Friday, December 18, 2015

In a World SO DIVIDED, How Good and Pleasant It Is...

In a world SO DIVIDED, it’s a distinct privilege to facilitate and watch walls crumble. The Lord made us to be in fellowship.  He called us to be ONE body. 

It’s hard to explain. It’s difficult to understand. It’s impossible to truly capture.  Yet, it’s amazing to experience. 

Unity. Fellowship. Love.

I have heard Psalm 133 read SO. MANY. TIMES. here in Haiti. Why? Because it is true. I can hear it now coming from the breath of God himself.. 

“Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers and sisters dwell in unity!”

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Developing Schools of Excellence…

HFK Logo With White (2)You might be aware of Hope for Kidz, our child sponsorship program.  Just the highlights…  We have over 2000 children sponsored and receiving an education (Tuition, books, shoes, uniform, etc), over 5000 children eating a Hot Lunch every school day and next week we will be providing health education and deworming to over 17,000 children!  We couldn’t be more excited!

One could say that helping a child get to school is only half of the battle.  The other half is making sure they receive a Christ centered quality education.  We are focusing more and more on making sure this happens.  Here are just a few things we are doing toward this end…

Teacher Training – We want our teachers trained.  It’s a desperate need.  We have partnered with an organization who specializes in training Haitian teachers.  Our desire is for all of the teachers and school directors form our partner schools to get advanced training.  Right now, as I write, we have 75 teachers who are sitting in training.  By the end of tomorrow, they will have finished modules #1 through #8 out of 12.  These 75 teachers are now into their second year of the 2 year program.  It’s exciting to watch!  We can’t wait to roll out this same training to many more teachers starting fall 2016.  More to come…


Monthly School Visits – Once a month, a member of our Partnership Facilitation team visits each school.  While there, they observe, create reports, provide oversight and accountability.  These observations and reports are a significant step in helping us understand the issues at hand.


NEW Hope for Kidz Monitor – We have recently added a position to our HFK team to help us gain deeper insight and to respond more quickly to observed needs in the lives of each of our sponsored children and partner schools.  There is a story behind every child and every school.  We want to know these stories so we can address child and school/educational development needs more quickly and effectively.  This position exists to supervise, monitor, develop, and hold accountable all Hope for Kidz children, schools, teachers and school directors.  In response to observations made, recommendations will be made, and quickly addressed.  We are immediately addressing specialized teacher training needs with seminars.  We will be watching and making recommendations on changing systems, schedule, curriculum, discipline, etc.  We will be noting the absence of supplies, facilities and teaching aides and looking for ways to address these deficiencies.


Resourcing Schools – Because our Hope for Kidz program is done within the context of our Church Partnerships, we are able to collaborate with our US Partners to bring much needed resources to our Haitian schools. Did you know that we are actively building 2 schools right now?  Did you know that we just provided 6 blackboards and 6 teacher’s desks to another school? Did you know that we just built a bathroom facility for another school?  We love being able to partner with local churches and schools to provide the resources they need to provide a quality education.

We are incredibly excited about our initiatives to develop Schools of Excellence.  Please pray and join us.

Friday, October 09, 2015

Our Haitian Team - the Gold Standard?

IMG_3562Our visiting short term teams are led by our Haitian team members with excellence.  As Field Director, will you allow me the opportunity to give a shout out to our Haitian staff?  I hope so, so here it goes…

We ask all of our visiting team members from the US to complete a survey once they return home.  On one of those surveys, a recent US team member, speaking specifically about our Haitian Team Leader and Partnership Facilitators that went with them to visit their Sister Church, wrote, “I would say this is the standard others should strive for. I couldn’t imagine anything better”.  Love it!

We like to say we are a “teaching mission”.  We want to raise up, empower and release our Haitian Team to lead and do big things for Christ.  I can say with all assurance, it’s happening and I couldn’t be more pleased.  But my opinion doesn’t matter.  I think God is pleased.

This post is a simple shout out to the deep integrity, commitment, hard work and leadership of our Haitian staff who are here on the ground making it happen. 

Thank you for what you do, for Jesus and the furthering of His kingdom.

