Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Haitian Amputee Soccer team heads to their second World Cup in Mexico!

The Haitian Amputee Soccer team is currently in the US training to participate in the Bi-annual Amputee World Cup.

They will be in Mexico this Friday, November 28th. Their first game will be against Germany on Nov. 30th. Then they will play Kenya and Russia. They will fly back to Dallas on December 9th and then get back to Haiti on December 15th.

After they arrive back in Haiti, they plan to tour in the provinces with some other players and finish with an exhibition match in Port-au-Prince January 12 which will be the 5th anniversary of the earthquake.

However, without the generous contribution of time by one of our Ambassadors Football alumni, Elysee, they would not have made it out of Haiti. Elysee spent 2 days solid working on the internet I the Ambassadors Football Haiti complete all the Visa applications that had to be done. He also took pictures of all the players and meticulously sized them to meet the Visa requirements. His hard work was rewarded by all of the players and coaches getting 5 year visas!

Thank you Elysee!

There are many Christians on the Amputee team, and they still will sing Christian favorites like Amazing Grace whenever they get the opportunity. This tradition started when I was preparing them for their first World Cup in Argentina. I told them that just like Soccer is an international sport, Music is an international art form and rehearsed with them so they could sing at teams dinners and other public occasions. This tradition has endeared the team to many!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

A Key AFH Leader's meeting

On Nov. 15 we held a meeting with most of Ambassadors Football Haiti key leaders from around Haiti to introduce them to AFH’s board members. Currently, AFH has four Pastors as board members: Pastor Doucet Desronvil, President of the Wesleyan Church in Haiti; Pastor Yves Chaperont, Assistant Pastor of Calvary Chapel, Port-au-Prince; Pastor Marc Coquillon, of Teen Challenge, Haiti; and Pastor Fanier Justima of the UEBH.

There were many challenging conversations that day, but the one that the hardest, yet easiest, to answer was “Where do we find the money to finance this ministry?”

I said: “This is a faith ministry and all of our finances come from the hand of God. We all need to pray and ask God for his provision.”

Later in the meeting Pastor Doucet told our leaders the story of how Christian Service Brigade started in Haiti. The founder of CSB, Pastor Joe Coughlin was invited by a group of Haitian leaders to come and visit Haiti from June 6-10, 1966. The response to the idea of starting CSB in Haiti was very positive.

Naturally one of the delegates asked the question: “Where do we find the money to finance this ministry?”

Here is how Joe Coughlin responded according to the minutes of this historic meeting:
“Since this is not my organization, though I am interested in it, and though I have my opinions, I would prefer that you first seek answers from among yourselves.” After many suggestions Joe answered thus: “We don’t search for money by our own efforts, but we ask God for this. We must be very practical when it comes to money. We trust God for our spiritual needs, cannot we also trust God for our material needs? If you look to man you will surely be disappointed but if you look to God you will never be disappointed?”

Today “Brigade Chretienne d’Haiti” is a totally Haitian ministry that is in hundreds of churches all around Haiti and is found in almost every evangelical denomination. All without any direct help from CSB in the US or any other country. God has blessed this movement in Haiti and it has grown through the prayers and gifts of Haitians as they saw how this movement could disciple and help their young men and women grow spiritually.

I believe God wants to do the same thing with Ambassadors Football Haiti as the church in Haiti discovers the value of sports ministry to raise up and train the youth of Haiti physically and spiritually.

That is one reason I believe He gave me the idea of starting the “Give a kid a kid in Haiti” program. This program not only helps our players and leaders financially, but also helps fund our local teams in Christian schools.

Won’t you join your Haitian brothers and sisters in prayer as they ask for God’s provision for this ministry to expand and be fruitful just as many Haitian pastors joined together to birth the Brigade movement in Haiti almost 50 years ago?

Friday, November 14, 2014

The story of Franso

Rich and Franso speak at a goat training for AFH leaders

When Franso entered the Give A Kid A Kid program through the ministry of Dr. Kelly Crowdis, a veterinarian serving with Christian Veterinary Mission he was 16 and ranked last in his fourth grade class because his mom didn’t have enough money to send him to school every year. He lives with his mom who has a small garden from which she sells produce, his little brother and twin sisters. His parents were never married and after the twins were born his father decide to move on. His father still lives in the community but with another woman and rarely speaks and never supports his first family. Franso was a young man headed down the wrong road hanging out with gangs looking for acceptance.

The Give A Kid A Kid program offered Franso what he needed: someone who cared, structure, responsibility and the good news of the gospel. After three months of classes Franso failed the exam children must pass to receive a pregnant female goat. He sat and watched the other children receive theirs and saw their joy and the chance they had to change their lives for the better. That day he made some decisions about his life and took a month long revision class and received a goat after passing the exam. The moment he picked up the rope and led his goat home his life changed. He had a purpose, responsibility and hope for the future. During the next 6 months of classes he not only learned how to properly care for his goat but he learned about God being our good shepherd the same was he was being a good shepherd to his goat and he accepted the life saving message of the gospel and let Jesus into his heart. His goat had twins: he kept one and gave one to the church. His grades improved and he finished the year number one in his class. He is now mentoring several young boys and they are hanging out with him instead of with the local gang members where he used to hang out. He brings them to church and is showing them Christ through his life.

