Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The beginning of many things, and Lukes video thoughts.

So here we are, a whole 10 days into the new year 2012. I feel excited about this year, because I feel that this is the year we begin to branch out. I have a trip planed to visit the state of Queretaro with hopes that if it is Gods will that He will lead me to the right people and show me if, and where in Queretaro to begin this new ministry for the deaf. I also hope to begin a video blog of random thoughts and things that God is teaching me. So, Michael Walsh, here ya go, you asked for it. Video thoughts by Luke Everett.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

AND HERE WE GO...Off we go starting our 43rd year of reaching and teaching the deaf children of Mexico. This looks to be another exciting year as we will have quite a few new deaf children coming thanks to Azteca News doing a story on us that was shown on the national TV. We also have a great staff, new staff and returning staff and I hope to share a little about them through out the year. And, the new Missionary Training Center (MTC)/Auditorium continues to take shape. Here's a picture of where we are right now. What you are looking at is from the front, the two large slabs on each side will be classrooms, the middle section will be the stage and the wide steps are actually the seating area, it will be like stadium seating, but without the fancy seats.
The room to the left of the picture will be the bathrooms and small kitchen. As you see we have a long way to go and we know that in Gods timing, Gods provision and Gods way it will go up.
So stay tuned as I hope to stay more current this year with ranch activities, my travels, my family and everything else that goes on in my every changing moving life.
To God be the glory.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

March 9th, 1969, Today we are entering our 43rd year of RSM.

Today is the 43rd anniversary of RSM. It was 43 years ago today that the Everett family arrived in Ensenada, Baja California Mexico and started a free home and school for Mexican deaf children. Today Eddie and I had to drive up the coast to near Rosarito, and driving back we were reminiscing how that 43 years ago today we were traveling down that same road in a rickety maroon bus with 6 kids peering out the windows looking at the ocean and not having a clue what lay in store for us, but God did.  I was trying to imagine what my father was feeling as he drove the bus down this road, with his family and everything we owned in it, not really certain what the future held, but he had faith in a great God, and was sure that this was God's plan for his life. And here we are now; after many hardships and joy, countless personal tragedies and triumphs, lots of tears, lots of laughter, and many, many blessings. We are blessed with lots of wonderful friends, hundreds of deaf children who now have a language, who will one day be in Heaven, a beautiful ranch/ministry who in the words of my buddy Steve Sundin who once said, "it's a ministry that not only survives but thrives". Looking back at these past 43 years I can only thank God for the honor of serving Him in such a special place, and even though we are so unworthy of serving Jesus, the King of kings, Lord of lords, He has made us worthy, through His love, death and resurrection. And I can only pray that we will continue to do our best and continue worthy of serving Him here. After 43 years I feel that we are only getting started, we are on the brink of something amazing that will eventually spread to other parts of Mexico and beyond. So thank YOU, all you who pray, give, come and serve and love us, it is through the giving, love and prayers and people like you that, Lord willing, we can continue on for another 43 years of reaching and teaching the deaf of Mexico for Jesus. Muchas Gracias.

Monday, January 17, 2011


Before I add my last update and photos I just wanted to share how this has affected me and my thoughts concerning the trip and life in general.  I do not wish to sound self-righteous for I am learning too.  I returned from Haiti yesterday and now I am in Spring Valley sitting in a Starbuck (theres a surprise!) drinking my Pikes Place blend, eating my artisan egg, bacon and gouda sandwich looking around at the wretched excessiveness that is America, thinking; "We are a blessed nation".  Now those that really know me know that I do not complain about petty things, having grown up fairly poor in the beginning of our ministry, when I was 9 or 10, I remember it being so cold in the boys dorm where I was living that the shampoo would coagulate, having really nothing to play with except stick guns, and a big can for kick the can game, and some toy soldiers (which one ended up burning down a house, but thats another story), Then we really had nothing! I remember when all we had to eat was oatmeal for breakfast for 2 years because we didn't have anything else, eating kidney beans in any form you can think of because we were donated a large shipment of almost expired cans of kidney beans, and really didn't have much else, except a truck load of canned coconut milk to wash it down, I remembering eating Army MRE meals (those ready to eat packaged meals), from the Vietnam war or it even seemed world war II, ), they had canned meat, stinking hard thick crackers which I think could be used as a weapon if the enemy got within throwing range, a tiny can opener, dried food, cookies, salt,  and etc, even a small pack of cigarettes ( which I sometimes promptly hid to try out later, cough, cough), and lots of Government processed cheese; which to this day I am sure only those that work in the Los Alamos military base know what was in it.

