Three weeks in the US and three weeks in Haiti have the Ream Team split. I am in Haiti. My family, as many of you know, is in the US. It is difficult to be separated as a family. Part of who I am is in two worlds not far apart geographically, but far apart in every other way. It feels like I have one foot in Haiti and one foot in the USA.
Our family of six traveled to the USA for the first time together after waiting four years to be able to do so. Watching my daughter as the plane started to move brought us all joy and excitement and tears to my eyes.
We arrived in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, where Elisabeth and Esmée finished immigration in record time and met the rest of us who were still waiting for our luggage. We finally make our way to the front of the customs line and the immigration officer pulls us out of the moving line and asks us to wait. We explained that we were going to miss our connecting flight if we were detained any longer. They basically said they didn’t care and left us standing there for what seemed like forever before being escorted upstairs and detained further in the same room we had just completed our daughter’s immigration process. The officer who had just processed our paperwork argued, “A family of six? Wait! These two were just in here and I cleared their paperwork! What are they doing back in here?”
Surely he must have known how many background checks we have been through in the past 4 years! The other officer said that something had come up and that they were waiting for their supervisor. We did our best to tame wild imaginings racking through our minds over what that “something” could possibly be while four wild and hungry children kept asking what the police were going to do to us and if we were still going to Texas. After an hour of waiting with knotted stomachs, I am pulled into an office and questioned about Haiti, the what, the why and the how of what I do and the same questions for every other country that is stamped on my passport (Israel, Jordan, Turkey, Dominican Republic, Mexico).
The officer questioning me was genial and seemed interested professionally and personally in my travels and what I was doing in those countries.
I had a great opportunity to share who God is and why my feet have been in several countries. In a frustrating situation, I thank God that He helped me offer a kind response to the interrogating officer, and to plant or water a seed for the gospel.
Our long ago missed connecting flight began our separation as a family early. The rest of the day was almost as wild as we scrambled to make separate standby flights with kids perched all over the plane. Elisabeth and the kids made it to meet several supportive friends at the airport just a little later than scheduled. Thank you friends and family who welcomed us with smiles, signs and hugs increasing our joy to end this long wild ride with you. I eventually made it to Texas later that night. Though Chick-fil-A was already closed, I rejoiced that a double portion had been saved for me.
Our time in Texas reunited us with amazing friends and family, churches, eating too much food, making doctor visits and getting paperwork and evidence ready for another court proceeding pertaining to the girls’ adoptions. The adoptions and citizenship had been completed but we needed to register both foreign decrees stateside in order to receive new birth certificates with their name changes and correct an error on Esmée’s birth date. This also allows us to no longer tote a large dossier of adoption paperwork with another stack of translations around with us! Our court appointment went well and everything is finished now. Thank you to our family, friends, doctor, lawyers and God’s Littlest Angels for each step you walked with us to make this dream become a reality.
I arrived home in Haiti on April 8th to the inconveniences of having no power for over two weeks at our house, major plumbing issues still not fixed, rainy season beginning and huge leaks in the roof. But never fear because help is on the way! Or so I thought. Our landlord was supposed to come over two weeks ago to assess and deal with the situation. We have not heard from him or anyone who was scheduled to fix some of these big issues in the house. This is such a huge prayer request. We need to get these issues fixed and make a new contract before I leave in three weeks. Please pray that all these details will come together this week. We need to pay for at least one year’s rent at the signing of the new contract. We need help, prayers, and participation right now to meet this need. We need 12 people that could commit to give a one time gift of $650.00 this month. Please contact us and/or visit our needs list and donate page on this blog if you desire to help.
My foot in Haiti has been accomplishing some other more exciting things in the last few weeks. I participated in my first graduating class as a volunteer principal at El Shaddai Learning Center. While it is hard to be away from my family, there are different things I am able to do when my family is not with me that are additional blessings. I have had many great spiritual conversations with several of the 20 -30 year olds in our neighborhood while hanging outside late at night. These guys said, “Eric, you hardly ever do this with us when your family is here” (late night conversations). That gave me another great opportunity to talk about the responsibility of a husband and a father in the home.
Please pray for these men who are not yet believers and are so open. God is working! I have been able to take some of them with me as I have traveled to other parts of Haiti since I do not have a car full of family. For many of the guys it was their first time to visit these places even so close to home in their own country. I had part of my discipleship group over to the house and took some of them to play tennis and swim one day. Some had never been in a swimming pool, a nice grocery store, and definitely had never played tennis before.
Thank you for helping us minister here and offer the gospel and a life devoted to serving the Lord! It is a wonderful blessing to build relationships with our neighbors, students and friends through fun experiences too! We pray that as they look back on these fun times they will always remember the conversations about the Savior that took place and remember to look to Him.
I spent last Saturday with the women of our KOFAEL program. It is always an encouragement to see those with what looks like little praising our Lord for so much! This ministry continues to grow and be a blessing of provision for many Haitian families. Please continue in prayers and support for them. There is an immediate need for $2,400 in donations to provide for the next round of business loans that the women expect and have worked to receive. We need to be able to grant this money by next months meeting on May 31st. The women have been faithful to pay back their loans and sustain their businesses and families. This lack of funds is a deficit from the $250 per member we must raise to grant the loans in the first place. If you are interested in learning more about this ministry program and/or a tax deductible donation please visit
I felt your prayers this morning as I led school chapel. Two students confessed that they needed Christ and several more were strengthened in their desire to walk in Christ!
Both of my feet will be in the USA by the end of May. We will be traveling in IL, FL, GA, TN, KY, IN, OH, NY, TX and Canada among other countries that I will travel to this summer. We would love to see you and connect with you, your family, small group and church this summer. Our schedule is filling up quickly, but we will do our best to make room for you! Thank you for making room for us in your hearts and homes as we partner together to glorify God and make Him known around the world.
May your feet and ours be beautiful as we share the gospel of Jesus Christ wherever our feet may roam! Romans 10: 14-15