Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Time to Celebrate: Birthday/Housewarming Party!

Yesterday, we had some of the students, faculty, and staff over at our place to celebrate. We have a lot to be happy about, and a lot to be thankful for: Abson's birthday (Oct 5); a new place to live; and Abson's thesis submission (Oct 6).

Thesis Submitted!!!


Saturday, September 20, 2008

In Memoriam Juna Constant -- 23 Dec 1979 - 8 Sept 2008

Je me souviens te voir grandir à mes côtés
Nous étions de bons amis, on se disait tout
De sang nous étions cousins
En réalité tu étais ma sœur.

Je me souviens te parler de Jésus
De la soif que tu voulais étancher
Je me souviens comment a petits pas
Tu as trouve la voie qui mène a la vie

Je me souviens des jours noirs
Quand la nostalgie de voir ton père
Te faisait couler des larmes
On criait et on espérait ensembles

Je me souviens de nombreux jours
Quand l’on se rencontrait après l’école
Tu étais fière d’introduire ton frère à tes amies
J’étais heureux de t’avoir comme ma sœur chérie

Je me souviens de la joie qui émanait de toi
Quand tu étais amoureuse
Et la peine sur ton visage, quand tu avais le cœur brisé
J’ai partagé ta joie, j’ai partagé ta peine

Je me souviens de ma visite à Santiago
Tu aimais l’université et travaillais assidûment
Nous savions tous que tu serais un médecin de calibre
Si seulement le temps était ton ami

Je me souviens de ta visite à la Jamaïque
On a passé un moment mémorable
On a célébré le miracle de ta guérison
Tu aimais la vie, tu étais heureuse

Je me souviens de ton appel, c’était comme hier
Tu partageais avec moi tes difficultés
Nous avions prié ensemble
Et avions pensé comment trouver une solution

Je me souviens de la nouvelle de la récurrence ta maladie
J’ai pleuré alors, et continue à pleurer aujourd’hui
Tu étais courageuse et sereine
Tu as gardé ton sourire et ta beauté

Je me souviens de la dernière fois que je t’ai vue
J’avais l’espoir qu’on allait encore se rencontrer
J’avais la conviction que tu serais plus que vainqueur
J’étais sur que la vie t’aurais sourie

Tu vois, June, je voulais avoir la mémoire de ton jour de noces
La mémoire de jouer avec tes enfants
La mémoire de voir nos enfants partager le lien qui nous joint
Comme nos parents ont eu la chance de voir

Je voulais tant te dire au revoir, Hélas !
Peut-être c’est une bénédiction
Car je me souviendrai toujours de toi
Vivante, souriante, charmante

J’entends ta douce voix, souriante, me dire
Sony, sèche tes larmes, je suis dans les bras de Jésus
Toutefois mon cœur se déchire
Car je me souviens de toi, je me souviens de nous.

Je vais garder la mémoire de ton sourire
Jusqu’au jour où l’on se rencontrera encore
Au delà de cette terre maudite
Dans la présence de Dieu où il n’y aura plus de pleurs.

In Memoriam Juna Constant -- 12/23/1979 9/8/2008

I remember watching you grow up.
We were very good friends. We shared everything.
By blood, you are my cousin,
But in truth, you are my sister.

I remember telling you about Jesus.
The thirst that you wanted to quench.
I remember how little by little
You found the way that leads to life.

I remember the dark days,
When you shed many tears
In longing to see your father.
We cried and hoped together.

I remember the many days
When we met after school.
You were proud to introduce your brother to your friends.
I was happy to have you as my beloved sister.

I remember the joy you had when you fell in love.
And the pain on your face when you were heartbroken.
I shared your joy.
I shared your pain.

I remember my trip to Santiago.
You were enjoying the University. You were working hard.
We knew you would make a great doctor one day;
If only time was on your side.

I remember you trip to Jamaica.
We had a great time together.
We celebrated the miracle of your healing.
You were enjoying life. You were happy.

I remember your call. It was like yesterday.
You were sharing your difficulties.
We prayed together
And thought through some solutions together.

