Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Never a Dull Moment

Chris with a little friend
                                   Never a Dull                                  Moment

We were in Texas and Colorado during the month of March seeing family, visiting churches, and having our annual physicals. We found out that Chris had some moles that were basal cell (not a huge surprise considering he spends most of his time in Haiti in the sun). They were on both sides of his temples and he had to have minor skin surgery to remove them. The end result of this is that the baseball caps he used to wear do not provide enough protection and he now has to wear a wider-brim hat. It is a new look for him, but very necessary so we don't have to repeat that experience.

We were never too concerned about mosquitoes, but that was before. 
Chikungunya-a disease we had never heard of before that we are becoming very familiar with. You never know what life will bring here, but we didn't need another 'new' disease that has become epidemic in Haiti in just a couple of weeks. It is very similar to Dengue. It is a virus that has to run its course. There is no medication to cure it or vaccine to prevent it. People run a high fever, have extreme pain in their bones and joints, and may have headaches, eye pain, very itchy rash, mouth sores, ect. It is completely debilitating and most people are down for about 5 days before feeling better. Many of our employees have now had this along with their children and schoolchildren in our schools. Our village of Titanyen has been hit very hard by this, and we are praying for an end to the suffering. So far, of the 14 Americans on our compound, only Carrie Todd has had a mild case and we are praying that we can remain healthy and teams that are now coming will stay healthy as well. We have never used as much repellent as we are using now and we have fogged areas where they are more plentiful like our clinic. For the last weeks, we have treated many more people with fever and pain than we have treated burns. It is the rainy season, so of course mosquitoes are more plentiful which has greatly magnified the problem.

We are starting into our summer schedule and will have many teams and some camps and conferences over the next 4 months. It is a very busy time for us and we are asking for strength and wisdom as we move into this season.  

Phil. 2:13-'For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose'. This is what we want as we work here-all for His purpose! We are studying Philippians in our staff 
bible study and being exhorted that we need to follow hard after Christ's sacrificial example.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

We will try to give a synopsis of what we have been doing lately. It has been a very busy and exciting time here on the compound.
We started out 2014 with over 200 youth leaders and pastors from around Haiti training them in how to do youth ministry, how to do youth camps, and exhortation and encouragement in their personal spiritual growth. It was 6 great days and we have planned the next one for August.

This picture of our youth leaders' conference was taken on the coolest day in January. They are spelling the word YOUTH on the basketball court.  It was cloudy, in the low 80s, with a breeze, and felt just wonderful! It only lasted for 2 days, though, and we were right back up in the 90s.  

Our focus is to continue with training our 14 young adults in leadership group with Camp Barnabas along with many others, so they can be the counselors and leaders at camp. We are excited about this training and the weekly discipleship they are also receiving by our Camp directors Romile and Dieuseul. 

The 2nd part of our focus with camp is continuing with the infrastructure needed for the camps. Below is the first dorm that is being 

constructed for camp use. It will house 68 people on two floors-8 people per room. We are just getting ready to pour the floor for the 2nd level. 

The dream is to create a 'Camp village' with mens' and womens' dorms, bathrooms and shower houses, a 2nd dining facility, and a gathering place in the middle to 'hang out'. We just received word that all the metal for this project has already been donated!! We are thrilled with the progress. 

This is the latest church plant being built about 90 min. up the mountain in a town called Saut D'Eau under the direction of Pastor Kelly Balde of our Titanyen church. The building on the right is their temporary church and on the left, the new church is going up. Chris has been busy procuring the materials for this project and our guys have been up and down the mountain delivering materials. Thankful for safety as they drive loaded dump trucks up the dusty mountain road.  

The Burn clinic has been busier than ever before. Our small village has grown to over 10,000 now and the surroundings areas continue to grow, so that means many more people in our zone. We are now averaging about 20 patients/day or so, some are minor burns and wounds, some are major 3rd degree burns that require much long-term care.  Felens is one of our very serious 3rd degree burns who is recovering well. He is an epileptic who fell into a large pot during a seizure and suffered severe burns to his back and bottom. He had no family to help him, and didn't receive any care for over 2 weeks. By time he was brought to us, he was very infected and suffering horribly. This story, unfortunately is not that uncommon, especially if the patient is an epileptic. The exciting part of Felens story is that we would pray with him every day and talk to him about the Lord. 2 weeks ago he prayed with a pastor in his village and accepted the Lord. His whole countenance has changed. We were privileged to give him a Creole bible-first one he has ever had.

