Thursday, December 8, 2011
Several months ago, we sat around a small porch in Haiti, sharing with our team. We were recounting a days activities, a few centered around an old, white, dying 1986 Toyota Land Runner that in it's lifetime had served many, and served well. It had been purchased used in Haiti approximately 10 years prior to this night as a service vehicle for Robinson, and he had done incredibly well to keep it up and it had served the ministry steadfastly. But time and rough country had taken their toll and a weary sight of metal and rubber and oil drips and slow starts bore out the truth that the old white mare was about to find her final resting place. Someone said, "you are going to need a new vehicle for Robinson, what are you going to do?" Prayer and efforts to raise awareness of the need were all that came to mind. Shortly after our return to the states, that poor old truck succumbed to wear and tear, and finally quit. We prayed and scrounged, but nothing surfaced for a replacement. We were laden with raising funds for the daily operations of the orphanage and church and we were remiss to load the financial burden of a new truck on our supporters. Then a door opened unexpectedly, a customs official needed a well! We prayed and a path formed, rough and fraught with setbacks and obstacles, but a path all the same. The faint signs of a God journey marked the pathway as we walked by faith. Laborers joined with us, and a miracle was born. I wrote the other evening of a 1992 Toyota Land Cruiser that had made it to St. Marc, and how through a set of miraculous circumstances the 2 tons of goods that were on the Toyota were delivered to Robinson duty free. This afternoon, Robinson went down and that 1992 Toyota was also delivered to him duty free! We are rejoicing with joy words cannot express. God has shown once again His mighty and faithful hand, He has joined with our efforts His abundant grace and provision, and we marvel tonight at what He has brought forth. We rejoice this evening with our Haitian family, for a miracle of epic proportions has come to pass. We wish to thank all for your prayers, financial contributions, and endless hours of sorting, packing, organizing, collecting, and giving from your hearts. A bountiful blessing has been unleashed by the hand of God, for He took our frail efforts, and multiplied them 100, even 1000 fold, and countless lives will be touched by love and generosity and hope. Faith found a foothold, love turned the key, and hope poured in like rain on a desert landscape of shattered dreams and broken promises. As I listened to the Haitian voice (Pastor Robinson's) on the other end of my phone tonight, the fragrance of fresh hope was palpable, joy echoed a sweet refrain, and promise found fresh soil to cultivate. God has delivered again! Blessings and peace to all. And might I add a prayer request for my dad and brother-in-law as they head in this weekend to drill the well that will cover the efforts to get this vehicle in quickly, safely, and without fees! They will drill the well this coming week. Will update on the progress as they arrive.
Posted by Pastor at 8:23 PM
Thursday, December 1, 2011
This little four letter word, carries a two ton meaning tonight! We used to sing a song in church; "Little is Much when God is in It!" In the worlds terms, we have a "little Toyota" carrying a "big" load. Well... maybe the Toyota is not so little when you compare it to a car, but in a world of Semi's, Ships, and Cargo planes, our little Toyota is pretty small. It weighs 4500 pounds, we packed in another 4000 pounds! It traveled from Michigan to Florida as an 8500 lb. cargo truck where it was boarded onto a ship bound for St. Marc. We asked everyone to pray over this package. Tonight, while the Toyota awaits clearance papers, due to a burglary attempt, all 4000 pounds of goods stowed in the vehicle are now residing safely at Robinson's house in St. Marc! God works in mysterious ways His wonders to perform! I know I have not penned much in a while, but our labor on the ground has continued regardless of our slack fingers and thoughts to this digital page. We are not weary in well doing, but we have been weary! The physical ebb has been weak and the strain has been long. But tonight heralds incredible news, God prevails. He takes our little loaves and fishes and blesses them once again, multiplies them, and feeds the masses. We have prayed for the delivery of these goods for months. We didn't know how God would get it there, the needs are so great and yet the path for deliverance is so broken. However, faith the size of a grain of mustard seed, (at least on my part) has seen a mountain moved, and it may seem like a little mountain to some, but for those to whom the deliverance is coming today, it is a bright and glorious hope! The picture above in some ways does not do justice to what is here. But God is in the process of delivering a 20 year old mint condition Toyota Land Cruiser, loaded with medicine, clothing, food, a three burner stove, a welder, a host of tools, gifts, toys, pipe for water wells, school supplies, shoes, sandals, and a list of other goods that would fill several pages! The talk of St. Marc tonight is how did such a vehicle hold so MUCH! It's just a little sack lunch, but then "The Master" opens the bag, blesses what is inside, and behold such a marvelous and amazing host of supplies comes forth! Marvel with me, and glorify the Father! Blessings tonight, and remember to pray for the expedient delivery of the Toyota out of customs in the next couple of days. I will update as soon as it is released! Thank you again for all the gifts, and giving, and support. Lives are being changed, children are being delivered, God's hand is being extended through your generosity!
Posted by Pastor at 9:43 PM
Friday, September 30, 2011
I have thought for a week and one day for the title for this post. An unexpected text on my phone, with a cryptic message, and with grand implications reminded me once more of a universe where miracles still happen, where good trumps evil, where God still orders the ways of men. It turns out after a year of separation, a brother and sister who were orphaned have been reunited. We learned about six months ago that one of our little orphan boys had a sister in the country who was orphaned as well. In the first picture seen here, this is the moment we discovered her. When the news broke from Robinson to myself, I was grief stricken. I knew in an instant many things about this little girl via stories that had come through the suffering of her brother. I just didn't know that with his suffering there was yet another suffering even more! Over the passed few months these eyes have haunted me, I wanted so desperately with others to reach in and snatch her from the fire of pain that burned through her very existence. We had rescued her brother, my prayer was that she could be rescued as well... enter last Thursday evening when we got word that little Diane (pronounced Dion) had been picked up and brought to the orphanage. A brother and sister united after so much tragedy and separation. My heart soared, I am still on cloud nine. Day after day you invest, you sweat, you pray, you labor, and often life's thin vapor makes you question if all isn't vanity, and then, a divine ray of hope and grandeur penetrate the ruts of our weary existence and we are reminded of the greatness and goodness that streams through our days and the divine moments flush out the searing and temporal vestiges of insanity. We see roses and diamonds all around, in the midst of the shadows of suffering the bright light of hope takes issue in stark contrast. And somewhere a shudder blinks, and the lens's eye captures the contrast, and we marvel again. Faith bears up on eagles wings, and hope catches heavens' breeze and we soar again in God's great mysteries! With great joy in my heart, blessings from the blogoshpere!
