Thursday, March 31, 2011

Nicaragua Short Mission Trip

Today, Lamar and Gene are traveling to Nicaragua to join River of Life Fellowship from Washington on a short term mission trip where we will distribute food packs, paint a chuch, and disciple to as many people as possible. Please pray that our team travels safely, that God will put on our tongue's the message of his love as we share with the broken, and that our lives be molded and our minds open as His hand be upon us! Please also pray for Chuck, Dave, Stefan, & Pete as they are in Houston for our community outreach day with the NCAA Final Four this week.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Time Flies

Especially when days are full from pre-dawn to the midnight hour. Can't believe it's Monday already. The pots & pans and food pack give away at Camp Hope seemed like it was a month ago. It's been tough posting at the FTH Travel Blog, but updates via twitter & facebook (along with photo & video uploads) have been easier to do on the fly.



Get over to facebook & become a fan when you can.

Rain just started again tonight... been raining every night since last Tuesday. Looks like the wet season is right around the corner.

Lots of tents have been put up around the greater Port au Prince area over the last couple of weeks... thousands & thousands... but there are still many pockets where folks are under leaky tarps, plastic, and bedsheets. In a camp we visited late today, one of the camp leaders told us that the people with leaky tarps just stand up at night in a dry spot & spend the whole night that way. Such a shame.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

It's the simple things...

What a great day! Things started off a bit slow-- three ocean going containers are still in customs at Port au Prince. Building materials for the temporary storage canopy we're building at the Love A Child base aren't on site. BUT...

the legendary Dominican team from Resurrection Life Church put 500 family packs of food together, so we headed out to Carrefour to get bags of rice, beans, whole corn, canned veggies, and UHT milk into the hands of 2500 displaced people on Pastor Eddy Francois' lot. It was so good to see the folks again after being away for a few weeks.

So good to hug the kids & let em pluck the hair off my hairy blanc arms :-) so good to make small talk in broken KreySpAnglish with the mommas & poppas, so good to see Pastor Eddy again.

Then off to the Hope Camp at Love A Child, where 200 families are on the mend as loved ones are discharged from the HHI med camp next door. The big surprise for the day was not only bags of food for each family, but... wait for it... !! BAM !!

Each family getting a set of brand new T-fal and Emeril cookware. I mean brand spankin, in the box, stuffed with plastic and styrofoam kind of new. NEW NEW!

Talk about the look of joy, disbelief, shock AND awe! Displaced Haitian families-- who have lost everything from home and possessions to literally life and limb-- getting brand new cookware. I don't think I've been vicariously happier to the point of out & out laughter with a perma-grin in a long while than seeing the mommas, dads, and kids faces when boxes of pots & pans were put into their hands.

Going deep into the camp and into thier tents it was like Christmas in April, mom & kids sitting in the middle of the plastic lined dirt floor, with not a thing to their name, tearing through the boxes & pulling out piece after piece of shiny stainless steel. Kids playing with empty boxes... naughty ones rubbing two pieces of styrofoam together. Yeah, I hate that sound too.

Then the multiple "Messi, messi, messi" thank-you's with tearful hugs from mom and dad. I couldn't take it & had to cry with joy with them.

Listen... no good thing you do, no matter how seemingly little or small, when done with God's love and in Jesus name... goes unnoticed. It means ALL. For those of you reading this that have prayed for Haiti, that have given with compassion, that have gone... you are making all the difference in the world for these precious souls.

Posted some photos from the day & a little flash video at Feed The Hungry's new facebook page, take a second (ok maybe three) and become a fan right now:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/LeSEA-Global-Feed-The-Hungry/109934439031299?ref=ts

Thanks!

video

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

BAM! Pots & pans are here in Haiti.

Truckloads of brand new Emeril pots & pans have arrived in Port au Prince, courtesy of Feed The Hungry. Tomorow we start handing em out w/food packs in refugee/displacement camps.

Madame Sherry at Love A Child knows that they'll be a big hit and the mommas will just love them! Honestly, this cookware is top notch, way better that what we have in our home... isn't God good :-)

Will post some photos & try to upload some flash vids Thursday night after our day's work is done.

Feels so right to be back in Haiti, living, loving, and laughing with these wonderful people again.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Haiti March 2010

Finally back in Haiti after a long three weeks away... I seems so right to be here for the precious people of oft troubled nation.

Spent some time at the HHI Recovery Camp on the Love A Child compound... amazing to see the progress and impact that has been made in the lives of hundreds of severely injured people brought here literally since the earthquake struck two months ago.

Walking through the rows of jam-packed tents, I was favored to meet a beautiful princess named Emanuelle-- her photo graces this post.

