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Week Two in Haiti

Hello from Port-au-Prince, Haiti,
Last Sunday after church service we “suffered for Jesus” as Pastor
Peter amazed us with a delicious feast at his home. We thank you,
Lord, for the variety of food and fresh vegetables, after lots of
beans and rice. Our final day in Pignon, Monday, a few native boys led
us on an early morning hike up the nearby mountain, giving a great
view of the city. The rest of the day was spent playing with the
children and we all had a blast cooling off with a water balloon toss.

We’re now serving with YWAM, living in a large house, with a tent city
nearby. As we experienced our first rain here last night we thought of
and prayed for the many desperate Haitians living in tents. We are
blessed to have a foam mattress to sleep on, inside plumbing, a
swimming pool, a stable roof over our heads, and three meals a day. We
eat lots of beans and rice, but that’s OK! We only have electricity a
few hours a day, but that’s OK! Sometimes the water isn’t running
through the faucets, but that’s OK! There is a cistern outside and we
can pull the rope up and have a bucket full of water, and we have
purified water to drink, so that’s OK!  We do our laundry outside by
hand, but that’s OK! We’re getting eaten by mosquitos, but that’s just
not OK!

How exciting to see a truckload of Gleanings’ food being unloaded as
we drove up to the YWAM house and to realize we would be sharing it
with these people who are in such great need! Plans are to visit and
minister to at least three different tent cities while in
Port-au-Prince.   On Thursday we went to the tent city nearby, walking
through and inviting them to attend a program, and were well received.
 Our hearts were so touched by how they live and yet have joy and we
felt such love as some of the little children held our hands while we
walked through their tent community.  We then had a program with a few
skits and Andria experienced applause after sharing her testimony.
Some of the team felt God calling them to wash the people’s feet,
which was something new for all. We used wet wipes instead of using
water, which is such a precious commodity for them. At first only
children came forward, but eventually some young men in their twenties
and more adults also accepted the invitation. It was very moving and
our hearts were stirred with love and compassion for them. The rest of
the team was able to mingle with the crowd, meeting and praying with
them for their needs. We look forward to returning to this same tent
city. YWAM has actually only been in this house for three weeks and we
are privileged to be the first team to help establish relationship
with the nearby tent city.

Another highlight of the week was attending “Celebriz la Vie”,
Celebration of Life, on the anniversary of last year’s earthquake,
which was held across from the destroyed palace. An overwhelming crowd
of Haitians came to this five hour event to worship God and thank Him
for life, remembering the events of the earthquake, giving testimony
to God sparing their lives. Different ministries shared the vision God
has given them to rebuild the city and bring the people to Him. A
group of amputees sang a beautiful song of praise to God with such
joyful hearts, giving thanks for life! That was touching! The Haitian
crowd awed and blessed us immensely as they raised their hands and
voices to the Heavenly Father, giving thanks in all things. “Rejoice
always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is
God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  I Thess. 5:15-17

We were also reminding ourselves to stay in an attitude of
thanksgiving, as this was very long day for our team. We left the
house at 6 AM and picked up trash before the event – lots of it! Then,
after being in the hot sun for hours, we again gathered many more
garbage bags full of trash after the event. Their culture does now
have the western mentality of putting trash into trash cans, besides
the fact that they seemed to be non-existent. We were wondering why
the people gathered around to watch us putting garbage into bags, as
if it was some grand event. As Fritz asked someone he responded, “I’ve
never seen white people doing this!” Jesus has called us to be
servants in Matt. 20:26 He said, “Whoever desires to become great
among you, let him be your servants.”

John, Ben and Caitlin helped butcher a cow on Friday, which is being
prepared to add to the soup we will serve at the tent cities food
distribution. Well, if you want to know any of the bloody details
you’ll have to ask them yourself! The rest of the team helped wash the
very dirty, cement splattered windows and in the afternoon did a
prayer walk through the neighborhood.

Saturdays will be our days off while here and we enjoyed a leisurely
day of resting, reading, fellowshipping with one another and swimming.
 This was followed up in the evening by a service at the Brazilian
United Nations. Peterson George, the YWAM Port-au-Prince director, was
the speaker. He also invited Fritz to share about the ministry of
Gleanings.

