Thursday, November 8, 2012

Haiti - Pictures tell Stories

Flying from PAP to Jeremie, Haiti - This is the Jeremie coast

Baby Gene was one of the first orphans we saw after arrival

Three Amigos

Fon Fon

The kids always wanted to do our hair - this picture was after they finished mine.
This young man takes a solitary moment after finishing school for the day. The Missionary team that came before ours built the shelves and red picnic tables to the right.

The way we got around.  You need sturdy vehicles to travel in Haiti.

Some of our team members cleaned the children's teeth - the kids were placed at opposite ends of the table and they comforted one another with their feet.

On the coast of Jeremie at the dock.  Two fishing boats.

Ludmilla (also known as Tiki)

The river is where many bathe, do laundry, water their animals, and retrieve drinking water.  People are always walking on the road with water.

Francis had been abandoned at the orphanage by his 14 yr. old Mother, she, a victim of rape and incest.  He barely survived as a baby and is developmentally behind, but is a special little boy who found great comfort being with our team members. "Safe" might be a better word - because of his size and development problems, Francis is often a victim of bullying.
Francis tries to smile for his picture.
Matthew 25:40
“I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Haiti - 2 years later

Jan. 12, 2010 was when the big earthquake killed between 200,000 and 300,000 people in Haiti. Tomorrow will be the second anniversary of that terrible event. There has been some progress in the last 24 months, but not enough. Haiti was broken in many ways before the earthquake, already needing much help, and their struggle to survive continues. I found some hope when I read the article below, but also recognize that things are still moving unbearably slow - we are so blessed in the states in comparison. Imagine if our capitol building had been destroyed 2 years ago - would we have left it completely untouched? - the Haitian capitol remains in ruins. One of the things that stood out to me in the pictures of this link are of the faces of the people - not matter what, they have a strength and beauty that desires to flourish and survive. I am looking forward to reconnecting with some of them soon.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Jan. 8, 2012

Today we had a great meeting with the team that will be going to Haiti at the end of February. I haven’t mentioned Haiti lately but I have quietly been getting very, very excited at the thought of returning. Today, suddenly, it became much more real . . . . . no longer out there in the future.

Debbie Warner, Annette Hypes, Renee Charles and I will be going – we are just getting to know each other, but I can see there is something very special about each of these ladies – we are in strong unity together and being around them makes me feel even more solid and sure. I believe we are going to have some powerful experiences together, especially when we meet up with Gene, Shelba and the other missionaries that will be there. We are scheduled to leave at the end of February and travel reservations are being made and finalized this week. Would you please consider praying for each of us by name? We need your prayers now and also while we are there. Prayer is one of the most important elements about this trip and we desperately need them.

Debbie led our Missions 101 class on Sunday and gave us this “Self Assessment”

See below:

1. Am I consciously or unconsciously creating the impression that I am better than I really am? In other words, am I a hypocrite?

2. Do I confidentially pass on to others what has been said to me in confidence?

3. Can I be trusted?

4. Am I a slave to dress, friends, work or habits?

5. Am I self-conscious, self-pitying, or self-justifying?

6. Did the Bible live in me today?

7. Do I give the Bible time to speak to me everyday?

8. Am I enjoying prayer?

9. When did I last speak to someone else of my faith?

10. Do I pray about the money I spend?

11. Do I get to bed on time and get up on time?

12. Do I disobey God in anything?

13. Do I insist upon doing something about which my conscience is uneasy?

14. Am I defeated in any part of my life?

15. Am I jealous, impure, critical, irritable, touchy or distrustful?

16. How do I spend my spare time?

17. Am I proud?

18. Do I thank God that I am not as other people, especially as the Pharisees who despised the publican?

19. Is there anyone whom I fear, dislike, disown, criticize, hold a resentment toward or disregard? If so, what am I doing about it?

20. Do I grumble or complain constantly?

21. Is Christ real to me?

This list certainly hits many areas that I need to work on and serves as a great reminder that we all need to look on the inside to keep our hearts in line with the Lord’s heart. We were also reminded that our “mission work” is really right outside of our door. We don’t have to go to Haiti to be on a mission – we are all responsible to do the work of the mission field wherever we are.

As I mentioned in the October letter, each team member has been asked to raise $2000 to cover the costs of our trip. I have already reached $805 and I am extremely grateful! I still have quite a way to go and if you decide you are able to help sponsor me financially, all donations are tax deductible and checks should be made to Fountain City Wesleyan Church. You can either give a donation to Sue Firth in the church office, Steve Mathews, Barry or myself. Please write my name, Haiti/Feb. in the memo section of your check or on a piece of paper to be turned in with your donation. You can also mail me any donation you would want to contribute to the address below:

Fountain City Wesleyan Church

Attn. Nancy Pike

5600 U.S. 27 North

Richmond, IN 47374

I can’t wait to see what is going to happen through all of you before we go - while our team is in on the ground in Haiti - and what we are to bring back to share with you.