We Plan, but God Decides our Steps…

God says, “Man plans his way, but God determines the path.” The original trip from Creekside Community Church, Gainesville, FL, to visit their Sister Church in Baradere Haiti, was planned for the last week of August.  But, since the team was flying directly to Les Cayes from Florida in a small, private plane, the trip was cancelled because of Tropical Storm Danny.  It was rescheduled for the next Monday, but had to be postponed another day because of Tropical Storm Erika!

This was a VERY unique visit.  The team had 2 purposes… First, they wanted to focus on Hope for Kidz child sponsorship initiatives by interviewing teachers, graduates and present sponsored children in the school.  The second purpose was to get things started and/or see progress on the new school building that is being funded. 


Except the pilot of the plane, all team members were veterans of C3P visits to Baradere.  It was extremely enriching to everyone as team members talked with the pastor, his wife, the deacons, the cook ladies, and those involved with the school. Laughter between the host church and team members characterized the ease of communication and friendship between them. Individual conversations were video taped to help the team remember information from the interviews and to imprint the experience upon them and those at Creekside.  Two of the team members hiked two hours one way up a mountain with the pastor and two RMI staff to experience what one sponsored child experiences each day as the child walks to and from school. Because they were walking, they were able to talk with several other children and families along the way.  All the interviews at the parsonage, school, and homes led each team member to a deeper understanding and appreciation of the culture and of the school. All of the team members were impressed by the insight and qualifications of the teachers, as well as the complexity of questions asked by the recent graduates.

A statement (paraphrased) by the pilot, a first time visitor with RMI, summed up his impression of those families interviewed by the team. He said that he was amazed by the cleanliness and orderliness of the homes and the pride of the people even in the midst of such poverty. He wants to be included in future trips.

A C3 Partnership Visit to Camp Perrine…

A group from Schuylkill Valley Bible Chapel arrived in Haiti after a two year hiatus led by the veteran husband and wife team, Pastor Steve and Mary Buerer. In addition to the mutual encouragement of the sister churches, the specific mission of this team was to install water filters and distribute food to Camp Perrine Church and some of its satellite churches. The team actively participated in installing 14 filters, but also left 6 more with the church to use as they felt best. Ten boxes of food were also brought along to be distributed to some of the families. The ongoing need for food and clean water was the motivation for this emphasis. Other activities during the week included a Ladies Tea and a Youth Program, both of which were well attended and enjoyed by all! Pastor Steve and Christian Leinbach added the benefit of their years of experience and study to a leadership conference held at the church. Perguens, one of our Partnership Facilitators and the Team Leader, said he also learned a lot from being involved. The three satellite churches visited were Ferme de Blanc, Ashille, and Mont Casse.

All the team members were very impressed by the facilities provided by the church at Camp Perrine! The men slept in a new addition above the rear of the church building constructed as an office for Pastor Astrell, and included a nice bathroom. Pastor Steve, his wife, and Lauren stayed in the Pastor’s home, the bathroom of which had also been renovated. Brian and Lauren as first-timers, were very impressed by the hospitality and self sacrifices of all the church members in serving us. They both said they would be happy to return if God called them and provided the means. Everyone was moved by the abundance of love and fellowship from all the churches’ members. The team felt they had accomplished more on this trip than any previous ones.

To God be the glory!

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Did We Get (or Give) Your Goat?

Over the last few years, we have had quite a few people donate to provide a goat to a family here in Haiti.  We LOVE doing this and we do it very carefully.  Here are a few things that we think you might not know, but we think that you might be interested to know…
  1. We give the goat to a family, but put it in the hands of a child.  We ask that child to take responsibility to care for the goat.
  2. We only give female goats since it is gift that will keep on giving (offspring).
  3. Each recipient is instructed that there are some requirements if they choose to accept the donation.  They must know that the first baby is to be given away to another family in need, and if that baby is a female, then that family must also give the first offspring away, and so on.  As an example, in Sainte Helaine Church we gave 10 goats.  In less than 2 years, 10 more kids received a goat from the original recipients.  Once the first baby is given away, all future offspring are for the benefit of the family.
  4. We provide veterinary care (4 checkups for the first year of the goat’s life, including necessary vaccinations and vitamins) for the goats we give away to keep them healthy and productive.  Our team of agronomists visit our partnering churches and we invite all recipients to bring their goats so that we can give counsel and medications.
  5. One of our pastor recently shared with us that receiving a goat is like the promise of receiving a monthly pay check.  A goat is like a checking account that will just keep on giving.  For example, the sale of a future goat can provide for school tuition and supplies, medical care, food, or any other family needs.  Each goat we give provides a little business to the family.
You can donate $90 now to give a goat!

