Saturday, September 27, 2008

Pray for Church on the Cape and Boyer

Yesterday, a new Sister Church arrived in Haiti for their first visit.  How exciting!  Today, they will be going out to their Sister Church in Boyer, Haiti.  (Pronounced, Bwayay)  Pray for the team from Church on the Cape.  Pray for the church members in Boyer.  Pray for our missionary team as they host and facilitate this visit.

Rob

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A lot of work, a lot of fun in Haiti.

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(Click any of these pictures to view all pictures from my trip so far.)

I came to Haiti to work, and that is what we have been doing.  We have had  meeting after meeting!  Yesterday, the full Haiti Leadership Team got together for a long but productive meeting to discuss job descriptions, org chart, work flow, etc.  Then, yesterday afternoon we met and had lunch with Gary (RMI Field Partnership Coordinator) and Marilyn (RMI Haiti HFK Coordinator).  Then, after dinner, we met with Jenn Rogan (RMI Assistant Hospitality Coordinator).  Today, after breakfast and a quick follow up meeting with Jenn Rogan, Dan and I met and had lunch with Billy (RMI US Partnership Coordinator) and Debbie Moses (RMI Haiti Bookkeeper).

IMG_7082 Then, after lunch, we met with the entire RMI Haitian Staff.  We wanted to roll out a new Haiti Org Chart to them, let them know that change is on the horizon, cast vision and re-introduce me as the one who would be providing direct oversight to the Haiti field.  I gave a quick greeting in English that was translated, and then Dan did all the talking to them, in Creole of course.  As far as I could tell, it went great!

IMG_7136I saw an opportunity to have a little fun, so Gary McLaughlin and I went riding on motorcycles out into the valley to the north of Les Cayes and the Mission Center, through grass lands, through villages, through riverbeds and up a small mountain.  I guess it took us a little over an hour.  I had a blast.  This is not the sort of thing that I get to do in FL!

Once we returned, it was dark and time for dinner. 

Now, it is bed time.  As they would say in Haiti, Bon Nuit.

Rob

Meeting with Haiti Bookkeeper, Debbie Moses

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

We're Here!

On our way to Orlando!

My Soul is Singing...

I cannot describe the soul-deep-glee that I am experiencing... 

This morning, I recieved an email that included the following quote...

"I am very excited to accept your offer.  The week of the 29th sounds good to me."

A bookkeeper with QuickBooks experience is coming to RMI!

Rob

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Haiti Flooding Video

WOW!  One of our missionaries, Jenn, just forwarded this to me.  The video was put together by an orphanage group in Jacmel, Haiti.  I think this will give you some idea as to the destruction that Haiti has experienced recently.

Rob

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A few photos...

Our hard drive crashed recently (yes, I had a backup), and it took me awhile to get all the software loaded and all back into the groove of posting pics.

Ok, so here are some of my favorite recent photos.  But, the reality is, there are just so many more that I love!  Anyway, feel free to visit our website to see them all.

BTW, videos have also been put on hold because our video camera broke!

From Braden's First Smiles September 2008
Wow, can I just say, we needed him to start smiling?  He has been tough in the evenings (the last few days have been way better).  Aren't these smiles great?!
From Photo Shoot September 2008
This is me being artistic.  I don't know what I would ever do with this, but it was fun to put together regardless.
From Photo Shoot September 2008
He is getting stronger.
From Mom and Amy's Visit September 2008
I am sort of biased, but I can't get over how cute this girl is.
From Mom and Amy's Visit September 2008
Drew just started jumping off the spa into our arms!  He also now jumps off the side of the pool into the water all by himself.  This is an amazing step for our timid little boy.
From Mom and Amy's Visit September 2008
I love my kids!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Cheap Date

Last night we had to run a quick errand.  Unfortunately, we all had to go, so Rob and I thought we'd make it fun for the kids and stop for ice cream.  So we told the kids were were having a "family date" and went to McDonald's for ice cream sundaes.  Our local McD's has a really nice outdoor seating area.  Ok, not gourmet ice cream , but for $3.50 we all enjoyed caramel sundaes. More importantly, we enjoyed some family time together with smiles all around!

