Monday, December 15, 2008


This picture best expresses our hearts. Happy, glad, thankful. These ladies are fixing food for all the guys working on the concrete and helping around the property Friday. They were so excited about what was being done, and they worked so hard to help us. It was very uplifting to be around and kept us going in spite of our weariness.
We are home safe and sound,! I arrived to find my roof had dumped a truck load of snow in the walkway(hence the ugh!), so Kelly and I shoveled like fools for about 30 minutes. It was more difficult than shoveling sand off the trucks in Haiti! Last night the stuff was sticky and wet and heavy. But we made it in and this morning unpacked all the luggage. Beth is readying the laundry, and I am off to work again!
I talked to Robinson and they had made it through the day yesterday with the funeral and all, he arrived back at St. Marc the same time we arrived home! Long day for all of us. Everyone is tired, but getting back into the groove. These trips sap you a little each time, it takes a few hours to regain your legs, and shift cultures. I notice my body doesn't shift quite as easily as I would like, must be a sign of my age or something. I prefer the something! Again, thank you for your prayers, we accomplished much on this trip. We are already commencing plans for our spring journey, and are hoping to have a group join us. There is more to do, and we are looking forward to the next step God gives us as we following His leading in this amazing endeavor of which He has allowed us to be a part. Blessings today, and may His grace fill your heart as you follow Him!

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Here are a few miscellaneous pictures from the 500 or so we took over the balance of this trip in. We will be putting together an album on CD, but here is a little taste.

Rob and Naromie

Here's a picture of our remarkable duo! A great couple, and they look good too:-)


It's amazing how you can accomplish great moments and feats in life only to succumb to some pathetic, trite human emotion. The enemy of our souls never quits in trying to cause us to fail on some level or another in our lives, even in the pinnacle of success, even when that success is in something as good as our endeavor the last 3 days. I am posting this because I am again reminded of the tenor of the battle we are in in this life, and also to shed light on the significance of the weakness of our human constitution. We are all a little edgy tonight, of course it is almost 1:00 a.m., but what does that have to do with anything! We just had a little family pow-wow and I shared with them that just because we do good for a few days, doesn't mean that now we can take a break or give in to the temporary frustration of getting home, travel weariness, and coming down from such a high moment. We have to sustain and maintain our composure after the fireworks are over. There follows a bit of a let down after a rush like the last few days, and we need to stay a steady course. It's a good lesson for all of us to remember, soldiers die even in battles they ultimately win. The traps are set well and hidden in unexpected places, we must constantly be on guard. So if you feel a little frustrated with a circumstance where it seems you have applied such good force, remember this little lesson, even when the outcome is good, you still may suffer the fatigue of the battle, and succumb to the draining of emotions. To that end I ask you to continue to pray, especially for the kids. They have seen much and experienced even more in the last couple of months, for that matter we all have. Pray we steady ourselves, pray for their joy lamps to burn brighter, and that their energy is replaced quickly. I am proud of the way they have performed under such pressure. Our CCC family in Haiti loves them to pieces. Matter of fact, Kelly was sporting one of those testing teenage moments last night and Beth threatened to leave him with Naromie, she eagerly accepted the idea, and said she would be more than happy to keep him! Go figure! We are settled in for the night, too weary to finish the trip tonight, so will get home tomorrow afternoon. Looking forward to seeing everyone, will miss the A.M. service, but we will be back in the saddle quickly. Pray for Robinson and family as well, he has to teach Sunday School, preach the morning service and get the whole church to Valeau's father's funeral tomorrow afternoon out in the countryside. He was in bed tonight when I called, and I could hear the weariness in his voice as well. He would appreciate your prayers over the next few days as they finish the move and get situated. Blessings again and always!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Press On

