Monday, December 31, 2012

My take on the mountain top experience

From Shea's previous two blogs, you can see that the leadership training in Pays Pourri has been the topic here. I have been more of an observer on this one, but I wanted to support the team by visiting them on the last day of their first series. What an inspirational experience. A lot of hard work went into the planning and it payed off with a very successful meeting. 
I will have to say this was one of the most rewarding experiences I have had in the year that I have been in Haiti. The mountain people are so open to the teaching and so appreciative of the help they received. My prayer is that the seeds planted there will grow and multiply for years to come. 
I was so touched by the trip that I took our whole family up for the first day of the second series and was again rewarded with great hospitality and genuine appreciation.

Please join us in prayer that these leaders will continue to grow and thrive in their faith. That they will be filled with the teachings, being led by the Holy Spirit, learning from the heart since so many of them can not learn by reading. Pray for those that did the teaching, they were the mighty hands and feet of the Lord and the adversary will not be idly standing by.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Leadership Training Seminar

Imagine you are in a pastoral position, leading a congregation of 150-200 believers to serve Christ in spiritual maturity. You are expected to teach on a semi-regular basis. You pray with the sick, counsel those in need, and baptize those coming into the church. 

But every day you face a wall blocking you from nurturing your own relationship with Christ. You can’t read. You have a Bible, you carry it to church, and even open it to preach, but the scrawling marks on the pages blur together before you. You try to recall some of the stories that you know lay within its pages.

You hear other preachers talk of salvation and being sanctified, but that only adds to the depression of your handicap, because you really don’t understand what all that means. 

This is the reality of many leaders in our world today. The 17th through the 20th of December, we hosted the first of two four day leadership training seminars in the mountains of Peyi-Pouri. Of our 89 daily attendance, 26 could not read. All but three of the church pastors made up this group, the rest being deacons and Sunday school teachers.

The attentiveness and enthusiasm of these leaders spoke of their hunger for truth. After each session, questions poured out related or un-related. None the less, the hearts and minds of these teachers were challenged. As Exantus Pierre (one of the leaders) put it, "A lot of this teaching challenges even the way we think."

Pastor Drvilmè Narilus said, "Our churches are dying a spiritual death due to our lack of understanding."

 Bro. Andrew Eversole and Ric Gullman taught our main themes: Effective Christian Leadership and Basic Christian Theology. Mike Martin began each day with lessons from Matt. 5-7 and Emanuel Schrock closed with clear messages on salvation. We were also blessed to have a great team of translators, Wismith Joseph and James Augustin.

I must also commend the ladies in the kitchen who gave of their time to serve food every day, without complaint. We could not have asked for better help.

Also, brother Eralus, brother Chirlton, and good friend Jotasse played roles that no other shoes could fill. 

Upon ending the last day, all the pastors encompassed us in prayer for the upcoming seminar in southern part of Peyi-Pouri. We ask that you to would come to our Lord in prayer, seeking His presence with us next week as we continue to minister in this way.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Seminè Pastè

The month of December has arrived and we have two pastor training seminars planned. Both are in the mountains of Peyi-Pouri.
We now have a team of four teachers and two translators:
  • Andrew Eversole:  IFM field staff -  Basic Christian Theology
  • Ric Gullman:  Pastor of “Morning View Mennonite” in VA - Christian Leadership
  • Michael Martin:  IFM field staff - Various topics
  • Emanuel Schrock:  “River of Life Fellowship” in OH – Various topics
  • Wismith Joseph: Director of “Redeemed Vocational School” – Translator
  • James Augustine: National Bro. – Translator
This team of Brothers will be teaching both seminars, Dec. 17th-20th and Dec. 26th -29th
And so we ask for your prayers in these next two weeks:
·         That God’s name and being would be glorified through our efforts.
·         For health and safety for all participating and teaching.
·         Wisdom as teachers articulate God’s word.
·         For all the logistical details to run smoothly (meals, lodging,ect..)
·         For good weather with no rain.
·         Understanding and Comprehension between teachers and translator as they work together.
·         The Holy Spirit’s work in the hearts of us all.

May God's name be magnified in all the earth.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Trip to visit an agricultural project

     On Saturday, we were able to take a trip to Hinche, about 3 1/2 hrs drive to visit an agricultural project. We went with Haitians from Pays Pourri and missionaries from several other missions. The project we visited is MPP (Movement de Payisan de Papay). It is a Haitian organization that is committed to advancing agriculture.

 One of the things they promote is using old tires, turned inside out as a raised bed, vegetable garden.

 Below is a earthworm bed. The African earthworm and the California earthworm are aggresive eaters. They turn leaves and table scraps into rich compost very fast.

Below is a goat shelter. They promote feeding goats up off the ground to reduce disease. Also with the slatted floor, it is easy to collect the manure.

Below is a drying rack for drying moringa leaves. Moringa leaves are a natural source of vitamins and nutrients. The dried leaves can be ground into powder and added to almost any prepared food.

On the way home, we stopped by the dam. Below is the water generators. We are looking down on it from the dam.

The dam has lots of drop.

The beautiful lake created by the dam.

The dam from the lake side.

