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ABC’s and Interpreter Please

KeepCalm

The first week we walked to Karanage to share the message of Jesus with the ladies, I told them of one of the first times I came to their village to have church with them. I went with some of the leadership from our church and at that time Marcel who had been teaching me Kreyol. He was leading the service this day. It was a regular service like we have, until Marcel put me on the spot and told…not asked…but told me to share a message with the people. I remember looking at him and saying are you crazy, I can’t do that. I don’t know enough Kreyol. He told me,” but you have the Holy Spirit”…how could I argue with that!! I took a deep breath, asked Jesus for help and then opened my mouth. All I remember is that I encouraged them to stay close to Jesus…to place there hearts in His hands and to trust Him and Him alone. I must have spoke for at least 10min. which is alot for someone who didn’t know a lot of Kreyol. After the service I asked Marcel why in the world he put me on the spot. As my teacher he was testing me, but as a believer he was getting me out of my comfort zone to trust in the Holy Spirit to help me. I asked him if the people understood what I shared and he told me they were very encouraged. I’ve never forgot that day and since then I’ve had similar moments like this.

Today was one of these moments…I woke up this morning again, like last week, with my heart racing, My emotions were overwhelming me to tears as I was unsure if the message was what needed to be shared. I ended up preparing a different message. I was led to the ABC’s of Salvation. I felt like after last week we needed to review these steps.Last week I explained what sin was. By showing them the illustration of the Bridge and that Jesus is our Bridge. Along with the Scriptures for the Roman Road. We had a lot of discussion and particapation last week. I love it when they participate!! It shows me they are listening and learning. Beautiful!!

I had posted on Facebook for all my faithful prayer warriors to pray for the hearts for each of the ladies. I asked for prayers for Kenson who would be interpreting, that the ladies would understand the message given. I asked that God’s truth would penetrate their hearts and that His Light would consume the darkness. I asked for you to pray that they would see Jesus and not me…to make me less and make Him more, His Words and not my own. I also asked for prayers for Momma Gigi as she shared her testimony from this past week. Our God really does have a sense of humor, because when I opened up Facebook to check my messages when I returned home…the first thing that popped up was a photo that read, “Keep Calm and Have Faith”. This is exactly what I had to have and had!!

I arrived in Karanage prepared and ready after a 40min walk with just me and the Lord. Singing and talking with Him to really calm my spirit as it was still racing. I was a bit early…as I usually am:>) so I sat down on a rock to wait for our ladies. As I sat there I realized I was hearing drums in the background. Now when I here drums here I assume something voodoo is going on. They kept beating and I kept praying. The ladies of Karanage set up service at a different spot than usual, which I found intriguing, because the sound of the drums were coming from the area we usually hold the service. Mmmmm! Our ladies began to show up all except Momma Gigi and M’NeNe and it was 3:00 and this is when we have service. On top of this Kenson had not showed up either. I was beginning to freak out just a tad!! I didn’t let on to the ladies, because I joked with them a bit. I ended up going off a ways and sending an SOS out for immediate prayer via Voxer to a couple people. Two minutes later Momma Gigi and M’NeNe arrive, but no Kenson. I knew right then I had to rely on the Holy Spirit to lead my words!!

We began the service with song and prayer and then it was my turn. I stood up looked at these precious ladies and said, “remember how I told you about one of the first times I spoke here was with the Holy Spirit interpreting for me, well guess what, looks like I have the opportunity to do it again.” They laughed, I laughed and my spirit was calm and at peace knowing He was in control. Momma Gigi was a great help when I got a bit stuck for words, but for most of the message I relied on Jesus alone. Which is part of what I brought to them. That I could not save them, that Momma Gigi can’t save them, that the witchdoctor can’t save them, but it is through Christ and Him alone that we are saved.( Incidently the ABC’s of Salvation are Admit-Believe-Confess) Sharing the scriptures with them and reading it to them in their language was so very powerful. Watching their faces and looking into their eyes and seeing some of that darkness begin to turn to light blew me away.

When we began this journey with the ladies one of the first things I made note of was looking into their eyes. I could see the darkness…the hardness. It was and is very real. As I took note today, I saw the Light and see the hardness gradually disappearing. This is why I began praying the scripture from Isaiah 9:2 that God brought to my attention,  “The people who walked in darkness have seen A Great Light; Those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has Light Shone.” We pray that each of these ladies will see the Light of Jesus and will accept Him as their Lord and Savior. The incredible impact that can happen when one momma who is single with many children can have. She can impact her children and they can impact the whole community. (Just a side note, but when we began the service the drums ceased playing:)

Lord Jesus Make it So. Change their hearts Oh, God!! Change their hearts!!

Pray for these ladies and their children. Pray for this community.