Anyway I always tried hard not to complain now when the food at the ranch is lame, because at least we have food. But even back then we were rich compared to what I saw in Haiti.
By the grace of God we are where we are. Those people did not ask to be born in that country, it's not their fault they have existed under slavery in the beginning, that their government is more corrupt than ours, thus affecting their livelihood, and finally the earthquake.

I have never seen such utter poverty, and misery, people getting by with barely 85 cents a day or less, scrapping by with anything they can find, wallowing in filth, living within feet of each other in leaky tents where the temperatures inside go up to the triple digits, where when it rains water leaks in from the top and flows through the bottom.  

The earthquake destroyed so many homes, that the mothers who normally stay home are out selling anything they can, and children are not going to school, the country is regressing. Here we are, a year later and still there are thousands of tent cities set up everywhere all over the city, hundreds of thousands of homes still destroyed, it would take 1000 dump trucks, trucking out rubble every day, 25-30 years to remove all the rubble. 

You get the picture, yet, I saw no one complaining, most trying to live with as much dignity as they can. As Don Miller said in his book: "Life amid the absurdity of human suffering, still has meaning." Life still has meaning and we need to let them know that Jesus can give them more meaning for life. We know if they come to him, they will still be poor, but one day, they will be rich beyond their dreams, with streets of gold, living in a mansion, eating fresh fruit every day. We need to give them that hope, that life on earth is fleeting compared to eternity in Heaven. Haiti is a fairly Christian country, it is was very evident as I saw church after church, large tent after large tent, with people spilling out to the street, sing and clapping and praising God, I thought; Wow, we cry and moan and bitch over the smallest things, yet these people have lost everything but their faith in Jesus and pure true joy coming from knowing Jesus loves them.
Singing and worshipping God among the rubble and ruins of Haiti
It seems that when all this happened, they had a choice, get better or get bitter. From what I saw, they are choosing and trying to get better. We spend our lives trying to avoid conflicts, but conflict is what builds us and binds us together. The deaf over there have chosen to come together to help each other. Sharing similar experiences, especially tough ones, binds people together.
One new neighborhood that was being built for a large camp of displaced people who lost their homes, has beautiful small brightly colored wooden houses, thousands of them going up. We got to visit some of the tenants of these new homes, they were so grateful, many said that these homes are better than the ones they had before, therefore the earthquake in a way is a blessing, because so many are getting newer nicer homes. "There is no conflict that man can endure that will not produce a blessing." Don Miller.

So where am I going with this? I'm not sure. Besides making sure I never complain about anything again, trying to do my part in continuing helping the deaf of Mexico, helping Haiti or wherever God tells me to go and give a hand or more. And looking again at what a blessed country we are, I recently heard that even the homeless in America have enough to eat and live in better conditions that those in other countries. I know that sounds harsh, but it's true. We can all help others. God has given us what we have, not only so we can live comfortably, play the latest Xbox game, pay way too much for a cup of coffee and throw away enough left over food to feed a small nation. But God has blessed us so we can bless others. I recently heard and read something in the bible. It's in Ezekiel Chapter 16, God is telling Israel how he found them naked, and all beat up, he cleaned them up, cared for them and they became a very prosperous, blessed nation. But, they were beginning to stray, do stupid things and God was going to destroy them like he destroyed Sodom, because.. well, heres what the verse says:
"Behold this was the guilt of your sister Sodom, she had her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease but did not aid the poor and needy... so I removed them. Ezekiel 16:49-50 " And we read what happened there.  Are we really doing enough to help the poor and needy?
In an effort not to give to or help the poor many have quoted the verse John 12:8 8 For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always.” The poor are going to be around for ever, so why help them, theres no end? Jesus said that to Judas when he complained it was a waste of money when the costly perfume was poured on Jesus, because Judas wanted to loot the money box. Jesus said that meaning, you will have a chance to help the poor after I am gone, right now, lets just focus on the time we have left together, and help the poor later, because, they are going to be around for awhile. 
So what should we do, what does the bible say?  Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. James 1:27.
So, come on world Our lives are stories, what is your story? We live in a world where bad stories are told, stories that teach us that life doesn't mean anything and that humanity has no great purpose. It is a good calling then to speak a better story (go out and do something good, something great!), How bright a better story shines, how easily the world looks to it in wonder. How grateful we are to hear these stories, and how happy it makes us to report them. Lets go out there and dazzle the world with good works and good stories (lives), bless others, give, serve, LOVE others, look to Jesus and being in Heaven one day.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Adventures of a missionary on a mission trip part 3

