Sunday, December 14, 2014

3rd Annual Hope for Kidz Deworming

Don’t be fooled: we may not have any teams in Haiti this December, but we have been very busy moving ahead with other programs and preparing for the busiest time of the team calendar that starts in January.

On December 2nd, we held our 3rd Annual Hope for Kidz (HFK) Deworming seminar.  This is the 3rd year we’ve included deworming in all of our HFKz schools.  We called all the school administrators in for a meeting to review the program protocols and distribute the meds for clinics at their schools.  We actually had a few administrators calling us earlier in the school year asking us to do the program again this year!

The last two years we’ve taught these school leaders how to administer and keep good records of deworming meds distributed at their schools as well as gave them educational materials and training on how to teach worm prevention to each of their classes.  RMI has provided the follow-up to keep them accountable to following through. 

This year, in addition to reviewing these things, I asked them for testimonies of how these treatments have had a positive impact on their students.  I received  overwhelming responses of gratitude!  I also heard quite a few stories that are a little too graphic to write here!  I can say that it was obvious to these school directors the impact this treatment has had on their students.

At the meeting, we distributed to 51 schools  deworming medication and cups for 12576 students and 508 teachers.  That’s right, we handed out over 13,000 doses of deworming meds. 

If you sponsor a child’s education through Hope for Kidz, don’t miss the impact you are making in this small area of the program!  A portion of your sponsorship goes toward deworming as a whole and has a big impact on not only your sponsored child, but that child’s school and community!  Remember, it’s not only your sponsored child receiving the medication and education, but every child in that school.  The more people in one school and/or community who receive deworming treatment each year, the  less worm infections in that school and in the community.  Add to that the prevention teaching they receive at school through the deworming program (which includes important education on hygiene and cleaning of food)  and that leads to healthier kids all around.  It’s a win-win! 

Thanks for making it possible!

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Another Container of Food Has Arrived!

We are grateful for another container of food that has arrived today.  Or, to put it another way, this represents another 270,864 meals.  Thank you to our donors.  Thank you to Feed My Starving Children. #fmsc #haiti #hunger #reciprocalministries #rmihaiti

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Giving Tuesday: Make Christmas Special

Yellow-fur-tree-balloon-at-White-background google 1200 x 893

Make Christmas

Special for a Haitian family



There’s a day to give Thanks.  Then 3 days of shopping starting with Black Friday.  Cyber Monday is another day of shopping.  Last but most definitely not the least is Giving Tuesday.  That’s TODAY!  A day dedicated to giving back.  Here is your opportunity to give back – to make Christmas special for a Haitian family!

Christmas is a special family time beginning with Christ being born into His earthly family.  For US families Christmas is a busy time with concerts and parties to attend, special church services, and of course giving gifts to our friends and loved ones.  Most Haitian families love the Christmas story and season but do not have the capacity to give gifts as most of us here in the US do.  You can make a difference for a Haitian family this year by giving very practical gifts. 


Choose any one or more of these vital tools for a Haitian farmer.  The vast majority of Haitians depend on farming small plots of land for some or all of their livelihood.   These fields are farmed by hand and these are the only tools a farmer will have.  It is out of the yield of his fields that he will feed his family and any surplus will go toward other living expenses that the family has.  New reliable tools are important to a Haitian farmer’s livelihood.




This kit includes all three tools that a Haitian farmer needs to work his fields. 

A farmer’s kit will be a great way to help transform the life of a farmer by providing these tools to help him provide for his family.



color pic of goat google 1280 x 960

Goats mean Sustainable Income - $100

It is a gift that keeps on giving.  Providing a family with a goat will enable them to begin to care for themselves.  As the goat grows and produces offspring, it can be the source of a small herd.  These are then sold and can help cover school expenses, food, clothing, etc. for the family.   It only costs $100 to provide this opportunity for dignity and sustainability.


clay filter 1 google 490 x 531 edited

Clean Drinking Water - $105

A simple and yet profound way to impact a third world family’s health costs only $105.   Half of all Haitians have little to no access to clean drinking water and are susceptible to many water borne diseases.  Providing a Water For Health water filter provides a family with clean drinking water. These filters are designed to be simple to operate and maintain, and last for years without having to change parts.  A  water filter would literally transform their health and quality of life.


decoration-interesting-red-and-gold-color-themes-for-home-garden-christmas-crafts-ideas-amazing-garden-christmas-decorations-inspirations google 1920 x 1200Don’t delay!  Use the enclosed envelope and designation slip or donate HEREAll gifts are tax-deductible.  Thank you for your interest in RMI and its ministries as well as for your desire to minister to hurting Haitian families.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Reciprocal Learning...