Any other ideas for cheap family outings?

~Becky

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Haiti Flood Relief Effort...

donate now2 As you are well aware, Haiti has undergone the worse flooding probably in its history. The flooding and destruction has been nationwide. I cannot remember this happening before. The reports we are getting from our sister churches are heart wrenching as we hear of the complete destruction of crops and the tremendous loss of livestock in so many areas. Many have lost their homes and belongings. Some have lost loved ones. Thankfully, it seems the loss of life has been minimal in the areas where we minister.

Our team in Haiti has been meeting with as many pastors as they can to get information as well as find out how we can best help them in this time of need. They have also met with the Executive Committee of the MEBSH to gather their input and advice as to how to best help their churches during this very difficult time. As they have gathered this information, one theme has been echoed by many. The pastors have shared that although food is a great need for the people, it can be bought in most every area at this time. Rice, beans, etc are available locally.

The real issue is the funds to purchase the food. Another aspect that many brought out is that many people might have greater needs than food at this time. Many have had their homes damaged or washed away entirely. Many have no problem with their home, but due to water getting into the home have lost many of their possessions, clothes, etc.. Again, funds would be a better solution for them than a bag of rice at this time. Another consideration is that funds can be distributed much more quickly and in a more orderly fashion than can food. Still another consideration has been the local economic benefit that an influx of funds would supply.

After several conference calls between the team in Haiti and Rob and I, we have determined together what we feel is the best course of action.

Therefore, we are now asking our Sister Churches that are desirous and able to help with relief to send funds through RMI to be distributed to each Sister Church. As mentioned before, to help join the relief effort, RMI will not be assessing our typical 10% administrative fee.

The RMI team in Haiti will get the funds exchanged into Haitian currency and then distribute the funds to each Sister Church Pastor. The Pastor will then meet with the church leadership committee to determine how the funds will be divided up depending on where the greatest needs are.

Recipient families will be given money to help them with their specific needs. A report will be given back to RMI from each Sister Church on who the funds were given to and how the funds were used. These reports will then be forwarded back to each donating church. As you can imagine, we are working hard to address the issues of security, transparency and accountability throughout this effort.

How much aid is needed for each church? I am afraid the answer is whatever God provides. One way to present this to your people is for a family to help a family. A 50lb bag of rice, a 20lb bag of beans, and a gallon of cooking oil together would cost about $110 US. So for $110, a family here in the US can potentially help a family in Haiti with food that would last quite a while for them. Again, please be aware that the funds will be divided up on site according to need and situation and not exactly according to the above. The funds could also potentially be used to purchase other food items, clothes, transportation, medical care, agricultural supplies, livestock, roof and house repairs, etc.. Yes, the needs are great! Hopefully this gives you a guideline for you and your congregation as you seek to “do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers." ”.

If you are a member of a Sister Church, please contact your church's RMI Sister Church Program Coordinator to find our if your church is collecting funds.  If so, you can give through your church.

If you are not able to give through an RMI Sister Church, you can give individually by sending a check to RMI or by giving online.  Your funds will be used to provide relief as our RMI team in Haiti deems appropriate.

donate now2

Dan

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Fun in Florida

Becky's Mom, Sister and her 2 kids Justin and Ethan are visiting.  Here is a quick video...


Fun in Florida from Rob Thompson on Vimeo.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Oh man, here we go again!

Here comes Ike!

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visit www.stormpulse.com for more info.

Rob

I was reading this morning...

My heart and my mind are troubled.  As may be the case for you, I have been thinking, feeling, and praying for the Haitian people.  Names come to mind of people I have met in the context of my own Sister Church Partnership.   They are undoubtedly struggling making it through each day.