KaranagePrayer

While I am Waiting

While I’m Waiting

I’m waiting, I’m waiting on You Lord
And I am hopeful, I’m waiting on You Lord
Though it is painful, but patiently I will wait

And I will move ahead bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience

While I’m waiting I will serve You
While I’m waiting I will worship
While I’m waiting I will not faint
I’ll be running the race even while I wait

I’m waiting, I’m waiting on You Lord
And I am peaceful, I’m waiting on You Lord
Though it’s not easy no, but faithfully I will wait
Yes, I will wait

And I will move ahead bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience

While I’m waiting I will serve You
While I’m waiting I will worship
While I’m waiting I will not faint
I’ll be running the race even while I wait

I will move ahead bold and confident
I’ll be taking every step in obedience, yeah

While I’m waiting I will serve You
While I’m waiting I will worship
While I’m waiting I will not faint

And I will serve You while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting
I will serve You while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting
I will serve You while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting on You Lord

I will serve You while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting
I will serve You while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting

Songwriters
John Waller II

I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. Psalm 40: 1

Waiting patiently…the above song has resonated in my heart since I was returned to the states this past Aug. It has become a reminder everyday and on some days my prayer and my cry, because there are some things I am wrestling and fighting to wait for and there are some things that are worth waiting for.

How can I wait patiently for the Lord? As I serve here in Haiti I am daily reminded and tested to wait patiently. I learn so much from my Haitian brothers and sisters in this area. I really thought I was a pretty patient person until I came to Haiti and God showed me I can use even more patience.  Almost everything we do here is hurry up and then wait. For the longest time I would get agitated and frustrated when things didn’t start on time. Growing up I was taught to be on time and for our family that meant being at least 10-15min. early. There were even times we showed up  earlier, especially during swim season. I carried that over into my adult life and even when I coached. There were only a hand full of times where I was late and when I was people called out the Calvary:>) I had built a trust with those I coached and they knew they could count on me to be there. I’ve had to loosen my grip on this…I still show up on time or early, but I don’t get agitated like before…I try to make it more of a teaching moment when need to.

We have waited 3 years to move out to the campus…it has been 3 years of ups and downs, twists and turns, joy, heartache and persecution.  I can say with confidence that it was needed. We needed to wait. We needed to get to know our community and build relationships with those in it and in our church. We needed to watch the women of our church…fruit inspectors if you will:>) Watch how they cared and interacted with their own children and the children in the community. We needed to see their hearts to be able to know who would love on and help raise the beautiful children we have now. There is a beauty in waiting and these momma’s are a gift from God.  Being on the campus now and hearing our kids from my room, hearing choir practice, playing with the kids and walking 1 min. to church now. Hearing or taking part in the all night prayer meetings or waking to them praying in the mornings…so worth the wait.

We wait for leading and guidance when it comes to the children of this town who are being abused, enslaved, molested, prostitued. We cry out to the Lord for His help and for ways to combat generational sins. This isn’t a culture thing as so many people tried to tell me…THIS IS A SIN PROBLEM…pure and simple. We wait as a clinic is being built to be able to help and minister to these children and to the many mothers that have been abused and raped.

We wait for a church to be built while we worship in a military tent…when and with what resources and who will provide? Only God knows and His timing is perfect…so we wait.

We wait as our desire is to have each of the children to have 10 branches on their Family Tree to be filled. Who will “Lov’em Like Jesus” ? Yes, we wait!! As we wait…we pray, Pray, PRAY!!!

We wait for the men in this community to realize who they are in Christ and how much we need strong Godly men to lead…in the community, in the church and in our homes. This is particularly heavy on my heart as I pray Psalm 128. We wait.

Personally…I wait for those that I love to surrender and give their hearts to Jesus. I wait for the many young people that I know and love to give their hearts and lives to Him. I wait, but I wait expectantly! Expecting Him to do a work in their lives. Praying for opportunities to share more of Jesus with them. Praying that the words I have spoken or the actions I make reflected the heart, love and life of Christ. I wait…knowing that it isn’t me who will change their hearts, but Christ.  

I wait upon the Lord for the desires of my heart. It is days like today when those desires become more of a heartache and so I wrestle with knowing that His will may be different for me and so I surrender all to Him, because when it comes down to it…I want His desires to be my desires and I want to be in His most perfect will. So I wait and cry out to Him.

I wait as friends and family struggle and face challenges that in my flesh I want to change and fix, but giving them over to the Lord knowing He has everything under control.  I wait and cry out in prayer for change, for transformation, for revelation, for truth, for healing, for deliverance, for peace, for wisdom and for some to be brought to their knees. I wait and I cry out for those I love.

The song above has become a daily reminder that in the waiting…I will serve Him…in the waiting…I will worship Him…in the waiting…I will not faint…I will keep running the race.  

Please pray that I don’t give in or give up…that I will wait patiently.

Building Roots Deep…Building Families

Hello Friends…

This month Northwest Haiti Christian Mission has jump started a  new sponsorship program…The Family Tree. We are having a sponsorship drive to have 50 of our residents…orphanage, special needs orphanage and elderly…to be fully funded. “The Forrest through the Trees” sponsorship drive began just only 13 days ago so we have a little over half way yet to go. I want to thank you ahead of time for what role you will play in the lives of our kids and elderly in bulilding roots deep and building families.

So what is the Family Tree?

I am so glad you asked:>) This is no ordinary sponsorship…we want God to build roots that go deep in each of our precious children young and old. We want to build a community of believers that will circle each of them in prayer and support them just as you would one of your own. You’re not just writing an occasional letter or getting a yearly or quarterly picture or providing for their basic needs. You are planting seeds. Seeds that together we will water together to build a firm foundation based on God’s Word and through education, medical care, and  nutrition.

