Sunday, 27 August 2017

A God of miracles

Last Saturday we went to see Michilene's daughter, Woudislande, and her brand new baby girl.  She had given birth by emergency c section the Monday before and was sent home from the hospital with no pain killers.  Early on Tuesday morning Michilene phoned me, Woudislande's wound was not looking good, she was still in a lot of pain and they were going back to the hospital.

Later that day we heard that she was severely anemic and urgently needed a blood transfusion but the hospital had no blood, neither did the other major hospital in the north and neither did the red cross. By Thursday there was still no blood and we heard that the problem is that one of the machines which analyses the blood for hepatitis B, is broken.  This is the only machine in the north of Haiti.  Eight people from Michilene's family had been to the hospital the day before to donate blood but because it can't be analysed it is not allowed to be given. 

To be honest the situation looked hopeless, everyone we spoke to said there was nothing she could do but wait.  So here was Woudislande, in critical condition, unable to get out of bed, struggling to feed her new baby just waiting for the only thing that will save her life....the blood transfusion.  

So we did the only thing we could, we prayed.  Woudislande had people from Haiti, Canada, Northern Ireland and America praying for her...praying for a miracle. Imagine that, this young girl from a small village in Haiti which is famous for its voodoo, has probably hundreds of people, from hundreds and thousands of miles away praying for her healing.

And God answered.  Early on Friday evening Elsie (Michilene's sister) phoned, they had found blood and she was getting the transfusion as we spoke.  Literally a miracle.  God provided exactly what she needed, exactly when she needed it. 

Stacey went to see her and the baby today, she is looking much better.

She is not out of the woods yet and is still incredibly weak but she got that life saving treatment which she needed.  Praise the Lord. 

On Friday morning in clinic devotions Dr Rodney was asking for testimony's from the week past.  A story was told of a woman who came to Bethesda, very sick and covered in burns.  She has been ill for a long time and has been going to a witch doctor to get better,  it wasn't working so she decided to come to Bethesda.  The burns are probably a result of whatever the witch doctor was doing and now  she is being treated for TB and is on her way to getting better.  Dr Rodney's question was this ' where do you see God in the story?'

It's easy to see God is Woudislande's story, providing the impossible but do we look for God in the stories when its not that obvious?  In staff meeting on Monday night we were reading Acts ch 1 and discussing if we still see God doing miracles today?  If not, why not? Why is it not as obvious as it was in the early church?

Maybe the problem is we don't look for the miracles, Dr Rodney challenged us to look for God in every situation, see where he is and how he is working. Where do you see God working in your stories and situations today?

Please continue to pray for Woudislande, pray that each and every day she will get a bit stronger and that she will be healed completely.  Pray for Michilene as she spends 24 hours a day at the hospital with no bed and no chair, spending each night sleeping on a sheet, on the floor.  Pray for her baby girl, who is living in a hospital with a very sick mummy who can't possibly be providing all the nourishment that her little body needs. 

Today we are praising God for his hand at work in a seemingly helpless situation and for the body of Christ coming together from different parts of the world to pray for Michilene's family. 

Wednesday, 23 August 2017


We have something very exciting about to happen here at Emmaus....... Keep reading ( this is straight from Stacey's blog so I can't take the credit for the great writing!!) and find out how you to can be part of what is about to happen.

We've been saving it, this first day of school, for something really-big-deal special.

Today is full times 12, with men and women from across Haiti in...

Systematic Theology
Inductive Bible Study
and Church Administration classes.

This afternoon, another 35 men and women will join us to continue their education and training with masters classes, half in Biblical Principals for Teaching class, and the other in Doctrine of Humanity and Christology classes.

Haiti ultimately has a major sin problem. And the sin problem, it destroys and kills. That's what you see here, that's what the world sees here. That's what we see in America, that's what we see everywhere.

And we're here, our staff of 20 with a dozen regular visiting professors, is here, giving all our lives to meet that problem full-on with the only solution : an only Savior through whom true redemption comes.

We're modeling Him. We're teaching Him, we're studying Him, we're drawing near, and we're doing all we can to give Him all we can to 100+ students, who are in turn continually teaching Him, studying Him, drawing near, and doing all they can to give Him all they can to ten of thousands throughout Haiti.

There are many many symptoms our great sin problem produces. The needs are great and many and deep and wide. And every time God points one of them out and fans a flame of passion and conviction in any one of us, EBS does all it can to equip he or she who is needed and called, to fill their hands with what is needed and practical.

And until today, that has included sending and serving just about all OVER the place in Haiti. And there is still much-much to do, and today, praise the Lord, we are on it.

But a few months ago, a trusted ministry partner who has helped teach our "Islam and the Christian Faith" classes in the past sent us an email, "URGENT".

We watched this 3 minute video he sent us.

Paul told us that 100,000 refugees from North Africa have been arriving in Sicily each year, exactly what you see in that video. You've heard why they're leaving...horrific civil wars, horrific injustices, horrific living conditions, horrific threats of human trafficking, horrific like we don't understand. The kind that makes you depart Libya and put your toddler in an unsafe, overcrowded wooden boat that everyone onboard knows often capsize, and head to who.knows.what.maybe.something.better.

If they are saved by the Italian coast guard, they are brought to Sicily. And put in housing, for one to two years, waiting for their paperwork to be processed. To get a work permit. Many speak English, but the many from West African nations such as Mali, Senegal, Guinea, and Cote d'Ivoire do not.

As reality would have it, they come from countries that have the EXACT same problem Haiti has. America has. Canada has.

That same sin problem that rampantly destroys and kills. They need housing, they need work, they need medical care, they need a safe place. And praise the Lord, Italy is working over-time, every moment, to provide that, especially the port city of Catania in Sicily, where some 2/3rds of refugees coming to Italy go.

Our partners are working there through an association of Sicilian evangelical churches and missions agencies partnering under the banner of "Care for Catania". They know the GREAT need, and have a vision to start a discipleship making movement among Muslim-background refugees on the island of Sicily, and the need is very unique.

Missionaries who speak French, and who have similar cultural backgrounds are desperately needed to connect with the French-speaking Muslims from West Africa in Catania.

Do you know who that is?

That's Emmaus.  Emmaus is overflowing this morning (right here, 10 feet from me, look at those pictures above) with missionaries who speak French, with similar cultural backgrounds and understanding to the desperate men and women flowing from West Africa to Catania.

Do you have goosebumps?  'Cause I have goosebumps.

And everytime God points one of them out and fans a flame of passion and conviction in any one of us, EBS does all it can to equip the he-or-she who is needed and called, to fill their hands with what is needed and practical.

TODAY, today that means that Emmaus is sending two of our missionaries, two of our very, very best. And I've gotta say I kinda hate sending them, because they're fourth year students, and when it comes to brains and when it comes to heart and when it comes to character they are our BEST.

Which is exactly why we are sending them, and exactly why they are AFLAME and passionate and ready to go.  

They'll be starting with a three month internship and will be playing a strategic and significant role in starting that discipleship making movement.  Their assigned tasks are to:
     -build bridges of trust with Muslim background refugees and share the gospel
     -begin new Bible studies with interested individuals and groups using the Discovery Bible Study process
     -Disciple new and existing groups who have expressed an interest in pursuing God through scriptural stories
     -Identify leaders within the newly formed groups
     -train the identified leaders to take responsibility for the groups

Jean William and Rujerry are in great need of your prayers.  

They will be taking two classes this next four weeks, one of them specialized in sharing the Gospel with Muslims, and we plan/hope/pray to send them mid-September for Catania.  A fabulous gift that came from Matt's time at Eaton Rapids paid for HALF the entire trip, but we are in great need of more help to get them both funded in time to go mid-September.  Jean William and Rujerry have been traveling church to church throughout Haiti all summer, raising support and prayers from churches in Northern Haiti, and now we are coming alongside to help them finish.

The sin crisis...the refugee crisis...the Muslim crisis...these are needs MET by Jesus, if only those who are willing to BE Him and who are perfectly equipped for this target audience are ready to GO.  It may not be YOU.  It may not be ME (though watching that video a few times has me chomping at the bit!)

But it IS Jean and Jerry, and we feel that Emmaus has a responsibility to send them.

If God's made or making this burden YOUR burden, please help us find the last $5000.  Please commit to praying for these young men, praying for Sicily, praying for the hundreds of thousands of refugees around the world.  

Please share this post with friends and families and churches who will help and pray and KEEP praying.

Heavens, send the $20 in your wallet in an envelope.  Post-note it ITALY. 
Emmaus Biblical Seminary
Unit 1153 - EBS
3170 Airman's Drive
Fort Pierce, FL  34946

If you have any questions, EMAIL me, and I will find the answer.

I'll be keeping you up on their preparation, trip, funding and outreach throughout the semester here.  As always.  I never stop. writing.  As you know.

What has gripped me most is Jean William and Rujerry's go to a place they've never been to a people from another place they've never been, to freely and finally give them Jesus while they're getting the precious help that they need...In a place where they can finally freely hear about Jesus.  I'm overwhelmed by that.  This is a great risk, a great inconvenience, a great discomfort, that deeply inspires and blesses my heart.

 It's what we're asked to do in Haiti, it's what we're all asked to do in the world.

But what gripped me as much are the faces of the people on these boats, and the great risk, the great risks they are taking.  One of the Italian rescuers explained it well..."They have nothing to lose, which terrible to understand."

I don't.  I don't understand that.  But I DO know, dearly, Who it is they have to gain, the WHO that changes e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g.

And if Jean William and Rujerry are going, they WILL SEE HIM.

Praise the Lord.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

smack bang in the face

At the end of last year I was so ready to leave Haiti for a bit of a break.  I was so tired of many things, tired of driving on the pot hole covered road everyday, tired of cooking, tired of sweating and feeling dirty, tired of being asked for money, tired of not being able to help everyone, tired of disappointing people who I couldn't help,  tired of speaking Creole and tired of having no one else here from my own country.

We had a great summer and a good break but when you get back to Haiti, there is no settling in period, no smooth adjustment to how life just hits you smack bang in the face.  The minute you get back.

First, the airport is just chaos.  Trying to get our bags took at least 45 minutes.  Then there is the drive home, yet again chaos.  Rubbish piled up at the side of the road, potholes, millions of motorbikes everywhere, people still out at 6.30pm trying to selling some fruit and veg to make a little money for the day and all this before I even speak to anyone.

Everyone I have spoken to since we got back is struggling.  It's almost September and school is about to start so that means school has to be paid for and new school shoes and a schoolbag and a lunch box and a uniform and school books.  For most people the thought of it is overwhelming and they have no idea how they are going to do it.  And its not cheap.  Yverose (who looks after the boys when I'm at the clinic) came to see us the day after we got back to say hi and welcome back.  She is on her own with 4 girls and asked if she could have her August pay now so she can get everything she needs for school but I know the pay she gets will not cover everything she needs to buy, never mind food for the month as well.

Then there is one of the groundsmen at the clinic.  Last April his wife became ill, then in May she fell and broke her arm.  He has been borrowing money to pay for medical care and has already spent his wages for August.  He has two kids to send to school in two weeks and has no idea where the money is coming from.

My wee friend came to visit last week and she was not in a good mood.  We had a good chat and it transpired her and her boyfriend are having problems.  On top of that she is entering her last year of high school and school fees this year are adding up to be about $300. She lives with her aunt along with about 10 other people and has no idea where that money for school will come from.  We kept chatting and she tells me about girls in her community that sleep with men for a meager 100 gourdes. £1.25.  $1.60. That's it.  A few days later another friend tells me the same thing and how it happened more during celebrations, sometimes the price is as low as 25 gourdes.  Unbelievable.

