Thursday, November 13, 2014


Recently God has come through big in two distinct matters in my personal life. Delays that have been years in coming arrived. The measure of it I cannot fully comprehend, and perhaps never fully will. It was a surreal stretch of time in my life the last few weeks, still is a bit surreal. We are sitting at the gate in Chicago, our flight delayed due to the maintenance crew on board our plane doing a repair. It reminds me again God’s delays are often due to ongoing repairs. The healing of any culture or system of Government, and more precisely the people involved, often takes much longer than anticipated. We like broken stuff fixed immediately. We press God and others when its not moving at our pace. We hate the “in due season” clause. We think the season is now. We vent our frustration, and voice our displeasure. We claim God is deaf, that the heavens are brass, that God has forsaken us. We forget about the fact that God is also concerned about the process, that He is working all the time to heal the most important of broken things, our hearts, and the hearts of those around us. Our journey into Haiti has been really quite short compared to much many have done before us and are invested in now. Fourteen trips later though, we have seen progress in our seasons of travel. We have also seen things that appear to be going backward. Young men  and women who we have helped and ministered to, struggling to find footing in a desolate culture. Trying to find a place in a world that is fast leaving them behind. Have you ever pondered being able to see the world from a darkened, locked closet, and wonder if ever the lock will be removed, and if it is, what you had dared to dream would have passed you by. These kids have access to a key hole called the cell phone and Facebook, they are seeing things the generations before have not been able to witness in a brand new and very real way, via pictures, real time video, and friends communicating from that other universe beyond their locked closets. It’s one thing to conjure a reality from the spoken word of stories, it’s something different when you can see it in full color. Several are not dealing with the delays well at all. They are trying to get out of the closet on their own. And they are not handling the current status of their lives in the desolation zone well. The same could be said of our culture now as well. But the battle lines on the two fronts are completely different. The iPhone 6 slo-mo camera lens captures the reality of Haiti in incredible detail. The delays are often God’s slo-mo camera lens on our lives, giving us a chance to review, to take note, to absorb what we are missing at full speed. However, we often spend the time stewing and complaining. If it has taught me anything, Haiti has taught me to be very careful about what you do with the delays. Soon enough we are in the air, in the meantime, I wrote this blog, looking at pictures and pondering, peering deeply into what the camera lens captured that at first glance I missed. So I leave you with this, don’t begrudge the delays, they are a God send, don’t hold your breath because they will likely be longer than you would like, and seize the moment, it will pass soon enough, and you’ll likely regret your angst and press as you discover the God plan behind it all. This I continue to learn, albeit slowly at times. Blessings to all!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


Here is another one of those gripping photographic moments. The stark reality of a life lived in a world that is hard to understand or comprehend. The eyes, the face, the swollen belly, this is very typical of the mountain children we see. It's morning and he is fairly clean compared to what he will be soon! I am not sure what he gazes at, the children are often caught with a vacant stare, and one can only wonder at their thoughts. But I know from Rob's personal stories that they are often too hungry and thirsty to be able to cry anymore. Crying is wasted energy that only increases the hunger pains.


