Monday, January 30, 2012

Pride Rock

Pride is a touchy subject, for it can reap great disaster in our lives. But there is also a form of pride that is good. A form of pride that we are not good at expressing, but good all the same. For it focuses not on ourselves but others. Tonight I am proud, and specifically, proud of my children and the amazing adults they have become. As I have monitored their posts and listened to them share their stories night after night I marvel at what God has done! In the dark days of a brain tumor so many years ago where the price I was deemed to pay was that of my daughter, God performed a miracle of stunning proportions, and in surrendering her to Him, we received her back and then some. All of life experiences are readying us for more life experiences, for the fulfillment of our destiny. As I watch my children in the midst of their journey in Haiti, I marvel at grace, at the power of hope, at the force of love. Who can withstand it's advance, many challenge it, many resist, but what greatness lies ahead for those who dare to trust! Krystle gave Kelly a haircut today, it was a first for both, there was no practice run. She ran the clippers, he let her cut! Dude, that's trust! She is pretty proud and he's pretty happy! And I, well I'm pretty stunned! Just yesterday I was changing diapers and correcting behavior between brother and sister, teaching fair play and proper etiquette, today I find myself interacting with these intelligent, insightful, kind, gentle beings, and reminding myself that they indeed are my children. This is another growth chapter in their lives, and growing they are, but it is also a season of ministry, and they are impacting lives with incredible ease and profound grace. The stories are so many already it is remarkable, but we are approaching 3 weeks that they have now been in country, 2 of them on their own, and they are not just surviving, they are thriving! As many of you have followed our blog and journey into Haiti and supported the outreach you need to know you have been part of the grooming and preparing of two young lives along the way, my children. And at the same time you have helped so many Haitians, you have also helped two young Americans develop and mature into amazing young adults. Give yourself a little pat on the back, give God a note of thanks for making this all possible, and continue to support them with your prayers and kind words. Krystle warned me last night to prepare the spring team, for as she waits outside the airport the first American she sees is going to get a giant bear hug. You can bet I am going to try to be the first! So many things we take for granted, so many things kids have come to expect in our country, we are blessed beyond what we can conceive! They also shared yesterday that whenever we send them to do dishes in the future, they will race to be the first to get the job, because now they say it's going to be soooo easy! Who knows, when they get home, I may be able to just be a couch potato! JK! I wanted to throw this post up for the benefit of all, but especially for my two who are practicing what I have preached all these years, putting others first and daring to risk it all to reach the unfortunate, the impoverished, the hopeless with a hug, a smile, and the gift of time and grace. In the movie 'Lion King 'the story of family is powerful, the place of home represented by 'Pride Rock' is aglow with promise, but again with life we are served the reminder that home is where the heart is. Tonight a part of my home is in Haiti, and great hope resides there because restoration has found a foothold. That foothold is not governments, or money, it is people! And I am proud tonight that in some of that great host I find my two kids working, loving, and being the hand of God extended! Blessings to all from a grateful father!


It has seriously been a CRAZY weekend! I told you all about the wedding and baptisms and the funeral but then yesterday morning rolled around and we had just as much to do! I taught the children for the first time, it was a very interesting experience for sure! I told the story of Noah's Ark and the Flood and I passed out coloring pictures and crayons. Kelly's doing a fantastic job on the sound system for the church and his help is so appreciated by the church! We did get to come home and take it easy for a while, FaceTimed the Walker family! So nice to see all your faces! The celebration for the church was last evening, so Rob picked us up at five thirty. Something they like to do to celebrate is marry some couples who can't afford to get married. When we got into the Toyota he was explaining how one of the grooms told him that if he was going to marry his fiance then they needed to pay him 1000 Goudas! Now that really is not too much money but the fact that he would demand money like that made me SO mad! It made everyone else at the church upset as well! Rob told him he would not marry them and so we had one heartbroken bride. When we pulled up to the church there were people packed in the middle of the road. Rob pulled the truck up beside the gate, locked the doors and turned the car off. He was listening to what everyone was shouting and talking about. Then he turned around and said " Krystle, take your stuff, go into the church and go right up into the guard house". Now I was pretty surprised because we are usually mixed right into the culture with the good and the bad, but of course I listened and went upstairs where George opened up a separate room and Kelly and I were told to stay in there. When we looked out the window there were people everywhere just like usual but then there were little groups here and there with people who were yelling and shouting and fighting. So in the middle of this a teenage girl comes running up the stairs to the guard house and collapses in the corner hyperventilating and crying hysterically. We couldn't get her to stand up or do anything. We finally got some other guys to come and help lift her up and we got her sat down where she then proceeded to pass out. Someone brought a fan up for her and I gave her my water but she would go between waking up hyperventilating back to passing out. I didn't get to find out what happened because Rob got all the people back under control and the wedding started. It was another long one but very nice, they had a whole meal and cake ready for the bride and groom afterwards and Rob drove them home in his Toyota. It turned out to be a nice evening but the beginning was most definitely intense! Kelly's not feeling the best, I'm afraid I passed off my cold to him:/ We are going to stay here at the orphanage today. I'm ironing and mending all of our clothes. Pray that Kelly is feeling better soon! Love and miss you all! Krystle

Friday, January 27, 2012

Weddings, Baptisms, and Funerals (Krystle)

Greetings from Haiti! Things are going well. The guys have water at the well we have been working on. They still have a little more work but we will wait until the first of the week. When we got back from the job site yesterday we were so tired but Rob said okay I will be back in an hour to take you to the wedding! I was freaking out but we got some lunch and got around. I'm not gonna lie I was kind of annoyed that I wasn't given much time to get around and eat just to attend a wedding of someone I didn't know and had never met. We got there and I just prayed that God would take away my selfish thinking, after all this day was about the bride and not me! So as Kelly and I were sitting there a couple of men came in late and slid into the bench beside us. Anywhere we go we get looks from people and the same happened here, they didn't try to be inconspicuous or anything. Kelly and I were trying to pay attention to the service even though we didn't understand a word and we were only one hour into the two hours but the man next to us was a big distraction. He leaned over towards me and said "you speak no Creole?" so to be nice I replied quietly "no, we don't." "Oh!" he said, "then you don't understand anything being said!". Once again I replied "no", hoping he would take the hint I didn't want to talk. Well by then Kelly's protective instincts were coming out and he had scooted closer to me and put his arm around my shoulders. But that seemed to only make the man more curious and he said "Oh! You have baby!". I was completely confused and said " No, I do not have a baby". He didn't stop, "Oh! You are married!" he said pointing to Kelly. "No!" I said "He is my brother". Kelly's arm was suffocating me by now, but this guy would not be quiet! "Well," he said "You are very beautiful". Now the whole thing is completely awkward and this guys friend only makes it worse by leaning over to me and saying, "you are very niiiice!". At this point I'm completely speechless and try to just ignore the man, but he continues to pester us with questions about where we live and who our parents are and then tells me all about his wife and baby at home and how he is Jehovah's Witness. I looked up at Rob who was performing some of the wedding and he was giving the guy the evil eye, not that the man noticed because he was to busy talking. In the end Kelly got the guys number because he insisted on giving it and we got right out of there when the service was over. We told Rob everything that happened and he officially taught us how to say "shut up" in Creole! Haha! It was very funny! So to Neil Josza and John Bader don't freak out, Kelly is taking good care of me! We took the day off today to take care of some of our own things and just relax a bit. I think we realized today just how tired we are but we're doing okay. Rob had about 25 baptisms this afternoon, Kelly and I got to go with him. It was at the ocean and I was the official photographer! It was a really amazing experience! We have a funeral to attend bright and early in the morning so I'm out for tonight! Love and miss you all! Krystle

