Saturday, December 18, 2010

Project Haiti

With over 1.2 million people still living in tent cities all around Haiti, there is a definite and very REAL NEED for permanent, stable and adequate housing.

First Baptist Church of Jackson Mississippi has partnered with Hispanola Mountain Ministries of Barahona, Dominican Republic to begin a project to construct new housing for the Haitians displaced by the earthquake that stuck there almost a year ago.
is one tent city we know of that has over 50,000 residents. The conditions are overwhelming. We visited a very nice tent city [pictured to the right]. This city has one well that was drilled at 200+ feet and the water is still not suitable to drink. The wel has no electrical or assisted pumping mechanics or otherwise. When we arrived there was a little girl pumping water for her family. She was filling several vessels with water. When I saw the little girl pumping the water I was convinced the pump must be easy to operate. So.... I gave it a shot...lets just say I was winded after the first 5 pumps!
Project Haiti has a plan that included the design of a small house that could be built with panels [SIPS] and shipped in to the country via continers and assembled on site by volunteer mission workers. There are many aspects of this project, and if you have been following my blog you know that I have been working with Pastor Tim Dortch of Hispanola Mountain
on documenting and prperation for the project wherever I can. The Haiti Hose will be constructed with 4x8 panels that consist of 4 inches of Styrofoam sandwiched between 1/4" sheet of magnesium board. When constructed you would have a 12x16 house complete at around $3000.00 per dwellig. This will be a part of a planned community. There would be houses, a church, a medical clinic,and a school. There will also be areas set aside to develop agriculture. On this trip we had a world renowned agriculturalist studying the Land to determie the feasability and to plan for future production of food. The idea of a community that has the ability to house it's residents and also support it;s residents with food is a dream that even the people of Haiti at this time have been reluctant to dream. The reproduction of these communities throughout Haiti could be part of the long-term help that is needed to get this country back on it's feet. There are five elements of this project Housing-Church-Education-Agriculture/Food-Medical/Dental.
Housing:First Baptist Jackson
Medical/Dental: Hispanola Mountain Ministry
Church: HMM & FBCJ
Agriculture/Food:Metro Baptist Association
Education: Hope For The Hungry

On NOVEMBER 16th I went with the team to go to Ganthier Haiti to review the project .
The TEAM consisted of Pastor Tim Dortch of HMM Barahona DR
Pastor Larry Garner, Director of church services for Metro Baptist Association. Pastor Larry is an author, conference speaker[in fact he is familiar with DelMarVa and has spoekn at conferences in Ocean City, MD]
Pastor and Veteran Missionary, Harold Watson. Pastor Watson being an award winning agronomist has won the equivalent of the nobel peace prize in Asia for developing SALT and FAITH [Sloping Agriculture Land Technology, Food Always In The Home]
Jim Watson, DVM with the Mississippi Department of Vet. Medicine.
Seth Rineholt- Seth helped with Videography and Photography.

When we crossed the boarder into Haiti, a well dressed man came up to me and in broken spanish asked me if we were doctors. I told him "no" and asked him why. He exclaimed he needed medicine desperately.
I asked what type of medicine. He said he needed medicine for Colera. I was having trouble communicating and was not clear if he needed this or what the deal was. I asked him to wait because I knew Tim would be back from the border patrol office in a few minutes and could speak Creole with this man. When Tim came back we found out that he was a Pastor in the town Ganthier and needed the medicine for someone in is town.

As many of you know I am here in the Dominican
Republic working on developments for the Christian Radio Station for Ears To Hear Radio. Part of our desire is to use the radio to broadcast the word of God clearly taught in the native tongue(s) of this area. Every day has it's ups and downs and before I crossed the border in my heart had been asking God for revelation and just some confirmation from Him. Before we left the border crossing literally out of no-where a young man walks up to the back of our truck listening to a radio. This radio he was listening to was a Galcom Solar Powered Fixed signal FM radio tuned to the "Love a Child" station in Haiti. These radios are part of our vision for the Dominican Republic and Haiti. I was humbled and encouraged. We left the border crossing after several complications but after much prayer we were through the border and on our way to Ganthier, Haiti.