For the children we have been entrusted with and knowing God’s heart is deeply and personally vested in the condition and situation of every child that is orphaned. Our vision and mission is to raise generations of children to be disciples to know, love and serve Jesus Christ for His purpose and His glory. Working together, our Haitian staff and American staff, short term missionaries and the Family Tree provide spiritually, physically and emotionally the needs to prepare the children for their future life. We desperately pray these children will grow to become Godly young men and women who seek the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind and strength and that they will make a difference in their families, churches, communities, zones and country. “Therefore go and make disciples for all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Mathew 28:19-20

The children with special needs I believe teach us so much more than we could ever imagine. I know for me personally they have taught me to have more joy despite the circumstances of this life. They’ve taught me how to “let go and let God”. His timing in all things is perfect. So whether we are on this earth for 3 or 4 years or 80 years or more…He knows how long we are here. I can rest in that and I can try and rest in that for these precious ones that at times struggle so hard and ones that thrive and just show us how Awesome our God is. They blow me away and bless me incredibly!!! I had the joy of spending time with them a couple of weeks ago and oh how it lifted my heart. I’ve watched first hand the power of God’s hand in miraculous ways through these kids. Kids that said would not make it and our now walking, talking, going to school. I could go on, but wouldn’t you rather see for yourself as you become one of the limbs in one of these childrens tree’s!!

The precious ones in our elderly care are so fun to hang out with and love on. Again I was able to love on them when I went to visit. I even got to dance with a couple of them:>) Here in Haiti, just like our special needs they are not seen…they are invisible and tossed to the side. We have and continue to strive to change this mind set…though so difficult…you can see the changes. Our elderly have some wise men and women…good story tellers too! We pray that they will be examples to those on our campus and in our community. These men and women get up before the sun rises and head to church for prayer and praise. This inspires me to be more in prayer!!!

Now I realize I am more connected to the kids and that is alright, but I love all of our precious ones and desire for each one to be fully sponsored. Now, those of you that know me, know I  desire God to do more than we could ever ask or imagine. I have been praying that God would speak to hearts of people  and that He would raise up people to  fully sponsored 150 kids or elderly. (You could say I want to see us go more than 50 ft. further:>)  Are you crazy Miss Beth! Well, yes I am, but God is able…more than able. He doesn’t need us, but He chooses to us just because He loves us. Wouldn’t you want to be a part of something bigger than you could ever  imagine. I know I want to see Him  be glorified and praised for what He is going to do.

 So how does this work?

Each child, special needs and elderly we nurture is supported by a Family Tree of up to ten people sponsoring at $30 a month. Gather your friends, relatives, coworkers or church groups and consider growing these precious ones together. Once you do, you’ll gain access to an exclusive Facebook group highlighting your sponsored child’s day-to-day life. It’s an easy and effective way to stay connected, to see the difference you’re making, to celebrate hope and a future in a real and tangible way. To begin this journey together there are 5 precious ones that I am personally coming alongside to help get fully sponsored. Just click on the links or you can go to our website at www.nwhcm.org to see our Family. Please consider joining our family and helping us bear fruit…fruit that will last!!!

 

http://nwhcm.org/sponsorship/gran-maun/sinelia-augustin  she has 8 limbs to grow on her tree.

http://nwhcm.org/sponsorship/special-needs/roselore-charlestin she has 7 limbs to grow on her tree.

http://nwhcm.org/sponsorship/our-orphanage/fabiola-felix   she has 6 limbs to grow on her tree.

http://nwhcm.org/sponsorship/our-orphanage/magislot-delicien he has 6 limbs to grow on his tree.

http://nwhcm.org/sponsorship/our-orphanage/angela-petion  she has 8 limbs to grow on her tree.

 

Together we can provide the life giving water to help each tree to grow closer to Christ to grow those roots deep and firm in the Word of God…He is that life giving water!!  

 

