Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Must Read Post from RMI

foodforpoor Recently, RMI President Dan Shoemaker, and one of RMI’s Sister Church Pastors, Pastor Jim Bry, from Second Cape May Baptist Church, visiting Haiti to distribute food to the poor.  Read about it here.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Very frustrated and disappointed with DirecTv…

DirecTv, please help me out!

Here is my story…

I just called to cancel our service since we are moving to Haiti to serve with RMI.

They tell me that I have a commitment with DirecTv through April 2011.  I had no idea!

In fact, I can tell you, I was totally convinced that we had no contract.  I wish I could remember what they told me in the beginning, word for word.  I can’t be absolutely certain, but I am quite confident I asked specifically because I was in no position to sign a 2 year contract.   I knew in March/April that our move to Haiti was quite possible. I never would have knowingly done it.  Not asking about a commitment would have been pretty dumb on my part!  We signed up for DirecTv in April of this year. 

DirecTv doesn’t even offer service in Haiti, yet they want me to pay for service.  Ugh.

I called them today, spoke with a customer service rep, Eduardo, then I spoke with his Manager, Ray, and they both tell me there is nothing they can do.  Really?  Nothing they can do?  Hard to believe.  They told me I can write a letter to corporate.  I will.

So, I am told I have to pay $20/month until April 2011.  That’s about $340 to cancel!  Wow…

I am so disappointed with DirecTv!

Rob

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

He’s Surprising Us!

It seems to me that Braden is doing new things every day!  He is our third child, so we shouldn’t be surprised when he does, right?  After all, we are supposed to remember what Drew and Tessa did at 16 months of age; be prepared.  The truth is, I forget a lot, and Braden is different from his brother and sister. 

New words have been spilling out of Braden’s mouth.  His latest are “car” (cah) and “more” (ma).  Anything with wheels is a car.  He’s trying so hard to communicate and gets really frustrated when he can’t.  That’s very different than Drew and Tessa. 

So the other day at lunch he was pointing and saying “ma, ma, ma” and we just couldn’t figure out what he wanted.  He was getting really mad too!  More milk?  No, cause he threw it when we handed it to him.  More goldfish?  No, he angrily pushed them all off his tray. “Ma, ma, ma…”  Everything we could think of he got mad when we gave it to him.  There was a fork on the table and Rob said, “maybe he wants a fork?”  So Rob went to the drawer and got out a kid fork and handed it to Braden.  He proceeds to poke his watermelon with the fork and starts using it like he’s been doing it for months.  I think he ate the rest of his lunch with his fork!

Sunday, we were pretty lazy after lunch and didn’t clean up the table right away.  A little while later we catch Braden holding his bowl with the rest of his yogurt from lunch and eating it with a spoon.  All by himself. 

I think he thinks he’s a big boy!

~Becky

I’ve got to include some pics of his newest skill, plus an extra one just because it’s cute!

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Monday, December 7, 2009

Here We Go!

The container arrived today and reality is suddenly starting to set in.  In 2 weeks, that container will be driven to Miami and sent to Port-Au-Prince, Haiti with pretty much all of our earthly belongings.  I won’t see anything in it until mid-March.  Actually, I’m praying we see it again and hoping it’s out of customs by March!

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For months we’ve been talking about moving to Haiti and working hard to raise the funds to go.  We’ve made good progress in the fundraising, enough to ship the container, and we are trusting God that the rest of the needed monthly support and one-time support comes in.  But here is where it gets real.  Here is where we begin the real journey of stepping out in faith.  Here is where we put our faith into action.  We are about to move out of our home, and live out of suitcases for the next 3 months.  There’s no turning back.  I’ve given notice at my job.  I’m about to give up the comfort of added income. 

A year ago I would have never imagined we would be getting ready to move overseas.  Sure, it had always been a thought in the back of our minds, but here we are, getting ready to go.  In Henry Blackaby’s study entitled “Experiencing God” he says, “We say that Christ is Lord, and He can interrupt our plans anytime He wants.  We assume He will affirm everything we are doing and never ask us to change anything we have planned.”   We are confident that the Lord has called us to take this new step in our journey of faith.  He has interrupted our plans.  And that’s ok.  I don’t want to go thru life following my plans.  I only want to be where He wants me. 