On Sundays we will be attending two worship services and promoting the
Port-au-Prince DTS program by performing dramas and having two
students share something God has done in their life through the DTS.
They are praying for 50 students; 25 Haitian and 25 foreigners.

Thanks for your continued prayers. A few of us have had some
intestinal issues and colds, but nothing serious. We’d appreciate
prayer for our health. Also pray that we would have humble servant
hearts that please the Lord with obedience and for the tent ministry
times. Our desire is to see many receive Jesus, know His love, and
that He is the hope for their nation and each individual. We want to
love them with the love of Jesus and be sensitive to the Holy Spirit
in whatever He asks us to do.

We are in Haiti

Greetings from Haiti,
OUTREACH; putting into practice what has been learned, serving Jesus
by serving others, dying to our own desires and comforts, and being
Christ’s  ambassadors.  Our DTS team safely arrived in Haiti at the
turn of the New Year to begin a new phase of DTS.  After a 4 hr. drive
to the airport and 6 ½ hr. flights to Haiti, we were met by Pastor
Peter and informed of a 4 hr. drive to Pignon; where his church and
orphanage are located. We soon learned that traversing Haitian roads
is vastly different than travel at home. We piled our 30 plus pieces
of luggage into the bed of the truck and crammed the 14 of us into the
same truck and a small SUV. Our adventure was over some of the worst
dirt, stone and rutted roads I’ve ever experienced; not to mention
crossing a few rivers, replacing a dead car battery, 2 flat tires, 2
rest stops (one for water, another for the toilet, but no food),
lengthening our journey  to 8 ½ hrs. for a total traveling  time of
about 26 hrs., leaving us, needless to say, exhausted. As we know,
there is always good God works in every situation and we were
delighted to interact with the friendly natives at each stop, playing
with the children and viewing their way of life. Upon arrival we were
served a delicious meal of beans and rice, fried chicken, fried
bananas and soup, and settled into our rooms; exhausted, but well fed,
and thankful for our safe arrival.

Today is already day 5, Thursday, and 10 barrels of Gleanings’ soup
mix were unloaded at the church/orphanage. Pastor Peter blessed the
truck drivers with some and we are anticipating a village outreach;
doing dramas, sharing Jesus and being His hands and feet,  giving soup
to the beautiful Haitian people.

Youth meetings were scheduled for Sun. – Fri. night, which actually
included every age group. Our previously prepared VBS material has
been useful for the younger ones; they have especially enjoyed the
crafts and we realized that many were using scissors for the first
time! As we pray and seek God daily He is using us to encourage the
people in their relationship with God. Each of us already had
opportunity to share a testimony.

Tuesday morning we walked through the village of Pignon, experiencing
the outdoor market and having the privilege of visiting and praying
for patients in the local hospital.

Work projects consumed some of our daylight hours, including:
re-organizing a tool shed, building shelves and painting a room at the
orphanage, and electrical work.

Wednesday we took another “ 4 hour” Haitian “road trip”, which we
quickly realized would again be much longer than expected; almost 8!
This time all 13 of us squished into the king cab truck, 6 in front
and 8 in the small truck bed, and experienced still worse roads.  It
was encouraging, and a respite, to stop along the way and view other
churches Pastor Peter oversees.  One congregation at San Michel meets
in a shack obviously constructed from whatever meager means were
available.  A donation has been made to build a stable “shed”, which
will begin soon.

We are all enjoying spending time with and loving the orphans who are
still on school vacation this week. Chris and Philip play soccer
daily, Kayley quickly learns Creole from the children, and the girls
play clapping games.  How sweet it is to see their smiles and joy as
we interact with them in many various ways.

On Friday we visited an outstation (a group of less than 100
believers) in the village of Bye, about 30 minutes away, where we
performed several dramas and testimonies and preached the Word. They
thoroughly enjoyed and understood the skits, which Pastor Meli
informed us was a completely new experience for them. Afterwards, we
extended a call of prayer for sickness, laid hands on them and prayed.
Five or six women came forward when we extended a call for salvation.
Upon leaving they sang us a Haitian blessing song, whereupon we sang
the Gleanings’ blessing song in return.  Everyone who attended was
blessed to receive one or more bags of soup. Our team was thoroughly
blessed to be a blessing.

