Monday, January 25, 2010


It continues to be a significant challenge to reach Robinson, matter of fact, he has had more success calling me than of me calling him. I was taking to my international phone service company tonight and they said their service into Haiti was back up to 70%. I had to laugh; my success rate today for all of my tries is 0%!
Here is what is fresh, Rob had to go on a emergency run for a broken down vehicle about halfway to Port this morning, he took people coming to stay at the property from PAP to register for their aid and location at the YWAM campus, collected money at Western Union, and distributed food. He is gathering clothing, personal hygiene items, and trying to keep up with the responsibilities of all those he is sheltering at the property. He has been using the small children’s tent but the crowd is growing and is now too big to keep them all there, so they are moving them to the big tent. He is utilizing his church family to help meet the needs of these pouring into St. Marc.
I asked about the needs on the congregation and he said; ‘brother, it is hard for them right now, but they are not the victims. The people from PAP have nothing!” They have no clothes, no food, no house, they have lost everything. He is asking his church people to bring their clothes! That breaks my heart. I have a closet full of clothes, I can spare a rack, these poor people have so little to begin with, and now they are being asked to bring from their meager rations. WOW! What amazing hearts! We give out of our wealth; they give out of their poverty!
There are now 20 people staying at the property, and the count is climbing quickly as they distribute among all the churches in St. Marc.
St. Marc made the national news last night, people are leaving Port in masses and St. Marc is the choice location. Robinson told me that Gonaives is too destroyed that the people don’t want to go there and Cap-Haitien is too far north to be away from their home. He said St. Marc is stacked with people. Everywhere you look there are masses of people; needy, needy people.
I think the YWAM director has it right, this is starting week #3, and looks to be a transition week, moving from short term rescue to long term care, continuing medical surgeries, and rebuilding. Pray this week for wisdom and endurance as rescue teams and medical care people try to get restored from the initial push and running on adrenaline, and the same for all the Haitian’s who have also pressed and labored and buried their dead. Emotions have been spent for a lifetime for them; recuperation is what they desperately need. So pray the distribution continues to level out, and that the weather holds steady, and significant plans for restoration gain solid momentum and clear direction. Pray for the leadership and government to enter a new phase of responsibility to their people, that out of the dust and ashes, and new day dawn’s, a brighter, better hope is born. Blessings to all.

Friday, January 22, 2010


I spoke with Robinson this morning and they were readying to feed our charges at the church property. He said eventually the international aid is going to follow these people to help supply food for them, but that won't happen for a while. So the duty is passed to the church. He was so happy to hear we were raising support for him. They are in desperate need of the help. I know they are taking this endeavor on in faith, because they don't have it themselves. But God hears and answers our prayers sometimes before we even ask, and I could hear the awe in his voice when I told him I have support coming in right and left for him. He said: "Wow"! He said he is very, very busy with everything. He also said it is a struggle to get money right now, even though it is in the country, there is a massive liquidation problem. I spoke with the bank today, and learned that they are trying to open the central bank tomorrow. I was informed that will begin to relieve the cash flow problem. The countryside has limited cash flow on a normal basis, this has caused a sizable bottleneck in trying to help get funds to the people. So pray that the banks can open tomorrow like projected. We have funds available to Rob on the ground in Haiti right now thanks to the generosity of the banks and the ability to wire for virtually free, but they are having to parcel out the money so that hopefully everyone can get a little. Rob told me that you stand in line for hours, you just get to the gate and they close for the day. Can you imagine? Again he laughs! I'm like,... what??? He says those old familiar words, "Brother, it's Haiti!" I pray by the end of this journey, this epic trial of this land, that Robinson will not have to say those words anymore! Wouldn't that be great, it would speak of a remarkable change, I will be able to look back at these blogs and marvel at what God did for our wonderful, amazing people in Haiti. Time to try phoning again. That is my current trial, getting the info passed along to him has been agonizing to say the least. But nothing compared to what they are going through, counting my blessings tonight! Be blessed as well.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


