Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Weapon of Mass Destruction (?) - Written by Troy

A few months ago, John McHoul and I were running an errand together and laughing about a friend that seemed to always have great stories as he adapted to life and cultural differences here in Haiti. We lamented that he and I were running out of good stories and crazy adventures of late. We credited ourselves with a great deal of knowledge and wisdom, and agreed this was surely the reason we enjoyed so few mishaps and misfortunes. 

We spoke too soon. Within an hour, we were caught in a torrential flood with two flat tires (including one that left the rim entirely), no working air pump or proper tools to fix the problem, soaked to the bone as we searched out roadside assistance from a mob of helpers and hecklers, and practically floated the truck home over the course of the next many hours. John and I quickly recanted our earlier claims of knowledge and wisdom.

Today, I had a couple of things to get done around Port au Prince. Two errands seemed like a reasonable amount to expect to accomplish in the year-end traffic and general craziness of the capital city. I decided to head out on the motorcycle, as my stops were on opposite sides of the city and in areas guaranteed to be crammed with ‘blokis’ (traffic jams). Before setting out, I received a notification from the US Embassy about the planned anti-government protests around the city today. I took pause and checked the expected route of the ‘manifestations’. The route was much larger and lengthier than other recent protests, and enveloped much of the city including areas I wanted to get to.  This was most likely going to cause blokis of epic proportions, based on recent history in our area. My decision to use the motorcycle for transportation was confirmed as a wise choice, and I scrapped one of the two destinations for today as it was directly along the protest route. 

I set out feeling wise and knowledgable and ready to enjoy an uneventful bike ride on a beautiful cool December day. All of my paperwork and safety gear was in order and in place. I was filled with confidence. As I walked out the door I saw a small can of pepper spray we have on hand for security/personal defense - like Tara carries while she runs - and on a whim decided to attach it to my keychain in the event that I ran into an ugly situation with angry mobs of protestors or motorcycle-thieving bandits (both fairly unlikely, mind you). 

I took the looooonnnngggg scenic route to get to the part of the city I was headed, ensuring I completely avoided the possible protest areas. It didn’t seem long at all, however - given the ease with which the traffic can be navigated on a bike and the beautiful weather and the fact that I was winning at everything. 

I was not entirely familiar with this scenic route, and probably a bit distracted by the scenery and all of my winning ways, wisdom, knowledge, what have you...and ended up a bit lost for a while. The roads were (somewhat) smooth, however, and I was undaunted. I rounded one corner wondering what the large home/compound was that I was nearing - then noticed the helicopter overhead, then the UN tanks/trucks, then the guns waving, then the soldiers and police officers pointing me in the other direction since apparently no one was getting anywhere near President Martelly’s house today. Oops. 

I meandered through the labyrinth of streets and away from the restricted area until I recognized a landmark, and proceeded to my first (and only) intended stop. The stop was a success, everything was prepared and in order and went entirely smoothly. After a bathroom break and a stretch (and a concern that I had broken my coccyx somewhere along the somewhat smooth roads) - I was ready to head back down the hill and take on the rest of the day with head held high. 

Due to the lost time from, well, being lost, I headed back to our area via a more direct route. This route would include part of the possible protest route but I had not seen or heard any evidence of trouble and decided to try it - knowing it would be easy and quick to change course on the moto if needed. I sailed down the hill enjoying the warm sun and cool breeze, very little traffic, and not a protestor in sight. Home base was only two miles away. I expertly navigated the only crammed intersection I had encountered and almost made it out the other side when I saw a police checkpoint. More importantly, the police checkpoint saw me. (It often seems that foreigners are particularly targeted in these ‘random’ checkpoints, but that is purely based on my anecdotal evidence and I could be overly sensitive after many ‘shakedown’ attempts...I digress)

I politely followed the officer’s instructions to pull over to the side of the road and stop my motorcycle. I turned off the ignition and removed my helmet as instructed. I have been through this drill before, and was feeling calm and confident. As I mentioned before, all of my paperwork was in order and I was happy to have a chat with the police to provide some additional entertainment for my exceedingly excellent morning. 

As I handed over my papers and license, one officer’s eyes grew wide as he reached for my keys and removed them from the ignition. He asked me what the small red canister was, and I nonchalantly informed him it was ‘gaz’ - pepper spray - for personal defense. I was starting to tell him about my friends who have been attacked while riding motorcycles and even bikes stolen out from under them in the past, and maybe even throw in a bit about the raging dangerous protests about town (which I’d seen none of) - but before I got very far he was holding the keyring up in the air and motioning others to come to his side as if he had just discovered a nuclear warhead poised to destroy our tiny island nation. 

