Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Our Haitian Staff Needs YOUR Help!

Would you please consider a monthly gift to directly help our Haitian Staff?

Our desire is to give our staff a raise, as well as add a few more team members.  We can't do this without help. Can you help!

We need to raise an additional $4500/monthly.  We're just getting started, but so far, we've raised just over 8%.  We have a ways to go.

Maybe you've been here and have appreciated our Haitian staff?  They are the backbone of our ministry.

Can you help?  Click below to donate monthly, or with a special gift.  Choose "Haitian Staff".

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Benjamin Altema: A Promotion to be Celebrated!

Benjamin Altema
Director of Field Operations
We are proud to share with RMI's followers and supporters that Benjamin Altema has been promoted from Field Administrator in Haiti, to the position of Director of Field Operations. Benjamin will directly report to Rob Thompson, Field Director, and the rest of the team (missionaries and Haitian staff) will now report directly to Benjamin.

Benjamin came to work with RMI as an administrative assistant in 2006 and his gifts of leadership and administration were evident in a very short time. Anyone who knows Benjamin and has worked with him over the years, knows that he is a Godly man of integrity and leadership. He has been a blessing to our American missionaries, Haitian staff, and our team members who have had opportunity to work with him over the last twelve years.

Benjamin has been married to his beautiful wife, Lucette, for seven years and they have four handsome sons; Jason and Jaden are six years old, Alan is five years old, and Ezechias is two years old.

Benjamin is thankful to be working in the environment of a great team here at RMI. He says, "My team makes me look good." He has stated that his position with RMI gives him "opportunity to influence the people I'm working with, and to transform more lives and build God's Kingdom through them."

We would ask you to keep Benjamin and his family in prayer as he transitions to this new position of leadership on the RMI team.  

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Two Stories of God at Work in Haiti

food and gospel given to tattoo guy feb. 2017RMI’s ministry is labor intensive.  Quite a bit goes into working in the field for the Lord.  The seed is planted.  It is faithfully watered.  And then comes the harvest.  [See the parable of the sower in Matthew 13.]  This principle was clearly seen and experienced by 2 different teams and one C3 partner church as God used each one of them in a different part of the process.  Early last year a team from Walloon Lake, MI went to visit their C3 partner church but were unable to reach the church due to political issues in the area.  So the RMI team took them to the Cote de Fer area.  While there, they delivered food to needy families, sharing the gospel at each home. 

On one particular visit they shared the food aid and the message of salvation with a young man who had just lost his leg as a result of being shot by the police.  [First picture]  food and gospel given to tattoo guy oct. 2017, man savedThis young gangster and his family listened as the seed was planted.  Afterwards, he and his friends were quick to say that they weren’t interested in accepting Christ.  After the team left, the pastor and the congregation ministered to him, and faithfully watered the seed.  In October, the Cote de Fer church received the first visit from their new official US C3 partner church from Ft. Myers, FL.  This Florida team spent time in yard to yard evangelism. The national pastor took them to see this same young man and his family.   [Second picture]  After sharing the gospel, he made the decision to accept the Lord!  Pray for Markenson as he cuts ties with the gang and grows in his faith in the Lord.  There’s no question that it is worth the effort!

Christian son, voodoo father 1In January 2017, a team from Lifehouse Church (Delaware) wanted to come to Haiti and simply serve God in whatever way they could.  RMI missionary, Lee Nunemaker was with them during their week in-country.  He shared that they visited the home of a young man, who was faithful in his service to God, and his family.  They gave them a box of food.  After talking with him for a while they realized that his father, Saint Clair (nicknamed “Ti Mayi” - little corn), in the green shirt,  was not a believer.  In fact, he was very involved in practicing voodoo.  He told them that he feels it is his responsibility to pay back his debts to the evil spirits on behalf of his family.  They shared the Truth with him, prayed for him, and left.  It broke his son’s heart that he knew his father would not spend eternity with him, if something would happen to his dad. 