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Snake (Krystle)

The last few days Kelly has been out to Renold's place to hopefully finish the well. I have been coming with all of the guys(Emmanuel, Arcene, Chedson and Rob) because everyone else is in school all day. The guys are doing really good on the well, it's going slower then Kelly hoped because its Haiti, and there have been several problems but I will let him tell you in more detail what's happening later on. But a note to Grandpa Berg, I am learning so much about water well drilling you just might have to hire me when we get back home:D! Lol Just kidding Grandpa! All of these guys are working hard so Kelly and I have been trying to make sure they get plenty to eat. Yesterday Kelly splurged and took us to the Deli Mart for pizza and chicken nuggets. It was really nice but we realized we can't afford to feed them like this everyday and we didn't bring enough of our own food to feed them out of our stuff, so today it was hotdogs and chips! Now, I think they were all surprised when we got back to the orphanage and Kelly put the hotdogs on the stove and I started to get the plates and buns ready. Normally in Haiti the men don't even go near the cook stove, it is considered woman's work and they are not usually thanked afterwards for working so hard. So Kelly proved once again that being a man isn't just about being tough and being able to do things like water well drilling! When lunch was finished each of the guys came up to us and thanked us for the food, it was very sweet. As we have spent more time together I can tell everyone is really warming up. Since Emmanuel, Arcene and Ched all know a little bit of English, and Kelly and I know a little bit of Creole we can talk quite a bit. In fact, we just had a very interesting conversation about koulev, or in English, snakes! I have never seen a snake here in all of our trips but they were saying it's just because the people try and keep them killed off. Now I think this how it should be done everywhere, but I was explaining how some people in America keep them as pets or how some come from places like the Amazon and are kept at zoos. I wish you could have seen their faces! I know I'm scared of snakes but they are all petrified! We are having a good time and being able to reach out in new and different ways. We are off to YWAM tonight to get our souls fed in a language we can understand, we went last week and it was a wonderful service and fellowship time with other American missionaries, so we have been looking forward to it all week. We had taken Dina to an eye doctor last weekend and he gave her new medicine to put in it and by today you can barely tell she was ever having an issue. I am feeling a lot better, although I have lost my voice and I am worn out by evening. Hopefully in a couple more days I will be back to new! I love and miss you all but when you are doing Gods work it seems easier to cope with! Blessings! Krystle

Monday, January 23, 2012

Averted Vision (Krystle)

In the past week we have been here by ourselves Kelly, Manius and I have had several discussions about our different cultures and what America (Michigan) vs. Haiti is like. Manius has great interest in hearing about where we live because he would love to attend college in America. However when he hears certain things I think it makes him nervous because our cultures are SO different. Rest assured though he trusts God with all his heart and if God tells him to come to the US for school he would go without even looking back. Now when Kelly and I were in school we learned about the history and geography of places all around the world but out of everything we studied I can't imagine two cultures being more different then Haiti and the US. From the food we eat to the way our schools are run, even to the way we worship, it is all so different. What I was explaining to Manius though was that "different" means nothing but that; different. Either way is not the right way or the wrong way. It may be hard to adjust to some things, which it is, but we are all made by our Creator and He loves us all the same no matter where we live or how we do things as long as it is done in a way bringing glory and honor to Him! It is such a big change being here by ourselves and I have found myself struggling with homesickness more then I would like to admit. Every night as I climb into bed and I'm laying there looking out my window I see the big cement wall that is built around the orphanage and topped off with razor wire just like how you see it in the movies at prisons. But if you look up you can see the stars bright and shining in their full glory because there are no lights on in Haiti to cloud your vision, and I can't help but remember something my Grandma Pickett told me about her trip to Haiti over fifty years ago. She was on a boat headed for an island where she would be staying but she had to spend the night on it. She said it was absolutely filthy with rats running all over and I know she couldn't have helped feeling lonely that first night, but she told me as she was looking up at the stars that those were the same stars over her in Haiti as they were back at her home in America. I can completely relate to what she was saying now and it gives me comfort at night to see those stars and know they are the same ones that all of you back home are sleeping under as well! I just finished this book yesterday called 'Bridge to a Distant Star'. It was three different stories about three different families who were all thrown together in the collapse of the Sunshine Bridge in Florida. In each of the three stories there was at least one reference to stars. Have any of you ever noticed how when you look directly at a faint star in the distance, it disappears but then you can see it out of your peripheral vision? This is called averted vision. When you look directly at the star it disappears but if you look to either side of the star it appears again. I keep reminding myself when I am focused on God and he seems to disappear for a second to look in my peripheral vision because it's probably just a slight change in plans! Much love from Haiti!


Thanksgiving (Krystle)

Greetings to all our family and friends!

I'm so sorry I haven't gotten around to writing these past few days. I do have a pretty good excuse however, I have been under the weather and just trying to rest and get my strength up. So because of that the weekend was pretty laid back and everyone has been spoiling me! Junie has been making sure the kids don't bother me in the morning so I can sleep in a bit, but even then I was up at 7:30. When the sun rises in Haiti so do you! People have been just as sweet as they can be making my bed, getting me drinks and medicine and just making sure I'm doing okay. Kelly has been the best brother anyone could ever ask for! He has been making sure I don't have to cook whether he goes out and gets something or he makes it himself. Yesterday he even surprised me with a meal fit for a king! Hotdogs(no buns), Cheetos, cold Pepsi and we even had ketchup and mustard!!!! Aren't you all so jealous?! Just kidding but seriously it was a really great lunch! Naromie's mother made us a rice cake to share, it is completely impossible to describe what it is or how it tastes but it is seriously one of the best things I have ever eaten! I came out to the job site with Robinson, Arson and Kelly this morning. I wanted to get out of the house for a little break from the kids and all the hustle and bustle there at the orphanage. There is little to no privacy with five kids, Junie, Manius, Natasha, Kelly and I plus there is always traffic coming in and out. Still I love it and we are getting more and more settled all the time. We have a Haiti cell phone now so we can get a hold of people down here. I have it worked out for a young lady to come do our laundry on Saturdays. I figured it would be better to give someone who knows what they are doing some money then to try and do it in my inexperience! She is very happy to have the job but at first she refused to take our money! She said she was doing it because she loves us and wants to help but Rob explained that we wanted to do it to help her as well and express our gratitude for her hard work. On Friday night Manius, Kelly and I were having a movie party on the porch. We were watching the movie "The Blind Side". Every few minutes we had to pause the movie and explain something to him like what a Quarterback is and what his "blind side" is. At a certain part of the movie it was Thanksgiving and the family was sitting around the table saying a prayer and getting ready to eat. Well Manius wanted to know what Thanksgiving is and so Kelly and I explained the whole story Pilgrims and Indians included! Even though it's not Thanksgiving, telling the story helped me put everything into perspective. I am so thankful to be surrounded by people who love and care about me, especially this past weekend! The Hatians are the poorest people I have ever seen and they work so hard all the time to just exist yet they seem to keep finding ways to present us with gifts or acts of kindness. They are truly an amazing people. Blessings and love from Haiti!