We settled in at a Hotel (Peace and Love) in Ganthier. The rooms were surprisingly clean but the power and water was off and on. The First Full day of our held plans to walk the property being offered up by the Town of Ganthier for the project. This piece of land ws up on the mountain and was the area that the Mayor had suggested for the project. I remember the first meeting that Tim and I had with the mayor back in September when Chris Bartholme and I were here for the COICOM broadcast convention.
that meeting Pastor Tim made a point to let the Mayor know the intentions were to build a Church first and then begin the houses and medical. The Mayor made it sound as though "the had enough churches" and the "people would not want another church". Pastor Tim knew that the project was of importance and that God would have His way so Pastor Tim agreed we would build the medical clinic first and then the houses and the church at the same time. So....we had a meeting with the Town representing the area where he mayor would like the project to be. Needless to say the meeting started out OK . Frandy our translator started out by saying how important this project woud be for the people of Haiti. He told them of the news that early this morning the man in Ganthier had indeed been confirmed with Colera and had passed away.
The Towns People began to discuss loudly as passersby began to taunt and shout cursings to the group. A man walked by appearing to be demon possesed and shouting voodoo curses. The meeting turned to chaos and we swiftly loaded up into the vehicles and fled for our safety. The Mayor apologized for how the people responded and encouraged us not to give up he would contact us in the morning to take us to another area that needs help and has the land to offer for the project.

We visited a tent city near Ganthier where Larry Garner, Harold Watson, and Mr. Watson, DVM took some time to review the tent city set up. Harold Watson will be surveying the plot of land to determine what kind of vegetation/food can be planted to support the people that will occupy the new houses. Mr. Watson, DVM will be looking at the animals and livestock to see what possibilities there are for the future.
Mr. Garner is reviewing the possibilities for church plants and education and discipleship.

The second day of the trip proved to be very encouraging . The mayor took us to a new location on the other side of the Town that looks beautiful. The people living in the town welcomed us with open arms. They first thing they asked for was a Church! They are meeting with a large congregation under a tree. Tim spoke with the group to explain the project. Pastor Harold Watson spoke to the group about the possibilities of agriculture. He explained how it is a gift from God to supply our physical needs here on earth. He asked if they had a dream for their community. Mr Watson was very clear on a project that is to be successful must have people who are ready to work. This project would not be a project where we come and do and then leave but rather a project where we co-labor with the people. Where they would be trained to sustain the land and the growth of the vilage. The first part of the project is identifying the obstacles that stand in the way of the growth of the commnity. Using each other as a rescource and realizing the limitations of the land so discouragement doesn't choke out the desire to prosper and provide for the members of the village.

by God's strength working through us can this dream be accomplished. Mr. Watson said "If you stand here with your hand out, I can not help you... if you come with a hoe on your sholder and seed in your pocket and a dream in your head, we can work together." Luke 8:14-16 (New King James Version)

14 Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. 15 But the ones thatfell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.

We stopped in at the orphanage that sister Dada runs.

There are 10 or so children there and I have been blessed each time just to stop in and play with the kids. We had a few "silly bands" left over from the Mt Vernon Church group that gave them to my kids so Christian

was certain to give them to me before we left the DR and said to give them to the children in Haiti. So Seth and I had fun giving each of the kids at least two silly bands in the name of Jesus. Dada takes really good care of these children. Please pray that God would continue to provide for her as she shows His love to these children. Pastor Tim will be taking another trip in before Christmas to bless the chidren of this orphanage.

Dada has shown God's grace and hospitality to us each time we come to Haiti.

Seth and I both became ill after the first day on this trip. We were still very blessed to be a part of the work and to share in the experience. God Bless you and thank you for being patient with the updates. I will post the rest of November and the beginnins of December throughout the next couple of days.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Build Us A House Oh God

Psalm 127:1
1 Unless the LORD builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;

Well this week has been filled with lots of work on the house. We had originally planned on being in here a week ago. Whenever we would fix one thing three more things would need repair.The tools and supplies are a little hard to come by and the quality, well lets just say I am very thankful that we have and very thankful that it is ready for us to occupy.

We began the week by working on getting power into the house, then we were working on water issues. We had to replace two pumps for the cistern.

We replaced 10 light fixtures throughout the house. The toilet didn't work, so we fixed that. We had to install a sink in the bathroom.
We cleaned out the water tank on the roof , added new pipe for the additional pump, Installed eight batteries, a power inverter, a gas tank, a stove, a refrigerator, and replaced a wax ring on the toilet. I built three bunk beds to house the children, set up a makeshift work area and hooked up water for a place for the Laundry to be done.

The kids have been busy making friends. They have been setting up their personal items trying to make it feel like home.

Kylie fell in love with a little girl, Elisabeth, and spent a day crocheting her a little dress. We were all happy to see that it fit her and that she looked really cute in it.

Shalom has been hanging out with so many children it has been hard to keep track.

Charis has made a real friend in Palmella a girl that comes to visit after every church service.

Christian has been playing legos and found a friend in Manuel.

Seth has been playing guitar, video games, and helping me with the work around the house.

