Archive for October 2013

The View from Here: Picture Dump

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

For those of you who don't follow me on facebook or instagram, here are some pictures from the past two weeks of my life!

 Packing up my life.
 I had the honor of sharing my testimony at Church with all of my family there.
 Saying goodbye at the airport
 Nap time in Miami :)
 The first team to stay and work at HFMS.
 These beautiful ladies cooked and cleaned for us all last week.
 The team built 4 sets of bunk beds for the big room at the end of the hall!
 This is Danielle, the land-lady's daughter.
 This is my new dear friend Esther who helped up tremendously over the last two weeks.  More to come on her soon!
Dad made some new friends.
 Mom and I trying to organize all of my stuff.
 The guys built this shelving unit for my bathroom
 Dad hanging curtains in my bedroom
 Kofael meeting that took place last Saturday.  This was the first outreach women's ministry to happen here at HFMS.
 The upstairs kitchen - took me 5 hours to get it clean and organized!
 Other end of the kitchen.  Please take note of the cooler aka our fridge when there's no power.
 My bedroom.  The guys built this bed and the nightstand.
 Sunset from our balcony.
 Driving around Haiti.

 For all of you who asked, here is one of the grocery stores I shop at. It's just like an American store, just more expensive!
 They even have Kirkland (Costco) brand stuff!! This made me laugh out loud and miss my dad.
My second purchase of groceries was 3,612 goudes which is a little more than $80.

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Haiti Overload

Monday, October 28, 2013

Bonswa from Haiti!!  Sorry I haven't updated, we don't have internet at the house yet so I can only blog when I'm using a friend's wifi.

So where to begin.... the past week has been one filled with emotional highs, lows, and in betweens.  We arrived in Haiti on the 19th at around 4:00pm.  We were bombarded by Haitians who wanted to help carry our bags and even though we said no, we ended up having to dish out $20 to get our luggage in the car.  It was probably the most chaotic I've seen the airport, but that's probably because we had nine bags instead of our usual one or two.   The first night we had power until about 8pm, which is unheard of in our part of town.  It was a true God thing because we needed lights to get settled for the night.  The team with us quickly went to mopping and cleaning so we could put our mattresses on the floor.  While we started to slowly unpack, Patricia headed to the store to buy food for dinner, and then we had a quick meal by candlelight before heading to bed.

Sunday was by far the hardest day I've had here in Haiti.  We slept in, which was much needed after only 3 hours of sleep the night before, but as soon as we woke up we went straight to work.  Patricia was sitting with us going over everything I needed to do in the following weeks.  As I looked out the window, it was all I could do to not break down in tears.  I excused myself to the porch, tried to regain my composure, and then sat back down.  About that time, everyone had left the room and I just sat with my mind wandering endlessly over how life would be here.  The emotions kept swelling up and tears streamed down my face.  When mom walked in, it was no longer tears but full out sobbing.  I was terrified, overwhelmed, and all out freaking out.  It seemed like most of the day was like that with on and off emotional moments.

The rest of the week was spent working with the team and getting the house in order.  The team was a HUGE blessing!! They built 6 sets of bunk beds, two individual twin beds, my full size bed, three 8 foot long tables for serving and preparing food, eight tables to use for ministry, 8 benches, a nightstand for my room, and a shelving unit for the hall bath.  I can't even describe how amazing it was to have them here this week.  They got the house in working order, and all the rooms are functional now.  They also hung towel bars, toilet paper holders, and mirrors.  Thank you so much to all of the Dry Ridge team!!

This week also contained an on-going battle with water.  We eventually figured out that the land lady had been pumping water from our cistern into her tank.  We also figured out that one of our pipes was broken so hardly any water was getting into the tank but was instead running off the back of the house. This was incredibly frustrating for me, especially since we had a team at the house.  At the end of the day after you've been sweating profusely, a shower is all we wanted, and most nights we couldn't provide that for everyone.  Thankfully, Jeremiah was able to figure out the problem and we got it fixed.  We also explained to the land lady how to properly pump water from each cistern, so that is also resolved. Praise God!!  We finally have water and I can't put into words how nice that is!!

It's the little, and big, things we take for granted back home that make such a difference here.  Things like power, water to bathe, safe drinking water, washing clothes, etc.  The days of flipping on the light switch at any hour, brushing your teeth with the sink water, & washing your dishes without bleach are gone.

It has definitely been an adjustment living here, but I can truly say that each day gets a little easier in one way or another.  I am slowly figuring out a routine which makes a big difference. The house is also slowly starting to feel like home which also helps a lot.  I miss my friends and family a lot, but I know this is where God has called me.  I ask that you would continue to pray for me.

Some specific prayer requests:
-Please pray that funding for an inverter would come in soon.  We desperately need to get steady power in the house to help keep perishable foods cold, to have fans, etc.  
-Please pray that funding for a car and washing machine would also come in.  It is so hard to get around here without a car, and a washing machine would allow us to wash our own clothes.
-Please pray for our safety, guidance, wisdom, and protection here in Haiti.  Pray that God would show us when, how, and where to do ministry.

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it's the little things

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

This week, it's the little things that have kept my to do list growing for Haiti.  Who knew there were all of these things I needed to complete before moving out of the Country?! I sure didn't realize how in depth the whole process was.  My brain hurts from sorting through it all!

