Hostage Training and Hope Academy- India

“Pop quiz, hot shot” You are halfway through your design trip in Honduras and you are coming back together for dinner as it begins to get dark when you notice your intern isn’t there.  You ask the others and they say that they spent some time exploring with him, but then he decided to go on a jog and hasn’t come back yet.  They think he left about 90 minutes ago.  “What do you do? What do you do?”

Thankfully this scenario hasn’t personally happened to me on my project trips with EMI, but working overseas can cause some stressful and potentially serious situations.

Recently I participated in some training with EMI on how to handle a range of crises including the one above.  We also discussed what we should do if we were ever captured and held hostage.  While this sounds like a disturbing topic, I found it interesting and somewhat encouraging.  We watched a video of someone who had received training and then gone through being held hostage in real life.  He walked us through each stage of the ordeal and I was amazed at how calm he acted and how bold he was in making his needs known to his abductors.  As the hostage, he became one of their greatest assets and they would need to prove that he was alive and well taken care of.  So this hostage was able to use that to his advantage and request basic needs.  This training helped change my perspective so I wouldn’t have to live in fear if, God forbid, I was ever in this situation.  Overall it was an enlightening experience.

 

Spy vs Spy

Humorous and staged photo of the dangers of serving overseas. And yes, that is me holding the rock

 

Alright… on to more pleasant topics.

Hope Academy

EMI has partnered with another great ministry in India called Hope Academy.  They desire to bring world-class education and a transformational environment to ultra-poor children in rural India. Hope Academy is much more than a school- they work to empower boys and girls from all social castes to live lives of purpose, service, leadership and achievement.

Primary Block

Library

Perspective renderings of the design

 

I’ll let this video explain more.  If you don’t have much time then jump to the 2 minute mark on the video where you can see how EMI participated in making this a reality and a fly-through of our design. Watch the video HERE

If you want to see more of the fly-through you can watch the complete presentation HERE.

Here are the photos of the team at work:

 

Thanks for your continued prayers, support, and partnership throughout 2018.  

Advertisements

Myanmar Airstrip and Prayer Calendar

Feeling Isolated in Myanmar

When I think of being isolated and needing help I am reminded of the humorous time I randomly decided to hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back up all in one day by myself.  I was young and reckless, completely disregarding warning signs like this one:

p283829974-3

I was actually making good time until about half way back up when I ran out of water and both of my legs cramped up.  I was literally crawling on all fours on the trail in the dark in hopes to make it back up to meet my friends who didn’t know where I went for so long.

While my journey was humorous and self-inflicted, the people in the Chin State of Myanmar (formerly Burma) have to experience isolation and need as normal life.  Chin State and its people have been disadvantaged in terms of socioeconomic development. Mountainous terrain and poor road conditions isolate this state from the rest of the country, hindering external assistance.  There are currently no airports in the whole of Chin State but airport development in Lailenpi would enable aircraft to access the State for the first time in 70 years.

 

Capture

Dr. SaSa (pictured) has seen many impossible dreams come true in his life, so why not an airstrip? resized1000x1000-18-Dr._SasaSaSa grew up in these mountains with an intimate knowledge of what it means to be isolated. As a young child, he remembers the day his mother’s best friend died in childbirth along with the baby, and the day he lost three of his childhood friends from diarrhea. With no clinic, hospital, roads, or even education, he believed nothing would change unless he could help his own people. He needed to become a doctor.

Through a series of improbable and miraculous circumstances that took him to India, Armenia, and England, he became that doctor, started an NGO called Health and Hope, met Prince Charles who became a patron of the organization, and began training Community Health Workers in Chin State. Over the course of six years, 834 Community Health Workers have been trained and are serving their communities across 551 villages. The work has expanded to include training Traditional Birth Attendants and supporting the education of more doctors. Truly nothing is impossible, even moving a mountain.

Moving a mountain is what is needed to provide these people with outside resources.  EMI developed a design for an airstrip literally on the top of the mountain as you can see from the design graphics below:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Image 3Image 4

The Myanmar government were so impressed with EMI’s design of the airstrip that they want to incorporate our ideas into their design and construction codes.  The government has invited EMI to advise them on another mountain runway under construction in a different location and they are discussing involving EMI and our partner ministry MAF in the development of up to 25 more runways through the country of Myanmar.

Hope is starting to spread throughout Myanmar.  Providing air service will help develop the people of Chin State’s economy, education and health.  And as EMI stays faithful and diligent with our ‘good deeds’ of design more people in Myanmar will no longer feel isolated.

“Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

Praying for EMI

Have you ever wondered how you can pray for the work and people of EMI specifically?  Here is a link of prayer points for each day of the month of January: EMI_Prayer_Calendar_January_2018

Any EMI account holder can subscribe to the prayer calendar by marking it in their preferences – start at the ‘pray for us’ icon at the bottom of emiworld.org.

Merry Christmas and Quick Story from India

Christmas Season and Advent

If you are anything like me you are trying to cram in as many Christmas season necessities as possible- whether that be Christmas parties, Christmas traditions, presents or cookies.  I sometimes wonder if in all this good busyness I overlook the blessing of Advent.  During Advent we are invited to prepare, to get ready, to make a place for the Lord in our lives and in our homes and to anticipate His coming.  As your time allows, join me in preparing the way of the Lord this season.

Poisonous Pollution

While I was in Delhi, India the smog was so bad that Time magazine reported that being outside was like smoking 50 cigarettes a day!  It was so bad that United cancelled two days of flights to Delhi right after we arrived.  We had to walk around with masks on.

 

IMG_4697

The smog starts on the Hindu New Year called Diwali, where Indians celebrate by setting off fireworks. This also indicates to the farmers that it is time to burn their stalks and stubble from their sugar cane crop to make way for their winter wheat planting. Burning their crop is the quickest way to do this, but is also harmful to Delhi’s citizens.

Here is a picture the day before the Diwali and then the day afterwards.

Due to the climate and geographical orientation of Delhi, the smog will stay around for all of winter.  Imagine the EMI staff who have to experience this every day for all 3 months of winter.  Now imagine what their small children’s lungs are going through.  There is talk at EMI of how something needs to change for the families to continue working in this region.  Until a solution is determined they are staying indoors using air cleaning filters which helps significantly but is still not ideal.  Pray for the EMI families as they continue to serve those in need in India.

I’ll give a longer report on how God is working in India in my next month’s update. 

Personal Update- Baptism

As I mentioned in the last update, Drew and Blake committed their lives to Christ this fall.  We told them that baptism was the next step of obedience if they felt they were ready.  We wondered if getting into a big tub in front of a church congregation of a 700+ people would overwhelm them, but they were excited.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Giving

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.

Thanks and Merry Christmas!

Upcoming India Trip

Imagine a time when someone presented you with a goal that you felt was unattainable.

Vision casting has this way of making you stare directly into your own disbelief. But what about the feeling you get when you reach that seemingly unattainable goal?

After 30+ years of EMI being primarily made up of American’s, the India office has empowered Indian design professionals to join our ranks. To my surprise, there are now more Indians in the office than Westerners– a goal that is 8 years ahead of schedule.

Madhulika_lighter2

Madhlika was introduced to Christ by an EMI Intern and is now on Staff in our India office.

Here is an example of how God worked to accomplish this: Preeti, a former EMI Intern, was working in Delhi when Madhulika (pictured), came to work on her first day. “Preeti shared the gospel with me, telling me about the forgiveness of sins in Christ Jesus,” Madhlika recalled. “I was struggling to forgive myself, so hearing that Christ has the ability to forgive made me feel free. It has been a bittersweet journey since then as I come to know more every day about my sinfulness, how awesome God’s grace is, and how much I need Christ in my life. EMI ‘happened’ in late 2013 when I was between jobs and the Office Director asked me to consider EMI. God was clearly leading me to EMI. I am excited and grateful for this honor and opportunity. I hope to glorify God with everything I do.”

I had the opportunity to meet Madhlika at our World Staff last year and I will be assisting at the India office again in a couple weeks.

Left Picture: My first EMI trip to India in 2006
Right Picture: I was conducting a survey (with a lot of help) for a children’s home in India in 2012

This will be my third trip to India, and as our longest running overseas office I am always excited to participate in the impact they are having in their large region.  EMI India is serving ministries like The Changing Destiny Project where they believe that education for girls rescued from human trafficking will make a difference in their future.

 

2

Girls rescued from human trafficking by The Changing Destiny Project.

Please pray for safety for me as I travel to India and for Jalina as she wrangles our three lively boys without me.


