Monday, September 29, 2008

Back to Childhood


Slug BUg
According to Evan

so from a lot of riding in the car and being around each other a lot... we have somewhat reverted back to boyhood and "demoted" to 12 years of age. slug-bug, window, shotgun and other games of the sort have gotten out of hand since we've been here in Brazil. today we drove back from santana and it hit it's peak. christian doesn't like the slug-bug game cuz i hit way too hard and take it much to seriously- too into it. after one last punch, cuz of a white bug, he decided that he quit. but i made the decision that he hadn't quit. it was left unsaid but it was tense in the tight car.

later on we passed a brown slug bug and christian "let me know." i was enraged and hit him back on the thigh cuz he said he'd quit. he replied with "you said i was still playing" but i didn't really think he was, so i didn't get him first. so we continuously hit eachother, punching really hard in this tiny car. andrew was trying to settle us down, but it wasn't happening. finally Katiana (mama or 'Queen Bee') stepped in and it was all done very suddenly. later on, it was said and final, christian was out of the game... but i made sure to hit him one more time. andrew punched me in the leg hard, and THEN called slug bug green... and this made me mad cuz you totally have to call it first. so i punched him back which caused pandemonium. not to mention earlier andrew was standing outside the car and saw one while i was inside, reached in to punch me, but i blocked it!!!!!! (with my fore arm... which ended up hurting way more...)


but we play all sorts of games, and i love it!!!


~Evan, from a Note posted on Facebook

Carnaubas and Santana

Throughout the entire time in Santana and Carnaubas, we definitely got to know Marconi and Katiana (his wife... or Queen Bee). Before a "get together" in the church in Carnaubas, Katiana was encouraging Evan to shower, but he refused. Being the mother of us three, she wasn't having this. A large argument turned into a gigantic argument. It was comical to say the least. Evan told her that he would take one the next morning. The children of these towns labeled Evan as "Wolverine" and this is what got all of us going. We were trying to explain who Wolverine was to Katiana in broken Portuguese and sign language. This became Evan's nickname, which brought up a whole new ball field. Katiana continued to persist with this whole shower thing, which gave her the name, "Queen Bee." All the time she would come by and fold clothes and clean and remind us to bathe and brush our teeth and quite honestly be the... Queen Bee of the house. So, she would run the show- and we had a blast with it. You can imagine us three guys trying to have conversations with Queen Bee in the 12 Portuguese words we know. Along with this, we taught Marconi a cornucopia of slang that resulted in more hilarious conversations.

Our four-day weekend in Carnaubas and Santana was the time of our lives to say the least. Words cannot describe the relationships we built and memories we have.

Carnaubas was short but good. We spent our first complete day (Thursday) there touring and meeting up with Marconi's friends. Basically during our free time before church we toured and went over all the WPCC's youth trip; hiked a mountain over-looking Carnaubas, visited shops, friends, and enjoyed ice cream at the local (but should be world famous) ice cream parlor!!! It was incredible to get to look at all what the team did and got to do. We visited the now-completed church in Carnaubas. The team from WPCC youth group worked and built a church in Carnaubas- and we had the honor of seeing it and the people who attend it now. We were able to see the product of what that team had created. We were going to do a "trip testimony" later on there, so we headed over to the school. The school gathered around as we played songs and invited them to the church to hear what we were all about. Church was a major success. We shared from the beginning of the dream two years ago all the way up to Haiti. We spent time with kids, like Tabitha and Ramonie- who the team earlier in June built relationships with. We got to visit and play more songs in the church till late. That night after all the fun we drove to Santana in a compact car with Marconi, Katiana, Christian, Andrew, Evan and our host in Santata, Veridiano. Not to mention the addtional two guitars and two drums, our clothes and such. You can imagine this! We got to know eachother:)

Santana is a beautiful and quaint town of 2800. It was life-changing. Major transformation happened in every one of us. Another trip testimony was planned for us at the local church in Santana, so we had to get the word out. During all Friday we went to the school and played "Light of the World" and invited them to come to the church to hear about why we were in Santana and what we were doing... "traveling the world." At the end of the night, 50+ people gathered around to hear us share our trust and love for God. Again, we shared some about our trip and enjoyed talking with the locals in the little Portuguese we knew. Somehow it was settled that we were meeting some guys to play Futsal (indoor soccer) at 8 am. That next morning was amazing getting to "Joga Bonita." (I think that's correct; probably not). Later on we went out even further into the country and did an outreach. There was a "suburb" of Santana of eight families in one small area. We gathered them together, sang worship and gave them the Good News about Jesus. We prayed over this area and headed back to Santana. It was Veridiano's (our host we stayed with) birthday the next day so we celebrated that night: truly a celebration. We all gathered at the church, about 40 in all, and basically had a few hour long church service. A few different people gave thanks and talked- and encouraged Veridiano. We gathered around for cake and it got interesting here...

We decided that the best way to establish relationship- break the ice- with people that we've met is to make them laugh. As we were discussing this method we noticed all the children... CHILDREN were standing in two lines. All of the parents and other visitiors were standing around the outside of this 12 and under group. Evan spontaneously decided to jump in and cut the line for chocolate cake. He jumped in and clapped for joy because of his success. People laughed- which broke the ice- but not because of what we thought. Evan was in the girls line. You can imagine the chaos of a few ONLY Portuguese-speaking mothers trying to explain to Evan that he was clearly in the wrong line... and all the little girls FREAKING out! This increased the laughter, especially watching the ladies trying to explain why Evan needed to move. He did, and yes... we all got chocolate cake:)

The next day was Sunday, truly a day of rest here in Brazil. We relaxed and enjoyed getting to know our host and hostess, Veridiano and Jacqueline. This was our last full day in Santana- and it was a day of bonding. We told stories and laughed all day. As evening approached, it was finally time for us to go to the church to give our testimonies. It was this event that we invited the students to. Since we gave our trip testimony a couple nights before, we gave different parts of our personal testimonies. It is hard to communicate this writing, but we could feel God in the church. We invited others to sing with us in Portuguese as we sang in English. The church body was one. Each one of us shared whatever we were being urged to. It was not us however that did anything remotely amazing. Something happened Sunday night that brought all of us as Gods children together. We had the honor of encouraging the church, and the pleasure of being encouraged and prayed for by them. There is something powerful about a group of people coming together- disregarding language- and praying. There is something powerful about having only one thing in common, but it binds us together so closely that the one thing is all we need. Nothing else mattered in Santana.

