Friday, March 22, 2013


Last week, I had the privilege of joining a medical team as they traveled with Haiti Endowment Fund to Hinche. I had such an amazing time with the team and founders of HEF. They shared their story and wisdom from serving in Haiti for over 25 years. Check out their great work here!

Build Change
Our block making business is on a roll! 2 weeks ago we had our first training with Build Change. We have partnered with Build Change to ensure that our employees are properly trained and have received the most up-to-date building codes and standards as put forth by the MTPTC. Build Change recognized that the 2010 earthquake was so devastating because of poorly built buildings. They work in seismic active areas by, “designing earthquake-resistant housing and training local builders, homeowners, engineers and government officials to build them.”

Build Change engineers worked hands-on with our men to teach proper cement to sand ratios, mixing techniques and curing times. During the first training Build Change took 3 “control” blocks, made prior, to test the compressive strength. The desired mega pascal for a block is 10.  Initial tests usually reveal a compressive strength of approximately 4 to 6 MPa. Build Change will train our employees to output blocks of at least 8 MPa.

The last training will connect our trained block makers to business opportunities by people who have pledged that they will employ those certified through Build Change. Build Change holds a marketing and awareness open house where our block makers are encouraged to invite area contractors and construction workers. We are so thankful that Reformation Hope, the 501©3 in Georgia that supports the ministry here, has committed to purchasing the better made blocks for the construction of their medical clinic.

We look forward to completing the Build Change training and receiving our official Certification of Quality!


Saturday, March 2, 2013

One of those Days

It’s one of “those” days. I wake up to find that it’s day two of the power being off. I can’t turn my laptop on. I step outside forgetting my sunglasses. The glare of the sun is unforgiving, the wind is on hiatus and even in the shade it is hot. No refrigeration means my water is not cold. Things at work aren’t adding up and I’m feeling down. I just need a little peace and quiet but the shrill screams from the kids show their insistence on being loud. For dramatic effect, I’m also out of toilet paper.

I arrive early to the sauna like school room. Everyone else is late. And yes, I’m grumbling and I briefly acknowledge that this likely means I’m ungrateful but the pity of party of one seems too inviting to turn away now. I half-heartedly teach articles and adjectives, glancing at my small clock whose minutes don’t seem to want to move. I return to my dark room and glance at the calendar. It is month four and I am well aware that many of my efforts have fallen short because everything seems to be taking too long. I hurriedly try to find patience. I see it everywhere though, obvious evidence of my shortcomings. Things that need to improve, should improve and most importantly CAN improve. Sometimes the easy to find can be hard to fix. The obvious can have a hidden root system.

 And just like everywhere else in this big wide world, people here can be so hard to please. Myself e(x)specially included. Why do politics always have to play a part? And this is not new. It’s everywhere. From the playground to the pentagon. And how can I pat myself on the back? How can I settle for “sufficient” or “subpar”? I can’t.  I wanted to help. To be in it. To be a part of what God is doing here. A catalyst for community, or at least campus, change.

Oh, but it’s more than that. I have things I’m trying to do here you know? I have a resume to write. I have a facebook for fanfare and a blog for bragging. Give me some content God!  My good intentioned heart gets bullied by my pride and the battle is on. Where’s that line I dance on? The line my clumsy, crass self crosses all too often. Between being ambitious and being blindly aggressive. Between self-aware and self-absorbed. Between my glory and His glory. Independence can be an idol. I need Christ and he’s reminding me. I do need Him but sometimes I just don’t want everyone else to know that.

On “one of those days”, days like today, what do I really want? And for who?

Then a tiny reminder, a seed of hope quite literally. We planted a few Moringa Seeds last month. I waited and watered and watched in vain. I believe I actually got frustrated with the seed. I gave up but was saving the soil for something else to plant.  And I emptied the makeshift planter and there it was. The sprouting of a Moringa tree. A tiny plant that paid no mind to my expectations for germination. It didn’t need my water or my watch. It was going to sprout all along, in its own good time. I forget that so often. I’m a part of the plan. This isn’t my show. I am in the orchestra, not the conductor. And things will move and grow and go but the timing is not up to me.

“God is God. He knows what He is doing. When you can’t trace His hand, trust His heart.” – M. Lucado