Saturday, April 30, 2011


There are 300,000 slaves today in Haiti.  The majority are young girls, and the majority are sexually abused. They call them restaveks.
They have no rights. 
If they are lucky they get to sleep on the floor.
If there's food left over, they might be able to eat.
If it's a good day, there won't be a beating.
They consider themselves to be 'less-than'.   It's something they come to believe over time.

300,000 boys and girls living this way, today.
only one of them do I know.
Just one. 

The bible says that children are a blessing.  They are a treasure.
They are precious in His eyes.
They even have special angels assigned to them,
who get to report directly to God.
If my bible says that, maybe I should get as many bibles as I can
and give them away?
Maybe I should help them read these words?  
My bibles says much more than that,
but don't you think that would be a great place to start?

"See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven
 their angels always see the face of my Father 
who is in heaven." ~Jesus

“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, 
but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, 
it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck 
and to be drowned in the depth of the sea." ~Jesus

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Haitian Amen Song! (courtesy Andi Gedna)

A--Amen ______, A-Amen _________  A-Amen Whoa Amen, Amen!
1. Alelouya
2. an fe yon ti donse - let's make a little dance  (sounds like on fon tee donsay)
3. an fe yon ti chita - let's make a little sit (sounds like on fon tee sheetah)
4. an bese vwa yo - let's sing softly (sounds like on baysay vwa yo)
5. an fe yon ti vole - let's do a little jump (sounds like on fon tee volay)
6. an fwape men yo - let's clap our hands (sounds like on fwapay men yo)
7. fem tande vwa yo - make me hear your voice (sounds like fame tanday vwa yo)

God's Light

In our home in America, I'm always walking around after the sun's up, turning off lights.  It's common to hear the phrase, 'We're on God's light now people!' followed by kids mumbling in the background, 'Yeah, yeah...ok Dad.'

In the schools of Haiti, sometimes the air is so thick, so stale and hot with the humidity, and so dark in the rooms, that the kids come pouring out onto the balconies or the steps of the school to finish their studies.

When I see this, I can't help but think of how precious His light really is.  How revealing and comforting.
While in America it's an option and in Haiti, it's a way of life, I still want to shout 'We're on God's light now people!'

Friday, April 15, 2011

Be Still

This is a picture of Lynn, a missionary in Haiti.
It's one of my favorite images this year.
One of the most important questions I ask as a photographer is, "Where is God's signature?"
I look for moments that define the story I want to tell, and moments that are so genuine and powerful that they will tell their own story and interpret the feeling long after I'm gone.

She has a world-class heart.  Every time I talk to her she is smiling.  While Haiti is probably one of the least friendly places on the planet for a wheelchair, you would never know it talking with Lynn.  Her eyes are always dancing and she's always encouraging.
Once when it was everyone's misfortune and my turn to cook, I cracked open some tuna soaked in oil.  I poured in a ton of warm mayo and began to stir.  The smell was horrendous.  The texture already looked as similar as it gets to vomit, and the oil wasn't breaking down.  My stomach as turning just looking at it.
I'd wasted about 7 cans of tuna, and I didn't know what to do.
When I showed it to Lynn, she just looked at me and smiled.  
"Well, instead of Tuna salad sandwiches we'll just dunk the bread like a dip.  It'll be great!"
When I realized she wasn't kidding, I took the sorriest meal I'd ever made and dumped it out, far away from the house, where we wouldn't have to smell it.  I wasn't going to be the cause of food poisoning for the whole orphanage.  
That girl would have ate it.  And she would have smiled!  That's how sweet her heart is.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

God's Blessed Assurance

I'm reminded of this man who scooted up a tree last month to get coconuts for us.   We were at the top of the mountain, exhausted and thirsty.  He even carved out little spoons with his machete, so we could dig out the meat of the fruit.  It was the perfect pick-me-up, drinking that sweet milk and refreshing our bodies.  'Natural Gatorade' they say.  It was a perfect example to me...

God doesn't call the equipped, he equips the called.

This morning on my way into the city, I began to worship as I was pulling out.  My window rolled down I heard the birds singing so sweetly and even remarked to Lord that I may as well shut up, because they are doing a much better job of it. 

Today was a vital reassurance from the Lord. Sometimes when we've been in the mire of battle, we come out of the skirmishes a little heavier than when we went in.  If we could but see the spiritual, we might be surprised to look down and see the many gashes, the wounds, the arrows cleaved and buried, a hairs-breadth from the major arteries.

Today, many men layed their hands on me and prayed over my family, and I could feel the Lord. He renewed me, refreshed me, he set me back upon my feet and gave me His charge to carry on.

