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

RMI USA
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.

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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.

DSC_0504

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.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

One Last Word

2017Only 1 1/2 days left in this year. It's hard to imagine but this year is almost over. Would you prayerfully consider making a year-end tax-deductible donation to RMI's ministry? Help us end the year with a boost that enables us to continue to transform lives through partnerships, food aid, child sponsorships, water filters, homes, goats, and so much more! Give a boost to one of RMI's missionaries and appointees! Or perhaps give a boost to RMI operations. Your donation can make a difference. You can give online HERE.


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

A Haitian Christmas Tradition

fanal - christmas lantern type house google 300 x 300A Haitian Christmas tradition are the "fanals". Fanals are miniature, lantern-like homes that are part of Haiti's Christmas tradition. A candle placed inside illuminates the fragile craft and creates a stained-glass effect. The size of either a shoe box or as small as a camera, fanals are often placed in windows to light the way. Many fanals emulate Haiti's yesteryear -- chiefly, the gingerbread homes, an architectural style prevalent in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The Creole word “fanal” meaning a ‘beacon’ such as a lighthouse beacon or a ‘lantern’ like an old railroad lantern has been applied to the cardboard and colored tissue paper luminaries made by Haitian artists at Christmas. These creations are so striking and memorable that they have more or less taken over the word "fanal". These are most often seen and sold in Port-au-Prince.

fanal google 1772 x 915

Some fanals are simple small houses, while others are larger and more elaborate houses like the one in the picture above.



fanal of national monument

Some are replicas of specific Haitian monuments like this one.  This monument is located in downtown Port-au-Prince not far from the National Palace.



fanal of national palace


This fanal is an elborate replica of the National Palace (before the 2010 earthquake).



fanal vendor google 300 x 294

This is a fanal artist selling his creations.  He’s created some in the form of houses and some in the form of churches.


Fanals are a fun, festive part of a Haitian Christmas.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

The Angels are singing

The angels are rejoicing and singing.  Why?  Because 57 people recently gave their lives to Christ in an open air service in Dame Marie, Haiti.  Because 57 people’s lives were transformed that night. 

PB121474Pastor Guy Glass of Myakka City, FL was in Dame Marie with his church, Bethany Baptist Church, visiting their C3 partner church.  Each time they visit they hold an open air service in the town square for the people of the community, but this time the deacons took them to an entirely new area.  The service drew quite a crowd.  Pastor Guy shared his sermon through an RMI staff translator, sharing the plan of salvation at the end.  As he prepared to give the invitation, he turned to the visiting team and asked them to pray.  At first it seemed like no one was going to respond.  Then one man came forward.  Then another.  A couple more people came forward, then several more and by the end of time, 57 people had come forward to give their lives to Christ. 

PB121449Pastor Guy and the team shared that it was an amazing time – and how overwhelmed they were at the response!  God answered their prayers in a big way.

It was especially encouraging that the next day 54 of those 57 people who came forward showed up at the church to begin their follow-up and discipleship classes.  These folks were serious about their commitments!  And the deacons of the church got right to work.

We at RMI are humbled and excited to be a part of the big picture of transforming lives in Haiti…. lives in Haiti and lives of people on teams. 

One team member recently shared…

“Throughout the trip, teams members and others often asked me if I would come back to Haiti. My answer was always the same: "Ask me when the trip is over." During our time there, I was fairly certain that I would never, and I mean NEVER, do this again. But in retrospect, I realize that God, through moments of great joy and great heartbreak that we all witnessed, changed my heart and my head while in Haiti. I cannot deny the blessings that God has poured out on me since coming home, and I KNOW it is because I did what He wanted me to do. In short, I will definitely be back.”

It’s very special to be a part of God’s work.

Monday, December 04, 2017

Deworming through Hope for Kidz!

The Hope for Kidz (HFKz) Deworming Initiative is one of my favorite times of the year!  It's may be just a small part of our HFKz child sponsorship program, but it has a huge impact. A small portion of the sponsorship funds covers this program. The exciting part is that it doesn't just effect the individual sponsored child, but we are able to treat every child in every HFKz school. We hope and pray that this enables all the students at each school to have improved health and therefore be better equipped to learn! This year, we've been able to include 15,365 people in this program!


Intestinal worms is always an ongoing health issue here in Haiti, yet prevention training and treatment is not complicated! Kids who have intestinal worms generally have poor nutrition (as the worms rob them of any vitamins they ingest), malaise and weakness, chronic cough, lack of focus and concentration and overall poor health. You can imagine how this affects a child's ability to learn and thrive in a school setting!

This past week, we hosted all the HFKz school directors at our office for a general HFKz meeting as well as the annual training and medication distribution for the deworming program. We give them educational materials that teach worm prevention (through good hygiene) and ask that each class receive this training each year. In addition, each student and teacher receives a yearly pill that eradicates any infection they may have. We teach each school director how to run a distribution clinic and they are all required to keep a record of each student who receives medication each year. Each school director is sent home with the medication and supplies necessary to ensure each child at each school is treated.

Worm prevention education and one pill a year doesn't sound like much, but it has a huge impact in a child's life and overall health, leading to a child who has an increased ability to learn. If you sponsor a child through the Hope for Kidz program, thank you for your part in this program that not only affects your sponsored child's health, but the health of all kids in his/her school.

To us, that's a win-win!

Becky
Hope For Kidz Liaison