Posted by Pastor at 9:24 PM
Saturday, August 27, 2011
This picture is a very proud moment for this young man and for several surrounding him, including my own parents who have supplied his educational funding since adopting his sister 12 years ago. My dad had the honor of being able to attend his graduation ceremony a few weeks ago, and while there Manius gave a speech in Creole to family and friends. The circumstances my father witnessed with people's reactions to his speech that day prompted my dad to request it translated in English. It was so stunning that I wanted to put it up on the blog for everyone to be able to read and digest. For all who are sponsoring a Haitian child for school, this serves as a tremendous impetus for continuing to aid these wonderful and deserving children. Very few Haitian children ever graduate, they cannot afford the cost and the land deprives them so badly it is difficult to even survive, let alone get a full and complete education. But for change to come, Robinson believes in the necessity of education. This year with your help we have 64 children back in school! What a privilege for us to be a part of this kind of impact. Read this speech and allow the meaning to settle, it will surely stir your heart!
My warm greetings go to everyone this morning. Today I feel really enthusiastic about completing my secondary classes which, to me is a miracle, impossible, an enigma. After a past loaded with efforts I've been successful in making the impossible happen. Suffering, hunger, lacking clothes have motivated me to reach that impossible thing. I question now whether suffering is for destruction or construction; what is its role in a man’s life?
In my opinion, suffering is there not only to fashion our character and enable us to become mature but also it is presented to us as a way of better self-knowledge like a thinker says: "Trial is the time that reveals the truth in human beings; until it comes you never know all about a man." Suffering presents itself as the essence, the salt of our life, and a movie camera which records our past. It trains us for the future. Every time we remember that we have much suffered in order to get something, we value it. Besides, suffering is there to help us understand others in their suffering, like the great philosophers and protagonists of introspection say: "Who knows himself well also knows others." Jesus Christ, when He came on earth, went through so much suffering and that's what characterized his earthly walk. That's the reason He understands and has compassion for us when we call upon Him. As a matter of fact, anyone who wants to eat the best production of the city, of the land, and even of heavens must show determination, patience and courage. That person should even drink the cup of suffering because to get any good thing requires an extra and particular effort.
That contentment that I feel is not only my fruit but also that of other people because I am like a chain, a house built with materials from other houses in the same way that God created the world out of opposites and yet from the union of opposites came the most beautiful harmony. I don't know what I have to give to those people who have helped me achieve that seemingly impossible thing. No new word, no new expression comes to my mind for me to express my gratitude towards them. Anyway, I'd like to use my poor speech to address them.
First, I particularly thank my family, my father who accepted to bear all sorts of sufferings, like lacking clothes, going thirsty and hungry, for my sake. There were times when he was even exposed to death. Those sacrifices cannot be acknowledged with just thanking words but I believe that God who, in His love can give beyond my request, is able to reward him according to his works. Thanks to Pastor Louis Robinson who accepted to love me all the way. When my mother passed away I was on my 2nd year of primary school and I found myself in a dead-end due to my family’s incapability to handle the situation then. My father was on the point of moving to the Dominican Republic by himself. As for me, I thought it was the end of my life but yet it was the beginning brought about by God’s direct intervention.
God has chosen Pastor Louis Robinson to help me. This relationship that God has established between him and me is unexplainable; I see it as an enigma. Pastor Louis Robinson is from Desdunes and I am from Terre Blanche. It is unthinkable to everybody that Pastor Louis Robinson would treat me so well while we’re from different localities. He doesn’t discriminate against me like I would be his slave and he would be the master, nor as orphans and non-orphans. At some point I have been asked whether Pastor Louis Robinson was my father. That’s how God works; whatever He does is beyond our understanding, our intellectual abilities. Although we live in a world where everybody is after their own interests he (Robinson) makes the difference, he cares about the happiness of others. He agreed to help me selflessly, he accepted to be a father to me. I don’t have enough time to speak about his works. May God, in His grace, protect and bless him with all sorts of blessings.
My thanks go to the believers of Christ Community Church in Michigan, particularly the (Doyle) Berg family who considers me as their son. This family was not afraid to give of their life to me, to make personal sacrifices for me, accepted to walk in the snow, cared about me, worked hard every day so that my dreams could come true. I know the sacrifices and tribulations they went through in helping me. They always put aside their nationality, their skin color and their culture for my sake. What a love! May God, in His mercy and boundless grace, pour down on them all sorts of blessings.
Thanks to Mrs. Louis Robinson, sister Eloude, sister Paulette, sister Anie´ce, brother Emmanuel Pierre. Special thanks to Mrs. Hermane Fleurina, brother Cluvinson Ginius. I don’t have enough time to quote all the names but they are ineffaceable. I pray for special grace of God on every one of them, may God protect them each day. I say a large thank you to all of you for spending this moment with me. Americans say; “Time is money.”, which means time is precious, but still you put aside your personal business for being here with me. May God, in His love and grace, be with you ‘til the end of the world.
Hope you were as moved as I was, blessings always.
Posted by Pastor at 8:49 PM
Friday, April 22, 2011
Since I have been back from Haiti, life has been moving like a freight train, or perhaps a high-speed rail would be a better term. I was sharing with someone a couple days ago how when you go into Haiti the first days there seem to drag by. You enter this time warp where a type of freeze frame rate occurs to your life. As the week moves along the approach of returning home begins to warp your time awareness again, and a blurring effect commences. When you arrive stateside, you experience a kind of congestion as you try to re-acclimate yourself to our cultural rush. It leaves you extremely weary, and there is a kind of delayed re-engagement process. Part of the delay though is a rebellion of your mindset. A realization that technology and materialism have left you bankrupt in some very critical departments of your humanity. In Haiti you are always surrounded by people, someone trying to enter your space, desiring to be with you, especially the children. At times you can actually feel smothered. But the pull, the desire for relationship is fully engaged in that culture. They thrive on it, relish it, and live it. To our detriment, we forsake it for much more trite and trivial pursuits that promise much more than they actually deliver. I am settling back into my groove now, but I must confess a sphere of frustration has lingered longer this time. A sense of revulsion laces my soul, I long for deeper connections, for richer relationships, for fuller engagement. I am thankful for my recurring ventures into Haitian poverty, for there I am finding gold mines of meaning and depth desperately missing or sadly misplaced in my culture. My mining experiences in Haiti are helping me with my 'panning' practices back here at home. There is still "real gold" in this country, and a lot of it, but we have really muddied the waters and made the screening process much more cloudy than intended or what it should be. People are golden, but we get buried beneath the rubble of media, money, and selfish motives. But don't give up, richness lies beneath the surface still; frustrations fire, patiently tended will consume impurities and give birth to the pureness potential that lies within us still. The grace of God is sufficient to restore us to former glory and to genuine ancient love! Think about it! Blessings from memories of St. Marc.
