Thursday, February 26, 2015

News

(Below is a copy of a letter that has been recently sent out via email and air mail to those on our mailing list. If we've missed you somehow or you would like to join our mailing list please email us at jwkrul@gmail.com)
Dear Family and Friends
We want to begin by thanking you for your prayers and support over the years that we have served with MAF in Haiti. We truly serve a God of abundant provision!
Through you God has enabled us to fill an important role in Haiti through MAF. This past year alone I flew over 48,650 Miles, 77,000 lbs of cargo and relief supplies, and 1,500 passengers including many national pastors, teachers, and work teams! Following the 2010 earthquake which struck Haiti, and the subsequent cholera outbreak, MAF has been a key player in providing relief supplies, medicine, food, and shelter. Additionally, through the support of MAF as well as numerous work teams, we have been able to build 77 homes for earthquake victims!
As some of you may know our second term with MAF is coming to an end this summer. We are thankful to share that there have been many positive changes in Haiti recently. We have witnessed both improvements in Haiti's infrastructure, as well as the addition of air ambulance helicopters.
Despite these improvements, Haiti still has many other serious needs that include lack of food and clean drinking water, lack of good medical and dental care and spiritual darkness due to the influence of voodoo and witchcraft.
As we have been re-evaluating our role here, we’ve been actively praying and seeking God's 
will on how to minister to the needs of others most effectively. Over and above flying, our true passion has been strengthening and enabling key mission partners in Haiti by connecting them with individuals/groups in North America thereby increasing their ministry effectiveness.
Proverbs 3:5-6 has been a great comfort and encouragement to us during this time. Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
How could we further utilize the skills God has given us to serve others?

Well, in the last few months God has clearly opened doors for us to work with a mission organization called Hungry for Life. The role of this organization is to strengthen missions on the ground to enable them to fulfill their mission more efficiently and effectively.
They also facilitate relationships between groups and churches and missions to help alleviate suffering in poor areas and demonstrate God’s love through projects of compassion. 
My role will initially be as a Missions Consultant, as well as Project Manager for several of the field partners HFL works with in Haiti. This will allow us to continue to build closer relationships with the Mission partners we’ve been working with during our time with MAF.
For this role our family will transition to Chilliwack, BC, where the Hungry for Life office is based. We will still be required to raise support in this role, and we hope to meet with you and share more details about our new role at the end of the summer when we transition out of MAF and into HFL, God willing. We appreciate your continued financial support with MAF until we transition and hope that you will consider supporting our work with Hungry for Life when the time comes. At the same time we can also appreciate that you may want to continue supporting MAF in some capacity as well.
This position will require me to travel to Haiti and other developing countries throughout the year. I will also be able to continue to work with groups and teams wanting to serve in places of suffering and need.
As for flying, I plan to keep my licenses current and we are open to working with MAF elsewhere in the future if God wills.
We’ve very much appreciated your care and support over the years. Please keep us in your prayers as there will be much mixed emotions as we face a time of many changes and transitions.
Sincerely Jason, Will and boys

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

February Update

So I’ve spent several days trying to get the team journals posted with no success, so I finally decided to just do an update instead. One of the reasons the journals may not be posting is because the camera they used is of better quality then mine and our internet here simply can’t handle uploading their high quality photos. The other reason may be that we’ve been dealing with a transportation strike which has shut down the city for several days meaning more people are home and using the internet. Anyway, I’ve decided it’s not worth getting frustrated about!

So what’s been happening around here? Well we’ve just had two teams come through which has kept Jason and I hopping. Beside my usual wife/mom role I’ve also temporarily adopted the roles of chauffeur, cook, maid, translator, nurse and general manager. It’s been good though. I always tell people we wouldn’t do it if we couldn’t handle the workload or we didn’t see the value in it!

Other than a few ‘bumps on the road’, (like trying to avoid road blocks due to a city wide transportation strike and one group missing their American Airlines flights out of Port au Prince as it departed two hours before schedule), everything went really well! In the third world you gotta be flexible!

My house looked like a bomb had gone off by the time everyone left, but with the help of Anoud and Denise it was soon put back together again.



