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Where were you when the world stopped turning for Haiti? – Episode 026

logoIt only takes a blink of an eye or a nanosecond, and your world can come tumbling down. That’s what the people of Haiti discovered on January 12, 2010, when an earthquake ruptured that tiny island nation, killing hundreds of thousands and leaving many more to die a slow and painful death from starvation, complications from injuries, diseases, and from their fellow Haitians. Join us today as Bill Heid and Brian Brawdy talk with Jan Ross, president of Heart of God International Ministries and Dave Young, director over the Haiti division of Heart of God Ministries.


Off The Grid Radio
Released: December 17, 2010

Welcome to Off the Grid Radio, better ideas to bust you and your family out of today’s global control grid. Now here’s today show.

Brian: Ladies and gentlemen, once again, welcome back to – the radio version of Off the Grid I’m Brian Brawdy, as always, along with Mr. Bill Heid. Bill, just about a week out from Christmas. Great time of year.

Bill: It couldn’t be any better, Brian, to be with you and to be with our guests to talk about some of the things we have to talk about today. I couldn’t be more excited about what we’ve got going on.

Brian: Yeah, it is absolutely set up perfectly and Jeremy tells me we’ve got some cool Christmas music to look forward to as well.

Bill: Always great music.

Brian: That’s going to be a good time. Alright, so let’s get to it. I want to start quickly by introducing – we have two guests today, Bill. My mom would be very proud of me to go with ladies first, so we’re going to do that. Our guest today, Janet Ross, is the president and co-founder of Heart of God International Ministries and the only person that we’ve ever interviewed that I gave up my chair for. She’s got a beautiful smile and we’re very excited to have Janet Ross here from the Heart of God International Ministries, and the handsome young guy that she’s with, no pun intended. I just did that – handsome young guy she’s with is David Young. He is the executive director of the Heart of God International Ministries. David, can I say the Haiti Division – I know there’s another way that you refer to it other than …

David: No, the Haiti Division …

Brian: Haiti Division.

David: We’re one part of a Part of God International and my job is to oversee Haiti.

Brian: Very cool. I know we’re going to talk to you about we’ve got an important anniversary, or at least an anniversary, coming up. I think we probably all remember where we were, at least I remember where I was, last January 12th. We want to get to that. So, Janet Ross, welcome. How are you?

Janet: I’m great, thank you.

Brian: Good. I know you guys know Mr. Bill Heid already so Bill I’ll get out of your way and we can tear into it.

Bill: Well, thanks again Janet and Dave for coming. We wanted to take this opportunity to have you first tell about Heart of God and then Heart of God in Haiti and then segue into some of the technological things that we were talking about on the way over that’s helped the orphanage there. Janet, do you want to tell us a little bit about how you started? What the motivation was to start Heart of God?

Janet: We had a very simple beginning. My husband and I had a small devotional ministry. I wrote daily devotions and we sent them out through the e-mail. We formally made ourselves focus on the Word, because that’s always been our focus in our marriage and in our home, was the Word of God. Through that, I had met a friend online – she wasn’t a friend at that point. I met somebody online and she and her husband had a ministry to India, and we got talking and praying together and fellowshipping together and we felt led of God to begin a ministry together. At that point we decided it was going to be just a women’s ministry because we were both women and both had a heart to minister to women, so we called it Women of Passions. Before long, it took about a year, year-and-a-half, and we realized that Women of Passions was not going to be just a women’s ministry by God’s design because he had us into India and into Kenya, things started exploding very quickly. We decided we needed to formally organize and incorporate and we changed the name to Heart of God International. The ministry was actually formed in 2003. We received our 501(c)(3) in 2008, I believe. Since then, we have networked with several other like-minded ministries under the umbrella of Heart of God International and helping smaller ministries come together, take advantage of the tax exemption, work together as a team, supporting one another and really reaching out into the world as a result of the great com-mission in our response to God’s call to go into all the world.

Bill: That’s humble beginnings from just sending out some e-mails. The next thing you know you find yourself with all this responsibility. Not just the ministry side of it, what it does, but then there’s the other side where you’re shouldering all of this.

Janet: Right. Eight years ago I never would have anticipated we would be where we are today but I take absolutely no credit. I know the other – Denise doesn’t either – it’s just God has opened doors that were way beyond our imagination, or our goals even. Things started unfolding and God led the way and we followed.

Bill: And he’s opening those doors today. Why don’t we segue into Dave – how did you connect with Dave?

