Organizations I've Worked With That I Strongly Recommend (listed alphabetically)
Beyond Borders: This organization works with a sister organization in Haiti called "Limye Lavi" to promote education in Haiti. They do this in all kinds of creative and soulful ways which are all deeply respectful of Haitian culture, religion, and history. In my mind they are the antithesis of all the missionaries of past eras which failed to distinguish between cultural imperialism and "spreading the gospel." The organization was originally started by Tony Campolo. They host trips to Haiti, have a program through which individuals can live in a Haitian village for a year, address the problem of child servitude in Haiti, and many other things. Great people and a great organization.
Faith Inkubators: Faith Inkubators was founded by my friend Rich Melheim. He’s an ordained ELCA Lutheran pastor and is an amazingly creative visionary when it comes to Christian Education. Faith Inkubators has used a number of my songs in their teaching tools. If you’re looking for a deep well of wonderful resources for Christian Ed, Confirmation, and all kinds of wonderful resources for ministry, definitely check these guys out!
Fonkoze Bank: This is a bank system and network in Haiti that was established to give the poorest of the poor access to banks and related services. It was established by a Catholic priest and friend of mine named Fr. Joseph Phillipe. This is the bank I and countless other organizations use to wire money to Haitian organizations and individuals. They have developed wonderful micro-credit programs and literacy programs, and I am proud to be affiliated with this amazing organization.
Havest Time: Harvest Time was founded in 1999 by my dear friend Donald McClanen. Don also founded the Fellowship of Christian Atheletes years ago, and also The Ministry of Money which is also listed in this links section. Harvest Time focuses on accompanying wealthy Christians in the process of trying to align their lives and resources with their heart, faith, and life’s calling. I was on the board of Harvest Time when it began, and then became the coordinator of Harvest Time’s Haitian partnerships. Eventually I became a co-director of Harvest Time until I resigned in April of 2007 in order to give my music my undivided attention once again. Harvest Time helps to fund a number of grass roots organizations in Haiti which in one way or another serve and empower the poorest of the poor. They also give birth to circles of wealthy Christians here in the states which meet twice a year for retreats. These retreats are about nurturing relationships and structures of encouragement which are needed in order to keep moving into deep and joyful responses to the needs of the world.
Madison Christian Community: This is my home church community in Madison, WI We are an ecumenical partnership between Community of Hope UCC and Advent ELCA Lutheran Church. MCC is also the structure through which I now do my work in Haiti.
Ministry of Money: This organization, founded by Don McClanen and born out of the well known Church of the Saviour in Washington, D.C., is all about helping folks live into a deeper biblically grounded understanding of how to relate to and use money. I worked part-time with Ministry of Money for about 7 years, and this was the organization which hosted my first trip to Haiti in 1991. I helped to lead trips of “reverse mission” to Haiti, Bosnia, and India with Ministry of Money, and focused particularly on the trips to Haiti. They offer retreats throughout the country, take groups to experience the realty of poverty in developing nations, and have a wonderful newsletter which I highly recommend.
The What If? Foundation: What If? was founded by my close friend Margaret Trost in 2000. Margaret traveled to Haiti with me on a Ministry of Money trip in January of that year, and she developed a friendship with Fr. Jerry Jean-Juste who spoke with our group during that trip. Fr. Jean-Juste spoke of his desire to start a meal program in his church neighborhood to feed hungry children, and Margaret's heart and spirit connected immediately to this dream. Under her amazing leadership, this foundation has grown to the point at which it now feeds about 1000 children and 250 adults 5 times a week, and also sends over 100 students to school. I'm on the board of this organization, and have been privileged to watch this effort grow. Margaret has written a book about her journey with What If? that will be available very soon. Paul Farmer, the well known physician who is the focus of the book by Tracy Kidder called Mountains Beyond Mountains, wrote the forward to the book. I hope you'll read Margaret's book and learn more about What If's work. Some of my song lyrics are in the book as well…