Saturday, July 30, 2011

Why are we Here??

A friend was visiting from New Orleans, while we were talking about short and long term plans, the question came up, "Why are we here?" This morning God reminded me why we are here.
I'm in Haiti because.....

* God has commanded us to pick up the cross he bore and carry it for him.

* I am bothered by abuse, injustice, and oppression.

* I am convinced that I can change a little bit about what is wrong and make it a little more beautiful.

* I want to see the women of Haiti living FREE. Lives free from oppression and bondage.

* Children deserve the chance to know their is something better, that God has a wonderful plan for their life and that through Christ they can have hope.

* This is Holy Ground....

* God doesn't need me, but I want to be part of His mission and what he is doing.

* Isaiah 58: 10-11 The Message Reads...
If you are generous with the hungry 
   and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out,
Your lives will begin to glow in the darkness, 
   your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight.
I will always show you where to go. 
   I'll give you a full life in the emptiest of places— 
   firm muscles, strong bones.
You'll be like a well-watered garden,
   a gurgling spring that never runs dry.

In ESV it reads...
If you POUR yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. And the Lord will guide your continually and satisfy you desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden like a spring of water whose waters do not fall.

In his book TRUE RELIGION Palmer Chinchen writes,"If you will give your life away to changing this world, God will change you."

Some days are hard here....but since living among the hungry, the oppressed and the injustice, I have experienced his fullness and his strength. He is changing me.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

To my family....

This weekend, I really have been missing my family. Missing home and some of the comforts. It probably didn't help that I decided to decorate the upstairs for our staff, to make it a little more homey. However, I was missing everyone. I decided to open up the journal my family bought for me. They all wrote notes of encouragement. I must admit that I didn't really want to read it, knowing that it would make me cry and miss them, but at the same time, it would give me pieces of them! How much joy they brought me.  In response to their letters.

Cory: You are such an encourager. I love being your sister. You have been a great example to me of a servant leader. You are so good at serving others and spending quality time with people. They know you care about them. You are a great father and leader of your family! You also make our family fun!! Coming up with games and activities for us. Thank you for your words of encouragement and verses that you shared with me. I love you!

Shannon: This really doesn't have to do with the letter, but I am so excited to see you in Haiti in a couple of weeks!!!!!!  I know you think I get annoyed with your questions, but I love it. You care and truly desire to know what is going on. You are also such an encourager. Thank you for showing me an example of being a godly wife and also for sharing with me the ups and downs of life. I am so blessed to call you a sister.  I love you!

Dani, Troy, Courtney, Abby and Jett:  Your pictures were beautiful. They made me smile. I love the pictures of our memories that we have shared together. I miss you guys!! I am praying for you. Praying that God will reveal himself to you and that you will develop godly character and become obedient to His call on your life. I love you all!!

Kalee: I am happy to call you sister as well. I love that we live vicariously through each others lives. I share with you the single side and you share with me the married with children side. Thank you for your wisdom and discernment. I love that I can share my thoughts with you and you don't judge them, but help by giving me good counsel. Thank you for being a best friend. Love you!

Chad: We have been through a lot together and you have been there for me through some tough times. I am so thankful for your openness and for your protection. I am so proud of you for the husband and dad you are becoming. Kalee is lucky to have you (and you are lucky to have her). Your kids will know they are loved, as you have always shown your love to so many. Thank you for your honesty and openness with life. I love you!

Dad: You mentioned the memories that we share. We have so many. Some of my favorites are: Laying on the kitchen floor before school, you doing my hair in the mornings, while you weren't always happy with me that I didn't like to practice as much as the boys, I was your runner and you challenged and pushed me to succeed, all of the games you attended, and all of our trips to Haiti. I am so thankful for you; for your love, protection, the sharing of your faith and your generosity. I am so thankful for the household I was raised in and that you and mom shared your faith with us. You never ceased from loving us and I always knew I was cared for! Can't wait for you to visit.  Love you lots!!

Mom: First, this may be the best picture I have ever received :) It makes me laugh everytime I look at it!!
I know letting me go was hard for you, but it displayed your love for me and your trust in God. Thank you for sharing your adventurous spirit with me. We have had so many good times together, but I love how much we laugh when we are together.While I know we will have many great memories ahead, I will miss our shopping trips, our cooking times, time at the lake sunbathing on the dock and running together. Thank you for always being a great example to me. One thing I love most about you is that you have a gentle and kind spirit. You are the most giving person I know! Thank you for loving me unconditionally and always showing me your love!  Miss you lots, but can't wait to see you!!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Little Differences

A while back I asked people for some blogging ideas. My good friend Renee requested that I do a blog about some of the little minor differences between Haiti and the US. I will tell you about the idea behind this blog post. One day, while I was still in the US, Renee and I were talking about Musicians, she started talking about Wycleaf, and I replied, "Oh, Jean Wycleaf" She burst into immediate laughter, you mean Wycleaf Jean. So case in point, the first difference, is Haitians say their surname first, followed by their given name.