Janet: It was through John Hoben, actually. It was Soldiers Bible Ministry who had since become a member of Heart of God International Ministries network. John introduced me to Dave and his wife and suggested that we talk to them about possibly joining the ministry as a Haitian outreach. He connected us and we had a phone call and things sounded like they were going to go in that direction. I think Dave can take it from there …

David: How I got connected to Haiti was actually I was getting mobilized for my second tour to Afghanistan and just before I got to Fort Belvoir, where I would be shipping out from, they told me I needed to bring some khaki pants, a blue blazer and a passport. I said “why?” They said “we can’t tell you until you get here.” When I got down to Fort Belvoir they said “we need you to go down to Haiti and run a little program. You’ll be there for six weeks. Just set up a rewards program and at the end of those six weeks you’ll come back and ship out to Afghanistan with your soldiers,” and I’ll still be their team leader. They were going through some training that I wasn’t required to go through, since I already had the training and had already been to Afghanistan one time. So I fly down into Haiti, I set up a program and we it turns out to be very successful. They originally had us putting a program in the newspaper, which I didn’t think was a very good idea, given our demographic couldn’t read and if they could read they couldn’t afford a newspaper. We chose to use the money SOUTHCOM gave us to put a radio ad I had this fellow, Pastor Dicksent, actually answer our hotline and encourage people to tell us where perhaps weapons caches were. People would call us and tell us what’s going on, in essence how to improve the security situation down there. People were telling us where possible kidnappings were happening and where the people were. A lot of this information was useful to help improve the security so the ambassador at the time, and the SOUTHCOM commander at the time, chose to leave me there for a year. I ended up spending almost a year in Haiti.

Bill: You thought you were going to Afghanistan and you ended up staying in Haiti.

David: Yeah.

Bill: By God’s provenance.

David: I was supposed to go for six weeks and I end up staying about 10 months in Haiti.

Bill: Amazing.

David: While I was in Haiti, I became very good friends with Dicksent. On the weekends I’d go up to the mountains in Kenscoff to an orphanage that I – oddly, a connection again through John Hoben. That’s where I ultimately decided to adopt a child, which we have the child here now, with us. That’s when I really, myself, had a heart for Haiti. I saw the absolute devastation and desperation of the people. The Haitian people are good, hard-working people, but the situation they found themselves in was horrific, and that was well before the earthquake. Dicksent and I became very good friends.

Bill: Talk a little bit about him. Let me back you up just a little bit. Talk about how you met Pastor Dick-sent. Was he a pastor at that time?

David: No, no. Dicksent was just my interpreter at that time.

Bill: So you met him as an interpreter?

David: As an interpreter and a driver. One of the rules I always follow is I don’t like having other people drive for me, particularly in third world countries, so I chose to drive but I used him as my interpreter. So he would answer the phones when people called in on our hotline. We had a phone number that they would call. If we had to interview folks, he’d be there for the interview. When I left Haiti, I was replaced by a person who spoke Creole so they didn’t need Dicksent’s services anymore. However, some of these bad guys were still looking for Dicksent.

Bill: Why were they looking for him?

David: They didn’t particularly like the idea that perhaps we had a program that was looking to take their illegal weapons and/or interdict on their kidnapping.

Bill: And they exist in an unstable – that’s a good medium for them to exist. (Exactly.) And when you go to stabilize, they’re like rats or like cockroaches, they flee.

David: Right. Exactly right. They were looking for Dicksent … I was able to help him find a job up in the northern part of Haiti, a place called Cap-Hatien. On his trip up there, his vehicle overturned. He was in a giant – what they call a tap-tap. It had 35 people on this vehicle.

Brian: David, if you would, we’re going to run to a quick break, but we want to pick up with that story right after we come back from this commercial break. We’re here with Janet Ross and David Young from the Heart of God International Ministries. Come right back.
[0:09:50-0:14:08 break]

Brian: Welcome back, once again, to Off the Grid News – the radio version of As always, I’m Brian Brawdy along with Mr. Bill Heid. Bill, I want to get right back to our guests but also, we’re coming up a week until Christmas. What a great opportunity to have this particular show just a week out.

Bill: Well, we start thinking about at Christmastime giving gifts and usually they’re just one piece of merchandise bought at a store, exchanged for another one. Here we’re so provincial, we realize – we have to realize at some point that some gifts we need to give need to go to people who really need it. I think that’s one of the most important things that we want to talk about today. Where does need actually lie? Where should we be giving our gifts?

Brian: Alright then, what we’re going to do is introduce – we’re back with Janet Ross, the president and co-founder of the Heart of God International Ministries. And today for the show, her sidekick David Young, the executive director of the Haiti Branch of the Heart of God International Ministries. David, when we went to commercial break you were telling us about, I believe, 35 people in the back of a pickup truck heading to Caption, was that right?