I don’t want you to get the idea that I think this is going to be easy.  I realize more and more every day that this is going to be hard.   Each step gets harder.  My trust is in Him who sends me.  He has given me a wonderful husband, and we get to do this together.  Pray for us over these next 6 months as we transition our family to a new way of life.  Pray for courage as each step takes us closer to serving in Haiti.

~Becky

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Come see what we have For Sale!

for_sale_sign_1 Check out our “For Sale” web page at www.robandbecky.com/forsale

We are moving to Haiti to be missionaries, therefore we must sell these things.  Your help (buying these things) is much appreciated.

For more information on our move to Haiti, please click here.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Incredible Video Testimony That Explains Why We Do What We Do.

This video is long, but totally worth the investment!  This paints a great picture as to why we do what we do.  It will be worth it to watch the whole thing, but I would especially encourage you to watch Alison @06:35, Dana @14:41, Scott @21:00, and Dan @32:02.

image This is a video of a church service on Nov 3, 2009 at one of RMI's churches, CrossRoad Church UMC in Jacksonville, FL.  They tell their story of the broad impact of the partnership they have with their Sister Church in Tiburon, Haiti, through RMI.

RMI_rgb%20(jpg%20logo) For your convenience, here are some timestamps…

  • 00:00 – Pastor Scott Crawford (Community Life Pastor) gives an introduction to their Sister Church Partnership.
  • 06:35 - Alison (Recent Team Member) shares her story, specifically related to RMI’s Hope for Kidz child sponsorship program.
  • 14:41 - Dana (recent team member) shares her dramatic story of Kingdom impact, salvation, being a God Parent.
  • 21:00 - Scott shares more Kingdom impact.
  • 26:15 - Scott shares message from Haitian Pastor Lundy to the congregation at CrossRoad Church UMC.
  • 32:02 - RMI President Dan Shoemaker thanks the congregation for their compassionate partnership and impact.
  • 37:38 - Sr. Pastor Gee challenges his congregation to live below their means to make a difference.

Finally, here is the video…

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Support Update…

thermometernew A big Thank You to those of you who are praying for us and to those who have given financially.

Final Goal Progress…  (By March 1)

As you can see from our thermometer, we have raised 81% of our Monthly Need and 43% of our 1X Need.

Short Term Goal Progress… (By Dec 1)

As you probably remember, we need to raise $12,000 of our 1X need by Dec 1 in order to send our container to Haiti in December.  So far we have raised approximately $6000 of this $12,000!

pledgebutton donate 

Read our Original Support Letter  |  Our Website

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Urgent/Special Request from Rob and Becky

We need to raise $12,000 in the next 30 days.

We need your help.  You know we have been raising funds as we prepare to move to Haiti.  We are getting close, and deadlines are quickly approaching!

Right now, we are at 82% of our monthly need and 32% of our 1x need.  You can get an update here.

Although we technically have until March to be fully supported, a significant portion of our "1x need" must be received this month if we are to remain on schedule.  If we are to stay on track, and send our container on or about December 15th to Haiti, we must raise about $12,000 between now and November 30.  This $12,000 covers the container and shipping costs, customs taxes and fees, as well as some required ministry equipment and supplies that we need to pack in the container.

Would you consider a special donation here at the end of the year to help us get to Haiti?

Want to donate Online?
Visit www.rminet.org/donate.  You can donate securely via your checking account or credit card account.  FYI, if you want to make a large donation, donating via your checking account online or sending in a paper check in the mail would be preferred due to Credit Card processing fees.

Want to donate via check in the mail?
Mail your check to the address below.  Make it payable to RMI.  Please note on the check or by separate sheet that it is for our 1x needs to get to Haiti.  If you are sending a check, let us know at robandbecky@robandbecky.com

We don't know how this is going to happen, but we believe it will happen.  If you can't give financially, would you please pray?

Rob

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

No Exaggeration, God Has Done a Miracle.

rose Who will do my job here in RMI’s FL Office?  7 months ago, Becky and I made a decision to move to Haiti.  One of the lingering burdens has been “Who will fill my role here at the RMI FL Office?”

I realize that God doesn’t “need” us.  He has called us.  He uses us.  He wants us.  But he doesn’t need us.  I realize that each of us can easily be replaced.  But, my departure genuinely leaves a hole, and just going out to hire someone isn’t an option.  Finding the right person would certainly take a while.  What would we do in the meantime?  Surely, it would take years to recruit someone and then have them raise support.  Right?