Sick (Kelly)

Hey everyone, sorry Krystle and I have not written, we've been busy here trying to catch our footing, and on top of that Krystle has gotten really sick. Church service went really well this morning, it's a little difficult to sit three hours at church when you can't understand a single word spoken during the whole service! So now I don't want to hear any complaining when Pastor Don or my dad or Jake goes over a little in church because at least you can understand them!:) I keep telling the Haitian's that my body might not understand what it hears during the service but God's word is universal, it still feeds our heart and soul so that we come away with our cups full. Tonight Robinson asked if Krystle and I where going to the church conference that was beginning tonight and will go till Saturday, I told him that Krystle was feeling worse this evening then she was this morning when we went to church. He told me that "we need to stay here to rest so that she can start to mend quickly, unlike my father who's still really sick at the moment.;) By the way Eric, so you don't think I'm getting off from running the sound system at home, Robinson has me running the sound system for the church down here pretty much by myself and there is no practice run for Sunday! So I have to pretty much fly by the seat of my pants!!
Keep everyone down here in your prayers, it's going to be a really busy week for everyone, Robinson has a funeral and 2 to 3 weddings to do this week, I'm going to try and start drilling this week along with a couple other projects, and pray that Krystle starts to feel better really quick. Blessings to all from Haiti. Kelly

Friday, January 20, 2012

Mama and Papa (Krystle)

Kelly and I are now being called mama and papa by a couple of the orphans. It started last night. It was just Kelly, the kids and myself. Kelly was in the shower and I was washing dishes while the kids were dancing to Alvin and the Chipmunks playing on Kelly's phone. I was up to my elbows in soapy water when I heard someone scream "mama"! I went running out of the kitchen and found Otelson sitting on the floor cradling his hand. When he looked up and saw me he said again, "mama!" with a panicked look in his eyes he reached up to me. My heart melted and I sat down on the floor,  snuggled him and gave him kisses. As most "injuries" go with kids it was nothing serious, he had just smacked his hand against something. It touched me as he sat there with me and I smothered him with kisses, he has no mama and no papa but he desperately wants someone to fill that roll and comfort him and love him unconditionally. We all know that God does that for him but for a child there is still something very different about having a father and mother as well as our Heavenly Father and Otelson understands that difference. It is sad and hard to swallow but it makes me love these children even more if that is possible! Even when Dina glues stickers to the window or Liline takes my eyeshadow and wipes it all over her face or when each of them runs through my pile of dirt while trying to sweep (and I mean multiple times!).  I pray that I can be like a mother to them even if it is only for these few months. We were watching a slide show of pictures while eating lunch today and every time there was a picture of me Otelson would look up at me beaming and say " mama!" and occasionally "I love you mama!". Talk about something big to live up to! I am so blessed to have been given this opportunity to love these children in the upcoming months. Love and blessings from Haiti! 


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Routines (Krystle)

Today has been a good day. I know yesterday was tough on Kelly and I, but it ended well and we got some sleep and woke up ready to start the new day. I was a bit unsure how to help today because you don't know people's routines and you don't want to go sticking your hand in where it doesn't belong. But as the day has gone along I have found plenty of things to keep busy with. Things such as cutting and trimming all the kids toenails and fingernails, I never would have imagined it such a big job! I also gave them their first lesson on how to use scissors. I used tape to hang all of their projects on the wall and they were so pleased. Someone had donated stickers that go on walls to put in the kids rooms, with the kids help we put those up. "Toy Story" in the boys and "Princess and the Frog" for the girls. Naromie already took me up on the offer to help watch Boo Boo, she dropped him off earlier so she could have a break. Rob picked Kelly up this morning to go get the rig for Emmanuel to fix. They also caulked the tank without a caulk gun, which he told me to say was a lot of fun ( not! ):D. Rob is exhausted, i told him to go get a nap. I don't know if he took my advice but he did go home, hopefully he fell asleep! Mom and Dad made sure to impress on everyone last Sunday to take good care of their kids. Well people have taken it seriously! Everyone is stopping by to check on us and people are always bringing us food and asking if we are hungry. Already we have been given fried bananas, tangerines and fresh bananas! So everyone rest assured we are doing well and are not starving! We are getting our own routine started.... Wake up, get around for the day and ship the kids off to school, devotions, breakfast, sweep and mop the floors, free time or helping around the orphanage, eat lunch, play with the kids, sweep and mop the floors, dinner and dishes from the day. By the time we were done the sun was almost down. I made dinner and after I gave Kelly his plate I realized that there was no one here at the orphanage except for Kelly, the kids and myself. We gave them some food, had a dance party, taught them the Barney song ( which they LOVE! ) and finally tucked them into bed. Now normally an evening taking care of five kids is no problem, i have done it more then once! However, try doing it while not being able to say anything except a few broken words in Creole! We are now sitting on the porch with Manius having another Creole lesson. We love and miss you all and you are in our prayers! Love from Haiti, Krystle. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Good Byes and New Beginnings (Kelly)

Greetings from Haiti. I not very sure where to start writing at the moment normally it's my dad that does all the writing when we are in Haiti, my how the tides have changed on me. I guess I will start with waking up this morning with a good nights sleep from having a large comfortable pillow and mattress that was on the bunk-bed. When I woke up and was laying there in bed it struck me that today was the day that mom and dad and the team where leaving and I was staying behind with Krystle. Up till this point all week I was so excited I could hardly wait to ship everyone off, turns out I was wrong, I found myself trying not to dwell on it to much so I would not break down crying, after all I had to be strong for Krystle. We finished helping pack up the team over at the orphanage, we then All drove over to Robinson's house to check and make sure no one had forgotten anything. You could feel the somberness in the air as we drove, everyone was sad, but for me I was starting to understand what it was like to be on the other side of the fence that the Haitians are on, to know how it feels to see Rob and all the Americans pull out and leave knowing well that we would not see them for three months. Like I said earlier, it was very sad as Krystle and I gave everyone hugs and told them how much we would miss them. I broke down as I gave my father his last hug for three months. And for the record he did to;). We waved good bye as they all set out on their long journey back to Traverse City, Michigan. After they left I realized we had just crossed another bridge in our family life toward being independent adults in life. After the team left Naromie came over and gave Krystle and I big hugs to try and comfort us, we went inside and took a few minutes to collect ourselves. I realized it was time to move forward, I grabbed some tools and helped Krystle get some waters out of the cooler to take to the orphanage. Chedson and Varnell and Peterson helped us carry and walk stuff over to the orphanage. On the way I wanted to stop at the church to pick up the electrical tester in the American bathroom. As I walk in looking for George and calling his name because he had the key to unlock the bathroom, some women at the church told us that George had gone to work for the day. It was a little bit of a shock to me because the whole week we are there every trip George is at the church pretty much 24/7. When we finally got back to the orphanage I got to work, we still had some stuff to get done from moving in yesterday. Krystle helped me refasten and oil up all the hinges on all the doors in the orphanage today, Franz helped get the shower rod up in the bathroom today and an extra clothes rod hanger in the girls closet, I think for Krystle. I told Manius last night that this was kinda going to be a day to rest up from the whirlwind of last week, so much for that. We did however watch a little TV, and hang out and worked on our Creole this afternoon. When Rob got back we went down to the store this evening and bought a trash bin, some small tubs for Krystle to wash dishes in, and hurried back to make supper before we went to Y-WAM for their service. Robinson also this evening had a meeting at 6:00 and did not make it back to the orphanage till 7:00 to pick us up:). The service tonight was very good, Krystle and I enjoyed it and are looking forward to coming back next week, we were greeted very warmly tonight from everyone, they also told us to feel free to come over anytime to go swimming, they offered us phone numbers in case we needed anything, I told them that at the moment Krystle and I did not have cell phones yet, they told that if we need help getting some cell phones that they would take us down and help us get two for Krystle and I.
We got to talk to Jennie tonight and she told us that she had decided to sign a 6 month commitment instead of a two year commitment. I also found out tonight dad that YWAM just got a well rig at their base and there are drillers coming in to drill on February 7 for ten days and offered for me to come out and see what their doing. Well I guess I'm heading off for bed tonight to get some sleep. Pray for us that God will show Krystle and I what His will is from day to day, that He will bless our hands at whatever we go to do. Blessing to all from Haiti. Kelly


