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Facebook Fast

This time of Lent I felt a nudge, actually more like a shake, to remove myself from Facebook and to reflect, pray and search my heart for the reasons I am part of this social media. I had been feeling uneasy about how I was using it lately and if I was getting to caught up on the outside world that it was becoming a distraction. My desire was to use this as a way to share what is happening here in the ministry NWHCM and where I fit in. I also felt I could encourage others and share the love of Jesus with those who may not know Him or needed that encouragement/truth to be shared. It has also been a place where others could encourage me since mail is out of the question here in the Mole, Haiti:) and at times even internet isn’t working stellar so seeing a simple note or post during a hard time or rough day from a friend is always a blessing to receive, but when they have become few and far between the enemy was beginning to play the mind games with me. This was the biggest reason for removal. I recognized and God and I walked through teaching and showing me different things. Things I have shared before, but even more passionate about and probably in the minority…but will share still the same.

My favorite day of the year is Easter….celebrating what our Jesus has done for you and for me. A day I remember so many years ago at the age of 12 giving my heart to the Lord and confessing before others that I believe Jesus is the Christ, the son of the living God. I remember on an Easter Sunday my first year in Dallas going forward to reaffirm my confession and commitment to Jesus. This began a time of intense learning and stripping of so many things and taught me so much in how to trust Him more, love Him more, serve Him more and seek Him more. I have to say those years in Dallas grew me in ways that I never thought possible and as only He would have it prepared me for what I am doing now. I am reminded because of His faithfulness through those years I know He is faithful in the difficulties I have now. Sometimes I forget, but He gently reminds me. I love this!!!

As I shared earlier I fasted during this lenten season to reflect on the influence this was beginning to have on me, the why, the relationships, the purpose and am returning back to continue encouraging and sharing the love and hope of Jesus Christ, but with greater caution, knowing  the enemy  is more that capable of getting a foothold as He wants to destroy, distract, demolish and devour any testimony or truth and wants to deceive you and me. My desire is to be more cognizant and intentional as to what I share and what I post. Also being more intentional about praying before I share or post as well as to what I like/love of other posts. It has crossed my heart and mind over these weeks of reflection…am I (are we) really building relationships through likes and loves? Are we really connecting with people on a deeper level of intimacy? I’ll be the first to tell you I was heading in that direction and I found it was leaving me more empty and disconnected, dissatisfied, a lack of authenticity or transparency, skipped over, friendless. You know what I mean because we’ve all done it…scroll down and hit likes without even really reading a post!! Let me ask you…How is this relational? Do we really know how others are feeling by our thumbs up sign. As one of my brothers says at times”Oh Miss Bess, ou dunt know.” 🙂

Well maybe I dunt;) But what I do know is that Jesus was born, lived His life on this earth, died and rose from the grave so that we could have life!!! Abundant life!!! He wants a relationship with you and with me. No amount of likes or thumb ups is going to build a real relationship. Think about it. Is what your heart desires is a thumbs up from a certain person or persons or is what it desires is real words with meaning, conversation, sharing of scripture with one another to build one another up. Think about it!! Pray about it!! Talk about it!!

Let me just say there is no greater relationship to have than with Jesus. 





Jesus Take My Hand

Trust in You by Lauren Daigle

Letting go of every single dream. I lay each one down at your feet. Every moment of my wandering never changes what You see. I try to win this war I confess. My hands are weary I, need your rest. Mighty warrior, King of the fight…no matter what I face Your by my side.

When You don’t move the mountain, I’m needed You to move; When You don’t part the waters, I wish I could walk through; When You don’t give the answers, as I cry out to You ; I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You.

Truth is You know what tomorrow brings.There’s not a day ahead You have not seen; So in all things be my life and breath I want what You want Lord and nothing less.


You are my strength and comfort; You are my steady hand. You are my firm foundation the Rock on which I stand.Your ways are always higher; Your plans are always good, there’s not a place where I’ll go You’ve not already stood.

I will trust in You, I will trust in You, I will trust in You, I will trust in You!!!!

Have you ever walked in darkness? I don’t mean the kind of darkness where you have street lamps or house lights to help you find your way home, I’m talking darkness with maybe the stars and the moon to guide you and it’s a cloudy night. Or have you ever played that game where you are blind folded (and no peeking, but tied tight;) and you had to trust the person you were paired with to get you through the obstacles that lay ahead?

I recall a time while I’ve been living in Haiti where I was caught in the dark and I had forgot my flashlight. We had just finished up with a Ladies Conference and I had been talking with some ladies afterwards and as I prepared to leave the gator and everyone had gone back to the house. I was left in the dark with only the memory of the road and the stars to get me back. It was one of those nights where I lifted up a quick prayer to Jesus to help me get home safely. It was only 4 blocks away, but it was dark…really dark!!! I made it one block when I felt a gentle hand grab my arm and this precious woman who lived next door to us walked me the remainder of the way home. She was watching out for me, protecting me, shielding me and helping me back home to where there was light. I did not feel like I was in any danger and I had no fear of walking home, but my neighbor was watching out for me…she knew, but more importantly my Heavenly Father was watching out for me by sending this dear woman to lead me home…because I trusted Him.

This past year I found myself walking in a darkness again.A darkness that a flashlight just can’t help. A darkness that covered me not only physically, emotionally, and mentally, but spiritually. Let me just say when you pray “Lord, strip it all away” be prepared. There were area’s that surfaced that I thought I had dealt with long ago, but they returned with such force, deception and power and with such fatigue I had no fight left .This woman who doesn’t like to give up was ready to do just that, but I realized there is a difference between giving up and surrendering. I needed to surrender it all to God…the good, the struggle, pain, confusion, fear and the ugly. It certainly wasn’t pretty and the example I spoke about in the last blog was failing miserably. I felt I was disappointing to many or that I had tarnished my character and walk because of my own insecurities of what I believed to be true, but in the midst of what I believed was truth…God was using many to lead me back to the joy of my salvation.

I am so very grateful to those that didn’t give up on me during this time…that walked with me, listened to me and poured into me selflessly even when it was so very difficult. I am grateful for the team members that came through without you even knowing it…spoke life, encouragement and love into me as you affirmed me. I am grateful to a dear friend that heard my heart and spoke truth to me to get help. I am grateful for those that interceded for me when you had no idea what was going on, but He placed me on Your heart so you prayed!! I am grateful for Alongside, an incredible retreat and counseling center for Pastors and Missionaries…that loved on me, poured into me, taught me and equipped me with tools to walk in truth, freedom, grace, peace and more joy. (spending 2 weeks with other missionaries and pastors to see how important self-care and community is on the field and ,despite different countries, deal with the same issues. WOW!! Still processing it all!!!) I am grateful for supporting churches that care so deeply for me even when I was falling apart…there understanding of where I was as a missionary and the counsel I received…overwhelming!!! And so very grateful for a family that loves me unconditionally and supports what I am doing…even when they may not understand, they know I desire to listen and obey.

Above all a Good Shepherd that sent each of you to gently take my hand and lead me to the next step in the light along each days journey. I have this plaque on my wall that one of my Haitian sisters gave to me that says…The Lord is my Shepherd!! I can’t tell you how many times I sat on the couch and stared at those words praying that I would shake myself out of what I was in. When I came out in Aug. to the states these words were a lifeline for me. “ The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul.” Psalm 23:1-3b He literally and figuratively did this for me. The Good Shepherd has held me tight and has never let me go.

The above song resonated and encouraged within me that despite the circumstances “I can and will trust in Him!!” He will be the Light in my darkness. “That I have this hope as an Anchor for my soul, Firm and Secure…” Heb. 6:19

I shared with our ladies a few weeks back the struggles I was facing. The depression I was in. The anxiety and fear I was dealing with. The health problems and emotions that I was dealing with and shared these Scriptures with them that I just shared above to encourage them that together with Christ we can defeat the darkness and walk in victory because He is ours forever!! Amen? I also shared this Scripture that really tied the message together.
“My health may fail and my Spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart;
HE IS MINE FOREVER!!” Psalm 73:26

You may be walking in the dark right now. Maybe you feel you have lost your way. Maybe you have been sitting in the tunnel of despair and feel there is no way out. Let me encourage you to call on the the name of Jesus…the name that is above every name. Ask Him to help you; put your hope and trust in Him. Allow Him to take you by the hand and lead you to the other side of the tunnel where there is light. Where there is hope. Where there is forgiveness. Where there is healing. Where there is freedom. Where there is love. Where there is redemption.

