ProVision Foundation in cooperation with Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church has established a Haiti Relief Fund which will involve funding the organizations listed to the right and will balance immediate relief and ongoing development funding as more assessment and strategy is solidified. Additional trusted organizations may be included in the distribution of this fund if deemed appropriate and helpful to the overall effort. Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church is handling the gifts for this fund.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Update: Harvest Field Ministries #20

Brian has been back on the ground in Haiti since last Friday. Sorry for the shortage of updates, but Brian's days are long and sometimes it's just too hard physically and emotionally to put these things in an e-mail. For those of you who have been to Haiti, you know that it takes a while to process what you're seeing and experiencing. Also, remember that what Brian is relaying through these updates is only a small, small percentage of what he is seeing and what the Haitian people are going through. While American media outlets have moved onto new things, there is still a need for help in Haiti. Don't forget the people of Haiti.

Here are Brian's words from last night...

The last couple of days in Haiti have been primarily medical in nature. We provided a clinic at the church in Fond Parisien, we helped receive and unload a big shipment of medical equipment from Remote Area Medical that is for our friends at the Bon Samaritan Hospital (

We are still waiting on our container that is stuck in customs. Praying it'll get released any day so we can begin getting all the tarps, tents, food, water, medicine, etc out of the container and into the arms of Haitians who need it.

Today, after leaving church, we were driving through a very poor area and there was a collapsed house and there stood around it at least 20 official looking people in hard hats and nice clothes, also some American military, some representatives from a couple large relief organizations, the entire area flagged off, while a big backhoe was putting debris into a shiny new dump truck. Of course all this made good free entertainment so dozens of Haitians were gathered around watching the event too. I asked who lived there and was informed an American lived there and had died in the collapse. I pulled over and watched them for a few minutes and it just got me thinking (which can be a dangerous thing, especially when I'm tired). All that fanfare and expense to get this American body out of the rubble; while thousands (yes thousands) of Haitian bodies still lie buried under tons of cement and rebar all through out the quake zone. There are no envoys of people going around to dig through rubble for those Haitian bodies. If they haven't had family come collect their corpse by now, then that probably means the entire family died, and where they lay under the buildings on Jan 12 will be their resting place; until a year or so from now when some UN bulldozer comes through and pushes the concrete (along with the decayed corpses) into the back of a dump truck. So as I'm watching this, the question that keeps coming to my mind is "where is the justice in this?" Don't get me wrong, if a family member of mine died in a foreign country I'd be doing whatever it took to get their body found and shipped home too. It's just I want to believe a Haitian life is as important as an American life and I think we would all agree to that. But when it comes to putting that into practice, it doesn't seem like the world agrees. Otherwise, would there be rotting corpses still under debris? Would there be kids with legs skinnier than my arms dying daily because they don't have anything to eat? Why is it acceptable for me to "get used to" the 9 year old little boy with no shoes and tattered rags for clothes coming out in traffic to wash my car window in hopes I'll give him a few pennies? 9 yrs old!? That is the same age as my son. Would I stand for it if a 9 yr old kid ran out in traffic in the states to beg for money? No way, none of us would. We'd pull over and ask him where his parents were and we'd take him to get help. But this happens multiple times daily while driving around Haiti and I realize sometimes I've grown cold to it. I don't know how to change this. Don't know what the solution is. I just know that justice seems to be very elusive in Haiti. Maybe it's hiding under some concrete debris somewhere...

Keep praying,

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Update: Harvest Field Ministries #19

A few words from Brian as he plans to come home for a little while. As we have said so many times before this will be a long journey to rebuild and to there will be many trips made by Brian, and hopefully at some point me, to Haiti. Please pray for perseverance for us as these times spent separated are really difficult for our family, especially 3 kids. Also for the people we are working with in Haiti and our Board of Directors, who will be charged with the task of making some really tough decisions in the coming days, weeks, and months. My prayer is that God will be the center of every discussion and that He will be made much of through the work we are all doing.

From Brian...

Planning on leaving tomorrow and this trip, like most, has flown by. I was supposed to leave today but the seat I had in a plane was given to someone else. Thankfully American Airlines is flying in and out of Port au Prince again (started yesterday) so I was able to get a flight out tomorrow (Monday). The flights/travel are still so undependable I'm telling anyone who is even considering coming to Haiti for a week to plan on being in country for a week, plus or minus a couple of weeks. Sounds like I'm being sarcastic, but really I'm not.

The last few days we've been primarily distributing rolls of plastic, heavy tarps, blankets, buckets, and hygiene items. Some of these items we purchased and some were given to us from Samaritan's Purse. From an accountability standpoint, it's been really nice being able to see the materials get directly into the hands that need it. The pastors of the churches have done a great job at coordinating this and keeping things running smoothly at distributions.

We've continued to go to the UN meetings to learn how we can get food aid for the communities we serve but so far those meetings have been fruitless.

