Summer Interns 2015

This summer, we had 35 incredible interns serving at MOH. These leaders grew, studied, prayed, laughed, built, painted, evangelized, discipled, and so much more. They ran hard & I truly believe the impact they had on people will last for generations & generations.

Below are some photos from our summer celebration party with our interns & our ti interns “junior interns”. Ti interns are young adults from our orphanage who were intentionally paired up with an intern for the summer. I have been so blessed to see the way these interns wonderfully filled the role of mentor, leader, & friend to these young adults. The Orphanage staff did an incredible job pioneering this program, & the growth & relationships that we’ve seen from it have been deeply encouraging.

Enjoy some photos from game night. It was a blast! The theme was “Boys vs. Girls” & the girls won! 🙂

Intern-Ti Intern Party-1 Intern-Ti Intern Party-2 Intern-Ti Intern Party-3 Intern-Ti Intern Party-4 Intern-Ti Intern Party-5 Intern-Ti Intern Party-6 Intern-Ti Intern Party-7 Intern-Ti Intern Party-8 Intern-Ti Intern Party-9below: a progression of the popular “alka seltzer in soda” game. absolutely hilarious. Intern-Ti Intern Party-10 Intern-Ti Intern Party-11 Intern-Ti Intern Party-12 Intern-Ti Intern Party-13 Intern-Ti Intern Party-14 Intern-Ti Intern Party-15 Intern-Ti Intern Party-16 Intern-Ti Intern Party-17  Intern-Ti Intern Party-19soda relays Intern-Ti Intern Party-20“sassy walk” competition Intern-Ti Intern Party-21dance off! Intern-Ti Intern Party-22boys lose = pies in the face! Intern-Ti Intern Party-23 Intern-Ti Intern Party-24 Intern-Ti Intern Party-28 Intern-Ti Intern Party-29 Intern-Ti Intern Party-30 Intern-Ti Intern Party-31

What fun memories with this incredible group of people! On their very last night, we had a huge ice cream party & it was awesome. Summer 2015 interns, you are all cherished & loved. Thank you for serving, loving, & laughing a lot! You have all made an eternal impact & represented Jesus well.

Ice Cream Party

 

“Home” from Haiti.

sweet Debuston cheesin’

This blog post is different from all of my other ones.

I am back in the states.

I am missing the beautiful friends that I’ve made in Haiti, and I spend many moments wishing I was still there.

I know the Lord is sovereign and the Lord is absolutely working in Haiti, and I am so thankful that I was able to see His redemptive plan for Haiti up close and personal. In short, I was able to work for Mission of Hope, an organization dedicated to following Jesus Christ in their efforts to bringing life transformation to every man, woman, and child in Haiti (MOH Vision). All the way from education, health care, prosthetics, housing projects, feeding programs, church advancement, and-the-list-goes-on – I have been able to SEE how Jesus Christ is changing this nation for the glory of His Kingdom, and using ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things.

I can honestly say that these were some of the best 3 months of my life.

I have gained so many new friends, both Haitian and North American. We have worshipped our Savior together, and shared His Gospel.

I have seen life change happen in front of my eyes. I have experienced what it is like to be welcomed into a family in a culture totally different from my own.

I have seen people sacrifice for others. I have sat in meetings with leaders of Mission of Hope and prayed with them; I have seen their true love for the Lord and for reaching Haiti for Christ.

I have seen tarantulas, rats, and mice – and managed not to freak out…too much 😉

I have laughed, cried, and been exhausted all in a day – but it’s never felt so wonderful. I have seen the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets.

I have never seen more beautiful smiles from people.

I have tasted the most delicious mangos, pineapples, & avocados. I have developed a love for fried plantains. (Now, I just need to learn how to cook them!)

I have picked up a *little* bit of Creole 🙂 (my family thinks it’s more than it actually is…ha!)

Sometimes, I sit back and wonder WHY the Lord has allowed me to have this beautiful life. I am truly thankful.

You may be wondering “what next?” Honestly, I am wondering the exact same thing. I know the Lord is continuing to do amazing things in Haiti, and I am encouraged by the way Mission of Hope is so willing and dependent for the Lord to continue to work through them. I fully support MOH and the way they approach “missions.”

With that, I believe that I am given a responsibility to steward the experiences I have been given well. I have seen things first hand, and now there is a response. There is a response of either helping, or neglecting. There is no gray area.

I believe the most important tool I have as a Christ follower is prayer. Prayer is powerful, y’all.