How much do you think this man
could teach you? You might be surprised.
I wrote last week about the concepts that our American Church teams should be teaching while they are here in Haiti.  We need to be thinking about Discipleship, not only doing physical projects.  The physical projects are a big part of what I think God wants us to be doing, but let's not allow those projects to displace the Gospel work of making disciples.

Today, I want to emphasize that it goes both ways.  Not only do Americans need to be investing in Haitians, but we want to facilitate a learning process where Americans are learning from Haitians too.  We have found that this happens naturally by simply being present with one another, but now we want to double down on our efforts to accelerate reciprocal learning.

Listen up Americans, we need help!  I believe the American Church has just as many problems as the Haitian Church, if not more, and we are ignorant of the fact that some of these problems even exist.  We need to invest in one another so we can grow up into who God wants us to be (like Christ).  We want to facilitate partnerships that change lives and reconcile souls that will undoubtedly transform churches, marriages, families, communities, institutions... no matter your zip code.

What are some of the things that I think Haitians need to teach us Americans?

Respect for One Another
Respect for God
Perseverance and Endurance
Sanctity of Worship/Scripture/God
Authority of Scripture
Supernatural vs Natural World

I have so much to learn.  So do you.  Let's learn together... in partnership.

Monday, November 03, 2014

It's Worth It: Beacon EFC Goes to Morency.

I had the great privilege of hosting a first time team from the church where I grew up, Beacon Evangelical Free Church, from Galloway, NJ. Not only was it the church where I grew up, but my Aunt and Uncle were on the team! We had 17 people respond to the Gospel wanting to follow Jesus, we built school benches, we handed out food for the hungry, we played lots of soccer, we encouraged the men/women/youth/kids in special gatherings for each, we worshiped, we received way more than we gave, we even danced! The week could not have been better.

The following comments represent a great reminder of why we do what we do... all the administration.... all the sweat and long hours... all the sacrifice, tears and hardship... all the traveling... all the prep and logistics... It's because we are having an impact...

To give you an idea of how things went, here is some feedback we received from Beacon EFC upon their arrival back home...

"Our team came back in awe of the experience that they had. God was at work! I just keep hearing story after story of how amazing and faithful our God was."

"Last night (team member) shared with the 30 women at my house for Bible Study . We had all been praying for her and the team. She shared, with tears in her eyes and holding back sobs, of the experience that she had. I knew that this was a totally-out of her comfort zone trip. Her life was changed by people who had nothing and gave so much. She witnessed to the fact that God is working on her about relationships being more important than the daily routines of life. The girls prayed for the church at Morency and for the 17 lives that were given to Jesus."

"Love you guys and believe in what you are doing for the Kingdom remembering that "time is short and Hell is hot". Keep up the good work."

"Thank you for your leadership with RMI. I see how you are delegating responsibilities and how your RMI team is taking the reins of leadership. Our team has a deeper connection with your family and a greater understanding of the ministry you are serving in. You are doing a great job!"

"Thank you to your team and the great job that they did. Our team felt safe and cared for the entire trip!"

"I have accepted the challenge to incorporate Jesus into my story of the trip."

"To see the joy that the Haitian people of the Morency Baptist Church have and to be so deeply moved by them giving up their beds and sleeping on floors for us, cooking for us, preparing songs for us, welcoming us in a parade of singing and waving of palm branches and leading us to their church with signs of "Welcome" and "We love you" while dancing and shouting greetings of "bonswa" it was so love filled that there wasn't a dry eye in our group."

RMI, Beacon EFC, and Morency building school
benches together.  We were able to provide an
additional 75 places for kids to learn.
Beacon EFC having fun with the kids.  There
was ALWAYS a ball being kicked around.
Beacon EFC out giving food to the hungry.  They
provided 5400 meals for the people of Morency.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Are We Doing the Work of the Gospel?

"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching..."
2 Timothy 3:16-17
Yes.  I answer an emphatic YES!  But, I think there is more...  Please read on...

Together we focus on 5 Impact Points... Evangelism, Discipleship, Education, Social Compassion and Community Development.  The Gospel requires this.  This is why we exist.

I have had some unique experiences recently that have really caused me to deeply reflect upon the needs of the church here in Haiti.  Out of respect for the Haitian church and people, I won't share the details.  Please understand, I fully understand that there are grave and troubling problems in the US church as well.  In fact, RMI considers both lands when we consider what we hope to accomplish in our push to "transform lives in Christ".

Let me be clear, our teams come and do a lot.  As an example... together we feed the hungry, we give clean water, we share the gospel in open air meetings and yard2yard conversations, we provide schools for education, we enable kids to have hope through education, we hug each other and are simply present with one another, we provide generators so people have power, we train leaders, we build school and church benches, we pray for one another, we provide medical care, we encourage the faithful, and the list goes on and on...  and all of these are REALLY important Gospel activities and we have no desire for these to slow down.  In fact, we want to do more.  But, today I want to encourage RMI and our partners to increase our efforts in the area of discipleship.

What do I mean by discipleship?  Biblical teaching on what it means to follow Christ more and more in every aspect of our lives.

I recently sat in my office talking to one of our national RMI leaders, sharing my experiences mentioned above and asking them to give me insight.  Their response was "Director, it's a problem of discipleship.  They simply don't know any different.  No one has told them what the Bible says about that."

Go and MAKE DISCIPLES, teaching them to observe all that He has commanded.  America is an educated society with LOTS to share.  We are blessed, so let's not be stingy.

Why not set aside some time while you are here with your team to bring together the church people, maybe specifically the various leaders of the church, and do some teaching.   This can be a special gathering, and/or you can do this in our normal gatherings... youth, kids, men, women, deacons, etc.  Consider the following...

What is Biblical Holiness?
As fellow members of the Church, what is our responsibility to one another?
What does the Bible say about stewardship?
What does the Bible say about jealousy?
What does the Bible say about marriage?
What does the Bible say about purity?
How can we use our bodies to honor the Lord?
What does the Bible say about pre-marital and extra-marital sex?
What does it mean to be "Christlike"?
What is truth and why is it important?
What is grace?
What is Love?
What is the role of men in the church and family?
What does the Bible say about the exploitation of women?
What does it mean to "not conform the the pattern of this world"?
What are the Fruits of the Spirit?

Remember, don't teach what the American culture says.  Teach what the Bible says.  If you would find it helpful, our field team would love to talk with you about your content ahead of time to help you contextualize with Haitian culture.

Why not encourage the AWANA discipleship program more in your Haitian church?  Ask us how.

BTW, some other day, I will share what I think the Haitian church can uniquely teach the American Church.  American Church, we have problems too!

Thursday, September 04, 2014

We've Moved into the New RMI Haiti Office!

We have MOVED IN to the NEW RMI Haiti Office!

As we have previously written, the providence of our new office location was a miracle, a gift directly from God that we didn't expect.  It's awesome when God steps in and makes something happen completely outside of our plans.  I honestly tried, but I couldn't manufacture a plan that was good, or that was feasible.  Yet, here we are.  We are grateful to God.  We are grateful to the donors who have made this a reality.  We are grateful to our staff and contract workers who have worked tirelessly to get it ready.

As you may remember, our new office, at first look, was not pretty (it had barely been used for 10 years).  But, with a lot of work, it is looking great.  We are ecstatic with our progress.  We have officially moved in, but we still have some work to do...

Projects in process right now...

  • Kitchen Installation (New Cabinets and Counter-tops being installed)
  • Bathroom Installation (Hot water, Toilets and tile being installed)
  • Meeting and Training Center Installation (Large Meeting area under trusses and metal roof)
  • Decorating (We have a LOT of blank white walls)

Here are a few pictures now that we have moved in (more pictures here)...

Front View of the New Office

New Fans and Lights Donated

Some of our Staff at Work

Benjamin and Benson at Work

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

An answer to prayer from south Jersey

Back in April RMI missionary Becky Thompson mentioned to her mom that Cite Lumiere Christian School didn’t have a 1st grade teacher for the coming school year.  Her youngest son, Braden, would be going into 1st grade and Becky would likely have to homeschool him due to the lack of a teacher.