Matt. 25:37-40 (The Message)

Then those 'sheep' are going to say, Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?' Then the King will say, 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

How to Give

About a month ago I sent out some support letters for the Haiti trip that will be taking place in February. The lessons accompanying the gifts (that have started to come in) are already beginning.

One of the things that I have noticed about asking for financial support for missions is that, often, those that don’t have a lot give a lot. It can be very difficult, and extremely humbling, to accept such gifts. A lot of faith is attached to them and I want to do my best to honor every one. There is always a back-story for those who make the choice to give in this way and I would like to share one of them. (only because I can read the back-story in the note they sent me) I will edit out certain parts so that privacy can be maintained for the giver.

The first thing I noticed in this hand written note was that the giver said that they had been praying for two weeks about how they were to give for my going to Haiti. The thought that someone would do that on my behalf is precious, gracious and humbling. This person has an independent small business and counts on sales for income. They had shared that they had not had any orders for a month, but that they told God that if He would provide sales, they would donate their “trip money” for that week toward my trip. Finally, they shared the results of their prayer. They got three orders shortly thereafter and included the results from those orders in my envelope. I was blown away and I learned some things:

1. Pray before you give.

2. Expectantly wait for God to answer and provide.

3. Step out in faith.

4. Give.

5. Be extraordinarily grateful.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

October 6, 2011

Haiti Bound . . . . . Again!!

Fountain City Wesleyan Church is heading back to Haiti! After having the privilege of going to Haiti, and seeing it with my own eyes, I believe that many prayers have been answered and that something amazing is going to happen! I am so grateful that this new door is opening – for the group of people we are working with in Haiti, and for each individual who is supporting the mission!

Two teams from FCWC will be going. The first will be a construction crew in November and the second is a Medical/Dental team slated to go in February. I have been asked to help lead the second team.

Haiti is in desperate need and they cannot succeed without outside help coming in. It is a fact and a very hard one to understand without eyewitness accounts. I have shared (through my blog: some of these hardships, but there are many. Imagine living where there are no grocery stores, banks or commerce of any kind. Where corruption continues to hold the people down in ways that we cannot even fathom - where you walk for hours to get water out of the river – the same river where people bath, do laundry, and water their animals – where there are ten of thousands of orphans and where children are starving and dying every day - that is a real part of the Haiti experience. It isn’t all of it, but it is a reality nonetheless.

I am not saying the Haitians are a weak or helpless people – they are not. They are beautiful, amazing and talented. Many, love the same Lord that we do and are more on fire for Him than any people I have ever met.

The circumstances politically and financially, make it hard for them to get materials, food, or many of the things we think are absolutely necessary for daily living (diapers, baby bottles, dried beans, meat, shoes, clothing, clean water, vehicles, gas, electricity, indoor plumbing, building materials, etc.) but, it doesn’t mean that they are weak or unintelligent. It means we get to come in and lovingly help with the practical things that can help them move their own country forward. Working under their guidance and letting them take the lead. It is such a privilege!! It is a Godly thing too.

I consider it a great privilege to go back to Haiti and am contacting you to ask for your prayers. Secondly, I would ask you to consider giving a donation to help cover the cost of the trip. I am responsible for my own financial support and each of the team members have been asked to raise $2000.

I realize that FCWC is active in missions and that there are many trips and opportunities to give. If you have already been approached and can’t give right now, please just agree to support me with your prayers.

If you decide you are able to sponsor me financially, all donations are tax deductible and checks should be made to Fountain City Wesleyan Church. You can either give a donation to Sue Firth in the church office, Steve Mathews, Barry or myself. Please write my name, Haiti/Feb. in the memo section of your check or on a piece of paper to be turned in with your donation.

In closing, I thank you for your prayers and/or financial support. Your support for this ministry and all you do in this church is greatly appreciated.


Nancy Pike

Proverbs 19:17 “He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will reward him for what he has done.”

Monday, May 16, 2011

It's Been Awhile . . . . .

I haven't written in awhile, but Haiti has not left my mind - honestly, it would be easier if it would. I still struggle to put into words the lessons I have taken from that place, but will continue to try.
While we were there, Gene asked each one of us to volunteer to do devotions - one of us in the morning and one at night. Mine turn was to be the evening of April 4. I knew one of the girls on the FCWC team pretty well and had been getting to know the other team members from our church in bits and increments the weeks before we left. Traveling with them to Haiti and watching them after we arrived gave me time to watch them on a deeper level. I had met Pastor Randy, from the Greenville team on two brief occasions before we left, and his other three team members once, but two days with them and I felt like I had known them for a long time. Our two teams meshed really well and it was comfortable to be with them very quickly. I knew that the Lord was directing me to try to encourage each person, on both teams, individually. (In sharing this, I will be giving you a glimpse of each one on our team) One of the events earlier that day helped me do that.

