EMI Christian Music Group,
Provident Music Group and Word Entertainment have long collaborated in the
marketing and distribution of WOW compilation projects. This Wednesday,
the collective staff of the three companies, along with students from Belmont
University, banded together to package a record number 427,000 meals for the
non-profit hunger-relief organization, Feed My Starving Children (FMSC).
The number of meals packaged at this event is enough to feed 1,169
children for one year. The more than 1,500 volunteers worked in shifts that
started at 10:00 AM and ran through 8:00 PM, packaging specially formulated
meals in assembly-line fashion. Each FMSC meal provides the key nutrients
a child needs to survive and thrive. Laura Nielsen, Offsite Operations Manager
for Feed My Starving Children, shared, “The ‘WOW Shares’ event was an incredible
success. Not only did we pack a record-breaking amount of meals in one
day, but we also helped changed the world for so many kids in Thailand.” Over
the lunch break, Brandon Heath (Reunion Records/Provident Music Group),
Francesca Battistelli (Fervent Records/Word Entertainment) and Josh Wilson
(Sparrow/EMI CMG Label Group) performed a concert for volunteers that numbered
in excess of 1,500. Lunch was generously donated for volunteers by
Sodexo, Belmont’s food services provider.
(Nashville, Tenn.) Sept. 5, 2008 – The Hands & Feet Project, a children’s village in Jacmel, Haiti that was started by GRAMMY-winning band Audio Adrenaline in 2004, has suffered severe damage from the latest hurricane to hit the area. To make a donation online to help Hands & Feet Project, go to www.handsandfeetproject.org. Contributions via mail can be sent to Gustav Relief, c/o Hands & Feet Project, PO Box 682105, Franklin, TN 37068.
Following the destruction from hurricane Fay, hurricane Gustav buried the village in several feet of rock that came tumbling down the mountain during the storm. Although the overwhelming process of restoration has begun, tropical storm Hanna that hit this week again devastated the village and relegated the children and staff, 48 people in all, to live in one second-story room.
“We are in need of much prayer and financial support right now,” says Drex Stuart, a lifetime missionary who has previously served in Haiti and heads up the Hands & Feet Project with his wife, Jo. “Thank God all of our children and staff are safe. However, we have had major damage to our property, even worse than when [tropical storm] Noel hit last November.
“With our property completely buried in approximately four to five feet of mountain rock, we are doing the best we can to begin the clean-up process,” continues Drex. “Much of our supplies, food, clothes, diapers, formula, etc., have been destroyed and two of the houses where the kids lived were flooded with four feet of water and are currently unlivable. All 36 kids are living in the main house with the nannies.”
After Gustav hit Haiti, Audio Adrenaline frontman Mark Stuart and his father, Drex, who happened to be on a break in the US, flew into Haiti with a civil engineer to assess the damage and come up with a plan to protect the village. Following the assessment, the cleanup process began, but after four days of clearing rock and piling them up to make an earthen dam that would eventually be a 12-15 foot high concrete retaining wall with re-enforced steel for protection, tropical storm Hanna came through this week and washed all the progress away.
“Our property is about 50 feet wide, but we are also going to help our neighbors finish their walls, because otherwise ours will be ineffective,” says Joel Griffith, Hands & Feet project managing director based in Franklin, TN. “In total we will build a 200-foot retaining wall covering a Christian school that has 850 kids, the homes and property of five neighboring families representing 50 people and our property housing 36 orphans and 12 staff.”
“We had major damage to two of our children's houses and we lost most of our property walls, the foundation for our new cafeteria/kitchen. With the retaining wall and purchasing a backhoe to keep it up, we are looking at an estimated immediate need of $100,000- $150,000,” continues Griffith. “Although at this time we cannot handle supplies because of shipping costs, we are asking for monetary donations through our website, www.handsandfeetproject.org.”
As hurricanes Ike and Josephina threaten Haiti yet again, Mark Stuart also urges people to help: “Pray for Haiti, it’s a country that is often overlooked by the news channels when hurricanes happen because there are really no tourist areas. No reason to really pay attention, but it’s a place that really could use our help.”
For more information about this story, including photos, video storm footage, a video plea from Mark Stuart and more, go to www.handsandfeetproject.org.
The Hands & Feet Project, a 501c3 non-profit organization, is a children’s village in Haiti started in 2004 by Audio Adrenaline. It welcomed its first child in 2005 and currently has 36 children ranging in age from 2 months to 9 years old. The goal of the Hands & Feet Project is to provide a caring and loving environment for orphaned children in Haiti. The need is great and Hands & Feet Project is committed to saving the lives of orphaned children, giving them life more abundantly with a home, food, education, love and acceptance.
Releasing two independent projects and traveling with the Passion Conferences as a Worship Leader isn’t ‘normal’ behavior for an unsigned artist, but that’s exactly how Steve Fee and band has made a name for themselves since 2001. Now, Steve Fee, Matt Adkins, Heath Balltzglier, and Brandon Coker (known as Fee) have a deal at INO Records to release We Shine September 25.
