Saturday, July 2, 2011

Passion for the Deceived

Let me just begin by saying that this has been the most incredible 5 weeks of my life. I have loved as Jesus called me to, I have learned from the Haitian people and the missionaries here, and I have taught the Haitians some things too.

One of the best things about my job is working with the security and the translators. They have become some of my best friends in the world and I am blessed to have been given the chance to invest in their lives. Most of them are incredible Christ followers, but some also struggle with the strong that Voodoo has in this country. They claim that their is good Voodoo and bad Voodoo and that they are okay because they only participate in the good Voodoo. I found this out in my most recent visit to Ansoleufor. We walked up to the room where they worship a little girl's lost doll, and our security guard started praying quite passionately to the doll. Maybe he was screaming that it was evil and that it had no power, but I sensed some desperation from the man which makes me think that he actually thought this doll could solve his problems. Obviously, I think praying to anyone besides our God, the Almighty is not good. Anyway, they are all awesome and I hope and pray that the ones who are still misguided will see the light and know that Christ is the one sacrifice that we need.

Next I just wanted to apologize that I haven't been writing much. Honestly, there is not a lot of time to breathe around here, let alone blog. But here are some of the things I have been involved with since the last time I wrote:

*I stayed out in Beauchamp for 5 days with two amazing crews! The first couple days were spent working with Eastside from Milford, Ohio. They are AMAZING! They welcomed me into their team and I loved seeing their passion for doing God's work ooze out of them. My last 3 days we spent working with the Southland crew from Lexington, Kentucky. I loved their focus on prayer and how much of an encouragement they were to each other. Both teams worked at the orphanage everyday that weather permitted us to go, and they all did a wonderful job and the kiddies LOVED them so much!
 *I have taken many trips to Tortuga Island in quite a short time! I love it over there because the kids are well-behaved and they are even more chill then on the mainland (and I didn't think Caribbean time could get any relaxed). Plus, it's the pirate capital of the Caribbean....arghhh.
*Ansofleuor is my favorite day trip that we take. It is so dark their because it is the Voodoo capital of the world. Everytime we go, we hike up to the monument where a huge cross once stood. The cross was struck by lightning, broke, and then a doll "fell from the sky." Well, like I said before, they worship this doll. This is such a huge prayer opportunity. These people are blind to the truth that Jesus is the only sacrfice we need and that we should have no other God's besides the awesome one that we serve. I don't think a lot of the groups take this trip seriously enough. We get to walk inside of the temple and stare their "god" in the face and declare that God has supreme power and ask him to fill that place so that there is no room for Voodoo. But I am continually heart broken by the team's lack of passion for fighting Voodoo. We can feed all of the people we want here, but if Voodoo isn't stopped, they will die eternally. We need to start realizing that people are going to Hell everyday and that Jesus gave us the authority to go out and reach all people groups, tongues, and nations. Sorry for my preaching... I am just really passionate about praying against Voodoo, and taking groups there to open up Americans eyes to religion outside of Sunday school.

Anyway, Haiti has definitely made me more open to evangelism and praying with the people I encounter on a regular basis. I love this place.

Please pray for the deceived and that the deceiver would be cast out of this place. Please pray for my fellow interns and all of the staff as we prepare to take in another big group tomorrow. Lastly, please pray for the American's who are coming to Haiti tomorrow. Some have been here before and some are new and about to get the biggest culture shock of their lives. Pray for their hearts and that their eyes would be open to the reality of a strong enemy.

Thanks! I love you all!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

They call me teacher.

So many things have happened in the past few days. We already had a full group on campus, and then 70 more high school and college age kids came on the Restore Retreat. Needless to say, living on campus with around 150 has not been easy. I have a full blown case of Haitian Sensation, and travelling to Tortuga yesterday made me quite ill. However, in the midst of the stress and pain, God has given me such joy from the Haitian people.

I help teach an English class across the street at the church on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Honestly, I think these classes have been my favorite thing about Haiti so far. I've gotten to know many of the students in my class. Some of them are doctors, nurses, teachers, and some of the them just want to learn English before they continue on to University or college. The wonderful thing about it is that they know me when I am walking through St. Louis with my groups. They call to me and wave with the biggest smiles on their face. The best part is... I am here for two more months! I can't even imagine what it will be like to walk out the gates in August. If I had to guess, it will be like home! I'm pretty sure I know more people in St. Louis now then I do my own hometown!

Another amazing part about helping with the class is that this is what I want to do with the rest of my life! Yesterday at class, a bunch of Americans came to see what was going on and to help out. The instructor told all of the Americans to stand up and introduce themselves. When it was my turn, I went to stand up but all of the Haitians told me to sit down. They said, you're Haitian (that got many giggles from me and the other Americans) and we know you already teacher. I am their teacher (kind of). I teach them Bible stories, and how to pronounce "sore throat" and a bunch of other fun things. Never would I thought that I would be welcomed in with such love and excitement! Looks like I can do this as a career after all!

