Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Family Update...

As the year 2015 comes to a close, we wanted to give you a little update on our family!

As always, we've had a busy year of ministry in Haiti, so we were appreciative of some opportunities to serve together and rest and play together. 

It had been a while since our whole family had been out in the country with a team. In June, we were able to join a group from Harper Church in Port Orchard, Washington to visit their sister church in Les Irois, Haiti. It was about an 8 hour drive to the westernmost tip of Haiti. For Becky, Tessa and Braden, it was their first time seeing that part of the country (Grand d'Anse region). We really enjoyed serving together as a family and were thankful to be a part of that team's ministry in Les Irois.

This wasn't a furlough year for us, so we chose to spend our vacation time in the Dominican Republic. We drove with another family to Puerto Plata, DR (a looooong 15 hour drive) and enjoyed 10 days at a resort there. It was really refreshing to get away as a family, rest, and enjoy the pool with our friends. Then we drove to the capital city, Santo Domingo and explored the city for 1.5 days. There we were in awe of US chain restaurants, a shopping mall and the infrastructure. It was hard to believe that we were still on the same island as Haiti. One of favorite parts of the trip was doing a walking tour of the historic section of Santo Domingo. As the oldest, continuously inhabited city in the Americas, there was much to see.

This year, for the first time in our kids lives, we spent Thanksgiving with our families in NJ. Our oldest niece (and flower girl, yikes!) got married the day after Thanksgiving so we made it a priority to be there for the big event. Becky's 97-year-old grandfather had passed away a few weeks before, so we were also able to be there for his funeral service.

Rob continues to be Field Director.  This means leading and managing all initiatives, projects and staff.  This means facility, project, administrative, and team development.  There is NEVER a down moment as the work to be done never stops.  Some of this latest projects were related to leadership development, QuickBooks support and report development, web development, conversion from Google Drive to Office 365, church partnership development, etc etc.  The list certainly goes on.  He continues to feel like God is using his abilities for the advancement of the kingdom.

Becky continues to be responsible for RMI Hospitality and Bookkeeping. In addition, she volunteers as Chair of the School Board for the kids' school. In September, she also added second grade teacher (devotions, math, and science or social studies) to her list of responsibilities. This task has been challenging but Braden enjoys having Mommy for a teacher each day for an hour and a half. She still enjoys digital scrapbooking and has fun playing basketball and volleyball once a week.

Drew is 10 years old and is in the 5th grade. He enjoys playing football and Minecraft with his friends. When he's not doing those things, you're likely to find his nose in a book and considers the Narnia book series his favorite. He still really enjoys creating things with Legos and likes to have 'creation marathons' with his friends. We've appreciated seeing him grow in maturity this year.

Tessa is 9 years old and in 4th grade. She loves playing on her Ripstik, playing with her Lego Friends creations and refuses to let me cut her hair. She enjoys games and is the one Becky can count on to play games with. Our little girl who liked princesses, unicorns, and pink and purple is gone and she has grown into a young lady who likes anything involving dolphins, horses and the color turquoise.

Braden is 7 years old and in 2nd grade. He's still as silly and sweet as ever and loves cuddles and kisses from anyone in his family who will offer it. He's having to learn to ask his brother and sister if he can hug them, as not everyone in the family appreciates his snuggly nature. Our dog, Jersey, is still his favorite non-human thing in the world and we know that if we can't find Braden, we just need to find Jersey and there he will be. He loves reading, Minecraft and playing with friends.

We pray you have a wonderful Christmas wherever you find yourself and may your New Year be full of the hope that comes with a relationship with Jesus!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

One Lord, One Faith, One Church...

I recently had the opportunity to spend 5 days at the MEBSH Church in Ducis, Haiti, with a team from their Sister Church, The Village Church, from Bartlett, Illinois.  It was truly incredible to see how God can bring brothers and sisters together, in a long term partnership, and make them ONE.

How can this happen when there are SO MANY DIFFERENCES between us?
How can this happen in a world SO DEEPLY DIVIDED?
How can this happen with SO MANY MILES (literally and figuratively) between us?

