Wednesday, September 22, 2010

It's Official

This is a memorable day for our Haiti family and Robinson. The orphanage is now open with children in it's beds! They arrived last night, were fed, and tucked happily into bed. They awoke this morning to a story, devotions, singing, and a meeting with the director! He shared with them at the table a few rules, one being the boys are not allowed in the girls room and the girls are not allowed in the boys room. No exceptions! Funny, some things are the same in every culture. The kids are doing really well, and we are very excited for them. Robinson said they are very happy to be at the orphanage which means a lot to him. When he was six and dropped at the orphanage, he was not given a chance to discuss whether he would be happy there, while he went to the bathroom, his uncle left, and when he came out, his life was immediately and totally changed. I think he feels it is important not exactly that the children have full say in what happens to them, but that they at least have time to process the changes coming, after all, most of them have already undergone more tragedy than any child should have to face, and have had no chance to deal with the pain and loss that has been dealt them. We are thrilled tonight to be able to report this tremendous event. God has been very good, and many have come alongside to bring this amazing dream to fruition from one orphaned generation to the next! What incredible potential, what great accomplishments will flow from this wonderful work. Blessings tonight from grateful hearts!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Happines is cont.

And more pictures. Robinson's smile in the last picture says the most of all. What a moment caught on camera. Getting a Haitian to smile for a picture is hard enough, but actually to be caught like this, well, as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Enough said for now! Blessings.

Happiness Is

Here are some more pictures.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Lighter Fluid

I promised more stories and pictures, well here's a start. Beth was wondering what the rave about the purchase of this piece of wood was about when the ladies returned from shopping Saturday. She kept inquiring, and finally received her answer. The normal method of cooking in Haiti is over charcoal for every meal. With a knife they shave slivers off this block of wood to light the coal. This piece of wood will last a month. I always like to bring perspective into my life, and here is another great example of how good we have it here in this country. Remember this block of wood every time you to go to the kitchen to turn on a burner or the oven. A menial flick of the wrist here converts to a chore there to light charcoal using wood for lighter fluid! Cooking can be a pretty big job, in Haiti cooking is a gruesome task. A campfire cookout is fun for a few nights, then its back to real life! The stove, the microwave, the convection oven, a burner and we are baking and cooking in a matter seconds or mere minutes. In Haiti, it's smoke, and heat, and slow going. Fanning the coal, or cooling by removing the pot, there are no easy heat adjustments.
How about the leaf funnel, any of you guys used one of them recently. Talk about innovation. I know, I know, just make a paper funnel, it's a piece of cake... unless you don't have paper! I wonder how this works with the going green principle. Again this country with its deprivation and devastation challenge my status quo. Matter of fact they take me so outside of my box, I often wonder how these two realities can co-exist.
We are so grateful for the accomplishments of this trip. Is was wonderfully productive. There are several great stories to share, it has been a chatterbox of delight since Beth arrived home yesterday. She captured many great pictures and I will work to get them up for you ASAP. As I spoke with Robinson this evening, he again expressed his gratitude for all the help in getting this orphanage up and running. He misses Beth and Deloris and was happy we shared them with him for a few days. The orphanage will be open within the next week or so. Blessings until next post!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Homeward Bound

Our ladies have been on the road since 7:00 this morning. They leave PAP airport at 12:10. They are in very good spirits this morning, very delighted with the accomplishments of the week. Pray for their safety as they travel toward home today. They will not actually arrive at home until tomorrow around noon. They get into Detroit tonight around 11:00 and will spend the night at a motel there and make the final leg of the journey in the morning. We are grateful as we go into service this morning for all the prayers and help along the journey to this point. Blessings until later.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Beth and Deloris just left this as a comment under my last blog. I thought I would share it as a post because some will not see it under comments. Here it is.

"Good evening! We are sitting at the internet all by ourselves....Wow! Robinson must really trust us!!! He plugged the fan in and we have been sitting here reading the blog and getting cooled down. He had to go put gas in the truck to get us back to Port au Prince in the morning. (He said we are going to leave at 6:30 - 7:00 am.) It is wonderful to be able to get on here to still feel in touch with our loved ones at home. Don't worry baby, I am coming home! It is hard to leave these children here but I know they are in good hands and feel very confident God is doing a great thing. Deloris and I have been sharing a lot and both of us feel that this was the right time to come. It wasn't something we tried to make happen, He has worked out every detail and it has been amazing to be on this journey together! Deloris sends her love to Ray and her family. Hugs to Kelly, Krystle and my Sweetie! We will be home to all of you soon! I know you are all proud of us that we could get on the blog in Haiti and send a message by ourselves! :) We have to go home to pack and get our cold showers so we'll be ready for morning. By the way, we were able to get everything done on our list for the day.....thanks to the prayers of all of you! Blessings to you tonight from Beth and Deloris in Haiti!"