Wrong…

God is on the move and has truly done a miracle!  I can’t tell you how confirming this is.  This is such a miracle, that it can only be credited to God…

RMI’s new VP of Operations started TODAY!

He brings a ministry mindset with business savvy, fresh perspective, a desire for planning and organizing, forward thinking, proven management skills, big dreams.

Can you tell I am excited?

Read the official announcement on the RMI Blog

Rob

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Can I be honest?

I am not sure I want to go to Haiti.  On the other hand, I can’t wait.  I am sure this is a feeling that all missionaries struggle with before they  go, but that doesn’t make it any easier!  This is hard. 

Before I share what is bugging me, let me assure you that I am totally committed to all that I believe God has in front of us.  I am totally committed to following Him and moving with the family to Haiti.  Having said this, let me vent a little…

You might think since we have decided to go that we are willingly giving up many things.  Let me assure you, often it is more like I am going kicking and screaming.  I don’t want to give up my comforts.  I like my stuff and I like living in the US.  Daily I am bombarded with things I must give up.  I try to remind myself that i will be gaining so much more, but again, that doesn’t always make it easier.

Here is a small sample of things I am really struggling giving up…  grocery selection, pizza/chinese delivery, “you name it” sit down restaurants, fast food, good roads, church community, constant air conditioning, 2 cars, education options for our children, bug-free food, our pool, our pool, our pool, high speed internet, high speed internet, high speed internet, reliable and clear phone calls, familiar culture, reliable electricity, space, organization, Home Depot, Best Buy, Staples, milk, half and half, computer repair options, daily mail service, 1-flight-visits to family, laws, our Honda Odyssey, access to medical care, my riding lawn tractor, limitless entertainment options, privacy, everyone speaking my language, cheap utilities, cleanliness, stuff, shopping, financial independence and security, high speed mobile media, church community, live preaching, security, coffee shops, government stability, etc etc etc…

Thanks for letting me vent.

Team Update

thermometernewProgress Report…

We are currently at 81% of our Monthly Need.  This leaves $1457 per month still to raise.

We are currently at 28% of our 1x Need.  This leaves $27,195 still to raise.

Statistics based on the last 6 months…

  • Average Number of Donors… 49.66
  • Average Monthly Donation from Individuals… $89.87
  • Average Monthly Donation from Churches… $594.44

A Big Thank You…

It is because of the sacrificial ongoing generosity of these donors that we have been able to serve.  We are so grateful.  Thank you!

Would you join our team?

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

I Met Christ Incarnate.

In a small lush river ravine, mostly forgotten and hidden, just north of Les Cayes on the southern peninsula of Haiti, I unexpectedly met Christ (or at least one who took being Christ-like serious). 

This is a video of the River and School.

It happen during a visit to a country church called Les Rois (pronounced Lay Wah), in the Picot (pronounced peeko) Church district.  Picot Church is in a long term Sister Church Partnership with Trinity Bible Church in Lafayette, LA, facilitated by Reciprocal Ministries International.  Trinity Bible has donated substantial funding to help build/rebuild a school in Les Rois.  We were going out on a recon mission to figure out DSC_0309what needs to be done.  After riding out across the valley and up into the mountains on our four motorcycles, we quickly found ourselves scaling down the side of a mountain (which I would think is impassable even by 4 wheel drive vehicles), wading across a swiftly moving river just below the falls, and hiking up the opposite ridge.  Finally we arrived at this remote church.  We found the church building to be in good condition, and the church body to be likewise.  The church has 180 members and about 250 attending on a weekly basis.  After a short hike further up the muddy river wall, we came to the church’s school, our intended destination.  We found the school to be in dangerous disrepair.

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Les Rois School, More pics here.

This school is perilously perched on the side of the mountain, almost tempting the weather to take it down.  The school had obviously been there for a long time.  It was a falling down, cracked and crumbling, unsupported mess.  The only possible solution is to tear it down completely, and start fresh.  I was shocked to find out that this broken skeletal facade of a building is the current home to a Christian school that provides an education for 300 students!  Are you kidding me?  Wow. 