The transportation strike due to the high prices of fuel, has caused the city to be shut down several days in a row. Jason, my can’t sit still I’ve got work to do kind of guy, hasn’t let this stop him and instead has been leaving the house very early before the barricades form and coming home late, after the protestors go home for the night.

A city wide shut down also meant truck drivers couldn’t deliver water for us. This had me a little worried as I had a lot of laundry to do before our next team arrives tomorrow, February 12. When one of the drivers did show up in the evening when the protestors had gone home, I was so happy and thankful I almost cried!

The three boys are all doing great!  Jayden is as sweet as ever and told me the other night he loves me sooooo much, but He still loves God more. On the picture below he is burning off some excess energy before school!


The terrific threes are in sight as Justin hopes to celebrate his third birthday at the end of this month! I won’t miss the terrible twos all that much!


Alexander at 8 months is spending most of his days on his feet. He can sit and crawl already, but has decided that standing is so much more thrilling. Just this morning I watched as he kept letting go of the sides of his pack and play to practice his balance. I am soo not ready for my baby to be walking yet though, but it doesn’t look like there will be any slowing him down. He’s determined to catch up to his two older brothers!


As for lessons learned. I’ve been convicted over the last months to be more generous. Whenever I go out I make sure I carry money with me for the car wipers, pedestrian traffic directors, guys who carry my groceries, porters, water truck drivers who come after hours, mechanics who check my oil or tire pressure, you name it; there are plenty of people out there who can benefit greatly from a tip for services rendered. 

You would think that the more I gave away the less I would have left, but it’s amazingly not true!  In God’s economy things work differently.

2 Corinthians 9:6-7
But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

The lesson I’ve learned is this: you can’t out give God. And really, how could you? Everything is His!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Team Journal 1

Friday, January 30
Photos courtesy of Carla N.

Beautiful sunrise on the flight from Seattle to Miami.


Sun reflecting on a jet stream.


Golden colours.


Miami.


Skyline.








First glimpses of Haiti.






On the ground.


"The drive there was silent. Eyes taking in every ragged building, dusty street and rocky road. In stark contrast were the clean clothes and shiny shoes." Courtney S.


"Got to Jason and Will's house and fairly quickly left for Baptist Mission area. Jason took half of us and Will took the rest of us. Extremely rough terrain for roads and extremely steep inclines. Will wasn't sure we would make it and did stall out once." Eric K.







Outside of the Baptist Mission there were many vendors trying to sell souvenirs.


"It was difficult trying to buy souvenirs because we felt bad for the vendors but did not want to pay the high prices they were asking. I ended up bartering for the price and then giving a little extra on top of it to help them out." Arianne J.


Some of the sights on the drive back to Jason and Will's house.



"Came back to Jay and Will's and played a bit with their three kids; Jayden, Justin and Alexander. We also played soccer with the little neighbour kids." Courtney S.

"Had supper - buns and meat stew. Was good! Debriefed, devotions, and discussed highs and lows of the day." Eric K.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

He is Not a God Afar Off

“Mom! It’s impossible!”

I turn and see my oldest son staring into the mirror fingering his hair.

“What are you doing?”

“Trying to count my hair!” 

“Why?”

“Well you said that God knows the number of hairs we have, so I want to know too! But it’s impossible to count them!"

I smile as he runs his fingers though his straight, thick mop of hair.

“For you it’s impossible, but with God nothing is impossible.”

“But Mom… I want to know..” He sighs.

“Sorry! Like you said; it’s impossible! Only God knows."

I watch as he continues to stare into the mirror, fascinated with the thought that God knows exactly how many hairs he has.

How did this conversation come about? Well fifteen minutes earlier he came to look what I was working on behind the computer. When I explained that it was Bible verses about God and how closely He is involved in our lives his curiosity was piqued. After reading through the notes together I explained that these notes were a reminder for me to remember that God is not a God a far off, but instead is part of every aspect of our lives. 

Maybe they will encourage you as well. 