Posted by Pastor at 8:53 AM
Monday, April 11, 2011
This is a picture of our amazing orphanage house mother. This is a very special young lady. In the past she has lived at Robinson's house, but moved out last year. We have been sending her to school for the last two years. Last year she failed her tests and moved away because she was so embarrassed by her failure. But we saw incredible good in her, she has a zeal for life and a warmth about her that is genuine and pure. Beth was able to reach out to her last fall when they went in to get the orphanage underway. She encouraged her to try school again this year, invited her to help at the orphanage, gave her a place to stay there, and a miracle has blossomed! She is a living flower, radiant and exquisite! She has taken such good care of our kids, it shows in their attitudes, actions, and behavior. There are many good people around the children, from the director on down, but we are attributing much of the character change in the children to this incredible young woman. She faces some really difficult circumstances in her own life, she has had typhoid fever that gives recurring symptoms. But even when she is feeling down physically, she has this marvelous loving attitude that prevails through her difficulties. She attends school during the day while the orphans are in school, and then is at the orphanage for the kids through the evening and night. Unbelievably she is pulling really good grades in school, and is still able to provide an amazing loving environment for the little ones. She doesn't have to do all the work, we have a laundry lady, and a cook, and a house director, but when it comes to the management and mothering care of the orphans, she is that one. She gets them dressed, keeps the house organized, and tends to keeping the children clean, readies them for bed, and loves the daylights out of them. We are so proud of her and what she is accomplishing in her life, and we are glad for the opportunity we have afforded her to be able to fulfill at least some portion of her life destiny by serving with us in this labor of love. It continues to awe me at how God has provided through the steadfastness of one orphan (Robinson) through the years, and now that one orphan is bringing great hope and help to so many, and Junie is another one of those lives that is being touched by the generosity of so many! God bless you all as we impact these incredible lives. Blessings again.
Posted by Pastor at 9:42 PM
Thursday, April 7, 2011
What is in a word. Words they say are powerful tools. They can be weapons for war, contracts of peace, litigation for defense, they can stage a nation for success or doom it to failure when used by the right person at the right time the right way. They are a puzzle that fits together many ways to contrive many pictures. One picture may be worth a thousand words, but one word can also command a thousand pictures. Take for instance the word 'Hope', this word alone contrives a thousand scenes, actually millions. A word that moves us at the core of our being, at least it should. The picture in this post is one small piece of what hope holds. The eyes of this little girl draw you in, unmistakeably, the setting for this child defies hope, but the arms that hold her carry oceans of hope, and hope has found her. She has been discovered, her beauty is raw and her depth is deeper than the sea. She is hope, and 'hope' is her. One word, a mountian of meaning. As I wrote this week at times my weariness was so vast it was hard to catch the right words, to spell the occasion, to pen the pieces together with the right tapestry of words. As I press the cursor across the screen of my computer tonight, tapping away at the keys, emotions are cascading through my heart and mind and the words are not being so cunning. With this post I wanted to send out a message of thanksgiving to all who commented this week. I have written somewhere around 6500 words this week, to all who commented, you wrote almost 8000. I copied them over to a Word document and read them to the team every day. It was so encouraging. Your words contained life force, and your hope spread hope to us, who in turn spread the hope to our beautiful family of Haitians. Already I have received promising words of wonderful life change as a direct result of our visit. I am reminded again tonight that true power is not in silver and gold, although at times I wish I had more to help these people, but the true power is in the Word, and not just any words, but the Word of Life himself. Therein is the greatest power of all. At the times we grow weary in this endeavor, and we do, let us remember that we have a powerful message to carry, a message all deserve to hear. A message seated in words that change lives forever. We cannot risk this message going unheard, lives like this little one hang in the balance, we must succeed. Blessings to all!
Posted by Pastor at 9:47 PM
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Life is a journey. A common saying by Robinson. Tonight I am home physically, and my heart is getting here. But at this point, part of my heart will always remain in Haiti. We journeyed long and hard over the past couple of days, and tonight we are weary of the travel, but we will rest and attempt to return to normal over the next couple of days. Our trip was inspiring to us and our team. We accomplished much, and impacted many lives. We are so grateful to all who are supporting us along this winding path. I am reflective tonight and have so much to say. But for now I will rest my weary flesh. I have gone over a few of my posts and see I need to do some editing. I will work on that as well, please excuse my oversight as I was busy trying to get things done and missed some English along the way! I will be posting up more blogs following our return now. I have several thoughts started and will share as quickly as I finish them up. I will also be posting more pictures. The one I am putting up here is a of a fisherman fishing without a pole. The backdrop is stunning. Haiti is a country with so much potential. We can only pray that God continues to bring healing to this land. We count it a joy to be a part of that process, and continue to trust in the amazing prospects of the spirit of our Haitian brothers and sisters. Blessings tonight!
The movie night at the church was a fascinating revelation of differences in culture and people's ability to experience life on different levels. I loved this movie. I loved the story. I thought the people of Haiti would love it too. I was right and wrong, they didn't just love the movie, they went into it. A horse race run over 35 years ago ran again Sunday night, complete with cheering, stomping, and outright screaming! It was thunderous. I'm not sure how many people were here, but it had to be between five and six hundred. I love the way Haitians are capable of celebrating life, of championing a moment, of relishing the joy and extracting the delight found in the simplest of things. I have become hardened to the majesty of the moments in my life. My culture has demanded polish and focused behavior, etiquette above excitement, restraint in rejoicing. These are not necessarily bad things, but sometimes it brings distortion to our reality. As the horses hooves pounded down the track and the drama unfolded, I found myself transported to a different place and time, it was moving beyond words. The force of nature, the power of the human spirit, the high drama of hope and promise captured on a movie screen were absorbed into a bleak place of minimal hope, and swallowed by parched souls ready and expectant for greatness. These people continue to shatter my misconceptions and false senses of security found in my routines and my expectations birthed by the surreal world in which I live. At first I understood that their world was surreal, but then I discovered that my own is. We take things for granted that we should not, we focus on the wrong things at the wrong time, we cherish the trivial above true treasures. Haiti has brought a more central understanding for me, helped me purge out the dross of vain thought, and grasp with a greater clarity what it is exactly we are here for, how quickly time and circumstance can change, and to seize better what is right in front of me! Let us strive to be in the moment, to cherish the real, to love without abandoned. The seasons of time are sweeping by, let's not miss it by being somewhere else. Blessing always.
