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!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Hatter Medical Team 2015

I have just dropped off Dr. Hatter’s medical team at the airport.  I am now wiping my tears as I think of the wonderful work they accomplished and the warm fellowship we had together!

2015 Hatter Medical Team
We visited 5 Virginia Mennonite Missions affiliated churches, having a day of medical clinic at each one.
Pharmacy with Sister-in-Law Sharon
I was the chauffeur and one of the translator’s for the group.  There was a doctor, a nurse, a physical therapist, some pharmacy folks and two bouncers.  What a crew!  We had fun laughing together and laughing at each other.  We had fun “poking fun” at those of us who are eccentric and don’t drink coffee and those that are addicted to it. We had tender moments where heartfelt hurts and fears were shared together. 

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2

One of the accustomed team members decided to sit out this trip because of her heath.  She was greatly missed, but God provided an outstanding Haitian translator who did an astonishing job.  He seamlessly filled the vacant spot in this human puzzle.  We enjoyed his presence and through his new acquaintances with the Mennonite churches, he is planning to help in the leadership at the church in Gilbert.  
See no Evil (Zane), Hear no Evil (Joseph), Speak no Evil (Mark)!
Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21

One of the team members says… I praise and thank God for all He has done and continues to do in Haiti.  This week has been beyond refreshing for my soul, as I am reminded of God’s faithfulness.
Jennie and Family Consultation
See more pictures in the Photo Gallery.

Thanks so much for your prayers during my current travels (Mozambique) and other major changes in my life.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

It has been a while since I have shared an update. What better occasion than Christmas and New Year's! This year I am spending the holidays here in Haiti. You can enjoy your cold, but I'm content to run around in my sandals and shorts!

Recently my corner of the country was blessed by a great Christian reggae band coming through. Their name is Christafari.  They are world renowned and I even had one of their CD's.  They were on tour and sang as part of a crusade that was held at several towns in the Grand'Anse including Jeremie, where I live. I took a vehicle load of friends two nights to Roseaux to hear them perform.  I got to meet some of the visiting missionaries that were part of the outreach.  I told them about myself and offered if there was anything that I could do to help them to just let me know.  They took me up on the offer and I translated for one of them on Sunday morning at the big Baptist church here in town.  The message (translated by me) was also aired on Radio Lumiere.

The last night Christafari was on the town square in Jeremie, where I attended again.  As I was entering the concert the first band was already performing.  I met up with Mark Mohr (the Christafari lead singer and founder) outside as they were bringing some last minute supplies in.  I gave them a hand.  I followed them onto the stage and met the rest of the band members!  I really enjoyed this time of "worship" in English which I rarely get to do.

James at the Christafari Concert
The next super exciting activity was a visit with my brother and nephew in Port-au-Prince.  I went and hung out and helped them with their project (putting a pump in a well).  I got to eat at MacEpi (something like McDonald's) several times which was a special treat for me.  We also had a nice dinner together with missionary friends, and a wonderful Christmas concert at Quisqueya Chapel.

James With His "Big" Brother Joe
I have many things planned in the coming days and would greatly appreciate your prayers...
  • Christmas end of week - Showing Movies at La Grav
  • Long New Years weekend - Showing Movies in Abricot
  • January 9-10 - Showing Movies in Jeremie
  • January 16-24 - Hosting Dr. Hatter Medical Team in Artibonite, Haiti
  • January 24-February 7 - Attending OpenMRS Implementers Meeting and Vacation in Mozambique
  • February 15-18 - Carnival - Oasis of Faith Youth Camp in Cayes
  • February 19-24 - Attending Fellowship Bible Church World Outreach Weekend in Longview, TX
  • March 6-14 - Hosting Fellowship Bible Church church roof construction team in Maissade, Haiti

The biggest thing that I miss about Christmas in the USA is Christmas Caroling!  Enjoy this music video of Christmas Caroling by Christafari.

Christafari - Angels We Have Heard On High

May the Lord bless you and keep you and cause His face to shine upon you and bring you peace and joy until Christ's return for His church.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Anonsman La Solution (Official Trailer)

This is the official trailer of the Haitian Creole version of La Solution. This is an African move that shows the power of Christ over voodoo. This trailer includes English subtitles.



