Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Oh Jesus!

You are sending me home tomorrow, but Lord, let me never forget all that You have taught me here in this country! Let me never forget the children that bathed in the muddy streets. Let me never forget the smell of the dump, where these people of yours came to eat. Let me never forget the pain this country is enduring Father! Let me never lose my compassion for these people Lord! Never let my spirit grow numb to empathy for my brothers and sisters that struggle to survive everyday. Never let me forget how Your Holy Spirit moved in this place..

Lord, let me never live my life in selfishness, but always be looking towards the needs of other around me. Let me continue to be generous to my brothers and sisters with a joyful heart.. Help me to be more humble, loving, compassionate, joyful, and filled only with pure, holy thoughts! Let my soul, along with my spirit WORSHIP only YOU Father! Remove any idols from my life Jesus! If there is something keeping me from Your heavenly presence, then God, tear it from my life! Lord, I only desire YOU! With every breath I desire to EXTOL Your name to whomever I speak!

God, help me to give grace to those back home, which you have blessed immensely, that ungratefully complain in their ignorance. Help me to give grace to the selfish, to the sloth, to the glutton, to the slanderer, to the proud, to the unloving, and to the Christians who don't live in fear of you God!

God, remain with these Haitian people! Heal them, restore them, touch them, fill them with your joy and PEACE! Give them the strength to endure all the hardships of this rough world. Let their sins be covered in your PERFECT grace JESUS! Teach them to turn away from their dark ways that plague their society and only seek YOU Father!

Father, I pray that my work here would not be in vain, but would plant a seed for MANY to discover your love, and everlasting LIFE! I pray that my words to these people would plant seeds that would grow and bloom into a hunger for more of you FATHER.

With my journey coming to a close and as I step off this island, I will with all sincerity exclaim your POWER, LOVE, GRACE and BEAUTY with a resounding..


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

FOHO and further updates

Hello again, to all my faithful readers!

Now that the technology is working again, I can update you all on what has been happening!

Sunday morning the group of missionaries from Ohio, left for home.. They were an extremely good group of people! Every single one of them was more then willing to do any sort of work and I never heard any of them complain a single time. I had the pleasure of getting to know several of them well.. I had several really cool, deep conversations with a few of them. They quickly accepted me as part of the group, and we all got along, and worked together really well! Even though most of them battled sickness throughout the week, they were always in good spirits, which made for a pleasant week. :)

From left to right.. Pastor Scott, Terry, Shauna, Me, Tony, Pastor Ted, Daniel, Butch, Andy, Lauretta, Jim, Lucian, and some random guy on the street.

On another note, as I have already mentioned I have been helping clear the rubble from the FOHO building that collapsed. This is what the site looked like right after the earthquake...

This is what the site looked like right after the earthquake...

This is what the site looks like now.. What you see here is the garage, and basement of what was a 4 story building.

Here is another angle from on top of the old FOHO building.

This is the old FOHO building which stood next to the 4 story building.. It lasted the earthquake, but will be demolished due to structural damage.

Tonight God has laid on my heart a burden of compassion. As I write, in this moment there are people right outside this house which I am staying, that are living in tents lined all along the street.

Here I am...



I am equipped with everything I need right here, all the while there they are trying to sleep under a tarp with a dirt floor and water running through their tent... How this fair? Simply because I was born in the US, I am given a life full of everything I want, whereas they have almost nothing.

I pray so fervently that God will bring good from this poverty!

On a more positive note, I had the pleasure of handing out some of our extra ready-to-eat meals to one of the families that live down the road from Me and Larry. Between the last two teams of Missionaries, we were left with more meals then we knew what to do with.. I know that our contribution is extremely minute against the starvation in Haiti, however generosity is contagious and I pray that each Haitian will excel further to look after his brother.

As my trip is winding down to a close, I am constantly reminding myself to live in the moment and soak up every sight, sound, smell and memory. I am continually reminding myself to appreciate every person I am in contact with; for I don't know if I will see any of these people again... But I hope that again I may be blessed enough to return to this country.