Hard to believe one week has already passed, sweet relationships have
been established and we will soon leave Pignon to return to
Port-au-Prince and minister with the YWAM base there. We are
anticipating and excited about all God will be doing. Thank you for
your prayers.

Blessings and love from Haiti,

Gleanings’ DTS Outreach Team 2011

“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God  making his
appeal through us.” 2 Cor 5:20

Angels in the peach field

This letter may be reproduced in full or in part by Ron Wagner in his history of Gleanings for the Hungry, a Youth with a Mission base.  Mark Schaufler may reproduce it as he desires.  I respectfully request no other reproductions without my written permission.

It’s funny, one would think if you saw angels the date would be stuck in your mind forever, but with the passing of time and all the events in one’s life, the day seems much less significant, and the overpowering event becomes much more important.

I have been to Gleanings For The Hungry several times.  I have gone as both youth leader, and as a member of an adult team.  This particular time I had come as part of a youth team from Lacey, Washington, under the leadership of Mark Schaufler.  We had been there before, and we had a great team of kids with us as usual.  We had worked in the line and also laying fruit out for a couple of days, so we had the fruit-stained fingers and sticky clothes that processing fruit creates.  The day was near end, and after our nightly devotions in the recreation room, our entire group was getting ready to settle into the girls and boys dorms for a night of much needed rest.

As it happened, I was waiting for the girls to finish their showers and head to the dorm, so I was wandering to and fro visiting with them, and encouraging them to get settled in.  The boys were also taking some time to get settled in their dorms.  It was a very warm night; I can remember the smell of the sulfur from the sulfur houses and the sweet smell of the fruit still clinging to our t-shirts and shorts as we waited for our turns in the showers.

There were still several boys waiting outside the shower area, and I struck up a conversation with Zach Lucas, one of our teens who visited with everyone and was very well liked by all.  Zach had a zeal for life and a real heart for God – he worked hard at Gleanings, and usually had the biggest smile as we worked as a group.  Our goal this year was to fill a semi-truck trailer with those white five-gallon buckets of dried fruit.  We were well on our way to accomplishing our goal.

Zach and I were talking about how warm it was and how satisfying it was to see the rows and rows of pallets laden with fruit laying stretched out in the fields. We had worked together for quite a while that day unloading fruit trays onto the field, and were feeling pretty great about how much all our team had processed.  We walked out towards the edge of the concrete slab next to the sulfur houses and looked out over the field.

Suddenly Zach stopped talking and his jaw dropped open.  He pointed over my shoulder towards the field behind me and a look of fear and delight all mixed together came over his face.  He began to sort of hop about, never taking his eyes off the field behind me.  To tell you the truth I was a bit fearful at that point! I thought Zach had breathed in a bit too much sulfur!

Zach said “Look, Look, LOOK! Do you see what I see?   Is it real? Look at that!”

I thought to myself, “My goodness, what is he so scared of?” and I was very reluctant to turn around.  “Zach,” I said, “What is it?  What is wrong? Zach? Zach? Zach, STOP! What IS it?”  But Zach was speechless, he just kept pointing and he began to laugh, but there were tears rolling down his cheeks.

My heart was beating wildly with fear, but I forced myself to turn and look at the field. Since we were in the light cast by the building’s floodlights, it took a moment for my eyes to focus.  Zach reached out and took my forearm, continuing to jump, laugh and cry all the while.  We were far enough from the shower house then that no one else was really paying attention to us, and they were continuing to head for their dorm rooms.  It felt like we were on a deserted island and only we were there, yet only a few yards from us there were two dorms buzzing with our friends!