Here are some recent pictures taken during a recent veterinary care session…

GLFS Complete…

Leadership Development in Action:  The Global Leadership Follow-up Seminar (GLFS) here in Cayes, Haiti, is complete.  We do this in coordination with our local MEBSH Bible School.  We really appreciate the work of World Team missionary Sean Christenson and Bible School Director Pastor Jean Admettre.

We are grateful for the opportunity we have to invest in these men and women leaders.  We pray God multiplies our investment to bring sustained change in the lives of those they lead.  They are world changers!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Behind the Scenes…

Greetings from Haiti!  Wow, what a summer!  Our staff has been working hard.  Not only have we received several teams, but we have been working hard here in our office to support all of our programs.


Among other things, we have spent significant time processing and receiving several containers, maintaining vehicles and other equipment, facilitating active projects (construction and spiritual), receiving new missionaries, visiting all of our Haitian partner churches and schools, preparing for a new HFK school year, providing updates to our US Partners, and planning for the future.  We love what we get to do.

If you could be a fly on the wall of the RMI Haiti Office, you would likely be amazed to watch the amount of behind the scenes activity that happens here on a daily basis.  It’s extraordinary.  We are grateful for the faithfulness and hard work of the whole team…

Monday, August 17, 2015

New Life, New Culture, New Home, New Job–The Nunemakers Have Arrived in Haiti

July 20 was a notable day in RMI history. This was the day that the Nunemaker family flew to Haiti!

They prayed, planned, packed, moved, traveled and raised support for several years. Their container arrived before them, was unpacked by the RMI staff and put directly in the house that was waiting for them. [For those of you who have been to Haiti in the last few years, their house was formerly RMI’s Guest House and temporary RMI Haiti office.]

They got right to work unpacking and settling in. Field orientation was an eye opener for them as they learned how to live life all over again in a new culture….learning how and where to shop, about Haitian currency, how the water system works, learning the ins and outs of having city electricity, mission center electricity and a generator and invertor for the house, meeting their fellow RMI missionaries and other missionaries living in the area and finding out which families have kids the same ages as the boys, hiring help to work in the yard and in the house….so many new things!

Lee, Tina, Daniel and Josiah have started language lessons, which will take about 3 months. RMI firmly believes that having a firm grasp on Creole is key to having an effective ministry, thus they are taking care of this first before getting directly involved in ministry. Tina is making preparations for homeschooling the boys in a few weeks and Lee will slowly be eased into his position as the C3 Partnership Coordinator overseeing 30+ C3 Partnerships. This recently created position will increase the effectiveness of the C3 Partnership Program through improved communication and oversight between C3 Partners. It will greatly ease the work load of Haiti Field Leader, Rob Thompson, allowing him to focus his time and energies on running the RMI Haiti field.

They’ve not wasted time in exploring Haiti and enjoying some of what the area has to offer. Their weekend excursions have involved motorcycle rides up into the mountains, a dip or two in mountain rivers and waterfalls, and some days at several beaches. They’ve become familiar with Haiti’s wildlife (there’s only 1 kind – tarantulas). The terrarium they brought already has a resident tarantula in it. 

And they’ve added a new family member: Tobi the dog. A mixture of several large dog breeds, he’s a huge but gentle giant. He came from another family who returned to the US but he’s already loyal to them and a good guard dog.

Tina summed things up this way: “Five years ago, Lee and I took a short term missions trip to Haiti that has changed our lives forever. Today, we live in the house that, at that time, was the guesthouse in which we stayed. We are surrounded by new friends from around the world, are learning a new language, and trying to take in all that we can of the Haitian culture. Some days all of this is easier to comprehend than others but all six of us are adjusting well to the new reality in which we live. Five years ago, we couldn’t imagine this life, now we can not imagine it any other way.” 

