Thursday, September 23, 2010

My Life

So my wife keeps telling me I need to blog. But I have not figured out how to express the feelings and thought that rush through my head. Such as, as I type a funeral processional is passing by our gate. The band is playing and then it stops and you hear the wails of the grieving. I don't know who died but this in much louder than the normal. Was the person young? Was it a wayward son or daughter? Was it the mother of a young family? How do you express the feelings and thought of living in such a place as La Gonave? To see the beauty of the sea and mountains but yet live among the pain and poverty that belongs to this island. Some days I truly feel like I'm in paradise and the next, the slip of the tongue "Hades",is not far off. The people are beautiful and full of life but also seem to suck every last drop of energy from you. Its crazy that at 80 degrees we start looking for blankets for the bed. This is my world. We drive for an hour to go 6 miles. We pray that our truck that is 15 years old does not fall apart. We pray that soon we will have money to buy a new one. But here is a place of peace and contentment for me. It is not so much a physical place as it is an place of action because for the last month every Wednesday, myself and 2-4 of my CHE helpers climb the mountain for our gruelling 60 min. of "off road" road travel. A friend Justin Dowds took the trip with me a week ago and the question that kept coming up is 'Where is the road?' The answer is 'where there is no grass'. Over rocks and boulders and mud pits filled with rock known as the "Bobble Head" road. Just talking about it make me feel tired and sore. But then we get to our meeting for the Fontina Community Health Project. It last from one to three hour and the meeting is not all that great but the enthusiasm that is seen and felt is invigorating. We teach simple things like digging a trash pit or building a dish drying rack that set in the sun and kills bacteria in pots and dishes. My pockets are always empty meaning I'm not coming with money or new gadgets but simple ideas and concepts that save lives and transform and develop communities. The best part is that when we come back several will say "I built that dish rack or I started my compost pile". This week we sent out a survey with the agents to find out how many homes have trash pits, latrines, vegetable gardens,and how many have been sick in the last month and what were they sick with. We have so much work to do and this is only one zone on this Island of 175,000 people, but these days... are the high light of my life here in Haiti.

If you would like to give to this particular ministry please look for the Community Health Evangelism link.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A New Day

You know the saying 'Today is the first day of the rest of your life?' Well today is the first day of a new way of life for the community of Fantina. Today we did our first training of Fantina community health Agents. We identified 414 families in this 5 village zone. So we are training 40 Agents to each teach 10 families. We intend to train every family in life changing skills such as water purification, sanitation, first aid, composting, personal evangelism, kitchen gardens, prevention of diarrhea, typhoid, malaria, HIV and the list goes on. This I believe will be the most thorough education project to date on this Island. We purpose to transform this community one family at a time. Of course we know there will be bumps in the road. All you have to do is take the one hour ride up the mountain to know about bump. But I have a sense that this is something much bigger than me. God is at work. We have the opportunity to influence and transform over 2000 people through God's word and the work he has laid out before us. Pray that we will not be swayed by the evil one and that our focus will remain on Him who has brought us here.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

returning to La Gonave

We drove out of the city, leaving the masses behind and the beauty of the landscape began to clean my senses. Tents still dotted the hillsides and there were definitely more of them then six weeks ago when we had drove through that area. I couldn’t help wondering where they got water and food and did they get any medical care, so I prayed... The hills roll on the right side and the beaches fold out on the left like a blue and white ribbon giving the allusion that everything is peaceful and healthy. Then one blink and there are great mountains behind the hills which seem to get more beautiful with every mile. The very tops are hidden behind misty white clouds and once again God takes my breath away. I never get over the awe and grandeur of these great green giants.
Today the bay is almost glasslike and our things are loaded onto the boat quickly. Deep breaths of salty air and I am convinced that heaven will be a lot like this. My heart is filled with Gods vastness and loveliness. As we move across the water, I watch for them. They just make me happy, the silly little flying fish. I first thought that they were birds diving but they never came back up. They defy the laws of fish nature, fish swim. Nobody told these guys and they make me happy. Skimming across the top of the water…escaping reality. The reality of something wanting to eat them for lunch, of doing what normal fish do, swim. They get to see the sun and experience more than the surroundings they were born into.
I come full circle now, I think of the people in Port, in tent cities, and wonder how they escape a predator named reality. I might be stretching too hard here by making a connection between a fish and a desperate people. The fish do what they were created to do, take a big breath of underwater air and jump and glide through the air for a few minutes in the sun away from what could harm them. It’s a little more complicated for people because we don’t naturally do what we were created to do but I know my God is good. So once again, I pray. That they will have enough: enough bravery to trust God when it doesn’t make sense, enough knowledge of God to know he is always good even when life doesn’t feel good, enough wisdom to call on God because he always answers. I pray that they will jump into our Father and feel the hope the Son can bring and as they face their overwhelming reality and that they would know how to truly believe God understands. I know…I know… I have never had the reality of being homeless and of not knowing how I was going to feed my family or of seeing masses of my friends and family buried alive. I also know that none of these prayers are too big for my Father.