The following thoughts in today's blog have only come to me recently. Several factors have played an interest in shaping my thinking in the months since the Earthquake, here are my thoughts.
First I ran across this short little paragraph in a book I'm reading, it is a quote from the Los Angeles Times by writer/columnist Joel Stein: " Heaven is totally overrated. It seems boring, Clouds, listening to people play the harp. It should be somewhere you can't wait to go , like a luxury hotel. Maybe blue skies and soft music were enough to keep people in line in the 17th century, but Heaven has to step it up a bit. They're basically getting by because they only have to be better than hell." I don't know what your thoughts are after reading that but possibly somewhere between angry and offended to slightly amused, after all it is what I first thought as a 5-6 year old starting to learn about Heaven. Of course as an adult I know there is no Biblical support for Mr. Stein's view. I don't even know if he researched his facts, if he is a Christian, Jewish, Muslim or even a believer at all. The problem I have and Mr. Stein isn't alone in this, is that we the people of the church are letting others tell our story. The news media right or wrong, conservative or liberal , even those supposedly who portray themselves in the middle have hijacked our message the greatest story ever written and twist it to gain reader / viewership, political support or whatever the latest attention grabbing need is at the time.
Secondly June 12th marked 6 months since the disaster and Haiti was revisited by the national news media. One of the things they tried to imprint upon their viewership was the lack of planning, cooperation and progress made since the Jan. 12th disaster. Once again we are letting those with an agenda that is usually tied to gaining the most media attention paint a broad picture of ineptness, corruption and self centered actions of a few indict the vast majority who have accomplished a great story that doesn't get told. Many of my best friends and even strangers who know I work for a large organization in Haiti ask me what is happening there. They want to know if progress is being made. What have we been doing , what are our future plans and often how can they be a part of it? Usually they have heard , read or seen the media present the Haitian government as inept, unprepared, lacking a plan of action and a history of corruption. My response is I can't defend or denounce the Haitian government as I'm not involved in their decisions. I'm too busy to be concerned about what they are doing or not doing other than how it pertains to the plans of our organization. What I can tell is the success stories of Project Help-Haiti and so many other organizations who mobilized so quickly to make a difference in the days and weeks after. Now our organization and others are moving into new ministry areas for the next phase of recovery and that story isn't getting told near enough .
The third thing that has impacted my view is that my home church in the states has just embarked on a new ministry series for this Fall entitled "be one make one" based on the Beatitudes in Matthew . In particular for this blog post Matthew 5:13-16 more commonly know as the salt and light verses are on my mind. They start by reminding us that we are the salt of the Earth and if we lose our salty taste we are worthless in fact it says " we are worth nothing and must be thrown out for people to walk on." It goes on to say we are "the light that gives light to the world." Further more a light shouldn't be hidden it should "shine for all people in the house that they may see." The best part is we as Christians are called to be "a light for other people," to live so they can see the good things we do. "Live so that they will praise your Father in Heaven", that is a story each and everyone of us should be distributing everyday!! Now that gets me back to where I started "WHERE IS GOD?" Well He should be shining in you and me each and everyday for all to see and praise Him in Heaven. I will be the first to admit it isn't always easy and sure it is tempting to say to ourselves that there is enough other people out there speaking but if we as Christians don't speak up others will take our message and portray it wrongly. When we no longer have a salty taste we run the risk of our message being trampled under foot . When we hide our light we run the risk of it being extinguished and many may be lost in the ensuing darkness. I have memorized a little verse by St. Francis of Assisi as to how easy this process can be " Go and preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ everyday and if necessary use words." In God's love, steve
You see things and say, “Why?” I dream things that never were and I say, “Why not?” –G.B. Shaw
I don’t often look back. Oh, sure, I use my rearview mirrors when I drive, but in life my inclination is to stay focused on the road ahead. My college major was in history, so from that perspective I know the value of studying the past to avoid repeating mistakes in the future. Purveyors of the news and some historians would have us believe that because of 200 years of mistakes Haiti will never have a better future.
Maybe it is because a year ago I agreed to take a new job in Haiti as the director of Project Help-Haiti that I have spent some time looking back to better see the road ahead. PH-H is a large Christian NGO that has been in Haiti since 1967, so they have a long history. I also still hold my old position as co-founder and executive director of G.A.P. Go and Produce Ministries, and we have been here 9 years. Most likely though, I keep looking back because 2010 has been much different than other years. Click here for more...