A couple officers demanded that I present ‘authorization’ papers for carrying such a weapon, and I shakily explained that I had no idea that was necessary and again tried to explain the purpose of the offending item. They asked me who I intended to ‘shoot’, and when I told them I didn’t want to shoot anyone...which is why I wouldn’t carry a gun - they told me that it would be better and more legal to have a gun on me than this little red weapon of mass destruction. “Only the most specialized SWAT team in Haiti is permitted to serve with devices like this!”, I was informed. Even these fine men of the law could not use such lethal weapons, and so on. I begged forgiveness and explained my ignorance, also asking for them to understand my confusion since I BOUGHT THE PEPPER SPRAY IN A STORE TWO MILES AWAY ‘over the counter’, as it were. They were hearing none of it. I was told to turn my bike around and follow them back to the police station around the corner. I could not immediately comply, as my handlebars were locked and the bike was not in neutral - which upset them greatly. Upon pointing out to them that I needed the keys one of them was still waving around in the air - he accused me of planning to ‘shoot’ him with the gaz and then make my escape. I almost rolled my eyes. He took out a pair of plastic restraints/cuffs momentarily, and my good mood started to wane. I asked him to take the can off of the keyring and let me use the keys. Suddenly my good mood was over and done with. 

I walked the bike a couple blocks flanked by three officers. This provided great entertainment for the machanns and moto chauffers lining the streets. ‘Gade yon blan!’, they jeered. I tried to smile. We arrived at the ‘Commissariat’ - a blue and white 20’ shipping container converted into a one room police station - common at many major intersections. A handful of impounded motos leaned against the sides of the box. There were three plastic lawn chairs and a broken metal and faux wood desk inside. Stacks of driver’s licenses and national ID cards were strewn across the desk, along with one steno pad and a folder full of dogeared photocopies.

I left the moto on the street, not wanting it to join the pile of other bikes. I was ‘invited’ inside, and told to sit in a chair that nearly collapsed when I sat down. I found that if it had the back legs propped against the wall behind me it would support my weight. 

I continued to ask for grace and understanding, and was repeatedly interrupted with lectures about the seriousness of my offense. Ignorance was definitely not an acceptable excuse, and the primary officer launched into a diatribe about the dangers of the lethal weapon I was illegally carrying. I repeatedly pointed out that I obviously had no idea or I would not have had this menace bouncing around on my handlebars in the open hanging from my keychain. One of the dogeared photocopies came out of the folder on the desk and was laid before me. I was asked if I could read French, and before I could say yes, the officer expressed in grandiose fashion that he was obligated to arrest me and have me transferred to jail, due to the seriousness of the offense. 

He looked over the paperwork and asked whose motorcycle I was driving. It is registered in John’s name, which I shared and explained, and at that moment John was calling my cell phone. I showed them the name from the caller id, and that it matched the paperwork, then answered John’s call and told him what was going on. He laughed and wanted more details, but I was not at liberty to have a long discussion. When the officers asked what my boss had said, I informed them that he laughed at me and would lage’m net (leave me completely) if I was in trouble. They seemed shocked. They asked what John would do if I ended up in prison, and I let them know the absolute truth: he would laugh even harder. Of course he would help me in any way - but not without a great deal of joy and laughter at my misfortune. Don’t worry - this is how we love.

The officer asked if I understood what a dangerous weapon I was carrying, and what it could do. I started to describe my intentions and understanding of how pepper spray works, but was interrupted again with a long list of the risks - including death to infants, people with heart conditions, and asthmatics. I choked on a laugh I tried to stifle on that last one, mostly because I was surprised the Kreyol word for asthmatics is: asthmatics. All three officers were taken aback by my apparent relaxed attitude and laughter given the grave circumstances, and I tried to regain a deferential composure. 

According to the officers, it did not matter that the gaz was legally purchased at a legally operating retail store nearby, because any store can sell whatever they want and caveat emptor and all that. 

The primary officer made a call and informed someone on the other end that there was a prisoner in need of transport...only I could tell the call was fake because he never dialed or touched a single button on the phone first. I was also informed that my moto was being impounded but I could see it still on the street and I had the keys in the helmet in my lap. 