I remember the news about your sickness.
I cried then. I am still crying today.
But you were courageous and serene.
You kept your smile and your beauty.

I remember the last time I saw you.
I had hoped I would see you again.
I was convinced that you would be more than victorious.
I was sure that life would smile on you.

You see, June, I wanted to have the memory of your wedding day.
The memory of playing with your children.
The memory of seeing our children share the same bond that binds us
Like our parents have been blessed to see.

I so wanted to say good-bye to you; alas.
Maybe it is a blessing,
Because I will always remember you
Alive, smiling, charming.

I can hear your sweet voice, smiling, telling me,
“Sony, dry your tears. I am in the arms of Jesus.”
However, my heart is torn,
Because I remember you, I remember us.

I will keep the memory of your smile
Until the day we meet again
Beyond this wretched earth
In the presence of God, where there will be no more tears.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Former Classmate/Teammate, Adler Volmar, Beijing Bound!

Adler Volmar is representing the United States this week at the Beijing's Olympic Games in Judo. He is the top ranked US athlete in his category. Adler was born in the US but grew up in Haiti. He represented Haiti in the 1996 Olympic Games. Adler and I went to school together in Haiti and are great friends. We were classmates for the last four years of secondary school. The coolest thing is, we were also teammates. Adler and I attended the same dojo, and practiced together. I stopped practicing Judo after I left Haiti to go to Jamaica for my undergraduate studies.

You can catch live action on NBCOlympics.com or read his bio by following the link below.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Beginning of the End

Last night I submitted a completed copy of my thesis to my supervisor for final review and comments. This is a major step toward the end of a soon to be three year process. I have much work left to do, but it is a great relief to have reached this stage. Once I receive the thesis from my supervisor I will make the necessary corrections and send it off to London School of Theology. The viva/examination will take place some time in the Fall. I will give an update when the date for the viva is set.
Thank you for your prayers and words of encouragement throughout the process.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Pictorial Report--Part 1

Rev. Patrick Gué, Pastor of Mauldin's First Haitian Evangelical Wesleyan Church.

We took a quick trip to visit the campus of SWC, on Sunday afternoon.

On Monday, on our way to Brooksville, we stopped in Savannah, Ga. to visit the city and see the Haitian monument erected there to honor the bataillon of soldiers from Haiti (then St. Domingue) who took part in the Battle of Savannah in 1779. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Savannah

On Tuesday, in Brooksville, we went on a picnic with the Wrights and their family.

3 years and counting!

On June 7, Daniella celebrated her third birthday! As has been the case for the last three years, we were traveling, so we celebrated several times (at the Muchereras, and at my parents), and she got to blow candles and eat cakes more than once. We also plan to have another celebration here in Wilmore for her friends here. I am sure she does not mind that one tiny bit.

Blessed-ly Ever After

Five years ago to the day, in Haiti, on the first day of summer, Lara and I entered a new season in our lives when we said: "I do." It has been a wonderful five years during which we have grown to love each other more and more. We have faced our share of challenges, but we have experienced God's faithfulness to us every step of the way. We are living "Blessed-ly Ever After!" I use "blessed-ly" not only because "happily" might sound cliché, but also because what God has given us is more than happiness.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Road Trip

We are leaving today (5/31) for a two-week road trip that will take us to Florida and back.
Today, we go to Mauldin, SC to visit with Patrick Gue, a friend of mine from Haiti who is planting a Haitian church there. We will spend a couple of nights with them, and I will get to preach on Sunday.
On Monday (6/2), we will leave SC to go Brooksville, FL. There, we will visit with Wayne and Virginia Wright. We leave Brooksville on Wednesday (6/4) for Orlando. There we will visit with the Mucherera family, and attend the General Conference of the Wesleyan Church (Fri-Sun). On Thursday, Lara and I hope to go on a "scouting trip" to Disney and see what brings out so much exciting talks from people, in preparation for the times when we may need to take Daniella and Sophie.
On Sunday (6/7), we plan to leave Orlando for Miami where we will visit with my parents until Thursday. While there we will go to Boca Raton on Tuesday (6/9) to spend the day with Juna and her family--Juna's condition is improving. Please continue to pray for her.--
On Thursday, we will leave Miami to drive back to Wilmore. We will stop in Albany, Ga. for the night, and come back home on Friday 6/13.
Please pray for safe travels for our family and a productive time with friends, family, and at the Conference.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Prayer Requests

