Friday, January 3, 2014

NEW BLOG: Stateside T

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Friday, December 13, 2013

Au Revoir Haiti

This is my last week in Haiti.  Tomorrow we fly back to the "Night 'n States", as Eleanor calls it.  It was a good week... working at the clinic, spending time with my mom and sister, saying goodbye to friends in Haiti. It doesn't really seem real that I won't be coming back in January.  Just feels like a normal Christmas break, except for the 11 suitcases in our house, holding all our stuff from the past 12 years or so.

My favorite moment of this last week in Haiti happened last Sunday.  The children in the Sunday School program decided to give me a little show.  They put a chair up front for me to sit in, and then presented me with a gift.  Several little girls got up and each sang a song or recited a poem.  One of the girls sang a song of thanks to the Lord.  She had such a sweet voice, and seeing her there, standing on the cement floor of the school classroom with the morning sun streaming in the door behind her, lighting up her flowery Sunday-best dress and ribboned hair, I couldn't help but think, "I'm going to miss this".  This place, these people, my Haiti home.

After the children presented me with my gift, it was time for me to go to "big church" and speak a few words of goodbye to the congregation.  I told them that God was leading us back to the U.S. and that I wasn't quite sure how to live there anymore, after so many years in Haiti.  I shared with them how I had been studying Jesus' words in Revelation to the church in Laodicea, and how His admonishments to that church reminded me of America.  They said they were rich and had need of nothing, but they were poor, naked, and blind.  I told the congregation I am heading back to America to be a missionary there to those who are spiritually poor, naked, and blind.  Then I encouraged them to be missionaries right where they are.  The best missionary is the one who doesn't need to learn the language or cultural mores, because they have known and practiced them since childhood.  The best missionaries are the Christians in the neighborhood, at the market, in the home.

And so, we are going back to our native language and culture with the gospel.  We're going to be a missionaries in our neighborhood, our marketplace, and our home. Look out, America.  Here we come!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Time To Move On

Big news! For everyone who has not heard through the grapevine already, the Price family is moving to Alabama in December. After 12 years on the field for me, and 6 years for my husband (and for my children-all their lives), we feel that it is time to return to the United States. When I originally came to Haiti, I gave a tentative two year commitment. As the years passed by, I continued to feel that God had more work for me here in Haiti. I have always prayed that the Lord would make it clear to me when it was time to leave. I also prayed that it wouldn't be a huge tragedy or major event or interpersonal issue that forced me to leave. It seems that God is answering my prayer. We are not dissatisfied or traumatized – we just feel it is time to move on to what God has in store for us next.

We will relocate to northeastern Alabama, near my husband's hometown and family. He has accepted a job with a Christian optometrist, and I will try my hand at being a stay-at-home mom. Of course, being a missionary is all I have ever wanted to do with my life, but I think there are plenty of mission opportunities everywhere in the world (even Alabama!), so I'll keep an eye out for them and dive in when the opportunity arises. And who knows? Maybe God will lead us overseas again in the future.

I would like to thank Community Christian Church for their faithful support over the years. They have been such an encouragement to me and such an example of what it means to demonstrate the community of fellow believers. Other supporting churches that I would like to thank are Lake Eustis Christian Church, Harvest Community Church, and Hope Evangelical Free Church of Roscoe. Thank you, also, Community KIDZ, who have been special supporters and have brought joy to my heart all these years. To all my faithful individual supporters, I cannot express what a blessing you have been to me and to the Haitian people through your selfless giving. May God reward you greatly!

For those of my supporters who have a heart for Haiti and would like to continue giving towards mission activities here, I would recommend the following:

Fellowship of Christian Optometrists, Christian Vision Eye Services to Haiti (the mission my husband is part of... they will still be continuing the construction on the new eye clinic and are actively recruiting a new missionary optometrist). For more information, go to

Haiti Health Ministries (the mission started by Dr. Jim and Sandy Wilkins, who currently run the clinic where I work). Construction continues on the new clinic building, and as always, donations are used to help patients who cannot pay for medicines or procedures or surgeries, and for formula and protein for malnourished children and adults. For more information, go to

Christianville Foundation (the mission where we live). Donations are used to support Christian schools and churches as well as other community development projects. For more information, go to

Thank you again for all your support and prayers through the years. Stay tuned for a few more blogs. We haven't left yet!