This blog is getting long-our mistake for not blogging enough. But.....on a personal note:

We are very excited to announce the birth of our 2nd grand-daughter Adalyn Grace, born on February 5th to our oldest son Jonathan and his wife Molly. Adie joins her older sister Ella (who is almost 10 months) in making them very busy parents. We are so excited to go on a visit to Houston on March 4th to see both grand-daughters (and their parents :). 

We will then travel on to Colorado to spend time with Sheryl's father who is in poor health and also visit churches
and supporters. We will be in Colorado from March 10th-April 10th and look forward to seeing many of you. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Summer, Summer, Summer

Summer, Summer, Summer 

It has been a busy summer full of teams and camps, but it has been a great and productive time. We are so thankful for all the groups that came and joined us this summer and for their hands and feet as we work together with the Haitian people. 

.In Mid- June, we had a medical team from Tupelo, MS that did mobile clinics and also worked in a permanent clinic in Caberet. They brought so much medication with them which was a huge blessing. They were able to spend a morning at a orphanage doing health checks on the kids and then we were blessed to be able to give a personalized gift bag to each child with new crocks, clothes, and toiletries, ect., sent by a wonderful church in Worland, WY. The kids were very excited!! 

                                                                                                                                                 Later In June, we had a great team from New Work Fellowship join us for a sports camp for about 100 Haitian youth from several youth groups in our area. It was a great week of learning about the armor of God and how to deal with the spiritual battles these kids face every day living here. They also had a great time learning and playing soccer, basketball, and volleyball as part of the camp.                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

As the summer progressed, we had more teams and more camps- each unique depending on the team and their mission. Whether doing feeding programs, VBS, work projects, well repair, mechanic work-whatever needed to be done, we find people willing to help.
They are also willing to to share their love with
Chris leading Mens Devotion in the mornings. 
the Haitian people through hugs, smiles, and helping in whatever way necessary.

Sheryl and a team member working at the clinic. 
We are very thankful for all of our volunteers
and all the skills and supplies they bring to us. We couldn't accomplish all that happens here just with the permanent staff we have.

We are also so thankful that we have a new family, Barrett and Carrie Todd and their 4 children joining us next week! The Lord has abundantly blessed their support raising and they are able to come as permanent staff. They spent 3 months with us last fall, so they have an idea of what life is like here.
                                                                  The clinic has been very busy over these past months. As more and more people have moved into the area, we have experienced more patients and unfortunately, more burns.
We have had many helping hands, both Haitian and American, and this has been a great help. there is no way Sheryl could do the work alone.
 Just last week, Chris and David took a team up the mountain to look at a project and on the way down came upon a very serious car accident. The team was able to get the women extricated from the car (it had rolled and they were upside down). They grabbed towels and their own shirts to stem the bleeding and we transported two critically injured women to Doctors without Borders. We know it is never a coincidence that the Lord has us right where we need to be and while we never know how He will use us here in a day, we always want to be ready for whatever that is. Thankfully, the women both knew the Lord and we able to pray with them and for them as we drove to the hospital.

Sheryl seeing a young burned girl for her first visit.
Pray that we will continue strong in all the Lord has for us and we listen to His voice as we work.

School begins in two weeks, and we will have over 300
children back in our 3 schools in the village. Pray for our directors and teachers as they begin a new year-that they concentrate first on the spiritual life of all the children and second on their academics. We want the love of the Lord to shine through in our schools and in all we do here.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

We want to share about Franceska,  a clinic volunteer and the daughter of one of our long-time workers. Those of you that have visited the clinic in the last two years would have met 'Cece' as she assists with the patients. She loves medicine and asked to come as a helper and learn all she could as she waited on the Lord for her future. She graduated from Philo (year 13) in 2011 at age 19. This means that she went straight from pre-school through grade 13, never missing a year, passing every one of her national tests in 6th, 9th, 12th, and 13th grade the first-time (even with the earthquake disrupting school for 3 months) and received her diploma. There are very few Haitian young people that achieve this-most of those that do are well into their 20's when they accomplish this goal. In fact, only a small percentage of Haitian ever get this diploma and are prepared to go on to university. 

