Archive for 2011

9Nov11

So, my mind is racing with interesting thoughts tonight.

First, and foremost is a request for prayer.
Tonight I am fully aware of our (as humans) dependency on God in

this world.

Today, I received word that some of my new friends from “Church on

the Beach” in Jacmel were robbed at gunpoint last night.
This marks the 3rd missionary couple in the past month to be robbed

in that town. The first of which included the wife being shot.
She is physically recovering fine.
However, there is a remarkable toll being taken on all the

missionaries in the area.
Please be praying for the Brown’s, the Mangine’s, and Cody and Marie

(whose last name I can’t remember right now). As well, be praying

for all the missionaries in Jacmel, and for these thieves. To be

honest, there is an evil surpassing deperation in their actions.

Theft is commonplace, typically of a petty variety here. But to

enter a house full of children, guns blazing, there is more than

just a desperation for money. Please pray that these men would come

to know the error of their ways. And please pray that the Police

would be steadfast in their investigation and find some leads to

stop this string of robberies.

As ministers of the Gospel, these victims all know that God is with

them, but it is hard to see in the darkness sometimes. Please pray

for peace of mind and for comfort.

Second, as another request for prayer. My prayers today go out to

all involved in the Penn State Scandal. Especially for the victims

of the alleged crimes and for JoePa.
He is not a victim of the scale of the children involved, but I feel

that he has become a victim as well. For those that don’t know, this

story hits close to home, so understand that.
Joe was told by one friend that another friend did something wrong.

He was caught in a terrible place. So, he took it to the authorities

who were supposed to deal with it. I’m sure he was torn over whether

he should do anything else, but at the time, he is simply caught up

in hearsay. The authorities should have done all the investigation,

not Joe himself. The authorities failed, yet Joe has taken crap for

it.
I’m not saying you should all feel sympathy towards him, but please

pray for Joe to have some peace as well as the undeserved disgust is

thrown his way. Pray for Jerry Sandusky, that the truth will come

out and he can be made whole through repentance should he so choose,

even as he serves a well-deserved jail time. Pray for the children,

who will always live with pain from this, and the families that have

been torn apart.

Third, on a happier note. I have some things to report on the

missions front.
-A- The response to my plea for footwear has been awesome. Thanks to

Pop-Pop and Dan I know I will have boots in the near-ish future.

This is awesome, especially the speed at which this has occured.
-B- The response to my idea for Kweglist has included an old friend

from Cedarville. Joshua Lansford is looking to come on board in

helping design this site to aid missionaries. Due to recent events,

this site can also be used for important news updates, such as

break-ins, political demonstrations, and the like.
-C- Tonight, as I sit in Les Cayes, I have finally had time to be an

engineer again, and I am enjoying it. I ripped apart 2 broken

inverters and a broken battery charger. I didn’t get to fix them,

but I know I have a bad low-voltage power supply on one, a blown

fuse on the 2nd, and a blown capacitor on the 3rd. Gotta say that

Duotech services really was a helpful first job for me in teaching

me how to troubleshoot broken electronics with no documentation on

hand. So, if anyone from Franklin is reading, pass my thanks on to

Dan Rogers and company for the wonderful opportunity they gave me

before I got called into full time ministry.

Anyhow, that’s some updates for tonight…God Bless.

Comments (1)

9Nov11

In Les Cayes.

Working on ideas for Kwegslist.org (a haitian craigslist)
Got an awesome response from another Cedarville Alumnus who wants to get involved in missions from the homefront. Pretty excited to have Joshua Lansford wanting to help out.
Still thinking a team of people like Joshua, Silas, Joe E, Jewish Mike, Kerry, etc could be extremely helpful stateside with technical projects. If you are in web design, or actually pretty much any sort of engineer/designer and want to help, please contact me. I have tons of ideas running through my head that I cannot pursue here in Haiti.

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9Nov11

leaving for Les Cayes.
will update upon arrival

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Picture :)

Here’s a picture of my after church on Sunday.
I played guitar at worship here in Grand Goave at Mission of Hope International’s church before driving to Jacmel.

Comments (1)

7Nov11 – 1

7Nov11 – Part 1 (finally completing 2Nov11)

So, I’m finally getting back to my post from the 2nd. Sorry for the

huge delay. Plus, I’ve got a ton of other thoughts for today.

First, with the lessons from the 2nd.
“Our safety is in God, no matter what the circumstances”
I was hesitant to share the stories behind this, mostly because

people might worry, but I want you to know that this is serious.
It is a critical lesson to learn in your life, as it has been to

mine.
Recently, two missionary couples have been robbed down here, both at

gunpoint. One of the missionaries even got shot. Additionally,

another younger missionary girl was getting followed by a “pimp”

after she started ministering to some local prostitutes. And, in

another story, a young girl started an amazing ministry to local

hospitals, caring for the sick and needy, despite great personal

risk of exposure to diseases such at TB.
In talking with these remarkable people, however, there is a common

theme that has been cropping up. When we are with God spiritually,

nothing in this world could possibly endanger us. Our safety lies

purely in Him.
This is not to devalue wisdom, or throw caution to the wind. All of

these missionaries do take precautions, such as armed guards,

security walls, or frequent testings for disease, But, the ultimate

comfort is that God is our strength and protection.
A theif can take possessions, but the possesions are not ours

anyhow.
Disease or guns can injure out bodies, but these physical bodies are

only temporary anyhow.
Our lives on this earth are mere moments compared to our eternal

place with our Heavenly Father, so we place our trust in Him. He has

said that He will not let go of us. Our souls are safe in His arms.

“Fellowship with brothers and sisters in the Lord is very important”
This lesson was much easier to learn, but ties in closely with the

last. Ken and Diane Pierce decided to start a fellowship at their

house. A meeting every Sunday afternoon of local to worship in

English and build up a community of brothers and sisters in ministry

here.
I have been blessed to lead worship with this group the past 2

sundays, and Dad even shared a bit of a message with them last week

when he was here.
This fellowship allows us to encourage and lift one another up. Many

of us go to Haitian churches, but there will always be a different

level of worship as we are struggling to translate in our minds, and

there will always be a cultural disconnect with the people. It is

good to gather together as brothers and sisters with similar, yet

amazingly diverse, calls to spread the Name of Christ. With this

group meeting together, we were able to pray for one another,

including the missionaries that were robbed. It is a chance to share

our struggles without setting off the worries of anyone who may be

reading our blogs. It is a chance to relate to one another and draw

strength from what God is doing in each of our lives.
And it is a reminder of the importance of honest fellowship.

This is a struggle for those in leadership sometimes. As

missionaries, we are seen as the ones who have the answers, the ones

who are faithful, yet we struggle too. Just as pastors at churches

back home desperately need honest fellowship where they can share

their struggles and concerns and lift one another up.

I think it is very important that we, as a culture, realize that

true leadership does show signs of weakness. The reality is that

every leader has weaknesses, and it is through sharing their

struggles, seeking help, and working through them, that a leader can

reach an even higher position than ever before.

So, that closes the lessons from the 2Nov11 post. 🙂 Hope that makes

sense.

Comments (1)

5Nov11

So, now I update to some of the points I mentioned before.

First, the story of learning about the humilty of serving.
While Mom and Dad were here, we did a lot of work, from small odd jobs to major rewiring and welding projects. On one of the jobs, we were working very hard to finish before dark. We had taken the current jobs upon ourselves after seeing the need at that facility. However, as we were finishing up and getting ready for dinner, some of the actions of the residents of the house seemed ungrateful, or at least disconnected. Instead of offering to help, they were busy with things that in comparison seemed trivial in our minds. As such, frustration started mounting.
It was in this time, however, that I was reminded of the true purpose of service. I was not there to garner praise from the individual I was serving. I was there to serve Christ. If my reward was to be the stroking of my ego, all my works would be like filthy rags. Instead, I needed to focus on Christ, the purpose of my work, and not on the immediate gratitude from the individuals receiving this blessing of service.
By volunteering to serve, I was placing myself into a role of humility. Why then, did I find myself fighting with arrogance, thinking they owed me something because I served them?
It has been an important lesson to learn, but I keep having to have the lesson repeated.

Now, I would update the other stories, but can’t because I don’t remember exactly what they are right now. So I’ll do that later.

Instead, I’ll expand on some other thoughts from right now.
First, please be praying for my friends down here. In Jacmel, two different couples have been robbed recently, and the emotional toll is very difficult. Please pray that they will be able to regain the peace they have in Christ.