David: Well, it’s Cap-Hatien. And on the way up, the vehicle overturned. Fifteen people were imme-diately killed and the remainder were hurt very badly. Dicksent was covered in blood and left on the side of the road for dead. The HNP – Haitian National Police – came and they saw that he had a US Embassy ID on him. In Haiti, the only way you can get health care is to prepay but assuming he was part of the Embassy they brought him to the hospital. When he came to at the hospital his doctor called me and told me he was paralyzed and would likely die unless we could get him the needed surgery. Dicksent’s belief system, like many people in Haiti, was Catholicism overlapped with Voodoo. I like to say Haiti’s 80 percent Catholic, 20 percent Protestant and 100 percent Voodoo. He had felt that someone had put a Voodoo curse on him and he thought God was punishing him for his sins. I told him Jesus already died for your sins and that we would take care of his situation. We were able to work with Doctor Johnny, his doctor at the time, and get Dicksent the needed surgery. We sent him over to the Dominican Republic to get a procedure done which made him un-paralyzed. He came back to Port-au-Prince. I sent my security guard down there who worked at one of the homes I stayed at in Haiti. He brought him a Bible and he brought him a pastor and while he was learning to walk again he was reading the bible with this pastor. He became saved, he became a Christian, and at the end of his recovery him and this pastor wanted to do something special and set up a school. That’s when we set up our school down in Haiti called “Helping for Christ Christian Day School.” That was located in a place in Haiti called Carrefour. When Dicksent set up the school – he had his car accident around January of ’08 and we set up our school around August of ’08. He set it up with his senior pastor, it was funded by my business. We funded it for the first year, to make sure it was legitimate. We didn’t want to go out and get fundraisers from other folks until they could get it going. Around the same time, that’s when I met Jan. Jan had me go down there in June of ’09 just as the kids were graduating from their first year of school and I was able to see that these people were making a phenomenal difference. In Carrefour, that was an area what we would call a “red zone” area, when I was there in ’05 and ’06. Now they’re school was in a community, it was spreading the Gospel, educating people, and it was working on a philosophy of taking care of a person’s physical needs. We were able to feed our kids at least one meal a day at our school. We were able to educate the children and we were able to spread the Gospel. We were finding out that our children were becoming more educated than their parents and we opened up the school so the parents could come in and receive an education as well.

Bill: That’s remarkable.

David: And, this is what helped us on the day that the earthquake came. It was around five o’clock in the afternoon and that was when we were doing instruction with the parents, around that time of the day. When the earthquake hit, the parents that were there were able to pull out many of our children who would have passed away. We lost 40 children and two staff in the earthquake but it could have been a lot worse if it hadn’t been for having some of the parents there to pull children out.

Bill: Out of how many?

David: About 200 kids.

Bill: And we lost 40?

David: Forty kids, yes. Yes. When that happened, it was of course shocking, but what’s really a miracle is when you see the devastation of the building, how many were able to get out and how many were they able to dig out of that rubble. They stayed there and got many of the kids out of there.

Bill: Do we have pictures of the … can we put some of those pictures up, maybe? What that rubble looks like? It would be great to show folks what that looked like at that time. I think that really tells – a picture sometimes tells a huge story.

David: We do have some pictures of that. Once the earthquake hit the school, thankfully we were able to have – I had two cell phones for Dicksent. I always had a backup plan, being a military guy. The one phone system was down; the second system Volout?? and that was up so within about 48 hours Dicksent was able to reach out to us and let us know what was going on. Then we were able to give him a plan of action. But one of the things that was really scary that happened there was, as bad as the situation was before the earthquake, it got really bad after the earthquake. Desperate people started doing desperate things. We moved them out of Carrefour to Canape-Vert awaiting supplies and nothing came. It turned out that only about a five-mile radius outside of the Port-au-Prince airport were relief supplies being pushed. If you were outside of that radius, nothing came. For the first few days, people had some of their food saved up, but as the days went on and food ran out, who was your friend became your enemy and people were doing horrific things to steal food.

Bill: I want to stop you here because so many of our listeners really appreciate a perspective of having food. Many of our listeners store food. But I think it’s important for us to say this isn’t something specific to Haitians. When someone gets hungry, irrespective of their geographic proximity, irrespective of their skin color, when people get hungry they do very – live very differently, act very differently – desperate people do desperate things. On the way up here we talked about – is that kind of a clarion call for us to hear to be more prepared? Tell us about desperate people.

David: That is very true. There what we found was people were cooking and you couldn’t cook because then people could smell the cooking. Dicksent was able to text me and I told him we need to get them out of the situation because now people – you had gangs of people traveling around and stealing from the weak.

