Friday, May 31, 2013

Haitian Proverb

This Haitian Creole Proverb is a good reminder that hard times fall on everyone:
Ri moun kout, men pa ri moun touni.
“Laugh at short people, but don’t laugh at naked people.” You may not be short but anyone could be naked.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


“By compassion we make others’ misery our own, and so, by relieving them, we relieve ourselves also.” –Thomas Browne, Sr.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Faces of Haiti: "Jeff"

“Jeff” was a precious boy we met on our trip to Haiti last summer. His smile lit up a room! I miss him.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Haitian Proverb

I know this is a little late, but here is a good Haitian proverb about Mothers:

Yo pa ka achte moso manman nan mache.

“One can’t buy a piece of mother in the market.” Mothers are irreplaceable.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

"Walking in Broken Shoes" Book Review

(Originally posted on on May 17, 2013)

Recently, my Mom was spending some Amazon gift cards she received last year. She was so sweet and bought a little something for each of us. J She gave me a choice between 4 or 5 different missions-related books. I was so excited when my copy of “Walking in Broken Shoes” by Susan Magnuson Walsh arrived! I had never heard of the book until Mom mentioned it to me, but it sounded like my kind of book.

Susan Walsh—a pediatric nurse practitioner—led many short-term medical missions trips to Haiti prior to the earthquake in 2010. The first half of the book describes these trips. The book is written mostly in journal form, with lots of email updates and personal stories.

While I found the book interesting up to that point, my interest really piqued half-way through the book. Susan Walsh was in Haiti with a team during the January 2010 earthquake. She gives an incredible first-hand account of what the tremor felt like, the emotional responses to the quake, and the devastation felt in Pétionville. Thankfully no one on their team was hurt, but immediately following the quake, they found themselves serving at a hospital where they saw every injury imaginable.

Susan Walsh describes their experience as that of a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH unit.) People were missing limbs, losing blood at a life-threatening rate, and so much more. Many of the people in the hospital were dead. Her team did the best they could to treat injuries for 6 or 7 hours after the quake, but the number of people requiring treatment was enormous.

Because of the condition of the airport and the chaos, their team—which was supposed to leave the day after the quake—was stranded in Haiti for several extra days. Their ordeal of trying to get out of the country was nightmarish.

She also goes on to describe the trips she made back to Haiti following the quake. The very last chapter gives a very good analysis of where things stand in Haiti today, including the issues that have been dealt with, and the issues that have not been resolved.

I really appreciated the book because it not only gave an excellent first-hand account of an earth-shattering (literally) event that nearly every person in Haiti bears scars from, but it also gives a great look into the tremendous needs of the Haitian people. The issues are complex, sticky, and difficult to deal with. At times it feels like the mess has gotten so big, it can never be cleaned up.

But God is still sovereign over all. He will use tragedies such as the 2010 earthquake for HIS glory and to make HIS Name famous in Haiti. Susan Walsh does a great job of sharing her personal testimony and how God worked in her life through all the situations she was a part of in Haiti.

I definitely recommend this book for anyone high-school aged and up, particularly those who are considering medical missions work. Parts of the story are heartbreaking, but I think our hearts need to be broken more often, because brokenness brings us to a point of action.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Half a Gospel

“We can be grateful for the many kind, caring, generous Rotarians, Lions, Boy Scouts, and the like who do great acts of kindness in the world. But the motive is as important as the strategy. The good deeds of Christians, done in response to God’s call, provide both physical and spiritual hope for the needy. Nelson Bell, the well-known missionary doctor said, ‘If you separate evangelism and social action, you have only delivered half a gospel.’”

David C. Forward in “The Essential Guide to the Short Term Mission Trip”

Friday, May 17, 2013

Haitian Proverb

Here is another Haitian proverb about important people:

M’ pap soti zan zorey pou m’al nan talon.

“I’m not going to leave the ear to go on the heel.” I already have access to someone more important.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

So . . . Where Are We Going?

This was an email update I sent out recently to Hope Hill Orphanage Building Project Supporters. I wanted to post it here so you all could know what was going on with our plan to go on a missions trip this summer.

My word. I hardly know where to begin! This past month has been a confused blur with dozens of changes in plans being made. I’ve almost given up trying to explain it to people, but confusing as it is, it is the story God is writing in my life right now.

Last month the plan was for Ben and I to spend a month in Haiti this summer and help host 2 missions teams from A Child’s Hope, a missions team from Michigan, and 2 missions teams from Florida.

But then plans started to fall through left and right. On such short notice, we could not get together a team large enough to go on the trips with A Child’s Hope. After exploring several other options, we decided to travel with the missionary’s wife, and serve more as “interns” to the missionaries. But by the time we settled on the plan and she purchased her ticket and gave us her itinerary, the ticket prices had skyrocketed (almost overnight) to $900+.