They have gone to Haiti on faith, relying on God to supply the rest of their support. They still lack 30%. Would you partner with them in this exciting ministry that God has given them? You can do that online HERE or send a check, earmarked for the Nunemakers’ support to RMI, 5475 Lee St., Suite 301, Lehigh Acres, FL 33971.

You can find both Lee and Tina on Facebook, and their blog can be found HERE.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Will you Pray?

Haiti is in the midst of a multi year drought.  The people are suffering.  Crops are dying.  Rivers are dry.  Wells are dry.  Rain is rare. It’s bad.

For RMI, it is also proving difficult.  This week, our cisterns at our Zanglais Retreat and Training Center ran dry.  Again.  We use this facility for all of our teams, leadership seminars, and outside groups. It’s VERY dry.  Our well has been dry for a number of years. 

A year of so ago we did some work to more efficiently collect rain water.  It helped.  Even though it seldom rains, we need to do all we can to collect it when it does.  Building additional water storage capacity may be the only solution, but it will cost us approximately $25,000 to do so.  This is about $24,999 more than we have.

We’ve talked to the experts.  They tell us drilling a another well in the area would be a gamble at best.  The coastal area there is known to be exceptionally dry.  The $5000 that it would cost to drill a well, would more than likely end up a total loss because the potential for finding water is very low.  Although it’s a chore, when our cisterns run low, we send our trucks and pumps to a nearby source.  Today I was told that that source has now run dry.  Wow.

We are really in a difficult situation.

As I shared with the team this morning.  I am tired of hearing about the problem.  I need to hear solutions.  The team member looked at me and said the only solution we can think of is prayer.  Period. 

Would you please pray for rain?  Pray for creative solutions.  Certainly not just for RMI.  Pray for Haiti.  Pray.

Here we are running some technical tests on our well.  It’s dusty dry. It’s dead.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Moving Day in Haiti

Thursday was moving day for the Joel and Laura Sutton.  Cite Lumiere (near Cayes) is where RMI's Haiti office and facilities are located and is also where our missionaries live.  But housing there is maxed out (many other missionaries live there as well).  So RMI  has rented a building in the local village of Simon, which is about 2-3 minutes from RMI's center of operations.  The building provides 2 apartments, 1 upstairs and 1 downstairs.  The Suttons are in the upstairs apartment. 


We're thankful for the teams, missionaries and RMI staff members who pitched in to tile, paint and help finish the inside so it would be ready for them.  The pictures tell the tale of moving - there were many hands helping. 

collage 1

Did you notice what the back of their RMI shirts say? "Serving with Passion"  That's what our staff do!

collage 2

Joel and Laura are enjoying being in the middle of a teeming Haitian village.  They get to hear the regular rhythm of life… as Joel put it, “there is a cacophony of sounds including, but not limited to, dogs, roosters, goats, donkeys, pigeons, motorcycles, people calling out their wares for sale, pounding, chopping, digging, children laughing, crying, and/or singing, but they are all the sounds of life in Haiti and right now I wouldn't trade places with anyone.”  Laura added, “The HUGE Simon Baptist church is up on the hill above us. The village almost sits in an amphitheater. We hear all of the music from there - funerals, children's programs, lively hymns! The last two mornings have been a joy to watch people walking back and forth to market, to church, and to school or work. We are blessed!”

They are hooked up to city power and have an invertor system hooked up that will store power when city power is on then give them power when city power goes off.  They are finishing up the unpacking, setting things up, and decorating this week.  It won’t take long to get settled in.  …and on July 20 they’ll be welcoming the Lee Nunemaker family.  The Nunemakers will live in the house that the Suttons just left (it was also previously the RMI Guesthouse and Office – it has served many purposes).  It’s good to have these kinds of growing pains!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

RMI Office Grows

The RMI International Office recently experienced some (good) growing pains.  With the adding of 2 new staff members (John and Joanne Miner, April 13, 2015), one very pressing issue was apparent…where were we going to put them?  Our office in Lehigh Acres, FL is a modest place and has been adequate up until now.  For various reasons the option of moving wouldn’t work for us.  After receiving the blessing of our landlord, we decided to make changes to our current office.  Essentially we played musical offices, moving people around to make better use of the space we had and to provide better collaboration between departments.  The front area was then divided into 2 separate office spaces.  But the most significant change was turning the garage into a conference room and integrating it into the main part of the office.