Thanks so much for your prayers and that God would continue His work IN us.
We are grateful to see His hand at work IN our lives.

Build us a house O God, Its rooms are filled with praise
Build us a family Father, sons and daughters of light
Build as a house O God, its walls will echo your Peace
Build us a family Father, with children to run and play

We sing as people God set free, you dream the very best you dream, and then we know, we know
Our home is what we make with You
You love Your children [yes You do]
We are Your house, Your home

Build us a house O God,keep it sunny by day
Build us a family Father, our sons will love Your name
Build as a house O God, keep us safe at night
Build us a family Father, our daughters Your word will Keep

We sing as people God set free, you dream the very best you dream,
and then we know, we know
Our home is what we make with You
You love Your children [yes You do]
We are Your house, Your home

Medical Mission Haiti: Anse-a-Pitre

From Drop Box
So we made it on the plane and after several hours of travel and untold adventure we arrive in our new hometown, Cassandra Alpha LaMontana Santa Cruz Barahona Dominican Republic. We arrive at the HMM mission base where we will stay temporarily until we complete the work needed on our house here so that we can move in. Within a few hours of arriving I was invited to join a medical mission to Haiti. My initial response was no, being afraid to leave my family for 3 days and 2 nights after just being in this country for a few hours, but after I committed it to prayer the Lord showed me in His word, Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

I joined up with the 10 member group from MtVernon Church

[ ] being led by Tim Dortch and Mark Mckenzie. The team comprised of Two Doctors from Mississippi, Dr. Dunn, and Dr.LeBrun , Several medical professionals, Lanette Thrasher, Sherry Banks, Kristi Dickerson, Ashli Dunn, Paige Blankenship, Katie Leenman, and two church leaders, Lynn Robinson, and Al Wise.

From Drop Box

I was not really sure what I could add or what part I would play in this mission. Seth [my 13 yr old son] and I were talking about documenting these missions via video and photos earlier, but Seth was not feeling well and was unable to make this trip. Therefore I became the default Videographer.

From Drop Box
On the first day of the mission we saw over 400 sick people and had two separate church services for each group where they were given the gospel clearly and understood that the medical healing they received was temporary and that God is offering them eternal healing through Jesus which will last for eternity.

From Drop Box
The process would work as several hundred people would spend the day walking some as far as 5 or 6 miles to receive treatment [all while not feeling well] and arrive at various times throughout the day. We would wait for the Church to get full, and then when the Church became full we would start a worship service and then teach a short Bible study explaining the gospel clearly. When the service was over the people would then be taken through a triage process where they would be asked survey questions to help streamline the visits with the Doctors. The vitals would be recorded and they would be assigned a number to ensure they would be seen that day.
From Drop Box

When their number was called they would go into the entrance of the Mobile Medical Unit and receive treatment and then exit the Mobile Medical Unit with a gospel tract in Creole, small gifts for the children, a lolli-pop, and any medication needed that was prescribed by the Doctor.

By the end of the second day over 1000 men, women and children had been treated. [This is 1/10th of the population of the town we were in]

From Drop Box
From Drop Box
From Drop Box
From Drop Box
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From Drop Box
Anse-a-pitre is a border town located in the southeast province of Haiti.

It is surrounded by Fonds Verettes to the North, the town of Thiotte to the west, the Dominican Republic to the east, and the Carribbean Sea to the south. It has population of approximately 25,000 inhabitants, RGPH [Global Public Health publication] 2002. Of that population the ratio is 97 men to 100 women, living in two areas---the village of Bois d'Orme and Boucan-Guillaume and the village of Banane. The population of the city of Anse-a-pitre is estimated at approximately 8,000 inhabitants.

The population breaks down as follows:

1. 43.1% - 0-15 years of age

2. 51.4% - 15-64 years of age

3. 5.5% - over 65 years of age

The most frequent health problems in the area are:

1. high infant/mother mortality;

We saw several small babies who were in desperate need of medical attention. One dear child just over a month old had not taken her mothers milk in four days and lie lifeless in the arms of her mother.

From Drop Box
She was given treatment and I saw her the second day of the outreach and she looked like a new baby! Praise be to God!

2. a high incidence of HIV/AIDS-TB

3. infant malnutrition due to unmet needs

4. pre-term labor

5. Malaria and typhoid [although it has diminished quite a bit thanks to access to potable drinking water provided by the Foundation for Peace].

Life expectancy for the population is 51 years of age for women and 48 for men.

There is no electricity, the highway is in a bad state, which does not allow for people who live in remote areas to access already limited health services. Deaths can also result from limited access to a center staffed with qualified medical and paramedic staff. On our way out on the first day a bad motorcycle accident happened literally behind/beside us. An NGO truck hit a motorcycle head on at a high rate of speed.