An update on the home life of the Reinhardts

Drew and Blake asked to invite Jesus into their hearts!  It wasn’t quite as magical a moment as we had imagined as Drew said he didn’t want to become a Christian but wanted to invite Jesus into his heart.  After further explanation he decided he did want to become a Christian which followed by Jason and I (Jalina) acting out what it means to be separated by God due to our mistakes (sins).  They watched patiently and repeated after me the salvation prayer, but then immediately afterwards they said “Can we play on the iPad” because they were jealous that Cole was playing with it while we tried to have this magical moment.  Oh well.  The lifelong role of discipling our children continues nonetheless.

IMG_3210

Blake and Drew pray with Mommy to invite Jesus into their hearts

 

Giving Impact

We are so grateful for God’s provision through the generosity of donors. If you would like to contribute to the impact of our ministry work with EMI please click here.

 

What Do eMi Teams Do?

Here’s a short video spoken from a ministry we served with snippets of what goes on during a typical EMI trip.  You are of course welcome to join me on a trip to see it first hand , but if you have 2 minutes this will give you an idea of the tremendous impact a trip has on the people we serve, the ministry, and even the volunteers giving of their time.

Click on the link:
WATCH VIDEO- What Do EMI Teams Do

 

IMG_1680

Jason and an EMI Team after a day of surveying

 

Cherish Uganda, Growth, and Cole

Cherish Uganda

Have you ever been faced with devastating news about your health or medical condition? Have you heard a shocking update from a friend or family member that they have terminal cancer or some other incurable disease? It rocks you to the core and quickly reminds us that our true home is not on this earth- and that our true hope is not in what we can see.9138_footer

There is a small fishing village in the central Wakiso District of Uganda. It is home to Cherish Uganda which dreams of changing the stories of children living with HIV by offering them hope.

9138_serving

The clinic offered Cherish staff and the medical mission team an opportunity to serve the greater community.

 

 

Though cases of HIV/AIDS in Uganda have decreased in recent years, the disease still runs rampant among fishermen, commercial sex workers and other trades. Fishermen in particular are three to four times more likely to have HIV/AIDS than the average population. The impact on children is especially hard. About one million children in Uganda have been orphaned as a result of the disease and treated as outcasts- they are unable to connect with the rest of their community.

9138_exam

Dr. Clara finishes an exam

 

Cherish seeks to change this social stigma. EMI has been working with Cherish to design a master plan and the first phase of the Hope Hospital. The goal is to have accessible healthcare and disease prevention education in the surrounding community so that they can provide some of the best healthcare in Uganda.

The aim is to show these children the love of Jesus in a very real and practical way. They often arrive in pretty bad shape. They need medical attention, clothes, and food – as well as schooling and a loving home. Dr. Clara Komuhangi, the Health Center physician and director, says, “The fact that they are living with HIV attracts more stigma than one could deal with in a lifetime. However, they are as full of life as any child I have ever seen.” Cherish immediately places them in a family style home with a mom, auntie and “brothers or sisters”. The medical needs of each child are assessed and they are started on ART (anti-retroviral therapy) to slow down the progression of HIV.

9138_outpatient_health_center

The Cherish Outpatient Health Center

Cherish CEO Brent Phillips says, “When the history of Cherish is written and we talk about the key partnerships that enabled us to fulfill the vision laid out before us by God, EMI will be on that list, if not at the top.” As EMI continues this partnership, offering appropriate and sustainable design, the story of this fishing village is being changed. God is writing a new story through the efforts of Dr. Clara and the Cherish team.

9138_dr_clara

Dr. Clara Komuhangi is the Health Center physician and director

 

Growth is Good… but not easy

Constant change seems to be the norm for me at EMI over the past 3 years. Things are never boring as I try to keep up with all the exciting improvements we are implementing as we steer the boat in a more impactful direction. We now have 11 offices around the world and to be honest it feels a little unwieldy. It reminds me a little bit of being a teenager when your body grows so fast that you become clumsy, tripping over yourself unnecessarily. Thankfully many of us on the leadership team are quick to recognize this and are taking action to adjust to these growing pains.
Map

Not only is EMI changing but the approach of missions is ever evolving to better influence those we want to reach. Combine that with the culture of giving in the US ever being in flux and it seems like we are trying to hit a moving target. Should EMI become a for profit business? No, that seems like an overreaction.

Will I and others still be able to raise support for our positions in 5 or 10 years? We hope donors will see the impact our work does and want to continue contributing to our efforts. These are just a sample of the many factors we are taking into account as we try to steer the EMI ship.

