Friday, September 28, 2012

Day 6

Day 6

I am writing about day six on day seven. It was by far one of the most difficult days for me. I can guarantee that I have worked harder on this trip than any mission trip I have ever been on. Some of the overachievers left to work at 6 am. That would not be me. I could barely drag myself out of bed at 6:30 to make it to the worksite by 8:15.

But man was it a good day. Marc and I got into a rhythm with the screens. Liz, Jaimee and Kenzie jumped in to help and we had a great assembly line going. Almost finished all of them.

I have to say a word about the food. Miss Betty's kitchen staff is amazing. The food they prepare for breakfast and supper is awesome. However, I am tired of the protein bars and freeze dried apples that I brought for lunch.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Haiti day 4 and 5

Day 4

Exhausted. That is how I feel. But today was a fun day. Mark and I made a cabinet today. And it is awesome! Best Cabernet ever. A miraculous feat of engineering. I would post a pic if I could, but then you might want to hire us, and we only do our best for orphans.

In all seriousness it was great to build something that is going to make a difference. That's what the whole team did today. And I know I said this last night, but I am so proud of our Hub City Slickers, they have worked so hard. Liz looked so cute with pink, oil-based paint all over her.

Today's cultural lesson: We all know Haiti is a different world. We needed supplies, so Bill took the truck to the big hardware store. It is in Port-au-Prince. I am told that you are welcomed into the store by a greeter wielding a machine gun. Wonder if that would fly at Costco? We take for granted that we can run to the store and grab whatever we need. You can't do that here. It toke Bill 10 hours to get the supplies we needed. I won't complain about the lines in Walmart any more. And I bet machine guns would cut down on shoplifting.

By the way, the goats multiplied exponentially overnight.

I have no mo energy to write.

Day 5

I don't like roughing it. My idea of the perfect camping trip involves staying at the Embassy Suites.

We aren't staying at the Embassy Suites. The term "roughing it" is too luxurious of a term for the accommodations. Not really...well, maybe really. Cleanliness standards in Haiti aren't the same as back home. One guy wanted to exchange his towel for a clean one. The helper gave him a bucket where he cd hand wash it. The bed Liz and I are on is on the floor. This afternoon's shower was barely a trickle.

I don't share this to complain. I share it to contrast life in Haiti and life at home. We have so much. We're oblivious to how good we have it. And for all my Hub City family who want to come, I want you to know what you are getting into. I don't want this to keep you at home. That would be childish and sort-of wimpy. Haiti's just a different world. And I am so glad I can be here.

My greatest disappointment so far has been that we've not been able to see the kids. We are doing work that is needed. We have a day and a half to get the property move-in ready. There hasn't been the time to hang out with and play with the kids. They are in Port-au-Prince. We are two hours away. But God is teaching me how important it is to do what's needed more than doing what I want. It's not about me anyway.

And who knew Haiti had turkeys? Chickens, yes. Horses, yes, cows, yes. Millions of goats, yes. But turkeys, yes!

On a construction note, Marc and I attempted to screen the windows. Hardest project ever. The shelf we made yesterday was a better demonstration of our carpentry skills. Today was torturous. But things ae coming together. So glad we get to experience move in on Friday.

And so on that note I will end.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Day 3 from Haiti

Day 3

I got to drive in Haiti. Granted, it was only a half mile, but hey, I got to drive in Haiti. For those of you who've been I drove the white, tap-tap truck... with passengers... and no one died.

Now on to important stuff. We started working today. The list of things to get done before Friday seems infinite, but you should have seen our people working their tails off.  The girls were masters of the paint sprayer. Neal and Mike have been killing it. So glad they are here. Marc scaled a water tower to help hoist the 600 gallon cistern. And I carried a lot of rocks in a wheelbarrow. I am very proud of our team. They worked so hard today and drank kits of water (I am the water Nazi). Tomorrow Marc and I get to build a counter in the kitchen. Home improvement Haitian style.

I got to take a small field trip to some Haitian hardware stores. What an experience. You go in and they have just a bunch of mismatched stuff. Neither store (if you could call it a store) had what we needed. Makes me thankful for Home Depot.

I have to say something about the goats. We saw goats last time we ere here, but I thing they may be having a goat apocalypse. They a everywhere. Lots of baby goats.

On a serious note, we have so much to do before the kids move in so please pray for efficiency. This new location will be like moving from a trailer park to Beverly Hills. The new facility is incredible. currently 30 people are living in a 600 sq. ft. place with two toilets. They are moving to a place with 16 toilets, four cottages and an amazing dinning room.

Also pray for Bill. His back is bothering him big time.

And did I mention how hot it is?

I could write more, but I am physically exhausted.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Haiti day 1 and 2

Haiti Day 1

The thing you have to have when you go on a trip like this is a good dose of flexibility. That's because we spent our first three hour in Haiti waiting in the parking lot of the airport waiting for another team to arrive. It appears that all planes coming to Haiti are required by Haitian law, or some law, to be delayed indefinitely. But hey, we're flexible.

And everyone knows it wouldn't be a good mission trip without a bit of bloodshed. However, we weren't expecting that it would be within the first few hours of us getting into Port-au-Prince. A female member, whom shall remand unnamed, also who was not from Hub City, had a minor spill in the airport parking lot, hit her head, shed a lot of blood, and gave Liz an opportunity to put her nursing skills to work. Nothing like minor surgery in the front seat of an old yellow school bus. Memories!

On a sentimental note, I am so glad to be here with Liz. We get to room together, which is awesome, but hot as hades. I can't wait to share this experience with her.