  • Please continue to pray for Mission of Hope and their areas of influence – that the Lord would be made known, and that people would accept Him as their Lord and Savior.
    • Please pray for the staff of MOH – that they would be continually reminded of the beauty of the cross, and the work that they are doing in sharing the Gospel; their work is not in vain.
    • Please pray for the young men and women working as church reps/translators for Mission of Hope – that they would continue to preach the Gospel with boldness and urgency.
  • Please pray for other organizations reaching Haiti for Christ – that they would continue to follow the Lord faithfully and be obedient to His leading.
  • Please pray for families and children in Haiti – that they would trust, know, and grow in the Lord. That the children would be raised in a home surrendered to Jesus Christ, and they would grow to be leaders that lead the nation to Christ.

In addition to prayer, if you are able to support MOH financially, here is the link for the donations page of the website: CLICK HERE

For now I am “home” – and I am thanking God for this upcoming season of my life of finishing college and trusting Him for what is next. Thank you for praying/supporting/encouraging me through this journey!

Love to you all.

Haiti: Ketchup Stains & Shalom.

If you do not know me…let me start out with this: I often allow little things in life to stress me out. I have always been a…how do I say it…perfectionist…meaning that I love when things go smoothly, and I strongly dislike when things do not go smoothly. I can see how paying attention to detail and really wanting things to run well can be a good quality, but I also know how it can be a negative quality as well. When things do not go as planned, I allow the frustration to rob me of the joy that I have in Christ Jesus.

About a week ago, I had one of those days where all of the little things go wrong. I made scheduling mistakes, meal time errors, and managed to get one of my favorite white t-shirts completely filthy. To top the day off, a bottle of ketchup exploded on said white t-shirt.

It was a day where a lot of little things went wrong, and I allowed myself to become frustrated at each turn of events. I continually would become more and more agitated at people, and the fact that my day was going poorly. Looking back, I see how ridiculous I was for allowing myself to have a bad day because of scheduling errors and a dumb ketchup stain. Here I am, in the middle of Haiti – complaining that I’ve had a rough day.

While I was walking up to my room to change out of my shirt, I was looking down at the ketchup stain to figure out how I was going to clean it.

ketchup stain

As I stared down at the stain, I looked right above it and recognized what my shirt said. “Shalom”

Shalom.

Here I was, focusing on the stupid, little things that were not important in the grand scheme of things, and allowing myself to be robbed of joy. As a Christian, we have the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ given to us.

Why do I choose to focus on the “ketchup” kind of days instead of resting in “shalom”?

I was immediately convicted at the way I allow myself to become distracted by the “ketchup moments” in life and neglect praising the Lord for His faithfulness.

I was convicted at how I often try to control the events in my life so that they turn out the way want them too.

I was convicted at the way that I allow myself to become anxious in situations.

I know it’s a far stretch to learn things from ketchup and t-shirts – but I love moments like this. I love when the Lord uses the small moments to teach me monumental life lessons.

He has shown me that wherever I am…America, Australia, Haiti…etc. – I have the choice to become anxious/frustrated in each situation I encounter OR I have a choice to trust in the faithful & sovereign Lord I serve.

This was a day of clarity. Clarity as to why the Lord brought me to Haiti to show me that I am the same here that I am back home. I have the choice to become frustrated and anxious when the situation presents itself.

I choose NOT to live in anxiety or stress. I choose to trust in the goodness of the Lord.

My sister-in-law, Jessie, told me about a book called “Calm My Anxious Heart”, and I started reading it a few days ago (a couple of days after this ketchup incident).

This is just some of the good stuff on ONE page.

  • “Never allow yourself to complain about anything – not even the weather.
  • Never picture yourself in any other circumstances or someplace else
  • Never compare your lot with another’s
  • Never allow yourself to wish this or that had been otherwise.
  • Never dwell on tomorrow – remember that is God’s, not ours.”
  • True contentment is separate from our circumstances. Contentment is a state of the heart, not a state of affairs…We become more content when we spend time in God’s Word and allow it to seep into our lives, transforming us to be like Him.

I am beyond thankful for the time that I have had here, and what God has shown me about Himself, myself, and His redemptive plan for us as His people, and this earth as His. What a faithful God I serve.

**Side note: The ketchup stain came out of my shirt! 🙂 They have special soap in Haiti, apparently. 

Haiti: time flies when you’re having fun

Things have been so busy, and it’s such a great thing!

Until I have a chance to sit down and write things out, I’m going to show you some pictures of the past couple of weeks!

Tiffany, myself, Tim, Kristen, & Andrew // tour time!

Kristen, Tiffany, and I – these 2 ladies are amazing.

