Sunday, November 22, 2009

Ministry News

I've got lots of news from the weekend.  Some good and some not so good...

1.) We showed evangelistic films both Friday and Saturday night!
2.) I had lots of abdominal pain and associated problems on Friday night and the better part of the day Saturday.
3.) Even though I wasn't feeling well, I was able to teach a seminar, on the 7 churches of Revelation, with about 75 students.
4.) Saturday night we were outside, and we had a few sprinkles of rain during the film.  After we were all packed up and I was laying in bed, we had a heavy shower.  Our prayers were answered, the rain was delayed.
5.) Seventeen people made a decision to accept Christ Saturday night.
6.) Two men accepted Christ at church this morning.
7.) I brought the message at church this morning, and it was well received.
8.) We had a truly incredible time of ministry and prayer for many folks after the service.  Some wanted prayer for specific things that I had preached about.
9.) After the church service I got news that the long-awaited windshield for my truck was on its way.
10.) I was in two police stations today and in prison.
11.) The driver left the windshield at the Lester police station and some friends went along to get it.
12.) The new windshield wasn't broken in transport!
13.) The new windshield was the right size for my truck.
14.) We put the new windshield in, right on the spot, at the police station.  Even the police chief lent us a hand at it.
15.) The windshield wasn't broken during the installation.  This was the first time I had installed a windshield. I had been given good how-to instructions.
16.) I made it to Payen just in time to pick up a group from Payen Mennonite Church to go sing and pray with the prisoners in the Verettes jail.
17.) After our little service at the jail, one person made a decision to accept Christ.
18.) I have just taken medicine for my stomach (chicken soup) and it's feeling good!
19.) I'm safely home again, completely exhausted, and overjoyed.

Mates in the local prison.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Pictures: James in the desert

James in the desert

James with kids on a hike

La Croix Media Ministry

We had a wonderful weekend of ministry in La Croix. We showed films both Friday and Saturday night. We also stayed for church on Sunday morning. We had 7 boys make a decision for Jesus Christ!

Six of the Seven boys who made decisions for Jesus

Monday, November 2, 2009

Windshield Excursion

We had a great night of showing films last night.  We didn’t have any decisions for Christ, but it was well received and the pastor was excited about the outcome.  He wants to know when I can come back.  The place we showed films was about an hour South of Cap Haitian.  I was able to send the guys back to Cap Haitian last night with the sister from the church in her minivan.  That saved me an hour on my trip home this morning. The guys flew back to Port-au-Prince early this morning.

The trip was especially dusty because I had an accident and knocked out my windshield.  Or should I call it a dust shield?  Fortunately the windshield wasn’t knocked out by one of our heads!!! A big truck threw a rock across the road and hit the windshield.  It burst into a million cracked lines, which was nearly impossible to see through. That wasn’t a problem because a few bumps later the whole windshield fell into pile on the dash.  We weren’t hurt other than a scratch on my arm. No windshield makes for a nice breezy ride, but it’s a bit dusty to be practical.

James and Tom in the truck without a windshield!

Then the saga began.  When we got to Cap Haitian we went running around looking for a replacement windshield.  One of the auto parts stores said he could order it, and have it there by 9AM the next morning.  I went ahead and paid a fortune ($240 US) for the windshield so he could order it yet that night.  Fortunately I had enough cash along for that.  The hospital has been giving a poor exchange rate so I was going to get some money changed while I was in the city.  For an extra $65 US, they would have installed it for me.  Anyway, we got to the auto parts place on Friday, a little after 9AM.  The windshield wasn’t there yet, so he called his contact, and they said they would be there in 60 minutes.  About 3 hours later, we still had no windshield, but got word the bus that was carrying the windshield broke down and was coming there to get a bearing for it.  He promised us my windshield would be there that evening.  We said we couldn’t wait and made arrangements to get it on Saturday afternoon on our way back into town.  We arrived at the auto parts place on Saturday and found the parts guy there.  He brought out the windshield, and we started putting the gasket on the new glass.  We couldn’t get it to fit.  We held the glass over the windshield hole, and it was about 3 inches too tall.  Another guy had ordered a Land Cruiser windshield the same evening as I did, so the shop owner called him up to see how his windshield fit.  The other guys windshield didn’t fit either, so we were in luck.  We drove about an hour out on the other side of Cap Haitian to the other guys shop.  He brought the windshield out, and it was the same size as the one they ordered for me.  So I still don’t have a windshield.  He promised to have the correct windshield there on Tuesday morning, which I kind of doubt since Monday was a national holiday.  Tuesday wasn’t going to do me any good anyway because I was going home on Monday.  I said he could return the money, or deliver the windshield to Deschapelles.  He didn’t know Deschapelles and didn’t want to make that commitment.  Neither could he return the money because everything was closed that time of day.  We agreed that he could deliver the windshield to his friend’s house in Gonaives and I could pick it up there.   This will work out alright since my next film trip is to La Croix, which is about half hour from Gonaives.  But it made for a super dusty drive home, and will make for a not so enjoyable trip back to Gonaives to pick it up.

