Friday, August 28, 2015

Needs Met, Visit and Supporting Mom

Greetings in the name of Christ.

Needs Met
I continue to reap the benefits of your unceasing prayers. Although I have dedicated myself wholly to ministry and have not been working a regular job (receiving the steady income I previously enjoyed), it is exciting to see how the LORD continues to meet ALL of my needs. I was reminded of this yesterday when I went to get my prescription polarized glasses fixed, and they decided to give me a brand new pair for free! It is true as it says in Matthew 6:33 CEV, "Put God’s work first and do what he wants. Then the other things will be yours as well." I will share more news about this as the plans unfold for a property and a little mission base in Haiti.

Visit
I am currently visiting the United States with a Haitian pastor/friend (Nestor Pierre) and have enjoyed seeing many of you, and look forward to seeing the rest, if possible. I have two opportunities for this...
Supporting Mom
Last week, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Through God's divine timing, I already had my ticket purchased and plans made to be together with my family. Although I didn't know the importance of my presence to my mother and father at this time, God did. Thank you so much for your prayers, especially for healing of my mother (Miriam Arbaugh).

I am having a wonderful time loving, being loved and enjoying time with my family.

Dad, James, Nestor and Mom

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Showing Movies and Amiga Island

I have been in the North of Haiti for a few days now.  I've been partnering with Joel Trimble (Haiti for Christ) to show movies in rural communities.

Getting to a Movie Showing at Labadie Village

Inviting People to Attend the Movie
I have also been able to do some fun activities during the day while here in the area.  One of those fun activities was sport fishing and snorkeling on the reef of Amiga Island.  Please enjoy this video of pictures and video clips taken while on the reef using an underwater camera enclosure.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Accident

On Thursday, June 25th at about 4PM near Gonaives, I was involved in a "little" accident.  A 13 year old girl (Lovely) ran out in front of us as we were going to show movies.  She ran smack into the front fender (side) and bounced backwards.  She left a dent in the fender and broke her arm.  Trying to avoid her, we swerved off the road, over a low shoulder and nearly crashed into a canal; which could have killed us all.  We scooped her up before she got run over by another vehicle or a crowd gathered, and rushed her to the hospital in Gonaives.  She was conscious and gave us a phone number to call her aunt, who she lived with.  It's pretty much a miracle it was no worse than a broken arm.

Lovely and James After Hospital Return Visit

The hospital in Gonaives was unable to operate on her arm for several days, and the family pushed for her to be transferred.  We took her to the Mirebalais University Hospital (about 3 hours drive away), and she was given a return visit for later that week, and they operated.  After the operation, they cleaned the wound and eventually took the stitches out locally in Gonaives. Today we took her back for her return visit.  Everything appears to be OK, and a return visit is scheduled in 2 weeks.

Lovely was a restavek; living with her aunt.  This is a form of modern day slavery.  The father and mother have taken Lovely back home today as a result of the accident.  God can produce good results through our trials!

Things in Haiti aren't as simple as calling 911 and the gecko agent (insurance)!

Thanks so much for your continued prayer for complete healing and resolution.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Our Trip West - May 2015 Video

We are back and rested from our trip West.  We got to see so many wonderful sites including Yellowstone National Park, Teton National Park, Mount Rushmore and the South Dakota Badlands.

Enjoy this video which summarizes the wonderful time that we had.



I plan to return to Haiti next week, where I will be hosting a team doing children's and women's ministry.  After the team leaves, I plan to show movies during summer vacation.  This is always a receptive and welcomed time for showing Christian evangelistic movies.

Thank you for your continued prayers as I seek the Lord for future "full-time" ministry in Haiti. It is exciting to see God at work!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Yellowstone National Park

We ventured into Yellowstone National Park today.  We saw lots of interesting sites.  We stopped for a picnic lunch.  What a great way to spend time with my wonderful mom and dad!

James with Mom and Dad Entering Yellowstone

Dad Enjoying the Scenery

Lake with Hot Springs and Steam Vents

Hot Springs and Steam Vents

Elk Munching

Teton Mountains
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Monday, May 11, 2015

Friends of Jeremie and Vacation

I made a great video of my friends from the Jeremie area.  These are special people that I don't want to ever forget!