We also saw a place where they make sugar cane syrup. This is the press, powered by two oxen.

They boil the juice in this stone kettle. The fire is in the hole underneath.

We saw this man plowing with oxen.

When we were still about 30 minutes from Port-au-Prince, we came on an accident scene. A motorcycle driver was hit by a vehicle and broke his leg. Clint, our driver, felt like we should stop and see if we could help. We ended up taking the man to a hospital in Port-au-Prince, driving through a dangerous area, that we do not normally drive through at night.

We thank God for safety traveling. It was a blessing to be able learn some agricultural techniques. Hopefully, we will be able to use what we learned to help the farmers in the mountains to the south of us.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Mango tree


Beneath the spreading branches, against the mighty trunk, eager ears did listen and grubby faces watched-the woman tell the story of Jesus and His love.

Branches swayed by little boys mocking the scolders speech-Sounds of mangos falling, the sweetness in their teeth.  

Oft time’s soft words counseled or perhaps the tempers flared. The believers sang hallelujah and couples married there.

The joy of life beginning, the sadness of deaths door, encompass thoughts so fleeting and the sound of water in ones ear.

And now its life is waning though a few leaves are yet green but the roots of all our memories run deeper than men can see.


Some of you have already read about Devensky on the IFM website, but here is a more complete story from Mary Ann.

A couple weeks ago I had the blessed privilege of caring for Devensky for two days. Devensky is a small boy maybe 4 or 5 years old and he came to our cholera center along with a group of others who came for treatment. They had to travel for hours to get here and by the time they got here small Devensky was almost gone. Thankfully the nurse who was on duty got an IV started right away and saved his life. The problem was that he was so severely malnourished we were afraid his body couldn’t handle all the liquid and indeed within the first hour his little stomach was big and tight. We wanted to transfer him to another hospital right away but there was no one who was willing to go along with him. None of the people who came down with him wanted to be responsible for him and in fact two men who came with him slipped away quick leaving one old lady here to take care of three ladies and little Devensky. Unfortunately this lady was not interested in wasting time on him so there was no one to take care of him. He was almost dying and needed someone so Mike asked me if I’d be willing to take him till we figure out what to do. Of course I jumped at the chance and I got to take care of this precious little boy.
He was so pitiful and thin laying there on the cot in the hospital all by himself. It just broke my heart.
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I thought he was going to break when I gently gathered him up in my arms and carried him to my soft bed. The first thing that was in order was of course a warm bath!! There is little that compares to the joy of bathing someone like Devensky in warm soapy water. When I took the warm washcloth and started gently washing his face he just smiled! He was so dirty the water actually turned brown.
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Judging from the bottoms of his tiny feet I doubt that he’s ever worn shoes or socks; not only were they covered with black grime but they were calloused thick like the soles of shoes. Washing those feet and massaging them with coconut oil was pure joy!!
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What a beautiful boy! All clean and sweet! Sleeping peacefully!
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And then the worms came! I guess they were pretty hungry and decided to go find some food. Out they came from both ends! Unbelievable amounts and some the size of small snakes- even out of his mouth!! It was so awful I just wanted to sob.
The first night we didn’t know if he’d make it through the night but by morning he seemed to feel better so after another bath and some clean pjs he sat up and tried to eat a bit of breakfast.
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But alas, every time he would drink a little something or take a bit of food he’d get this sick look on his face and hold really still for a long time and then sure enough an evil worm would come out of his mouth. And he passed fistfuls of big fat ones in his diaper.
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Then he stopped eating and drinking all together. We couldn’t get him interested in anything. I even tried a sucker which he took and put in his mouth for about two licks then he was done with that too. He was completely uninterested  in life I got the feeling that he was trying to die.
Finally I just realized he might be more than I can handle right now. What if he would die just because I wanted to keep him and couldn’t admit that he needed to be somewhere he could get more care than I had to offer. So after two days and nights of loving on him I let him go. He is at Real Hope For Haiti which is a rescue center for children just like Devensky who are severely malnourished. They were delighted to have him and I trust he is doing well under their experienced loving care.
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I am so thankful I got to be a small part of his life. I wish many times I could have done more for him but I release him to God and trust he will work everything out for good in Devensky’s life!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Getting the job done

Here is a look at our hard working young men here and what all they got done this week!

Here is Tiboutson doing the usual, but what he is good at--welding.

Our ever-faithful mechanic, Austin. Once again, trying to get the blue van running.
This time it worked!

Since the lake has risen so much it was time to get the electric panel moved to higher ground.
Aaron is having fun at using his electric skills.

Shea moving dirt for a parking lot on higher ground as the school boys look on.

Aaron and Rylan prepare the way for the new spot for the batteries.

Mike places the batteries in their new location, this was a good job to finally get done.
We depend on these batteries and the water had finally reached them, so it was time to get them moved.

Putting up a solar system for Wismiths home and school.

Kenlyn Miller did the prep work to get these sent down and then brought his family to help get them installed. Here is Kenlyn, Shea, Noelgens, (Wismiths nephew) and Aaron mounting the solar panels.
They have electricity now!

God has blessed us with another wonderful week, his wonders to perform. 
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