Thursday, March 24, 2011

This is the inside of the old kitchen.

The outside of our old kitchen.
Hello again,
It was another good day in Haiti. The day started with a mother bringing her sick baby to the medical clinic for help. We only have funding for the medical staff to be in the clinic 2 days per week, so when a team is at the orphanage they try to help with minor things. This baby had sores all over her body, so they cleaned her up and did what they could for her. Then they transported the mother and the baby to the hospital, the hospital said the team had done what they should have. The hospital prescribed medicine, so team went to another part of town and bought medicine for the baby, then one of our interpretors spent some time explaining to the mother how she was supposed to care for the baby.
The team also went into Gonaives to help serve at Emory's, feeding the poorest of the poor. This is one of the regular places our teams serve.
When we first started serving here, it was in a corrugated metal room.
The children would line up and the first 250 would get in and be able to eat.
The rest would not. It would most likely be the only meal the child would receive that day.We used to have to help feed the little ones who could not eat fast enough, so that the older ones did not eat their food. It was overwhelming for many of the team members.They have built a small school now, so we come along side of them and help serve the school children in their classrooms first and then a much smaller group in the original metal room. It is much more peaceful now. They have some very dedicated teachers from the states helping now also. It is an opportunity to truly be the hands and feet of Christ reaching out to the poor.
The team also spent time training the workers in the orphanage on using the stove and sinks. Mike was wondering if this would be viewed as some white persons great idea and if they would want to continue working the way they always have. Some of you may remember stories of Mike showing them how to prepare Gleaners soup and they were very skeptical about a man cooking. Those of you that know Mike can probably picture him joking and teasing with the cooks. In the end the children loved the soup, the cooks learned how to cook it, and it is served 5 days a week to all of our school children and handed out regularly to those who need food. All that to say Mike started out joking and teasing, but explaining the benefits also, both for food safety and the health of the cooks who would no longer be breathing in fumes from an open fire contained in a small building. After showing them how to light the stove, he had them all try a few times. He said when he showed them the commercial sinks and how to use the faucets in the kitchen and laundry room and the stainless steel prep tables (to save their backs) they almost cried.
Needless to say the training went very well and the workers feel blessed, thanks so much for all of you who have helped us to purchase the kitchen and laundry room equipment. It is playing a large part in lighting the burdens
of our staff, some of who worked for free in the beginning of this ministry.
The afternoon consisted of baptisms. Two women from the Marose community were baptized along with Jason and Annika from our team.
Baptisms in Haiti consist of a musical parade of people worshiping, as they walk down to the river. Then prayer and a full immersion into the water and being covered in white fabric as you come out of the water. It is very celebratory and powerful. Something Jason and Annika will never forget.
Tomorrow the team will begin their journey home. They will leave very early in the morning. Please pray for safety and no car problems and all of the connections to work. It is about a 24 hour trip in all. Also pray for their hearts
and the hearts of the children as the team leaves.
Blessings and thank you so much for your prayers.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

This morning started with bible study and worship with the children, they absolutely
love worshiping. Mike said it has been great watching the nanny's or keepers(Mike found out that this is what they prefer to be called, they explained to him their word is like caretaker). In the past the ratio of adults to children made it almost impossible to make sure all of the children were bathed daily, lotioned up daily,
or given vitamins daily, ect. Now that the number is one keeper to every 4-6 children, they are enjoying the responsibility more and really doing a good job. The vision we had of family style care for the children is finally coming to pass. Things like daily body lotion might not seem like a big deal, but to us it means they are receiving the gentle physical touch we would have received from our mothers, someone is telling them they are valued enough to be cared for even though their parents or guardians gave them up. It is a picture of God giving them some of the desires of their hearts. When Mike and I have talked to a few of them about what they would like to do if they could chose, they blush, look to the side and can not even think of answering that type of question. Our hope is that as surviving no longer becomes the focus of their daily life, they will begin to see what they could become. Some of the children have been brought to us, some have brought themselves to us and some Nathan has found living on the streets as young as 4 or 5 years old. We have seen some of them change right before our eyes as they realize they are in a safe place. So it is God also giving Mike and I some of the desires of our hearts.

