EMI In Iraq

Persecuted by ISIS
Right now EMI has a small team in Northern Iraq doing a design of a large refugee community to serve an unreached people group, called Yazidi (see their Joshua Project description).  Numbering about half a million here, this group was heavily persecuted by ISIS between 2014-2016, which killed many thousands of men, women and children- decimating so many lives and families by taking thousands of women for sex slaves. Their main city of Sinjar remains the only city in Iraq which has not yet begun to rebuild.  Without hope, many continue to live in the sprawl of white refugee shelters surrounding this area. 

There are hardly any known believers here, but we have the opportunity to work with one to develop an entire community for the Yazidis – providing opportunity to rebuild their lives and families through greenhouse farming and directly share the Good News and love of Jesus Christ. About one dozen missionaries are preparing to live among the Yazidi in close community.

Pray that God would comfort their pain
The EMI team met with a refugee family, with five remaining members.  The father and brothers were killed by ISIS; several are still being held by ISIS to this day.  In April, their daughter was released after being held in a basement in Syria for two years, continually abused.  As the EMI Team gathered together in their shelter, she stayed in the small bedroom and was unable to see the team.  So devastated and broken, she has not been able to interact with anyone outside her family since her return! The depth of pain is unimaginable.

Their homes have been destroyed with no hope of being able to return in the foreseeable future; there is no infrastructure working, but more significantly the towns are still not safe.  Earlier this week, the EMI Team heard about an ISIS attack which killed two men in a nearby Yazidi town.  The refugees entered this camp thinking it may last weeks to months…now they are five years in, and no end in sight. Construction of EMI’s design should start in a month – there’s hope.

The horrors throughout the world, especially in war torn areas, can be so disheartening.  But thankfully now EMI has been able to make a difference in the lives of those who have gone without hope for so long.  Pray God will be glorified through the transformation that is taking place.  With your partnership we are truly able to “Design a world of hope”. 

Thank you!

Please consider making a donation to our support account at EMI which helps provide for our ministry work at EMI.  Click here to give to the Reinhardts ministry with EMI.

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CURE Ethiopia

I’m sure all of us know someone that has been afflicted with an incurable disease or disability.  It frustrates us as we feel helpless in our desire to want to help.  What exasperates me even more is when there is a curable disease or disability and nothing is done to fix it.  This is where you and I can step in and do more to help. 

CURE kids staying in the hospital’s RFJ ward while they prepare for surgery. All of them want to be doctors and nurses when they grow up so that they can support CURE and change the lives of other children like them.

In a Ethiopia’s capital city of Addis Ababa few have access to quality medical care, but CURE Ethiopia has been filling this critical need for these people. It is estimated that more than 2.5 million Ethiopians kids live with correctable disabilities, but Ethiopia has a shortage of orthopedic surgeons who specialize in children’s disability. Due to social misperceptions, children with disabilities are viewed as cursed and are often hidden away in rejection and isolation, deprived of an education or the opportunity for a normal life.  In many cases, children with treatable conditions who survive childhood end up as beggars or worse.  When I traveled to Ethiopia I was surprised to see the number of beggars with disabilities. 

Treatments such as clubfoot casting or plastic surgery for severe burns can redirect the course of children’s lives, giving them hope for the future.  Since their opening in 2008, CURE Ethiopia has been transforming the lives of these children through their provision of specialized pediatric orthopedic and surgical care. 

In addition to an international level standard of care, CURE applies a holistic approach to healthcare through a combination of mobile clinics, clubfoot clinics, and spiritual ministry.  This ministry is extended to children and their families, who receive emotional care and spiritual restoration.  Through on-site spiritual ministries and pastoral staff, CURE is healing the sick and proclaiming the kingdom of God.   

CURE Ethiopia has grown tremendously over the past ten years.  The growth has pushed CURE’s facilities to their limit.  Their spaces now run at max capacity a majority of the time, with waiting rooms and wards being filled continuously.  To plan for the future and expand upon their vision, CURE invited EMI to design a phased master plan and develop a five-year outlook for the facility.  A team of thirteen architects and engineers traveled to Ethiopia from across the world to assess CURE’s infrastructure and facilities. 

Through this work, EMI is re-casting the future of the hospital’s physical space to grow CURE’s vision of hope for years to come.  Healing for today, healing for tomorrow, healing for eternity.