Around the corner of a tent corridor she came, hobbling with her walker with a BIG smile and excited to try out her English on a 'blanc'. She saw the Bible that either Pete Sumrall, the President of Feed The Hungry was carrying, or the one sticking up out of the knee pocket of my cargo pants. It caught her attention like a moth to a flame cause right at the beginning of our conversation she brought it up & asked if she could have a 'Bibla'.

Emanuelle showed us to her tent... it was a long, s-l-o-w walk :-) and we got to learn a little about her...

Emanuelle is 18 yrs old and has been at the recovery center here for 21 days; prior to that she was on the USS Comfort. I asked where did she use to live... Delmas 28-- her home was flattened & her father died in the crash. She didn't say anything about her mother or family, but in her tent of four persons, she was alone. Once on her cot, she was quick to call "Mr. Peter" in to show him her medical file... a broken & pinned femur, a broken tibia or fibia in the lower leg, and a broken foot on the other leg.

We chatted it up for a little bit with nominal English on her part and broken, rusty, high-school French with a pinch of Spanglish thrown for good measure in on my part. Needless to say, we laughed a bit at the confusing and mostly senseless conversation that followed, but boy did she rejoice when Pete gave her the Bible.

It's hard not to get choked up being face to face with these wonderful people. They have literally lost life and limb, yet the resilience of their spirit is beyond belief.

In another tent we gave the second Kreyol Bible we had to an amputee mom living in a tent with her kids and others and she threw her hands up in the air, praising God, and did a happy dance with her arms upward... then kissed her new Bible and hugged it.

Tomorrow it's back to the displacement camp in Carrefour that Feed The Hungry has cared for since the earthquake hit.

Goodbye for now from the place where I would love to spend the next year or three of my life with my family should God permit.

Stefan

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Back in Port au Prince & Carrefour

Lamar Austin and I have had two good solid days of ministry and activity here. At dawn yesterday we met up with one of our containers at the border & guided it in to our base in Fond Parisien. Met with Pastor Eddy Francois in Carrefour; this area of Port au Prince was devastated, 80% of the homes either destroyed or damaged beyond repair. Pastor Eddy's home was wrecked, he had 31 people living in his house and thankfully all survived. He is now in a tent along with 2,500 or so people living in the yard lot behind his house.

FTH relief coordinator, Pastor Fernando Fleming of the Dominican Republic, started food & water distribution to these families the week after the earthquake. It was good to finally meet Eddy and many of the families living under nothing more than low-lying bedsheets strung together on sticks & poles.

We had a VERY orderly distribution of a week supply of rice & beans to each of the families... 2,500 people... it was a blessing to see the vision of FTH in action once again, feeding the hungry, strengthening the church, and reaching the lost.

Many of the families living in this makeshift tent city are members of Eddy's congregation, but the vast majority are not. They have all seen God's love in action.

Visited with Mercy & Sharing briefly to introduce the leadership there to Fleming... so he can have quick access to the warehouse where 110 tons of FTH supplies will be stored.

We hoped to see all 7 containers cleared this week while in Haiti, but President Preval declared a three day time of fasting, repentance, prayer, and singing led for the nation. The voodoo/witchcraft folks got real upset at that...but Preval stood his ground. May this be a historic turning time for the nation of Haiti and may it rise from the ruins to become a place of peace and prosperity. A nation CAN be saved in a day.

Posted some photos tonight at http://picasaweb.google.com/sradelich/HaitiFeb2010#

And uploaded a couple more short flash videos at
http://www.youtube.com/user/feedthehungryUSA

Tomorrow morning we leave Fond Parisien again with the truck at 5:30 am for another distribution.

Stefan

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Petionville & Cite Soleil

Some of the worst damage from the earthquake was found in Petionville, a densely populated section of Port au Prince... Delmas is also a disaster zone that can't be comprehended. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but a million pictures can't convey the what your senses feel in every dimension.

It's a mix of shock, sadness, heaviness that'll come in a flash... and then hope, faith, and joy that swells as the Haitian people erupt in prayer, and grateful, grateful praise as they appreciate what they have... not what they have lost.

One mother in the med clinic lost three of her four children; in the sadness, her authentic expressions of praise for the life of one child saved is a wonder to witness.

We set up four distribution points; three in Petionville and one in Cite Soleil, the notorious slum district of lower Port au Prince, where Pastor Astrel Vincent has dedicated years of time, treasure, and talent to lift lives young and old to new planes of promise and dignity.

He has about 200 families camped in the church yard. Families that live in the poorest part of the poorest city in the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere. And now the very little they could call home has been taken away.

But again, there in the reality of the moment, faith trumps tragedy. Moms & dads and kids with nothing more than the tarp over their heads happy to have each other and to be alive.

Some more photos posted here today.