As my eyes focused on the far end of the field, I rubbed them a little. Zach kept asking me, “Do you see that?” I thought at first that it was some kind of low fog out there.  But there seemed to be some kind of form to the fog.  I stepped a bit closer to the edge of the concrete and looked across the field from one end to the other at the fruit, and noticed again; something seemed to tell me something/someone was there.  I turned and looked at Zach, then looked back at the field.

It was as if someone cleared my vision, like when you wipe a mirror with a soft cloth after it’s been fogged up.  I saw then what Zach had been looking at.  There were angles in the field.

They stood side by side, and while they were not like looking at flesh and blood, they were clearly there. To me they looked maybe 8-10 feet tall.  They stood with a spear in one hand, elbows bent and hands nearly touching their middles, shoulder to shoulder, well more like elbow to elbow.  Their feet were shoulder width apart and I got the distinct feeling they were well planted right where they were.  They had no “face”, yet I knew they were facing me. They had on pointed-top helmets, and their chests had a shield-like appearance. The biggest impression I got from what I saw was incredible strength and protection, but I did not fell threatened in any way by what I saw.  I began to cry and laugh like Zach and looked at him in total disbelief.  “Do you see it Cheryl? Do you see it?” Zach cried.  I nodded my head and turned back to see the angels again.

It was then that I noticed they encircled the field and I knew immediately that they circled the entire compound.  How I knew it I do not know, but I was instantly sure of it.  Zach still had my arm, and I pulled it away and grasped his arm then.

I began singing one of my favorite choruses, “This is Holy ground, we’re standing on Holy ground…” and Zach piped in with me. Then we went right on to sing “We are standing on standing Holy ground, and I know that there are angels all round…”  Somehow it felt like it was exactly what we were supposed to do at exactly that moment.

I did not want to move, nor did Zach, but we kept telling each other, “We need to go get Pastor Mark” and I am not sure about how Zach felt, but I had enough fear in me I didn’t want him to leave me and go get Mark, and I didn’t want to leave him to go either!  Mostly I was afraid that if we left, we’d never see those angels again.  I am not really sure how long we were out there looking at the angels, but I would guess close to an hour.  Zach kept laughing and crying, and so did I.  We’d start to back away towards the buildings but then go back to the edge of the concrete.

Finally we stepped back and talked. “I’m going to go get Mark!” Zach said. I knew by now that Zach and I were probably the only two left awake, and I could only image the uproar we would create if we started waking people up  to talk about seeing angels, so I told him to wait until morning.  I thought to myself – “I hope Mark won’t be mad at me for not waking him, but I am hardly believing this myself!”  We walked towards the dorms, then walked back out to the edge of the concrete again, I couldn’t see the angels anymore, but I knew in my heart they were still there.

Zach looked across the field, and seeing nothing either, said, “Did I imagine all that? Was I just looking at the trees out there and seeing things in a weird light?”

I thought for a moment, “Well, I THOUGHT I saw angels, but maybe I didn’t.”  But inside I knew that what I saw was real and it was definitely out there.  “No Zach, you did not imagine it.  We saw angels!”

We stood there looking for a few more minutes in silent awe.  (I am only now realizing, all these years later, that Zach and I never talked with each other what the angels looked like.  I wonder if he saw the same shapes that I did?)

“Zach,” I said, “we have got to go to bed.  We have a lot of work to do tomorrow!”  We went to our separate areas, and I crawled onto my bunk, un-showered and sticky with fruit, and laid there and thought of what I had just experienced.  I thought of something I’d heard several times…..angels appeared over and over as recorded in the Bible, and they almost always said “Be not afraid” or “Fear not!”  I understood why they said that now.

It took a long time to calm myself and drift off to sleep.  I laid there for a very long time, half-expecting a troop of angels to come dancing through the dorm at any moment, but finally fell into a deep sleep.

The morning arrived sunny and warm, and I was only up a few moments when Mark came to me and asked me to tell him what I had seen the night before.  Zach had told him and he wanted to know what I saw.  I relayed to Mark what I saw, and he got the biggest grin and joy filled his face.  He went to see Wally Wenge (sp).