Band leader Steve Fee says, “I feel like this is so much about timing, God’s timing. I have talked to a whole lot of people over the years, yet I was content doing my own thing. But we believe there is a message here that is so good and timely that we want everybody who can hear it to hear it. I have realized that INO is a team of passionate people who have the ability to get this record to people, at the right time and in the right way.”
With We Shine, Fee delivers a 12-track set of powerful worship songs that echo victory in Christ in every lyric. The band melds celebratory and significant lyrics to its energetic, relevant rock. The tone of We Shine is set through the spirited album opener “All Because of Jesus” and first radio single “Glorious One”. The title cut is a raucous jumper and a shouting experience, while “Grace Will Be My Song” and “Beautiful the Blood” escalate with powerful confessions to a Savior who calls his people to freedom in him.
“Fee has done an amazing job of building and participating in the ‘worship community,’ says Jeff Moseley, president of INO Records. “As an independent artist he has accomplished some things that any major label artist would dream of. We are happy to partner with him at this place and see how far we can take this music. We believe there are no boundaries and that the songs and artistry will make a way.”
For more information on Fee and to watch for upcoming tour dates, go to www.stevefee.com
(Nashville, Tenn.) July 26, 2007 – The Hands & Feet Project is now the home of 18-day-old Christela Belle, an unwanted newborn baby girl thrown down a 28-foot outhouse hole by her 15-year-old mother and left for dead shortly after she was born on Sunday, July 8, 2007. Rescued by a teenage boy, Toussaint, who attempted to retrieve her before calling police, Christela has now been placed in the protection of the Hands & Feet Project, a children’s village in Cyvadier (Jacmel), Haiti.
Rescuer Toussaint knew the mother had always denied being pregnant so when he noticed her leaving the school in Jacmel with a smaller stomach and blood on her legs, he followed the trail of blood to the outhouses behind the school. After hearing the baby, he notified police and attempted to lasso a rope around the baby below to pull her out.
The police and American UN soldier Darry “DJ” Williams arrived on the scene at a set of newly constructed outhouses, where Williams observed Toussaint desperately chipping away at the concrete toilet. “Toussaint told me that the mother had dropped the newborn in the pit because she didn’t want it. I could see that the baby was moving and knew that time was of the essence,” said Williams.
Williams notified the Sri Lankan Army, serving on behalf of the United Nations (UN) in Haiti, who arrived and quickly worked, breaking up the concrete two stalls down and lowering a soldier into the pit. The soldier wrapped the baby in a towel and secured it to a rope, which was then pulled out of the hole.
The umbilical cord and placenta were intact and a Sri Lankan medic raced the baby to an ambulance. The first hospital was poorly staffed, so Williams contacted an American friend, Drex Stuart of the Hands & Feet Project. “I told the medics to follow me to a private hospital near my house, and I called Drex who operates the Hands & Feet Project. I know that he recently had a set of twins in the private hospital and I asked him to call and notify them of our situation.”
Stuart and co-worker, Michelle Meece, arrived at the hospital with Dr. Jolicouer, offering to take the baby in at the Hands & Feet Project, as well as to cover all medical expenses. The doctor advised that the baby looked fine on the outside without any bruises or marks, and no broken bones.
“I knew this child would be fine,” said Williams. “After being dropped 30-feet into a pit and left for dead, and there were no bruises, no signs of trauma, and she was resting? I knew I had witnessed a miracle. Everyone involved knew it.”
The Justice of the Peace gave the Hands & Feet Project full rights to the baby. “She is now ours,” says Stuart. “A policeman from the station, no doubt a believer, gave us the baby’s first name. He said that Christ must have been there for her, so the three words for ‘Christ was there’ [in Creole] would be Christela. Her last name is in honor of Audio Adrenaline’s song ‘Beautiful.’ This word translates to Belle.”
“Christela is definitely a miracle child and was God’s chosen vessel to bridge the gap between the UN, police and the community. I am honored to have been a witness to this miracle. I am also humbled to have been asked by Drex to be her godfather,” said Williams.
“I am so amazed by the story of these rescuers,” says Mark Stuart, Drex Stuart’s son and frontman for the GRAMMY award winning rock band, Audio Adrenaline. “In Haiti, children are often abandoned and orphaned, and to see the teamwork between the police and the UN soldiers on behalf of this one baby, it is a would-be tragedy turned to joy.”
“Without programs like the Hands and Feet Project, many children like Christela would have little hope at all,” Mark says. “Not only was this project on hand to help Christela in the early moments of her life, but it will be there for her and other orphaned children in the days and years ahead. We are hoping to help raise a generation in Haiti that will change their country so we can be out of a job and orphanages can be empty.”
“Keep praying that we will be here and ready to take children that no one wants or can take care of! Don’t forget to pray for the mother, too,” says Drex.
Christela’s birth mother is a juvenile from Marbial, a small village in the countryside, about 45 minutes from Jacmel. She was put out of her parents’ home when she became pregnant and she moved to Jacmel. A judge did sentence her to jail. Medically she is doing well.
For more information about this story, including photos, video of the rescue and more, go to www.handsandfeetproject.org