Friday, January 29, 2010

Carlos Whittaker #1

On January 10th we had our good friend Carlos Whittaker come to NorthBridge and lead worship for us. If you happened to miss it -- well -- you missed it. His energy and passion for Jesus came through his time with us in a way that way contagious and inspiring. We all left church that day feeling like we had witnessed something special.

Our time with Carlos was a blessing way beyond just our Sunday time with him. He was able to hang out with us through Monday and during that time encouraged us and gave us some great advice. He was very excited by what he saw us doing and how were were progressing as a church.

During our Monday meeting with him he got a call from his record label telling him that itunes had selected him to be featured on the front page of their website as a free download. Carlos is in the process of releasing his first album and the EP just came out Tuesday January 26th going to to #1 on the Christian and Gospel charts and #42 overall. We are so excited for him and can't wait to have him back at NorthBridge soon.

If you have not downloaded his song yet you can get it here.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

What's Wrong With People?

Earlier this week a friend of mine tweeted the image on the right along with the following text: "What is wrong with people? Avg. Haitian makes $1/day. Donating cost of 1 meal out could cover them for a week."

Make no mistake, I too was a little taken back upon first viewing it. After all, what kind of person does not want to help in the midst of such great tragedy?

But after further reflection, this thought struck me...what if it's not that they don't want to give but that they can't? Let's face it... many of us, our friends and neighbors, are feeling the current economic squeeze. Could it be that the numbers above highlight our debt? Our fears? Maybe so many are in debt and/or worried about having enough for tomorrow that they feel like, "I just can't give"?

On the other hand maybe people just don't care.

What's been your experience? Have you given? Have your friends? Why / why not?


Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday From Haiti

Here is the latest from the Davis family. Please pray that they will be able to get these containers released.

Friday the 22nd

I guess it's not as easy to keep this going as I had hoped. So much going on and trying to keep things organized is a bit difficult. BUT I am here now, so wanted to send some pictures of the inspection of the container. We need a LOT of prayer right now for this whole thing. Our broker gave us the price for the TWO containers (one which we haven't even seen yet). But some of the fees are way out of line, so am trying to deal with those. The UN has offered to help missions release things, so will probably check into that today, if I have time. Our house has become like a whirlwind, with a revolving door for people to come and check things, ask for things, and try to change things. And a lot of these we have no answer for. But I guess they think we have some sort of connection with people we don't even know. Anyway, here are some of the pictures, so you can see where we are with the first container this year. Keep praying!!!

Okay the first picture is opening the door. Stan does such a fantastic job of packing these things that they are STUFFED right to the door. Every square inch is used. So, you open the door carefully.He included the boxes from the things he "stuffed" with, so we could repack them. Smart man, huh? And we also brought along tons of trash can liners to help with the overflow.
If you look close, you can see things packed between the boxes that needed to be bagged.
What a blessing these buckets are. They are the main part of our "bucket ministry". They serve many purposes for the people...holding the food we send, then for hauling water, and even for storing things once they are not in use otherwise.I'm not sure if you can see the boxes here, but this is the main thing we needed this container for right now...the rice meals to share with those in desperate need, coming from Port au Prince. And the thing you can't see, the hundreds of jars of peanut butter. These are important for protein. It's something simple, yet nutritious. Now we need to start praying that we can get it out here and start getting it to those who need it. They will be going to many, many places where people are housing the refugees and also to orphanages. But even these places are taking in more, and at times more than they can really handle, but the need is so great, they won't refuse to help.

The team from our home church left on Tuesday and our son and grandson left yesterday. What a let down for us. They were a huge help with everything. I had a melt down last night when nothing seemed to be working right and all things seemed to be going wrong. It wasn't one particular thing, just everything adding up and getting to me. I'm much better today and know that the Lord is in charge, and no matter what happens, HE will be triumphant. I'm keeping one hand on HIM while the other one does the work.

Keep praying...the people are flooding in to Cap, and there aren't many places for them to go. Pray for peace and quiet. Pray for wisdom for everyone involved in the relief efforts going out. And pray for the Lord to touch and move people toward Him through this whole maelstrom.

I sent out an email last night, and I'd like to copy it here for those who didn't get it. It was sent to me by a friend and it's so true.

Thank you

LORD, I just want to say THANK YOU,
Because this morning I woke up and knew where my children were.
Because this morning my home was still standing.
Because this morning I am not crying because my husband, my child, my brother or sister needs to be dug out from underneath a pile of concrete.
Because this morning I was able to drink a glass of water.
Because this morning I was able to turn on the light.
Because this morning I was able to take a shower.
Because this morning I was not planning a funeral.
But most of all I thank you this morning because I still have life and a voice to cry out for the people of Haiti.