He is not a God Afar Off
(Acts 17:27)

- He is the Potter, we are the clay. (Isaiah 64:8)
- We were created in His image. (Genesis 1:27)
- We are all the work of His hands. (Isaiah 64:8)
- He knit us together in our mother's womb. (Psalm 139:13)
- He knows our name. (John 10:3)

- He is the Author of salvation. (Hebrews 5:9)
- He loved us so much He sent His Son to die for us. (John 3:16)
- He is our Saviour. (Jude 1:25)
- He is our Redeemer. (Isaiah 47:4)

- He was wounded for our transgressions. (Isaiah 53:5)
- The chastisement of our peace was upon Him. (Isaiah 53:5)
- By His stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53;5)
- As far as the east is from the west so far has he removed our transgressions from us. (Psalm 103:12)

- He tells us to believe on Him. (Acts 16:31)
- He tells us to come to Him. (Is 55:1)
- He stretches out His hands to us. (Is 65:2)
- He tells the children to come to Him. (Matthew 19:14)
- He tells the sinners to come to Him. (Isaiah 1:18)
- He tells those who are weary and burdened to come to Him. (Matthew 11:28)
- He invites anyone who wills to come to Him. (Revelations 22:17)
- It is He who makes us willing. (Phil 2:13)

- His kindness and goodness leads us to repentance. (Romans 2:4)
- He is our healer. (Exodus 15:26)
- He forgives all our sins and heals all our diseases. (Psalm 103:3)

- He is our everlasting Father (Isaiah 9:6)
- We are His children. (Galatians 3:26)
- He loves us with an everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:3)
- He values us. (Matthew 10:31)
- He clothes us. (Matthew 6:30)
- He is touched by the feelings of our infirmities. (Hebrews 4:15)
- He hears and answers our cries. (Psalm 120:1)
- He stores our tears in a bottle. (Psalm 56:8)
- He numbers the hairs of our head. (Luke 12:7)
- He has compassion on us. (Psalm 103:13)
- He remembers we are dust. (Psalm 103:14)
- He is very patient with us. (2 Peter 3:9)
- He disciplines us. (Proverbs 3:11)
- Nothing can separate us from His love. (Romans 8:39)

- He is the Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)
- He gives us peace. (John 16:33)

- He is our Counselor (Isaiah 9:6)
- His ways are higher than ours. (Isaiah 55:9)
- His thoughts are higher than ours. (Isaiah 55:9)
- If we acknowledge Him in all our ways He will direct our paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
- He guides us with His eye. (Psalm 32:8)
- He teaches us and promises to teach our children. (John 6:45 and Isaiah 54:13)
- He tells us to first seek His Kingdom. (Matthew 6:33)
- He rewards those who diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6)
- He tells us to set our minds on things above. (Col 3:2)

- He is our Friend. (John 15:15)
- We can pour out our hearts before Him.  (Psalm 62:8)
- He is our Rock. (Psalm 18:2)
- He tells us to trust Him at all times. (Psalm 62:8)

- He is our Shepherd. (Psalm 23:1)
- We are His people and the sheep of His pastures. (Psalm 100:3)
- He speaks to us in a still, small voice. (1 Kings 9:11-13)
- We recognize His voice. (John 10:27)
- His rod and staff comfort us. (Psalm 23:4)
- He leads us besides still waters. (Psalm 23:2)
- He restores our soul. (Psalm 23:3)
- He leads us in paths of righteousness. (Psalm 23:3)
- He preserves us from all evil. (Psalm 121:7)

- He is the God who sees. (Gen 16:13)
- He knows everything about us. (Psalm 139:3)
- He knows all our thoughts. (Psalm 139:2)
- He knows when we sit down and when we rise up. (Psalm 139:2)
- We cannot hide from Him. (Psalm 139:7-12)
- His thoughts about us are more numerous than the sand. (Psalm 139:17-18)

- He is our Sun and Shield. (Psalm 84:11)
- He is our Strength and our Song. (Psalm 118:14)
- He is our Strong Tower. (Psalm 61:3)
- We can lie down in peace and sleep for He alone keeps us safe. (Psalm 4:8)
- When we wake up He is still with us. (Psalm 139:18)
- He promises to never leave us or forsake us. (Deuteronomy 31:6)
- Even if our father and mother forsake us the Lord will not. (Psalm 27:10)
- He promises to be with us always, even until the end of the world. (Matthew 28:20)
- He is a very present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1)

- Our times are is in His hands. (Psalm 31:15)