We are officially on our way home. This day was truly in Haitian form. The bus arrived but it turns out the driver was a little shifty. We had used him before, however since then things have apparently changed. We had to stop twice for gas, and then we had to stop at a security checkpoint and it turned out he was delinquent on his papers. True to his great feature set in his country, Robinson resolved the crisis, and we proceeded on our way. A trip that normally takes an hour and a half took us three hours. Rob was so disgusted with the driver he paid him and sent him back without him. He took a taxi to the bus station and is headed home on public transportation. I was pretty disgusted myself. Because we always figure to be at the airport three hours early, we made it in plenty of time. But we arrived at our gate later than we ever have. Now climbing up through the sky, enjoying the cool air falling on me, the stickiness of the last few days is drying and I'm trying to condition myself for the cold I will face tomorrow. By Friday morning I will be working outside again in conditions radically different than here. It's amazing how the body adjusts to the radical changes it gets subject too. And that brings me to my pondering thought. We see a lot of country between our run from St. Marc to Port. You see all kinds of sights and smell all kinds of smells. Not all is bad, but the good is swallowed whole by the vast amount of desolation. I watched as we passed a group of school children heading home up through a rugged country side, I wonder how they do it day after day. If ever people had a reason to choose an early exit, these surely would be at the top. But instead they are survivors. We learned our little Guerline (pictured in March between Krystle and Emma) endured a terrible and tragic death at the hands of the Typhoid Fever. She had a burn on her stomach that was so bad the pain drove her out of her mind before she succumbed to death. At first glance one declares God unfair, cruel, and unjust to let such a thing happen to such a sweet and gentle spirit, she was Krystle's age, she was part of an ongoing tragic loss we have suffered through in our Haiti work, and we lost her this summer. But our loss is only momentary, we sowed the seed and today I trust like our mission here this time, her young life was long enough, and her fiery death gave way to a place of peace, security, and love without end. God's plan and timing are impeccable, and each life, wherever that life is planted on this realm of our reality, whether it's the U.S. or Haiti, He is accomplishing great good, even in spite of the genuine evil that exists. Up here the sky is all the same at 36,000 feet. One day we will all discover the justice and mercy of God was shared equally among men, even when we are convinced sometimes here his judgement is impaired. I spoke from the amazing passage of scripture Sunday that is John 3:16. At 50 years old it is becoming a new rallying point for me. Loaded with theology, and redemption for all, I understand God is working all things for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose on an even greater plateau. My weeks in Haiti are not easy for me, I go because I am sent, I love the people, but the Island has a very harsh edge to it. God continues to thrust me out of my comfort zone, I follow His bidding. As I slip along the jet stream, as I flew to a people I loved a few days ago, I fly along now back to a people I love. It's a checks and balance thing for me, pursuing the will of God to rescue and save that which is lost. No regrets. Leave behind no regrets. Live and love your life in God, bask in what you have rich or poor materially, for we are rich in soul, something my Haitians have taught me well. My soul, and those who have travelled with us this trip have been stirred and moved once again as we have labored in the whitened harvest field, sowing faith, and hope, and love, I believe these are the indestructible things that will outlast time itself. So the road of time makes a bend ahead, I cannot see which way it goes, but I am confident in our Captain. I am certain of this journey. I am securely in the palm of God's hand. Blessings from the homeward flight path.


At what moment do you know it’s enough? On a journey like this, where you barrel along and there are never ending tasks to do, and improvements to make, how do you know? When the last drop of paint is used and it finishes the final wall, it’s a pretty good indication that your close. 38 gallons of paint on the walls! No sprayer, just good old fashioned rollers and brushes. Hour by hour, sweltering heat and all, we made it. One cabinet wrecked in the move, fixed. One closet for dresses, a linen closet for the bathroom, cleaning and organizing throughout, upholstery repair on a chair, love seat, and couch. Kitchen sink installed and working, shelving throughout the house to the tune of 34 to be exact. Pictures hung, Birthday celebration, 70 hotdogs later, and 8 bikes made for a very happy kid zone at the orphanage. The day started out blistering hot, the night was too, but the morning brought drenching humidity. However, you talk about home make over, this was it. It was a wrenching evening as the good-byes brought dreaded sorrowing emotions. One of the blessings was that we spent hours every day with the kids. There was an endless flow of activity, it’s not the place to come if you covet clean and quiet atmosphere’s. The difficulty the first couple of days is the psychological impact of the culture and weather, and at the end, its the challenge of the good-byes that sting and probe you to the depths of your being. There were lots of tears, as harsh reality drew it’s sword and severed our physical connection. There will be a few more in the morning, and then we will be on our way home. We finished well, I’m glad to report. And there are a lot of great things happening. At our children’s service yesterday in Desdunes, we had a totally different response to the David and Goliath story. It was because the kids had never heard the story before. It was one of those moments where you are seized with gratitude that such an opportunity came your way. 250 delightful children showed and the drama went off perfectly. For tonight, the rain has brought a temporary stall in the heat, so I am going to stitch this closed and try to get some rest. Tomorrow will be a day of travel, and I will be loading pics up to the blog as we hit the data stream in Miami. Thank you again for the words of encouragement, it helped us tonight in a dreaded place. Good night to all, and final blessings from St. Marc.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