Our time in Santana was a God-size adventure. We grew and saw the Glory of God. It was beautiful.

Our first brazil Video!

It was so great to arrive in brazil, it felt like home again!
Here are just a few things we have been doing since we got here.
Enjoy.


~V-team



Thursday, September 25, 2008

Cast Your Vote!!

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A New Survey Question has been posted.
Jump in and see if you have the right answer. But before you cast your vote, you need to check out the blog pictures.
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The Question: "What the heck are the guys doing?"
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To vote, go to the side bar on the right. Check off your answer. Watch for the tally. The correct answer will be posted next week!
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In honor of the U.S. presidential races and all the political chaos that V-Team is missing, we say every vote counts for something (in this case, we're just not sure what exactly). Join in. Let your voice be heard!
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~KjL

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

In Memory

Reunions.
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Brazil is familiar. V-Team is re-uniting with friends that they met two years ago. Marconi Silva (pictured right) and Kener and Kaique Paulo (pictured below) are some of the friends they have had since their junior year in high school. V-Team first came to Natal in the summer of 2006 with a youth missions team from Woodland Park, Colorado. That trip became the genesis of this trip.
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One hot June night in a Brazilian restaurant, the 2006 V-Team -- then made up of 4 friends -- dreamed of this return. Apparently, they sat around the table, ate pizza, and talked about the dream of traveling the world, together. They spoke the beginning of the plan, and shared the passion to see it happen someday after graduation. Two weeks after their return to the States, Andrew Yarger was struck by lightning on a soccer field, and killed.
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Shortly after the tragedy, in an interview with the Denver Post, Andrew's sister Esther summed it up this way:
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"Esther Yarger said that about 150 youngsters gathered at a church Wednesday night to pray for her brother Andrew and the Yarger family. She said Andrew, the sixth of 11 children, had recently gone to Brazil with the youth group from Woodland Park Community Church.
'He came back very much impacted by that. It was a good experience for him,' she said. 'He was also affected by how God works in the weirdest ways but also the most powerful ways imaginable and how God uses anybody and everybody - powerfully.'
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The impact of Andrew's life and death were enormous. Stories of his Christ Following life and faith have impacted many people in far-flung and miraculous ways. Andrew's parents, Chip and Sibbi, picked-up and carried on Andrew's legacy. They have graciously and faithfully supported V-Team. A subset of the Yarger family even came to the airport to love and pray and send-off the guys, in Denver. (see blog 9.16.08)
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And this week, the 2008 V-team -- now made up of 3 -- are following their original vision, birthed with their friend, here in the streets of Brazil. They share his belief that God works in weird and unimaginable ways and can use anybody and everybody -- powerfully. Always, the Team carries the inspiration of the one member that travels with them, everywhere they go, in their memory. It's really their story to tell. They have better words, memory, and insights about it all... about the loss of their friend. Those deeper things are for them to speak when they choose. But, no doubt now that the team is back in the familiar places where they walked and laughed and served with their friend, his absence is bound to feel more real. The memories of their times with Andrew Yarger are probably closer to the surface in Natal. In that town, Evan, Andrew, and Christian are reuniting with friends. But they are also walking in familiar places without one.
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So, in this moment we pause to look forward with them to joyfully meeting Andrew Yarger again,
in the best sort of reunion,
face to face, in eternity.
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But we also pause with them in the present,
to acknowledge his absence,
to honor their friend's bold Life,
and to affirm their shared passion,
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in a dream birthed in Brazil,
to show the love of Jesus Christ
to the world.
"Struck Down but not Destroyed"
Andrew Yarger
V-Team


~kjl

Monday, September 22, 2008

Football and Surfers

Update from the Team

Yesterday was an amazing day for V-team. After hearing of a local American football team, Marconi wanted for us to hook up with them so we could share with them what we were doing and maybe play some ball! so after spending the day playing full contact football with no pads, we were able to give our trip testimony and share the Gospel. The guys were really receptive to it, and it was awesome playing with them after they heard the message.

Group picture with the Football Team

We went over and played on the beach after playing football. It was nice to be refreshed and get to body surf:) After a while we headed over to church. Church was amazing! We went to a different church (other than Marconi's home church). The "Snowball" Church was a church full of surfers and others alike. The podium the pastor used was made of a surf board. Out of no where, God must have communicated to the Worship pastor that we were there, because he invited us up and prayed over each one of us; then the church prayed for us.

After all this excitement for us, we headed home and had pizza! 'Just a little update on the sort of things we've been doing.

Unexpected prayer at "Snowball" Church
Have a great week this week:)

evan christian andrew




Sunday, September 21, 2008

"Party on the Bus"

From the Team.