Lots of love!


Saturday, July 24, 2010

My heart exposed


So I have been meditating all day about what I would like to write in my blog tonight, and I have been bouncing ideas around in my head unceasingly. I was asked to share more of my heart on how God is speaking to me while I am here, and what sorts of things I have been taught while in this crazy/beautiful/ugly/ amazing/depressing/uplifting/poor/rich-country...

I honestly don't think there are any words to truly describe in full my experiences here. I could show a million pictures, describe every detail, and explain how God is moving, but I truly don't think anyone that has never been here can fully understand what it is like to BE HERE, and to first hand experience Gods presence among the people.

To be fully honest, I don't even know where to begin to try and express my heart.. I almost dread coming back to the States and feeling the pressure to talk about Haiti, and explain as best as I can a whole month of the most intense, life changing experience in my life up to date. But nonetheless I know that part of the reason God sent me here was so that I can spread news about the poverty and pain here, but also the complete overwhelming spiritual warfare here, and how Gods presence is in the air so thick that He naturally rubs off on you.

I have a hard time pointing to one specific area that God has changed me, because I feel like as a whole person He has matured my mind, and progressed my spirit closer to Him. I really am starting to feel like I have been here years, and have grown up here.. Even though I only have been here for the blink of an eye. I feel like I have put away many of my childish ways, and God has replaced them with better ways...

On the other hand, I fear talking about what God is doing in my heart publicly for the fear that I will be judged when I return..

"He doesn't seem any different to ME!"

"Now look, he is returning to the person he was before his trip!"

"Everything he wrote in his blog was fake, and he never genuinely was effected by anything.."

These are the judgments that I am afraid of, cause I know, whether the surface shows it or not, that I am permanently changed in my spirit. I know that God has taught me SO MUCH through conversations with the people here, as well as just time alone with Him, where his whispers are so beautiful.

I know that being here has made me MUCH more accepting of people where they are at in their walk with God, and life. I have been known to be very much a "my way is best, and if you don't agree with me that is because you are wrong!" mentality.. But living in a culture so very different from my own, and meeting people that are both similar and opposite from me has shown me that we are ALL deeply loved equally by God, and regardless of culture or walk in life we are apart of one big family, whether we act like it or not. True fellowship, community, and love is what makes the gospel attractive, not screaming into a bullhorn on a street corner, or telling everyone that you have it all together and they need to be like you.

As the body of Christ we need to draw together and truly treat each other like FAMILY... Time is too valuable to waste arguing amongst ourselves! How can my body EVER do anything constructive if one limb fights the other? If my hand attempted to strangle my throat, how could my lungs breath life into my body? We have one purpose and ONE goal, as being apart of Our Fathers' body; this is to simply love the WHOLE WORLD, without any sort of conditions or dress code, and without and distinction between gender, race, and culture....

Here I go sounding like a hippie don't I?

Well anyways, there is a small bit of my heart for tonight..

I love you guys!


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Work projects and courage

Hey everybody!

So I figured it was about time that I update you all on what I have been doing, and how all the work projects down here are going..

Those of you that have been following me closely know that the first few weeks here, I was working with the missionaries from Ransomville, New York, on a school called petite place cazeau.. We all worked together laying brick, welding windows and doors together, painting, and putting a roof on the place.. At last, on tuesday we finished the project!

This is what the site looked like in the middle of May...

..And here is the finished project!

As of right now this building will be used as both a school and a church, until next to it another building can be constructed.

Also, yesterday me and some of the missionaries from from Ohio finished repairing the damaged wall in the Childcare building. It was a lot of work, but after finally bolting the two steel beams on either side of the cracked wall, the damage seemed very secure.

Today, most of us spent the whole day working on building a wall around a school that is down the street from where we are staying.. Me and Pastor Scott from Ohio worked together most of the day. He is a really nice guy, and definitely a pleasure to work with. It was the first time I have laid brick, but I learned how to spread mortar and level the bricks pretty quickly.