We Need a Few Good Men

Psalm 128 reads…” 1) Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in obedience to him. 2) You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours. 3) Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table. 4) Yes, this will be the blessing for the man who fears the Lord.5) May the Lord bless you from Zion; may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life.6) May you live to see your children’s children-peace be on Israel.”
Last Christmas a dear brother in Christ shared with me that he shares this verse and uses this verse to encourage the Haitian men in the church and in the community where he and his family live. It is a message that can reach the hearts and lives of the men of Haiti, but also as they begin to see their role in God’s plan and begin to lead in their homes, families, churches ,communities and country….Wow! What an incredible move of God that can happen!!
I can’t tell you how this resonated in my heart…in more ways than one!! When you break these verses down maybe it will resonate with you too:>)
 Verses 1 and 2 speak to a man’s heart.
 Verses 3 and 4 speak to a man’s heart for his family.
 Verses 5 and 6 speak to a man’s heart for a nation.
This summer we had teams that came in and intentionally spoke into the hearts of women and children who have been treated as outcasts, who have been beaten, molested, raped and thrown into prostitution so that their family can have a way to have food. You must understand that this just does not happen in a few homes or is hidden behind walls like it may be here in the states. This is something that is ingrained in this culture…a norm. When I can walk down the streets and hear and see it happening I can’t just sit back and say…”Oh it is the culture.” Neither could these teams that came in. They spoke “Light into the Darkness”. They gathered a group of young girls and shared with them who they are in Christ and that they could be the Princesses of the King of Kings and Lord of Lord’s. They met with a group of teenage girls and explained how their bodies were created and worked and Who this creator was. They answered questions that could be very uncomfortable to most of us, but they answered with truth and always brought it back to Jesus. We had a team that came in and empowered our ladies by teaching them self-defense. They taught the children the difference between good touch and bad touch.
Now I know I have spoke about these things before, but all of this leads up to what we are missing, what I am asking in this title…”We Need Few Good Men.” Where this verse speaks and to whom it speaks of. It is my heart and belief that if we can speak into the men and boys of who they are in Christ and who they can be with Christ a man, a home, a church, a community and a country can change. When a man takes his God designed place in the home and leads and loves like Christ leads and loves His church…what do you think can happen? When a man knows what it means to have integrity and respects his wife and his children…what can happen? When he is educated about his own body and how it works and how to use self-control…again what can happen? And above all when he can come to know who Jesus is, what He has done for him, then repents of his ways and chooses to surrender and follow Him. We know what can happen!!! His heart can change and he can learn to walk in the newness of life and be transformed by the renewing of his mind.
So women…let me speak to the men candidly!! We need you men… older, younger, married and single. We need you to “step out of the boat…and know that you can walk on water!!” We need your example…Paul, Timothy, David, Peter, John, etc. I know there are men God is speaking to…to come alongside the Haitian men and boys. I know there are men that have a burden for them and God has equipped you with your own life experiences and struggles to share. Men, I am asking you to begin praying desperately about how you can pour into the boys and men in the Mole and surrounding communities. I am asking you to dream big what may seem impossible and believe God will show you and lead you as to how. I am also asking you to enlist other men to this challenge…and this is a challenge!! Lastly men I want to ask you…”Do you want to be a spectator…or do you want to be on the field playing the game?” I am praying that you will suit up and show up on the field.
Now women I have a job for you too:>) PRAY!!! Begin praying for your husbands, dad’s, uncles, brothers, fathers, pastors, deacons, elders…basically, all the men you know:>) Oh what a prayer can do!!
Do not fear…the Lord Jesus is with you and will not leave you. He will lead you and show you the way that you need to go. Trust and Obey…there is no other way. Be still and listen to what He desires for you to accomplish for Him for His glory!!

 

Who is our Example?

 

1 Corinthians 4:16 says, “Therefore I urge you to imitate me.” 1Corinthians 11:1 says, “Follow my example as I follow the example of Jesus Christ.”
At first glance at these Words, thinking from a worldly prospective, that Paul was a bit arrogant….stuck on himself maybe. When you look deeper into what the Word of God is really saying here though…you see what these Words intended to speak in to and who he was speaking to. Not only was he speaking to the church in Corinth, but he is speaking to us today.
The book of 1Corinthians was a letter to the church in Corinth. Notes from Bible read that “ 2 or 3 years after leaving the church he’d started in Corinth, Paul was hearing and receiving disturbing reports: Division and strife were seriously threatening this young church. Some had become spiritually arrogant, leading to problems such as sexual misconduct, wrongdoing against other believers, and abuse of spiritual gifts and misunderstandings of basic Christian teachings.” Paul wrote to restore the teachings of Jesus Christ. To remind them of the Christ who lived in them. Were they walking in Christ-like character?
Paul was absolutely confident in his character, actions and words. His actions and character spoke louder than words. As a missionary, teacher and coach do my actions speak louder than words? Paul is telling us if we walk and live in Christ-like integrity, people can look, listen, learn and follow our example. A person who hopes to be used by God must stand up to the test of individual moral persecution or scrutiny.
My Bible devotion says this, “Nothing disillusions us faster than seeing major character flaws in a leader we respect. On the other hand, nothing inspires us more than seeing an esteemed leader come forward to humbly ask forgiveness of a person or group. That willingness to be known for whom we are, sinners saved by grace, is one of the characteristics that mark Christians as different. Our example to walk in humility then becomes a discipling tool as others imitate us.
Yesterday I posted this from Voice of the Martyrs:
“Where do our steps lead? We think about the traces that Abraham’s walk left. After thousands of years Judaism, Christianity, and Islam still walk in these steps. Winds and floods could not wipe them away. Paul walked in the bloodstained steps of Christ in self-sacrifice. For two thousand years Christians could follow his example.
Be careful of your steps. You will not be the only one to walk in them.”
—Richard Wurmbrand
Since I have been back in the states this theme of discipleship, mentoring, example, Christ-like character continues to speak to me. Some days more loudly than others…like today. Honestly, this theme has been impressed upon me for as long as I can remember. From those that set a Christ-like example for me growing up to the desire to have Godly mentors in my life…leading me, teaching me, encouraging me, disciplining me, speaking truth in love…when maybe I didn’t want to listen, but listened anyway because I wanted to learn. I wanted to grow in my faith and walk with the One and Only Jesus. I am so very blessed and grateful for those that God has placed along my journey. Some for a season, some for the long-haul:>) and some that have gone to be with Jesus. I’m eternally grateful for the ones that went before me and prayed for me and for those that continue to be on their knees interceding on my behalf.
As a missionary I am even more aware of the example that Paul talks about. There is always eyes watching and ears listening to what I say and do. The people in the community, the people in the church, Ladies Bible study, the staff, the momma’s in the orphanage, other missionaries, and most of all the children. Nothing humbles me more when one of the kids picks up something I’ve said or did and they copy it. Now if it is a good thing…it so blesses my heart and encourages me and I praise Jesus for this, but when it is something not so good…Oh my heart breaks and it makes me weep!!! Sitting the child or children or even an adult down and asking for forgiveness for this action…yes humbling! This poem that one of my kids gave me years ago says a lot and reminds me every day that there are little eyes (and ears) upon us. My challenge and questions to you today is this:
Who is watching and listening to you and what will they be imitating? Will they imitate Christ that is in you?