After visiting two church plants (St. Charles and The River) we pulled over to look at the beach for a few minutes. (the one with the ship wreck that I mentioned on an earlier blog written on April 13) One of the striking features of this beach was the absence of sand. There was no sand all the way from the coast to the road - it was all rocks.

Beautiful, colorful and very smooth to the touch, each of these rocks were unique. Each was created to glorify the Lord. Tossed, smoothed, veined, chipped, and placed among thousands and thousands of rocks - yet each one completely unique - each a stand out.
All of us picked up at least one rock from that beach.

Here is the devotion from that night:

I asked each one of you to bring a rock of your choosing. Pass your rock around so that we can each look at it - each rock is completely unique and special. Each rock was created for God's glory. Even if no one else ever noticed it - the Lord does. You are like your rock. Unique, specially designed, one of a kind. I would like to share some things I have seen in you over the past 2 or 3 days.

Kristen - humble, honest, loving, amazing with children - eye contact & connection with each and everyone, first to do devotions

Miriam - gracious, servant heart, children drawn to her gentle touch, journaling, non discriminatory

Randy - loves the Word, thoughtful, wanted to finish the water project no matter what

Lisa - infectious laugh, tender mother stand in, honest, thank you for sharing a private pain (it opened the door for others to do so)

Jen H. - loves babies, artistic, kind, generous (on a deeper level)

Donna - open, warm, sweet spirit, thinks ahead with a great deal of

Katelyn - journaling, reading word, thinks, kids drawn to her because of her beauty but then her patience and gentle way

Debbie - fresh perspective, honest, positive, missionary

Jen B. - thoughtful, deliberative, detail, caretaker - waking all of us, providing for every need

Karen - delightful, fun, clear, intriguing

Marvin - watches, listens, supports, makes people feel safe

Gene - easy, makes others feel comfortable, never
presumptuous , loves his wife, open to each one willing to come - sees the best

Shelba - patient, supportive, sage, waited to see everyone get in and then got in the back end of the truck, loves her husband

I want to encourage you with the fact that God sees each and every good thing about you and He wants you to use it for His glory.

Rev. 2:17 & 18
He who has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.

The Lord is going to give each believer, you, if you have made a definite choice for Christ, a white stone with your new name on it. You will be the only one with that name - special, unique and designed for Him.

(End of devotion)

So the Lord taught me a lot while I was in Haiti and some of it was about the Americans that I came with.

Monday, April 25, 2011

April 8, 2011 in Jeremie/Last Day cont.

Florkencia was scarce on the last day at the orphanage. I spent a lot of time with Patrick, who I also felt a great connection with and some with Peter as well. They are amazing young men and I am praying that they will grow up to be empowered and successful men of God in Haiti. I can honestly say I would be able to take one or both of them to live with Barry and I. (I know that is not the plan for them and will address that in another post, but I did contemplate it.) I was also reminded, when I taught in public schools, my favorite group to work with was 12 and 13 year old boys. Don’t know why, but the Lord put it in my mind when I was standing there with the two of them and it made me smile.

Patrick was showing me a cross that he had made – simple and beautiful. He tried to give it to me, but I couldn’t accept it. He had just made it and now he was trying to give it to me. The room below is where Peter sleeps and likely Patrick too. These kids do not have any material possessions and it is very difficult to accept one that they do have.

When Patrick saw that I was reluctant to take the cross, he left for a few minutes and came back with a picture of himself. The picture was taken at the VBS program that had taken place earlier that week. After some debate with him, tears flowing down my cheeks, I took the picture. (*see picture below) I gave him my “fishers of men” bracelet (will explain later) – a very sweet moment and one I will always treasure in my special Haiti memory bank.

Now, it was really getting close to time for our departure and I kept wondering where Florkencia was. I had not seen her in the last few hours and I didn’t want to leave without speaking to her. Gene and Shelba said it was time to load up and we were gathering our backpacks – while I was scanning the grounds for her. Didn’t see her. I got my backpack and started to put it in one of the trucks that would be taking us back to the compound when one of the other girls ran up to me and handed me something. She said, “Florkencia, Florkencia” – when I looked at what she handed me, more tears came. It was a picture of Florkencia in a plastic frame, her name written in her own hand on the back. She knew we were leaving and she had sent this girl to give me her picture. I asked the girl “Where is Florkencia? At first she just looked at me (I need to learn Creole) I asked her again, “Where is Florkencia?” She took me by the hand and we ran back to the courtyard to find her – she was there. I hugged Florkencia and kissed her cheeks. I thanked her for the picture and she smiled a little. Here is the picture she sent with me.

It felt like an ending to a story, a dramatic moment to make the audience cry, but it really happened that way. This quiet, sweet little girl wanted me to remember her . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . trust me, I will.

Luke 18:16b
. . . For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children