This post is delivered via Krystle:

Hey! I hope you guys have had a great trip. I have tried texting you guys but must be I caught you with no wifi:) today has been good:) I think Kelly has had an easier time of it today then I have. He got to spend some time with Manius and he kept plenty busy around the house fixing all the doors. I finished cleaning up our stuff, passing out the stuff we brought specifically for the orphanage, had a Creole lesson with Ched and another lesson with Manius. Rob had said earlier he would come pick me up so I could get a few things I needed at the grocery store. I was concerned about the timing because of the meeting at YWAM. I was right.... After we got back from the store we had about thirty minutes to make dinner and be ready to go. Then Rob told us he had a meeting and he would be here to pick us up at 6:45 at the latest. Well we scarfed down our food and we were ready but Rob wasn't here. So he showed up at 7 and I was completely overwhelmed and ready just to skip the whole thing but I knew that you wanted us to go. We pulled up and he goes oops it's 7:15, I must have been late! Lol! The guard let us in but then said we couldn't go anywhere cause no one had told him we were coming..... So we waited for a bit and Christian finally came and got us.:) Jenny came to sit by me and it was a REALLY nice service and everyone was so sweet to us. We got several offers to come to the pool, all kinds of numbers and someone even offered to take us and get phones (they didnt know we had someone like Rob to help us). Jenny's doing great. She only signed a 6 month contract and then she will be headed back to Cape Haitia. We are going to plan to meet up on a weekend to hang out whether it is at YWAM or here. So I'm doing good tonight, I feel like I have a friend:D It's funny how you can be surrounded by people and still feel lonely! I'm hoping as I learn more of the language some of that will go better:) Kelly put one of the extra mats underneath my other mattress and I'm pretty sure this bed is more comfy then my own! I'm exhausted tonight so I will go get some sleep! I think your on the plane right now so you can just email me tomorrow or whenever it's convenient. Rob and Kelly are going to Renalds in the morning so I will go to Rob and Naromie's unless Junie and Manius stay here. Dina is not doing good at all. I think it has spread to the other eye. She was doing okay earlier but tonight I can tell she's in alot of pain. Hopefully we can get her to a doctor in the morning. Love you and mom lots:) get some sleep!

Love Forever,

This was Krystle's email from today.

Independence Day


We are in the air, our kids are on the ground behind us. I knew this day was coming, but it is still a difficult day when your kids hit adulthood, and claim their independence. As we prepared to go this morning I gathered the team around the kitchen table at the orphanage, as we had stayed there last night after getting Kelly and Kryslte settled in. I read my post from last night and the comments that had been written by our followers. It was a rather difficult endeavor as the gravity of it all came down. We prayed together as a team for the final time of this trip and then rode over to Rob's house where we said our final good-byes through teary eyes. Kelly stayed his tears, but Krystle did not. At one point she said 'I'll be fine once you go!' As I hugged her one final time I said in her ear, Independence Day is not it's all cracked up to be! Freedom always carries a price. We forget that often in our celebrations, we are prone to forget that stepping out on our own brings a significant weight of responsibility. You are now responsible for your protection and care, your choices and your actions. It was a somber day those brave Americans many years ago declared their independence from England, it was extraordinarily costly on many levels. The same can be said for our spiritual freedom as well. An extravagant price was paid for our souls, for all souls everywhere. We often cringe at reflecting on that, but when we don't freedom's fair complexion suffers scaring and her purpose becomes maligned, liberty loses, and it's enemy gains a score. So while the morning brought its own kind of pain, it also brings rejoicing, freedom still rings, two Americans chose to stay in Haiti's wounded land to love it's suffering hearts, to share the good news of freedom for the heart, to carry on the noble work of hope. As we drove away from the house Kelly's white arm stuck out through the fence waving good bye, it is that hand extended that I am proud of today, for I know over the course of the next three months, lives are going to be changed, and harvesting will happen, God will do what only God can do, but it becomes less limited because faith has been grasped, and that frees the Almighty in more ways than we can conceive. As we worked our way out of town, Robinson asked me if I remembered the old man who had sat beside me Sunday morning up were the podium was. I did, for he has sat there as long as I can remember, he then told me had died yesterday. They took him by ambulance to the hospital, but he passed away before getting there. It happens that I witnessed the ambulance yesterday, as it is a uncommon sight in Haiti, not knowing in it was my friend. It's funny because Beth and I both were lead to give him a big hug Sunday, and now he is gone. Life feels more fragile in Haiti, perhaps it's the devastation, but the truth is life is fragile, all life. A fine thread binds us to life, and certain moments in our lives we are made to feel just how fragile and thin it truly is. Such a day is today for us. But days like today are also good for us, they help us to cherish the real in life. And in our culture, we need this like never before. We are grateful today that the separation from us and our children is only spacial, many suffer the separation of heart, that is the saddest of all. And so we journey towards home, but of all our trips, today was the most difficult to leave Haiti, of this you can be sure! Blessings upon blessings! 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