We are up and heading into the final push of our final day. The countdown in on! It's going to be a special day for the orphans as Beth's dream of getting them bikes has become a reality. She has diligently prayed in the $50 a bike for a long time, it was amazing how God provided right at the wire. The final money arrived the day before we left, and she had given up hope that it would happen this trip! Never underestimate how much God cares about the little things. Ray, Bob, and Deloris are off to get organized for the day, the rest will follow in a bit. I loaded up some photos last night and began my own decompressing. So much gets stuffed inside you on these trips and it takes a while for it to begin it's outward flow. But as I scanned through our photos from just one camera last night this is another show stopping moment, frozen in time to be revisited, to remind us what this is all about. Painting walls, building buildings, feeding the masses, buying the bikes, distributing clothing, giving fresh water... it's all about the people, it's all about the relationships, it's all about God at work in His creation to rescue, to save, to deliver on His own terms. I stare at a photo like this and ponder this little life, starvation has etched it's deadly brush strokes into her frame, what is her chance of survival? What kind of life will she live, will she ever leave the mountain? What has this momentary connection accomplished? Perhaps a thread of hope woven into her delicate heart will grow, and seed planted will find good soil, and this tender soul will race without abandon to her Creator, and what had appeared to be a purposeless life, God will show to us one day, and reprimand us for having such little faith, and such a darkened understanding of His ways. So I leave you with that thought for this day, the pondering of my heart as I lay my hands to the final tasks we will do this trip. Pray we finish well, that we have enough strength, that we serve without abandon, caring not for ourselves but only the mission we have been sent to do! God bless you this incredible day He has gifted each of us with!

Monday, November 10, 2014


There are countless moments like these in Haiti that turn your understanding of the universe on it's side. Where is your child tonight? This little girl was alone, and on a mission. A life far to serious for a smile for the camera. This is a little mountain girl, I don't know her name. We gave her a package of fruit chews for letting us snap her photo. This is a common sight in Haiti, but not a common sight to me. I pray against the day I can view this image with unseeing eyes and an unfeeling heart. She never moved when the car stopped and Brandon jumped out to get her picture, she stood and stared at us like a wild animal, but she is not! Here is a life God created and loved, a heart tender and yet hard. Toughened by starvation and pestilence, there is a unique gift here in this small package. We touched this life today, only God knows the reason why. We touched over 250 children today as we performed our David and Goliath story in a church in Desdunes. The pastor was kind enough to let us use his facility for our outreach. Once again your team was in form and performed splendidly! It was a very busy day, some good, some difficult, but overall, another great day in Haiti. Our trip comes to a close in less than 24 hours. It has been silver lined all the way. I am struggling to get posts up, but I am making it up for you by getting a picture up. Enjoy, and blessings to all back home!

Sunday, November 9, 2014


How do you say tired in English? Wait… I guess this is in English! Lee took off in Creole in her introduction at the service this morning and the Haitians went wild. After teaching Creole in the Sates for the last 8 weeks, I could tell Claudy, who was translating for us, was proud as punch of his student! The humidity went off the charts today! We started out our Sunday morning way too early. The blog I wrote last night finished at about 12:40 am. I had just fallen asleep when the generator quit at 1:21 am. I realized that team Captain Robinson after having been up all night for the long night prayer service, having not slept in over 40 hours was not going to awaken to put in more gas. The rain I mentioned in the last blog had the effect of raising the humidity so high the Haitians are complaining! I knew there would be no sleep until the generator was running again. After filling the tank and getting back to bed, sleep decided I was no longer a likely candidate. Somewhere around 3:00 am I must have drifted off. We scampered around to get ready and headed to church. Kelly had been hit with something that put him down for the day, but he went with us and laid in the American bathroom on the shower floor. Everyone really basked in the worship time with the Haitian Christians. It’s a very powerful and moving experience. I know I have shared this before, but this church has see real fire, it has stayed the course, and the commitment to pray is nothing like I have witnessed in my lifetime. A mother came forward and shared a story how God had spared her son in a car accident. Her emotion and gratitude were palpable, and she made clear no one was to get the glory but God! We spent the afternoon with some resting, and some cleaning and organizing in the boys Orphanage room, and Rob, Claudy, and I ran errands. We met at Claudy’s church with his pastor and a couple of board members to scope out another project at his own church. It was a great meeting of kindred hearts, and we are looking at ways to offer help. We had a little paint project to tend to in order to be able to complete the steps Wednesday morning before we head home. We will do the final coat of paint on Tuesday, but the changes today had more than the house glowing, it has the Orphans and our staff in utter delight. Smiles couldn’t be removed. Tomorrow is travel day, we go to pass out candy and re-enact the David and Goliath story on the dusty streets of Desdunes. It promises to be another great day in Haiti. It’s rather hard to believe we are closing out day 5 already. I must confess I made a discovery today that tore at my heart more than any trip into Haiti in a very long time. I am not sure what to do about it, and I have to be careful on this blog, but pray for God to intervene, and pray His will is done. We wrapped out the evening giving the orphans their new cloths, and what an experience that was. Our newest little one name Begoson was all about trying on his new clothes and tennis shoes. We are grateful to be able to stand along beside this work and support. So many out there have contributed, and tonight on behalf of the people of Haiti, we say thank you. It’s time to close, blessings this Sunday evening!