Close your eyes, Imagine what it might be like, paint that picture.  (It will be hard to imagine if you haven't been with the Haitian people in Haiti).  Your home flooded.    Everything you own has been saturated with water.  You have no resources to go and replace that which this has been ruined.  Cooking is difficult with wet charcoal.  Supplies (gas, food) reaching your area has been cut off by washed out roads.  Vehicles have been flooded out and our unusable.  Your animals and crops have been obliterated.  From my comfortable chair in my living room, I can't begin to imagine.

I read Galatians 6:9-10.  "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers." 

It is within the context of a RMI Sister Church Partnership that we are able to do exactly this!

Note: we are working on a plan to provide relief.  We will certainly post when we have something to share.

May He lead us as we seek to do good, especially to our extended family...

Rob

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

More on Devastating Flood in Haiti

This is a report we just got from YWAM in Gonaives, north of Port au Prince.  Quite a long way from our missionaries and sister churches, but it paints a picture of the current situation right now all over Haiti.

"Hanna is not letting up. There are heavy rains and winds in St. Marc with trees coming down and flooding, but in Gonaives the news is very bad!

Maula, YWAM Director there, just called very concerned as homes near them have collapsed! It had many people on top of it seeking refuge from the high flood waters. Maula estimates that the waters are 15 foot or higher and rising as of 4pm Eastern Time. The first floor of the YWAM Base has been submerged since 2:30 last night! The YWAM Centers three story building is standing solid for now but water were cresting the second floor now and the rains are continuing with great strength!

Pray for the YWAMers and citizens of Gonaives.

Reports are coming through phone calls that the countryside is being divested! Homes are being blown away and large numbers of homes have lost their roofs. The people have no shelter and are hanging on to whatever they can find.
Pray for Haiti!"

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Haiti Flooding Update from RMI

Friends of RMI…

 

We are slowly getting reports of major flooding in Haiti.  The flooding is said to be the worst that can be remembered.  Pray for Haiti!  Pray for our missionaries as they help us respond.

 

For many pictures and regular written accounts right from the field, visit our RMI blog at http://rminethaiti.blogspot.com.  As we are able, we will post updates related to your specific Sister Churches.

 

Hurricanes and Tropical Storms have been dumping rain on Haiti for quite a long period of time now.  Making matters worse, “Ike” and “Josephine” appear lined up to dump more on them in days and weeks to come.

 

We will be closely monitoring the situation and will most likely be setting up a plan to help you help the Haitian people in the difficult days that lie ahead.

 

Please join with us in praying and supporting the Haitian people.

 

Rob Thompson

VP of Operations

Reciprocal Ministries International

Monday, September 1, 2008

The Things Kids Say...

Both Drew and Tessa have have said some insightful and funny things in the past few weeks:

A week or two ago, we had one of our typical afternoon thunderstorms come through.  Drew wanted to go out on the lanai and ride his bike in the rain. Rob had just let him do this in the driveway the day Tropical Storm Fay came through and, although soaking wet,  he had a blast.  This day I had to explain to him that it was too dangerous to go outside with the thunder and lightening.  Of course, this was accompanied by "why" over and over!  I explained that we could get struck by lightening.  Then he said matter-of-factly, "But Mommy, God knows I'm here."    Then the other day during Tessa's nap-time, I went outside with him to push him on the swing.  Braden was in the Bjorn carrier and the bugs were really bad.  I was telling Drew that Braden is too little for bug spray and if the bugs started to bite him, we would have to go inside.  Drew said, "Mommy, God won't let the bugs bite Braden."  Hmmm...  how do you explain that lightening could strike and bugs could bite to a 3-year-old?  I didn't try...  I wish I had such child-like faith.

On a funny note, here is a conversation with Tessa today:

Me, sniffing Braden; "Whew, Braden is stinky!"

Tessa, very defiantly: "No, ME poopy!"

I think she was a little jealous that I was saying Braden's diaper was stinky and not hers!

~Becky