Then in May or June of 2017, Lee had some vegetable seeds donated in his name that he needed to distribute. Perguens and Lee felt the need to take the seeds to this family.  They showed up, unannounced with a bag of seeds in hand.  Once again, they shared the message of the Gospel with him.  Then they went to see his fields where the seeds would be planted.  This is where God comes in. . . They noticed the field was already plowed.  When they inquired as to why, they said they plowed the fields, but didn’t have money to plant them.  When asked how much of the field the seeds would plant, they opened the bag, and after consideration, they said it would be perfect to do the entire field.  The other amazing thing is that when the guys were loading the seeds, they felt they should give him all the same seed instead of mixing it up.  And they felt like they should add an extra scoop.  God was working. . . .   They reminded them that this is the God that his son serves.  He knows your needs and provides for those needs in advance!  Again, they prayed for him.  Christian son, voodoo father 2But this time, he said he felt God tugging at his heart. 

This January, the team that came down to serve God in 2017, Lifehouse Church, who had become an official C3 Partner church was at their Sister Church for their first official team visit.  While they were there Perguens informed them that Ti Mayi, in the orange shirt,  willingly went to the special services the church had over the Christmas season.   As of today. . . we are told that he has been attending the church regularly for the last month or so!  Still not a believer, still has not accepted Christ, but God is at work!!  Please pray with us for his salvation.

Monday, February 05, 2018

Cross-Cultural Friendships

When you look at this picture, what do you see?  We see the joy of friendship.  It’s the pure delight and joy of 2 friends who haven’t seen each other for a year.  They do not speak the same language; they live over 2,100 miles, as the crow flies, apart – in fact, they don’t even live on the same continent and aren’t from the same culture.  Yet they have been friends for 4 years.reunion between old friends

Melanie is from Loomis, Nebraska and Madame Maxell is from Policard, Haiti.  They when Melanie’s church went to visit her Sister Church for the first time and put on a skit for the women’s group.  Each team member from the US church danced with one lady from the Haitian church and she happened to be paired up with Madame Maxell.  They’ve been friends ever since. 

Melanie shared, “I have been down to Haiti four times, three times to my Sister Church. I met her the first time we were down. Then her husband’s last name was Berendt. And last year when we were there she told me that he had passed away. This time when we went I found out she has been remarried.”  Upholding each other and praying for each other throughout these kinds of life’s ups and downs is a part of the types of relationships that are developed as a result of being in a C3 Partnership.

They are experiencing the oneness of the body of Christ.  The expression “brothers and sisters in Christ” really comes alive in the C3 Partnership Program.  This is what it is all about.  Developing relationships that endure through the years, relationships that weather storms, that bears one another’s burdens and prays faithfully for one another truly helps us exhibit Christlikeness.

If you are interested in life-changing relationships, consider an ongoing cross-cultural partnership with a church in Haiti.  Please contact us at info@rmibridge.org

If you are already a part of a C3 Partnership, could you share the program and your experiences with your friends and family?  There are so many churches who are desirous of hands-on ministry that will effect real change, but they don’t know where to go for it.  We need your help in getting the word out about RMI’s unique ministry.  We can equip you with materials and information to do that.  Contact us at info@rmibridge.org or call RMI at 239-368-8390.

Our staff are also happy to come talk to your church leaders or your contact from another church!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant

Corail pastor 2It is with a heavy heart that we share the passing of one of our C3 Partner church pastors.  Yesterday, Jan. 17, 2018, Corail pastor Jean Claude Audoul was riding his motorcycle in Les Cayes, near the mission center, when a a bicyclist turned into his path.  He was able to swerve to miss him, however, he was thrown from his motorcycle into the path of an oncoming vehicle, and was struck and killed.  He leaves behind his wife and five children.  [The family picture was taken in 2012.]

New Pastor and Family, “Audoul Jean Claude”

He had served in the Corail church for approximately 6 years.  He had a dynamic ministry and was well liked by his congregation as well as respected in the community.  This comes as a terrible shock to his family and the congregation.

corail pastor 3The RMI staff will be making a visit to the Corail church and Pastor Audoul’s wife and children this week.

Pray for his wife and family as they grieve and begin to live life without him.  Pray for the church as they grieve and seek to fill the void he has left in the leadership of the church. 

Pictured at left with Pastor Audoul is Daniel Whiteman, the C3 Coordinator for Corail’s US C3 church partner, Hollywood Community Church, Hollywood, FL.

Dan shared, “We have lost a good friend, but know that he was greeted in heaven with the words, ‘Well done my good and faithful servant!’”

