Haiti school orphans

Haiti Day 3

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Our third day in Haiti was really one of my most memorable days of the entire week that we were there. We got everything packed up and ready and drove back out to the school in Penier as soon as we could that morning. We took games, crafts, my guitar, bracelets to give out and even a story-board that my mom used to tell the Christmas story to all the kids. I was really excited about getting there and we expected over 100 kids to be there. We had six, they had 100 and we didn’t speak creole. I knew it would be an adventure…

Haiti Children Games Ministry

Here we were playing games with the boys on the roof…

When we got there it really was a challenge at first. Trying to describe how to play games without a translator is really hard. In the end its best to just stick to simple things you know they play all the time, like football (soccer). It was probably 90 degrees on the roof that day, a week before Christmas. After playing games we took them all back downstairs and did crafts with all the kids.  After all the crafts and games my mom then shared the Christmas story with them with this amazing flannel board type thing she made. The kids absolutely loved the visual aid as she told the story so candidly for all the kids. It was really fun to watch my mom, it reminded me of the way she read me stories before bed as a kid…

After she was done we gave out Salvation bracelets and shared the gospel to all the kids in the school. To my surprise at least 25-30 kids came up. The pastor who was with us spoke to the kids for a minute and then lead them all in a prayer. I began weeping with joy as I watched all these kids and teenagers receive Salvation!

Haiti Children

Here are some of the kids we prayed with

Afterwards we then were able to feed all of them lunch. Someone had donated $100 specifically to bless the children and when we asked the Pastor what would be best, he said give them a lunch. They do not typically offer food at the school and most of the kids just go without. You could see that it was a big treat for them. As I helped serve the kids I really thought about all the stuff I take for granted… I take a LOT for granted. I thought a lot about how spoiled I am. It was such a blessing to be able to bless them.

That night I got to speak at the Revival service and I shared about God’s love. This was great for me because I could talk on God’s love forever. One thing I didn’t realize though, is how hard it is to adjust to speaking with a translator. You have to pause mid thought and stay focused on what you’re saying while the translator speaks. Part of me wanted to listen to him when he began speaking! Haha, it threw me off a little bit. It was an amazing privilege to share that night and to be able to speak about the depth of God’s love!

In conclusion I want to include an excerpt from my journal.

12/18/12 10pm- Pastors house in Croix De Bouquet

I really do love it here. I love the people and especially the children. I’m so thankful for God bringing me here. He is showing me His heart that He has for everyone. Tonight in worship I watched the little Haitian boys dance and sing and I admired them. God spoke to me and said, “Thats exactly how I see you.” 

He sees us all as children. We are his kids and he finds so much joy in hearing our songs and watching us dance before Him. It makes me want to be even more childlike with Abba and not so big. When kids get like 12-13 they start getting that, “im too cool for school” attitude and it creates such a buffer in trying to relate to them.

That’s exactly what we do so often with God. He wants us to stay as innocent and filled with wonder as kids are… The moment we start becoming too cool or like we know it all is when we lose that connection. God wants us to come to him as kids…

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Haiti Day 2

My first night I slept so well. I really could feel the peace of God from the moment we got there and could sense that people were praying for it. Its kinda hard to describe but I really had no worries. When I was on the plane I was dozing off and praying and God showed me this beautiful vision of me sitting on a beach just looking off at the ocean and simply said to me “Just relax, I got this…” I feel like this vision set the pace for the rest of my week in a major way.

In the morning we got everything together, had a spaghetti breakfast and first headed off to see the orphanage right down the street from the pastors house in Croix de Bouquet. We only stopped there for a minute because the kids were finishing their testing so we had to avoid being a distraction during that testing. Then we headed to the church/ school/ seminary in Delmas which is right near the airport in Port Au Prince.

Church in HaitiThis is the Church/ School we visited that morning.The church that we visited is one of fifteen the pastor has planted and oversees that are all over Haiti. This is the first church he planted 15-20 years ago and has grown tremendously. It has a school for 400-600 children who mostly pay nothing, they run over 600 people on sundays and also offer seminary training to people interested in doing ministry.

After visiting the church and meeting a few people there we then drove out to the church and school located in Penier. This church was actually destroyed three years ago during the earthquake and has been a work in process since then. At that church we were able to go visit over 100 kids that attend the school there from the surrounding community.

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After leaving the school we drove back to the pastors house to prepare for the next day with the kids. We put together an assortment of games and activities based ont eh time we had and hoped for the best! Then we ate some lunch and drove back up to the church for a revival service that night. My dad preached the Gospel that evening to over 65 people from that area and we also shared some songs with them. It was a great first night with the people there in Penier that we really grew to love throughout the week. This church only had power because of a generator and had nothing but bleak cinderblock walls but was still so full of life. Being there reminded me that church is not about the songs, sound quality, lighting or how elaborate a building is. The church is about the people all with one common goal to know God more.

