Tuesday, October 30, 2012


East Bayou Baptist Church sent the first team down to visit Petit Trou Baptist Church in Southern Haiti.  They came on a ‘mission’ of sorts; to try on the RMI Sister Church Program and a partnership with Petit Trou Baptist Church on for size. 

Petit TrouThe team was excited as they drove into town.  A brigade from the church had come out to greet them.  They met the team with a banner, musicians and a parade through town.  The team marched along, smiled, laughed, took pictures and some of the folks (although they tried to hide it!) even cried.  They were touched at the way the church at Petit Trou had welcomed them with such open arms. 

The team from East Bayou had a busy week getting to know their new surroundings and their new brothers and sisters in Christ.  They had a week full of activities with meetings, programs, and satellite church church visits, and just hanging out, getting to know one another.  Sunday afternoon they met with Pastor Solva and his wife and daughter to get to know them a little better and to have some more personal conversation with them. They also met with the youth and at the end presented them with a soccer ball, with which they immediately set up a match in the yard! Sunday evening the team assisted in an open air service out in the  community.  Monday morning they went and visited a satellite church at which they greeted the church and presented the congregation with a message.  Monday afternoon  they met with the kids and taught them (with help from Marie France) how to sing “This Little Light of Mine” in Creole and they made puppets and had lots of fun!  Monday evening they met with the deacons to find out more about the church and it's needs and ways they can be praying for Petit Trou and to share how Petit Trou could be praying for them. Tuesday  morning they had a bible study with some of the men from the church and that afternoon the women on the team held the traditional ladies tea for the the ladies of the church which even included a hand massage for each lady present to thank them for all the hard work they do with their hands.    Wednesday morning before leaving, they visited some of the widows and shut-ins at the church, taking the boxes of rice packs and praying for each person they visited. 


At the farewell service Pastor Solva thanked them for all they had done during the week and he asked the team, “If you could stay longer, would you??”  After a nod from Amy letting them know it was OK to say yes, (they hesitated ONLY because they were afraid of making a promise they couldn’t keep!), they all raised their hands high and said, “WI! Yes!”

It was a great week of activities, no doubt.  But it was also a great week building relationships between the two churches,  getting to know about one another, playing with one another, eating together, worshiping together and just doing life together.

Petit Trou96

Please pray for the team (and all the members of East Bayou) as they reflect and pray through all that they experienced as they determine God’s design and plan regarding their involvement with RMI and Petit Trou as a Sister Church.

All the pics from the week can be seen here.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Day of Thanks for the RMI Staff.

Staff Appreciation32The RMI Haiti field staff work hard.  Very hard.  Sometimes from early in the morning until late into the night, they are at work; preparing, facilitating, fixing, cooking, translating, cleaning, sorting, changing, transporting, organizing, checking, rechecking and making sure everything is in its place.  And always without complaint.  They all work hard.

We wanted to do something to show them how much we truly appreciate their hard work and the sacrifices they make to help RMI do the work that God has called us to do.  So we planned a Staff Appreciation day at the Zanglais Retreat Center.  We closed the office, invited spouses and younger children, and on a Monday in mid-September, we loaded up the trucks with the staff and their families and headed to Zanglais for the day.  The missionary staff had been hard at work since early in the morning preparing things, chopping veggies, setting up tables, and making everything ready so that today, all the staff had to do was arrive.  We didn’t want them to have to do any work.  We just wanted them to be able to relax.

We had a short program prepared.  Rob opened with devotion in which he shared about Jesus service to others.  As part of his devotion he washed Benjamin’s feet.

Staff Appreciation12

Becky lead the group in singing a hymn and also shared a special song.  (Everyone always loves it when she sings! )

Staff Appreciation13We asked the Florida office staff, Herb and Shirley Shoemaker, as well as a member of Board to write letter of thanks to the staff.  Even though they couldn’t be here in presence we wanted the National staff to know how much they were appreciated both on the field and in the States.   The Field Missionaries also spent time expressing their appreciation and thanks for all the hard work the staff does. Staff Appreciation15


After the program, we all enjoyed a great Haitian meal together and cake for dessert. After lunch, everyone stuck around for and played games, swam in the ocean, and enjoyed a little time to relax with family and friends.

