Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Nunemakers Have Been Cleared to Go

Lee and Tina Nunemaker and their 4 sons, Daniel, 18, Josiah, 16, Nathan 11, and Isaac, 6, from Greencastle, PA have been raising their support for more than 2 years and have now been cleared to go to Haiti!    They have raised enough funds for RMI to authorize them to go, but are not 100% funded yet.  Would you consider helping them meet their goal?  They all are anxious to get to Haiti and start their lives and ministry there.  
Lee will be the C3 Partnership Coordinator.  He was recently in the RMI International Office to receive training in the inner workings and many details involved in coordinating the 30+ relationships that we have now.  He is badly needed on the field to relieve some of Rob Thompson's load. 
They are busy drawing their lives to a close there in the Greencastle area including sorting and packing their belongings.  Currently their plan is to drive their packed household goods down to the RMI International Office in Ft. Myers, FL, arriving on May 26.  There they’ll load a 40 ft. sea container with their things along with various things that RMI needs on the field.
 Their departure date is mid-July!
Sept. 2014 week of training for Lee
Pray for them as they go through the departure process of packing, having final doctor and family visits, say their farewells and continue to raise the last portion of their monthly needs.  You can see their latest prayer letter HERE.  It contains more details about their leaving, including specific items that they still need.  Make sure you look for the hidden tarantula in the letter.  You can find their blog HERE.
Can you be a part of their support team?  You can donate online HERE

Thursday, March 19, 2015

One More HFH Home Completed!

Mr. Benoit Joseph Cambry has been an active member of Picot Baptist Church for a long time. He is married with 7 children. They were living in a house of tarps for a long, long time. As you can imagine, this has been incredibly difficult, and even seems impossible.

When RMI told Pastor Calixte Dorval, the pastor of Picot Church, that we have a house to build for a family through RMI's Homes for Haiti Program, he and the church committee decided together that this family should receive this home.

Mr. Benoit Joseph Camby, the father. is a farmer. They work hard to make ends meet as they live their daily lives counting on the Lord to provide for the family. 

After we built the house we handed the keys to the family. The mom said to us “Thank you very, very much for changing my life and my family. We have lived in that tent house and I must tell you that when it rains it was like we were outside. Sometimes we think the kids pee in their bed, but in reality it was just rain water! When it rains nobody can sleep because we have to stand up until the rain stops. While everybody is praying to have rain, my family and I are very worried because the rain is not good for us. Once again thank you for all you do and thank you for changing my life."

As we were building this home, the mom would walk around singing praises and thanking the Lord. She was clearly grateful! The family helped as they were able to with the build itself.

We are also grateful for the opportunity we had because someone in the United States made a donation to help make this happen. Thank you to that donor and all praise goes to the Lord!

You can see more pictures here.

The first one is their original "house", the last one is their new home.

This is a picture of the old "Tarp" Home.
Interior work is being done.
This is the HFH Build Team
with some of the Family.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

It’s Hope for Kidz Time!

A secular study recently concluded that one of the most effective ways to give third world kids a chance to better themselves is to enable them to get an education. This is what Hope for Kidz is all about - providing “Hope Today for Haiti’s Tomorrow”. Through a child sponsorship a child receives his or her tuition paid for a school year, the necessary uniforms and school supplies, annual de-worming medication and prevention education, access to an emergency major medical needs fund and where available, 1 hot, nutritious meal each school day.

HFK Director, Barbara Rose, [right] and part-time RMI Administrative Assistant, Debbie Crawford, [left] have worked hard to prepare the profiles and informational packets. This picture was taken in the garage of the RMI International Office. 

 New pictures have been taken for the 2015-2016 school year. Everything is being sent out this month. It’s the time to re-new your sponsorship or if you haven’t been sponsoring a child, it’s time to start! Sponsor several kids! Can you share the need at your place of work? Your Bible study group? How about sharing the need with your extended family? Family groups can get together and support several children. Share it with your Kiwanis or Rotary group...or your neighbors. Help us get the word out about Hope for Kidz. The more kids that are supported, the more who have Hope for Tomorrow - and the more kids we can feed! 