Bill: So you can’t even cook! Because if someone smells that food, their gang’s going to come and get you and get your stuff.

David: Exactly. And if you didn’t have a way to secure yourself or your persons or your family … if you had your food stored, which we had some provisions saved for the school and for Dicksent and our children, unless you could defend yourself you couldn’t … you could have had the food stored but it would have done you no good. Ultimately, we pulled them out of Canape-Vert and moved them into the countryside to an IDP camp, which is Internally Displaced Persons’ camp. But even those camps, those gangs of people came to those camps and were harassing the people. One of the lessons learned is you really need to make sure, in addition to having a backup plan of having your food stored, you need to have a way to secure it, because without that – those who never bothered storing their food or taking care of things will come and take it.

Bill: Protect your perimeter. You’ve got it.

David: There was no help from the Haitian National Police, of course, because there was no security. The UN was unable to do something. The US military was not able to take care of them. Each person or persons were on their own. Our folks, through Dicksent, banded together. We ended up moving 300 people. And we haven’t gotten to this part but the solar generator that you guys ultimately sent helped save those 300 people’s lives. Those people would not be here if it weren’t for Solutions from Science saving them by sending that generator down. That generator literally made the difference of them – enable them to communicate with us.

Bill: I got goose bumps as you said that. I never thought – we were trying to help when we sent that down to you folks. Hanne had communicated through John and we were in touch through you guys. It was our pleasure to help, but we thought it would be a peripheral help. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that it would save someone’s life.

Janet: It was absolutely amazing. Absolutely.

David: Yeah, it was … we sent it down there early – probably February/March. We didn’t actually install it until I got down there in April. We actually stored it at a different orphanage until I could get down there, again for security purposes. What happened in February was my church had sent monies to get them very nice family tents and little cooking devices, very similar to what you guys have on your website, and they were able to cook. What happened was these gangs came and took their tents at gunpoint and machete-point – took their tent and their food and their cooking devices, and therefore we made the decision to keep that generator under wraps until we could secure it.

Brian: Bill, we’re going to run to a quick commercial break, but we’d like to kick it up a little bit with David and Janet when we get back, talking about that sense of security – you called it “having a formid-able perimeter.” Let’s look at that when we get back. Come on back! Off the Grid News, right after this short commercial break.

Brian: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back once again to Off the Grid News Radio – the radio version of the Today we’re here with the president and co-founder of the Heart of God International Ministries, Janet Ross, and also the executive director of the Haiti division of the Heart of God, Mr. David Young. So David, you were saying right before we went into the break, about security being such a big concern. Bill and I – a lot of our guests have talked about it – what was the show, Bill, that we used to write about? Jimmy, what was the name of that show? It was like a survivor-type show?

Jimmy: The Colony.

Brian: The Colony. And we would write about it – thank you, Jimmy – we would write about it at length that you’ve got all these cool toys, but you put up a windmill? The bad guys see it. You cook food? The bad guys see it. It’s like being on an African plain. You’re a cheetah, you’re a leopard, you bring something down? The next hour-and-a-half you spend defending it, because as soon as you bring down something then the hyenas come. Once the hyenas are there then the lions come. It’s really – security goes throughout the animal kingdom.

Bill: And part of it, I think I picked up on what Dave said was, part of this formula – not only do you have to have provisions and protection – you have to have a way … let’s face it, there’s evil in the world. You have to have a machete or a gun, something to say “no, you ain’t coming here.” But the part that I think undergirds this is, the technology – and as a colonel in the army, you understand the idea of what the value of communications is. Just being able to talk to someone and say “get out of there,” or “go here,” that’s a huge part of being prepared for any crisis.

David: I want to step back a step. It was literally Google Erath, at the time my cell phone – at the time I had a Blackberry – I was able to text him, go on Google, figure out where the Western Union was, go on Google Earth to figure out how to get there – in the military we’d call it an MSR – main supply route. So how he could go from where he was to where he had to go, where I could wire the money, I could say yes, this is a working Western Union. This is where you need to go. This is the person you’ll make contact with. I was literally his back office – his TOC.

Bill: This is an intelligence operation.

David: His tactical operations center. I literally was able to sit there, in my office in Rochester, New York, with a laptop and a cell phone and coordinate how we were going to move 300 people. And logistically how we got your generator there, how your generator got there. Ministry Flight Interna-tional was able to tell me “the plane has left Florida. Here’s the tail number.” I was able to text Dicksent, “here’s when it’s left, here’s when it’s going to arrive. Go to the airport. Be there. Pick it up.” Everything. Something as simple as – shipping a generator would normally be simple. It’s not a simple operation when you get into a third world country with desperate people doing desperate things. Just going from where he was into the Dominican Republic because at the time he didn’t have a passport. At the time, a lot of people are flooding into the Dominican Republic and you’ve got to make sure this is his only way to get money. You couldn’t wire money into Haiti at the time. The banks were gone. The Western Unions were gone. It was literally technology – Google, Google Earth, Blackberry and a laptop, that made the difference.