Sunday, October 27, 2013


  Usually, when I go home to the States, I find myself getting irritated at people.  It's a displaced irritation.  I'm not actually upset at the people themselves, but instead at the discrepancies between how we live in the U.S. and how the Haitians live here.  For instance, the time when I watched a woman hemorrhage in my car for seven hours after giving birth, while I tried to find her help at four different hospitals.  Then I went home to watch my friend have her baby in a luxury birthing suite with monitors and epidural anesthesia and round the clock nursing care, and I found myself getting irritated.  It wasn't my friend's fault that her birthing experience was a good one.  It was just the huge difference in available medical options between one place and another that was bothering me.  Or the year when we went home and wanted a 'simple Christmas' but ended up receiving eighty five hundred gifts for the kids.  I couldn't help feeling irritated, knowing that my Haitian friends were celebrating Christmas by going to church and eating a meal together that might include meat as a special treat.  It wasn't my family's fault for wanting to rain down gifts on the children they see only twice a year.  It was just the great gulf between excess and want that frustrated me.
  A few weeks ago, I found myself suffering from this displaced irritation once again.  And this time, I wasn't in the States.  It happened right here in my home.  A couple of the boys from the Jacmel boys' home came to visit me and talk about the food situation in the house.  Apparently, the money for their monthly food allowance is not sufficient, and they have been without food for a couple weeks.  They were hungry and frustrated, so they came to visit me and talk it over.  When they arrived, I asked them how their families were.  Usually, a Haitian will reply "doing well" or "fine, thank the Lord" or something of that nature.  But these boys replied "ou konnen mis, sa'k mouri, mouri".  That means "you know, those that have died are dead."  Jean Robert lost a teenage cousin to cholera two weeks ago, and has another relative in the hospital recovering from cholera.  Elira lost a sister with obstetrical complications a few months ago.  So, the boys were suffering loss, and they were hungry.  We talked for awhile, trying to resolve the food issue, then I sent them on their way with a little something for the road.  As they were leaving, my daughter started to scream. I had served her lunch right before the boys arrived.  I gave her a fork to eat her macaroni and cheese with.  She was screaming because she wanted a spoon.  She refused to eat the food with a fork.  I got irritated and said to her, "We just had starving people in our house and you are crying about a fork?"  I'm sure my four year old daughter didn't understand what I was referring to or care in the least, and I shouldn't have expected her to.  She's just a little girl who prefers spoons to forks.  I wasn't really irritated with her.  I was irritated, and a little ashamed, at the discrepancy between how we live and how those around us do.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Twelve Years In Haiti

I moved to Haiti September 4, 2001. The following is a brief synopsis of my time here since then.

Year One: I miss my nephew, Lukey! I meet Margarethe, deliver my first baby, and tend to a little burned boy: Jean Dony. The clinic starts functioning and the patients come en masse.

Year Two: I move from a cot in the dorms to an air mattress in my new apartment above the clinic. Communication with the outside world moves from satellite-phone-only to the internet. Tooth-pulling Tuesdays begin.

Year Three: Davidson Jean Phillippe, my first godchild, is born. I begin teaching baptism classes for the local youth. Chelsea and I spend two weeks in a Haitian house.

Year Four: Danny and Leann join the Seguin team. I turn 30 while cliff jumping in the Dominican Repulic. Danny and Leann move on to Jacmel, and I'm once again alone on the mountain.

Year Five: I float down a river in my Land Cruiser (oh, the irony!).  Cell phone reception makes its way to Seguin, and I make my first call to friends in Port from inside my Seguin apartment.

Year Six: Jessica spends six months on the mountain with me. Other wonderful interns come and go. In the end, I'm once again alone on the mountain. At the urging of friends, advisors, and the Holy Spirit, I give my six months' notice and pray about where God wants me next.

Year Seven: I visit Christianville at the invitation of Jim and Sandy. I meet Ryan. I move to Christianville. Later, I start dating Ryan, and we get engaged under a waterfall.

Year Eight: Ryan and I are married. Pregnancy immediately follows. Really. Immediately. Nine months later, Eleanor Nancy Price is born. I move from full time at the clinic to part time.

Year Nine: Our bodies, living arrangements, work environments, relationships, and perceptions are shaken to the core by the earthquake of January 12, 2010.

Year Ten: Our family grows to four, as Titus Christopher Price is born. I start a Children's Church program at Lasalle Church, and begin teaching Creole Grammar classes to American missionaries.

Year Eleven: Jim and Sandy move down the road, and I get used to working in the UNICEF tents with them. My sister and her family move to Haiti and live within walking distance of me (yippee!).