Second, please pray for me, as I work on plans for the new year. With each passing day, I am seeing myself more entrenched here, and I am very glad to say that. However, that will also likely mean I need to find a “residence” per se. I have “homes” with Hands and Feet, the Pierce’s, and especially Mission of Hope International, but I am going to need a workspace/garage to use soon.
Most likely, this will be a structure I put on someone else’s land. I have a vision in my head right now, but I don’t know where the spot will be. I would like somewhere that is relatively easy to access from the road, relatively central to all my work (so grand goave/petit goave general area cause of the balance between St. Marc, Jacmel, and Les Cayes), and secure.
I may be looking at trying to build a structure by January or February if a location is found. All my hosts have been extremely gracious, and I will still work closely with them, but I need to have a workspace to keep setup for my work nearly continuously.

Third, I am excited to share that I am sort of helping to plant a church in Jacmel as well. The Pierce’s are the true planters, but I helped with worship last week, and will be returning in that capacity again this coming sunday. It is great to have this group of missionaries to share fellowship with. We can relate to each other and to God in such a special way, and I am excited to see where this can go.

Finally, it is time to put out pleas for help:
– 1 – Recent conversations with other missionaries have confirmed in my mind that a “craigslist” for missionaries here would be great. If you, or a friend of yours, would know how to create a craigslist type page, I would love to work out the details with you. It would be a huge help to us here. Btw, we want to call it “kwegslist” (as a haitian would pronounce it).
Special tags to Joe Eisentrager, Silas Gibbs, Jason Price

– 2 – I find myself in need of some items. If you have anything available to donate, it would be awesome.
My combat boots are dying quickly. I wear a 9.5, but could use a 10 as well. If you know where to find some, please tell me.
My flip-flops have also died. Sure, they were donated to me from a short term missions group, but it causes a problem for me. If anyone would want to be awesome, I’d love a decent pair of sandals. Not being picky, but something better than a walmart pair would be sweet. I always liked reefs, but other people have shown me other brands that are sweet too, like locals. Anything would be awesome.
And, on that trend, my hiking boots have died. They lived a good life, and I’m sure I will get more through Ski Den, but my Merrels are gone now. This one I’m not really looking for donated boots, cause I’ll order some through Ski Den, I just figured I’d highlight how brutal Haiti has been on my footwear.

Also, plastic junction and/or single gang boxes (new construction or remodel boxes) would be great.
And, spices to share with other missionaries down here.
And,

– 3 – I got distracted and didn’t finish.
Now I’m off to church for today (Sunday, 6Nov11).

God Bless.

Comments (1)

2Nov11

Thoughts from a great week with the parents.

(1) My ministry makes a lot more sense as to why I’m here when you see my parents step in and work alongside me. It just comes natural to all of us to see a need and work towards fixing it.

(2) A lot of driving wears all of us out. We spent 1 night in PAP, 2 nights in Les Cayes, 2 nights at Hands and Feet (Grand Goave), 2 nights in Jacmel, then 2 nights at Mission of Hope (Grand Goave). It’s been great, but exhausting.

(3) Everyone wants to hook me up with a wife. It seems everywhere I go, someone is trying to find me a wife. Most recent occurance (and most blatantly obvious) is with my new friend Joy. She is married, and has done a whole lot of missions work, and when she realized i was single and 26, she started going through a list of questions like a eHarmony profile trying to figure out who to set me up with. I just thought it was pretty funny.

(4) Diplomacy also seems to be an important part of my ministry. I really don’t like the role, but getting haitians to get along can be tricky when there are issues of power and respect.

(5) I am tired and there are more thoughts to come later. 🙂
Including:
-The realization that the choice of service overrides any feelings of disrespect or lack of gratitude from those you serve.
-Our safety is in God, no matter what the circumstances.
-Fellowship with brothers and sisters in the Lord is so very important, especially with those in similar situations.

Comments (4)

27Oct11

In Les Cayes tonight. Barking dogs abound. Sitting on the porch, enjoying a time of reflection.

My parents got in 2 days ago. It’s been great. They’ve been troopers cause it’s been a rough go of things. Plans have changes a lot, and our itinerary includes a ton of travel.

