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Taking Root

By Envision

Like the mighty mango trees we saw this week in Haiti, we have trusted God and received from Him an immense vision that will bear much fruit for the Kingdom. And like all trees, no matter the size at maturity, everything must start with a seed.

[pullquote_right]I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. (Jesus speaking in John 12:24)[/pullquote_right]

Going to the mission field requires many things, and one of those is putting to death certain parts of life, so that other life can spring forth. Without pruning what is unhealthy from our lives, we cannot expect to continue to grow in health. And ultimately, it is healthy things that grow.

The beautiful thing about the farmer is that he plants more than one seed. He plows a field and plants seed everywhere, and continues to irrigate, fertilize and cultivate. And different parts of the acreage receive different seed. How exciting that the Lord has given us a stewardship in Haiti to plant and to harvest.

Some of the fields that were sown and even harvested on this mission:

  • Gospel proclamation
  • Discipleship
  • Vocational opportunities
  • Micro enterprise identified
  • Compassion ministries meeting physical needs

If we will open our eyes to the fields, we will see that many are already ripe for harvest. Wherever you are in your journey and commitment to Christ, we invite you to join us in sowing and reaping for His Kingdom.

Recipe for Life

By Envision

Basic Ingredients:

Five bags of rice, five boxes of chickens, one large sack of beans, salt, limes, 2 large sacks of charcoal, hot sauces, spices, garlic, potatoes, carrots, peppers, sugar, tomatoes, coconuts, matches, sugar, five hundred “to-go-box” plates, spoons and juice punch for all…


Some pastors and youth leaders, Haitians and Americans cooking together, 330 Haitian children and youth, one Total Vacation Bible Sensation curriculum on the Romans Road translated into Creole by Crux33.

Mix in:

The Word of God, specifically Romans 3:23, 6:23, 5:8 and 10:9-10.
Personal story of life change from Emili.
Gospel presentation and invitation from Dave.

Bake over the course of the day, adding praise and worship.

Yield: 1 bucket tears, 3 gallons sweat, 2 wheelbarrows of laughter, 500 hungry Haitians fed, more than 40 first time decisions to follow Christ, brothers and sisters in Jesus locking arms in partnership, and one team of disciples transformed for life.

Whatever it takes

By Envision

I guess that’s the theme I’ve been thinking about lately on this mission trip. Am I willing to do whatever it takes to get the Gospel out there? It might be something that’s mostly fun, like getting our whole team of 18 somewhere in a single “tap tap” by stuffing in so tightly that a few might suffer temporary loss of circulation. Or it might be trudging through the sludge, grime and sweltering stench of refuse, excrement and dead fish of the local market stalls for a 2nd and 3rd hour long after the romance of discovery has worn off.

What I choose to remember is that (as Madeline spoke of so eloquently in our team devotional tonight) this is part of being called to take up your cross daily and follow Him. When we get to play sports with kids, it’s not so bad – well, not until you start getting dehydrated. (Doesn’t it seem like our emotions are linked to our physiology more closely than we’d like to believe?) But as Ally shared in her story of commitment to Christ tonight, there isn’t a comfortable way to carry a cross.

Today we walked with God through the ups and downs, all because we had confidence in His calling. So we sang and memorized Scripture with over 200 kids, helped them understand what it meant to surrender to Christ and offered them a clear opportunity to come into a relationship with Him. Several did. Tomorrow we will continue the program and invite more of them into an eternal relationship with their heavenly Father.

We spent hours on the soccer field, and talking on the sidelines, and helping advance a project at the water station, and three hours in the open air market (amazing what 18 + friends can do!) buying supplies to feed a traditional Haitian meal of chicken, beans and rice to at least 500 hungry kids and their families. That will take place tomorrow after the conclusion of our “Romans Road” kids bible school. (With many thanks to Dean-o and the Dynamos who wrote the curriculum and offered it at Crossline Church, and invited the kids to “give TVBS” to Haitian kids, who then raised over $10,000 in one week. Kids: you are the ones who raised the money to feed the families, and sponsor this outreach and much, much more this year.)

I can’t wait to get all the media uploaded that will go along with this post!

For now, we learn to be content, be thankful for what we have, and recognize that we must do whatever it takes to pick up our cross daily and follow Jesus.

More to come…

The broken and abandoned

By Envision

“We see with our eyes so that our hearts can feel.” That was one of concepts we processed as we drove through downtown Port au Prince.

I never take a group there because I enjoy it. I take groups there because it helps inform our prayers and enlarge our hearts and infuse both with compassion.

Personally, it reminds me of the Holocaust and how I tap into my own heritage and how it moves me to teach about it despite its evils. I don’t enjoy watching Schindler’s List or going to a Holocaust museum. But I must.

We spent a lot of time with Haitian orphans today because we understand that they will be the stewards of Haiti’s future.

Now our team also understands a bit better the tragic events of their past, and has expanded their compassion. Teams always come expecting God to work through them. He does. And He always does even more in them.

Today we were His arms to embrace them and share His love. We saw His mercy and grace through others as well. We saw life change as our translator committed his life to Christ. And we are changed too – before we saw with our eyes, and now we also see with our hearts.

Here we are

By Envision

I often hear people praying that God will go with us, and while I understand their intentions, the truth is that God has been going before us and has never left us. The reality of that is never more real to us as His followers though as when we are most aware of our need. Leaving home and culture for a new world on a mission trip is a strong impetus for asking God to be “with us.” It’s more a reminder to ourselves as we recognize our inability to be the “everything” we are so used to being. (We’ll discuss idolatry another day.)

Our team of eighteen left from California and Arizona two days ago, and after a day and a night of travel we touched down yesterday and were greeted outside the terminal by many of our friends. We took a pair of Haitian “tap taps”, loaded to the tops with our bags from the airport to our hotel – the base camp for the week. After a nice brunch prepared by our hosts, we left for the afternoon in the community.

