Thursday, December 22, 2011

Lots of Christmas Events

   We had a beautiful candlenight service for Christmas in Tamboril. Kids hit it out of the park with their Nativity play. We were very proud of our Sunday School teachers who out of the blue were presented with gifts of appreciation from the parents at the end of the service. Sweet serving spirit throughout the night from everyone, God really blessed.  

   The same week we had Luis Marco and Suzette's wedding.  Luis Marco hopped in the back of my truck on a rainy day here in 2008 and literally never got out. He received Christ in the church here in Tamboril in 2009. Then in 2010 he began to plead with our Haiti team to travel (more like off-road) to Pignon to tell Suzette about Jesus. After a fun blessed trip Suzette fell in love with Jesus and there Wedding was another giant step for this precious couple. 


   The next week we had our full time worker's retreat.  We took all the workers and their familes up to Constanza (freezing cold) and just relaxed and had a lot of fun as well as some great meetings focusing on our goals for 2012.  


Rosa leading the children in a game during our 2011 Christmas Celebration
 Luis and Suzette 

The Art of Marshmellow Roasting
 Martha and Jordan at the pastry shop in Bonao on the way to Constanza
Ricadeni is really growing as a Sunday School teacher
Rosa y Neri

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Coming Home in 2012


   Six years is a long time, but time flies in the Lords work and we are exited about coming home and communicating our vision with you in person for the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Cuba beginning next year. Over the next few months we will be in contact with you about our schedule and our plans to be with you.
   We know times are tough and want to save our church families as much as possible and are planning on traveling with the whole family in an old motor home so as to cut down on hotel and food expenses. Scheduling is important to save on gas and we have put together a home assignment calendar for July 2012 through July 2013. Its pretty straight forward and a click away.

GREEN - Open appointment with our general location and service times.
YELLOW - Specific or General area in the country we will be located.
RED - Filled appointment with our specific location, time and the churches name.

Monday, November 07, 2011

“It’s the most WONDERFUL time of the year”

The Church in Tamboril is getting ready for another Christmas wedding this year and our missions conference theme is: “The Gift That Keeps On Giving”.
We are having 3 services focused on “Loving Liberally”, “Praying Purposefully”, and “Giving Joyfully” and ending it with a banquet where we take up the commitments.
The children of our Sunday School classes are preparing for their respective Nativity play’s and the ladies are busy decorating the building with bright red Christmas poinsettias. All of us are excited about what God is doing in the hustle and bustle of this season.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Please Pray - Needing a Roof - for the New TLC

What -  The “TLC” – The Timothy Leadership Center

When -  Facilities are projected to be completed in early 2012

Where -  The "TLC" is located in Nouaille, Haiti approximately 20 minutes from the Port a Prince airport

How -  Bridging local needs with resources to advance long term projects 

Why -  To inspire leaders to Christ-likeness and empower them to impact their  families, local churches and communities with the Gospel.

Core Principles -  
1. God Love's Everyone
Throughout scripture we learn of God's love for us. True faith in Christ is a personal choice and an act of the will that cannot be and should not be coerced. Christians should not impose there beliefs on others by law but demand the human freedom to exercise there spiritual powers of prayer, preaching and providing for those in need.


2.  All People are Created Equal
A Biblical moral view of human equality can be fostered and protected in a society where all people can participate in their government through fair election's, the rule of law and a free press. People are not equal where economic, religious and racial discrimination flourish.  

3.  People are Created to Create
We have been created in the image of God who has endowed us with the capacity to co-create using our God-given intelligence, the resources of the earth and human cooperation. The economic mentality of taking rather than making only leads to endless poverty and un-empowerment.

Current Situation
The UN and the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) who are in Haiti and who have come to Haiti since the earthquake of January 12, 2010 are important. They are providing key core infrastructures to get Haiti back on her feet, but they are not the hope of Haiti. In time the best thing they can do will be to leave Haiti and the best thing that can happen will be for the Haitian people to rebuild their own society with a strong moral and spiritual view of humanity that promotes human equality, human creation of commerce and business and establishes Christ as its true and only hope through with religious freedom and protection for all.