Kids in Haiti

Hanging out with 3 boys in Haiti

 

Haiti Day 1

I have had very little time since I returned from Haiti about 4 days ago and really wanted to write about my experiences while it was all still fresh on my mind. I plan to write a series of posts that will include pictures, thoughts from my journal and other random things from the trip. It was truly an eye opening experience. It had a greater impact on me than anywhere else I have been in the world. Towards the end of the trip it was so plain to me why God had called me to go serve there for a week. He wanted to open my eyes. God wanted to show me things I couldn’t have even imagined until I experienced them hands on.

12/16/12 – 10pm – Excerpts from my Journal:

The power is going out here at the house but its going to come back on at around 11pm. We are actually in a really nice home here and all have beds. Though I can’t drink the water I am glad we have running water. Honestly its even better than I had imagined as far as where I’d be staying and everything… The Pastor speaks good english but he is the only person so far that speaks fluent english (everyone else speaks French Creole)…. He had some of his nieces and nephews over here tonight and we were able to hang out with them. They taught us a few phrases:

  • Bon Job = Good Job
  • Korem= like High five or awesome or something… basically if you want to “pound it” you say korem
  • Chat (pronounced shat) = Cat
  • Mimi = Kitten (My mom is called Mimi rather than grandmother, I thought this was funny)…

I taught the kids that night how to say a single phrase that went with the bean bag game. The phrase was, “One Hundred!!!” which is how many points they got when they through it into the whole. The funny part is when the two boys started throwing the bean bags at each others heads (and sometimes mine, and started screaming “One Hundred!!!” each time. Actually that night there was a guy there named Olbert who is actually mute and I think deaf as well. Besides the pastor there I interacted with Olbert more than anyone there mainly because he spoke sign language and could teach me his name by spelling it… Here is the view from where we stayed in Croix De Bouquet.

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This is the view from the roof of where we stayed all week

From the moment I stepped out of the Airport that day I could tell how very different it was there than what I was accustomed to. First of all the language, the heat in mid-December, the common cars, clothing and even the normal mannerisms of the people there were different. It wasn’t a shock but I could definitely tell I was in a totally new place. I really liked it there. As we drove to our temporary home for the week I really enjoyed soaking up all of my new surroundings. I knew that God had plans for our trip but to be honest I didn’t really expect all that would come in the next six day…

Haiti Stop stop road

This is what it looks like when we were driving around…

Biggest Takeway- Be flexible at all times and just relax and enjoy each moment as it comes.

Funniest thing- Realizing that even though sign language is universal, it doesn’t help at all when someone is signing letter by letter to me in a language I dont speak.

What He’s given us

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For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.

 – 2 Timothy 1:7

I read this verse early this morning and it was such a great reminder that God brought to me. Its so good to be reminded of things you already have heard and to really sit and allow your heart to dwell on the simple truths of God. This one verse is so essential to walking in a victorious life through the Holy Spirit. When we realize that we don’t have to fear anymore, our life takes on a whole new perspective. He has given us power. He has given us his love. He has given us the ability to live disciplined and Holy lives. 

All of these things are only possible because of the Spirit that he gives to those who surrender their lives to him. Allow yourself to walk in this simple truth today and you will experience freedom and joy like never before. Our heavenly father has everything taken care of and promises ” that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

How can you apply this simple truth to your life today?

What can we learn from a broken pen?

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I love to Journal. One of the reasons I held out for so long on opening up an online blog was because I thought it may keep me from writing in my journal. I love the hard copy, the mistakes and how I can look back and tell my mood simply by the way my handwriting looks that day. Its one of my favorite ways to express myself.

The other morning I sat down to write my thoughts out and a pretty typical problem came up… The pen I had grabbed was writing but seems to be blocked up or something. I sat there and did the typical scribble to try and make it work but nothing changed. I wrote my first paragraph and while it was legible it was a burden to express each and every word. I usually enjoy journaling in the morning but because of this malfunctioning pen I was actually getting more irritated than anything. 

Before I got up to find another pen I sat there and looked at the paragraph I had just written. Suddenly God showed me something really funny and interesting. He showed me how much he loves to express himself in every day situations. He also showed me how the journal represents the world and how I represent this stopped up pen sometimes. He desires to express Himself to the world around me but because of stubbornness and selfishness He is unable to. I guess he showed me how I can really be frustrating at times… 🙂

“Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” 

-John 7:38

We are to have rivers of living water flowing from within us. This is how God expresses himself to the word around us through the Holy Spirit that is in us. When we allow stubborness, sin, pride or disobedience into our lives we become clogged up streams that become hard for him to express himself through. We need to learn to allow the Lord to freely express himself through us each day. Then He will be able to journal freely to the world around us of His character and love.

What are some things that hinder God from using you?

 

The Prayer Room – Live

The Prayer Room – Live.

I love watching the non-stop prayer and worship they have been having for over 15 years there in Kansas City. I have had the privilege of meeting some of the musicians and have heard about all that God is doing there. I love how committed they are to prayer and intercession for their community, the world and the lost.

Check it out sometime!