I have had an amazing week working with friends new and old. We had a small group of football players from all over the country(two from the Tennessee Titans and one from the CFL). I loved serving with like-minded people who loved the Lord and football. The group meshed really well from the first day. We had a great opportunity to serve and minster to numerous different groups. We started our trip in St. Louis with two days of basketball and construction. We had an opportunity to give out 60 pairs of shoes to some of the teenagers we were playing basketball with in St. Louis. It was a great competitive game. We also had the opportunity to set up a tent on the Island of Tortuga. When I say tent I mean a huge military tent which we will be used for church building. It was a momentous task. We disassembled the tent carried it and put it on a little rickety boat and sailed over to Tortuga. It was a journey, but we got it done. After our adventures here we headed over the river and headed to La Baie. In the La Baie we were able to hand out 20 goats to families in need in the La Baie. It was such a blessing. We also painted the orphanage and did a little cistern project. The time spend in the La Baie developing relationships and spending time with the community was amazing a life changing.
Check it out! Haititees.org
As I wrote earlier cholera has hit our shores. It has been a difficult day couple of days. This is the first time I have had to sit down and process. I woke up with a knock on my door from Heather on sunday asking if I still had any contact with the USS Iwo Jima. The outbreak was and is continuing to spiral out of control. We have had over 400 patients and 5-10 coming every hour. Before church on sunday I had already carried two dead children one kid that around 6 and another that was 13. I never thought I would have to read a manual on how to dispose of bodies. It is an image that I regret that I have in my life now, but it is a reality. Janeil was sick on sunday and is still fighting it today with a fever. There is so much to do. It works out well because it kept my mind busy. At some points all I could do was just listen to the sound of my flip-flops. Clop clop to keep moving forward. We also had a child in renal failure. We had a helicopter come and get him which was a huge blessing. They also dropped of some medical personal to help us out because we were drowning. We have help on the way tomorrow which is a huge blessing. Please continue to pray for the mission and our staff. They say that the next 3 months will be the worst. Thank you so much for all of your support and love. Our stats for now are over 400 cases and 9 deaths we have also had some deaths on arrival. We really need a huge water filtration system and IV fluids we are going through almost 1000 a day.
Sorry I haven’t been able to update you all in a while as you all know it has been extremely busy. Hurricane Thomas passed by last night. Only by the grace of God we were spared from damages. Unfortunately Thomas is not our biggest issue at the moment. We are the only cholera clinic in the whole northwest at the moment. So we are seeing a multitude of patients everyday. We are starting to overflow. Today we are going to set up a military tent to house more patients. It is an uphill battle that we are fighting. I was over at the clinic last night carrying mats. it look like a clinic you would see in war times. There were people lying sick everywhere. As I walked out a younger man about 24 was crying hysterically worried that he was going to lose his brother. It broke my heart to see such pain in someone’s eyes. There is so much fear in the country now about this disease. As a mission we are doing everything we can to help. Please continue to pray that God will continue to intervene in Haiti. Also pray for the workers as we try to run the normal programs as well as treat everyone who has cholera.
Where to begin is an understatement. I have had the most amazing week in Haiti that I think I have ever had! It was full of trials as well as great joy. It began last friday when I had a 102 fever. I woke up on friday morning with a 102 fever and I was just not feeling the 6 hour trip to the Mole in the back of a pickup truck. I decide that I wouldn’t go and try to go the next morning. The truck was supposed to leave at 8 in the morning with two of the missionaries and my best friend patrick to head to the Mole. It was 8:30 when Junior came into the room and asked if I was going. I had thought the truck the truck had already left. I made a rash decision and decide that since the truck hadn’t left I would go. I felt ok in the beginning, but by the time we had reached Jean-Rebel I was catatonic. I finally reached Jody’s house and I was helped inside. They took my temperature. It was a 103.2 and rising they pulled it out and put me in the shower to cool me off. The Savannah team arrived from Port-au-Prince and Patty ,who was a physicians assistant, came and checked me out. She said I had really bad strep. She put me on IV and gave me a shot of steroids. I went to the hotel and went to bed. I was in bed for two days until my fever broke. It was a night and day difference. I went to church on sunday and got to meet the team from Savannah. It was fun to hang out with old friends and meet some new ones. Our main focus was a free clinic for the people of the mole and the outlying villages. It was amazing it was more than just a clinic it was indescribable. We heard so many stories and got to know the people. It was a time of physical and spiritual healing. The coolest experience for me was when we went to this little fishing village. You can really only get there by boat. It was an untouched part of Haiti. They were pretty self-sufficient. They lived very simply. I got to preach for about 20 min. The people were very receptive. I was honored to be in their presence. The people gave me a huge lobster as a gift. It was an unbelievable experience. The adventures continued. We left the village on a little fiberglass boat. the water was pretty rough. patrick and I were baling water in the back. We made it safely back to Jody’s house. The next day was the day the group had to go to Port-au-Prince. We left at 2 o’clock. We were just about to land it Port-au-Prince, but the weather was too rough. So we had to land in Jacmel. We waited there for about an hour and headed to Port-au-Prince. It was storming and lighting all around us. It was an amazing adventure. We landed safely, but when we landed we saw what the storm had done. A lot of the tent were destroyed and some big billboard had fallen. We made our way to the hotel were we prepared for bed and said our goodbyes. The group surprised me with a foot washing ceremony. It was very humbling. The group left the next morning and it was a sad occasion. I head back to the mission. I was invited to dinner by Jacque one of our interpreters. It was the most humbling experience. We met at store in Port de Paix. He bought me a Gatorade and we headed to his house. This is the first time I have ever had dinner at Haitian’s home. We sat at his dinner table and I met his mom and dad. His dad was ex Haitian military, but now had a humble garden. His mom had a small store as well as cooked meals on the side of the street. We ate an amazing meal prepared by Jacque’s mom. We had a really good conversation about everything. Then he wanted me to meet some of his friends. We went to his friends store and hung out. They were super generous and nice. we talked for a while getting to know each other. It was time for me to go and Jacque didn’t want me to take a taxi by myself. So his friend loaded the car with me and the family. They drove me all the way to the mission. I was so humbled by the whole night. No one asked for anything and I was given more than I deserved. GOD is good!
