Sunday, July 28, 2013

Living Water Haiti Ministries

The ministry I am interning with asked me to make a promotion video for them. Here is the finished product. (: Enjoy!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

How are we living out our faith

Today I spent a lot of time mopping! Which in turn gave me a lot of time to think. I thought about a lot of things. My family, friends, future, faith, my time here in Haiti, when I get home and the list goes on. I worked for a few hours in quietness (beside some great praise and worship music), my mind racing with thoughts and things that I wanted to do and accomplish. I thought about my faith. About how God requires us to have faith. 

Today I have been in Haiti for 32 days. A lot has happened and I have seen a lot. I have seen a lot of hurt, sadness, hopelessness, pain, suffering, poverty and heartache. It breaks me to see it. It is very easy to see the need. To see where people are lacking. Because the need here is so huge.

I have been blessed with fantastic parents that have taught me faith by living it every day. Leading me by example. I have grown up watching them step out in faith daily and then watching God be faithful daily. I have also watched others (family, friends & people in general) who have not chosen to walk the walk of faith. Who each month count on a certain  amount of money, a planned grocery shopping day, a certain number of dollars that go into savings, and just everything lined up. Not that there is anything wrong with this picture. Looking at both lifestyles I see pros and cons. But I often wonder what God wants from us. What He desires to see in us. What lifestyle He longs for us to live. 

Sarah (the lady I am staying with here in Haiti) and I have had some great conversations. One of them with the subject of faith. I mentioned earlier about how it is very easy to see the huge need in this country. Orphans, homeless people, poverty, tent cities, sickness, very few jobs, water issues, etc.. Yet the Christians here thrive. They are on fire for Jesus. They have such a close relationship with Him. They serve Him in great ways. They are set apart. There is a difference. I believe that difference comes down to their faith in God. Each day they wake up having faith that God will provide what they need. They live their faith everyday.

In American we don't. It is as simple as that. We don't have to. When we don't have food, we go the store (or mom will). When we are sick, we go to the doctor. When we need new clothes, we go to the mall or a clothes store. When we need to go somewhere we hop in the car. Half of the time I don't even think about it. It is just our way of living. We do what we want and we get what we want. Even if it is not what we truly need. Once again, there is nothing really wrong with this picture but where do we practice living by faith. 

You see the difference in our faith.

They don't have a savings account that they can count on or fall back on. A lot of them don't have a home they can count on always being able to call home. But they have a God they can always count on, fall back on and find rest in and in turn that creates their faith.  

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1

The Haitian people have far less then what I have. I am blessed beyond what they can really imagine. I don't think about where my next meal is going to come from, if I will have clothes to wear tomorrow, where I will need to go to get clean water...I don't have to trust God to provide my everything. 

I know this is a crazy thought but what if I did. How would that change my relationship with God. I have a feeling that I would be a whole lot closer to Him. That I would trust Him with my everything because He would become my everything. That I would be in constant communication with Him. And that I would love Him more. 

By stating a lot of this people are probably thinking 'well in America we can plan and wise people do plan. They steward what they have.' And I agree. But I just want to challenge you to pick somewhere or something to step out in faith on. Maybe it is something that you have been wanting to do for someone but have not had the money. Or maybe it is sharing Christ with someone but worried about what the result could be. Or maybe it is as simple as having a family that needs some fellowship into your home for a meal, when the budget doesn't really allow. Maybe it doesn't have to do with dollar signs but something else. 

God blesses those who please Him. But without faith it is impossible to please Him. If we long for that rich and strong relationship with Christ what are we doing to create it. 

For we walk by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7

On a side note. I mentioned about how there is so much hurt and heartache here. And I have and can burst into tears at any moment at the thought of all the people that have nothing and are hurting. The babies without clothes and cries due to hunger. I have had to remind myself that God is still faithful. He will provide for His followers. And it is amazing. Even when His followers may still live in tents, might not be able to plan the whole weeks worth of food, But God still provides. Even if it is moment to moment, meal to meal. Once again, their faith...

God wants all the glory. When non-believers see the way that God provides for His followers here they desire that themselves. They want that assurance that God will take care of them. Both physically, emotionally and spiritually. Once again God's amazing plan to draw people to Himself.   

I have been thinking about all of this and thought I would share. :) I hope you are enjoying your summer and thanks for all your prayers! Love you all! 