We landed safely here in Brazil, and all has been going well. The past few days have been days of rest- fortunately. Our stay here so far has been a lot of getting to know close family and visiting with them. Our first night we had a prayer meeting with Marconi, his family and a few other church friends. We sang songs, prayed and gave our trip testimony. We found that there is a missionary that lives out in the country side, and he recently found that he had leukemia. We also found that Eliana's father was very sick, and was having multiple health problems. Please be praying for them. Also, every night here at 10 pm we pray for challenge ministries. This is Marconi's ministry- which reaches multiple towns out in the country-side. Marconi gives his time, energy and all his resources to these places. Marconi has asked us to pray with him at 10 each night- and tells us that many others have committed to praying at 10 every night as well. If you feel lead to do the same, please do. It doesn't matter the time difference- we are just asking that you pray for Challenge Ministries.


Tonight was a really amazing night for us. We went to a christian concert- and it was life impacting. They came out loud and the entire place was moshing. After a few songs, the guy gave the Gospel- FULL OUT. He laid out his love and passion for God. 20-30 people gave their life and put their trust with their life in Jesus. Later on we rode the bus home. It was extremely packed with all the concert people- quite stuffy. Then in a quiet voice evan asked Marconi, "how do you say, 'party in the bus"?'. He told me, and evan repeated it. suddenly the entire bus went up with excitement and laughter! they all started cheering us on, and moved out of their seats for us to sit down. Even Marconi and his family had a tough time believing what was going on. Then, it ended up Marconi told the bus about us and Jesus- and everyone cheered us on.
After that, there was a bunch of laughter and bad portugese- speaking Americans. It was agreed that it was the best bus ride we had EVER been on.


Thank you family for being faithful in your support. We cannot communicate how thankful we are for your love.


Fun from Brazil,
evan christian andrew


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Are they there yet?

Yes.
V-Team is now in Brazil.
Earlier this week they had an uninterupted trip from Haiti via Miami, and were picked-up in Forteleza, Brazil, by their friend and missions leader, Marconi. He made the 14 hour round trip from Natal to the airport to get the guys. They traveled long and will be in that familiar region for the next 5 weeks. Christian, Andrew, and Evan will be living and serving in the place where the global dream for V-Team began.
You can spot their location Brazil by satellite with the GPS Spot tracker.
And go ahead and check out the "Challenge Ministries" Link --
both on the right sidbebar of this blog.

Pictured Right: Andrew, Christian, and Evan after a mountain hike in Haiti. Left: Pastor Marconi and his wife Katiana.


Friday, September 19, 2008

Children in Haiti

The Children





"Whomever welcomes a child like this in my name, welcomes me."
~Jesus



Thursday, September 18, 2008

Letter from the Team

Posted below is a letter V-Team sent out to one of their Prayer Teams, before departure to Brazil.
If you would like to become a part of a Prayer Support team, email worldboundmissions@gmail.com
and they'll add you to the list!
This is Haiti

We are amped to tell you what God has been doing in Haiti- but words are not enough. The last few days of Haiti were focused a lot on relationship. We played soccer with other missionaries who live nearby, and with a whole bunch of random children in the area. On sunday we visited the orphanage for the last time, and were "schooled" by orphans in a soccer game titled, "Haitians vs. Americans." This time of relationship resulted in us to be prayer warriors for Haiti, and to take time to see His will for us. We found Gods heart for Haiti in Hosea ( the passage on the video). Haiti is known for its voodoo and idol worship. We found in scripture that God was calling Haiti back from prostitution, and rescuing them one by one. Each day and night we saw Gods hand and victory in Pignon- by stopping voodoo countless times, and through hearts being won over one by one. We have no idea if anyone came to accept Jesus as their King, but daily we saw God fight for Haiti. It was much different than we thought- because it didn't involve as much working as we had anticipated, but the Lords will was done with all of us, because each day we met with Him, and found that God had purpose for Haiti, and the people around. Places like this often seem lost and dark- which is true... But what we found was that God loves the Haitian people, and is coming back for them.

We flew safely to Port Au Prince- and stayed at our Missionary brothers and sisters house- Michael and Karen. The blessing stood with this home. They took us in again, and provided for all our needs. On the flight to Port Au Prince ( a 20 minute flight) every one of us began to experience some kind of sickness. With fevers and congestion, it was really nice to stay in a comforting, safe place. We even had internet access, warm water, and... the XBOX 360 too! It is weird though, because suddenly we weren't as interested in the XBOX as we were before. Sleep, and a shower sounded the best. We have arrived here in Miami, and we are about to embark on the next adventure: Natal, Brazil.

Please pray for good health. It is odd how important miniscule things are when we don't have the comfort of home. We need God and our food to nourish our bodies. We have found that God has been stripping everything from us. God is prepared us in Haiti to do the work and have the relationships in Brazil and on. Please pray that God's will would be done through and in us. We are so excited to see how God will receive glory in Brazil. Pray that we would be able to surrender everything that is keeping us from God- so that God may use us and we may know His will. Thank you for your support everyone. It is so amazing to know that we have the body praying for us- and trust us, we are seeing the fruit of your prayers intimately with God.
May Gods grace be with you all family:)
GODSPEED!!!

Warriors of Christ,
Evan Christian Andrew

A Tin Roof and a Prayer for Haiti

Not Even a Bucket
The team was able to serve a small haitian family with a new tin roof. According to Evan, the mother had sold her previous tin roof in need of money. The single mom was a widow struggling to provide for her disabled son and the son of her deceased husband's mistress. The family had survived the hurricane season and its 'tropical depressions' with a roofless home. Evan was impacted by the profound poverty of the woman they served. And noted that she had nothing to her name -- not even a bucket to catch the water in a storm. "Not even a bucket." The Team replaced her tin roof with their missions friend, Alban. (These are pictures I hocked from Christian's Facebook)

Andrew, Evan and Christian working...











A small crowd of onlookers in Pignon...
and a new tin roof.