Jesus.  The unity wasn't superficial.  It wasn't cursory. It wasn't fake, forced, or manufactured. It was genuine love and unity developed over time because or our mutual love for Jesus and what he calls us to together.
"I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment." 1 Corinthians 1:10
These 2 churches have had a LONG partnership.  True relationships have developed.  We here are RMI are proud of what we have been able to facilitate between these 2 bodies.

Yes, there are differences, but Jesus brings us together.

Praying together.
Enjoying one another.
Awana in action.
Delivering food to the hungry.

Walking to the home of a new mom and infant son
to encourage and deliver food.
Our Team.


Discipline of Silence and Stillness...

Stillness and silence allow for the presence of God and reorientation of life.
Does the volume of your life allow for the presence of God?

Greatest Obstacles to Silence and Stillness…

Fear, Addictions (Tech, Social Web, Entertainment Choices), Pursuits, Work Task List, Home Task List, Over-Commitment, Lack of Boundaries.

It's almost like we are addicted to noise itself.  We must remember, we have the ability to adjust the the volume.

Why be Silent and Still...
  • To Hear From God… Psalm 40:6 – ““Ears you have dug for me.” He literally dug holes in our head through which His Word can pass to the heart and mind.
  • To Talk to God… Jesus himself was “led by the Spirit into the wilderness” (Matthew 4:1), “went out to a desolate place” (Mark 1:35; Luke 4:42), and “went up on the mountain by himself to pray . . . alone” (Matthew 14:23).
  • To Worship God…Psalm 46:10 (ESV) “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
  • To Wait/Trust/Hope Upon God… Exodus 14:14 (ESV) "The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” Psalm 62:1 (ESV) "For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation or My hope is in Him."
  • To be Changed by God and To Reorient Our Compass…   Job 38… God says "Enough Talking!" ...Who are you, where were you, who do you think U are? Job’s response… 40:4 “Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you? I LAY MY HAND ON MY MOUTH.”
R Kent Hughes writes that being still and silent before God is like “time exposure to God. Our souls function like photographic plates the more we expose our lives to the white-hot sun of his righteous life, the more His image will be burned into our character. His love, his compassion, his truth, his integrity, his humility…”

Practical Helps...
  1. Preparation – Take time to make a plan.
  2. Place – Find a good place where you are alone and can be quiet.
  3. Time – Find a good time that works with no distraction.  Consider a daily retreat, monthly retreat, and an annual retreat.



Do You Have Worms?

Stop and think about that for a minute. If you live in the US, is intestinal worms a disease you have to even concern yourself with? Do you watch your kids, who already don't get enough to eat on a regular basis, suffer from a constant cough, diarrhea, lack of energy, and inability to focus? These intestinal parasites are a common worry for many rural families here in Haiti, most of whom don't have even the education to understand how to prevent themselves from getting this disease and who don't have the means to see a doctor to treat this disease.

For the fourth year in a row, we've been able to make yearly deworming a regular part of our Hope For Kidz (HFK) child sponsorship program. At the end of November, all school directors of the 50 schools we have the HFK program in, came to the RMI office for what is now a regular meeting and distribution of deworming medication. They have already been trained to teach worm prevention to each classroom and how to administer the medication. They come to RMI's office each year for a refresher on procedures and to receive the medication for their schools. I love hearing stories of gratefulness and appreciation for the impact this program is having in their schools.

One of the things I love about this program is that it's not just for the sponsored kids at the school. If there is to be any impact on the prevalence of worms in the school and community, it's important that ALL students and teachers are treated. This year we distributed meds to treat 16,914 students and teachers.

I'm excited to see this program flourish over the last few years and know that I've had a small part in making it happen. If you sponsor a HFK child, a small portion of your donation went toward worm treatment for your student and many others in your child's school. Thank you.

~Becky

Becky and Star Preparing Meds
Becky and Patrick Leading the Seminar

Wait, What? Becky's Teaching?

You may have noticed, but I (Becky) have been fairly silent on the blog lately. It's not that I have nothing to write about, it's mostly that I haven't had much time to put into it. I just have had too much on my plate.