Prayer Requests
For God to raise a new generation of leaders who will lead with boldness and integrity

For revival in the Haitian Baptist churches that will translate in transformed lives and a significant impact on the nation, both spiritually and culturally

Jobs and housing for the Haitian people; hope and encouragement for the generation that survived the earthquake of January 12, 2010

Friday, September 30, 2011

Florence Baptist Temple comes to Haiti

We have been working day and night for several months, facing serious weather obstacles, political difficulties and spiritual battles and without reservation we know God has worked them all out.

On our 60th trip in we hosted a team of professional builders from South Carolina which moved us over half way to the completion of our final church construction project . We were able to finish the excavation and site work, we are close to finishing the 12 24ft concrete columns, we began placing the first EPS foam panels, put the finishing touches on a large septic system, laid the foundation, prepared the baptistery, did the plumbing, installed the electricity and began pouring the floor on the 5,000 square foot structure.

It is difficult many times to single out church or individual contributions because there are so many that make what we do possible but I must say thank you to Pastor Monroe, Mike, Robert, Ted, Rick and the entire congregation of Florence Baptist Temple for the blessing they have been to our ministry. 

It is encouraging and humbling to see it come together.  Truthfully, no one gets the credit, we are all working together to give Him the honor and glory for this incredible victory and BELIEVE IT OR NOT – there is more to come. 

Top of columns being poured

Tom, Robert, Ted and Rick in the Morning

Finishing Septic System Plan

 Tom planning the Baptistry

 Beginning the Floor

Moving along even at Night

Saturday, August 27, 2011

D.R. Haiti Team

God is blessing and construction is moving right along. In August, we finished the side road, dug and set 12 24' concrete columns, hung the entrance and side gates, blew the base coat of concrete on the Timothy Leadership Center, began work on the septic system and visited Pastor Clifford's church once again Sunday morning. Everyone is working in his or her area to bring this together and we enjoyed a special time of prayer Sunday morning after services with Pastor Clifford on the project site.

Prayer with Pastor Clifford after Sunday Services

 Girls doing Laundry

George and JuliAnna

 Tyler getting ready to jump into the Septic System - Really?

Side Road, Filled and Graded and Ready for Use.

Friday, July 15, 2011

2011 VBS - Explorando el Desierto

Our third consecutive Vacation Bible School in Tamboril this year was excellent. Throughout the week we had 21 receive Christ as there personal savior which is a credit to our church members who volunteered everywhere. The closing night's program was great with two children's choirs, puppets and a special message to the parents brought to us by our missionary to Nagua Jorge Brionas. Four adults received Christ and an additional Sunday School class was formed the next week.

Tyler and Jorge using puppets to teach 1 Timothy 1:15

                                           Regina leads 7 to the Lord.

                                                 Nursery overflowing

Aunt Penny giving the morning's Bible lesson

Little one's practicing for night program

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Planting a Church in Haiti


Here is a short 2:45 video commemorating the beginning of the new church in Nouaille, Haiti. We thank you for praying for us over the last month, it really does make a difference. If you would like to share the high quality version with your church, we uploaded this to our iDisk's public folder at https://public.me.com/tom4coop  Hitting the link, then the New Project.m4v file and download button will take less than a minute and will go into your Download folder and unzip itself. 

Regina and I have been involved in six church plants, four in Cuba and two in the Dominican Republic. Every church starts with challenges, blessings and unforgettable memories. We have started churches under tree's, under a bridge, under a tent, under tin and just sitting in the sand on the beach. You don't need a pulpit, sound system or even a building to get things started but you do need God's word, the power of the Holy Spirit and willing hearts.

I thank the Lord we had all three as we started our seventh work in Haiti under a big blue tarp. I read II Corinthians 4:5-8, introduced our group, prayed and Pastor Clifford came and preached his first message on Matthew 11:28 "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest". It was beautiful. Everyone enjoyed the services and a bible study was organized just a few days later. The next day Veterinarian Darren Woodson had a clinic and just about every animal imaginable showed up. This provided a great opportunity once again to share the Gospel with the community and Pastor Clifford made some excellent contacts.

