True North: Trip 1: Les Anglais Medical Clinic

The clinic we served in a few weeks ago was the same clinic we were in days after Hurricane Matthew.

When I walked into the clinic this time, I immediately remembered what it was like back in October; I remembered where the hospital beds were lining the hallways, the faces of the people, & the weary doctors & staff.

I looked into each of the rooms & reflected on who was in those rooms & beds in October:

  • the babies with cholera & those literal life-giving IV bags.
  • the mamas & daddies standing over the beds holding their little ones’ hands praying the medicines would work.
  • the strength of each person as they had their wounds cleaned & bandaged.

This time, that very same clinic was vastly different. There is still a great need in the community, but there was order in the chaos. There were scars instead of wounds. There was a calm healing on faces of the clinic staff instead of a chaotic uncertainty of what to do.

I rounded one hallway where I vividly remember a beautiful little girl lying on a bed with an IV in her tiny arm, pumping life into her frail body. This time, there was no bed, but a waiting room full of parents & their little ones waiting to be seen by the Haitian malnutrition specialist to try to get their babes strong & healthy. What a gift!

This little girl marked me. We locked eyes, she pretended to be timid for about 2 seconds, & then she busted out giggling. I greeted her with a kiss on each cheek, which she returned again & again & again – giggling each time. A nurse next to me picked up my camera & snapped a few photos. I cherish these. This very same clinic hallway is where I was weary at the brokenness of this world & the hell that people go through, is the same hallway where I saw a tangible redemption & grace of God.

Redemption is evident. The Lord is making things new. It’s a promise & He’s faithful. And often, He gives us tangible glimpses of this holy work that He’s up to & that He’s invited us into. That week was a glimpse for me. He’s good & He’s doing good, always.

Screen Shot 2017-08-27 at 5.20.32 PMScreen Shot 2017-08-27 at 5.20.53 PMScreen Shot 2017-08-27 at 5.21.03 PMScreen Shot 2017-08-27 at 5.21.13 PMScreen Shot 2017-08-27 at 5.21.24 PMScreen Shot 2017-08-27 at 5.21.39 PMScreen Shot 2017-08-27 at 5.21.54 PMScreen Shot 2017-08-27 at 5.22.05 PM

Hurricane Matthew: October 2016

For several months, I’ve sat down at my computer to try & write about Hurricane Matthew hitting Haiti this past Fall. Each time I sat down, I was met with a blank computer screen & a flood of images, memories, & emotions. Today, I went back through the photos I posted on Instagram throughout those heavy weeks in October.

I value the space on this blog to share life experiences, update supporters & prayer partners about what God is doing in Haiti, & to have a digital scrapbook. Below is an overview of photos & captions from those weeks because I do not want to forget what those days were like & the weight of those moments.

Dates & captions are below each photo.

1_haitian-flagOctober 2, 2016 – “Would y’all be praying as Hurricane Matthew approaches the Caribbean islands? Would you specifically pray for families living in tents/temporary homes & that the Lord would redirect & calm this storm? I am unbelievably proud of & grateful for our @mohhaiti team on the ground – they are well prepared & have already began mobilizing relief efforts to parts of the island expected to get hit the hardest.”1_prepOctober 3, 2016 – “Today was a day of prayer & strategizing relief efforts in anticipation of Hurricane Matthew hitting Haiti today & into tomorrow. Many of you have personally reached out to me asking what you or your church can do. The most efficient & effective way to provide crisis relief in a time like this is to financially partner with organizations on the ground that you trust. Friends, I know Mission of Hope. I trust & SEE that each dollar given is stewarded with excellent integrity. I know the relief plan drafted up is strategic & well thought out. And I’m amazed at the network of partnerships God has graciously provided & believe it is the best way to effectively reach those in immediate need for essential relief. I’m asking that you partner alongside us financially as we have prepared to provide emergency relief with water, food, medical care, clean up & additional needs throughout the country. Today has been a beautiful reminder of how deeply grateful I am for the team here at MOH & amazed to see how God has united His people from all across the world to pray, serve, & sacrifice for others. Please continue to pray for Haiti as the storm continues to hit.”2_haiti-hurricane-matthew-hq-4840October 8, 2016 – “I landed in Haiti 2 days ago & the only word I can find for this photo is “sobering”. This is a photo I personally took Thursday in the south of Haiti that was recently hit by Hurricane Matthew. The devastation is real & the immediate need for relief & aid is great.
.
For years, I have personally seen the work that Mission of Hope does to serve our brothers & sisters across Haiti. Through HaitiOne, over 400 organizations across Haiti are working together. This morning, a 55 ton barge was sent out with food & water & is being deployed to the south. Drivers are headed north with loaded down trucks. I watched our warehouse be emptied in full faith of its refill to continue – this is what God means when he commands us to to walk in faith & to consider others as greater than ourselves. I believe God has equipped His church for such a time as this. God has invited us AND equipped us to join Him in the work of redemption.
.
Today, my heart aches because of the loss of many lives, homes, & communities from this devastating storm.
Today, I am also reminded that darkness will never overcome the light. That’s a promise & God is faithful to fulfill his promises.
.
Many of you have asked how you can help. The next few weeks are crucial in continuing to get aid out to areas like this. The link to our @mohhaiti relief page is in my profile, I’d be honored if you would come alongside us.”

