Wednesday, September 29, 2010

It must be raining all over the world

I’ve seen numerous Facebook status updates from different parts of the country describing ominous weather. I could add my own “ominous weather” report. Its raining. A lot. I have clothes on the line (under the cover of the back porch) that have been hanging since Saturday afternoon. They are wetter now than they were when I first hung them. I was asked today by if I liked the rain. I responded that I liked rain but when it rained like this, life stopped. They laughed and said yes, in Haiti rain like this can “kanpe lavi”. Basic translation: It can stop life in its tracks.

Friday wind and torrential rain swept across the country. In Port au Prince branches and limbs were down, tarps and tents were destroyed, and according to reports, five people lost their lives. In Cayes it also started raining on Friday and its been pouring almost non stop since Sunday.

Rain can damage crops, destroy livestock, erode foundations, and even take human life. Its easy to understand the physical damage that rain can cause but here are some other things to think about. What about the livestock that isn’t destroyed, the gardens that aren’t damaged? Who can tend to their needs? How can they harvest their daily portion? In a place so dependent on the daily buying and selling and trading of goods and services, what happens when the market can’t open and the vendors can’t sell? So many people don’t have much in the way of clothing, so when they get wet, what do they change into? And if they need to do laundry, how do they get it to dry?

Its not just the big things like hurricanes and earthquakes that make life so difficult. In a place where its difficult enough to survive on a good day, days and days of rain just make life hard. Plain and simple. Hard. So as you pray for Haiti and its people, remember those who have suffered loss. But also remember those who are still standing. Pray for their protection. Pray for their strength. Pray that God in His grace and mercy would meet their needs and fill in the “potholes” a few days of rain have left behind.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Scales have fallen off their eyes

What has their involvement with their Sister Church meant to North Hills Community Church?

“Scales have fallen off our eyes. We see things very differently, we’re changed. …I would recommend this to any church, almost as a requirement, that you need to come to Haiti.” Pastor Keith Abbott, North Hills Community Church, Austin, TX.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Right tools for the job

Rob & donated rope croppedRope: Thanks to 2 supporters, Rob Thompson in Haiti, now has the right tools for the job. 600’ of rope, who would have thought?! [What are they for? To tie down luggage, supplies, coolers, equipment, and much more as we travel to and from the capital, outback to Sister Churches, delivering food aid, taking wall panels and equipment to housing sites for Homes for Haiti and much, much more!]

Evaluation and Strategic Planning: August 24-26 RMI’s First Annual Strategic Planning Meetings took place in Ft. Myers. In attendance were the RMI staff, Dan & Debbie Shoemaker, Kim Rose, Kent Commons and Herb & Shirley Shoemaker, RMI missionaries Amy Long, Rob Thompson and Gary & Marilyn McLaughlin and RMI’s Haitian Administrator, Benjamin Altema.

C Kim Rose cropped

D Rob Benjamin adjusted

H Dan Debbie adjusted

F Marilyn Amy adjusted

E Gary adjusted

A Herb Shirley adjustedUsing his background in human resources and as a manager, Kim led the 3 day meetings in first learning how to effectively evaluate a system or program then in careful evaluation of each of RMI’s programs and centers of operations. It provided a thorough look at how we are doing, where we are now, where we want to be in future, what needs to change or be improved and how we can implement that change. There was a lot of brainstorming, discussion, laughter, and open sharing. We were able to gain the perspective of the office administration, the field missionary perspective, the Haitian perspective and the Haitian staff perspective.

It gave us tools and a solid foundation from which to work as we work to improve our systems, programs and operations. We also found that we enjoyed these days of working as a team, with real one-ness of mind. Don’t be surprised if you see changes here and there in the coming months…as they say, “pardon our dust as we make improvements to better serve you”!

9’ X 12’ Double Sided Screen: One of the tools used to hold an open air service. The Jesus Film or another evangelistic film in French is shown with an intermission of testimonies and a sermon.

Faithful National Staff, a Drill and a Pair of Gloves: All and more needed for building quality homes of displaced families.

tool time daniel and gabytools11


The results?

Key to my new home[14]

Keys to his new home! No more living under a piece of tin. Priceless!

Vehicles: To carry a team across the river to their Sister Church.

les angle river crossing1


And to get the wall and roof panels to the worksite to build a home.

Dedicated Staff: We couldn’t do it without them!

Staff - adjusted

It isn’t all of them – there are more faithful missionaries & national staff!

Facilities: Another vital tool!! RMI’s Retreat Center on the Caribbean, looking at the hotel section.

RC Hotel cropped

View #2 – looking out from the main building. What a special place to rest, debrief, regroup and reflect.Greencastle Otterbein Church August 2010 023

The RMI Guesthouse in Cayes.

Greencastle Otterbein Church August 2010 167

Tools come in many forms, but having the right tools is essential for getting the job done. Pray with us as we seek to get the job done with what He has given us!