Posted by Pastor at 1:22 AM
Monday, April 4, 2011
Today has flown by! We kind of knew it would, you hope it would go a little slower. But we did get much accomplished all the same. Early this morning Robinson went to the motorcycle store and got a number to purchase a bike when the store opened at 8:00. He went at around 4:00 am to get the #2 purchase of the day. They had 10 bikes ready to sell this morning, and they were all spoken for before the store opened! It was crazy to me. But Robinson bought a black 125CC, and we went to the gas station and filled it up. He went to the police station and registered it. It runs great and starts easy. I can tell he is very pleased. His birthday is tomorrow, and this is a great present he wasn’t expecting, but was so needed. I didn’t plan it this way, but God must have! It has a heavy duty suspension so will work great for those periodic heavy loads. Parts can be easily had for this machine, so it should give more service time than the last one. We are going to fix the old one up a little, and give it to a couple of the associate pastors. They are going to be shocked! Another great event of the day was hooking up our neighborhood well; it doesn’t produce as much as the other wells, but it is going to service this community. There was a lot of fun and excitement in the street as Kelly started a water fight, and Karen finished it. It included water balloons, a garden hose, and a five-gallon bucket. When all was said and done, I’m not sure who was wearing the most water, but it was definitely between Kelly and Karen! Some good laughs and soaked shirts later; it made for a memorable moment on the trip. The property owner had me run the hose into his glass and his exclamation ‘clear!’ said it all. We spent a portion of the day with the orphans, and that was also a magical time. The older I get the more adept I am at seizing a moment; these with the orphans are especially special! Tonight Rick took us down to the Deli Mart and we had Ice cream with the orphans, Robinson, Naromie, and Manius. We had a plan to surprise Robinson by singing Happy Birthday, and it came out that his wife had forgotten it! It made for another joyful and awesome time. We then went down to a couple of stands and the store to pick up a couple of souvenirs’ for the team members. It got eerily quiet on the streets and the announcement for president was made, and then suddenly it was as if a dam broke and they spilled into the streets. It’s hard to read, but there was a lot of celebrating. We made for the house quickly, as they were pretty boisterous. The announcement was an unofficial one, so it is a bit unclear. The musician is the supposed winner; it would appear that those who are knowledgeable of Haitian politics are afraid of more of the same. To have a president who has danced naked in music videos as president does tend to make one a little cautious. But time will tell. This is something only God can fix anyway. We will forge ahead, our task orders do not come from men, but from Him! We had burritos for supper tonight, the ladies have been fantastic with the meals this week, and tonight was no exception. The Haitians viewed their plates with suspicion, but they seemed to have all cleaned their food! We made too many to count! It is time to go deliver this final post from St. Marc. We will finish packing tonight, shower, have our final devotion in Haiti and set our destination north by south in the morning. Wish us God speed on our journey home, and pray for our sadness as we say good-bye once again to this incredible amazing family of loving people who relay on the provisions God seems to be sending through us. We stand faithful in our place on this journey tonight. As God give us strength we will continue to bring hope and help as long as we can! Blessings from St. Marc tonight.
Sunday, April 3, 2011
What a morning! We had an incredible service today. A packed out house greeted our arrival, and the experience was nothing short of amazing today. We had to be up at 5:00 am again, and boy did morning come early. I have not slept too well on this trip. It has been so hot and dry; it is hard to take. The first spotlight of the morning was the mountain man who we gave the donkey to. My heart soared as he checked out his animal for the first time this morning. We took a few photos and suddenly he climbed right up on that donkey and away they went. He is a pretty old Haitian man, and the smile on his face says it all. We are still making sure he gets a pack-saddle and rigging for the donkey. But they probably won’t get to him until we are gone. Our morning was also decorated with a bit of sadness. Ray had to head back to the states to keep a prior obligation with family. I felt bad as the emotions of the moment hit him like a tidal wave. He was okay with going, and I am sure by now he is experiencing great relief from the ravaging heat. The other picture you will observe here is what appears to be snow in Haiti. In stark contrast to the pictures in posted on the blog titled beauty, this is not snow, but dust. When Rick saw the pictures I had put up on that post, he was like, ‘oh Doyle, you shouldn’t do that, people will think we are down on some Caribbean vacation’! Well here is the reality check! It is dusty, dirty, smelly, and pretty rough on our bodies that have been dealing with extreme Michigan cold. I will confess that when I hit Miami I am relishing air conditioning. At least the thought of it! Church was two and a half hours long, but it didn’t feel that way. We were swept away with their focused intensity. Then we spoke to them about their value before God, how with God there is neither Haitian nor American; that we are all loved equally and powerfully by God, and closed with a short little excerpt about Brandon. It was received well, and we are thankful for the opportunity to share with them. It has been a eventful day at the house, games being played, Noah and Brandon are at the neighbors playing some ball. Rick in getting in some reading time. Karen and Deloris are reminiscing with their digital cameras. Photography is such a blessing. To be able to capture a moment in time and go back to it, well, it’s just short of time travel. Memory is an incredible gift and photo’s to back the memories are a gift. Whoever discovered the lens of a camera gave the world an incredible invention. We are going to show a movie tonight at the church, we are showing the ‘Secretariat’. It has to be able to play in French. I am posting early as I won’t have time tonight. For all those posting comments, they have been truly inspirational! Thank you.
