Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Flood

The flooding in Haiti has consumed lots of effort and free time of many, both in Haiti and abroad. After the floods, I made several trips to Gonaives which was hit the hardest. The hurricanes carried in an extreme amount of mud. Whole houses were full of mud the whole way to the ceiling. The last trip to Gonaives was to take in wheelbarrows and shovels. I found several willing church groups to help with the cleanup efforts, and we provided them with some tools to help get the job done. This included shovels and wheelbarrows, and some bulk food for the workers.

Wheelbarrows and Shovels in Gonaives

Monday, September 8, 2008

Gonaive Flooding from Hurricanes

You have heard about hurricanes Gustav, Hanna and now Ike. They have blown through Haiti dropping an excess of rain, causing major flooding. There are houses completely destroyed in the mountains right close to where I live. Looking down into the valley yields a major flood where gardens were planted, completely destroying a hope of food and income for the near future. Gonaives, the capital of our department, is in even worse condition. They have sustained massive amounts of water damage.

On Saturday, another missionary and I went to Gonaives to take in food and clothes. It’s like what you have seen on the news; flooded streets, houses still partially submerged, and stories of how many people barely escaped the floods with their lives as they waded to higher grounds though chest-high water after waking up from feeling the flood water in their beds. You can clearly see the effects of the ferocious water that flowed through overturning trucks, displacing storage containers, and smashing down houses and walls. Even through all they have sustained many still carry hope for a future.

Flooding in Gonaives

The flood waters have cut off all major roads in and out of the Artibonite, where I live. Although there are bridges out, public transportation is running up to the point where the bridges are out and passengers are wading through the rivers. This will make the relief effort nearly impossible for the short-term.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Making of True Security

It has been several crazy, different, busy weeks. It started months ago in the preparations for receiving a team to film a movie; “The Thief.” This entailed all the preliminary work of interviewing and choosing actors, encouraging them to learn their lines, and getting them ready to participate in the film. After a quick business trip to Africa (which was awesome), I jumped into the film full-time. I scheduled practices with the actors in Deschapelles and in Port-au-Prince. For the Port-au-Prince practices and filming, I moved to town, and stayed in another missionary’s house while they were out on vacation/furlough this summer.

We had a tight practice schedule, with different actors coming every day to practice their part. For example, one day we had the police practice, and the next day we had God practice. Some actors came from out of town, so they also stayed with us. This included all of the logistics of meeting them at the “taptap” stop, overseeing a place for them to sleep, and food to eat.

I thought the practice schedule was tight until it came to the filming schedule. Filming was even more “fun”. In addition to all the actors, we added 4 “Visual Communications” students to the group. They are attending Eastern Mennonite University and helping with the project for course experience. We were also joined by a “grunt” that is a missionary’s kid. He helped in every way imaginable; from cracking eggs in the kitchen, to holding a light reflector, or helping to translate directions from the film crew to the actors in my absence. The most actors and crew I had at any given time was 15 people.

The movie has been completely filmed and we are now working on basic editing. In the coming weeks we will also be working on music and special effects. The team from EMU will be here working on the project until August 20th. We are hoping to have a rough cut of the film for the actors to all watch and comment on by August 15th. They will provide feedback for further corrections to be made.

I laugh when I think of all the different ways God has allowed me to participate in this film and what could appear in the credits should I want to take the credit from God… Producer, Assistant Screenwriter, Director, Catering, Grip, Props Coordinator, Weapons Coordinator, Logistics, Translator, Costumes, Makeup, Editing Director, Special Effects Director, and Stunt Driver to name a few.

Let me summarize that this is God’s project, and it is a privilege to serve Christ in any capacity. As the apostle Paul said, “I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.”