Most of you know I fill two roles at RMI: that of hospitality coordinator and bookkeeper. Both jobs keep me busy and engaged in the ministry of RMI here in Haiti. Two years ago, I was asked to join the school board for our kids' school, Cite Lumiere Christian School (CLCS) and a year ago took additional responsibilities as the Chair of the Board. This role is completely voluntary. I really love our little school and our kids have really thrived in this learning environment.

One of the biggest challenges we face as a Board is finding teachers willing and able to serve. In order to keep costs low, we ask teachers to raise support as a missionary. These teachers have had a huge impact on our kids! This year, we weren't able to find a teacher to teach our second graders and it has required some creative thinking to cover this class and at the same time continue a good quality of education. We were so thankful to have a previous teacher agree to return to teach the language arts portion of the class for two hours a day (she had recently had a baby and did not want to return full time.) The solution was to find a teacher to teach the other subjects for the rest of the school day. For me, that meant taking on teaching from 8-9:30 every day. I start the day with devotions and then teach math and, depending on the quarter, either science or social studies. Teaching has never been something in my wheelhouse, but math and science is. It's been a huge challenge for me but I enjoy it most days. I think Braden likes having me as his teacher! Another RMI missionary, Tina Nunemaker, has been a great help to close out the last hour and a half of the day to teach Bible and other "specials" for our second grade class.

We just recently found out that the teacher who was teaching the second graders language arts has to return to the States unexpectedly. Thankfully, the Lord provided another teacher able to take her place starting in January for the rest of the year. Please pray for her and our students. Sometimes transition is hard, especially for 7 and 8-year-olds.

We also recently received the news that Mr and Mrs Ferris, a teacher couple who has carried CLCS for 15 school years, will be returning to the States at the end of this school year. This leaves our school without any teachers for the 2016-17 school year. We are already working hard to recruit teachers. I'm not going to lie: as the School Board Chair, this feels like a huge burden, a huge need, and it will affect our whole family in a big way. I'm trusting that God has a plan and that He will show up in a bigger way. He knows my heart for these kids, not just my three, but all the kids and families CLCS serves: for a quality Christian, English education in a school setting that will prepare our kids for integration back in the US when the time comes.

Please pray for me as I continue teaching these second graders in addition to my responsibilities with RMI. Please also join with us in prayer as we search for teachers for next school year.

~Becky

2015-2016 Teachers and Cite Lumiere Christian School


Through My Lens...

I've dreamed of being a professional photographer.  It's ok to dream right?  But, I am quite certain that day will never arrive. Why? Well, first, and maybe most important, I am up to my eyeballs is other endeavors.  Second, I honestly have SO MUCH to learn about photography.  Yet, I have a ton of desire to keep learning and shooting when I can (which frankly, isn't often).

See an album of all my "Favorites" here.

Taken in Ducis, Haiti during a Church Partnership visit.

Taken during a Water Installation project in Picot, Haiti.

Taken from a boat off the coast of Zanglais, Haiti.


Thursday, October 22, 2015

God’s Faithfulness

God is eternally faithful.  He ceases to be God in the absence of his faithfulness.  Faithfulness is not a description of God, it is the essence of who he is.

Deuteronomy 7:9 “Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments."

As we grow in our appreciation for his faithfulness, the appropriate response is personal humility and unbridled resolve for our own obedience and faithful pursuit of His glory.

In the little, and the big, no matter the circumstance, in our joys, frustrations and sorrows, let’s faithfully pursue Him.  There is no folly in such a pursuit.

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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Pursuing Excellence…

excellenceI am encouraging the RMI Haiti Team to have "Eyes for Excellence".  We all need to be looking around us at all times to find things that we can do better.  It takes the whole team having the same “vision”.  When something is done with excellence, let's make sure we praise that person responsible.  When something is not done up to the standard of excellence, let's make sure we help the person responsible see it too and know how they can do better the next time. 

In our pursuit of excellence, we should remember....