I’ve got the truck cab unloaded and have taken the battery out so that doesn’t get stolen yet.

Serving God never is simple!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

True Forgiveness Script

Edner (and I) have completed the first draft of the True Forgiveness screenplay. Edner will do another revision, and then I will have some other folks read the script and give feedback. Please Pray that God will raise the necessary skills and materials to actually make this new film. Pray for the success of this tool, in winning souls for Christ!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Truck Repairs

With the Lord's help, I was able to put the motor back together in the old truck. It sat for weeks while we diagnosed the problem and got repair parts. We're praising the Lord that we were able to repair it. Next weekend will be the test if it is fixed right; as I'm planning a trip about 2 hours away from home. At the same time, we are praying for the Lord to raise up donors to make the purchase of a new vehicle possible.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Gone to South Africa - OpenMRS Conference

I'm off to Cape Town, South Africa for the 2009 OpenMRS Implementers Meetings. This is a time to get together with the developers and other implementers of OpenMRS software. We use OpenMRS in the hospital to manage our Patient Medical Records.

I'm looking forward to a few vacation days while I'm in South Africa. It just isn't right to travel 3 days going and 3 days returning just to attend a conference which lasts 5 days. I plan to return to Haiti on September 25, 2009.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Statistics of Film Showing

Year Times Shown Attendance Decisions
2005 74 19373 132
2006 82 21617 42
2007 82 15087 116
2008 50 13289 154
2009 YTD 45 9745 72
Total 333 79111 516

Of course these are just rough estimates, and I know God has done immeasurably more than I have asked or we could imagine!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Truck Engine Cylinder Head is OK

Good news, I was able to take the head to Port-au-Prince and have it tested at the machine shop there. The results are good, and I will be able to use my head after they do some work on the valves for me. I was also able to find a new head gasket while I was in town! Please pray I will be able to find a good solution for some of the other gaskets which I still need before things can all go back together!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Bad Head Gasket?

I believe I have found the culprit to my overheating problem. Does this look like a bad head gasket to you? See the orange corroded looking area between the front cylinder and the waterhole nearby.

Picture of "bad" Head Gasket

Monday, August 31, 2009

New Brothers and Sisters

I just returned from an exciting and fun weekend of ministry at Passe-Reine. It had been quite a while since I had been there. At the beginning of the weekend, the pastor asked for anyone that had accepted Christ during one of my previous visits to stand. There was one child, and one youth. The older of the two, brought me a gift of a watermelon, grown in his garden. We had a total of 35 kids who made a commitment to follow Christ during this weekend.

Children Praying to Accept Jesus as Savior

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Truck Problems

The last two weekends, I have had problems with the truck overheating. We are now at the point where we need to pull the engine apart to see what's gone wrong. We're suspecting a cracked head or blown head gasket. Although we have started a campaign for a replacement vehicle, the funds aren't available yet. Please pray that God will give us wisdom and speediness as we try to repair the old truck, and the same concerning the new one.

