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The Church Body…

This morning our message was over Hebrews 13:16-21. It reads “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for such sacrifices God is pleased. Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority,because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be no benefit to you. Pray for us. We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honorably in every way. I particularly urge you to pray so that I may be restored to you soon.
Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep equip you with everything good for doing His will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen”

One of our Church leaders brought the message as our Pastor was sick and running a high fever. He encouraged our family, as we begin this New Year, to lift up our Pastor in prayer. It was wonderful to start out the New Year with the pews full and this encouraging Word.
After worship Momma Gigi asked if I was going to visit the Pastor with them. I must have missed that announcement;) I told her, of course. Usually when we visit it is 6-8 of us. When we reached the Pastors house I felt like I’d just stepped into Gods Word when the disciples or Paul would be in the home and people were packed to the seems listening. It was a bit surreal. Many of our church family were in the home as I entered. To see such incredible support brought tears to my eyes as I flashed back over the struggles we have encountered the past 4.5 years. To witness the church body praying over, singing over and encouraging this family was a great way to begin the New Year!

I ask you too, to pray for our Pastor and his family. That he would persevere and be courageous as he speaks truth in love, gentleness and humility.

Pray for our Church family that we would continue to grow in faith and would be a bold witness to the community. That His Light would shine in the darkness!

Consider Job? For Discipleship Class?

Yesterday we began another Discipleship Class for women in our community. For previous classes we have taken 20 of our Ladies in our Dames group and paired them with one of the ladies that had been sought, prayed about and asked to come. This time we are doing something a little different by using our mission staff who are also strong leaders for all of the women in the Dames group. Mama Gigi, Tezzie, M’NeNe and Elirose along with Kenson, Pierre and myself will be teaching and coming alongside this group of women.

As I said we began yesterday and as I sat down this week to prepare our first lesson I kept coming back to the book of Job. Really God? You want me to use Job? How? Why? And then…Why not!! I’ve seen to often the ladies that begin coming and then a prayer wasn’t answered, struggles were overwhelming, the enemies schemes overtook them, and they would leave going back to old ways. The ladies and I have gone out to check on those we haven’t seen , to encourage them and pray with them, but many, still wrestle with the chains that have entangled them. Each home I’ve entered my spirit senses this heaviness and battle they are in and so…We Pray!

The Example of Job
Before I jumped into Job I asked the ladies a few questions.
I asked them if they knew why they were here. Most of them said no and I shared with them that they weren’t here by accident, but that we were praying for the women in this community and that God led our ladies to them. That they were chosen. When I said this you should have seen many of their faces go from downtrodden to all smiles! My heart burst with joy!!

I proceeded to ask a few more questions. Who did they believe did the most good for all people in the world? “God” Who did they think was the greatest teacher? “God” Who did they believe in all of history lived a most holy life? “God” This was very telling to me as the name of Jesus was never uttered. They gave me blank faces when I said His name. I shared with them that no other person in History had influenced the world more for good than Jesus Christ and that He was the reason we were meeting. I shared from John 14:6 and then said…
He is the only way, only truth, and only life.
He is the key to knowledge and understanding
He is the wellspring of wisdom.
He is the foundation of faith.
He is the doorway of deliverance.
He is the pathway to peace.
He is the roadway to righteousness.
He is the gateway to glory.
He is the bridge to joy and happiness. (S.M. Lockridge, Ann Graham Lotz)

Then I explained, “we want to share with you who this Jesus is and why we love Him, why we trust Him, why we believe He is who He says He is, why when the difficulties and heartache of life hit us that we run to Him and praise Him because He is our strength. He is our refuge. He is our comfort. He is our hope. He is our peace. He is our deliverer. He is our defender. He is our song and we love and trust Him with our lives.” Then I asked them…”Are you you ready for the journey?” A resounding Yes!!!

I asked them if they knew the story of Job and most had not. A few knew the name…so Kenson read from Job 1:6-12 and began sharing the story of Job. After sharing the conversation between the enemy and God and then what proceeded to happen to Him we read from 1:21 where Job says,” naked I came from my mothers womb and naked I will leave. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” He also says later, “though He slay me or though the Lord allows this…still I will praise Him!” I explained, ” ladies do you see him running from God? Is Job blaming God? Is he seeking other Gods or ways? Is he going next door to the witch doctor? Is he praying to Abraham, Issac, Peter or Paul? NO! They said. NO! He is praising the name of the Lord! ”

“Now, I said, ” if Job, who had everything, and now had nothing and had sores all over his body believed and praised God…isn’t it worth finding out more about this God, this Jesus who in Jer. 1:4-5, chose you before you were even born?” YES!!! was their reply .