It’s late, but an update is deserving. It’s been a very busy day on the ground here. The flow of activity, and the demands of painting and organizing a house only half moved into has had it’s challenges to say the least. But the change is immense. Naromie climbing the stair case as I was wrapping up for the night exclaimed,  “Woy, belle!” Translated in English, that means, “Wow, beautiful!” Talk about a picker-upper! That in itself made it all worth while. But there is so much more. We had 6 doors installed, a major roof patch done, a large ceiling area built in and covered, a closet built and 10 rooms painted. We still have a second coat to finish on some of it Tuesday, but we hit the home stretch today. Walls were washed, cabinets cleaned, shelving installed, electrical throughout the house repaired and replaced, a new water delivery system installed, a kitchen sink and cabinet will be done Monday, pest control will hit the place Monday, more shelving will be done in the kitchen area, we are moving and shaking! More from weariness tonight. The project manager/ painter/ preacher/ blogger/ pastor is wondering what is next! The ‘Orphanage House’ as Rob calls it, is literally glowing inside. The essentials for living in the new house had been done, but it was not up to our specifications, and really not theirs either,but moving here is no different than home. I asked Rob for something today, and he said; “brother, since we moved, there are a lot of things I have not seen, and don’t know where to even look.” Hopefully that will get easier now as we have sorting areas being prepared and new organizational shelving and storage getting into place. You can be PROUD of this rocking team that has joined us for this endeavor. I have been stuck with a paint brush in my hand and done most of the wheeling and dealing with it there as well. The boys have been the gophers, Ray and Bob the Holy “Rollers”,the young girls have been quite the kitchen masters running all the meals including preparation. The ladies have been the cleaning queens! Lee has been stuck doing all the cutting in with me. We have fed more people on this trip than we have for years. At least 35-40 every time, every meal it feels like the story of the loaves and fishes, you wonder if you will have enough, but we always do. The BIG house is a huge people magnet. Rob’s old house, left behind with the remainder of a contract on it until April has become a home for several displaced young men in the church, it’s such a huge blessing. Our young sound man and drummer are among those now with a roof over their heads. There are so many God angles here this trip, it’s a little hard for me to get my head around it all. One man I care about deeply, a gifted and talented man with 3 kids and a brand new baby, worked for me on our second day. I paid him $20.00 American, I called him back later to do some more work for me and he couldn't come because he was in the countryside buying rice. He took my money and ran for food! He has had no work, and its been really tough. Shifting thoughts and on a different note, I have to share a quick story from the children’s service yesterday. Lee Grant put together a great little play act including a cast of characters from the David and Goliath story (AKA Haiti team members)! Ray acted the part of Goliath, and wow, what an act he put on. As Lee got to the part of the story where David (AKA Krystle) ran toward him swinging the slingshot, and the giant was hit on the forehead (meaningfully acted out by Ray) and he slowly fell to the ground, the place went wild as 500 Haitian children cheered. I could tell by the looks in the teams eyes no one expected that reaction. In America the kids would have been laughing too hard to appreciate the meaning of the story, but stripped of the media, and starving for insight, these kids ate the story up! It was another priceless moment in Haiti. Passing out the candy was a struggle this time, but that reaction more than compensated for the struggle. Tomorrow service starts at 6:00 am. I will likely be done with my message before most are out of bed! Tonight the young people decompressed by playing the rain. Not sure what the neighborhood felt about the laughter and hysteria taking place by the Americans in the dark, in the rain. Haitians hate the rain like some Northern Michigander’s hate the snow! But it provided some great stress relief, and the sound of their joy made my heart happy. I leave you with this, God is faithful and true! He does what He says, and it’s a marvelous journey! Thanks to all for your wonderful comments and encouragement, the team has deeply appreciated it. Blessings from St. Marc!