Over and over again I asked to be given a chance to leave with my lesson learned, but to no avail. Eventually, one officer asked how I spoke Kreyol so well, and I launched into my usual jokes about all the Haitian food I eat and how the language came to me. I sensed them starting to come around. I had relaxed by this point. I knew that I was going to be there a while, and after a failed attempt at accusing them of harassment (which was quickly met with an obviously rehearsed speech about racism and their desire to uphold the law at all costs in the face of the evil overrunning the country), I decided the best play was to play nice and win them over with charm.

I asked them not to ruin the end of the year 2014 for me, and how that would be a very bad omen starting off the new year...and by their reaction I knew I had a chance of avoiding prison. They laughed and agreed that I must be Haitian if I was so superstitious. I played that line for quite a while. During a break (while they arrested another guy and took his moto for bad papers or something), I called a friend who works in the Haitian police at the National Palace (back when there was one). She outranks all of the men I was detained by and agreed to come to help me if possible. Armed with the confidence of backup on the way, I went back to entertaining the officers with ‘Pawol Granmoun’ (Haitian Proverbs), and appeals to their obvious good nature and concern for law and order and the good we are trying to do in their country and couldn’t we all just get along, et cetera. 

I asked if there was any chance I could leave before the planned protests reached the area, and they seemed incredulous that I could have such information. I worried that this would be proof of my spy career and ill intentions with the pepper spray - but their shock was that foreigners in the country could know such information. I told them the US Embassy sent out notices via email and facebook, and they all launched into a long conversation about the superiority of the US and the ineptitude of their own government. One asked where else they could go, to which another answered: “I’m going to his country” as he motioned towards me. I stayed quiet.

By this point we were all being friendly and even shared some bags of labapen (boiled breadfruit), and I ponied up a few gourdes for some bags of water to drink. It was a regular party...only inside a shipping container police office that I couldn’t freely exit. A few other people came in and out of the ‘station’ while we were talking, and it was clear that my situation was not going to be discussed with anyone else present. Whenever the others went out, it was back to feeling like a shakedown. I kept working the New Year’s angle. Giving gifts and bonuses at the end of the year is a BIG deal here. One officer asked how many people I had given end of year gifts to, and I told him it was a lot - since we have been here for many years and have a lot of employees and it is an expensive time of year. They nodded in agreement and another asked how many I gifts I had given. I told them at least fifteen, maybe twenty. They asked how many more I had to give out...and the game was afoot.

I told them I was pretty sure I had taken care of everyone, although I had a sneaking suspicion I may have forgotten a few. Yes, a few - three to be exact. I closed my eyes and exclaimed ‘Yes! It is like I can see their faces before me! There are three people I have yet to give gifts to for the end of the year.’ They were smiling, as they knew we were finally all on the same page. I was smiling too, since I knew my backup was on the way, and that I only had the US $ equivalent of three bucks in my pockets. That would NOT qualify as an acceptable ‘gift’...and I didn’t really want to ‘give’ one anyway. I really layed it on thick as I bent down and prayed into my helmet asking God to reveal to me if there was anyone I had forgotten in my end of year giving (method acting learned from one John McHoul) The officers were quite amused by my antics and we were all getting along swimmingly. 
Shortly afterwards, my backup entered the room and told the men there that their mother had arrived...and I was her father. I was utterly confused but the officers all knew exactly what she meant and straightened up right quick. One immediately handed over my papers and showed her that I had them. I pointed out that he still had my license and that was returned in short order. We all had a nice chat about our mission and work here in Haiti. They gave another speech about the dangers of the lethal weapon I was carrying, to which my friend replied that she carries it (they said of course she could because she was a police officer) and that she has her daughters carry it as well and no permit or authorization was necessary (they had no reply). I told them I was more than happy to leave the can there, but that was treated as a ridiculous idea and said it was fine for me to carry it, but to keep it in my pocket. Say what?

We said our goodbyes, and I bolted out of the area as quickly as possible. The weapon of mass destruction was safely tucked away in my pocket so that all of the babies, heart patients, and asthmatics were protected. 

-Troy the not so wise, or knowledgable 

word made it to the kids at home ...
they texted this photo to me as a possible police intimidation tool

When I got home I knocked at our gate with my helmet still on.  Isaac acted like he wasn't sure it was me and stood staring at me confused.

I said, "Hey Buddy, it's me."

Isaac said, "DAD??? What are you doing here?  I thought you were in jail!"