Year Twelve: Our family grows once again when we welcome our second boy, Samuel George Price. My sister and her family move back to the States (boo!). Construction begins on a new eye clinic. I continue working part time at the medical clinic, teaching Creole classes, and creating curriculum for the Children's Church program. I stay connected to Seguin via a latrine project, a Boys' Home for mountain boys that need to go to High School in the city, and through hosting many Seguin friends who come visit us at Christianville.

Community Christian Church supports my ministry.... from year one all the way up to the present!

Here are some of my favorite pictures.  The little boy standing with Eleanor was born the day after the quake, in front of my house.  The older woman and child are Margarethe's mother in law and Margarethe's fourth child.  God has been faithful to both Margarethe and me and has brought us quite a ways since those early days in 2001.


Friday, August 30, 2013

Haiti's Travelin' Blind Man

Many of you know Roger, Seguin's loudest blind man.  He's a tall, thin man who used to beg loudly on my front porch when I lived in the mountains.  We gave him a job as a human megaphone, calling out patient names for us.  Now that the clinic is closed, he is out of work and relies on charity to makes ends meet.

Roger is not only known for his loud voice, but also for his travelling ways.  Even though Seguin is a mountainous place with narrow, slippery clay trails and deep ravines, Roger uses his wooden cane to feel his way around and walk by himself over miles of terrain.  Once, Roger was crossing a very narrow bridge that spans an 80 foot ravine when he ran into someone.  He yelled at the person, saying, "What's wrong with you?  Don't you know I'm blind?  Watch where you're going!"  The person answered him, "Roger?  Is that you?"  It was Roger's cousin.... who is also blind.  The two men laughed about it afterwards.

Once I moved to Christianville, I expected to see much less of Roger.  I've only been able to visit Seguin a few times since my move.  Roger, however, was not satisfied with a visit every few years, so he decided to come see me.  And he has... several times, and always by himself.  Just recently he visited me, sporting a new T-shirt with vampires on it, some old shoes with soles that were coming un-glued, and his usual smile. He needed help with school for his children.  In order to come ask me for help, Roger had to ride no less than three motorcycle taxis, two tap-taps, and a bus.  Then he had to repeat that process to return home. He told me one of the tap-taps he was riding broke down and he had to overnight in Jacmel.  I didn't have the heart to ask him how and where he overnighted there.  Roger is a brave man.  Possibly, the most well-travelled blind man in Haiti.

Monday, July 15, 2013

My Third Culture Kid

Eleanor, my firstborn, turned 4 this past week.  We threw her a party that included American missionary friends and Haitian neighborhood friends.  There was pin-the-hat-on-the-Minnie-Mouse, a craft, and lots of running around and general noise-making.  There were no presents, though.  That was on purpose.  Being the third culture kid that she is, she doesn't know there are supposed to be presents at a birthday party, and she doesn't have any commercials on television or friends from school telling her that there should be presents.

There has been a lot written lately about third culture kids, with all the international travel that happens now.  For those of you who haven't ever heard of the term, it refers to a child who is raised in a country other than their parents' country of origin.  So, the child is exposed to one culture at home, and another outside the home, leading them to adapt by forming their own 'third culture'.  I think my kids are too young to really exhibit a lot of third culture behavior, but one thing I have noticed is that they are very adaptable.  They are accustomed to bumpy roads, rain on the tin roof, and sleeping under mosquito nets.  But they also do just fine in air conditioning, eating fish sticks and watching cable t.v.  I love how adaptable they are.  I love that living in Haiti means that Eleanor didn't ask for an American Girl doll this year, because she has no idea what that is.  What I don't love, however, is that sometimes living in Haiti means I can't give my kids what they ask for.  This year, Eleanor wanted strawberry cupcakes with flowers on top, and a helium balloon ('like the one Mimi had') for her birthday.  Two simple requests that would have been so easy to fulfill in the States.  Here in Haiti, though, it was a pretty tall order.  Even the fanciest grocery store in Port au Prince didn't carry strawberry cake mix this month, and the only place in town that advertised helium balloons could only fill an order for a large quantity, not a single balloon or two.  So, Ryan and I improvised.  I bought a white cake mix and dyed it pink.  Ryan's uncle Jerry told us that pennies in muriatic acid would create hydrogen that would float a balloon.  Ryan tried this technique, and I was upset that I wasn't home to see his attempts.  Apparently they involved oven mitts, safety goggles, and a mad dash out the door.  In the end, the balloons didn't float.  So, when all was said and done, Eleanor got a birthday party with friends that involved pink cupcakes and nine red balloons (some of which appeared to float using the magic of duct tape).  How did my third culture kid respond?  Well.......

I think she liked it just fine!