The Family

The Family
Justice, Logan, Jacy Klaire, Joy, Josie Kate, Luke, Megan, Judah, Kerry, Jaxon

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Helping Refugees

A sign where we distributed the food and water to a refugee camp in PAP.

This past Sunday we spent in Port Au Prince giving out water, food, clothes, and other supplies as well as sharing the love of Jesus with those living in the tent villages that have popped up all over the city. Thousands who have lost their homes now live in make shift tents made of sheets and tarps. We went with a group of young Haitians from Montrouis and gave out over 200 gallon jugs of clean water and 100 pounds of food. It was not always organized or safe but we were able to help many.

Sleeping under the tarps and sheet tents in the streets. A common sight right now in the city.

One of the thousands of houses that collapsed in the quake.

Cooking the food over charcoal the night before we went.

UN peace keepers on patrol to help keep order.

The boxes of rice and beans with chicken we gave to the hungry waiting in the refugee camp.

200 gallons of water we were able to give the thirsty people in the city.

People lined up to get the aid we were distributing. Thank you to everyone that has donated and given so we can continue to help with the needs of the people. We have 2 refugee camps we are setting up here in Montrouis to care for about 200 refugees that have left the city. We will be helping to feed them everyday as well as meet their physical and medical needs. Thank you so much for your prayers for these precious people that have lost everything and need to see the love of Jesus.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Life amidst Death

Joy and I were walking through the village yesterday with our kids and ended up in an abandoned house where we found a mother with twin babies that we thought were newborns. They turned out to be two months old. It turns out the mother could not breast feed and they were trying to feed the babies crumbled up cookies with water. We knew we had to do something or they were not going to make it.

We found some formula in St. Marc and Joy was able to go back and begin to teach the mother how to feed with a bottle. (We just had a pretty good aftershock as I am typing this)

Joy took baseline weights and little girl Yeitram weighed in at 6.0 pounds and her little brother Widgy weighs just 5.5 pounds. They were born on November 11, 2009.

Jacy Klaire declares that "God rescued them because He has a plan for their lives. Who knows, this little boy could be Haiti's first Godly president."

Keep them in your prayers. Joy will be helping the mom everyday for a while to make sure they are accepting the formula and that the mom is sterilizing everything good.

We have been so consumed by the misery around us that this has been a breath of fresh air as we remember that God is in control. I am so glad He helped us discover these little ones before they died. They are not out of the woods yet but today they ate their first real meal.

We are sending a load of food and provisions to PAP today through a friend that lives there and lost his house. They are living in their yard with their extended family. We are sending enough food for them to sustain many in his neighborhood until the food from the aid teams is being distributed effectively.

We are working on establishing a refugee camp at a school along with another ministry and are starting the process of assessing how many refugees we have in our area and what needs they have.

Thank you for your prayers. God is good and we are grateful to be His servants.

Our website has a couple of pictures too of our trip to the city after the quake. We will be posting more when we get the chance.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Emotional Times

Hendricks Motorsports took my mother-in-law and step-son away yesterday. We found out Missionary Flights International was flying out missionaries to Florida so we made the trip to PAP to put 4 of the members of the team that had been visiting on the plane. It was an emotional time to see friends and especially family leave but we knew it was best. The Benfields stayed behind to work in the hospital and help but the others had to leave.

We also met up with Julie Wirries at the airport. What a blessing it was to see her and talk to her. She was on her way out on the same flight. She was so torn because she did not want to leave but the mission where she was working was destroyed and they had spent five nights sleeping outside with no bathrooms and no where to go. She barely escaped the collapse of the building. It collapsed all around her but God protected her miraculously and she was unharmed. She is headed back to Florida to be with family. Keep her in your prayers and try to email her ( and let know you are proud of her and will continue to pray for her.

As we watched the plane taxi to the runway it quickly flashed through my mind..."why are you not on that plane with your family"... after all many people had told us I needed to get them out before it got any worse. I could see us sitting in my mom's living room in the NC mountains with no one crying over dead bodies, open wounds, over crowded streets, lines of people waiting for food, no horrible smells or fear of airborne diseases. But the thought was only fleeting as I stood by my best Hatian friend and thought of the 4 families he now had living in his little house with little or no food and water. The the other families that we have bought supplies for to go and help deal with now having to feed their entire extended families as well as deal with the fact that they themselves had lost someone in the quake. Almost everyone here lost a friend, or coworker, or family member.

The trip to PAP was uneventful. We did see where they had dumped a couple of bodies on the side of the road and the smell of the area where they had started a mass grave was unbearable. But no violence. We were able to buy 11 gallons of diesel that had been salvaged from a ruptured fuel line at the warf. We paid $45 haitian per gallon which is about $5.65 USD. That was the only fuel we could find. That is going to be our biggest challenge. We are stuck without fuel.

This morning we dropped Shelly and Bob off at the hospital where we are in the process of opening one of our eye clinics. It worked out great. Shelly was able to deliver a baby and Bob worked on several injured quake victims. They will do the same tomorrow with another nurse that is arriving tonight from Hickory.

We went on to St. Marc to try to find diesel and other supplies. We were able to find all of the food and supplies we need without a problem but no diesel. We found a place you could buy only one gallon for $70 Haitian or $8.75 USD per gallon. We were looking for 50 gallons and the line to get one gallon was 2-3 hours long.

Philip is meeting up with 3 people from YWAM in California where he and Logan served last year. They are coming to meet him and they will work together with the YWAM team in St. Marc this week. Philip will be spending the next few days there.

Our other issue is finding somewhere to get money. The normal places we could cash American Checks were in PAP and are now rubble. Western Union is functioning to some extent but it is days to get through the line and not very reliable at the moment. We talked to a missionary group today that was leaving because they could not get money and had no more diesel fuel.