- He is preparing a place in heaven for us. (John 14:2-3)
- He tells us we can’t even imagine the things He prepared for us. (1 Corinthians 2:9)

- He is with us even when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death. (Psalm 23:4)
- He tells us not to be afraid. (Isaiah 41:10)
- He holds us by His right hand. (Psalm 73:23)
- Our deaths are precious in His sight. (Psalm 116:15)

- He is the lifter up of our head. (Psalm 3:3)
- He will receive us into glory. (Psalm 73:24)
- He will wipe every tear from our eyes. (Revelations 21:4)
- In His presence is fullness of joy. (Psalm 16:11)
- At His right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:11)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Prince of Peace

Sunday, January 18
8:30 p.m.

I pull out my pink journal and begin to write. Outside the sky is dark and only a small smatter of stars is visible. My three busy boys are fast asleep and everything should have been quiet, but it’s not. Outside, dance music blares from speakers the size of small houses! Even though we are several streets over from the main road where the speakers have been set up, the sound is not muffled at all. It drowns out all the normal night noises of horns honking, people talking, dogs yapping and roosters crowing. From now till Carnival, which I believe is the end of next month, we will be subject to this party music every Sunday afternoon and evening whether we like it or not.

No use getting upset about the lack of quiet though. I turn my attention to God and write His name on the top of the page.

The Bible tells us: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.” Matthew 22:37-38. But to really love God, we need to get to know Him first.

In Hosea 6:3 it says: Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.

And in Jeremiah 9:23-24 it says: Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.

God reveals Himself to us through the Bible and the more time we spend in His presence, by reading, praying and mediating on His Word, the more we get to know Him. The more we get to know Him, the more our love for Him and faith in Him grows. Romans 10:17 says So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Because my learning style is note taking, I take some time now and simply write some of the things I’ve learned about God in my journal.

God:
-Is love. (1 John 4:8)
-Is not a man that He should lie. (Numbers 23:19)
-Is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6)
-Our Counselor (Isaiah 9:6)
- A very present Help in trouble (Psalm 46:1)
- Precious in His sight is the death of His saints (Psalm 116:15)
- My Strength and my Redeemer. (Psalm 19:14)
- Creator of the world. (Gen 1:1)
- Jesus (John 10:30)
- Is faithful (1 Cor 1:9)
- Is trustworthy (2 Sam 7:8)
- Is good and kind (Romans 2:4)
- A gentle and quiet spirit is precious in His sight.  (1Peter 3:4)
- King of kings (Revelations 7:14)
- Our everlasting Father (Isaiah 9:6)
- As far as the east is from the west so far has He removed our transgressions from us. (Psalm 103:12)
- He tells us not to be afraid. (Isaiah 41:10)
- He has compassion on us. (Psalm 103:13)
- He remembers we are dust. (Psalm 103:14)
- He is the Potter, we are the clay. (Isaiah 64:8)
- We are all the work of His hands. (Isaiah 64:8)
- He is very patient. (2 Peter 3:9)
- He sent His Son to die for us. (John 3:16)
- We were created in His image. (Genesis 1:27)
- He is almighty. (Revelations 11:17)
- He is good. (Psalm 136:1)
- He is just. (1 John 1:9)
- He spoke the world into being. (Hebrews 11:3)
- He created everything out of nothing. (Hebrews 11:3)
- We are His children. (Galatians 3:26)
- He tells us to believe on Him. (Acts 16:31)
 -He tells us to trust Him at all times. (Psalm 62:8)
- He tells us to have faith. (Mark 11:22)
- He tells us to pour out our hearts before Him.  (Psalm 62:8)
- He tells us the best is yet to come. (1 Corinthians 2:9)
- He is always with us. (Matthew 28:20)
- He is with us even when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death. (Psalm 23:4)

The list goes on and on and before I realize it, I have six pages of notes.

The following day I spend time looking up the Bible reference for each one. As I study the list I am struck by the third line I had written; He is the Prince of Peace.

My thoughts go back to Saturday, when I was driving home with three screaming kids in the car through crazy Haiti traffic. The drive lasted two hours. 