The team also went up to Peru today, which is northeast of us up into the mountains.
The team built another huge cross and painted it with the reflective paint and then carried it up the mountain in Peru. Mike said that it hangs out over a rocky knoll.
And since it is even higher than our cross in Marose, it shows from all over the
valley. Along with the cross itself, they had to haul 5 gallon buckets of water, rock
and cement to set it in. They also visited the school children and teachers and prayed over them, and passed out candy. The plan was to pass out backpacks also, so
I am pretty sure they did, I forgot to ask. Then they visited the boy who can not walk and his mother. The mother was so happy to see them that Mike said she started crying. He has limited speech, but Mike said that he told Mike that he knows Jesus.
He was thrilled to receive the gifts, Mike said that he was all smiles. Mike
gave him some photos of us with him and of his mother and him. The team also prayed for him. There did not seem to much change physically other then he seemed happier.
Please keep praying and believing for his healing.

When the team returned to Marose they finished up all the plumbing in kitchen and laundry room and then spent time training the workers how to use everything. Just think of the idea of turning faucet handles and having water instantly come out. And think of turning a knob, which is new in itself, and having an instant heat source for cooking. And flipping a light switch and having light in the dark. It all is new to them. There are porch lights outside of the orphanage rooms and lights inside, there are even porch lights on the backside of the building. It is all new and different. Up until now only our medical clinic has had this privilege and very few have been able to experience it, since patients are there only during day light hours. Please pray for smooth adjustments and safe use of the stove, we have tried to install a auto shut off valve for the propane.

Tomorrow the team will be traveling to Gonaives to help feed the poorest of the poor.
I have shared how hard this is for some of the team members, please pray that God
shows them his heart for the poor and needy as they reach out to these children.
Please pray that our team is a blessing to Emory's feeding program.

Tomorrow will also be an important day and memory for our team member Jason.
He has decided to be baptized in the river by our orphanage. He will be the second team member that has chosen to do this as a testimony to God. In August Julie also was baptized in Marose. This is his second trip to our orphanage in Haiti and in his words God has changed his life. Please pray for him tomorrow as he takes this important step in faith.