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Year in review, Heartline Maternity Center

The end of year, a time all non-profit organizations try to draw your attention to their work in order to solicit your end-of-the-year donations.  

We would love if you decide to give now or in the new year, but this post is less about that, and more about making you aware of where we are and where we believe we are headed.  
          *   *   *

This year has been one of solidifying at the Maternity Center.  We have a staff that appears to be in place for the long haul.  After several years of turnover and training and shorter-term volunteers, we have in place a staff of women that consider themselves a solid team -  "ekip solid"  - as it is said in Kreyol.

During the calendar year of 2014,  the women we work with at the Maternity Center delivered 72 babies.  We accepted 94 women into the program between January and today. More baby boys than girls were born to the women in the Prenatal program this year. As is common in the world of birth, there were months of baby after baby after baby, and multiple weeks of little to no action.

Each month we graduate the women who have six month old babies, it is common for there to be tearful goodbyes and warm hugs exchanged.  Against the odds, a little community is being built here.

We have boasted a 15% transfer rate for the past few years.  This year our transfer rate was high, 29% of the women ended up needing to be taken to a hospital to deliver.  We aren't sure what that is all about, except that we had a streak in October and November where one complication after another arose and the average year turned into a high transport year toward the very end.

Always the statistic we pray and hope to report, zero mothers died as a result of complications of childbirth. We thank each of you that follow along and pray during the labors and deliveries, your prayers are a gift to the woman and each of us on staff. 

Two new things were added in 2014 -

  1. We began offering IUDs as a long term birth control option in addition to Depo Provera. Our family planning program on Friday has doubled in size this year, word of mouth advertising has made this our largest program.
  2. We began doing a Wednesday breastfeeding education and support "class" at the government maternity hospital. A song was written to enforce the truth about breastfeeding, see the video at the link above. Each Wednesday at the hospital is a new experience, as Haiti is not a place that one would ever label "predictable". 

This year we focused on team building and creating systems that will allow us to grow with excellence.  We now have a full-time staff of eight in place. Our size has allowed us to know each pregnant woman well and to connect with her personally. As we grow, we refuse to give up that important aspect of our programs. 

In 2015 we will be adding a second floor classroom to our current one-story Maternity Center. With the extra space, we will be able to take 60 to 65+ pregnant women at a time, rather than our current 40. 

Additionally, the larger Maternity Center (about three miles from our current center) is still in development and is being built section by section as the funds are raised and available. 

The highlights of a year can certainly be about statistics, but as we have shared before, the highlights for all of us have more to do with relationships that are built and the ability to see the program really work. 

Mothers that are materially poor are not placing their babies in an orphanage. Women that previous believed they didn't have milk to nurse their babies are now breastfeeding well past the six month mark. Statistically speaking, many babies die in the first six weeks of life in Haiti. We just aren't experiencing those statistics. 

The ladies learn and use what they learn to help their neighbors. They exit the program knowing that something unique happened and when their friends, neighbors, and sisters get pregnant they ask for a spot in the program for them as well. 

Rather than a list of statistics, I'd like to point you to three of seventy-two stories from this year. Each of us would likely highlight different stories and people. For me, these standout when I think about 2014.

bottom photo taken December 2014, 11 months old

  • Guerda -  After suffering unimaginable loss (after loss after loss) Guerda carried and delivered her daughter safely.  Baby Sophonie is now six months old. Beth McHoul wrote her story here. 

  • One woman that was pregnant as a result of a rape struggled greatly with depression and hopelessness.  She wondered frequently if she could ever love her baby.  Her delivery was incredibly complicated and she was one of this year's transports - complete with lights and sirens and all the intense driving you can imagine.  After delivery via C-Section she had every postpartum complication imaginable - plus Chikungunya, a mosquito borne illness that took Haiti by storm mid-year.  The hits just kept coming for this woman.  Today she is the mother to an 8 month old son that she proudly shows off at every chance she gets.  She pumps extra milk to donate to a mother that was burned badly and cannot nurse her own baby.  This woman writes songs and sings about breastfeeding with us and encourages other mothers as they labor.  

In the middle of these situations, we all hope and pray for a good outcome. The truth is, we often wonder if love and compassion will matter enough to change anything. It is not unreasonable for a woman in such a traumatic situation to give up on love, give up on herself. Sometimes, even as we are saying it, we have a hard time believing that love can conquer fear.  In this situation, and in multiple others, we saw love work.  