So ends our last full day in Haiti, six venture home tomorrow, while two stay behind. It has been a very busy last day, we walked up the mountain this morning and had some very special moments with the mountain community right up behind the church. You never know how your life will intersect with someone, how personalities just click, and bonds are formed. Deloris is just like a mother to these kids, she speaks English and yet they seem to understand her like it was their native tongue! I burst out laughing a couple of times. She marshals them like a mother hen. Up towards the top of the mountain, as we were beginning our decent, we came across a little boy who was very afraid of us ‘white folks,’ but he kept his eye on Neil. He had a little can that he had been playing with, without warning he came over and dropped it at Neil’s feet looking him right in the eye as if to say ‘I like you’, Neil kicked the can to him and he kicked it back, some form of ‘can’ soccer. As he turned to leave, Neil bent down and gave the little boy a hug, fear had vanished before the rays of love, and hope locked two hearts a world apart! These moments are perhaps Haiti’s finest for our team, physical accomplishments are always nice, but they are finite, love, faith, hope, these are infinite, and the works of these three will never fade. I sit here on the front porch of Rob’s house, perhaps tapping out my final post in country, and feel grateful, changed, weary, but proud. Proud of this team, proud of Robinson’s leadership, proud of my support friends and family that have brought something so incredible to pass through the guidance of a loving and faithful God. In a few hours, after a little slumber, we will head north by south, and bid our children farewell for a few weeks. My heart beats steady with the pulse of faith, I wonder what mighty thing God has wrought in their hearts that they would stay, surging out of my protection, to indulge this culture with the force of love they possess for it. Never doubt the power of God to change your life, nor that He still renders miracles in the hearts of those who will believe. I have born witness to His power and grace, and tonight I rest confident in His plan for the lives of my children, my expectations have long been tempered by the call of God on their lives, and we are ready for this day, for He has prepared us every step of this journey called life. There is a reason for every trial, a season for all growth, and a settling occurs, the waves calm, and you feel the mighty hand of God whisper to the storm “Peace, be still!” So amidst everything else accomplished today, we got the kids all unpacked and their new home for three months set in order. They are as ready as can be, everyone helped and now we rest and prepare to go! We end this post with gratefulness and joy, another magnificent moment in our lives turns with the clock, and to all a good night! Blessings!


What are you devoted to? How does it show. Where is our commitment. Our culture in America has become very lackluster in our expressions of devotion. The week here is full of hectic press in trying to get things done where something else is constantly going wrong. It feels like two steps forward, one step back. Today in addition to everything else Rob's phone battery quit, and it is an internal battery. Fortunately I have brought some spare parts with me, so that is added to my list today. My point is that we are always hurrying. As I raced into the bathroom to change and ready for the day, I passed my wife coming out and I caught myself. We have been racing by each other much of the week, I gave pause and looked into her brown eyes and said 'I love you' and she returned the same. Our love after all these years is not shallow, and a few days of business will not necessarily hurt our relationship, but we quickly become creatures of habit, and we are selfish, and a few days can turn into a few weeks, and months, and years, and that will break most any relationship. We have a young girl that showed up at the church without a place to stay a few days before we arrived, Robinson had the leadership take her into our facility and when we got here, Neil quickly took charge of getting her blankets and a pillow, and she actually slept under the big tent with us. Generally the people are not comfortable enough to do that, for we have had these situations before. She has been a sweetheart to have around, and after everything of our bedding is put away she tends to cleaning the church property. She was not here last night, so I asked Robinson in the late evening where she was. He didn't know so asked George our night watchmen, and discoved that a woman in the church has opened her home and taken her in! She is homeless no more. She came early this morning to do her cleaning routine, and in the midst of that she pauses for her morning devotion, she reads and prays and then sings with a smile that seems big enough to light the world, her plight that seems the worse, and yet here is this glow! This is joy, this is devotion, and this is happiness at its deepest level. I don't know how you started your day, don't know how it is going so far, but if you have not taken time to redress the relationships in your life, and most specifically your devotion to God, you cannot experience what we witnessed this morning. It was a good fundamental reminder to me, relationship priorities are something we need to examine and re-examine, keep them first, for they count the most! Just thought I would put up this quick observation while I wait, for if Haiti has taught me nothing else, it has definitely taught me patience! More later, to the mountian now we go. Blessings today!

Monday, January 16, 2012


Who gets to choose? As we traveled to the mountain and then on to Desdunes today we passed out candy along the roads, and at certain points we stopped. We traveled a little differently than in the past, having the new Toyota on this trip has been a blessing, our budget has run tight, and it allowed us to save money to spend elsewhere. So many needs, so few dollars. I rode on a special deck we built for the Toyota, so I was in the open air all day, while the team rode in air conditioning! But don't feel bad, I have had a cold and determined to spare as many as I could my plight! So I was there by choice. It gave me opportunity to see the country from yet another perspective, and as we dropped candy off and I contemplated my surroundings and so many stark contrasts with my reality, it staggered me at the thought of the magnitude of the work of God in this world. I have studied theology, and have spent my life in ministry, and yet today the complexity of God staggers me. We say 'practice random acts of kindness', and if we controlled the universe, that is the way it would be. But with God there are no random acts. A piece of candy dropping from my hand along a random road, to a random child, in a random country is ordained by a loving God. But isn't that our gripe, our rub with Deity, if you are so loving, why does this suffering and chaos even exist. My great grandfather often repeated the saying: "A God comprehended is no God at all." I often have thought about this across the years of my life, and today, I am profoundly and deeply moved at how God created a being called 'human' and endowed him with choice, unleashed him on this planet knowing we would choose the worse, and still be able to work His grand design. I have listened to theologians wax eloquent, and heard wisdom extolled, but I have yet to hear God fully defined! It cannot be done, we cannot do His job, we are not qualified, for we are finite flesh, none of us can will our days or extend our breath beyond what He declares, and only as we exercise our faith will we be able to function in this amazing world He has created. So every piece of falling candy, every bag of clothes, every yoyo bag passed out today to each of these children served a purpose that I cannot fully fathom, but that God planted in these lives He formed before the world was framed, these who serve a purpose for being here and in so doing have rewritten whole chapters of my life and the lives of all we are allowed to touch! I am so grateful, so very grateful for this journey, for this point of impact today. Hope traveled the countryside today, and hope from the countryside flowed back, the ebb and flow of the tide of life, profound beyond words, continues to point out a incredible, massive, loving God who still chooses to work through feeble man to accomplish His purpose and grand design. While I may not fathom, I beleive! For in the eyes of the weary, the impoverished, and those forsaken by man, I see a loving God unwilling to quit, unwilling to let the least of these go without feeling the touch of His hand. The song says; 'Oh to be His hand extended' and today we were! Amazing! Blessings once again.


It's time for you to meet our newest orphan we took in a few months back. I have shared via a post earlier about her journey to us, but I didn't know Dina except via a couple chance encounters on our trip to Desdunes and through a photo I had shot of her. She was in possession of the most tragic set of eyes I think I have witnessed, and when I learned of her predicament, we started the effort to collect her, and mend what was left of a family back together again. I can report tonight that it is an extraordinary joy to see her and her brother together again. But I also think it is only fair to report that these kids come to us maimed and hurting so deeply that their path to healing is long and arduous at best, and the truth is some aspects of them will never recover. When we started our movie night at the property tonight, the orphans hadn't arrived, so as we settled in and were watching I was pleasantly surprised when they suddenly showed up and promptly perched on the floor in front of us. Mind you we have been so busy with projects that up until now I have not had much time with the kids this trip in. So as they settled in I began to watch Dina, our newest orphan. She has developed an infection in one of her eyes, it showed up over the weekend and we are sending her to a doctor in the morning. As I watched, I noticed a tear running down her cheek, and at first I thought it was her eye, turns out some of it was, but she was unbelievably moved by the movie. Within a few minutes I realized Dina was interacting with the film on a whole different level than the rest of the crowd. As I said earlier, we were watching 'Soul Surfer' and the interaction of the family, and especially the mother and father were deeply moving her. So I bent down and scooped her into my arms, her small frame melted onto my lap, and I held her while weeping in my heart. So much injustice in life, so much pain, how did she survive, and how will she heal. There isn't much compassion in Haiti, the callouses of poverty and starvation have crippled this culture in it's ability to tend to it 's wounded. You search far and wide to find hearts willing and ready to take the high risk of caring. We have been blessed at our orphanage to have some incredible hearts a part of it, and create this loving environment for these kids. But that can never replace the home, the real mothers embrace, the protection and guidance of the father, nor was it meant to. We are just attempting to embrace them for a season with the love of God, pray grace does what only grace can do, and give them a future. Often we are called mom and dad by the orphans, and one is left pondering the capacity of love. And so it is the tenderest of our children is also our newest. Bringing a flavor all her own, she is an incredible little girl. She is quiet, and gentle, but possesses a brilliant spirit. we are so grateful to have put brother and sister back together again! As I was entering the tent tonight, the sky was brilliant with stars, the sky is incomparable to back home, the darkness of Haiti shows off the sky in majestic fashion. And in our orphanage, in the darkness of this culture these children also shine brightly and we get to witness it! Thank you for being a part! Blessings to all!


