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Kids Around the World Builds Playgrounds in Haiti

by kevintemerson 27. January 2012 00:12

 

Posted by Jim Warner, GAiN USA Missionary: 26 Jan 2012 05:35 PM PST

Kids Around the World is an organization that receives donated playgrounds, refurbishes them, ships them around the world and sends teams out to construct them.  They bless kids where ever they go. Last July, they came to NVM to build a playground for us. The kids in the school and community love it.

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Well, they have returned in force to continue their work in Haiti. On Saturday, 53 team members arrived on the NVM compound. This large team has been splitting into three smaller teams this week and have constructed 3 playgrounds in the local area.

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Blessing kids is important to God, and that is what this organization is all about! Let’s pray that 100’s of kids are blessed by these playgrounds and drawn to Christ.

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A Low Grade Fever

by kevintemerson 24. January 2012 13:54

 

 

I have been trying to blog for a couple months now, and feel as though I cannot get my words to match my feelings and emotions. I have lived in Haiti for over 18 months and yet my heart breaks just as much as it did day one. Haiti is beautiful and hopeful, but at the same time it has this chronic cloud of injustice hanging over it that does not seem to break.

I spoke with Aaron Elliott once about this cloud and how it leaves this ache in the pit of my stomach that does not seem to go away. It was then he compared it to having a constant low grade fever of sadness. It never quite goes away because I cannot erase the experiences I have been exposed to, especially while living in Haiti. Sometimes I wish I could forget, and not have to think about the children in the village that tell me they are hungry and have not eaten in a few days, or the mothers who are holding their sick children and saying, “I cannot pay to come to the clinic, please can you help me?” I see constant financial struggles related to how a family spends their money… Do I go to the clinic for health care for me? For my child? Do I send my child to school instead? Or do I buy groceries to feed the family?

It is this constant ache in my heart that doesn’t go away because there is not an easy solution. I cannot just tell everyone to bring their child to the clinic without paying, or give the entire food pantry to everyone that cries of hunger. This would only continue toward building a dependency on me and on NVM, which would not be healthy for either relationship. We as an organization want to help develop pride and self esteem in our friends, not cause them to continue to think they need our help to meet all their needs.

I am currently having a large spike in my fever. I would say about 105 degree Farenheight. HaHa. Seriously though, there is another “Rose” in my life that I cannot get out of my head for the past two months. His name is Davidson. Davidson lives near Baby Rose, and has a very similar story. Mom doesn’t want him and leaves him with grandma who is taking care of 3 other grandchildren. He is constantly dirty, naked, sitting alone or laying in the dirt till the nurses arrive to scoop him up while we visit.

Davidson had been sick in November and his 10 year old cousin and her friends brought him to the clinic. He had an awful rash and looked skeletal. We treated him and continued to watch him over the next month and he continually lost weight and became more and more lethargic. We would give him formula, but it would quickly be shared and gone within the same day.


Davidson is on bottom

In December we walked down to the village and saw Davidson lying in the dirt not moving. We were not sure whether he was dead or alive. Etienne slowly walked over to him and saw his back rise and fall again. She picked him up and it was evident he was literally starving. His lips were dry and his skin flacky. He had not eaten in who knows how long. Fortunately, he had enough strength to chug down the pedisure I had in my bag. I asked around about what was going on and spoke to grandma about the severity of Davidson’s health. I told her he would die if they did not start feeding him and taking better care of him. She understood but could not afford to feed her other children, and with no one fighting for Davidson he continued to slip away.

My return from Christmas vacation didn’t bring any better news as Davidson’s mom taken him to another location. Now I couldn’t even give him an occasional bottle of pediasure. My friend Natacha informed me “Oh Aubree, he is not good. His feet and arms are inflamed, his skin is sloughing off, and his belly is big and round.” This description instantly took me back to a little girl Kacie and I saw in the clinic months before. We called her our princess pajama girl. She ended up passing away and provided me my first heart breaking exposure to malnutrition at its worse.

I have not seen Davidson since I have been back from my Christmas vacation and I have been begging the grandma to bring him to the clinic. I asked pastor if we could intervene in some way, and he said yes but we must go about it properly. I am working on getting the mom to bring him to Chambrun so we can monitor his food intake and see what Dr. Edmond recommends. I hope eventually we can put him in a children’s home that will be able to offer him more than what we can at this time.

I wish I could end this blog by saying Davidson is safe and being taken care of, but I cannot. I wish I could say my faith is strong and I do not worry or lose sleep over him at night, but I cannot say that either. I can only continue to trust that God’s beautiful story for Davidson’s life is written and that He has a perfect plan for him.