LITTLE EYES UPON YOU
There are little eyes upon you and they’re watching night and day.
There are little ears that quickly take in every word you say.
There are little hands all eager to do anything you do;
And little boy/girl who’s dreaming of the day s/he’ll be like you.
You’re the little child’s idol; you’re the wisest of the wise.
In her/his little mind about you no suspicions ever rise.
S/He believes in you devoutly, holds all that you say and do, in your way, when s/he’s
Grown up like you.
There’s a wide eyed little child who believes you’re always right;
And his/her eyes are always opened, and s/he watched day and night.
You are setting an example every day in all you do,
For the little child who is waiting to grow up to be like you.

“Lord I want to be just like you…’cause he wants to be just like me. Help me be a Holy example, for his inocent eyes to see. Let me be a living Bible Lord… that my little boy can read. Lord I want to be just like you, ’cause he wants to be like me.”

~ song by Phillips, Craig and Dean

Just a few pics of examples and being examples:>)

062069summer 2013 161summer 2013 175summer 2013 181

Me and Emanosummer 2013 123 summer 2013 136 summer 2013 156 summer 2013 186IMG_0038027IMG_2707IMG_3448IMG_2843

Holy Spirit, Google Translate and Momma Gigi

So what do you do when your translators are unavailable and you have five hours to be ready to give a message to a group of women that are hungry for the Word?

Well my first thought was….Run and Hide!!! My second…tell Mamma Gigi there would be no message to bring to the ladies. (Now when thinking about that I wanted to refer to my first thought:>) My third thought…which really should have been my first…PRAY SILLY!! This is what I did and in the hours that followed before I brought the message God reminded me that He was my translator and to trust Him. So I sat down with the the message, the computer set for Google translate knowing that the translation wouldn’t be great from there, but I knew it would get me in the ballpark…so to speak.

It was 10 min. before I was to meet with the ladies and I began to get just a slight bit nervous. I wasn’t nervous about the message, but translating it so that the ladies would understand. The thought of them being confused or taking something the wrong way began to flood my mind and heart. Right away I got up pretended “to dig a hole and put the devil in it!!” There was no need to fear, no need to worry…God had this and He had me.

I went out to our group area to meet the ladies and there were already six of the ladies from our Discipleship Dames that were front and center and had huge smiles on their faces. I greeted them each with a hug and kiss on the cheek and then I asked them to do something for me. I told them that there would be no translator for me and if they would pray for me as brought the message to them. I told them that the Holy Spirit was my translator and that I was asking Him and for them to ask Him to help each woman understand the message. You would have thought I was giving them food or clothes because they were so excited to be able to do this for me…some of them started praying right then and there. How many of us get excited when someone asks us to pray for them? More importantly, how many of us stop right then and begin praying? Just today I posted this from VOM “As humans we think we have to 95% act and 5% pray, in reality it’s reversed. We must 95% pray and 5% act.” –this from a former prisoner for Christ in a restricted nation.

As we waited for everyone to arrive I felt the butterflies begin to fly in my belly…I knew all would be well, but I don’t think the butterflies received that message yet:>) Mamma Gigi and M’NeNe who usually begin with worship and prayer were not there yet and so one of the other ladies asked me if I thought we should start. “I really wanted the ladies to be there…of all the Monday’s for them not to be there…really God?” This is what went through my mind.

As we began to worship in song my heart began to become more at peace as He reminded me once again that He had this and to trust Him. Right at that moment Mamma Gigi and M’NeNe arrived laughing because they knew they were late and their smiles were of great encouragement to me. We prayed and then I again told all of them that I had no translator and that I was going to give it a go with the Holy Spirit as my translator. A shout of “Amen” came from these beautiful ladies. That was confirmation enough to tell me it was going to be fine.

We were studying Colossians 1:1-14 of how we can pray for one another. As I began reading in my best Creole that I could and trying to make eye contact with these precious ladies…each point was made, but with a little help from my friend. When the words were jumbled or there was a better word for what I was trying to say…Mamma Gigi would step in for clarity. Don’t you just love how God orchestrates His people? God knew what and who I needed to help these ladies to understand His message.
I asked them to pray for one another in these 6 ways…{ Ask God for the person to be…}
1. “Be filled with the knowledge of His will” (v. 9). Every believer needs to know the Lord’s specific plans for his or her life. That they would desire to seek Him in all things and run only to Him.
2. “In all spiritual wisdom and understanding” (v. 9). Ask God to help them walk in a manner worthy of Christ’s name. As believers, our conversation, character, and conduct should reveal obedience to God.
3. “Bearing fruit in every good work” (v. 10). Christians should have an eternal influence on our world. As we obey God, He makes our lives fruitful.
4. “Increasing in the knowledge of God” (v. 10). A believer should grow closer and closer to the Lord over time. On a practical level, that means we should study the Bible, apply what we learn, and observe what happens when we obey or disobey God.
5. “Strengthened with all power” (v. 11). Pray that the other person will experience the power of God in his or her daily life. The Lord loves it when we realize our helplessness and cry out for His supernatural strength.
6. “Joyously giving thanks to the Father” (vv. 11-12). This request has to do with the person’s attitude. God wants us to meet life with thankfulness, trusting Him in the midst of hardship. He brings good out of suffering and deepens our character.
(Notes taken from Dr. Charles Stanley and NIV Study Bible)

Within each of these I placed a story or illustration to help cement what we were discussing. You know they are understanding when you hear the “Amen’s” or when they are looking so intently at you as you speak. Both were being done. It also was a joy to see a few ladies with paper and pencil actually taking notes. Many of the ladies are unable to do so, but the ones that are…Wow!!

