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Haitian Day of Mourning

12 Jan

This is a blog post from Pastor Caleb Lucien of Hosean International Ministries. On both of my trips to Haiti this year we teamed with Pastor Caleb to help him serve his country. This is a Godly Godly man, full of integrity, with a huge heart for his country and gives selflessly to serve them.

“I cry over the conditions of a country where selfish men and women are fighting for power; I cry for wanting to do more to continue to make a difference while fighting through a system that seems like a roadblock to everything you try to do.”  -Pastor Caleb Lucien

Pastor Caleb with some of his summer volunteers in Pignon, Haiti

These are his words today, one year after the Earthquake:

Today marks the first anniversary of the Haitian Earthquake. The government of Haiti has declared it a “Day of Mourning” and throughout the world Haitians will take a moment of silence to remember those 400,000 plus who died on that horrible day. It was only this past Friday that across from the destroyed National Palace and next to the Plaza Hotel (formerly Holiday Inn) that they found and removed three more bodies from the rubble of a destroyed home. When I commented how sad that was, someone responded that there are more than 1,000 homes where you would find at least one if not ten bodies within. Sad realities but true! Over the past twelve months it has been reported that billions of dollars have been spent in Haiti. Whether the total is accurate or not, it seems like only a Band-Aid has been applied on a huge wound. Over a million people are still living in inhumane conditions. Through the various tent cities, there are numerous reports of violence, rape and abuse of every kind that are taking place. Several thousands have died through the cholera outbreak, several dozen have died as a result of the election and everyone is asking what else that could possibly happen to our beloved country? The outlook for Haiti may not look too bright these days but we cannot and will not lose heart. We will continue to reach out to those in need. To the less fortunate we will provide each and every one the hope that can only be found through our Savior. Please, take some time to pray for the families that are still suffering and pray that God would continue to raise up servants that will really focus on the needs of those that are suffering. Thanks for helping us make a difference in the lives of so many in the past year.
In HIS grace, Caleb
www.hosean.org

You can friend Caleb on Facebook for updates.

Photos of 2010

8 Jan

In 2010, I had some amazing opportunities to travel, visiting Haiti, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, The Bahamas, Amsterdam, The Dominican Republic, and of course the United States. These are my favorite photos from the year:

1. Masai Mara, Kenya: The Masai women during their tribal dance. Love all the vibrant colors. See the men’s dance here and here.

2. Masai Mara, Kenya: We made a friend on safari

3. Lake Victoria, Uganda: This made me think of a Chick-fil-A commerical

4. At the border of Tanzania and Kenya

5. Memphis, TN: Program Directed The Rising www.liveloudmemphis.com

6. Pignon, Haiti: Taught Discipleship to 300 school children at College De La Grace.

7. Memphis, TN: Dressed up like a Grandma for Halloween…Mrs. Mabel

8. Jaquzi Island, Lake Victoria, Uganda

9. Memphis, TN: Fellowship Memphis Senior High Ladies…I mean Princesses! I LOVE these girls, and feel so blessed that God has let me watch them mature into Women of God over the last 4 years.

10. Massi Mara, Kenya: Watching Tom & Jerry with the little Massi…Can you find me? 🙂 Their favorite part was not something Tom & Jerry did, but it was the MGM Loin roaring at the start of each episode.

11. Key West, Florida: Music Boat Cruise…”I’m with the band.”

12. Nassau, Bahamas: Music Cruise stop, we tried to rent one of those boats for a shoot but they wanted a little more than we were wanting to spend.

13. Jaquzi Island, Lake Victoria, Uganda: “the tech booth” at the island church

14. Somewhere, Uganda: These little girls starting following me as I was exploring, they lead me here to there water well. They were so proud of it.

15. Jackson, Tennessee: Opening night of the Unashamed Tour…Trip Lee sharing the Gospel.

16. Port au Prince, Haiti: the crowded streets of downtown one month after the earthquake. Read more about my trip here.

17. Port au Prince, Haiti: How do 15 people tour Haiti you ask…in the back of a dump truck.

18. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina: Fellowship Memphis’ amazing youth group in the off centered photo taken by a random guy on the beach.