Cite Lumiere Christian School (CLCS) is the English speaking K-12 school on Cite Lumiere, the mission center where the Thompsons, the Harvies, and many other missionary families live.  RMI’s Haiti headquarters is also located there.  The school has been in existence since the 1940’s.  RMI’s president, Dan Shoemaker, who grew up there as a missionary kid, attended the school in the 1960’s and while he was a missionary there both of his kids attended CLCS.  Becky is the CLCS Board Chairman.

Becky’s mom asked, “What about Courtney?”  Courtney Westcott had pet sat for Becky’s mom and she knew that she was a certified teacher and had been teaching for a number of years as a substitute and long-term sub as well as working with an after school program.  Courtney had been on 2 mission trips to Panama with her church.  She really enjoyed Panama and after the trips she felt really open to missions but she didn’t see God open doors for her there.

Becky told her mom that if Courtney was interested to contact her.  Within a month she was approved by the CLCS Board and 6 weeks later approved as an RMI short term missionary.  Her funds came in quickly and she flew into Haiti with Becky and her family when they returned to Haiti last week.

Prayer Card Westcott

School starts Sept. 1 and she’ll be teaching 1st grade.  There is also a 3rd grade classroom, a combined 4th/6th grade classroom and a 7-12th grade classroom this year.  So far there are 24 students – school hasn’t started yet so that number is a bit in flux.

Becky shared, “It's been such an answer to prayer, for me especially as I was going to have to stop my RMI responsibilities to homeschool.  And the last minute timing can only point to how God worked in this situation.” 

Courtney will be teaching at CLCS for this 2014-2015 school year.  Pray for her as she adjusts to life in Haiti and teaches in a new situation.  We are grateful that God knows about and cares for the “little” details in our lives.  He has provided a teacher for Braden…and most likely several other 1st graders.  This in turn allows Becky to continue on with her responsibilities as Haiti Hospitality Coordinator and Bookkeeper – both of which are essential to the smooth running of RMI’s Haiti operations.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Meanwhile at the RMI Office…

To say that summer in Southwest Florida is hot, humid, steamy and rainy is an understatement.  Imagine loading a 40 ft. sea container (i.e. a giant metal box that absorbs and magnifies that heat and humidity) in that kind of weather.  This is exactly what Dan Shoemaker, Kim Rose, Joel Sutton and 2 volunteers from a local church did all in one day last week.  (They sweated their hearts out and did a great job of getting everything in it!) Joel and Laura Sutton drove their belongings down from their home in Gainesville, FL in a U Haul and those items were loaded first. 
Picture combo 1
The Suttons will spend the next couple of months raising the last portion of their support (pray with them about this!!) before they go to Haiti in September.  The goal is for them to arrive about the time the container clears customs and arrives in Cayes.

The last half of the container included much needed supplies for the new RMI Haiti office (cabinets, counter tops, toilets, fencing) and other supplies for the ministry such as tires for the vehicles, wood, towels for the Retreat Center…and everything imaginable including the proverbial kitchen sink. 
Picture combo 2
Folks from St. Petersburg Baptist Church, one of our newest C3 Partners, drove down from St. Petersburg, FL with several boxes of wedding dresses and men’s suits for their Sister Church.  And after a final delivery or two, it was finished! 
Picture combo 3
This morning, July 16, the rig came to pick it up.  The seal was put on and off it went to the Port of Miami.  The next destination is Port-au-Prince then Cayes.
Pray for…
1.  The funds to cover a number of items for the ministry that were bought on faith,
2.  Smooth seas (remember it’s hurricane season!) and smooth transition through the port and customs,
3.  The Sutton’s funds to reach 100% so they can leave at the appointed time in September.

The rest of the pics of the loading can be seen HERE.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

The Thompson Family are on furlough

Furlough, home assignment…whatever you call it, it means many things to RMI’s missionaries.  Part vacation, part visiting supporters, family and friends, part making new contacts, part fund raising for your ministry, part taking care of doctor visits, part attending conferences where you are representing RMI and your ministry, part attending conferences for personal rejuvenation and professional continuing education, and part travel.  I’m sure I missed something in there – however, it is NOT a 2 month vacation!  But it is a multi-faceted time away from the field. 