  • Our pursuit of excellence should never express itself in a feeling of superiority over others.
  • Our pursuit of excellence should never be for our own glory.  All for Christ!
  • Our pursuit of excellence should be an expression of worship.  We do this because he is worthy.
  • Our pursuit of excellence should always be constructive not destructive.  We want to build up ourselves and the RMI team.  Never tear down.
  • Our pursuit of excellence should not be limited to our job.  I care about your work for sure, but even more I care about you.  Scripture says "whatever we do".  We should pursue excellence in our doing, in our being, in our walk with Christ, in our families, in our marriages, in our friendships, in our behavior, in our attitudes, and in our jobs.  Let's watch out for one another and assist one another as we pursue personal and corporate excellence.
  • Our pursuit of excellence should make us wholly more dependent on and encouraged by the sufficiency of divine grace, not establish a sense of discouragement and personal inadequacy or failure.
  • Our pursuit of excellence should be done in the context of the team.  We need to have "eyes for excellence" ourselves, but we also need to be helping others see what we see. 

Colossians 3:23… "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ."  He deserves our best!

1 Corinthians 10:31... "So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."  In no way would I ever want us to pursue excellence for the sake of personal gain and pride.  Excellence is TOTALLY for His glory, not our own.  Even so, I personally believe excellence will bring God given contentment and satisfaction is what we do.

Matthew 23:37-38...  "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind."  I firmly believe that our pursuit of excellent is an expression of our love of the Lord."

Rob

Monday, August 24, 2015

Our Family is “All In”…

All InIt brings us such great joy to know we are where God wants us to be.  There is no greater blessing than serving Jesus.  Our family is “all in”. 

We often hear Drew pray, “Lord, thank you that we get to be in Haiti to share the Gospel.”  How cool is that?!

Recently our whole family had the opportunity and privilege to join up with Harper Evangelical Free Church as they visited their Sister Church in Les Irois, Haiti.  Just a quick 9 hour drive over the mountains!

This year, the team focused on visiting and encouraging 2 satellite churches (1 required a long hike to a mountain top – totally worth it), celebrating the recent installation of the school/church/parsonage solar system, a Men’s BBQ, a Ladies gathering, a Hope for Kidz sponsored children’s gathering, and lots of fellowship/smiles/worship/encouragement.

Yes the drive/hike was long.  Yes, it was dirty. Yes, it was hard.  Yes, it was sweaty.  Yes, it was uncomfortable.  Yes, it was stretching.  Yes, it was worth it, even priceless!

Soul deep satisfaction can be only found in Jesus.  It satisfies my soul to know that my family and I are serving Jesus with all that we have and all that we are.

Below are some pictures…

As you can see, my kids were swarmed with other kids.  They had a BLAST, and they loved it (most of the time)!

You can see more pictures here.

Drew being the center of attention…

IMG_5575

Braden played hard!

IMG_5748

Tessa with her friend Rebekah.

IMG_20150622_183111

Here we are praying with the local people over the location of a future church on this mountain top in Jorge, Haiti.

IMG_5636

Added Responsibilities = Discomfort

There are many uncomfortable things I’ve had to learn to do in Haiti.  Some examples include learning (and regularly speaking!) another language, driving on difficult roads, killing a tarantula and  using an outhouse toilet.  Some of these things cause discomfort because I have a lack of confidence in my abilities while others, you can imagine, are just physically uncomfortable!

I am a Pharmacist by training.  I worked this profession for 10+ years in the States and it is a job I am very comfortable and confident doing.  Since coming to Haiti, I’ve had to take on many different jobs and responsibilities in order to find a place to serve and fill in the gaps.  I currently work as RMI’s hospitality coordinator and bookkeeper.  Both areas I previously had little training.  Both were uncomfortable to learn how to do and there are still some times that I don’t feel fully confident.  I am always learning. Yet, for the most part, I have come to really enjoy those responsibilities here.