May we be able to say with confidence…”I WILL TRUST IN YOU JESUS; I WILL TRUST IN YOU!!” 

Just Like You, Jesus

Lord I want to be just like You ‘cause she wants to be just like me; I want to be a holy example for her innocent eyes to see. I want to be a living Bible Lord that my little girl can read. Lord I want to be just like You ‘cause she wants to be just like me.”

The past few Mondays I have had the privilege of teaching Ladies Bible Study. I so love starting the week off with these precious ladies. Learning, playing, laughing, crying (ok this is mostly me;) lol, discussing, arguing (yes, we can get into some interesting arguments that to me seem totally banana’s, but to them it’s real….sometimes I forget this and have to remind myself that many of these ladies are young in their faith…grace. Amen? Sometimes too, I have to remember to take the log out of my own eye, before I can help pull the plank out of my sisters eye.) serving, evangelizing, worshipping and praying. It’s been so exciting to witness these ladies grow in the ways of the Lord. Seeing those that lead and are mature in their faith grow stronger and be the example to those that are new in their faith.

This is where the lesson Pierre and I was sharing was rooted. The week before we had one of those drawn out discussions that I felt went in circles, but in the midst of it all I listened to their hearts as God translated and gave me better understanding. After that day one verse and the song above kept swirling in my head.

The song has been a prayer of mine since 1994 when one of the swimmers I coached drove with me from Ohio to Dallas, Tx. It was a great drive, but also difficult as I knew at the end of the trip I would have to say good-bye. This precious girl had become like a daughter/ little sister to me over the years as I helped coach her, and though I did not know what God was doing in her then, a few laters she would accept Jesus as her Lord and Savior. As we crossed the border into Texas this song came on the radio. The radio had not worked for hours so to listen to this song and soak in the words it put a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. This was the time God began to birth a deeper passion for discipleship and growing in Christ character. It still helps fuel this passion especially during seasons of struggle and confusion.

We shared with the ladies this scripture from 1Corinthians 11:1…Paul writes, “follow my example as I follow the example of Jesus Christ.” Why had Paul wrote this? Was he being arrogant or self-righteous? Paul never saw himself as sinless. In fact during this time of this writing the Corinthians knew nothing of the life of Jesus or His ministry. Paul couldn’t say, “hey look at Jesus, imitate Him, He is Your example” because the Gospels weren’t even written yet. They had no idea what Jesus was like. The best way to point these new Christians to Christ was to point them to a Christian whom they trusted. Paul had live in Corinth almost 2 years and had built relationships of trust with many of the new believers. (taken from Application Study Bible)Paul walked in Christ-like character…like the line to the song, “I want to be a living Bible Lord, that my little girl can read.”

I posed this question to the ladies…When we think of the characteristics of Christ what do we think of? It took them a couple of minutes to begin to answer, but once one of our ladies began, they were off and running. Compassionate, Forgiving, Patient, Gentle, Protector, Provider, Friend, Counselor, Peace, and on and on:) I shared with them that when I look up the characteristics of Christ I can find way over 60 traits and that I can get overwhelmed by so many, but the one place we can look for is in Galatians 5:22-23 Listing the Fruit of the Spirit and then asking ourselves Am I walking in Christ-likeness? What is it that I need to ask Jesus to help me with and who can I recruit to keep me accountable and walk alongside of me?

The week before one of the ladies shared this during our heated discussion. She shared with the ladies that she comes to Ladies Bible Study to learn more about Jesus and that she finds sisters here that pray for her, come alongside of her and offer help when she isn’t able to help herself. I reminded them of this and how beautiful it is that we can come alongside one another, study God’s Word with one another, pray for one another, grow in grace with one another, cry with one another, serve one another, laugh with one another, and keep each other accountable.