19. Port au Prince, Haiti: Love this picture, this ladies face is burned in my memory, it is almost haunting.

20. Kibera, Kenya: the 2nd largest slum in Africa. 1 million people live in a 1.5 mile area. Read more here.

21. Jaquzi Island, Lake Victoria, Uganda: This little guy fell down while the kids were singing and dancing for us.

22. Memphis, Tennessee: We had to bury Massey this November, I miss her so much. It is crazy the connection you can have with a dog. This was her favorite place to be.

23. Jaquzi Island, Lake Victoria, Uganda: Soup Campbell teaching Discipleship.

24. Massi Mara, Kenya: Massi Jackson and Patrick worshiping at church service.

25. Memphis, Tennessee: This is Leonidas, named after the lead character in 300, because some people in our youth group spent $300 on a carnival game to win him. Actually we didn’t win him, the guy just gave him to us cause he felt bad. We took him to church and crowd surfed him when we returned from camp…just a fun memory.

26. Massi Mara, Kenya: Little Massi Men

27. Massi Mara, Kenya: My buddy Jackson with the iPod we left him with…full of Michael Jackson, his favorite. We also left them with a DVD/Projector to use at the school.

28: Massi Mara, Kenya: The oldest woman in her tribe. I bet she is a cool grandma.

29. Times Square, New York: First trip to New York to visit Jessica.

30. Pignon, Haiti: Playing Red light Green Light with the kiddos…they loved it!

31. Port au Prince, Haiti: snapped this from the back of a truck, lucky timing I guess

32. Port au Prince, Haiti: Public transportation in Haiti…and for those who didn’t notice it “Friend” isn’t spelled correctly 🙂

33. Pignon, Haiti: These sweet ladies sat here for over an hour picking out rocks from the beans they were cooking for us for dinner…just chatting.

Excited to see where life will take me this year…Headed to South Africa in March…:)

On the Ground in Haiti

14 Dec

I went on the 1st of 2 missions to Haiti just after the earthquake in February. Our team had no agenda, other than to assist Pastor Caleb Lucien at his camp where he had welcomed the displaced. I put this little write-up piece together back in March and never did anything with it. There are some great stories from our team along with a few of my favorite pictures. Hope you enjoy, you can download the PDF below.

Hope For Haiti

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Coming Soon: Hope For Haiti

9 Dec

here is a little peak:

The Story of Lazarus: A New Life, A New Name

3 Dec

I have been to Haiti twice now, each time more impact-full than the last. On my first trip in February I asked each team member to record their favorite memory, or a story they had heard. This is one of my favorites, I will post more soon but this is unbelievable! Enjoy…

The Story of Lazarus
A New Life, A New Name

by Danielle Romer, Miami

During my time volunteering at the Pignon refugee camp in Haiti, I had the opportunity to listen to many stories from the individuals victims of the Port-au-Prince January 12, 2010 Earthquake. The stories were at times touching, sometimes very difficult for me to hold my tears. But the story I am about to tell you is of a little eleven year old boy and this was the most moving and heartwarming of all. His mother was the one who told me the story. She was laughing while tears were flowing down her cheeks. The day of the Earthquake, we will call him “Samson”. Samson was in the kitchen of their house while his mother was on the patio talking with a neighbor. After the terrible event he was found all bloody and with no sign of life. The mother will not accept that her son could be dead; she took him to two different doctors in the devastated neighborhood.

A fatality, both of the doctors confirmed that there was nothing that could be done for Samson. Finally, the people at the make-ship hospital were ordered to put the body with the other cadavers in the area. The mother in her grieving state came back every day to recollect the body. But she was told that they were going to burry him in the mass burial. After three days, the mother renewed her request with supplications and got to persuade the people to give her the body so she could give her son a proper burial. Some men went to take the body from the pile of cadavers, while moving Samson’s body they saw him move his head while making a shocking noise while some blood came out of his mouth.

Yes, Miracles of Miracles, Samson was alive, I do not have to write down about the mother’s reaction nor of the amazement of the other people who witnesses the event. While I was listening to the mother a joyous looking, bright eyes little boy came to give her a hug and a kiss. She hugged and kissed back, then she said proudly, while with the back of hers hands she was wiping away the tears: “My big little miracle”. Samson with a big smile told me:  “Now they call me Lazarus.”

“…Jesus called in a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”  – John 11:43-44

 

*read more stories here.