It's morning right? Sorry, my day didn't go quite according to plan, so here it is a few hours late today.
The women finally made it back from shopping for the rest of the needs for the orphanage. Beth and Deloris weren't allowed to go because the people all felt it would have been too much. It took the ladies six or seven hours to get the list of stuff Beth, Deloris and the ladies put together. Except for the bigger charcoal stove, everything is ready to go. There is food, utensils, pots and pans, tubs and soap, buckets and barrels, lamps and much more. We are ready for the orphans.
The orphanage has been a bustling happening place for the last couple of days. The people are so taken with the endeavor, they are so happy. Beth said you can read it in their faces when they walk through the door. She said the atmosphere inside the orphanage is so warm and inviting. Today many young people came through and are amazed. They are telling our ladies how thankful they are we are doing this for these children. Several said they would like to stay. Many of them want to help. I think this is going to prove to be a great asset to Robinson's church ministry. While it is not a church ministry as such, it is a ministry of the church to care for the orphans. And I think our church family in Haiti is going to get much joy out of being able to serve their community through the orphanage. It is a wonderful thing.
Beth said the ladies were exhausted when they walked in tonight with all the purchases of the day. Meckson went with them and stood guard all day in the hot sun over the purchases for the ladies. One by one the purchases were made. Then they loaded everything into a bus and brought it back from the countryside. They went to the countryside because that is the place to get the best deals. They are a frugal people,and know how to stretch what they have. We are so thankful to be working alongside of them. We are blessed with air conditioned/heated malls, out of the wind, the rain, and the hot sun. Today it was very, very hot in Haiti, and the girls shopped in that heat, not for themselves, but for the continuing vision and dream that is coming to fruition, the 'Orphan Dream Ministry'. My hat is off to them and my heart is humbled by their service. It makes the ministry all that much more special when you know the commitment of the hearts behind it. Deloris said she sweated more today than in her lifetime combined! That's hot! I'm sure they are looking forward to a reprieve as they travel home, they probably won't be delirious about our northern cold front that awaits them though!
Beth got all the stuff organized for the school children for Robinson today. With everyone's help on the local level here in Traverse City, we are putting over 55 kids in school this year! It is incredible. These lives are being changed right in front of us, and what an opportunity for us to exercise God's gifts to each of us by helping a child get an education that can change a Country's future!
Our ladies hit the road in the morning to catch a 12:10 p.m. flight out of Port Au Prince. Pray for safety as they journey home over the next two days. We will stay active on the blog with pictures and stories as they arrive home. Blessings again.

Friday, September 10, 2010


One of the trials of Haiti is the massive spending of emotions. Unless you have a heart of concrete, Haiti will crush it. Not necessarily in a bad way, but it will compromise your understanding of your reality. When you interact with these people in the midst of their hardships and very intense struggles, when you see them tapping something so deep that allows them to keep going, it is at moments overwhelming.
Today was one of those days. Beth and Deloris listened in on interviews with ladies wanting to work with the orphanage ministry, desiring to come along beside their pastor in bringing this dream to fruition, and they heard from some very golden hearts. Beth said there were lots of tears. At one point the women told them that they would accept as payment whatever God told Robinson to pay them. They said they needed to help the children of their country, and this is something they could do. In a land so desperate for so much, these are truly words of faith and inspiration to us all. Would to God we could be satisfied with what we have instead of always pressing for more and more. We always look for tomorrows opportunities instead of grasping what is right in front of us.
They also listened to the sad stories of the little children. So much pain, so much struggle, yet they can still smile, and love, and laugh. Children are amazingly resilient. And these children, well they are just incredible. Help me pray my wife comes home, if you noticed her look in the picture on my last post, you will understand. Her heart gets lost on these kids! I just hope she doesn't forget me! LOL
God is working out so many details for this operation, it is simply amazing. Beth was so fired up she had Robinson call me to tell me to call her earlier today! She could hardly contain herself with what is happening in bringing this work to a functioning orphanage. She had to tell me as soon as she could. At one point I asked if the electricity had been on at all since they had arrived. She told me it came on last night, stayed on all night, and was still on this morning. That never happens! God's hand is all over this little journey. We are rejoicing in His goodness and mighty provision. I am going to run for tonight, but will write more in the morning. Blessings to all!


