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.
  IMG_8057 - Copy
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?



64 Salvations in One Week!

I am always saying it.  I love what we get to do.  We recently had a team come from McGregor Baptist Church in Fort Myers, FL.  I can't say I have met another church that is more ready, prepared, and unashamed of sharing the Gospel.  They came fired up and ready.  God showed up.

This team did several open air services.  To be honest, these didn't seem to be all that successful, although I am looking at it from an earthly perspective.  They shared clearly and firmly with the masses at these events and only God knows truly what was eternally accomplished.

Sharing the Gospel "Yard2Yard"

The harvesting almost exclusively came as they broke up into small teams and did what I like to call Yard2Yard Evangelism.  In the US, it's typically called Door to Door, but in Haiti, pretty much no one stays indoors, so we visit yards.  The team of 21 split into 3-4 teams through the week in 4-5 communities in conjunction with the local MEBSH church, each with a translator and each with a deacon representative with the local church.  (EVERYTHING we do is done with the local church).  Each yard was chosen by the local pastors and deacons, people who they deemed "needing to hear".  In these face to face Yard2Yard encounters, one by one people professed faith.  64 all together.  Wow.  Again, only God knows what was going on in the hearts of those 64 people, but I can tell you confidently that they each took a step, and now the local church has their names, knows that a profession was made, and they will follow up.

Praying before going out to share.  Church Plant in the

Did I mention that I love what we get to do?

Manna from Heaven...

2 Weeks ago, the RMI team in Haiti realized that we were desperately short of food for Relief and our Hope for Kidz Hot Lunch Program.  We have been working with our supplier over the last several months to get the containers that we need, but the food just hasn't arrived (logistics are all backed up), and to be honest, it looked like we wouldn't have a container arrive in Haiti for up to 2 months.  What could we do?

I sent a desperate email to the RMI FL office to ask them to pray, and they shared, "oh, now would be a good time to tell you that we have a special container from a special source arriving in Port au Prince TOMORROW!"  I couldn't believe my ears.  After I picked up my jaw from the floor, I shared with my team that God answered our payers.

Within 2 weeks, it was here in Cayes.  Below are some pictures of us unloading the container.  TODAY, we start delivering this food out to our Hope for Kidz schools for the Hot Lunch Program.  Pray for safety, open roads, stamina, and good logistics.  A lot of effort is required to make all this happen.  God is good...