I'm the Manager of Project Help Haiti an organization working in Haiti since 1967. They have 2 first class medical facilities, 29 churches, 17 schools, 2 guesthouses, a large seminar & conference center, a welding, fabricating & machine shop and block making facility. My journey to this place started with my promise to God to be available whenever and where ever he called me. I first traveled to Haiti in the year 2000 on a one week church mission team to work at Project Help. At the invitation of Dr. Vic Binkley the Director of Project Help I returned to work on construction projects for P-H till early 2002. In the summer of that year my wife and I founded GAP (go an produce) Ministry, located in Montrouis, Haiti which we continue to direct. As the executive director of GAP we work with Canaan Orphanage, are currently building a community clinic, work with mountain villages through our "Feet Across the Mountains" ministries and also distribute free French and Creole Bibles for World Missionary Press. In Sept. of 2009 I agreed to return to Project Help and assume the duties of my long time friend and mentor Dr. Binkley.
Nov. 15-22 Mark Hosler Germantown COG work ministry 6 people Borel Nov. 16-27 Ken & Betty McIntyre volunteer missionaries Nov. 20-27 Dr. Joe Miller medical team P.Payen 10 people Nov. 26-Dec. 3 Heather Elyse Randy Broaddus Nov. 26-Dec.10 Penny & Luke Miller and Ashley Sollenberger Ohio Nov. 27- Dec. 5 Heather Ward & Doug Walker Columbia City FCOG medical mountain villages
Dec. 5-10 Mandy Walters Silver Creek COG 3 people Dec. 10th Steve leaves for Holidays 2011 Schedule
Jan. 3- Apr. 10 2011 Steve & Shirley Jan. 4-9- 2011 CGGC Don Dennison director CCM
Jan. 4-7 medical team Pierre Payen Operation Hope Texas
Jan. 5-11 President CGGC Ed & Linda Rosenberry
Jan.6-8 Haiti Conference (Church of God Conference)
Jan. 6--8 Medical team P. Payen Naomi Shields Jan. 8-15 Terry Bailey Mt. Carroll COG work team Borel Jan.15-22 Kim Barclay Mt. Pleasant COG Pa. (work team mountain church ) Jan. 21-28 Dennis Mckee N.E. Indiana COG 12 people (work team) Borel
Jan. 26 -Feb. 2 Travis Bowden New Beginnings COG 12-14 people work team Borel
Feb. 4-12 Gary Oden & Lorie Siders Congregational Christian Church & Brethern Indiana work team Borel Feb. 12-22 Mary Smith Mt. Carroll COG
Feb.22-Mar. Mike Toon Tulip COG Ind. work team Borel
Mar. 2 weeks Bob Etherton Midwest Conference work & eye witness team
Midwest Conference B. Etherton Eyewitness team
Mar.5 - 12 & 19-26 Michael Wheeler Olive Branch COG Ind. Dental team
Mar. 29-Apr. 9 Bob Etherton Midwest Conference work & eye witness team Borel Apr.2 -9th Chris Keck
April Grace Covenant Tentative Platt City Mo.
May 11-18 ACTS Team Lance Finley June 6-22 Heidi Moreno Sugar Grove COG work Borel
Project Help contact info: website:www.cggc/ccmhaiti.htm Findlay, Ohio office: 419-424-1961 Dee Calahan executive assistant : Ex. 122
Steve contact info: Phones: U.S. office 260-691-3806 U.S. cell 260-609-6484 Haiti cell 509-3643-7686 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
"We are all missionaries wherever we go we are either bringing people nearer to Christ or we repel them from Christ". —Eric Liddell
"The Great Commission is not an option to be considered, it is a command to be obeyed". —J. Hudson Taylor
"I will belong to the road, sharing the suffering of my people, eating with those who will give me shelter, and telling all men of the love of God". —Sadu Sundar Singh
''I have but one candle of life to burn, and would rather burn it out where people are dying in darkness than in a land which is flooded in lights". —anonymous missionary
"Who in heaven will thank God for you playing a part in their salvation?" —Dan Davidson
"Banaan Peze" or pressed plantains Peel the plantain and cut it diagonally into 2 or 3 pieces. Let them sit in salted water at least an hour. Fry them in hot oil in a skillet then lower the heat for a few minute.Remove and absorb excess oil with paper toweling. Press them with a manufacured press or 2 pieces of board or anything that will flatten them. Place back in oil and deep fry getting them as crisp as possible is the way I prefer to eat them. "Peekleez" or Pickles Cut into small pieces white cabbage carrots, onions, shallots, 1 red and 1 green hot pepper, and 1 red and 1 green pepper. Add a clove of garlic and some whole black pepper. Put everything in a glass jar or bowl and pour 2-3 cups of boiling white vinegar , juice and pulp from 1 lime and 3 chicken bouillon cubes, add some salt. Great on banaan peze, meat and rice dishes.