So how can you be a part of the solution?  At EMI we encourage people to Give, Go, Pray.

Pray that the Lord would send more workers into the harvest field so that curable disabilities can be corrected even in the hard places of the world. 

Go and be a part of the solution.  Use your gifts and skills to bless those that are in spiritual darkness or do not have the resources that God has blessed you with. 

Give– your donations to my work at EMI is having a powering impact on the ministries and poor around the world.   HERE’s the link to donate. 

Thanks for all you do and for partnering with us!

Bringing joy with balloons

Highlighting Drew

Last month Drew turned 8 years old.  It’s so weird how our little boys keep getting older and we stay the same age… right?  We celebrated Drew’s birthday by letting him invite some of his classmates over, giving them guns, and letting them shoot each other- because that is what boys love to do.  Thankfully they were only Nerf guns.  We went to a place called Dart Wars and since one of Drew’s classmates couldn’t make it Jason had to fill in.  Jason didn’t seem to mind too much 🙂  

Here’s some of the pictures from his party:

Goats Bring the Gospel!

Ok, it’s actually not the goats who are speaking the Good News, but they are bringing hope of the gospel to the northern region of Tanzania. 

In Tanzania, over one million children are orphaned because of AIDS and even more are malnourished, but there is a ministry that is bringing hope.   Food For His Children exists to meet the needs of the rural poor in Tanzania. They do this by expressing Christian love through micro development in a simple but practical way, by giving micro loans to the most vulnerable families, this includes one goat, and basic veterinary and farm training.

The goats first born is given to another family in need. This cycle repeats, with exponential growth and more receiving this blessing. The goats provide up to 4 liters of rich milk every day – an excellent source of protein. Manure is used to fertilize crops, and the goats continue producing offspring, helping to generate income so families can send their kids to school, or start their own business.

EMI will be working on wrapping up the masterplan and campus design for Food for His Children. This facility will provide additional income sources with a tourist and training center. Together we are bringing the hope of the Gospel to these communities that have been hopeless too long.

Lord we pray for this great country of Tanzania. Pray for emphatic Biblical teaching in the churches that will, in turn, impact other spheres of society (i.e. poverty, witchcraft, radical Islam). Pray for trained, mature Christian leaders who will be able to evangelize the unreached in a predominantly rural nation.

Spotlighting Blake

We love watching Blake grow up.  He is becoming such a generous and sensitive/caring boy… and of course occasionally a little bonkers!   Blake is taking gymnastics and he loves showing off his skills while on a trampoline or a bouncy house. 

Blake has a lot of friends… but most of them are girls.  Last school year, his teacher told us that “Blake plays so well with girls in his class, it’s quite obvious that he has sisters at home.”   The teacher was stunned when I (Jalina) explained that we only had boys. 

In the beginning of the year, Blake would often tell us that he made a new friend at school.  I started noticing that I would respond with “That’s great, what’s her name” (just assuming, albeit correctly, that his friend was a girl). 

At the parent teacher conference, Blake’s teacher was commenting about how he was successfully making friends.  We started to mention how he seems to gravitate towards girls, until she abruptly interrupted us and said, “Oh no, it’s the girls that flock to him”.  His goofy personality seems to be paying off, but I think we’re in trouble! 

Here’s a quote from Blake as he was trying to impress a girl classmate we had over at our house- “I love any vegetable, EVEN cupcakes!” I thought, “That’s my kinda kid, we’re raising him right!” While Jason was thinking, “This is proof that we’re failing as parents!” 🙂

Pikes Peak Climb

Have you ever wanted to climb a Colorado mountain? Well now is your chance.  EMI is having a great event here in Colorado! This climb is in hopes for EMI to raise funds for Growing Globally which is focused on funding our leadership development program we’re putting together. That’s all explained here.

EMI is asking every climber to raise $1,000 as we Climb4HOPE on June 22nd! All the fun will begin that Friday evening on June 21st at the EMI office for an open house and pre-climb meeting. You could see some of the projects we’ve been working on. Then Saturday morning we start the trek up Pike’s Peak!  Drew and Blake will probably be joining us.  After a long day on the mountain, we’ll have some rest time then finish off the evening with a Grill Out at the CEO’s house!  If you are coming from out of town Jalina and I would enjoy hosting you in our house too. 

