Returning Home from Haiti

Rode hard and put up wet. I have logged many hours of drive time in the big truck. I always have mixed feelings on the last day here in Haiti. I do look forward to seeing my beautiful wife Kim and our wonderful girls, but part of me would like to stay on and on and on. The friends I have here have a tough life as do most Haitians. I guess the best thing at this point is to get home regroup and start listening to God’s call to get back.

I have learned so much on this trip, especially the traveling in the city part. I believe I could get anywhere that we have been serving without a problem. Even the short cuts have been embedded in my brain. GMSM and Dale Winslette were a huge part of the mission trip that TEM members are fixing to embark on. We pass the torch to you and I am sure most will not have a clue of what we helped prepare for them. That is cool though; behind the scenes is where it’s at.

Today we went out to Love a Child Mission to get some food from Feed My Starving Children also known as FMSC, to take out to the provinces. We also bought more rice. beans etc. Some of the CEO’s form FMSC were out at Love a Child and I was able to introduce our ministry and meet them personally. That was a treat since we are trying to begin a partnership with them for our Mexico work.

We drove all the way back up to Z’Orange and back, went to Harry’s church and then back to Dottie’s. It was an all day affair and a grueling task. I am starting to see some needs that GMSM can start helping. I must pray hard that God will allow us to be a part in reaching these needs. All in all another great time in Haiti and feel blessed to be a part of this great country and its beautiful people. Needs are great and the workers are few for this hard country. Only God can change this place. I hope and pray that the Haitian Christians will continue to stand tall and be bold to face this country head on. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.


Bagging Food in Haiti

You would not think that bagging up food could be so tiresome. Well that is what Dale and I did for about half the day. Chuck and Seth the solar guru helped until poppy said, “it is time to go son.” If it were not for some of the men from Pastor Harry’s church Savon Blonde Baptist Church in Croix de Bouquets we would not have succeeded.

We made 202 bags of food. Each bag should last about four days. Rice, beans, fish, oil, pasta, sauce and bullion were in each bag. After all the bags were filled we loaded them on the van and headed out to deliver the food. We brought Ivans and Blanco with us to help. We visited two tent cities.

The first was one of the larger ones of which I have placed many pictures on the website. This proved to be one very explosive time bomb. We always canvas the areas first to let the people know what we are doing. We also let them know that under no circumstances will the process be disorderly; if it is then we split. Well this was one of those times that just did not seem right. We did not have an escape route and were kind of hemmed in. Well things went from sketchy to total craziness. A fight broke out and we started scrambling to get in the van to book it out of there. We had a hard time maneuvering out and people started to crowd the van. We did not even get ½ the food out. Sucks when one or two people mess it up for the whole group.

We had no choice but to leave for our own safety. We hit a smaller tent area and it worked like clock work. I am always so bummed when we just do not have enough food for all. I pray that someone will come in behind us and continue. So many people are in need and the need is great. I am thankful to God for allowing us to do what we can through His power and love. Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Amen.


Go Tell it on the Mountain

Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Today was a day that was way overdue. I was able to finally get up to the mountain to see one of my favorite families. This was especially good because I was able to take Dale and Seth for their first trip up. It might have also been their last. It is a trip that is not for the faint of heart and is a difficult one even for one in the best of condition.

We drove the beast and van up to Z’Orange where our first stop was Daniel’s house, the voodoo priest. Chuck wanted to say hello and give Dale and Seth some voodoo time. We hung there for only a short time and then went on in to the village. We gathered a few things, prayed and then the five of us Pastor Harry, Dale, Seth, Ramon, a young boy who Harry is mentoring, and I took off to Utopia. Colnmbeea is a place that I feel very comfortable and a place that God allows me to feel at home.

As we ascended to the mountain you can see that there is not much traffic up that way. You can only get there by walking and it is a hard climb. This area is still very pure and not yet touched much by the outside world. I wish it could stay that way but there are many needs and most those needs will not be met without gringoism. At least that is what gringo land thinks.