Then there is Michilene.  Michilene is still not feeling well and been in the DR over the summer to try to find out what is wrong with her.  Her husband is still in Brazil and still not working. Her father is extremely ill and nothing can be done for him.  One of her daughters gave birth to a baby boy in July, her other daughter just gave birth to a beautiful baby girl on Monday by emergency section.  We went to visit her and the baby on Saturday and after a little conversation I asked what medication they gave her, interested to see how things differ after a section in Haiti.  Michilene handed me the bag of medicine and I saw vitamin C, Iron and amoxicillin.  There were no painkillers!  I couldn't believe it, I can't imagine driving home from the hospital on a pot hole covered road 3 days after having a cesarean with no pain relief.  She must be in agony!  Now Michilene is trying to pay for school for her other kids, helping her daughter after her c-section, a new baby in the house, AND the stress of her father being ill!

Life for people in Haiti is just so hard.  It's overwhelming and stressful just listening to friends never mind living it.  I can't even imagine.  I would have lost all hope and some people are in despair, their kids will just have to miss a year of school.  Yet in others I see hope.  They might not know where the money is right now but they are trusting that God will provide.

So there it was....hitting me right in the face.  The difficulties and suffering that come with poverty: not knowing how your kids will go to school, not knowing where the next meal might come from. Being thankful you and your baby are alive, but in agony and, due to a lack of education, you don't know that you're not taking painkillers after having a c-section.  Feeling that the only way you can earn a very small bit of money is through prostitution.  Its overwhelming and its difficult to not be able to help everyone.  Then this morning we were at a local church here in Sacenvil and Bill was preaching and I was encouraged.  There was a real sense of community and of family.  During the worship time you could feel God's presence and I was so encouraged to see people pouring out their worship before a mighty God despite their daily suffering.

We are here to reach people for the gospel and to be like Christ in a dark place.  Part of that is helping those in need, part of it is loving one another and having grace even if its the 10th time that day you have been asked for money, part of that is sharing what God has done for every person we meet and all of that is being Jesus to the people around us.

Please continue to pray for us.  Pray that God would use us for his glory, that we would see the Lord working in people's lives to see Haiti changed for Him.  Pray for Bill as he starts teaching tomorrow and teaches everyday for the next two weeks.  Pray that we would be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit in who to help and how best to do that.

We're thankful that God is in control and all these problems don't depend on us for  a solution and are humbled that sometimes he chooses to use us.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Want to know whats going on?

As we were travelling and speaking we were able to share about the work of EBS through a great video. However many of you didn't get to see it because it wasn't ready until we were almost leaving Northern Ireland.   So if you missed it, or didn't hear us speak anywhere, or want to watch it again,  here it shows exactly what God is doing in and through EBS.

When we were speaking this summer, I forgot to leave out a form where you can sign up for our prayer updates.  I send out a prayer update by email once a month and our official prayer letter gets sent out by OMS once a quarter.  EBS also sends out email updates as does BMC, if you would like to sign up for any of these updates please send me an email to and I will make sure you get what.  

EBS and BMC each have a facebook page which you can follow....

Now you will be well connected with all that's going on in Haiti!!

We have been back for a week now and the boys have settled well back into life in Haiti and have been enjoying playing with Lily, Sofie and Nora next door.  It's pretty hot and poor Joel has is just sweating all the time but it doesn't seem to bother him!

 I started back at the clinic last Friday and have had a few patients.  This year I will be working Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays.  The new physio building is well under way and Dr Rodney it should be done by September.  I can't wait to get into it!! My current room is small and with the electricity not working it is incredibly hot, not just for me but for my patients too.   With more space I am also looking forward to starting group classes and education sessions. 

Bill had staff meeting yesterday and is getting ready to start class on Monday.  He will teach systematic theology as an intensive for the first two weeks.  So its been all go since we got here!!