EBill/Eliza”boss”/Eleesabethhhh

Elizabeth is the Mission Trips Director, and she is the boss of all of us interns. I’ve been training with her because she leaves for vacation for 3 weeks in the states, and I’m working on the logistics side of things while she’s gone! She is great, y’all. Side note: people get us confused in the villages a lot. I am called “Elizabeth” OFTEN. ha!

Weekly soccer game at Leveque

Andel, Cahyleen, and I. love these kiddos!

My friend Tim, and all of his friends! Everyone loves Tim!

Kristen & Lovelee – sweet friends!

The other night, we had another “intern outing” out in Minoterie at Villarson’s family restaurant. Villarson is one of our translator’s here at Mission of Hope, and his mom is an awesome cook.

So many great friends!

delicious. so very delicious.

I cherish these ladies! Bible study at 6am is a precious time!

However, this picture seems to be more accurate of us. ha!

Hannah & Missy – beautiful mother and daughter – inside & out!

Papitas, myself, & Villarson – 2 MOH translators, and awesome friends!

Andrew with his signature dance move!

Elizabeth & I

Carvona & Tiffany have some mad hops!

Rachael & Rachel – She is one of the sweet women on staff at MOH! I love dinner dates and mentor meetings with her each Wednesday.

Bailey & I. Sweet Bailey! This girl. We are soul sisters.

It is crazy to realize that it’s already been 10 weeks here! WOW. Time flies when you’re having fun.

Haiti: “zanmi mwen!” – (my friend!)

This is Debuston & Andel. I have become really close these sweet brothers, and I love when the bus pulls up to the village and I get to see their smiling faces running my way!

A recent Sunday afternoon I was giving a tour out in Leveque, and I really felt like it was a good time to go meet Debuston and Andel’s parents. They took me down to their house to meet their dad, Exantis, and their mom, Ozanna. We talked in broken Creole, and I told them I was so happy to be friends with their sons and happy to see them.

Ozanna and I

When I left Leveque, I kept wishing I could speak better Creole and that I could have had an in-depth conversation about the Gospel with them.  I went to bed that night praying for the family, and that the Lord would be present in their home.

The very next day, my team was scheduled to go to Leveque for village time! As soon as the bus pulled up to Leveque, Andel was right there to say hi! Myself, a few North American team members, and our translator/Church Rep (Martial) went to Exantis and Ozanna’s home. I was so excited to have Martial there to translate, because I knew we would have the chance to talk about Jesus.

When we got to their home, Ozanna was so excited to see us! She went and pulled out all of the plastic chairs in her home, as well as from surrounding neighbor’s yards so we could sit on her porch and visit.

We talked about her 10 children (yep, 10!), and 3 grandchildren. We talked about her husband and how he has a really bad pain in his chest. We talked about culture, and life in Haiti. We got to tell her that we were there to build a relationship with her and to be her friend, but most importantly, we wanted her to know the love that God has for her and the free gift of salvation He offers her because of what Jesus did on the cross. She had heard all of this before, but she said her and her family couldn’t go to church because they did not have nice enough clothing. Martial (our Church Rep) did a great job of explaining to the North Americans that we don’t want to promise material blessings to someone in order for them to come to Christ. We want the Holy Spirit to open up the heart of the person that they come to Christ for who He is and for the beauty of the Gospel.

I thought we were about to leave, but Martial said, “God has given me a gift to preach the Gospel. I want to share my testimony with her, and present the Gospel to her. But first, we must pray.”

We sat there on Ozanna’s porch and Martial asked the Holy Spirit to speak through him and for Ozanna to be awakened to the Truth of Jesus Christ and the joy found in Him. Martial prayed from such a humble spirit, and it was so beautiful to see how passionate he was to share the Gospel.

I was convicted at how often I go about things on my own power, without asking the Lord for His guidance and for Him to lead the conversation. Martial’s dependence on the Lord spoke volumes to our group!

We all prayed silently while he shared (in Creole) his testimony and the Truth of Christ with Ozanna. When he finished, Ozanna said something in Creole and Martial looked at us and smiled and said, “She is ready to accept Christ.”

Praise. The. Lord.

I’ve been praying for a better understanding of the power of the Holy Spirit. It was such a humbling moment to see how when we humbled ourselves and prayed (2 Chronicles 7:14) and asked the Holy Spirit to change hearts, He did.

I was in awe listening to her pray and accept Christ. Afterwards, we found out that Exantis, her husband, had accepted Christ a few weeks prior at a revival that was out in the village, and had been praying for his wife to come to Christ. (*insert incredibly excited face here*)

The Lord amazes me, y’all.

