'shine your eyes’ is a phrase that I picked up in liberia, west africa. it means to open your eyes and see the Truth. this is my hope for people everywhere, myself included, that we will continually be transformed to see and be the ideals God has set forth as the Kingdom. the book of isaiah says it this way:
'see, a king will reign in righteousness and rulers will rule with justice. each man will be like a shelter from the wind and a refuge from the storm, like streams of water in the desert and the shadow of a great rock in a thirsty land. then the eyes of those who see will no longer be closed, and the ears of those who hear will listen. the mind of the rash will understand, and the stammering tongue will be fluent and clear.’ isaiah 32:1-4
currently this is taking shape in my life working with bahamas habitat. we are working to provide aviation support to bahamas methodist habitat, a hurricane relief/sub-standard housing repair organization based in the bahamas. know that we would love for you to come spend some time with us as we take part in all the beautiful ways that God is loving His creation.
in the words of mother teresa, “pray for me that i not loosen my grip on the hands of Jesus even under the guise of ministering to the poor.” and i pray that in all that you do, whether coming to the bahamas, serving in haiti or celebrating life in your part of the world that you will simply love and come and see all that God has for us. let this place be a place of celebration and conversation for us to greater understand life with one another.
‘and because of our faith, He has brought us into this place of highest privilege where we now stand. and we confidently and joyfully look forward to actually becoming all that God has in mind for us to be.’ –romans 5:2
14 January 2010 Bahamas Methodist Habitat flew its first flight in response to Haiti's earthquake disaster that occurred on 12 January. That first flight continued onto a 60-day airlift to include 400 missions, 120 mission pilots/airplanes, and 250,000+ lbs. of critical medical supplies and food delivered. The first flight was into Port au Prince, we expanded to focus on outlying communities utilizing six airports: Cap Haitian, Les Cayes, Jeremie, Pignon, La Gonave, Jacmel. We partnered with Rotary International through whom we established on-the-ground contacts for needs and proper distribution. The contacts in Haiti were primarily medical-related but also included humanitarian organizations and orphanages.
The operation itself was simple. We established two warehouses to collect donated supplies: Johnston County, North Carolina (KJNX) and Fort Lauderdale, Florida (KFXE). Volunteers operated both these warehouses tirelessly. Banyan Air Service at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport operated the warehouse and served as our primary collection point for the States and gateway to the Caribbean, not forgetting to mention providing fuel at cost! When pilots flew to Haiti, (s)he would collect necessary supplies (medical supplies based on the phase of relief and rice, beans, oil) from their local community and/or top-off the load at our warehouse and come to Nassau, Bahamas. Odyssey Aviation made the staging operation there possible through the use of warehouse space, fueling at a discounted rate and facilitating international procedures for the pilots. Pilots would then base there in Nassau being dispatched each morning on specific missions depending on the load of supplies and the most pressing needs at the time. Right at about eight-hour days, pilots would return to rest and repeat for as long as (s)he was able and willing. All pilots generously gave their time and own financial support.
The airlift continued until Haiti's ports opened and commercial travel resumed operation. Our relief effort became inefficient and consequently less effective and we cleared our warehouses through the use of container shipments to Haiti. We, BMH/BH, are currently assessing how we might be involved in the long-term recovery phase as we partner with those whom we came into contact during the critical response phase. We are aiming to have a long-term plan established by the end of May after our assessment pilot determines what need, if any, we are capable of meeting in Haiti.
The government of Haiti has resumed tough customs and duty (arbitrary, and extreme) requirements. It is making it difficult to transport supplies into the country because of the requirement to pay extreme landing fees and duty. In one sense, they’re not to be blamed because this is the largest, if not the only, source of income for the country, but the corruption that in included is what rocks the willingness of many dropping supplies realizing that the goods will not be appropriately distributed and only making the officials more well-to-do. Again, when you are in the circumstances that press onto Haiti, the perspective is very limited. This is a definite place for prayers as there is a great deal of hope for those in Haiti and the country as a whole, but it’s stretching wineskins right now.