Where do I start? So much to report, but so little time and space to report in. We had another amazing service this morning. The tent and surrounding space was full. God is on the move in Haiti. He is on the move in our church! With Robinson and the men he is garnering around him through the help of God an amazing ministry is forming. We have witnessed the birth of a profound work. Casting vision is a difficult thing, we have so many dreams and aspirations, and many years ago when we started this journey with God through sets of circumstances in our lives, I had a sense that God was up to something big, that there was a profound potential for something great. But following the vision and pursuing it, that was a uniquely different path than what I had expected. To cast a vision is not to fully know how God will bring everything to pass, but it is to see through eyes of faith what it is God intends to do. On this trip I am casting another part of that vision, not knowing fully how it will come to pass, however, I now know it will. As we viewed the congregation this morning, we were witness to the profound impact of the gospel to change lives, to the tune of hundreds, maybe now approaching thousands. We can’t help but rejoice that all those years ago God set two men from different cultures and totally different walks of life together in the way only God can. Crossing our paths was to reshape and re-frame both of our lives. For those of you who know me, aside from my conversion at 16, my first major life change came when my daughter was diagnosed with a brain tumor, the second was when I met an orphaned boy turned man, Robinson Louis. Until that point I had my life on a certain track, but God derailed me through my faith in Him and today we marvel at His goodness and incredible methods. Today this work in Haiti is surging stronger than I have ever witnessed, as we were going through the service this morning the visitors are all called to the front to introduce themselves, there were 18 to my count! And a really good sign was that there were as many men as women! For the first time since our work began in Haiti, I had the front rows with men in them. Hope blossoms in glorious fashion for these people. We have commenced a plan for outreach ministry beyond St. Marc, and we now have personnel to bring it to pass. I confess I am not fully sure how God means to bring it to pass, but as sure as I am penning this post, I am confidant it is coming. The team has spent the afternoon at ease, catching our wind from the hurricane of activity poured into the last four days. We will head to the church property in a few to show the movie “Soul Surfer” which should be very inspirational. As I sat ready to speak this morning, God changed my message 30 minutes prior to my standing up, with no notes to guide me, I shared from I Peter 2 and the response was moving. Not only did I come to Haiti with a ruptured disk this trip, but I also came down sick my second day here, we are grateful to report that it has not slowed down the list of accomplishments. They are too numerous to name right now, but we want to report that vision is coming to pass, and we are all a part! What an amazing life it is, God never disappoints! Blessings all!

Saturday, January 14, 2012


Another great day today in Haiti. The entire orphanage received a fresh coat of paint, minus the ceilings. The floor was scrubbed and the tile sparkles fresh. The fumes were a little intense, painting in Haiti as I have said before is a very different experience. We used an oil based paint so that the walls could be tended with soap and water more effectively. Everyone pulled together and it is done! An amazing accomplishment, and even though the orphanage was nice before, it's fantastic now! We are so pleased with Robinson's leadership and his ability as on orphan himself to be able to give back to his culture this way today in his life. It is nothing short of a miracle. We have a couple more projects we are hoping to finalize, but the pressure is now easing. We have some organization to do for our kids in readiness for them to stay behind in country for 3 months, but they are already settling in and moving with the culture, it's a father's proud day that his children rise to the call of God, and put themselves out in such a fashion. Pray for the success of their journey. We ran into a young girl in her 20's on our way down who was headed for YWAM, we saw her through the airport and got her through the airport routine which can be a fright alone. She was coming for a 2 year commitment, suddenly 3 months seemed a very short time for our kids to be here after all! I love the way God brings perspective in our lives, He must get some really good chuckles in at our expense. I shared with the team this morning a story from yesterday. As we were out getting supplies, we came across a man with a baby in his arms. Robinson addressed him for a few moments and then walked away. As he walked he shook his head, and clicked his teeth. I asked what was wrong, he shared with me a very sad story about this man who had been in his church, who had incredible musical talent, and could play many instruments. He shared how he ministered in a powerful way to the people, and could bring them to dancing with his musical abilities. He shared with me how then the man has left his wife for another woman, had made her pregnant, and then that she had left the baby with him. I was struck with the circumstances, and then Rob told me he had spoken with the man when he first started his wrong behavior, had told him these words, "It seems you can make people dance, but you cannot dance." How true that is, in the entertainment world we have musicians who can sell millions of albums and die in solitude. But even more sad, is that the church has people who week in and out can bring such joy to a crowd, but fail to experience the deep joy of God themselves. I myself have been guilty of this at moments, and the statement gave me pause, the turbulence of our hectic and demanding lifestyles suffers from lack of good spiritual reflection and feeding, we turn on a false demeanor and continue to awe the crowd with a fake face, all the time we are dying inside. Tomorrow I ready to go to the pulpit, and I want to go dancing in my heart, no false pretense. Much of Haiti to me at times is God rooting around my cultural habitual way of doing things, of uprooting shallow behavior, exposing my weakness and giving me a chance to grow with these people even as I lay my hand to the plow to raise up hope and joy for the people of God. I love it when they dance, when you dance, but I want to find myself on the dance floor before God with you. And I don't mean like "So You Thing You can Dance", for I would never even get a number! But the dance of the soul before it's creator, were unbidden before God we relish the joy of His creation and redemption of the heart he has created in you and me! Dance well my friends! The picture here is one I named "Eyes", there are oceans of times and culture and suffering represented, what do you see? Blessings again!