Posted by Pastor at 4:56 PM
Saturday, April 2, 2011
What defines this word? To be frank and honest, Haiti is a conundrum to me. We sat at the Deli Mart just a few minutes ago, everyone weary and filthy from the driest and dirtiest day I have experienced here yet. It is so dry, so dusty, that there is a fog that seems to be so thick at times you could cut it with a knife. Autumn sat across from me in an air-conditioned climate and said it feels really American to me right here, but when she turned around and looked through the glass the sight that greeted her seemed surreal. Then she said these words, “why does it not seem beautiful here to some?” I listened as comments were exchanged and pondered her perspective. She is right you know, you have to be careful with negativity. We talked again about happiness, and how kind these people are in the midst of their circumstances. Brandon even commented on how they are compared to the inter-cities of the States. To be deprived does not necessarily equate to being mean spirited. There are some mean folks down here, but that does not necessarily mean they are that way because they are Haitian, any more than a thief in the States would mean that it’s the trademark of an American. I say all that to say we saw a lot of beautiful people today. Precious, kind, loving, people. The team is beginning to feel the sting of leaving, a certain anxiety that is hard to explain begins encroaching, time begins to draw us back into it’s slipstream, like a vortex we feel the gravity of our departure coming. We have accomplished so much, but we still have so many things we would like to do. And then there will be the good-byes; tears, sadness, a touch of remorse. Will they all be here the next time we come, when we come, if we come? Time will change this landscape as it will our own landscape. Our bus driver today was the same one who took us to Desdunes last spring, his child was terribly ill the day he took us, he had been in the hospital; he died last May, just after we left. I could see the lines of sorrow written on his face. We had prayed for his child, and God saw fit to take him anyway. But still he is a gracious and loving man, refusing the hardening of his heart by terrifying circumstances. We took the run up the mountain this morning; it was a great run, albeit very dirty, and once again Rob’s motorcycle broke. I was so frustrated, but it was as it should have been, it guided my decision that God wanted Him to have a new motorcycle Monday morning. Hopefully we can pull it off. We had a wonderful time with the mountain people, and made the decision to purchase a donkey for a special mountain man. When we arrived tonight, we still didn’t know if he had been able to make the purchase. As we drove down the road in St. Marc returning from the only luxury we afford the team on the trip (Haitian Pizza) Robinson suddenly saw a donkey in the street and declared he was pretty sure they had made a purchase. When we arrived at the house the man was there, and said they had not been able to get one. Rob made a call, and to everyone’s delight, a donkey has been found! I wish you could have seen the expression and gratitude on the mountain man’s countenance. It was as if he had been given a million dollars. I will try to post up a picture tomorrow, as it is too late tonight for one. Rick was terribly sick last night, but seemed to regain his footing enough to get up and through the day. At one point he told me today how much he appreciated the American bathroom last night at the church from the perspective of being on all fours for quite a bit of it. We think he suffered heat stoke from their furious paint job last night. He and Ray got the front wall painted again and it looks fabulous! I have to lay up the pen for tonight, and ready to preach in the morning. Time to trade out for a different pen, my sermon one! Goodnight and Blessings after a glorious day in St. Marc!
Posted by Pastor at 9:25 PM
Friday, April 1, 2011
Our American culture has lost track of the appreciation of the simple things. We have witnessed since yesterday afternoon the delight of a balloon. We gave them out as part of a gift to all the children at the service yesterday, so there are a few hundred of them around. I was surprised to find them still working today! The children have played with them for hours. Did I get annoyed as the balloons bounced around my head, as I nodded back and forth to duck it in the middle of conversation, absolutely not! Well… actually I did notice, but couldn’t be offended, I can’t remember the last time I saw such joy over a bubble of air wrapped in rubber! Children’s service was a blast, a blast of energy that is! We arrived at the church to discover the tent already full of children, before we could get things cut off, at last count there were 550! It’s good the numbers were down a little yesterday! We used the rest of yesterday’s supplies plus today’s. It is pretty intense at the kid’s service, always a little dramatic for the team. It will test your resolve to remain cool, but if you do, your steadiness is met with the reward of many smiles. I have shared their intensity in previous posts, but it all came back to me again over the last couple of days. The teaching is simple, but has the profound capability to change a nation should the children return to God! Robinson gets a golden star for his ability to handle 550 Haitian childen that are in the property for the children’s service as well as the 100 or so in the streets that came too late to get in. After the service we borrowed a neighbors truck and headed to the ocean. I remember when I baptized at this location years ago; it was a delightful spot. It was still a great picture zone today, but you needed to keep your camera focused up. We took some splendid Caribbean shots, but my heart was broken by the view of the shoreline. As far as my eye could see, rubble lined the sandy/craggy edge where the water sheds its awful cargo of debris. The people litter the riverbeds, which are dry right now, but when the rain commences in June, the trash is washed to the sea. As an active water well driller, it is one of the most tragic scenes to witness. With the growing awareness of the shortage of fresh water world wide, it’s difficult to watch this pollution occurring even when I know they don’t comprehend the damage they are assaulting on the ecosystem. Be that as it may, the water was warm, and the young people were led by none other than Brandon himself to do some rock climbing to stage for some pretty cool pictures, even the girls braved the circumstances to get up on top of the rock, although it cost Brandon and Krystle a dip in the ocean! We fed so many at the house tonight it was hard to count. What a blessing. There are lots of full bellies tonight. We will head to the mountain in the morning, and on to Desdunes in the afternoon. Rick and Ray are painting the front wall of the church as I type this blog post, hoping it dries by morning, so when the children congregate it won’t harm the paint or get the paint all over their clothes. Rick has been such a great help to Ray, I am confident that painting was not on his roster for Haiti, as he does it plenty in the States, but they have certainly brightened the property, and made Robinson very, very happy. Everyone deserves a break tomorrow, and will get one. So ends another day of our journey. Blessings tonight.
As usual, the internet service has been a challenge. It is almost a full time job trying to make that happen. The place I usually go to was down all day yesterday, so had to go downtown, and that always adds significant time to the operation. We had a great children's service yesterday afternoon! Karen did a fabulous job of communicating the creation story to the kids and having fun with them all at the same time. I think we ended up with about 400+ or -. Not sure. We are doing our second one this afternoon. Last night we went up the mountian behind the church to look at a house that belongs to our church guard. It needs some serious work. We are contemplating what we can do. It really needs a 'Extreme Home Makeover', but we are not those people, and this is not America! The motorcycle broke last night, the throttle handle went to pieces on the inside, so I ordered the part this morning and fixed it for Rob and it is back in circulation. It has been a little difficult this trip with Rob's truck broke down, but this morning he borrowed a neighbors truck and gave the team a lift to the house, after that the girls slipped downtown for bread. We must be quite amusing to the Haitians! At one point Brandon said that when Robinson took off, all the girls fell into the bed of the truck! But they had a blast anyhow. This morning the guys got the front wall washed and prepped for paint, and the final coat is on the American bathroom. Ray got after final cleaning and the place literally shines! The girls along with help from a couple of the guys have the bags all ready for the children's service this afternoon. When that service is done, we are going to drive down to the ocean for a bit and spend some time playing with the orphans there. I also purchased a truck load of stone to spread at the church property to get people off the dirt. Did I mention it is hot and dry here right now! I'm not sure if I ever visited at a dryer time. We also set the pump to test the neighbors well, and it looks like we are going to be able to furnish water to the neighborhood at Rob's house now, including Rob's house as he gets no city water right now. It's noon now, so I have to run back for lunch and roll along with the day. The internet is slowww today, so will try to put up pictures later. We are getting lots of pictures! There will be plenty to show when we get back. I will get a bunch loaded up as quickly as possible. The kids (Noah, Autumn, Krystle, and Kelly will be affronted by me calling them that!) have been having a great time. It is refreshing to see young people picking up the torch in both countries! If there is to be a future, they are it. How quickly the seasons of life pass, time used to move slowly for me, and at times still does in Haiti, but more and more, even on these trips I feel the gentle nudging of father time, and at my most weary point I remind myself that this will soon be over. For the sake of grace we press on! I was having a moment last night, will tell about it in another post, but as I was sitting under the stars at 3:00 am, the sky was stunning, and I was reminded again of the creators will, His power to act, save, restore. He alone holds the keys and the power to restore, reclaim, rebuild. I feel like He has included us in this venture of His, and it is great to be on board! Blessings today.