Friday, November 7, 2014


A few of us sit here in the midst of the long night service. A long day of painting was followed by children’s service at 3:30 pm, and then we set up a new sound board and did some training. We came back tonight to oversee the first run of the system, and it is working great. A thousand voices in a-cappella drowns away the frustrations of the day. It empowers, and renews the spirit. These committed people are going to pray the night away. A praying church is a growing church, and this church is growing! Tonights topic was the third week in a study on faith. My adopted sister’s brother was teaching, and I was astounded. He began with a song and his deep voice carried over the PA system to the hungry faces of the congregation who in rapt attention began to sing with him. The harmony of their spirits is a most compelling and convicting symphony of worship. Then he commenced quoting scripture by memory for about 15 minutes straight. As Rob sat translating, and I watched the faces of the crowd, I marveled they could actually sit for teaching at 9:30 at night. They are packed in so tight, their legs and bodies literally intertwine. I think if someone jumped upright, ten other people would probably fall over. Beth and Lee stationed themselves on the stairs, and it was so packed that every time someone went up or down Beth had to stand. She said it was like musical chairs for the hour and a half we were there. There are really no words that can describe the long night service setting. The needs of these poor people are so great, the only hope they have is in God. At least their vision and understanding is clear. I still struggle with the fog of prosperity, and while I am fully aware of the financial needs represented in our country and the terrible struggle of many, I am also aware that the recourses we have are much more promising than anything these dear people will ever realize in their lifetimes. But they have riches we know nothing of, and they are of the spiritual kind. I would feel squeamish in trying to preach to them about faith. For goodness sake, I am harboring snacks in my tent, 10 inches from my knee, what kind of faith does that take. A little boy who had not come into children’s service attempted to force his way through the gate as the children were being dismissed and hastened out and home. I had to be very firm with this young violater to keep him from entering and stealing from another child. After the dust settled and the kids where gone, he showed back up, and I had to recognize his bravery. In spite of my stern reprimands to keep him at bay, he showed up by my side 30 minutes later begging for something. I remembered I had a couple snacks in my backpack, so I made haste and got him a couple. It was as if I had given him a hundred dollar bill. He was so grateful, I and felt bad for all those who didn’t make it into the Childrens’ service. We cared for 500 kids, and it was a taxing job this time around. So now I’m back the house, the day is done, and my eyelids are refusing cooperation to stay open and focused.  We gave everything we had covered with one coat of paint a second coat, and tomorrow, some of that will get a third coat. Time to rest for tonight. Greetings and blessings from St. Marc!

Thursday, November 6, 2014


I mentioned in my earlier blog about grabbing a paint brush. In Haiti, there is not good, better, or best paint. There is only awful! We are applying something they call oil-based paint. It’s runny, thin as melted butter, and the ‘off white’ covers about like a see through sealer. 14 gallons went on walls today. The second coat tomorrow should maximize our efforts of today. The green color in two rooms though is refusing to hide behind the light color we are laying over it. But as I was testing a second coat in the boys room tonight a couple of the orphan boys came in and stood behind me to watch Pastor paint. They ooh’ed and ahh’ed as they watch the wall transform from dingy green to a very clean ‘off white’ and I was re-energized for the task at hand. We will likely spend most of this trip with paint brushes and rollers in hand, the payoff is the delighted looks on the faces of the children and Naromie as the improvements are so drastic. We are washing the walls before we paint, so there isn’t anything by way of a dull moment, there are lots of nasty discoveries! Sometimes we have to take a break, the heat is hard to bear following the cold that is settling back home. We had a pump system installed to move water up to the tank on the roof, the mason came and did a roof patch as well as finishing the stairs that had to be resurfaced. The carpentry starts tomorrow, we have several doors to hang and shelving to build and install. By tomorrow night the entire downstairs should be sealed with the first coat of paint, and the rooms done today should be finished with their second coat. The Mission house was a bit of a trick to arrange last night, but tonight has been a smooth transition. This is an amazing gift to the team, and the space here has a very homey feel. There is some good de-compressing going on tonight, and Chrissyanne had a little Haitian food for those adventurous palate’s. It was tasty. One of her specialties is the ‘rice cake’, and it will be ready Saturday. It takes several days to make, I actually sent money ahead to have her get started. Saturday will be a delicious day! Deloris had a great devotional at noon, and we were inspired and spurred by challenging words. We are so dependent on renewal, the circumstances are so draining, and we push hard. We are grateful for the prayer support and comments that also keep us close to home in our hearts. It adds great joy in the difficult moments. The young girls are stepping up, they are proving to be great cooks! Taylor, this trips ‘newbie’ is doing very well, and actually declared she slept better here last night than she does at home. I think she was just trying to make me feel good. Day two is now closing its doors, and archiving to the history banks, it was a good day, and we are grateful for the opportunity to serve this culture. It’s time to pause the keys and get some sleep, thanks for the prayers and support. May God bless you all!