One of my favorite things about Haitian church is special music time. I will admit sometimes I giggle under my breath a little, but I truly do love this time. What is different about special music, is you can come up to the worship leader during the offering time and tell him you have music you would like to share. They will let you sing. Eventually the band will figure out the music and start playing with to. The thing about it, is it comes from the heart. My friend and I were commenting after church that the second guy wasn't that good. I decided to ask my Haitian friend what he thought, he replied "It was great." You see, it came from the heart, and anything you want to share is great! They care about what is behind it and the heart not the surface stuff that we care so much about in the US.

Ok...maybe this one is no longer valid, because I did find out today that you can actually buy washing machines in the country (yes, I will be saving my money). However, we do laundry by hand. It takes a long time, but their clothes are so clean (I am not that good yet).

Driving here is very different, but what I really would like to discuss is Horn Honking. There are several rules that one must follow while driving here.

One Honk = I'm passing you or here I come
One LONG Honk = Get out of the way
Two Honks = You can pass first and also Thank you
An important thing to remember is that if a person is pulling onto the road in front of you and you hit them and didn't honk it is your fault. You should have honked to let them know you were passing by them. Lesson to learn when driving, use your horn a lot. Note: I am not looking forward to driving back in the states, I may be viewed as having road rage!

Physical there such a thing?? When we stand in line, we stand in line touching each other. When we are crossing the street with someone else, we hold hands. When we are sitting by someone our legs are usually touching. :)

Visiting your Friends: No need to call ahead of time, just stop by. Like most Latin American Cultures, when friends drop by you are expected to drop what you are doing and spend time with them. Also providing drinks and a snack is suggested. I love this. I love that people feel free to come over.

That is all I have for now!! Hopefully come up with some later.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Getting Involved

One thing I love is finding is different non-profit organizations that helps teach trades and supports education and the body of Christ. Here are some cool organizations that you can check out!!

1. Sseko Sandals I love these sandals. They also have different techniques for tying them, that makes them look like a totally different shoe. The best part is...they help the women go to school to become doctors, lawyers, teachers, etc.

2. fashionABLE: These scarves provide a sustainable business for women in Africa, plus who doesn't need another cute scarf, RIGHT??

There are so many more, you just need to search!!

Friday, July 15, 2011

{Friday Favorites} - July 15

1. Roslaine: She has become one of my favorites at the orphanage. She is a very special girl, that just can't seem to stay out of trouble. I love to spend one on one time with her. We read, color, and just play!!

2. {Passion Fruit Juice}: Yum!! And I thought Welches made a good juice, but WOW!! Haitians know how to make this good. Rosita, our cook, made some for us the other night, but today I was also served some when I was visiting my friends Maxo and Madam Maxo.

3. Visiting with Friends: I love that our friends just stop by. That it is acceptable to do here. The other night two different groups of friends showed up. We had food, music and played games. It was fantastic. For those of you in the States, you should try impromptu visits with your friends!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Romans 12: 2-3 The Message 

Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
I'm speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you. Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it's important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him.

How quickly I forget that I don't bring goodness upon myself or to God, but that I need to rely upon God for goodness. This is a daily surrender for me, a daily choice...if I don't do it daily my pride gets in the way. Life slowly becomes about what I can do and not what God is doing through me. 

One of my biggest challenges that I have faced in Haiti so far, as been trusting that God has gone before me. Learning to continually trust that he will guide me and our ministry. 

PS Stay tuned for tomorrow's blog about some light hearted differences between Haiti and the US!!

Friday, July 8, 2011

{Friday Favorites} - July 8i

Wow...I just realized it has been a long time since I have blogged. Hopefully next week I will be better.

1. Family....Last week I was in the US. The purpose was for church planting school. I learned some great ideas, that I hope we can apply here in Haiti. However, it was a great opportunity to see my family. We spent the weekend at the lake, and I got to enjoy wonderful Minnesota summer and some cool temperatures.

2. Fountain Diet Coke!!! I didn't even realize how much I missed it until I was able to have it!!! Don't worry I had a lot of diet coke while I was home!!

3. Lily...One of my favorite things to do here is go visit OLTCH. It is an orphanage ran by some of our good friends. Last week a mom dropped off her twins, Lily and James. They are 7 months old and smaller then the 3 month old baby in the orphanage! Today I was privileged to hold this sweet little girl!!! My prayer, is that she will regain strength, that she will come to know the Lord and be a light for this country!

4. A New Bed!!! Today I went bed shopping!! You don't understand how excited I am. I have been sleeping on a mattress that is smaller than a twin! I'm so pumped. Now, the interns are building me a frame!!!

Hope you have a great week!!