Mission Trips

Haiti

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I haven’t posted on my blog for a couple of weeks. One week I was in Haiti and on my return I have been catching up on life and trying to process my time there and what’s next in my life. Haiti opened my eyes to a whole different world and truly a different side of God.

You see before Haiti, I knew that poverty existed. I have seen poverty here in my own country. I am from the Appalachians and growing up there, I saw poor areas and poor people. But that was nothing compared to the things I saw in Haiti. The poverty there is at an entirely different level. I hope things are getting better for the people of Haiti, I am not sure if they are getting better in the physical realm, but I am quite certain they are getting better for them in the spiritual realm. You see the beautiful people of Haiti love Jesus with a passion that we, as Americans, don’t see everyday. They have a passion for serving. A passion for praising. A passion for faith. A passion for prayer. In the midst of having so little, they have so much. You see the Christians in Haiti praise and love God regardless of their circumstances. They love him unselfishly and unrelentingly. Their world is God and everything else fits around Him.

During one of the church services I was moved beyond tears and stood quietly caught in one of those moments that changes your life. We were singing “Break Every Chain”. Singing it in both English and Creole. It was beautiful. It was like a glimpse of heaven. I caught sight of how I see God through my American eyes. He speaks to me in English. I often think of Him as American. But here, I saw how he also speaks Creole. Now before this moment I considered my view of the God of the universe as huge, but that old view was smashed and enlarged. God is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the Creator of all things. Here in another nation, my God was made bigger to me in a moment. I will never be the same. I went to another country to serve and came out changed. The people of Haiti gave me a gift. A gift of love and open arms, a gift of acceptance, a gift of friendship, and a gift of new vision. Part of my heart is still there. I’m praying now for those we left behind when we came home. I look forward to the day when I see them again. I’m praying for revival in my country and in theirs. I’m praying for a passion and fire set in the hearts of God’s people. I’m inspired to be more with less. I’m thankful for the experience and looking forward to the future journeys that God has for me. And I now understand more than ever how one moment, one revelation, can change your life. I look forward to sharing more about Haiti in posts to come. Be blessed my friends.

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A long way from home

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In two days I leave for a mission trip to Haiti. I am excited, nervous, full of anticipation and emotional. It is my first mission trip and I’m looking forward to serving the Haitian people. But it has truly been a trust walk and time of growing for me.

When I think of going to Haiti, what I think is that Haiti is a long way from home.  I don’t mean from where I live now, but from where I am from. I am really just a country girl at heart who was born in a little town nestled in the Appalachian Mountains. Many of my family have lived and died in that same small town. When I was young, I dreamed of life outside of my small town. I dreamed and hoped I could change the world. Then when I was a teenager my parents moved us to Fredericksburg. I am thankful for them stepping out of their comfort zone and moving away from home to offer better opportunities for my brother and me. It could not have been easy to leave all you had ever known behind, but they did it anyway. I often think of the sacrifices they have made to make my life better. Now, please do not get me wrong, I am proud of where I am from and happy to have spent my childhood there, you will never meet better people, no matter where you go. But my journey  wasn’t meant to stay there.

God had a different path for me. I think of how I wanted to change the world. I really didn’t understand what that meant. I still don’t completely understand, but I think we change the world, and the Kingdom of God, when we put others before ourselves. I think we change the world when we are obedient to the things God tells us to do, big or small. I think we change the world one small step at a time, and then when we look back, we have come farther than we could have ever dreamed. Haiti is a total walk of obedience for me. When God told me to go, it was hard, but I knew he would be with me every step of the way. So, now I am looking forward to going. I am looking forward to this part of the journey in this life of mine, and I am so thankful for God and all those who have changed my world by their sacrifices. In a few days, I travel a world away from where my life started. It is truly a long way from home. But I hope I will be able to make a difference by serving others, by being obedient and taking one more step forward into the unknown. This country girl is amazed with how far God has brought me. I am so excited to see what else he has in store. Be blessed my friends. See you when I get back.

Haiti, A challenge of trust

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I had the great opportunity to speak at youth group this past Sunday. I always love the
opportunity to share, especially with young people. That’s one reason I wanted to be a youth leader to begin with. Though, I have to admit that being a 40 something in a room full of people half your age is always an interesting adventure. But anyway, I digress.

When praying about what to share, I heard one word. Trust. Trusting God in all things, not just the things that make us comfortable or that are easy to share. Now I know that is much easier to say than to do, and all we can do is our best to trust. It truly is a journey in our walk with Christ to learn to trust. Sometimes it starts small with a simple request and then grows into larger areas. I encouraged the young men and women there to just start with one thing to trust God with this summer. Just one thing. We can all do that right?

Then I shared how my year started out with an announcement in our church of a Haiti mission trip. Two of my kids wanted to go and I was excited for them. But I’m not called to missions was my thought.  I just knew I wasn’t going. Then since many of our youth are going and I am a leader, I started having people ask if I was going. My reply. No, I’m not called to missions. A few more weeks go by, and more people ask if I’m going to Haiti. This time when I say no, I hear God say….. So. You’re not going to Haiti? But you didn’t even ask me. Well then, I say okay God, do you want me to go to Haiti? Much to my surprise, his answer was yes, I want you to go to Haiti. Well, my brain started spinning. I’ve never even traveled out of the country, less on to a place like Haiti. I will admit it. This put me beyond my comfort zone, I was down right scared.

But God is always stretching us, and even since I was a teenager, I have prayed for God tonever stop growing me. If others can trust God for missions, then so can I. The first thing that had me worried was the funds. I had talked to several people and they said just ask people to help. So that is exactly what I did and for the first few weeks funds started to roll in. But there were three of us going. It was a good amount of money to raise. I am a planner and had hoped the money would come in long before it was due. Of course that is not the way that it happened. Five days before money was due, we were still down about eight to nine hundred dollars. Well, the last two days we had four more sponsors and that took us over our goal. I had been worried, but chose to trust God not only for the provision but also for the timing. He came through.

Well today we are one week out. We leave Saturday, June 21st. I’m still way out of my comfort zone and feel very nervous, but I am trusting God with all my might. I trust him to provide all that I need, both financially, and now emotionally, mentally and especially spiritually. I know I will never be the same and look forward to the new me on the other side. With so many problems that we face, truly God is the only one with the answers. My friends what do you need help with today, this week, this year? Can you be like the young people in my youth group? Can you pick at least one thing to trust God with right now in your life? Give God a try. What do you have to lose?

Blessings to you my friends. Please pray for out Haiti team leaving June 21 and coming back June 28. And a very special thank you to all of our sponsors and prayer partners that have come along aside me and my children for this adventure at hand.