Morning has come! We are all more rested this morning. The generator quit at about 4:38 am and the house went quiet, the air went still, and the heat wrapped me like a way too warm electric blanket. In the stillness I heard some rustling, and team captain Rob was up and putting gas in the tank, in a few moments, the generator purred to life, and the fans took off, and in the drone I drifted back to sleep for a bit. By the time we got downstairs house cleaning was fully underway. Each person here at the mission house seems to have a designated task. And they work so hard. I watched as one of the young girls collected a chair, and reached high above a doorway, felt around and came down with a bag of soap, she used a left over piece of plastic from a cornbread muffin bag from our flight into Haiti to put a few finger pinches onto it, and then to go and mix somewhere for some sort of cleaning. Did I mention nothing is wasted here. (I caught them going through our trash last night, recycle here means something different than in our country.) I know it’s a tiny detail, and obscure to most, but I marvel and am enthralled at the difficulties  that these people are subject to and take on with such a graceful ease in their existence. It makes we wonder how I ever get off griping and complaining about anything in my life. I type away on a speedy Macbook Air, hooked up to a battery powered internet router, while people around me scrub clothes, and floors and pans with their bare hands because they have no washing machines, dish washers, or clothes dryers. Strip away technology and life is quickly reduced to something radically different. My trips into Haiti are a safe guard against the callouses that are our culture. We get demanding about what is right and fair, and to a point, there is nothing wrong with that. Here though, you can make your demands, but they fall on deaf ears. A rigid, and course, and cruel climate scoff at you, its derisive face contorts and the Caribbean Island that at one point perhaps glowed with such promise, has become a tomb for the dreams of many. As we drive and walk the streets, I allow the pain of these people to tear at my heart, to rip at the callouses, to bare the raw flesh of my existence. To truly empathize there is nothing like getting in another person’s shoes, but be prepared, they don’t come close to fitting, and these that I wear now feel like wooden clogs to my being. Clumsy, uncomfortable, heavy, and very, very rigid. Already the pain is doing it’s healing, the exposure is purging, the antiseptic of denial while burning, also sterilizes the wounds the pulled callouses leave behind. It’s time to grab a paint brush and improve the wall color, the orphans are loving their new arrangements here. I think they feel safer, and the space is much more functional for everyone. The facility handles people well, we feel blessed to have located such a place for the dollars we had to invest. The air flow is fantastic upstairs and downstairs, it keeps the house so much more functional as a dwelling. So I leave you again for now, be blessed this incredible day!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


TSA. Need I say any more. We arrived to a security line backed up way too far for the early morning. 10 people decided not to show up for work. On the same day? Really? They figured out they had a problem with the Port Au Prince flight and created a separate line. That didn't fix much as half the plane was in line! Lest you were wondering, the whole team made it, but our plan from last night crumpled in the security line. You could feel the steam and frustration. It's the testing that goes with this journey. Travel in the states is no problem (compared to Haiti travel), because where we are headed the alternatives drop like bricks. It's time to pull up the steel britches. You have to get in a place of total surrender, and often we get these divine pricks to test our readiness. As we flew along, over the public announcement system in the airplane comes the news that we are now being charged $10.00 per passport for a tourist entry fee. Like I'm here for the tourism! I get that all the time, people saying oh so your going to Haiti for vacation. Right! When you leave here you need a vacation. The one plus is that we were just a very short line at the passport entry point. We were through passport control in a matter of just a couple of minutes. The airport extravaganza has changed considerably over the last year or so, and Claudy's brother was there to see us through customs once we found a lost carry-on, there is just no such thing as smooth sailing in Haiti. But the trip through customs today was as worry free an encounter as I have ever had! It was a little like crossing the Red Sea on dry ground! The waves parted, and customs agents walled up around us, and we crossed through with a friendly wave. We bussed our way up through the greenest countryside I have witnessed in my 14 trips, the air was pretty cool, there was a lot of chatter as we tried to catch up on all the happenings of the last few months. And then we arrived. At first survey, it is incredible what has developed. The new orphanage and house for Rob's family is really suitable. It's much cooler than the old location, and much more space. The team set to unpacking and organizing all our goods and food for the week, an inventory of projects for while we are here were set in motion, and we have had tons of hugs and fun with the orphans. Did I mention they are on school break this week! It should prove to be a very special time with them. Weariness has settled upon us all tonight. We are readying dinner, and then will shut things down for the night. The first day always has a surreal lag to it. Time stutter steps along as the heat and the exhaustion of the travel lays siege to the human constitution. So it's time to call quits to this blog for tonight. The brain has begun to refuse to function with any great clarity. More to come tomorrow! Blessings from St. Marc.  