The Thompson family are in the US June 13 – August 20.  You can see their schedule HERE.  They are making the most of their time so far.


Group 2

group 3

Every Sunday they are speaking at a different church with many meetings in the days in between…breakfasts, lunches and suppers with friends and supporters.  This furlough they are staying in one general area, but have a very busy schedule planned.

Pray for them as they try to accomplish many things (see the list above) in a short amount of time.  They are valuable co-workers and deserve a break from the challenges of life in Haiti!

God has already given them some quality time as a family as well as some successes in fund raising.  We wish them the best during this furlough time.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Announcing a MIRACLE, the NEW RMI OFFICE in Haiti!

Tessa at work at the NEW OFFICE!
You can see more pictures here.
We believe we have experienced a miracle.  We aren't joking or exaggerating.

Background:  For the last several years, we have known that we have an issue of limited office space and not enough missionary housing.  The needs for housing and office space were coming at us like a freight train, and we had no viable options. We have been actively looking for opportunities.  But, every opportunity that WE came up was going to cost way more money than we could dream of, and that God seemed to be providing.  We looked at buying land.  We put a lot of thought into building an office on MEBSH land, but an adequate office to facilitate all that we do was going to cost way more than you would realize.  Although it was WAY WAY outside of reality, we even looked at a facility that was on the market for a million $!  Well, our plans didn't happen, because it wasn't God's plan!
"The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.  The Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward." Exodus 14:14-15
The Miracle:  God's Plan.  About 1 month ago, a home that is actually within the boundaries of the MEBSH Mission Center where we live here in Cayes, which has LONG been totally unavailable to MEBSH or it's ministries and missionaries, seemed to become slightly more available.  I say slightly, because when I first heard about it, I thought there was NO WAY it would actually happen and NO WAY we could afford to rent that place. To be honest, I actually drug my feet a little, stewing over things.  But, God placed within me vision and a desire to aggressively pursue.  Well, after many conversations, a little help from some other local missionaries, understanding on behalf of all the other missionaries here on our mission center, and a little careful negotiating, it is official.  We were able to make it happen! Can you believe it is right next to our RMI Depot?  So now, we basically have 2 properties, right next to one another, creating one large facility, that will together house all of our offices, 2 guest rooms, warehouse, mechanic's garage, container storage, truck parking, etc.  I can't go into the details of the contract, but it's a GREAT DEAL that only God could have made happen.

This now means we have rented 3 privately owned facilities,
  1. This one is within the Mission Center boundaries (the new Office)
  2. This one is right next to the Mission Center (our current office but future missionary housing), 
  3. This one is a 5 minute walk (missionary housing for 2 families).  
These 3 homes will provide us complete homes for 3 families, plus additional housing for short-termers and interns, a small guest facility for visitors, and office space for up to 20 desks (we have space for 15 in our current office, but only using 12 currently).

One of our highest values is GOOD STEWARDSHIP, otherwise known as extremely careful and efficient spending and use of resources.  We truly stretch each and every donated dollar way beyond what you would imagine.  I believe God is honored by this fierce commitment and has blessed us accordingly.

These homes and office are going to cost some money to equip, but FAR FAR FAR less than our other plans would have cost.  God is Good.  VERY GOOD.  We are praising Him.

Below is the floor plan of the new office as we currently see it, after a few minor changes that we have made to increase it's function.  It needs a LOT of clean up as it has sat basically unused for 5 years.  It has no furniture.  It has no kitchen.  It needs new doors and windows, it has no fans, few lights, and it needs A LOT of paint.  But, God provided the home, and we believe he will provide a way to equip it for the ministry.


Thursday, May 22, 2014

2014 Missionary Ladies Retreat

This is the 4th year I’ve been involved in planning and organizing a ladies retreat for the missionary ladies in southern Haiti.  It’s held each year at RMI’s Retreat Center in Zanglais.  It’s a great time of fellowship, relaxation, worship and teaching.  There is always something so special about being able to sit under strong Biblical teaching that is in my heart language—English!  Just that alone is relaxing and refreshing.


