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Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

Mary and I are spending some time with our children Lori, Scott, Justin, and Kaitlin in Raleigh NC.

As I think about this season, I think about those people close to me which I am thankful for, and thankful that God has allowed them to be part of my life. I am thankful for the wonderful relationships which we have together.

We stepped off the back of the truck on the morning of November 12th into this yard where hurricane Mathew had tore down a house. We met this lady named Madlin who began telling the story of when the storm hit. As she tells her story there is the sound of children playing and a machete cutting wood in the background. Madlin continues her story as she holds a single screw driver and tells how it is the only tool she has today to remove her cooking pots and utensils from the rubble. She shared how her husband is a farmer and he is cutting the trees off the farmland with his machete so he will be able to plant crops. Then her husband Pierre comes up and shares how his goats and sheep were also a part of his family's lively hood and they too were taken away with the storm.


Their story is one of many where entire homes were broken down and destroyed by the storm. I was overwhelmed by the great need there. Today back in America reflecting on what I am thankful for, I am so thankful for the relationships I have with family and friends. But as I ponder these things I am reminded of the world of broken relationships around us. Most live in pristine homes comparatively, but are hurting inside because of broken relationships. Many would even rather not celebrate the holidays because it reminds them of the broken relationships. As overwhelmed as I am with the desperation of the Haitian people and their physical needs due to broken homes, so am I overwhelmed in America with our broken relationships with each other, which is the deeper cause of our division in America.

There is Hope!! His name is Jesus!! He is in the reconciliation business. Someone once said How you respond to an offense will determine your future. Many of us are in the place of broken relationship because of how we have responded to offense in the past. It is not too late! We still have the opportunity to ask Jesus how he would have us respond so there is restoration in our relationships. Responsibility is our ability to respond. If we are followers of Christ, we have the power of the Holy Spirit working in and through us to do His good will, which gives us an ability to respond that others do not have. My prayer during this season is that if you are in a broken or strained relationship that your ability to respond will be increased and today you can make the phone call, send the letter, or visit the relationship for a new beginning.
Praying for you and wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving.
With love in Christ
Emory and Mary

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Hurricane Restoration



Hey friends
         I would like to say thank you to those of you have been helping with the fundraising effort. We have reached over half our Goal of 100 shelters to place families back in shelters. And I do not want to limit God and what He wants to do as we make preparation to help those in need. I was encouraged Saturday and Sunday as I visited the southwest of Haiti, by the number of tarps that have been distributed to help people in the relief situation. Again thank you so much for being a voice to those who do not have a voice. Above is a link which will help you understand and share with others the gravity of the need there. Please be in prayer for our transition over the next two weeks. I will return to the states on Friday. Then on the fifth of December I will return and ramp up the rebuilding effort. Mary will follow after the first of the year. Also be in prayer for our provision of a house and transportation for moving building materials.

With love in Christ
Emory and Mary Wilson

Mirror

Hey Friends

            Have you ever seen a need and wondered who is someone that could actually meet that need? When I left for Haiti on October 10th, I was on a quest because several people had asked me who they could give to in order to help the victims of hurricane Mathew.  So I went to the southwest looking for this person. There was very little help there and no contacts which I knew, so when I returned to PAP I looked in the mirror and I found the guy I had traveled six hours to find. God is so funny sometimes. So Mary and I are answering the call of God to return to Haiti for an indefinite amount of time to help those who have lost their homes in the wake of hurricane Mathew. I will be there the first of December and Mary will be there in January. There is a great need there and we need to be there in order to see it through. We have already begun to rebuild homes there. We have a plan to get some families in the village of Anike back in their homes. For four hundred dollars we can buy the materials to help these families as they do the labor to put their homes back together. 

           So many people are asking what they can do. So many of you who are reading this have helped so much already. Thank you so much for what you have done. Prayer is the main thing always because we need discernment as we follow the Holy Spirit in all we do. God has called us to be a voice for those who do not have a voice. We extend that invitation to each of you. Will you be a voice for those without a voice and share with some of your friends who might be willing to give. We have set a goal of 100 homes, but believing God has called us to do more. May God bless you as you serve Him by serving others. Please be in pray with us concerning a place to live and transportation as we seek these out.