A short time later Mark returned to me and shared with me what happened when he shared my and Zach’s story with Wally.  As I remember it, Wally told Mark that there had been a person at Gleanings who had been causing a division within the staff to the point of him having to ask the person to leave Gleanings.  As the staff, they had been meeting and praying for God to heal their hurts and restore their unity, and “to place a hedge of angels around the compound” as they worked to repair the closeness of their staff.  Our vision was confirmation for them.

Our vision of the angles blessed Zach and I.  For me, it confirmed that God is real and He loves all of us enough to meet our needs. For the staff of Gleanings for the Hungry, it confirmed God was in their mist and answering their prayers.

Needless to say, that night there were 75+ students and leaders standing at the edge of that concrete at bedtime, but God had already completed what He wanted to accomplish for the staff at Gleanings for the Hungry.  They knew He is with them.

I’ve made some bad choices in my life since seeing the angels, and I have grieved God, yet He still loves me and He has restored me to the ministry I love most.  Zach, I hear, is in full-time ministry, and Mark has since traveled world-wide as an evangelist and writer. Gleanings will always hold a very special place in my heart, and I am thankful the blessings I’ve received while there.  I know God uses this ministry world-wide and I am thankful to have been a worker in the field.

And, oh yes….. I believe in angels

Cheryl Rasmussen

Look what God has done

“It is amazing to see what God has accomplished in 25 years with the help of many people who have labored in love to get where Gleanings is today! —We remember when it was just a deep calling on Wally Wenge’s heart to start a Joseph Ministry and how God called him to this area. God opened the place in Sultana in 1983.  It started with one conveyer belt and many hands to do the cutting and hulling. (Today Gleanings has three conveyor belts and three food machinery cutters.)  At that time we slept in the old dining room in sleeping bags and Wally and Norma in a very small travel trailer until we could build the first apartment building.  Now Gleanings has 6 mobile homes, boys’ and girls’ dorms, an 8-unit motel, a duplex, a triplex, and a new facility that includes a kitchen, dining room, conference room and chapel.  God has truly blessed this ministry and we are so thankful and blessed to have had a small part in it.”

Gil & Alice Vierra, Dinuba, California

“Early on, we sat down with Wally and listened as he shared his dream of a Plant that would fulfill the Joseph ministry: a ministry that would take food from this valley and provide for the hungry. How could we possibly tell anyone about Jesus when their stomachs were screaming louder than words. Little is much in the hands of the Lord —we caught the dream. Through our volunteering at Gleanings for 15 years and bringing teams, many adults have learned that one week of their lives can make a difference for eternity in the lives of others.”

Pastor Paul & Rose Shorb, Faith Assembly, Lacey, Washington

“Gleanings For The Hungry is a blessing in so many ways! We three have traveled there more than thirty times, always being blessed tremendously by the ministry. The prayer, praise, and fellowship sets each day off in the right direction—God’s direction! And the people who receive the food overseas are blessed—yes, saved from starvation or malnutrition and are turned toward God as they see His love poured out on them! Thank you Gleanings staff and co-volunteers for the blessing you are to us and the untold numbers around the world. You surely are a blessing of and to the Lord!”

Curt, Jonna, and Lisa Askim, Santa Rosa, CA

“Having volunteered at Gleanings part of each year for 15 years, we have seen the miraculous way God provides for the hungry of the world through the generosity of His kids who He has entrusted with much.”

Ralph & Linda Konkol, Idaho
“Working at Gleanings has been a great learning experience in team work. I don’t think I’ve worked harder in my whole life! Being part of the praise & worship was a rich and healing experience in entering the holy of holies. It has also been great to meet people from all over the world.”

Barbara Smoody, Washington

“This summer I went to this amazing camp called Gleanings. If you ever have a chance to go take it and go it is so amazing. This trip is all about processing peaches. We make dried peaches to send to mutiple starving countries. I have to say that it was a semi hard work but it was definently worth it, because when you know that you are helping starving people all the hard works feels really great. This was such a great experience, i met so many new people and the people who work and live their are so amazing. I love it their so much that i almost cried when we left. The food is great too its not like crapy camp food. All my friends who went loved it so much. The best part though was knowing that your helping starving people.

Love,
Kaila (2008 summer participant)