Posted by Pastor at 12:51 PM
Thursday, March 31, 2011
Last night we slipped over to the orphanage. It was late, and they were all asleep. We found out late in the day that they had skipped school thinking we were coming over yesterday. We had some suitcases of supplies delivered there, and it must have been before school, they were so excited; they wanted to stay and wait for us. Cell service has been spotty lately, so Robinson didn’t know. It was probably better that way because when he found out they had stayed home from school, he was not too happy! But one look in their faces melts even the director’s heart! When we woke them up they were so affectionate! So happy to see us, and as I held Otelson in my arms I was reminded how much love every heart has to give and receive. We are capable of oceans of it, and yet we live life in existence mode, we chose isolation over immersion, we fixate on the most improbable things as we lose sight of our vast value to affect others. I have recently been reviewing some of my genealogy and have been reminded how connected we all are. We all have royalty flowing in our veins, we are the incredible creation of a magnificent God, and when you are prone to question His goodness, even in adversity, you have to remember we are on the front side of the exam of life. We will all leave this place one day, and where we land is a choice we all have to make, but God has prepared a place for the ready! And all questions will be answered, all wrongs made right, in the blink of an eye we will be changed forever. As we rode to St. Marc two days ago, Brandon declared this place has great potential for beauty. He is right; it’s so hard to see past the rubble, to be reflective of grandeur here. Its great to have a viewpoint like his on the team. He has been an incredible force of enthusiasm and positivity! He relishes in everything, and it’s been a joy having him on the team. Every trip God provides the exact team members, and every trip they shine. We have not been without some set backs, but this team is firing well. A little shout out to Michelle, Brandon’s amazing wife, your packing was incredible, every time someone has needed something he seems to pull it out of his magic bag! He’s like, I didn’t pack that dude, my wife did! LOL At least he is honest! Time to move on with the day. Children’s service is this afternoon, the second coat of paint is on the office and bathroom complex and they are tackling the inside of one of the bathrooms now. The children’s service craft bags are almost done. A great start to day two in Haiti. Blessings until later!
Posted by Pastor at 11:47 AM
This afternoon Ray and Rob were in a little motorcycle accident; Ray’s shoulder was used as a motorcycle mirror removal tool! Fortunately, nothing worse happened. He is pretty sore but it looks like he is okay. We always know these trips are not without risk, but we are cautious about doing off the wall things just because everyone else in the country may be doing it. However, necessity drives some circumstances. Such was the trip that they were making from the church to the parsonage via motorcycle. It seems Americans aren’t the only folks who have a problem with texting and driving, it seems Haitian share the same propensity. The silver lining was that he received some extra attention from the team! Ray, Rick, and Noah blazed away with the paint this afternoon, the back office, inside and out has a first coat of paint on it. They were going to try to get the inside of the office painted, and ended up getting it covered on the outside as well. They are getting up to finish it in the morning. It looks great! I was so pleased. The interaction with the people has been incredible, although we are surrounded with some difficult circumstances. My heart breaks for the suffering of this people. I know from a theological standpoint that God provides, that His mercy though not evident to me still flows. I know that weeping endures for the night; I have heard it here. Joy they say comes in the morning, well… what morning, what day, what year. Who will be alive to experience it? I know joy is not what we have, nor what we eat, it’s not houses and land; it’s not tied to things. But the physical suffering is tough to stomach, especially when there is no evident break. But the Haitians have taught me there is a break, it’s just not the break I think they deserve. Herein lies the complexity of it all. My perception of joy is often warped by my materialistic indulgence. True joy exists outside of that. I practice this at certain levels, but on others I still fall short. Each trip broadens my understanding a little more, erases with confident strokes my alien aspirations, my stingy understanding of real joy. The Haitians are not an outwardly smiley lot of people, but they are radiant! Speaking a kind word and hearing the gratitude in the response back is inspirational to say the least. Every trip here revs up my understanding that we are partly the joy in morning, not all the wonderful things we bring, but we the people are the joy! The joy is in Jesus, and the connection of love He fosters between us, by knitting our hearts with these people brings them great joy, and it brings me great joy as well! Sometimes I feel my posting turns a bit rambling, I apologize, but invite you to our journey with us. You spend part of your time here wrestling with psychological questions. The culture and the suffering and the struggle shift you in ways you cannot fathom. The mind bending is often very difficult to do, especially when you are not practicing mental flexibility! You look for resolutions, but it seems they defy you at every turn. What at one moment makes good clear sense; the next is obliterated by some other part of the equation. There are no easy, quick answers to the rebirth question of a culture, of its deliverance from tragedy, of its restoration to some former glory if ever there was one. We need to be grateful each of us today for what we have. In a moment it can be shattered except for the grace of God. We need only glance away from our shoreline but a short distance to realize what miracles and potential exist in our own country. We need to be cautious with what we take for granted! Rejoice and be glad today! Blessings in the moment!
Posted by Pastor at 11:46 AM
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Sort, sort, sort. But it does seem to get easier every trip. The suitcases are now re-organized and the restless are walking downtown to wear off some energy playing basket ball at the town court. They are probably going to get taken to the cleaners, but oh well! Live and learn, right?! We were up early this morning. 6:00 am to be more specific. It gets bright and busy here so early. The sounds of Haiti filled my ears through the night, I never wondered were I was at as I slept. We got up and put our bedding away, and helped put the tent back in order with all the benches so it was ready for noon prayer. And no, I am not talking about a 15 second prayer before you eat, nor a 3-minute devotion prayer, I am talking a three hour all out assailing of the heavenly for divine intervention and deliverance for this land and people. We then made the one-mile trek back to the parsonage to do our re-shuffling act to ready us for the rest of the time here. We are going to do a childrens service tomorrow and Friday. So we will have to pack all the bags of stuff for 500 children per service. That will take a little time! We are going to do a benevolence project for a very poor family at the church; we are putting on 3 doors for a house where they have not been able to have them for 2 years. The family comes to the church, and they have not security for their children all this time! We are going to pay a special young man in the church to install them tomorrow. So far so good on day one in the country, time to get to the internet and post. The picture is of Brandon reading scripture with a Haitian young man. They took times reading to one another in English and Creole. Brandon is fitting in on this trip like a veteran! It’s been very refreshing to have him along. Blessings today.