I shared a little more of Job and then I reminded them how much Jesus loved them and prayed over them.

So…WHY NOT JOB?

Pray for these precious ladies, our staff women, Kenson, Pierre and myself. Pray for Light of Jesus to shine in the hearts and lives of these ladies and their families and pray for the ladies that have returned to old ways and continue to struggle. Pray for roots to be dug down deep. That the anchor will hold!!!

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Discipleship, Decisions and Donkeys

EncouragementDiscipleship Dames Last Class                                          

Today was our last official meeting with our Discipleship Dames class. As usual I had a lesson all wrote out, but somewhere along the line my script changed as I was prompted to remind them how much Jesus loved them and how beautiful He tells them they are. No matter what they have done or what they are doing…He loves them and wants a relationship with them. Kenson and I shared with them Psalm 63:1-8 as it resonated in my heart all day today. It says.” You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you: I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and behold your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. On my bed I remember you: I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you, your right hand upholds me. ” Reminding them how He longs for them seek Him, to hunger and thirst for Him and to spend time with Him.

We reviewed last weeks lesson a bit as I had shared with them the ABC’s of Salvation. A=Admit; admitting we are a sinner. Romans 3:10 and 3:23  B=Believe; believing Jesus Christ is God’s son and placing our trust in Him alone. receiving forgiveness of our sins; even though we do not deserve this gift He freely gives. John 3:16 C=Confess; confessing with our lips that we have placed our faith in Christ alone and following Christ example being baptized as an expression of our faith. Romans 10:9-10 Luke 9:23 Now we did not review every scripture, but I wanted you, the reader, to know what we spoke of last week:)

I asked the ladies if they knew the song “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus”.  I began singing and a beautiful chorus rang out as they joined with me…at this point I held back the tears…you know me:) I shared with them that deciding is just the beginning. I told them that many times as I walk through the community I will run into people who I haven’t seen in worship for a while. People that I’ve watched go forward and then be baptized. I will ask them why they aren’t coming to worship and the common reply will be, “I’ve been baptized or I’m converted” which my reply to them is from Hebrews 10:25 where we are told to not stop meeting together, but to continue having fellowship.” Confessing and baptism is only the beginning,” I told the ladies. I shared with them that the beginning is like a babe that only drinks milk, but if you don’t continue seeking Him, practicing the spiritual disciplines of prayer, worship, Bible reading or listening, fellowship with one another and serving you will continue to be that babe only drinking milk. We want to crave and mature into eating real food and the only way to do this is to keep meeting together and spending time in His Word and in prayer.

I followed up with this simple ABCD…yes, into the alphabet this week:) A=Ask; ask Jesus into your heart…Romans 10:13 B=Baptism; follow Jesus example.Romans 6:4, 11 C=Church; seek a Bible believing/teaching church, where God’s Word is the Authority being preached. Heb. 10:25 and D= Do what the Bible says. James 1:22.

I gave the rest of the service to Pastor Agenor as he brought the Word to them and used Isaiah 1:18-20, where it says,”Come now, let us settle the matter, says the Lord. Thought your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good things of the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” No he did not preach a fire and brimstone message, but I know it cut to the heart. He spoke in his gentle and compassionate way and gave the invitation for those to come forward to accept Jesus. One of the ladies didn’t hesitate, she jumped up and went forward. My heart so wanted to see many of the ladies come forward, but today was not that day. I could tell that there were many who were holding back, but I know God’s timetable is not mine. I can’t change their hearts, but I know the One who can. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was a bit disappointed, but then I recalled a story I read this past week about 2 missionary ladies that served in a predominantly Muslim country. They were asked what was the hardest part of starting out in a Muslim country as 2 single women. Their reply was that they did not have one single person who gave their heart to Jesus for 10 years, but knew that  this was where they were suppose to be and now they are seeing people come to Jesus. This was a good reminder for me today and know it wasn’t by coincidence or accident that I read this story!! I love how God prepares my heart and gave me an even deeper love for these ladies. He is not finished with these ladies…so we will continue to pray for changed hearts. I pray for the one that accepted that she will be a bright shining light in this dark community…believe me…it is very hard community…that she will grow in her faith and be the example God has given her the opportunity to be.