We are airborne back to the U.S. Hard to believe three days has slipped into the history books! This picture of Krystle tells all. We are very, very weary. It was sad to tell Robinson good-bye again this morning, but it was different for me this time. I told him, we built it, it is now time for him to fill it. He said, “Yes, it is my job, now is the time.”
There is a real sense of accomplishment that has settled in my heart. There is more to do, and we will ‘Press On’. But at the same time, this is a real milestone in this ministry. And great fruit is being harvested. Already the children from the mountain are coming in the droves, pressing against the fence to see the new church. I believe that Robinson is right. No matter how big we build it, he can fill it. So many people, so many hearts needing hope, and their country holds very little. We encountered numerous wonderful and amazing people. I am not certain what the future holds for them, but I am willing to run this journey to see what part is ours to play in God’s great scheme of life. He has opened so many doors that I am not about to start walking past the open ones. Hopefully we can get into Chicago tonight and hit the road to home. I hear there is some more winter weather headed our way. I was glad to not have to work in the snow this week! It was pretty good working weather. Going to run, blessings!

Friday, December 12, 2008


Whoa, where do I begin? There is no way to put on paper what we have encountered the last three days but the faithfulness of God. Robinson had to pray for the town crusade tonight, so we went to central park St. Marc and in that huge open space there must have been 2000-3000 people on a Friday night not hanging out at the movies, but coming to worship from every church in the city. Robinson said the Billy Graham of Haiti is preaching, but we couldn’t stay for that. But I must tell you; it was amazing sitting up there in the Gazebo surrounded by all those people, and watching how far God has brought our remarkable Haitian pastor! Never under estimate the power of God to take a life from the most terrible of circumstances and raise it up to be a nation changer!
We left the crusade early because we had left the kids at the property running the sound system and my iphone for the masons who were finishing the floor. Did I tell you we are surrounded by an army of amazing people, they take such great care of us, and we have done our best to take good care of them. When we arrived back at the property Selah was playing on the sound system blasting into the night sky “Great is Thy Faithfulness”, the masons were gone, the floor was finished, I knelt at the edge board and nearly wept. I could not have imagined that we would be able to accomplish so much in so short a time. I have sweat more than all summer combined I think, but it was worth every drenched moment. I just commented to Robinson that he knows his country, and I know it a little, I think God just performed a three-day miracle. He said, yes, I think so. I know so! A worship center in three days, we may not be “Extreme Home Makeover”, but we with God’s help moved a mountain. And it was nothing short of His Amazing Grace! I need to get to the Internet store quickly, then we must pack, 4:30 a.m. will come early, our flight out is at 11:35 a.m. so we must still press on. But again, though the body is weary, the soul sings tonight! A marvelous trip, and a miracle has happened. Their first service will be a week from Sunday, there is just a little more prep, and the concrete needs to cure out, but they will be in for Christmas, and that was my deepest hope. Merry Christmas CCC Haiti! And thank you again to all who made this moment possible for this ministry and this committed young man. God goes before him and we get to tag along on the journey. Blessings until tomorrow. Good night to all.


That means doll in French. It was said of Krystle several times yesterday. When people looked inside the truck and saw her their expressions were funny to behold. Wide eyed amazement. It was hilarious. Robinson and Naromie were laughing as well. But I told them she was our doll. The kids are once again doing very well. Had a couple of nick’s and bumps along the way this time, but so far so good. Krystle caught one of the stakes the first day before we had protection on them and scraped herself really good, not deep but ugly! Beth got something in her eye yesterday and it has been slow to go away. She has had to wear Kelly's sunglasses! Imagine that, we caught it on camera! I feel bad for her, but she is doing okay, just cannot wear her contacts right now. We will be sure to bring glasses next time. Good eye protection is important in the windy season down here. Never quite understood what Robinson meant when he said windy season is harder. But it is. It's colder, and the dust is constantly dancing in the air. They get sick very easily right now, just like we do in the winter. Got to run and grab lunch and get back to the property. Going to take over the sound system and lighten up the atmosphere with some Selah! The floor should be done tonight. We just unloaded another truck of hand guys! My well drilling ditch digging expertise came in handy! It's hotter today, so sweating quite a bit. Blessings to all!