P.S. Please excuse the grammar and punctuation flaws, I have already seen quite a few, but writing through bleary eyes, and ones that are beginning to fail with time shows up in my posting here, I try to go back and correct as much as I can upon my return, but in the interim, you will have to bear with my humanity, as I am too weary to rework things now! :-)

Friday, January 13, 2012


Darkness falls with uncanny speed here. It seems one moment it's light, the next it's dark. And so ends the day. You can't set up lights and keep pounding out the projects. When darkness comes, so does the end of your labor. Well, most labor anyway. Tonight Ray gave the girls a bit of a break by cooking our supper. It was good. You always seem ready to eat something by a meal time. You burn through the calories in trying to stay cool while you work, but you don't stay cool. Paint got purchased for the orphanage, and we are painting it tomorrow. The walls got washed down by four girls, who did a wonderful job for us. The bathroom facility is almost completely wired, it will be finished tomorrow. There will be lights in every one of the rooms, and that will be a huge blessing. The guys did cabinets for the kids for storing their clothes and personal items. We had a great children's service, right at our 500 kids again, such a joy to work with these kids. so many things are happening, but at such slow speeds you wondering for a moment what is being accomplished, but the end of day tally reveals significant gains. Tonight as I take stock, I wish we had more time, but I guess that creates more trips. The other success I can report is that more and more tasks are being taken over by the people, they are so willing to help and work. They still lack skills set with our tools, so there is still a massive equation to solve, but little by little we chisel away at the talent impediments, which in turn sows more hope. As we drove along in the Toyota we just managed to get into Haiti, I was riding in the back on a special hitch hauler and marveled as we transported 14 people in one vehicle! What great things God continue to bring forth! We had such a great time with the orphans today as well. How good it is to report to you they are eating so healthy, well dressed, clean, loved, and growing so well. They have all healed so much, and are so well taken care of, would we could bring this to every child! But God has granted us this much and so we forge ahead, trusting Him for greater and greater things. I posted up some pictures on Facebook tonight, check out the news ticker or my news feed. How much a single little program has changed the world! We have had to deal with some sadness from our homes this trip, and that has dampened spirits a little, but then a child smiles, or a hug is given, and fresh courage emerges. Strength is infused and your journey continues. For those hurting hearts back home tonight we send our love and prayers, even as we feel yours toward us. Of for a refreshing shower and some rest. Blessings from St. Marc.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


One particular and unique part of our Haiti journey is all of the wonderful people we have been blessed to labor alongside of in this quest to bring light into darkness. Both here and those who have travelled with us into this country. The complexity this land brings against all you have grown accustomed too and know is at once staggering and sensational. It will try the core of a man or woman. It will make you know your soul. Parts you will find wanting. Your amour will show tainted, the challenge is presented no matter your place in life, prepare to be exposed! And with all who have come, we have been blessed to witness courage, wisdom, insight, and unexpected delights as people discover their unique ability to interconnect with these amazing Haitians. Everyone possesses skill sets to touch people in our lives, but we often become constrained by insecurities and failed attempts. In Haiti it seems you don't have to worry about failed attempts, because the people keep coming back for more of you. Neil has been another such blessing on this trip. He is non stop joy, his view of life is an amazing rainbow reflecting off rippling waters, and you never quite know what color may show up in any given moment, but it often brings a joyous humor and comic relief at the most opportune times. He has grown more temperate on this journey, has adapted like a chameleon, and has been a champion of being there just when I need him. A real Godsend, and unrelenting in his service to the team, our projects, and making Haitian friends. Because of his life, he is a person who enters this arena ready in a way few are, and I feel deeply he has a choice whether or not to let this journey affect him, more so than perhaps anyone else I have ever brought. He has risen to this occasion with incredible ease, has gained a steadying balance and been a real blessing to our team. I shot a photo of him today with a welder who has done many projects for us here, and who has never had a welding helmet. As we contracted him today for building us another door at the property, Neil presented him with a brand new helmet. It was a priceless moment. As I looked into the eyes of the welder, I could see the damage inflicted by years of exposure to the burning rays. I have watched this man weld holding a broken piece of welding glass, and often seen him weld with nothing for his eyes. Neil cannot fathom on the same level as I the way he change a man's life today, but he did, for in those burned eyes something else showed through today, gracefulness. Uncharted by human hands, unexpected grace at an uncharacteristic moment brought about by a willing heart with a simple vision, to touch a few welders with an incredible gift in this country, a welding helmet. We are grateful for Neil and the addition he is bringing to our team. We will look forward to any trip he decides to join us on, God uses people to touch people, and know tonight that includes you as you read this blog! Take a risk, take a chance, reach out to someone who needs a little hope, they aren't just in foreign countries, they are often right next door. Grab a Neil moment, step out and step up! Be counted, it's not always easy or even immediately rewarding, but your heart will be gratified every time you do God's bidding no matter the outcomes, for you will know deep down you did what was right! Thank God for the Neil's of this world, otherwise it could be a rather boring   place! Thanks for all the encouraging comments, the team has been encouraged and moved by your words of affirmation and assurance of your prayers. Blessings once again tonight.  



Rain came in a downpour last night as we were about to go lights out. We quickly closed down the tent sidewalls to keep the water from getting us wet as it splashed down from the tent top, we moved our beds away from the edge a little and enjoyed the pounding of the rain on the tent top. A few hours later as I paced unable to sleep, the air was purged for a moment of the despair that is Haiti, and it could have passed for one of the fantastic Caribbean Islands, but the dawn broke with the sun, and it burned up the purity of the rainfall in just a couple of hours. I spoke with a man today who came to Haiti to try the fishing business and he shared with me how the devastation that is Haiti has ruined any chance for a fishing industry off it's coast. The amount of garbage that has flowed into the ocean and the coating of dirt from the mountain erosion has destroyed the prospects for the fishing industry for a very long time. The rain last night while something of a refreshment for us was a curse to the ocean life as it was delivered another cargo of debris from a nation that cannot yet account for it's sanitation. My heart wept as we drove past the beautiful water today that bore fresh scaring from the night. I am unable to see the volume of information that flowed today via world wide broadcasts as Haiti remorsefully remembers the horror of this day 2 years ago, but I can tell you from the ground tonight that the pain and scarring are fading, people are adjusting to a new normal, and the struggle to survive continues. I sense gratefulness around me. Last night I was approached by a single mother who came to thank me and our church family back home for providing a roof over her house this summer, my heart soared as I witnessed the deepest level of gratitude in her eyes. I was reminded that the least of these things turns out to be huge to those who have so little, a little metal roof, and children gained safety from nature, a mother gains peace, and hope is born anew! This is a journey into the unknown on so many levels, and I confess severe moments of uncertainty, but doors continue to open, and I have an open door policy with God, if He opens the door, I am to walk through it never knowing quite what may be on the other side except one thing, He (God) is on the other side, no reason to lag behind, for He is on the move, and I want to be where God is moving. He is moving in Haiti tonight, so here we are, trusting, believing, walking His path, enjoying His mercy, practicing our faith in the way He has asked us too! What a ride! The guys finished mending the rest of the benches today less a couple, and almost all have received a new coat of varnish. It will add to their longevity. We keep feeding the crowds, touching the needy, sharing the load, and watching these people grow even as they help us grow too! In the picture above the orphans helped us stuff bags for the children's service and Vladimir just continues to enchant us all in his own unique ways. Blessings always.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Apples of Gold