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


Finally, sitting at the gate! I have left this poor blog vacant for so long. No excuses, just a very blinding pace for several months. So much has happened. Some good, some unsettling. The last few weeks have been consumed with Creole classes and packing preparations. The rush to the finish line of this trip has been one extraordinary run! But God’s faithfulness is and continues to be a marvel and joy to us. We arrived at the airport this morning a few minutes late but the team was already firing on all cylinders. Ray was checking baggage, Brandon was the muscle, and we just flowed right into the process. We had one extra bag to check today at the steep price of $150.00. The AA ticket counter personal were wonderful to work with and on the final bag she announced she was waving the fee! I was shell shocked. The airlines have never given me anything. Finances have been tight and one of the prayers I have been praying is that we would have enough on this trip to accomplish what we are too accomplish. I have learned it’s in the little things God comes through the biggest sometimes, and this was one of those incredible moments that I brushed up once more against the divine sleeve of God. I’m glad in my rushing I have maintained awareness of the presence of His gentle and watchful care. Sometimes I wonder at the pace, I wish to pull back the reigns, to slow to a more casual gait. But as I sit and ponder now climbing up through the clouds, pressing our way south to the land of the impoverished,
I am reminded that soon enough I will no longer be up to the rush. My eyes will weary of seeing as the decay of time lays claim. My body will surrender to the force of gravity that pulls and drags each day. I refuse to be morbid, but I also refuse to not be real. That is why on days like these I also refuse to begrudge the rush. The alternative is…well…morbid! How’s that for perspective! We also have to be careful sometimes that it is us doing the rushing and not God. He is never in a hurry, is never late, nor early, He is always on time, always ready, always has His plan. Some perhaps will argue that rushing is in large part due to poor planning, and that can be partially true. But God equips all differently, some are geared for rushing because they can. And God loves to push us to our limits and beyond. So I’m a runner, and while I sometimes get out of breath, I love the racing! Not all I travel with are this way, and together we will make a great team, some are the home run hitters, some are great base runners, some are great coaches, some are great equipment tenders, some are good at stat entry. We have it all, and today, we begin the journey of another great God adventure to His field called Haiti. Claudy after teaching Creole classes for 2 months is going home with us. He has provided such an amazing gift in language training for 26 American students the last few weeks. I think he is happy to be returning home, especially now that winters chill has bit him a couple of times. His brother who works in customs is going to meet us in Port and see us out of the airport. This is also another great and timely gift. We will not have to pause at customs, nor have any worries about the difficulties that we have encountered there over the years. In doing some calculating, this is now my fourteenth trip, and I would be remiss not to ponder the faithfulness of God and be humbled.
In moments like these I am pushed to the sitting position, forced to a different awareness, to a calmer state of mind. I am forced from the drivers seat, the pilot takes over, and I’m along for the ride. A gentle reminder that I’m always along for the ride of life. I love these moments of awareness. And so D-day has come, we are under way, and covet your prayers for every step we take, every hug we share, every project we embrace. On a different note, I think I have the cell phone comment posting problem resolved. I worked with Alisa this morning, changed a setting and ran a couple of tests, and it looks like it worked. I do moderate the comments because I have the blog fully open for posting to keep it simple for all who are not tech savvy! So if there is a delay in your comment going up, it is simply due to the moderation process and when I get internet to check in. Blessings to all!