This year, we were thrilled to welcome back Gale Kernitz and Sheila Clark, as our speakers for the weekend.  They were here two years ago and the ladies responded so well to what God had put on their hearts to teach us from His Word.  This year was no different.  Before they came, they asked if they could bring their daughters with them and we were so glad they did!  Gale’s daughter, Elle Tyler, is an accomplished pianist.  Before the retreat, she performed a classical piano concert for the missionary community; a real treat for us here.  She also took a lot of pressure off me by planning and leading our worship sessions during the retreat.  Sheila’s daughter, Meaghan, came as well.  She really helped with the decorations and craft.  It was fun to get to know them all better.1794646_10152476339908690_5230241766926743964_n








Our theme for the weekend was “Sharpening the Tools in Your Toolbox.”  We dug into God’s Word and sharpened our relationship tools, gospel tools, discipleship tools and prayer tools.  They gave us some good visual tools to help us think through these areas, so our weekend was filled with shapes: circle, square, figure eight, triangle and hexagon.  For example, my favorite tool was the Lord’s Prayer Hexagon.  Looking at Matthew 6:9-13, we talked about the 6 areas that Christ modeled to us when he taught his disciples to pray:  The Father’s Character, His Kingdom, His Provision, His Forgiveness, His Protection and His Deliverance.  After spending some time talking about the different tools, they gave us time to put them into practice.  My prayer life has been revitalized using this tool.

The weekend also has some down time, which is always a highlight.  Some went to the beach, some went hiking, some took naps, some played games, some kept crafting…  Of course, a huge and very competitive game of catch phrase has become a tradition every year.  That is especially fun playing with some of the ladies whose native language is German!

I’m always thankful for this time away with other sisters in Christ.


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Ladies Win With a 100% Perfect A+!

Way to go Becky and Star.  The Ladies win!  They got 100% on their "Vision Test".

RMI has developed our Mission, our Motivations, our Model, and our Measures (See it here).  It keeps us pointed in ONE direction.  As a staff we want to live and breath these foundations.  So, I gave a test!

Today, the Leadership Team (Benjamin, Benson, Greg, Star, Becky and Myself) took some time, to test ourselves in completing a totally blank sheet with all of this information from memory.  We have been studying for weeks, and let's just say that a few of us missed a few words.  But, Becky and Star both got a 100% perfect A+!  Well done.

We will test again, until the rest of us "slower" team members can match Becky and Star...

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Divine Appointment

Sometimes life is about Divine appointments, not about current circumstances. Recently, RMI president, Dan Shoemaker, was with a team in the mountains of Haiti where they found the road blocked by a landslide. In the long line of vehicles waiting with them for the road crew to rebuild the road was a UN truck and several UN peacekeepers. They struck up a conversation with one of the men who turned out to be from Africa. At the end of the conversation they gave him a Bible. A short time later his superior, a man from the Middle East, sought us out to ask, “Do you have another Bible? I want one too.” Dan dug his Bible out of the luggage and presented it to him, explaining the different features it had as a leadership study Bible. He said, “I’m going to read this! I have a friend who is a Christian and I’m going to ask him to explain it to me.” 

They were stuck on the road for 8 hours. They had things to do, places to go and people to meet. However, God used a landslide to stop them in their tracks so they could be in the right place at the right time, to be where He wanted them for a Divine appointment.

Who knows where it will lead. But the seed was planted in the most unlikely of places to the most unlikely of people.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

How do you buy a truck for Haiti?