A Prayer for Haiti
Before leaving for Brazil, the Team had found a section of the Bible that became their prayer for Haiti. It is posted at the end of their video blog (9.16.08 ~ Check it out.) Here is their prayer of hope and promise, from God's words, for the Haitian nation they leave behind.


"Israel will blossom like the lily; it will send roots deep into the soil ...
Its branches will spread out like beautiful olive trees,
as fragrant as the cedars of Lebanon.
My people will again live under my shade.
They will flourish like grain and blossom like grapevines...
“O Israel, stay away from idols!
I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you.
I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.”
Hosea 14:5-8
~KjL

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Video from Hosean Hurricane Relief

V-Team is going to miss Haiti. Over the last days, they experienced a full-fledged monsoon, saw a pig butchered, have enjoyed eating goat, and had meaningful interactions with people. Tonight, they are in their last stages of packing and good-byes. Tomorrow, (Monday September 15) they head for Port au Prince, and then off to Miami. From Miami, they will post video and pix updates about their time in Haiti. Many first-hand stories are ahead ... stay tuned. Watch for it!
Relief Video
In the meantime, here is some video footage from Caleb.
This youtube clip shows the city streets and hurricane outreach efforts
which were happening down in Gonaivesas
-- while V-Team was serving up around Pignon.
See Hosean's Relief Footage:

Friday, September 12, 2008

Talking to Andrew

The Leigh family chatted by phone yesterday. Andrew was in a school dorm with V-team and some other students. On the other side of the line, we all gathered around the phone like a bunch of Americans during WW II, huddled around a radio. I leaned down close to the speaker-phone on the coffee table. Toward the end of the conversation, Andrew turned on Skype so we could see the dorm room. The computer had a sketchy connection. His image was like an astronaut transmitting from a space shuttle. His words and mouth were separate and delayed; physical movements were disjointed and floaty. Somehow, we were still able to talk and brothers were able to smile at each other.

According to Andrew, an amazing $250,000 worth of medical aid has come in for Hurricane Relief. And, in Caleb's absence, V-Team has been open to anything that they may need to do to serve. The Principle of the School has had work projects for the team to do. Yesterday the three guys spend most of the day putting a new roof on a house for a local woman. Then they played soccer with kids.
Andrew was also clear about the spiritual part of life that they have been observing. He said it has been "pretty intense and evident. Everyone believes in a spiritual realm, whether christian or not. Kids have bleached hair ... like the witch doctors ... you hear drums every night. But God is definintely winning. It's just a matter of time. People are ready."

He said that their last time of prayer with house guard, Ja-Claud, was really significant. They prayed Scripture out loud. Ja-Claud prayed from the book of Psalms and from I Corinthians. I'm not sure if I'll get exactly the parts he chose to pray. But, on that note, I'll leave you with excerpts from the chapters their Haitian friend prayed.

~KjL


"My shield is God Most High, who saves the upright in heart...
God is a righteous judge...
I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness
and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High."
~ The Bible, from Psalm 7

"Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?"
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God!
He gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm.
Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord,
because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain."
~ The Bible, I Corinthians 15:55-58



Thursday, September 11, 2008

From Christian

















Sorry it's been so long since we last made a post, we don't have internet much. Anyways...the last few days have been great. Sorry if i repeat anything that has already been put up on the blog or sent in an email...

A couple days ago, we woke up, had breakfast and then a man named Wilbur, he is the local plumber in Pignon, showed up at the camp. We were going to help him install a commercial sink at the camp for the cook staff to have a better and easier place to do dishes. So, when we figured out where everything needed to go, we started to dig the trench to lay the pipe. It had to only be around 8 inches deep, but it had to be like 75 yrds long. So we began digging and within about 3 hours, just before lunch was ready, we had it all finished. It was great to know that by God providing the materials and the labor (us!), the camp staff would be able to do their jobs much easier. Praise God!


Today, we met a boy by the name of Wilfredo, he speaks really good spanish which was great because, all of us combined, speak okay spanish. We talked about soccer and girlfriends and where we were from, but then Wilfredo asked us some questions about our relationships with girlfriends which lead to us having to be pretty straight forward about our choices in saving sex for marriage. This was awesome because he wanted to know why we chose that, and the rest is history...At this point in the conversation, we basically told him that we love jesus and our bodies belong to him and that they were a holy place for him, and in the bible, God tells us to save sex for marriage, and through this conversation, we were totally able to share the gospel, Truth reigned victorious! It was sweet because the stuff we were telling him, Evan and I didn't really know how to say in spanish, but looking back, we know that the entire conversation was spirit lead and it didn't matter if we couldn't communicate well because the spirit could through us! Praise God.


So, those are just some of the things happening with us in haiti..Thanks for your prayers, love and support!!


(pictures are of trench digging at the camp and then the 2 boys are kids we met and we invited them to eat dinner with us one night)


~christian

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

V-Team Phone Call & Caleb's Update

From a Phone Call
This update is entirely second-hand hearsay from a conversation Carie Stookey had with Evan yesterday. I am going to say this upfront --- the guys may need to clarify anything i mess up. But this is my best shot.

Today, the team moved out of the ministry house and into the school where they have been working and spending most of their time with the children. The school is still closed due to the hurricane. It is a very simple structure made of dirt floors, cement walls, and open doorways -- entrances with no doors. The guys will be sleeping there. in a dorm. Since the rest of Hosean ministry staff has left to respond to hurricane Hanna devistation, the Team has been forging their own way at the compound.Their friendship with their house-guard and fellow believer, Ja-Claud, has apparently become a significant relationship. And, they have started praying together every night before the voodoo drums and rituals begin. They are learning so much about the power of Jesus' name. Evan told Carie Stookey that they plainly see animal remains in places of ritualistic sacrifice. He doesn't use the little drum he brought b/c children grab it and start beating the cultic voodoo beat.
And, through it all they are having a great time. The Team is really happy to be where they are. Three housekeeper/cooks have been feeding them and doing their laundry in the muddy river. And it sounds like the best part has been the children. Evan, Andrew and Christian are glad for their time with the crowd of orphan kids who want to play soccer and just be with the guys. No doubt they will have many stories about the children they have been allowed to serve and love in the mountains of Haiti.