Two years ago, I joined the school board of our kids’ school, Cite Lumiere Christian School (CLCS) and last year was asked to chair the board.  Talk about stretching and discomfort!  I don’t have any teaching experience or understanding, but I am a parent who LOVES our little school and all that it has offered our kids.  I still am very uncomfortable with this position, but am very thankful for great teachers, leaders and a principal and administrator that really know what they are doing!  God continues to show me how He is using me in spite of my lack of comfort, lack of abilities and lack of confidence!  In fact, this is an area I am only capable of because of the Lord’s help and guidance.

So why am I telling you all of this? Because I am about to add some new responsibilities to my plate that are WAY out of my comfort zone.  I could really use your prayers going forward!  Many of you have seen my pleas for teachers for our school and for this year, the Lord chose to answer those pleas/prayers in a way none of us expected.  We didn’t find anyone to come teach 2nd and 7th grades as we had hoped for this year, but with lots of prayer, our Principal has been able to put together a team of people to teach these classes, and for 2nd grade, that includes me.   (Ok, Becky, take a deep breath! “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”)

IMG_8598One of our wonderful elementary teachers, Mrs. Leger, left mid-year last year to have a baby.  One of the miraculous ways the Lord has been working over the summer is to prepare her to be willing and able to come back this school year on a part time basis.  She will teach 2 hours a day all the language arts classes (reading, spelling, grammar and writing) and be the 2nd grade “head teacher” so that our team has a qualified leader who knows what she is doing in the classroom.  I will teach from 8-9:30 everyday and my responsibilities will include worship and devotions, math and science.  New RMI missionary, Tina Nunemaker has agreed to come with her homeschooled 2nd grader and teach Bible.  The kids also have other teachers for French, PE, Art and Library. We are still figuring out the plan for Social Studies, but it looks like they may join the older kids for this subject.  School starts Monday, August 31st.

Is this what I was praying for last year and all summer?  Not at all.  Well, maybe that’s not quite true.  I certainly wasn’t praying that God would use me to fill this need in 2nd grade!  But I have been praying all along that God would provide for our needs in the classroom and bring the right people for the 2015-16  school year and a plan has come together that has so many parts, that it can only be viewed as God-directed.

So I ask for prayer.  Prayer for our school and all the different people that are making this school year possible for the kids.  Prayers for my kids who will start 5th, 4th and 2nd grades.  Prayers for me, as I add more responsibilities to my plate and take on the task of educating 3 awesome 2nd graders in math and science.  It will be uncomfortable and I lack confidence.  All the more reason to keep reminding myself that that is a great recipe for the Lord to do amazing things this school year.

~Becky

Saturday, August 22, 2015

From the RMI Blog…

rss-iconDid you know that RMI has a blog that we often post to with stories and thoughts from the field?

You may also want to subscribe to RMI’s Monthly Partnership Posts email…

Here are some of the recent posts…

Thompson Team Update…

If you financially give and/or pray, you are on our “Team Thompson”.  Thank you for your faithful and sacrificial support.  We are here serving because of you.

For those who do not currently support us…  Would you please consider joining our team?  Click here for details.

Here is an update as of August 21, 2015…

thermometer

Monday, August 17, 2015

What is LEADERSHIP?

At it’s most basic level, leadership is when a person/leader knows and puts into action the following 3 principles (2 out of 3 won’t do). This applies to your life as a whole, your family, your trip, your job, and every task/project you undertake… 

A leader MUST…

1. Know where they are going…  I call this the PURPOSE principle –
If you don’t have a purpose, or a known final destination, you will be drifting aimlessly and won’t ever achieve the reason you exist.  One must know what they are trying to accomplish.  God put you on earth on purpose for a purpose.  What is it?  Now do it.

2. Know how to get there… I call this the PLAN principle –
If you don’t have a plan, then your next step is unknown.  We must have a step by step plan if we hope to accomplish something of significance.  If your plan doesn’t have depth, which requires many steps, then your plan is too small!  There is a fine line between a realistic plan and a plan that requires God showing up.  Our plan should be influenced by both the natural and supernatural world.

3. Know who is following… I call this the PEOPLE principle -
If no one is following, you are just out taking a walk! Don’t only look ahead, or at yourself, but you must also concurrently look behind to make sure people are coming with you. We are to lead people (families, coworkers, neighbors, etc). 