During this trip we continued building and have now completed the exterior security wall, fill, plumbing, footer's, column's, and floor of our second project at the back of the property. God is blessing. Up next is a third building 5,000 square feet (Phase 1) with three more talented construction groups on the way from Florence, South Carolina and Farmington, New Mexico. We have worked hard at cutting the budget down for Florence as much as possible without jeopardizing the integrity of the long term impact of the project. Please pray for us. We have posted 100 photographs of this trip on our Facebook page at this
link. and will be raising some additional funds to cover the installation of a Well, Septic System. basic site work. ect. and are excited about what God is doing and trusting Him by Faith to make our vision a reality.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Interactive Missionary Letter

Every End is a New Beginning


After our 47th trip into Haiti, on April 15th 2011, after 15 months of incredible challenges, sacrifice and intense work, our team returned to the D.R. from its final relief mission.  During this trip, we reflected on God's blessings and gave all the honor and glory to him for what has been done.  Obviously, the disaster is still ongoing and Haiti will take years to recover, as we have reported on our Blog.

Haiti, as a nation, has known nothing but suffering, tribulations and poverty over her course in history and this makes recovery even that more difficult.  It is extremely difficult to pass collapsed buildings, tent cities, etc., without thinking of those affected from the earthquake even to this day; yet we know it is time to draw this relief chapter in our life to a close. 
While this chapter in our lives is ending, we are excited about new beginnings.  Every fire starts with a spark and Haiti has definitely kindled a new fire within us; one, that we believe will not let us leave just yet.

For decades, and even now, non-governmental organizations have provided the most critical services to the Haitian people. During this time, Haitians have developed a dependency on humanitarian aid and this sense of dependency and entitlement has grown over the last year.  Today, seemingly innocent situations can become intense quickly (For example: 
Our Feb 28, 2011, Blog entry ) and serious problems can lead to personal attacks.  Not all experiences can be explained or documented, not even with Blogs, Twitter, Facebook etc., there is just not enough time.  There are also no easy answers in a disaster. In life, there are going to be trials and tribulations and our character is defined by rising to meet those challenges.

For the Christian, these trials and tribulations can be physical realities but more than anything it is a spiritual test.  Will we grow by faith and wholly rely on Him or will we rely on ourselves?  In Haiti, this question is answered daily and in order for physical dependency to be broken, spiritual dependency must take its place at some point.  Our Lord Jesus Christ, quoting Deut 8:3, sums it up in Luke 4:4 by saying, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God."  The first sign of long-term change in Haiti is going to be Haitians depending on every word of God to win, build and send their countrymen around their country with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Christianity is growing in Haiti and that gives our team great hope and we want to be a part of this growth in a permanent way.


Today, we are announcing our plans to start the Bible Baptist Church of Nouailles, Haiti.  This will be our third church plant since arriving on the island in August of 2006.  It is difficult to establish a new work without a leader and God has brought Pastor Clifford into our lives for such a time as this.  Pastor Clifford graduated from the S.T.E.P. seminary in Haiti that is connected with Dallas Theological Seminary and not only feels called to this work but is already in Nouailles laying the ground work necessary to start the church.  We are excited and have committed ourselves to get this church started on the right foot. 


We have three teams coming from Dr. Morgan's church in Farmington, New Mexico and Dr. Monroe's church in Florence, South Carolina this summer to help evangelize and to build a church building before the end of October.  At that point, our team will integrate back into their normal routines in the Dominican Republic, although, continuing our relationship with Pastor Clifford a few days a month for prayer, training and encouragement. We need your prayers; this is a great challenge and will be difficult for a plethora of reasons, some that we have mentioned. Pray for the Holy Spirit's power on our lives and for those who are coming this summer. Pray for our safety, health, ministries and most of all for those who need Christ.