Above: Juna, Cherline, and their mother, Angena with Daniella and Sophie. Juna (in white blouse holding Sophie's hand) and Cherline, her sister, have been surrogate sisters for Enosch and me, a relationship we maintain until today. This picture was taken in October 2007.

Below: Juna with Daniella at Dunn's River Falls. Juna came to visit us in Jamaica in March 2007.

I would like to request prayers on behalf of my cousin/sister: Juna Constant. Juna was diagnosed with brain cancer a couple years ago, was operated on and was declared cancer free after treatment. However, we found out recently that the tumor has returned and has now spread to at least another section of her brain. She was hospitalized over the weekend because the tumor is swollen, causing her additional discomfort. She returned home yesterday (Thursday) and the doctors are trying to keep the swelling down and hope to resume chemo therapy soon. They have ruled out another surgery. Please, pray for a healing touch from God, strength for the family, and wisdom for the doctors to know what best course of treatment to pursue.
I came down to Florida Wednesday night to visit with her, and will go back to Wilmore in the morning (Saturday). Pray for journeying mercies for me.

I would like to request prayer also for another friend of mine “B. J.” who is dealing with some health issues. Pray for wisdom as the doctors assess his situation and look for treatment options, and that God will bring complete healing.
Thank you very much.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Sights of D.C.--Part 2

Here are more pictures from our trip to D.C. which I promised to post a long time ago.
While we were leaving the Jefferson Memorial, an important person was on his way to the White House.
Our host and hostess, Art and Ann O'Dell. The O'Dells are two of many great friends that God has blessed us with. We had a great time together.

No... Daniella is not holding Sophie :-). That thing in her hand, that's a doll.

That was as close as we got to the White House (we actually went all the way up to the fence), but it was satisfying. Lara's mom had the day of the her life.

Uncle Abson and Aunt Lara!

Leensay Emmanuelle Joseph: May 10, 2008

My brother Enosch and his wife Lorie welcomed their first child, to the world last week Saturday, May 10. Mother and daughter (Leensay) are both doing very well. Lara and I are now enjoying the thought of being called Uncle Abson and Aunt Lara.
Remember Enosch and Lorie in your prayers as they transition to and learn the challenges of parenting, and Leensay that God's hand will be upon her.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Below is the eulogy for Mabe, which my brother wrote this morning and will deliver at the funeral. It is in French and Haitian creole, and unfortunately, I do not have enough time at the moment to translate it for those of you who do not understand these two languages. But if you have read Habakkuk, you have an idea of the emotions that are felt therein.

I want to use this opportunity to request prayers for MarcKenol's family. He was the oldest son, therefore the one responsible for the rest of his family because his father had preceded him. In addition, he was to get married in August. Therefore, pray for his fiancee, Verline, who is also grieving. Pray also for our church L'Eglise Wesleyenne D'Haiti de la Rue 23 I (The Wesleyan Church of Haiti of Street 23 I)

