My Journey to Haiti: Part Three

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

These last couple of months have been filled with the most eye-opening and amazing moments, all of which have been orchestrated by God!

Let me give you a little bit of background that I left out of part two.  Once I hit that moment of realizing that God wanted me in Haiti and I had to give him control and join the ride, fears/worries of different kinds started creeping in my mind.  You see, I graduated college last year in May, and I knew my loans would be entering into repayment VERY soon.  Most college graduates have 6 months after their graduation date before that repayment period begins.  Around the time all of this realization took place, I was about 3-4 months away from having to make large loan payments.  I went into the loans websites to get an idea of how much I would be looking at paying each month.  I have 3 loans, through 2 different organizations, and came to the understanding that I would be paying around $350/month starting December 2012.

Yikes!! That's all I could think.

At this point, I had no job, no prospect of a job, was contemplating moving to a fifth-world Country, and honestly had no clue how those payments were going to take place.  Honestly, I panicked.  I thought there was no way I could ask people to support me each month to live in Haiti AND ask them to send enough to make those payments.  I just didn't feel right asking people to do that, nor did I think there was any way people could do that.  I reached a point where I figured my only option would be to find a job, work for a year or so, and save up enough money to make those payments before I could move to Haiti.

To say I was bummed and feeling discouraged was an understatement.  The job search had yielded absolutely NOTHING, I didn't have a peace about working in design any longer, and truthfully felt like I had run into a brick wall that I couldn't find a way around.  I kept praying and asking God to show me a solution to this problem.  I know God is bigger than any financial hurdle, and I simply had to trust that he would take care of it.  Until then,  I had to keep looking for jobs and going about life.

During this whole ordeal, our team was preparing for our upcoming (my fourth) trip to Haiti (Dec. 2012).  We were raising the funds, gathering supplies, planning our week, and getting really excited for the upcoming adventure.  I prayed constantly that the Lord would use our team in ways we hadn't even thought of.  That He would go ahead of us and prepare the hearts of those we were going to see, as well as prepare us for the journey.  I prayed that He would use this trip to make my calling clearer, and give me a better understanding of his plans for me in Haiti.  I prayed every way possible over our trip.  I knew God had big plans and I was so anxious to see how they would all unfold.

About a month before our trip, I attended the Missions Committee meeting at Grey Stone.  I spoke with Randall that night, and he really pushed me to make the move, step out in faith, and wanted to know when I was going.  I jokingly laughed and brushed it off, knowing that I was still afraid and genuinely had no idea when or even if things would ever get to that point.  It wasn't until I was on the way home that it hit me...

God had taken care of my financial hurdle.

A week prior, I received a letter in the mail letting me know my first loan payment was due.  That payment was through CFNC, on one loan, and was a $50 payment.  When I went online to make the payment, I realized I hadn't heard anything from my other loan company.  I went on their website and realized that they had my loan listed as not going into repayment until 2015.


I didn't realize it at first, but on the car ride home that night I broke into tears over the realization that God had just cleared the path.  He had given me a 2 year window where I could go to Haiti and not have to worry about paying the  $300/month.  This may seem so silly to some of you, but in that moment I felt more blessed than ever before.  I've heard of this kind of thing happening to people who are faithful with their giving, but I had never experienced anything this big before. 

So let me recap:
I have no full-time job holding me back.
I no longer have to worry about a $300/month payment.
I am single and don't have a family that needs me here.

There was no longer any reason that I couldn't go to Haiti.  Nothing at all was standing in my path.  I had to go!!  I had to; and this was the absolute perfect time!!

I loaded that plane with our team on December 28, 2012 knowing deep in my heart that this was not a trip where I was just visiting.  I was no longer going simply to love on the people of Haiti and visit old friends.  For the first time, I was going to make plans for a full-time move down there!  The best part, was that we were staying with Jim & Debbie Hambrick, who took me on my first trip to Haiti.  It was so fitting that the people who helped me fall in love with Haiti would be the ones who helped me move there full-time.

If you read my blog posts (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) after we got back, then you know how incredible the trip turned out to be.  God worked in my heart in ways I hadn't even imagined.  He opened up some doors, reaffirmed once again that Haiti would be my home very soon, and created some lasting friendships.  After talking with Jim, Debbie, and Donna that night, there was no longer any question or fear in my mind.  Even though some hard questions were asked, and I knew the journey would not be easy, I finally felt 1000% at peace about everything.  My heart was fully in love with Haiti, and I finally announced to my family and everyone else that I was moving to Haiti!!!!

Through this whole process I have come to realize just how amazing God is.  He orchestrated all of this from the time I was born, and will continue to work in my life until my time on earth is finished.  I have come to appreciate my relationship with the Lord so much more than ever before over the last few years.  Even though so many thoughts, decisions, and actions deemed me unworthy of this relationship, I am so grateful to serve the Lord who forgives ALL sins and loves us anyways.  I am so thankful that He never gave up on me and has loved me unconditionally through every stage of life. 

I've learned that no hurdle is too big for God.  If it's His will, He will see that it comes to pass.  I've learned to relinquish my fears, worries, and concerns and trust that God is bigger than anything I could ever come across. I've learned that God uses our weak moments in life to shine just how big his Glory is.

If he can use me: a 22 year old girl with a messed up past, then he can use you too!  I never in a million years would have guessed this is where my life would take me, but I am so glad this is where I'm going.  I know this story is still being written, and that it's still in its early chapters, but if God has done this much already, I can't wait to see how the rest unfolds!!

Please keep me in your prayers as I take each step in Faith.  Please keep this journey, wherever it may take me, in your prayers.

I say this a lot, but we genuinely serve an AMAZING God yall!!  If you are reading this and have never given your life to Christ, or are on the fence, take it from me:  jump in with all you've got!!  You will never, EVER, regret it!!  If you have questions, or would like to know how to give your life to Christ, please ask!! I would be honored to share that with you!

So here we go!  Part four is just beginning.  I can't wait to see what God is going to do!

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