Thursday, December 12, 2013
Jean Renald was of the boys in our boys home around twenty years ago. He has helped with numerous construction projects over the last few years and has been hard at work with us during this trip as well. While he has some physical setbacks of his own since birth, he is a very hard worker and as a true servants heart. Yesterday, he invited us to his home and while he lives from day to day like many Haitians he is filled with joy. You can see he is loved still by those within the community. We thank God for Jean Renald. He grew up in the boys home and that in itself was a blessing given his physical limitations, because he had a family who loved him. Today, he works as a mason, helping where he can to serve his community and you can see the peace of God in his life. God did not skip over Jean Renald, he too was created in the image of God and he leans on the same promises of Bible that you and I lean on. We invite you to pray for Jean Renald, pray that God would continue to bless this community through his life. He has been a true blessing to Hope for the Hungry over the years.
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Sunday, December 8, 2013
Monday, October 28, 2013
We are home! Our team arrived back in Texas late Saturday night, tired but grateful for the time we had in Haiti. Our week ended well, with lots of hard work.
As I have reflected over our time last week, I think the overwhelming word that keeps coming to mind is "potential". As Stephanie met with teachers and administrators, we saw potential waiting to be unleashed; potential that when armed with the right training and tools could take our schools in Haiti to a new level.
As we interacted and played with hundreds of school children in Guibert and Marotherie, we saw the potential of Haiti's futue in each smiling face and curious gaze. The education they are receiving will be life changing. The love of God that they are taught about and shown will change their eternity.
The Mission Center is ever closer to completion. It is closer to fulfilling it's potential for relationship and community development in a new and fresh way. We still need $50,000 to complete the final stage, but it is exciting to be so close.
The boys in the Boy's Home are shining examples of unbelievable potential. Their stories and circumstances are often heartbreaking, but they are being given a chance at a life that few in Haiti even have the opportunity to consider. Theses boys have an opportuniity at an eduction and a life that few in Haiti dare to dream about. By next fall we will have 7 children from our homes (4 boys and 3 girls) that will be elidgible for university studies. Most importantly, these boys are being taught about the importance of their relationship with Jesus. They are surrounded by godly men and connected to a dynamic, local church. I had the opportunity to visit with the older boys (ages 15+) in the home last Friday. I shared with them of the characteristics we are praying they developed, I encouraged them in the things they must be focused on now, and I reminded them that their relationship with Christ must be the most important part of thei lives. It was a true priviledge to share with them. As I looked in their eyes, it was in awe of the young men I saw staring back at me. These young men are overcoming so many obstacles and have such bright futures.
Finally, I am waiting an anticpation of the new church start in Petionville. This new church represents such enormous potential for the future of our church partners in Haiti. God is already using this church to reach people for Christ. Their small leadership team has already shared the Gospel with hundreds of people in the community and seen over 50 profess faith in Jesus. They have ministered to over 700 children in the commmunity, many who have never heard about the love of Jesus. All this and they will not officially open their doors until January.
People always ask me how things are going in Haiti. Politically and economically, the country is a mess. But spiritually, there is a revival coming. God is moving, the church is active and passionate, and lives are being changed. I praise the Lord that I am able to bear witness to His mighty power moving in this tiny, island nation. Like many others, I have seen God at work in Haiti. Like a few others, I have joined God at work in Haiti. Like a small number, my experiences with God because of Haiti, have radically changed the course of my life and I am all the better for it. Join us. Visit www.hopeforthehungry.org and learn what God is doing. I promise that you will be better for having joined God at work.
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Isaiah 43:18-21 NIV
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise."
Today was such a blessing! For the past couple of years, our Haitian partner, Pastor JeanAlix Paul, has been praying about God's leading to plant a new church somewhere in Haiti. Over the last 20 years, JeanAlix has planted 9 churches in 9 villages throughout Haiti. At the beginning of this year, The Lord began leading JeanAlix to a new location in a suburb of Port-au-Prince called Petionville. Over the last 10 months, God has brought together a dynamic, passionate leadership team, including 30 families that will be a part of the launch team. The Lord has also provided meeting space that will allow for tremendous growth and be a strategic point of ministry in Petionville. Today we were able to visit the new space and hear the vision God has given JeanAlix for this new work. It was our priviledge to pray over the new building, to pray over JeanAlix, and to pray over some of the church leadership. It was a powerful time and a true blessing.