For believers… We carry great news, the Gospel, which has the power to change both present realities and eternal destinies.  Don’t waste your life.   If we don’t know where we are going, how to get there, and who is is following, we aren’t accomplishing our God given purpose of presenting all men as perfect in Christ (Colossians 1:28-29)…


Monday, August 10, 2015

Great Church Visit to Cote de Fer…

I recently had the opportunity to go with a team from The Summit Church, to visit their Sister Church, Cote de Fer MEBSH Church.  The team had come to do a construction project at the RMI Zanglais Retreat Center, but we took the opportunity to make a one day visit to their Sister Church. The day was filled with Gospel centered encouragement, smiles and tears.  We had an opportunity to meet and pray with the church deacons, visit 5 homes to provide nourishment for both the soul and the body, take a small part in the days Vacation Bible School, and have a meal together.

I got to meet “Happy” (first picture below).  They call him Happy, because his smile and laugh are intoxicating in spite of the burdens he is carrying in life.  His situation is VERY difficult as the walls of his home are crumbling and his concern as he ages is growing for the future care of his adult deaf daughter. James 1:2-4 comes to mind.

You can see more pictures here

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Glas (Ice) River Hike…

I think it’s fair to say we work hard.  From time to time, we have been known to play hard too!  These past few months have provided some refreshing opportunities to get some rest and enjoy our family and friends.  Here are a few pictures from a recent opportunity we had hiking the Glas (Ice) River. 

By the way, you might remember that this is the same location where I (Rob) was stuck with a team for 4 days a few years back due to Tropical Storm Sandy. (Here is a Video.)

More pictures of this hike here.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Feels Like a Bullet Train...

Wind swept hair, along with a wind swept spirit... Wow, lots going on. Feels like a bullet/maglev train... Trying to keep up... Pray for us as we are now about to ratchet it up to another level as we enter a wild 2 weeks... breath... breath... breath... Praying for moments of stillness/sanity/God moments...

4 teams in the next 2 weeks...
  1. McGregor Baptist work team, along with Dan and Kim, will be building 3 Homes for Haiti in Petit Goave and Mirogoane and doing lots of RMI facility work in Cayes and Zanglais. 
  2. Teachers Training Teachers (TTT) will be doing the 3rd and 4th module of seminars for 75 teachers and leaders. 
  3. Second Cape will be visiting their Sister Church in Port a Piment. They will be building 1 Homes for Haiti, distributing food, doing an open air evangelism service, meeting with the groups of the church (ladies, children, deacons, men's BBQ), plus other things. Becky's Mom is coming in with this team to stay for a month. 
  4. Vision Team - We have 2 families coming in to take a look at what we are doing to investigate how they can get involved financially and practically. 
Additionally, Becky is organizing a retreat at the RMI Retreat Center that falls just after these 2 wild weeks. This retreat is for all missionary ladies here in this area. I can't begin to list the tasks I have on my plate. The RMI team is humming along at full speed. One food container came yesterday. Another coming in a few days. Hot Lunch food deliveries. Next Friday RMI is leading an Awana training event for Awana leaders here in the south. Constant Church visits by our Partnership Facilitators. On and On and On... yeehaw!

Maybe it's corny, but I feel like we are on board this bullet train that God is driving...

 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Life: Wilted or Abundant?

Our time here on earth, no matter your zip code, is about life.  LIFE!  Yet, sometimes we feel rundown... trampled on... wilted...  dry... spent...

Jesus says in the second part of John 10:10.. "I came that they may have life and have it abundantly."  Jesus was not talking about prosperity and good health.  He was talking about eternally rooted, overflowing and contagious faith, hope, love and joy no matter our current circumstance and context. This is only possible through the Gospel.

If we pursue something other than Christ, (maybe ourselves, maybe a white picket fence/stuff, maybe security, maybe a life of convenience, maybe family/kids, maybe education, maybe success, or maybe even no pursuit at all) we will be robbed of the abundant life that Jesus says can be ours.  Hint, read the first half of John 10:10.  Really, read it.