The final thing I will say is that it is hot. Really hot.

Day 2

This is a different world. We started the day with worship with a local Haitian church. Those folks sing loud. And they don't have a sound system. Neither do they have air conditioning. Nor a bathroom. But when in Haiti...pee behind a rock.

Speaking of peeling, Liz had to use the potty after worship. The "women's" toilet was an open cinder block outhouse with a concrete pillar/hole. But it's what she got to do after peeing that was so cool. Amy took her up the mountain a bit to see the house she they rescued three boys a little while ago. Words can't really describe the expireience. The shack had sticks that were woven together to make the walls and a tarp roof. Unbelievable living conditions. Beak your heart conditions.

Afterwards we went to a Haitian restaurant for lunch. Amazing. Seriously. So good. I made myself sick with how much I ate. Chicken, some dorm of spicy slaw, French fries (because Haiti used to be a French colony), rice and beans, plantains, and a soda for desert.

We then toured the orphanage property. I cannot believe the change and how incdible it looked. I was overwhelmed emotionally thinking how much had been done since we were here in March. But we have so much to do.

We couldn't start work today, so what do we do instead? We visit Obama beach, that's what. The water was great. Wish I could go every evening.

I think this is all I can sha tonight. I am about to fall over dead asleep. It was so hot in our room last night that I maybe slept an hour. Here's to a hopefully better night's sleep tonight.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Check back

Just wanted to give all three of you who read this a heads up. I'm hoping to make regular posts next week from Haiti. Provided I can get internet connection sometime.

I know you'll be on the edge of your seat and have trouble sleeping until a post goes live. I get that. Until then, eat some ice cream and think of me. :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wanna send something to Haiti with us?

Some of you know this, but our team of 10 from Hub City leaves for Haiti on Saturday morning. I just talked with Amy Hobbs about some things that Alex's House could use. Here's the list:

  • Towels (kaki/beige)
  • Full sheet sets (5 in kaki/beige)
  • Bath matt sets
  • Diapers
  • Duck tape
  • Any gently used kitchen supplies you want to donate

I know this is last minute, but if you want to go out and purchase any of these items and get them to me, we will pack them and get them to Alex's House. We need them by Friday at the latest.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Why we're working in Haiti

This Saturday, 10 people from Hub City Church will be traveling to Haiti to work with Alex's House Orphanage. We can't wait to leave (even though most of us have yet to begin packing). We would really appreciate your prayers.

There are a number of reason why Hub City Church has partnered with Alex's House Orphanage in Haiti. One reason can be found in an article that was posted on Fox News' Business website about the 10 poorest countries in the world.

Guess who's number 1?

That's right, Haiti. Look at what it says:

1. Haiti
Poverty rate: 77%
Population: 10,123,787
GDP: $7.35 billion (66th lowest)
GDP per capita: $726 (22nd lowest)
The World Bank notes that more than half of Haiti’s population lives on less than $1 a day, while about 80% of the country lives on less than $2 a day. The country’s estimated unemployment rate as of 2010 was 40.6%. The impoverished nation is in a state of rebuilding since a devastating earthquake hit the country in 2010. According to a USAID report, the death toll from the earthquake was between 46,000 and 85,000, while the official figure by the Haitian government estimated the death toll at 316,000. The World Bank estimates that damages from earthquake totaled $8 billion, or about 120% of gross domestic product.
Read more:

Pictures from Hub City's 4th year

Big thanks to Jason Burnett and Brett Wingard for putting these pics into a show to share. I love the Hub City Church family. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

For my pregnant friends

Having a baby is such an exciting thing. Children are gifts from God, most of the time.

But when you're pregnant, one thing that you must do is decide on a name for your little bundle of joy.

I have a small suggestion for you:

Make sure that whatever name you choose passes the "banana-fo-fana song" test. This clearly eliminates names like Mitch and Buck.

This will prevent needless ridicule towards your child in those important Elementary years.

No need to thank me. Thank Vince Antonucci who taught me this in his book I became a Christian and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

For my married friends

I figured I'd better post something for my married friends since I posted something for my single friends two days ago. I wouldn't want anyone to feel left out.

I think the single greatest habit you need to exercise regularly in marriage is the habit of forgiveness. 

We should be continually extending forgiveness to our spouses (and to our kids and coworkers and bosses and friends and politicians and ...). Forgiveness should be a habit.


Because we've been forgiven! 

Bitterness kills. Grudges kill. Keeping score kills. 

What's the antidote?

Forgive one another just as Christ forgave you. Make it a habit. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Monday, September 10, 2012

For my single friends

Don't expect the person you date, or the person you hope to marry someday, to be your savior. You only have one savior: Jesus. If you get Jesus confused with Mr./Mrs. Right then you're setting the entire relationship up for huge problems. 

What that means is that you need to fall in love with Jesus first and foremost. Seriously, date Jesus. And let him be your savior. Make Jesus your priority. 

That's the key to a healthy dating and future-married relationship. 

On a related note, I think this is where a lot of marriages run into problems. We expect our spouse to be our savior. This ain't nothin' but old-fashioned idolatry. And idolatry never turns out good in the end.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Happy Belated Anniversary to me

Last Friday Liz and I celebrated 16 years of being married. I am so grateful for Liz. She is an amazing wife. I wouldn't be who I am today if it weren't for her. 

And I think she's pretty lucky herself to have married me. :)

Sixteen years is a long time. I know a lot of couples who haven't made it that long. That's why I want to point you to some blog posts I read last week. What Vince writes here, here and here is so true. 

Not only do I want Liz and my marriage to go the distance. I want that for your marriage too.