Today was a day of meetings, trying to assemble the team who will run the orphanage for now, it was also the day we aquired the first two orphans! Here is Beth's email to me along with some pictures. Will blog more later on this evening, wanted to get this out hot!!!

"It's me! I just wanted to give you the names of the ladies helping us. Natacha is going to do the laundry for us. She has the bright yellow shirt on in the picture. LaMercy will do the cooking and she has the light yellow shirt on. They got some food for everyone to eat (rolls and avocados) and she took right over and served everyone! Naromie will be helping for sure and seems very excited! She was just getting back to the house from the orphanage when we were leaving for the internet and she thought we were going back to the orphanage and she said "I better go back with you". We can tell she has a lot going through her mind at the moment.
Liline is our new little girl in the white dress. This is Arcine's niece from the country-side. She is beautiful as you can see and is absolutely a sweetheart. Bernado is getting so big and he is so happy to be coming to the orphanage. He was so happy to see me and was not so shy today. He is a sweet boy!
We are doing very well and feel very blessed to be here and be able to witness all of this today! We have lots still to finish between tonight and tomorrow."

So as you can see, a great day for the ladies. These children both have very sad stories, and I will write more later about their history. For now, they both have a new home, a place of hope and help. We are so grateful for this opportunity, and so thankful to God that He is making this all possible. Blessing until later!

P.S. The other lady pictured here is none other that our beloved Deloris with LaMercy. Just thought I would point that out, in case you were wondering.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Burning Desire

Day 1 is about done and it was a big one. With lots of hands and hard work, the beds are made, cleaning supplies are in place, and more cleaning is done. Beth said they worked hard all day and tonight they are ready for food! I am putting up some pictures of the beds and ladies at work. They spent some time working with Robinson's kids teaching them some of the games they brought in for the children.
At one point Beth discovered a spider she said was 3" in diameter. I didn't think a spider could find anything to eat to get that big in Haiti! Maybe it was her eyes that where 3" in diameter! Wait until she reads this post tomorrow! The boys took care of it for her. Actually, she's pretty calm about those things when she is there, not so much when she is here!
Another point of news is that Rob and Naromie have taken in another child at their own home, and Beth said she is a sweetheart. Her name is Tina with the 'i' pronounced long. She is nine years old. At this rate, we are going to have two orphanages running, one at Rob's house and one at the orphanage itself! What incredible people they are. We are so blessed to be walking beside them in ministry.
The table in the picture is kind of the centerpiece of activity. It was also hand crafted by one of the men in our Haitian church family. The children will spend a fair amount of time around it doing craft activities, watching a movie now and then when there is electricity, and eating and interacting with one another. Robinson was adamant about having this in the orphanage. He remembers all the good things that happened around the table when he was an orphan, and is really excited for the children that will be taken in. As I shared in my first post Tuesday evening, this has been a dream of his he has shared with me often. A burning desire to help the lost children of his country as he was helped. So many dreams never come to fruition in this land of devastation, people live their whole lives with a dream that never comes true, they die hungry, without cures, without tears, without hope. But here is a rainbow in a land flooded with loss, a promise of hope to small tender hearts crushed by the fierceness of a ravaged and brutal country. A salvation from the tyranny of the deprivation of love. A dream come true for one orphan now given to another. God is Good!
Time will go quickly, and there is still much they are working to get done. We pray for expediency and efficiency for their goals tonight. Thanks for all your words of encouragement on their behalf, they are reading them daily. Blessings continue.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wheels Down!

The ladies are safely in St. Marc tonight! The day of travel in went really well until the trip up to St. Marc. They were met with a pretty good rain storm, and if you know Haiti, hard rain creates hazards of flooding almost instantly. Beth said they saw many flooded homes along the way, with people standing outside. I can't imagine what those living in tents right now are going through. At one point a big truck slid off the road right in front of them. Fortunately they avoided the accident and made it on into town. The trip was so slow that they ended up traveling in the dark, which makes driving in the rain doubly, maybe triply dangerous. That said, they are safe and have eaten. Beth said Deloris is doing good, and that they were going to get out needed supplies for the night.
It has been a long first day, it always is on these trips, the morning starts so early and the connections going into Haiti are limited so it is hard to get in early coming from Northern Michigan. By the time you are able to get to bed, you have seen a difficult 16-18 hour day. So they are tired tonight. The rain cooled things a bit, hopefully they can sleep well tonight. They will be anxious to get to the orphanage facilities in the morning, and will be excited to work with Robinson laying out the supplies and starting organization.
We are so blessed by the generosity of so many in realizing this dream for Robinson. On Memorial Day of this year, God made it clear to me that the time for action on the orphanage had arrived, it was wheels down time! It's almost hard to believe that from Memorial Day to Labor Day, all the necessities would be in place and that in that short period of time the dream of many years would come to pass. I have witnessed many miracles in my life, but I never cease to be amazed at the handiwork and mighty performances of the Sovereign God of this universe. I pray we never lose our awe of Him. I too am weary tonight, so will end this post for now. Until tomorrow, blessing at eventide!