Écrit et prononcée par Enosch JOSEPH

La vie donne naissance à la mort et la mort nous fait réfléchir à la vie. Depuis le jour où nous sommes nés, nous commençons à creuser vitalement notre fosse. Nous travaillons déjà pour assurer notre mort certaine. Pour certains, que bibliquement on appelle robuste, il leur faut plus de quatre-vingt années pour la creuser. Pour d'autres, le temps ne dépasse pas vingt neuf. Ils ont fait choix de la pelle au lieu de la fourchette. Ils n'ont pas suivi les dires d'un certain Philippe Bouvard qui pense :'' Il vaut mieux creuser sa tombe avec sa fourchette qu'avec une pelle; c'est plus agréable et c'est plus long''.
Vivre et mourir ! Mourir et Vivre ! Quelle dualité ? Quelle banalité disent certains ? Un lien complexe qui nous rend perplexe et stupéfait.
Nous luttons comme des fous pour cultiver la vie, tout en sachant que le doux fruit amer qui sera récolté n'est autre que la mort. Moïse, le grand psalmiste, le savait ! N'est –ce pas la raison pour laquelle, il implorait Dieu de l'aider à bien compter ses jours ?
Vivre et mourir, c'est comme la beauté, c'est le début d'une finalité sans fin.
Vivre et mourir nous procure toutes les sensations contradictoires : la tristesse et la joie, le désespoir et l'espoir, la honte et la fierté, la souffrance et la délivrance, le doute et la certitude, la fin d'une vie et le début d'une vie sans fin.
Mabé, tu nous as laissé dans la tristesse, le désespoir, la honte, la souffrance et dans le doute. Oh, que c'est dur d'admettre comme le plus idiot des sages la fin de ta vie !
La tristesse de ne plus t'avoir avec nous dans nos activités ecclésiastiques; de ne plus pouvoir parler des bons vieux moments passés avec Shalom, Angels, la Chorale de la Jeunesse, la classe des moniteurs, l'école du dimanche et…. nous ronge, nous gratte et nous brûle.
Mabé, ta mort nous pousse à reposer l'éternelle triple question de la vie : '' Qui sommes-nous ? D'où venons-nous ? Où allons-nous ?...
C'est le désespoir quasi-total. On cherche partout ces réponses, mais cette cruciale dualité éloigne de nous toutes les solutions satisfaisantes. On a dû se référer à Alphonse de Lamartine qui nous dit malheureusement et désespérément que :'' Ici-bas, la douleur à la douleur s'enchaîne, le jour succède au jour et la peine à la peine''.
Mabé, graten diri an boule nan Foche e sevant yo ap fè efo pou lave chodyè a, si ou ka tande bri kiyè a nan chodyè a , ou pa menm bezwen tande bri kè nou.
Ti bokal lajwa nou an kraze, nou pa menm ka kanpe tankou yon bel flè san lodè pou nou ta sove lafas, nou pa sanble ak anyen paske Mabé, ou ale ak souri nou, ou ale ak lakotannamn nou !
Ti kras lafwa ki konn sèvi nou kòm dra pou nou louvri anba pye bwa lespwa lavi a, lanmò ou pipi sou li, e gwo lapli fè nou pa ka mete dra lafwa sa nan soley. Kidonk a chak fwa sant la monte nan nen nou, se sant lanmò sa, lanmò di sa ou kite pou nou respire.
Monchè Mabé, se pa ou ki pou ta fè nou sa !!!
Mabé, c'est la honte de te voir partir comme les obsédés de la mort. Tu es parti sans dire mot, sans avertissement ! Tu as pris la fuite, tu es accouru vers la mort, sans nous laisser la moindre chance de t'attraper ou de t'en empêcher. On a beau essayé mais tu as choisi de nous montrer nos limites. Tu es parti en bon opportuniste.
Mabé, pourquoi fais tu fi de nos pleurs ? Mabé eske ou pa tande n ? Poukisa ou ale ? Poukisa ou femen pot lavi w nan figi nou konsa ? Mabe poukisa ? Poukisa malonèt sa ?
Mabé, on admet au moins que tu n'as été que le verbe, tu as subi l'action. Permets nous au moins de questionner le sujet ?
O Dieu, pourquoi Marckenol ? Pourquoi tu l'as pris si jeune ? O Dieu, ne vois-tu pas la souffrance de Cœurlande, Pologne, Verline ? N'entends tu pas les bruits sortant des entrailles déchirées de Man Mako ? O Dieu, O Dieu, O Dieu !!!
Seigneur, dans ton omniscience, omnipotence, et omniprésence, tu connais parfaitement la situation. Permets nous au moins de te redire que la honte et la déception couvrent ton église toute entière en ce moment. Permets nous au moins de te redire : '' Seigneur, si tu étais là notre Frère ne serait pas mort''. Et nous sommes quasiment certain que tu n'étais pas là. Et oui, Seigneur, tu ne pouvais être présent dans un espace où règne l'hypocrisie, la jalousie, l'envie, l'empathie. Le comportement de ton assemblée t'a mis hors de cette enceinte.
Pardonne nous Seigneur, si nous parlons comme des enfants sans la foi. Mais crois nous au moins Seigneur n'était-ce tes promesses auxquelles nous nous sommes tant attachés, nous serions déjà anéantis par ce dur instant de doute fatidique et cruel présent dans nos cœurs et nos pensées depuis l'annonce de la mort de Mabé.
Seigneur, nous avons beau essayé de bander nos yeux et d'utiliser nos cache-nez, mais malheureusement, nous n'arrivons pas à la boire.
Krik – Krak , kont sa pa menm bezwen tire paske mwen bwèl ; kat sa pa menm bezwen bat paske mwen pwan anba tab; ou pa bezwen frape zo domino a fò, paske mwen gentan pase …
O Seigneur, jusqu'à quand laisseras-tu les incrédules, les méchants et les bavards se moquer de tes fils ? Jusqu'à quand Seigneur, nous délivreras tu des blasphémateurs ? En fait, Seigneur, as-tu cédé Marckenol comme un pion pour mettre l'adversaire échec et mat ?
Toi seul, Seigneur, connais la réponse ! Toi seul, Seigneur, connais la logique des tes raisonnements ! Que ta volonté soit faite sur la terre comme au ciel !

