Thursday, September 26, 2013

Haitian Food

I miss Haitian food! I had been worried before we went to Haiti that it would be too spicy, but I think they toned it for us “Blan.” J As I have become more involved in foreign missions work, I am more and more grateful for the way my parents trained me in the area of food. Growing up, we were always required to eat a portion of everything, whether we liked it or not. Scientifically speaking, having enough exposure to a food, you will like it—or at least tolerate it—eventually.

I really think that happened for me! My motto now is “I’ll try anything once.” That attitude has served me well so far. In so many third-world countries, food is far more than food. It is the people’s way of showing hospitality. To refuse the food they prepare would be to refuse their generosity. And when they can barely afford to cook and eat themselves, it means even more to offer their precious food to a guest. That really puts food into perspective for me!

Thursday, September 12, 2013


Pa kite bourik pou bat makout.
“Don’t miss the donkey and beat the saddlebag.” Don’t blame the wrong one.

Livestock is seemingly everywhere in rural Haiti. Donkeys are a common means of transportation and cargo-carrying in third world countries. The donkey pictured in the photo above was tied in the lot beside the mission house we stayed at in Haiti. A few of the guys named her Maurice, and she was unfortunately on the receiving end of many team jokes. But she may have deserved them to some degree; you see, Maurice seemed to think that braying as loud as she possibly could at 5 a.m. was a great way to introduce herself to the team. We did not agree.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Fundraising Update!

As I enter into a new phase of life (post-high school), I have had to reevaluate a lot of things. One of those has been this blog. I am hoping to start a new blog to specifically chronicle the things I am doing to prepare for life, outside of the traditional college realm. I am still raising funds for Hope Hill, and intend to meet my goal of $70,000, through God’s strength.

Beginning next week, I will be posting on the Hope Hill blog once a week. The posts will vary, sometimes being an update, other times a Haitian proverb, or pictures another time. My goal is to keep my faithful readers up-to-date on the progress in Haiti, while still giving myself a bit more time to focus on other things.

Today, I am excited to announce a big jump in funds. For my high school graduation party, I asked guests to give towards Hope Hill in lieu of .gifts. As a result, over $2,500 was raised for the project!! That means our new total is $17,909! God is so good!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Guatemala Update

I can hardly believe the summer flew by so quickly! Anticipation has a way of moving time along. School is starting and the mission trip to Guatemala is already a month behind me . . .

While the time speeds on, the memories remain crisp and clear in my mind. Long eyelashes framing the brown eyes looking up at me. The shouts of school-children cheering on their classmates in a soccer match. Little arms wrapped around my neck in an embrace. Spanish and English words mixed together in worship of the King.

The primary purpose of our trip was to build the relationship between our church and student ministry and Pastor A and Fellowship Guatemala. We also built a relationship with Pastor D, the founder and president of Fellowship Guatemala.

When we arrived Sunday, we had the opportunity to participate in a worship service at a new church plant Pastor D has started. Monday through Thursday, we served alongside Pastor A at a public elementary school. We conducted a sports camp for the kids, and did devotions with them. Each afternoon was spent at the Opportunity Center started by Pastor A, where 35-40 students go to learn English though Rosetta Stone. One evening was spent at a small orphanage, where we interacted with a dozen children. Our week concluded with a day in Antigua, where we enjoyed sweet fellowship with our new Guatemalan friends.

The trip was not what I expected. God so clearly sent us there rather than Haiti, and I was expecting another “light bulb moment” like I had in Haiti. I came away from the trip with more questions than answers. But I serve a God who knows all the answers. The following quote from Corrie Ten Boom has been on my mind through all of this: “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”

I trust that in His timing, He will reveal the reasons behind this trip. In the meanwhile, I am prayerfully considering a return trip next summer, and possibly an internship. Pastor D’s family will be coming to visit the States in October, and I look forward to introducing them to the rest of my family. J

The work in Haiti continues, and I remain committed to seeing the orphanage built. I will take just one day at a time, and continue to follow wherever God leads, through every door He opens.

THANK YOU for your faithful support and prayers! You are enabling me to fulfill the calling God has placed on my life: the call to share the good news of Jesus Christ with the nations!

To read my day-by-day journal accounts of the Guatemala trip, click on the links below: