Thursday, November 29, 2012


The kids named him Carmel.
I call him Carmel-opolis.  
That, or Pupper-Dupper-Do.
He's a Haiti dog, the son of Bee, the momma dog that followed me everywhere I went last year.

When we were getting ready to move to the new village, we found this tiny puppy, nothing but bones, and in very bad shape.
We began to nurse him along, trying to bring him back to good health, but each day he looked in worse shape.

A few of my Haitian friends were of the opinion to be rid of the pest, to throw him out with the trash, and they told me "That dog needs to go and die.  Get rid of it."

"If he survives, he'll be a very good dog."  I replied.  "He's got a very good nature about him."

I had an empty Bibles box laying in the house, so I lined it with a blanket and wrapped him up inside.  We gave him some flea medicine and a little milk, and began feeding him bits of food.

Weeks later, he's a brand new dog with a new lease on life.  He guards the house at night and plays with the kids during the day. There's nowhere I go that he isn't underfoot, and everything I do fascinates him.   He still sleeps in his Bible box.  He will not go to bed without it.

We've been noticing a bit of a pack-rat habit he's picked up. This morning when I opened the door to wake him up, these were the contents of his box:
*3 shoes, that he doesn't ruin and just likes to sleep with.
*1 piece of PVC that I'd been working with the day before
*2 seashells.
*1 bit of bread from the day before (saving it for a rainy day)
*A piece of chicken bone.
*1 towel
*1 rubber bushing from my car
*1 piece of belt
*1 sock
and a chew toy, which is a piece of rope that he's been fond of.  Today when I took the last picture, I think even he knows he's developing a bit of a problem.
Ya can't take it with ya, pup.

Cleaning Out the Cistern

I have to ask, what family in their right mind is THIS HAPPY, to get down into a cistern in Haiti and scrub for hours?

I'm telling you, it has to be supernaturally imparted from God.

Can You Hear Me Now?

I love Haiti. As with many things, the idea is there, but it's just not quite to fruition. 
Then again, I was on my roof balancing a 30ft stick of fresh bamboo with a little USB jump drive attached at the very tip-top with a hair-tie.   In this country, you either make a way or you do without.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Say Hello to Ti Pistach

My daughter began her own blog today.  It took awhile to setup since we're in Haiti and our internet has been out for a couple of days.   If we can keep it stable enough to maintain wifi, I'm thinking she'll be posting often.  She seems to have a lot to say for a 9 year old. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Crucible


I've come to the end of myself so many times, and there is a place where the path gives way and plummets.  I've scratched and clawed my way, and some days it feels like I'm just dangling by the root of some twisted sapling growing along the sheer edge of a cliff.  The creator of the atomic bomb, when he first saw that billowing mushroom of his work, gasped, "I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds."  There are days I hear the echo of that phrase.  There is a whisper that I bring more pain than good, it grows to a shout in my mind, a confirmation of the deepest treason of the heart, and once I arrive at that station, I step from the train into a cave of such bitter sorrow.  I see the caboose man, waving his lantern to the engineer. I hear the racking of the wheels upon the tracks as the engine lurches the boxcars forward, and I stand alone.  The flame begins to ebb away, and the light no longer makes the darkness flee. The oxygen is robbed and the matches are wet.  

That cavern is my hell.  Most days I can stand at the entrance where the daylight still casts down on my face, but always I can hear the lion within, a deep growl of condemnation, accusation from the bowels of that darkness that tells me my enemy is crouching within, just beyond where I can see, hidden in the refuge of the shadows, hungry and ready to pounce.  I become my own worst enemy, and there is no benefit as yet I can see in spreading such disease in communion with another.   How could it possibly help to share such a teaspoon of poison?
There is only this:

I read Paul's words, and I see that God is giving me 
the antidote of such a prison.
"Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.  Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,  I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.   Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.   
Only let us hold true to what we have attained."