How can people have faith in the Lord and ask him to save them, if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear, unless someone tells them? And how can anyone tell them without being sent by the Lord? The Scriptures say it is a beautiful sight to see even the feet of someone coming to preach the good news.
Romans 10:14-15

Thursday, August 13, 2009

50th Wedding Anniversary

My parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. They had a simple request; that the whole family be together. We accomplished this by going on a 5-day cruise, all together. We visited Progreso and Cozumel Mexico.

Family Picture

I also got to visit some friends and share in a church in Washington, Georgia during the trip.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Dubreuil Update

Oasis of Faith Christian Church, Dubreuil, Haiti

The short version is that the project is done!

The slightly longer version is that a team came from Fellowship Bible Church. There were 13 energetic brothers and sisters who came and built steel trusses, perlin, and put it all together, including screwing on the tin. They also built some doors.

We had a wonderful time of working together and fellowshiping with the folks in Dubreuil. From the beginning, we asked for the participation of the community, and we were not disappointed. They provided places for us to stay, the majority of the food for the team during the week, they hauled water, carried supplies and materials, and helped with the construction any way possible.

A big "thank you" to all who were involved!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Evening Outreach at Dubreuil

Our week at Dubreuil with the team from Fellowship Bible Church would not be complete without the showing of evangelistic films. We showed films three nights, as part of evangelistic outreach service including preaching and testimonies.

The Croud of People at the Last Night of Outreach

The final night of films, one man made a decision to accept Christ as his personal savior.

Our New Brother in Christ Pictured in the Middle

Pastor Training Seminar

I was also the translator for 4 of the 5 days of pastor training seminars, while the team from Fellowship Bible Church was at Dubreuil. We had a great time together, and all learned a lot!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Dubreuil Construction Team

This next 11 days will be exhilarating! It all starts tomorrow morning when go to Port-au-Prince early in the morning. I will go to various stores to buy materials, steel and tin mainly, and other places to get tools and provisions. Hopefully this can all be completed by about 4:45 PM, and I can be loaded up and ready to pickup the team of 13 in our chartered school bus.

The plan is to drive from the airport to Deschapelles, where we will spend the night at my house, and then continue on Friday morning to Dubreuil, which is in Grand Riviere du Nord, in the North of Haiti. Hopefully we arrive before dark, and can cross the river, and start to hike our our supplies into the village.

The primary project of the team will be church roof construction, steel trusses and pearling, covered by tin.

The secondary project will be Bible training seminars for lay leaders of the Oasis of Faith Christian Church. These would be country bumpkins who are responsible for the day-to-day operations of their local church. They plan to meet every day, all day.

The third project will be vacation bible school (VBS) for the kids of the community; they have limited it to 50 special kids.

The forth project will be evening outreaches, of showing films, preaching, testimonies, and singing. This is planned for 3 different locations, over 4 nights!

The team leaves on Saturday, July 11th through the Cap Haitian airport. Then I will make the long drive back to Deschapelles!

Thanks for your prayers for all of these activities! To God be the glory!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Haiti Mini OpenMRS Conference

It was a pleasure to be able to coordinate and host the OpenMRS Mini Implementers Conference. We had representatives of various organizations who are currently using OpenMRS or in the process of implementing this hospital medical record system, designed for the developing world. We all learned a lot from each other.

James Presenting at the Conference.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Oasis of Faith Women's Conference

I have safely returned from the Oasis of Faith Women’s conference. The conference was quite fulfilling! The Spirit of God really came down and ministered through the visiting ladies. I translated for the whole conference, all sessions! One testimony in particular, given by a team member, of how they had been raped as a child, and abused by their husband, and other trials in life was particularly identified with by the Haitian ladies. I even saw some of them with tears in their eyes as the story unfolded, which was the first time I had ever seen a Haitian cry other than in death. Several of the ladies shared how they were in similar situations, and we had a special time of prayer for them. After the time of sorrow and pain, there was a time of celebration in worship, full of joy! We enjoyed teaching the women some new worship songs too.

James translating for Karen at the Women's Conference

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday night we showed films as part of the evening services. Some people accepted Christ after the services!

Sunday was most exciting for the group and I. We got up early and drove to Dubreuil, a section of Grand Riviere du Nord. We parked the truck, and waded across the river; then hiked up to where the church is. We had a meaningful service including special singing by the group.

After church I had a meeting with the church leaders in preparation for the upcoming construction team. We discussed construction, how and where to get materials and tools, where the team would stay, what they would eat, who would prepare the food, and how they can prepare it safely for "whites" to eat. I also measured the church to verify how out of level and how out of square it was!

Then we had coffee and bread, and drank coconuts. It was wonderful.

Then we drove over to Milot and negotiated the price to drive up to see the Citadel. This is a giant mountaintop fortress built in case the French ever returned. When we had nearly reached the top, it started to rain. We continued to press forward and made it to the Citadel dripping wet. We had a quick tour of the Citadel, including a wild worship time in the echoey chambers. One of the team members saw how I and another Haitian were shivering, and was afraid of hyperthermia. They took measures to warm us up, like forming a group huddle, etc. When it was time to head down the mountain, we took off running in a downpour. The three of us were side-by-side, and another team member latched on behind us trusting anywhere we would go they would be safe. When we got to the bottom of the hill, we sat in the truck (the 4 of us) and stayed warm while we waited for the others to walk down. It was a wonderful fun time, even considering the rain, or perhaps caused by the rain!

The following day, we went to Labadi (actually Belly Beach) which is right next door because a cruise ship was going to be there that day, and the price would be inflated. We had the resort to ourselves. We had a good time of swimming, fellowship, talking business, and worshiping together.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Safely Home after Dominican Republic Trip

After driving over 10 hours, and hundreds of kilometers (miles), I have safely returned home.

Praise the Lord for holding the truck together. During the trip, I had (and temporarily repaired) a minor problem with the brakes. Also, a couple of days ago, while I was driving, I heard a noise coming from under the truck. It got worse and then better on the way home. I'm hoping it's a universal joint going bad. I also had a shock that went bad. Too many speed bumps (and other bumps in the road).

The highlight of the trip was the ministry that took place. We were able to show films all 9-nights that were planned. Even though one of the nights didn't get planned in advance, some quick invites were sent out and we showed films that night at another location. Let's not waste time, let's build the Kingdom!

The most exciting part of the trip is over 20 people (mostly children) who indicated they would like to follow Jesus!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Dominican Republic Missionary Journey

We’re getting geared up for a trip to the Dominican Republic. We plan to go show films in Haitian communities there. Our schedule is as follows…

May 15 – Barahona
May 16 – Santo Domingo
May 17 – Bonao
May 18-19 – Santiago
May 20-21 – Sosua
May 22 – La Bija de Cotui
May 23 – Sabana Grande de Boya
May 24 – Return to Haiti

Thanks for your prayers as we make this missionary journey!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Maissade Ministry Update

Well, I've safely returned from a long and tiring trip to Maissade. It was a long trip, because the road isn't so good. We spent about six or seven hours on the road each way. Both nights we showed films on the town square. On Friday after we arrived, we put the speakers on the truck, and went all through town spreading our "spam," unsolicited film announcement! This gave us record turn-out both nights, with maybe 500 to 600 people present. More on the second night as word of mouth kicked into gear.

Saturday yielded time for rest in the morning, and a nice long swim down at the "swimmin" hole in the afternoon.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

True Security in the Dominican Republic - Note from Ministry Partner

Here is a note from a ministry partner ministering to Haitians in the Dominican Republic...

Last week we did a Haitian Leadership Conference that lasted the week. Pastors, leaders, and wives were invited. Five days prior to the conference we had nobody registered. Two days prior to the conference, we had 23 people coming. By the third day of the conference we had 130 people and that held until the conference ended. Each day we studied the seven commandments of Jesus, learned Bible story songs in Creole, and went out to do street witnessing and invited people on the street to come watch a video that night. Each night we showed a different film in Creole (three of which came from you!). 29 people accepted Christ.