From Drop Box
The young man was thrown from his bike, bounced off the hood of the truck, flew over the rear of our vehicle and then landed firmly on the blacktop. Our Doctors jumped from the back of our truck, proceeded to assess the needs of the young man, started an IV and the rest of the team tried to control the mob-like crowd while Katie, Kristi and I prayed for the young man and his family. Earlier this day we had a visit from the UN and we had just o happened to get a cell phone number of one of the men. One of the local pastors that was working with us ran and was able to call the UN who showed up clearing us of any misconception of the accident, and providing a way for the Haitian young man to be transported across the border to the nearest hospital in the DR.
From Drop Box
The team donated enough money to pay for his transport to a modern medical facility in the Capitol.

In this town, there is no vocational school, and the rate of illiteracy is estimated at 65%.

We had the Town Doctor from Pedernales, Dominican Republic serving with us as well.

In America 7.8 out of every 1000 children born die before they reach 5 years old.

In Haiti 71.5 out of every 1000 children born die before they reach 5 years old.ancy

Life Expectency

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Little Boy Securing House before the Storm

Preparing for Tropical Storm Tomas


Psalm 62 :
1 Truly my soul silently waits for God; From Him comes my salvation.
2 He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved.

I hate to wait!
I have been working diligently over the past several days trying to get our mission base ready to be occupied by my family. I have purchased items needed to make our stay here "doable". We will by no means be living at the same standards of that in Delaware, and this once again was made very clear to me as I carried 25 gallons of water 5 gallons at a time for my family to take a "shower" this morning.

My plans were to have everything ready too move into by Tuesday (two days ago). I am realizing that things move at a different pace here. And I admittedly become frustrated.
Frustration turns to irritation which turns to anger.
Then I realize when God asks us to wait it is for our own good.
Waiting is a pause......which means SOMETHING active is going on.
But waiting on someone tells me I am no longer in control, and my flesh really dislikes this.
It is especially unnerving when you KNOW that something can be done but the people involved just do not have the desire to do anything.

I have been working on electric,water,installing water pumps, cleaning water tank, plumbing, beds, mattresses, table, chairs,temporary water,propane,sink,batteries,receptacles,fixtures,light bulbs, and much more while fixing the motorcycle at least once a day with now two flats since Sunday,oil change,blown headlight,brake cable, and just having to go to the store once a day to buy enough food to make it to the next day without proper refrigeration or the ability to plan a week in advance.

 All of this to be put on hold with a storm coming through and mucho rain.

In America I can build a new house in less than 90 days, so these small things, in my mind should be no big deal,  but there is more to it than just accomplishing each task, you see here it has taken God less than one day to rebuild a man.

He desires for me to wait on Him. Waiting is learning to walk in obedience.
Psalm 25
1 To You, O LORD, I lift up my soul.
2 O my God, I trust in You; Let me not be ashamed; Let not my enemies triumph over me.
3 Indeed, let no one who waits on You be ashamed; Let those be ashamed who deal treacherously without cause.
4 Show me Your ways, O LORD; Teach me Your paths.
5 Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all the day. So now we prepare for the Storm. Tropical Storm Tomas has already been giving us some rain. We could get as much as 15" so please pray. People have begun to prepare. BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Journey Begins

So we packed up the rest of our belongings that now snugly fit in the back of a 5x8 trailer, and headed south toward Florida. We stopped by Wilmington, NC to visit The Hodges our dear friends there, and to meet with Pastor Clay of Calvary Chapel Wilmington. [Pastor Clay makes a mean Vanilla Chai Tea Latte Dirty]


We then headed toward Coco Beach Florida to spend a few days with our friends, The Clarkes. Our time there was spent watching God perform several small miracles in getting the last minute preparations to fly out completed just in time. We fellowshipped with some awesome people at First Baptist Church of Merritt Island and were introduced to people who share the same passion to reach the people of Hispanola.

We were blessed with an Inverter from good friends, The Simmons, in PA and quickly began to realize we did not have a firm plan on how to get it into the DR.


The Inverter weighs 83 pounds and Jet Blue has a strict 50-pound per bag limit. We were introduced to Joe Hurston of Air Mobile Ministries was willing to take our inverter into Haiti, although it would mean 83 pounds of water treatment would have to be left behind, with the Cholera outbreak we trusted and believed that God had something else in mind. Joe was very encouraging and full of wisdom, we prayed for God to work out this situation. Joe told me some things to say at the airport terminal and with hundreds of people praying we were able to board with the inverter in hand!