RMI’s ministry in Haiti needed a truck.  And not just any truck…a box truck, diesel, stick shift, good to excellent condition, as low as possible mileage and within a moderate price range.  …and it was needed ASAP.  So RMI missionary, Greg Harvie flew to Miami and stayed with RMI Board members John and Linda Garner.  South Florida is a very large area, so it was reasoned that in all of those dozens of cities there could conceivably be THE truck that was needed.  The week trip turned into 10 days and it went something like this:
Several days of checking out truck after truck and finding that if the truck was in the right price range it wasn’t diesel, and/or stick, and/or low mileage, and was usually much the worse for wear.
He learned that demand for the kind of truck he was looking for is unusually high because of the close proximity to the Port of Miami.  That Port is the gateway to the Caribbean, South and Central America.  And they all want those kinds of trucks. 
To get what RMI needed, he would have had to put down almost twice the amount he had budgeted…which wasn’t possible.
RMI’s VP of Ops, Kim Rose, joined Greg for a couple of days.
After the discouraging Miami/Ft. Lauderdale hunt, they expanded their search on the internet to the entire state of Florida and found 1.  Just 1.  In Jacksonville.  5 hours away.
They headed north and were there when the dealer opened the next morning.  And they found that God is a God of details.
The truck was a newer model than what they’d been looking at.  It was diesel.  It was stick shift.  It was in immaculate condition.  It had 40,000 less miles on it than anything they’d seen in Miami.  And the dealer was willing to lower the price a bit which kept it in the allotted budget. 
So – they found THE truck.  Just not in South Florida.
They drove it to Miami where Greg looked for a new seat (the driver’s seat was the only place that showed some wear).  The prices were prohibitive but at one store the manager said, “well, why don’t you just get it recovered?”  He led him to a place where the owner said, “If you’re willing to wait, I can do it now.”  So he waited.  Then he bought 2 new tires that it needed.  And it was ready to send to Haiti.  Just like that. 
He took it to the Port where it will be shipped next week.  And begin it’s new life in service of the God of details.
The new truck 1
The new truck 2
The new truck 3
[The “dots” on the front of the truck are lovebugs from the trip down from Jacksonville.  It’s lovebug season here.]

Monday, April 28, 2014

1st ARP Church/ Source Baptiste Medical Team

Every once in a while, a US church will decide to send a medical team out to their Haitian sister church.  This is a wonderful opportunity for a US church to care for the members of their sister church community in a physical and tangible way.  Many of these people have very little access to health care and lack of means to pay.
The First Associated Reformed Presbyterian Church in Gastonia, NC had a number of clinicians  interested in coming to Haiti to serve their sister church community in Source Baptiste.  After a year of planning, and a little input on my part, they arrived in Haiti on March 28th.  Their purpose was to visit with and minister together with their sister church.  They planned two days of medical clinics during their time in the village. They also planned a program for the school kids, an open air evangelistic service, met with the Pastor and Deacons, and visited and prayed for many of the church shut-ins. It was a very full week.  I was privileged to join them for this trip!
Here is the team before church Sunday morning.  Monday and Tuesday the church was turned into the medical clinic.
The team consisted of a doctor, a PA, a pharmacist, 3 nurses, 2 dentists, a pastor and a prayer warrior.  I don’t want to diminish the role of the pastor and Annabelle, the team’s prayer warrior!  After each person was seen in the clinic, they were prayed for and loved on by these two.  Their care and love for each person who came thru the clinic was evident.
The team saw about 270 patients over those two days of clinics.  I had so much fun in the pharmacy, where we filled over 300 Rx’s each day (we lost count!).  It was refreshing to get back to my educational “roots.” It was really enjoyable to work with the team’s Pharmacist, Sabrina, and watch her joyfully using her training in this environment.  For me personally, it was a stretching and growing week as I served in the pharmacy mostly by counseling all the patients that came through the clinic on their prescriptions.  What a confidence booster to see that my Creole was understood!  I even had a few old people sitting around the pharmacy waiting area after they were done, just giggling, getting a kick out of listening to the blan explain everyone’s Rx’s in Creole.  I still have a long way to go in my language development, but time out with the team always gives me the opportunity to learn more and improve.
Sabrina and I in the “pharmacy”:
Seeing patients in the clinic:
We finished off our time in Source Baptiste by splitting into two teams and visiting and praying with the needy and shut-ins of the church.  This is always a humbling experience; a time I look forward to with every sister church visit.  Each home we visited, each person we prayed for, will be in my heart and mind for a long time to come. 
Giving up my Pharmacy career to come serve the Lord in Haiti was a very difficult decision in 2009.  Yet I’ll never doubt it was the right decision.  I am so thankful that God called us here to serve in Haiti with RMI.  It makes me extra appreciative of the moments like these where I get to do both. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Ministry happens in small ways too