Please pray for this little boy

Monday, March 21, 2011

Hello again,
I talked with Mike tonight. The team is doing pretty good, a couple of them are dealing with some minor things health wise, so please pray for protection for the team.
Plans changed again today as they quite often do in Haiti. The team started the day out with a prayer walk around the orphanage grounds, the medical clinic, the church and school. Mike had a staff meeting today, kind of a teaching and explaining time for the nanny's, cooks, and laundry workers about the new facilities. The team also finished hooking up the stove, and they painted the cross on the mountain with the industrial reflective paint. Our Doctor was in today, and a couple of team members spent time with him. He will be there tomorrow also. In the afternoon the team was able to visit a rabbit farm. Our July team will be helping us to start our rabbit farming, so Mike was trying to check out resources,ect. ahead of time.
Tomorrow morning the team will be heading up to Peru. They will be visiting the school and community. They will also be seeing the boy who can not walk, we prayed for him on the last trip. We prayed for him during the revival and again the next day at his home. He later with his mother's full support, managed to hobble to us back at the church as we built benches for the church and school. I believe at that point he had partial healing. We have since brought both him and his family a gift and food package. We now have a family in Bellingham that is sponsoring him and his family through us. They want to help bless him and his family. I am super excited for the team to meet him and pray for him some more. I believe some day he will walk and run with the other children. I believe also that we can be a witness to the community that we value children that have special needs, by spending time with him and his family, and by supporting him and his family and by going to his home each visit. I think that God will be glorified through this and that the community's view of God will be that even though God is the Creator he is a loving, compassionate God who sees us and cares enough to want relationship with us no matter who we are and what we have done. I would very much desire to be present to see this boy healed, but I also want him to be healed now, so please pray for him and the team tomorrow as they minister to him and his family. I have high expectations :)
In the afternoon the team will be evangelizing house to house like I talked about in yesterdays e-mail. Again please pray for boldness, discernment, words, healings and salvation's. Pray that the Holy Spirit has gone before them and prepared hearts.
Thank you so much for your prayers, as I have said before without them we could do nothing. Prayer literally moves mountains.
I spoke with Mike tonight. Today was election day for Haiti, unrest was expected, but the elections turned out to be less eventful than anticipated. Many places were closed, our church in Marose chose to cancel their service also.The results will not be shared with the public until April 1st, please pray for the results. Because of this, the whole team went to Peru and Mike taught instead of Pastor Nathan. Mike said the ministry time was very good. Because of the elections, tomorrow is also a holiday. The team was planing to go up to Peru to visit our school tomorrow, but will now wait until Tuesday.
After church in Peru, the team went back to the orphanage and made the Rice Krispie treats. Pastor Perry (from the association)
brought a girl's group to sing,worship and pray over each room. Our team served the Rice Krispies treats at the celebration/ dedication of the first two buildings of the orphanage being finished
Our EMT and his wife also finished the organization of the medical clinic, which is great, it will help the doctor and nurses and we will have a better idea of how quickly things are going and what we should be collecting. The teams also had a craft project for the children, making bathroom bags out of pencil boxes. They had the children decorate them and then filled them with things such as washcloth's, toothpaste, toothbrushes and soap.
Mike said that Nadine (Nathans sister) brought him one of the curtains made up in the fabric we brought her on the last trip.
They hang these curtains in the windows and in the doorways. The Haitians like to leave the doors open all day, for fresh air, but hanging these sheer curtains in the doorway helps to keep airflow going and also helps to keep bugs out. Mike said they turned out beautiful.
Tomorrow the team will be doing door to door evangelism. 1/2 the team will go with Pastor Nathan and 1/2 will go with Mike. Please pray for the Holy Spirit to prepare the way as he promises. They will go through out the village of Marose, because of relationship with Pastor Nathan and his father Pastor Nathaniel and the ability to then disciple them at our church. Please pray also for the team for boldness,compassion and words for them to share with the people.Thank you so much for all your prayers we really appreciate them.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Soccer... notice the bare feet

Sitting on the stairs in the evening with the children on some of the previous trips.
The team had another great day.
When I talked to Mike today he said that the Pastor's conference was a powerful time. He said the message he shared was pretty intense. After he finished speaking he had the Pastors stand down the middle isle of the church. Then he had the team wrap around the pastors and pray for them. There were many words and pictures shared. Then all the pastors prayed for the team. Mike said 1/2 the team was in tears, they were so touched. The Holy Spirit was definitely present. Thank you so much for praying.
The team finished off a few more projects today. They will only have one more 1/2 day during the rest of the trip to do projects. The rest of the time will be more ministry and relationship oriented. They will also be visiting our ministries in Peru and Gonaives.
To night the team spent time on the medical clinic stairs singing and playing with the children. They also passed out glo-sticks, which is one of the highlights of the trips for the children. They had never seen them before our teams started bringing them down. It is hard for them to get their mind wrapped around a stick glowing after you break it. One of the other highlights is soccer, we try to always bring at least a couple of balls. The terrain is so tough most of the balls only last a couple of weeks. Soccer is the only sport we have seen played, and they play hard. Some even playing barefoot and winning the best of the team members that go with us. Try to picture no equipment or protection whatsoever, no coaching or training and playing barefoot on extremely rocky soil (which destroys leather soccer balls in weeks) and winning Americans and Canadians, young and old a like :)
Mike said the peace in the orphanage continues to amaze him and the team members that have been on trips before.
Tomorrow Nathan teaches in Peru and Mike in Marose as I mentioned yesterday. They will each have 1/2 the team with them. Please pray that the Holy Spirit prepares the way and that God moves.
As some of you know we usually try to take a new food or something that the children would not have had before like the caramel apples in October. This team chose to make Rice Krispie treats for the children. So in the afternoon the team will be making them. The team will also be taking updated photos of the orphan children.
Please remember to pray for the team in the evening as they each share their testimonies in Marose.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Hello again,