Sky Captain

What is up with this? All these trips in, and never a sky captain, this morning, our women get a sky captain who smoothly transports the luggage from the bus drop off clear to the ticket counter(a long jog for those who have done this with 45 suitcases). They had one little mishap over parking the car this morning(they still need us guys!), but with a little aid from the kind bus driver the crisis was resolved for the damsels in distress, and as of now they are airborne somewhere between Detroit and Miami.
The presence of the sky captain this morning is just another pointer to this concerned husband that God goes before us, and nothing will stand in the way of His plan. Our first step of faith in His plan is often a step into the darkness, but then He takes over and reveals His power and sovereignty! So I leave to the workplace with confidence. Will post later when I get a moment. Blessings today!


...4:40 A.M. Can't sleep. What a conundrum, the very thing needed for a trip like this and your mind and body denies you sleep. Must be I am suffering empathy pains! So I called Beth and they are about ready to head down to the shuttle. She didn't sleep much last night either. The excitement courses through your veins, expectation, anticipation, and finally dread... dread that if the alarm does not go off... what if I fail to hear the phone ring, can't miss the flight, can't fail the mission. Wow can we lather on the responsibility! I have to laugh at myself on occasion. I declare how much I trust God with one side of my mouth, and then fight with the physiological side of my being that seems to resist my faith and understanding. I guess that is why the scriptures talk about being conformed to the mind of Christ, there is a bending, a molding, a prying of myself into the place of rest sometimes, the place of full surrender and resignation. God will pull this off, not us, not me, not my time, but His, not my way, but his.
Adrenaline, sweet adrenaline kicks in over the next couple of hours, bags are carried and lugged, waiting in line, checking in at the terminal, passing security, and then your through. You walk forever to your gate, your wide awake now, your ready to go. Now you just have to wait until you land in Haiti! Pray for safe travel for the girls today, for good flights and calm hearts. God is in charge of this trip, and assurance is a blessed commodity! For now I will darken this screen and rest, soon my alarm will sound and I will call again to lend support to their journey. Blessings come with the dawn!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Orphan Dream Ministry

The journey is in full swing. Deloris and Beth are safely nestled in Detroit for the night. Fairfield Inn has been absolutely great about our stays, they keep our luggage right behind the front desk so in the morning we simply walk it out the front door to the shuttle and the drivers load it up. They are taking six suitcases of supplies for the orphanage along with a few miscellaneous school supplies and necessities for Robinson's family that he was unable to take back after his visit because of the embargo.
What a ride this summer has been. A great dream is coming to fruition, and God has assembled all the details. While the girls travel and work over the next few days I am going to try to share some of the aspects of this wonderful ministry that is coming to pass through the dreams of an orphan, the prayers of many Haitians, the efforts of many people, and the marvelous provision of God Himself.
You ask me how our orphanage started, it started with the rescue of an orphan. Some thirty years ago, some passionate and dedicated people fulfilling a vision took in a small six year old orphan boy, and through love and compassion, filled that boy with hope. That little boy grew into a man, and that man God has used to start a wonderful ministry among his people. Out of the shadows of his past, a dream was born, and today marks another great milestone in realizing the fulfillment of that dream.
Our ladies journey with the goal to put the rest of the orphanage facility into full swing, forms and paperwork, sheets and towels, paper and play, and utensils and place mats are among the many things they carry to care for the children that will soon have a place to stay out of the rain and the sun, out of the poverty and hunger, and out of the isolation of not being wanted. Bunk beds are in place, along with tables and chairs. The home has been cleaned, and many preparations already done. Robinson has been working hard since his return, his goal is to have children by the end of September.
The title of this post is also the title of the orphanage Robinson is starting. I will spell out more of the meaning in the next couple of blogs, but suffice it to say tonight, that with the women en-route, a once orphaned little boy called Robinson now turned man, daring to dream at all, is filled with expectation of their arrival, and is very happy to get these ladies working on behalf of the awakening of the dream for this amazing and gifted young man who desires to share his dream with the lowly lost children of Haiti. May God grace our ladies with swiftness and strength for their journey, and bless the beginning of this wonderful work. Thanks for following, the road has turned a new bend, we are delighted to have you along! Blessings tonight.