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
"I think to really be able to enjoy missions you have to set aside your self and learn to comfortable being uncomfortable" - Wayne Zeh
Wayne made this very profound statement after he, Danny, and David spent the morning carrying buckets of concrete and buckets of rocks. It made us laugh, but is also so very true. Often God asks us to do things that move us outside of our comfort zone. Whether it is sharing our faith with a stranger, giving sacrificially, traveling to another country, or showing kindness in all circumstances. We must make the choice to obey even at the expense of our comfort.
Stephanie is enjoying working with the teachers. We are excited about the way the possibilty of providing training for the teachers is coming together. Please continue praying for wisdom and insight into how best proceed in the ongoing evaluation. We will be heading to the village of Marotherie on Thursdayto met with the teachers and administrators there.
The primary focus for the ministry here in Haiti is the launch of a new church start in Petionville. Petionville is a large suburb of Port-au-Prince, with a population of several hundred thousand. The launch team and leadership are in place and have begun holding special events for local children and evangelizing in the community. Many have professed faith in Jesu. Be in prayer for this new church start that will hold its first public service on January 5,2014.
Romans 8:31-35, 37-39 NASB
"What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God's elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Our task has begun! And we are all now exhausted ;-)
Wayne, David, and Danny jumped in to the construction process as work resumed on the Mission Center. We are making great progress, but still have lots to do. It is exciting to see this project moving ever closer to completion.
Stephanie began working with the teachers and administators as we prayerfully plan a teacher's conference for next summer. The teachers and especially the administators seem very excited about the potential of partnering with American teachers to help impove their skill sets. Matthew is doing great. He is such a trooper and handling a new environment very well.
Thank you for your prayers for our team. We are greatly enjoying our time and look forward to serving alongside our Haitian friends.
Sunday, October 20, 2013
Revelation 7:9-12 NASB
"After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb." And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, "Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen."
I cannot begin to gauge the scope and magnitude of the scene that Revelation 7 is trying to describe. But every time I have the opportunity to worship in another culture, I believe I get a small glimpse of the worship being described here. This morning was no different. The joy and abandon with which our Haitian brothers and sisters worship is a deeply moving and spiritually uplifting experience. One of the greatest joys of my life is the priviledge I have to worship with these passionate believers several times a year.
This morning we talked about the Kingdom of God. We learned from the gospel of Luke, that not only do we get to look forward to an eternity with our Savior, but God is building His kingdom right now. God is using ordinary People, like you and me, through the Power of the Holy Spirit, to share the story of The Person of Jesus Christ. We have experienced His grace, received His forgiveness,and have been tasked with sharing the story of His saving work for all who believe.
Our work day begins early tomorrow. Pray for good rest tonight and energy in the morning. God is at work!
Saturday, October 19, 2013
Our team has officially arrived in Haiti! After a few flight delays yesterday, we arrived safe and sound. Being in Haiti the first day is always a surreal experience. To be instantly thrust into an environment where you are surround by the fight to survive is often odd in contrast to the world you left behind only hours before.
This experience is even more unique as we have Matthew, my 5 year old son, with us. It is fascinating to experiene Haiti through his peerspective as he asks questions and observes the worldaround him. I am excited to see how God will use Matthew's point of view to influence our team.
Be in prayer for the week as we seek to be used for God's glory.
Friday, July 26, 2013
Thursday, July 25, 2013
What a great end to an amazing VBS!
Today we taught the kids about choosing a side. They can make the choice to be on Gods side (and we know that God always wins) or they can choose to not be on his side.
Our stories for the day were Jonah and the whale and Saul's conversion to Paul. The kids enjoyed hearing both of these stories and making their related crafts.
After our classroom time, we had an assembly for all of the children to perform some of the things they've learned this week. Each class got to choose which song and memory verse from the week that they wanted to show off. It was such a great show! All of the classes did an excellent job showcasing all that they've learned and it was quite impressive how much they picked up in a week.
Tomorrow is going to be a great day! All of the kids are coming to our house and we are having a party! We're going to BBQ, play games, and have a balloon fight. We are excited to spend some time just having fun with one another.
Praise the Lord, with us, for the wonderful week of VBS that we've experienced. Pray for our day tomorrow. Pray that we cherish each moment we have with our new friends. Pray for opportunities to show Christ's love... even in the mundane.
Pray for us as we prepare to leave. Leaving a place that's dear to our hearts is going to be tough. Pray that we would have peace as we say our goodbyes.
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Today was the best day of VBS yet! Everything went well, everyone was well prepared and the kids were all excited to be there!
Our assembly time was great. We taught the kids all about how God wins over Satan, sin, death, and wins in the end.