We did most of the work ourselves and are thankful that RMI’s VP, Kim Rose, has had quite a bit of experience in building and renovation.  The pictures really tell the story!

collage 1

The finished product is amazing.  Not only do we have a great conference room, but a nice finished hallway, a second bathroom and were able to still maintain a storage room and loft.

collage 2

You can find more pictures HERE.  If you are ever by the southwest Florida area, please stop by for a visit!  We are always ready to celebrate and honor our friends.

Monday, June 08, 2015

No Turning Back

The container has been packed and the tickets have been bought – there’s no turning back! 
When they loaded the container with their belongings at the end of May, their commitment to serve in Haiti became even more real.  Lee and Tina Nunemaker (all 4 boys and Tina’s parents too) brought their household goods to RMI’s office in Ft. Myers, FL where they assisted in the loading of the container.  It was hot, sweaty work.  First they unloaded their rental truck then transferred it all to the container.  In addition to their things, supplies and equipment for RMI missionaries and ministries were loaded as well as items that had been sent by several C3 Partners.  It was like putting a giant puzzle together…one that took 2.5 days to do!


collage 2

collage 3

Everything made it on there, including the 28 tires, 5 pallets of prepackaged and boxed food aid, 3 4 wheelers and 2 motorcycles. It felt good to close the doors, seal it and send it on its way to Cayes via the Port of Miami and the port at Port-au-Prince. You can see more of the packing pictures HERE
Pray for its safe journey on the ship, through customs, and over land to RMI’s Haiti facilities.  It should arrive before the Nunemakers. 

They have bought their tickets to Haiti for July 20!  It’s exciting to get them on their way.  Pray for the provision of the rest of their funds. They’d also appreciate your prayers for their final speaking engagements and visits with family and friends.  Leaving is always hard, but they are anxious to get on with this next step in their lives.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Effective Prayer for Missionaries

We are often asked how people can pray for missionaries.  “God bless the missionary” is not an effective, informed prayer.  However knowing specific needs or situations enables people to be both effective and knowledgeable.  One specific prayer for cross-cultural missionaries is for their adjustment to the new and different culture in which they find themselves.  This applies to both new missionaries as well as “long-termers”.

4 stages of missionary life

There are 4 stages of missionary life:

Fun – This is the “honeymoon” stage.  When they first arrive on the field everything is new, bright, shiny, exciting, exhilarating…it’s FUN.  The nationals can do no wrong, their job / ministry is perfect, they love the food, their neighbors, the sounds and the smells.  Everything is wonderful.

Fight – After the honeymoon is over, reality starts to rear its ugly head.  Things have lost their luster and the missionaries start to feel weighted down.  The nationals do things differently and think differently than them, their job / ministry turns out to be very difficult and physically demanding, they get tired of the food and long for some “home cooking”, their neighbors are noisy and nosy, their dogs keep them up at night and if they smell one more charcoal fire they think they’ll throw up.  Things are not so rosy anymore and it’s depressing, exhausting, and makes them want to FIGHT.  They want to fight against everything, wishing things were not so hard, or different, or so far out of their comfort zone.

Flight – You can guess what this means.  FLIGHT is the “just put me on the plane” stage.  The missionaries feel defeated and deflated in every area of life.   They feel like a failure and they’re crying “Uncle!” and just want to quit, get out of there and go home.

Fit – In this final stage they have come through Fun, Fight and Flight and have come to peace within themselves and find that they actually FIT. They realize that there are many things about the culture that they really like; they enjoy the differences and strengths in the nationals; they enjoy their job / ministry and feel like they are making headway; their neighbors have become friends; they find that earplugs work great against the noises and many of those cooking smells signal meals that they just love.  They feel more relaxed, are easier to get along with and can sleep at night.  They feel energized again – especially in the realization that they are fitting in.