We talked and prayed as a family about this decision. I just didn’t feel that it would be practicing good stewardship to pay over $600 extra simply to travel to Haiti. That money could go towards another whole plane ticket under normal circumstances, or do a lot of other good things.

The decision to call off our trip to Haiti was difficult, as it had been a year in the making (longer if you count the number of years I had planned to spend a month on the missions field following my high school graduation.) But I had peace knowing that only God could have closed the 5 or 6 doors we thought were open. Clearly He had other plans for our summer.

As these doors were slamming shut one after another, I talked with our youth/Family pastor at church. He mentioned one night in youth group that there were some ways we could serve our church this summer. I emailed and asked about some specific ways we could serve.

I was quite surprised when he called back and said someone had dropped out of the high school missions trip to Guatemala. The deadline to join this trip was months ago, but our pastor thought he might be able to get a ticket for Ben as well, that is if we were interested. I said YES, and began praying specifically that if God did NOT want us to go on this trip that he would be unable to secure a 2nd ticket.

A couple of days later, we received a text saying that our pastor had 2 tickets. We took that as a clear answer to our prayer, and joined the team.

So now Ben and I will be joining a team of 16 from our church from on a missions trip to Guatemala! We will be doing ministry to children, which is my passion. Because we won’t be gone for a whole month, we will also have the opportunity to help out with Vacation Bible School at our church here in Texas (in late June.)

There is a possibility that we may still go on a week-long trip this fall with A Child’s Hope, but those plans are still in the baby stage.

While this change in plans is radical and definitely a surprise (just as much to you as it is to me!), God is so clearly at work. Only HE could have closed all the doors to Haiti and opened up the door to Guatemala. Why He wants us there instead of in Haiti (where my heart truly lies), I don’t know. But I do know this; I desire with all my heart to serve Him joyfully wherever He places me!

I still hope to return to Haiti for a month at some point, perhaps next summer. But for now, I will continue to serve and pray for this special country from home. The amount of money donated towards Hope Hill has continued to climb slowly but surely up to $13,600+. I serve an incredible God who is completely in control and a great provider!

How to Pray for the Hope Hill Orphanage Project:

Please pray in the following ways:

·         Pray that I would listen hard for God’s leading in my life and joyfully follow where He leads, especially as I transition out of high school next month.
·         Please pray that despite the fact that I will not be returning to Haiti this summer, my motivation to serve would not decrease in any way. Pray that my focus will remain on Christ and on the burden He has given me for the Haitian children.
·         Pray for Ben and me as we prepare to go to Guatemala. God has already blessed that change in plans; within 3 days of officially joining the team, we had a third of our support raised! Without sending a single support letter!!

This quote is so appropriate in light of all that’s been going on the past month:

When one door closes another opens. But often we look so long [and] so regretfully upon the closed door that we fail to see the one that has opened for us.” –Helen Keller

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Pushing on a Pull Door

A couple of weeks ago, our family went to see “for KING & COUNTRY” in concert. I had purchased their CD a couple of weeks before that, and really enjoyed the song “Pushing on a Pull Door.” The song describes too well how I feel so often. I think I’m going in the right direction and doing all the right things, only to find that I was “pushing on a pull door.”

If hope is what you're after
I can take it and turn it into rain

Your tears become laughter
I will catch them and turn them back again
I will catch them and twist them back again

When you're upside down, then you see it all
That you spend all your time pushing on a pull door

You made a plan
You think you're in control
You're flying
But you're way too high to fall
And hey man
Check around the corner
Because it's coming
Here's your wakeup call

Don't hear Me coming?
I'm your wakeup call

When you're upside down, then you see it all
Everything's the wrong way around but clearer than before
When you're upside down, then you see it all
That you spend all your time pushing on a pull door

I will shake you
I will make your shattered dreams unwind
Because it's only when it comes to pieces
Only then as time increases
You will find the peace that you've been dying for
You'll realize that all this time
You've been pushing on a pull door
You've been pushing on a pull door

Upside down, then you see it all
Everything's the wrong way around but clearer than before
Oh you know, when you're upside down, then you see it all
That you spend all your time pushing on a pull door

When you're upside down, then you see it all
Everything's the wrong way around but clearer than before
When you're upside down, then you see it all
That you spend all your time pushing on a pull door
Hey, pushing on a pull door

You've been pushing on a pull door

--by “for KING & COUNTRY”

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Quote on Parting

“Never part without loving words to think of during your absence. It may be that you will not meet again in this life.”—Jean Paul Richter

Monday, May 13, 2013

Faces of Haiti: "Mayor of the Mountain"

One of the people constantly with our team in Haiti was Mr. P. Despite the fact that there are no police, government, or infrastructure of any kind on La Montagne, he is known as the “Mayor of the Mountain.” Mr. P is in his 70’s, with a small and wiry build. Originally from the Dominican Republic, he speaks fluent Spanish as well as Haitian Creole.