Bill: It’s amazing. Tell how that all ended up.

David: How it ended up was then I led a team down there in April of 2010. This past April we went down there. We flew into Santo Domingo and we drove across the country because we couldn’t get vehicles in Port-au-Prince. You couldn’t fly into Port-au-Prince and get a rental car. We flew into Santo Domingo and drove across the Dominican Republic. Went to a little place called Jimani and that was a border town. Punched across the border into Haiti and it was like Mad Max. Literally, that’s the best analogy. We brought a bunch of supplies and we set up – in the military we’d call them MedCat, which is a – we set up a situation where I brought a doctor with us, we did medical care, we brought provisions for them. We went to the camp where they ultimately ended up, about 15 clicks – 15 kilometers away from Jimani, where they were basically living in a soccer field with roughly 800 people – 300 of ours, 500 of another group. At that point, I determined that they would die in place if they stayed there. I showed them how to set up a security perimeter, which we were able to get them at that time some weapons, some sticks, some radios, so they could have some basics of security. We set up your generator and we were able to use the generator to actually clean the water system at this camp.

Bill: OK, hold on first. You got them out of that group? That’s a useful tip as well. Sometimes you’re best served to be on your own. So where did they go from the soccer field?

David: What we ended up doing was I left my team there and I broke all the rules that you’re not supposed to do … went in to Port-au-Prince in a little Suzuki jeep, bouncing around, going through the rubble, and as you get closer into Port-au-Prince more and more buildings were down. When you got there, it was the most horrific thing I could imagine. We went into Port-au-Prince looking for a com-pound … I needed a structure with thick adobe walls that had a perimeter on the outside. I needed something that was multi-story because I knew if I had a hurricane that we could put them up on the top floor. I needed someplace where people couldn’t see in and if there was gunfire or someplace where we could have … a place where we could make a last stand, because if people can see what you have they’ll come and take it. It was by God’s hand that within a few hours of me leaving that camp I was able to find a compound. I punched the grid on my GPS, I took some video and some pictures, but I didn’t negotiate the contract – as being a Westerner you’d pay a higher price. I let Dicksent negotiate the contract for a one-year lease. He was able to get the same prices we were paying for the school prior to the earthquake.

Bill: And where geographically is this place?

David: This place is not too far from Santo which is probably 15 or 20 minutes away from the Port-au-Prince airport. Unfortunately, since then it’s become very – the security situation all over Haiti’s broken down since the earthquake. But we were down there in April; in May we were able to move them into this compound, move all of our children in there. We had to make very difficult decisions because we could only fit 77 children into this compound and we had 120 kids that were totally orphans. We had to put some kids in an orphanage and move other kids to a different camp and that was a very difficult decision that Dicksent had to make, that we had to make, which kids are going to go and which ones aren’t going to go. That was probably one of the harder decisions we had to make. It was very difficult for Dicksent to do that. But once we got them into the camp, and into this compound, then we were able to set up a pretty good security system where we had security guards on the perimeter, where we put barbed wire around on top of the wall and we were able to secure our children. Once we did that, I was able to coordinate with some NGOs – non-government organizations – specifically World Vision and Food for the Poor. Again, being a lieutenant colonel in the army, and I’m a civil affairs guy, I knew that when I was there in April and made those connections. Those folks were able to … we were able to set up a feeding program where they came and they feed our kids beans and rice and that made all the difference. When I went into those camps I was seeing kids that were in the last stages of life. Some of the children died. Most of the kids had orange hair because the hair follicles were sucking the proteins from their body. People were literally in the last stages of life. Our organization, Heart of God, was able to fund them so each of our children could get one meal a day from the earthquake until I got down there in April. In May we moved them to the compound, coordinated with the NGOs, set up a feeding program and were able to sustain them. That was all really the hand of God. He put all of these connections in our path while we were there.

Bill: As we were saying on the break, you couldn’t have written this out. You couldn’t have made this story up. We found you through Hanne and you and someone else starting Heart of God as an e-mail ministry, how you ran into Dave, and then all of the providential things that happened in Haiti. The accident. If that accident wouldn’t have happened to Pastor Dicksent, those children would not be alive.

David: Right, right.