All the details and registration are here. Feel free to call if you have any questions! It’s going to be such a fun weekend and we’d love for you to join us! It’ll be a great way to get out and climb a huge mountain while also supporting a great ministry!

Haiti ARISE- The Need, The Vision, The Missing Piece

Your partnership with us at EMI is helping to set the captives free and provide for orphans.  Here’s a story of how…

“My parents, they were heavily involved in Voodoo. My dad was the Voodoo priest,” shared Marc Honorat, the founder of Haiti ARISE ministry. With 15 children, and most family resources lost to Voodoo sacrificial ceremonies, Marc and his siblings were forced to live without many of things that so many of us take for granted. “They were not able to send us to school, feed us, put clothes on us. So myself, at five years old, they gave me away.”

Marc spent the next seven years of his life as a slave child, still not attending school and eating, at best, one meal a day. Still, Marc looks back and sees how God’s hand was at work during that difficult time.“The lady I was a slave to one day took me to church. At five years old I gave my heart to Christ.”

At 12 years old, Marc was rescued out of slavery by his brother and placed in a children’s home in Grand Goâve. There, he finally received proper care and an education, which led to bible school in Jamaica and Canada, and a strong desire to serve God and his people. Years later, Marc and his wife Lisa received a fitting vision from God – they were to build a children’s home in Haiti. It was then that they first connected with EMI. During our continued relationship with Haiti ARISE, EMI completed master plans for both main campuses and designed school buildings, a church, a technical school and workshops.

“Our relationship with EMI, that’s been built over the last number of years, has really been fantastic,” Lisa told me. “We had some great people that volunteered to help with designing our construction and buildings before, but it was kind of one person here, one person there. But when we were able to get in contact with EMI, it changed the whole way we build and also helped us strategize better for our future; looking forward to what we were going to accomplish, not just focusing on the one building we were doing today.”

This was the fourth EMI project team they had hosted and the project now included a new vision – a birthing center.  “We were learning of lots of infant mortality and mothers that were dying in child labor in our local hospital here and we really felt like it was important that we do something about that,” Lisa said.

Lisa also shared the story of the first child accepted into the children’s village, a little boy named Carley. “One of our staff members came and told us he saw this baby at the neighbor’s house and it looked like if someone didn’t rescue it, he’d probably die within a week. Very malnourished, just left in the dirt.”

“He was 14 months old, he couldn’t sit up, he couldn’t lift his head, his belly was so protruded, he was very sick. We brought him in, got him medical care, he had more than 70 worms come out of his little body and on his first day in the children’s village with his new parents, he was fed and picked up right away. Now he’s running around, he’s got this twinkle of mischief in his eye and he’s a real delight.”

The EMI team was able to meet Carley on a couple of occasions during our project trip. Lisa’s description was certainly accurate – a bright bundle of energy, trying to keep up with his older siblings, with that mischievous eye-twinkle eerily common among healthy toddlers. We thank God for saving his life, and that EMI got to be a part of his story.

Marc’s story and Carley’s story summed up perfectly why we continue to do what we do at EMI. “You know, the needs are so great here, it’s like you don’t even know where to start. But we believe in changing one life at a time. That’s what happened to me, so we want to do that for someone else.”

“We want to raise up the next generation of leaders for Haiti. We want to change their lives. I would like one day, when I am and old man walking around, to hear, ‘Carley is the prime minister of Haiti, or a congressman”…or, ‘Joseph from the children’s village is a pastor or an evangelist.’ They are impacting their communities.”

So how can you be a part of what God is doing through EMI and our partner ministries? 

  • Take 2 minutes today and pray for the children and families in need in Haiti, for those who are being God’s loving hands and feet throughout Haiti, and for God to move the hearts of His people to live sacrificially. 
  • Another way you can participate is by financially supporting my ministry work at EMI- here’s the link to donate. 

WATCH this video of Marc and Lisa Honorat (among other ministries) talk about The Need, The Vision, and The Missing Piece.

The Project and People of Guayabal


I had an epiphany in college: It isn’t the amazing things I did that brought meaning to my life as much as the amazing people I did them with.

I take that simple but important lesson with me into my work with EMI.  I keep reminding myself that it isn’t the amazing projects that we accomplish that matter, but the people that we can impact along the way.  Let me tell you about this amazing project EMI is doing, but more importantly let me tell you about the people that are impacted along the way.  The support and prayers that you provide for our work at EMI has impact not just on the designs we do, but more significantly the lives we touch.