Both outside and inside the vehicle it was incredibly chaotic and yet I felt remarkably calm. Was this because I was just some amazing person who had learned to put up with incredible amounts of chaos and stress? Most definitely not! I would be lying if I said that was true!

As I thought through the scenario I quickly realized the peace I had felt had nothing to do with who I was, but everything to do with who God was.

He is the Prince of Peace!

When I give my stress, my worries, and the chaos that surrounds me over to Him, He gives me a supernatural peace, just like He promised.

Phil 4:6-7 say, Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

In John 16:33 Jesus tells us that in the world we will have tribulation, but in Him we may have peace. These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

How comforting to know that wherever we are, or whatever situation we find ourselves in, our God is the Prince of Peace and we can find peace that surpasses all human understanding in Him. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Guest Post - Our Visit To Haiti

by Chantelle and Michael Van Praag
(Jason’s sister and brother-in-law)

We arrived in Port au Prince on Saturday, January 10. As Jason drove us through the city streets we were awed by what we saw: the roads were dusty and dirty, and cars weaved haphazardly between pedestrians, narrowly missing each other.

Once at Jay and Will’s home we settled in.  Over the weekend we attended church and relaxed with family.

On Monday morning we drove to the airport with Jason and flew to Pignon, a village located in Haiti’s Central Plateau. After a short flight we landed on a grassy airstrip.  A truck was waiting for us there. We then took a twenty five minute drive east on one of Haiti’s main highways. This highway closely resembled a four-wheel-drive track with huge ruts and creek crossings!

We chose to ride in the back of the truck, which the Haitians thought was funny as there were more than enough seats inside the air-conditioned truck. Why would you want to be in the hot, dusty, sunny truck bed when you could be cool and comfortable inside the truck? They wondered. We on the other hand, felt like we could experience more of Haiti and the sights, sounds, and smells in the back!

Jean Jean and Kristie, the founders of United Christians International, were very hospitable hosts and we enjoyed Haitian cuisine for lunch, dinner and breakfast. While there, Kristie took us to a nutrition center, a small tin roof area with some benches to sit on, where we handed out meals of rice, beans and vegetable broth to seventy children. The amount that children ate was unbelievable, but I suppose that if food was scarce you or I would do the same as well.

After the feeding program we hiked to the voodoo caves. This is where witch doctors have come in the past to make sacrifices. Jean Jean and Kristie’s initial ministry in the area was to the witch doctors and many have come to Christ since then.

Tuesday afternoon we flew back to Port au Prince.

On Wednesday morning we visited a market in Port au Prince to purchase used clothing to distribute later that afternoon. In this way, we could help support the local economy and help those in need at the same time. The market was an amazing experience! There were massive crowds of people and vendors everywhere. To get inside we had to work our way through the throngs of people, go up and down slippery concrete stairs, and even walk through a dark, covered area where butchers were hacking at raw meat. There was, of course, no refrigeration, and the sight of all the blood, flies and guts, and the sounds of the animals, and the rancid smells will not be soon forgotten!

Later that morning we visited Canaan, a community that didn’t exist before the 2010 earthquake but where many refugees relocated. Here we handed out bags of food to families, consisting of rice and beans or pasta. We also handed out the clothes we had purchased and granola bars and treats to the kids.

Being able to spend time in Haiti has really opened our eyes to how thankful we should be for the good infrastructure, reliable city power, water and sewer systems we have in Canada!
It was also wonderful to be able to spend time with Jason and Will and their boys! Their boys were great fun to play with and having someone to drive us around in the country who knew the back roads and how to get to somewhere multiple ways when traffic came to a standstill was very helpful! 

We had a wonderful time and can’t thank Jason and Will enough for opening their home to us, and organizing everything! Without them we would never have been able to do what we did.


Some Pictures of Our Trip.

Jason driving in Port au Prince.


There were always interesting things to see.


In some areas the concrete houses looked like they were haphazardly stacked on top of each other.


View of the city from a mountain lookout area.


Hanging out with the boys.


The flying was great!


Port au Prince from above.





In Pignon.


The meal being prepared for the nutrition program.


Hanging out with the kids there.



Waiting for the food to be ready.



Time to eat!


Back in Port au Prince again.


Canaan.


Waiting for the food distribution to begin.