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GAiN Team's Final Day

by kevintemerson 21. January 2012 22:08

 

Posted by Jim & Cheryl Warner, GAiN USA Missionaries: 20 Jan 2012 12:55 PM PST

Well, the week has gone by quickly. The GAiN team this week has been great and they have worked hard.  We are so grateful that they were here.

It rained last night. This was the first real rain we have received since early December and we woke up early this morning to beautiful sunrise.

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This morning we conducted our final vision clinic. It was held on the NVM compound for folks living in Chambrun.  We served 50 people this morning and 2 of them prayed to receive Jesus into their lives. Also pictured below are team members with our interpreters (left) and the Jesus Film team (right.)  We could not have done the job without their help.

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Throughout the week three guys on our team joined a group of electricians who were wiring the new hospital on the NVM compound.  That group didn’t expect to complete the job. But with the help of our guys and the Lord they got it all finish.  They are ready to turn on the electricity. This means that the finishing work can begin. We are praying about opening the hospital by the fall of this year.

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This afternoon the team did some last minute work in the warehouse this and then we headed for the scenic view on the mountain near the compound. From that point you can see clear across Haiti.

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We want to say a special thank you to this great group from Hanson Baptist Church from Hanson, Kentucky.  And also on the team are our dear friends Jaye Grattan and Sandy Stageberg.  They were a fantastic team. And thanks to all of you for praying.  Over the week we ministered to 255 people and 35 people prayed to receive Christ. We know that you were praying.

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GAiN Haiti Mission Team in Full Stride

by kevintemerson 18. January 2012 15:54

Posted by Jim & Cheryl Warner, GAiN USA Missionaries: 17 Jan 2012 12:51 PM PST

It is Tuesday on the NVM mission compound and the GAiN mission team is hard at work.  The team is involved in a variety of projects today. Here is quick look.

Three of our guys are helping another team wire the new hospital.  Don Bradley is the architect of the hospital and he is here directing the project.  He is very pleased with the progress. Because of our guys they are ahead of schedule!

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As we have previously reported, NVM is starting a large-scale agriculture project. We are currently fencing in just over 10 acres and our team is helping with the project.  At the pace we are going, the project will be completed soon.

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On the NVM compound there is always work to do in the warehouse.  And just a few days ago a 40-foot container arrived. Both yesterday and today our team has been involved in sorting items and putting things in their place. One of the other projects today was taking down the large tent that was put up for the church’s 3rd anniversary celebration last Sunday.  Many hands make light work.

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And finally today a number of the ladies are helping Cheryl with her weekly sewing and jewelry making classes. It is always special to work closely with these dear Haitian ladies.

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Again, thank you for your prayers. It makes such a huge difference. Tomorrow we start three days of vision clinics. The first two days we will return to Onaville. This is the largest displacement camp in Haiti. And on Friday the clinic will be on the NVM compound.  We will check in with you again soon.

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The Holidays and then some…

by kevintemerson 16. January 2012 15:05

Hutchens in Haiti by Brandon & Katie Hutchens

We have been busy bees lately here in Haiti.  Not sure where all the time went?!?!  How is it the middle of January already?!?!    A lot has gone on over the last couple of weeks….

We had a wonderful Christmas (which included one day having a large Haitian and American staff Christmas party, another day having a huge Christmas party for the entire community, filled with games, a dunk tank (and yes, Brandon volunteered to be the FIRST one in the tank), Haitian food, music and of course, Santa (Brandon and I got to ride around the streets of Haiti for 2.5 hours in the back of a pickup truck with Santa (aka Adam B) while passing out candy to everyone…needless to say, we were WIPED when we were done with our little Christmas “parade”, Santa and his little elves needed rehydrated once we returned to campus, haha, but it was a lot of funJ), then, on Christmas Eve there was a traditional big party/church service that started around 8 and went  past midnight, so it was really awesome to get to be a part of that. 

We had a fun-filled New Years which included meeting some great new friends (Chris Bosma (a past intern for NVM…B and I HOPE he will return for a longer period of time next time he comes down J), his sister, Allison, and their cousin, Abby (or Amy, as Brandon liked to call her, he couldn’t remember Abby’s name for the life of him, so that was a running joke while they were here for a few weeks.)  New Years Eve was filled with ANOTHER party/church service that started with the viewing of Home Alone (dubbed in French…the Haitians got a HUGE kick out of it, especially when the bad guys, “the wet bandits” for those of you who remember the movie, would get injured…they would all laugh so hard…it was so funny.)  The night also included singing, dancing, a few speakers, a traditional Haitian soup, traditional Haitian tea, the traditional countdown to the New Year (they were able to actually put the countdown on a large screen in church which was so cool) and some untraditional fireworks (set off by Brandon, Chris B, Adam B and Nathan P with no injuries I must add J).  During the fireworks I would ask the Haitians if they liked them and they would say YEAH, but then they would almost jump out of their skin and sometimes duck when one went off, it cracked me up.   We had such a great night!!!  It was so awesome to get to celebrate in Haiti!! 

