Friday, September 04, 2009


The Mamba gifts are continuing to come in by mail. Thank you.

Continued thanks to each and every person who has given of their resources to help the precious little ones of Haiti. Your gifts matter and the proof is in these photos. This progress speaks volumes.

What I do you cannot do; but what you do, I cannot do.
The needs are great, and none of us,
including me, ever do great things.
But we can all do small things, with great love,
and together we can do something wonderful
-Mother Teresa

The real reason I'm writing today, is to share about Renald. This little boy has captured the hearts of many. We're not sure what it is about him, but he has touched every person who has met him this summer in a unique way. He has shaken people up and he has spurred many to action. Renald generated lots of conversations and teaching moments all over the world. He has stolen our hearts and brought us both laughter and tears. One little boy from the mountains of Haiti has caused quite a stir.

Renald continues to grow and is getting closer to his goal weight. We anticipate he will return to his family sometime in October. Your prayers, much love and a lot of Medika Mamba (and eggs) have helped to restore him to a happy and thriving little boy. We're excited for his mother to see him. And more than anything we pray she feels the love and provision of a gracious God as she lays eyes on her healthy and happy little boy for the first time in years.

Paige fell hard for Renald the week we met him out in Cazale. Truthfully, we all did. Paige asked Troy and I if we could take him home and care for him while he recovered. We hemmed and hawed a bit and then asked Lori on our last day in Cazale. There was definitely some fear and uncertainty on our parts. It did not work for him to come that day, but eventually Paige received permission to help to nurse Renald back to health. Licia and Lori allowed Paige that privilege ... And it has been exactly that for all of us.

By definition poverty means "the state of being inferior in quality or insufficient in amount". It is only when we know the depths of our own poverty that we can begin to seek change. We've seen this summer the many ways in which we are insufficient - the ways in which we are inferior and selfish and in our own state of poverty.

I watched Paige give of herself this summer. It was not very easy at first. Sometimes the giving meant being really tired of diarrhea diapers and vomit. Sometimes it meant getting frustrated with Renald and his needs. Sometimes it even meant putting a pillow over her head and letting him cry so she could sleep a little longer. It meant asking for help, working together, and praying hard. It meant putting someone else's needs first ... and most of the time, that is not very fun.

As she took off for three weeks to visit the USA and turned her responsibilities over to us we were able to see our own poverty. It pointed out to us how much we wanted "our time" and "our schedules" and "our routine". Paige managed to teach her parents some things about love and sacrifice this summer. How humbling that is.

Renald makes us laugh and shows us little glimpses of Heaven. He has been a great teacher, showing us about more about God, love, grace, forgiveness and mercy than almost any other experience in Haiti. We have been allowed - through Renald - to see our own poverty. So often we look at those around us and pick out the shortcomings and failings of others. Renald helped us see our own in a clear light.

We wanted to share a few of the photos and videos from the last few months. They are dated but the changes in Renald's countenance and appearance are evident even without the dates.

His fight to live inspires and brings hope. His silliness and ornery spirit brings joy. His love for life inspires faith in the Father above. His poverty points out our poverty. His need points out our need. His recovery has been miraculous and wonderful to watch.

Thank you for your continued prayers for all children suffering in Haiti and around the world. Thank you for acting.

Please continue to pray for provision through God's people. Pray for action, for encouragement to be provided to the lost, the hurting, the afraid and alone. Pray for ways in which we can all face our own insufficiency and bring it to Jesus -- the only one who can lift us out of poverty.

Collectively may we be a cold drink of water to a dry and thirsty world. Fill us up and send us out. Amen.