Regina and I want to say thank you to our family, supporting churches and to all the teams that have come to Haiti.  You have encouraged and blessed us with your prayers, offerings, faithfulness and love and we pray we can see you again soon.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Please Pray for Pastor Dial and Martha

One of our greatest joys this year has been watching Martha grow into being an essential part of our team.  She is the Director of Rayitos de Luz (children’s Bible club) in Don Pedro and after marrying Pastor Dial in December has been used by the Lord both here in the Dominican and in Haiti.  In March, she went to the hospital with severe swelling and pain. Three day’s after being admitted, at 2 a.m., the Doctor’s decided to perform emergency surgery in order to stop bleeding in her lower abdomen .  The surgery saved her life and a week later she was released.  Please pray for her recovery, and for Pastor Dial and Martha as they rely on the Lord to provide for $5,000 worth of medical bills.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

More Post-Trip Debriefing's


We have been having groups come into Haiti throughout our relief and rebuilding efforts.  We ask these groups to fill out a de-brief form at the close of their missions trip. We let those who come know, that they do not have to put there name on the paper yet these friends of ours (who we made in Haiti) chose to sign there de-briefing forms. Our prayer is that this will be a guide for Pastors and lay leaders who desire to dig deeper and see what goes on in the hearts of those who come. I was asked by the Wilmington News Journal in June 2010 how Haiti affects these groups and if the groups are really helping. I believe these de-briefings can shed some light on those questions from a different view point.  Regina and I have learned a lot both in Haiti and in the D.R. from this evaluation process (See March 2008) (See August 2010) and in several cases have implemented long term changes to our short term group strategy. The following 3 de-briefings come from Dr. John Morgan’s church in Farmington, New Mexico.

One thing debriefing triggers is the reentry process. Reentry is both an end and a beginning.
• an end to a foreign experience, but the beginning of feeling foreign
• an end of a trip, but the beginning of another journey
• an end to being/feeling special, but the beginning of being ordinary with a special heart for God and for the people of Haiti
• an end to being stared at, but the beginning of looking at people and the world through different eyes
• an end to simple living, but the beginning of a different lifestyle
• an end to crowded housing, but the beginning of having more space for God and for people
• an end to eating foreign food, but the beginning of friendships with International students, immigrants, refugee’s and ethnic minorities

Casey Garcia - Jeweler’s Assistant
LEAVING
1. When I think of leaving, I feel . . . conflicted.  Nervous for the impact Haiti has just begun in my life and how that’s going to be revealed back home even more.
2. My experience here has been . . . indescribable.  There’s the third world and then there is Haiti
3. For me Haiti means . . . conflict.  Conflict in emotions, perspective, government and the situation.

4. The people I will miss are . . . The Franklins - those little blondies!  The kids from our construction site. Belen, Taylor and George.
5. The things that I will miss are . . . cold showers. Rice pudding.  Cabbage salad.  Bad roads.  Bags of Water. 
6. The things I will be happy to leave behind are . . . Sugar Cane Factories. 
7. When leaving a place I usually . . . feel ready to go home, sad to leave, thankful and joyful about my experience.
8. The easiest point of leaving for me will be . . . when I get to Florida and get my Carmel Frappucino!
9. Before I leave I really want to . . . Thank God for Haiti and promise Him to never forget Haiti.
10. I feel that my goals/expectations have been . . . revealed . . . I really had none.  The Lord showed me day by day what to absorb and THAT blew my mind. 
11. The most stressful part of leaving will be . . . leaving the Franklins, and knowing this may or may not be be my last time in Haiti (equally stressful)
12. A few things I would suggest to the missionaries . . . stop spoiling us. Just Kidding.
13. A few things I would suggest to the national team at the base . . . continue helping the Franklins
14. The base needs . . another generator
15. One thing I wish we could have done was . . . nothing - it was perfect in everyway

EXPECTATIONS
1. I think the return home will be . . . Subtle. I feel my reentry is so much like my entry - little expectation so that I can be open to how this all applies to the Big Picture 
2. I expect the reception from my family will be . . supportive
3. I anticipate my church to be . . .
4. I picture my friends to be . . . so amazed at the devastation, shocked even.  I know that those closest to me will want stories and will be influenced.
5. I expect my family to
6. I hope my church will . . .
7. I think my friends will be . . .
8. I am looking forward to . . . seeing my fiancé.

RETURNING
1. When I think of returning to the United States, I feel . . . revived.  This new perspective is opening up my heart and mind and I feel it will be used back home.
2. I will be going back to . . . planning a wedding and so many new beginnings!!!
3. Going back will enable me to . . . make my calling and election sure.  Haiti re-introduced me to parts of myself that God is eager to use!!
4. Regarding money, I will . . . hold it with an open hand, always remembering its God’s.  I am merely a steward. 
5. I think the hardest part of going back for me will be . . . my family.
6. I think the easiest part of going back will be . . . getting ready to be married and seeing God unfold all that.
7. I cannot wait to. . . tell my fiancé about Haiti.  Be more intentional about how I relate to people.  Love well!