Franceska was raised by a godly mother and has been in our church in Titanyen her whole life. She is very involved in the youth group at church and she is also involved in our Weekend Barnabas program. She loves the Lord and wants to use the intelligence she has been gifted with to practice medicine and stay in Haiti to minister to her people.  For the past two years, she has volunteered her time as she has been working on trying to get in to a pre-med program here in Haiti. This is a very difficult and very competitive task. Less than 10% of those who apply and take the 3 days of testing are accepted. After two years of not getting in, we encouraged her to look at a nursing program so she can continue with her studies and not lose what she has already learned.  A new international program has opened up in Port where she could earn her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and she has been accepted to start her pre-requisites there.

We are very excited about this new opportunity for her and ask your prayers as she starts. She will have to take classes through the summer to be ready to start her first year in the fall. We will miss her greatly at the clinic, but we are grateful for this door to open. 

For the first time, we are taking on the sponsorship of helping with a university education. We have assisted several with bible school, but we feel the Lord leading us to assist Cece, so she can get the training she needs. We have told Cece and her mom that it will have to be the Lord that provides. 
Her expenses will be approximately 2600 US for this first year, inexpensive by US standards, but completely out of reach for most Haitians. We are asking for prayer that the Lord would raise up the funds for her. If this is something that speaks to your heart and you would consider giving a one-time gift towards her education, please write and let us know. All gifts will go through the clinic fund at Global Outreach and will be tax-deductible.

Our e-mail is and we would love to hear from you-even if it is to pass on encouraging notes from those of you that have met her.

Inline image 1
Franceska Aspilaire
Inline image 2
Working on one of our burned children

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Glamorous Life of a Missionary:

For those of you who may have romanticized the idea that living on a tropical island and sharing the love of Jesus all around in the warmth of tropical breezes, sitting under the shade of the palm trees, and welcoming visitors from the US, is what our life consists of here-you may not have quite the right idea. Or as the Hertz commercial says: "Not Exactly". We have learned from TV that you can put a spin on anything and we can tell you that we live in a tropical paradise in a gated community with an ocean-front view, which is the truth-we do have a gate, we do live on a tropical island, and we can see the ocean from our property (which really does provide us with beautiful sunsets), but most of the time it does not feel like paradise.

There is the reality of ministering to the real needs of people-spiritually, emotionally, and physically, that is often more of a battleground than a paradise. It is hard, dirty, can be discouraging, and draining. Yet, because we are doing what the Lord has called us to do, there is joy in that.

There is nothing glamorous in building a 4-seater outhouse by the new youth auditorium to serve the youth's needs there, or digging worms out of a wound that is infected, or cleaning out the grease traps in the kitchen after the conference is over, but these are necessary things that we had to tackle this week. It is all part of serving 'the least of these' and anyone who is in ministry no matter where you serve, knows that these dirty jobs are part of it. Yet, if that was all we did, we could not last here. Thankfully, we have the wonderful times of sharing an evangelistic film, praying with someone, singing together at the clinic and devotions before starting the day, seeing someone kneel at the altar and give their life to the Lord. We see the smile of the child who receives a lollypop after their treatment is over and the tears have stopped (we even get special hugs sometimes!). We see the joy on faces as water comes from a well the first time, or again after it has been repaired. We share in wonderful times of worship with our Haitian brothers and sisters in the Lord and marvel at their unshakable faith in such adverse circumstances.

We have times of serious teaching and talks-both individually, and in groups, to share the truths of scripture and clear up so many misconceptions of what the Bible says about being a follower of Christ. The ministry we are building with the youth and the emphasis we are developing for building leaders and disciples is exciting. We are excited that this is where the Lord has placed us and He is growing the vision He has given us.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Life in the Clinic

The clinic is a very busy and challenging place these days. Since the earthquake, the population in Titanyen has gone from about 4000 to about 9000 or so and the road into town has more and more 'permanent' communities springing up. This has resulted in more patients every day and more burns. Right now we have 5 severe burns, 4 adults and one child, along with quite a few smaller burns. We are currently treating 4 patients that are epileptics and were burned because they had a seizure and fell into the fire or cooking pot. We are going through many supplies daily and we are so thankful for the Lord's provision in keeping up with all we need, so we can continue to provide care to all those who come.

