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Archive for the '2016 Feb Family Trip' Category

Dear Haiti

Addisyn wrote this on the plane returning from Haiti. She’s 15.

Dear Haiti,

your beautiful country and beautiful people have captured my heart. my love for you is immense. may the Lord bless you and keep you; may He make His face shine upon you.

You have taught me to: have joy in the midst of the trials, to love fearlessly, call upon the Lord continually, seek others’ interest ahead of my own, and to always remember that the Lord is to be praised.

your children hold a dear place in my heart. I’m praying that they would be the next generation of leaders for your country. that they would be the turning point of your government because they love the Lord. I can’t wait for the day that Jesus comes back because they will sit at His feet and finally be home. they will feel even more loved and cherished than I could ever make them feel.

so, do not forget your God because He is the best thing that could ever be yours. He will take care of you when you are in need. His protecting hand will be on you. Cast your eyes on Him, Haiti. He loves you.

Addisyn

addisynsharingecube

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From Yes to This Adventure

Written by Brandon

Today was destined to be another amazing day, our last in the village of Bercy. Yves, one of our Haitian village champions for Bercy, gave our whole crew a blessing as our team, translators, champions, and Angela set out into the village with shovels, pick axes, young trees, and full hearts. His blessing was bitter sweet that morning, because he couldn’t join us that afternoon for some relaxation time at the beach. His son had fallen ill, not sleeping the night before, and Yves felt like caring for him was priority.

The village children were again the first to greet us. One by one, handshake after handshake, smiles were exchanged, and hearts began to connect across the village once again. Having shared stories over bus rides, meals, and team gatherings for three days, we knew God was at work and were eager to be his hands and feet once more. As we planted trees, and loved on the villagers, and His work began to unfold again right before us. What a privilege to witness! Children spoke to children about the love of Christ, and adults to adults – God placing each of us, like fruit-bearing trees, exactly where he wanted us.

That afternoon we headed a little farther away from the Mission of Hope campus, to a stretch of beach for some relaxation time. The spot that Angela had picked out was an oasis of beauty – a place to take a deep breath, celebrate God’s creation, and reflect on our time in Haiti. The afternoon was filled with a nice lunch, cold drink, splashes, squeals at jelly fish, and laughter.

My prayer had been for God to continue to draw me and my children closer to Him on this trip. His answer was quick, and it started with the pre-trip work we were doing at home. As my heart became more open to His will, I felt my own will becoming more faint. I found myself saying “yes” to His prompting. It felt like… obedience. Historically, this hadn’t come easily to me. I would ask for His will to be revealed, and then, with white knuckles wrapped around it, I would pursue my own will, fearing what would happen if I let go.

Things changed in Haiti. Late that afternoon, in that little oasis, my son Hamilton and I waded into the water, and I said “yes” one more time. I was baptized by my brothers in Christ, and then I helped baptize my son. Tears came because I had finally let go. And just as promised, He caught me.

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Beautiful Things to Imitate

Written by Ashlee and Bryan Robert

Sunday was by far my favorite day here in Haiti. Although we were not in the villages working or sharing the gospel, it was still an extremely fruitful day.

We spent our morning touring the Mission of Hope Campus and then spent several hours in the MOH Church. The afternoon was filled with touring the campus in Bercy and playing with the children of Leveque. We have been able to also spend some quality time together with our group, which has been beneficial for getting to know each individual person more.

Our time in church this morning led me to think about the question: How big is God? I like to think I understand the greatness of our God, His knowledge, and His power. But it wasn’t until we were in a church filled with Haitians, all worshipping our God in different languages, that I truly began to grasp his greatness. There we stood, singing “One Thing Remains,” and over half the church was singing in Creole. And while I couldn’t understand what they were saying, the Lord sweetly reminded me that He understood them, that He contains all knowledge and understanding, that in fact He created the Creole language.

It was absolutely beautiful to sit and listen to the Haitian people sing about His greatness and His love for them in the midst of their circumstances. (Many of the people we have met with this week have very little food, no water, and a shack that they live in.) Often times, I struggle to truly worship God with my abundance, and here they were truly worshiping Him, surrendering their lives with what “little” they have. The Lord truly opened my eyes.

This morning I read in 2 Corinthians 9:6-15, “Whoever sows generously will also reap generously… God loves a cheerful giver… God is able to pour on you richly every possible grace, so that you will always in all circumstances have plenty for your own need and an abundance for every good work.” God reminded of these words this morning in worship, that these words aren’t just about finances, but about giving God EVERYTHING we have, and that in EVERY situation we are to give generously. That includes coming to him in worship.