Bill: You had mentioned too, how have you used the solar generator – and you mentioned to me that you had used it to water and were actually saving lives as a result of this – you’d actually made the statement “those children wouldn’t be alive,” which is, again, a flooring statement for Brian, Jeramy and I, because we’re just in awe of the fact that we did something maybe in spite of ourselves that we had no idea that we were even doing.

David: When we moved into the compound, off the grid is literally off the grid. In the best of times, maybe you get one or two hours a day of electricity there – that’s if you’re lucky. Again, the hand of God. Through a connection at my church, someone sent a water filtration – gave them the money to buy a water filtration system that we were able to put in, in September. That water filter came just before the cholera outbreak and the solar generator kept that water filter going so we could clean the waters. None of the people within our compound got sick from the cholera and we were actually able to filter the water of the other people in the neighborhood. They brought their water, we put it in our cistern and filtered it for them, so they did not get cholera.

Bill: So maybe a whole community that was helped as a result of this?

David: Just having that solar generator. Simple as that.

Brian: Guys, we’re going to go ahead and – guys and Janet – we’re going to go ahead and run to a quick break that we have to. It’s a hard break. Then when we come back, I’d like to hear a little more about that. Ladies and gentleman, come on back, Off the Grid News after this short break.
[0:39:13-0:43:30 break]

Brian: Welcome back to the radio version of our little website. But you know what Bill? I’m thinking, listening to the discussion between you and David and Janet, and you mentioned it at the break so I won’t steal your thunder but this holiday season our listeners, who are a pretty proactive group of folks, really are going to have the opportunity to make a difference. We’ll talk about that towards the end of the segment, but I would like to hear more from David, as I know you would, about the solar generator. Because, David, a lot of times people say “oh Brian … oh Bill … oh Jeremy … oh gang at Solutions from Science or Off the Grid News, you guys are fear mongers. You’re talking about that the grids going to go down or food is going to be there,” or any of the other stories that you hear. People say “why do you guys always focus on the negative?” And we said “we simply don’t focus on the negative, we focus on helping people prepare so heaven forbid that negative eventuates itself in their lives, they’re going to be able to do something more than just run around panicked. So as I listened to you have the discussion, I should say it’s nice to hear, but it’s not surprising to hear that the power hub did such a great job not only in terms of electricity, as most people would understand it. I’m on Google Earth right now as you suggested – I’m on your website right now – I’d imagine from time to time it would be helpful to be able to recharge your computer or your phones or the lights, GPS units. But also to power, as you were saying, the filtration units so that people could get clean water. It’s a great story but I would say not terribly surprising. That’s why we’re so passionate about the technology.

David: The solar generator – the military wants you to shoot, move and communicate – communicate is huge. With that communication, Dicksent’s able to tell me his specific needs and I’m able to fill those specific needs. He’s able to tell me this is what’s going on, and I’m able to tell him, because I can see it from the big macro angle what’s happening and what he needs to do. When I say move, it was clear that if they stayed any longer at that IDP camp where we had them, that they would die in place. Nothing, no powers, nobody was going to come to help them. They would have been just 300 more dead people in a big sea of dead people and no one really was there to help them. The NGOs that were in place were overwhelmed. I mean, the amount of devastation is shocking. Unless you’ve seen it, it’s hard to really describe. And I’ve seen Afghanistan and I’ve seen Haiti post-earthquake, and Haiti by far was in a horrific condition.

Brian: David, if I could just interrupt for a second, at Heart of God International – at your website, which folks can log on to, you have a picture – it’s right on the Haiti – the earthquake news. “The crisis is far from over … reach out and help today.” You’ve got a picture. I can only imagine that that’s a multiple story building and really all that’s left is the gate outside of the building itself.

David: Right. The building’s down – it’s out in Carrefour – there wasn’t much left of the building, of the structure itself. Now one of the things of the solar generator that’s amazing is think about the solar generator and everything that runs on electricity. Something as simple as a cell phone, your computer, from their perspective we have a little satellite – I was able to power up the satellite so he’s able to send pictures and e-mails. He can coordinate with the other NGOs so he doesn’t actually have to leave the compound. He can call over to World Vision or Food for the Poor. He can coordinate with who he has to coordinate with without having to leave. That one piece of technology allows him, in essence, to leverage other technology. What he needed from us was just that one tool. He’s smart enough to figure out what to do with it once he has it. He needed from us just how to employ a security situation. He’s a pastor, he’s not a colonel in the army. He doesn’t understand how you protect your perimeter and how you have backup plans and backup plans to the backup plan. He just knows that he wants to spread the gospel and take care of his children and that’s what his mission is. I have to tip my hat off to Dicksent, that man is remarkable, what he’s able to do with the little bit he has available to him.

Bill: And he learned how to protect his perimeter pretty quick.

David: Pretty quick.