3_haiti-hurricane-matthew-hq-5897October 10th – “R E S I L I E N T.
When people ask me about the Haitian people, that’s the first word that comes to my mind. It’s truly beautiful to see their resilience & strength. Would you please continue to pray for these people & support relief going to those who have endured so much suffering? The relief efforts are only just beginning. There is so much devastation to overcome. As we walked through this village at sunrise, these joyful little beauties were yet another reminder that the darkness WILL NOT drive out the light.”4_haiti-hurricane-matthew-hq-5920October 11th – “Hope is never a situation. Hope is never a location. Hope is never an ideology. Hope is a person, & his name is Jesus Christ.” – Paul Tripp.

I’m convinced that the sky here in Haiti has never looked so beautiful as it has the past several days. The sun gleaming over the mountains in the morning, & the display of brilliant color as it sets in the evening is a reminder that God is good & does good.

Hope is here because Jesus is who He says He is. He calls us to join Him in the restoration of this broken world; to proclaim Christ in this brokenness, & to care for the broken & hurting – it’s what Jesus did & it’s what He’s equipped us to do.”5_haiti-hurricane-matthew-hq-6039October 12th – “R E A L I T Y.
When Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti last week, many villages across southwest & northern Haiti were wiped out. However, the devastation continues to increase after the storm, as cholera & threat of starvation take lives. Mission of Hope is diligently working alongside multiple organizations as we exhaust resources to get to these people in these villages by boat, plane, & truck. Please continue to pray for these people, their health, & for the Lord to continue to work through His church by healing the sick, caring for them, & proclaiming His love for them. He is faithful.”6_haiti-hurricane-matthew-hq-6262October 12th – “The anthem over the past week: “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord” Psalm 27:13.
.
I am confident that the Lord’s goodness is evident & He is working through His church in ways that can only be described as miraculous. Please continue to pray for these people, as there is still so much to be done.”7_haiti-hurricane-matthew-hq-5881October 13th – “Please join the Mission of Hope family in praying Psalm 20 this morning. Thousands have been helped, but thousands are still waiting. We need doors opened. We need favor. Let’s pray & trust He will provide.”8_haiti-hurricane-matthew-hq-5893October 13th – “P S A L M • 2 0.
.
May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble! May the name of the God of Jacob protect you! May he send you help from the sanctuary and give you support from Zion! May he remember all your offerings and regard with favor your burnt sacrifices!
.
Selah
.
May he grant you your heart’s desire and fulfill all your plans! May we shout for joy over your salvation, and in the name of our God set up our banners! May the Lord fulfill all your petitions!
.
Now I know that the Lord saves his anointed; he will answer him from his holy heaven with the saving might of his right hand. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. They collapse and fall, but we rise and stand upright.
.
O Lord, save the king! May he answer us when we call.”
9_haiti-hurricane-matthew-hq-5887October 14th – “There have been multiple moments over the past week that will forever be etched into my heart & mind.
.
One conversation from this morning was when I walked into Mr. Lookens’ office & stood talking with him & Mr. Wantously, both Haitian leaders here at MOH who I’ve grown to know & love the past 3 years.
.
Mr. Lookens said, “When I go to sleep at night, I see Jeremie (southern town wiped out by Hurricane Matthew) in my mind. When I think if it was my wife or son that couldn’t find clean water to drink or food to eat, that hurts me. We have to do everything we can to help these people.”
.
Sometimes I do not know how to explain to my friends or family what Haiti is like, but the conversation this morning paints a beautiful picture of unity & fighting for one another. They hurt when their neighbors hurt. They fight for them, pray alongside them, & labor on behalf of them.
.
