Throw back Thursday….a letter from mom :)


Dear Family and Friends,

It’s early Friday morning. I’ve tried to set the morning aside ti write some letters. We’ve been back on the field almost 2 months – we jumped in and haven’t stopped since. As I look at a list of people I’d like to write – I’m a little overwhelmed. I don’t much like to send photo-copied letters, but if you are to hear from us it seems the best way to “catch up.”

Our computer has been down all but 3 days in the last 4 1/2 months. When we got here, we had an expensive repair done on it. IT worked as I said , 3 days, and something else went wrong. It is a cheap piece to replace($5-$10) but hard to find since the computer is an older one. Anyway that’s the reason you haven’t received a newsletter for a while.

God blessed our holiday & family time in December – it just came to an end too quickly. We do have a lot of good memories to cherish.

The country as you have probably heard is a mess with demonstrations – some peaceful & some violent, several days each week. Schools have not started up since before Christmas. Businesses are opened sporadically; the main hospitals have been closed over 2 months. The political and economic situation remains grave.

The sun is still shining over Haiti and people continue to come through our gate in a steady stream. God keeps us under his umbrella of protection and we work and function normally each day. The true Son is our source of strength, hope, and peace. We are grateful for His Word and your prayers which cover us and allow us to fulfill His call.

We just said good-bye to a work team from near Rochester, IN. Much was accomplished during their 10 day visit. The clinic received a fresh coat of paint- inside & out. New, much needed shelves were built in Lori’s “blood & guts” room. So often in an emergency we’d grab items off our fragile shelves only to have the whole shelf fall, bringing lower ones to tumble down also. Now we can stand on them. They are so strong 🙂 Much was done in the Rescue Center. Two rooms had walls cemented and painted. A new area was added that more than doubled the eating area. It’s also close to our water source, so clean up of high chairs, tables and the children is much easier. Many odd jobs and repairs were accomplished to help make our lives less frustrating. Thousands of pills were counted.

Clinic remains a challenge. While AIDs cases have remained steady. We’ve had an increase in T.B. patients. Just this week we had a 9 year old boy with T.B. in his eye. Malnutrition continues to be an overwhelming problem, both in adults and children. We used to see many adults weighing around 100 pounds, now many are weighing in the 80’s and 90’s.

This week we took 5 children (sent 4 home). One was a little girl 6 years old who weighed 22 pounds. Think about that. She was covered with sores and itched constantly. (After 1 bath with soap she stopped itching) IT looks to us that she is almost blind in both eyes due to a vitamin deficiency. We will build her up before we take her in town to an eye clinic to be tested.

I wanted to keep this two pages but I don’t think I can. It’s now past noon so you know I had some interruptions, The first was a 13 month old with a burn to both feet. Since I was downstairs I checked the Rescue Center and took care of a few minor needs. I did stop and feed one of the babies as the workers were all busy. The little guy convinced me he had to have some milk right NOW! We have one critical baby who I checked and prayed for. He has come through so much. Born premature at 3 # 3 oz, he has been with us several weeks and weighs 6 # 12 oz. Jocline has battled through several problems – we’re trusting God to heal him.

The longest interruption was to accept a 12 month old child who came from the other side of the island. They had heard we cared for malnourished kids. It was so swollen (kwashiorkor), the skin had split and peeled.

Zach has his hands full talking with many who seek non-medical help. Much time is spent trying to find a way to fix the Cazale road and keep some water running for our purposes, He spends major time each week bringing in both medicine for clinic and food and supplies for the children. A simple task may take 10 times longer here to accomplish. Everything develops patience and long suffering. He is looking forward to preaching in February. In March, he will return to the U.S.to begin work on a farm equipment auction to raise funds to ship a trailer of supplies in June. Hope you’re saving some items to bless those we serve. Don’t forget the peanut butter!

Our family continues to count it a privilege to serve here in Haiti. We love you and miss seeing your smiling faces. Please know you are in our hearts and in our prayers! We love you so much!

To God Be All the Glory,

The Zachary Family


  1. Rose Durbin says

    I have had the honor of receiving letters from Gretchen. Each one full of concern for the children and always a mention of prayer.

    Miss her everyday!

  2. Sandy Kinnaman says

    Gretchen was such a blessing to all who had opportunity to know her. She would be so proud of you girls and the way you are carrying on the work of the Lord. I’m sure, if they can see us from heaven, she’s saying, ‘that’s my girls!!’ Thanks for the memories 🙂

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