Cholera News from Haiti

15 Nov

I just received this e-mail from Hosean International Ministries. We have partnered with HIM and have sent 5 trips to Haiti since January. Here is the update:

Hosean International Ministries Update November 12, 2010

Over the past few days, I have received calls from several friends worldwide wanting to know what’s going on with the cholera outbreak in Haiti.  Here is the latest info I’ve received this afternoon:

It is extremely difficult to estimate the true scale of this epidemic now. This is a grossly uncontrolled, unconstrained epidemic of cholera that has exceeded public health capacity to investigate and assess every site reported and every sample received.

People are afraid to help each other as they are afraid of it spreading

MSF: “ALL OF THE HOSPITALS IN PORT-AU-PRINCE ARE OVERFLOWING” (Doctors Without Borders)

Current official stats are more than 12,300 cases and nearly 800 fatalities.

In some areas of Haiti, we have confirmation that in-patient statistics are

under-reported by as much as 400%.  There is no question of under-reporting.  If we assume the case counts are 1/4 the true community load, then we now have nearly 48,000 cases shedding pathogen into the environment.  We believe the true statistic to be closer to more than 60-70,00.

We have confirmed cases in our local hospital in Pignon, our base of operations.  Here is what we have done thus far:

*We have sent cleaning supplies, gloves, and hand sanitizer to the communities of Verrettes, Petite Rivere, St. Mark, and Aquin.

*We have purchased through Missionary Flights International (www.missionaryflights.org) about $10,000 worth of supplies such as gloves, IV sets, hand sanitizer, antibiotics that is being distributed to different health centers.

*We have responded to the call for help from the mayor of the community of St. Michel de L’Attalaye and this morning a load of supplies is being delivered-Ringer’s Lactate IV’s, water purifier tablets, gloves & IV sets, and cleaning supplies.

*Tomorrow, we are distributing 350 solar powered radio sets so our radio station can give out correct public health info. to the most remote areas in our listening audience of over 350,000 on the central plateau.

*We have received MannaPak Potato based food from Feed My Starving Children (www.fmsc.org) these food items are documented to help people recover from acute diarrhea.  As of this morning a truck load is being sent to Verrettes for distribution.  Once that truck returns, we will be sending it out again with the same material to St. Michel.

*We have distributed literature to our congregation and contacts regarding prevention and care during the disease.

Please note, the interventions are being made based on the most up to date information I am getting from my networks on the ground of the needs they relate to me.  These communities are the earliest and hardest hit at present.

What you can do:

1.  First you can pray.  People are very afraid.  Some people in the remote areas are scared to go the hospital because they see the high death rate.  It is an example of “for lack of knowledge my people perish.”  (Hosea 4:6)  Today we have begun a Radio Campaign to educate the communities that we reach about cholera prevention.  (Estimated audience:  over 350,000)

2.  You can help by giving to Hosean International Ministries www.hosean.org to help with the outreach.  Here is an example of how your giving would be spent via a pharmaceutical supplier who has agreed to sell us the needed supplies at a very good price.   Therefore, it requires no shipping cost:

1 box of latex gloves (100pr)………………………………$7.50

1 box sterile gloves (50 pr.)…………………………………$17.00

1 box of Aqua tab (water purifier/100)…………………$3.50

1000cc of IV Ringer’s Lactate…………………………………$2.00

IV sets (20 G & 22G)………………………………………………. $1.30

We can get these items along with other meds only with a phone call and it will be delivered to whatever place we want it delivered in Haiti.

Please pray for the Lord’s provision so that we can continue to reach out to many.  Thanks for standing with us.

In His Grace,

Caleb

Anna Martin

Stateside Coordinator

Hosean International Ministries

PO Box 17668

Little Rock, AR 72222-7668

501-352-7700 www.hosean.org

Looking back on Peru 2007…

29 Nov

I was thinking back on past mission trips and realized I never really posted anything from  my Peru trip. My trip highlight (this is kind of long): Some of my most memorable nights on the trip were when we got to show the Jesus film to the people of the small village we were working in, Santa Clara. The first night we showed up and the plaza was packed, and everyone was singing.

