Thursday, May 04, 2017

Life Transforming

When we use the phrase “Life Transforming”, we usually think of lives in Haiti being transformed…but lives of team members  are transformed as well.  This was brought home afresh as RMI’s President, Dan Shoemaker, and his wife attended 2 funerals (in 2 different churches and cities in Florida) in April.  Each of the people had been to Haiti many times over the last 20+ years.  Their families shared that God touched their hearts as a result of their involvement with their sister church in Haiti and RMI.  In one case, it changed the entire course of one man’s life resulting in he and his wife going to Italy as missionaries.  While they visited with folks before and after each of these services, they heard that same story many times.  They met folks who had gone when they were in college.  Now, as adults they are active in their church’s mission outreaches and take their own kids on mission trips.  Dan and Debbie heard that one young lady who went to Haiti as a college student went on to become a mid-wife, ministering to Bedouin tribes in Saharan Africa.  They were amazed as people introduced themselves and reminded them what year they visited – some of them in the 1980’s!  These folks recounted events of what happened to them as if it were yesterday.  Each of them expressed how their trip was a spiritual turning point in their lives and how God had worked as a result. 

One such transformed life from one of the above mentioned churches is Bartow McDonald.  He went as a college student.  There he met the Shoemaker family.  Here are pictures from that visit. 

Bartow with Devon and Dawn 1991

(Yes, that’s the same Dawn Shoemaker who is now an RMI missionary appointee, raising her funds to return to Haiti soon.) 

His trips have had a profound affect on his life. Bartow in Haiti 1991

Bartow shares  “Little did I know how a week long trip with RMI almost 30 years ago would adjust the rudder and trajectory of my life for so many years to come.

It's no secret the lives often most transformed are those who travel from the states.  I'm no different.

Seeing and experiencing Jesus in a totally different culture provides glimpses of our mighty King at work, doing what no man or government could ever accomplish.  This is thrilling.  Yes, we follow Him here in Florida and see His hand before us, but there is something powerful, something all together wonderful about seeing Jesus operating beyond our language, customs and systems.

Our Haitian brothers and sisters also testify to the deep and wonderful joy found only in the transaction of deep trust between our hearts and Jesus.   Our Haitian brothers and sisters are all together inspiring.

And somehow the Kingdom often seems to be a bigger part of our Haitian brothers and sisters deepest desires. Their level of commitment and passion for Jesus redefines what ‘all in’ looks like.  Perhaps the blessing of no such thing as a 401k or Roth IRA.

I've also seen my desires change as I spend time in Haiti.  The things I want, plan for and pursue have changed.  And hopefully those look a lot more like Jesus than Bartow.”

His involvement with RMI continues today as he serves as an RMI Board member.  He’s pictured below with his wife, Laura.


Bartow took his whole family to Haiti on a Vision Trip in 2015.

Bartow in Haiti with his family 2015

Lives transformed – in the past, in the present, and in the future.  It’s truly exciting and humbling to know that God is using RMI in such an impactful way. 

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