After listening to the Pastor praise Jesus simply for our willing presence (RMI president Dan Shoemaker calls it the ministry of presence, others call it incarnational ministry) on behalf of Trinity Bible Church, we started back down the muddy path.  No promises were made, except to continue to join together in prayer for a solution.  I did not expect what was about to happen.  I had already been confronted with the tragic existence of so many brothers, sisters and young children at this remote impoverished church and school, but I was wholly unaware that I was about to be wrecked and rocked by the very presence of Jesus and the poverty of my own soul.  My mind had already turned from pondering the daily sod of these church people, to anxiously considering my own immediate journey before me; the river crossing in bare feet again (I had already fallen during the previous crossing), and the fear of trying to navigate my dirt-bike back up that rock course on the other side.  Coming down proved to be about bouncing from rock to rock, just trying to control the decent.  How was I going to ride back up?  How many times would I fall?  How embarrassed would I be?  I had to prove myself to my already but not yet American and Haitian compatriots!  My manhood and pride were on the line, more than I realized at the time.

After removing our shoes once again, we carefully crossed the river.  Each step was cautiously chosen (I didn’t fall this time).  The Haitians may have tough, experienced and calloused feet, but mine are not.  More accurately, mine are like baby feet.  I digress.

Once across the river, I sat on a small rock to catch my breath, wring out my rolled up jeans, and put my socks and sneakers back on, still fearing this seemingly impossible ride up the mountain.  That is when it happen.

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This is the Pastor of the
Les Rois Church.

The pastor of the Les Rois church came over, taking a small rag, and starting wiping and washing off my feet.  I quickly forgot about the looming motorcycle ascent, and was only thinking about this Pastor’s Christ-like descent to my feet.  It was awkward for me, but totally natural for him.  I was thinking… please don’t do that.  I am not worthy.  I said to him, “please, you don’t have to do that”, but he didn’t understand my English, and I didn’t know Creole, so he continued.  The message he was delivering to me was beyond any language or cultural barrier.  He didn’t realize it, but he was Christ incarnate to me.  I am sure he wasn’t thinking about it like I was.  He was just naturally serving me.  It pains me to realize, that I can’t imagine I would have done the same for him.  I should have been washing his feet.  He is the one to be served.  He is the one who needs the compassion and love of Christ.  I was not there to be served, but to serve.  I was there to be the hands and feet of Jesus.  Right?  Wrong.   He filled that role far better than I was prepared to do.

I will never forget it.  Hopefully the next time, and the next time, and the next time, I am going to wash “his” feet.  I say “his”, in quotes, because he represents all of humanity to me.  As Becky and I go to Haiti, it is not about us.  It is about loving others as Christ would love them.  The incarnational ministry of presence is about the constant emptying of self for the sake of meeting the needs of others.  It is about considering my life worth nothing (Acts 20:24).  Yes, it is even about washing their feet.

Christ did not consider equality with God something to be grasped.  He made himself nothing, even to the point of death.  So should I.

Rob

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Video: Motorcycle Ride Through River

After a long day of finance work here in Haiti, we took a break and rode motorcycles out across the valley and up into the hills.  This is the sort of thing that I don’t get to do in the US!  Gary, Benjamin and I had a great time!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Lover of Prostitutes Found. Religiously Right Lost.

prodigalgod Timothy Keller’s book “Prodigal God” insightfully revisits the Parable of “The Prodigal Son” in Luke 15.  He appropriately renames it… “The Parable of the Two Lost Sons”. 

After reading this book, I am more embarrassed with self, yet more confident in Christ.  I am more aware of sin within the church, yet more motivated to love missionally within that church.  Conviction. Fresh wonder. Awe.  Heartache. A celebration of the sufficiency of the Gospel message. Wow, what a great transformative read. 

If you read this book, the sin of self, that you may be very aware of, or totally unaware of, will be laid bare.  You will encounter your depravity as if looking in a mirror.  You will be called to repentance.  You will find love.

BTW, “prodigal” means lavishly extravagant.  Yes, God is/was lavishly extravagant in his love for me, for you, for all of humanity.

Truly, a phenomenal read.

His point?

We mistakenly focus too heavily on the wandering son.  He asked for his early inheritance, went and blew it on licentious living, and was welcomed back by his father.  The grandeur of the father throwing his arms wind open and welcoming him back is truly a story of hope and joy that we all can rejoice in.  We allow this wonderful and positive message to overshadow the almost more important tragedy in the rest of the story.