It’s a beautiful thing.”10_haiti-hurricane-matthew-hq-5458October 19th “This photo was taken right before the first barge docked for relief delivery in Jeremie — one of the villages significantly affected by Hurricane Matthew here in Haiti.
.
The sun glaring through the ruins reminded me that true Hope is found in Christ & Christ alone. Anything else can be gone in an instant.
.
This truth of Jesus being our HOPE has carried our team the past 2 weeks & will continue to carry us as we strive to reach the broken & hurting.”11_haiti-hurricane-matthew-hq-5863October 20th – “The reality of the Lord’s presence in the midst of destruction & affliction has forever marked me.
.
Affliction & disasters are not new. The reality of a broken world is heavily felt, but the Truth of a risen, reigning, & reconciling King is felt all the more. He is good & is doing good; He calls His church to act & what a privilege that is.
.
Last night we gathered together as a MOH family & shared glimpses of what we’ve seen God doing through His church across the globe. Nothing short of amazing.
.
1 Thessalonians 1:2-3 — We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”12_Haiti Hurricane Matthew HQ-5837.jpgOctober 22nd – “This is Marvens, a soft spoken little guy from Anse d’Hainault, standing in the midst of his decimated village.
.
I’m headed back to Austin after spending a couple weeks helping with relief efforts after Hurricane Matthew swept through Haiti.
.
The days have gone by in a blur, but when I look back on the past 16 days in Haiti, the words that come to mind are: devastation, unity, desperation, resilience, survival, strength, & HOPE.
.
As the rebuilding continues, my anthem for the Haitian people is Romans 12:12 – Rejoice in Hope. Be patient in tribulation. Be constant in Prayer.
.
What the enemy means for evil, God will use for good. I’ve firsthand seen the beginnings of this & know that He is faithful.”13_Haiti Hurricane Matthew HQ-5063.jpgNovember 29th – “For Giving Tuesday, I can’t help but think of these incredible drivers at Mission of Hope who went above & beyond to load & deliver supplies after Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti. All smiles & ready to serve their neighbors.
.
We would be honored if you’d choose Mission of Hope to invest in. Lives are impacted daily & it’s an honor to serve with these incredible people.”


It’s almost February of 2017. Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti on October 4, 2016. So now what? We’ve seen a network of organizations & people unite & work together to serve the communities we work in through HaitiOne. We’ve seen unity like never before. We’ve seen resilience, growth, & restoration. The amount of work to be done is great and God is using His church from all corners of the world to participate.

I now live full time in Austin, Texas and I continue to work at Mission of Hope: Haiti. I am working at the stateside MOH office & I travel to Haiti regularly. I have the privilege of working with our partner organizations in the rebuilding & restoration of homes throughout the Southern region of Haiti.

In December, I had the opportunity to travel back to the South & serve alongside one of our construction teams roofing homes in the village of BonBon. We partner with Haiti Bible Mission, a wonderful organization in Jeremie who is living the difference in their community. We were able to see the rebuilding in the community of BonBon first hand. I’ll post a separate entry with more photos from that trip, but below is a glimpse at the restoration that God graciously allowed us to witness. day 2 HBM construction 12.2016 HQ-0673.jpgday 3 HBM construction 12.2016 HQ-1459.jpgThe below three photos are of Madame Odette’s home during the re-roofing process. Photo two, where she stands beaming in front of her home as her roof was being constructed, is a photo that summarizes the community of BonBon as the rebuilding takes place. Strong. Beautiful. Joyful. Unshakeable. Radiant.day-1-madame-odette-houseday 2 HBM construction 12.2016 HQ-0879.jpgday 3 HBM construction 12.2016 HQ-1491.jpg


Friends, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for creating space, praying, processing, & listening through this season. Fall of 2016 brought things none of us expected & that none of us would have asked for, but I choose to remain confident that God is good & doing good.

