A YEAR TO REMEMBER MAY UPDATE

We praise God for the work He has invited us to join Him in these past ten years. As we move through this tenth year of walking with the Father, the celebration goal of adding the preschool building onto the school in Haiti is an exciting faith adventure. As of May 1st we are only about $900.00 from completing the April goal. The completion of this goal will allow the addition of the final piece of the puzzle on the top row of our picture. At this point, in the YEAR TO REMEMBER CAMPAIGN, we should be at $50,000.00. On June 1st, we should be at $60,000.00. There are some pledges that have been made toward this campaign, but have not been received as of yet. Please join with us as we ask God to touch hearts to give toward the preschool building. In reality, the gift toward the building is an investment in the education of children in this remote village in Haiti for decades to come. As this investment is made, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is being consistently shared in the classroom meaning the investment is in eternity for those children who surrender their lives to Jesus as Lord! Will you join us in praying and giving to make an eternal impact?

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BOMBEROS "FIREMEN" TRAINING IN GUATEMALA

We had a great time with the firemen “Bomberos” in San Lucas Toliman during our April trip. This is a new fire department getting started from the efforts of one gentleman who has been diligently working to see this accomplished for ten years. We were able to spend two evenings with this group of 11. On Tuesday evening Bob Willingham a retired fireman from Irving, Texas who presently lives in Corsicanna, Texas did a training on how to “READ SMOKE”. The Bomberos were locked in and inquisitive. Following the “READ SMOKE” Training there was a lengthy question and answer time. Through the questions we are better prepared for what to share in future trips to help these dedicated individuals. On Thursday evening we spent several hours leading the Bomberos through team building activities and working through rescue scenarios. The evening started very lite hearted, but soon became very serious as they grasped the opportunity to look at every task as a true fire fighting scenario. The final activity of the evening was a race between four members of the U.S. Team and four of the Bomberos. The race was to see who could complete the task of all four team members putting on and taking off a set of Bunker Gear. This was a challenging feat especially for the U.S. Team. The U.S. Team thought they had won once the last member was suited up. The final Bomberos completed suiting up and saw the U.S. Team celebrating, but began taking off the gear. Once the Bomberos was out of the gear, I pronounced them the winners since they had completed the instructions of all four members needing to put on AND take off the Bunker Gear. Laughter was had by all and the U.S. Team was a little more humble. Once the laughter had subsided we presented the Bomberos with ten sets of Bunker Gear for their department. They were extremely excited since they had no gear. The final part of the evening was to present the Bomberos with a new Bible. Each Bomberos received a Bible and immediately opened to look. Three of them placed their faces between the pages and took a deep breathe. It was an amazing sight to see them receive with such humility and gratitude! I asked them if they would willingly leave a piece of the Bunker Gear behind if they were responding to a fire. They quickly acknowledge they would not willingly leave a piece of gear. I shared with them the Bible is the most important piece of equipment they could have in life, for through the words in the Bible they could come to know Jesus personally. The gentleman who has been faithfully working to develop this fire department asked if he could speak. He has been elected Fire Chief. He opened the Bible and read a passage over the Bomberos. In that moment, I knew God had raised up the right man to lead this group of Bomberos.

YEAR TO REMEMBER MARCH UPDATE

Praise God for His provision! We are right on target for meeting the goal for March. Three puzzle pieces of the overall Preschool Building have been provided! The next milestone is April 1st and another $10,000.00 is needed to stay on track for our January 2020 completion date for the preschool building in Haiti. Please pray for God to touch hearts in the coming weeks so we can complete one row of the overall puzzle. The puzzle is beginning to take shape, but we have a long way to go. For those who have given, we PRAISE GOD for your generous gift!