As we approached the top you could see God’s perfect portrait painted by His fingertips. I have been blessed beyond measure to have spent so much time up here with the people and the family that I have grown to love as my own. God has been so cool to me for reasons I am not sure of. I know that I do not deserve his grace and mercy but He freely gives it to me. God requires me to be obedient and I do try though I fail many times. He never gives up on me. God has placed two families in my life Pastor Felipe and his family in Mexico and Pastor Fani and his family up on the mountain. It was so good to see Madam Fani and her son Cado.

As usual once we arrived I was expected to greet the church with a word from my heart and a word from God. I met with the Pastor and his assistant and talked about the church and a few problems that needed to be addressed. I do have some comfort in the fact that Baptists did not invent church problems, man did and even way up here they experience some of the same issues we do.

I also met with Madam Fani and talked about her situation now that Pastor Fani has passed and is living the hope and promise that God gives us through his son Christ Jesus. We also spoke about the house that we will be building for her and the details of the process. Dale and Seth got to play with the kids which is a total blessing in itself. I only wish I could have stayed up there longer but that will happen. I know God will allow me to venture back soon and without an agenda. We headed back down which is no cake walk in itself and took the surreal drive back through Port au Prince in the dark.


Sunny Day in Haiti

Praise God from whom all blessing flow today was a wonderful day in Haiti. We spent all day buying food supplies for relief and building supplies for up on the mountain. We first went to Baitimet Building Supply to get paint supplies for the Jerusalem II church up on the mountain. What a joy it is for GMSM to be able to help at the church where I have spent a lot of time in fellowship with Pastor and Sister Fani. From there we hit the depots to buy rice, beans, oil, fish, pasta and tomato sauce. We will begin bagging up the food bags and start hitting the tent areas on Monday and Tuesday. We have been running and gunning for days and have been very busy. It will be a sweet thing to minister to the tent cities.

We will go up the mountain tomorrow and I will visit Sister Fani and her son Cado. What a blessing it will be to see one of my favorite families in Haiti. I am in desperate need for some mountain time. I will come to Haiti one day soon and spend the whole time up in Columbeea, the mountain. For now the bulk of the work will be in Port as we do what we can to help get food to people who are desperate beyond measure. It did not rain today and that alone is a major blessing although I know the provinces need rain for their crops. The city surly does not need it.

God knows what he is doing and He knows what His creation needs better than any man. As we were slowed by the rain yesterday He allowed us to make up time by giving us a beautiful day to gather up supplies. Thank you God for allowing me to be a small part in Your huge plan.

The Rain is Here.

The rain started last night and rained for most of the night. I could only think of all the people in the tents and how they most be dealing with all the water.

As we prepared for the day we had to kind of revamp our plan due to weather. The weather did not affect the Haitians they just did what they had to do. They stood in line, long lines in the rain just waiting for the chance to get some food and water. I am not sure where the food is coming from but at least some is getting to the people.

We went around today and picked up more supplies today for Chucks group coming in next weekend. We also went to Bautima, the lumber store we use, to pick up some paint for the church up on the mountain. GMSM was blessed to be able to help with the paint supplies and I consider it an honor to be a part of Jerusalem II.

We went up towards Petionville to try and find a Digicel (phone store) store and the damage was incredible. All the damage is still just sitting there. I have seen very little effort except for the yellow shirt dudes from USAID. I was told this was a UNICEF effort but talked to someone today that confirmed this was USAID. I stand corrected. They are hiring the Haitians to help with work and they are paying them. Praise God. We will start buying food for distribution to the tent cities tomorrow. Pray that the rain will stop so we can get more food out.

Working Up the Mountain

The days seem to zip by with lightening speed when you “go-cat-go” all day long. It never lets me forget who is really in control.

We started out pulling normal mountain travel maintenance on the big truck –  such as check the ever important brake fluid, change out a troubled battery, water in the radiator and other general things. Today was a day that was spent taking supplies up to Z’Orange. That in itself is an all day affair, let alone having to gather up all the supplies from Marantha Food Depot. The streets were crazy crowded and that always makes things real interesting.

We also went to the market to buy some new carpet to cut up so the pastors for the pastors’ conference will have a place to bed down. One thing I have noticed is there are a lot of men in yellow shirts busting up concrete and doing the best they can to clean up small areas of the roadways. A large task that will not be remedied anytime soon. I heard this was a UNICEF gig, not really sure.