Youn nan pi bèl fim ki genyen pou rive Ayiti, La Solution pote istwa de fanmi Atta ki toujou monte andeyò pou y’al fè sakrifis mouton pou lwa yo. Ougan Nato pwomèt Atta ap direktè nan travay li, yap genyen lapè nan fanmi ak sekirite. Men sa pat pase konsa, Atta menm pèdi travay li. Yon lòt ougan di’l madanm li se yon manbo, se li ki kòz tout bagay sa yo rive. Atta met madanm ak timoun li yo deyò, timoun yo menm chache manje nan fatra. Timoun yo gen yon ti zanmi, Sopy, ki pale yo de Jezi e lè yo grangou li bay yo manje. Sopy mennen manman ak papa li kay Atta pou prezante’l Jezi. Atta rekonèt tout vye sakrifis sa yo p’at bon. Li konvèti paske se Jezi ki vrè pwotektè a; se Jezi ki mèt la vi a. Ougan yo bay manti. Nato di la vi Atta ak madanm li pwoteje nan yon kanari. Atta vin jwen vrè proteksyon nan Jezi, li pa bezwen kanari’l ankò. Li pa nesesè pou fè sakrifis ankò. Gade fim sa-a pou ou kapab jwenn solisyon nan vi’w e jwenn lapè nan fanmi’w.

One of the most beautiful films to arrive in Haiti, La Solution tells the story of Atta's family who always goes to the countryside to offer sheep sacrifices to the spirits. The witch-doctor Nato promises that Atta will become the director at his work, they will have peace in their family and security. But that isn't what happens, Atta even looses his job. Another witch-doctor says his wife is a spirit medium, and that it's her fault that all of these things have happened. Atta kicks his wife and children out of the house, the children even look for food in the trash. The children have a friend, Sopy, that tells them about Jesus, and when they are hungry, she gives them food. Sopy takes hr mother and father to Atta's house to present Jesus to him. Atta recognized all of his sacrifices were bad. He converts because it's Jesus that is the true protector; Jesus is the owner of life. The witch-doctors lie. Nato says Atta and his wife's lives are protected in a clay pot. Atta finds true protection in Jesus, he doesn't need his clay pot anymore. He doesn't need to do any more sacrifices. Watch this movie so you can find the solution in your life and peace in your family.

This movie is available for purchase online at Equipping the Saints.  It includes English and Spanish subtitles.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

A Tribute to My Nephew Derick

Wednesday as I drove the long trip from Jeremie to Port-au-Prince my mind pondered what would transpire in the next couple days.  Surely there would be a welcoming party, and sweet times of intimate fellowship with caring family and friends.  Probably the same as Jesus on his way to Jerusalem, he knew something was going to happen; something exciting (triumphal entry), something painful (beating, mocking and betrayal), something hopeless that would appear to end in death (crucifixion and burial).  Jesus was going to Jerusalem to give of Himself, to give for all.  I was on my way to Virginia to comfort (and find comfort) with my mourning family, in the tragic death and burial of my nephew.

Derick Brian Arbaugh
1988-2014
My nephew Derick (son of David) died following a motor vehicle accident on Sunday night.  It was just in May that I attended his wedding in Germany.  How quickly joy has turned to sorrow.

Derick and Miri Arriving at Wedding Reception
Candle-lit Song at Wedding Reception

Derick had come to visit me in Haiti.  Here are some pictures of happy times together in Haiti!
Derick and his Father
Derick Being Carried to Keep His Feet Dry
Finally a Real Bed!
Look at the Mess I Made
Derick Making Fun of my "Turd-Cel"
Derick in Flight on Family Trip to Lagonave
Derick Working on His Tan
Let's See You Get Out of This!

Jesus' death appeared to be total loss and defeat.  But, three days later He was raised to life, giving anyone who believes in Him eternal life!  Derick was a growing Christian who believed in Him.  He was taking new and exciting steps of faith daily, taking him closer to Christ.  Well, he took the final step, and has ascended into the presence and glory of the Lord.  I just hope he saves me a place at the banquet table in Heaven.  Soon our mourning will turn to dancing!  Psalm 30:11