The dust settles on the first full day in Haiti. I am perched on a chair under our tent and commence to write. The day has been a difficult one for me. I am fighting through a back injury from September, and while my conditions improve, I have a road ahead. It made it difficult to be objective today, but remember, I am traveling with a TEAM, and they did not lose objectivity! Bob, Ray, and Neil went to work on our benches at the church, and tonight 12 of our 30 have been reworked, and revarnished. The team also reorganized the 16 suitcases of goods we brought with us, we checked out another well drilling project, gathered supplies, and Beth held a women's meeting called Apples of Gold with 48 Haitian wives, several who held babies in their arms, and several who where holding babies in their wombs. A good sign that these babies are going to grow up in Christian homes under the influence of faith, God, scripture and love. Beth had a shining moment with the ladies, the material was cross-culture, and when she asked halfway through because it was getting late if they wanted her to stop, she met a resounding NO! Turns out that while there are cultural differences, truth bridges to certain cultural norms that are the same and a path is born for direct ministry into peoples lives, and even with our differences the truth is able to pierce the darkness and the homes of families in a different world are impacted. It was amazing to observe the reactions of the ladies, you could witness the fresh hope born by the smiles on their faces. Even the church leaders who overheard some of the teaching were rejoicing in the sharing of the truth. So while my personal objectivity suffered today, God's did not. Forward momentum gained advantage as we pushed through our first day, and tonight we are encouraged, and unwavering to bring our best to the table in terms of sacrifice, and laying our hands to the plough to accomplish that for which we have been sent forth! May God continue to do what we cannot! Prayer and blessings from St. Marc. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Old News

We are in St. Marc tonight. Traveling today was very smooth. My team, now that was a little different matter. As fate would have it Ray misplaced his keys this morning and after a frantic search, managed to locate them in his fanny pack! That was our disturbing beginning, the airport transaction was the smoothest to date, I seriously feel with the AA bankruptcy that their staff has finally been set to etiquette school. We have never been treated with greater respect. So we made it to PAP and have loaded onto the bus to the baggage terminal when a disturbance starts, it's my son, he has left his iPhone on the plane. So the 300 yard dash commences, father chasing son, security giving us warning looks, but again, God watched over his unnerving mistake, and the plane staff came off the plane with his phone! At 21 he is still adding grey hair to my head. But all that aside, i had some intriguing discussions with folks today. One statement that stirred my deeply was when one man said, "face it, Haiti is old news". He's right you know, we are a culture that demands the sensational, who jump to disaster at fevered pitches, but then the dust settles, and a strange boredom sets in, steady commitment can have lackluster moments, and we jump to 'greener' pastures. The truth is Haiti is not 'old news'. What happens to people here every day is real, tantamount, tragic, and savage, just a mere 2 hours off our blissful shoreline via jet aircraft lies a suffering nation trying to heal, get better, survive, find hope and help. We are grateful in our coming here to be reminded again of the reality 'that is' for these people. As we arrived in the dark, peering out at us were smiles and warmth and love. Callouses melt before the onslaught of embraces, reality comes streaming into pinpoint focus, and 'old news' it turns out isn't so old after all. Generosity finds a foot hold, hope finds a key, and heart doors swing wide open. Mercy flows, grace restores, and we apply our resources and change continues at a steady pace. Let us not forsake our duty! Let us see this journey through, take heart, i come with fresh news! Hope is in the air, new life blossoms and blooms, and in a place of fierce darkness, light fractures and pierces the night through the lives God is changing. Behold, I sit tonight blogging from Robinson's kitchen with a wireless card, I am blown away! I feel the pulse of change, God is moving, He will prevail, I want to be a part of that journey for this nation and these people. They deserve no less! Blessings from St. Marc.

Monday, January 9, 2012


Who would have guessed. We ended up after a struggling start, having the best first day heading to Haiti ever! After Kelly's very special birthday party last week, someone picked up on the fact that he used to LOVE Barney. Many nights we sang the Barney song as we transported him to bed. With some very intense effort, Barney showed up at the Texas Roadhouse for a surprise visit tonight at 7:00pm! You can see from the photo some very delighted and smiling faces. As it turns out, Barney is a chick magnet. As I entered the restaurant I caught one of the young waitresses whispering to another that Barney had just showed up. They invited him in and there must have been every waitress to the tune of about 24 girls between 18-25 standing in the big lobby entrance vying for pictures with Barney! I turned to Kelly and said, now you know how to get a bunch of young ladies together for a selection of dates! lol! Then a entertainer came to the table and told stories while he produced balloon animals and a balloon hat for the new 21 year old (Kelly) at the table. We laughed and ate and were renewed in a most unlikely way. The weight of leaving our kids behind this trip and them realizing this is coming to pass weighs a tad over everything we are dong, and tonight God leveraged some amazing people and circumstances for us! Doing God's work is not easy many times, and has ways of trying us on deep levels in our lives. As I watched Neil and Lauren sharing parting hugs and tears, I was reminded of this again. Nothing in life is certain except the moment you are in. Be in that moment and relish it, recognize God's hand and trust His ways and the blessings will flow! I am grateful tonight as we have all arrived safely in Detroit, enjoying the luxury of the States one more evening before we are assaulted with a very different reality tomorrow. Ray, Deloris, Bob, Neil, Beth, Kelly, Krystle, and myself, 8 people representing a host of caring compassionate God fearing people who seek to send us to make a difference. We thank you for believing in us, for trusting us to go on your behalf, without your support we wouldn't have anything to offer, for while we each have covered our costs for this trip, you have all given us the goods, money, and prayer support to touch these people on the ground in their country, in the midst of their circumstances. We are honored and blessed beyond what mind can conceive! 3:00 am speeds at me so time to rest the keys and hit the sack, morning comes swiftly, and sleep will prove illusive, so off we go. Blessings tonight!

Thursday, January 5, 2012


As we ready for our next trip into Haiti, final preparations are under way. No matter the amount of planning, foresight, organization, and preparation, there is always a crunch as we get to the end and leave. The needs are ever changing, last minute requests to fill, things to gather that you use right up until you leave that have to be transferred into a place for safe keeping while you journey into this foreign land. You prepare to change the way you think, act, and even eat. You ready for physical changes, spiritual changes, emotional changes, and even mental changes. Life is uncertain at best, and now you are going to fly right into the teeth of it all! It is daunting and fierce and enthralling all at once, the seesaw of emotions and faith and circumstances are very challenging to say the least. Missions of mercy are also missions of courage. They test your faith and patience and resolve! So bring it on! This trip brings upon us another unique set of circumstances for this time our kids (young adults now!) are staying behind in Haiti when we leave. They will stay to minister in the church and orphanage and any other capacities they can over the course of three months. Are we ready? When are you ever fully ready for the big moments in life. When are all the loose ends tidy, when do you fully have it all under control? So much submission and humility is part of this journey, so much of trust in God and His faithfulness to meet the needs and provide the way. You need only say you are going to go to Haiti, and the mere mention of it brings about a strike of offensive by the enemy of all that is good, crashing into your life in such force you often wrestle just to breath spiritually, and maintain balance and direction. And so it is, after so many trips now, after having fairly extensive knowledge of what to expect and prepare for, tonight the force of frenzy assaults me, a mere four days to go, and I am wondering how we will tie up all the loose ends, where the money will come from, how it will go on the ground, whose lives are to be impacted and changed? What danger will need to be averted by God's mighty hand, what does He mean to accomplish through my vain little plan, and will I be ready to move when prodded! Beneath this frenzy though a peaceful stream courses through my battered frame, a calm in the midst of the storm, for faith pierces through the thunder of distractions and I am reminded that I need not be in control, but keep submitted to the one who controls all! Destiny lies straight ahead for the obedient, and in this moment I am reminded to fret not, nor give in, but to step forward in faith, and the soul calms, and ready's itself, peace tempers the surface waves, and stillness settles upon the heart, and I lay down beside still waters. And into Haiti we go again! Blessings to all!