FROM CALEB
Meanwhile, down at sea-level, in the aftermath of Hanna, Caleb has been working in partnership with local relief and missions organiziations; and doling out as many resources and relief as Hosean can provide. Click this link to see pictures of the worst affected areas. And, below, find his latest update on the dire circumstances in Haiti.
See more images of this crisis:
http://www.hosean.smugmug.com/gallery/5929205_Ddh98#369249112_gka59


September 10, 2008
Dear Friends;

I’ve arrived to Pignon last night to see my family. I’m returning to Port au Prince tomorrow to continue the effort there. Here is a synopsis of what we’ve done so far:

1. We went to Gonaives on Saturday, Sept. 8th and delivered lots of food and drinking water as told in our last e-mail. We arrived back to Port au Prince at 11:45 p.m. in the rains of hurricane Ike. An hour an a half later, the bridge we had just crossed in route collapsed after flood waters again hit it. Praise the Lord for His protection!
2. We have been in constant communication with the folks in Gonaives, providing them with phone cards as well so that they can continue to be in touch with family members.
3. Our team has produced a DVD and put it in the hands of media to show the conditions. We have given copies to government officials so that they have live images of what has happened.
4. We went to Mirebalais on Sunday to assess the situation after we heard of the bridge collapse. With this collapse, there is no longer ready access over land to Gonaives.
5. We visited the town of Cabaret and provided support to 5 families.
6. We have been contacted for the urgent needs for medicine. We contacted Missionary Flights International. Through Medical Assistance Program Int’l, $249,000 worth of medicine is being delivered tomorrow to go to Gonaives.
7. We received word from Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) here in Haiti that Air Calvary can provide a helicopter to fly supplies to Gonaives since there is no longer road access or an airport for airplanes. We have already raised funds towards this to allow them to fly for 10-14 hours (at $500 hour).
8. We have turned over to the government, a 40 ft. container of food that Rotary Int’l had given for distribution. It contains over 283, 180 meals.
9. We stopped in Mirebalais on the way home to bring some moral and practical support to my friend, Gustave. I met Gustave through Rotary International last October when my vehicles broke down outside of his community. I was with 14 Americans volunteers from Minnesota who I was accompanying back to Port au Prince. He had a double cap pick up truck and helped me get the team to Port au Prince. This past Friday, before I traveled to Gonaives, I called to tell him of my needs for drinking water. He had gotten into his truck, went to a water purification facility and purchased water for over $350USD for me, loaded his truck and was expecting one of my drivers to return to Mirebalais Sunday morning to pick up the water. He had over 1,000 gallons of drinking water ready to go. At 1:00 A.M. on Sunday, the floods overran his town, destroying his pharmacy with over $10,000 worth of medicine, his pick up truck, his generator, a brand new refrigerator and freezer for his business purchased on credit. Thanks be to God, his life, along with his wife and three daughters were spared. The good thing is that Gustave wears the same size of clothes with me and his wife wears the same as my wife. It’s a good time to share from my abundance.

We are heading back to Port au Prince tomorrow. I will be meeting Missionary Flights in the capital, pick up the medicine they are bringing, and make trips via helicopter to bring the medicines and needed supplies to Dr. Grenson Jeune, FACS along with Doctors Without Borders who are responding there.

The situation continues to grow more desperate as stored supplies in the isolated areas run out. Please be praying for wisdom for us as we make decisions how to best help with what resources we find.

Praise God with us for what He is doing to help.
Thanks,
Caleb

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

An Artist's Post

Friend and artist Lois Sprague has been following the V-Team blog. She sent along this note & visual expression of her own Haiti experience -- for Andrew, Evan, and Christian.

I'm so moved to read what the guys are experiencing in Haiti. I wanted to e-mail this image. I painted this after our first trip to Haiti.

There is so much to take in there, but the children are what really touched me. As I read their blog, I sense that from the guys as well.
~Lois Sprague

Lois is a professional artist and illustrator who has several published children's books to her credit. Among other things, she also does live Worship Art performances (shown below) and makes huge theater backdrops!

Watch for her upcoming website in the sidebar LINK LIST of V-Team's Global Friends and Partners.
Thanks for this post, Lois. :)
~KjL

Monday, September 8, 2008

Email from V-team

HOLY COW!!!
That is really all we can say:)


So, we have been here a few days, and it is insane. FIrst... Voodoo is very prominent here. What that involves is if something has gone bad, people make sacrifices to evil spirits to appease them. They believe that if they make enough sacrifice, the evil spirit will help their situation. This is extremely common here. One night, we were all staying up praying, and we heard some drums begin about 100 feet away. Our other missionary friend, Alban (who is basically doing the same thing here in Haiti), told us those were the voodoo drums; they happen basically every night. We began to pray against the idol worship and sacrificing, and were proclaiming God's victory over Haiti. As we were lifting up God, we started to hear Him say, "I can do anything, I have victory over evil, I am a God who can and will protect you..." Alban left, and soon after praying God would kill this meeting, He did. Minutes later it all stopped, and we saw God's hand right there (these usually go late into the night, and it was barely past dusk). We are amidst spiritual warfare; the front lines. This is how every night has been, just praying Christ's victory over Haiti. We met our guard at the camp, whose name is "Jon-Claud" who walks around our house every night singing songs to God:) He is the man. We wake up, and have a series of tasks ahead of us, usually a very rough schedule. So far (today) we dug a 100 yard trench for a water line to a sink for the camp. Day before yesterday we arranged all the classrooms for the kids here at the school. Most of our time has been spent with the kids and teenagers of Pignon. Soccer is huge here, and every evening we have a soccer game that lasts a few hours. It is so amazing to fellowship with them; our focus has been just trying to communicate to them how much God loves them. Language is a huge barrier, so most of our ministry is soccer, or serving the camp or school staff with hard work. Yesterday morning we hiked Mt. Pignon with 6 orphans from the orphanage. They lead us up there, and it was the most beautiful thing we've seen! In fact, evan got a better look by free climbing a 130 ft. radio tower with latter rungs to climb up:) INSANE!