I posed another question to them…In our list do we find jealousy, envy, greed, gossip, revenge, fear judgement, anger, fear, bitterness, pity, selfishness….in Jesus? A resounding NO! NONE OF THESE!!! But do we find them in us? Oh Yes, Amen!!! We know we don’t want to admit it, but we all do. There are rooms in our heart that at we want to close off and not admit the struggle with.We all have them and unfortunately as the body of Christ we are harder on each other and on ourselves. We are good at pointing out the plank our neighbors eye before noticing we have our own log in ours. We just stink at just sitting down and being transparent with one another and saying, “hey, I notice your struggling a bit with gossip or jealousy. Can we talk about it together instead of talking about it all over town. Maybe together you decide to conquer this with Christ help.” We reminded them that they are more than conquerors with Christ Jesus!!

Lastly I asked them…How do we develop Christ character? How do we say I want to be a woman who walk in Christ-likeness and mean it? It means getting real with ourselves and others. It means doing a heart check as well as a thought check. It means getting serious about our prayers and ask for help in the problem areas that we know we struggle with. Which means if we are praying about it don’t be surprised if He places you in circumstances and experiences to teach us. In other words whenever we choose to respond to a situation in God’s way instead of in our flesh nature we develop His character. For this reason he allows conflict, disappointment, difficulty, temptations, times in the desert and delays.

We left them with this challenge…In what difficult circumstance in your life might God be trying to build your character? How does your attitude or perspective change in hearing this today? Who are you being a living Bible for?

I leave the same challenge for us all?

Living on the Edge

When you think of “living on the edge” what sort of definition comes to your mind? Dangerous living? Extreme sports? Unlawful activity? Sheer craziness? The Urban Dictionary defines this phrase like this….living a dangerous or unusual everyday life.People who live on the edge quite frequently expose themselves to physical, psychological, economical, lawful or other kind of dangers.

For the past 4 or 5 weeks we have been using this expression quite a bit, but in Haiti we use it in a different way and it revolves around our way of communication back to the states…the Internet. The cell phone company that we were using and had a reasonable monthly plan for Internet decided that the Mole didn’t have enough subscribers.

A few of you may have noticed that I haven’t been on Facebook, Voxer or returning E-mails. Basically, I was waiting to find out if this was going to be resolved. During the waiting is how we became…living on the edge, (a capital E marked the top of phone screen for EDGE;) because if you still had an active plan you could get snail mail slow,activity:)

As it so happened my plan ran out around the time this began. At first I was a bit frustrated with this, but as time passed it became somewhat freeing and made me stop and reflect on the hold, that so subtly has grabbed me. These thoughts have played on my mind…I never really checked who liked my posts and now I find myself saying,”She liked my post, Why? “Did he or she just check the like box in passing? Why doesn’t anyone ever comment? Why doesn’t this person or that person e-mail me anymore? Ive been lax in blogging and only short snippets on Facebook, how can I do better? Better yet, how can I revive my desire to write…it is so flat right now!? I haven’t been a very good daughter, sister, niece, aunt or friend at writing and (sorry;( all) at keeping up…know though, you are loved hugely, missed greatly and prayed for muchly!! I was carrying my phone everywhere as if it was attached to me and wondering who might send the next message, Vox or email…which consequently were very few and far between before this happened.I was finding the very thing I was struggling with in others was beginning to grab me as well. I let my guard down somewhat and was critical of others. Isn’t this just how satan works? He gets his foot in the door so easily and innocent and the next thing you know you are being mastered by his deceit…we fall right into his trap.

I am grateful to God for allowing me this time to “LIVE ON THE EDGE” for these weeks. It has taught me a lot.
First…that though it may sound silly, the definition still holds true. Anything can master you. Even technology! It can be just as dangerous if it takes you away from your first love…your relationship with Jesus Christ. I don’t ever want that to be the case with me and those I love.
Second…this EDGE showed me more of His grace and extending that to others. How easily we all can fall into this trap if we don’t guard our hearts and minds.
Third…to trust Him in all things. Even in the way of communication and the form of it. Whether 3G or Edge God has it all and sometimes with this speed He is instilling in us more patience. I live in a slow paced community. The Haitians are beautiful in showing me this more and more. God is teaching me through them to continue building relationships and baring fruit…fruit that will last. I don’t live in a fast food, gotta have it this second, traffic to slow kinda country:) It’s a “stop and smell the coffee” pace. Communication is key folks:)
Fourth…to be more intentional with all that I do. In the classroom. On the campus. In the community. With teams that serve.
Lastly…it’s important to keep connected but with right motives and with conversation. I need community that will encourage with words. Whether by Voxer, Facebook or by email…these are the ways for me to communicate with others. With Gods help and those who keep me accountable I am connected again now, but with a different company, but still “LIVING ONTHE EDGE” , but keeping my heart and mind alert to the trap that was laid before.