Brian: Well, it helps when you have a lieutenant colonel from the army there. Shoot, move and communicate …

Bill: But you don’t get that in seminary. Let’s face it, if he would have went to seminary in America, would he have got the shoot and move and communicate class? No. They don’t teach that in seminary, do they?

Brian: I’ve never been to seminary but I’ll take your word for it.

Bill: It’s kind of a joke … I would say whatever the opposite of that is …

David: But even more amazing, as far as move, is for Christmas, Christmases of ’09, Dicksent put on a huge pageant to spread the Gospel. As a result of that, these other churches that he was taking the children from, their church, and educating them in a Christian day school, took a collection up and bought him this little jeep – this Suzuki jeep. Only two weeks later was the earthquake. He had no transportation but, again, Divine timing. Two weeks before the earthquake he’s given a jeep, and that jeep enabled him to – when I told him “you need to go where you are now in Canape-Vert to Jimani,” he’s able to drive his jeep there and get it and take care of what he needed. Again, another just perfect timing.

Brian: And when you think about it, when you say “he was able to drive his jeep,” and I’m looking at the map now of Santo – a couple of dozen clicks north and east of the airport and Port-au-Prince and the like – when you say “drive there,” unless you’ve been in a disaster area that’s a challenge in and of itself. When you say “oh, I’m going to drive there.” Well, the roads are gone. The highways are gone. The overpasses are gone. Whatever dirt roads there were are now mud bogs. Just to say “he was able to drive from A to B,” a lot of our listeners may not know that it’s not like hopping on the interstate and going to exits down to be able to do what you want. It’s a totally different challenge, isn’t it?
David: Oh, absolutely. One of the things, we had to sign a waiver. When we traveled we had SUVs and we weren’t allowed to bring them into Haiti from Dominican Republic. I should say it this way, the waiver said if something happened to those vehicles, there was no insurance and we were responsible for the entire vehicle. Therefore, that’s why I took Dicksent’s jeep – (a) so I could blend into the population better and (b) because it’s a little smaller and easier to get in, and you obviously don’t make such a big footprint. From the camp to where the compound was, was not very far as the crow flies – probably no more than 30 miles, if that. Getting there is a challenge because in areas the road is gone. There’s no rules of the road. There’s no traffic stoplights. There’s no … it’s just do what you have to do to get to where you have to go. It’s survival of the fittest. Literally, driving is a sport in upon itself there.

Bill: Well let’s segue this, Brian, into the final section that we want to do. We’ve got about three minutes left, so I’d like to make an on-air offer. We’d like to give you folks another solar generator, another power hub, and what do you think that they can do? You had mentioned that they’re running water purifying equipment, that they’re using it to charge cell phones and so forth. Is there anything else with that that they could …?

David: One of the things they could use it for is – right now, the challenge is that they have more … they only have so much power in there. They can’t run their water filtration system all the time. They can’t charge up their computers. They don’t have any lights. So there’s a few things that if we had an extra power hub it would be a good thing to have, because we only get so much power – more needs than it could work.

Bill: So we’ll get you that and then we’ll get you – the other thing that I think would really be helpful – we’ve got some LEDs, some special LED bulbs that are coming from the orient. When we get those – then you can take the power hub, instead of using a 90W bulb, you can screw one of these in, you’re going to be using 6W, so we’re going to take your power hub and make it incredibly more powerful by virtue of the technology. Here we are again, making lighting for orphans, and we’re doing it with tech-nology – technology that is available to us if we just know how to make the applications. So we’ll get you a bunch of those bulbs for lighting. We’ll get you another power hub. And I would also like to say on air, Brian, if anyone would like to donate and be part of this next shipment, if they would like to put $100 or $50 in, they can call us up at our office, at (815) 259-4552 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (815) 259-4552 end_of_the_skype_highlighting and maybe ask for my daughter Stephanie – we’re a family business and so if you call there you’re going to talk to someone who’s either family or is a member of our extended family – and tell them that you’re interested in helping on the next Haiti shipment and then we’ll start to garner resources for the next wave. There’ll be some tactical ways that we have to get this into Haiti given all the corruption and stuff. I wouldn’t just send this blindly if Dave wasn’t able to get it through. So we’d like to make that offer to you and then make that offer to anyone listening to see if they’d like to help as well.

Brian: And Bill, in addition to the phone number, they can reach us at [email protected]. I’m sure we’ll put it up on our website as well. Facebook – Jeremy, maybe we can throw something up a little bit later on Facebook and on Twitter just saying if you want to help out, the proceeds that come in – whether it’s Stephanie’s caller or on our other technology, that we’ll go ahead and use those towards and additional … you’ve already very graciously agreed to donate a second power hub, these monies that would be coming in through your offer would be even in addition to that.

