Archive for May, 2010
Monday, May 31st, 2010
One of the main ministries of Real Hope for Haiti is the Rescue Center. At any one time, up to about 50 babies and young children are being cared for. Some are here because of injuries or other conditions that make it too hard for a family to care for them at home.
This child, for example was born with no bones in her lower leg or foot.
But most are there because of severe malnutrition. This is an ongoing crisis, from long before the earthquake.
Many children are admitted with kwashiorkor–a potentially fatal protein-deficiency disease
Medika Mamba is a lifesaving tool. The primary ingredient of this protein-rich food is peanut butter. Regularly at the RHFH blog there are arrival photos paired up with going home photos, and if you page down at this particular post, you can read a little bit about how they use Medika Mamba and the great impact it can have on families for the sake of the gospel.
Happy mothers returning home with their healthy children
Here are the latest admissions to the Rescue Center.
You can see more of our photos of the Rescue Center and some of the children there.
Sunday, May 30th, 2010
Our first stop in Haiti was Real Hope for Haiti in the town of Cazale, an hour north of Port au Prince. RHFH had its beginnings in 1994 when God moved the Zachary family to Haiti. Our hosts were the families of the 2 Zachary daughters–Licia & Enoch and Lori & Charles.
Enoch & Licia and family
Charles & Lori
They put us right to work getting boxes ready for the monthly food giveaway. RHFH receives monthly shipments of cartons of basic nutritious food packs from Feed My Starving Children and Kids Against Hunger. RHFH adds to the boxes basic items that they have received as donations. This time it was toothbrushes, dental floss, peanut butter, large cans of tomatoes and packets of protein powder.
Everyone needs water–clean water. RHFH has a system for filtering water from the neighboring river. The equipment was given and installed by Water Missions International. This water supplies not only the clinic and rescue center (which I’ll post about later), but water is piped out to a public faucet where anyone can get clean water at no charge.
One thing I love to see here is 4 ministries, at least, working together to provide necessities of life for people who desperately need it–all for the sake of the Living Water and Bread of Life which they need even more desperately.
Speaking of charge, another “necessity”–though not necessarily of life itself–is cell phone power. There is a small charge for that service, money which helps buy diesel to run the generator, the source of all the electricity.
You can see more photos from our arrival at Real Hope for Haiti and the food distribution.
(Sorry about photos and captions scattered every whichaway around this post. I’m tired of trying to figure it out.)
Saturday, May 29th, 2010
As we flew into Port au Prince . . .
I looked down into neighborhoods that had been very poor for a long time. Now I could look down literally into many houses that were destroyed in the quake. There was no way to tell how many others are too damaged for anyone to live in. Presumably, houses covered with tarp are inhabited.
Enoch and Licia Betor met us at the airport and drove us out to Real Hope for Haiti in the town of Cazale, about 1 hour north of Port au Prince.
Along the way, we were having a lively conversation about various things, mostly surrounding our questions and curiosity about Haiti’s people and life. At one point Enoch became very quiet. He pointed to a flattened mound of dirt on the hillside next to the road.
“That is one of the mass graves. Thousands of people are buried there. In such a hot place as Haiti, there was not time to wait for family members to identify the dead. They had to be buried quickly.
“After the earthquake, we drove from Cazale down into the city many times to bring people back to the RHFH Clinic for care. I will never forget what I saw here one day when I was going past. Bodies piled high. Machines pushing them into a massive hole. I can’t even talk about what I saw and how it smelled. I can’t ever get that out of my mind.”
In these additional pictures on the road to Cazale, people look like what you might expect to see in many parts of the world. And yet, Haiti is a nation of people–adults and children–whose memories are haunted by tragic, gut-wrenching images. They grieve for loved ones, yet may never know where they are buried. In a mass grave? Under the ruins of a building?
Only the great Comforter is large enough, loving enough to heal so great a pain.
Friday, May 28th, 2010
Our days in Haiti were too few and packed with sights and impressions and reactions and responses and much to keep thinking about and praying about.