LORD, I cry out to you, the One that makes the impossible, possible, the One that turns darkness into light. I cry out that You give those mothers strength, that You give them peace that surpasses all understanding, that You may open the streets so that help can come, that You may provide doctors, nurses, food, water, and all that they need in a blink of an eye. For all those that have lost family members, give them peace, give them hope, and give them courage to continue to go on! Protect the children and shield them with Your power. I pray all this in the name of Jesus!! AMEN

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Thursday AM Haiti Update

For all that are interested we will be having an informational meeting this Saturday 10am at the church offices for our upcoming Haiti trip. We have a few that we could still fill. We will be closing the trip next week so that we can get the tickets purchased.

I am also posting the latest update from Don and Karen Davis, they the our host when we are in Haiti.

(From Dan and Karen)

Thursday AM

Missed a day, sorry for the delay. But it was for a VERY good reason. We went down to the docks to inspect our first container. Talk about weird...there were almost no other containers around, and it's usually stacked three or four high and solid everywhere. But then we found out that the UN told them to clear the area since THEY want to use that particular area. Now we need to pray about the price. They said we would know today and can have the container tomorrow...we'll see. But with the UN pushing, maybe we will get it. Just pray about the price...we need it to be reduced, A LOT.

I'll try to post some pictures tonight of the container was rather a mess, but it's done anyway.

We have an MFI flight again today...our son and grandson are leaving...BUMMER. We will be getting mail, but no cargo. All efforts are going to Port right now. Many missions are upset since they need supplies here too. I've been trying to buffer things, since MFI is working 16 or more hours a day now. I know the stress level is very high there, as well as here. Pray not only for Haiti and it's people, pray for those supplying the needs here. It's really a job no one wants to be in when stress is so high.

Personally, my mind has gone numb. I can't seem to grasp things, as people keep coming to me with ideas and ways to do this and that, and I have no control over it, or even in some cases, am not involved in it. But they seem to think this is a clearing house for things being done. Pray for me to be able to prioritize and get things that I CAN do, organized and going. The Embassy has backed off, since no one needs immediate help here, which is one burden lifted.

One HUGE praise we have... one of the missionaries has been trying to adopt their kids for many years and kept running into road blocks. Well because of this situation, they have been given their visas for the kids and they are now officially THEIRS...and they are headed stateside today. What a blessing for them and all the other orphans whose adoptions are now being finalized. Go to MFI's web site and see the clip on those orphans MFI flew out to be united with their adoptive's awesome.

Pray for several things...
Pray that MFI will find a way to get supplies to CAP for the missions here,
Pray for those handling all the incoming people from Port to the north, on this end of the island. We are talking already THOUSANDS, and it's just started.
Pray for MFI and their situation there and the stress level there and here.
Pray that the churches will use this terrible ordeal to show the unsaved God's love and provision.
Pray for wisdom and guidance for us as we face all the needs coming our way.
Pray for the containers...for rapid release, and lower prices
Pray for the Christian churches here, that they will have the support and help they need to deal with all of those coming to them for help.

If you have emailed us, and needed an answer and have not heard from us, I have to apologize. Although emails have decreased (only about 75 a day now), I am still having problems finding time to be on here and answering them. Please forgive me, I am not ignoring anyone...just having a hard time coping with the overflow of correspondence.

I'll try to blog again tonight, if possible. Keep everything and everyone in prayer... we all need it.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Monday Haiti Update

These are pictures from our trip to Haiti last March. We are helping Don and Karen Davis deliver supplies to the countryside. They are the missionaries that we stay with when we are in Haiti.

Here is the latest update that I have from them. We are working on ways to get them resourced ASAP.

Monday AM

I wanted to get a quick note out to everyone to PRAY big time right now. One of our kids has just taken all of our paperwork and gone to the mayor of Cap to try to get the container that is already here released. No one is working at the docks right now, with all that is going on. But we need some intercession here.

Since yesterday afternoon, we have had several pastors call and tell us they have people now living with them from Port. They desperately need help. We can buy things in country least the basics. But we don't have the finances to do it at this point.

Don asked me to put out a plea on here to see if anyone would be willing to help us with this situation. One pastor alone has 12 people moved in with him in the last 12 hours, and more are coming. This pastor has a very small house and no food at all.

I am going to try to set up a system here of how and who to give things to. We do have to have some discernment on this, for sure. But we want to help all of those we can, whom the Lord directs us to. So we need your prayers for that as well.