Friday; The gang had breakfast together, then Jerry and 5 of the guys went back to work on the playground more while Dave Reed and I waited for Yves Prophete from Global Vision Citadel Ministries: http://www.gvcm.org/ to come and pick us up, so naturally after the gang left, I went back to bed for a couple more hours (my pickup was supposed to come at 12 noon) , then later Dave & I went across the street to a vender and bought a bunch of curios. I even swapped an RSM T-Shirt and a few bucks for a pack of Haiti bracelets.
Yves showed up around 2pm and we were off on a 2 hour drive out of the city and up to Mirabalais where the orphanage is. On the way I learned a little about Yves and I really like this guy and his heart, he's a good guy (Thank you Dana Hayden of Quail lakes Baptist Church for the connection). He had another guy named Scott Joahanness from Indiana who is also on the board of GVCM. We Stopped at a gas station and since I missed lunch Yves bought me a chicken machaca type baguette, I don't eat food in American gas stations, so I was really trusting Yves and God on this one. Then off we went. Another person that drives like a maniac, top speed, while talking on the phone, looking up info on another phone and driving a stick shift in the most horrible, congested traffic in the world.  Some sights on the way there:
Steet vendors everywhere

It is like this all over the city

A little ragamuffin trying to mooch some money (they were everywhere too.)

Once you gave anybody anything, you were mobbed, all these guys are trying to get something here.

We arrived at the orphanage and it was already DARK (we were supposed to be back at the hotel by 4pm, so we broke one of the rules), anyway, IT WAS GREAT! There were several deaf girls there and when they knew I could sign ASL, they were all over me. asking my name, telling me theres, they would hold on to my arms and hands leading me around the place proudly showing me where they eat, went to classes, slept and etc.
A few of the deaf children

More deaf boys
There was one little guys that was hugging me and followed me everywhere and couldn't stop looking at me. I was afraid he was gonner sprain his neck.

And look at this little fellow! I wanted to put him in a suitcase and bring him home, snot and all!

At one point all the kids got together in the church sitting on the floor, one of the staff had a very small digital picture screen that just showed pictures, and you would have thought they were watching Avatar on a plasma screen TV! they we all just glued to this tiny picture screen.

Except for these 3, they wanted me to take their picture:

After about 90 minutes we had seen everything and everyone and it was darker outside and we still had about an 90 minute drive back, we said our goodbyes, I gave them a soccer ball which again, you would have figured I gave them the Barcelona soccer team. Said goodbye to my new friend and hero Yves:

And we hit the road, it was a very windy road, and I kid you not, most of the trucks did not have brake lights, many were just stopped in the middle of the road, our driver (who spoke Spanish), drove a little calmer that Yves, but just as we got to the outskirts of Port Au Prince, a huge downpour was happening, I mean IT WAS RAINING! and the closer we got to the center of the city, the scarier it was, water was cascading down everywhere, the trash was floating by, at one point the water was up to the bottom of the doors on the truck, it looked like we were driving down a river, and now we can see the huge, deep potholes, I thought we were going to drown.

Driving through the flood

water, mud and trash washing by us, notice guy sitting on steps at the right.
But, by the grace of God and our drivers skills, we made it back to the hotel, where the rest of the group was convinced we were dead. I'd never seen a group of men so happy to see me. So an end to another blessed eye opening day. Stay tuned for part 4.