The first impression for me is faces. Even though we talked with only a few of these people, each picture of each face is a reminder to me: Every single one of these faces belongs to a person who has a name and a story that is like no one else’s.
Four-year-old Maynasia is one of the faces=name=person=heartbreaking story. Since the earthquake, she lives in a tiny 2-room house with her Aunt Maria who is not really her aunt, but is related distantly somehow, and with Maria’s children.
As we approached, Maynasia ran out the door toward us and leaped into the arms of the closest man of our group and threw her arms around his neck. Though she had never seen any of us before, she smiled eagerly into his face as if she recognized him and announced, “My papa died in the earthquake.”
My heart wept. What will keep this beautiful tiny girl, longing for her father’s strong arms, from growing into a gorgeous young woman who still throws herself into any masculine arms that present themselves?
There is one hope for her–and for all of us. Please let the photos be a reminder to pray that Maynasia and Giveland and Jean Baptiste and Louinise and Withlove and Roselene and Lorine and so many others in Haiti would know the strong arms of the Father who will never leave them or forsake them.
Sunday, May 23rd, 2010
Here are some photos from here in Minneapolis during the weeks of collecting donations and filling the container.
Sunday, May 23rd, 2010
At Real Hope for Haiti Rescue Center, where we’ll be visiting in a couple of days, even a day off is not a break with such needs all around.
Sunday, May 23rd, 2010
I’ve been to Africa several times to several different countries. I’ve never been to Haiti — yet. This week will be the first time.
I know how Africa keeps affecting me, and I expect Haiti to have a similar effect. So as you watch this short video, just replace Africa with Haiti. Some of the details are different, but many are the same.
Then please pray for God’s work in us while we are there.
Friday, May 21st, 2010
Next week Johnny and I will fly to Hispaniola, the second largest island in the Caribbean. I was pretty sure I knew the name of the island, but I looked it up to be sure because I never use its proper name. Instead, I talk about the two nations that share the land — Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
The first part of our time will be a too-short trip to Haiti, where we will visit a couple of the ministries I’ve blogged about since the earthquake–Real Hope for Haiti Rescue Center and Heartline Ministries.
We’ll also visit a church that Bethlehem Baptist is partnering with to provide local homes and support for orphans. I hope you’ll visit Bethlehem’s Global Diaconate blog to read about the partnership program. And then I pray you’ll pray about how you and your church might be involved.
The second part of the trip will be in the Dominican Republic, climaxing with the Back to the Cross conference in Santo Domingo.
Please pray for us as we go–that we will have God’s eyes and heart and words for the people and situations we meet.
Monday, May 10th, 2010
Wise friends suggested that I should take a sabbatical from blogging and tweeting, just as he is. I really didn’t want to do that–strongly didn’t want to. So that was a good clue that I need to follow their good advice.
For the next few months, I won’t be posting or responding to website emails and comments. I have gotten some very good suggestions and questions from your comments and emails that I want to post about sometime, but not now. I’m saving them for later.
I don’t want to lose you internet friends, so I hope you will do a couple of favors for me.
1. Please maintain your email or rss subscription, or subscribe if you aren’t already. There will be a couple of missions-related short seasons during the sabbatical when I will probably blog. If you’re subscribed, you won’t miss those posts. And then you’ll know when I’m back at the end of the leave.
2. Check my Recommendations page once in a while. Lord willing, we two will be doing some reading together and individually during these months, and I’ll be adding suggestions to the Recommendations along the way. Also I’ve sorted recommendations into categories so it is easier to see what’s there.
Thank you so much for your prayers for us and our family. God is good. All the time. And you are part of his goodness to us.
Wednesday, May 5th, 2010
Congratulations to the 20 readers who have received an email announcing that they are winners of 2 copies of Krista’s book–one to keep and one to give away.
I’m sorry if you haven’t received an email, but I hope that will spur you to order copies yourself. People you care about need this book.
If you haven’t done it already, please read each other’s comments and be inspired to spread the word about God’s goodness and sovereignty in every person’s life, including every single one with disabilities.