How big are the ripples your life makes?
I have thought a lot about ripples before coming to Haiti. Matthew 5:16 says, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they see your good works, and glorify the Father who is in heaven”. And I saw today the true embodiment of people creating ripples that in turn create ripples. And those people have yielded their life, no they have abandoned their desires for God’s will, and ripples are the natural outflowing of that attitude.
A young boy is in an orphanage – a pretty common occurrence here. The difference is that someone in that orphanage took an interest in that boy and put a crazy notion in his head. A notion that God loved and valued him and could use him if he abandoned his will for God’s.
And that boy grew up, got married, and started an orphanage of his own. A place where little girls could learn that same crazy notion for themselves. And as they did God used them and the ripples multiplied.
And one of those little girls grew up to be a young woman who now has a singular desire for her life – to be someone who puts the same crazy notion in people’s heads – so God can change them – and so God can use them to create more ripples.
The man is Eddie Constant – the director of the Consolation Center in Haiti. The young woman, pictured below on the right, is Charline. A young woman who has planned and is running VBS for 250+ children at her orphanage. So that those children can hear about that crazy notion.
And I wonder about ripples.
How big are the ripples your life makes?
–Gene Petersen, GoServ Global Board Member
For the past seven weeks, GoServ Global has lead volunteer efforts in flood cleanup in Hamburg, IA. GoServ Global has worked in more than 25 homes and public structures, mucking, gutting, and cleaning at no cost to homeowners, including John and Leisha.
On the day the levee broke in Hamburg, Leisha had just come up from her basement when all of a sudden a water surge blew out the sidewall leading to her basement, filling the house with water. Leisha and her 15-month-old granddaughter along with two dogs were rescued by canoe from her front porch.
GoServ Global volunteers have dug out the couple’s “mudroom” – their basement that filled with mud from the floodwaters. Today, the wall is fixed and the basement has been cleaned.
“Everybody that’s here is just amazing,” shared Leisha who has worked for the past 33 years as a hospice aid. “Without them, we would have never been able to get the debris removed and cleaned. Thank you so much!”
“What you all have done is absolutely amazing,” shared John with a GoServ Global team. “You have just been a god-send!”
GoServ Global’s Disaster Relief Team provides immediate assistance after a natural disaster, targeting the forgotten or neglected towns, neighborhoods, and families. Our mission is to be the hands and feet of Christ by addressing the physical needs of people’s homes as well as sharing the life-changing message of Jesus Christ.
The work is far from over in Hamburg. City officials estimates as many as 40 homes will need to be removed.
Many of these homeowners will receive no assistance in removing their home. Others have received some funds but need that money to purchase their next home.
“We are looking to spend about 10 more weeks in Hamburg assisting families with flood damage,” according to GoServ Global Domestic Director Dennis Anderson. “One of the biggest needs is removing whole structures.”
GoServ Global plans to assist these families by removing their condemned home free of charge. Doing this allows homeowners to move forward in their recovery to purchase their next home.
Serving at a disaster site for 17 weeks brings many expenses. Fortunately, GoServ Global has partnered with a local church for free housing and the community is providing a good share of meals for the team.
However, there are still a lot of other expenses that need to be covered including fuel, food, safety equipment, tools, clean-up supplies, parts, repairs, etc. GoServ Global is in need of funding to continue to help families like John and Leisha.
There are two ways you can bring hope to those in need through GoServ Global:
By Donating: https://goservglobal.org/give/ & Choose “Domestic Disaster Relief” in the dropdown.
By Volunteering: call Dennis Anderson at 712-887-0862
We are happy to announce another $56,000 Matching Challenge for the Sukup Safe T Home®!! Any donation given toward the Safe T Home now through June 15th, 2019 will be matched up to $56,000 because of the generosity of an anonymous donor. We plan to announce the total at our banquet.
Our Goal: To raise $140,000 TOTAL that provides the cost to purchase and ship 20 Safe T Homes®!
Give Today – https://goservglobal.org/give/ & Choose “Safe T Home” in the dropdown.
Donations can also be mailed to:
PO Box 193
Eagle Grove, IA 50533
Write “Safe T Home” in the Memo Line
HAMBURG, IA: FLOOD RELIEF
My favorite photo of the day … Volunteer Wayne Sadler (right) with a homeowner named Terry. In 2013, GoServ Global worked on Wayne’s farm after an EF4 Tornado destroyed it.
“When GoServ Global volunteers first pulled up with a pickup and a small skid loader, I thought it was a scam,” he joked with Terry. “But it turned out to be the biggest blessing.”
As promised, GoServ Global returned with an excavator and volunteers to clean up the many trees on the property.
Fast forward to 2019 … Wayne is now a disaster relief volunteer with GoServ Global and has been working Hamburg this week, encouraging home owners in a way that only he can since he’s been in their shoes.