Much love in Christ
Emory and Mary
                

Friday, October 14, 2016

Overwhelmed

  Someone asked me what it was like where the hurricane hit. The only word that seemed to come to mind did not have to do with the physical state or the state of mind that the victims were in, but my own inner self and feelings which rose up. They are overwhelmed and helpless. 



    As I process these words, overwhelmed seems to be birthed from the magnitude of damage and destruction left in wake of hurricane Mathew in southwest Haiti.  Helpless comes from seeing the hopelessness and desperation in the eyes of these victims, which causes me to ask what can I do? I alone realize I can do nothing, but knowing I belong to a greater body, (the bride of Christ who is making Herself known to the world and Heaven is declaring her Glory) gives me hope for the hopeless. Realizing God gifted each of us to do different task for a greater purpose and that is so that His creation can Glorify Him. 



     Tuesday morning we loaded the truck with rice, beans, cooking oil, tarps, and water. It was a six hour drive to get to les cayes. We arrived after dark. We woke up before daylight and headed out as the night dawned to daylight, there was destruction everywhere. Trees torn down and stripped of limbs everywhere.  The good thing was that most homes were in tact because of the concrete structures were  strong enough to hold them together. After traveling for a couple of hours we arrive at Kapantye  and then to Anike where there is mountainous farmlands, we began to see total homes torn off their foundation.  Fruit trees and gardens destroyed. This is a place where people's survival is based on what the land produces and their gardens are destroyed with the grain still clinging to the pods, and coconut, banana, avocado, papaya, and mango trees strewn everywhere with premature fruit hanging from the lifeless branches.  As we began distributing food in the area you could see the desperation on the faces, in the eyes and voices of each one. Most did not even have a tarp or shelter to shade them from the sun in a land now barren of shade and life giving fruits and vegetables. One woman took her shirt off to make a bag to put rice in. As we continued the journey of distribution, they were thankful but it seemed a little rice, beans, oil, and a tarp was like putting one of those bandages that do not stick. One man shared with us that it would take him over a year to rebuild and have a shelter for his family. There are thousands of people without power and no hope of even someone planning to help in the foreseeable future. 



    What can we do. I have been talking with pastor CG. Most of these houses have foundations that can be built on. For 150$ we could buy cement to rebuild the walls. For 150$ we can buy metal for the roof to finish two 15x15 rooms. And 100$ will purchase wood, nails, sand, etc to complete the project. We are expecting the homeowners to do the labor and work with others in the community as volunteers. So for 400$US. People can have a shelter. I believe that together we can begin to rebuild 100 of these homes over the next few months. So what can you do? Can you buy the cement? Can you buy a roof, some nails, or possibly a house for 400$? Or it may not be possible for you to do any of the above but you could share this need with some of your friends and pray for us.



 In addition to the above, Mary and I are planning to move to Haiti for some time to see this through along with pastor CG. We will have living expenses and need a vehicle. Please be in prayer with us about these needs, and help would be appreciated.



    You can give via PayPal at christianlightminitries.org or send it to Christian light ministries PO box 23881 Jacksonville. Fla. 32256

With much love
Emory and Mary

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Update...


Hello Friends


 Hope all is well with each of you. I would like to again thank you who have been praying for and supporting the work in Gonaives, Haiti. I was there the last week in June. I am continually amazed at what God is doing there through those who are there. The second floor of the school is looking great as construction continues on it. Below is a note from Kathy which gives an idea of what real change is about.

      The medical clinic is running well from the original building. We have placed the construction of the new medical clinic building on hold while focusing our efforts and resources on continuing with second floor of the school so it will be available when school resumes in September. Brian has arrived in Gonaives this week and is working on the school in order to get the roof on before school starts. Please pray for funding to complete this and to continue with the medical clinic.

       Most of the team are here in the states, now, working jobs for support for next year, Please continue to pray for each of them in their different roles.

       The Kia truck which we have in Gonaives has been a very good and dependable machine, but is in need of some rest. While I was in Haiti, Beaver and I were able to place a deposit on a new truck which will be for transportation to and from PAP with teams and supplies. Since then, there has been $20,000 committed to the truck and we are need of $10,000 more. Please make this a matter of prayer. If you would like to donate to the truck, please donate at muchministries.com   See photos of truck attached.