These are exciting times because I truly believe that EMI is more effective in our mission than we have ever been. Honestly, it’s just a little stressful for us as leadership to try and keep ahead of all this good growth. We can definitely use your prayer in all of this.

Cole

I’m not sure if this is every parent’s experience but we feel the first year of a child’s life is rough. Consistent sleep is something that is tossed out the window, routine sessions of crying when you have no idea what he wants, and on and on.
IMG_3087

But Cole is currently 20 months old and NOW we are into the good stuff! It’s like right after he turned 1 year old, he just pops with personality showing his love for being outside, wanting to show compassion to other kids when they are crying and awkwardly trying to give a hug, or just trying to keep up with his brothers. Cole does take the award for being our first son to receive stitches after he got cut on his forehead falling onto a brick fire place. Things are back to being fun (but of course always hectic) at the Reinhardt house.
IMG_3185

DSC07478

 

 

 

 

 

 

Traveling to Nicaragua

img_7594

Nicaragua

I (Jason) am heading to Nicaragua next week to assist in setting up our new EMI Office for future impact in Central America. This is the third location that we’ve planted an office in Central America.

Our first location was in Guatemala, but with it having one of the highest violent crime rates in Central America it made it difficult for EMI missionary families. Imagine feeling imprisoned in your own home, where you couldn’t leave the walls surrounding your house until your husband returned home from work to escort you to the store.  As the violence continued to increase, including a staff member being at gun point during an attempted carjacking, it became clear that an EMI office needed to move for the safety of its staff and families.

The second location was in Costa Rica where it was much easier for staff families to raise their children. In the end, however, EMI decided that there weren’t as many local ministry needs.  Many of the physically poor were still an airplane ride away since Costa Rica was so economically stable.

Three years ago, Jason, Jalina and Blake served the EMI Costa Rica Office before it closed down to be relaunched in Nicaragua. While Jason assisted the EMI Project Leaders there, Jalina served in a local orphanage with Blake only 9 weeks old.

This led to the decision to finally move the office to Nicaragua where there was safety for family livability, a multitude of local ministries to serve with our design, and a growing number of Christian design professionals which we hope to help disciple professionally and spiritually.

The office has just opened and already their first project has been a success. In Nicaragua’s desperate poverty, the handicapped are especially disadvantaged. David (pictured) is one of 115 disabled kids receiving Christ-centered therapy, professional services and lots of love at the center.  But there are many more on the waiting list.  It’s time to build!  EMI designed their first priority; an arena for the Equine Therapy program.  Using horses as part of therapy has proven to be a huge success in the lives of these kids; physically, relationally and emotionally.

david-nic

David came to the ministry (God’s Treasures) at only 8 years old, never before having had any opportunity for education. Now, using the skills and confidence he has been given, David is about to graduate from the 10th grade! His family and teachers have been trained by the dedicated staff at God’s Treasures.  In spite of his overwhelming physical disabilities, David is finding a very real hope for his future!

horse

It is always a privilege to work at EMI where we are able to make a true impact in the lives of people like David through the work of God’s Treasure. It is as if we can witness the act of God’s love at work on the broken hearted.

Reinhardt Boys Update

Life in the Reinhardt house is full of joy and commotion as our 3 active boys like to keep us busy and entertained.

Drew
Drew is enjoying school and is already starting to learn how to read.  He is a diligent student and we are proud of him as he perseveres through his struggles to learn things like rhyming due to his auditory delay.  The school decided to put him back in speech therapy language group.  Drew is also memorizing Bible verses at Awana’s which again won’t be easy for him but we are encouraged by all the effort he is putting forth.

Drew is looking good on his first day of school and he is getting the hang of soccer in his first season of play. 

Blake
We just celebrated Blake’s 3rd birthday and boy was he excited.  His favorite part- the birthday cake!  This kid is a sugar fiend.  After a failed first attempt at potty training a year ago, we are trying again with quite a big success.  Blake likes to show off his ‘accomplishments’ too.

Cole
We were surprised to find that Cole was slow to learn how to crawl, and even now insists on pulling one of his legs in sideways- we call it his limp crawl. However, all Cole wants to do is walk.  He was pulling himself up at 8 months and is ‘cruising’ the couches.  He is doing whatever he can to keep up with his older brothers.  Sadly he still wakes up at least twice a night to nurse which means Jalina is still sleep deprived.

img_2042

Thanks for All You Do
Your partnership with our work at EMI has a tremendous impact on our family and on the people throughout the world that are touched by our ministry. Thank You!