I hope to post some pictures in the future, but technology hasn't been cooperating lately..

Reacently I have become friends with a Haitian named Willson.. He doesn't speak hardly any english at all, but for some reason he has taken a liking to me. :) The last few evenings after work he has waved me over to sit around and talk with him and his family.. We do a pretty good job of communicating. Between all his family members and himself they can pick up basic things that I say in english.. Yesterday evening was definitely the most entertaining! I taught him and his family english and they taught me a little creole. Already we have had many conversations about Jesus, politics, and personal beliefs. These people certainly aren't afraid to speak their mind. I find that to be a trait I respect immensely! I find that too many Americans are afraid to be transparent about their beliefs for fear of offending someone, or being disagreed with. This reminds me of a few verses that have been on my mind lately...

"But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him. But We are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but those who believe and are SAVED." Hebrews 10:38-39

"Be on your guard; stand firm in faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love." 1 Corinthians 16:13-14

Finally I would like to thank ALL of you guys again for all the prayers and support, there are so many awesome things God is doing here, I am just honored to be apart of it all! I believe in places like Haiti, where life is hard, where people are hurting, where the society is broken, and where there shouldn't be any hope at all, is when God shows his presence even brighter, and changes lives and hearts. God really does work all things together for good. You better believe it!

Lots of love!


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Restavek Crisis

Picture this.

You are we were born in the countryside among a small rural community in the country of Haiti.

As a small child you remember that you had a large family of 8 to 13 siblings.

Your family was extremely poor and though your parents loved you they knew they could not take care of even your most basic needs.

A distant relative who lived in Port Au Prince, approached your parents and promised them that you would be well fed, educated, and clothed in their care.

So your parents agreed to release you to them, for hope of a future and better life for you...

You arrived at your new home as a small child of 3 or 4 years old and quickly realized that everything promised to your parents was a lie.

Your "caretakers" forced you to work from dawn to dusk around the house.

You cooked, you cleaned and you took care of the dirtiest chores even as a child when you could barely understand what was happening.

As other children who grew up in the same house went to school, you stayed home, and were never educated, and sometimes never fed.

Often, the people you lived with would abuse you both sexually and violently.

You worked hard throughout the day in fear of your host family beating you with a whip if you didn't complete your chores well enough.

You lived off of food scraps from the rest of the household, and you were kept under the family table at night to sleep.

Until you turned 15 you were kept as a slave, and at that age you legally must be paid for your labor, so the family that kept you throughout your childhood now must set you free on the street.

You were left in the city, on your own without any possessions.
Any education.
Any job.
Any connections to anybody...

Guess what?

There are an estimated 300,000 children in Haiti RIGHT NOW that are being raised like this. They are called restaveks. Child slaves who have no rights, and are often treated like animals or property. Once they finally escape their dark childhood they are then faced with an adulthood filled with no hope of a successful job or any escape from poverty due to never having been educated.

This is the reality of Haiti right now.. With the unemployment rate at such high levels across the country, families are forced to give up their kids to a richer family. However there are no laws which strictly enforce any kind of humane treatment to these kids. The government is ashamed of these cases, so it is shoved under the rug and never dealt with.

However there are organizations such as the Restavec Freedom Foundation, which are fighting this epidemic! Here is a link to their website:

..On Sunday the whole group of missionaries, Larry and Me all took the day off and visited Wahoo beach resort. While me and the missionary Lucian were sitting on the beach, we had the pleasure to meet a woman who was apart of one of these restavek relief organizations. I listened as she told us of her passion for these kids, and how big a crisis this has become for Haiti!

In conclusion, I just want to ask all of you again to step up. Please pray for these beautiful children who suffer far greater then most of us can imagine. For the next 10 days I would like to ask all of you to devote 15 minutes of your day, set aside from all distractions and noise, to completely devote your attention to praying for these kids.. As brothers and sisters in Christ we need to bring the light of Jesus into a dark world, so lets take action and cry out to the One who CAN change and heal Haiti.

"Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Matthew 19:14

Lots of love!