Franso passed the test to enter high school (7th grade) as number one in his class. He donates the offspring of one of his female goats to the church for missions outreach, he sings in the church choir, he is working to grow food for his goats and others in the forage garden. With the money from selling the offspring from his now 4 female goats and what he earns in the garden he has purchased a cow which now has a calf.

God used one small goat to draw him to himself and change his life! Please pray for his unsaved family!

Dr. Kelly Crowdis loves to teach!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Building for the Future

This weekend I purchased the supplies pictured above to build a goat pen for the goats given back to the program. It will be managed by one of the veterinary agents trained by Dr. Kelly and consist of a fenced in area with part grass and part cement floor covered by a shelter. This will keep the goats dry when it rains.

This pen will allow us to hold the goats given back to the program until we have enough to distribute to another team, or sell the male goats in order to buy female goats.

This week we are also preparing for a leader's conference to be held in Gonaives on Saturday, Nov. 15th. Our Haitian board of directors will meet some of our regional leaders for the first time, and we will all plan together for 2015.

So thanks for your prayers as we build our goat pen, and make plans for 2015!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Trip to Verrettes to talk about the Goat Program

On November 3rd we will go to Verrettes to talk about the goat program.

Since we lost 7 goats to pneumonia a few weeks ago, we need to take stock how many goats we have left and when they will be healthy enough to distribute to another team.

We also need to make some shelters for the goats since it has been raining a lot and we don't want more goats to get sick!

Another exciting thing is that we now have ear tags with the Ambassadors Football logo on them. Each of our goats is now going to be tagged with a unique number!

Stories and pictures from our trip South

This is Sister Petit with one of her grandchildren.

Equipment distribution to schools in Port Salut.

Thanks for your prayers!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Trip to the South of Haiti - Port Salut, Jacmel and Leogane


Please pray for our Trip to Leogane, Port Salut and Jacmel between Oct. 22 and 25th.

Today Lucasse, Rochenel and I left for a trip to visit three towns where we have teams in the south of Haiti. We left the house at 9 AM and hit a big traffic jam in Carre four because the locals were burning tires to protest trash being dumped in their neighborhood. We were in the traffic jam from 10 AM until 11:30 AM, but finally made it to Leogane around noon.
I liken driving to Haiti to a video game where you never know what’s going to pop out of nowhere: Motorcycles, goats, chickens, pedestrians, etc. Thank God Lucasse is a good driver!

We first went to visit Pastor Guillaume in Leogane. Pastor Guillaume is the head of the regional committee for Leogane which oversees the AFH teams in four schools. The object of this trip is to prepare each town we visit to play a regional Evangelistic Futsal tournament. The Regional winners will then be eligible to participate in the National Futsal tournament.

There were 3 members of the regional committee at this meeting: Julia and Guidony . Julia’s huband and daughter survived by crawling under a bed when their house collapsed and had to be extracted from the rubble by using a car jack to lift up the cement roof so they could crawl out. Now the daughter Is 5 years old and in kindergarten.

After lending Guidony a digital camera so he could take pictures of the players for their tournament badge, we started on the second leg of our trip to Port Salut.

We made good progress until we got a flat tire. It was a very hot day, and our tires got extra hot because of the heavy load of books we were carrying. So the tube inside one of our back tires exploded like a popped balloon and we knew right away what the problem was. However, the heavy load tore the tire as soon as it popped and it could not be repaired. Thankfully we had a good spare tire that allowed us to get back on our way after about 30 minutes.

So because of these two delays, we ended up getting to Port Salut around 5:30 PM which was 1 ½ hours later than we told them.
However, when we got there we found 11 leaders waiting for us. What was most amazing is that one of them was a 65 year old school teacher who was more excited than anyone else about AFH’s program because if would help the church evangelize her neighborhood. She also told us that after the training that Lucasse and Rochenel did last May, they had started to work with the children and 3 came to Christ at the first practice!

The other exciting thing was the “Met” Moran was at the meeting. “Met” means “”Master” or “teacher” in Creole. It turns out that Met Moran is in charge of most of the sports activities in Port Salut. He is the representative for both the Haitian government Ministry of Youth and Sport, but also for the Haitian Soccer Federation – and best of all, he is a committed Christian! Not only that, but he says he has access to a basketball court that is perfect for Futsal, and it is available this fall because they are not doing a basketball tournament at that time!

The Christian author Blackaby reminds us to look for where God is already at work and join Him. It certainly looks like God is already at work in Port Salut, and we want to join Him!

During the meeting some little boys and girls were kicking a deflated Basketball around and laughing and giggling as they played “keep away” from one another. It was just another reminder of the power of soccer to attract children into AFH’s programs.

So thanks for your prayers as we join with God in what he is doing in Port Salut, Jacmel and Leogane.!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Uh-oh -- Pneumonia among the goats! Please pray for the goats

Please pray with us about the goat project. 7 goats have died recently of pneumonia. 22 goats have been exposed to it because these are the goats that were given back to the ministry.

This should be a time of rejoicing because those who have benefited have been "passing it forward." But we are concerned that we may lose more.

We do praise the Lord for the veterinary agents trained by Dr. Kelly who are able to treat the goats and may be able to save them.

Thanks for your prayers.