Friday, January 05, 2018

Record Breaking Ministry Impact Report

It has been a record breaking year for RMI.  Through your support and financial partnership with us we have been able to have a significant and life transforming impact in Southern Haiti.

The following is just a sample of what has been going on this past year.

C3 Partnerships
RMI Haitian Staff facilitated 40 team trips - the highest number of teams in one year ever
Our Haitian Partner churches and RMI teams registered over 520 salvations
Many hurricane damaged roofs were either repaired or replaced.  This includes churches, schools, parsonages and homes.

163 water filters were distributed improving the health of  those families and their neighbors
963 goats were distributed to provide sources of income for those families
3 new C3 partnerships and 2 new associate partnerships were begun

Hope for Kidz & School Education
2,366 children are now sponsored through Hope for Kidz
5,700 children received a daily hot lunch
16,796 children’s health were improved through the Hope for Kidz de-worming program

Haiti Operations Team
Processed 15 food containers - - that is 310 tons of food (which is 18,260 boxes of food - each one of which were handled at least 3 times - or 3,944,160 meals)
6 new Haitian employees were hired covering areas such as partnership facilitator, Hope for Kidz, mechanics and guard duty
Maintained 12 vehicles and 7 motorcycles to keep the ministry up and running
Acquired 4 “new-to-us” vehicles to augment our aging fleet

5 new missionaries: Joslynn Stakes and Janae Stork are teachers at the missionary children’s school and have been there since late August; Dawn Shoemaker will be going in March; Jeff and Christina Speel are on target to go in September; and Jim and April Starkey are just starting to raise their support, hoping to go in 2019.


Who are RMI’s “boots on the ground”?  Who is on the front lines, carrying out all these ministries?  These folks.  They are leaders, translators, guards, cooks, do cleaning and laundry, mechanics, chauffeurs, data entry, teachers, “go-fers”, IT specialists, gardners, agronomists, veterinarian techs, menu planners, purchasers, and photographers.  They are multi-taskers and multi-talented servants of God.


collage of people

In December, RMI held an appreciation fun day for the entire staff.  It was full of festivities and included a great dinner – that they didn’t have to cook or serve themselves.  RMI president, Dan Shoemaker, RMI Board member, John Peterson, and RMI US employee, John Miner were able to be there to share with the staff and affirm each of them in their service to our Lord and to RMI.  They are the ones actually making ministry happen for their own people.  The day included a giant game of Jenga and multiple drawings for gifts that the US staff brought with them.  You can see all of the pictures from that day HERE.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy 213th Birthday, Haiti!

There are many ways to bring in the New Year. Each country has their traditions and within each country, each family has their own way of celebrating. For Americans, the New Year frequently involves a party or gathering and fireworks...lots and lots of fireworks.

For Haitians, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day has an entirely different meaning. Jan. 1 is their Independence Day. Their preparations would have begun yesterday by going to the market to gather the ingredients, the meat (usually chicken, beef or goat), the many veggies (Haitian pumpkin-more like a squash than an American pumpkin, carrots, onions, garlic, cabbage, leeks, potatoes, root veggies like yanm and patat, parsley, celery, parsnip, turnips and others), spices (salt, pepper, scotch bonnet peppers, nutmeg to name a few) and the noodles.

370742The meat will be marinated for several hours and the cooking will begin tonight. Preparing it will be a family affair with everyone pitching in. Families will gather and spend a fun evening and night together as the giant pot of soup cooks.

When it is done, about 3, 4 or 5 a.m., they will all sit down and "drink" their soup. {In Creole you don't EAT soup, you DRINK it.} There is great symbolism in being able drink this pumpkin soup. [We actually call it "Independence Stew".]

As slaves in the 1700's, they prepared this delicacy for their French masters but they were not allowed to have any themselves. After they revolted and declared their independence on Jan. 1, 1804,, they made the soup and relished being able to drink it. Thus, drinking pumpkin soup, or soup joumou (pronounced joo-moo), symbolizes their freedom.

A Miami Herald article expresses it well. "For Haitians, this aromatic meal steeped both in tradition and vegetables is as much about celebrating the future as it is about paying homage to the past. New Year’s Day also happens to be Haiti’s Independence Day, which took place 213 years ago on Jan. 1, 1804."  You can read the rest of the article HERE.