So, how do we live this abundant LIFE?  Be...

Planted... (Step 1)
Choose wisely about where you will put down your roots.  Are you planted and soaking up God's grace.  You aren't planted if you aren't in constant christian fellowship and if you aren't reading scripture.  Period.  If you aren't planted by streams of living water, you will never grow and bear abundant fruit.  Read Colossians 2:6-7

Growing... (Step 2)
Don't settle for your current existence, knowledge, or level of spiritual maturity.  Make a move. Study for sure, but put yourself in situations where you will be stretched.  Get out of your comfort zone.  Work out.  Do things that you think aren't possible.  Look carefully at your habits and how you are spending your time.  Prune the unhealthy parts of your life.  Don't just sit in the classroom, but get out there and put your knowledge to work and you will grow.

Fruiting... (Step 3)
This comes as you allow God to work in/on you and the Spirit to control you.  If planted well, and growing, you will bear abundant fruit. Your faith will mature.  Your hope will grow.  Your joy will explode.  Your life will be characterized by Gal. 5:22-23.  Are you bearing these fruit?  If you are not bearing fruit, and realizing the abundant life, go back to Step 1.

I am back on Step 1 myself right now.

I have quoted it so many times to myself and to others that I cannot count... "O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water." Psalm 63:1


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Ministry Report...

Sorry Lise, Tessa is the new
RMI Haiti Office Receptionist
The pace of our life/ministry here is frenetic, but we wouldn't have it any other way.  Well, truthfully, we could probably slow down a little and we are actually working on this. ;)

During these first couple of months of 2015, God has been at work through our family, and certainly through the whole RMI Team.  Here is a quick list that tries to capture a picture of what the we've all been up to...

  • We have facilitated 7 teams so far this year.
  • We received a container of ten Homes for Haiti homes. The first home was completed in Picot TODAY!
  • We have distributed 64,152 general relief food meals.
  • We have distributed 236,340 Hope for Kidz Hot Lunch meals in 18 schools.
  • We have made progress on developing a plan for water and power at RMI's Zanglais Retreat Center.  We are thankful to Water Missions International for their partnership.
  • We have added 2 more employees to our staff, Anderson and Macenat.
  • We have put a roof on a Pastor's home.
  • We have visited all 30 of our partnership locations 2x for accountability/reporting.
  • We have been preparing Hope for Kidz pictures and profiles for the 2015/2016 school year.
  • We facilitated teacher training, modules 3 and 4 (of 12), for 65 teachers in our pilot training program. We are thankful for our partnership with TTT (Teachers Training Teachers).
  • We have rolled out a new monthly email update called "Partnership Posts".  It's an update from the field for all who are interested. See the latest issue here. Subscribe here.
  • We have renovated 2 guest bathrooms at the RMI Haiti Office.
  • We have added A/C to our guest rooms and conference room at the RMI Haiti Office.
  • We have added 20 trees plus other flowering shrubs at our Zanglais Retreat Center.
  • We have added ladders and rails to all of our guest bunk beds.
  • We now have logos painted on the RMI Retreat Center.
  • We have updated every vehicle to Haiti's new license plates. Lot's of work!
  • We have added a new Church Partnership. Welcome to the team Loomis EFC and Policard!
"Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, ..." Colossians 3:23


Urgent Need: School Teachers

Cite Lumiere Christian School has been such a blessing for our family.  I have seen our kids grow in their knowledge and love for the Lord in wonderful ways.  I would not be able to be involved in ministry with RMI without the dedicated teachers serving our family and kids in this way.  I am so thankful for each of them!

We are looking for teachers willing to serve in our school in Haiti, starting with the 2015-16 school year.  We have seen God work miracles in providing for our students’ needs over this past year and are trusting He will provide for our upcoming school year.  Our specific needs  for the 2015-16 school year include an early elementary teacher and a 7th grade teacher.

This is a great opportunity to serve missionary families while experiencing a new culture!   

Do you know someone who might be interested?  Please, help us spread the word by posting this need in front of your contacts.  This can be a short-term commitment (1-2 years) or long-term.  Contact me for more information!