A few other highlights from the past few weeks include, being able to spend some time with some friends (The Anthony family) who came down to visit (what a HUGE blessing it was to get to be with them for a few days), going to the beach (just the two of us) for a day (which was so nice, we were very thankful that Pastor Pierre and his wife pushed us to take a day off),  taking the kids from the Children’s Home to the beach for a day, having a pretty empty campus, having a very FULL campus (the past week has been pretty full with teams, totaling to around 100+ people).   Life is very good, busy, but good.

 

 

 

One of my favorite highlights from the past month happened recently, a week or so ago I went out for a run with Zep (definitely don’t run as much here as I do at home, so it feels good whenever I am able to go), on our way out, about a ½ mile into the run, we had four little kids decide to join us.  It was SO great!  They ran with me all the way out to Lake Trou Caiman which is about 2 miles from the NVM campus.  Oh and I should also mention I was THE ONLY ONE wearing SHOES, the four kids ran barefoot.  AMAZING.  Simply amazing.  We ran all the way out to the lake on a dirt path that eventually turned into rocks and pebbles.  One of the kids, Gaberson (spelling of name???) had a smile on his face THE WHOLE TIME.  I asked him if he liked to run and he shook his head and said, “YES!”  Adorable and FAST TOO, and did I mention barefoot?!?!   The view when we got to the lake was absolutely gorgeous.  I kept saying “Haiti is so beautiful, do you know that??”  and they would all say with a smile, “YES!”  which was so good to hear!!!   On our run back to campus they all wanted to show me where they live, so we made a pit stop.  I was able to talk with all of their families and neighbors…just hangin out with some new friends/neighbors of ours…such goodtimes.  After a while one of the ladies invited me into her home (I was worried about Zep, I didn’t want to leave her outside with everyone, although she was tired enough and she is very good with everyone here…I just didn’t want to take the chance that something could happen…), but the woman said, “your dog can come in too.”  So I walked in the front door of her home (a small mudhut) and she walked me back to the bedroom through a sheet hanging up to separate the two rooms, where I saw a woman (who looked extremely tired) and a man sitting on the bed, the lady who had invited me in then turned around and was holding a TINY newborn baby!  She said (in creole) “This is my daughter’s newborn baby!”  I was nearly in tears (and I am NOT a crier, as many of you know!) as she handed the baby to me to hold!  WHAT A HUGE BLESSING, for her to want to invite me into her home to see her newborn grandbaby!!!   WOW.  I kept on saying “she’s so beautiful” in creole then I asked the mom if she was tired and of course she said “yes”.  I was wondering if the man sitting next to her was dad, when the woman said “that’s the baby’s dad.”   I was smiling from ear to ear, just loving this moment.  I then asked, in Creole of course “when was she born?”  They answered, “Sunday”, which was January 1st.  The baby was only 3 days OLD!!!!   What an amazing moment.  I sat and talked with them for a little longer then said goodbye and told them I would be back, if not tomorrow, then the next day.  Zep and I ran back to campus with all four of our new running team members, all four still barefoot.  Wow.  I could not wait to tell Brandon all about my am run when I got back to campus!

 Although things can be pretty busy and crazy here, we are so blessed to be living in Haiti.  We are especially aware of how blessed we are after moments like the one above.  SO amazing.  AND we are so thankful to have such amazing friends and family who support us…..…….…OH AND one last thing,  I have become a bread maker (literally…have never made homemade bread before in my life, but now, thanks to the help of a few recipes found on google, I have made bread for 200 people…ya, I am pretty excited about it J). 

Love to all of you.

Bondye Beni Ou.

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First GAiN team of 2012 leaves and the second arrives

by kevintemerson 16. January 2012 12:00

Posted by Jim & Cheryl Warner, GAiN USA Missionaries: 16 Jan 2012 07:59 AM PST

Last week we had a GAiN mission team made up of groups from two churches: Messiah Lutheran from Texas and Hillside Lutheran from New Jersey.  They had a great week!  They finished strong and saw God do many things.  They distributed water filter systems to 120 families and in the process saw 13 people come to Christ. They also did a wide variety of other projects on the NVM compound. A big thanks to all of them.  Here you see them with their interpreters and being thanked by the pastor of the church plant in Onaville.