You may be this younger brother, the wanderer.

But…if you are “in the church”, you may more likely and tragically be the “elder brother”.

Keller suggests that Jesus’ main point is more about “Elder Son’s” journey.  The elder son is left in a unreconciled relationship with his father at the end of the story.  How dramatic, yet we have missed the importance of this.  “The lover of prostitutes is saved, but the brother of moral rectitude is left in a lost state.”  Wow.

Keller argues that the elder son’s actions teach us that his religious moralism (dutiful obedience and right living), which is so broadly present in today’s church, is a particularly more deadly spiritual condition than the younger son’s gross selfish licentious debauchery.  Our rightness becomes our pride and joy.

Did you know that the Romans called the early church atheists because they were so non-religious?  They had no religion, only a deep faith is the sufficiency of the Gospel of Jesus.  That is cool.

I have seen this self driven religious moralism in my own life, in my own churches.  My pious obedience has nothing to do with the Gospel.  In fact it blinds me from my own sin, and causes me to think I am better than others. So many times I have disgraced the name of Christ in my superior attitude toward others of many other persuasions, classes, races, careers, etc.  We do this in our church communities.  The body’s collective proud celebration of our rightness, to the offense of another, is embarrassing.  The Gospel will offend, but our “rightness” should not.  I am too often a Pharisee (to whom this parable was written). 

One all too common expression of this is politics in the church.  Political posturing and superiority in the pulpit and pew should not be cheered and applauded.  The Gospel will change lives, not one’s politics or government.  The church’s mission is to seek and save the lost, not to rally the troops for political purpose.  Let me be clear, I believe there is an important place for government and the Christians influence of such.  But I also feel so strongly that political endeavors should never disrupt one’s opportunity to be found by/in Christ.  Our Gospel convictions, rightness and confidence should oppositely empty us of our pride and inspire us to self humbling, people loving, Christ exalting missional living.  We will passionately give ourselves to ministry, evangelism, service, seeking the lost, loving the “unlovable”, caring for the marginalized.  Our celebrations should be about the advancement of His Kingdom, not our earthly kingdoms.

The elder brother was left lost, unreconciled with “the Father”.  He was ultimately blind to his spiritual depravity.  The younger son was quite aware, yet repentant and found. 

Which is more desperate and dangerous?

Rob

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Video: We are going to Haiti!

I created this video for a missions conference we will be attending.  This version is slightly altered.  I have also embedded this on our website homepage at www.robandbecky.com.

I read “The Furious Longing of God”…

fuirouslonging Sadly, I wouldn’t really label this a must read.  It was a short book, with an intent to motivate us to really appreciate the depth and intensity of God’s love.  Brennan Manning is very well respected, and he should be, but I just didn’t really get this book.  I appreciated some of the “story” parts of the book, but other than that I was sort of lost.

Many many seem to love it.  I guess I am in the minority!

Also, I could have done without the overly verbose and mystical style.  Maybe I am too simple minded, but it just seemed that he could have come down to earth a little.

Rob

I read “The Hole in Our Gospel”…

hole-785804 I sort of joked halfway through reading this book, “if I could write a book, this is the book I would write”.  Well, that remains to be true.  Richard Stearns, president of World Vision, does a great job of calling the church to action.  This book took so much of what I have thought, experienced, and dreamed about and put it between 2 covers.

This book is really a must read for Christians and non-Christians alike.  Stearn’s thesis, which I think he supported nicely, is that we as Christians often forget that caring for the needy is inherently a part of the Gospel, not a potential byproduct of the Gospel.  Jesus’ heart’s passion was for the weak, the needy, the unjustly persecuted, the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, etc.  Many believer’s focus so much on praying the salvation prayer, or even on our individual relationship and eternal life with Christ, or even on getting others saved, that we forget what it means to love Jesus and therefore love our neighbor in a Gospel oriented missional way.  We don’t want to turn the Gospel into a social Gospel either devoid of evangelism (as has happen in certain movements), but we can’t let the pendulum swing the other way by focusing so heavily on “how many got saved” and “how many got baptized” without feeding the hungry and healing the sick.  True, salvation is the ultimate, but feeding the hungry should not be done for the sole purpose of “getting them saved”.  I don’t love my wife in order to get her to do something (ok, sometimes I do).  I love her because I love her.  We need to love our neighbors, even the unlovable, because Jesus loves them first.