With this said…Miss Beth is back online, but at a different pace and purpose. To try to engage those I connect with (not just the like button:) to build relationships that glorify God and point others to His son, JESUS! To encourage and share His Word and His ways as He leads me.

Decisions Made….Mesi Jezi!!!

Tonight as the sun was setting and the wind blowing we celebrated those who have placed their faith in Christ alone and witnessed the baptism of each one. I have to say it was a bit of a chilly evening…for Haiti:>) but all were ready to make their confession of faith and be plunged into the water for forgiveness of sin to arise from under with the newness of life everlasting. What was beautiful was to witness this with the sun setting and for one person a fishing boat rowing behind them. The song “I will make you fishers of men if you follow me” began to go through my mind. What an awesome picture this was. (not my pics though as I didn’t have my camera with me so I made do with the phone I had…sorry folks.) It was a blessing to see those that the ladies and I have visited and who come to ladies Bible study make this decision…the most important decision they will ever make!!! Some of the men in the church sang hymns and the ladies helped with each one coming out of the water. Tears in my eyes (I know hard to believe:>) I was blessed to be in attendance to witness and welcome my new sisters in Christ. Mesi Jezi!!!

“I have decided to follow Jesus…I have decided to follow Jesus…I have decided to follow Jesus….no turning back…no turning back.” AMEN.

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It Is That Time of Year…MARDI GRAS!!

It is that time of year again…Mardi GRAS. Since my return home to Haiti I’ve heard the crack of the whips and have watched as the young boys create these annoying noise makers. This past week as I was walking to the orphanage a couple boys no older than 12 tried scaring me with their newly made weapon of noise an fear.

Yes… FEAR. Beginning today and every Sunday for the next few months young boys and men will dress up in shredded paper,that makes them look like chickens, and they will wear masks. Similar to what we would wear for Halloween. I’ve seen masks that are pigs, cows, lions, bears, President Clinton (that one was pretty scary…lol). Then we have those from the scary movies…for the kids those can be very scary, demonic and add to the fact that some of the paper they have shredded is the Word of God…well it makes for months of fear in the hearts of the children and the people here. They go around chasing those that are afraid, bully them and crack their whips to make them even more scared. They may also wield a machetee or two. I do not like this time of year and ever since kindergarten I have not been a fan of scariness as I ran crying out of a little haunted house at our school that the older kids made. When kids my age were going to see Friday the 13th and Halloween, I stuck to the classic Disney movies. In those years the Lord impressed upon me that it wasn’t good to enter into the other side…the darkness. That it was like playing with matches…you could get burned or burn someone else. That the gate you enter may have lasting effects or for some sadly may continue down this path of darkness. Why would you want to play with something that is very real. Hollywood has dressed it up to make it “OK”. Is it really ok to play with matches? I guess a pyromaniac would think so, but who has a hold of him? Stepping down off my soap box now…lol!!

In pasts posts I’ve shared how I have come against this evil…and it is evil!!! Today was no different. A sleepless night and then rising for time of prayer…my spirit new today was going to be a challenge. It began as I headed for church with a group of young teens asking me if I was scared of the Mardi GRAS. I responded with a confident No…why should I when I have Jesus. Let me regress a moment as I told you about the 2 young boys this past week. They had anger in their eyes and cracked the whips to scare me. Instead of backing away from them I went close to them, smiled, opened my arms wide and yelled Boo!! They just stood there with a blank look on their faces. They asked if they scared me and I said what do you think? They laughed and ran off.

Now when I returned from church the Mardi GRAS were out parading around in their foolish chicken attire. Two young men came toward me with whips in hand ready for me to flinch, cower or run. The Lord has given me a bold confidence that I know could only come from him, because their is still a bit of that fearful little girl in me that says…are you crazy get out of here. I stood my ground with my head held high, a smile on my face and a laugh in my belly that they didn’t even try to scare me.