Ministry takes many forms in RMI.  Open air services are held; houses are built; goats are delivered; retreats and conferences are hosted; a motorcycle is given to a pastor; kids’ education is sponsored.  Frequently the tendency is to take up one’s time with events and projects that are “big” in our way of thinking. 
But ministry can happen in the small things as well.  Visiting the widows (and widowers) and shut-ins of the church has become a meaningful, touching time that teams have been doing recently.  These folk are definitely a hidden part of society…hidden away in small rooms, laying on makeshift beds, they are unable to get to church to participate in services.  Yet they may be long-time, praying saints in the latter years of life.
What an immeasurable encouragement and joy it is for them to receive a visit from a team.  Folks from the US chat with them, hear some of their story, sing together, pray for them and usually are able to give them a case of food aid.  They arrive at the little homes with a bit of trepidation (let’s face it, it’s pretty much “out of the box” for most Americans!) but leave deeply moved and humbled and with huge smiles on their faces.
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First ARP 2014 tuned
It is exciting and fulfilling to be involved in ministry, both “big” and “small” ways.  --but who is to say which ministry is the “bigger” one.  Either way, God has called us to be faithful in both.

Friday, April 04, 2014

We Need You!

RMI needs your skills header with construction worker and yellow arch

Urgent Need for Construction Teams to Complete Missionary Housing

As RMI grows, so does our need for additional missionary staff to come along side our current field missionaries, the Thompsons and the Harvies.  God has called 2 families to join RMI in Haiti - and they are badly needed!  Joel and Laura Sutton are currently raising their support and plan to be in Haiti by August, 2014.  Lee and Tina Nunemaker (and their 4 boys) expect to finish their support raising and be in Haiti by December, 2014.

Missionary housing on the mission center is full; however, God has provided a beautiful two story duplex in the village of Simon, almost adjacent to the mission center.  The structure is finished, but the inside is not.  It needs windows, kitchen cabinets, flooring (tile), plumbing and electrical work including light fixtures.

Construction work teams are urgently needed.  Work teams can be scheduled beginning April 4 through August 1, 2014.  Teams are scheduled from Friday to Friday.

Help us get the word out!  RMI needs your skills.  To schedule a work team, please call RMI at 877-764-5439 (toll free).  For more details on the projects and opportunities, ask for Kim Rose.



Simon Missionary Duplex
Completion Goal:  July 31, 2014                       
Work Team Costs           
Cost per team member for 7 day trip costs          $495            

Plus the cost of the selected project below:

Window Installation                                 $9,750       
Kitchen cabinets – downstairs                 $5,495       
Kitchen cabinets – upstairs                     $4,990       
Flooring – downstairs                              $2,600       
Flooring – upstairs                                 $2,600       
Electrical, fans, lights, AC - both units      $2,750       
Where applicable, estimated costs include shipping to Haiti.

Don’t delay - The duplex needs to be finished in time to receive these 2 families!  Send a work team today.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

God Answered!!!

2 years ago, I visited a family in Astruc, so desperately poor, my heart was broken.  Truly. Broken.  I walked away in tears, wanting to do something significant to help.  I did a little, but I had no ability to do more.  Last year, again, I visited the same family and I was still broken.  I prayed, "Lord, please let me do something."  I did a little, but I had no ability to do more.  In January, I visited the family again.  Same. Exact. Prayer.  I did a little, but I had no ability to do more.

Then, my brother, a pastor in Nebraska, called me and said he was bringing a team and they wanted to help the Haitian people.   He asked "What can we do?" I had an idea!  My multi-year prayer was about to be answered.

Our Homes for Haiti program is for all intents and purpose on a break.  The metal homes have gotten so expensive, that it is very difficult to find donors to come along and help out.  So, we are looking into other options.  We have been considering trying to build a block home.  The time was right to do a Pilot house build, block instead of metal, to see if it might be an option for us.   (We learned a lot of great lessons this past week, but that discussion is for another time)

Once my brother's team was on board, we started making plans.  Much of the work was to be done on a volunteer basis by the local Haitian church.  We would supply the plans, materials, and bring a team to help out.  Last week, we did just that.

Here is a before picture of a team praying for this family at the home we just replaced.

Here is a current picture after the back breaking work of this last week.

I will be posting another picture once the home is complete.

Many, many, many more pictures of this house build are available here.

RMI Curb Appeal...

Sometimes teams come to Haiti and do exciting things.  Sometimes, they come and do the seemingly mundane.  I appreciate both!  Sometimes it's the mundane that most excites me.  A team of high school students came recently and wanted to come alongside of RMI itself and do a project.  They painted the wall to our depot giving it a little curb appeal.  It looks beautiful, doesn't it?