We're packed and ready to head out to Yellowstone National Park on vacation.  I'll probably post a few updates along the line.  I don't know when we'll return.  We're playing this trip one day at a time once we get there.  Thanks for your prayers for safe travels.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Ministry Update From Jeremie and Vacation

Being out of regular work has it's advantages.  One of them being freedom to do what I want, or freedom to do what God wants.  In my freedom, I spent a month showing movies in the Grand’Anse (Jeremie area) where I used to live.  This was super rewarding and super fun, but exhausting.  I stayed with my Haitian pastor as a base, but went out frequently on overnight trips.  I showed movies 34 times.  There were some kids programs during the day, which made for more than one movie showing per day on average!  I had a few free nights to rest too.  I am still trying to interpret the outcome of this time spent in ministry.  I saw amazing results like I had NEVER seen before while living there.  I don’t know why!  For example, in 2014, I showed movies 79 times and saw 59 decisions for Christ.  During the month in Jeremie, I showed movies 34 times, and saw 141 decisions for Christ. There were also accounts of new believers burning their voodoo fetishes.  I question if God is using the numbers and the testimony to steer me into full-time ministry.  Please pray for me as I'm seeking God's will in this.

All Set Up and Ready to Show Movies
Generator, Screen, Sound, Projector, Action!

Recently another missionary requested I translate the documentary on revival in Figi; Let the Sea Resound.  The trailer in English is here.  I translated the trailer to Haitian Creole already and have shown it a few times getting mixed results.  The initial trailer in Haitian Creole is here. Please pray for me as I'm seeking God's will in this.

Beautiful Beach Near Dame Marie, Haiti

I drew a home/mission base blueprint, in case I should branch out into more ministry and not have housing supplied by my work. When the thought of building a house first came to my mind, I prayed that if it was of the Lord, I would continue thinking about it. I have shared this with family and friends and can’t stop thinking about it.  Please pray for God to provide land at His perfect spot, if this is His will!
Home/Mission Base Floor Plan

I returned to the US and have been visiting family in Virginia.  Next week, m
y mom and dad and I, plan to start a cross-country trip to Wyoming (Old Faithful Geyser).

Thanks for your prayers through this exciting transition in my life/ministry.  Please also pray that organization where I worked that we will soon be able to come to an agreement concerning final compensation per the employment agreement.


Chicken, It's "What's For Dinner!"

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Maissade Roof Construction Team

This past week flew by as fast as a Texas tornado.  But, rather than ripping the roof off of a building one was put on!  A team of 13 came from Fellowship Bible Church in Longview, Texas.  They helped God perform a miracle by by putting a steel truss roof on a 40-foot x 90-foot church building in 5 1/2 days.
Oasis of Faith Maissade - Completed Church Roof - Outside
Oasis of Faith Maissade - Completed Church Roof - Inside
See more Maissade Church Roof pictures in the Photo Gallery.

As a special treat for a job well done, we visited Bassin Zim on the way home.  Bassin Zim includes a large waterfall, small waterfall, pools, caves and precolonial graffiti.  This site (as well as most other waterfalls in Haiti) has been used extensively by voodoo. To me, it is an extraordinary example of God's creative design!

James at Bassin Zim
See more Bassin Zim pictures in the Photo Gallery.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Tent-maker Pulls Up Stakes

Some of you have asked what I meant when I mentioned “major changes in my life” in previous blog posts.  Well this post has all the details!

For quite some time, I had not been enjoying my work.  I really enjoyed the technical aspects of my work, but there were significant changes with the administration that made life miserable.  Several others (mainly Christians) had left in the past year too; some voluntarily and some involuntarily.

My employment contract in Jeremie was up for renewal the end of May this year.  I was asking the LORD for direction. I prayed asking; “Am I uncomfortable because you want me to learn a lesson, or because you want me to move on?”  I got a clear answer!

It was the anniversary of the January 12 earthquake that rocked Haiti and my world.  I was at home, feeling under the weather with a cold. Two coworkers came to my door and I invited them in if they weren't afraid of my germs.  They had been sent on a pressing mission, which I didn't yet know about.  They were carrying a letter for me.  It said…

This letter is to inform you that your employment (contract) with us has been terminated as of today’s date.  We regret to take this action against you, but we had no other options.

We would ask that you kindly vacate the living quarters you currently occupy by 5:00 pm, Friday, January 16, 2015.


I was left shaking in shock and surprise the same as Haiti was shattered after the earthquake.  And then I realized God had answered my prayer!  It was undeniable that it was the LORD’s will for me to leave the organization where I had been working.

As I broke the news to my friends in Jeremie, I was uplifted by their support. Two walked me home from church one night.  We stood outside the gate of my house in a huddle crying.  I am now convinced that God used the organization to move me to Jeremie for the friends at the little church I attended.  I didn't realize how much they loved me, nor how much I love them!

Moving Day Picture
Question for thought: Is it better not to love than to love and be loved but feel such pain when we can no longer be together?