At the end of the message I asked them all if they understood what God’s Word was saying in these passages…a resounding “YES”. Then I challenged them to practice praying for one another in this way and they agreed.Oh how I love these ladies and what God is doing in them and with them. Their child-like faith inspires my faith and my walk. They know how important it is to go straight to the Father. There is no waiting…no jotting it down for a later time…THERE IS NO TIME LIKE THE PRESENT!!

Lord, give me confidence and boldness to pray with urgency…right then, on the spot. Thank you Holy Spirit for being the ultimate translator and that I can rely on You always for what is needed at that moment. Amen.

Daughters in the Faith

This summer God richly blessed me with three beautiful daughters in the faith…Morgan, Emily and Haylee. They served as interns leading and ministering alongside of the American teams that visited us…but they did so much more as they jumped in feet first in building relationships with so many in our community, church and staff. Their heart for the Haitian people was so beautiful to witness as they ministered and loved on the children in our orphanage, as they taught childrens church each Sun. as they discipled pre-teen and teenage girls and so much more. Their passionate pursuit for God, their desire to learn and grow as leaders, their willingness to rise early together for preparation for the day and prayer, a commitment to keep each other accountable and encourage one another was a breath of fresh air and allowed me to use my gift of teaching/coaching to come alongside these ladies. They blessed this community and me personally with their tender, sincere hearts that blew  my socks off…well if I wore socks:>)

Serving in a third world country as a single woman can be difficult in and of itself, but to lead teams in this third world country at such a young age…well it takes courage, confidence and a call (from God:) Within my heart and mind Morgan, Haylee and Emily were called to Mole St. Nicholas, Haiti…”for such a time as this.” They walked out this scripture in 1 Timothy 3:11-12 with abundant grace and mercy.

                                “Command and teach these things. Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”

This was so awesome to witness and to encourage!!! Each of us had our moments…including myself:>)  but God used each of us to hold each other up as we locked arms in prayer.

Each of the girls came into this internship with preconcieved thoughts and plans of what the summer would be like only to discover that God was going to transform and grow their love for HIm and teach them to trust Him even more. They grew as leaders and as disciples for Christ. They stepped out of the boat…Oh so many times with the wind and waves all around to find out that He is so very Faithful. They allowed themselves  to be vulnerable and transparent as they shared their hearts with the teams in worship, prayer and devotions making it their own. Sharing their experiences and relationships of Haiti…Real Life:>) They came alongside teams to share the love of Jesus from VBS to dance camp…from discussions with girls about sex to children learning about good touch bad touch, from Womens Ministry to self-defense for women, from medical clinics to eye clinics, from hut-to hut to loving on our precious kids in the orphanage, from movie nights to construction projects…all with the intention of building relationships and taking the opportunities to share and show the love of Jesus.

As teams came and went Morgan, Emily and Haylee were able to witness and catch glimpses of how God used these teams. They were an intergral part of continuing to build on relationships started and also in sharing with the Pastor who wanted a visit from him, had questions or asked Jesus into their hearts so that he was able to follow up and begin discipleship. Our prayer is that the fruit that was bore will be fruit that will last.

Thank you girls for serving the Lord and for the example that you set for NWHCM and the Mole community. We are blessed to have such young ladies lead and serve in such an impactful way. You really did “Walk on Water.” Emily and Haylee you finished strong and Morgan I know you will do the same in St. Louise. Thank you also for all your encouragement to the teams and to the staff.

Now on a personal note…as I said at the beginning God blessed me with 3 beautiful daughters. As I have been sitting on my porch the past couple of days reflecting over the past few months I am in awe of Jesus and in the way He teaches me, loves me, encourages me and comforts me. He used Morgan, Emily and Haylee to walk together on this journey. From the start of the day together in prayer to coming alongside of them during the day, to our nightly discussions, to our sleepless and wrestless nights, to tears shed and to the incredible laughter. These experiences together can never be replaced. In the midst of it all we found God to be so very faithful, that He is in control of all things, that we can trust Him, that we can hear His voice and that He loves us so very much….just to name a few things:>) My prayer for each of you is that you will continue to “Pound the Ground” while you are stateside and that you will take what He has imparted to you this summer and allow it to grow. That you will be just as bold and courageous on your college campuses and community as you were in Mole, Haiti. I pray that you will have the opportunity to take at least one girl and disciple her and share God’s truths with her like you have done with these precious girls here. I pray that things will not get so busy that your time with the Lord is sacrificed. I pray a hedge of protection around this time for it is the most important time of your day!! Continue to walk out 1Thessalonians 5:16-18…for this is God’s will. Lastly know that you have one who calls you each her daughter that is praying for you, is proud of you and who loves you so very much!!! “Thank you ladies, for giving to the Lord. I am a life that is changed. Thank you for giving to the Lord. I am so glad you gave.” You allowed God to use you as His instrument and the symphony He created touched so many lives including my own. You are all so beautiful inside and out!!!