I wrote my first post at 5:00 a.m. this morning. I haven’t slept well on this trip, not sure what my problem is, but I was concerned that we get the cement work done today. On top of that I am very sore! Sign of good, hard work! We were here at the property at shortly after 6:00 a.m. George, who I wrote about in the early morning met us at the gate. When the gate was opened I saw that George had been working through the night getting ready for the first pour of concrete. You cannot imagine how they do this, and now I have some understanding of how these buildings can collapse. The mix method is not very scientific, but it gets the job done! The floor is progressing nicely; they are starting the final surface work where they poured earlier in the day. We are waiting on more sand; we had to go buy more cement this morning, we are keeping ahead of them with what they need. There are 11 guys working, and it is a wonder to behold. It is all mixed by hand, and then loaded into wheelbarrows, and distributed to two guys spreading and leveling to string lines. The finishing crew is putting a top coat on that will be able to be swept clean. At first I had determined that we would be tearing this floor back up, but I am rethinking that a bit. The crazy floor is a good 4” thick. I had only wanted 2”! Oh well, God plans ahead of us. So will roll with the punches. Getting pretty good at that down here. Then again, do I have a choice? Yes I do, to roll or to be broken! I will settle for rolling! I met another American down here. Another Haitian pastor I met on the plane coming down who knew Robinson brought him by to meet us. It was almost weird seeing another white guy standing in the street. Got to tell you, we kind of stick out down here☺. Oh well, the blessings continue to flow, and we are very delighted with the outcome of this visit. Glad the whole family was here to witness this, it was great, thank you to those who made that possible, may God richly bless you for your generosity. A thanks doesn’t cover it, but it is a start. Blessings until later.


Everything in life needs mainstays, and the church ranks near the top. With the new property here in Haiti holding the tent and things of value, we now have to have a guard who will stay when everyone else is gone. When the lights go out, and the sound stops, and the people leave, and the excitement depletes, someone has to stay behind in the dark to tend the security of the new church. It is not a glamorous job, there are not a lot of at-a-boys, or high fives, not even many words of praise or thanks. But that doesn’t matter to George, his calling is higher and nobler than to be governed by what people think or don’t think about him. He is on a mission to serve God on a level few understand. He and his family will stand guard over the property. He is a remarkable man, and he has caught my eye. Unlike many serving in our church, he has never come to meet me, or shake my hand, or live in the limelight. He is just the opposite; he is behind the scenes, laboring hard to do the next difficult job. Whenever there was a stake to drive, or dirt to shovel, or greasing of the gate track, or moving a wheelbarrow, George is there. People wonder when I sleep. I wonder when George sleeps. These are the people God counts on. These are critical people for pastors; these are critical people for the church. You don’t need to have personality plus, or a great voice, or extraordinary beauty, or a college degree to make a huge difference in the lives of those around you. You just need the steadiness and faithfulness to show up and do the next right thing. Pray for George and his family. Pray we are able to get the guardhouse built right away so that his family can stay with him at the property. Pray that he does not weary in well doing. Pray for more George’s! And might you consider today what it is God needs from you! God doesn’t need just a few good men; God is looking to have everyone in their place in His grand work! May we live to see the revival of the army of the George’s, the army that rises to shake the world with love, and compassion, and steadfastness, who will guard the door houses of God’s work with diligence and understanding. An army who will safe keep the next generation and show them the way of the kingdom, blazing a trail, and bringing about the dawning of a new day! May God bless all of the George’s of the world today! Blessings.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


