Wednesday, September 26, 2012


What is it like to be getting ready for a trip to see family?  Creative Arts Pastor Chris Graves of NewChurch Georgetown, Georgetown, TX recently posted a blog sharing how he and his team have developed such deep relationships with their Sister Church, that they truly feel that they are family.  And they are anxiously anticipating their upcoming mid-October visit to Abricot. 


And Then There Were 8...

I am 23 days away from my 2nd trip to Abricot, Haiti.  I have more anticipation and excitement than I did one year ago.  In a way, I find that odd.  I would think that your "first time" would have provided me those emotions.

The reason, I think, is because it is not just an exploratory trip for me.  I have been there.  I have developed relationships.  I have looked into the eyes of the people of Abricot.  I have seen them cry. I have seen them dance with joy.  I have seen them pray and I have prayed with them.  I have seen the hurt.  I have seen the broken.  I have seen the searching.

For one week,  we are just people.  God's creation! Although we come from different experiences, languages and cultures.  We are people searching to know and to let be known our Creator!

Let me introduce you to the 2012 team.

JD Griffis - Team Leader and a mainstay on trips to Abricot.  JD brings his skill of organization, clarity, athleticism, steadiness and planning to the team. JD is actively involved at NewChurch Georgetown and is currently leading a front porch. Anytime you talk to JD about Haiti or Mexico, you can see the fire and passion for sharing the love of Christ.

Rachel Elliott - Another mainstay on the Haiti trips.  Rachel has been a vital part in the Hope For Kidz program between NewChurch and Abricot.  Rachel has a way with the kid's in Haiti, that is remarkable. After seeing Haitian kid's grow up without parents in Haiti, Rachel and her husband Dennis decided to adopt their 3rd child into their family. Rachel and Dennis are both pastors at NewChurch Georgetown.

Mike Rainey - This will be Mike's second year going to Abricot.  Mike is a pastor at NewChurch Georgetown. Mike is also our Haitian Creole wizard.  Mike has an incredible ability to hear, listen and learn the native language very quickly.  Being that Mike is 6 foot 4 (I think), he also serves as our basketball team captain when we play in the streets of Abricots.  Mike is also our Cajun player.

Deb Cleary - Deb has also made returning to Abricot a yearly trip.  She has developed some deep rooted relationships in Abricots.  It is an amazing site to see her face light up in the presence of the Haitian children. The Haitian children's response is the same.  Deb is like family to so many of the Haitian people. It is an excellent asset to have someone on the team so familiar with the people of Abricot.  She will provide tons of knowledge to our newcomers on the trip.

Myself - The Haiti trip last year, truly was life changing for me.  I was reminded how we all are God's people and the love of Christ has no boundaries.  I also met Manulson Romelus, who is now our Hope For Kidz sponsored child.  This trip also started discussions within our family about potentially adopting in the future. We will see where God leads in this decision.  What I do know is that the Haitian people are now my family as well.

Becca Graves - My beautiful wife. Becca has heard me talk of Haiti for a year now.  She is excited, but anxious about the trip.  I have first hand experience about how loving she is to our children and I cannot wait for the first time she stares into the eyes of a Haitian child.  I am very proud of her for making the commitment and decision to go.  Becca is not one that likes to rough it and this trip will challenge her, however,  she is the most selfless individual I have ever met.  The selflessness will be a huge asset to our team.

Angela Herrington - Angela is also new to the Haiti team.  Angela's husband, Josh, was part of the team last year.  Angela brings her musical ability to help lead in worship. She has also been designated (since she is new) the restroom beautification project. This consists of making a hole in a concrete floor resemble somewhat like our home amenities.  This is a very important job!!! Seriously, I am excited to have Angela's calm, peaceful but yet energizing character on our team.  

Bobby Catt - Bobby is the youth pastor at First Baptist San Angelo.  Bobby is also my brother-in-law.  Bobby is phenomenal at relating to youth and children where they are at in life.  Bobby also has lots of experience in missions.  He has traveled to Jordan, Canada, Venezuela, Guatemala and Peru. In college, Bobby interned at a missions agency and was responsible for entering child sponsorships in Haiti.  Since that time he has desired to go to Haiti.
This team sets out on Thursday, Oct. 18.  Please pray for us as a team and as individuals that we allow God to use all of our uniqueness and strengths to serve the people of Abricot.  Also that we work together as a team to step up around each other's weaknesses. 
Please pray for the people of RMI who will lead us while in Haiti.
Finally, please pray for the people of Abricot.

Thank you, Chris, for allowing us to share this!  We are excited to see that God is blessing the Sister Church Partnerships and to know that He is using these relationships to transform lives.