Fanm vanyan
ke nou konnen yo
ke nou leve yo
ke nou tankou yo

Strong women
May we know them
May we raise them
May we be them

To make a year-end donation to Heartline Ministries,  please visit this page. 

To follow Maternity Center news as it happens, find these options:

Beth McHoul blogs on occasion HERE
Beth Johnson blogs on occasion HERE
Heartline Facebook page HERE
Heartline Twitter HERE

Monday, December 15, 2014

With Our Love this Christmas ...

the beginning of love

The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them. 

Thomas Merton

Saturday, December 13, 2014

buying time

The filming portion is done on The 2014 Extravaganza.  There is some voice stuff to do and a ton of editing/splicing by amateur film maker, Troy Livesay.  Noah showed up big time, whatever had him in a funk Sunday was nowhere to be found last night. We had so much fun last night, Sprite was served freely to keep the energy levels high.

Brittany left yesterday after five nights in Haiti with us. We had so much fun during her time here.  

The week was good and crazy ... One scary hemorrhage at the Maternity Center, one great God in the room to provide peace and calm and clarity to the middies and the Momma.  All is well today and mom and baby are bonding.

(Christmas and hemorrhage, just an average day in Haiti.)

2014 coming sooooooon ....

Monday, December 08, 2014

Christmas Extravaganza Situation Update

Above you will find the 2013 production.  
(The year Jesus kicks Santa's #$& at everything.) 

We are running into some logistical issues this year. Due to said issues we find ourselves a bit behind schedule.  

As it turns out, teens and pre-teens are not nearly as cooperative as one might like them to be.  (Troy is one, I am another one.)  

When asked if we need to retire the tradition, they all said, "Noooooo! We want to do it again!"  A week later when we started filling them in our ideas for this year, something went terribly wrong and all of a sudden some of them (not Isaac) were too cool for Christmas Extravaganza Number 8.   

We called off production and let pre-teens sulk for the afternoon yesterday. This morning I have been informed that they still want to do it.  

I won't lie, I am skeptical. 

One year (2010) Paige was an angel of the Lord against her will, and let me just say, a bad-attitude angel does not fly. (pun intended) 

We are still hoping to produce the 8th Annual Christmas Extravaganza and have it to you by mid December.  Time will tell if our hopes will become reality.

Little kids are way easier than big kids.  Let that be known. When you are cranking out kids one after the other, it would help to know this. Now you know. You're welcome.

Until the 2014 offering is finished, you will find us buying time with years 1 to 7 here on the blog. 

Friday, December 05, 2014

on culture, loss, and holding onto hope

This week we talked with one of the ladies in the prenatal program about her history of loss.  
Benita shared with far less detail than a midwife would like (or need to know) that her history includes the birth of two baby girls that never took a breath outside the womb.  

With both pregnancies (2011 & 21013) she felt fine, had a normal pregnancy and then around month 7 (as near as she can remember) she had a ton of pain, some bleeding, and within a half a day she delivered her placenta and her baby at the same time. The baby girls were no longer alive.

Both of these births happened at home, without a trained medical professional helping her.  

This December she finds herself about 25 weeks pregnant and unsure of what will happen with this third pregnancy.  This baby, should it stay inutero for 40 weeks, is due in mid March. We asked a lot of questions, most of them couldn't be answered in detail or with any sort of precision. Toward the end of our talk we asked, "Why do you think you lost those two babies?"  

Benita explained that she believes someone cursed her and caused the death of her babies. She is not all that hopeful that this third baby will live.

When KJ (photo) did an ultrasound she was able to determine that Bentia has something abnormal happening with the placenta.  We will do research and will try to refer Benita because it seems this abnormality is something that could be causing her to deliver early. We hope and pray it can be addressed in time to help her give birth to a living baby. 

As always, we ask for your prayers. The system is not easy or fair. Finding care is incredibly difficult and requires a lot of pushing, fighting, and pressing on.  Benita may not be able to hold onto hope. That is where we all come in, we can hope for her and hold her up until she is able to hope again.


When it comes to understanding a culture that is not your own, there is only one thing you need.

Infinite patience.

Scratch that -- TWO things - EARS THAT LISTEN & HEAR

It is not entirely uncommon to have people offer solutions to problems from afar. Recently someone suggested that we need to help Haitian women get out of bad relationships, rather than offering them birth control.

That's a nice idea, I really like it. But I live in reality and I understand the volume we are speaking  of when we talk about dysfunctional relationships.