You would never know how old he was based on his agility! Mr. P can still climb coconut trees, butcher pigs, and beat teenage girls (*ahem, me*) in foot races up mountains with the best of them. He amazed our whole team! And he is truly “the boss” of the mountain!

On our way down the mountain at the end of the week, we had a little issue. You see, 2 truck drivers had been hired to take our team of 17 down the mountain. We also hired 1 tap-tap for our luggage. Only one truck driver and the tap-tap showed up (an hour late.) We were all packed and ready to leave, so the half of the team that was supposed to ride in the 2nd truck piled into the tap-tap with the luggage.

We hadn’t driven 5 minutes down the mountain when the other truck driver shows up. He stops the vehicle so that those of us in the tap-tap can get out and ride in his vehicle. But we had already settled in and the missionary tried to explain we no longer needed him because he was so late. The driver got angry, so he pulled his truck in front of our tap-tap and wouldn’t move.

The driver of the tap-tap and the missionary argued with the truck driver for a good 10 minutes as a crowd of Haitians began to gather. Mr. P was hitching a ride into Jacmel with us and was sitting in the back of the tap-tap with us. We could tell he was starting to get antsy. Finally, he got out and went to talk with the truck driver. Two minutes later, we were back on the road. J He holds a lot of influence on La Montagne, which is why he is affectionately given the title “Mayor of the Mountain.”

Friday, May 10, 2013

Haitian Proverb

Here is a good Haitian proverb about drunkenness:

Kabrit bwè, mouton sou.

“Goats drink, sheep get drunk.” Avoid that lifestyle. You are better than that. It will hurt you more.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


Shortly after I became the missions trip coordinator for “A Child’s Hope,” I began reading “The Essential Guide to the Short Term Mission Trip” by David C. Forward. He takes a comprehensive look at short term missions trip, starting with why we should be involved in missions at all. The quote below on evangelism stood out to me:

“Though it may seem at times a challenge, evangelism is our solemn obligation. It is never ‘not my job.’

Missions authority David M. Howard wrote:

The missionary enterprise of the church is not a pyramid built upside down with its point on one isolated text in the New Testament out of which we have built a huge structure known as ‘missions.’ Rather, the missionary enterprise of the church is a great pyramid built right side up, with its base running from Genesis 1 to Revelation 22. All of Scripture forms the foundation for the outreach of the gospel to the whole world. [David Mr. Howard, The Great Commission for Today (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity, 1976), 31.]

The model that compels us to do evangelistic mission work today can be found in Matthew 9:35: ‘Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.’”

Evangelism is truly at the core of Christianity. If God did not want us to practice evangelism, then we would go straight to heaven after we became a Christian. But He leaves us here on this earth with the sole purpose of proclaiming His Name among all the nations. How are you doing in this vital mandate? Are you a faithful evangelist for Christ?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Pass Through

“I expect to pass through life but once. If, therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now for I shall not pass this way again.” –William Penn (1644)

Friday, May 3, 2013

Haitian Proverb

Here is another good Haitian proverb about trouble:

Pa kontrarye danje si twou poko fouye pou antere malè.

“Don’t annoy danger if misfortune’s grave is not yet dug” If you look for trouble, you might find it.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Middle of Your Heart

This song by “for KING & COUNTRY” has been a big encouragement and reminder to me lately. Everything related to Haiti is hard. Waiting to return is hard. Understanding what God is calling ME to do is hard. Knowing how to help is hard. Trusting that God has a perfect plan is hard. Seeing people the way God sees them is hard.

I want so desperately to be taken to the middle of the Father’s heart. I want my heart to break for what breaks His. I want to experience His love for the broken, abandoned, orphaned, sick, and widowed.

This is where it begins
This is where all the worry ends
This is where I say I don't need to have control

This is where I admit
I don't know how to handle it
Life in all of this chaos
You're my only hope
And all that I have to offer
Is the white flag of surrender

So take me to the middle of Your heart
Lead me to wherever Your love starts
To a new day dawning
To the place You are
And if You want to take me over the edge
I'll let you ‘cause Your love is where I'll land
Want to be right where You are,
In the middle of Your heart

This is what I believe
That if I give you my everything
I will become who I was really born to be

I'll stand up and say it
Your love is something I can put my faith in

So take me to the middle of Your heart
Lead me to wherever Your love starts
To a new day dawning
To the place You are
And if You want to take me over the edge
I'll let you ‘cause Your love is where I'll land
Want to be right where You are,
In the middle of Your heart

What I carry...
What I carry...
But now I can let it go
Yeah I carry it
Lord I carry it
But now I can let it go
I can let it go

So take me to the middle of Your heart
Lead me to wherever Your love starts
To a new day dawning
To the place You are
And if You want to take me over the edge
I'll let you ‘cause Your love is where I'll land
Want to be right where You are,
In the middle of Your heart

The middle of Your heart

--“Middle of Your Heart” by for KING & COUNTRY