       Many of you have asked where you can get the jewelry and journals which are made in Jubilee. You can now order them retail or wholesale at secondstorygoods.com

      Brian, Cody and family are making plans to move to Gonaives in September. Please pray for them as they make this transition. In addition to working on the school roof this week, Brian is continuing work on the living quarters for his family.

      God is leading us to have another time of prayer and visioning for Haiti. This will be held August 9th through the 12th at Honey Creek in Waverly, Ga. Please pray for us as we come together to look for the vision of God and the work is expanded.

Please continue to pray for funding for medical clinic and truck. Also pray for the team and upcoming prayer and vision week end.

 Below is a note from Kathy

A note i wrote about my week....thought i could share it with you guys !

 Preti mwen .
 
Borrow me, Can i have a loan. Ba'm ti kob. A little money.
 
this week i noticed an increase in this request.  It is not unusual for folks to ask for money straight out for a specific need for a medical situation, or a school bill or a bit of a hunger issue.
 
But it was a little disconcerting to have four or five of the folks that i know are working in the guilds that are making, baskets and jewelry and rugs and such asking for loans.
 
" Like, didn't you just get paid for your goods, yesterday?"  Geez ~ ( I'm thinking - but don't know how to say "geez " in kreyol...so I don't say it out loud, not to mention that attitude would not be very Christian , ha ! ) 
 
So I start asking,  What is going on?  where is the money you just made?
And I  begin to understand ...
 
~  many ( 40 ) that i know of have started savings accounts.  Each week they put in so much into their account. They do this in groups.  and each week one person gets the whole pot. So if 10 people put in 100 dollars each week, each week, for ten weeks, one person gets 1,000 dollars.  Which is an awesome way to save money, invest in others in your community and there is plenty of healthy community "support" to make sure you keep the deal.
 
~ They are also investing in live stock, starting other small businesses and putting money back (usually someone else is holding for them) for school fees and supplies coming up in September. 
 
So therefore, they have a shortage of " pocket money " because they are thinking Forward , Investing.  
They (someone somewhere) told me it takes a year of consistent sustainable income for us to change the way we see our resources. If we never leave the feeling of desperate, we will always use money for relief for the moment.....but if we begin to gain confidence...we will plan for the future. 
 
~ Two  of the ladies that make Angels and have been with us for many months now, pulled me out of the workshop the other day...wanting to show me what they were working on (I thought great...they want me to buy something...where is my faith? )  but NO, they wanted to show me that they were in the middle of building new real Concrete homes, elevated out of the mud ....to replace the mud and stick and tin homes they are presently in.  They were BEAMING with pride.  They kept hugging me and saying thanks to God for bringing businesses to Jubilee. 
 
~ And then the day ended with a friend...who is an Angel Maker,asking to speak with me.... waiting  patiently for me to finish with the sewing group...i finally made it out to speak with her and the first words i caught were..." "Prete mwen"...i was like, "Christella, Not you too !"  i said, "love, i can't , everyone is asking for a loan today" (slight hyperbole there, like 4 people, not the entire population) 
 
Anyway, this precious friend said, no mommie , no....You GAVE me..Ou te prete mwen....a loan last week...as she slipped the bill she owed me into my hand !
 
eyeieyei !
Borrow me
some grace~ 
 
blessed are those who huger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be satisfied

Courage !

Kathy Brooks

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Jubilee

Mary and I will be leaving on Saturday for Gonaives. A team from our home church, consisting of our Pastor, my sister, and some dear friends, will be going with us. Mary will return with the team on the 21st and I will be staying until the 5th of Feb. We continue to be excited about what God is doing in Gonaives and specifically in Jubilee. We are looking forward to seeing what God has done and continues to do in and through His servants there, as relationships grow in dept and number for the Kingdom of God. Please note the change in our stateside phone number.

In the past weeks I have had the opportunity to talk with several people who are going for the first time. As many of you who have been, the common theme for the first time is nervousness. As I have pondered this, I recognize it is in nervousness and the unknown places, that our dependance must be on God and not from ourselves. We have a great desire to know the future, and therefore, it is the unknown of our futures which, in our American culture we seem to have everything under control and able to handle everything, so we do not need God's dependence. In Haiti, you never know what the next hour or minute will hold, so you can develop a lifestyle of depending on God and looking for His presence. My prayer as we take this time in Haiti, that we depend on God each moment and look for his presence and may we never return to a place where we go though a day or hour where our very survival and livelihood is not totally dependent upon our Savoir. May our plan "A" be to depend upon Him and our backup plan "B", be to depend upon Him. Please pray that this time for us will be a time of spiritual transformation and an awakening to His ever presence and awareness of His desire to live in relationship with us.