This post (below) was written by a more naive me in 2008.  

It shares a few cultural realities that we have been learning and relearning for several years...

(Cut and pasted in original post below.)

The last few weeks of Prenatal and Early Childhood Development class have proven to be eye-opening.

Each week there is a lesson. We often try to do role play and get the ladies involved in the lesson in some unique way.

Our topic last week was domestic violence. Beth read a story about a woman who suffered at the hands of an angry, controlling man. At the end of the story the room was very quiet. Beth asked the ladies if that happens in Haiti. The answer given by several of the ladies was, "chak jou" - or every day.

We went on to do the role play in which I played the man and beat up a lady and told her that she took too long at the market and that I did not want her gone so long ... that I deserved better. 

After the skit Beth asked what sort of advice the ladies would offer the woman who had just been beat. They all said, "Get up and go to the market earlier so he won't be mad." We questioned them further and learned that they almost all believe that there are things they should try to do to keep from being beat. We asked them if they might consider leaving the abusive man. They all said, No - he has the money, they cannot leave. Sometimes they call the police, but the police don't have gas in their truck and don't necessarily respond. We asked them if they had a job, a way to make money, then would they leave? The entire room raised their hands indicating that if they had the economic ability to feed their kids, they would not put up with beatings.

To question these findings further, I had Troy ask Jeronne if her ex-boyfriend ever beat her. Without one second of hesitation she said, "Yes, he liked to hit." Troy asked her if she thought it was odd that he does not beat me, she laughed and said "oui!"

We try to avoid making generalizations. But the fact is, on a large scale, not much can be done for a family trapped in a cycle of poverty. Government won't respond. Culturally men hold the power over women and violence is ignored. Women have no power to leave. Children are at the mercy of these realities. Women accept abuse as a normal part of their existence in order to keep their children in homes and fed, even at very minimal levels.

The prayer, the hope, the desire of a program like Heartline Women's Program is to begin to empower a woman. We meet many of them during their pregnancy when they enter our program to receive basic prenatal care, vitamins, and education. Our belief is that if a woman learns to take care of her child better, learns to read, learns about child-spacing and family planning options, learns to share what she knows with her friends ... she has power - she begins to believe in herself. If she has that power she might consider further education, such as sewing or another professional school. Should she learn to sew she might be in a position to say NO to an abusive boyfriend. She may be in a position to feed her own children.

Once, a couple of years ago, a man came to Troy and asked him to fire his girlfriend. Troy said, "Why would I do that? She is a great employee." The man went on to say that she no longer respected him because she had her own money. Translation: She no longer put up with being beat. Troy refused and rumors circulated that the man was going to kill her. Eventually his anger faded and she went on with her life without him. But this is no isolated story. 

This is the reality of many poor women in Haiti.

God hears your cries and your Savior's comin'

This here's a tale for you ladies and fellas - Tryin to do what our culture tells us ~ Go out and shop like you're super zealous - But don't forget our God is jealous

Ok smartie go to a party - It's Christmas time have you been nice or naughty? ~ Have we forgotten the reason for the season? - It's about our God, not time for self-pleasin

Next day's function, turkey luncheon - Will you thank God for this food you're munchin? ~ People in the world never have that chance - So don't eat so much you nearly split your pants

This world is needin, hearts are bleedin - We need help to solve this pain we're feelin ~ When you have a chance don't forget to tell - God sent His Son - Emmanuel

Ooooh Yeah, Ooooh Yeah, Mmmm, Yeah, Oh, Yeah (Emmanuel)
We need Him, God sent Him - We need Him, Our God sent Him (Emmanuel)
You're on a mission and you're wishin someone could cure this sinful condition ~ Lookin for joy in all the wrong places - All these toys but still sad faces?

From frustration, first inclination is to forget God in your situation
But every dark tunnel has a lighter hope, don't give up on Him - He can help you cope

Don't be bummin, sad song hummin - God hears your cries and your Savior's comin.. He made a way so many years ago - He sent His Son - and now you know:

We need Him, God sent Him - We need Him, Our God sent Him (Emmanuel)

Country or city, things ain't pretty - Sin abounds, we're dirty and gritty
But God sees clear, He came down here - Thank Him for that this time of year (Thank Him for that this time of year)

Chorus - Ooooh Yeah Mmmmm Yeah ...
(c) 2011 Troy Livesay All Rights Reserved

(2011 - 5th Annual - Filmed in Port au Prince, Haiti)