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February YEAR TO REMEMBER UPDATE

We just completed the second month of the YEAR TO REMEMBER CAMPAIGN. Thanks to all who gave toward the goal of adding a preschool addition to the school in Haiti. The goal for puzzle piece #2 was $10,000.00 and $5575.00 was received. The two month total is $17,315.00, leaving us just $2,685.00 short of the two month goal. Please join us in asking God to touch the hearts of people to give. The next puzzle piece goal is $10,000.00 and the faith goal to stay on track is $12,685.00. Piece #3 is due March 1st. As tax season is upon us and possible returns available, please consider making an investment in the lives of children in Haiti. Also, please consider sharing this opportunity with family, friends, coworkers, civic clubs and church members. Your gifts will help us complete the second and add the third piece of the puzzle as we continue to build the picture!

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A YEAR TO REMEMBER JANUARY UPDATE

We are Praising God for His provision of the first puzzle piece toward completing the Preschool building in Drouin, Haiti. The goal of the first puzzle piece was $10,000.00 and God touched the hearts of people to contribute $11, 740.00. Thanks to everyone who gave toward this first piece! Please join us in praying for Puzzle Piece #2 of $10,000.00. The picture now looks like the following.

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A YEAR TO REMEMBER CAMPAIGN BEGINS

The YEAR TO REMEMBER CAMPAIGN BEGAN December 1, 2018. The goal is to raise $110,000.00 to build a Preschool Addition to the School in Drouin, Haiti. We are praying and we ask you to pray asking God to provide the financial resources to accomplish this task. As resources arrive we will post an update in the form of a piece of the puzzle until we reach the completion of the goal which is targeted for January 2020. On the first of each month for the first 9 months the financial puzzle piece needed is $10,000.00 each. The final 3 months we need puzzle pieces that represent $7,000.00, $7,000.00 and $6,000.00. On December 1, 2018 the picture we are praying to complete was a blank slate.

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FIRST RESPONDER RESPONSE

     In late June Volcano Feugo in Guatemala erupted killing many and decimating villages.  From this disaster, a plea was made for repelling gear for first responders i.e. Bomberos/Fire Fighters to use in rescue situations.  A request for prayer and support to purchase needed equipment was shared.  Soon the financial resources began to arrive and phone calls were being answered.  As the days passed, we waited on God’s provision and a plan to transport the equipment was being developed.  One of the phone calls was from a local fire department desiring to provide equipment.  Arriving at the fire station, it was soon discovered that they had 10 sets of bunker gear they wanted to donate.  I expressed appreciation, but said that was not what we were needing at this time.  Contact was made with our ministry partner in Guatemala concerning a possible need for the bunker gear.  An immediate respond came, “Yes, Yes, Yes, a new fire department is being formed and ten people are in a training program right now to be certified as fire fighters.”  God’s amazing timing and invitation was unfolding!  During the week of August 7-12, four men traveled with repelling gear and a desire to share life and faith with the fire fighters of this newly forming department.  On Wednesday evening we had a time of sharing with the fire fighters a story of physical rescue and the personal story of how we each were spiritually rescued by Jesus Christ.  The group was appreciative of the stories, the encouragement, prayer and the repelling equipment.  The following day the firemen invited us to a training time with several other departments in a nearby town.  The day consisted of classroom training on the nature and characteristics of fire, types of fires and some simple strategies when first engaging a fire.  The classroom session was followed by a hands on use of fire hoses and handling techniques.  When this session ended we returned to the fire station for a mock search and rescue operation.  This was an extremely challenging task and several trainees were overwhelmed by the experience and requested removal from the drill.  To say the least this was very eye opening for the travel team who observed and encouraged the fire fighters.  Many contacts were made and plans are being made to return in 2019 with a team.  This team will be comprised of Christian Fire Fighters who will carry the bunker gear, offer training and share the Gospel.  Please be in prayer for this future team, the new department being formed and for souls to be rescued by the saving power of Jesus!

 

            FYI, the new department received their first fire call at 2:00 a.m. Tuesday morning August 14th just two days after their graduation.  The fire was in a carpentry shop as part of a bigger complex which includes a restaurant we enjoyed on Saturday the 11th.  The town is now extremely excited about having the new fire department and for the men and women who now serve as fire fighters.  Once again God and His perfect timing were on display.  What a mighty God we serve!