I want spend a minute to tell you about a friend of mine who is so valuable to me. His name is Hippolite Fanfan (pronunced like eepoleet). Hippolite grew up in one of the orphanages we work with. He, his wife, and 4 month old little girl live in conditions that most would deem unlivable, yet he just constantly emits joy. He is a guy that has helped us for years when we bring mission teams down, but since the quake, he has been like my right arm. He is my GPS system (he knows how to get everywhere), he is my voice (because my creole is still just good enough to get me into trouble - he gets me out), and he is my muscle (he works like a mule). More importantly he is my teacher. He teaches me daily what real faith and generosity is (when I give him some food and I see him later privately giving it to some hungry children). He teaches me about worship (as he sings creole hymns all day long in the truck and as he dances at church). He teaches me what selfless prayer is (as I listen to him praying fervently not for himself, but for things like "blessings for my friends in America", "for the Haitian govt to love Jesus", and "for my brother Brian to have a good life"). Yes, that last one stings. Attached is a photo of Hippolite. I wish I could send you a sound clip of his laugh (which I'm lucky enough to get to hear many times each day) but for now a photo will have to do. Will you do me a favor and take just a few minutes right now and pray for my good friend Hippolite, his wife Nadine, and his little girl Ladine? Thanks for your prayers.

Keep praying,

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Update: Harvest Field Ministries #18

from Brian:

Wow, I just read my emails - and I am so excited for the village of Belloc and so excited about how sovereign God is. First, I read the information from Rachel about Crossings giving approx $2000 for the community project I'd just a couple hours before presented in an email; then minutes later another email comes through from our friends at World Wide Village committing to another $2000!

I have the pleasure of getting to drive up to Belloc tomorrow and give them the great news that the men of 30 families will be employed for 2 months! God is so awesome I just can't stand it! I'm going to purchase a bunch of sledge hammers and hacksaws (to cut the rebar) and wheelbarrows today so I can take it to them to help get things started off right (most of the hammers they had the other day had sticks for handles and their 1 wheel barrow was literally falling apart).

Bondye bon tout tan!!
(God is good all the time!!)
Keep praying,

By the way, we had only given out approximate numbers, but let me give the exact numbers in case anyone is still thinking this is coincidence, rather than God.

The exact price of the project as written on the crumbled yellow paper that the men presented to me is $29,568 Haitian dollars. At today's exchange rate that is $4,224 in US dollars. The amount of checks from the Crossings Church and World Wide Village...ready for this...was $4,253. That gives me an extra $29 to put towards hammers. God is so cool.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Update: Harvest Field Ministries #17

The latest from Brian...

Monday I spent the majority of the morning at the UN Headquarters near the airport in Port au Prince. It was quite an experience. Lots of Europeans smoking cigarettes and talking with funny accents (this from the guy from Tennessee). I was amazed how big the operation is. Literally thousands of people in an army of mobile trailers and air conditioned tents. I guess it takes all that to coordinate all the efforts but I was definitely confused. We did get registered with them as a small NGO (non-governmental organization) which allows us to be considered to receive food and other support so we can in turn get it to the communities we serve. Lots of sitting in meetings, being sent from trailer to trailer, and paperwork, but hopefully it will pay off if we can help get the supplies people need. I have a follow up meeting Friday morning where we should learn more about the system they are putting in place to help get supplies to the small NGO's like us.

The rest of the day Monday was spent looking for, purchasing, and loading the trucks for the food distributions in Belloc, Coq Chante, and Camatin. God continues to reveal himself even through things as mundane as looking for beans (story too long to type now but short version is God provided a "bean miracle").

Tuesday we left at sunrise to head up to the mountains with a flatbed truck and 2 pickup trucks full of food. The pastors of the churches were so excited and appreciative. The amount we took seemed so big when you are loading a flatbed truck. But it seemed so small when you are looking at the sea of people coming to request a little bit of the food for their family. There is just never enough to help everyone we see.

I was really impressed at Belloc. There were several young men in the community starting the back-breaking work of demolishing the remnants of the collapsed church, school, and orphanage and busting the concrete into tiny pieces (with only small hand tools - no backhoes, no jack hammers, no electricity, no dump trucks) which they then moved to the road on a wheel barrow. They were turning a rocky muddy path into a decent gravel road. They came together and proposed me funding a community work program to continue doing this; to completely dismantle the rest of the school, church, and orphanage that collapsed, as well as, several other collapsed concrete buildings in the area - so they could make the road into Belloc a better road. Their proposal was to employee 30 men, working 5 days a week, for 2 months. The cost was $29,000 Haitian dollars (about $4,000 US dollars). I love that they were not asking for a handout. They just wanted an opportunity to work, help their community, better the road to their village, and support their own families. I'm praying the funds will come through so we could fund this program and employee these 30 men for 2 months. Many people over the years have heard about the 80% unemployment in Haiti and assume the Haitian people are lazy but this just isn't the case. They want to work. They want to provide for their children. But with no industry, no factories, no manufacturing, no tourism, there are just no jobs available. Hopefully, as Haiti rebuilds, that will change.

Keep praying

I received this update just a little while ago. As I read it I was amazed. Not at the tenacity of the Haitian people, I know how incredibly tough they are, I was amazed at God. Just a few hours ago I opened an envelope from a local church and found a stack of checks marked Belloc. Because of the obedience of these people, we are already halfway to reaching the $4000 to be able to funding the Belloc Community work program. How cool is God?? And a big THANK YOU to Crossings in Knoxville!!


