Haiti Home - God's Call to Us

HAITI : God’s call to us.
God has been preparing us for full-time mission work in Haiti for a long time. Slowly, but surely He has been changing our hearts and minds to not only put Him first in our lives, but more specifically serve Him in Haiti. God planted the idea in Laura’s head at the age of eight, but it wasn’t until we got the opportunity to go to Haiti after the terrible earthquake in 2010, that the idea began to grow in both our minds.  Then, nearly a year later, as Joel was having an early morning quiet time, he heard clearly the question “what will you do for Haiti?” He had not been particularly praying or thinking about Haiti, so felt sure it was from God through the Holy Spirit drawing us in that direction. Since then we have been on several trips down to investigate possible ways to be involved. All of these trips have been under the supervision and guidance of RMI (Reciprocal Ministries International). We were struck by the professionalism and preparedness of their team there on each of our visits, and more importantly we felt that their programs designed to aid the Haitian people were very positive activities that we could see ourselves joining. We decided to apply to RMI, and after much prayer coupled with their help and leadership, we are now part of the RMI family. So, with God’s grace it is “Haiti, here we come!”   

Why RMI?
Reciprocal Ministries International has been in Haiti for 30 years.  It grew out of the hard work of Herb and Shirley Shoemaker who developed the idea of the Sister Church program. Since the incorporation of RMI in 1988, their general mission has been to “mobilize global partnerships to transform lives in Christ”. With this in mind, RMI has expanded their vision of how to make their mission statement more of a reality by developing a feeding program in “Food for Haiti”, a school program in “Hope for Kidz”, and the rebuilding projects of “Homes for Haiti”. All of these programs work to engage the communities in culturally relevant ways to help lift them up and move toward self-sufficiency. Also, the church where we are members has been part of the Sister Church program for over 20 years. In light of all this, Joel and Laura have decided to come along side the RMI team as we share their vision of using the Sister Church Partnerships as a vehicle to help Haiti grow stronger in every way.

At a health care clinic.
What we will be doing in Haiti.

We realize that it may be a year or more before we can hope to be in country, and that things may change some in that time. However, as we understand the needs of RMI and our skill sets the activities we will be involved in will be as follows:  Joel’s primary focus will be as a Facilitator for Sister Church team visits, but will also involved in AWANA, leadership development, teacher training, and general maintenance of facilities. Laura’s duties will include streamlining and coordinating medical team visits, community health education and promotion, systems analysis, and women’s ministries.

The next leg of the journey.
Helping with building houses.
Now that we have a plan, there will still be a lot of work and preparation in order for us to get to the point where we will actually be on the ground and serving effectively. For the next year Laura is committed to working for the University of Florida, and will retire at the end of December 2013. Joel will continue to work in the public school system here as long as time permits. During this period, we will need language and cultural training, as well as make decisions as to what to do with our home, etc. while we are gone. More importantly, our desire is to develop a network of partners who are willing to pray and support our adventure with God in Haiti.  It won’t be easy, but with God’s help (and yours), we can do it! 

He made my shirt - in a day!

How can you help?

We can’t do this alone! We want you to partner with us in prayer and financial support. !  We will need to raise an amount of $5,155.00 per month for living expenses which includes our salary, ministry expenses, health insurance, taxes, and an account to cover home assignments. We will also need to raise a one-time startup amount of $55,080.00 which will be used for travel to Haiti and customs, shipping a container of our household goods, a six weeks language and cultural training sessions for both of us. Because of the awful roads, a motorcycle will be needed for Joel and a four-wheeler for Laura to get around in country. There will, of course, be the cost of running a household as well. RMI has a great staff of dedicated veteran missionaries who will be guiding and helping us throughout the process. It seems like we face some giant hurdles, but our God will supply our needs in His perfect time. We have already seen Him at work, and look forward to seeing how He puts it all together! We are willing to go to live and work there for four years; what are you willing to do? As you pray about it, please ask God to guide you in your giving. Thank you in advance for whatever part you will play!!

Our key verse:  John 15:8a      “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit---“

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