O.K. now I am officially tearing up…I know hard to believe;>)

Continue to pray for these girls as they transition back to states…pray for rest, reflection and refilling. Also pray for Morgan as she continues to serve in St. Louise these last couple of weeks.

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Discipleship and Donkeys

Back in March a group of our Ladies Ministry went out with the soul purpose to find single moms that didn’t know Jesus and  were struggling with taking care of there kids and we had found out that they were so desprate that some were sending there girls out to the beach during the weekends to make money by prostituting them…just so they could have money for food. These moms by cultural standards have already been deemed unworthy and unexcepted. Going out to there homes and meeting these precious ladies was such a priviledge and joy. Inviting them to come and meet with us each Tues. to be encouraged, loved on and to share Jesus with them. We had 18 ladies that have come faithfully for the past couple of months and now over half of them have begun coming to church and about 10 of them have accepted Jesus. From the first day I had the joy of bringing a message to them my heart longed for each lady to know the Jesus I know and love. Sharing with them who they are in Christ, Who Christ is and Why Christ? Sharing the hope they too can have by believing in Him and placing their faith in Him alone. That He is he Way, the Truth and the Life. Watching their beautiful faces each week…looking into their eyes and seeing the pain, but also seeing a desire for Hope. A hope that is not found on sinking sand, but on the Solid Rock.

We paired each lady up with one of our Dames and each week they went to their disciplers home to encourage them and pray with them. They shared with them and blessed them in small ways not knowing that the last meeting they would recieve something special. Our ladies last week drove to Marouge, which is about an hour and half drive up the moutain to the market and they each brought back a donkey to give to their disciple. Now what I haven’t told you is that these ladies walked these donkey back down the mountain down a narrow path in the heat of the day for 5 long hours. Now these ladies were young and old, not athletic and the sandals they wore…well you could say there were quite a few flat tires. They were worn through and through. I had no idea they were doing this last Tues. until they showed up and Jody told me what they had done. I was totally overwhelmed to the point I wasn’t sure if I could give the message I had for the Discipleship group.

I gathered myself and the message I had originally planned, well it went a different direction and as I told Jody…I don’t remember all that I said accept I began with the song….I Decided to Follow Jesus. Sharing with them to put the world behind them and the cross before them. I also remember sharing the story of the wise and foolish builder and that our hope is on the Solid Rock and that we should not build on sinking sand.

Now…you might ask…Why on earth did they walk all that way pulling a donkey, knowing that this wasn’t for them. The simple and plain truth….Because these ladies love Jesus and they want these ladies to know Jesus too. They didn’t expect anything in return…they wanted to be a blessing. I believe this act of love and service spoke powerfully to these ladies as I watched some of these ladies tear up and to hear their thanks to them and to God. It was a festival of thanksgiving and all those who looked on and witnessed all of this were touched as well.

If you go to http://molehaiti.org blog “Donkey Day” you can read a little more about last weeks blessing. Today we gave out 7 more donkeys as we couldn’t get them all last week. Below are pics of the ladies. They couldn’t stop thanking Jesus  and was so incredibly gracious. This was so beautiful to see and humbled to be a part of.

Please pray for these ladies…pray that they don’t give up hope…that they continue to pursue Jesus…that these donkeys will open up opportunities to provide for their families…that they won’t stop meeting together.

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Unexpected Opportunities

This afternoon I headed to the church because I thought we were having baptism service today. Well my Creole is a work in progress…what I believed the Pastor said yesterday was only half right. I didn’t hear the part where he said that those that were baptized a couple of weeks ago have class today at 3pm. C’est la vie:>) I left a bit early because I always like to stop a talk with those in the community or love on the kids. God gave me several Unexpected Opportunities!

 I ran into a young man that I made a really bad impression on a couple of weeks ago. Now it isn’t my mission to come here and expect to have everyone love me. I expect those that don’t like me at all because I serve the One that told us we would have trouble in this world. The problem was I made Jesus look bad on this particular day. We had a group ministering to our youth and we were only allowing the youth inside the courtyard of the church. I was to stand at one of the entry ways to keep the little ones from coming in. Lets just say I was a bit overwhelmed and I really dislike being a bouncer, so to speak. We have a system of doing things here and sometimes it just stinks, but if we don’t do it this way it will be more harmful than good. If you have ever read the book “When Helping Hurts” this is what I am speaking of. Anyway this young man came in and was trying to sell things to the Americans. I tried, in the best Creole I could, that he needed to speak with Pierre and that we didn’t sell things this way. (We have a market day for our groups where anyone from the community can come and sell their goods, but you have to speak to Pierre first.) Well I was a bit stressed and overwhelmed with the kids and I know the way I spoke to him was very short and with frustration. Not a good moment and not a good time. The next day I recieve a long written note from this young man. He wrote with great passion and well basically called me out and believed I was trying to keep him from selling his things. I was devastated by my actions and told Pierre I wanted to set a meeting with him to talk with him and ask him to forgive me. He did and we all sat down together and talked everything out. I was never so humbled and asked for his forgiveness. We explained the system we use and we invited him to our next market day. I wasn’t sure if he really forgave me until today….The unexpected opportunity… I saw him today and went over to him and called him by name (which surprised him) and asked how he was doing. He smiled and told me things were good and to have a good day. I am grateful for this young man and for his passion for his people. I do pray for he will come to know Jesus. I pray today that he saw more of Jesus than who he met a couple of weeks ago!!!