Anyway we gathered all our stuff and headed up the mountain. It is always good to get in the village and see Pastor Dorleon and all our friends. They are always so happy to see us. Dale and I had fun with the school kids just hanging and joking with them. I talked to Pastor Dorleon with Pastor Harry and Chuck to make arrangements to get Sister Fani’s house started. She and Cado, her son, need a place to call their own and GMSM is so stoked to be able to help. We will post progress reports as they become available.

We dodged traffic back to Dottie’s Guest House, and by nothing short of a miracle, we made it there safely. Even the guest house can be stressful at times. Sometimes there is just a bad vibe. Haiti can be hard; I can only imagine how it must be living here full time. When the joy is taken it is time to step back and reevaluate your mission, even if it means taking a long furlough. It does get hard when you continue to pour your life into what you feel God is calling you to do. God never tells us it will be easy (John 16:33). I must remember these words I just wrote because I am sure there will be times when I may grow weary also. Praise God for whom all blessings flow, Amen.


We All Have a Temporary Home Here

Today was like all other days with little to no exceptions. Praise God for His consistency in this place of confusion. Also praise God for all the beautiful people He has placed around us.

We started out Dale, Chuck and I taking Chuck’s van down to Kirk Goldman’s repair shop out towards the airport. A huge compound with all sorts of stuff going on inside. This is one of the places where coffins have been churned out in masses. Dudes making a killing, no joke intended. As it turns out this company has been working on a house plan to make massive temporary houses for Haiti. We sat down and talked to this guy and had a great conversation and looked at all his plans. Not a bad product and it will meet a need no doubt. The key word I keep hearing from him was temporary. The structures seem to be strong and the design is good. It is all prefab and he says they can be put together in about 4 hours per house. The cost is $1250.00 for a 10×10 with pressure treated framing, OSB siding, metal roof, wood shutter windows and a wood plank door. They are designed to be installed by adding 10×10’s together for bigger structures. Please check out the pictures that I sent.

This is a wealthy entreprenuer who has plenty of capital and they are looking at mass production of these temporary homes and making some cash too. It does give some jobs to the Haitians which in turn stimulates the economy some what. It actually resembles the structure that Craig has designed for GMSM to build in Mexico or where ever God will allow us to build them. I do believe Craig’s design is better. You can upgrade these homes here for another $350.00 and use pressure treated plywood for the siding versus the OSB. Hey at least they are doing something. The name of the Company is Fon Max or Fondation Maxima,

From there we headed out to Love a Child to pick up old Gabriel the ever reliable beast that is the work horse for this operation. This truck is vital to everything that goes on. Truth would not be true without it. As always it is a nice ride out there and back. I drove Gabriel back as usual and brought it to Dottie’s guest house. Tomorrow we will start gathering supplies to take up to the mountain to drop off in Z’Orange and then we will start gathering food for distribution.

We also sat down with Brother Harry and talked about his land and a house for his family. GMSM was financially able to help secure his property. We are also going to start raising money to build him a home. This is something that God has laid so heavy on my heart. Harry is such a precious man who loves the Lord and shepherds his church in a mighty way. He totally works on faith and he is a warrior for the Lord. I will say now, please pray and ask how you can be a part in getting Harry and his family in a descent home. We will be posting a spot on our web site for raising money to build this home once I get a cost and material list for him. Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Tomorrow will be a good day. Bless all and keep praying.


Safely Back Into the Chaos

As we approached Port au Prince from the air it was evident that there was little change. The only change I could see was that the tent cities were more numerous and larger than a few weeks back.

We got off the plane and they are obviously trying to upgrade the airport somewhat. The main terminal is still shut down but they have built a new air conditioned off ramp from the plane. Pre-quake they just dropped you off out on the tarmac and you had to walk the runway to get to the main building.

As I walked down this cool a/c off ramp I thought to myself, “Ya know this is almost too good to be true and when it seems things are too good to be true they aren’t.” True to form. When we reached the end of the ramp at least we were met by some live Haitian music greeting us into the country.