I continued walking and ran into a women who was wearing black and had a white scarf wrapped around her head holding a sugar cane stick and she was yelling…sounded as if she was cursing…people who walked by her. She turned to me and yelled something and again I laughed and said REALLY!! She continued to walk, going up to men and either hitting them hard with the stick or kissing them. I know…crazy. She began to turn on my street and walk toward the house when she turned around to me again and came at me with the stick. Some of you may think I am crazy, but my reaction was to run toward her with open arms and a smile. She stopped dead in her tracks turned and ran and I followed until I reached the house. I must look pretty scary or something or she must have seen the face of Jesus. I firmly believe that the evil one was very present today and that the fear of God had him on the run.

It was very evident today that he didn’t want the church to meet or want us to hear the message. I will right more about this in the next couple of days. Just know today the church was full, not just of people, but of His Spirit. His Spirit is moving in this place and today was the first day since we have moved here that I have felt such an enormous presence of the Holy Spirit. It was very encouraging and overwhelming.

Please pray for the hearts that are in fear. For the children and for those that are being the bullies. Please pray for protection for those being bullied and are in fear. Please pray for the Holy Spirit to change our hearts, to teach us well, and to give us God sized confidence and boldness.

 Let us not grow weary of doing good for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9


Praise Him While We Work

The past 2 Saturday mornings we have tackled the growing weed problem in the church courtyard and between the kids church and church tent. They had really got out of hand and with all the drama we have faced in the past few months this was at the bottom of the list. The leaders of the church explained and encouraged the congregation to join us each Saturday, that we should be taking care of what the Lord has given to us.

The first Sat. we met at 5am, (yes…I must have been crazy, but felt leading by example was so important) for prayer together and then at 6am we went at it. We started out with just the church leaders and I felt I was back growing up in small farm town USA…pulling the weeds from the garden or picking up sticks and rocks out of the yard. They teased me at first, but I shared with them that I grew up doing just this. Can’t say I enjoyed it then, but now I see it in a beautiful way. Working alongside my brothers and sisters.
They used homemade hoes and machetes. I used my hands. They wielded each tool like it was a part of their body and I knew if I tried I would cut off a limb. I didn’t think that would be a wise thing to do:>) About an hour into the work a group of ladies from the orphanage came and worked a bit before heading to work with the kids. What I had done in an hour…they did in less than 35 min. I was put in my place…lol. I don’t know about you, but coming early to lend a hand before working hard all day, this showed me how incredibly strong these women are. Not physically, because I know they can run circles around me, but in heart. And they did it with smiles on their faces, songs on their lips and laughter.
There were many people who passed by and just watched…I sort of felt like a freak show:>) I even understood some of the conversations of said people. One person asked, not me personally, why is this blanc working? Their reply…because she is working for the Lord! Why is she helping you? Their reply…because she is our sister and wants to help. In those conversations I can’t tell you how humbled and loved I felt. When you jump in and get your hands dirty (figuratively and physically), even if you look foolish doing it, you show that you care and that you are here to walk this road shoulder to shoulder. You relate in a way that speaks more than their language.
The second Saturday we had more people come to help, from the youth to our elderly. We tackled the brush between the 2 meeting places. It was a mess, but as I learned from growing up…many hands make lite work. There was singing while we worked and we laughed together so much. Again it was beautiful to serve alongside my precious brothers and sisters.

This also confused those passer bys. Why were we singing? Why were we praising God? Why were we laughing? Why were we enjoying one another? I pray that by our example people will come to see that we were doing this joyfully for the Lord. That they saw Jesus in us and that they want to know this Jesus too!!
One in particular that set an example not just for the outsiders, but for me as well…Dicell…he and his wife came right on time (which for those who know, isn’t a norm here!!!) He had his own machetee and his wife helped him get situated and he went right to it. What blessed me though is he is probably in his late 60’s early 70’s, but it wasn’t the age that did it! He also crouched down to the ground like a catcher in a baseball game, but to top it all off…HE IS BLIND!!! And yes he worked circles around me…he tackled the weeds like his life depended on it. All the while singing praises to God. Boy did he show me what it truly means to work with all your heart as if working for the Lord. Amen!! When we finished, he stood up…stretched his arms into the air and praised Jesus for it all. This moment brought tears to my eyes, just as it is now as I type these words. Oh what a joy!! Oh what a blessing!! Oh what I learn through serving alongside my bothers and sisters!!