Update: Spring 2016.

Below are some highlights & favorite moments from this Spring. I’m deeply grateful for this life, this country, these people, & these memories.

Captions are above the photos.

What better way to celebrate the MOH 2016 spring intern class than hiking through the mountains & soaking in this beautiful place? When you’re hiking up the mountains & they say it’s time for a mango pit-stop, YOU SAY YES.Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 4.22.39 PMScreen Shot 2016-05-20 at 4.22.48 PM

A favorite little coffee spot in my home that is filled with gifts from thoughtful friends who know my love for coffee & tea.Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 4.23.35 PM

April 21, 2016. 6 years, 3 months & 9 days after a devastating earthquake struck Haiti & created massive devastation for many all across the country, 615 houses are now complete to help alleviate one of the many problems caused by that earthquake. That’s 615 families whose lives have been transformed by having a place to live, a place to send their kids to school, & most importantly, a church on top of the hill for people to praise God for what he is doing in Haiti.Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 5.10.19 PM

A (very real) day in my life. I can not be trusted to hold anything in the mornings.Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 4.23.59 PM

Bird’s nest outside my door.
Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 4.24.12 PM

Flying back to my Haiti home.Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 4.24.35 PM

Truth, shadows, & light.
Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 4.25.26 PM

Wisdom & jokes from Mr. Marc with the Austin MOH office.Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 4.25.42 PM

“Can you turn up the volume? I love this song!”
Taking Texas by storm with some of my favorite Haitian friends.Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 4.25.50 PM

Girl’s weekend 2016. “Do you guys have any training? Like are y’all professional paddle-boarders?” – random guy in Austin. We totally looked like pros y’all.Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 4.26.26 PM

Jungle babes.
Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 5.14.07 PM

Friday morning strolling downtown ATX with Jess & Stanley.Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 4.26.51 PM

Meeting Josiah (Matt & Amanda’s little one) for the first time! Days of snuggles in Florida were so so sweet.
Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 4.28.12 PM

The snuggle is real.Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 4.27.14 PM

He has risen, as He said. || Matthew 28. Oh, the promises fulfilled in those words & the implications of that empty tomb! Rejoice, friends!
Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 4.29.02 PM

Easter Sunday: A mighty fine afternoon in leveque sitting on my fav porch with my fav peeps. See what I did there? #easter 🐥 Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 4.27.44 PM

J O Y. What a gift to show these little athletes at the olympic training center how strong & beautiful they are.Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 4.28.44 PM

I didn’t get their memo.
Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 4.29.31 PM

Dinner with a view.Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 4.29.54 PM

goats all over the place AKA my front yard.Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 4.30.42 PM

When our boss comes to the morning workout!Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 4.30.59 PM

I’m not normally down by the school in the mornings, but one morning I was & I loved watching all these littles in their red uniforms file into school.Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 4.31.20 PM

Day off Port Au Prince adventures with our new friend & driver Junior. He liked listening to Ben Rector & when a song came on talking about a beautiful girl, he turned to me & said, “you?” 😂👏🏻  Good day with good (charming) friends.Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 4.31.39 PM

And you think your carpool is rough.Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 4.32.10 PM

Fresh Florida strawberries hand delivered by the lovely Sarah Hall! What a gift!Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 4.32.28 PM

Beach photoshoot for Three Cords 2016 Spring lineScreen Shot 2016-05-20 at 4.33.03 PM

Beautiful friends, boat rides to the island, snorkeling, & lots of laughter!Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 4.33.41 PM

That time we took a boat to La Gonave & snorkeled.Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 4.34.08 PM

Front porch sittin’ is a favorite of mine in any country.Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 4.35.12 PM

Camp Gladiator: Haiti style! It’s grown a little over the past few months. I sure do love these people, these early morning workouts, & watching the sunrise over the mountains each day. What a life!Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 4.35.30 PM

Soudline just had to get a shot of Matthew & I planking.Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 4.35.54 PM

Sunday strollin’ in Leveque.Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 4.37.01 PM

Love these friends! Jean Marc learned how to play Adele’s “Hello”, so naturally we sang along & were entertained for a while. It’s a joy to work with this team!Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 4.37.47 PM

 

 

not an average wednesday.

