It’s been a month since I’ve written a blog post. So much has happened and I apologize for not being able to just sit down and let you know about it all.
News from Fort Jacques
First let me tell you about what has taken place since the break in at Fort Jacques. We have hired a security company to provide guards 24/7. This has given the staff and children a feeling of security that they needed. Four of the foreign staff have had a chance to travel out of Haiti and just get away for a few days. This has hopefully helped them deal with their feelings and fears.
The men are working to get iron doors and windows put on all of the housing at the Fort. It is taking some time but slowly it is all coming together and the staff housing is almost finished. Then they will work on the Toddler Houses and get iron doors and windows made for each house.
We also were able to purchase some security lighting to put around the property so it’s not so dark at night. We chose to get some solar lighting so that electrical wires did not have to be run around the property. We also were able to find a few more security cameras to put in key spots that offered more visibility on the security network.
As some of you may know, we lost two dogs from poisoning the night of the break in and then a few days later, Sophie, our Mastiff, find a hotdog dipped in poison and tried to eat it. They thought they got it out of her mouth before she got much poison in her system, but that poison was so strong that she later collapsed and spent almost 2 weeks at the Vets with liver failure. Her puppies were only 4 weeks old but thankfully they had just started on puppy foot and so everyone worked hard to get them to eat and all have survived!
Sophie is home now and very thin but doing much better. We just need to get her to gain weight now and completely healed.
Would you consider giving a one time donation to help us with these added costs? The security guards are costing $2200 USD per month for 24/7 coverage. The lights and cameras cost almost $2000. These items are necessary and if you can help, it would be greatly appreciated. Peace of mind for our staff and children is priceless!
News from IBESR
We have received a couple of proposals from IBESR for our children. Families are here now visiting for their 2 weeks of required time to socialize with their child. In 2014, we only received 3 proposals for the whole year! This is one of the reasons we are having to depend on independent funds to run the orphanage. Adoption funds used to provide half of our yearly budget but that is not happening due to IBESR taking so long to give proposals of children to adoptive families!
A meeting at the US Embassy between IBESR, orphanage directors, and the US Consulate took place last week. I brought up to the IBESR staff that they need to get an executive secretary in their office to help get it organized. We take in dossiers for children and they are losing documents and then tell us that they don’t have the documents even though we have documentation that it was given to them! Our agencies are telling us that the proposals are coming to them with documents from other children mixed in with the correct dossier! This means that another child’s dossier is incomplete because his/her documents were accidentally put with our child’s documents!
After the last round table meeting, I reported that I was told that the USCIS (American Immigration) chief was leaving. He called me and told me he didn’t know when he was leaving for sure and I needed to tell people this. So I did let you all know, but it turns out I was correct with my first blog. He left a couple of months ago and there is a new USCIS Chief! Bureaucracy makes me want to SCREAM sometimes!
We are still waiting on the Kenscoff Mayor’s signature on all abandoned children’s consents. She has said she would go last week. I’m still waiting to hear if she kept her word.
Building at Fort Jacques
Due to the break in at Fort Jacques, most of the recent energy has been focused on security measures, but the masons have finished the wall around the property attached to the bottom of our main property. In April, we hope to start building the Guest House. We have someone who wants to finance the building of the guest house and have provided the funds for us to get started! This was a HUGE answer to prayer and then an architect on a team from Illinois drew up plans for it all!
For the main Baby House, we are just waiting on the final architecture and engineering drawings to be done by a firm in Colorado. Since the Baby House will be sitting over a hollow cistern of water and we do live in an earthquake zone, we want to be sure on an engineering bases that the plan is solid and safe. As soon as we get these plans back, we hope to start the cistern which is the first phase of building for the Baby House.
BICKEL’S VISITING CHURCHES DURING APRIL AND MAY
John and I are visiting churches starting the 12th of April through the end of May. On April 12th, Dixie will be in Ocala, FL and on the 26th of April, she will be in Idaho. The rest of the Sundays and even through the week, she and John will be available to speak at churches, home groups, or organizations. It would be great if we could get more churches to visit in Florida or Idaho or even neighboring states.
John will be joining me at the end of April. We will be in Illinois in May from the 10th through the 24th.
If interested in having us come to visit your church, please contact Terry by email or call the office at 719-638-4348.
Prayer for the Staff Needed
Please keep all staff in your prayers. We have had some sickness and injuries lately and could use some extra prayers sent our way as people heal and get better.