We are ready for concrete in the morning. The forms are all set. We will work all day mixing concrete and pouring a floor in the tent. I cannot express to you the excitement on the street with our property and the people. It is almost surreal to be part of this moment with them. They have been thwarted all through their lives so often and so much, they cannot believe this is happening, and so quickly! Because we are pouring a floor, it will not be ready for a service tomorrow night so we will not be able to share a service with them this time. I was hoping to do a little dedication service with them before we left Saturday morning, but it is not working out. However, I am all right with that, I have been so blessed to get so much done in such a short time, I cannot complain. I am almost giddy with joy at what has happened, I couldn’t be unhappy if I tried. It takes a lot to make a 44 year old giddy by the way! We have worked our tails off, but God has gone before us, from the weather, to the set up of the tent, to the work on the land, it is a true wonder to behold! Thank you again for prevailing in prayer; you just cannot imagine how God has delivered the goods this time. For all our frustrating and disappointing endeavors on our last trip in, it has gone the other way so vastly this time it is too much to comprehend!
The other thing is that time has flown by this trip! We are at Thursday night already, we only have a day and a few hours left and we are flying home. I hear we are coming back to lots and lots of white stuff☹. My son will be delighted, but the weather here has cooperated very well for us this time. It has been hot, but not stifling! We have been able to keep a steady pace from sun up to sun down. It’s been great! I keep having them ask, pastor, when do you rest, you never stop working! I tell them nighttime is rest time, and I will be able to rest forever in heaven, now is the time to get things done, the sun is up, it is day, and people need Jesus! Blessings for tonight!


They say a picture is worth a thousand words. What was it you meant to buy for your kids for Christmas this year? How about a tire! This little boy was as cute as can be, but there is no way you were going to get his pride and joy away from him. I wonder how our children would react to such a gift? I am afraid we are spoiling them without meaning too. As you gather for Christmas this year, maybe you could print off this picture, or ask me for a copy, to remind them of just how blessed they are. And could you ask them to say an extra prayer for the underprivileged children of Haiti. The simple prayers of children are known to move great obstacles because of their great and profound faith unhindered and tarnished by the shattered dreams and disappointments associated with our brokenness achieved through our propensity to sin. Let them pray for a child in this desolate country, God hears those prayers and that does affect the destiny of these kids. The power of a protective prayer has yet to be fully measured. Krystle is proof of that! Blessings.


Here is our pride and joy. When we were here last trip her mother was still pregnant with her, and she was breech. She was taken C-section on Saturday after Thanksgiving. We were asking about the details from Robinson, and when we asked about the name, he gave us instruction that the mother wanted us to name her baby. What an honor, and this is the name we picked. It has a Bible name which is what they asked for, as well as a little of Beth and Krystle thrown in.
We drove four hours this afternoon to see her. We were there for about 20 minutes, we also stopped and got to meet Naromie’s mother. What a treat that was! She is a delightful and loving woman. The baby is beautiful as you can see from the pictures. Mom’s, I have to tell you, there was no crib, no flowers on the wall, no nursery, no mobiles, nothing but a bedroom that mom and baby are sharing. And the mother (Ynives) is recuperating from the C-section still. We delivered a Moses basket and several donated clothes as well as a few things Beth put together in a baby package. We made a very happy family. Please don’t take the goodness of our country for granted. We are so very, very blessed.
Another delightful aspect of this run this afternoon was that it took us right through the miles and miles of rice fields. What a sight, the new crops are coming on strong, and the price of rice has fallen here like the price of gasoline in the States. It is down from $675.00 Haitian to $125.00 for a 10 can bag, (whatever that is!) The price is dropping dramatically. Some ray of hope dawns! The rice fields are beautiful. The government has opened the water to the fields and they are growing quickly. You talk about a political nightmare, imagine the government in complete control of your crops, let us be reminded that a strong government makes for a weak nation! Blessings always.


Well, some things have gone extraordinarily well. Others… well, remind me I am in Haiti. The power is so low right now that the Internet store is down to one machine, and it is hardly working. I have tried now three times to post, the first night we were to late, today at noon they were too busy, and tonight the machine wouldn’t recognize my USB drive, so early in the morning, I am planning to run down there with my machine and upload all my posts. So to my faithful readers, my apologies! But welcome to a bit of my world while I am here; hurry up and wait! Except today, it went American smooth!!! Ah, could I have ever dreamed I would say that in this county.
It was funny tonight as we were walking back from the Internet store; I went to turn to the way we always come except tonight. Robinson called out; “wrong way” and I chuckled and said we are creatures of habit. How quickly I had formed that one. And then it settled on me how quick we are to pick up on habits, and then how hard they are to let go of. Being here in Haiti forces me away from some of my customary habits, and I get to review them from a different angle. Let me caution all of us to be guarded about ruts and routines. They can become very dangerous things! And what is really scary, we don’t get many chances to take a hard look at them. So as we enter the Christmas season, I ask you to take a look inside, and see if the goodness that God means to flow from your life is trapped behind the guise of a confining habit! Let go, break it, and get on with your life.
You and I may be ordinary people, but God uses us in extraordinary ways. We seldom get to see it, for His invisible camera is recording it. We don’t get to see it from our perspective very often, but it is happening all the same! May we be loosed of those entrapment's, and freed to really worship and serve our Creator! May God bless your day today!