The goal is to progress from one stage to another, eventually settling into stage 4: Fit.  It may take some time to get there.  And a missionary may bounce from one stage to another.  It’s entirely possible to go through all 4 stages in one day!  And there’s no shame in Fight or Flight.  Missionaries are, after all, only human. 

So your prayers for missionaries should be that God will be with them in each of these stages, that God would give them grace, strength and wisdom in each stage – that they’d respond appropriately and keep on moving towards fitting. 

These stages are a continual process that last the whole time that the missionaries are on the field, so don’t be lax in praying for God’s help in their adjusting and dealing with the cross-culture situation to which He’s called them.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

HFK Thank You From Maniche...

Here is a sweet video from a girl, Alexandria Sylvavia, from Maniche, Haiti, who is sponsored in RMI's Hope for Kidz program. She wanted to say thank you, not only to her own sponsor, but to all of the Hope for Kidz sponsors.

Good morning. My name is Alexandre Sylvavia. I am a student of Maniche Baptist school. I am so happy today to say thank you to all the sponsors that are supporting kids all around Haiti through Espwa Pou Timoun Program (RMI's Hope for Kidz program). This program started supporting me in school when I was in kindergarten, and now I am in 6th grade. I want to say that this program has done a lot for me and many other students.

The program has provided me with shoes, a school uniform, a hot meal everyday, and it has paid my school tuition and that helps my parents a lot. I want to take this time to say to my sponsor thank you so much and know for sure that I am praying for them. This message is also for all the other sponsors for the great work they are doing.

Once again... thank you, thank you and thank you.

God bless.

Want to Sponsor a Child?

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

McGregor Youth Changed Eternity...

The McGregor Baptist Church youth team changed eternity!  They shared the Gospel with hundreds and were privileged to take part as 46 of these chose to follow Christ.  This team came prepared, under great leadership, to share and serve like few other teams I have experienced.

Here is the McGregor team sharing the Gospel
at a soccer field in Zanglais, Haiti.
How did we do evangelism?  This week, we focused on 2 strategies.  First, after arrival in the community, we split the large team of 27 into smaller groups, and sent out each small group on foot with a local church leader.  We ALWAYS do this in coordination with a local church leader (Deacon, Deaconess, Pastor) so they can evaluate the responses and followup after our teams have gone.  Each group visited homes (actually front yards since Haitians tend to be outside) and shared the Gospel.  Secondly, in the afternoons we would go back to the same community and have a casual gathering of kids at the local soccer field (many would come because they were invited and others would come to see what was happening and play games).  As we would faithfully present the Gospel, we heard "no", we heard "I will think about it" and we certainly heard "I'm Catholic", but we also heard "YES" 46 times!  We praise the Lord.  

We trust that these were authentic decisions to change their eternal zip code.  We count on the local church to follow up and plug these new believers into their fellowship so they can be discipled.

Pastor Ben praying for Pastor Olbert
at the Pemel church plant.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A New Sister Church Relationship in Zanglais, Haiti...

"What a memorable experience!  What extraordinary measures to make us comfortable! To make us feel at home and welcome. " These are some of the words to describe the first Sister Church (C3 Partnership) visit by the First Baptist Church of St. Petersburg, FL to their new sister church at Zanglais, Haiti.

With a welcome of marching, the Brigade, the sign, the Zanglais church went out of their way to celebrate this new relationship.  Members of the team and staff were welcomed with singing, clapping, and even rose boutonnieres.

The Brigade marching and dancing
The focus of this first visit was building relationships, and that important goal was met. Church on Sunday morning again welcomed the team with a lot of the songs sung in English. In the afternoon, the team and RMI missionaries were able to meet and talk with the entire Pastor's family. It was probably the only time the busy Madanm Pastor sat down the entire week! 

First Baptist Church of St. Petersburg 
and the Pastor with his family.
Team members were also able to fellowship with two of the seven satellite churches in the district, Lasource Baptist Church and Grison Baptist Church. Both churches welcomed the team warmly and provided an opportunity to see the growth of the Christian church in Haiti.

There were so many highlights to the week, but one of the most important was when four people accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior as a result of the music, the gospel message by Robert Mayforth, and the call for salvation from two of the RMI staff missionaries. 