We have received additional funding from Cross International to continue construction on the housing project. We should be able to place 8 more families in homes while we are there. Brian Smith will arrive in Gonaives with us in order to lead this effort. We are very thankful for Cross International and those who support their idea of serving the poorest of the poor. Please continue to pray for us and this process, along with the recipients.

In addition to this housing, church in Gainsville Ga. has constructed several pre-fabbed homes which were shipped over on the containers. Butch Bennett will be Visiting Gonaives next week and we plan on erecting some of these. We are thankful to Gainsville First United Methodist Church and Their contribution to the work in Gonaives.

In addition to the above projects, we will be starting the foundation for the medical clinic. The clinic will have 6 private exam rooms, 2 birthing rooms for the midwives to use, , lab, a pharmacy, office, waiting area, and restrooms. It will be a great benefit in the service of the Jubilee community, not only for service, but also in job skills training for medical professionals. We are grateful for those of you who have contributed towards this. We will need an additional 90,000 dollars to complete this project. Please keep this need in your prayers.

Kylie has been in Atlanta for the past two weeks for treatment. Her doctor reported that her MRI showed a decrease in the size of the Tumor. While The family and I rejoice with this news, she still has a long way to go. Please continue to keep Kylie in your prayers. Yesterday at 11am Kylie's brother was born. Mother Rebecca, and baby are doing fine. His name is Aiden. He weighed 6lbs 15oz and 20 inches long.

Today marks the 2nd anniversary of the earthquake in the PAP area. They are estimating 316,000 lives were lost from the earthquake. The country is taking a time of remembrance today. Please pray for these families.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Reflections of Thanksgiving

As Mary and I are reflecting this Thanksgiving, we are very thankful for all the friends God has given us to encourage us through good and difficult times. We have been blessed in so many ways. Mary is grateful to be back in her home and involved in the activities of decorating. This transition has been very difficult for us, but God is giving us His graces day by day as we walk with Him. We have been moving back into our home over the last two weeks and are near complete with that task. As we have unpacked boxes and moved furniture around, I have found myself in tears several times, wondering how God would allow us to live in a home like this when we have friends like Giny, who lives in a hot tin house with her husband and children which is smaller than our bedroom, while many live in mud huts. And the boxes which we have been unpacking are about the size of many of the boxes in those mud huts which contain all the possessions of our fiends like Madam Jean Baptist who is one of the elderly women. As we unpack clothes and shoes, I am reminded of those who do not have cloths and our friends like David, who we see many times wearing women's shoes just to keep the bottom of his feet out of the mud while we seem to have clothes for each day of the month. I am continually confronted with God in processing how He has blessed us. What portion has He blessed me with, for my own benefit and pleasure and what portion has He given me to share with others who are less fortunate than we. It seems we are continually building bigger closets, barns, garages, to keep more things in. I just realized for the first time, that I have never placed a limit on how many articles of clothing, or how many shoes I am willing to be satisfied with. How much is enough and where do I cross the line of failing to help those who are destitute because I want to satisfy my own greed and lust by wanting one more. As we reflect during this season about our blessings, may God give each of us discernment in our relationship with Him, how much is enough for us to enjoy and how much he has given us to help others.

As I reflect on these things and what I am grateful for during this time, I think of each of you who have realized God's blessing on your life, and therefor you have given out of your abundance so that those less fortunate would have life a little better. Thank you so much for your prayers, contributions, confidence, encouragement, and love towards us and our friends.

We have been very thankful to Kara and her writing contributions during her spare time of many other activities. She will be returning stateside this week. Attached is her update from Gonaives and Jubilee with photos and copy and pasted below without photos. In her update, she talked about the containers arriving with the equipment and materials which we needed. Thanks to everyone for their prayers for these containers. It has been a long time coming, but it arrived without problems in customs or demands for bribes and we praise God for this.

We have been very pleased with Scott Peter's presence in Gonaives. He continues to bring much light to the darkness. Below is his blogspot if you would like to follow how he is making a difference. http://www.scottsinhaiti.blogspot.com

Prayer request
Robert Lane, Mary's brother is home after several stints. Praising Him.
April is back in Gonaives. Praising Him for her recovery
All the activities of transformation in Jubilee.
Kervins continues to need our prayers.
Praising God from who all blessings flow.

