Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas at Alex's House!

What a wonderful day we had celebrating Christmas at Alex's House!  Wes and I were able to make a last minute trip and enjoyed our time with the children and staff.  The day opened with a good time of worship led by Jimmy and Robinson.  I read the Christmas story to the children from one of the new Christmas books from our library.

For our Christmas meal I made my now "world" famous potato soup (it's now enjoyed in two countries).  Since they are use to a rather bland diet (rice and beans), I was a bit concerned the soup would be too rich for their taste.  However it was enjoyed by all, with everyone coming back for seconds and thirds.  I had no idea little kids could eat that much!

The next couple of hours was actually a bit of a let down.  Wes and I were expecting the children to be excited and anxiously waiting to open presents.  It was clear that our Haiti children have no concept of getting presents and no reason to feel the excitement our children feel.

Yet as word spread about presents,
the calm changed to excitement and laughter as they received their very own pair of pajamas!  How excited they were!  They all rushed to put them on and pranced around the house in their cozy pajamas - in the 90 degree heat!

Their faces were aglow with gratitude and thankfulness.  They quickly ran out to the gate where they could show off their new clothes to those passing by.

I received a special gift as well, as Wes, Jimmy, and Patrick gave me a Creole Bible, each writing a special note inside the cover.  The gift became even more special as it mysteriously "disappeared" until a few days later when Wes and I celebrated Christmas with Jenn, Daniel and Graham.  Again I got to unwrap my Bible and found that Daniel and Graham had written a special note inside as well.  This is truly a treasure.

This has been a wonderful Christmas for Alex's House.  I hope it has been a wonderful Christmas for you.  Thank you for your generosity, your prayers and your love for these children.  Their lives are truly being changed.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Update on Your Children!

Many of you have been asking about and praying for our children.  Thank the Lord they are all safe, happy and well.  The cholera has not hit our neighborhood.  Our children each take a little bottle of hand sanitizer with them to school and are taking their own lunch until this sickness passes.

The political riots were on the main roads of the city and not in our neighborhood.  Hopefully we will see an end to these soon.

Please pray for our children and all the people of Haiti.

Here are some recent pictures to make you smile!

Stamina, Rosemitta, Machinna & Carlene at bedtime
Zachary striking his "pose"
Rosemitta in the morning.  She told Jimmy "I am very cold!"

Job, Rosemitta and Zachary

Nadege and Carlene

Machinna, Yvline and Stamina

Pushing Against the Lord

Have you ever wanted something the Lord didn't want you to have, at least not now? Have you ever pushed against the Lord's will, trying to get it anyway? Two clear experiences come to my mind.

Back in January, seven days after the earthquake, Patrick Georges (one of our co-directors) and myself had our car loaded and were on the long, dusty, potholed roads leading to Dajabon, the northern border crossing from the D.R. into Haiti.  We were trying to deliver food, water and medical supplies to the victims of the earthquake.

The Lord had continually given me a hesitant spirit about this northern journey. With every mile forward the Lord would tell me "no."  Yet - I'm a stubborn man.  I said to myself - you're just afraid or nervous about the trip (which was certainly true).  So I plowed on, running through every road block the Lord put before me - confusion, fear, threat of death - we kept right on going. We finally reached the boarder and the Lord said "for the last time, I'm telling you - No."

He gave me several convincing reasons why I should listen....and I did. We turned around and headed south for the day's journey to the southern border of Jimani. We entered Haiti a day later.

I heard the same voice of the Lord as I tried to enter Haiti this week. We had a wonderful ministry project planned, a group of college students passionate about serving, and the joyful anticipation of getting to give the children their Christmas boxes from their sponsors.  It was going to be a wonderful trip!

But again the Lord said "No, not now."

Since the recent presidential elections, Haiti is in the midst of great political unrest.  There have been rioting and protests in the streets. We could have gotten in, but the Lord, our Protector was telling me - "No." 

We were all very sad we had to cancel.  But - we trust the Lord and know that His wisdom, His will and His timing are perfect.