So far today there has been no contact with Robinson. As you will all know from the email last night, in addition to an already full plate, he is readying our facilities to accommodate 60 displaced people from Port. With all of the aftershocks, I am currently thrilled that we are using a tent for our worship facility. I am already contemplating the purchase of another bigger tent. These are going to work quite well for a while. While the fear of the people remains high, a falling tent would not be a threat. Our tents will serve as great shelter for these people, and I think our church family will be a great asset in watching over them and keeping them taken care of until housing can be rebuilt or the people find new homes. I am sure this has Robinson busy, and on top of that serving as a translator for the medical doctors, I am wondering when he will rest himself. That being said, I will continue to try to reach him for an update and as soon as I do, I will be posting it up.
My thoughts recently have been considering so many aspects of the earthquake, but one is surfacing over and over. It's this word 'suddenly'. I have been reminded in the last few days of the fragility of life. Haiti on a whole sets this concept continually before me as I have been engaged in ministry there and working with Robinson. In our society of warranties and guarantees, insurance and plenty, entertainment and communication, we rarely give pause to reflect on the true fragility of life, and the precious moments we have. The earthquake happening when it did and with the level of devastation it has wrought, sat me back on my haunches. I talked to Robinson just 2 hours before the earthquake, and it was business as usual, plans as usual, hopes and dreams as usual, fellowship as usual. In a few seconds, usual was erased like chalk on a blackboard. Some slippage of rock, uncontrolled by human skill or power some 5-6 miles beneath earths surface altered the course of a nation, maybe even in some ways the world, for years, maybe decades, maybe forever. Not just a few families, or even a little town, that earthquake has reshaped the current news and headlines, has demanded the worlds attention, is altering economics, life 'suddenly' became different for millions. I am cherishing my Haitian family, my church family, my own family a little differently. These people who had little to begin with, have now been demanded everything they own. In split seconds, hopes and dreams vanished like a great magicians trick. Except this was real, no illusions. And that is the thought that has captured my attention, don't live in illusions, cherish this moment, savor your relationships. The thread of life is fragile, and things can change 'suddenly', have changed 'suddenly', and will change 'suddenly'. The wonderful thing about watching a young man like Robinson, is that he was ready, he had prepared, and now with many of his countrymen, are doing great things. May we live in readiness as well! Your outpouring of support, and so quickly, shows that you are all living with a certain readiness as well, but tonight take stock again of all the blessings you have received and be grateful, absorb the moment, not morbidly, but with awareness. Breathe in gratefulness, exhale frustration. Peace be with you tonight! Blessings again.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Here is Robinson's email from today. He is getting this thing down for me, and wow, wait until you read what they are doing. So great to be a part of this work!

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Greeting from the land of Haiti. Just this morning the Pastors in Saint-Marc had a meeting with The Youth With a Mission staff over the organization of health care and food distribution to the victims of the earthquake. The idea was for each Pastor to provide a shelter in their church for sixty people. Besides, they will need interpreters to help the doctors communicate with the patients. As for me and Claudy, we are already volunteers for this task. Day by day the price of the food products are going higher and higher in Saint-Marc at the Market as the food distribution by the International Community hasn't started yet. Saint-Marc population is growing as a result of people fleeing Port-Au-prince. The price of gas is going up, $60-70 ht. The fare of Motorcycle taxis has also gone up. Starting tomorrow each person getting health care in one of the clinics will be given a tag as an identification mark. I talked to Robins(Ynives husband)and he told me that he's found the bodies of Ynives and Sarabeth and they were buried in Desdunes. I am asking you to keep praying for the victims. Remember I preached a Sermon last time I was with you,title 'When was the last time you fed an hungry person?' May God Bless you!

Incredible what they are doing on the ground! I know the international forces are descending, and that Haiti has the world's attention, but this outreach to their own in these desperate times is a mark of the caliber of these wonderful people. These churches are taking these people in on faith, not knowing where the support is going to come from. I was so happy to be able to tell him that God is moving here and we have help ready for them. Your support is so noteworthy. Thank you for all that many of you are doing to help. And one other thing while I am at it. Last nights email carried a special message of an old woman taking 3 banana's to the clinic because she so desperately wanted to help. It reminded me of the 'widow's mite' in the Bible. That day she received honor for giving the most because she gave her all. I say this because I want everyone to know there is no gift too small. Every donation, down to a single dollar for Haiti goes directly there, we are underwriting the cost of transfer, because every dollar given is useful, who knows, maybe it will replace the banana's of the poor old lady! Matter of fact, it may well double her supply. Don't be afraid to give the small gifts, it all adds up, and every bit of it counts!!! I know first hand. Keep up your prayer vigil, God is helping. We are so sad about Ynives and Sarabeth, but again God's mercy is shown in that they are not with the unnamed masses who'll never be found or are in mass graves of the unnoticed. They are buried in their home town, among their loved ones, and Robins was able to say his goodbye's. Blessings in mourning tonight.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


I received this email transmission from Robinson tonight and wanted to pass it along.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and hope that this letter finds you well.I know that you're deeply preoccupied with that earthquake that hit Haiti last Tuesday(January 12) between 4:00 and 5:00pm. causing the death of large numbers of people. It did hit Saint-Marc but didn't destroy any buildings. Some friends, acquaintances, and relatives from Saint-Marc who were attending school in Port Au Prince have been killed and lots of people have been rushed to the the hospital in Saint-Marc as some of the hospitals were destroyed and there were not enough places to handle those emergencies. The population of Saint-Marc was called to provide support for the injured people. I had a bag of medicine left from what you brought that I brought to the hospital to be used by the medical unit there. An old woman wanted so much to make a contribution that she brought three bananas to the hospital. A natural disaster occurs for a reason, which may be unknown to us. As a result of the earthquake impact many people have been saved. I love you all. May God Bless you!