First, they got it on a 3pm flight. My plan was to pick them up and finish wiring up Claude’s school in PAP before heading to Grand Goave for the night.
Unfortunately, that plan required me to have the job almost done before they got there with the rest of the supplies. Sadly, I didn’t account for just how little room there was to work when the kids were in school. I did all I could, but after I picked them up, we couldn’t finish, even with a very strong effort. We finally quit when it was too dark to tie in any more junction boxes. Then, we ate dinner that Claude had made before leaving to spend the night at Visa Lodge, the hotel I was in two weeks ago while working on Claude’s school.
So, they got up way early to travel, got here, worked hard until dark, then got to enjoy a night time car trip for about 20 mins across PAP. THEN, Visa Lodge had no vacancy. So, they got to wait around while I made other arrangements before we got in the car and went on another 15 min drive.
They were super awesome about it though. And, we had a great night at the Heartline Ministries Guest House. My parents were actually happy that I showed I have enough contacts that I am taken care of, even when unexpectedly stuck in PAP.
That night also reintroduced me to the Brown’s from Jacmel. Jeff and Tammy have contacted me before for help with their batteries and inverter since they are friends with the Suttons (HAF-GG).

Then yesterday, we got up at 5am, finished our work at Claude’s before the kids got to school, and drove the whole way out to Les Cayes to stay at the MIA Guest House. That’s a rough drive, but they were great about it again.

This morning, we went out to the Brad Reddick School, founded by MIA. Mostly we were picking up stuff I had left in the container there and just touring the work, but it was a lot of fun.
I got to see Cheriben and Boomba (picture with my mom and dad here).

They were very excited to show me the work they have been doing with the garden project behind the school. The garden is doing great, and I had to smile while driving through Savanette to see locals using the water system and drip irrigation tools MIA has provided.

Then, we got to play with the new kindergarteners, who happened to be on recess at the time. This was great, cause these kids havent been around teams of white people yet, so they were pretty excited to meet us.
They had a lot of fun playing with my parents, and my mom even blended in well with her red shirt matching all the kids new uniforms.

Finally, we went back to the guest house to fix the broken BUV.
My parents were amazing helpful, as was Eli (Amoce’s dad). Amoce is the haitian director for MIA and his family stays at the guest house. I thought it was neat for Eli to help use cut and pry off the old welded on scab plates and fix our broken BUV properly. Sadly, things never go easily in Haiti, so I didn’t finish tonight. Mostly due to delays cause by (1) a tire leak that I had to go have checked out at the tire shop. It needs to be replaced, so tomorrow morning we will have to change it to the spare and I will have to buy a new tire sometime. and (2) EDH, the power company, never turned on the power tonight, so I had to run everything off my generator. Not a problem, but I had to go change money and buy gas before we could do that. Then, I kept tripping the breaker and couldn’t weld cause I had accidently left the A/C on in the back of the truck after I slept in my truck the other night. Took us about 20-30 mins to fix that mistake.
Either way. I have the thing welded back together. Just gonna test drive it tomorrow morning, then weld the crap out of it to make sure it holds secure before I leave town.

God Bless.

Comments (5)

Just have to post this email from Madam Bonite

Dear Travis-

Words can not express the appreciation I have in my heart for the provision and installation of the Solar Panels at Christ Love Center (CLC) in Jacmel. Thank you! Thank you very much. Thank you for the tremendous hard work you have performed to complete the above installation.

It is because of the support of individuals like yourself that we at CLC are able to continue doing the work of the Lord. Please do express my gratefulness to everyone that contributed to make this installation possible. To me it’s more than a “dream that came through”. We thank your brother, the Pastor, and the church for responding so gracefully and so significantly to our need for solar panels at the Center.

Thanks a million!

May God’s continued blessings fall upon you today and always.

Sincerely,
Sister Bonite Affriany

P.S. I just love to see her heart. For clarification, she is also thanking Emmanuel Baptist Church for the donation of the solar panels that were installed this time. Also, Josh, Ryan Brown, Ian, and Sean help install the previous set of panels that were donated by Missions International of America.
God is doing great things through her ministry, so I am thankful that F1 engineering could help her continue.

Comments (2)

23Oct11

23Oct11

Not gonna lie, I’m pretty excited to have mom and dad coming down

here to visit. My plan is currently to work in travel all around the

island with them, or at least the southern portion.
I wish I could get up to Destiny Village and/or “Mercy and Sharing”

up north of PAP, but that’s just not gonna happen right now.

Gonna try to work things out to get to church Tuesday night in Grand

Goave at Mission of Hope, and play worship for “Church on the Beach”

in Jacmel next Sunday too.

Should be a pretty awesome week. I’ll post some more pictures too.

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