Steve Hebert - Furniture Store Manager

LEAVING
1. When I think of leaving, I feel . . . Sense of exhausted accomplishment.
2. My experience here has been . . . life changing
3. For me Haiti means . . . the possibility of an awakening for mankind


4. The people I will miss are . . . forever a part of my life
5. The things that I will miss are . . . the challenges that exist here
6. The things I will be happy to leave behind are . . . the aromas
7. When leaving a place I usually . . . take material souvenirs
8. The easiest point of leaving for me will be . . . to return to my family at home
9. Before I leave I really want to . . . thank everyone who worked so hard.
10. I feel that my goals/expectations have been . . . exceeded . . . unbelievable.
11. The most stressful part of leaving will be . . . knowing I may never return
12. A few things I would suggest to the missionaries . . . drink plenty of water, have 3 pair of shoes, lots of Sunblock
13. A few things I would suggest to the national team at the base . . . they are great and can’t think of anything
14. The base needs . . . financial support
15. One thing I wish we could have done was . . . seen a little more of Haiti

EXPECTATIONS
1. I think the return home will be . . . poignant
2. I expect the reception from my family will be . . warm and tearful
3. I anticipate my church to be . . . curious
4. I picture my friends to be . . . curious
5. I expect my family to be . . . interested and motivated
6. I hope my church will . . . be supportive in the future of Short Term Missions
7. I think my friends will be . . . curious
8. I am looking forward to . . . organizing my photos / journal  and sharing

RETURNING
1. When I think of returning to the United States, I feel . . . ready
2. I will be going back to . . . home and job.  My life changed forever here.
3. Going back will enable me to . . . provide stronger witness for Christ.
4. Regarding money, I will . . . find a way to support missions more
5. I think the hardest part of going back for me will be . . . retain the emotions born here.
6. I think the easiest part of going back will be . . . seeing my loved ones
7. I cannot wait to. . . share my experiences

Steve Damron / Small Business owner and Golf Pro.
Note:  Steve is a new Christian and reminds me a lot my uncle Tom (where I get my name).  

LEAVING
1. When I think of leaving, I feel . . . not ready!  Although I miss my family, I know there is so much to be done. 
2. My experience here has been . . . life changing, I am far richer than I ever imagined. 

3. For me Haiti means . . .
4. The people I will miss are . . . the Franklins and the whole team, I’ve made some life long friends that I will always pray for and remember not only in my mind but will love in my heart. 
5. The things that I will miss are . . . the cooking, the cold showers and most of all the companionship.
6. The things I will be happy to leave behind are . . . my blood, sweat and tears; as well as a Christian legacy!
7. When leaving a place I usually . . . never look back!
8. The easiest point of leaving for me will be . . . after I board the plane.
9. Before I leave I really want to . . .
10. I feel that my goals/expectations have been . . . back and forth.  From not feeling as though I could make a difference to seeing that I have maybe on a few men.
11. The most stressful part of leaving will be . . . tonight at the property.  I have sweat, bled and cried and I know the men respect us for it. 
12. A few things I would suggest to the missionaries . . . N/A I’ll be back - Keep it up. 
13. A few things I would suggest to the national team at the base . . . bring me back.
14. The base needs . . . nothing
15. One thing I wish we could have done was . . . swam in the ocean, but I was not here to vacation either!

EXPECTATIONS
1. I think the return home will be . . . long, thoughtful, emotional and reflective. 
2. I expect the reception from my family will be . . with arms wide open
3. I anticipate my church to be . . . very grateful
4. I picture my friends to be . . . humbled also by my tales and experience. 
5. I expect my family to be . . . I have no expectations, they know I was called by God for this trip. 
6. I hope my church will . . . continue supporting Haiti and the Franklins as well. 
7. I think my friends will be . . . inquisitive
8. I am looking forward to . . . a rare Ribeye Steak!