As a side note, I have started moving funds into Haiti, and am finding some surprises along the way. Special thanks to Western Union for wiring money for us today for free. They have apparently lifted their fees for Haiti right now. This is a huge blessing giving us a wider scope of distribution. It's still very difficult to communicate. So pray that we are able to smoothly get these transactions through. And keep praying for these people. Blessings always!

Monday, January 18, 2010


I was just was able to connect with Robinson again. Had a great chat for a few minutes. He is doing okay. They are very pleased the American military is putting so many troops on the ground right now. He said security is a huge issue with the government so disabled. And with the escaped felons, it has made things even more difficult. He said the military will be setting up around the banks and fuel dispensing stations tomorrow, as well as trying to order the general chaos of the desperation of the people. There is no fuel right now, he told me his feet are his motorcycle! Love his humor in the midst of such dire circumstances! He was able to get a little of his monthly support money out of the Fonkose bank today, but they are only releasing small amounts because they have a limited amount of money. He said he thinks they will give a little every day when they are open and that here again security is an issue even away from PAP. He said he thinks they will open the port in St. Marc in the next couple of days when they get military in place there as well. He said the aid help has not really been able to get to the people yet. Actually he said they are still trying to get it out the wrong way. But he is sure they will get it figured out. Whenever I say to him, "Rob, it is difficult." He says to me, "Brother, it is Haiti!" Such great patience and understanding, what a remarkable man. I revel every time I spend a few minutes interacting with him. He said whatever food they have is being shared. There are many mouths to feed. They are going with out to send what they have to the sick and wounded. The church is working hard to help as well. This is such a huge undertaking, but they are not giving up. And we must not either. This is a resilient people, and while poor and starving on so many levels, they are also courageous and hopeful. May God show mercy on them in their time of mourning, and may we weep with them, that healing may come with the dawn. The darkness is deep, but must at last give way to it's much more vast and powerful counterpart, the light! May God shine that light tonight upon this darkened land, and may it's powerful gleam catch the eyes of the world, that the world might know, and that we might join in this great redemptive work! Out of the rubble and deaths decay must come a brighter, nobler day! Blessings to all!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Phone Call

I was so excited today on my way home from church. I had been trying to call Robinson several times today and as I was in the process of trying to get through his number showed up on my screen. He was calling me!! I rattled off as many questions as I could but his first question to me was "How was church this morning?" Men like Rob are rocks in their faith, here he is in the midst of national turmoil, and he's asking how church went in America this morning. I quickly turned the question around and he told me they had a great service. His words were: "Many people came to Jesus this morning. It was good." He told me St. Marc and the country is filling quickly with people. There is no place to live in PAP, and the people are being told to leave the city for now.
He confirmed what other Haitians are saying, it seems Port is 75% destroyed. 3 senators are confirmed dead, and many others are missing. On the flip side he also said there is a huge blessing in this story. He said it is good that God spared them the earthquake happening earlier in the day. The kids were out of school, many were getting off work, and at that time of day, many are outside. The weather was clear, so they didn't have to be inside either. As the numbers of the lost mount, there is no doubt in Robinson's mind that a number far greater would have occurred had the time of the earthquake been different. He said there is great sadness in the country, telling me that he himself has cried much. He said the banks are going to try to open in St. Marc in the next couple of days, so we are ready to try to get more funds for him. He also said the price of goods, what little is left, is very expensive. Continue to pray, as we seek the best routes for delivering help. We are checking on shipping, and a couple other ideas as well. We'll keep you up to date. We have some really good contacts in St. Marc that are working at solutions on the ground. The international aid is struggling, as I well suspected it would. One step forward is often offset by four backward in this country. It will take all of us working together, international and privatized aid to salvage this nation. But by God's grace, He'll provide and we'll prevail. Many are your prayers and support, and I just want to say thank you. Everything you do is noticed, everything you send will go to our pastor and people on the ground in Haiti who are aiding there fellow countrymen. There are mounting stories of how the church (as a whole, not just ours) in Haiti is responding to this crisis. It's amazing. They are doing a great work, and God is providing the way! Blessings tonight.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Just a quick update to let everyone know that the twists I had expected are happening. People are pouring out of PAP to northern cities for much needed help. And the sources are dwindling quickly. Terry Snow with YWAM in St. Marc emailed that they purchased the last 15 25lb bags of rice in St. Marc last night. They don't know when or where more will come from. They are working with the Port Authorities in St. Marc to open it for incoming shipments. But with the government in such disrepair, it is a tenuous situation. He thinks they are getting it worked out. But even then, help in shipments are days away. Pray God opens all the doors needed to save as many as possible. And that the local ministry efforts underway will be granted great success and that the impact will be exponential. Pray for wisdom and continued guidance for all the groups organizing aid campaigns and assembling goods and funds for support on the ground there. Blessings and prayers.