Monday, July 15, 2013

A new home

Thursday last week we went up to Mount Kabrit. We drove up a steep rode and came upon a little village of people living on the hillside over looking Port - au - Prince. When we pulled up in the car little faces popped out all around us. Then little feet ran down to greet us. Little dirty bodies, some not clothed welcomed us with smiles. As we got out of the car many people gathered around to watch us as we unloaded chicken, rice, and a vegetable sauce. The meal we had brought up to serve them. We carried it down to a flat area where we could serve them and they could all be seated comfortable on the ground. As the kids gathered around Zach and Sarah shared about Jesus's love and amazing grace, then we all prayed, led the kids in a song, and blessed the food. Then all the children lined up to receive a plate of hot food (who knows when they had their last meal). As we handed each child a plate and a cup of juice they would sit down on the the ground to eat and enjoy the meal. Then we finished handing out the food and visiting with the people. As they finished we gathered up all of our stuff and heading back up to the car.

When we got to the car a lady that Sarah knew approached her and said that she knew of a family that needed help. Sarah said that she was not sure if she could help or not. The lady continued to tell Sarah about 3 kids. Their dad had died. They lived under a tent/tarp structure that leaked when it rain. And so on...

As she talked she called the children and they came walking up. At that instant they stole all of our hearts. Their dirty little feet. They ripped clothes. Their swollen bellies. Their empty eyes. Their sweet & adorable faces. Them. There was something about them. I sensed a longing in them. 

Sarah told her husband Yves what was going on and they said they would go and talk to the mom and get more details on the situation. We made our way up a small path with many little children following us and holding our hands. When we got to the "home" of the kids we went inside to talk to the mom. She was very sweet. But the place they were living in was in pretty bad condition. It had rained a day or so ago and the one bed where they all slept was still wet. The tent was a one room home (probably the size of my closet). It broke my heart and breaks my heart to think about all of that. As we stood there talking to the mom she stayed so calm. Knowing that we were the opportunity for her kids to have a "better" shot at life. We walked out of the tent and made our way up more on the hillside. Sarah and Yves talked about the kids as the rest of us played with some of the other kids in the area.

Sarah then said we would take the 3 kids. She told them all to go change, the little girl came back and looked up to Sarah and said "these are the only clothes I have". It broke my heart. She was wearing a torn and tattered dress that was falling off of her. We then made our way down to the car with the kids. The mom said goodbye and she cried as she watched us walk away. We loaded everyone in the car and left.

The kids had never been in a car, took a shower or used a toilet. And those are just a few of the new things they experienced for the first time.

We brought the kids home to their "new" home. All the other kids greeted them and welcomed them in. We then took the girls and washed them (dirty just poured off), did their hair and gave them new clothes. The little boy got washed and dressed in new clothes. It was amazing to be part of that experience.

As I think though I wonder what that mom felt. I know she was so thankful that her children could be taken better care of. But they are still her babies. She still loves them. She still would give up her own life for them. Yet she gave them up for their better good. She now lives in that tent by her self. I can't imagine what she felt that first night. She is probably beyond thankful and has amazing appreciation knowing that they will now have a safe, dry, clean, healthy environment to live in. Where they will receive love, hope, 3 meals a day, hygiene and family. But I just pray that God will draw her close in this time. That He will fill that hole with His divine love and care.

Now back to the kids. They have all adjusted very well and we can already see improvement in their health and well being. They are all smiles and hugs when we come to visit. Today they will start school. And the opportunities for them are endless.

I want to give a shout out to Sarah. It was amazing to watch her through this whole experience. Keep in mind that she is only 26. What she is doing here in Haiti is amazing. As we talked with the mom and looked into the situation, I could hear Sarah praying, asking for guidance. She has such great faith. The faith she has to bring in 3 more children. She is now providing a home for 17 children. And they are taken so well care of. So anyways I just wanted to thank you Sarah for what you are doing. Well done. I know God is so very proud of you. You are setting such a great example for me and so many others.  

I would like you all to pray for this new family. For the kids. For the mom. That God will work in their hearts. That they will all adjust well. That they will all follow in God's footsteps. That we will provide what they need in this time. Also that God will guide Living Water Haiti Ministries.

I have posted some photos below and I will write captions. Thanks for reading and God bless you all! Thanks for your prayers! Love you all.
Little kids gathering around for the food distribution.

Many happy little children enjoying their hot meal!

Sarah blessing one of many with food to fill their hungry bellies.  ♥

I home on the mountain side that LWHM had rescued children from in the past.

God's love in action.

When we found Belanda (the middle child of the 3 we took in) I am going to sponsor her monthly. She is my baby! She stole my heart before we even knew that we were taking her home. She is so precious. Love her to the moon and back. 

Beautiful Belanda now. :)  ♥   ♥ 

Enjoying some chicken :D That face and those eyes!?!?!

Priceless. Praying for these people.

That little baby and beautiful girl  ♥

♥ ♥   I LOVE this photo! ♥ ♥ 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

As I think back on my journey getting to Haiti I stand in awe. I think about where it all started. How it all started. And why it all started. What my heart felt. What my eyes saw. And what was really taking place. All the things that God used to draw me to Him and in the direction that He had for me. All the people that played a huge role in encouraging me and pointing me the the right way of travel.