We have found that Gods will is not a comfortable, nor safe thing. God's plan has been consistently pushing us to step out. God is a God who WILL protect, and now we expect Him to show up at night, and take over Pignon. Please be praying for Ja-Claud, John, "technique" (our nick-name for him), Joel, Angelo, Stanley and the rest of the kids in our circle of influence. We are going to start praying (hopefully) with Ja-Claud, our guard. Due to the hurricanes, Haiti was hit hard, and Caleb has left to go for hurricane relief. So please pray for his ministry with that, and just Haiti in general for the hurricanes. We can't communicate this well, but we have seen the NEED for God here, it is a dark place, but God has been rescuing person after person here. We feel that if we have another nation praying over Haiti, God will continue to hear our prayers and continue the revival. Please pray that God will revive, and people will see that there daily sacrifices to idols are empty, and the only wholesome and perfect sacrifice is Jesus. That they have a loving God who is compassionate and will help them and give them life without making those sacrifices. We just want to be God's tools to communicate this message.

There is fruit being produced here, and God is moving rapidly. We cannot wait to see what will happen with a nation praying in Jesus' Name against this evil!
We love all of you, and God Bless you :)
evan christian andrew

IM From Andrew

The guys were able to do some email catch-up this afternoon. Andrew connected on IM Skype with Steve. They were working at a school -- 4 miles away from the place where V-Team is staying. The schools in Haiti have been shut down due to the hurricanes. But, generator power for the buildings still runs during the day, and is turned off at night. The Team had a little time at the school today and were able to communicate before heading back to the solar-powerless house.

Apparently, Caleb is out working on hurricane relief with one group while the Team is doing work up the mountain. Excerpts from Andrew's IM conversation:

we have been working and doing pipe... we ran pipe from a water tower to a new outdoor sink.
it's been so cool.

... we climbed a mountain yesterday and played with orphans. it was amazing.
there is so much i want to tell you guys, but power turns off soon ...

... tell everybody that we're safe and having a great time and will post video and stuff when we get to Miami.

~Andrew

Power Stolen -- Communications are Down

Solar Panels were stolen off the roof of Caleb and Debbie Lucien's house this past weekend. Hosean Ministries is now completely cut-off from solar power and all communications access that the stolen roof panels had supplied. V-Team now has to travel in order to connect with phone or internet.

The Outlaw family has personal connections with Hosean Ministries -- both in friendship with the Luciens, and through Fellowship Bible Church in Little Rock, Arkansas. ( http://www.fbclr.org/ )
Fellowship is a support ministry partner to Hosean Ministries, and keeps tabs on the Lucien family's needs. Through that little web of relationships, Cindy Outlaw will provide update information when it's available.

~KjL

Hosean and Hanna

Update about Hanna relief from Caleb Lucien, Director of Hosean Ministries.

The following update comes via an email Carol Greenstreet received. ( Carol and her husband Kirk are friends of the Luciens.) This brief does not mention V-Team's participation specifically. So we'll have to wait to get specifics from the Team about hurricane relief. But, below find a description of what one group of workers at Hosean ministries has been doing -- in the aftermath of Hanna.


From Caleb Lucien --
"We have provided some help, which represents a tiny drop compared to the existing needs. We brought water, cleaning supplies, peanut butter, corn flakes, milk, salt crackers, sardines, bread and other stuff. We provided phone cards so people can continue to stay in touch with their families. We gave a bit of cash donations in the amount of about US $2500 and as we left we helped evacuate about 50 people who came back to Port-au-Prince. We were glad that we were able to provide assistance estimated at US$11,000 in less than 3 hours.

We left, however, with a deep sense of sadness and anger. Anger, because of the lack of infrastructure in our country where we don't seem to either see or hear what the leaders are about to do. Sadness, because our hearts break for those people who are powerless and who do not seem to have a way out. IT IS HELL ON EARTH - total Chaos, total devastation, total hopelessness...the outcome seems very dark. We watched mothers, carrying a bag on their heads with babies in their arms while walking about 1 mile in 4 feet deep of swamp water. We watch sons and daughters carrying their elderly parents on their backs to bring them to safety. We watch young men, still proud of who they are, but trying to fight for a 16 oz bottle of water and a piece of bread - we see pain and humiliation in their eyes.


As we left and promised the folks that we'd be back on Monday, we did not realize that the only passage to Gonaives would be blocked. The bridge from Mirebalais to Verrettes fell due to the flooding shortly after we crossed it. Gonaives is now in complete isolation and disasters continue to strike other parts of the country. More than 200 homes in the city of Mirebalais were completely destroyed as a result of today's hurricane Ike- you only see spots where they once stood. People are standing, wondering what could be worse. The town of Cabaret, south of Saint Marc is also in complete desolation. Fifteen children died there yesterday from flooding. We will continue to do whatever it takes to bring relief. First, we have identified various church leaders, along with members of the former Rotary Club of Gonaives. We will work through them to bring necessary help. Second, our main focus will be with the delivery of goods such as food & water. We would like to purchase some foam mattresses within the next week to get to the people that are in shelters. Third, we are contacting Air Calvary, who provide Helicopter services, to find some quick yet effective ways to bring the relief. PLEASE PRAY, PRAY, PRAY and if you can give, please do so as the Lord leads you.
Thanks and God Bless!