Friday, January 15, 2010


Today we were blessed with a small miracle. I have tried calling for hours, which turned into days, joining the ranks of all those trying to find out if a loved one survived or not. I had some pretty good information I shared in my previous post that St. Marc although very shaken, was okay. But you never really know until you get it first hand. Today we were able to slip through a tiny window of communication and talk to Robinson for about 4-5 minutes. It was not near enough, but mid sentence, communications took a mind of their own, and we were cut off.
Here’s what I know. Many from PAP are arriving to fill the hospitals in St. Marc. Robinson has taken all the medical supplies that we took in on our trips to the hospitals to help. The churches in St. Marc are all sending envoys to Port to help and take whatever aid they can. He said the water and food supplies are dwindling quickly everywhere as the country sends it’s meager rations back to where they came from.
Robinson told me that St. Marc was shaken so much during the earthquake, and by the following tremors that everyone is sleeping in the streets away from walls and buildings. There is still great fear, and nerves and tension run high even 60 miles away from the epicenter of the quake. He said the government is virtually destroyed, and the people seem lost in the confusion.
The excruciating news that we received though was that Ynieves and her little baby ‘Sarabeth’, were both killed in the quake Tuesday. You will remember if you have followed our posts that this wonderful mom was staying with Robinson our first trip in as a family in 2008. She and her husband had miraculously survived the hurricane that destroyed Gonaives, a port city north of St. Marc. Rob and Naromie had taken her in while her husband labored for months to restore their home. She was pregnant at the time we were there, and when the baby was born they called and asked for Beth and Krystle to name her! It was special. We have been able to see them every time we have gone in since, and what a delight Sarabeth has been. Apparently Sarabeth had taken ill and needed to see a doctor in Port. Ynieves made the long journey Tuesday and arrived in Port exhausted. She took little Sarabeth into a building and went to sleep on a bed. The quake struck and they both perished. Needless to say, the tears have flowed in St. Marc and in our home as well. Robinson told me they still have not been able to get them out, and wasn’t sure if they will, they are buried so deeply. Naromie is devastated with the loss of her very close cousins, and Sarabeth had been such a delight for her as she is unable to have children right now. The depth of this pain is unimaginable.
This disaster is full of personal tragedy that is still unfolding, and no amount of aid will ever replace lives. This is where our prayers come into play. We can help carry their burdens, and beg God to be merciful to those left behind. God will do what no nations can pull off, He will save, protect, guide, and provide where we will most certainly fail! Thank you all for your prayers and support. Gifts are flowing in, and we will get them to Robinson. He said the needs are great, and they will respond in kind. I am forever indebted to this young man of courage, wisdom, and great faith. Any who make calloused statements about these people and their plight ought to walk softly. We are all on ginger ground, and but for the Grace of God, there go we. This is no time for fault finding, this is time for treasure building. Time to store our goods where moth and rust do not corrupt. Give wisely, and generously, and prayerfully!
In the meantime, we are cherishing our memories, and getting ready to risk making more. After all, what else really counts in life! Blessings tonight.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


I wanted to quickly post up some information regarding the recent earthquake in Haiti. We are navigating many questions and trying to get answers to our own questions right now. But by way of quick information, we have in on a pretty good source that St. Marc, approximately 60 miles north, north east of PAP did not suffer a lot of physical damage. I have not been able to make direct contact with Robinson since the quake, and likely won't for a few more days. I had talked to him the afternoon that the quake happened, and had been able to send in food money. However, this event is going to pose a disaster of epic proportions to Haiti as a country. The towns not struck directly by the quake are still feeling the effects as PAP was the source feed for pretty much everything that is distributed throughout the country, including food, water, electricity, fuel, and communications. The threat of what happened in Port is eminent for the whole of the nation right now. Not withstanding the amount of relatives and family connections that exist in the capitol city. Robinson and his wife both have family there, and I am sure he is likely already in Port to see what he can find out or be of assistance. Please help us pray that God will protect all who are now left in the aftermath of this disaster. For the struggling government, the suffering, the aid workers, our church family, for all the towns and cities that will now become refugee posts. Pray that the terrible fear of the people will find a calming balm, that the weather is cooperative, that aid relief is quick and appropriate, and that all of us who stand ready to help find the best possible venues to deliver our own help to these hurting and struggling people. Pray for our church family and Robinson in Haiti as they endeavor to do what they can to bring hope and help in this frail nation, amidst tragic circumstances where even they themselves are and will be suffering. We will post as soon as we have more concrete information. Blessings for now.