Monday, April 27, 2009

a must read book

i was looking for a new book the other day when i stumbled on to one i can not put down. this is a true story and i don't want to give any of it away except to say - read this!! this is God's work in an extraordinary way. a little embarrased to admit but i was so overcome with emotion last night in the latter part of the book that i had to stop reading. i thank God i found this book. to learn more about this incredible adventure, here is a link to the website:

the ravine

just a block from the guesthouse is an area of port-au-prince known as the ravine. houses are stacked upon each other covering the mountainside as far as you can see. in the last photos you see the drainage ditch with pigs and goats scavenging for food.

meeting edwide

on thursday morning i was picked up to go to meet our compassion sponsored child, edwide (pronounced similarly to edward and rhymes with squid). in the photo right to left are edwide's mom, edwide, the director of the compassion project in the area where edwide lives, and a friend of edwide's mom. they had made a ten hour drive from the northern part of haiti to port-au-prince on wednesday.

this is jeannot, our compassion field office interpreter. jeannot is also an assistant pastor at his fathers church. i promised jeannot that one day he will look out at the people of his church and see me sitting in the pews. maybe this summer.

deborah and i went shopping for edwide before the trip. since deb is an educator, we decided to send school supplies and coloring books along with a pink backpack. edwide was wearing a beautiful pink dress and the backpack matched perfectly! at first the meeting was very awkward as i thought it would be - this little girl is only seven and probably had never seen a white person before. but after the backpack was given to her i began to take some photos that i would then spin the camera around and show to her and the group. well that broke the ice and it was now smiles, giggles and laughter.

she did not want to take the backpack off! we had some lunch and then a tearful "bonswa" (goodbye/good afternoon) but not a goodbye - just an "until next time".

seeing your compassion child smile - priceless!

wednesday with the lashbrooks

keith and cindy lashbrook have been serving the children in the port-de-paix area which is on the north coast of haiti. they are pictured here with their adopted two and a half year old daughter, sabrina. the lashbrooks have been in haiti over twelve years and have built a boys home, orphanage, school and church. their story is so amazing as they came to haiti with no particualar mission focus or training and no funding. they picked me up from the guesthouse and showed me around parts of port-au-prince. i really came to love and admire the lashbrooks. my next trip will take me to see their ministry on the north coast. for more information on their ministries, here is the link;

this is the caribbean super market in port-au-prince. you go inside and it is like you have stepped back in to america.

they even had bubba burgers - what's up with that?

but then you go back outside and you are immersed in the poverty again - strange paradox.

driving in port-au-prince

driving in port-au-prince can go from this kind of road -

- to this kind instantaneously.

the view from the roof

this is the rooftop patio of the guesthouse - a fabulous place to hang out. the views of that part of port-au-prince were interesting. we were located in the southeastern part of the city of about two million people. looking northward you see a mountain range in the distance and thousands of rooftops. in the last photo there is construction next door.

the bensons and the guesthouse

this is cathie and greg benson, field directors for csi - christian services international - and hosts at the csi guesthouse in port-au-prince. the bensons have been serving God in haiti for over twenty years and they were great hosts. for more information on csi:

this is a view from the rear of the guesthouse with the first floor kitchen and dining rooms, second floor with dormitory style rooms and the rooftop patio. the guesthouse will accomodate around thirty and the rooftop patio is the place for morning devotions and evening get togethers. the guesthouse in open air - no a/c with cold water showers but that was okay 'cause it was refreshing.

these two ladies ran the kitchen and fed us. great food!! and i would help out a little by drying dishes, pot, pans, and eating utensils. i really liked them. while my haitian creole was about as good as their american english, a good "merci" and "okay" between us meant a lot. i'll know more creole when i return next time.

fenel pierre

this is fenel pierre from the compassion office in port-au-prince, haiti. if fenel had not been at the airport to pick me up after landing, i might still be lost there somewhere. i arrived in haiti on tuesday, april 14th with less than fifty u.s. dollars in my pocket and no complete address as to where i would be staying. the arrangements had been made through the compassion office and i did not print out the last correspondence. haiti immigration was not going to let me in without some sort of address and phone number - neither which i could offer. finally i found a printed-out email with the compassion port-au-prince office address and phone numbers and they let that suffice. as i was beginning to panic about my lack of information and money, there stood fenel pierre holding up a sheet of paper on which my name was written. i waved acknowledgement to fenel and as i approched he stuck out his right hand to shake but i put the biggest bearhug on him that caught him a bit off-guard. i was so glad to see him. he shuttled me to the csi guesthouse in pétionville, a sort of suburb in the southeastern part of port-au-prince. i owe so many thanks to fenel, who was a compassion-sponsored child growing up. i look forward to seeing him again soon.


roundtrip airline tickets miami to port-au-prince - $380.
three nights/two meals per day guesthouse stay - $120.
meeting our compassion sponsored child, edwide - priceless!
yes, i made it to haiti and met with edwide and her mother. it has taken me a week or so to return and put my thoughts together. now i will tell the story for those who are interested.