ROCKPORT MISSION CAMP 2018

    Rockport Mission camp was a new adventure for Stepstones.  Last September discussion and prayer began  about leading youth groups from small churches on an adventure during the Summer of 2018.  As the year progressed their were six churches that were interested.  When the reality of a Mission Camp became evident there where two churches that joined together to take on the adventure.  The camp began on Sunday evening June 24th with a meet and greet time followed by a short challenge and prayer time to begin our week.  Monday through Thursday we rolled out early and drove to breakfast provided by Hands of Hope.  Following breakfast we packed our own lunches, shared a time of devotion and headed out to minister.  We arrived in Rockport for the purpose of helping people affected by Hurricane Harvey last year.  The goal was to cut trees and stumps and clear debris.   The plan quickly changed as we arrived to find property with up to a foot of water standing in the yard.  We learned that they community had received 20 inches of rain in less than 24 hours on Thursday before we arrived.  We finally found a widow lady who had lost her mobile home during the hurricane.  She was in need of numerous trees to be removed and a large amount of debris to be gathered and stacked for burning.  Following this job we continued to encounter properties standing in water.  We finally headed back to the church for lunch and to regroup.  Following lunch we divided into two groups and headed out with a plan.  One group became a fence building team and over the next three days installed several hundred feet of fence for a family.  The second team continued as a chainsaw team and found jobs within the city limits that only a small group could perform and without standing water.  By the end of Thursday the fence was almost complete and 48 stumps and trees had been cut and stacked.  Along the way we were able to encourage some in their faith, share the love of Christ through service and share the Gospel by word and deed.  Each night we would gather for a time of worship through song and the preached word.  Following the worship time each youth group had a time to process the service and the day.  Talk and prayer has begun for Mission Camp 2019.  Where will God lead and where might we be serving Summer 2019?  Even better, who will join the journey?  If you have any questions about participating please contact us.  

 

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GREAT NEWS FROM HAITI

     March 17-24, 2018 was a great week in Haiti!  Six men traveled to work on the Spirit of Truth School in Drouin, Haiti.  Arriving in the country on Saturday the 17th we traveled up the mountain above Port Au Prince the capital.  We spent the night in a mission house next door to a boy’s orphanage.  This was a special treat for me because I saw some boys(now young men) that I had meet years ago.  On Sunday the 18th, the team traveled down the mountain to attend Agape Church in Petionville, Haiti.  This is a church I prayed for as it formed four years ago and have attended a couple of times over the years.  This church has a 6:00 a.m. service and an 8:00 a.m. service on Sundays.  They call themselves a church of small groups because of the rapid growth small groups are the best way to provide discipleship and accountability.  The mission of the church is Chak Moun Yon Moun translated means Each One Reach One.  This church has 2000 in attendance on Sundays, now that is church growth!  After the service we traveled four hours to the village of Drouin to get settled.  Activity soon commenced as the children of the village heard we had arrived.  There was no sitting still as soccer games and teaching the locals to throw a Frisbee commenced. Monday through Thursday the team worked alongside Haitian men to install drop ceilings in 6 classrooms, an office and a storage room.  We also painted all the rooms and the front of the school.  As the transformation took place over the four days, the teachers and students became more and more excited about the freshness of the classrooms and the school.  Teachers from another school in the area stopped by and were in awe of the new classrooms.  Some of the students from the other school asked if they could transfer schools.  Many in the village began asking if we could add grade levels so their children could continue receiving an education without having to travel several hours to a different town.  Tuesday afternoon a gentleman showed up at the school and he is the President of the Haitian Congress.  This gentleman lives in the Grand Saline Region were the Spirit of Truth School is located.  He told us this school is the best school in the region in both facility and quality of education received.  That was great news and brought encouragement to all involved with the school.  Praise God for what He is doing in through and around the school!  Praise God for allowing Stepstones to take yet another step in sharing the Gospel through the school!  There are presently 309 students enrolled in this six room school.  To say the least, overcrowding is the norm.  Our greatest need is to expand the school by adding a three room preschool building and hiring two more teachers.  Please join us in asking God to provide the financial resources to see this become a reality!