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Can I just say that I am so tired and I am concerned that I may have transformed into one of those Voodoo zombie things (because I'm pretty sure I look like it!). The reason for my exhaustion is the 75 new additions to campus in the last 36 hours! I have literally been a part in every single ministry on this campus today. I am probably the least medical person here, but they had me stocking all of the shelves in the pharmacy and the lab... I hope I put everything in the right place because if I didn't, it won't be pretty! Anyway, today has been absolutely crazy!

I got to go back to the brothel and jail today! My friend was still in the cell today. He won't be able to go to court until Friday, so I am going to try to go and visit him again before he goes. The brothel was a little intense. Not only were the group's emotions running high but I had to worry about one of the local boys, Alex, getting a little to touchy with me. Sometimes I wish that American boys hit on me 1/8 as much as Haitian boys do hahaha! But yeah, it was a pretty heavy day with the women. I hope to develop relationships with the women at the brothel this summer.

On a lighter note, I got to spend a lot of time in all three main areas of the campus: the baby orphanage, the Miriam Center, and Gran Moun! It was so nice to finally be able to spend some time at all of these places and it was a really awesome opportunity to practice some of my new Creole skills!

Bottom line: I am LOVING Haiti still and I am only two weeks into my journey! I can see that long term missions is in God's plans for my life, which is very exciting! My favorite part about being here so far is that I am starting to make friends in the community. I can go to the English classes across the street or down to the market and see all of my new friends, old and young. It is nice knowing that I have more than 2 weeks with all of these wonderful Haitians!

Prayer Requests:
*I had the privilege to lead a young man to Christ on Monday. I would just ask you to pray for him and his new walk with Christ.
*The English class that I am helping to teach every other day.
*All of the people that the teams will be working with this week!

Love ya'll!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Training Week = Craziness!

Hello everyone!

Wow! The past ten days have been absolutely amazing and intense. I started off my journey with flight delays, an overnight in JFK and my bags being sent to the wrong airport. Luckily, I was not alone on this adventure! I had my fellow intern, Marion, along for the journey and we had a ton of fun. The surprise 24 hours we spent together in airports included funny accents, him almost being kidnapped, seeing Fergie, and riding the airtrain around JFK to every terminal around 6 times. Needless to say, we became fast friends. Then we finally arrived to Ft. Lauderdale for 3 days of training before heading to Haiti, and we found ourselves bag-less. Turns out, they were sent to Miami... but they sent them to us the next day! Our 3 days in Ft. Lauderdale were amazing and fun! I love everyone on my team and we are going to have an amazing summer.

We landed in Haiti on Sunday morning and we were to the mission by lunch! We were so blessed to have such an easy travel day! This began our week of intense training that included going to every campus the mission had around the Northwest region. Monday, we hiked to the waterfall and enjoyed so nice quiet time there. Tuesday was Beauchamp and the orphanage. We were on a taptap for 6 hours that day but it didn't stop us from having a great time with the kids. I saw Guyvenson at the orphanage!!!!!!!!! And he remembered me :) Oh I love that child! I hope to see him a lot this summer. Wednesday was Tortuga Island! This was my first time there and I loved the boat ride and the children. I had a little buddy and I couldn't understand why she wouldn't answer my questions. Marion informed my that she was deaf, so that just meant that from that point on we exchanged a lot of smiles and hugs! Unfortunately, I had the "Haitian Sensation"on Thursday and did not get to go with the group to all things Port-au-Paix, but I'm sure an opportunity will arise from somewhere to go there!

Friday was Ansefoleur. I had been to this place before but it was full of sadness and fear when I had gone with my other group. We hiked up to the monument were the huge cross had stood before and we prayed while Voodoo rituals and prayers were being performed around us. Next we went to the temple and Melonnie encouraged us to approach the temple with a different attitude than the others who had lead me in before did. She told us that these people think that they are praying to the same God we are and they would be happy to have us in there. Before, we were told that they hated us and thought that we were evil. Going in with this brand new attitude changed everything for me. I was greeted with smiles and welcomes. It was nothing like what I had remembered it being. One thing had not changed... it was heartbreaking. These people think that praying to a little girl's doll will help them and Satan is running rampant here and all over Haiti. The practice of Voodoo is truly the saddest thing I have ever witnessed. It offers no hope what so ever. After we left the temple, we walked down the street to this tiny little restaurant that had the BEST food ever!