Thursday, April 02, 2009


i was struck by an article in the augusta chronicle yesterday - an associated press story about a 72 year old woman found dead in her home 18 months after she died. this happened in a small community between columbia and charleston, south carolina. come on - 18 months and nobody cared or knew her enough to check on her? wow - how lonely could that have been? how did she slip through the cracks? one of the paragraphs stated that the authorities didn't think she attended church - you think? while i don't say that church is the answer to everything, it is a place for true community - true love for one another or it should be. church is where everyone should know your name - know if you are not there and care enough to go find out why you are missing. i feel so bad for her and the people that lived near her - near enough to look in on her every now and then. and her car sat in front of the house - never moved - for a year and a half and nobody noticed. so what does this have to do with you and me? do you/i know your/my neighbors? are we in touch with them enough for them to know if you/i died or they did? i think it is easy to just forget about the elderly. they don't mean so much any more do they? one of the hardest things ever is to visit an assisted living or nursing home. seeing people - really shells of people. but they are still people. the really scarry thing is that might be us one day - lonely people.
if you care to read this story, here is a link;!%20News:%20U.S.%20News/Reclusive%20woman%27s%20death%20sobers%20small%20SC%20community%20%20%20%20%20%20(AP)/?ref=national|MOUNTAIN-VIEW+CA+US


last night our journey team members laid hands on me in prayer as i prepare for the trip to haiti. it was a powerful and moving experience. i have been a part of laying on hands before but it had been a while. it kinda freaks some out but i think it is a great way to share God's love for others. i shared with the group last night how i had begun to feel some fear about the trip tuesday after being informed that the week i am in haiti, senatorial elections will be going on and that the city gets a bit rowdy. they cautioned me to be aware. some of that led to other fears and if i was doing the right thing. then yesterday i get an email from a close friend who has contacted some of his friends in haiti and they are going to meet me to show me their ministry and that stopped the fears. "strength will rise when we wait upon the Lord". thinking about last night i realized that God has laid His hand upon me and will not take it off. our j-team finished up the "crazy love" study series by francis chan. i think it brought out a lot in all of us. it makes me contemplate "what am i willing to give Him who gives me everything?" what is He worth to me? as chan ends the dvd study he shares the same hope that i have - that i will hear those words touching my soul,"well done".
can you imagine the incredible feeling with those words - well done. isn't that what we all so long for - someone to affirm us - to say well done. and to hear it from the One who gives us everything - i can only imagine.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

bobo a go go

while my path has me headed for haiti, i love seeing where God is leading other people. i produced this video for the church i attend called truenorth in north augusta,sc. bill and peggy bobo have been a part of tnc since it began 4 and a half years ago. this ia a great story that i hope you will watch. here is a link to the church;

little hope

two little words with enormous impact - little hope. in this video you can see just how little hope there is in haiti. but notice it does not say "no" hope - just the word little. but just as a child is born little and grows to be bigger, hope will grow bigger with each day if we don't give up. tonight our journey team wraps up a five week study on francis chan's book "crazy love". in the ninth chapter he describes various people obsessed with a relentless God. people whose stories leave you mind-boggled. they put everything on the line for God every day. and now i am in the midst of the book "mountains beyond mountains" the story of dr. paul farmer and while this is not written with some christian or Christ-seeking message, it is the essence of what God put us on this earth to do - love one another. i am hearing so many hearts cry out for africa and it is so needed - but don't forget our neighbor to the south - right in our own backyard. haiti needs us now. haiti needs our attention, our hearts and our actions. if you read the book "mountains beyond mountains" you will see the incredible spirit of people waiting to bloom. they need this "little hope" to continue to grow bigger. they need more doctor paul farmers, jim kims, ophelia dahls, sarah marshs and so many others on the ground in haiti right now. i have never known the full weight of the two words - little hope - and i am seeking to bring just a grain of hope to a little girl that we sponsor in haiti through compassion international. in two weeks i make my first visit to hait to meet her. last night my wife and i bought a little girls backpack and various school supplies for me to carry to her. my hope is that through this little girls education we can partner with her and her family to help them elevate their hope level. that maybe one day she will have the opportunity to go to college and bring more hope to her island nation. one day, one child - this is where it starts.