As we drove down the road today I could not help but see the despair on everyone's face. The shock has worn off and the reality of the loss of their old life is starting to set in. What a momumental task we face as we try to help them assimilate into their new souroundings and deal with the trauma. Only God can do it. Keep the Haitian people in your prayers.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


We want to thank everyone for the encouragement. I wanted to let everyone know that Julie Wirries sent word to her son that she is safe. We do not have more details than that but we praise the Lord for her safety.

We are trying to get things arranged to get back down into Port Au Prince proper but it is less secure than it was when we went the first time yesterday. The military teams begin arriving tomorrow and them more humanitarian aid teams will be able to mobilize. We will continue to try to partner with a couple of different groups to provide man power and supplies along with any other transportation etc. that we have at our disposal. Diesel fuel is a real issue. All the pumps are out and the supply has ended for the moment in most places. We use it not only for the vehicles but also for the generators to keep electricity for the compound. We have heard of more violent episodes than we care to admit so it keeps us cautious and prayerful as we move forward with our aid. We will be working with the refugees that have fled the city and have little or no food and clothing right now until we are able to get back into the heart of the city in the next few days. We will keep everyone posted on how things are going as we see God work to restore order and exhibit mercy and grace in a time of unimaginable devastation. Thank you for your prayers for the Haitian people. To sit today and see my best Haitian friend describe to me how hard it is that he has not heard from his brother yet. We did not find him when we went in yesterday. This afternoon they took the truck but also three motorcycles on back so they could get into areas where the truck will not go. Pray they find him and discover he is okay. Almost everyone we know has taken in loved ones that have fled the city in fear that more buildings will collapse. Pray for us to know how to minister to them and help them as they cope with these difficulties.

It is truly hard but Haitians are amazingly able to deal with hard times. Everyday is hard here. Insecurity, lack of daily needs of food and proper shelter, bad government, and manipulation by many of the outsiders that come are everyday challenges to our Haitian friends. 2008 saw 4 storms that devastated much of the country. Repeated violent overthrows of the government in the past have left their scars. But this is different. The amount of loss of life has affected everyone. The fact that the financial, business, educational, and social hub of the country has been pretty much leveled is a tough blow. Had the quake hit anywhere else in the country it would be simply a few months until things were back to status quo. Not this time. Most of us in the US can't understand the dynamics of how Haiti works and how it all revolves around a functioning Port Au Prince. Pray God restores functionality to the system quickly for the sake of the average Haitian that depends on imported rice and beans, cooking oil, diesel fuel, and many other daily needs that have to flow through PAP before reaching their charcoal stoves and tap tap taxis.

We know you are there for us. You have encouraged us so much in the last few days. But don't spend all your time praying for us. We are safe. Our families are safe. We want you joining with us to pray prayers that make a difference for a nation. For a whole generation. THEN we will feel like the struggle and hardship has been worth it all.

Prayer Request

I wanted to ask for prayer for Julie Wirries. Many of you know Julie- or Titant (little aunt)- moved back to Haiti when we did to serve once again on the mission field in Haiti. She moved from Montrouis to Port Au Prince several months ago to work with another missionary in an orphanage. I have not been able to contact either one of them and we were not able to get all the way to their area yesterday due to downed power lines. I have never been to the orphanage and I am not exactly sure where it is but I know the area. If we do not hear anything we are going to try to make another trip to that area tomorrow to check on her. If anyone hears from her please let us know.

The team we have here is stranded for an extra week due to airline cancellations. They will be able to make such a difference in this "bonus" week of service! We are hoping to meet with Samaritan Purse personel this afternoon to coordinate more efforts in the heart of the city tomorrow. Thanks for your prayers and support. We will be taking in clean water and supplies as well as doing medical treatment again. We will update again soon.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Shaken in More Ways Than One

When we came to Haiti to do eye care and minister to the kids and everything I did not have visions of rows of dead bodies and mortally wounded kids in mind. But today God chose to allow us to be in places I never dreamed I would have to go. So many people in shock and dying still in the streets. We went to the areas of Port Au Prince that were hardest hit today to find the family members of some friends. By God's grace only one family member had been lost but she is the mother of seven children. One of the thousands of stories we heard today of families that lost someone in a collapsed building. Some areas the homes were all crushed as far as you could see. As soon as we have better internet we will upload some photos from our make shift clinics we set up and of the devastation.

For now we just want everyone to know that we are okay and that we will be doing all we can to reach out to the perishing in love and compassion. Keep us in your prayers and we will do our best to keep everyone updated. Thank you to everyone that has partnered with us to make it possible for us to be here to help during this time.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Merry Christmas...a little late!

Merry Christmas from Haiti. It has been a while since we updated the blog because of internet problems and other issues. We wanted to tell everyone hello. We had a team from another ministry take us to the beach for Christmas and the we had a great time. Things have been unbelievably busy to end the year and beginning of 2010. Joy helping to prepare food for a feeding we did at a local area near the bakery where we live. We have been ministering to the young people that live there and felt led to have a Christmas party with them and share the gospel. It was a good time. The folks we fed are not the most upstanding citizens in the community and many of the people from the churches do not try to reach them. They are the ones that we believe Jesus would try to reach if he were here.

Philip has been a HUGE help to us here. He has made so many friends and has had the opportunity to share his faith with many young people one on one. We are trusting God to use him to really impact the youth of our area. The Wednesday night worship service that we are doing outside in the yard here has become one of his main ministries and we are really excited about how God is using it.

I have had several opportunities to preach lately with Pastor Cesar. I am not quite ready to preach without a translator but I think after a couple of more months I will be comfortable doing so.

We have several teams headed our way and we can't wait. We will keep you updated on how things are going. We should be opening two eye clinics this month and the lab to make the glasses.