The Amazing Project

The irrigation system in the village of Guayabal, Dominican Republic has been inoperative for 14 years causing over 400 acres of village farmland to be lying fallow.  This has caused tremendous hardship on the lifeblood of these villagers and their families.  Over the last few years, EMI’s partnership with World Vision and this farming community has restored water, fruit, and life.

Since irrigation water was restored in late 2017, more than half of this area is now green with cultivation and fruit.  The farming lands are once again green and fruitful, the pump equipment has been installed, the pipeline has been repaired, and farmers are learning more about how to plan and maintain drip-irrigation systems. The day the financial donors of the project visited, they were presented with a table full of fruit that the restored land had produced.

The Amazing People

Professional Discipleship

“Give a man a fish, and you’ll feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you’ve fed him for a lifetime.”

This steel tube is the lifeline for every green field in this village.  It was built in the mid-70s but with no one in the community with the knowledge of how to maintain it, the pipeline fell into disrepair.  EMI knew this could happen again unless those in the village could be trained how to maintain it.  So EMI went beyond design and created training programs that empowered the farmers to steward this system.  For example, an EMI volunteer helped a group of Guayabal’s farmers better understand the drip irrigation systems they are eager to employ – now that they have water again. Several men were trained in how to operate and safeguard the pumping equipment, while others were competently taught in welding to repair leaks in the steel pipeline.

Brothers and EMI volunteers Wil and Marv Kirchner developed the welding skills of six trainees from the community during a week of training.

Spiritual Discipleship

The EMI team was also looking for spiritual fruit, planting seeds throughout the week as God gave opportunity. The people there had little idea of who Jesus is. They are lost in a culture of machismo and sexual promiscuity. One said that following God meant following the Ten Commandments, but he knew very well that he couldn’t keep them, neither did he know anyone who could.

It was surprising how open and receptive these men were to hearing something new, or being challenged to think differently about following Jesus. Each morning during the training program the team went deeper into Jesus’ parable of the sower from Matthew 13. The men from Guayabal said they didn’t know how to pray, so they were led into it. They said they didn’t have a Bible, so the EMI Team showed them how to get one on their phones. The opportunities to ask questions, to share Jesus’ stories, and to pray with people were exciting. We saw how God could bring life and fruit in them just as He has brought life and fruit in their fields.

Guayabal farmer Felix Medina shows us a beautiful, green sweet pepper in a field intercropped with plantains. Asking God for fruit of a different kind in Guayabal, the EMI team shared Jesus’ Parable of the Sower each day with the community trainees.

Visible Fruit

This project shows how EMI’s Core Values of Design, Diversity, and Discipleship are brought together to change the lives of people around the world.  Even though there is so much difficulty and hardship all around us, it is encouraging to know that we can still make a positive impact in the world.  Together you and I are making a difference.  Thank You!

“I welded 18 years ago but had no clue about electrode selection or what amperage to use. Now I understand how to correct and make adjustments if my welding is poor… I want you to know that I understood the story you told us this week about the seed and the soil. I am good soil and the seed will bear fruit – up to 90 times. I will share what I have learned in welding, and the word of God will give fruit in my life.

Returning from Europe and Children’s Home Video

Leadership Conference in Europe

My trip to the United Kingdom was filled with long days of strategy and building bridges as we strived to bring unity among the many offices around the world separated by time zones, cultures, and different approaches.  Some office directors felt like they were running out of gas as they carried the heavy burden of orchestrating a fruitful office in the difficult context of living overseas.  It was a wonderful time of encouragement and support for one another.

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EMI’s Leadership Team from 11 different offices around the world

In addition to our Director’s Conference, we went through Leadership Training classes.  One of the interesting discussions surrounded the topic of leaders being vulnerable with those in their organization.  Studies have found that a lack of vulnerability not only leads to distrust by the employees but also hardens the heart of the leader.  So how do we embrace vulnerability while still being tactful?  While there is no easy answers, I found this quote by Henri Nouwen to be inspiring:

Somehow we have come to believe that good leadership requires a safe distance from those we are called to lead… But how can we lay down our life for those with whom we are not even allowed to enter into a deep personal relationship?  Laying down your life means making your own faith and doubt, hope and despair, joy and sadness, courage and fear available to others as ways of getting in touch with the Lord of life.” 

Learning to lead like Christ led is a lifelong process.