Yesterday was just one of many beach days! We went out to visit Grant and Natasha and toured La Baie's campus. Then we went on the boat over to the private and most beautiful beach I have every been to! Ivenor led us into a cave and we scared the next group when they landed! It was so great to just be able to have fun with all of the staff that was there and to just relax for a little bit. Today was our first day off since I left Kentucky! Church was great (as always) and then we had a staff beach barbecue this afternoon! I love being here and being a part of Northwest's team! Groups arrive on Tuesday and I am ready to get to work :)

Closing thoughts: This has been a long blog and these are just really general glances into all of my experiences thus far! But I do want to let you know that IT HAS BEEN SOOOOO GOOD TO LOVE ON SOME HAITIANS AGAIN! It has been way too long. And God is kicking my butt here. One of the best things so far has been our group devos with our daily themed scriptures. Everyone has really challenged me here and I am definitely being called to do something greater. Please pray for me and my team and our "heart issues" that we are discovering! Really hitting Philippians 2 hard! But I am proud of the interns because no one has complained once since we've been here and it has been a really long and trying week!

Love you all and please keep praying :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Embracing Change

As of 30 minutes ago, there is only 2 short weeks that seperate me and Haiti! I am so excited to be able to have the opportunity to serve in a country that captured my heart 2 years ago! However, this experience is completely new to me. I trying to figure out things that I will need to survive in a third world country for almost 3 months, making my rounds to family and friends who want to spend time with me before I go, and mentally preparing myself for life outside of this country for period of time that far exceeds my previous 14 day trips.

My mind is not completely focused on my trip yet. Today was full of goodbyes, just for the summer and some of them were for good. Johnson has blessed me with so many amazing people to walk with in my journey in faith, but I can't help but feel sad and angry when they are taken away so quickly. Being away from people such as Gretchen and Kate for 3 months is going to be hard enough! On top of that, I had to say goodbye to one of my best friends in the world, Chanelle, for good. She has big things in store for her, but I am very sad she will not be a part of my life everyday like she has been for the past year. She has truly blessed me on so many levels and she has been a huge source of encouragement for my trip to Haiti! I am so blessed to have such people in my life, and I know that God has a plan for all of these friendships.

Back to Haiti! I feel like the past 3 months have flown by too fast! It shouldn't be time to pack my bags yet or stock up on granola bars... yikes. I am so nervous about the trip. What if I get sick? What if I'm not cut out for long-term missions? Will god be able to use me as an effective loving vessel to the people of Haiti? I desire nothing more than to be that... a loving vessel. After all, the two greatest commandments are love God and love others. If there is a will, there's a way, right? I sure do hope so! All I can do is be available, which I feel like going to Haiti will mean I am available to do His work, and to be obedient. Please pray for my nerves and my willingness to be obedient to anything God wants me to do this summer! Thank you all for your support and love :) Blessings to everyone!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Channeling Esther

Today in History of Israel, our topic was the book of Esther. Esther is one of my favorite stories in the Old Testamnet, and probably the entire Bible. There is so much courage displayed throughout the ten chapters, courage of a seemingly normal Jewish girl.

Esther was choosen to be a canidate King Xerxes' search for a new queen. The story continues with plots to kill Esther's cousin, Mordecai, and her people, the Jews by the King's most trusted advisor, Haman. One of my favorite lines from the story is when Mordecai is urging Esther to go plead for the salvation of the Jews from the coming execution. She is afraid because she knows that if she goes to the King without being invited, she could be killed on the spot. However, Mordecai urges her by saying that she might have been placed in royalty "for such a time as this."

Let's stop there. God has plans for our lives if we allow him to have control. God's plans passionately pursue his followers, and cannot be missed. Like Esther, we have a choice to obey or to walk away. People time and time again say that they never know what God wants to do with their lives. It's hard to hear God's will when you are not listening for it. Therefore, as Christ followers, we are called to first be avaiable, and then be obedient. Esther was obedient to death. She knew the consequences, yet she continued in faith that she was in God's will.

As many of you already know, Esther lives and she delivers the Jews out of the evil, murderous hands of Haman. She had faith in BIG God who can do MASSIVE things.

I am going to Haiti this summer on an internship with Northwest Haiti Christian Mission. Though I am extremely nervous about this experience that is totally foreign to me, I find peace that this is what God is calling me to do with my summer. The story of Esther has been a complete blessing to me because though I am not saving a race of people in Syria, I am going to discipling believers in one of the world's darkest countries. However, I feel God has placed this burden on my heart of the Haitians, and that He is the one who has made a way for me to get there, just like he made the way through royalty for Esther. Who knows, maybe God has called me to Haiti "for such a time as this!" The only way to find out is to be obedient to his call by going and working hard to build His kingdom.

God Bless :)