying, wants to hold her, and even tries to tell us what to do. There is one little problem, big sister tends to overestimate her own abilities. She thinks she is even big enough to be mother :-).

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Sophie Margueritte at one month of age...

No Turning Back!

A couple weeks ago, Daniella turned an important page in the story of her life: she started (pre) school! We found a very nice program for children of her age group at a church near by-- Southland Christian Church. She goes for half a day from Monday to Wednesday. She has been enjoying it, and the teachers are impressed with her.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Haiti leaves World cup after loss to Nigeria

The U-17 Soccer team is out of the FIFA world cup tournament after losing 1-4 against Nigeria. They are coming come after making the entire country believe again that better days are ahead. They displayed great skills and a lot of courage.
You can continue to follow the rest of the tournament by following the appropriate links.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

All is Well after Dean

Just a note to say that all is well after Hurricane Dean. I have communicated both with Jamaican and Haiti. The college suffered no damage. Electricity came back last night (Tuesday night), and we are getting ready for the start of the Fall semester (August 27th).
The south coast of Haiti took some heavy blows, but we escaped the worst of it. Thank you very much for your prayers.

Haiti draws (1-1) with France to keep their hopes alive

After losing 3-1 against Japan. Haiti held France to a 1-1 draw to keep their hopes of advancing to the second round of the FIFA U-17 World Cup that is being played in South Korea alive. The task will be a hard one as the team faces Nigeria who has already qualified after beating France (2-1) and Japan (3-0).
For more news, highlights, and results, follow the links under "Haiti at U-17 FIFA Soccer World Cup."

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Prayer Request for Jamaica and Haiti

As you may know, Haiti and Jamaica have been predictated to suffer blows from Hurricane Dean. We would appreciate your prayers on behalf of the inhabitants of these islands. Especially, for Caribbean Wesleyan College in Jamaica, for the protection of the buildings and lives of the students and staff.
I have been in communication with two teachers who live on campus, and the campus is ready. I have not been able to get through to Haiti. I will post updates on the situation of those closest to us.
Thank you for your prayers.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Advice to Writers :-)

As I rose from the table after lunch to go back to the library, Lara asked me:
--So, how is the writing process going?
--I am stuck, I replied. I have been reading for a few days now, and feel like it is time to start writing again. However, I have been thinking about what to write, but have not been able to put anything on paper. I know what I need to write, but I struggle to find the first five sentences that will allow my thoughts to flow.
She looked at me pensively, smiled, and told me:
--Start with the sixth sentence!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

What's baking?...

This week, the heat has been unbearable in Wilmore as in other places in the US. Being from Haiti, I am used to hot temperatures, but not of this kind. One expects it to be hot between 12:00 noon and 3:00PM. Around 4:00PM the sun is going down, and is leaving place for fresh air. I still cannot get use to how hot it can be at 9:00PM.
At 3:10 PM on Wednesday, the Citizen Bank's thermometer in Wilmore registered 111 degrees. Out of curiosity, I went online and checked the temparture in Port au Prince, Haiti; and Montego Bay, Jamaica--88 and 90 respectively. The heat index in both places was 107.
About a year ago, I had the opportunity to go to Thailand. The flight took us over the Artic region, and I was able to get a picture (no pun intended) of the effects of global warming. As I went over the pictures that I took, I kept wondering whether or not the degradation of the earth has already reached the point of no return. Could it be that all we can now do is delay the inevitable? Can it be that the end will come as a result of another act of disobedience: our failure to be good stewards of the earth God has entrusted to our care?
I should probably be asking: "who's baking?"; because, every time I step outside of my apartment or the library, I feel like I have just walked into an oven.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

When Sophie came to the world...

A week ago today, God blessed us with the gift of our second daughter, Sophie Margueritte. Later that day I brought her grandmothers and her sister to meet her. I wanted to capture the moment so as to remember their first reaction. The grandmothers were overwhelmed; Daniella was excited and demanded that Sophie be given to her. After I took the picture, I thought to myself, "I am blessed, and outnumbered!" :-)

We came home on Thursday, and everyone is doing well. Thank you for your continued prayers on behalf of our family.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Sophie Margueritte Joseph in Pictures

Sleeping peacefully.

We are ready to leave the hospital.

At home.

Meeting big sister for the first time.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Update on dad Wright

I spoke to mom Wright this afternoon and learned that Dr. Wright has made much progress. He is now back at home and will continue therapy there. He speaks normally, but has difficulty enunciating some letters. He is able to walk with the help of a walker, but his balance is still affected. His therapy will mainly focus on this area.
The family is very thankful for your prayers, and appreciate your continued intercession on their behalf.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Unto us a daughter is given!

We are happy and blessed to announce the birth of Sophie Margueritte Joseph. Sophie was born this afternoon, Tuesday July 31, 2007 at 3:19PM. She weighs 6 pounds 11 ounces; and measures 19.5 inches. Mother and baby are doing well. We thank you for your prayers.

Sophie with Dr John Greene