If you are a part of an RMI C3 Partnership, contact your church’s Hope for Kidz Coordinator to select a child and receive that child’s picture and profile. If you are not in a C3 Partnership, contact RMI directly. 

 Sponsoring a child costs $336 annually or $28 monthly for 12 months. You can go online at www.rmibridge.org and click on “Donate Now”. Create your online profile for recurring donations. Or phone RMI at 877-764 - 5439. Sending a check is always an option as well (5475 Lee St., Suite 301, Lehigh Acres, FL 33971).

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Teams Come and Go. Why?

As our American teams come and go, our ultimate goal is that we can facilitate a partnership that will have a hand in their transformation into who God wants them to be. It really isn't about the logistics, planning and prep, funding, projects, vehicles, equipment, meals, etc. These are a means to an end. Our prayer is that they would go back more on fire; more on mission for Christ. We call these our measures because we can measure our success by these. We hope to have a hand in developing/creating...
  • Compassionate Christians - First in their church, and to the world! 
  • More Missionaries - First in their church, and to the world! 
  • Generous Givers - First in their church, and to the world! 
  • Everyday Evangelists - First in their church, and to the world! 
  • Selfless Servants - First in their church, and to the world! 
Has this happened in your life because of your Partnership with RMI and your Sister Church?

Monday, March 09, 2015

Seeing is Believing

IMG_2929For the first time ever, the RMI Board traveled to Haiti during the last week in February to see and experience RMI’s many ministries first hand as well as meet and encourage our growing staff.  Despite a busy schedule, it was a rewarding, insightful experience for everyone. 

In 2 days they:

  • Visited a school to see a hot lunch program in action.  The Board members actually handed out the food.  Toured the new RMI office at Cite Lumiere in Les Cayes 
  • IMG_3080Visited a Rastavic school where there are several Hope for Kidz sponsored kids 
  • Visited a Homes for Haiti home in the Simon neighborhood, toured the home and prayed with the widow that lives there with her 2 little girls 
  • Joined the RMI staff for morning devotions (given by Board chairman, Tim Osborne) after which the Board members washed the staff’s feet and prayed with them 
  • Met with Pastor Emile Alneve, the president of MEBSH, the Haitian church association we partner with and prayed with him 
  • Toured Cite Lumiere Christian School where our missionary kids attend 
  • IMG_3279Toured 2 RMI facilities in the local village area where 3 RMI missionary families are living 
  • Had a short visit with Jules Gedna (RMI’s former administrator) at his home (Note - his health is holding steady.  He was in Haiti for a short time and has now returned to the states to continue his cancer treatments.)

On the evening of the second day and the third day in-country the Board meeting took place.  Being at RMI’s Retreat Center on the Caribbean was an added bonus.  All in all it was an excellent trip.  You can see more pictures HERE.

Friday, March 06, 2015

Top 10 Ways 2 Ruin a Short Term Mission Trip...

10.  Assume You Understand - Instead, assume you don't understand.  Don't draw conclusions without lots of questions and listening (and then question your conclusions again). 

9.  Assume Cultural Superiority - Realize, that you dress like you dress, walk like you walk, buy the stuff you buy, talk the way you talk, sit the way you sit, dream the way you dream, think the way you think, all because of your own context, and the context of your ancestors.  Don't assume it is the better or right way.  Assume it is simply a different way.  Constantly say, "It's not weird, it's just different".

8.  Assume You Understand the Root Cause and Solution of Economic Poverty - Don't assume you understand the definitions of wealth and poverty.  Poverty is complex.  There aren't easy solutions.  Immediately upon your arrival, maybe even within 5 minutes of leaving the airport, you may start to dream of possible solutions.  It's what we do, but it's just crazy!  Don't assume the causes of laziness, corruption, or ignorance either.  Instead, respect, love and serve.