This is my story of my great adventure to the Mole! I had amazing 3 and half hour ride on a dirt bike to the mole. When I got there I helped Jose and Jody put together some furniture that they had shipped in. It was beautiful riding there all alone with God thinking about life and my future ministry. After I recovered from my sore bottom I took off again to Saint Louis. This is where my adventure began. I began my journey with a Haitian named Cas and we got to a city name Jean Rebel and he had problems with his bike. He told me to go on ahead. It was started to get dark so I knew I had to get home. I was flying home it was gorgeous the sun setting and the wind on my bald spots. I was passing the la baie and I was heading down a hill. There was a washed out part of the road and I didn’t see it in time. My front tire hit the small canyon and the bike flipped. It was by the pure grace I’m ok at least mostly. I hit my chin first and then the bike landed on my leg. I just laid their processing what happened and what was wrong. I was scared to death. I realize that most everything was ok. I couldn’t move my leg. I was scared something was broken. A couple Haitian came and helped me. They lifted the bike off my leg and helped me up. My leg was cut and bruised. My hands we bleeding. There where some scraps on my chest and my shirt was ripped. The Haitians grabbed some water and washed the blood off. Then they wiped my clothes down. They asked if I was ok. I said I think so. I got on the bike with a throbbing leg and shaken nerves. The Haitians rode with a while just to see if i was ok. My heart was so touched. I took a moment to realize what had happened and thanked God. then I headed on again. I finally to port de paix. It was really dark and I have no light on my bike, but I needed to get home. I got through port de paix because there was enough light but when I got out of the city I was in darkness. I tried to follow people with light but they were few and far between. I was almost at my limit. i passed La point and an angel came who was a large Haitian. He asked if he could help. i said please he road next to me with his light for both of use all the way to Saint Louis. Then he was gone. I can not express in words the last 2 hours of my trip. It was full of ups and down, but over all ups. God really showed himself in a tangible way last night. I hope this story is a blessing. I’m ok my leg is really sore and bruised, but im fine. I feel like i just played in a football game against auggie.
I have been home for a week now with my beautiful bride to be and I have had some time to think and process. This summer was a world wind of excitement and of sadness. I have been extremely blessed to see God work through our ministry at Northwest Haiti Christian Mission and in my life. I have seen my relationships grow with the missionaries as well as the Haitians. I feel like my family has continued to grow and as I start this process of joining my family with Natasha’s, it will grow even more. I have had my heart broken by death in Haiti over and over again, but I have seen the birth of many new lives in Christ. I am continuing to grow in my faith as well as developing as a missionary. I feel like I’m just starting to get a grasp on being a missionary and I’m trying to understand what it means to be a stranger in two lands. I don’t totally fit in in Haiti and I feel like a foreigner in my own land. Most people don’t understand what what it is like, but the few that do understand will see my heart. People ask me all the time what do you do? ” I’m a missionary in Haiti” I reply. “Oh thats nice” or “It must be hard”. I reply “Yes it is, but I love it” and the conversation ends. This happens day in and day out. It’s even harder sometimes with friends and family. They want to help and they try to understand, but it is so hard to explain. I do not put the blame on others; I have to take responsibility for my own actions. I often avoid talking about the harder topics and the pain of day in and day out activities. It is also so hard to explain the mighty rush of God’s power and Spirit descending on a group of people or even me. I wish I were a writer so I could share with words what is going on in Haiti and in my own life. For now all I can say is GOD IS ENOUGH and PRAISE HIM FROM WHO ALL BLESSING FLOW!