Mabé, ta mort marque l'histoire de notre église. Tu resteras toujours le symbole vivant de courage, de dynamisme dont nous avons vécu. Nous sommes fiers d'avoir vécu à tes côtés. '' La mort pour tout croyant, dit José Arthur, est une promotion''. Mabé, tu es maintenant promu au rang de ceux qui vont vivre éternellement. Car, pendant toute ta vie, tu as recherché la paix avec tous et la sanctification. Advienne que pourra si d'autres hypocrites ne t'ont jamais pardonné, mais le Grand Dieu sait plus que tout ici présent que le plus grand cadeau qu'il t'a donné c'est d'avoir un cœur qui n'a jamais eu place pour la rancune.
Mabé, nous sommes fiers de toi ! Fiers de te voir partir après avoir combattu le bon combat, après avoir gardé durant toute ta vie la foi, après avoir couru et gagné la course.
Tu es enfin délivré de ce monde d'enfer, d'hypocrisie et de coup bas. Tu es enfin en Paix.
Seigneur, tu as vu la misère et le péché dans lequel noyaient tes enfants et tu as sacrifié ton enfant Jésus pour les ôter de cette situation. Que la mort de Marckenol se transforme en une prédication sanctifiée qui puisse transformer ton église et la remettre sur la voie de l'amour fraternel, de la piété et de la sanctification.
Aujourd'hui, Mabé, tu vas rentrer dans l'histoire comme un héros. André Prévot a déclaré et nous citons : '' Les mots historiques sont des mots que de grands personnages prononcèrent leur mort''. Aujourd'hui, dans ton cercueil, nous sommes entrain de t'entendre nous dire : '' Yon kretyen dwe mache tou sove paske li pa konnen ni kilè, ni ki jou Mèt la ap fè apel pou li vini jwen li ''. '' Rachetez le temps car les jours sont mauvais '' ! '' Ah que c'est une douce mort de mourir sans perdre la vie !
Mabé, comme tout héros, tu n'as pas manqué à ta première vertu. Marcel Pagnol dit à propos du vécu des héros comme toi que :'' La première qualité d'un héros, c'est d'être mort et enterré''.
Mabé, au revoir et que la terre te soit légère !!!
Jamais ton cousin, ton Frère Zo-Nono, Jamais je ne t'oublierai – Jamais !!!

Port-au-Prince, 09 Mai 2008

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Gone Too Soon...

MarcKenol is holding Daniella while my mom lit candles (9 candles for 9 months) on Daniella's B/day cake. My brother Enosch is in the background.
Below is the local church that Mabe and I grew up attending, and that he was pastoring.

This week, I am mourning the loss of one of my best friends, MarcKenol Laurenfant. We grew up together in Cap-Haitien, Haiti and have been involved in ministry since the days of singing together in the tenor line in Children's Choir at church. We served for years in the Youth Department and Youth Choir, and he is one of three friends whom I love as much I love my brother (Enosch).

I remember when Lara and I first went to Haiti (to introduce her to my family), Mabe (as we called him) was the first one to come by to visit with us. When we took Daniella to meet her grandparents, Mabe was also among the short list of people who came to celebrate with us as my mom threw a party for her first grandchild.

Mabe completed seminary a few years ago, and had just taken the responsibilities of Assistant Pastor at the local church where we grew up. On Tuesday, he was at the church's office talking to some friends, and suddenly held his head and complained of discomfort, not long after that he lost consciousness. He was rushed to the hospital, but passed away shortly after that.

In my heart, I know that he has gone to a much better place. This does not make the pain that is tearing me apart any easier to bear. Simply, he is gone too soon. But as far as God's timing is concerned, it was time for him to go home. Somewhere deep inside, there is peace in knowing he is with the Lord.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Sights of D.C.--Part 1

Lara's mom wanted to visit Washington D.C. before she went back to Russia. So, last week we took at quick trip (Friday to Wednesday) to help her realise her dream.

The Air & Space Museum was Daniella's favorite. She was in 7th Heaven! I have never seen such joyous expressions on her face as we walked through the museum.

For my Speech & Communication class in College, I memorized an excerpt of MLK's "I Have a Dream" and delivered it as my final examination. I have always wondered what it would feel like to stand where he stood. It was a memorable experience.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Memories of the Past, Signs of Things to Come...

Between December 2006 (when the picture above was taken) and April 2008 (on Friday, when Lara took the picture below) many things have changed, many remained the same, and that is a blessing.

Perhaps the greatest challenge I faced while writing my PhD thesis was finding time to write. When I started in 2005, Lara and I were new parents and were both teaching full time at Caribbean Wesleyan College. We looked forward to the summer and winter breaks when we would come to Wilmore, KY and focus on two rather than three things at once. I worked at home and although it was challenging we have learned to manage the situation well enough that we are now close to the end of the journey. Along the way, we have received great help as both my mom (Altagrace) and Lara's mom (Maria) came last summer to be with us and help us take care of the children. Maria came to be with us again in December. This has allowed me to spend countless hours in the library and take a major step toward completing the thesis.

As Maria's stay is drawing to a close (she is leaving to go back to Russia next Sunday-April 27) Lara and I thought it wise to start easing back to what life might be like after she is gone. On Friday, I decided to stay home and work on some revisions. Daniella was taking a nap, but then came out of her room, climbed on my lap, and slept for about 45 more minutes. Lara had the presence of mind to capture the moment.

We thought about it and laughed, but also got a glimpse of what lies ahead of us: parenting, work, and study, with parenting being the most important. We enjoy all three aspects of our lives because this is what God has called us to. In addition, whereas, I look forward to completing my thesis, not much will change for some time after that because it will be time for Lara to start writing hers.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Cyber Dig!

Lara has recently been approved to work as an Adjunct Faculty for Indiana Wesleyan University's online Adult and Graduate Studies Program. The first course she will be teaching is "Biblical Archeology." Lara is yet to fulfill her dream to physically touch the land of her ancestry--Israel, but for now she is thrilled for the opportunity to take a group of students "cyber-digging" for the next 5 weeks.

Dress # 2 in Process

Homemade... Perfect Fit

We have been experiencing some difficulty lately when it comes to buying clothes for Daniella. She is rather tall for a two (almost three) year old, so it is hard to find clothes that fit her perfectly. Depending on the style, we have had to buy between 4-T and up to 6-T. Therefore, Lara decided that she would start sewing some of what Daniella will wear. Lara is thoroughly enjoying the process and Daniella is having a blast trying on new dresses.