My heart hears this song, and then the gates are flung open!  Maybe I'll walk free for a day, maybe I'll breathe the fresh air instead of the stale?  Maybe I will be light again, weightless upon this earth as my spirit bounds again to the Everest-heights as I drink in the cup of the Lord.  
Maybe through this crushing crucible there will be a seasoning.  
Maybe they will taste and see that the Lord is good?  Can sweetness come from such sorrow?
Maybe, but only if I choose to let the chains fall.  
They are around my feet and hands, but they are not padlocked to my soul.  They are not even restraining me. The truth is it is I who is holding on to them.  I have only to open my hands and receive.
I read a little more...
"There is therefore now no condemnation....for those who are in Christ Jesus."

"If God has made your cup sweet, drink it with grace; if He has made it bitter, drink it in communion with Him.  If the providential order of God for you is a hard time of difficulty, go through with it....You must go through the crucible before you have any right to pronounce a verdict, because in the crucible you learn to know God better.  God is working for His highest ends until His purpose and man's purpose become one."   ~Chambers

Friday, November 9, 2012


My next door neighbor is today practicing the Haitian tradition of slash-n-burn farming. He pick-axed all of his ground yesterday, and today he's burning everything to the ground. My kids were certain the house was on fire. I had to let Kari know that there was no mischief amiss. No 13-year-old playing with matches. Just Wilber getting ready to plant some beans.


Thursday, November 8, 2012


Two days ago we were ran completely off the road by a great big bus. It was immediately obvious that he would have won, so my only option became to skid off the road. I managed to keep the car under control and brought us back onto the blacktop, but the damage was done. The next morning there was a big pool of oil under the car. After spending all day at the mechanic, I replaced two sets of brakes, and stood in the middle of the busy streets of Cayes while a man literally carved me two new shock bushings out of an old dump truck tire with his knife. The rack and pinion is shot, and there's just no way to fix that without shipping the part from America, but along with the learning experience of the day I got to spend most of the morning with my new neighbor, Wilber, who volunteered to go with me into the city. I also met another man who could translate very well, Maxim, who just happened to be in the area visiting his uncle. I met a new mechanic named Marcel who spent most of his day sweating profusely over the stubbornness of my shocks. There were blessings mixed in with the troubles, the greatest of which was my family, safe and sound, waiting at home for me to return. The car should have flipped when were forced off the road. Instead we bounced off, and then I corrected, and we bounced right back on, almost at a 45 degree angle.

Then today I had my kids in the car with me. My little girl in the passengers seat, my son sitting in the back seat, leaning up between us. We were on our way to the airport to pick up a package. Out of nowhere, thousands of people were coming our direction. All of the road filled with cars, ambulances, police, UN, all with sirens blazing and horns screaming, and all coming our direction at about 50mph. They never even slowed down as a policeman driving straight at me just pointed for me to get off of the road. It was a steep embankment and there was nowhere for me to go. I went off the road as far as I could go, and slammed on the brakes. I began to flash my lights and honk my horn, even shifted in reverse to try and leverage some kind of maneuvering. A motorcycle with 3 men shot in front of me and he skidded his bike just before hitting me. Cars, 4 wheelers, hundreds of motorcycles roared past within inches, all veering to miss hitting us. It was Martelly, the President of Haiti, making a surprise visit to our city. He passed in the back of a Ranger, a 6-wheeler type of contraption, surrounded by security. When it was all finally over I looked at my daughter. She was frozen. My son was staring in disbelief to what he'd just experienced. I was praising God that we were all still alive. Behind us they began to set up road blocks, hitting cars and gathering rocks onto the road, planning to protest.

"What in the world just happened?" I said, almost in shock. "I don't know," my boy said, "but I hope I never have to see that again."

I called my wife, "I don't know when we'll make it home. I think we're gonna be a little late...."

Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Fisherman's Blessing

This was our morning gift from my fisherman friend Altenor, captain of the Tan Pou Tann. He fished all night and brought me this just after the sunrise. What a fine gift! Shrimp for breakfast!


Pardon the quality of the images going forward. My good camera is RIP thanks to Sandy.