Thoughts:

If my brother has a need
And my hands be free
Let me love him in deed and in truth.


Caleb & Debbie Lucien
You can donate through http://www.hosean.org/ via paypal or send your gifts to: Hosean International MinistriesPO Box 17668Little Rock, AR 72222-7668

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Spot Them

The Spot tracker is back up and running. You can now view V-Team's current location in Haiti. Click on the blue link at the right of this screen to bring up the GPS map.

A SpotMe Tip: Once the map comes up on your screen, click on the "Satelite" or "Hybrid" options above the map. Either of those choices will bring up a higher definition google map image of the actual terrain, roads, and houses in the area.

Friday, September 5, 2008

V-Team's Flight to Pignon

From the Team -- Christian's quick description of their flight with bush pilot, Michael Broyles:

the flight was awesome. haiti is a beautiful country and its people are so beautiful, they want to know who we are and truely have caring hearts, from what we can see.

the flight was smooth. i sat as co-pilot and got to wear a head set. it was awesome. evan and andrew took pictures out of the plane and then i filmed the landing, hopefully i will post that soon... we won't have internet often, it will be sporadic.

christian

Mission Aviators and Hurricane Hanna


V-Team has forged a new friendship with a missions aviator in Haiti. Below, find recent news about how the hurricane has impacted the bush pilots like Michael, in that region.

Christianity Today World
Haiti: Heavy flooding hampers Mission Aviation Fellowship in aid effort.
Posted: Friday, September 5, 2008, 14:47 (BST)

http://www.maf.org/haiti


Heavy flooding in the Gonaives area of Haiti is preventing Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) missionaries and relief workers from reaching stranded victims. Slammed by tropical depressions Fay and Gustav, and most recently tropical storm Hanna, the damage appears to be worse than the record devastation caused by Hurricane Jeanne in 2004.

"There are about 110,000 people there, and the town is completely flooded from knee-deep to 10 feet of water," said Will White, MAF pilot. "A lot of the people have moved to the tops of their houses. The town is completely cut off by water."
MAF has been in Haiti since 1986 and operates on several air strips. The organisation's air strip in Gonaives, located 170 kilometers north of Port-au-Prince, lies under approximately eight feet of water whilst its remaining air strips in the area have been reported to be operational, though muddy.
Thursday was the first day MAF was permitted to begin transporting missionaries to aid storm victims in Haiti. Service had been suspended due to weather conditions, with the exception of a special permit granted Wednesday to survey damage to the area. According to White, missionaries are prepared and well stocked with supplies.
Aviation fuel is also readily available, although MAF said that the rising cost continues to be an issue. While the supplies are good in Haiti, aviation fuel costs about $6 a gallon. With each plane consuming 18 gallons an hour, costs add up quickly. Funding is needed to help MAF in this emergency situation, said White.
In addition to the excessive flooding and climbing death toll, waterborne illnesses are likely to plague the area and are an even greater concern for MAF. While aboard an MAF flight Wednesday, Red Cross personnel were able to send a text message to Geneva to gain approval for 20,000 inoculations.

Already, more than 60 Haitians have been reported killed as a result of tropical storm Hanna.
"The biggest threat of waterborne illnesses is to infants and the elderly," said White. "These groups are going to be hit pretty hard."
MAF is asking for prayers for the tropical storm victims, as well as prayers for its missionaries who are ministering to the unchurched as they provide much-needed aid.
"We're flying a lot of non-Christian people, relief personnel from organisations like the Red Cross and other NGOs. To be able to put a headset on them and witness to them about Christ is an amazing opportunity," said White. "We also come in contact with a lot of government officials, and we're able to witness to them as well. We might not get that opportunity again."

Thanks to Steve Leigh, for sending in this article link!
If you come across any online articles that pertain to the Global travelers, send it along! kleighjar@gmail.com

Also, the SpotMe/ Google Maps page is under maintenance and temporarily unavailable.
We will let you know when it is up and running again.

~KjL

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Arrived in Pignon

News From the Team
We will post a few videos that can better explain what has been going on, but here's the overview...

We landed in the airport in Port Au Prince and blindly walked thru customs and got our luggage. A man overheard our phone conversation and said, "I KNOW CALEB!" From that point on it was a blur... we followed a man outside thru a tunnel of staring Haitians and after being hassled and asked for money, we arrived in the van. I'll put it this way, we had to lock the doors:) A few minutes pass and we get to a building with more, staring Haitians. We then prayed for God's provision, protection and guidance, because the best way for us to put it is that we felt like "helpless, blind sheep." An American named Michael opened the door and said, "you're coming home with me tonight boys." We went into another airport with little bush planes, and waited for him for an hour over his expected arrival. We rode home with him, and found out he was a missionary with his wife, and we stayed at their house that night. The weather conditions were too bad and so we had to stay another day until today. God provided more than we could have asked for, because we got to stay in a safe, cool house with food and an XBOX 360. It also turns out that man was our bush pilot to take us to Pignon, our actual destination in Haiti. So, this afternoon, we flew out of Port au Prince on a bush plane with Michael, our pilot missionary friend. (http://www.thebroylesflyer.com/) Finally we have arrived here at camp, and now we get to fellowship with other missionaries at the camp. It looks like we are going to spend our time doing a lot of construction projects, and spending time with kids.