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A Precious Gift

This morning the staff was all abuzz as our sweet Melonnia had a baby girl some time during the evening. Momma Gigi came to the classroom door this morning and told us and the kids were so excited, as was I. I was bit bummed because I ( being selfish in the moment) wanted to be there for the birth. I asked if she went to the clinic that is here and she told she had it right at the house. I’d like to say the momma’s of Haiti really do amaze me with their strength and perseverence. Melonnia was just working in the kitchen yesterday doing her work like any other day. Watching her climb the hill by our home with a huge bowl on her head and do it so effortlessly is one thing, but to do this and be pregnant…not to mention we believe she was overdue. For the past 3 weeks I would greet her in the kitchen in the morning give her a huge hug and ask how she was feeling and ask “When is this baby coming?” Her reply would be “God only knows…He knows all.” I love it.

After school some of the staff and the Castillo kids went to visit this new precious bundle. I came out of the house and  jokingly gave everyone a hard time…”you couldn’t come and get me, REALLY guys? I’m right here. LOL” Momma Gigi tried to show me a pic of the baby and I said NOOOO! I want to see her face to face. Jocelyn said everyone was so excited it was like Christmas (refering to Christ’s Birth and how the shepherds and wisemen had must have felt) Excitement was everywhere. I jumped into the gator with Jocelyn and Madame NeNe and Asher and he dropped us off to see this precious bundle of blessing. When I entered the home it was extremley dark and thankful Madame NeNe brought a light with her. I came in and I could tell Melonnia was just plum exhausted. No drugs, no epideral, nothing, but this dark home, dirt floor and thin mattress. I thought about what Jocelyn said about the Christ child at that moment. I thought about the manger that was in the barn that I am sure was similar to these surroundings. I thought about the birth in these lowly circumstances and for that brief moment felt I was transported back in time. It was the strangest yet beautiful moment I think I have had. To have, but just a glimpse, of  the past and then to look ahead to the future. Wow!!! Mesi Jezi!  M’NeNe picked up the precious one and handed her to me. She must have weighed 5-6lbs, but she had beautiful color and just so sweet. I told Melonnia how beautiful this little one was and asked if I could pray over them. “Yes, please” So we all knelt down including little Asher (prayer warrior) and I prayed over them. It was hard not to pour out tears of joy. Lizmat her oldest came in and prayed with us as well. She has a little boy also named SonSon. The both of them hung out with me quite a bit the month before I came back into the states for Christmas. I had many precious moments with them, as well as Melonnia. They are very close to my heart and to our staff. Please pray for this precious new little one (she has no name yet) and for a healthy, strong recovery and for the family.

The Crack of the Whip

When I was back in the states I found the mini series of “ROOTS”.This was the most watched series of that time even greater than “Gone with the Wind” and even “THE SUPERBOWL”. Over 35 years ago, hundreds of thousands of people sat down as families of every color and culture and for eight straight days followed the story of Alex Haley and his ancestors…begining with a young African boy named Kunte Kinte. I believe this series opened up my eyes and my heart to the brutality and ugliness of slavery. As an 11 year old being raised in a small white town sheltered from some of the realities in the world this story reached my heart more than I knew until the Lord brought me to a small community in Haiti named Mole St. Nicholas.