When you meet a Haitian, they generally are super friendly and hospitable and full of JOY. On my last trip to Haiti in 2012, I left wondering why these people could be full of so much joy when they have so little (compared to our American standards). But, today I began to see the answer to that question, and the reason they are full of so much joy is because the Lord has provided it. He has given them an abundance. They come to Him and pour out their hearts and soul in worship, and He fills them with joy. It is a beautiful thing to behold. And a beautiful thing to imitate.

A couple of days ago, we planted mango trees in Bercy. The people of this village were frustrated because they didn’t have water to help the tree grow. It doesn’t rain in Bercy often, and to purchase purified water is often too expensive. So, at each house, we prayed that the Lord would bring rain, trusting that he would allow these fruit trees to bear fruit. This morning in church we sang the song “Let it Rain.” Psalm 40:1 says. “I waited patiently for the Lord, he bent over to me and heard my cry.” The Lord heard our requests today, and this afternoon the floodgates of heaven opened up and rained heavily for a couple hours. He answered us!

The Lord has been faithful to us in our time here. He has met us every step of the way, sustaining us in our weakness and carrying us in our strength. I am thankful of his sovereignty, wisdom, and great loving kindness towards his children.

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Sweet Fransouia

Written by Abby and Claire

Day two in Haiti was a blast! After a little training, we spent the morning walking through the village of Bercy forming relationships with the locals while explaining proper hygiene. The Gospel was shared at every house we visited, and we saw Jesus do some amazing things.

We had the privilege of speaking with a wonderful women named Fransouia. You could tell by looking at her that she has been through a lot in life, and due to her age she wasn’t able to provide for herself. Because of this her body was slowly deteriorating. Although she weighed very little, her fragile bones couldn’t support her. She lay throughout the day on a thin bamboo mat. Confined to this area she rarely gets to see the sun.

The Lord’s timing was perfect, and we had the opportunity to help Fransouia in any way that she needed. Through cooperation with Mission of Hope and the Village Champion, a meal was provided for her. Some of the ladies of our team got to physically be the hands and feet of Christ through bathing sweet Fransouia. As soon as she was carried into the sunlight, outside of her little hut, we could see her spirit lifted through the smile on her face. Her clothes were washed by hand by the men in our group, and the Haitian women’s reaction to this was priceless. Her dishes were also washed.

We got to have many conversations about the security of Fransouia’s salvation. We soon realized that she had a works-based view of her eternity. Our team had the privilege of clearly explaining to her that our salvation is found in grace alone and that no works could ever grant us a ticket into heaven. With the continued support of Mission of Hope and her community around her, we pray that she would become certain of her “vi eternal” (eternal life).

What a blessing it was to meet this sweet lady today and be reminded of the goodness of our God in the midst of pain and suffering.

God is doing amazing things in Haiti. Please continue to pray for our team as we seek to bring life transformation to the people of Haiti as we share His good news. Bonswa!

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Planting Trees & Sowing Seeds

Written by Jason & Lindsey Law

We’re nearing the end of our first full day in Haiti and time is already a blur. For curious minds: Our day consisted of family devotionals, planting trees, playing soccer among other games with Haitian children. And it ended with a time of encouragement and bonding closer as a team.

Through all of this, there was one encounter that stood out. It happened while we were planting trees in a village called Bercy.

The goal of planting trees is that they would grow and bear fruit to provide food and be a constant representation of taking root in Jesus as the source of life. With translators in tow, our team split into a couple of groups.

Our group met a woman named Jasina and explained to her that our gift of this fruit-bearing tree was a metaphor for the free gift God has given us in his son Jesus (Ephesians 2:8-9). While we placed the mango tree in her yard, we were able to ask Jasina more about her faith. She revealed to us how she came to know Jesus in 2010 after suffering a severe illness. Jasina had searched for healing through voodoo, which is common among the Haitians. This produced no results for her. As she learned about Jesus and the healing power in his name, her illness cleared up and she put her faith in Jesus Christ (Amen!). We then asked her about the struggles she faces on a day to day basis. After talking with her more, she allowed us to pray for her.

As we finished our prayer with Jasina, we opened our eyes only to find another woman had joined the group! Her name was Sylvia. She immediately asked us if we would pray for her health. We chatted with Sylvia a while and then prayed together as a team. Again, when we opened our eyes, another woman, Andrea, had joined the group. Andrea shared with us that she was currently homeless and welcomed us to pray for her as well.

It was amazing to see how a simple question about Jasina’s faith enabled us to have multiple “fruitful” conversations. As we stood in one place with the focus of pointing to Christ, Christ continued to provide an overflow of opportunities to share His love. We found that simply engaging and being intentional can provide great opportunities to give encouragement in the faith. Reflecting back, it is a perfect reminder that our intentional approach that we are taking in Haiti should be our daily routine home in Dallas.

We planted a physical tree but left knowing that spiritual seeds will bear far sweeter fruit.

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