The team had another great day, or maybe I should say peaceful. Mike has commented the last two times I have talked to him how peaceful it felt on the orphanage grounds. Usually there is so much going on it seems to be anything but peaceful, and to new team members it can appear k-otic. ( not sure if that is even a real word, but I am sure you get the point) So to hear these words come out of Mikes mouth is amazing. I think part of it, is up until now the orphanage has been right beside one of the main highways going north. Now the children are in the new orphanage part way up the mountain. Because it is located further from the road there are also less people from the area just hanging around, which should make if safer for the children.

The team started out the early morning by climbing up the mountain to our cross, which hopefully at some point this trip will be painted with reflective paint. You can actually see the cross from over the river and from the other side of the valley. Which is about 30 mins. away.Anyway they started the morning, which usually includes watching the sun come up, on the mountain praying and having devotions. It is one of my favorite places as is the medical steps early in the morning watching the sun come up and still feeling the last bits of the cooler night air and hearing very little noise. Haiti can be extremely noisy at times.

The team was able to get some of the projects done, one being finishing up the bins for each child. They sorted through donated shoes and clothes for this trip and added them to the bins. Mike said the kids were thrilled as the team wrote their names on the bins. The team was also able to get all of the other finished rooms cleaned out. And they were able to stencil two of the rooms with the scriptures I felt were supposed to go in them. The Kitchen scripture is Colossians 3:23-24, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving". The Food Depot scripture is Philippians 4:19 "And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus." The verses are stenciled in Haitian Creole so that all that can read will understand them and be encouraged. The team also put in hose bibs and some more plumbing. And our kitchen now has the stainless steel prep tables in it. Again not the way food has been prepared in the past :) Mike met with the workers to encourage them today. Also he said the meeting with the Good Shepherd pastor's went well today, as did the meeting to discuss the May pastors conference.

Our Haitian contractor poured the lid for the septic system (one of the few in Haiti :) )which will finish up the septic system. All of the large projects we hire Haitians to do, it makes little sense to us to bring teams down to take away jobs that can help a Haitian family and the economy of the village. So the teams do the little things or the really technical projects. Even something as simple as the painting the inside and outside of the building we hire Haitians to do.

In the afternoon the team walked across the river to visit Nathans grandfather's property, this is where we grow our corn, beans and banana trees. It is amazing how fast banana trees grow, you can almost see them grow.They produce one large crop of bananas and then they die while the roots produce new shoots which then become next seasons banana trees. Their root system spreads pretty fast, kind of like bamboo.

Tomorrow is the Pastors association meeting. They are expecting about 50 pastors, they are from all different denominations agreeing to set aside their differences and come together to reach the lost. Please pray for Mike as he encourages and shares with them. Pray for the Holy spirit to touch them and fill them up.

Sunday Nathan will preach in Peru and Mike in Marose, 1/2 the team will travel to Peru with Nathan and 1/2 will stay in Marose with Mike. Please pray for Mike and Nathan as they teach, that the Holy Spirit will move on the people. Sunday evening the team members will all have the opportunity to share their testimony with the community in Marose. Again they would appreciate your prayers as this is something some have not done, and it is out of some of their comfort zones, it can be powerful to both the team and those listening.Well that's all for tonight.Thanks so much for your prayers