Processed with VSCOcam with f3 preset

Sometimes, my job is logistics, office work, email, & google docs. Other times, I find myself in a rural village holding my friend’s BRAND NEW BABY GIRL that she had that morning, hours before.

Processed with VSCOcam with m6 preset

I was in the area shooting video footage & decided to stop by & say hi to her family…totally not expecting for her to have had this sweet little girl hours before. What a joy to hold this little one for a few moments & to pray for her, her mama, & family. Processed with VSCOcam with m6 preset

I watched as the family members gathered around, looking at this baby girl. I watched grandma in the corner prepare a bucket of water to wash sheets & blankets that were used in the delivery. I also watched her delegate work & take care of the other little ones running around. I stood there, sweating in this home knowing that this little girl’s life mattered. I held her & looked at her tiny fingernails & her little lips & I know she is created in the image of God.

Processed with VSCOcam with m6 preset

But honestly, for a split second, I start to panic. I know there will probably be days where she doesn’t know where her next meal is going to come from or when she will get it. I know there will be days where she doesn’t have what she feels she needs. What is this little one’s hope? This little baby, hours old, out here is this rural village in Haiti, how will she handle the daily difficulties? And what about all the other kids, as there are many just like her.

And like the Lord softly whispers, “I see her. I see them. I see you.”

Tears welled up in my eyes as I began dwelling on the deep truth that I know this little one is seen by her Creator. Jen Hatmaker’s words from her book, For the Love, sums up my feelings beautifully:

If it isn’t also true for a poor single Christian mom in Haiti, it isn’t true. … Theology is either true everywhere or it isn’t true anywhere. This helps us untangle us from the American God Narrative and sets God free to be God instead of the My-God-in-a-Pocket I carried for so long. It lends restraint when declaring what God does or does not think, because sometimes my portrayal of God’s ways sounds suspiciously like the American Dream and I had better check myself. Because of the Haitian single mom. Maybe I should speak less for God.

The Gospel is the Gospel. The cross means the exact same thing for me as it does for my single Haitian mama friends. Jesus redefines absolutely everything & he is in the business of redemption. He is full of grace and truth. Friend & reader, God sees you. He is for you & he so very much wants to have a relationship with you. If you read about Jesus & are not buying it, I challenge you to start with the book of John & study who Jesus is. Ask questions. He is better than anything I could imagine & has radically transformed my mind, heart, & life. He is faithful & trustworthy.

IMG_9186

Below are some screenshots from some of the video footage I captured. Life in a tent is incredibly difficult, but there is a joy that cannot be stolen.

Tent Smiling Playing

glimpses of the past few months

Here are a few glimpses from the past few months of life & ministry in Haiti.

Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 11.12.18 AM

Not a bad view.

Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 11.12.29 AM

What a beautiful sight! I got to watch my friend Courtney sign for a sweet woman while her & her group watched the MOH Vision Video. Multiple times I was brought to tears as I was able to see the vision of life transformation through Jesus Christ clearly articulated in a way that specifically resonated with this woman.

Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 11.12.37 AM

Chipotle in Haiti! It’s good to have connections on the outside (AKA Matt & Amanda) who got this to me all the way from Florida. Dream!

Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 11.12.44 AM

Proud mama holding her beautiful 2-day-old baby at a recent Mobile Clinic.

Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 11.12.56 AM

A recent restful day off filled with watercolors, yoga, & face-timing with friends. The earth is the Lord’s & everything in it. Psalm 24:1.

Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 11.13.03 AM Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 11.13.10 AM

“Let’s take a crazy photo, & then you can put it on Instagram.” – Jean Marc.

Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 11.13.17 AM

Thankful for these sweet intern ladies that are full of laughter, love, & hard work! Girl’s Day was a success! Fortenak even joined in on a Girl’s Day photo!

Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 11.13.26 AM

Tastes & colors of Haiti.

Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 11.13.32 AM

Happy Birthday, Steeve!

Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 11.13.38 AM

Baby Jorshky. Filled with smiles, flirting, & cheeks for days.

Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 11.14.01 AM

Really love this family!

Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 11.14.06 AM Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 11.14.13 AM Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 11.14.20 AM

glorious.

Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 11.14.28 AM Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 11.14.47 AM

The aftermath of an Easter egg hunt with 62 of the coolest kids.

Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 11.28.21 AM Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 11.28.32 AM

Day off at the beach!

Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 11.28.36 AM

Madame Michel & I were matching with our braids! Love this sweet lady & the joy she brings to the office.

Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 11.29.00 AM

morning necessities:

Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 11.29.14 AM

Hanging gardens all along the streets of Port Au Prince.

Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 11.29.24 AM

Grins, giggles, & smirks. These kids have got ’em all & I love it.

Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 11.29.34 AM

A farmer in the field in Turpin.

Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 11.29.54 AM

Those smiles & that light. Radiant.

Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 11.30.12 AM

Little boys flirting with the little girls through the school house window. These boys have got game.

Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 11.30.18 AM

Waterfall love.

Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 11.30.26 AM

One evening, I walked outside of the kitchen to see 2 of our drivers talking, swinging, & laughing on the school playground. May your days be filled with finding joy in the little things.

Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 11.30.40 AM

Someone brought strawberries & dipping chocolate! Bless. Their. Hearts.

Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 11.30.46 AM Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 11.30.54 AM Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 11.31.00 AM

Holding beautiful baby Lidjina (my friend Constant’s new baby girl)!

Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 11.31.13 AM

Amanda & Mydaline chatting in the prosthetics lab while Mydaline’s leg was being finished.

Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 11.31.20 AM

laughter & pull-ups.

Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 11.31.28 AM Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 11.31.35 AM

Walkin’ hand in hand. Grace filled moments like these are something I never want to take for granted.

Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 11.31.45 AM

Debus found a great hiding spot.

Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 11.31.53 AM

My friendship with the sweet Tiffany started here in Haiti in 2012 when we were both interns, & it was so encouraging to hang with her again for a week in Haiti this spring. From laughing at my ridiculous jokes, to coming over for coffee at 6am, to bringing Trader Joe’s treats, & praying over me at the perfect moment, this dear friend is intentional. So grateful for you, Tiff. Thanks for loving & encouraging well. You radiate joy & Jesus! Love you!

Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 11.32.33 AM Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 11.32.53 AM Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 11.33.02 AM

Sunday strollin’ in Leveque.

Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 11.33.10 AM

What a beautiful gift this life is.

Shoes & Superglue

In Texas, March is the month where spring reintroduces itself to winter, warmer temperatures start to show themselves (sometimes in the middle of snowstorms, but we’ll take what we can get, am I right?), basketball – so much basketball, & if you’re really lucky, you’ll find a sno-cone stand that opened early.

In Haiti, March is a bit different. March is one of our busiest times of the year! It is filled with so much energy & there are so many moving parts. Anyone that has been here in March can testify that it is a unique time & really fun! This March, we had 817 serve at Mission of Hope. 8-1-7. That’s our MOH version of March Madness!

It was awesome. 817 said, “yes” to serving alongside the Haitian people, sweating, eating peanut butter & drinking more Gatorade than they ever have, & experiencing life in a different culture. 817 people chose to redefine their definition of “Spring Break” & give of their time, talents, & resources to help other people for the sake of the Gospel.

If you’ve read my blog before, you know that I work in logistics (AKA: details). D.E.T.A.I.L.S. Lots & lots of details. The amount of details with 817 people? LOTS. & honestly, it’s really easy for me to get caught up in the details that I miss the every day grace that the Lord is lavishing upon people all around. I really hate to say it, but I start thinking & believing the world revolves around me & all.the.details.that.must.be.planned. I’m thankful that when I’m knee deep in details with my head buried in excel documents & email threads, the Lord does not let me stay there for long. Instead, he gently shows me how all of this is about Him. He shows me that HE is in the details. He shows me that HE is orchestrating things far beyond my ability to comprehend & far beyond my ability to plan. I enjoy details & I enjoy planning for things to run smoothly, but I really love when the Lord shows me where He is in the details. He meets me where I’m at, shows me His faithfulness, & takes my eyes off of myself & onto Him. What a good, faithful, God.