Meeting all the 75 Hope for Kidz sponsored children energized the team members to recruit additional sponsors, giving more children the opportunity to attend school. All the team members were spent time with their sponsored children throughout the week.

An opportunity to meet sponsored children.
Perhaps the most anticipated event was the wedding of six couples of the church. The weddings were made possible by the donation of 28 wedding dresses by the First Baptist Sister Church. Each of the brides had the opportunity to pick their "perfect dress" from the huge selection.  

One of the beautiful brides.
Visiting shut-ins and delivering food provided the opportunity to identify families most needing a new home through the Homes for Haiti program. The fellowship with these shut-ins were a blessing.

One of several homes visited by the Sister Church.
Excited, tired, blessed..... The end of a meaningful week for Sister Churches First Baptist Church of St. Petersburg and Zanglais MEBSH Church, Haiti.

You can see more pictures here.

Creekside Visits Their Sister Church at Baradare...

It was a busy, exciting, memorable sister church visit when Creekside Church of Gainesville, Florida went to Baradare, Haiti.  For four people on the team, it was their first trip to Haiti. For others, such as Don Forrester, it was a time of renewing friendships in Baradare, Haiti. Don was making his 28th trip to Baradare as team leader!

For Laura Lebo, it was a time of joy and sadness. It was her 5th trip to Haiti, but her last trip for a long time. She is leaving later this year as a full time missionary with Pioneers, ministering most likely in Chad, Africa. For RMI field missionaries, Laura and Joel Sutton, it was a touch of home since Creekside is their home church in Florida. Even more personal, two of the three nurses on the team were Laura's former nursing students.

Everyone was excited to see the changes in the community of Baradare from clean, paved streets to the amazing city park with exercise equipment, a stage, and beautiful landscaped greenery.

Waiting for the service to start. Town people on the sides.

The team and church put the park to good use with an outdoor service Sunday evening. To make it even better,  there was a heavy rain shower. So,  everyone crowded on the stage or on nearby porches until the rain stopped. They heard fantastic music, two inspiring testimonies and a message all showing the need for a Savior.

The team of four nurses, a Haitian nurse, other team members, RMI staff, and church leaders saw 182 people in the health clinics over three mornings in Baradare and the satellite church at Pedirain.

Climbing the hill to the Pedirain church!
A pediatric nurse was also great with older people
The Haitian nurse explaining medications to a patient 
The Ladies Tea, children's program, discussion with the church leadership about Hope for Kids, playing with children and visiting shut-ins did not take second place in importance to the clinics.

Ladies Tea - enjoying the fellowship
Children playing with two of the team members
Visiting shut-ins
Worshipping together and sharing God's Word were the most significant events in the week. The special music by the cooks and the children as the team left, saying goodbye to Laura Lebo were an example of the importance of relationships that happen because of long-term Sister Church relationships.

Truly, God is great and His church is strong!

You can see more pictures here.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Partnerships: Not Just a Buzz Word...

This week we have been reminded of some of our institutional partnerships that we are blessed to be a part of.  We talk A LOT about our 30 C3 Partners because EVERYTHING we do flows out of our Sister Church partnerships,  Did you know that we have additional partnerships with other organizations that help make these church partnerships possible? We are serious about "Mobilizing Global Partnerships to Transform Lives in Christ".

Among others, this week we have been reminded of...

ACWR (Apostolic Christian World Relief) - This week we received a 40' container of food buckets.
AWANA - We have been planning for next week's Awana celebration and training event the we are doing here in Southern Haiti.
FFP (Food for the Poor - Haiti) - They take care of all of the shipping and customs logistics for all of our FMSC containers
FMSC (Feed My Starving Children) - This week we received a 40' container of Food Boxes.  This container was a special blessing because it was over and above our official annual allocation plan.
TTT (Teachers Training Teachers) - This weekend another team from TTT arrives to teach approximately 75 teachers the next 2 modules.

Thank you to these partners.  We do what we do because of what you do.  We are grateful to be an extension of what you do here on the field.  We surely couldn't do what we do without the efforts and generosity of these partners.

"Men anpil, chay pa lou." - Haitian Proverb
"Many hands make the load light." - English Equivalent