Archive for December 2012

"Tears in My Heart"

Sunday, December 30, 2012


Day two in Haiti has been wonderful.  We got up early and had a delicious casserole and grits for breakfast (we're being spoiled beyond belief).  We headed out to Pastor Cenar's church around 7:30.  At first I didn't recognize his name or the church, but then Jim reminded me that Pastor Cenar is the one who used to run the rooftop church we went to in 2009.  They used to have this great rooftop on the side of a huge mountain where they could use the loud speakers and everyone on the mountainside could hear the service.  It was a really cool experience and such a great witnessing tool.  Unfortunately, that property can't be used since the earthquake, but they have a great location close by.  

Haiti churches are always fun to attend. They worship and sing for over two hours before the message is even brought.  This isn't your traditional hymns, stand around and sing quietly church.  This is a scream, shout, dance, clap, get on your knees, or whatever the Lord puts on your heart kind of church.  They worship in ways you've probably never seen in an American church.  I may not have been able to understand much of the words they sang, but I worshipped right along with them!  Randall got to preach, and it was a great message.

After the service, Pastor Cenar took us around to see the school he's just built on the church property.  While we were in there, he explained the story of three women he had previously asked Randall to pray for during the service.  These women unfortunately are in the difficult and desperate situation of prostitution.  This is not a lifestyle they want or wanted to choose, but it has come down to either selling themselves to feed their family, or having no food.  This story really challenged all of us today.  It puts into perspective how beyond spoiled we are in America.  We may not have the newest phone, car, or nicest clothes, but I'm pretty sure none of you have ever been forced to decide between starving to death or selling your body.  It's a heart-breaking story.  These women want out so bad.  They know their actions are wrong, but what choice do they have?  One woman is basically a slave to the guy paying for her.  If she were to leave him she would be forced to completely uproot her family to a different location in fear of him killing her.  I can’t even imagine being in such a desperate, heart wrenching, painful, and difficult situation.  Pastor Cenar pleaded with us to lift these ladies up in prayer.  He said I have “tears in my heart for them.” I’m pleading the same thing to you tonight.  They want out, but need God to provide a way.  Randall preached today that there is nothing you can do to make God love you more, and there is nothing you can do to make Him love you less.  He loves us all just as we are with a love so strong we can’t explain it.  He said that God loves you no matter what you’ve done.  I think the ladies really needed to hear that message today, and I’m hoping they found some hope through it.  Please keep these ladies in your prayers.  Pray for their safety, guidance, and for a safe way out.  Please also keep the guys they are with in your prayers.  They need to find the Lord just as much as these ladies.  A change in their hearts would do wonders.  It breaks my heart, and while I wish I could do more, we were all reminded today that prayer is such a powerful and wonderful tool that we all have.

The rest of our afternoon was spent pretty much relaxing here at the house.  We had a great lunch (leftovers from last night), most of the team got a nap, and we had time to recuperate and get ready for our bible study at the Phillipino UN.

Jim & Debbie over the last few months have been hosting a weekly bible study with some of the soldiers in at the Phillipino UN.  The soldiers just recently switched out, so everyone there tonight was new. It was an exciting time to see another area of ministry here in Haiti.  As these men and women get to know Jim more over the next few weeks, this ministry will grow and grow.  We also got a good laugh while at the UN because all the soldiers wanted pictures with “just the ladies.”  At one point Amanda, Cassie, and I were trying to get a picture of the three of us and all the men asked to get their picture taken individually with us.  We got a good laugh out of it; It was like we were celebrities.  So if you see 50 new pictures of us on Facebook tagged by a bunch of random guys, you’ll know where they came from!  Ha!

It’s been a really good day.  We had a great dinner, played some bananagrams, phase 10, and have been blessed with power all day! That’s such a blessing! I am BEYOND excited to see Dorothy and the kids tomorrow.  So excited, I hope I can sleep tonight!  I hope you are all having a fabulous week, but I’m sure it simply can’t compare to ours!

More to come tomorrow after I see all my babies and hug their necks!! Have I mentioned I love this place?

Goodnight!

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We're Here!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

(Amanda and I on the plane to Haiti)

We made it to Haiti!!  I got pretty light headed and almost got sick on the first flight from getting too hot and having nothing to eat, but praise God he got me through the next flight with no problems at all!  Thank you Lord for Dramamine!!