All good things must end and we had come to that end. We had a choice either ride this funky crowded bus or walk the runway over to the temporary main terminal, so Chuck and I walked. I never asked Dale what he did because he was one of the first on the plane and the last to get off. Hence, the first shall be last and the last shall be first.

Once we all hooked up we went into the building to retrieve our luggage and that’s where all went south quick. They just took all the luggage from all the planes and basically dumped it in a pile. It was absolute unorganized chaos which turned into mayhem which turned into mass confusion. After an hour or so we located all our bags, met our dear friends Harry and JoeJoe and headed to Dottie’s for supper and a shower and a nice peaceful night of listening to the generator run all night. All is well though and look forward to seeing what God has in store for us this time. Thank you Lord Jesus,

Thank You from Kenny Phillips

Praise God from whom all blessings flow. God has been so good to His ministry, Give Me Shelter. He has grown this ministry so much over the last few years. He has allowed this to happen because of people being obedient to his call on our life. He has blessed us with people who contribute monthly, people who contribute as the needs come up and people who contribute large gifts every so often.

As I sit in Haiti right now I can’t help but think about all who have helped this ministry in so many ways. The thing is, it takes everyone to make it happen. I know in my heart God will allow us to go full time when I will be able to devote all my time to the ministry. I just want to say thank you all and God knows who you are. He does not forget.

God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. Hebrews 6:10

Kenny Phillips

Article in La Costa Latina Newspaper

Many thanks to GMSM supporter David Triana for including us in his article about Haiti.

Here is a copy of the article that was printed in the March edition of their paper:

Local Groups Active in Haiti Relief Efforts
By David Triana 

Even before January 12, 2010, Haiti was a hard place to live for the majority of its citizens.  As the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, it has had a traumatic history filled with corruption and dictators abusing its populace. 

On the evening of 12 January, its capital of Port Au Prince was struck by one of the modern world’s worst natural disasters in the form of a 7.0 magnitude earthquake.  It is estimated that the earthquake destroyed 70% of the buildings in the capital and 90% of the buildings in towns close to the epicenter!

More than 200,000 people are believed to have been killed with more than 194,000 injured and over 1 million were left homeless.
Some of the first responders to the earthquake were Air Force personnel from Hurlburt Field.  Additionally, dozens of Christian organizations that have been operating in Haiti for many years were also critical to the initial response.

“The devastation is incredible and hard to describe, Haiti was a hard place to live before, now it is even worse!” said Kenny Phillips, Founder/Director of Give Me Shelter Ministries (GMSM).  GMSM’s mission is to “provide help and hope in the name of Jesus Christ, sharing the Word of God and promise of Eternal Shelter, to those most in need anywhere in the world.”

Kenny had been to Haiti several times before.  After the earthquake, he accompanied members of Truth Evangelistic Ministries (TEM), another local organization, to deliver aid and monetary donations to Christian churches.  

“GMSM is in need of funds to help with the expenses of our upcoming trip in March.  We are proud to say that all monies raised go towards our relief efforts.  We totally depend on God’s grace and mercy to meet our needs” added Kenny.

GMSM has also been serving orphanages and the poor of Nuevo Laredo, México for eight years delivering food, medical supplies and building homes.
Some unofficial estimates fear the number of new orphans may be upwards of 700,000 as a direct result of the earthquake!  Christian ministries also serve many orphanages in Haiti.  Another agency doing great work there is the American Red Cross

It will be many years before Haiti recovers from the aftermath of this latest tragedy!  Long after news of the earthquake has disappeared from the front pages of newspapers, thousands of people will still be living in tents or temporary housing.  Even more tragic, the children left homeless and orphaned will still need the support of caring human beings to provide food, education and shelter for them.  

Want to help Haiti?  Do so by attending the upcoming NAACP4HAITI concert scheduled for 14 March, 12pm – 6pm at Fort Walton Beach’s Landing Park (downtown FWB).  La Costa Latina is one of the sponsors of the concert and several Latino performers were invited to participate.  For more info, see ad in this edition. 

Your browser may not support display of this image.
For more information on how to donate towards Haiti relief, please go to:    (contact #:  850-496-7398)

                                         (contact #:  850-582-1458)                     (1-800-842-2200)