A visit to the water project to understand how providing clean water to thousands daily can help bring the Gospel and transformation led to a visit with friends who were leading a children’s bible study, which led to games and a great time playing with the kids, while others took a look at some of the construction projects for the week. After a visit to the church to invite more children to participate in this week’s Romans Road vacation bible school, we headed back to base for showers, dinner and a full night’s rest.

This morning we are fueled up from a great breakfast of home squeezed cherry juice, fresh Haitian coffee, toast, eggs, croissant and more. Now we are getting our gear together for a day with the children of an orphanage, some work projects there, another group of children who are being rescued off the streets of Port au Prince, and opportunities to teach them about the Lord.

Thank you for your prayers on this journey. We are all more aware than ever of God’s presence with us here.

Rise Up

By Envision

It is our continued prayer for the people of Haiti to rise up and follow Christ.  They need Him to restore them spiritually, and we strive alongside Haitian believers to help them take healthy steps forward amidst the continuing struggle of life.  More significant than any humanitarian aid, social development or physical need, they (like us) need Jesus.  We pray, and we act, to see God lift people up from spiritual death and from the turmoil all around them.

This three minute clip is from one mission to come alongside the local church in Haiti, and to give thanks for God’s light shining in the darkness.  For those who enjoy “extras” on DVDs, I’ve added a few end notes below the video to give more of the back story behind the presentation.

The media soundtrack “Never Be The Same” from the album Innocence and Instinct is performed by Red and is available on iTunes, Amazon, and through

The Clean Water / Living Water project refers to the Gospel proclamation that comes through partnership with Water Missions International. The water station pictured was a complete purification system that needed additional work on the housing to allow thousands of people per day to receive clean water in Croix des Bouquets. To allow for maximum distribution and eliminate mud and contaminants from the surroundings, a ditch was improved and a bridge built across it, along with stairs, concrete and gravel to provide greater access, particularly during the rainy seasons in Haiti. WMI forecasts 70% growth in the first year that churches provide clean water to their communities in conjunction with evangelism and discipleship. Clean water enables physical health, living water provides spiritual life! Read “Water” for more…

Additional images capture an outreach in which we provided food to the hungry who live on the streets and tents in Delmas, Port au Prince. This is part of an ongoing outreach of evangelism and care in the name of Jesus through the efforts of Grangou. Alongside these partners, we share pieces of our testimonies and our lives…


By Envision, Equip, Involve

After serving lunch to all the workers, the Haitian pastor pulled out his Bible and shared a devotional from John 4:1-14 in Creole with everyone.

[pullquote_right] Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”[/pullquote_right]

You see, today we began building a bridge across a small canal to allow greater access to a clean water station. Thanks to Water Missions International, the water system that has already been installed has the capacity for bringing clean, safe water to thousands in the community every day. But the rainy season makes it inaccessible because the overflow of water from the channel creates mud everywhere, limiting the church’s ability to serve the community.

Our team was able to bring the tools and funding to hire and train local people for the work to build the bridge and put finishing touches on the water station, which will provide greater access and outreach to the community. All the while, allowing Haitians to work for their own benefit, earn a living, provide for their families, and take ownership in their community. Several of today’s workers were members of the pastor’s church, while others have yet to embrace Christ.

See the “time-lapse” style images from the build and other media from the week’s outreach on the post Rise Up and find more photos on our Facebook page.

Haiti Scouting Visual

By Envision, Involve

Just back from Haiti, here is a brief overview of our trip connecting with current and future partners…  Thank you for all you do to help bring the Gospel to those who’ve never heard!



By Envision, Headfirst

Last time we left Haiti, we had to evacuate. This time, it is a more orderly departure – on time, and according to plan. I am thrilled that it has gone so smoothly – and it hasn’t required an emergency for us to recognize God’s hand on this trip.

Still, pray with us for Haiti – the preliminary election results from the presidential run-off are due to be released tomorrow, and they may again (like December’s 20+ candidates general election) spur mayhem in the streets and closure of the airport and other industry.

We are departing from what has been one of the most profitable fact-finding missions in my career. I honestly feel that we will be able to bring back the report we’ve been praying for: faith-filled, God-honoring, grace-sized view of the land… and more.

It took 40 years for the Israelites to obey God and enter the land He promised would be theirs everlasting.
Perhaps we are no Joshua and Caleb, but I pray we will be faithful and full of faith as we lead an army back here. I hope you will be among His troops (physically, spiritually, financially or however He calls,) and that we won’t need to waste time in the wilderness figuring out who the Commander is.

Part of my calling is to be a herald of the Gospel. Will you respond to His glory and majesty in bringing His light to the nations?

We will be back soon, to pray and to plan, and to blow the trumpet and assemble teams to go and bring the Gospel to those who’ve never heard!

So for now, we have reached our extraction point. But we are leaving markers in the field for our return….

Boots on the Ground

By Envision, Headfirst

Today and tomorrow will be filled with conversations and scouting out the land. As I explained to one pastor last night, our role right now is like that of Joshua and Caleb, to spy out the land, and to return with a faith-filled, God-honoring, grace-sized report.

Would you ask God to give us eyes not for what is here, but for what could be? That our souls would be filled with his vision and we would clearly hear from Him what He would have us do.

We want to be right in the middle of God’s will. Thank you for being on the journey with us.

** Update **

God is clearly answering our prayers and lavishing His grace upon us. We are Him open doors – or more accurately, break down walls and carve a clear path.

And today is yet another view into a world desperate for Jesus; lost, hurting, and in need. With warm hearted men, women and children.

Please continue to pray for us to see and hear God’s will.