“Free at last, free at last!  Praise the great LORD Almighty, I’m free at last.”  So, what’s next?  I’m too busy now with ministry and don’t have time for a job yet!  I plan to show movies during Carnival in Cayes (this weekend).  Next weekend I plan to attend the Fellowship Bible Church World Outreach Weekend.  Shortly after I get back to Haiti I plan to host a Fellowship Bible Church construction team to put a roof on the Oasis of Faith Church in Maissade.  After the construction team leaves, I plan to return to Jeremie to show movies in the Grand’Anse for a month to wrap up all of the movie showings that were already scheduled, plus some.

Please pray that the LORD will give me patience as he reveals the road He’s preparing for me to walk down.  Is it another tent-making position (there are several possibilities in sight), or is my work to shift more towards ministry?  Pray the LORD will put it in the heart of the organization to give the final pay per my employment agreement.

Now you know the major changes that are taking place in my life! Thanks for your prayers!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Mozambique

My time in Maputo, Mozambique has come to an end.  It was a short 2 weeks, broken into 2 parts. The first week was spent attending the OpenMRS Implementers Meetings.  The second week was spent with Iris Ministries.

In my many years of travels and the countries that I have visited and the passports that I have filled up with stamps, Mozambique is the first to require a visa in advance.  Truly being an American and carrying a US passport is a blessing!
Maputo, Mozambique at Night
I have been able to attend several OpenMRS meetings, all over the world.  This year the event was held in Maputo, Mozambique.  Like other OpenMRS Implementers Meetings, it involved informal “meetings” to discuss the implementation of the OpenMRS Medical Record Software used primarily in the developing world.

I got to see old friends from all over the world that are implementing the same software that I implemented at Hospital Albert Schweitzer and the organization in the Grand'Anse.  I also got to meet new friends, including some people I have known and worked with “virtually”.  It was a great reunion!
OpenMRS Implementers
Enjoy all of my pictures from the OpenMRS Implementer's Meeting in the Photo Gallery.

This past week (my second week of the trip) was spent at Zimpeto Children’s Center (Iris Ministries). This is an orphanage with more than 200 kids, school and clinic for the orphanage and the community and pastor training facility.  They also have a wood shop in another community where they have integrated some of the orphans that have grown up.

While at Iris, I was able to go out doing street ministry to the homeless in the inner-city.  We went together in a minibus and had a worship service outside under a tree in a vacant lot.  Some of the homeless people joined us for the service, which included singing, prayer and preaching.  We left a sack of bread for them.  The ride back was special, as I chatted with Fabio, a former orphan who was saved as a street kid through Iris Ministries.

Another day while at Iris I got to go to the public hospital in Maputo.  Fabio was also in charge of this activity.  We went to the pediatric ward.  We prayed for the patients and their families.  We gave everyone (with teeth) a banana.

While at Iris, my time was spent primarily with the orphans; building bonds that will not quickly be forgotten!  I played soccer, basketball, something like baseball, keep away, tag, thumb wrestling, horseplay on the playground and cards.  They were generally well organized and well mannered. They live in dorms, separated by age and gender.  Meals are taken together in the dining hall/church, and each dorm sits to eat at their own long table.  At first I was overwhelmed with all the children, but Dorm 2 quickly adopted me into their family.  One day I took lots of pictures and videos of them, and then showed them after dinner on my “big screen” laptop in their dorm.

Run Salamayo Run!
They have church service on Sunday and Thursday on the base.  I sat with “my dorm” at church too.  It was a special time of worship.   There are several things that made worship special.  1.) The Holy Spirit of the Lord was present.  2.) Sometimes they dance and sing fun songs that the children really enjoy.  3.) Holding the fatherless during worship and praying for our Heavenly Father to be a father to them.  Allowing God to use my physical arms.  4.) Watching the children worship and pray. Feliciano (a mentally handicap boy who can’t speak) dances like crazy!  Oh, if only those of us in our right mind would abandon all in worship of our Lord like Feliciano.

This morning one of the missionary children asked me why do the kids love me so much?  I said because I love them.  In reality it’s a perfect analogy of our relationship with our heavenly Father. He loves us first, and in turn, we love Him back!  As I said good bye this morning and even earlier in the week, some of the kids asked if I couldn't stay longer, and if I will come back.  Our goodbyes even included a few hidden tears by one brave boy.

Marito and Jon
Enjoy all of my pictures from my time with Iris Ministries in the Photo Gallery.

Question for thought: Is it better not to love than to love and be loved but feel such pain when we can no longer be together?

Thanks for your prayers for major changes taking place in my life.  More details soon to follow!