Donkeys Given

This past Wednesday our Dames walked from our campus to Karenage with donkeys to give to the Discipleship Dames. I thought I was going to have to pull one of the donkeys as all of our ladies weren’t there yet. I took one and thought, “Oh can I do this, can I handle this animal.” Well obviously God thought NO, because by the time I reached the bridge, one of the ladies was there to take it off my hands:) Now the last time we did this our ladies walked with donkeys for 5 hours in the heat of the day down a narrow path down hill. For this time we had a different kind of challenge. As you know Wed. was New Years Day and it is also Haiti’s Independence Day so it is a big deal. In fact they celebrate this day more than they do Christmas. Well…as you can imagine a group of women, walking through town with a bunch of donkeys raises some eyebrows. Our first challenge was the wind…it was gusting pretty strong and we were walking into the wind as well as into the sand that it blew up. These are the days I need a set of goggles:) lol

Our second challenge was the many cat calls we were getting from the men on the streets. It’s funny, but I mainly noticed men out and about this day. I am assuming the women were in making the pumpkin soup (the traditional meal they eat on this day). The greatest challenge was a young man who had been drinking quite a bit, jumped onto one of the donkeys and began riding it. Tizzie, our Orphan Manager, stood there and just stared at him…didn’t say a word, didn’t raise a fist, she stood there. I was about ready to pummel the guy…ok probably not a good thing to do, but it still crossed my mind. One of the other ladies gently told him to get off and he did. The next thing I know he is jumping on another donkey. I thought it wise to stand back and let them handle it:) They did with much grace. He finally gave up and staggered down the street. At that moment I was so proud of our ladies. They showed such grace and restraint…it blew me away. Now you many think what is the big deal…well here in Haiti women and men are known to throw rocks at one another, hit, slap and even bite one another so to see these ladies showing restraint and not following the norm…Jesus is working in them!!!

We arrived in Karenage with the donkeys and it was like Christmas…praising God for the wonderful blessing He had given to each of the ladies. Seeing the village come out to see as well and to see what God had provided for these ladies. It was beautiful to stand back and watch. Momma Gigi and Madame NeNe passed out the paper work needed for each person, we took pictures, I played with the kids (no surprise there!) and Momma Gigi prayed for these ladies and the village and then we headed back home. What an incredible way to start the New Year!!

Please continue praying for these ladies, their children and the village. We do have groups coming in the days ahead that will be ministering to these very ladies. I know God’s Word doesn’t return void so I am believing these ladies will make a decision…God’s timing is perfect!!

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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

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!!

 

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.

 

Not By Accident

 The past couple of weeks the Dames group (our Ladies Bible study) has been hitting the streets of our community. The first day we went out we gathered at close to 20 homes praying with many elderly who were sick and struggling and with a few single ladies who are desperately trying to feed their children. As you can imagine jobs are difficult to find. You have some that will sell fish at the market, some that sit all day breaking rock to be used for building and making a road, some do laundry, and sadly some are so desprate that they send their daughters to the beach during the weekend (as we have many visitors from nearby towns and Port au Prince) to have sex with these visitors to make money for food.(they recieve about 1.25 US we are told:>( This is a heartbreaking reality here…one that we just can’t ignore and pretend it doesn’t happen!!! We can not close our eyes to the abuse that happens. Please join us in prayer for wisdom and discernment of this reality!!

The last few times the Dames and I have gone out we have prayed specifically for the Lord to lead us to these single women. We had also asked our Dames to share names that the knew of to go visit. Each home we entered we wanted to pray with them and encourage them. We wanted to let them know that we cared about them, to listen to their hearts. To pray for the difficulties they faced each day and to let them know that Jesus loved them. There were homes that I entered that it was all I could do to hold back the tears. (I know that is a shocker for many of you:>)

One particular house we visited she took us to a young man that they wanted us to see. He is 22 years old. As I understood this young man had gone to school in Port au Prince. When he returned they said he went to the hospital and they couldn’t help him, they went to one of the churches and they couldn’t help him and they went to the witchdoctor and that was at a loss as well. What they believe is that he is a zombie an evil spirit is in him.I know…crazy, but real here.  He is so thin that his legs are so thin you can see his bones, his face is sunken in, and you can see every rib. He eats, but nothing changes. Seeing this young man not only brought tears to my eyes, but to the ladies as well. To see their hearts be touched in this way revealed a an answer to a prayer I have had. “Lord may these ladies hearts be broken for the things that break yours.” The ladies tend to rib me and tease me when I cry…not so much now as they are used to it…but they don’t understand why. Why would I cry over certain things. Thus the prayer. We prayed over him and let them know that we would send our Pastor to come and see him. They were greatful for our visit and for our concern for them. “Oh Lord make yourself known to this young man. Break through the walls and chains that are holding him and allow your love to penetrate the darkness inside. Lord heal and restore this young man to health and may others see your hand at work in his life.”