Obedience is costly.  It cost us havoc with our schedules.  It cost us a good deal of money. It cost us disappointment.  It may even cost some of our students the trip, as rescheduling may be impossible.

Yet... the payoff is worth it.  The payoff is the freedom and peace of knowing.... we obeyed our Lord and we're in the center of God's will.  We acknowledge that in all things, and in all trips - God is God.  

Monday, November 15, 2010

God Shows Up "BIG" Through Fairview!

What a trip!  On October 28th, I traveled to Haiti with Pastor Rick Mann and two men from Fairview Baptist in Russell Springs, Ky.  Fairview is one of our Partnering Churches.

The agenda was fairly simple:

  •  Get legal advise on buying land and registering the Children’s Home with the government.
  • Look for a used vehicle
  • Research land opportunities and hopefully make a decision on which land to purchase.
Little did I know that God was going to make this an “Immeasurably More” trip. 
Do you know what I’m talking about?  “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.”  Ephesians 3:20

Again I was reminded that it is only “Him who is able.”  The vision of growing this Children’s Home and the many that will come after it is a vision so much larger than my abilities.  Accomplishing this in America would be a great challenge, but in a foreign country – next to impossible.  Yet I’m reminded again – He is able.

Not only is He able, but He is able to do “immeasurably more” than we “ask or imagine.” 

  •       I was asking to speak with an attorney to get guidance. God gave us "immeasurably more" in Jim Faller, a legal advisor in Kentucky, who volunteered to spear head all the legal issues for us.                                                       
  •       I was asking for a good used vehicle to shop for supplies and take the children to school.  God gave us "immeasurably more" in a brand new JAC truck with plenty of benches for the children and space for supplies – all courtesy of these three generous men.
  •        I was asking for help in buying the property.  We had 40,000 raised and needed another $40,000.  We were given a new friend - Brian Cooper,  who committed to purchase the entire land for us. 
In the first two days, God had provided what I through would take a year to obtain!  Totally "Immeasurably more!"

I have many more incredible stories from this trip that I’ll share later.   But for now, let it suffice to say – God’s showed up big through Fairview.  Praise God for men and women who are willing to be used by God!

For the least of these,

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Working Shower!

Things are moving along nicely!

We've come from bathing outside from a pail of water

to being blessed with a 600 gallon water tank on the roof with fully functioning toilets and shower!


So - there you have Reason #53 for coming to Haiti - you'll get a hot shower!  (The sun keeps the water pretty warm!)

Thank you to all of our faithful friends for your love and support!

Boneye Beni Ou!

Monday, September 27, 2010

2011 Trips

Hello Friends,

The dates for our 2011 trips are posted on the "upcoming trips" tab.  Please check them out and let me know if you are interested in going.  It's a life changing experience!

Individuals and Groups are welcome!

Monday, August 30, 2010

I've Got a Bed!

In August, Pastor Erik Estep and three wonderful ladies from the Village Church in Blythewood, SC and members of Willow Ridge traveled to Alex's House to build bunk beds and give the entire orphanage a fresh coat of paint.   

What a joy it was to see the children crawling into their very own bed.  This is the first bed they've ever had.


The children were scurrying back and forth, holding up their name plate to claim their bed. 

The children and staff worked along beside us, painting, sanding and nailing.

The end result was a brighter, cleaner and much more restful place to live.

Special thanks to Michael Brewer, Mike Morgan, Lydia Carpenter, Kelly Steelman, Raeanne Auton and Pastor Erik Estep.

Monday, July 12, 2010

200 Children at Bible School!

In July, Willow Ridge teamed up with members from Fairview Baptist and Pastor Rick Mann for a great week of Bible School and recreation.

They packed in for Bible School!

Pastor Rick Mann

We split the children up into age groups - the older ones starting on the soccer field for games, and the younger children beginning with Bible Study in Alex's House.

Coach Chris led the way on the Rec. field
Angie did a great job leading worship

For lunch - a PB&J and a bag of water

Jennifer with Nadege and Rosemita
Michinna is always smiling!

Nadege with her work of art
April and Carlene
Jules and Neighborhood friend
Graham & girls