Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A visit with Jules

Dan and Jules tuned 2

Jules was very surprised when Dan showed up at his door in Haiti last week. He was all smiles and so excited to see his best friend there to spend time with him. Jules and his wife, Martha, have been in a Haiti for a couple of months between his cancer treatments for a visit. He is in quite a bit of pain all of the time but is holding his own. They will return to Boston to resume his treatments in April.

Jules and Martha tuned

Martha made a wonderful fish dinner for Dan for one meal and they had a special time of fellowship. Despite his pain, Jules still maintains his smile and positive attitude. It was such an encouragement to him to spend some time with Dan.

For those of you who are not aware, Jules was one of our first coworkers more than 20 years ago. His faithfulness and loyalty always amazed us. RMI is where it is today because of his tireless work. He seemed to always know the right person to get something done. During one of our visits to the US, our storage garage was broken into and Dan’s motorcycle was stolen. Jules sprung into action and, acting as a detective, within 2 weeks literally tracked it down to the thief’s house in the mountains of northern Haiti. He arrived at the thief’s house with the police in tow to arrest the man and recover the bike.

He has been a good friend to the Shoemaker family as well as an indispensible colleague. Pray for him! Pray that he would be relieved of the pain in his stomach and lower back and pray that he would be encouraged in the midst of some very difficult circumstances. Martha would appreciate your prayers as well as she cares for Jules in addition to caring for the affairs of their household.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Hope for Kidz changes–pardon our dust

clip_image002Change is inevitable. It’s not necessarily fun, is most often disruptive and stressful, can be messy but it is still a part of life and thus inevitable. This is the case at RMI currently. We are undergoing a few changes so, please pardon our dust!

Internal Dust

We are in the process of changing our donor management database. The process has indeed been disruptive, stressful and messy, not to mention it’s taking quite a bit longer than we thought. The RMI US staff has been tirelessly working to get the changes finalized. It is mostly an internal change, but you will notice it in the receipts you receive as well as our increased ability to keep you up to date on the latest happenings at RMI.

Haiti Field Dust

The Haiti field is undergoing changes as they work to reposition current staff, hire additional qualified personnel in a number of positions and re-organize our scheduling calendar to accommodate more teams. It’s stretching everyone!

Hope for Kidz Dust

Hope for Kidz is going through a major change as well. This new donor management database now gives us the capacity to offer monthly child support payments. Because of this you can now either send in your full support in one lump sum or in monthly payments. RMI trusts that this new option will enable people who might not be able to afford a lump sum one-time payment to be able to now sponsor a child for the first time.

New Pricing Structure

While making this option available, RMI also analyzed their current sponsorship rate. The basic Hope for Kidz sponsorship amount has stayed at $200 for approximately 7 years (not including the $50 increase to help fund the hot lunch program). In recent years, Haiti has been impacted by global inflation even more so than the US. This inflation has dramatically impacted the costs associated with education such as tuition rates, entrance fees, school supplies, etc. Because RMI does not want to limit any child in their access to a quality Christian education, the decision was made to change the sponsorship rate from $250 a year to that of $28 per month.

New Monthly Rate: $28 per month

Start Date: March 2012 for the 2012-2013 school year

Transitioning to Monthly Payment Plan

The first monthly payment needs to be made by March 2012. This will ensure that RMI has the resources available to provide for all your child needs to start school in September/October.

How to Transition to the Monthly Payment Plan:

Option 1: Fill out an automatic recurring payment authorization form and return to RMI (available from your Hope for Kidz coordinator or the RMI website)

Option 2: Renew online HERE (available after March 5)

Option 3: Call the RMI Office at 239.368.8990 to set up recurring monthly payments.

Option 4: Send monthly check directly to RMI at 5475 Lee Street, Suite 301, Lehigh Acres, FL 33971. Your child’s name and ID number MUST be included!