Yesterday we met with the single ladies. We are meeting with them each Tues. at 4pm to encourage them and to share Jesus with them. Our Dames group is coming alongside of these precious ladies. Each lady was paired with one the Dames and each week they will go to their home and pray with them and each Tues. they will go to their home and walk with them to Bible study. I had the blessing of sharing Jesus with them. I helped explain the difference between knowing Jesus and having a relationship with Him and that it was our desire and prayer that they would get to know Jesus in the weeks to come. To watch their faces encouraged me. I finished with reading the letter below to them to read the scriptures over them. I also told them that it wasn’t by accident that we came to their homes. That we had prayed for God to lead us to each of their homes and that they were their because He loves them so very much. Oh the smiles that went on the faces:>)

While we paired up the ladies two elderly ladies dressed in their Sunday best came wanting us to pray with them. We sat them down and told them we were almost finished. As we paired these ladies up the excitement in our ladies was priceless. I loved watching them put their arms around their partner and walk out with them with so much laughter and joy. What a beautiful picture of love, compassion and discipleship.

I had the honor of praying with the sweet elderly ladies. I asked how I could pray for them and they told me of their health. These ladies must have been in their 70’s and they made their way down our difficult hill by where we live just so we could pray with them. I am still trying to figure out how they knew we were meeting when we did. No matter how they knew I was very humbled to approach the throne on their behalf. Momma Gigi and I helped them climb the hill afterward. I have know idea how they walked down for they were hugging each rock as they climbed up. Only God could have led them to us.  

***please pray for these ladies young and old. Pray for God to reveal Himself to each one. Pray for our Dames to be of great encouragement and that they will not grow weary. That they will be used as instruments in our Redeemers Hands.

 

Dearest Child,

You may not know me, but I know everything about you. Psalm 139:1  I know when you sit down and when you rise up. Psalm 139:2 I am familiar with all your ways. Psalm 139:3 Even the very hairs on your head are numbered. Matthew 10:29-31 For you were made in my image. Genesis 1:27 In me you live and move and have your being.Acts 17:28 For you are my offspring. Acts 17:28  I knew you even before you were conceived. Jeremiah 1:4-5 I chose you when I planned creation. Ephesians 1:11-12  You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book. Psalm 139:15-16 I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live. Acts 17:26  You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14 I knit you together in your mother’s womb. Psalm 139:13  And brought you forth on the day you were born. Psalm 71:6 I have been misrepresented by those who don’t know me.
John 8:41-44 I am not distant and angry, but am the complete expression of love. 1John4:16 And it is my desire to lavish my love on you. 1 John 3:1 Simply because you are my child
and I am your Father. 1 John 3:1 I offer you more than your earthly father ever could.
Matthew 7:11 For I am the perfect father. Matthew 5:48 Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand. James 1:17 For I am your provider and I meet all your needs. Matthew 6:31-33  My plan for your future has always been filled with hope. Jeremiah 29:11 Because I love you with an everlasting love. Jeremiah 31:3  My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore.Psalms 139:17-18 And I rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17  I will never stop doing good to you. Jeremiah 32:40  For you are my treasured possession. Exodus 19:5 I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul. Jeremiah 32:41  And I want to show you great and marvelous things. Jeremiah 33:3 If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me. Deuteronomy 4:29 Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4 For it is I who gave you those desires.
Philippians 2:13  I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine. Ephesians 3:20 For I am your greatest encourager. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4  When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you. Psalm 34:18  As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart. Isaiah 40:11 One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes. Revelation 21:3-4 And I’ll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth.Revelation 21:3-4 I am you Father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus.John 17:23 For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed. John 17:26 He is the exact representation of my being. Hebrews 1:3 He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you. Romans 8:31  And to tell you that I am not counting your sins.2 Corinthians 5:18-19 Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you.
1 John 4:10 I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love. Romans 8:31-32 If you receive the gift of my son Jesus, you receive me. 1 John 2:23 And nothing will ever separate you from my love again.Romans 8:38-39 Come home and I’ll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen.Luke 15:7 I have always been Father, and will always be Father.Ephesians 3:14-15  My question is…Will you be my child? John 1:12-13  I am waiting for you. Luke 15:11-32

Love, Your Dad
Almighty God

Father’s Love Letter used by permission Father Heart Communications
© 1999-2010 http://www.FathersLoveLetter.com

 

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