The kids made empty tombs and lots of other cross crafts while they leaned about Jesus' sacrifice for their sins. They were excited to talk about the Good News of the resurrection and how God has won the battle!
After our vbs day was over, we got to hang out at the boys home for a while. One of our oldest boys, Gunsley, brought out a guitar and we spent the afternoon worshipping together. What an amazing experience to sing praises to the Lord while on a mountain, looking out at His beautiful creation!
We can't believe that tomorrow is our last day of vbs. Tomorrow is all about choosing who's team you want be on. Pray that the children would understand the importance of being on the Lords team and would chose Him.
This week has flown by and there seem to be so much to do still. Pray that we would finish well. So much of our hearts are with the children we've met this week. Pray that we have a great day and would feel at peace for the way the week has gone.
Pray for our goodbyes to the school children. And pray for our last days here.
Pray that we would begin to process coming home and that it would be an easy transition back.
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Monday, July 22, 2013
Sunday, July 21, 2013
Saturday, July 20, 2013
Saturday, June 1, 2013
Thursday, May 30, 2013
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Monday, May 27, 2013
Sunday, May 26, 2013
Friday, May 24, 2013
Friday, March 22, 2013
It is crazy to think that today was our last full day of work. It is encouraging to see progress on the buildings. We have a team of about 10 haitian men working with us as well as the older boys from our home. They stuccoed the interior of the mission house and will move on to the final wall treatment tomorrow. We helped clean, sift truckloads of sand, and bring them whatvever they needed to continue working. We also helped pour the final verticle beams and 3 of the longest horizontal beams. The work here is so different than back home. It truly takes every person to do this job. It is a beautiful picture of the church as haitian and american, young and old work to complete a task that will be a blessing for years to come.
We continued to teach english with the school kids and teachers and they are loving it. We are seeeing confidence grow in our teachers and they are getting it. We are seeing smiles on their faces and building trust. By the end of the day we were able to laugh and rejoice in what God was doing. We look forward to tomorrow when we get to work with the boys in our boys home.
Part of our team was able to spend some time with our boys getting their shoe sizes, so that later this summer we can bring them all a new pair of shoes. This may have seemed like a menial task, but it reminded us of the time when Jesus took on the role of a servant and washed his dicsiples feet. In order for our work and minstry to be productive we must serve at whatever level that is. If it is passing buckets, teaching english, helping people see clearly, or measuring feet, we must serve like Christ.
Pray for our final day of work.
Pray for our hearts as we say goodbye.
Pray for the transition time back to the states.
Thursday, March 21, 2013
There is a young boy here name Mogley. Mogley has a birth defect called club foot that has distorted the growth of his right leg while the rest of his body continues to grow normally. He has taken on a great afffection for our team and spent the day hanging around our project sites. Inspite of his physical limitations, Mogley is a smiling, mischevious, joyful little boy. His eyes are full of hope and promise, not because of our presence this week, but because of the power of the love of Christ shown to him.
Mogley represents Haiti. So often this beautiful country is crippled by the deficienceies that surround it - corrupt government, economic disadvantage, educational gaps, and spiritual depravity. But over and over, the teams that come here with Hope for the Hungry see something different. Like Mogley, the deficiencies are obvious but they do not define the future. Instead these teams see a ministry that is pushing back against the darkness with the light and hope of Christ. These teams meet men, women, and children whose lives are full of promise and joy because of the difference made by Christ.
This trip has been no exception. Our team has worked hard and made a significant impact; however, our conversations at the end of the day most often entail the stories of the Haitian people we meet whose lives are being changed by the Gospel.
Pray for energy and strength for our last full day of work
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Today was a great day! We began our work in Guibert this morning. It is amazing to see the progress that is being made in this community. Construction on the Mission House continues, as a part of our group joined in the work by sifting rock, carrying buckets of mortar, and pouring the vertical beams. We also continued with our vision clinic, helping many of the local school children see clearly as well as some of the teachers. In the afternoon we started working with the teachers from Guibert on three English Language program. These teachers are an intelligent and hard working group that are thrilled with the opportunity to sharpen their skills.
One of the repeated highlights of the day was the interaction everyone had with the local community and the boys in our children's home. The progress being made, not only academically, but most importantly spiritually is obvious in the hope and joy in the eyes of each of the children. The love we express and share is being recieved as a direct reflection of the Savior we serve.
Pray for our continued strength and perseverence to the task.
Pray for the teachers as they continue to learn and improve
Pray that God is continually glorified in all we do.