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On Saturday, our second team of 2012 arrived.  Yes, they were back to back.  This team is comprised of 22 team members from Hanson Baptist Church in Kentucky and two other dear friends.  Jaye Grattan, who is on the GAiN staff and Sandy Stageburg, who is one of Cheryl’s life-long friends.

This team was put to work immediately. Sunday was the third anniversary of the NVM church. So Saturday evening we put them to work getting ready for the big day. They put up a big tent to handle the overflow of people and constructed temporary showers for a large group staying overnight.

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And today (Monday) they are hard at work.  A few of the ladies are helping Cheryl redesign the work area she uses to manage the sewing and jewelry training and business. They are also preparing for the sewing class this week.

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And the rest of them team is helping in the warehouse today. NVM just received a 40-foot container of supplies and things need to be sorted and stored away.  And 2 of our guys are helping another crew who are here this week doing the electrical wiring in the new hospital.

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This is a great group and they will be working on other projects this week. We will keep you informed so stand by.  And please be in prayer for the team that they will remain safe and healthy and that God will work through them to do wonderful things for his kingdom.

 

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GAiN Team Update - Going Great!

by kevintemerson 11. January 2012 18:35

Posted by Jim & Cheryl Warner: 11 Jan 2012 06:34 PM PST

We are having a great time in Haiti with our water filter distribution team. However, we are doing more than just distributing filters. Let me fill you in on our activities.

The distribution of water filters is the central focus of our time together this week.  This morning we conducted our second distribution in the Onaville displacement camp. We had the privilege of providing water filter systems to 40 families. And the exciting part is that 10 people prayed to receive Jesus Christ into their lives.  They not only have clean water, they now have clean hearts.

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NVM has begun a significant agricultural project. They are preparing over 10 acres to be planted with a variety of crops in May.  The purpose of the project is to train Haitians how to farm and also to produce crops to provide income for them. One of the requirements is to put a fence around the field. This is required to keep the livestock out. They will eat everything as it is growing. Our team is helping a great deal to make this fence a reality.

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There has been a small garden on the NVM compound for a long time. And it never has produced any significant food. So, a decision was made recently to convert it into a prayer garden.  With that said, our team went into action. It was converted from a small overgrown jungle to the start of a wonderful garden. All that is left is the final landscaping. Thanks so much team!

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As we have reported, Cheryl has been working with a growing number of Haitian ladies teaching them how to make beaded jewelry and how to sew.  Many of them are now making extra income to support their families.  Yesterday many of the ladies on our team helped with the jewelry class. And today they helped Cheryl sort through the jewelry that was turned in and tagged each piece preparing it to be sold. They saved Cheryl 2 days work!

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The team members from Hillside Lutheran from New Jersey did a picture exchange. They brought 100 pictures of young people in their church to be handed out to Haitian young people who were asked to pray for the person on their picture. We then took photos of 100 Haitian kids and printed them on a photo printer. These photos will be taken back and given to the kids at Hillside. What a great idea!

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Thank you for your prayers. The team has felt your prayers. Tomorrow is their final day of ministry.  I will keep you posted.

Jim, Cheryl and the girls

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GAiN Team Arrives at NVM

by kevintemerson 10. January 2012 22:55

Posted by Jim Warner, GAiN USA Missionary

Sorry for not posting for awhile.  Our family was in Minnesota for the holidays. But I want to bring you up-to-date on what is happening now.

On Saturday, our first GAiN team of 2012 arrived in Haiti. The team is made of up folks from two churches: Messiah Lutheran from Texas and Hillside Lutheran from New Jersey. This team has raised the funds to purchase and distribute 113 water filter systems to people living in Onaville. As you may recall, Onaville is the largest displacement camp in Haiti. Nearly 220,000 people live there as a result of the earthquake. They are a great group with a heart to serve!

Here are some photos of the team. They are getting a great view from the top of the pre-school building, working with water filters, playing with kids at the NVM sponsored children’s home and riding to the ministry site in the taptap (the Haitian mode of transporting people!)

Please be praying for this team this week as they continue their good work. Thanks so much!

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Team from Genesis Church in Noblesville on Campus

by kevintemerson 5. January 2012 11:56

The team from Genesis Church in Noblesville arrived safely on campus. According to Pastor Paul Mumaw, "We made it! Getting settled in at the NVM dorm. This place is nice!" This team is from Brandon & Katie Hutchens' home church so they are really excited to have them in Haiti this week. They had a great first day of painting and working in the warehouse, stomach full of homemade pizza (compliments of Katie Hutchens) and now sitting on the roof. Doesn't get much better.

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