~Becky

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Here is the school’s official posting:

Cité Lumière Christian School in southern Haiti is recruiting teachers for the 2015-16 school year. Specific needs include a 7th grade teacher and an early elementary teacher.

CLCS is a multi-cultural, inter-agency Christian school using American curriculum located on a mission center near Haiti’s 3rd largest city. Our student body is made up of missionary children from the US and Germany, children of Haitian pastors, and others as space allows.

CLCS exists to help parents in the Les Cayes area of Haiti fulfill their God-given responsibility of educating their children. Our desire is to present our students with an American-based Christian education that will prepare them for higher education or to re-integrate back into their home cultures. Our desire and goal is to teach a Christ-centered, Biblical worldview to the children who attend CLCS.

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Annual Missionary Retreat...

I’m not going to sugar coat it: cross-cultural living is HARD.  It’s also hugely rewarding and we know we are right where God wants us to be.  Yet that doesn't make it easy.

For us, there are two areas of life where it’s especially difficult: home and church.  While we live in a comfortable home, our home is rarely a place where we can truly rest or retreat.  There is always someone else there or outside or knocking on our door.  Church in another language is also difficult and tough for the kids.  We just really miss the ease of worshipping in our heart language and our kids really miss the joy of Sunday School in the US. 

We are so thankful that our community of missionaries plans an annual retreat.  Our whole family looks forward to going somewhere where we can truly retreat and rest, enjoy each other’s company and the company of our friends, and worship and be taught from scripture in our heart language.

This year we were blessed to have one of the pastors from our church in FL, Russell Howard, as the speaker for the adults.  He taught out of Colossians.  His teaching spurred many healthy conversations among our group and really challenged us in our walk with the Lord.

For something like the 30th year in a row, a group called “Barb and Friends” that has a puppet ministry in the US, came and did VBS for our kids.  We are so thankful for them.  Before the retreat started, Braden kept asking “When does school start?!” and he wasn't referring to 1st grade!  He couldn't wait for VBS.  At the end, the whole group of kids had put together a choreographed presentation.


Rob had to head to Port au Prince to pick up our speaker. Since he wouldn't be around much of the next day to do that, we went to the resort a day early and enjoyed some relaxing family time together.

The Missionary Retreat comes each year, just when we need it!
~Becky



Family Adventures

One of the really great things about living in a place like Haiti is the fun of exploring new places and seeing new things.  Haiti is a breathtakingly beautiful country.  We happily take any chance we get to take a break and have fun as a family exploring!  We’ve especially been enjoying this as the kids are getting older and are capable of doing more.

In the beginning of February, Tessa and I had the opportunity to go on a hike and campout with other moms and daughters and single ladies.  This is the same hike Rob and Drew did in the fall with other fathers and sons.  There were 12 of us all together.  We hiked 3 hours up a to the top of mountain that sits behind the Retreat Center.  It was the hardest hike I had ever done!  Of course Tessa and the other little girls are mountain goats and made it look so easy.  We packed all of our supplies (including water for the hike up, food for the weekend and tents) onto 3 mules who carried it all up the mountain.  I was thankful for that!  There is a water source near the top so we were able to collect and treat water once there.

The whole group ready to go:

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The younger girls, halfway up the mountain:

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View of our campsite at the top:

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We had a great weekend on the top of that mountain relaxing, exploring the area, enjoying the view, and talking.  The younger girls enjoyed playing hide and seek, freeze tag, collecting wildflowers and running around.  We had a service together Sunday morning and then hiked down the mountain after lunch.  Down was the hardest part!

Rob and Braden recently took a ride on the motorcycle to go exploring around Cayes.  They stumbled upon the ruins of an old French sugar plantation dating back to before the revolution during the time of slavery.  The next day Rob took all the kids back there and came across the path of a Haitian man who knew a lot of the history of the place.  They really enjoyed talking to him and they learned a lot!

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This country has such raw beauty and a rich history.  We are so glad we get to enjoy some of it!

~Becky