So... God has totally taken this out of our hands, obviously... and it has been amazing! Thank you for your faithful prayers, because God has been showing us how to walk in the Spirit. For all of us, we can say that God has been showing us that we need Him, and that in life we need to live lives of complete abandonment to Christ. When we give up EVERYTHING and simply walk down the road and say, "Lord, we are walking, take us..." we have found that God wants us to live with purpose, has purpose for us, and being a living sacrifice actually takes... sacrifice. We are amped to give ourselves to Pastor Caleb and his ministry these next two weeks, but we all have a feeling we wish we could stay longer:)

Once again, thank you for what you have done for us, we are excited to see what the Lord does here in our lives and others around us. Please keep praying for God to make us men to violently make an impact for His Kingdom, and that His Kingdom will continue advancing here in Haiti. It is a dark place because of the prominent voodoo hold on these people; please pray God will continue to break that. We NEED God's protection, and we NEED his guidance. THank you so much, you all are amazing.

Warriors of Christ,
Evan Christian Andrew

Less Importantly...

In honor of the many public opinion surveys and exit polls being taken during the U.S. presidential race, we have our own voting results. The answer to this last blog survey is in. Did you win?

"How many days until Evan has an allergic reaction?"
According to Christian's last post, Evan came back to the hotel from Miami Beach and broke out in hives. We don't know if it had anything to do with his unique version of Tai Chi practice on the beach. But we do know that was day two of the trip. So, if you voted the first option "0-5 Days" then, you are a winner. (Any survey suggestions or donations of prizes are welcome).

Before they left, Evan had decided that he wasn't "allergic to anything anymore." So, maybe he changed his mind. :) In any case, we will change the blog survey. Watch for the new question, and vote!
~KjL

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

From Port auPrince

V-Team has left the country.

Early this afternoon Evan, Christian and Andrew stepped off their plane into Haiti. They arrived to find that all in-country flights are currently grounded. Their contact from Hosean Ministries was unable to meet them at the airport. Until planes are cleared to fly the guys are staying with the Broyles family. Michael Broyles is a bush pilot who graduated from Moody Bible Institute, in 2002. Michael and his wife Karen (and their three year old daughter) now serve with Mission Aviation Fellowship. http://www.maf.org/ in Haiti. They have a heart for hospitality and a spare bedroom set aside specifically for hosting travelers in times like this.

Check out their website. It is a great place to browse -- full of stories about Mission Aviation, and their work as Jesus Followers, in Haiti. And, if you want, leave them a note and thank them for hosting V-Team! http://www.thebroylesflyer.com/

Andrew called today from the Broyles home with an update. He said they are doing well.
He was positive about their arrival, and optimistic about what is ahead for them. They are ready to see what tomorrow brings.

All internet services and some cell carriers went down in Woodland Park today. We had tele-communication/ computer silence today. So it was great to have made contact with the team by good old- fashioned land- line phones. Special thanks to Don Leigh, 30 miles down the way in Colorado Springs, for copying and sending this update over the phone.

~KjL


Hanna and Haiti

From Miami.

Yesterday, the Team got up early, then found out they would have a day of down time. So, they took public transit and spent several hours at Miami Beach. According to Christian and Andrew, Evan was the only one at the beach practicing his own "version" of tai chi. They spent the evening getting caught up on communciation. And, today the Team heads back to the airport to await word on whether their 11:30 am flight will actually depart MIA for Port au Prince. From Christian's e-mail correspondence this morning:

This morning after missing our wake up call, and clock alarm...we got up in chaos, and then calmed down, got packed up, and headed for the airport. We got to the american ticket counter and told the agent what happened. She said it was no problem and then booked us for a flight at 11:30 this morning. We got to our gate and called our contact, caleb lucien, and told him everything would be okay and we would be to port au prince soon. He told us that he may not be able to get to port au prince to get us today because the weather is still rough, but to still give him a call from the airport when we land. Please pray for the communication with him when we land and pray that he has a way to come pick us up!


Hurricane Hanna Update
NASSAU, Sept 2 (Reuters) - Tropical Storm Hanna drenched the Bahamas and triggered deadly flooding in Haiti on Tuesday, as it headed for expected landfall in the southeastern United States later this week.
In Haiti, authorities said heavy rains triggered by Hanna caused severe flooding in the northern port city of Gonaives, where thousands died four years ago during a similar catastrophe.
"The city is flooded and there are parts where the water gets to 2 meters (6.5 feet)," said civil protection director Alta Jean-Baptiste. "A lot of people have been climbing onto the tops of their houses since last night to escape the flooding."
Gonaives Police Commissioner Ernst Dorfeulle said at least 10 people had been killed in the floods.



From http://www.reliefweb.com/ On 2 September, Hanna downgraded to a Tropical Storm and is producing heavy rains over south-eastern Bahamas and Hispaniola. A tropical storm warning has been extended from the northern border of Dominican Republic to Port au Prince in Haiti. The Haitian provinces of Antibonite and Nord-Ouest are completely flooded and latest reports indicate the deaths of ten people. The city of Gonaive also woke up to find itself completely flooded, possibly affecting some 240,000 people. It has continued raining to date. Currently, there is no access by road or air to the affected areas. This made (aerial) assessments impossible. Through telephone calls received it became clear that people climbed to the roof tops of their houses and were still only two to three meters away from the flood waters. Source: International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)
Date: 02 Sep 2008


The Team will be entering a country in a state of disaster and great need for emergency relief. Opportunites for serving ministries may be many. They will be traveling to a more central and mountainous region of Haiti -- less devestated by the storm. But because of Hanna's aftermath on the coast, the guys no longer have a scheduled small- plane in-country connection flight with Caleb Lucien, to Hosean Ministries. V-Team travel updates will be posted later today.

~KjL