With love in Christ,




It is two days before Thanksgiving, and although we aren’t feeling the fall season, we are feeling Thankful. I am thankful that Kervens is sitting across from me; he has had a month full of doctors and nurses and scary situations. Martha Hannah has been on call and God has been in every moment, working as a team to try to get Kervens back to feeling well. After taking him to get tested in Port Au Prince he has been diagnosed with Epilepsy. They are still working to get him on a plan to minimize the effects.

There is much more beauty blooming here to be thankful for! Karen and Kim from Kids Against Hunger visited us earlier this month-- they immediately became a part of our home and family. We are so appreciative of their efforts to keep food in the tummies of our Jubilee kids! Also, the guys’ house is progressing in leaps and bounds. While teaching school, I would look out my window and see the walls climbing higher every morning. And with the recent arrival of Sam Brooks and his construction abilities, the thought of having the house done before Christmas is a little more tangible. Both of the containers arrived undamaged, which was a kind of miracle in itself, bringing us a much needed backhoe. Ben Rustin has been our designated driver, working to smooth out unused land in Jubilee and accelerate other projects in the area. We were also blessed with new tables and chairs from the school. The kids were surprised and thrilled on Monday morning when they each took their own seat and spread their arms across the fresh tabletops.

Chris is still teaching English-- he has opened an earlier class for beginning English, and uses some of his advanced English students as translators. The class is attended so heavily that he had to move to a bigger room, and even then people stand up, line the walls, and pack together elbow-to-elbow on the benches. From the back of the room I watch the wide demographic take notes together, draw pictures to remember better, and pass comments back and forth about how entertaining “Mr. Chris’” explanations are. Before Chris, the only available English classes were taught by semi-fluent Haitians to other Haitians. Now the teachers of those classes have a way to improve their English and continue learning, while their students have a way of checking their pronunciation and context.
The school is being blessed with new revelations concerning how to improve the childrens’ comprehension and learning pace. It is also blessed with the return of April as she brings a fresh look into class and renewed health in her body. Tia, in addition to teaching kindergarten and pre-k, has been mentoring teenage girls and employing jobless Mommas. Her focus has been to bring healing to broken situations and reconciliation where distrust has reigned. She is always pursuing how to provide safer home-lives and restored worth. Laura Lynn is being an incredible Momma to Youvendjy, both of whom we are inexpressibly thankful for. She continues to principle the Jubilee School, as well as mentor young adults and bring advisement to all of our questions concerning relationship building and project management (which sometimes includes doing a little damage control.)

Momma Kati and the trade school are working with Shelley and Corrigan Clay, the founders the ApParent Project, an organization out of Port Au Prince. To call what ApParent Project does “amazing” is to understate their actions. They are truly an example of impact and an example of God’s reformation and restoration. They have been working closely with us to share local artisan resources and they are marketing products made here in Jubilee. So far it has been a great success, providing orders of angels bracelets in the three digit numbers. That, paired with other huge support, guarantees that the artisans here will have work throughout this year. Just writing about it gives me chills, I wish you could see the faces and feel the excitement of these incredibly skilled and creative individuals.

I, after a laborious decision making process, will be returning to the US to continue my education in Agricultural Science. I have been spending my last month here teaching at the school, taking product and project photos, tagging along with Chris to English class as technical support, taking longer evenings in Jubilee, and, of course, writing. Physically, I will be flying out on the 26th of this month, but mentally I am already plotting my return. Haiti feels like my home now, and the people that I eat breakfast with in the morning and walk through the streets with in the evening truly feel like my family. I feel honored to have been able to spend fall semester here, and I feel humbled by the stories I have had the rare opportunity of hearing during my stay. I hope to find a way to communicate these things to you while I am processing it all in Athens, Georgia.

Thank you for playing your part in the vision we all share, and for the encouragement that has come to me directly. I am constantly reminded that the things we do, even if it is just opening our eyes to the injustice, our ears to the stories that need someone to hear them, and our hearts to the love that God wants to fill our lives with, make a much bigger impact than we will ever know. These are the things that bring lasting change, these are the things that bind us together as a global community.



-Kara Morrissey