We arrived around 4:30pm and boy was the airport a shock!  They have opened up the newly built area and the only way to describe it is amazing, but not at all expected!! I'm used to having to take a bus over to the airport and baggage area, but it's now all connected, the customs area was so nice, air conditioned, brand new, and get this...THEY HAVE LUGGAGE CONVEYOR BELTS NOW!!  Unless you've experienced the old Haiti airport, this will mean nothing to you, but trust me it is INCREDIBLE!  Luggage used to get piled onto the floor and you had to search through them all for your bags.  To have the nice new conveyor belts was amazing.

However, I must say that I was disappointed for those who have not traveled to Haiti before, because they did not get to experience the full Haitian airport experience.  Even exiting the building was nicer.  Cassie and I kept commenting on how weird it was.  Nice.  So nice.  But weird.

Jim picked us up from the airport in their nice 12 passenger van (air conditioned!) and brought us over to their new place.  This house is amazing yall.  You have no clue. Seriously, those who have never been to Haiti before are getting spoiled beyond belief (they just don't realize it yet, ha!)

Debbie fixed us a wonderful dinner of spaghetti, salad, garlic bread, and sweet tea (yum!).  It was delicious!

Other than that the team hasn't been up to much tonight.  We did a little devotion, tried to plan out the next couple of days, and organized the supplies we brought  (Dorothy is going to be so excited to get all these gifts)! The rest of our night has been spent organizing our luggage, showering, and simply getting settled.

I can already feel God pushing me outside of my comfort zone, and really truly preparing my heart for missions here.  I pray He will open up doors and guide me through it all.  It's going to be an amazing trip and I can't wait for everything to get started.  I especially can't wait to hug and kiss my sweet Johnny and see Dorothy and the rest of the kids.  Please continue to keep our team in your prayers!

I love this place.

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Thursday Thoughts: Merry Christmas & Haiti

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Wow what an amazing fun-filled two weeks it has been, and the party is still going!!!

We began our Christmas celebrations on December 22nd with dinner and a gift exchange with Erin & Stephen.  On the 23rd we attended Christmas at the DPAC which was A-MA-ZING!!  If you didn't go, you really missed out!  On the 24th we celebrated with my mom's side of the family at Mama Barb's house, where we had some delicious food & cake, lots of fun, and some wonderful gifts!  On the 25th mom, dad, and I celebrated Christmas here at the house.  Mom made her usual HUGE breakfast spread, we opened gifts, and then packed to head to Grandma's.  We spent Christmas night up at Grandma's eating waaaaay too much food, exchanging gifts, reminiscing, laughing like crazy, and enjoy being with family.  We came home on the 26th after a day at Grandma's, went shopping today for final Haiti supplies, and tomorrow will be spent packing.


Whew.  Tired yet?

Well that was just this past week!  On Saturday we leave for Haiti!!!  I am so ready to get on that plane and be there already!  I cannot wait to see what all this trip holds.  It's going to be incredible and I can't wait to see God work!!

Please keep us and the team in your prayers as we prepare for our week in Haiti.  Keep an eye out here on the blog for updates during our trip (as internet allows).  I will try to blog or update facebook every day, so keep reading!!

Haiti here we come!!!!!!

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Prayers for Newtown

Sunday, December 16, 2012

December 14, 2012 will forever be one of those days engraved into my mind.  What an unthinkable and horrific tragedy. That day will go down in history as one of the most devastating and heartbreaking events.  My heart breaks for the all of the families that lost loved ones.  I cannot even begin to fathom the pain, anger, and sadness they must be coping with tonight.  I cannot imagine the fear, sadness, and heartbreak the survivors must feel.  It's an experience and feeling no one should ever have to endure.


I cannot be there to hug the parents' necks or to reassure the surviving children that they will feel safe again.  All I can do is lift everyone effected from this tragedy up in my prayers.  Everyone is praying for you all.  Your children and loved ones will never be forgotten.

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A Call for Prayers

Monday, December 10, 2012


Our Haiti trip is fast approaching in T-minus 19 days.  


19 days!


That is SO much more exciting than you even realize for me!  There is something extra special about this trip.  I can't quite put my finger on it, but I really feel like God is going to do some incredible things, and open up doors/guide my decision making.  I think a lot of this has to do with the fact that my mom gets to go this time, I get to go as part of a team again, and I get to meet up with some old friends and hopefully get their input on possible opportunities for me down there.  Some pretty incredible things have happened over the last week or two, and while I'm not quite ready to share them yet (so please don't ask), I know that God is already at work. He is already pushing, building, and preparing me for this trip.  I don't know what His plan is, and I certainly don't know what His answer will be, but I have a feeling I will get a little taste of it in 19 days.

