Archive | April, 2010

Spanish Language Institue graduation

23 Apr
Congratulations to our most recent Spanish language graduates, both serving in Peru with ReachGlobal

Blair and Joan McGwire
Brian and Susan Johnson
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Teamwork

12 Apr

Despite the rugged individualism that is at the heart of much of our culture, the fact is that God created us to work with others and that teams can accomplish more together than their members could individually.
Mark Lewis and I have been friends for four years now. He is the director of TouchGlobal’s Crisis Response and leads the mission’s compassionate outreach in crisis for the whole world. I lead the work of the mission for Latin America/Caribbean. Each of us has a claim to what the mission does in Haiti, and each of us have fairly strong personalities and leadership capabilities. It would be easy to start competing and undermining each other which would result in a diminished ministry for all involved. But this is where the example of Christ must be examined. Things like serving one another, looking to one another’s needs, submitting our own ambitions and desires to each other and living in an environment of trust. This does not mean we don’t disagree, but it does mean that when we do, our relationship is never at stake and that we trust the other truly wants the best for me.
We are exploring new territory by having both our ReachGlobal staff and TouchGlobal staff work side by side. We still don’t know what it will look like ultimately, but we do know that each of us is commited to the mission of our organization and to working together as team. Maybe we can even demonstrate a bit of Christ as we do it.

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Water water everywhere, but not a drop to drink

10 Apr

Clean water is one of the bigger needs here in Haiti. Wes is trouble-shooting a system our teams installed for a school of 500+ kids that reopened this past Monday in tent shelters. It is interesting and encouraging to hear fairly consistently that Haitians see schools reopening as one of their higher priorities. Just outside this sheltered area stand two tanks. Using a small diesel generator (yellow box), water is pumped from a well to a large tank, through the filter from one tank to the second one. It’s simple, it is easily maintained, and it is sustainable….all criteria for projects we undertake. And such a simple thing makes the education of hundreds of kids viable once again.

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Blanc! Blanc!

8 Apr

“Blanc, blanc!” That’s the call I hear as I walk among the towns and villages, now just rubble with tents filling every open surface. Americans are a draw just because we’re so different. But these kids were telling me about the Brazilians who came just a few weeks ago. We were so blessed to have our Brazilian partners organize and send a team so quickly. And they knew how to engage a community! After working, the team would grab a ball and start a game of soccer in the middle of the community. Suddenly they are surrounded by Haitians all eager to play. Only two of the team speak English, and none speak Creole. But so much can be communicated without a common language, such as, “I’m here to serve you”, “You are valuable”, and the most important, “I’m here to represent Christ, and he loves you.” Though we constantly have to remind our teams from the States that it’s not about the work but about relationship, our Brazilian friends just naturally understand that engaging with the community is what accomplishes the goal.

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Networking in Haiti

8 Apr

Absolon is a pastor in Port-au-Prince. During the three day fast declared by the Haitian president in February Absolon saw many come to Christ and his church doubled in members. He now focuses on training these new believers as well as leaders in his church. They meet in a courtyard area outside their church building where people will not enter due to ongoing fear of collapse. According to Absolon the power and draw of Voodoo has dropped significantly. He told us that the people have seen that Voodoo cannot save them, cannot help them, so they are now crying out to God.
The field is still ripe for harvest in Haiti.

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Reachglobal Lead Team in California

7 Apr


Reachglobal is an organization that takes healthy missionaries, healthy teams, and healthy partnerships seriously. We are thankful to be privileged to work with some amazing leaders from the around the globe, and could not do so without your support and prayers. This year, our Lead Team conference was held near San Jose, California nestled below some enormous redwoods. One afternoon we were able to get in some mountain biking and spent some time exploring Henry Cowell State Park. Earlier in the week, the ladies welcomed Dora Amalia Ruiz by hiking this same park, savoring a picnic lunch, and capping off the day with a ride on the Roaring Camp Railroad also in Felton, California.

Mouse chase in the team house

7 Apr

No TV is not a problem when there are so many forms of entertainment here in Haiti. This evening we teamed up to dislodge a mouse from the stove. That part worked, but the mouse bounded for the stairs and is now on the second floor safe and secure. So everyone had lots of fun and is happy, including the mouse.

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