Last year I wrote a bit about Mardi Gras and how when we returned from Christmas ,back in the states, the season of Mardi Gras had begun. The first Sunday I was met with an interesting surprise as I walked home from church. There were 3 young men dressed from head to toe with white writing paper all over them and they were wearing scary masks. One was a devil, one a monster and then one was a cat (which wasn’t that scary:>) They each were carrying whips with them and cracking them as they came toward me. Now let me just tell you I knew nothing of this Mardi Gras craziness and so as far as I knew they were coming toward me to scare me or even crack me with the whip. As they drew closer something inside me (the Holy Spirit I know) began to tell me not to be afraid…to not fear. They were almost to me when I belted out a huge laugh…said hello and then, why I did this I don’t know…I raised my hands above my head and growled like a bear as if to scare them. I know quite childish, funny, but they walked right by me with not a word to me. Later Jody filled me in what this whole thing was about. It seems they dress up each Sunday and try to scare people. If you are scared they ask you to give them money and they will leave you alone. Basically dressed up bullies. Every Sunday morning I would be woken up by the crack of these whips. This year is more of the same. Last week I walked through about 15 of these crazy looking guys that were wielding their whips and machetees. They seemed a bit more aggressive so I wasn’t quite sure if I should walk by, but I was late for church and I certainly wasn’t going to be bullied by a bunch of guys that really look like a flock of chickens. I didn’t want the evil one to have that satisfaction so on I went straight by them with my head held high and laughing at each one. I had a little girl come up to me after and ask me if I was scared of them. I told her No, Jesus is with me. Then she walked off.

So what does this have to do with cracking whips and the series of Roots. Well it just baffles me as I learn more and more about this country how the evil one has continued to keep a country that was under slavery and continues to keep the people here in chains. They revolted against slavery and became free, but yet the chains still remain in the generations that have come to now. My eyes have seen and my ears have heard not only the whips, but the cries of pain as a Aunt beats her nephews, as a husband beats his wife, as a sweet elderly woman is left by the roadside as garbage. I hear the laughter and the ridicule as a restevek falls outside my window and knowone from her home helps her up, but our staff jumps up to go out to help. Right now I here the crack of the whips that all the children think are so cool to have and to make that noise yet how many of them are whipped with those same whips. My mind goes back to the series and the brutal whippings Kunte Kinte recieved and so many others. Then my mind returns to Jesus. How much did He endure. He endured the cross for me and for you so that when we place our faith in Him alone we are set free. As the contemorary version of Amazing Grace sings, “my chains are gone, I’ve been set free, my God my Savior has ransomed me and like a flood his mercy reigns, unending love…Amazing Grace.

The “crack of the whip” reminds me today of the price that my Lord and my God paid for me and for my sins. His love for me is overwhelming! It is my prayer today that this community, the zone of the Northwest, this country would set aside the whips that have been passed down from generation to generation…that they would see they have become the same men that once whipped their ancestors. That they are still in chains and that their is only One Way to set them free. Jesus Christ. I pray for the hunger and desire to walk in Christ’s way and character. I pray for those of us that are here that we will speak boldly without fear the Gospel and to speak the truth in love. Help us not to shrink back, but to persevere in prayer and the Lord’s leading. May the Lord be glorified in all that we say and all that we do. In Jesus Name, Amen.

“Roots” changed the way I saw the world and the way we should treat one another. The Lord’s greatest commandment is this ” Love Jesus and love one another.”

May the ones that come after me find me faithful.

The Rescuers

When my nephew, Noah, was younger and I was homeschooling him Fri. became Flick day and on more than one occassion that flick was one of the Rescuer movies.We would go as far as to act like some of the critters in these movies.  You know the one with the 2 little mice that did daring feets and helped those in trouble.Great memories. Here I thought those movies were make believe until 2am the other day I was startled by a noise. It was loud squeeking. Now for a professional mouse catcher :>) I knew exactly what the noise was even in my groginess. I have glue boards in strategic places in my room as I have watched the pattern of little mice in my room. One of those traps is in the corner of the door. I shown the light on the board and sure enough…Voila…a mouse grasping to be free. He was stuck, or so I thought. I went to get my tool to take him out and when I returned you will never guess what I saw. Under the door there was another little mouse trying to save his friend from my dreaded glue trap. I just stood there in astonishment and I had to laugh and this movie came straight to my mind. I was in a quandry as to what to do. In my Oh so vast experience…lol… I had never seen this. I went to get a better flashlight and when I returned which was a brief 20 sec. tops, this little mouse had rescued his friend. I don’t know how, but he pulled him hard enough to set him free. I had to make reinforements after this, double up you know!!! When all said and done 2 mice, 1mega cochroach caught this week and 2 mice got away. They better think about what they are getting themselves into next time they come to my room…just sayin:>) I guess I needed some new critters since Henry is gone. I really don’t mind being critterless though…Really!!!

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