RETURNING
1. When I think of returning to the United States, I feel . . .
2. I will be going back to . . . Farmington, Family, Friends, Fiancé and my business of Hustle and Bustle. 
3. Going back will enable me to . . .
4. Regarding money, I will . . . it now means a fraction of the importance it had prior to my trip. 
5. I think the hardest part of going back for me will be . . . I am forever changed for leaving these people and I thank everyone from family to the church to the Haitians who have made these changes in me. 
6. I think the easiest part of going back will be . . . nothing will be easy about it for me. 
7. I cannot wait to. . . come back.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pinon Hills Album up on Facebook

After a month of putting the pieces into place, we built a 8ft high 635ft long concrete security wall around the church property last week. Two semi-trucks made their way to Haiti from the Dominican Republic full of special concrete and EPS foam panels setting up Dr. Morgan's team and our staff for 10 days of hard work. God blessed and we blew over 800 bags of concrete via air compressor and set columns for 3 future metal gates. In addition, Dr Morgan was able to conduct leadership classes and another food drop was made in Léogane, the epicenter of the earthquake. We have posted 100 photographs of this trip on our Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150129172631949.283229.583196948

Monday, February 28, 2011

Coincidence or Providence that rocks lie where there at?


Last week we moved a 1000 bags of cement off a semi-truck with 8 other men - ohhh - my muscles still hurt.  If you've never had the opportunity to do this then I highly suggest - YOU DON'T.  Smile - my body will never be the same. The Mule (our grey Toyota Hilux pictured above) which has been in four accidents since beginning relief operations and transported us out of several hairy situations, may never be the same either.  At the border with heavy traffic we were forced into the lake and were just a few inches from heading to the happy hunting grounds for good except for a huge rock that caught the undergird of the truck and miraculously kept us from heading deeper into the lake.  Thank the Lord our engine kept running for 2 hours while hooking up equipment to pull her to safety. 
We had water up to the bottom of the seats in the cab, all kinds of things got wet including passports, documents ect. but the engine never stopped (amazing). During the operation - “Rescue Mule” - over 40 gathered to watch us work.  When we finally got the mule out we celebrated and thought our problems were over.  We quickly learned that we had another problem after paying two Haitian men who had helped us pull the truck out of the water.  At this precise moment the 40 plus spectators demanded payment and the situation grew rather intense.  Finally, I smiled to everyone, held up my hands, backed up slowly to the mule, jumped in and found out our mule was actually a race horse as it transported us out of another hairy situation.  The truck (err - I mean race horse) is currently in the shop and as soon as we get the O.K - we will be heading back in again on approximately our 45th trip since the earthquake.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

1st Anniversary of the Earthquake

Dominican team welding metal framework for roof on
Pastor Destini's building - January 12, 2011

Wall paneling system being installed by second Dominican team. Project is just a few weeks from being finished. January 12, 2011

Smiling Faces and Joyful praise fill the night

One year ago our families lives where forever changed when an earthquake hit our island and brought the plight of our Haitian neighbors to the forefront of everything we were doing. There are times that change who, what, when and where you do things and January 12th 2010 was such a time in our lives. It will be a day that we will always remember and will literally live in Regina and I's memory until we pass into eternity. There is no way to begin to describe what we have seen and done in the last 365 day's. We have tried our best to communicate this year what was happening with over 30 different entries in our blog (www.dr4christ.blogspot.com), but really not even a book would do justice to all that has taken place. With His grace, direction and mercy our team has been in the field for more than 40 weeks away from our homes, ministries and families and today is no exception. It is sufficient to say that God is good, His blessings always seem to come at the perfect time. He has brought many churches and pastors in our lives who have helped and who we have learned a great deal from. We will never forget the times working and fellowshiping together and hope to see them again one day. We represent you: churches, pastors, friends and family who we know care deeply about the Christians here and the spiritual future of this country. We know many of you would be here with us in a heart beat if able and that thought, along with doing His will in our lives propels us to do more. We have done a lot with little this year, but that is enough when God is in it. We will post some pictures throughout the day on our blog and on Facebook (www.facebook.com/dr4christ) These pictures will be of work going on today and of tonights special services. Thank you from our family, our pastors, our full time workers and those who we are serving. We are grateful for your prayers, offerings, faithfulness and love.