Please keep me and the rest of our team in your prayers as we prepare for this trip.  Pray that we would all have the courage to do whatever God calls us to do while we are there.  Please pray that our hearts will begin to be softened towards the people and their needs so that our time can be as successful as possible.  Please pray that we all, but especially that I, will keep an open mind and ear to discern God's will for me.  Pray that God will begin opening the hearts of the people we will be working with, so that His Kingdom can grow and receive all of the glory.  Please also keep our safety, travels, health, attitudes, and overall well-being in your prayers.  We will certainly be needing all of the prayers we can get.

It's going to be an awesome trip!  I cannot wait to step off of that plane back onto Haitian soil.




19 Days!!

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Friday Free-For-All

Friday, December 7, 2012

I feel like I need to post an update, but there's nothing really to write about.  So here are some things that I'm excitedly counting down for!

18 Days until Christmas.
22 Days until we leave for Haiti.
25 Days until we get to celebrate the New Year in Haiti (again)!

I cannot wait to see Dorothy, the kids, Jim & Debbie, and to share this experience with my mom!  I was looking through pictures of a friend's recent trip to Haiti, and I got giddy with excitement for our upcoming trip!  It's going to be an incredible time, and to spend my second New Years in Haiti is absolutely exciting!


And while I'm at it, I just have to share this picture that Jennifer Hambrick took of Johnny during her trip.  This little boy melts my heart! I love him!
I can't wait to be back!! Please keep our team in your prayers as we prepare for our time in Haiti!

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Don't Give up

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Last week was a really hard week for me.

I didn't blog much because I didn't really feel like admitting my feelings, short comings, or frustrations.  I didn't want to accept that I didn't get the job, and I knew blogging about it would mean it was definitely true.  I didn't want to talk about my feelings because I wasn't just disappointed, I was angry.

Very angry.

With myself,  employers, and the whole situation. I was angry with people not understanding, and with having to relive the ordeal every time someone asked me about the job.  And honestly...I was angry with God. I couldn't understand (and still don't completely understand) why things weren't working out.  I couldn't understand why He gave me this passion, but no job to live it out.  I was angry that I worked my butt off for the last four years to be the only person in my design class that can't find a job in design.

It was a very frustrating, devastating, and anger filled week for me.  I'm not proud of it, but I handled it the best I could.  I still don't understand why things aren't working out how I would like, but I've learned I'm learning to just go with it and find contentment where ever I am, doing what ever I'm doing.

This is hard for me. Please don't think that I've got it all together, because I definitely do NOT.

However, the other night when I hit my "I can't do this anymore/cry out in anger to God" moment, as crazy as this may sound, I felt like He spoke to me.  Not in an audible standing in front of me conversation way, just an inner peace through the words of a song:  "Don't give up." I can't explain why this song popped into my head at that moment, other than to give me a little pick me up and encouragement from his Holy Spirit.  I hadn't heard the song in days, and at first I didn't even realize I was singing it in my head while I laid in bed crying.  I've probably heard the song twenty times on the radio over the last year, but had never really taken the time to listen to the words (I do that a lot with songs). I immediately grabbed my phone and looked the song up on YouTube.

I can't fully explain that moment to you.  I remember feeling like an idiot for questioning God, but found myself crying and thanking Him for the reminder of hope. It was like He said "I see you, I know how hard this is, I know what you're thinking and feeling, and I've not forgotten you."  It was a one-of-a-kind, you have to experience it yourself moment to truly understand.

Maybe you're like me and feeling completely defeated lately.  Feeling like you're stuck, with no hope, and just revolving in an endless circle.  This song helped me, maybe it will do the same for you.

I have no idea what tomorrow will hold, let alone next week, month, or year, but I'm choosing to trust God.  He never promised our path would be easy, but he did promise to be there for us.  I saw this the other night, and it was a definitely needed moment for me.

Whatever you are struggling with tonight, God knows.  He sees you, he knows your thoughts, fears, frustrations, dreams, and concerns.  This may not be where you want to be, or feel like you should be, but God's plans are larger than anything we could dream up on our own.  Trust Him.  I know it's not easy, but it is necessary.  He will take care of you! When you feel like you can't go on anymore, Don't Give up!


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