Exantis, Debuston, myself, Ozanna, and Martial!

Now, each time I’m in Leveque, I go to Exantis & Ozanna’s home and walk into their yard saying “zanmi mwen!” (my friend!) and give Ozanna a giant hug! We sit outside on their porch and visit…sometimes the conversation is simply us laughing at how we don’t understand each other. Sometimes, the kids and I take pictures and make silly faces. I love new friends.

Debuston rockin’ my leopard print sunglasses. ha!

Jeff, Debuston, & Andel

squishy face!

Andel & I

cheesin!

such a cutie.

Jeff, Andel, & Debuston.

This is just one of the families out in Leveque. And, Leveque is just one of the villages in Haiti. There are so many more incredible stories like this out there.

One of the things that I am so very excited about is that Mission of Hope just broke ground on a church out in Leveque! Also, another HUGE answer to prayer is that there is now clean drinking water right there in the village.

The Lord is moving. I am desperate to see Him move more. I fully anticipate to see hundreds of more families come to Christ as this village grows. I am excited to see how God is glorified through these sweet people. Would you join me in praying for the village of Leveque and for the Lord to raise up church leaders in the community that will preach the Gospel with boldness?

Would you pray for Ozanna and Exantis, and their family? That the Lord would continue to work in their hearts and they would grow more in love with Him each day? That the children would be raised in a home that is bathed in prayer and in a home that is following Christ? Would you pray for them to trust in the Lord for His provision and promises?

Also, would you pray for Martial, the Church Rep/translator? His beautiful wife, Cassandra, is pregnant and is due in mid-August! They already have 2 daughters, and are so excited to meet their new addition to the family. Would you pray that the Lord continues to teach them more about who He is, and to be with Cassandra as she is getting ready to have their baby? I wish everyone had the chance to meet Martial and see his heart for Jesus. I am so encouraged by my brother-in-Christ, and am challenged by him to walk with humility and boldness.

Lastly, would you pray for me? Would you pray that I walk with humility and complete dependence on Jesus? I’ve noticed how easy it is to start my daily routine without asking the Holy Spirit to lead me each day. Would you pray for the remaining 5ish weeks I have here in Haiti, and that I would preach the Gospel with boldness?

“He is no fool to give what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” – Jim Elliot

Haiti Week 7: Pastor Patris’ Sweet Family

I had the privilege of visiting Pastor Patris, the lead pastor here at Church of Hope, and his beautiful family on Wednesday, July 4th. His sweet wife had their new baby, Sephora, on Sunday, July 1st! I visited them just 3 days after she had Sephora and look at how great she looks! They now have 3 gorgeous daughters, and their home is full of life and laughter. Pastor Patris was prepping for his sermon that he preached this past Sunday, and there were many friends visiting the family and their tiny new addition. 🙂

Precious Sephora

Pastor Patris and his other 2 daughters: Nehemie & Rebeccah

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Life transformation is happening here in Haiti. One of my favorite things about going to the village where Pastor Patris lives is having encouraging conversations with many people who are friends with Pastor Patris, and who have come to follow and accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. The village used to have 14 voodoo priests living in it, and there are now ZERO. There are signs all over the village saying “This village is dedicated to the Lord.”

Yes, and amen!

All glory goes to God. I am encouraged by the faithful pursuit of Christ that Pastor Patris exhibits. It reminds me that God has placed us where He has because there are people to reach for him. 

Friends, look around you. Look at who God has placed you in community with. Live the Gospel, share His Word, and love people like Christ. Our call as believers is to know Christ and to make Him known. Be faithful to Him, and have peace that He will change lives.

Haiti: Summer Interns! :)

Mission of Hope Summer intern class of 2012!

I love the variety of personalities, gifts, and style within this group of people. Most of all, I enjoy sharing what God has taught us about Himself, His creation, and His amazing work in Haiti and throughout the world.

I am thankful for these sweet people and their obedience to the Lord. I have enjoyed growing with them, living with them, and doing life together this summer.

I have enjoyed early-morning Bible Study at 6 am with some of us, and waking up at 4:30 am to “there is a rat in the bathroom!!” (ha! 🙂 Haiti problems)

We’ve had some great nights belting out songs at the top of our lungs while doing dishes, we’ve had some great dance parties and movie nights, and we’ve had some awesome game nights.

Some of our time is coming to an end here, while others of us will be here a bit longer. Ultimately, I know the Lord hand-picked each one of us to be here for this season, and that He has taught us so much about Himself. I am so grateful.