I remember the day that God was prompting me in the direction of missions. Where I was sitting. And God took me to Mexico. It was a learning experience. Showing me a bit of a different culture, traveling for the first time and what it looked like to share the gospel on the mission field. But to be honest I never felt called back there. God worked in my heart on the trip and I saw God work through us and use us on the trip, but when I returned home I didn’t have a hunger to go back.

Then God opened the door for me to go to Haiti. I don’t remember saying yes to going. It was just kind of assumed that I would go by my friends and family. Which in turn I believe was God’s hand completely. Then I started the trip by fundraising and prayerfully getting ready for the trip that changed my life. When I stepped on the plane to go to Haiti for my 1st time, I had no idea what I was going into. It seems that when someone goes to a 3rd world country that either love it or hate it. And when I say that I totally mean it. I LOVED IT. It was so much to take in for me. The culture is so different here. The people, the food, the smells, the roads, the language, the customs, the way of life, everything. The way my heart reacted when I stepped in a Haitian hospital for the first time. The thoughts that raced through my mind the first time I place my feet on a tent city soil. The way the kids stole my heart. I know that God was changing me. I can’t completely describe it in words.

But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. 1 Peter 2:9

The statement “Here I am Lord. Send me.” has always amazed me. My daddy has always said there is work for those who want to work. And that all God needs is a willing heart and laborer. So true. I think about how much and how often it talks about how God will uphold the humble and exalt the weak. I wrote a post about this at the very beginning of my trip. God sometime does the impossible to show that all things are possible through Him.

1 Corinthians 2 has a lot to say about this.

For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.  1 Corinthians 1:25-31
 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.
30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

God has chosen the foolish things of this world to confound the wise. Go where God is calling you. Do what God wants you to do. Start where God has placed you. Fear not. Because greater is He that is in you then He that is in the world.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Haiti Pictures

Sorry I have not posted more. I have been getting up at like 6:00 and then getting home at about 5:30. I have been teaching in the morning and then helping with construction in the afternoons. I also have had a slow connection so I have not been able to upload photos. (I re-sized my photos so they would upload faster. Sorry for bad quality.) We have had a busy week so far with lots of progress. Everyday I learn more about the culture here. Thank you for all your prayers. Enjoy the photos and captions! Happy 4th of July tomorrow! God bless you!
Up at the crack of dawn. I love Haitian sunrises and sunsets!!!

Some storm clouds

Sarah and I have decided that this is Mater's cousin Tater :D  

The kiddos waiting to greet us for school, so priceless. 

Day 1. 

Alrighty this is a story! So Living water Haiti ministries is building a compound for their school, kids house, mission home, their own home, housing for missionaries and safe play area for the kids. We started construction on the property Monday. Which is really exciting :D Anyways there are 10 workers helping. And each day we pick them up lunch and deliver it to them after we teach school in the morning. Monday Sarah told me we were picking up lunch at along the roadside place. We pulled up to the tent pictured above. Kinda made me laugh as I remembered once again I was not in America. We "ordered" 12 lunches of beans, rice and chicken. It tasted really good by the way! ;)

Sealed with a kiss.
I got to attend a Haitian wedding yesterday. It is tradition to go ALL out here. Everyone was dressed so nice and it was SO long. I think it was around 5 hours total.  It was fun and different. An experience I will never forget. 

The gorgeous bride and Me

Me, Sarah & Yves :D

My class!?!?!

Adner, Me and Izwaman 
The first 200 feet of the security wall. It is going up fast!

1st pedicure ever. Haiti style! Stories to last a life time.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

The 4th time's the charm

Last night we went out for dinner. We had decided on getting rice. So we left the compound at about 7:30. We arrived at the restaurant to find that they didn't have Chicken, So we went to another restaurant but they didn't have rice. Sarah said okay "there is 1 more place we can go!". We got in the car and drove to the 3rd location. And then didn't have power! So we drove a bit more to find a place that had Rice, Chicken and POWER. So on our 4th time we got what we wanted. I was fun and I got to see more of Haiti and what the restaurants are like here.

Today we went to the kids home for church. It was sooooo cute, when we pulled up all the little girls had dresses and the boys were wearing little ties and slacks. It was adorable. They ran up and gave us all hugs. Today it was the story of Jonah.

At this point I still don't really understand the language. It is really pushing me to be outgoing. I am not at all that way. So I could use your prayers regarding this area. I am not the type to ask, and getting laughed at has always bugged me. I know God is teaching me to be willing and to be outgoing. I appreciate you all.

I am working on my curriculum for tomorrow school. MY 1ST DAY!?!?! I have 7 preschoolers. It is going to be a blast. Nervous though. :I

I really wish I could post a lot of photos but my internet connection is not very good.

:( Praying that I will be able to post more soon.