Rachel, Brian's wife

Monday, February 15, 2010

Update: Harvest Field Ministries #16

Saturday and Sunday were busy days...

Saturday we went to Coq Chante, Camatin, and Belloc to meet with the pastors and to decide the best way to do food distributions for those 3 communities. Each place was having church services as part of their 3 days of national fasting & prayer. We were able to check on the Coq Chante orphans which are now temporarily the Camatin orphans. Their transition into their new facility is going well. We did, however, encounter a minor bump in the road. As some of our caretakers were removing a few of the remaining items at Coq Chante to take to Camatin a few of the people living in the Coq Chante community didn't understand what was happening and thought our caretakers were stealing from the orphanage. As with most situations in Haiti a calm day can turn into chaos in a hurry. The few people quickly convinced many others that the caretakers were stealing and tempers flared and soon there was an angry mob of people hitting the 4runner with sticks and throwing rocks. Long story short... after sitting and talking (well, sometimes there was yelling) in a Haitian police station with the chief of police, the caretakers, and the angry mob, everyone realized it was just a misunderstanding and the angry mob was happy to learn that we were temporarily moving the orphanage to a safer place where the children can be well cared for. The angry mob then climbed into the back of my pickup truck and I gave them a ride home. Only in Haiti.

Sunday was Great. We went to an early church service at City of God and then a later service at Savane Pistache. The worship was energetic and it was awesome to see their faith. Having church (at both places) in a courtyard with rubble all around us was kind of surreal. The people at these churches have a faith I aspire to have one day.

Gotta run we have a busy day ahead of us with meetings at the UN Headquarters, several thing to buy at hardware store, and some more food to purchase for the food distributions we'll be doing tomorrow.

Keep praying,

Welcome to Moe's!!!

Team up with Moe’s Southwest Grill to celebrate:

Hearts for Haiti Spirit Days!

Come into Moe’s Southwest Grill

9450 S Northshore Dr or 1800 Cumberland Avenue

on February 15th (TODAY!!!) and 16th !

Moe’s will then donate 10% of the net sales to our efforts with Haiti Serve!

Spread the Word!!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

update: Harvest Field Ministries #15

Today (Friday) I was really encouraged by what I saw in the Haitian people...

I started the day with the committee of pastors who help oversee the network of 22 churches we work within. Although they lost their president, spiritual leader, and my good friend, pastor Ronnigue Gueillere, they were still upbeat and hopeful. We talked for a couple hours and they shared with me their hope of rebuilding (structures) but they also shared their desire for the church (the people) to become bigger, better, and stronger. Some of these men are displaced, they all have families with young children and food is scarce in the city, yet they had amazing attitudes and remained joyful. If I were in their shoes and someone asked what I could pray for them about I'd answer "food, shelter, clothes, etc". I want to share with you their responses, first, so you begin to grasp the spirits of these men, and second, so you can all lift them up in prayer.

Pastor Colbert: To be the best servant of God that he can be; for his children to grow up focusing, not on material things, but instead on the Kingdom of God

Pastor Serge: That he would have just a bit of Solomon's wisdom and Jesus' love so he could remain in Gods will for the rest his life.

Pastor Vicere: That the churches would be strong and that the churches could minister to the hurting people in this horrible time for Haiti.

Wow....I was so humbled as they shared these things with me. So much poverty, desperation, and need, yet not one material need was mentioned.

Another exciting thing to watch were all the churches in the city. Several key church leaders around the city called for 3 days of fasting and prayer. Every Christian church in Port au Prince we drove by was filled up and overflowing out the doors with people - praying and worshiping, and lots of it. It was awesome to see their faith in action.

The rest of the day was spent at our churches in Fond Parisien and Ti Marche. These two places need a few structural repairs but they are still standing and usable. Pastor Jouness at Fond Parisien was so pleased to see us visit. He shared with one of our team about the desire to build a shower and toilet at his church, and the cost for it all would be $500. He has been saving some of his own money for this for months but only saved enough to purchase the toilet and still needed the pipe, a small cistern to hold the water and for installation. The team member offered to pay for it and it was like Pastor Jouness had won the lottery. Lots of hugging, smiling, praying, and thanking Jesus. There is a gratefulness among the Haitian people that is hard to explain, and sweet to watch. (By the way Jouness didn't want the toilet for himself; he wanted it so Americans would have a private place to use the bathroom if they come to do clinics or visit his church and school.)

Pastor Timitus at Ti Marche was equally pleased with our visit. They have a well that a generous family in Knoxville, TN paid to install several years ago and it serves thousands of people but has been broken for nearly 4 months now. The cost to repair is $4,120 Haitian dollars (less than $600 American). Some of the people are walking miles to get unsanitary water filled with bacteria and parasites since they can't use this well. We are going to arrange to have the hand pump replaced before we leave so it can be back in service and helping the community.

Tomorrow we are heading up the mountain to visit Belloc, Camatin, and Coq Chante. Really looking forward to seeing our girls.

Keep praying,