I wanted to share one of my favorite “detail” moments from March.

We had a team member, Freddy, who is an airplane engineer & is literally “Mr. Fix-It.” Just an example of how much of a “Mr. Fix-It” Freddy is, in the middle of his team’s Mission’s Launch on the guesthouse roof, the screen tore because of the wind & he pulled out a screwdriver & screw from his pocket & reattached the screen. So, needless to say, he is pretty awesome. One morning I had a team member randomly come up to me asking me if I had any way to fix his broken shoe; the sole had come unglued. I had no idea how to fix it & I didn’t have any glue. I knew the guy had another pair of shoes, so I honestly wasn’t too worried about it. Freddy overheard our conversation & said, “Oh, I have super glue & baking soda…that shoe will be good as new. This is glue they use on airplanes & the baking soda reinforces the bonding agent.” So, he fixed the shoe & I went on with my day thinking it was pretty cool that Freddy had the right stuff.

However, later that day, Freddy’s team was hosting a sports camp with a lot of kids from a local village (Leveque). My little friend, Debus, came up to me at the end of the camp right before they were loading up on the bus to show me that his shoe broke & the sole came unglued. Now, I know this kid & his family & I know that those shoes are some of the only shoes he has. I also know they are the shoes he wears to school with his uniform. Debus came up to me saying, “Rachel, look. My shoe broke.” I looked up & saw Freddy just a few feet away & showed him the broken shoe. He literally pulled out the glue right from his backpack & I watched Debus’ face as he realized that his shoe would be fixed. Sure, Debus’ shoe was repaired, but it was so much more than that for me. It was a reminder of God’s faithfulness & the fact that he sees the details & knows what we need exactly when we need it. To some, it might be a shoe & super glue, but to me, it was a reminder of so much more.

Debus' Shoes Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

Ears to Hear.

Screen Shot 2015-03-29 at 10.13.29 PM

I’ve been living in Haiti about 18 months now & I’m getting better at Creole, but I’m certainly nowhere near fluent. So many of my Creole conversations include hand gestures, me asking them to speak slower, a few English words thrown in, & lots of laughter.

In Haitian church services, it is very rare that I actually understand a Creole Prayer. Our pastors & staff are so passionate when they pray, that I cannot break apart the words, process them, & translate them in my head quickly enough.

However, a couple of weeks ago at a Tuesday night worship service, I had my head bowed, & I literally felt like I understood Jacques’ (a local Village Champion) Creole prayer as if it was being spoken in English. I looked around, making sure that he wasn’t speaking English. It was, in fact, Creole. I stood there intently listening; I heard everything.

I heard him pray for each & every department here at Mission of Hope. I heard him pray for his bosses, his co-workers, the pastors, the guesthouse staff, the maintenance & security team, the orphanage, etc. I heard him pray for our Executive staff & I heard him pray by name for so many people. I looked up again, to be extra SURE that he wasn’t speaking in English because I was so surprised I was still understanding. When I looked up the second time, I saw Jacques was on his knees, passionately praying for us all. My eyes quickly filled with tears as I 1) understood what he was praying, 2) saw the fervency with which Jacques was praying.

He was praying for unity, for passion, for protection, for courage, for strength, for health, & for love for His people. He was on his knees passionately praying for his country & for the Lord to work. This sweet man prays for these things, often.

The past few weeks, the Lord has reminded me of the incredible importance of prayer & the joy of praying. Praying is something we get to do. I absolutely believe the Lord has specifically placed people in my life so I can simply have the honor & responsibility of praying for them. Oh, that I would be fervent & steadfast to pray for the people the Lord has placed around me.

Also, for those of you who have recently reached out with encouragement & letting me know that you’ve prayed for me, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. The Lord has used so many of you recently to remind me of the Truth & the beauty of prayer. You are all a gift.