On the way home, this song came flooding to my mind, filling my lungs and in turn the air, and my soul gave thanks to it's Maker. I thought of Haiti and the splendor of my King.  I remembered looking down from the mountain in Haiti, toward the sea. Feeling a tie to this foreign place.  Being thankful for the breeze, for the little cloud He placed in between me and the hot sun.  I remembered walking through the forests, the sharp leaves of the palms and the cactus slicing into me at every misguided turn.  No paths, no roads or guidance, just the feeling of how small I felt in such a place, how even though Haiti was small, how very small was I, and yet how Grand, How Great, How Beautiful, my God!  I knew He could see me. Because God is on the throne. Not that He was, or that He would be, but that He IS.  The Great I AM.

His Hands....Oh His Hands!  My only desire is to be found in them.  To be wrapped in them, to be under them, to be lifted by them, protected by them, guided by them, molded, caught by them, pointed, driven, and charged by them!

The prayers of these warriors, these faithful men, committed to the same King, minister to me, and the arrows are plucked and have fallen to the ground as refuse, where they belong. Their hands cover my wounds and the Living Word sears over the gashes.

In these moments I look down and imagine my sword.  My enemy sees it too, blindingly squinting as it glimmers in the reflection of the Light of my Commander. It will swing out upon the breadth, and the name of the Lord will be glorified.

How Great Thou Art
Lyrics ~ Carl Boberg, 1859 - 1940
English Translation ~ Stuart K. Hine, 1899 -

O Lord my God,
When I in awesome wonder
Consider all
The works Thy Hand hath made,
I see the stars,
I hear the mighty thunder,
Thy pow'r throughout
The universe displayed;

When through the woods
And forest glades I wander
I hear the birds
Sing sweetly in the trees;
When I look down
From lofty mountain grandeur
And hear the brook
And feel the gentle breeze;

Then sings my soul,
My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art!
Then sings my soul,
My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art!

And when I think
that God, his son not sparing
sent him to die,
I scarce can take it in.
That on the cross,
my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died
to take away my sin.

When Christ shall come,
With shouts of acclamation,
And take me home,
What joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow
In humble adoration
And there proclaim,
"My God, how great Thou art!"

Then sings my soul,
My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art!
Then sings my soul,
My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

On The Market

We've been praying about this for awhile, and we think it's time.  Tomorrow morning our studio and home will be going on the market.  

Our photography business has really evolved over the years.  Most of our work is now on-location, with weddings or missions, the kids are older and don't need babysitters, and ever since Haiti, we've just felt like God is moving us.

This place has been a tremendous blessing to our family, and we're thankful that God gave us such a wonderfully unique and beautiful space.  
We've never felt like it was ours.  Since day one we knew that it would be temporary. It's our hope that somehow this building can be used for continued ministry in the community.

Friday, April 8, 2011


I kept noticing her, staring.  
Then she'd open her mouth like she was going to eat my backpack.  
She'd smile big as she could, then in a flash she'd be sticking out her tongue.  
Her eyes were wide as saucers.
"What is she doing??!"  I said.  
Then I realized, she was looking at her 'funny faces' 
in the reflection of my sunglasses, 
hooked onto my pack. 
 Maybe she'd never seen a mirror?  I don't know.  
She was, to say the least, intrigued.

Let Go. Let God

I remember this girl in the village, so simple and content with her cup.  Some days, we need to just let go of the world and do exactly what we see in this image.  We just need to be still, to hold out our cup and wait for the Lord.  The blessings will come and the cup will overflow. Amen?

Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.
1 Peter 3:8-9

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


We are thankful, there is a company that will pay me for my skills in photography and design, which will in turn finance my family to live in Haiti. We're trying to figure out what the next move is with our studio, if we should put it on the market.

We can't leave with a mortgage. A close friend said if we could cover the cost of the mortgage, we could borrow it out to local ministries while we're gone.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Gertrude's Blessing

She's 'Mom' to the kids in the orphanage these days, but in many ways I find Gertrude to be so much more.
She is a prayer warrior, an encourager, a spirit-lifter, a role-model, and a follower of Christ.
When she found out I loved her cooking, she took it upon herself to take a normal meal and turn it into a masterpiece.
She used the skills and the means that God had placed before her, and she found her own unique, creative way to bless and encourage the people around her.  I think her cooking could grace the cover of any Haitian cuisine magazine.

She was too shy to let me take her picture and would always turn away, and although the shot below isn't crisp and tack sharp, it's one of my favorites of Gertrude.  In the waning light of the late afternoon, I found her in her home, chopping away to make yet another special meal for us, and all with a smile on her face.  
On the night we left she made my family a special dish to take with us on our journey.  It was a french-braided hot-pocket of sorts, a work of art in my opinion.  The next day in the airport when I realized I'd accidentally checked our traveling money inside our luggage, it was Gertrude's supply that fed my family and nourished us for breakfast and lunch. It was bursting with flavor.
The granola bars that were in our backpack became our supper, and by the look on my daughter's face, they was no match compared to Gertrude's hand-crafted creation.  She made them out of love, and we will never forget Gertrude's Blessing.