Thursday, March 31, 2011

Aksyon de Gras: A Time to Give Thanks

Jules Gedna invited the RMI missionaries to a special service at his church. The service was called Aksyon de Grace. Literally translated it means action of grace; more figuratively it means a service of thanksgiving. The service was being held to celebrate his healing and his return to Haiti. Sunday, March 27, most of the missionary staff, Benjamin, and our visitors Joel and Laura Sutton took the steep, bumpy road out into the countryside to take part in the day. We were honored to be part of such a special service. There were groups from some of the district churches who sang, some of Jules pastoral associates read passages of thanksgiving from the Psalms, and many friends and even his mother and aunt were present to share in the special day.

Jules greeting the church and giving thanks to God for his healing.jules celebrating

It was a great day of fellowship and thanksgiving and it was really special to see Jules being honored and God’s graciousness being celebrated!

Here is a small portion of scripture that was read:
Psalm 116: 1-7
I love the LORD, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live. The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came over me; I was overcome by distress and sorrow. Then I called on the name of the LORD: “LORD, save me!” The LORD is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. The LORD protects the unwary; when I was brought low, he saved me. Return to your rest, my soul, for the LORD has been good to you.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Two More Homes Ready to Go!

Just this afternoon our national Homes for Haiti staff loaded up the truck and headed off to Port au Prince to install two more homes.

Here they are in the depot yard loading the truck:P3280001


And here is the truck all loaded up and ready to go!P3280004

Wilfrid and his team will arrive in Port later this evening and will begin putting the homes up tomorrow and Thursday. Please pray for the guys as they travel to Port and over the next two days as they work on site.

Its so exciting to know that in just a few days two more families will have a place to call home!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Posts from Fred

Grace Lutheran Church member, Fred Feiertag, recently took a Homes for Haiti team to Haiti (his 4th team in the last 9 months!). Some pictures of the team working can be seen on the March 16th blog post.

The team of 3 men spent a week doing essential preparatory work for the next 24 houses to be built. These homes are larger than what has been built up to this point, (they are 16’ X 20’) and new “jigs” or “fixtures” had to be built so subsequent homes could be quickly and efficiently assembled. God knew that each man was key. It was definitely a God appointed team. Each one was an engineer – real problem solvers. The week was full of challenges, struggles and collective scratching of heads in frustration, but in the end, they got every fixture finished and even started one of the homes before they left.

While Fred was there, he was able to post updates on Facebook. [Times have changed, haven’t they?! Cell phones, laptops, and internet in Haiti….simply amazing!] We thought you’d enjoy reading how the week went from his perspective.
Saturday, the day before departure: Packed. At least all the stuff that I didn't forget to pack. Exciting discoveries await our arrival. Port Au Prince are you ready?
Sunday: In Miami airport. The clock says 6:24AM. Doesn't feel like it.
Sunday a.m.: Waiting for the mechanic. . .Airplane is full but an air conditioner unit doesn't want to go to Haiti. We are patient.
Sunday a.m.: On the ground in Port au Prince. Loong delay in MIA. Sunny in the 80's. Battery done.
Sunday p.m.: We have arrived at the guest house near Les Cayes in southern Haiti. It is about 9:30 PM and we have been traveling since around noon on Saturday. Despite many improvements getting here can still be a challenge. I'm sitting outdoors typing under a velvet black star strewn sky. The sounds of barking dogs and critics dominate. All is well except I can't get may phone to work. Tomorrow the real job starts.
Monday a.m.: Good Morning from Haiti. We slept like stones and are slowly starting to stir. It is a spectacular morning. The roosters and cows say so!
Monday a.m.: We are still stunned by the sights we saw yesterday in Port Au Prince. The fresh devastation in Japan makes it all the more stark. The vast tent encampments are now over a year old and only small and very haphazard are gone. We have come to Haiti to help change that. Our challenges are right here, right now
Monday evening: We had a good first day. Almost finished a new roof panel fixture that will build roof panels for the small and large house. It includes the porch roof into the panel. It is built to allow the large panel to be broken into two more manageable sub panels. It took a bunch of design and effort, but it looks like it will work
Tuesday evening: Tuesday and it must be time for more fixtures. Team 4 is still alive and working. We were successful in making the first panels for the larger house. The work moved to making a fixture for the end wall. Very complicated, by sunset we were about 75% done, and 100% tired and dirty.

Wednesday evening: Wednesday has come and gone. More progress to report. The new fixtures are done. All the panels for a new larger house have been made. The Haitian workers have made panels in the new fixtures and know how to do more. Many details yet to do, but the big test is tomorrow. Will they fit together on the foundation as a new house? Stay tuned.

Thursday evening: Team 4 report. It has been a very challenging day. One injury that took time to deal with and a string of technical details to keep us jumping. But in the end it was a big YES.

Thursday evening: Team 4 continued. Yes we could carry the parts to the work site and set up the walls. Yes the two part roof could be raised and rejoined. Yes, the bigger house can be built. The Haitian crew did much of the work and we helped deal with new things. By the end of the day the house was nearly finished.

Thursday evening: Team 4 some more. Was it easy? NO! Should we have come? YES!

Fred, Fred & Brian, Grace HfH trip March 2011

RMI missionary, Gary McLaughlin, had this to say on his Facebook: Good day as we put up most of one new home 16' X 20'. Should finish it in the morning after I take the three amigos from Grace and the Roses to the Cance airport for their return trip to the US. The team did a great job making the fixtures and putting the house up today with our Haitian staff. THANKS Fred, Fred and Brian. Please come back again.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Pastor Dorval visits the RMI Office

Friends and Family of Dry Creek Bible Church,

Recently, Pastor Dorval dropped by the RMI Office in Cayes to pick up the gift your church sent.
la colline donation
Here he is with RMI Field Director, Rob Thompson.  You can see by Pastor Dorval’s smile that he was excited about the gift and grateful for what you do to support your Sister Church in La Colline!

Stay tuned for reports on what the church is doing with the money and how you can continue to pray for them.

Thank you for all you do to support RMI and the Sister Church Program.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Day in the Life of RMI

Today, like most every other day on the field, RMI was hard at work.

Here are some images from the depot yard just this morning!

At one end of the depot yard:

The Grace Homes for Haiti team is here and working on assembling some new panels for the new set of houses to be installed. They have set out the tools and the plans for the project:


Here they work on some new fixtures which are being measured and assembled.

fred f measuring

the fixtures

Fred Carrying a panel


gary looking

And at the other end of the depot yard:

RMI mechanics are hard at work repairing and installing parts on the red truck

red truck4


and working on Becky’s 4wheeler.

vanel and ti jean

Later in the afternoon there was a meeting with the leadership team and Kim down at the Thompson’s House:

On the roof of their depot:

Kim makes his point, using a stand in white board (legal pad) and marker (ink pen). In Haiti, that’s what you call ‘degaje’ing it, which roughly translated means “making do” or
“rolling with it and making it work”

kim white board

benjamin benson and marie

rob marilyn and gary

(Those not pictured: Becky, Pastor Jean and Amy)

Today was a busy day and much was accomplished. Looking forward to the activities tomorrow holds on store!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Missionary Retreat 2011

The Missionary Community, Pastor Joe Novenson (the speaker), and Barb and Friends (the group who lead the children’s program) together at Kaliko Beach for the 2011 Missionary Retreat.

Kaliko Beach is a resort about two hours north of Port au Prince. It is a beautiful location set right on the Caribbean Ocean where we spent Thursday afternoon, Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning. We had bible teaching sessions each day (one each on Thursday and Sunday and two each on the full days) and we had afternoons free to explore the area, rest in air conditioned rooms, play in the beautiful pool or swim in the gorgeous blue Caribbean. Some of us toured an old sugar mill that had lots of interesting historical artifacts and relics left from its days as a mill and another group took a boat ride out to an island and went snorkeling. Saturday evening we had a talent show and saw a lot of fun performances. On several evenings some of the group stayed up on into the early hours of the morning playing games. It was a great time getting to know one another as a community, building new friendships and strengthening others. It so many ways it was a refreshing weekend for all who attended.

You can view a few pictures from the hotels website here. Its in French but if you click around on many of the other pages you can also catch glimpses of the facility, food, and other activities.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

How do you say that?

How do you say “happy” in Creole? Or “garden”? How about “encourage”?

RMI’s Orientation Training Materials includes the Pimsleur Creole study course, which teams use to study Creole before they visit their Sister Church…but once they get there, they frequently wish they had a small dictionary in hand to help them out in everyday conversations. We now have something that will help!

Creole dictionary 2

Measuring 4” X 6”, this little dictionary is a great resource that is easily brought along on trips. We are offering it as an optional resource for $14. It does not cover grammar or phrases, but is simply a Creole-English and English-Creole dictionary. You will find it invaluable as you visit your brothers and sisters at your Sister Church.

Order 1 for your team or 1 for each team member.

To order, contact Debbie Shoemaker at

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

A Little Spring….Painting!

Our Savior’s Lutheran Church from Lake Oswego, OR,  was hoping to bring a team in this spring but for a variety of reasons they weren’t able to do so.  Though Jim Shaw and Ken Buck decided they weren’t going to let that stop them.   They offered to come and help us with some projects around the Guest House and Offices. 

Sunday they visited their Sister Church in Les Anglais; Monday they spent some time with a friend who partners with them and some of their agronomy projects within their Sister Church and they have spent a good bit of the rest of their time helping spruce up things around the Guest House!  They’ve painted the bricks and wall in the entry way, applied the first coat of white paint on the ceilings (Thursday they’ll do the second coat!) and even disassembled and reassembled the hot water heater ( just don’t ask them if they’ve been able to fix it; they’re not ready to talk about it). 

IMG_1643 e



RMI Missionaries aren’t afraid to get dirty!  Gary is getting in on a little painting action, too!


Thanks so much, Jim and Ken and all of our friends at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, for your hard work and continued love and support of RMI!

Exciting News for the School in Cherette!

Estero Friends and Family,

We hope this message finds you blessed and encouraged!

We are really excited to let you know about something special that happened at your Sister Church since your last visit to Cherette. The school has a roof! Through the gift of another mission organization who partners with MEBSH to provide roofs for MEBSH churches and schools, the school roof has been paid for and installed!

On a recent trip to deliver food to the school, the guys snapped some photos of the new roof.

down the hallway- front to back

flag in front of the school

kids in front of school 

You can view all of the photos in RMI's Picasa Web Album.