By R.E. Spears III At 2 p.m. on a hot spring day — in Haiti, all the days are hot, but the approach of summer adds a whole new level of intensity, like wrapping up in a wool blanket by a campfire at noon in Nevada — most folks in Montrouis are looking for shade, content to let the next couple of hours pass with as little physical activity as possible. For 30-year-old Guerby, though, there will be no shade. On this small, hand-built green-and-yellow rowboat, he sits exposed to the full force of the sun, floating quietly in … Continue reading Guerby’s story
In May 2017, my friend Bob Mayo and I traveled with 9-year-old Ephram Surber, our translator and “team leader,” to Montrouis, Haiti, to work with and document some of the work of Supply and Multiply, a ministry in that town for which I serve on the board of directors. By the grace of God, Supply and Multiply, in partnership with One Heart, 2 Homes, built and operates one home for the elderly in Montrouis and is in the process of completing a second one. We are also blessed to be able to provide a boat for a local fisherman, one … Continue reading May 2017 Haiti Visit
I leave for a weeklong visit to Haiti this week, and the past few days have been a flurry of packing, shopping online and in stores for supplies my small group will take for the work we have planned there, scheduling projects and visits in the town of Montrouis and trying to get caught up on my work to the degree necessary to allow me to be gone for the week. I have a feeling I’ll be tired when I leave and exhausted when I return. And yet, I can hardly wait. Something happened to me in Haiti during … Continue reading Get out of the pew
Delivered in Montrouis, Haiti in November 2016 Good morning. Thank you very much for the introduction, thank you pastor for allowing me to speak for a few minutes this morning, and thank you all for the opportunity to worship our great God together. I bring you greetings this morning from Virginia, USA, from Liberty Spring Christian Church, from First Baptist Church and from a family back at home that loves this family of believers very much, Pastor Chris and Christina Surber. I am told that today is Family Day here, so it is fitting that I bring greetings from my … Continue reading One big, happy family
Delivered in October 2016 in Montrouis, Haiti Good evening. I’ve been looking forward to coming back to Haiti for more than two years. My wife and I visited here back in 2014, right in the middle of August. We met many beautiful people here, and we made some great new friends. I had a chance to drive up into the mountains and look down on the coast. Your blue waters spread out below the green hillside made an impression I will never forget. But one of the things I have been most excited about was the chance to see … Continue reading He’s always been faithful to me
Delivered in Montrouis, Haiti, in October 2016, after Hurricane Matthew In the only sermon the Bible records Jesus preaching, the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus began by saying, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Today, we see that mourning throughout Haiti. It burns within our breasts. It tastes bitter at the back of our throats. It threatens to consume us, to turn us bitter and angry. How can one see so many broken homes, so much pain and destruction, so much sorrow … Continue reading Blessed be the name of the LORD!
Originally published August 26, 2014 The contrasts are what keep coming back around to surprise me. The contrast between the summer temperatures here and there. The contrast between traffic here and there. The contrast between a meal here and there. The contrast between me filling a glass with cold, clean water from a tap and a child pleading for “dlo” from a small plastic bag sold on the side of a hot, dangerous road. But most of all, I keep thinking of the contrast between the smog-filled skies as we flew into Port-au-Prince and the startlingly clear sky on … Continue reading Seek ye first….
Originally published December 17, 2016 in the Suffolk News-Herald By R.E. Spears III Editor I’ve been having a lot of trouble focusing on my work lately. It’s a common problem for many during the holiday season, and many of the things that distract us all this time of year have done the same for me — Christmas shopping, holiday events, an ill-timed but needed vacation. But a young man who runs an orphanage in Haiti has been the main distraction for me this year. Last month, I made a quick trip to Montrouis, Haiti, on behalf of Supply and … Continue reading Thank you for the Christmas lesson
Originally published October 17, 2015 in the Suffolk News-Herald By R.E. Spears III Editor When I returned to Suffolk from a short-term mission trip to Haiti in August 2014, I was gratified by all the support I received from friends and acquaintances here for my trip and for the accounts I shared about it within the pages of this newspaper. At the same time, I was surprised at the number of folks who responded that they were tired of reading about Haiti, suspicious that my motives for sharing the stories were self aggrandizing and generally wishful that I’d leave … Continue reading Roadblocks on the way to Haiti
Originally published August 30, 2014 in the Suffolk News-Herald By R.E. Spears III Editor One of the first things I noticed upon returning from Haiti on a recent mission trip was how quiet our ride home from the airport was. To be sure, we’d had a long trip (17 hours, from door to door, including seven passport checks and a dead truck battery) and folks were too tired for a lot of chitchat. The roads in America were also much quieter. In Haiti, driving is punctuated by the out-of-tune brass ensemble of cars, trucks, buses and scooters blaring their … Continue reading A new perception after a trip to Haiti