We knew this whole thing would become overwhelming once the "migration" started, but it is happening really fast. It's like we are spinning our wheels trying to bring things together. are our immediate prayer needs:

1 ~ that the container we have here now will be released.
2 ~ that the container following it will be released quickly and at no it is for the people.
3 ~ that the Lord will direct us on who and what to give, once we have the resources in hand.
4 ~ that the Lord will provide the resources we need to help the people.
5~ that the Lord will give us strength and wisdom in all things.
6 ~ that the Lord will cover us with His peace and protection
7 ~ that the Lord will keep His Hands on MFI as they alone they have 5 (YES FIVE) planes in the air, doing relief work and taking stranded people out of Haiti.
8 ~ And HIGH on the list of priorities... that God will use this whole situation for His glory!!!

Thank you for your prayers and help...without YOU we couldn't do what God has called us to do.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Haiti Update

I just received this email from two of the missionaries that I know in Haiti. I though that you might like to read it.

Dear praying friends:

We have so many reasons for thanking the Lord that we don’t know where to begin. We returned to Haiti on Jan. 12th as the rain was pouring down and the clouds were low. The airport tower said we couldn’t land because the airport was closed but the MFI pilot said he could see so he was landing anyway. Praise the Lord for a safe landing and a safe trip back to the EBAC compound! The roads are atrocious with craters at least 3 car lengths in diameter and the water in them is deep enough to cover the tires. It took us a long time to get home.

We got home around 2:30p.m. Around 4:30p.m. we felt the house tremble and went outside where everyone else was talking excitedly at the same time. There was a school bus parked in the yard that was dancing back and forth and the mango trees were swaying. We thought it was just a tremor never imagining that an earthquake of 7.5 on the Richter scale had just hit Port-au-Prince plunging hundreds of thousands of people into eternity in just 7 seconds of time. Houses, schools, hospitals, prisons, government buildings (including the National Palace), embassies were either severely damaged or flattened crushing all of the precious people under great weights of concrete and iron. The whole city of Port-au-Prince was destroyed!

When we started to hear reports of the devastation, we knew that with so many of the orphans living there – some were bound to be badly hurt or killed. How we praise the Lord that, as far as we know, everyone is fine!!!

1. Wislyn should have been at the medical facility in class but left early since he thought his teacher wasn’t coming. He and a friend, Bernadin, were on the third story of their building when they felt the quake and saw buildings collapsing all around them. They hurried and climbed down the stairs that were left and slid down the side of the building to reach the ground.
2. Remy and Ginette, his fiance, were looking at a piece of land and were unharmed since no buildings were close to them.
3. Vilbrun left the school building to go to the bathroom and when he turned around to go back inside, the building collapsed in front of him. He ran for his life only receiving some cuts on his leg.
4. Michelus was sitting in his classroom and all the rest of the school collapsed – only his room remained standing.
5. Nesly, Fred and Jovenel were still in Cap-Haitian preparing to return to Port-au-Prince. Sometimes when the Lord doesn’t give you the money to do something it’s a blessing in disguise.
6. We were concerned about Choute, Sito and Silvio but have heard that they are fine.
7. Rosemane was in a house with 7 people – 4 downstairs and 3 upstairs. The 3 upstairs were able to escape but the 4 downstairs were killed. Rosemane walked from 5:00p.m. all night – stopping to sleep on the road – till she got to the bus station and begged the driver to bring her to Cap-Haitian for free. She was in her bare feet so he believed that she had no money and allowed her to sit on the steps beside the driver to come home.
8. Pastor Manicus and daughter weren’t at home when the quake hit but they weren’t hurt. Mrs. Manicus and son, Mano were in the house and the house collapsed trapping them in one part. They were rescued. Their legs were hurt but not seriously.

Dear Lord, we know that you protected these children of yours and we thank You so much. You truly do take care of us and we are so grateful!

9. Pastor Cebien went to Port that morning before we got back to Haiti. He got on the American Airline plane at 4:00p.m. It didn’t leave until after the quake but we learned yesterday afternoon that he got to Canada safely!

10.Pastor Neance was in Petit Goave where the quake registered 5.5 and was hit twice. Yesterday we learned that his house is still standing but the wall around it fell down. Irmana went to Petit Goave to visit her relatives and she, too, is fine. Thank you, dear Father!

When we hear stories pouring in of so many families losing their children that they sent to Port for their education, we can only raise our hearts to God in prayer and thanksgiving for protecting the EBAC family.

People are now leaving Port-au-Prince as fast as they can. Everyone is living outside because they are afraid to trust any building. There are dead people lying everywhere and the smell is starting to be unbearable. Many government officials have been killed and the president has left the country. When the USA came to help, there was no one here to give them any direction. The airport tower is damaged and the port can no longer receive boats because it is damaged. So much help is needed. Please pray that the Lord will show us how to best use what He has given us to help others.