Now, there is a big demand for the evangelistic films in Creole by the pastors and leaders all over the D.R.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Pre-show Soccer Match

Easter season is always a popular spiritual time in Haiti; but not necessarily a Christian time. To combat this, we showed evangelistic films in outdoor spaces on Good Friday, and Saturday nights. On Friday night, we were accompanied by a pre-show soccer match. On Saturday we were accompanied by a church youth brigade.

Pre-Show Soccer Match Team Huddle

Sunday, March 29, 2009

St Michel Update

We had a wonderful time in St Michel. It was even more fun than usual! I'm not sure why? Maybe it was being in company of good friends? Maybe it was good times of prayer and fellowship? Maybe it was having the author and an actor of the new film (which we showed) along? We showed films at three different locations, during three nights. One person accepted Jesus as their personal savior! We had 2 flat tires. Apparently it's time to replace some tires on my truck!

James in St Michel

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy Kids Getting a Motor Boat Ride

No doubt this was the first time they were ever in a motor boat. They got a special thrill out of going fast and turning back around to bounce over our own wake. This is something they can't do with their dug-outs!

Miracle GPS and Banana Recovery

On Saturday, we took a trip up the river seeing how close we could get to the Dominican Republic. We were tracking our progress with a GPS. When we stopped for lunch, I looked for the GPS so I could mark our position, but it was gone! In thinking back, we tried to remember when I last looked at it, and when (and where) we could have lost it. The last I remembered of seeing it was about 20 minutes down river, when it was getting splashed, and I put it in a plastic bag with some small bananas. The bag with bananas was also missing! We went back down river and looked at two possible places where we changed seating positions and could have knocked the bananas and GPS into the river. At the second place, there in a branch, we found a bag with some bananas in it. Unfortunately the GPS was not there. We prayed and shortly late, we found the GPS in the river downstream not far from the bananas. Praise the Lord for his miraculous answer to prayer!

Satellite image of where we were at (Roche Mulatre)
and where we went (Savan Pedi)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Media Ministry Update - Roche Mulatre

Last weekend, we had a very nice time of ministry at Roche Mulatre, which is located up lake Peligre about 5 miles from the dam. We showed films both Friday and Saturday nights, with as many as 500 in attendance the second night. We traveled to this site by boat. In the past we traveled by dug out log, but this year my friend Jimmie took us up there in his motor boat. We had a lot of fun, and a wonderful time of ministry.

Amphitheatre at Roche Mulatre

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Savan Round Film Showing Update

Last weekend when I was at Savan Round, there were 16 children and youth who made a decision to accept Jesus as their personal savior.

New believers at church the next morning.

Please pray for them as they all grow in their new relationship.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

True Security and Media Ministry Update

During teams, between teams and during my travels I have been showing films and working on the new film, “True Security.” Final DVD's were received back from replication in mid January, and we have been working to distribute those both within Haiti and abroad. I've also been working on the final versions on Blu-ray. Even before the final DVD's were completed we saw over 20 people make decisions to follow Christ through the new film, as we tested various iterations.

Truck Repairs

Some were concerned because of the clouds of black smoke my truck was belching! My mechanic originally proposed rebuilding the motor to clean out the carbon. After further research we decided to check out the diesel injectors first. While I was in Texas, I left the truck with the mechanic to get the injectors and pump checked and cleaned, and nozzles replaced. After getting my truck back it has increased power and doesn't have the big trail of "mosquito screen" (smoke) trailing it. What a wonderful answer to prayer. Someone even gave the money to pay for it while I was in Texas. It ended up being returned with a steering problem, so it was returned to a mechanic to install a power steering system, which should make it much more enjoyable to drive, than the manual steering it had previously.

The Teams

In December I hosted a combined team from British Columbia, Canada and Texas. They were reviewing the land which was recently purchased, and considering church construction options. We prayed over the land and dedicated it to the Lord! They also built a playground and “loved on” the kids at a nearby orphanage. I helped them with logistics and lodging.
In January I hosted a medical team, including a doctor, nurses, bouncer and other helpers. I spent the week with them doing medical clinics, using my house as a central base of operations. We saw several hundred patients. I helped them with transportation and translation, as well as, helping plan the places to hold clinic. It was a very rewarding time!