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Do we really know better?

I was hoping to write a quick post as soon as were arrived back saying....were back! However things were a little more complicated so I'll share the story because there is a good point to the whole story.

We left Karl and Beckie's house at 10 pm on Monday night, my plan was to keep the boys awake until we got to the airport so they could go straight to sleep on the plane.  Sam couldn't handle it and fell asleep on the sofa at 9pm and stayed asleep as he got lifted into the car, our of the car then into the buggy.  We checked in and by the time we got to security Joel was out of it!!  Sam was then lifted out of the buggy, carried through security, back to the buggy, carried onto the plane into his seat and didn't open his eyes once, it was perfect.  Both the boys slept the whole fight to Toronto.  We were about 45 minutes late leaving Calgary which didn't give us much time to make our connection in Toronto.  So we walked fast and had to go through American immigration in Toronto and because of the kids (travelling with children does have its benefits sometimes!!) we were let into a line where we didn't have to queue up (it was a very long queue and there would have been no way we would have made our flight).

We sat down on the plane with 10 minutes to spare and we kept sitting.  First we were waiting for other passengers who were stuck in immigration because of the long queue.  Then there was debris on the wing, then the thing (I don't remember the technical name for it) which catches the debris was actually broken so maintenance had to come and fix it.  So instead of leaving Toronto at 8.15am we left at 10.30am.  The boys went back to sleep after some breakfast of fruit snacks, goldfish crackers and m&m's!!

We were pretty sure we would miss the Haiti flight, so we looked at our options to make a plan.  Our flight to Haiti was a separate booking so this meant buying new tickets.  We got online,  $2000 US for us all to fly in on Wednesday.  If the boys and I made it with no bags, it would cost Bill $615 plus about $400 for his extra 3 bags and 2 car seats.  What about Port au Prince, what about MFI, what about the 7lbs of cheese and 2 lbs of butter in our cool bag?? (this is important when flying to Haiti!!).  We decided Bill would get straight off, run to get our bags and I would take the boys to the check in desk, check in and meet Bill with the bags and hopefully we would get on the flight.

We landed in the opposite end of the airport, I got to the check in desk 10 minutes before it closed and was not allowed to check in without bags, I was told 'come back when you have your bags, you have 5 minutes'.  Ten minutes later Bill arrived with our 4 suitcases, 2 carseats and 2 hand luggage bags.....poor guy!!  Needless to say we didn't get the flight.  It was now 3pm Tuesday, we had been awake since 7am on Monday and had all had fruit snacks, cereal bars and M&M's for breakfast and lunch!

It sounds like a disaster and felt like one too but you know, God is in control of everything.  All I could think was this is going to cost us so much money to try and get back to Haiti, literally $2000, plus a hotel, plus dinner, plus breakfast, plus lunch!!

We went to American Airlines, the lady was helpful and even though we did not book on the same ticket and it was not American Airlines fault we missed our flight the lady put us on Stand by for Wednesday's flight for FREE.  Now I didn't feel so bad.

Next task, find somewhere to stay.  That was pretty easy so we booked a holiday inn, had dinner in Denny's where kids ate free on Tuesdays, saving a bit more money!  Me and Joel had to fish our PJ's out of the dirty washing bag and we all went to bed at 8pm.  I went online for a few minutes before going to sleep and ready Stacey's fb status ' We have been on the plane for Cap and unable to land, so landed in the DR and are now flying back to Miami.'  That was the flight we were supposed to be on, I think by that stage we would have lost it.

I said to Bill earlier in the day ' God must have a reason for us not getting that flight today.'  and here it was.  Not only did they land back in Miami at 8pm, they then had to go through customs, immigration, baggage reclaim and queue up to get hotel vouchers leaving them arriving at their hotel at midnight. You can read Stacey's story here,  Stacey's story also gives another reason why it would have been awful for us to be on the plane to Haiti and to arrive at the right time,  it's an amazing end and lesson of God's grace and providence in our lives.