Staff Appreciation28Staff Appreciation9Staff Appreciation20Staff Appreciation23Staff Appreciation5Staff Appreciation26

We truly hope the staff felt loved and appreciated, because they are and we couldn’t do what we do without them.  If you’re friends with any of those who are on Facebook, would you take a moment and let them know how wonderful they are?  And next time you’re in Haiti, let the rest of the folks know how amazing they are.  Because they deserve it!

All the pictures from the day can be seen here.  Pictures of the staff can be found here .
(Rameau – he does our market shopping and Michelet- he is the night guard at the Depot- are not pictured.)

How do you summarize 7 years of relationships?

NewChurch Georgetown (Texas) has put together photos from 2005 to the present in this YouTube montage.  It isn’t about the projects, it’s about the people.  Relationships are built over time.  Mix in love, add a lot of caring, stir in respect and acceptance, marinate them in prayer, and add a dash of smiles.  Personal visits are essential to cement things.  Bring people together and relationships are built.  Here are relationships in action.

Thank you, Rachel Elliott for sharing!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Continue to Pray for Jules

RMI President, Dan Shoemaker, was able to spend a day in September with RMI’s former longtime Haitian Administrator, Jules Gedna and his wife, Martha, in Boston where he is undergoing treatment for cancer.   He is doing as well as can be expected.  He has been going through chemotherapy but recently his doctor added radiation to his treatments.  Despite the circumstances, he maintains his characteristic smile and hopeful attitude.  He experiences back pain and stomach issues daily.  Continue to pray for he and Martha. 

He always enjoys hearing from folks that know him.  When you communicate with him, make sure to tell him which church you are from and when you went to Haiti or met him.

Jules and Martha Gedna, 139 Francis St., Everett, MA  02149.  His cell phone is 407-879-0726.

Dan and Jules cropped

Mart and Jules cropped

Mart, Jules and Dan cropped

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

The Church is God’s Chosen Instrument…

From my perspective, the music that is made as our partnerships come together, that we get to enjoy, and that ultimately reaches the ears and heart of God is, and must be, a sweet sweet sound.  A symphony.  Scripture calls it a fragrance.  I pray that it truly honors Him.

We believe that the Church is God’s chosen instrument to bring all people of all nations to worship Him.  We value the Church as God’s chosen agent of gospel transformation.  This affects everything that we do.  It motivates us to engage with the Church.  We work in the Church, through the Church, with the Church, on the Church, around the Church.  We work to call people into the church, and we are constantly pushing people out of the church to do the work of the Church.   Ok, you probably get the point, we love the Church.

Recently, this was manifested in our day of training that we held for the Pastors, School Administrators and Directors, and Church leaders.  We believe in these chosen people who are leading the people in our partnership church communities.  We want to empower them to do what we can’t do.  We want to train.  We need to listen.  We won’t quit.  We won’t take the easy road and circumvent the church to accomplish our purposes.  In fact, these leaders embody our purposes.

Monday, October 01, 2012

I love the RMI Haitian Staff…

“Discover your zone and stay there. Then delegate everything else.” Andy Stanley, Next Generation Leader

To be honest, the above is hard for me.  I like to be in control, and handing over responsibilities to others is uncomfortable.  I have long lived according to…  “If you want it done right, you have to do it yourself”.  I have come to realize that for me, in my role, that attitude is a tool of Satan.  I am trying everyday to force myself to let go, and empower others to do what only they can do. It is self defeating for me to try and do everything.  I’ve tried.  It doesn’t work. I must focus on my zone, and let us others do everything else.  Together, we will accomplish abundantly more.

I love the RMI Haitian Staff.  I believe in them.  They are able to do immeasurably more.  The sad but common paternalistic Western mindset is that “we” are the experts, and the Haitians can support what “we” are doing.  We (RMI) are working hard to break that stereotype.  Change is difficult as it requires risks, it will undoubtedly generate some failures as we try new things, and it will likely produce temporary discomfort, but it is worth it.  I want to serve the Haitian people as they serve their own people.  Since RMI is at it’s core both American and Haitian, I believe we will forever need both Americans and Haitians working in tandem.  But, it is about “us” (American and Haitian), not “we” (American) and “them” (Haitian). I love that both more and more US Missionaries are coming on board, and more and more Haitian staff are coming on board to fulfill “our” calling together.

Will you pray for our Haitian staff as they are being empowered everyday to do more? As we missionaries are freed up through delegation, would you pray for us to discover our zone and stay there?