It’s not a surprise

February 4, 2010

Today was by far the most frustrating and most rewarding day thus far. Due to a couple of factors we pretty much accomplished nothing by 4pm and we were just about ready to consider the day a write off. Then things started to happen…

A friend from brazil went to the UN brazilian camp armed with only a letter explaining the needs in our communities and received a truck full of water, food and medicine. A lady on the medical team with our friend aptly said that they are happy but not surprised about this because they were all praying for him.

Then about an hour later a nurse here got an email saying there is a shipment full of meds coming into the airport tomorrow for pickup. Hello.

Then I got an email from a friend in the states who has put us in touch with an organization who specializes in water filtration. To top it all off we spoke to an NGO who specializes in tent distribution and they seemed pretty eager to partner with us.

So basically we tried really hard to do something to no avail and then things just started falling into our laps. In the words of Jon Foreman and possibly Jesus,”He knows what I need”.


Day six?

February 2, 2010

It’s hard to say what constitutes a good day around here. I’m trying to balance the western arrogance inside me that just wants to organize everyone with the fact that that just isn’t how things work here or rather things that anyone will care about here after I’m gone. So we wait for direction from our friends and do what we can with what we have.

I think we did accomplish somethings today; we secured a stable Internet provider which is crucial for communication with the head office and you know for blogs and stuff. And we made a couple good contacts which led to the formulation of the plan for tomorrow.

The plan, as it were, is to be a bit more aggressive in our pursuit to get aid to the communities we work with. This involves hiring a driver to take us to the various locations that we would have been at last week, had it not been for the previous distributions. It feels like we’re really, really close to getting things lined up and that once the first domino falls the whole plan will come together. Pray for that. We’ve turned away too many folks without food or shelter to come back tomorrow empty handed.

February 1, 2010

Hey folks,
I’m writing this from my phone while in bed, outside our house in port au prince. Crazy. I actually like sleeping outside minus the animals that sound like they are being eaten by a larger animal which sounds like it’s giving birth. Needless to say ear plugs are my new best friend.

The week ahead will be spent trying to make some inroads with the ego and getting the truck situation sorted oug once and for all. Beyond that we’ll continue to distribute food aid whenever we can. Pray for the work here and for haitians in general- I have found that even though I watched the news wasn’t able to comprehend the breadth of the destruction until you drive down streets where building after building has collapsed, and now picture ghat in almost every neighborhood.

Well let’s see if his posts successfully…pardon the spelling.

small update

January 31, 2010

The internet is up and running at least for now, so I figured I’d let the world know that I’m alive. The first few days have been spent trying to get a feel for the distribution process and I’m happy to report that we’ve learned a lot, made a bunch of adjustments and cut the distribution time in half from the first one to our third time. Time is of the essence because they each distribution starts out with just a handful of people around but when other folks catch wind of what’s happening it gets, umm… rather CNNish. If that’s a word. It hasn’t been out of control yet but it hasn’t been a calm experience, to say the least.

Next week is going to be spent figuring out our truck situation, hopefully purchasing a good, used truck and forging a relationship with the UN/ WFP in order to get those trucks filled with aid.

A medical team of 16 doctors and nurses showed up last night at 4:30am which means there are about…24 people living in this house, not to mention the Haitians who live on the property at a guest house.

Okay, gotta run. Church in a few minutes.

the border

January 27, 2010

It’s possible that one day I’ll be able to write a book with the amount of border stories I’m accumulating.

Par example, this evening:
Border Man: You’re going to Haiti?
Nathan and I: Yes.
Border Man: You better be careful because you’re going to get your limbs torn off.b
Nathan and I: Okay.

Nouwen and Haiti

January 25, 2010

My whole life, I have been complaining that my work was constantly interrupted until I discovered that my interruptions are my work”. (Henri Nouwen)

I stole this quote from theStory but it fits my life right now. I’m trying to put together three events, find a publisher for a book and build a new company but in an instant it’s put on the back burner- the interruption is the work.

Late last week I got a call from Emmanuel International to go to Haiti asap and coordinate the distribution of their aid. Interruption. When I got that call I couldn’t say no. I couldn’t say… “I’m too busy” or “it’s not a good time” or “you should ask someone else”.

I’m going.

I leave on Wednesday at 6:30am. Prayers appreciated.

If you’re still looking for a place to give, donations to EI will be matched by the government.

Shane Hipps

January 21, 2010


A couple of months ago Steve and I caught up with a porsche exec turned Mennonite pastor named Shane Hipps in hotlanta. There was a ridiculous lack of space for filming and so we ended up outside, beside a bus (hence the hum) and two guys who felt the need to have a conversation during the small interview. If the camera moves it’s because I was motioning to Steve to punch those guys in the chops or whatever the kingdom equivalent is of punching someone in the chops.