2 Haiti 4 Him

The Heckman family serving the Lord in Haiti at Emmaus Biblical Seminary

Friday, September 6, 2013

Life at Emmaus!

Today was a great end to a great week...

There is so much that goes on in a week here that it's hard to capture ALL of it in words, and yet I wish that I could!  Instead, I can at least capture some visuals of what our life is like here at Emmaus... (and pictures are worth a thousand words anyway right!?!) 

So here goes...

Because everything is made from scratch here, meals take a bit longer than what we were used to in the States.  Going out to the grocery store and picking up a box of cereal is just NOT really an option... and IF there is cereal it is 1) expensive and 2) either cornflakes, cornflakes, or.... cornflakes!   So, we make do!

With that being said,  I have been making LOTS of bread from scratch (AND I have had my fair share of not-so-good experiences with baking bread I might add!)  It is definitely a learning experience!

One thing that I have really enjoyed making is homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast...

Even though it takes longer for each meal, we have really enjoyed working together in the kitchen and everyone chips in so that the job can get done.  It has been great for us as a family!  Each morning we have breakfast together and do family devotions and prayer time.  Every lunch during the week we eat Haitian food together from the seminary kitchen, and dinners are usually a pretty big to-do as well!

Another meal that our family really enjoyed the other night was sloppy joes!  We order beef from a Haitian family and once we place an order, they butcher the meat and let us know when it's ready!  It is really one of the only ways that we can safely eat beef here... and we are so thankful for their family!  


Fried plantains and militon (the fruit above that looks kind of like apple slices) are also common food here!  Militon is plentiful here and is very versatile.  It takes on the flavor of anything you cook it with, so it makes a great filler.  It's also great served raw with ranch dressing (which is something you cannot easily find here... but we brought it with us as a special treat!)

Our produce is bought by a wonderful Haitian woman who works here at the seminary.  We give her a grocery list each week and she heads to the market to buy it for all of us missionaries here.  She is able to get the best prices and knows what to look for!  It is also a way that we can help to bless her and her family.  

Once she delivers our produce, we bleach everything (to be sure it is free of any possible parasites or diseases).  We eat LOTS of fruits and veggies here, so it's important that we make sure it's safe!

The kids started school this week and are really loving their new curriculum.  School starts around 7am each day and wraps up just before lunch!  

Every Wednesday we get together with the missionaries from the Vaudreuil campus for prayer meeting.  We are studying the book of Psalms together and spend time in worship and prayer for one another.  We take turns hosting it and this past week it was next door, at the Ayars house.  Phil and I led worship, Matt taught from Psalm 2 and we shared praises and prayer requests.  What an uplifting time it will be for us each week!

The kids also have some great play time together while we meet.  There are 15 missionary kids here now, between the two campuses, so there is plenty of play going on! :)

Haylie had a BLAST trying to teach Noelle how to ride a ripstick (or as Matt calls it- a "wiggle board"!) 

Noelle is NOT going to give up on it either... I'm certain that in a few days, she will be a pro!  And I'm excited that Haylie has made a new friend too :)  

For Biga's 3rd birthday, Matt got the man across the street from the seminary to bring over his horse so the kids could all take turns riding it!  (We all laughed at how silly we must have looked to that Haitian man... we were sure he was thinking "so you want me to bring over a horse to ride... for fun?"... these horses are used for carrying heavy loads like charcoal... NOT for kiddie rides at a birthday party!)

Sam and Biga going for a birthday ride...

and Haylie, who was very excited to be able to ride a horse again!!

Each Friday, we lead worship alongside of Haitian students and the student life team here at Emmaus.  It is a favorite time for us each week!  On Wednesdays, Phil and I work on music together, then every Thursday afternoon we practice in the chapel with the worship team for Friday's worship.  

Friday's chapel services are in English, so it has been wonderful to be able to jump right in, even though we don't know the language very well yet...

And speaking of language...

Two of the pastors from the student life team, Pastor Simeon and Pastor Lèmè (in the picture above), are tutoring us in language.  Each Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoon, we work with them on learning Haitian Creole.  It has been great and we are learning so much already! They are great teachers!  It is also something that we are doing together as a family, which has been really nice!

Nou vle aprann pale kreyòl byen vit!  (We want to learn to speak Creole quickly!)  

Tomorrow, Bill, the visiting professor who has been living with us the past two weeks, is heading back to Northern Ireland and the next round of visiting professors will be coming to the campus to teach.  It has been a pleasure to have Bill stay with us and to get to know him.  Please pray for safe travels for him tomorrow as he returns home and for the other professors as they are traveling here.  We are excited to have the opportunity to open up our home once again for these next couple weeks!

As you can tell, we have been busy!...  But we are loving every minute of it and God continues to confirm in our hearts that we are exactly where we are supposed to be!  

Before I close I want to show you one more picture from this week...

Below is a rainbow that appeared in front of the mountain behind our house on Monday evening.  I have seen lots of rainbows, but every time I see one, I have to stop and take it in!  They are so beautiful and are such a great reminder to us of God's faithfulness...

And yet... most Haitians view rainbows much differently!   Are you ready for this...

Voodoo (the religion that SO many Haitian people practice) teaches that if you point at a rainbow, your finger will fall off! (Crazy isn't it?!?!)  They believe that rainbows are a living spirit and they are afraid...   What God created as a promise to His people of His faithfulness has been distorted.  It breaks my heart that so many people here don't know the truth, that they live in fear of pointing at the very thing that God has given us as a gift.

When we see rainbows in Haiti (which we have seen almost, if not, every time we have come here...) we are reminded of the need to preach the Gospel... to help others understand God's love and desire for the people of Haiti to be free from the bondage of voodoo and to enter into a loving relationship with Him.  

And the truth of the matter is that no matter where we are living, that same need is present.  There are people in all of our neighborhoods, families, communities, and workplaces that are in bondage to sin... people that desperately need to know the truth of God's faithfulness and love.  We just need to be willing to share what we have with others.

May we constantly be reminded of God's faithfulness to us and may He stir in our hearts a desire to lead others to Him and to live as His children!

2 Haiti 4 Him.


  1. Wow- love that insight about rainbows! Will keep praying for His truth to be known in Haiti! Love you guys! Keep pressing on!

  2. Love the blog!!! The pictures are GREAT!! Helps us feel close to you!! Love that you have an assurance that you are where God wants you to be. Love you, Mom & Dad