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Good company.

Hey again y'all!

Our internet works again! The internet here has been down for several days, so for all my avid readers I hope to be posting a blog every day that the wifi here will allow. :)

Except for today, I have continued working in the FOHO building rubble this week. I have made a few friends with the Haitian workers. Since several of them speak english decently I have had many deep conversations about bible doctrine, politics and just just life in general. Though they are all very strong Christian men, many of them have a very different view of the world then I do, but nonetheless it is always interesting to understand different viewpoints and beliefs that might not fully correspond completely with my world-view. And that is okay, because I find that it is more important that in order to reflect Christ to the people around us that we don't get caught up in the little details that ultimately don't matter. 2 Timothy 2:23-24 goes into detail about this. Check it out.

This is Eric, Pierre, Me, and Jean. These three men grew up in an orphanage, and had the opportunity to go to college. Jean graduated from seminary and is looking to become a pastor here. Pierre wants to continue his education by moving to Canada, where he can go for his masters degree in science. Eric is probably one of the most good humored men here, he is always making people laugh. He graduated from bible school, and now wants to go back to school to study music.

Saturday evening Me, Larry and the Missionaries from Ohio all took another sightseeing trip through town, and up the mountain overlooking Port Au Prince. On the way back down the mountain it started POURING rain! And obviously since we were all in the back of the truck we all got soaked. I think that was the first time I have been cold in Haiti. Hehe! But as soon as it started raining everyone started laughing, and we all had a good time even though we were all soaked and cold. Good company is always important to making what could be a bad memory, a good one! =)

Here is Me and Larry on the overlook above Port Au Prince.

I will continue to pray for all you guys! I pray that God is ever present in your lives, always teaching, blessing, and healing you guys.

Lots of love!


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Preval and work in the rubble.

Here is a brief lesson on some of the Politics here in Haiti..

Today all over the city of Port Au Prince there was what is called a "manifestation" which slowed traffic in many areas considerably. My understanding is that it was organized to protest their current president Preval. Among the graffiti in the city, which is nearly on every building, you often will see "aba Preval" painted on the wall. While Dinecia was here, she explained to me that this means something along the lines of "Preval we don't like you". I am not sure how harsh this rebuke is intended, but nonetheless it is written seemingly everywhere, to show Haiti's ever growing distaste for its leader.. When I spoke to the Haitian, Emery a while back he mentioned their leader Preval. He said a lot of people don't like him because he is a known alcoholic. But he said many other people don't like him because his political stance is ever-changing depending on who he is talking to..

To give you all an idea how much the general public dislikes their leader, he is already due to complete his term in office in January, but the purpose of todays protest/parade was to get him out of office early.

I decided today that I would like to work right alongside another group of Haitian workers,(whom were also hired FOHO)to help cleanup of the "new" FOHO building which collapsed in the earthquake. The building stood 4 stories tall and was just completed only a few years ago. It stood next to the "old" FOHO building, which still stands intact. Anyways, it was a little confusing at first working with a group of guys that you don't understand but I adapted as best as I could. They had me cutting the re-bar on the cement support columns, smashing cement with a sledgehammer, as well as shoveling the rubble into a dump truck. It is certainly a sobering thought to be amidst the rubble where four good people gave their lives for the Lord.

I eventually discovered that two of the Haitians spoke decent English, and have even been to Michigan on occasion. The wrest of the men communicated to me through hand motions and facial gestures. I learned that several of the men were in college and studying to become pastors. Everyone in the group had high spirits and were often making each other laugh. They were also very accepting and respectful to me. One man even told me that I did good work and that I was like Samson! Haha!

I will try to post more pictures of everything for you guys in the future.

Thank you all for the millionth time for all your continued prayers and support! I appreciate every last bit of it. But more then me, pray for the missionaries who just arrived. Pray for the Haitian workers. Pray for the poor and the homeless in this country. And pray that lives will be brought to the kingdom because of the work that is being done here, since that should be every Christian's ultimate goal!

Lots of love!