Posted by Pastor at 1:20 PM
The day is finally coming to a close. We prepare tediously around this day. We make good plans, and execute as well as we can, and yet we still get tested. American Airlines changed baggage rates Feb. 10th. It is so frustrating when my greatest struggle in helping in Haiti seems to be on American soil at the airline terminal. I know that is not fully true, but at times it sure feels that way. We made it through with an added $160.00, passed through security, and had smooth flights. We arrived on time, and went through customs without an issue. A bright spot was that as we were trying to get the bags together, I heard a familiar voice and turned to see Robinson inside the terminal there to guide us out! What strings he had to pull, I’ll never know, but it made for a very easy exit with the team. There was less yelling and prodding and arguing, and my helper at the airport, a one armed man named Jackson got his pay for he and his men and gave me a hug! I was so grateful, I almost wept on the spot. One thing that alarmed me as we were coming in for the landing is the actual increase in the amount of tents and tent cities around Port. It is stunning. Fifteen months after the earthquake and it seems worse. These people are getting next to nothing for help. Yet they carry on in the midst of their suffering with a resolve that seriously puts mine to shame. The ride up to St. Marc was uneventful for the most part. We arrived at the house just before dark, and set to gather up the items necessary for our first night. That is where we met a bit of frustration again, as the house was a sweat box, people were hungry, the house was full of people, Naromie, her mom, a friend from Desdunes and her son were all ill. Adalaine has an ear infection; the stove would not cooperate and light, we ordered some bread only to not have enough, and had to send for more. When we finally got over to the property, there was a small miscommunication and we didn’t have an air pump for the mattresses. The ‘All in a day’ saying was an understatement for this day. Karen shared a short devotional on ‘bringing every thought captive’, and I think we all failed on this at some moment today! Now most are asleep, exhausted, but so grateful to be here. God has once again provided, and I am certain this week will be filled with ministry opportunities. Pray we are able to be the hands and feet of Jesus. No matter where we are, that is our job. It is a delight to be with our Haitian friends once again, we look forward to the day tomorrow. The weather was a little mild for a bit when we first arrived, but was short lived! It takes a couple of days to adjust, so we will have to grind our way through it! We’ll see how everyone does! Exhausted, but grateful from St. Marc. The picture is... you guessed it, baby Vladimir, as it turns out he likes us white people!!! Blessings tonight.
Posted by Pastor at 1:12 PM
Monday, March 28, 2011
Day one has past, but not in Haiti where we had planned to be experiencing it! One good thing about constant setbacks, after a while you become accustomed to them happening. That may sound a little pessimistic, but I actually don't mean that. The testing of our faith works patience, and as patience grows, so does our tolerance to the ever changing landscape of our ministry and lives. And as I experience these scenarios, I gain more faith that it is not the 'devil in the details' but 'God in the details'! He has purpose and design to all He allows and disallows in our lives, the sooner we stop fighting those things, the quicker we gain balance to our walk of faith. To fight them wastes our energy and distracts our attention from where our focus is meant to be. Working with the Haitians, and more specifically Robinson, I see this more clearly with every passing day. So today was quiet, with special team sharing times. This is going to be a good week no matter what happens. The circumstances behind all the preparations is divine, and God is in charge of this trip. Whatever He means to accomplish, He will. My spirit is calm tonight. Morning looms just five short hours away, but we are ready. We will rise at 2:30 am, quickly get a few things together, get the 26 suitcases out to the front of the motel with all our 11 day packs, deliver our vehicles to the parking lot, load our transit buses, we will travel to the AA terminal, check in, and move through security, all under the direction of the Divine. This is not our orchestra, it's His, we are the instruments playing, and we just need to work on staying in tune! So as we shared today, our instruments became more tuned to each other, and it was good. As we carry 'His Hope' to these wonderful people, harmony is important, and we have a harmony that is special. Not more special than any other group, but a harmony specific to this team and trip. Pray for safety in the air and smooth transitions through each of the airports and flights tomorrow, for a safe trip up to St. Marc, and that we stay healthy! Time to end this post, and time for bed, this will be a short night! Thanks for following, and thanks for all the prayers! Blessings always!
Posted by Pastor at 9:14 PM
Sunday, March 27, 2011
What a day! Many do not know that a huge fire did massive damage at the Miami airport last Wednesday, and has canceled out hundreds of flights. We checked this afternoon before we left and the flights were all still on. We made it an hour down the road and the first leg of our journey was canceled. We pulled over and Deloris spent 45 minutes with AA and finally we had flights on Tuesday for 7 of us and Wednesday for the Reyhl's. We decided to forge ahead not certain of what God was doing, but trusting anyway. We met up with the whole team in Ann Arbor this evening for a bite to eat and discuss strategy with the changes. (Not that we are in control of any of it!) We made another call and now we are all back together again scheduled on a flight out Tuesday! We extended our stay one day returning next Tuesday. We are reminded every trip that this is a struggle of epic proportions, for our Haitian family it is a struggle for life itself, for us it is a struggle that tests our resolve. Our struggle is the lesser of the two, and I am reminiscent again tonight that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers of the air! We are reminded at every turn of our incapability and finiteness, but at those moments we turn to find an infinite and unswerving gracious God who will cause His plans to prevail. I am not sure what tomorrow holds, but I am sure of who holds tomorrow! As we write tonight, we are all settled in, the suitcases are safely stored behind the front desk of the hotel, and we have a little time to catch up on some much needed rest before we commence the journey to St. Marc. I'm not fully certain of the reason for the delay or why, I found out a couple of days ago there is a national strike in Haiti on Monday, everything will be closed. I was not too happy with the situation because if anything would have happened our recourse's would have been very limited or perhaps non-existent. Whatever the reason, it is His reason, and we are simply trusting that. Pray as we go forward, we do have limited time, and hope to prevail in spite of the setbacks. So now to rest a while! Joyful in the journey! Blessings tonight!