Monday, September 24, 2012

A Change of Plans

For the September Summit Church Team, change was the theme of the week. 
They were supposed to fly into Port au Prince Thursday night, stay the night and take the bus to Cayes on Friday.  Due to a mechanical error, they were late for a connecting flight from Miami to Port au Prince and missed the flight.  The airline had no flights out of Miami that day or the next, so they transferred their flight to the Ft Lauderdale airport for Friday.  They would now be overnighting in Florida.  Due to the late arrival of their flight, they would then stay Friday night in Port and head towards Cayes on Saturday morning. 
As of Thursday night the new plan was that RMI team would meet the team at the Retreat Center in Zanglais, because its closer to Cote de Fer, we’d eat lunch and then head to Cote de Fer.  In the mean time, late Thursday night, in Haiti, a thunderstorm rolled in and dumped torrential rain in Cote de Fer.   Due to the recent rains from Tropical Storm Isaac, an already soggy town was soaked; and this time the rains brought with them mud.  The entire town was filled with sticky, wet mud.  The church yard as well as the rooms at the school were the team was to stay were also covered in mud.  Rob and Benson drove out to access the damage.  There was no way we could stay in Cote de Fer. 
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The church yard filled with dry, cracked mud (on Wednesday).
A new plan was needed.
The plan all along was for the team to build two houses in Cote de Fer.  Where the houses were to be built was on ‘this side of the river’ where there was no mud.  The problem was now where the team would stay.  It was decided the team would stay at the RMI Retreat Center in Zanglais and commute the 1 1/2 hours back and forth every day.   It wasn’t ideal, but it made the visit possible so that became the plan.  But it also meant making a new plan for meals; making a menu, planning for lunches to take with the team, early breakfasts, gathering the supplies, etc.  It was a big job but after three hours, some 25 phone calls back and forth, and a few emails, a plan was in place.  RMI staff held our breaths hoping that this time, this plan would stick.
And for the most part it did.
We went to Cote de Fer on Sunday for the service, and then set to work right away on house number one.  The team worked hard and got a lot accomplished on day one!
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Benson and Jordan working on the roof.
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Wilrid and Tony measuring pieces for the porch roof.
Day two was just as productive. House number one was finished and it was presented to the new owners, a faithful deacon of the church and his family. The team handed them the keys and prayed over them.
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Presenting the house to the Deacon and his family.
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The Deacon and his family.
The team then headed off to location number two and got to work.  By the end of day two, the house was well under way. 
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Putting in the first two walls.

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Putting in the support beams.  All hands on deck!
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Wilfrid and David installing the window.
Day three brought with it new energy and the completion of the second house. It was also presented to its new owner, a single mother of two and a faithful member of the Cote de Fer church. The team handed her her keys and prayed over her and her family before leaving. 
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Praying for the new owner of house number two.
Wednesday morning, the team headed back to the church and spent some time sharing with and praying with the Deacons.  They then split up into two teams and visited the homes of some of the church members and delivered boxes of food and prayed for each family.
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The team and the Deacons.
While the week didn’t turn out how originally expected and a lot of adjustments on everyone’s part had to be made  we rejoiced in the kingdom work that was accomplished despite the enemies best efforts to hamper God’s plans.  Two families now have safe dry places to call home.  Six families don’t have to think about where their next meal is coming from for a few weeks.  The relationship between the Summit Church and the Cote de Fer Baptist Church is strengthened as they can both see how committed to the relationship one another are.  And despite all the changes, and all the adjustments, and all the twists and turns the week threw at us, God has been honored.  And we pray that above all, His heart was pleased. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The RMI Family is Growing

Nunemakers 2God has answered our prayers and is growing the RMI family.  We are excited to introduce Lee and Tina Nunemaker to you as our newest missionary appointees.  Twenty one years ago Lee met RMI president, Dan Shoemaker, while he was in Haiti on a 2 week ministry trip.  The discussions that he had with Dan stayed with him through his Bible college years, as he got married, became a youth pastor and then as an associate pastor.  When his church wanted to send a group to Haiti, he reached out to the one person he knew had extensive experience in Haiti: Dan.  Lee and Tina had a great time in Haiti with their team in the summer of 2010.  They already had a heart for missions and when they got home God began to move in their hearts and they came to feel that He was calling them to serve as full time missionaries with RMI in Haiti.
Lee and Tina are from Greencastle, Penn. and have 4 boys: Daniel – 15, Josiah – 13, Nathan – 8, and Isaac – 4. Nunemaker kids bonding with Thompson kids They took the boys to Haiti in March.  They were able to be involved, as a family, in quite a bit of ministry as well as a lot of fun.  They met missionary kids their own age and it didn’t take long for them to bond not only to their new friends but to the country of Haiti.  The whole family especially enjoyed and bonded with the Thompson family.  One of the Nunemaker boys commented that Rob and Lee were “just alike”.   [That’s the Thompson kids and the 2 younger boys in the Thompson’s tree house.]
Nunemakers signing croppedLee and Tina attended RMI’s M.A.C.E., Mutual Assessment and Candidate Evaluation last week.  It was very special to learn of their journey up to this point and see how God has uniquely prepared them for ministry in Haiti.  Lee will be helping direct the Sister Church Partnerships, working with leadership development and as a team facilitator.  Tina’s ministry will be taking care of the family as well as involvement with RMI.  Her niche is yet to be determined – she has a lot to offer and we’re all excited to see what develops once she gets to the field.
Raising their support is the next order of business for them.  It’s a very tall order, but they are confident that God will provide because they are confident in their call to Haiti.  Pray with us that their support will come in quickly.
You can find Lee and Tina on Facebook (look for Tina Eisenberger Nunemaker and Lee Nunemaker).  There you’ll see quite a few photos of their trip to Haiti.  Their emails are: and  Welcome them to the RMI family! 
Would you consider becoming a member of their support team?!