This little girl is Rosemi. She is 3 years old and burned her back and bottom falling into the cooking pot several weeks ago. She is thankfully healing quickly as her burns were mostly 2nd degree.

Rosemi soaking before we debride her burned bottom
Getting her dressing put on with her mom at her side. She is thankfully very cooperative with us.

Rosemi after treatment with her new 'pillowcase' dress made by a wonderful lady, Carol, from Colorado. These dresses are very easy to get off and on and are great for our burned girls.  We have them in several different sizes and the girls and their mothers are happy to get them.

Thankfully, the Lord always provides the help we need at the clinic. Mme. Frank has worked with me for 7 years now and is a great help. Carrie Todd and her husband Barrett and family are here with us for 3 months to ascertain God's call for them and experience living and working with us here at Global. Please pray for them as they head home in December and seek the Lord for confirmation if they should return permanently. Carrie is a home health aide and has been a great help in the clinic. Her 12-year old daughter Abby has also enjoyed coming to help us.
Carrie Todd,  Mme. Frank, and Sheryl 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Weekend Barnabas

Things are exciting and busy on the compound these days. We are having youth come almost every Saturday afternoon from 3-6 pm for what we are calling Weekend Barnabas as part of our GO Camp Barnabas for worship, teaching, groups games, and sports. This past Sunday, we did a Sunday program for Titanyen youth since it was youth Sunday at our church. We expected about 200 youth and were very surprised when 350 showed up! Another youth group in Titanyen had asked to come and they brought about 60 and we had expected about 150 from our own youth, but everyone invited friends. It was standing room only in the chapel!! It ended with a competitive soccer match between the two churches-lots of fun.

 Our camp director Romil Rene is doing a great job of getting things up and running and he has put in place a committee of 5 solid men to head up the programs. The program is growing so quickly that we will have to slow down the numbers some until we get more leaders in place and the program developed more to accommodate all who want to come. There is no shortage of youth that want to participate! We are in the process of starting to develop a website for the camps. It will be in both English and French, so it will take some time to put it together.

We have a film crew here with us this week that have generously donated their time to come and put together a video of all the programs that Global Outreach Haiti is involved with. They filmed the youth program on Sunday, then the feeding program, burn clinic, and conference center yesterday. They are in the schools today and will also be filming the well-drilling and well repair. We plan to be able to use this as we speak in churches and also to send to churches and ministries that are bringing teams down here or want more information on our ministries here. We are very blessed to have them!

Chris is continuing teaching biblestudy at Titanyen and will be there again this evening to teach. It is one of his highlights to do that. The clinic is staying busy, but not overwhelming and that is a praise also.

Josh is counting down his time here in Haiti. He will be leaving for the States permanently the end of June. He is very involved in many facets of ministry here with us and we will miss him greatly when he leaves. He is our computer tech, our sound man, web designer, worship leader, photographer, interpreter, feeding program assistant, ect., ect., He is planning on doing his senior year in Colorado and then heading to college. Please pray for all of us as we are starting the transition of all that. On an exciting note, our middle son Jordan will graduate from Fort Lewis college the end of this month with a degree in Exercise science. He will be coming to visit us in May after graduation and we are very excited to see him here. Pray for him too as he seeks God's guidance for his future. He very much wants to develop soccer programs for kids and youth-we will see what God has in store. Our oldest son Jonathan and his wife Molly are in the process of an domestic adoption with a christian agency in Georgia. All their paperwork is in and they are in the waiting process to be chosen as parents.We are very excited about the prospect of possibly becoming grandparents in the near future. Pray for this adoption that the Lord will lead in the baby to be placed with them.

 Lots happening with us these days personally and in ministry. We are so thankful  to the Lord as He leads and guides.