Adventures of a missionary on a mission trip part 2

This is my second attempt sending this post, i am way behind now, like 2 days behind, and I leave tomorrow, and today was another day filled with emotions, extreme poverty but also grace and a pastor here showed us his church, compound where many tent people lived, then took us to his home for an amazing lunch, but lets get back to Thursday:
We got up early and headed out about an hour outside PAP to a large displacement camp where they are basically building a very nice new neighborhood. First of all the traffic here is HORRIBLE! It seems there is only one road out of PAP and everyone from PAP is going somewhere. Crazy! We finally got to the camp and another U.S. group was there putting together a playground set for the kids in the new neighborhood. We were hoping to get some cool work like bolting the set together and everything but, ended up digging big ol deep holes for the basketball hoops. It was hot and muggy, but we dug the freaking holes! And I mixed cement by hand with the locals. It was a good day. We then took a tour of the new houses being built for the displaced people and met some people who lost several family members in the earthquake. Sad but encouraging. Some where saying the earthquake was a blessing in a way because now they have nicer homes. The ride home took forever, I missed my grandchildren growing up during the ride back, but we finally made it. We were all covered head to toe in dirt and cement from working all day, but it felt good. Especially to jump into the pool.

Mixing cement the old fashion way with the locals

The gang digging holes, and we did good!
There are probably thousands of these displacement camps all over Haiti, I don't know how they survive. The minimum wage here is 325 Dollars a year! which is about 89 cents a day.
Tomorrow I meet Yves Prophete and go visit his orphanage which has about a dozen deaf children, stay tuned.
Thank you for praying. There are more pictures of my trip on my Facebook page, (or there will be soon).

Friday, January 14, 2011

Adventures of a missionary on a mission trip.

A group of neat men that God brought together to share a story & and an adventure in Haiti.
So I finally got Internet connection, yesterday I found internet in a big room filled with reporters for AP, so I made my self at home, Skyped Lucas, but after about an hour, they realized I wasn't a "real" AP reporter and they kicked me out of the room. I finally found the hotel business center, and here I am. Anyway, Tuesday and 9:30 PM We left a chilly cold LAX and arrived 12 hours later in a hot and muggy Haiti. My first impression as we entered the airport was CHAOS, even though it's been a year, things are still pretty primitive at the airport. We made it outside and immediately we we're almost mobbed with people asking to help carry our luggage, for money, food, anything we could give them. I was a little overwhelmed by the thousands and thousands of tents of the people who have lost their homes, all crammed in very close to each other, they are all over the city. We arrived at the hotel, which felt weird because inside it was like and oasis, nice pool, restaurant, AC and etc. and right across the street is a large tent city with people barely surviving. There are armed guards at the front of the hotel. Because it is the 1st anniversary of the earthquake, every news outlet from all over the world is here, from CNN to German News. Even Bubba Clinton was in town for the ceremony.BUT, it's not as bad as I thought it would be, but it's still pretty dire. After checking in we went and met a missionary to the deaf here, his name is Leny Funtecha. He and his wife have a deaf church and are starting to build a school for the deaf since the local school collapsed. He took us to the "Friends of deaf Haiti" camp that I mentioned in my previous blog.  It was very cool. They were so happy to meet me, and eager to  converse with me. Wilder, one of the camp leaders showed me around. they had just moved from tents into small wooded houses on Friday, so they were pretty happy with their new homes. There are about 400 people living here. Tthey are helping with the building of their new homes and at the same time learning a new trade  in construction. I should point out that most of these homes were a result of Friends of deaf Haiti and the International Red Cross, and they can still use more money to build more homes (www.friendsofdeafhaiti.org), I want to thank Richard Cohen from FDH for his help in not only being a part of FDH but for helping me make the connections. It was a special day, I know it has been hard for them. I met a young man who lost his leg in the earthquake, many others told me their stories. One after one they would come up to me, sigh their name. After a couple of hours of visiting and talking with them it was time to leave. I did not want to go, I could have stayed there all day, all week if the group would let me. So they all got together and I shared with them that the deaf children (and adults) of Mexico  knew about them and were praying for them, they were encouraged by that. I prayed in front of the group then almost every one of them came up to me, hugged me and said goodbye. What a day.  Stay tune for day 2; Luke and the gang digs a big hole.

Some of the deaf who lived in FDH camp.