I continued my walk and ran into my sweet friend Santania. She was one of my English students and she has been helping translate the past couple of months. She was heading to the church too to work with the youth for service tomorrow. As usual nothing is ever on time so we had the opportunity to talk and to work on our language skills. I spoke in Creole and she spoke in English. I always like talking with her and getting to know her more.  Being able to encourage her in her walk and to laugh with her. I love the friendship that we have. This was a beautiful unexpected opportunity.

Since there was no baptism I walked the campus and prayed for yesterday, today and the future of those that will come here. I prayed for the foundation of this campus to stay strong and be built on the Word of God!!! I went and dropped in on the beautiful children. Tizzie was practicing the song the kids will sing in the morning. They were so precious and boy did they sing with heart. They melted my heart as I held back the tears. After Tizzie was finished I was surrounded….they circled me up and tried tickling me. Just picking them up and hugging them tightly brings joy to this old heart…o.k. maybe not that old, but my body sure feels it :>) Our littlest, Fabiola, was in her crib and I walked over and said her name sweetly…she stood up and gave me the biggest smile. Oh how I love her sweet smile. Tizzie picked her up and stood her up and she was walking almost with no help. She was so proud of herself. My unexpected opportunity to love on these children and to let them know how much Jesus loves them. Lord, can I love any deeper? These kids have my heart and truth be told our Momma’s too! Love these ladies and how their faith is growing.

My return home was met with heartbreak. I heard screaming in the distance as I came closer to home. As I grew closer the screams were louder and I heard a whip. Then I heard I young man say, “You need to listen to your master.” I watched a young girl, only 10 or 11 run out of a door with the man grabbing her and whipping her then shoving a broom into her hand and then more of the whip. He saw me and stopped everyone on the street watched me watch him. One young man tried telling him to stop.  I stood there not knowing what to do except to stare at him with the anger that was in my heart. He walked back into the house and I asked the little one if she was alright. With tears in her eyes she said yes, but I knew, by her face, if she said anything else she probably would have been beaten more. I stood there for what seemed hours just looking at the door…knowing he was right there looking at me. This my dear friends is what burdens our hearts. Slavery, physical and sexual abuse, prostitution…this is not right…in any country!!!! My unexpected opportunity here was to pinpoint where another offender is and to circle them up in prayer. To keep my eyes wide open and if need be stare him down again.

Your unexpected opportunity is to please pray for the children and young people of the Mole. They need to know they are loved and that someone cares.Pray for their protection.  Pray for wisdom and discernment as we come across more unexpected opportunities. Pray that they will see Jesus in us.

 

Whom Will You Serve?

He must increase; but I must decrease. John 3:30

This morning the kids came into class all ready to tell who did what, who’s fault it was, who was angry with who and what crazy dream they had that night. I walked out and shut the door…about minutes later I came in with a basin of water and a towel and began to wash the kids feet. For the first time in quite a while they had nothing to say…and many of you know these precious ones:>) I began to tell them of Jesus and His disciples in the upper room. I told them that during Jesus’ time when they went into a home there would be someone there to wash the dust and dirt from their feet. The roads were dusty and dirty and just like here, people walked from place to place with no shoes or wore sandals. It was a common practice to clean those dusty, dirty feet.

I told them how Jesus went, picked up the basin, wrapped a towel around Himself and began to wash the disciples feet. I explained how Peter didn’t want His Jesus to stoop down to do this. That this was considered a lowly position…a humble position. Just as David the shepherd boy was looked upon as a lowly position…being a shepherd. He was looked down upon because he was probably dirty, dusty and smelled like the sheep that he lovingly took care of . This is the position that a foot washer played then. For Jesus to do this….Peter didn’t want his Teacher, Friend, God’s Son to bend the knee to him. Jesus explained to Peter that He had come to serve, not to be served. I explained to the kids that this is why I came…this is why their Daddy and Mommy came…why their Paw Paw, Nanna, Uncles and Aunts do what they do….because they desire to serve the One who sent them. 

By the time I reached the last kiddo I was overwhelmed with emotion. Overwhelmed by the example Jesus sets for us. He has shown us how to serve and be humble. I have fallen short so many times. I have spoken when I should have kept my mouth shut. I have kept my mouth shut when I should have spoke. I have allowed past sins to tempt me and my mind. As I began to pray for the kids and for the reason we are here in Haiti my heart flooded with all those that do not know Him. That haven’t experienced the abundant life that comes with wallking with Jesus Christ. “It is by His grace that I have been saved through faith in Jesus.” He alone has set me free….He paid the price for me by sacrificing His life. There is no greater love than this. He took upon His self all of my sins and was willing to die for them. What other God can we say do this? He freely gives us the choice to accept Him….some will and sadly some will choose to go their own way. Living in a country where you can feel the presence of evil and at times even see it….it makes me grateful that I have Jesus and that He leads me.

I have come to Haiti to serve….to serve the Castillo family as they serve….to serve the children in the orphanage…to serve the children in Mole St. Nicholas….to serve the women in the Mole…to serve Christ Alone, because He is worthy.

Philippians 2:1-18

My question to you is….Whom will you serve?

 

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