Don’t let the title throw you. But I stood back from a distance tonight in the dark and observed the culmination of several years of hard labor on the part of so many, and realized the dawning of our vision that we have pressed for hard and long. We went much farther today than I dreamed, tonight the lights were on and the sound system blowing music high into the night air. To watch these people in their excitement was extraordinary.
When I finished the light chain across the top of the tent it was dark, many hands around handing me tools, me crimping and tying wires together. When I finished the last end, I was hoping I had not missed a joint or two, you know, the failed Christmas light string syndrome! But I plugged it in and a shout went up as the light pierced the night, much like what our work here is doing! Not many get to experience such rapture, such fulfillment. I am dead on my feet, but happier than any man could be. A miracle happened tonight. Our visions came to pass, and I mean all of us and you who have waited so patiently and saved and skimped to give all that change, all those bottles, all those yard sale items, those who have written big and small checks across the years because we believed in the work of God through a young Haitian man who has served so faithfully. Not once has he succumbed to defeat, our surrendered to discouragement. And here God comes, marching in marvelous light, and the streets leading up to the mountains now have a new sound, the sound of the church rejoicing. How is it that where Robinson labor so faithfully, should he see such great fruit! Let us not be weary in well doing, let your hearts beat with joy tonight, great and wonderful things have come to pass, the likes of what we have not been able to observe on a day to day basis. So as you go about what seems to you an insignificant day-to-day routine, remember sometimes it is a culmination of years of faith and believing. We have become accustomed to getting what we want right now, how much sweeter it is when aged by God, and then served on a glorious platter one warm evening in the dark landscape of Haiti. Yes, I have realized a vision, I have dreamed a dream, and it has come to pass. Is there more? I am certain! But what a stunning beginning! Rejoice! Blessings to all, and to all a good night.


Hurray! The tent is up. It took us 2 hours this morning, and we got the tent up into the air! It is awesome. We had a lot of help, and many hands make light work. We have a few stakes to reset and the sidewalls to put up. The church down here has raised enough money to put down a concrete floor, so the mason will meet us after lunch to square that away. I am feeling much better having it up. No matter what they are set now. If I don’t get another thing done, I am confident they can get it from here. We are going to try to get the side in place and the electrical run for the lights yet this afternoon. I worked late into the night last night getting the sound system put all back together and everything organized. A refresher on the tent set-up this morning and we were off. The entire tent was carried over to the property by hand and wheelbarrow. They are such hard workers. We could stand a little more of their work ethic back in the U.S. Thank you for your prayers, it is paying off. We have been surrounded by onlookers! The children from the 7th Day Adventist school next door have been gathered on the second and third floors of the school and have been a continual stream of chatter. It is hilarious! And fun! We are getting lots of pictures. Beth was so focused on getting pictures that she missed getting the initial raising of the tent on video. I’ll forgive her… later!!:-) We are grabbing lunch and going to go drop this at the Internet shop. Will try to post more later, much to say but little time right now. Blessings.