Bill: You bet.

Brian: And our listeners are those type of folks. Let’s not kid each other. Our listeners are the ones that are always trying to help out which is why I said in the tease, here’s something that you can do. You know your dollars are going to make a difference, where the rubber meets the road, it just happens to be meeting it in Haiti.

Bill: And we have to give away of what we have. I think that’s part of what God requires of us, is to give a percentage – they used to call it a tithe – the old-fashioned idea was tithe, and that’s somehow lost but I think we ought to think about tithing to things that are meaningful. These are really children who are hurting. These are really children who need your help. And what I like about the work that you guys are doing, Jan and Dave, is that you’re not taking any money. There’s no salaries. This is a genuine labor of love, everybody, these folks are doing it with no – what is it guys? You don’t have anybody, right?

David: There’s no overhead.

Brian: And zero administrative costs.

Bill: No one’s taking any money for this. Do you want to comment on that a little bit, Dave?

David: I was going to say that. That’s what makes us, I think, unique, is that 100 percent of everything you give will go right to where the need is. Myself, my wife and my business, which I use as a ministry upon itself, is paying for any overhead costs that we have. Nobody here has a salary. Our mission is to go out and preach the Gospel to every creature. We take that seriously. We understand what that means, but we have to take care of their physical needs as well. I think, as a CPA, I put those internal controls in place to make sure that the monies are being used down there for the intended purpose. I’ve gone down there and seen it with my own eyes what’s going on and I use my skills as a lieutenant colonel in the army to run this thing very efficiently.

Bill: I love that part.

Brian: I do too.

Bill: Internal controls. I love that part. You’ve got the efficiency of somebody that means business.

Brian: And he’s an accountant. I mean, where are you going wrong with that? Guns and a calculator.

David: I’m saying that … other NGOs are doing good, but a lot of monies you give to those larger organizations have huge – they have salaries for their CEOs that are very large and a lot of overhead. If you want to make sure the monies you’re sending are going, here’s a place where I can 100 percent vouch that every dollar you give is going to its intended purpose.

Bill: In a world that’s very cynical, right? Isn’t that kind of what marks our society? A cynicism about charities, about anybody. But we’re here to tell you, these are real people, this is going to a real cause, and we’re really keeping – I’m humbled by the opportunity to help you guys – genuinely humbled by the opportunity.

Janet: We’re humbled by having you help us.

David: We’re so grateful.

Janet: Very grateful.

David: One of the things where our biggest challenge right now is, is that World Vision and Food for the Poor are unable to deliver food. They have literally stopped. We’re in a situation now where we’re on our own. Our folks are in their compound under locked down conditions. Constantly they’re hearing gunfire. In the last week alone there was 10 murders and two kidnappings. People are coming unglued. Since the election on the 28th of November, the security situation has deteriorated. The worst it’s been in years. Our supply chain of food has been cut and it may not be replaced for a while.

Bill: But it’s not a lost cause. The idea here is God’s been providentially supplying Pastor Dicksent and these children all the way through this. It’s no reason for us to stop now because we see something – this is where we have to walk by faith – we see something and it looks like it might be tough, a tough situation. But that’s where we have to say – remember Stonewall Jackson – “duty is ours, consequences are God’s.” We do what we can do and then the chips are going to fall where they fall.

Brian: Alright Bill, I hate to do this because I’m having such a blast but we’ve got to run to get to the close of our show. But David and Janet both, I want to say it really is an honor knowing you. God love you and especially for everything you’ve done in the past and you continue to do, I just have to say Bill, I’m digging the lieutenant colonel thing as well. If there’s anybody that’s going to pull this off …

Bill: He’s going to get the money there. He’s going to get the goods there.

Brian: I say half-bird and I do that with respect because I’m ex-military as well – you’ve got a lieutenant colonel, he’s going to get it done for you. So, sorry that we have to cut it short. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you so very much. Again, remember, Bill Heid and his offer. Go ahead and call his daughter Stephanie, she’s a great woman. Also, reach out to us at [email protected]. As always, if you want to donate, we can guarantee – I know how Bill runs his business here – the monies that come in will go to that additional power hub and then any other monies that you want to donate to the folks at the Heart of God International Ministries as well, 100 percent. Zero administrative costs, 100 percent of your dollars this Christmas season will go to their fine work. You can also reach us at and, as always, follow us on Twitter@offthegridnews. We want to take this opportunity on behalf of everyone here at Solutions from Science and Off the Grid News to wish you a very, very, merry Christmas. Thank you so very much. Once again, as you always do, for giving us an hour of your time.

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