We always think we know better, but we don't.  Getting on that flight would have been awful, it was awful for everyone on board, but I especially wouldn't have fancied it after leaving Calgary at midnight the night before.  Anyway, we re packed, back to the airport to check in.  The flight for Cap Leaves at 2.45pm and we were told if there is a seat you will be called.  At 2.25pm  Bill was called over, there are two seats on the plane.  So we asked a few questions, our bags would all go to Cap today, tomorrow's flight was already overbooked. We decided the best thing to do would be for me and the boys to get on the flight and somehow  get our stuff at the other end and leave Bill for tomorrow's flight.  Getting on a flight with the boys, 3 bags and a buggy is not easy!!

This is what I would have been picking up in Cap Haitian, minus Bill, plus Joel!!

I was sitting wondering how I would ever get our stuff at the other end as no one is allowed in the airport to help you.  I looked up and Bill had got on the plane, he got the very last seat!  The guy next to me was moved to first class and Bill got a seat with 5 minutes to go until take off.

We arrived back at the EBS compound around 7, minus two of our bags which means another trip to the airport today but its much better than none or some of us being here.

We know God is always in control, sometimes things happen which annoy us or make us angry, this was one of those times, but this time we got to see why.  And were so thankful that we didn't make that flight, or that the flight didn't land in Haiti because if everything had gone the way we had planned it, things would be very very different right now.

Thank you for your prayers as we travelled, God certainly kept us safe and took us on the right flight at just the right time.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Catch up

Where did I leave off?  We spent our first weekend in Canada in Montana where we were speaking at Glasgow Evangelical Church.  This is the church Bill’s mum grew up in and we had the chance to go and share before we went to Haiti in 2015.  It was nice to be back in the church and see a few familiar faces from last time and also to see Bill’s aunts and uncles again.  The big upside of going to Montana is the generosity of Uncle Richard letting us stay in his beautiful cabin by Fort Peck lake AND letting us use his boat and jet skis which the boys really enjoyed. 

The next Saturday was a big Edler / Lynn (Bill’s grandmother’s family) reunion.  We had around 80 people there with lots of family even Bill had never met.  We got to read lots of history about how the family first came to Canada and settled in Youngstown.  A few people shared family history, we got an opportunity to share about our work in Haiti and then we had a panel of experts who told us lots of stories from life on the farm before machinery!

All the Edler grandkids

The oldest Uncle Doug at 92 with the youngest Caleb at 6 months.

Bill then flew to Winnipeg to visit Tim (who was best man at our wedding) and the boys and I stayed back on the farm to have some good cousin time.  The day after Bill got home we drove about 5 hours to Saskatoon to visit with some supporters and friends on Friday night.  The boys loved playing with the kids and we were able to thank our supporters in person and give them a bit more of an idea what life is like in Haiti.  Saturday we met up with Bills friend, Brian, who has recently moved from Youngstown to Saskatchewan. Then drove back to Youngstown.

Joel just having a small snack!!

On Sunday morning we were sharing in Youngstown Gospel Chapel, which is the church Bill grew up in.   It was lovely be able to see some of our supporters and show them a bit more about how God is working in Haiti.  Bill has enjoyed being back in his home town and especially spending time with his family.

We have had 5 cousins here at the farm, all aged 5 and under so its been a bit chaotic at times but the kids have really had a great time playing together. Tomorrow we drive to Calgary to stay with Bill's brother and sister in law (Karl & Beckie) and their two kids.  We're going to have a few days holiday and use the rest of the boys Christmas money to go to Calgary Zoo, Heritage park and a day in the mountains! As well as share in Karl & Beckie's church, finish off Haiti shopping and get packed and ready to leave Calgary at midnight on Monday night!!

Nothing like falling asleep on the floor of the tractor!!


 One of the things I was able to do on during my time at home in Northern Ireland during covid was some more training, specifically in paedi...