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Picture of me presenting at the Director’s Conference

Video of Children’s Home in India

One of my many trips to India with EMI was to Shanti Niketan Children’s Home where we prepared an architectural master plan of their property and a building design for their boys’ dormitory.  Most of the boys lived in structures that were built around the year 1916 when the land was used by the Lepers Colony Mission and it was very much time for new building construction.

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I stopped surveying for a group photo during my previous trip to Shanti Niketan Children’s Home

While there I was struck by the joy and happiness of the children.  It would be easy to pity children in their situation.  And it’s true, these children don’t have the opportunity to be raised by their biological parents, but they have friends, love from the ministry leaders, mentors in the older children, and finally hope for the future.  They are receiving intentional spiritual training, quality schooling, and specific training to get a job after they graduate.

It’s not always easy for me to actually articulate my experience without bringing you with me, so I wanted to show you this beautiful video that the ministry created so that you can be transported to India and to the Children’s Home.

If you don’t have time to watch the whole thing I would recommend watching the beginning as it introduces the situation in India and then jump to the 7 minute mark (ending around the 9 minute mark), so you can hear a story about their newest and smallest arrival to Shanti Niketan. 

Video: Watch the Shanti Niketan Children’s Home video by Clicking Here

Traveling to Europe and Hospital Projects

Is this just a busy time of year for everyone or is it just me?  It feels like I can’t keep up with all the wonderful activity happening in our family life and at EMI. Another round of projects are heading out the door to Malawi, Nigeria, Cambodia, and other locations.

kamal-at-cure-malawi

This Fall EMI is serving CURE International Hospital which treats the orthopedic needs of both children and adults in one of the least developed countries in Africa.

I (Jason) too will be traveling to Europe where I will meet up with other leaders to chart the course for the future of EMI.  One of the many challenges facing us is the integration of Business As Missions (BAM) into the EMI culture.

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Pictures from Cambodia where earlier this year I visited and assisted the office’s start up which is using a Business As Missions approach

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As the world of missions continues to get more complex we are needing to adapt our standard approach to still provide culturally-appropriate facilities that are affordable and transformational.  Business As Missions approach allows us the flexibility to have an office in countries where we couldn’t in our standard ministry approach.

Mentoring Interns to Kenya

After successfully using our home for ministry this Spring with housing EMI Interns we are doing it again this Fall.  Already Drew, Blake, and Cole are enjoying the extra company and are showing the two guy interns excessive love by hugging their legs so they can’t go to their rooms.  I also have the privilege of mentoring one of these interns- Paul.  Paul just left for his project trip to Kenya to serve Tenwek Hospital.

Tenwek Hospital is one of Western Kenya’s leading provider of primary healthcare.  EMI has a long-standing partnership with Tenwek Hospital, assisting them with master planning, facility design and construction, as well as infrastructure assessments.  EMI will assist with the design of new water and wastewater treatment facilities that will meet the existing demands of the campus as well as the proposed future expansions.

Tenwek

Earlier this year, a fire started at Tenwek Hospital in the building that housed the kitchen and laundry facilities, along with administrative and other support functions for the hospital. The main floor of the building was destroyed, but the flames were confined to that one structure.

“No lives were lost, and there were no serious injuries,” said Dr. Stephen L. Burgert, medical superintendent at Tenwek. “Some patients were moved as a precautionary measure while the fire was being contained.”  We are thankful that no lives were lost, but the recovery process for the hospital has been arduous.

The fire has led to a desire in providing additional water system capacity for basic fire protection services. EMI will assist with evaluating and designing the necessary water and wastewater utility upgrades within the existing campus.

Blake Turned 5 This Weekend

We love Blake so much.  He is our creative son and so much fun to have around.   Blake is wonderfully generous and so imaginative.  This week he set up the Thomas the Train tent on top of his bed and put a tunnel leading from his bedroom door into his tent.  Then decided to sleep in their for the next couple nights.  He has just started elementary school and already loves his teacher, and his classmates… of course his friends are mostly girls though!

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Blake and his teacher on his first day of school

 

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Blake is a lucky boy because his Mommy is willing to run to his school (with Cole in a jogging stroller) and then let him ride his bike home after school.

 

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Our family and some family friends went camping in Colorado this summer.  And yes that is a forest fire in the distance but we lived.

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Blake on his 5th Birthday Party!