Today I have:
-Applied for International insurance
-Registered with the US Embassy
-Unlocked my iPhone so I can use it in Haiti
-Signed up for MagicJack so I can make free calls to the US while I'm away
-Registered travel with both of my bank accounts so my card won't get rejected in Haiti
-Picked up the final items (and returned a few unnecessary ones) for Haiti
-Balanced my checkbook
-Sent final donations & mailing additions to Christian Light
-Mailed off remaining bracelets & payment from my fundraising
-Made arrangements to cover my rent through December
-Signed up for a Hulu account

Whew, I'm tired!!

Now back to packing and organizing my life before Saturday!

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Mind Fog

Friday, October 11, 2013

As I sit awake tonight, my mind seems to be endlessly wandering again.  It's 4am and I cannot seem to fall asleep.  I thought maybe writing a blog post would help, but the right words just aren't coming to mind.  My thoughts have been all over the place tonight, but one verse keeps sticking out in my memory.

"Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid nor dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."  Joshua 1:9

I read that passage in my bible study the other night, and it has glued itself to my memory ever since.  I can study some verses for days and still not be able to recite it back word for word.  This one however, I read once and it stuck.  I'm guessing that's because it was what I needed, and still need, to hear.

Be strong & courageous.
Do not be afraid.
God is with you wherever you go.

Three statements that have been my strength this week.   I don't really know how to verbalize my emotional state or train of thought over everything, but this verse seems to sum it up, or at least put my mind at rest.

Hopefully it will bring you some encouragement today as well.

Now off to bed for me.

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This Just Got Real

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Nine days guys.  NINE! I am moving to Haiti in nine days....

Say what?!

Let me wrap my head around that for a minute...

Ok, 9 days. I can do this! I should probably start packing though shouldn't I?  


I honestly think I'm still partially in denial that this is happening. My bank account, the room with all my stuff, and my to do list say otherwise, but my brain hasn't quite caught on yet. It feels like I still have weeks left but it's more like a week and a couple of days. yikes!

The past few weeks have been jam packed around here. You've probably noticed a few changes around the blog, right? There are more coming, but please look around and explore!! All the information you'll need on the ministry I'm working with is located up top. Everything you need to know is in one easy to find location now thanks to the incredible designer I hired! Hope you like the new look, I sure do!

Anyways...back to the past few weeks. I have spent the last month or so shopping, picking up donations, crossing off items on the to do list, speaking at churches, and trying to finalize fundraising. It has been crazy, but kind of relaxing too. You all know I love working through details, so this part of the journey has been kind of therapeutic. I just really need to start packing...anyone want to help??

 My only attempts at packing thus far...I have to say these space bags are pretty impressive!  That's a full size quilt, three sets of sheets, two pillows, and three rugs compressed to less than 2 feet tall. 

I had the honor of speaking with two churches so far, and will be speaking at Grey Stone this coming Sunday. What a blessing that has been! For those of you that know me well, you know I hate public speaking. My knees start shaking, my nervous stomach kicks in, my mouth gets dry...yeah not so fun! I've pushed through though, dry mouth and all, and have been beyond blessed both times!! I spoke at Temple Baptist Church in Fayetteville first, and the congregation donated $816 towards my ministry. Through speaking at Temple, I was also put in contact with another donor organization that will donate close to $1,000! What a HUGE blessing that was! Last Sunday, I spoke at Concord Baptist Church in Granite Falls. They as a church gave $750 and individual donations totaled over $600, bringing the total donation that day to almost $1500!! I can't even put into words what a blessing those two churches have been to me. The encouragement from the members, the love, meant the world to me!! We are also good friends with the pastors at both churches, so it was so nice getting to see old friends and have their support and encouragement as well! Thank you again to both of those churches for having me! Between the two churches, they donated enough to support almost two full months of my time in Haiti. Seriously, what a Blessing!!!!

 Speaking at Temple Baptist Church
 Got to love on this sweet little boy after service.
Speaking at Concord Baptist Church.
Other than that, life has been pretty normally. I'm trying to take in every second of this gorgeous fall weather, enjoy my favorite American treats, and get in as much time with family and friends as possible while I can.

Overall I am feeling pretty good about this move. There are days where my emotions get the best of me, but I'm finding comfort and peace through Christ. Nights are probably the hardest time for me, as the quiet lets my mind wander aimlessly. If I'm not careful, my worries and what ifs get the best of me, but I've found opening God's word and reading scripture helps me through those harder times. I don't know the specifics of what this journey ahead will hold, but I know it's going to be an amazing year! I'm trusting in God for my strength, patience, wisdom, and courage for this new chapter. He has gone before me, will be there with me, and will go after me. He will sustain me.

Thank you again for all of your support, encouraging words, and most importantly your prayers! I covet your prayers.

A sweet gift of encouragement from one of my dear friends.  It meant the world to me!
Some specific prayer requests right now:
  • My peace of mind before, during, and after my time in Haiti.
  • For an easy transition into this new life/culture/climate/etc.
  • For safe & timely travels to Haiti.  That all of our luggage would arrive safely and on time.
  • For my parents as they experience this first week in Haiti with me, and as they adjust to life with me living Haiti.  Pray for their strength, patience, emotional well-being, and guidance through this year.
  • For my fundraising.  I still need to raise around $10,000 for the year.  I know God will provide!
  • For the ministry I'll be working with.  Pray that God would guide us on how to minister to the women of Haiti, and the best methods in doing so.  Pray also for the fundraising of the ministry.  We have some big immediate financial needs (inverter, transportation, washing machine, etc) but don't currently have the funding to cover them.
  • For calmed nerves and peace of mind as I speak at Grey Stone on Sunday.  Pray that God would give me the right words and that the congregation would be open to supporting my ministry in Haiti.  Pray for my emotional state, as it will most likely be a tear-filled testimony. 

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