New Benefits for Sponsors

· The ability to spread sponsorship payment out over a full year via the monthly plan

· The opportunity to send and receive 1-2 letters per year to their child. This has been something that many sponsors have desired and we are now able to accommodate

· Additional opportunities for interaction with their sponsored child are continuing to be examined and evaluated for possible future implementation

Continued & New Benefits to the Sponsored Child

· Continued provision of a quality Christian education

· Continued provision of needed school supplies

· Continued expansion of hot lunch program (currently feeding over 2,600 children in 12 schools each day)

· New Community Health Training Program in the schools starting with Annual De-Worming and Prevention Education

· Establishment of a new Emergency Major Medical Needs Fund for sponsored children: Continued provision of a quality Christian education

· Continued provision of needed school supplies

· Continued expansion of hot lunch program (currently feeding over 2,600 children in 12 schools each day)

· New Community Health Training Program in the schools starting with Annual De-Worming and Prevention Education

· Establishment of a new Emergency Major Medical Needs Fund for sponsored children

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Q. When do I need to start paying in order for my child to be enrolled in school in the fall of 2012?

A. In order for the start-up costs to be covered by the beginning of school, the first monthly payment must be made by March 2012.

Q. How do I know if I will have the same child for the 2012-2013 school year?

A. Unless your child graduates or leaves the program, you can be assured that you will be continuing on with the same child. In the unlikely case that your child has graduated or left the program, RMI will work with you to provide you with a new child. Should your child not continue in the program and you do not choose to take on a new child, any funds received up until that point will be applied to the Hope for Kidz Program.

Q. When will my child’s new profile arrive?

A. New profiles will be distributed through your Hope for Kidz coordinator by August 2012 at the very latest.

Q. Can I still pay annually?

A. Yes. The annual cost is $336 per year. However, RMI is offering a special introductory offer of $300 for the 2012-2013 school year if payment is received by June 30, 2012.

Q. What if my financial situation changes and I am unable to fulfill my sponsorship commitment?

A. RMI will assume that you will be continuing your sponsorship of your child for as long as the child is available for sponsorship unless you indicate otherwise (a minimum of 12 months commitment). If your financial situation changes, please contact RMI as soon as possible. We would ask that you give us three months lead time before cancelling payment. This will enable us to find another sponsor for your child if at all possible.

Q. Who can I contact if I still have questions?

A. If you have questions that your Hope for Kidz Coordinator is unable to answer, contact Amanda at the RMI Office in Florida at or 239.368.8390.

Webinair Available

Amanda Biser, Hope for Kidz US Coordinator, recently hosted a 25 minute webinar explaining these changes. If you are interested, it can be found here:

Friday, March 02, 2012

Ministry is an action verb

Ministry around RMI is an action verb. If you wonder what goes on from day to day, in addition to preparing for, receiving and caring for teams, take a look at Gary McLaughlin’s Facebook page.

Feb. 24: “Saturday I put in 2 BioSand Water Filters, Monday 6 with to Haitian helpers and today going to do at least 3 more in the Picot area. Take a break at the water falls while in that area. :-) Marilyn is working on HFKz like always.”

Finished filter 2 tuned

Finished filter 6 tuned

[Left: Gary with one of the biosand recipients. Right: Another family with their biosand filter installed in their Homes for Haiti home.]

Feb. 23: “Tuesday we got 4 more water filters put in Haitian homes and yesterday, after working hours, I got another filter installed. First 45 almost finished and getting ready to bring out the next 30.”

March 2: “Yesterday Marie France and I delivered a refrigerator, 50 French Bibles and 50 Kreol Bibles to Astruc and then drove to Lievre to deliver 48 songbooks, 50 French Bibles and 50 Kreol Bibles. All gifts from their sister churches in the US. Today we are driving to Cherette to hand out clothes sent in by their sister church.”

Cherette clothing delivary 1 tuned

Cherette clothing delivary 4 tuned[Left: Children modeling their new clothes from their Sister Church. Right: The Women’s Group modeling their new clothes!]

March 2: “Waiting for Our Savior's Lutheran from Lake Owego, Oregon to arrive at our guest house. Maybe around 3pm our time.”

A team from The Summit Church in Little Rock, Arkansas just left today and a team from Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Lake Oswego, Oregon is going in today. When they leave Trinity Bible Church, Lafayette, LA comes in and a week later The First Associated Reformed Presbyterian Church of Gastonia, NC is going in for their very first visit. In addition to this a family will be visiting the field for 2 weeks as they consider serving there with RMI.

Oh, and Dan will be in Merritt Island, FL, Chicago, Haiti and the Carolinas this month. Stay tuned for other happenings in RMI – we’re not quite ready to unveil them yet but you’ll like it! Yes, ministry is indeed an action verb here at RMI. There are no idle hands around here!