7.  Get Upset When Plans Change - Instead, put on "Gumby" like flexibility.

6.  Keep Your Distance for Security and Health Reasons - Don't be stupid, but force yourself to get out of your comfort zone so you can more effectively love and be loved. serve and be served.  Know the difference between foolishness and wisdom, and/or work with those on the ground who do.

5.  Exclusively Choose Production Over Relationship - Although Americans would like to think it is true, production, (aka doing something), isn't always the highest priority.  Think "Mary/Martha". Take the time to love.  Take time to laugh.  Take time to pray.  Take time to listen.  Just BE.  Prioritize relationship. When you go to visit someone in the hospital, it isn't about doing something.  It is about being together, encouraging one another, and sharing time.  We call it the "ministry of presence".  By the way, get something done.  Don't exclusively choose relationship over production either!

4.  Be Like Santa Claus - Your main goal is not to give out stuff...  Hand out candy... Hand out dollar bills... Yes, we've seen it, but seriously, stop it.  It makes us feel good, but it can confuse the Gospel message we carry and hurt in the end.  I know you want to be generous, and this is a good and necessary thing, but please do so in an appropriate setting, in a culturally sensitive way that will truly help those who need it, not just those who are asking.  Why do children here in Haiti put their hand out every time a white person drives by?  Because they see the likeness of Santa.  I prefer they see the likeness of Jesus.  Yes, the man asking for those flip flops may go sell them to buy a lottery ticket.  By the way, be generous ;)

3.  Don't Collaborate on Goals - Your goals and their goals are likely different because you value different things.  Listen to one another. Come up with a collaborative approach, steeled in the bed of understanding, in which both parties can do their part.  Remember, it's reciprocal.  You aren't coming to fix those on the field.  You might just be the one that needs fixing!

2.  Work "Directly" with Nationals - Say what? Don't misunderstand me, I am playing with words a little. We only want to work alongside an indigenous movement, organization, ministry, leadership, etc.  We work with a team of nationals under the authority and direction of an autonomous and indigenously led church association.  We are One Team with One Mission.  Yet, SO. MANY. TIMES. we have heard SO. MANY. STORIES. of American churches that wanted to bypass a "middle-man/org" and work "directly" with a national church and they got burned. T.S. Eliot said, "“Most of the evil in this world is done by people with good intentions.” Why does this good intention fail so often? There are many reasons, but here are 2... First, and sadly, there are many nationals (Americans too!) who are looking for opportunity who may not have the greatest God honoring motives. They are looking for you, so these are often the ones you will come in contact with and start working with.  Second, you need a cross-cultural team on the ground that can be your bridge to partnership... Cross-Cultural collaboration is just really hard. It takes LOTS of patience, understanding, trust, respect and relationship that has developed over long periods of time. I know you may think you are different, but it is next to impossible to effectively jump in and out of your context, while asking someone on the field to do the same.  Developing trust and respect over the phone/email is often a minefield.  Working with fellow Americans on American soil is hard enough, but when you throw in international cross-cultural complexities, the road gets tougher (quite literally).  We have found that working with a cross-cultural team who is firmly planted on the ground, that exists of mutually minded Americans AND Nationals, who are walking and working through life together, is the only way to go.  As an American here in Haiti who is investing lots of time building relationship and trust, together with my team, we can more effectively navigate the minefield and bring true cross-cultural partnership.  It's not easy, but it's worth it.

1.  Don't Plan and Prepare - So many short term teams hit the ground with no preparation.  Here in our organization, we have taken the time to produce a training manual that we require all of our teams to go through in pre-trip sessions.  Why?  We want our teams to be prepared physically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally, geographically, linguistically, culturally, etc. We work hard to give a schedule to each of our team members upon their arrival with a clearly defined plan for the week.  We feel it is a non-negotiable as we endeavor to have the greatest impact on both Americans and Nationals alike.

If you want to develop a 1:1 church partnership like this in Haiti, please contact us at partnerships.haiti@rmibridge.org.