Posted by Pastor at 11:12 PM
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
The picture in the last post drew inquisition. It is a startling piece, though a bit unclear. It was the evening of our Haiti churches ten year celebration. The grounds were packed most of the day as they celebrated the ministry and growth of this wonderful church. It started with 12 of the orphans who had been with Robinson in the orphanage years ago, and 12 people from St. Marc. They are now running over 600 and still growing! Each year they do a special thing for the community, they perform a free wedding ceremony, including everything needed for the wedding. They pool their resources and actually rent the wedding dresses for the brides, suits for the men, they arrange travel for the brides to the property, and fix a wedding meal, all at no cost to the couples. It is a way to help the young couples who have been living together and cannot afford a wedding to be able to get married. This year Robinson and the ministry team married four couples at the same time! It was a highlight of the community. Ladies can you imagine sharing your day with three other couples and a rented dress. When you think economical, do you even consider such a thing?! Now there's a new perspective on desperate! The ministry has gained high favor among those who we seek to minister too. Together with the orphanage, the giving out of thousands of gallons of water, the feeding of the poor, medical attention to the afflicted, children being put into school, and the preaching of the great hope of the Gospel, lives are being changed in incredible ways. That we all have been able to be a part is stunning and humbling. God is famous for taking little, blessing it, and delivering much! We have pretty well finalized our daypacks today, stitched up several lose ends, and double checked lists. Robinson let us know our newest orphan, baby Vladimir has been very ill, but seems to be doing a little better. They took him to the hospital as he had been vomiting and had diarrhea. They will have test results tomorrow, they have been a little anxious. In Haiti these symptoms are a grave concern, as they are common killers of infants. Something we take so for granted here anymore, has life-threatning implications there. They lack so many of the common treatments there, and symptoms so easily diagnosed and treated here, can bring devastation quickly in this land of the deprived! Keep them in your prayers. Just a couple more days and we head toward Detroit again. We are excited about what we will be able to accomplish this trip in. It is always daunting, but we rise to the challenge as we have been blessed and graced by God's infinite love. We have much more to share, but will do so in more posts! Blessings tonight!
Posted by Pastor at 11:23 PM
Monday, March 21, 2011
Suitcase, baby clothes, food, pump, computer, Tylenol, Shoes, pants, dresses, hats, welding helmet, wire, baby seats, soap, Bible, crafts, crayons, candy, sunglasses, popcorn, bumper pads, clothe diapers, tool sets, fans, lotion, mattresses, pillows, pictures, playpen, soccer balls, DVD's, utensils, projector, kid's clothes, microphones, you name it, we've got it packed! I feel like a mobile department store, except all the goods we carry are going to be given away! 11 people, 37 suitcases, and a wallet of cash. Does that sound like an adventure? Sign up today! We are blessed to be journeying into the land of Haiti again, and God has provided in unbelievable ways. What can we say, except thank-you again to all our wonderful supporters and laborers on the ground raising funds and bringing in goods to continue to drive the message of hope and love to these suffering, but steadfast people. My mind often wrestles to grasp a hold of the ruthlessness of life, and the compound struggles that are part of it. But we are grateful to be part of carving away at the devastation armed with God's love and the generosity of many hearts! What a difference a little can make. When you see a smile wash over the face of one of these desperate souls it looks like a cleansing away of years of crusty and haggard exposure to the dusty trail of injustice and hopelessness. In a moment hope crushes despair with a simple act of love, and shadows flee before it's ebb and flow. What a honor and privilege it has been to be the hands and feet, taxing though it is at times, what joy and satisfaction reside in such labor. In just a few days we will be wheels down in the country, we will endeavor to keep you up to speed on our progress through the blog. Stay tuned.
Posted by Pastor at 8:09 PM
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
One year ago today, January 12th, 2010, 4:55 pm, in an instant life changed in Haiti. Terror and confusion gave way to sorrow, and agony, and suffering beyond what can be imagined. Almost a quarter of a million people died in the blink of an eye. I just got off the phone with Robinson and he was sharing that there are going to be special meetings and services all over the country today. He is having his people stay at home for the 4:55 time frame to give God thanks for sparing them and their homes. The church will then be open for those who want to come there and pray. They are also having a big meeting going on downtown at the park. There are several events taking place in Port; they are meeting at the mass burial site to remember those who lost their lives, they are also going to name the site and plant some trees in remembrance as well. People ask how much has changed in a year? Truthfully, not a lot. A few months following the earthquake, quite a bit was done in the way of cleanup and shoring up of buildings, but the actual rebuilding process has been marginal. There are still around 1,000,000 people displaced, living in tent cities, or worse. But how do you define worse? So many were already living in conditions hard to describe or even conceive. They are a people who have learned the true definition of survival, who have to fight for life every moment of every day in ways they themselves don't understand. Will things get better? For the lives we touch they do! There are no guarantees, but there aren't guarantees for any of us. We don't know what today may hold, but with God's help, we will make a difference even if it's only one life at a time. For a 32 day old baby orphan just taken in, it's the chance of a lifetime. For our four other orphans we have taken in, there is great promise, they sleep in real beds, with real blankets, they get real food, love, schooling, and tender care. How do you measure success? I measure it one life at a time. And working with all the wonderful people giving and going into this country, I am confident of improvement. We live in a culture of the have it your way, and have it now. We are impatient with process, with change that is not instant. I realize more and more the value of due process. For it's in the struggle we grow and truly change! God took some incredible people in the earthquake, He spared some incredible people from the earthquake. He left them behind because they still have work to do, lives to change, love to share. I am grateful in the aftermath of the earthquake for the goodness that flows to and from the country of Haiti. These are a marvelous people, deserving of the best of what we can give. I intend to continue to do what I can with the responsibility left on my shoulders with those who God has spared! May you rejoice today as well with the goodness that is yours! May we reflect with these people and be thankful for what we have, remember those who were lost, and press forward for healing that which is broken! Blessings today!
Posted by Pastor at 9:50 AM
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
I wanted to let everyone know, it's official, we have our first baby orphan! He is 25 days old now, and after seeing the doctor this morning, suffers from malnutrition, runny nose, and is recovering from having been given some bad food by those attempting to take care of him. Not intentional of course, Haiti is an unforgiving culture and climate with severe deficiencies. His mother died shortly after giving birth to him, she was from our church family and lived on the mountain behind the church property, a very impoverished area. The father came to Robinson and wanted him to take him into the orphanage because he has no way of feeding him and taking care of him. We took him officially yesterday morning, the transaction has been in the works for a few days. At this point Rob and Naromie have taken him to their house because of the work to take care of an infant is very intense. Naromie is very happy though, as they have not been able to have a baby yet. There is a chance they may adopt him, but that is something down the road. Right now they are in serious adjustment mode! I asked him how they slept last night and he said, "not enough!" Any new parent can relate! We are very excited to be able to be a part of this deliverance. For such a time as this God has readied us and now we are His hands extended again! The baby's name is Vladimir, we don't know how the parents came to name him this, as it's not a common Haitian name, but as you can see in the picture, he is a cutie! Continue to pray for Robinson and the work in Haiti, they continue to struggle with the Cholera epidemic, election corruption, and financial crisis unknown to us. Without our intervention, this baby was destined to an early death, the strangle hold of poverty is ruthless and relentless, and claims it's victims without remorse. We are thankful God placed us here to help deliver this one, and God only knows what He has in store for this life! We will keep you updated. Blessings always!
Posted by Pastor at 8:55 PM