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It was so awesome to hear them worshiping in Spanish, I couldn’t understand all of it… but it was still beautiful to hear. We begin to get the projector set up and learned that we didn’t bring the remote with us to Peru, which means we had no way to put the DVD in Spanish. Minor issue, so we found the only DVD we had in Spanish and played it. It was the story of Jesus and it was playing great until the end of the film with the Crucifixion, the disc started skipping. I was strangely emotional then, I was mad that the disc was skipping, I was upset that the Peruvians weren’t getting to see that part, We felt that Satan was attacking… All we could do was pray, just asking God to let it play through. Well He apparently had something else planned and we had to stop the DVD. It was kind of discouraging, but we had the pastor pick up from there and finish the story. This pastor was the most sincerely passionate pastor I have ever seen. Just getting to watch him and see him live his life that week was really very encouraging. He lives with his 4 kids and wife in a one bedroom house, and they own ONE bible. We loaded up and left while people were still there because it took us 45 mins to get back to the place we were staying and it was late. Hearing later that many came to know Christ despite our efforts…Praise God!
So that was on Tuesday, and we had planed on being there Thursday as well. During the week we found a set of speakers and a DVD player with a remote. The second night at the plaza there weren’t as many people but it was still really full with about 300 people, and it was our last day in the village so it was our last chance to say goodbye to all the kids. So we start setting up this time and we had to work some magic with the plugs and wattage conversions, and we got it a little backwards and started to smell smoke. We realized that we blew out the speakers we brought. So we got it in Spanish, but now you can’t hear it, so we got the sub-titles to come on. We had no idea how many of those people were able to read. I went and sat down with some of my favorite kids and we attempted to read the subtitles out loud. There was lots of laughing because they were going to fast to read, he kept saying to me “mas rapido!”
At this point I couldn’t tell if people were getting it or even paying attention. Toward the middle of the movie it showed Jesus telling his disciples where to cast their nets. Then they pulled up a net full of fish and could barely get it in the boat. At that moment over the entire crowd I heard “OOOhh” and “WOW” and they were so amazed! Now, I watch that and think “Cool, lots of fish”. But I am not a fisherman and it is hard for me to realize how powerful that is. The people of that village are fisherman and that defiantly caught their attention, even if they couldn’t hear what was going on.

christs-appearance-on-lake-tiberias-by-duccio
On Wednesday for bible study with the kids, we taught them about Jesus washing his disciple’s feet, and then we washed their feet. Lots of kids didn’t get it, but we prayed that one day they will read or hear the story and think back to that experience, but we didn’t expect that day to come so soon.peru-355

Well I was sitting with my buddy Carlos who is about 9 years old during the movie (the one I was trying to read subtitles with). We saw Mary washing Jesus’ feet with her hair. I noticed him pay close attention to it, and then turned to me and motioned to the field where we had been all week and done bible study. It took me about 5 mins to figure out how to say that what we did with them yesterday was the same as what he just saw. It was really to cool to see the power of the gospel go out right before your eyes and see him figure that out and link Jesus to our actions from the week.
At the end of the movie I looked around expecting not to see many people, thinking they had left because you couldn’t hear anything. But to my surprise the plaza was still full. The story of Jesus was known to some in the village but not many, I don’t think they had ever thought that the death of Jesus was so brutal. During the Crucifixion part of the movie they showed the nails and all the little girls around me, looked up at me with terror and just said “no no?” It was a bitter sweet experience. The movie defiantly made Jesus, this person we had been telling them about all week, come to life. After the movie ended, we had to say our final goodbyes. I was so glad that I went to the movie the second time as well as the first. Not everyone got to go, only 8 or 9 of us each night.

bw-group

So many of the parents came out and thanked us for being there. All week we would tell the kids at the end of the day “hasta mañana” or “until tomorrow”, and also made sure that they knew that we weren’t there to stay and would be gone in a short time.  So, after the movie all the kids followed us to our motor cars to say goodbye, and they all start shouting “Hasta Cielo” or “until Heaven”, which I don’t recall ever saying to them. I almost burst into tears. Most of the time they just repeat what we say. It was such a great experience, I felt so encouraged when we left, and had such a hope for those kids. On the 45 min motor car ride (which is a motorcycle with a bench seat in the back) home Robby thought it would be a cool idea if for the entire ride back all we said was “Praise God for….” It was a great end to an Amazing night.
The best part was when we got back to the mission where we were staying and the power had gone out while we were gone. We hadn’t taken showers earlier that day because we knew we would be out again getting dirty, and that day we went “all out” when playing with the kids because it was our last day. Needless to say we were pretty gross. So the water pumps don’t work with out power, so we all gathered round a flashlight in the meeting room with a giant bag of Wet Ones and “took a bath” together. Sweet Sweet Memories!!