Some of you have so generously sent to Helping Hungry Haitians. One of our supporting churches sent $5,000 to us this month. Today we bought food to begin distributing to people in need because of the great rains that have been falling here in the North and also to people who are beginning to arrive from Port-au-Prince. We will all try to do our part to help these truly homeless people. Please pray that the Lord will give us wisdom as we help and that He will receive all the glory.

You are all such a blessing to us. Thank you for praying for us during this – another crisis in Haitian history. The Lord is working. He is our God and we don’t understand everything that He does but we want to be ready as vessels to be used in any way He wants to use us. We covet your prayers.

Because of Calvary’s love,

Kathy and Alice

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Good News

I just received word that our friend Remy, who is the head of the IDADEE orphanage and the rest of the people staying with him are alive. Some of them have injuries but it looks like they are going to be ok. This is great news and we are praising God tonight. There is still much that needs prayer there, but for now we will rejoice.


Short Update

Unfortunately I don't have a whole lot to update you on today. We are anxiously waiting to hear from our friends in Port Au Prince but things are still silent. I did receive word that the house where they stay had been flattened which is disheartening.

Don and Karen Davis host us when we travel to Haiti and they have been able to update their blog a few times. If you are interested it is a good place to stay up on our friends there. Click here for to link to it.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


As I was driving to work today I passed this backhoe parked on the side of the road. Most days I would not think anything of an unused piece of construction machinery, but today this idle hunk of metal brought me to tears. I knew if I was able to transport it to Haiti it could literally be saving the lives of people instead of sitting on the side of the road here in the USA.

As many of you know I have been traveling to Haiti for the last 15 years to help the people there, so the news of the earthquake yesterday hit me particularly hard. I cannot imagine how crazy it is there right now and how many people are suffering. Like me I am sure that many of you are asking "What can I do to help?" or "Can I really make a difference with such a big problem?". The answer to the later question is yes you can make a difference and the answer to the former question is to help us send a container of food to this impoverished hurting nation.

One thing I have learned from my years of experience in Haiti is that the problems of that nation are too big for any one person or organization to solve. At times it seems futile. But God has placed real people there in my life that I can help and that can make all the difference in the world for them. I believe that God has given us, as a church, a very real and tangible way to be His hands and feet in their time of need.

Our plan of action will be to partner with the Pittsburgh Kids Foundation (PKF), who I have worked with for years in Haiti, and send down some food. The PKF will be collecting funds for this endeavor and when we have the money raised we will be working with a man named Stan Curtis to get the food there A.S.A.P.. Stan is a stateside missionary with Missionary Flights International, who helps me coordinate trips to Haiti. When trying to figure out how to help, my first call was to him. I asked him what the best and most tangible way to help would be and he immediately suggested that we help him send down a cargo ship container full of food. He has already lined up the 20,000 pounds of food and we are going to cover the cost of shipping the container - which is approximately $16,000.

If you would like to help you can make a donation by going to the The Pittsburgh Kids Foundation website and click the support tab to give. Please mark Haiti Relief Fund in the purpose section of the Paypal site so it will be designated for this project. If you would like to mail a check to them their address is: Pittsburgh Kids Foundation, 116 Federal Street, 1st Floor, Pittsburgh PA 15212. You can see them on the evening news here .

Please keep praying.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Resolving To Not Resolve?

We are now almost two weeks into the year 2010 and I am wondering how everyone is doing with their New Years Resolutions? I was tempted this year to make a resolution to not make resolutions because I generally fall flat on my face and then feel guilty about not following through. After some thought I decided that I actually enjoyed refocusing and setting goals for the year so I did not resolve to not resolve.

One of the things that I decided to do was to make sure that I was reading at least one book a month (apart from the ones that I generally read for work). Currently I am reading "Strength To Love" by Martin Luther King Jr. so feel free to ask me how I am doing and if I finish it by the end of January.

What are some of the things you resolved to do in the year 2010? Maybe if we let others know what they are we will actually accomplish them. There just might be something to living in community that makes us better people -- some church out there should try and build around that idea someday ;)


Saturday, January 2, 2010

Guest Worship Leader, Carlos Whittaker, Sunday Jan. 10th.

We're excited to have Carlos (Artist, pastor, thinker, experience architect, and Web 2.0 junkie) leading us in worship next Sunday. For the past few years he has served as the Director of Service Programming at Buckhead Church which is one of the three North Point Community Church campuses. Recently Carlos signed with Integrity Music to pursue a recording career and to continue to disturb and disrupt the church as a whole.

Check out the vid. below to see him on LA ink: