Trinity Kids

Screen shot 2012-12-31 at 3.09.25 PMTrinity Church is at it again! This time it’s the Trinity Kids that are involved. We have received a check for $164.73 from the kids’ group for our feeding program. Kids feeding kids — what a beautiful Christmas gift!

Would you like to help us by starting off the New Year with a gift for the hungry? They may not have all had a gift under the tree this year, but our schoolkids will be delighted to find a hot meal waiting for them when they get to school.

Thanks so much, Trinity Kids of Trinity Church in Tacoma, Washington, and the wonderful leaders who are instilling a passion for missions within their hearts!

The Perfect Christmas

Our family had the perfect Christmas vacation, even though it’s quickly coming to an end. John returns to Asheville tomorrow. Gabe flies back to Portland and Deb will take off for West Virginia soon. Prit and I will soon be on a flight back to Haiti.

We did manage to get together to take a few pictures. We couldn’t decide which ones we liked best, so we just posted them all! Hope you enjoy!

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Making an Impact!

579375_222863001158969_348178568_nCome on, ring those bells! Impact Church of Morehead City has made a $1,000 donation to Rehoboth Ministries which will go towards our feeding program. Pastor Nelson and Vicky Hopkins and the members of Impact Church, we thank you for your generosity towards us and towards the schoolchildren in Haiti! Check out the church’s website at www.impactmorehead.com

Would you like to give a Christmas gift to a worthy cause? What can better represent the spirit of Christmas than helping those that can’t help themselves? It costs $4,000 a month to feed over 1,200 students, teachers, and cooks in our three schools. Your gift can keep feeding a child long after Christmas is over. There is great satisfaction that comes from impacting lives for the Kingdom of God.

This is a beautiful quote we borrowed from Pastor Nelson and Vicky’s Facebook page: “If you get addicted to giving, God will support your habit.” – Rich Wilkerson

Celebrating Christmas, Celebrating Family

IMG_1422Our time in the States is passing all too quickly. Just after the new year, we will be on a plane back to Haiti to prepare for an MFI team that’s coming in at the end of that week. We are enjoying a very mild Christmas here in North Carolina. Last year, we had a white Christmas and were outside hurling snowballs at each other. This year, the sun is out and the temperature is in the 60s. For us, who live most of the year in the tropics, this is wonderful!

Deb drove in from West Virginia yesterday and Gabe flew across the country from Portland, Oregon, arriving last night. John will be driving in on Friday from Asheville, making the family circle complete. Family reunions are always special to missionary families. In the light of last week’s events, we will be cherishing our time with our children even more, longing to keep them here with us a little longer. I shared in an earlier post that Gabe was in the Clackamas Mall in Portland with some friends just last week when the fatal shooting took place there. Gabe heard the gunfire, but was one of the fortunate ones evacuated to safety that day. Sadly, two shoppers lost their lives. We give thanks for the simple fact that Gabe is here with us during this Christmas season.

Deb is now a bona fide college graduate! She has completed her degree in Psychology at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. We are very proud of her. We ask your prayers for her now while she is joining many others in looking for a job.

Sorrow & Joy

by-emmalineYesterday was a very typical day for us. I went to a Christmas party with my mother-in-law that was given by a dear friend and supporter. We enjoyed a sumptuous meal and some great fellowship with other ladies. Afterwards, I went to get a long-awaited haircut and made small talk with the hairdresser. Prit spent the day with his Dad. They went to one of his dad’s favorite places – the PX – got Prit a new watch, and had lunch together. Later, I was relaxing and chatting with friends on Facebook until a comment, placed by our son, John, on his Facebook page, suddenly reeled me back into the reality of life as it is: joyful and dreadful, with its highs and lows. Like a river current, it is always changing.

John posted on Facebook that there had been a shooting at the Clackamas Mall in Portland, Oregon. As the mind assesses information at a rapid-fire rate, mine did likewise. I immediately thought of our son, Gabe, who lives in the Clackamas area and whose apartment is right across from the mall. Concern set in, then relief as I read the last line: Gabe had been evacuated with hundreds of other people.

I immediately contacted Gabe, who was back home by then. It turns out he had been sitting at Starbucks at the time of the shooting and had heard the gunfire close by. At that point, he jumped up and ran out the exit door along with several other shoppers. Curious, I went to Google to find an outlay of the Clackamas Mall, wondering just how close Gabe had been to the shooter. The gunman was coming through Macy’s, then shot and killed two people in the Food Court. The map indicated that Macy’s empties into Zone C. I kept up my search and found that Starbucks is in Zone C. A chill went down my spine as I realized how close our son had come to being one of the victims yesterday. Two people are dead and a young lady is now fighting for her life in a Portland hospital. The gunman had finally killed himself before harming anyone else.

Today, we’re going to the Olive Garden with Prit’s parents to celebrate Prit’s birthday. It was November 23, but we were in Haiti at the time. We now have two reasons to celebrate. We’re also celebrating the life of our son who will be flying in next Tuesday to spend the holidays with us. Christmas will be even more special this year knowing that he was unharmed. But, we also feel tremendous sorrow for the families of the victims who are now making funeral arrangements and most likely thinking of anything but Christmas. We ask that you would please remember these families in your prayers. Yes, we also ask for your prayers for the gunman’s family as well. The details will come forth with the unfolding of each news story.

The first Christmas held both joy and sorrow. The angels announced, “Glory to God in the highest, peace on earth, good will toward men!” (Luke 2:14). The Saviour had come, but often wonderful news is mingled with sorrow. Jesus had come to earth. Salvation was now available to mankind. Yet, mothers mourned over the slaughter of their babes in Bethlehem. Like the gunman in the Clackamas mall, Herod, the raging lunatic, was incensed at the thought of another king challenging his rule. In one swoop, he too had done away with innocent lives, leaving others to mourn. This is the irony of life on earth at present and this is the irony of the Scriptures. An innocent man hung on a cross wracked with pain as others looked on. Some were weeping, others jeering. This time he would not escape, but would instead become the sacrificial Lamb for us all.

A year ago, I wrote a blog titled “Mary’s Favor.” Mary was blessed with the privilege of being the mother of our Lord. Yet, she often experienced a profound sorrow of the lowest depths as well. So, what, then, was Mary’s favor? While you’re enjoying your Christmas holiday, please remember others who, for one reason or another, do not share your joy.

Stateside!

IMG_1401After packing and loading what seemed to be a never-ending amount of boxes to send down the hill to our new house, we finally got everything moved. Well, that’s everything except our generator, inverter, and batteries. The truck we were going to hire for Thursday became unavailable and we had to leave some of our leaders to do the rest of the moving as we flew out on Friday morning. Landing in Fayetteville after 7:30 p.m., we had just enough time to visit with Prit’s parents and fall wearily into bed for a wonderful night’s sleep. The next morning we unpacked our suitcases, only to repack and hit the road for Topsail Island. Pastors Richard and Beth Kope flew in from Didsbury, Canada, to spend a week with us here at the beach. If you have been a regular reader of this website, you know that we were visiting the Kopes in Canada when Prit fell prey to two brain aneurysms. Richard and Beth went through the whole ordeal of that crisis with us. The snow was falling in Canada when they took off from Calgary, so they have taken full advantage of the warm weather and have taken many walks on the beach. The temperature has been in the 70’s all week and we couldn’t have ordered up more perfect weather. This has been a much-needed time of rest and recuperation after two months of nonstop activity in Haiti.

IMG_1403I can see the ocean right outside my window and hear the waves breaking upon the shore while typing this post. We’re thankful for the ebb and flow of the seasons of our lives. There’s a time for work and and a time for rest. We’re also thankful for friends that are willing to make it possible for us to step right outside our front door and place our feet in the sand. Thanks to Richard and Linda Baker and Treasure Realty for making this beautiful villa, in which we’re staying, affordable!

 

Why Go Home?

We are proud to announce that our son, John, is coming on board to work with Rehoboth Ministries in Haiti. John has had a growing burden to work with the youth of Haiti and will also be teaching in our Bible institute. Check out the link to his new blog: backtohaiti.com. As you can imagine, we are delighted that John will be moving back to assist us in this great work. We are visualizing his move to take place around the beginning of August 2013 just in time for the opening of the Bible Institute. He is presently raising support for this transition. We covet your prayers for John as he’s working to make this major shift in his life!

download (1)I was born to missionary parents in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in 1985. My mom & dad worked in a Christian school there until 1988, when they moved north to plant a church in the second-largest city of Cap-Haitien. As a child, I grew up on the church pew, seeing the church blossom into a congregation of over a thousand people. My parents have also started an elementary school, a Bible school, and a radio teaching ministry. You can learn more about their work at rehobothhaiti.com.

I moved to the U.S. after graduating from high school in 2003. I went to Portland Bible College (Portland, Ore.), graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Theology in 2007. It was during this time that I felt the Lord begin to call me to pastoral ministry and lay a burden on my heart for the French-speaking world. After graduating from PBC, I went on to obtain a Master of Arts in Biblical Studies from Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Ky., graduating in 2011. Since that time, I have been working in North Carolina, paying back my student loans and seeking to discern the next step in the Lord’s will.

I believe that the Lord is indicating that the next step is to return to the church that sent me out 10 years ago. I practically grew up on the church pew in Haiti and since my college years, I have preached there several times. My church members have invested a lot of prayer into me (they see me as one of their own), and I believe that the Lord is now calling me back there to invest my life into them. In January 2010, through a very particular set of circumstances (which you can read about here), I began to be burdened to see the next generation of Haitian leaders discipled and sent out, sown into the soil in anticipation of revival rains. My desire is to put the degrees that I have attained to good use in the church that discipled me in my earliest years of faith. As someone who has a foot in both the the United States and Haiti, I am qualified to train leaders of intellectual excellence with a particular sensitivity toward the unique context the Haitian church faces.

In order to return to Haiti for one year in August 2013, I estimate that I will need to raise about $15,000. Since the Bible school where I would be teaching will not be able to pay me a salary, that number includes:

  • Housing ($300 monthly rent to my parents, who have not asked for money but who deserve something for graciously allowing me to stay on their property) = $3,600
  • Food ($300 monthly) = $3,600
  • Transportation (I will not own a car, but $100 monthly to help my parents with gas) = $1,200
  • Student loan payments ($300 monthly) for an entire year = $3,600
  • Airfare to and from Haiti = $1,500
  • Emergency fund (medical, etc.) – $1,500

If you (or your church) would like to partner with me in what the Lord is doing this year, please visit my website and click “Donate” (you can also click “Support” to see monthly giving options) or e-mail me if you have any questions. May the Lord bless you!