Hi everyone,

Terry and I hope everyone had a great Christmas and a good holiday season. We did, but with some of our family several miles away we can only thank Apple for Facetime and being able to see them that way.

This time of the year our thoughts are always on Steve’s first trip to Haiti, since he was gone during the holiday season. That was 22 years ago (hard to believe). At the time, we were not considering anything like we have been doing in the time since.  We would like to think we have another 22 years, but we feel it’s best to take it one year at a time; we certainly are looking forward to our 23rd.

On a personal note, all the blood tests done on Terry during December were good to fair; fair being in the normal but low normal range. The most important tests show there are still no detectable cancer cells. We are almost at the 2-year mark since the transplant, so that is very good news. These tests will be redone in March.

In March, she may have an implant placed in her lower back, attached to the nerves in her spine that will help or stop the pain she has in her legs and feet. If that works, she will be “weaned” off all the medicine, including pain medicine, which will help in several different areas. The pills are also affecting her memory, so we are looking forward to not having to take them.

On Haiti, Lutheran World Relief published their 2017 Early Warning Forecast,  a paper on some of the countries facing a crisis during 2017. Haiti is number 6 on their list, with Syria and Northern Iraq being first for the obvious reason. Word for word on Haiti from the report:

Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti on October 4, 2016, killing hundreds, DESTROYING TENS OF THOUSANDS OF HOMES and ruining life-sustaining crops. It was a tragic setback for a country that was still recovering from the January 2010 earthquake. As the rebuilding commences, the international humanitarian community faces an opportunity to make lasting progress in building resilience and reducing poverty. Failure to do so will reinforce a tragic pattern in Haiti: when disaster hits, aid pours in, but provides largely unsustainable, short-term relief. In the coming months, cholera will continue to be a threat. The loss of crops and livestock may lead to food shortages or a spike in prices, and a hunger crisis is a looming possibility. People who already lived in abject poverty have been left with little to no food to eat, because their minimal stocks and seed sources were destroyed.

So, our work is cut out for us. As in years past, we know God will provide through those who help us, to help them. Terry and I thank you for that help and for all your prayers during the past 22 years and especially this last year. Our prayer is that 2017 will be very good to all of you.

Steve and Terry