Relief In Haiti

Dear friends,

I am sure most of you are already in action, both in prayer and in deed.  The disaster in Haiti is monumental but I believe the church is up to the task.  We have been growing more and more active over the last few years.  I am excited to see what God does in this time.  If you would like to be a part, you can go to  At their site, you can donate to an emergency relief fund or sponsor a child from to make a long term difference.  If you would like to look into something even more long term, there is always adoption.  There will be a huge need.  Haiti had one and a half million orphans before yesterday.  That number should climb astronomically this week.  You can look at this website, Heartline Ministries.  It is a beautiful ministry that helps adoption of these children.  I would also appreciate your prayers for a wonderful missionary family, the Livesays, Troy and Tara.  You can check out their blog to read more about them.

Also, please pray for our friends, the Iveys.  Aaron is one of the worship leaders at our church and they are an amazing family.  They have been in the middle of the adoption process bringing two children Amos and Story to the US from Haiti.  Story finally made it here but Amos is still there.  They have received news that he is okay, but this is obviously a difficult time for them.  You can read more at his blog, or check out his new record, Between the Beauty and the Chaos, which has a song, Amos Story, on it.

And last but definitely not least, here is one way you can make a difference right now.  And come out of it looking more fashionable.  There are tshirts on sale where all the proceeds go to relief in Haiti.  You can get yours right now.  Just click HERE.


Haiti Earthquake & World Vision

Port-au-Prince, Haiti, January 13, 2010 — Christian humanitarian agency World Vision plans to begin assessing damage and preparing a relief response today after the major earthquake that hit Haiti Tuesday. The agency has worked in Haiti for 30 years and has some 370 staff in country.

Downed communications, blocked roads and continuing aftershocks slowed relief efforts overnight, with staff unable to leave the agency’s Port-au-Prince office for several hours due to fallen debris in the roadways.

“It felt as if a truck had hit a wall,” said World Vision staffer Magalie Boyer, of the initial tremor. “There is extensive damage in the city. People are getting ready to spend the night in the streets. They are not comfortable staying in their houses.”

“World Vision Haiti will distribute first aid kits to survivors, along with basic materials such as soap, blankets, clothes and bottles of water as an initial response,” Boyer added.

Meanwhile, World Vision staff from less affected regions of Haiti are mobilizing and the agency’s global experts are expected to arrive in the disaster zone as soon as possible. Crystal Penner, a World Vision aid worker, was in the central plateau region of Haiti when the quake hit: “There are relief goods prepositioned in various locations across the country, though the challenge will be getting those supplies swiftly to those in need,” she said.

“We would be very concerned about a quake of this magnitude anywhere in the world, but it is especially devastating in Haiti, where people are acutely vulnerable because of poor infrastructure and extreme poverty,” said Edward Brown, World Vision’s relief director in the United States.

Reaching hard-hit areas with supplies is expected to be a significant challenge due to damaged roads and infrastructure, including the main airport and government buildings.

World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender.

So, obviously there is a huge need in Haiti right now. If God moves on your heart to help, you can do so by visiting or by calling 1.888.56.CHILD. Thanks.


What It Takes

Tonight a young man in dreadlocks, probably a college kid, came by the house to give his spiel on saving the environment. Now I don’t know about your town, but here in the wonderful creative town of Austin, TX, you can’t throw a rock without hitting one of these guys. But they are nice enough most of the time, and genuinely care about the world God created for us. So I usually give them a few minutes. He explained that with the transition to digital TVs, millions of TV sets will soon be obsolete and headed to the trashdumps. Now I know that you know that you can buy some apparatus which will allow you to continue to use your old rabbit-ear TV from college, but I understand what he meant. He told me about how much lead was in the TV and would soon be in our landfills. I could help just by signing my name. And giving a small donation. In lieu of the donation, I could write two letters to the governor. He would be back to pick them up at 8. I hesitated, but you know, I can write two letters. That doesn’t take that much time and it’s for a good cause. So, I did. I came in, told my wife, she laughed at me, and then I sat down and wrote two letters. I don’t ever write letters. I had to go find envelopes.

Anyway, that got me to thinking about what spurs us into action.  In our Christian lives, our heads know about so much more good to be done than we actually do. I wonder what would spur us on to actually do those things. One of my passions for the last 5 years has been World Vision.  You can learn more about it at But I started sponsoring a little girl in Uganda because my friend Eddie Carswell just walked up and asked me if I had ever considered it. I got involved in a ministry that is now central to what we do simply because someone asked me. I became socially and politically active tonight just because somebody came by the house and asked. So what would it take for us as the church to begin to live out the commands of Christ that we already know and understand?  And what would it take for the world around us to be changed by the truth we are sharing and living?

 “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?” Romans 10:14

I wonder what would happen if we were as brave as the young man who came to my house tonight. I wonder what would happen if we believed that God wanted to save a human soul as much as he believed in saving the environment. It is amazing how successful communication can be when we just use our words and tell people. And it’s amazing that we think the truth will spread when we are not the ones sharing it.