Friday, March 18, 2011


I spoke with Mike earlier tonight. The team is doing great. And Yahoo!!! the kids are finally in their rooms and sleeping for the first night. We received the beds in February, but did not have enough nanny's or supervision for them to sleep in the rooms. On the January trip Mike and I were able to hire and arrange for 3 nanny's, but we have 7 of the 11 rooms filled with children, so we needed a minimum of 7 nanny's. 'Grandma,' the mother of the cook we had that died, has said she would be willing to be our 4th, she is a very sweet older lady. Nathan and Mike were able to arrange for three temporary nanny's, so the children are finally moved in. We have one girl who has been to Haiti with us, that will be moving to Haiti when the May team goes. She will stay until July and come home with the July team and then decide if she wants to move to Haiti for a long term stay. So she will be a 5th nanny. We are trying to keep the orphanage more family style instead of institutional, which is why we have separate living spaces instead of one or more large ones. We have about 6 children per room and nanny. We are hoping this will result in better care of the children with no one slipping between the cracks. We will have all of the children eating together though, so that we know nutritionally what each child is getting. Please pray that Mike is able to find and hire a couple more nanny's. Anybody up for sponsoring nanny's :) Tonight the team had a great prayer and worship time with the children right before bed, but I bet the sleeping is short tonight due to excitement and the newness sleeping in their own bed. They are used to sleeping on the ground together like sardines. Some of the little ones will probably miss the comfort of sleeping together. They also will have light in the rooms for a few hours in the evening which is a new thing. In Haiti when it gets dark you just keep on going like when it rains around here. If you let the rain stop you, you would never do anything. In Haiti they don't let the dark stop them. So lights from our new generator will be a big deal.

Nathan also hired two new security men to watch over the orphanage. The security wall is almost completed, the large gate our welder made just needs to be installed.

The team was able to put in the gas piping for the stove, and they poured one of the cement mop sinks for the laundry room. Two of our cooks are willing to learn how to use the propane stove, so please pray for them to learn quickly, it will be quite a bit different then cooking over an open fire. It will be healthier for them also.

The team worked on projects and was also able to go into town today, which is always fun and interesting.

Tomorrow the team will complete some of the projects they started today. Also tomorrow Mike will be teaching our Good Shepherd pastors, and Mike will be meeting with the two pastors that are head of the pastor's association we have, in regards to the pastor's conference during the May trip.

So please pray for God's presence in both of these meetings.

We also are looking into adding a couple of children to the orphanage which will bring us up to 46 children, 30 of which will be boys. Thanks for your prayers.



Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I just got off the phone with Mike, after a delay at the New York airport the team arrived safely in Port-au-Prince.They had their first Haitian dinner half way up to Marose just before dusk. They are sleeping in our new orphanage dinning room. Which is great, it is just freshly painted. So it will be lighter, cleaner and will have less bugs :)
Tomorrow the team will be working on installing the commercial propane stove and building some desks for the office and possibly some shelves for the kitchen and laundry. We have two medics on the team and one has a wife that is a good organizer, so they will be organizing and restocking the medical clinic. We took 28 bins and a couple of suitcases on this trip so the team will be organizing the contents of the bins. And then the idea is that each child in the orphanage will get his own bin to act as a dresser in his or her own room. They are the largest we could bring on the plane so they are pretty good size. We have taken about 40 bins down there already, so there should be enough for all of the children and nanny's, and still leave some for the kitchen and storage depot. Rubbermaid bins or totes tend to be pretty tough and will keep out the dust, water and rodents hopefully. Thanks so much to all of you that helped with towels, sheets, toothpaste, toothbrushes, ect. It will be great to be able to create a bin for each child to hold his clothes and things. Another new concept for the children :) For a while now we have wanted to paint different scriptures along the tops of the walls up by the ceiling of each room, now that the rooms are painted we can. So tomorrow part of the team will be stenciling encouraging verses around the rooms. Mike will also be meeting with the contractor, welder, painter, electrician, carpenter, tile setter, and generator man to plan out the final punch list for finishing up the first 2 buildings completely. If you have ever been to Haiti, you know that most buildings are never completed. He will also look at what is needed for building number 3. So tomorrow will be projects around the orphanage and time spent playing with the children and interacting with our staff.
Prayers would be appreciated for productivity and all the necessary tools and items needed to finish these projects. Also for a lot of love to be given to the children.
Blessings, Chris
Hello everyone,
Our March team left last night.Please pray for safe travel and that the Holy Spirit goes ahead of them and prepares the way. It is a great team and we are excited to see what God has planned for them.
Blessings and thanks,

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

This is our March team.