Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Back from Port au Prince, Haiti

So I made it back from Port au Prince, Haiti. While I was there I noticed immediately the thousands of tents that have now become the new neighborhoods. Where everyone used to live in homes they now live in a domed piece of plastic. It is hard to think that we do for recreation on a weekend camping trip is now homes for I would say years to come.

While it is a sad story and this trip was a challenge for me, I found myself encouraged by the strength and resilience of the Haitian people. I would be holding a conversation and they would point to demolished homes that looked like a pile of stones. As they talked they would respectfully and emotionally tell us that they still have family buried in the rubble of the Earthquake from January. You would expect that this would steal their joy and they would be in give-up mode, but what I heard every evening proved differently.

Around 7pm I would hear the sweet sound of families worshipping our Savior. Brother Naten (PCG world mission director) and I excused ourselves from our company and moved down the hill to the sound of voices being raised and hands clapping. We were like bugs to bright lights. We could not stay away. As we sat and worshipped, we could see hurt but not defeat. The children would sit with us and slip their hands into ours. These kids had lost parents and family in the tragedy, but they are doing what kids do best and that is play and persevere.

We have great leaders representing us in the rebuilding cause. Walter Stecker, Virgil and Janie Kincaid are committed to the organization of PCG teams coming for years to come to be the hands of skill for rebuilding the houses of worship and the hands of hope for rebuilding the spirits of people.

We currently have 110 tents on our property housing 1150 people. We are an oasis in the desert. The only building that is strong and standing on the hillside is our Mission House. After I returned home I found out that Don and Peggy Allen built that house years ago. Bro. Allen shared with me that he built that house with steel in every linear foot of the walls. Haitians do not build their houses with the same specs because they lack the finance. Through the help of PCG years ago, Bro Allen was an instrument to what we are experiencing now as our lifeboat to house people for years to come to help rebuild our works and fulfill our obligation to help families. God has plans that go beyond our knowledge.

As we left our last day I got to give basketballs and soccer balls from our HOPE thru HOOPS Haiti project. The faces of the kids and Pastor Renald beamed as we committed to bring hundreds of these balls back to for kids to resume some normalcy in their lives. Here are some pics to share the moment.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

March Madness

It’s March Madness Month!

This is the month we kick off our Hope Thru Hoops Missions Drive. This year we have designated it to be Hope Thru Hoops Haiti. This is an amazing way to get your kids, teens, and families involved with raising funds for missions.

Last year, Pastor Chad & Stacey Pond and the Kids on the Rock from Solid Rock Family Church raised $1750 to go toward Hope Thru Hoops Philippines. This year, their goal is $2000 for Haiti.

Below you will see signed basketballs that will be hand delivered to children and teens in Haiti. Each child attending Kids on The Rock this past Sunday signed their name on a basketball and soccerball. After signing the balls to commit themselves to Hebrews 6:18...

“We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It's an unbreakable spiritual lifeline…” -Hebrews 6:18

They learned they are a spiritual lifeline to their peers in Haiti. Afterwards the students and staff laid their hands on the sport balls and prayed that these would be God’s tools to bring hope and happiness. We gave the students a challenge: if they quote the memory verse and bring their Bible to church every Sunday in March, we will donate $1 per child.

We challenge you to participate in Hope Thru Hoops Haiti as a District, as a local church, or you as an individual.

What are some ways you can raise money for Haiti?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Hope for Haiti

It’s 3:30 am on Thursday, March 11. I just closed the front door to our home as I completed our Skiles tradition. When anyone leaves our home we stand on the front porch and wave good-bye until we no longer see you in our sight.

Cheesy? Probably so, but it’s what we do.

This wave was a little different. Joe is joining our World Missions Director, Lloyd Naten, on a journey to Haiti. They have a miraculous window of opportunity to represent us, the PCG, as a people who are hungry to give hope to the hopeless.They will return Sunday, March 14th. This is a brief but powerful trip. Once they land, they will meet with our missionaries, Walter Stecker and Virgil Kincaid and drive 15 miles from the airport to our Bible College in Port au Prince. Here we are housing over a 1000 refugees. We have had several buildings leveled and damaged.

Impact Now Mission:
With the rainy season coming, they will set up tent shelters and work on the perimeter walls. There is still no electricity.

Project Haiti Mission:
To assess the damage and begin a plan of rebuilding the campus. To assess the humanitarian needs of the refugees who are residing on PCG grounds (It’s our reasonable service, Romans 12). To bring awareness to the PCG family and everyone we are in contact with of the physical, emotional, spiritual, and financial needs. We must help with their survival, their well-being,We are there for a purpose. While buildings need to be repaired and rebuilt, we know we have teams from the USA that are ready to strap their work belts on and jump on a plane.

We need you. But we also know we have a need of teachers, nurses, doctors, mothers, fathers, and friends.

Are you willing to be that person?
(Teena Skiles)

Over the next few days/weeks we are going to be blogging on different ways you can get involved to bring Hope to Haiti...