This book reminds us of the embarrassing reality that there are millions(unsaved I might add) dying from treatable and reversible causes, while the church falls short of it’s responsibility to respond and act like Jesus would.  It’s sounds so critical, and I hate to be so, but we care more about building our personal families and nests and local church kingdoms than we do about extending the kingdom of God by loving others outside of these.  “The Church” needs to “Go”.  Love Jesus, Love Neighbors, Make Disciples.

We here in the West, myself included, are chief sinners in this regard.

Rob 

Friday, September 11, 2009

If you could’ve heard her scream…

you would have thought someone was murdering her.  Tessa: 3 years old, sweet most of the time, with the tendency to be borderline-whiney.  This precious girl tells me at random times throughout my day, “I love you Mommy” and with pure joy and excitement in her voice “I grow up in Haiti!”  Not to paint a perfect picture, I have heard her scream before:  at Drew when he teases her or in anger at Braden when he steals a toy (or just sits down on her toys) or just when she doesn’t want to share!

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Today I heard Tessa scream and cry in pure fear, and there wasn’t much I could do to calm her down.  The culprit: a massive mosquito with a leg-span the size of a nickel. We were driving to church to drop Drew off at preschool, driving thru traffic at a snails pace for who knows what reason.  Drew says, “Mommy, there’s a fly in the car” and I look back to see a huge mosquito flying around.  The next thing I know Tessa is screaming  and crying with her arms frozen in the air because the mosquito flew by her and landed on her window.  I was trying to convince her to shoo it away, but there is no reasoning with a hysterical 3-year-old.  The next thing I know, the mosquito landed in the underside of one of her arms that she had over her head.  She was screaming even louder and frozen with fear.  I’m trying to drive during all this and the area we were driving in has these huge orange road-construction drums lining the edge of the road, so there was no way for me to pull over.  All I could think to do was to start tossing stuff at her arm.  The thing within reach of me was my bag of trash from  Chick-fil-a this week, so I chucked it at her, successfully getting the nasty bug off of her arm.  But she’s still screaming because it’s still near her.  Fortunately, putting her window down sucked the nasty critter right out of the van.

I have never seen her like that and you can bet I gave her an extra big hug and kiss when we got to church.  I know there are going to be times in her life when she’s going to be that scared again.  I know I can’t protect her from everything.  I wish I could.  And I wish I could “fix” everything she faces in life as easily as I did today by just throwing trash.

~Becky

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Our Trip to Haiti…

It was truly phenomenal.  We are excited, and want to go tomorrow.  But, funds must be raised first and cross cultural training must be acquired.  Our plan is to go in March.  Help us get there!

For those who are interested, here is an overview of what we did… (I am working on getting pictures up)

Tuesday…

We flew from Fort Lauderdale to Port au Prince.  The noon flight from Port au Prince to Les Cayes got cancelled, so Serge (one of RMI’s national staff) came in to pick us up.  We stopped for “fast food” goat on our way to Cayes at a little restaurant that had fast food on the sign.  After the 4 hours drive, we pulled into the driveway of where we will be living.  Thank you to Dan and Amy for the work they did to get the house a little more ready for us to arrive.  And yes, thank you for the gift that you gave us.  Dan gave Becky and I a full tour of the house, yard, and storage depot.  Spike the Iguana is huge!  The tree house needs a little work.  The yard is beautiful!

We went and had dinner at the RMI Guest House with the rest of the RMI missionary staff.

Wednesday…

We started by meeting with the Pastors and School Directors from our 25 or so Sister Churches.  They had all travelled to Cayes for a special 2 day meeting/seminar with RMI, lead by RMI President Dan Shoemaker.  Dan did a great job communicating information related to the Sister Church Program, Hope for Kidz, and the new Feeding program we are launching.  I probably should have been there for the whole 2 day seminar, but Becky and I needed the time to do our thing.  On Wednesday morning, we were there for Haitian style introductions and devotions (about an hour and a half).

We then went and started working through our house.  Generally speaking, we did a lot of sorting, purging, measuring and planning.  After lunch, back with the Pastor’s and Directors at the seminar, Becky and I jumped on a 4 wheeler and toured the mission center, and a little off the mission center.  It was a blast to take Becky around and show her where everything was, where everyone lived, and a little of the countryside.  We got a few stares when I ended up driving through someone’s yard!

That afternoon we spent more time working at the house.

In the evening, we had dinner at the McLaughlin’s home, and then it was on to Prayer Meeting with all the missionaries that live on the mission center.  There were probably 40 or so people there.  It was great.  I had the opportunity to speak.  The best part was just spending time with and meeting the other missionaries that we will serve alongside.

Thursday…

I shared the devotional (simultaneously translated of course) at the Pastor and School Director’s meeting in the morning.  Then, Becky and I spent more time at the house.

We had lunch at the Ferris’s home.  Great meal and fellowship!  Thanks Tom and Karen!  Tom and Karen are teachers at the school on the mission center.  Yes, I will always have fond memories of the multiple chairs I have broken at your home.

In the afternoon Deb Wray, another missionary on the center, took Becky (RMI Missionaries Marilyn, Amy and I tagged along) downtown to show us where to shop.  WOW, our eyes were opened to many new sites!  It was great go in, see the markets, meet the store owners, etc…  Walking through the outdoor markets was literally “breath taking”.  We also drove through a slum area of Cayes.

Thursday night we went to Gelee Beach to a restaurant with the other RMI missionary staff as well as several of the Haitian staff.  We enjoyed good Griot (deep fried pork), Pwazon (fish), and Lambi (Conch). 

Friday…

We spent the morning at the house again.  We had lunch at the home of Sean and Heather Christensen.  Wow, awesome family that we can’t wait to get to know better.  Spaghetti and meatballs.  Thank you Sean and Heather!  We could just tell, they are really genuine good people with servant’s hearts that love Jesus. 

We then went to Rainbow beach for the afternoon.  What a way to end a busy week.  There is nothing like sitting on a beach, under the coconut trees, relaxing.  Nice.

In the evening, we went to the home of LJ and Ruth Scott and fellowshipped with them, the Ferris’, McLaughlins, and Amy Long.  Becky got hit on the shoulder with a falling almond out of the tree above!  Again, just a great time of connections…

Saturday…

We got on the little Tortug plane and headed back to Port au Prince and then back to Fort Lauderdale.

All in all, a great week!

Monday, August 24, 2009

It really is exciting to chase after Jesus…

My heart is about to explode. 

God is doing something.  It has become so clear.  Crystal clear.  You know when you are far from the blinding presence of the light, smog and noise of our media laden lives, homes, neighborhoods and cities, and you look up at the night sky and can clearly see the starry host almost like you have never seen them before?  Almost in High Definition?  Every star piercing through the darkness?  Every sense becomes alive with wonder and awe.  No distractions. Arms outstretched in worship.  Eyes wide open.  Heart swelling.  Marveling and overwhelmed with God’s brush strokes above. 

Yeah, it’s that clear to us.

God is doing something, and I can’t tell you how excited we are to be following him on this journey.  As we have, many ask why.  Many may think we are crazy.  Many may think we are saints (we aren’t).  Many may question our decisions.  Many may fear our safety and our children’s well being.  That’s ok.  We are here to please our Lord.  Not others.  Not ourselves. 

Yet, there really is no greater pleasure than pleasing him.  God is most pleased with us, when we are most pleased in Him.  Our earthly pleasures will fail and fall away.  They are a like the hopeless chasing of a wind.  Chasing after Jesus?  Now that will bring soul deep satisfaction.  How do I know this?  Experience.  Oh yeah, the Word of God says it to be so as well. 

Chase Him with us.

Rob

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Video: Tessa’s 3rd Birthday Cake…

Don’t miss her actually blowing out the candles…

Rob

Video: Becky Learning to Ride 4 Wheeler

Here is a video of Becky learning to ride a 4 wheeler.  This is just one of the many “firsts” and many things to learn as we move to Haiti.

Rob

Monday, August 17, 2009

Emergency Contact Information…

Becky and I will be flying to Haiti from Fort Lauderdale on Tuesday morning and returning on Saturday morning.

In case of an emergency, you can contact the following…

Rob’s Cell Phone in Haiti… (011) 509-3805-5241

Gary’s Cell Phone in Haiti… (011) 509-3766-7523

Debbie Shoemaker’s Cell Phone in FL…  (239) 209-7634

Rob

Support Update…

thermometernew I just received word of 1 new supporter and 1 increasing supporter.  Praise the Lord.  Thank you!!!  Here is where we stand…

78% of Monthly Need ($1655/month still needed)

22% of 1x Need ($29,455 still needed)

Pledge Now  |  Read our Support Letter  |    Give Now

Rob

TS Ana Update…

It looks like Ana has both weakened and moved to the north.  I don’t think Ana will have any impact on our trip.  Praise the Lord!

Current location is bottom right.  Here is the current forecast for 8am tomorrow morning (note dot at the top left and stats related to that position in the bottom box).

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Rob

Sunday, August 16, 2009

We land in Port au Prince at 9:30 am Tuesday, hmmm…

Tropical Storm Ana’s current project path and wind…  Making us wonder if our flights will be cancelled?!image

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Hurricane Tracking..

image The second named storm (Bill) was just announced.

If you want to track the development of Tropical Systems, here are some sites that I frequent.

Stormpulse (Love it their mapping, filters, interface with NHC)

Atlantic Ocean Satellite (In Motion)

Caribbean Satellite (In Motion)

National Hurricane Center (everyone pulls their data from here)

Intellicast (I like their maps)

Any others that you would recommend?

Tropical Storm Ana has formed…

Becky and I are going to Haiti on Tuesday morning.  TS Ana is forecast to be just off the northern coast of Haiti on Tuesday morning on its way to Florida.  There is also another storm lining up right behind Ana.  At this point Ana is forecast to be just under hurricane strength on Tuesday AM.  We are not too worried, but, as you can imagine, we are watching it closely!

Check it out at stormpulse.

image

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Are we making progress in support raising?

Yes, but at God’s pace, not our own.  We are being faithful, and much effort is being done.  Phone calls, appointments, letters, emails, etc are happening.  Our progress is not as quick as I would like, but God isn’t on my time table.  I know…shocking!

Even though our Thermometer hasn’t changed in 6 days, we are progressing.

Want more information, click here.

Rob

Monday, August 10, 2009

Video: Braden Walking

Several weeks ago, Braden started walking.  I thought it was about time I showed you.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Taking Honda Minivan to Haiti?

We get this question all the time.  Maybe we will… what do you think?

haiti haiti2

No, there is no way our minivan would last a week in Haiti.  We are going to have to sell it.  It is a 2007 Honda Odyssey EX with leather interior. About 40,000 miles on it.  Interested?  It will be available in March.

Rob

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Support Letters are in the Mail

photo[1]I have finished printing, stuffing, sealing, stamping, our support letter.  I am putting these in the mail today!  Be watching your mailbox…

We would love to hear from you!

If you do not receive a letter in the next week, you can sign up for our mailing list on our website here.

Below is a list of the contents of the mailer.  Each is hyperlinked to it’s online counterpart.  Take a look.  We hope to hear back from you soon!  You can respond online, or you can wait to respond to the mailer.

Support Letter  |  Prayer Card  |  Support Card  |  Brochure

Rob

Monday, July 27, 2009

Becky’s Faith is Strong…

Becky looked me right in the eyes and said to me… “Rob, only a miracle will bring the funds in that we need to go to Haiti.  And I believe it is going to happen.”

I love having a wife that says stuff like that.  Awesome!

"May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us--yes, establish the works of our hands." Ps 90:17

Rob

Friday, July 24, 2009

Feeling Nostalgic

I’m feeling nostalgic this morning.  Braden turned one a few days ago and it’s making me remember when Drew and Tessa turned one as well.  Thought I’d post pics of each of their first birthdays.  It’s fun to compare and see how much they do and don’t look alike.  I think they look so different, yet you can tell that they are siblings.  My heart can’t hold all the love I have for all 3 of them!

~Becky

Here’s Drew:

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Here’s Tessa:

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And Braden:

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Dan and I headed to see Moses in Ft. Pierce.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Braden is ONE!

 

Braden turned one on Tuesday!  I can’t believe how much he has changed in the past year and how fast it’s gone by.  He was 9 pounds 15 ounces on his birthday and is still in the 95th percentile for weight and height.  He is my big boy!  He was very colicky the first 6 months… so tough.  But now he is the sweetest little boy.  He is such a blessing. We love him to pieces!

~Becky

Two pics from his birthday last year:

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Pics from his little party this year:

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