“We felt so blessed that someone from Eagle Grove just showed up and brought large equipment in to clean our farm up,” shared Wayne in a team debrief. “GoServ Global showing up gave us reassurance that God was looking out for us. That’s the reason I’m here now.”
Terry has lived in his house since 1993. When the levee broke just over 3 weeks ago, the Missouri River spilled over into Hamburg, filling Terry’s house with more than 5 feet of water.
Terry tells us about that day. When he saw the water coming toward his house, he moved his truck to higher ground and by the time he came back, the water was up to his chest.
After we prayed for Terry, he blinked back tears and thanked us for helping him.
Throughout the day, volunteers hauled out load after load of debris like drywall, carpet, etc., all ruined by floodwaters. Terry’s whole house was on that curb, in a heap.
To help more people like Terry, consider donating to GoServ Global’s domestic disaster relief team. https://goservglobal.org/give/
Volunteers are also needed. Text Dennis at (712)887-0862.
It was a joy for me to be able to participate in #FloodRelief in #Hamburg, Iowa last week. My job was to interact with families, offer assistance, and receive their written permission to enter their homes. Many of these people are in a hopeless situation and are positively impacted when we offer to help them try to overcome the flooding they have in their lives.
We offer to pray with these families for their specific needs – I have never had anyone turn down these prayers. I also had the privilege to direct some of the volunteers who were offering to perform needed clean-up. In a flood situation, this is hard and dirty work. I believe God expects us to serve those in need as we are able. I praise God for the way He has situated GoServ Global to participate in these local disasters. Dennis Anderson and all the volunteers are such an inspiration to work around.
Perhaps you would be in a position to serve with us for a few days. Or perhaps you could help us serve by making a financial donation. There are many costs associated with this assistance – fuel, tools, meal costs, and the vehicles, trailers, and other equipment that is part of what GoServ Global brings to serve in these situations. https://goservglobal.org/give/
“How did you know we were out of food?” questioned Madam Mauline, head of Bethel Orphanage.
Conwell Larson just shook his head and said, The Lord told me.
If GoServ Global hadn’t brought food that day, everyone at this orphanage wouldn’t have eaten for 10 days.
The orphanage had recently lost its funding and because of the impending demonstrations, the stores had shut down. It had already been a couple days since they’d eaten anything.
That day Conwell brought a volunteer to the Bethel who was serving in Haiti on a GoServ Global mission trip. This volunteer shared, “A few months ago, the Lord laid it on my heart that this trip was going to change my life.”
After learning that Bethel needed $750/month to feed all the children, he said he wanted to cover this. He had been setting money aside for awhile now and so far, he had enough for 6 to 8 months, but he’d get friends to help support it too.
Many people ask Ken DeYoung – why Haiti? He shares a story about the time a mother handed him her baby in downtown Les Cayes.
So many ask, how can you do that to your child – give away your baby? But, she did it out of love – she couldn’t afford to take care of her and thought that Ken could provide much more than she could.
“That tore me apart,” he says. “How do you walk away from that? They’re stuck in a situation where they need a little help. We can’t do it all, but we all can do something.”
As GoServ Global helps the physical needs, the recipients always asks, “Why are you doing this?” It’s at this time that God opens their hearts for the gospel. The Lord is changing lives by helping through physical needs.
What is God calling you to be obedient in today?
LaBrise is a tiny fishing village right on the ocean in Haiti that was hit hard by Hurricane Matthew nearly 3 years ago. GoServ Global has built more than 20 Sukup Safe T Homes® in this village. One mother of 6 proudly shows us her new home.
“Even though the floor isn’t yet finished, I am so happy to get this home,” she said.
Her home is sparsely furnished with a table, some bowls for cooking, a tiny mat on the floor, yet she has a sparkle in her eye.
Down the road, a mother of 6/grandmother of 15 has been living in her Sukup Safe T Home® for 4 months. When asked if she likes her new home, she breaks out in a huge smile.
“This home makes me so happy,” she says. “When it rains, we now stay dry.”
With each home that’s given, GoServ Global makes sure to share the reason why we do what we do.
“We feel the Lord has asked us to do this and we hope you see Christ’s love through this,” shares Ken DeYoung, GoServ Global Co-Founder and Haiti Director. “It’s important to have a physical home, but it’s more important to have an eternal home.”
At LaBrise, GoServ Global has been helped build a church for the community in addition to the homes, and many have come to Christ.
According to Yvald, a Haitian who works with GoServ Global, more than 150 families are on the waiting list for a new home.
To give toward a Sukup Safe T Home®, click on goservglobal.org/give and choose “Safe T Home® in the dropdown.
Officials say that communities in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa have been hit the hardest with the recent flooding. At this time, the GoServ Global Disaster Relief Team is assessing the situation to see where we can be the most effective. When we respond, we will need volunteers and funding.
Text GoServ Global Domestic Director Dennis Anderson
at (712)887-0862 with your Name, Cell, Email, Availability & Skills