Greg Barshaw Interview

  • May 20, 2010
  • #7319

Joni interviews Greg Barshaw who just returned from Haiti on Sunday.

Greg Barshaw Interview

Joni: Hi, friends. This is Joni Eareckson Tada and welcome to “Joni and Friends.”

And I know that the island nation of Haiti is still in the hearts and minds of many Christians who have prayed for and supported relief efforts in that country.  And I’m so grateful to report that just this weekend Greg Barshaw, our Wheels to the World team leader, just returned from Haiti with his team and I’m excited that he is here to give a report … Greg, welcome back and what was your general impression?

Greg: My general impression, Joni, is it’s a country in desperate need: the physical issues with the destruction of the homes and government buildings and just the infrastructure is just a disaster.

Joni: Well, we hear that billions of dollars have been poured into Haiti. Are you not seeing roads being built and homes being reconstructed?

Greg: No, not at all Joni. The same rubble that was there a month ago is still sitting in the same spot and it is a frustration for the people because they wonder, “Where is all the money going?”

Joni: When you go there how do you give the love of Jesus in a practical way? How do you encourage them and encourage the church?

Greg: I think so much of what we can do is just when you see people on the street you stop, you find out what they need, and you begin to minister to them. The church is responding incredibly well. There is a church that I was in just on Sunday, and it started after the earthquake and is already over 600 people — all new converts that are responding to the need of the gospel.

Joni: So you encountered lots of people with disabilities, many who sustained injuries as a result of the earthquake ...

Greg: Yes, many amputations, there were brain injuries, compression fractures … just a lot of issues from the tumbling of buildings.

Joni: So folks needed wheelchairs, right?

Greg: Yes, they definitely need wheelchairs and we were able to give out about 94 of them, and it was a pleasure. We saw 120 people and just had an incredible time with them.

Joni: So, Greg, what are the plans for the future? What are the plans to go back?

Greg: Well, Joni, I think what makes Joni and Friends ministry unique is that we see ourselves as a support for the church to help the church grow. And, because we are doing this ministry through the church, now we see the church being able to develop a relationship with the people in desperate need. So we are going to go back in August, we are going to sit down with a number of different pastors and help them to begin to understand the needs of their community. And they frankly told me, Joni, that they don’t have anything against — either pro or con — with disabled people but they just never considered them. They just never thought about them as being in the community and needing to be in the church.

Joni: Well, Greg, you are going out into the streets and the alleys and the highways and the byways, and you are finding the disabled of Haiti and bringing them into the embrace of the church plus giving wheelchairs and mobility aids where it is so needed. And, hopefully, a couple of “Joni” books in French, right?

Greg: Absolutely! So they have the opportunity to go home and really think about the power of the gospel — the power of Jesus is in their life.

Joni: Well, I know that Haiti is still in the hearts and minds of many of our listeners, so thank you Greg for being the hands and heart of Jesus over there.

Greg: You are very welcome, Joni. Thank you.

Joni: Well, I hope that you enjoyed that brief interview with Greg Barshaw, my good friend and Wheels for the World team leader, who just recently returned from Haiti delivering wheelchairs and the gospel of Jesus Christ including encouraging churches in the island nation. If you would like to see a couple of photos, please visit us at joniandfriends.org and see firsthand for yourself what God is doing in Haiti. And once again, let me remind you of our website — come by and visit us at any time. It’s joniandfriends.org. Of course, you can always call and talk to one of our team members by dialing 1-888-522-5664. God’s blessings on you until next time when we get together for “Joni and Friends.”

© Joni and Friends

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