Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Summer Rush

Cool breezes and daily rainstorms have officially been replaced with stagnant air and high humidity...welcome to summer in Haiti!  After a busy few spring months,  June has proven to be the start to summer that we have begun to anticipate after 2 and 1/2 years here on the island. However, we couldn't be more thankful to be in our new home as we push through these summer months.  Thus far in June, we have hosted two teams and had two visits with board members, celebrated Olive's first birthday, Sarah's 32nd (wow, I'm getting up there) and our 6th wedding anniversary.  We have an amazing amount of things to be thankful for and can't wait to see what the rest of the summer holds!
A recent orphanage benefiting from the shade built by our Texas group and our Haitian staff.

The first team of the summer was a group of 22 youth and leaders from Texas, Ohio, and Florida.  They were the first to really fill up our guesthouse rooms.  They were a blast and brought some noise and fun back into our world.  They were able to host multiple orphanages during their time at the beach as well as build 3 choukouns (pavilions) for permanent shade on the property.  Mike, the fearless youth leader, has been with us in the past and we were blessed to have him here again with a mostly new group of youth and a few returners.  One of our returners also gave our beloved Bear and Bella some obedience lessons throughout the week. We had a few adventures including a broken bus, a busted knee after an attempt at walking up the hill (ahem, Mia), and quite a bit of sickness throughout the week.

Six guys on the ground, one putting in the screw...that sounds about right...

Mike showin' us how it's done!

Two of our silly Texas youth loving time with the littles. :-)

In-progress construction shots.

Oh please don't fall, Matt...not again...:-)

The second team of the summer happened to be friends from our sending church in North Carolina, Grace Blue Ridge.  We were extremely thankful to have them here with us and to be a part of the first mission trip from our fairly new church plant.  Having only four team members gave us time to connect about what was happening in our home congregations and to talk life with friends we haven't seen in some time.  Before the week was over, our crew was able to see the completion of our last choukoun, host several groups at the beach, and love on some kids in our community.  We look forward to our trip home in the fall to reconnect with this crew and hear about what the Lord did in their hearts during this week.

Grace Blue Ridge team teaching the boys to play "Would you rather"

Church at the beach

Broken down bus, 10 minutes after we rented it!

On the way to the Retreat Center for these kid's first time to the beach!

Craft time with Adria

Post craft time show and tell

Our last group of the summer was fun group of familiar faces from Foothillls Community Church in Seneca, SC.  We are always thrilled to host their teams, they work hard and have been with us since the very beginning.   They helped us host several orphanges from Port as well as a host of construction projects around our property. Thankfully our friend Holly did not fall into the well again this trip, Praise the Lord!

Scout Stephens teaching some dance moves

The men demolishing our old pump house to begin a larger more secure depot

And lastly, we morn the loss of Gonzie. He is the son of Shadrack and Ruth, unfortunately he passsed away 6 days after birth from vertical transmission of the Chickenyunga virus. We ask that you pray for Ruth and her husband as they mourn the loss of their first born son.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Spring Update

It's been a wild and crazy Spring for the Rideout's!  We kicked off the year with the tremendous blessing of a new home for our family that also serves as a guest house for our teams. Check it out!

The view from our front porch.

Our new place is less than a kilometer from Chadasha's Children's Retreat Center. We have the enough space to sleep 24 guests comfortably, and we are living on the edge of the national highway! All this, and it's less than 66% cheaper annually than our old place. What a blessing!

We can't forget to mention the incredible sunsets!

This spring we hosted teams from  GO Adventures Project (, Cavalry Baptist Church (Knoxville, TN), First Presbyterian Church (Huntsville, AL), Matt's parents, and Foothills Community Church ( Sennaca, SC). We were blessed to have so many friends return to serve Haiti, and to make a wagon load of new friendships with first time visitors.

GO Adventures - even had a couple former CS students!

Huge crowd from Cavalry

With the help of our supporting churches and teams, Chadasha's ministry in Montrouis has improved the lives of 1000's this year already!  We have hosted 1150+ children in vbs style day programs at the beach.

With the help of volunteer doctors, over 900 patients have been treated in mobile clinics. Those patients have found healing medicines and re-newed vision with the help of mobile vision clinics.

All this and we still managed to build a wall at the new house, renovate the new house (build kitchen cabinets, install new doors , install a new solar system, paint, childproof, install septic system), and even build toilet facilities at the beach!


It doesn't end here! We are preparing for our busiest summer yet. Our summer calendar is filling up with orphanages and churches eager to bring their children to the beach. We have 4 teams scheduled to visit in June and July including our home church, Grace Blue Ridge. Needless to say, we are excited to see what God has in store for the retreat center this year. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Water Filter Solar panel project updates!

The cooler weather has set in, and we have been really, really busy around our place. First off,
I'd like to share with you about a project more than 2 years in the making. We've been working with Water Missions International to provide clean water in our community.  Their filtration system is run by a solar powered pump and chlorinates the water to kill all living organisms and improve the quality of the water. This week we will begin distributing clean water and teaching sanitation classes in our community.


Boss Ernst
 This photo sums up Boss Enrst's personality. He was a blast to work with and a patient teacher for our guys. He works for Water Mmissions and lived with us this month to build the depot for the water filter. We are sad to see him leave.

The filtration system

Our staff learning to operate the system.

Deli working on the distribution table.

The first treated water out of the tap, our "soft release" drew quite a crowd!

Completed treated water distribution point.

Another major project we have been working on is a solar charging system for our inverter. We were blessed to be able to purchase and install a fabulous system. It has taken well over 2 months for all of the parts to arrive. We have began using the system this past Sunday. Normally, we use around $500 month in diesel fuel, running our generator 8-9 hours a night. With good sun, we have been able to cut our generator run time down to 2 hours per night. It is still early to measure, but we anticipate our fuel cost will be less than $150 per month. What a huge savings! This is a huge blessing for us in two ways. First we are able to better use funding to help others. We are excited to improve our stewardship and stretch our resources. Secondly, it is essentially a maintenance free system that relieves our dependance on the generator, and the worry of mechanical problems. 

Octolem securing the panels with a homeade rope. I was nervous...


Luckily, we didnt drop any of them!

Welding the panels in place.

Our roof complete with 2000 watts of solar energy!

Our family is growing! We added to our family... 2 Rottwieler puppies named Bear and Bella. Seen here with Willow!