Have you seen the new LED flashlights? They sell them at Sam’s in a two pack. I bought a set for Krystle and Beth for our trip down here. They are awesome! We arrived in Port very late last night and had to travel all the way to St. Marc in the dark. I knew we were in trouble when Robinson started the truck and I saw only one headlight pointed straight up in the air. He had two vehicles there and fortunately the one that was his had both headlights working. But we didn’t ride in that one, and it didn’t take long for us to be separated. So out came the amazing K-2 flashlight to help light the way. It was an awesome guy moment! I had carpel tunnel by the time we arrived at the house some 2 ½ hours later, but we could see! I will not take vehicle lights for granted ever again! Remind me of that if I forget! We are safely in St. Marc. The weather is much cooler than last time. I actually had to get out our winter coats in the middle of the night because everyone was cold. Imagine that. It’s 19 degrees at home and my family was cold at 65? Oh well. I am glad for the reprieve. Everything arrived and we didn’t even get checked in customs. It was a hoot, but a good one. I was a little concerned that they would find the sound system or the brand new generator and would be paying big bucks, but we went through without a second glance. A favor served by a very late plane and a lot of unhappy Haitians! Will write more later, blessings to all!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


We are sitting here on the plane to Port. They are changing some passengers around. We are going to leave late. What chaos. But this culture of Haitians is comfortable with chaos. That is the way they live. Meeting some great people along the way reminds me that we are not alone in reaching out to this country. God is being faithful to these people and this country. We are just blessed to be a part. Got to go for now. Blessings to all.


It feels like we just did this, and now we are doing it again! Please let us get it right this time? Wow did 3:30 a.m. come quick! We are up and dashing, but wanted to post quickly that Tuesday has started on time so far. It was a short night, but we are all up and in good spirits. Running on adrenaline of course, but running all the same. D-day has arrived.
Be praying for a smooth entrance into Haiti and smooth skies as a couple of our travelers get motion sickness, we take tablets for that of course, but smooth flights help a lot. Going to get the bags down and get to our delivery van. Just wanted to let you all know we are formerly underway again!
Someone said have fun, we'll try! Got to roll with the punches and count our blessings no matter what our circumstances right? Right! Look at me, 4:00 a.m. and I am posting? What's wrong with this picture? Oh, that right, were having fun! But our mission is serious, and our goals clear. Pray for the best this week! Blessings always.

Monday, December 8, 2008


I can hardly believe we are back on the road again to St. Marc. Twice in two months. If you would have told me at the start of this year that I would make not one, but two trips into Haiti, I would have laughed you away! This is no laughing matter:-). But God goes before us, and here we are. We have completed the first leg of the journey of trip number two. We are now in a Comfort Inn in Chicago, just 2 miles from the O'Hara airport. The alarm is set for 3:30 a.m. We are praying for good flights and smooth transactions through customs and security tomorrow.
Our difficulty recently has been the rude discovery that there is a travel embargo into Haiti through Christmas. It wouldn't be such a big deal had it been disclosed at the time of our ticket purchase, but it wasn't. So we scrambled late last week to get suitcases, the only thing allowed for travel right now, (not our customary bins) and no extra bags or over sized stuff as well. Needless to say, a few things had to be left behind. I was a bit chagrined, until God reminded me that He knew all about the embargo, and it's not out of His control. It was also a reminder that when you set about to do good, that doesn't necessarily mean all will go smoothly, rather the opposite can happen. It can seem that the good backfires. But not to fear, when you forge ahead, sometimes in blind faith, (that is a step into territory where you cannot see but have to hold to God's hand) you find a path that you did not know was there! And what a blessing suddenly arrives at your doorstep. I am hoping for the best, but know the enemy will fight, he does not like what is happening for the kingdom! So pray with us.
So here comes the blessings, even when we think no good can come, we pulled into the hotel tonight weary and worn, and behold we gained an hour! Now that may seem small to you, but to a tired pastor and family, packing nightly late into the early morning hours, and extra hour of sleep is HUGE! I locked myself out of the truck for the second time in 4 days this morning, rear ended a fellow pulling out of Staples, couldn't find several things I needed, but God worked it all out. So tonight I will sleep in His peace, knowing that the people I go to serve tomorrow would gladly exchange places and hardships with me because my problems pale in comparison to theirs. Behold the change perspective brings. My heart will rejoice, I go to claim new territory for the Kingdom of Christ. Thanks for your prayers, I will post as often as I get a chance. Love and Blessings to all.