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Archive for December, 2008

Moving forward…

Just wanted to give an update to all those millions (cough cough) who view my blog…ok…thousands…ok, so maybe its just a few…hundred:)

Anyway, we are excited about our upcoming move to Haiti and we continue to move forward in getting ourselves prepared.  Our hope is that we will be in Haiti by the Fall of next year.  I know that seems to be a far way off, but there are a lot of things that need to get done to make such a big move, therefore that time will be necessary, and I’m sure it will come before I know it.

We have recently sold off our bedroom set and our living room set, since we are getting ready to move to Asheville, NC to a home that is fully furnished.  Therefore, our home is pretty empty right now, and all of us are enjoying our family time on our mattress that sits on the floor in our empty room.  This will be fun for the next 2 months.  We are really excited though because with the sale of our furniture, we were able to pay down some debt, which gets us better prepared to move to Haiti when the Lord calls us.

We also have been doing a course called “Chronological Bible Storying” as one of the requirements that our sending church asks of the missionaries that they support.  It has been a good course to learn about how to share the Word of God to non-literate cultures.  And Haiti certainly falls in the category of non-literate as almost half the population is illiterate.  So, the course has been good so far.

In January, we will be going through the “Crown Financial” course with a local church here.  This is also another requirement that our sending church asks of its missionaries.  We are very excited to go through this course and learn better ways of glorifying God through the resources that He has given us.

I’m learning Creole as much as possible, but there aren’t a lot of language study courses (such as Rosetta Stone, Fluenz, etc) that offer Creole.  Right now, I am listening to Audio CD’s of “Pimsleur’s learn to speak Creole”.  It is pretty basic, and seems to teach Creole for the traveler, therefore I’m definitely equipped now should we get lost in Haiti and I need to ask how to find Jean-Jaques De Saline Boulevard.  Needless to say, I hope to find some better resources soon.

We are all excited about Christmas tomorrow.  This is the first year that we have a tree (thanks to Maria’s friend who loaned us a tree and ornaments).  The girls are loving it.  All day, they sit by it, play near it, dance in front of it.  And tomorrow, they will open up presents under it.  It is such a joy to see my 2 little daughters get so excited about Christmas.  Maria and I already have our matching gifts for each other neatly wrapped and placed under the tree.  I can’t tell you what they are yet…you’ll just have to wait until after Christmas…ok…I’ll give you a hint…it is something that will keep us in “touch” with American culture while we are in Haiti.  Can you guess what it is?

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In a few weeks, some boy in Haiti will be rockin’ a new pair of jeans or perhaps a new pair of New Balance sneakers.  As he puts them on, I’m sure that he will be smiling and I’m sure that he will be thankful, but I’m not so sure he will know just how much effort went into getting those clothes into his hands…and just how far those pants or sneakers have traveled.  And so begins our journey of the traveling pants…

A few months ago, I was talking with a Pastor from a small church in “Podunk” Kentucky (I’m sure there really is a town called “Podunk” in KY…even though that is not where this Pastor was from…but it was some tiny little town in the mid-west, so I’ll just call it “Podunk”)  Anyway, I had never even met this pastor in person, but had simply talked to him on the phone.  One day, just before returning to Haiti on my 2nd trip, he called me and I was telling him about this new orphan care ministry that we were starting up to support an orphanage in Haiti.  He asked how he could help and I told him that anything would be of great help to the people in Haiti.  There is so much poverty there that anything helps.  He said he would mention it to his little church and see what they could do.

Next thing I know, I get an email from him stating that this tiny little church in “Podunk-ville” has collected 56 boxes of clothes for the people in Haiti and that he and a friend are planning on driving them to Delaware…where we are located.  Wow!!  And sure enough, a few weeks later, I’m greeting this pastor and his friend at my door and we unload all of the boxes.  So, we were planning on storing the boxes of clothes in our basement until we could develop a manner of shipping them from a port near our home.  But plans changed, as the Lord is calling us to move to Haiti, and now we are moving out of our home in a few months, therefore we had to get these boxes out of our home much sooner than we anticipated.  Our other shipping contact is with the pastor and wife who started this ministry in Haiti…and they live in Miami, FL.  So, I rent a 12 passenger van, load up about 70 boxes (we had about 15 boxes of clothes already in our basement that came from other people and other churches) of clothes and supplies…and the journey of the traveling pants continues.

2 days and 7 states later, I am meeting the pastor and wife of the Haiti ministry in Daytona, FL where we arranged to unload the boxes and have them drive them back down to Miami in their church van.  They agreed to come up to Daytona from Miami (about 5 hrs) so that I would not have to drive all the way down to Miami.  But plans changed in Daytona where I met them with the 70 plus boxes in tow.  They were not able to bring their church van up there because it was having engine trouble.  Therefore, I told them that I would just have to continue all the way down to Miami.  And so…the journey of the traveling pants continued all the way down to practically the end of the U.S.

There, the boxes were unloaded into the garage of the pastor’s house, which was filled with a ton of other stuff that will soon be put on a container and shipped to Haiti.  And so the journey of the traveling pants still hasn’t ended…

So, somebody might look at this story (just like I have thought) and said, “Dude, with all of the money that was spent on gas, vehicle rental, tolls, etc, let alone all the time and energy spent, you could have just went into a store right in Haiti and cleaned out all their racks, and maybe would have been able to buy even more clothes or newer clothes.”  And I might agree with that.  I was joking with one of my friends in this ministry and I told him that you would think these clothes were lined with gold for us to be going through so much effort and finances to get them to Haiti.  We laughed about it for a moment.  I told him that I pray that these are miracle clothes and don’t ever wear out…just like the sandals of the children in Israel when the Bible says that there shoes did not wear out for the whole 40 years that they wandered in the desert.

There has been a lot of money and time put into getting these clothes and supplies to Haiti.  And it is amazing to think how many hands have played a part in getting a pair of jeans to a poor boy in Haiti…somebody that we might never even meet.

Well, unless God wants to repeat that miracle in the desert, I am fairly certain that these clothes will wear out in time.  And, I am sure that the clothes are not lined with gold…but I think they are lined with something greater than gold…they are lined with love.  And that makes it all worth the effort.

So, this is to say a big thank you to every single person who played a part in giving these clothes and supplies to poor people in Haiti.  They might not ever know how much effort was put into this, but your Heavenly Father knows…and He is pleased.

I am happy to be part of the brotherhood/sisterhood of the traveling pants

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