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Archive for the '2018 Jan Young Adult' Category

A Long-Awaited Meeting & a New Sister

Written by Callie Summers, Team 6

I first came to Haiti in 2016, and I started sponsoring a child through Mission of Hope. Her name is Louina, and I help pay for part of her schooling and her food and supplies while she is at school.

When I knew I was returning to Haiti this January, I applied to visit my child, and got the confirmation shortly before I left for Haiti. On Thursday, two other ladies and I got in a truck to visit our kids at their schools. We faced quite a few barriers to getting there: transportation and logistical difficulties, the Education Champion’s last day on staff was supposed to be Wednesday, and trying to find our way to our destinations. After some extremely interesting roads up a mountain and a car change (4-wheel drive was needed), we arrived at my girl’s school.

My friend Lauren had my phone to take pictures, and the principal brought Louina outside to meet me. We hugged and sat down on a stoop to chat. Our Education Champion was also our translator, and Louina and I began to get to know each other. Her favorite subject is Science, and she wants to be a nurse when she grows up.

I asked her if she went to church with her family, and she said she used to go to a Catholic church but it had gone poorly, so her family stopped going. I asked her if she knew if God loved her, and she said no. She knew the name of Jesus but nothing else about him, so I started to share the gospel.

I told Louina that we all make decisions with our thoughts, words, or actions that hurt others and ourselves, and that those things don’t please God. Even though He is our Father and wants so badly to have a relationship with us, sin separates us from Him. But He sent His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, to live here with us. Born of a virgin, He lived a perfect life, died a perfect death on the cross, and was resurrected on the third day. He paid for all our sins. Jesus made it so that we could be reconciled and have a relationship with God, who loves us dearly and wants to have a relationship with us.

I told Louina I am not perfect by any means, but God forgave me of all my sins once I accepted His free gift and accepted Him into my heart. I asked her if she had heard that story before, and she said no. I took a deep breath and asked her if she would want to accept God’s free gift and accept Him into her heart as well. She said yes, and I almost began to cry (but held it together). She said she would go to church on Monday and talk to a pastor about her decision! Praise God.

Despite all the opposition we faced to get there, our 20-minute conversation changed Louina’s life and mine forever. I have a new sister in Christ and am looking forward to continually investing in her life for years to come.


Interested in sponsoring a child through Mission of Hope? Check out this website!

 

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Conversation over Clothes

Written by Elizabeth, Team 1

Her name was Shelly.

She sat outside her home on a small wooden chair, methodically washing clothes in a large, pink, plastic basin. Her pregnant belly protruded past her thin white T-shirt. She looked tired, worn.

When we made our way up the hill to her home, she wasn’t smiling. Just concentrating on her task, not making much eye contact.

Our translator, Jude, explained to her that we were there with Mission of Hope to learn more about her village and its needs. She agreed to let us stay, and we all took seats on the ground around the laundry basin. The view from the hill was distractingly beautiful, a powerful backdrop to what God knew was about to happen.

We talked with Shelly for a while. She shared that she lived in the home with her husband and they were expecting their first child in February, a girl. She said they needed water and had gone three days without it before. All during the conversation, she still washed, rubbing the clothes back and forth in the suds, wringing out the water, placing the clean clothes in a similar black basin, repeating.

As I watched her wash, I felt the Lord gently nudging. “Ask to help her,” He whispered.

Unsure how this would go, I asked Jude to ask the woman if she could teach me what she was doing.

She looked at me, surprised I think. I moved onto the rock closest to her, dove my hands into the basin’s soapy water and followed her methodical motion. Instantly, her shoulders relaxed. She smiled, laughed at my white girl clothes-washing skills (or lack thereof). We talked with her for nearly an hour, about faith and family and the nerves of raising a child. All the while, she and I washed the clothes. Actually, I’m pretty sure I washed two shirts in the time she washed ten, but who’s counting?

This story has nothing to do with me and everything to do with the grace of God. He washes us clean from our sins so that we can tell others this good news too. Shelly, praise God, was a believer and sister in Christ. And while I doubt we’ll be washing clothes when we meet again in heaven, I can’t wait to see her there and celebrate God’s provision.

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New Sight for Joseph (Physically & Otherwise)

Written by Tara on Team 8 (the Medical Team)

On Day 1 at the mobile clinic, we had a young man, Joseph, come to the clinic with a large mass growing on his left eye – one that had caused blindness in that eye and prevented him from being able to shut his eye. Toby, one of our providers, saw him that first day and asked him to come back to the clinic the next day. In the meantime, we began brainstorming options to help this young man get the operation he desperately needs.

The next morning, Joseph was back in the clinic, patiently waiting. By that time, God had helped us locate some available funds to support Joseph in getting his procedure. We sat with Joseph, his aunt, and the village champion to communicate that he would be getting the operation he needs. We prayed for him and then went our separate ways, getting the rest of the clinic started for the day.

I felt unresolved walking away from that conversation, and was encouraged by LeAnne and Colson to follow up and communicate the Why behind our work at the clinic and excitement over God’s provision for Joseph’s operation. I grabbed our translator, and we sat down to talk more with Joseph and his aunt. Long story short, I learned Joseph was orphaned, and his “aunt” took him in despite already having 10 children of her own. The aunt expressed her despair that she was Christian, but Joseph was not. I was able to ask Joseph about what he believed and tried to answer any questions that he and his aunt asked. In the end, we were able to pray for him, and Joseph accepted Christ on 1/16/18.

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3 Stories from Haiti: Voodoo, a Memorial, and a Bus Conversation

The three notes below are written by three ladies on the trip. The first comes from Gracie on Team 4.

Our translator, Johnny, has the most amazing story of faith. He grew up with two parents that practiced voodoo. This involved sacrificing animals and babies to the devil. They would spend all of their money on live animals for sacrifices, which left them in a deeper state of poverty than they already were. It took over their lives.

As a young teenage boy, Johnny was asked to join a gang where he found himself deep in drinking, drugs, and inappropriate relationships. He had a friend that shared the gospel with him and invited him to church. There, God opened his eyes to the Truth. Johnny told the pastor he wanted to accept Jesus but was afraid of what his parents would do to him. The pastor encouraged him to step out in faith, not in fear, and that God would take care of him.

That day Johnny went home and told his dad about his life transformation. His dad was upset but his mother accepted Christ as her Savior that day. Johnny’s life was forever changed. He went back to school with God on his side. He ended up making it through all of his education and graduated with a degree.

He is so smart and such a wonderful speaker. He speaks at different churches, translates for Mission of Hope, and shares the gospel wherever he can! He gives all the glory to God!!! What a blessing it was to our team to hear his story of grace and how God changed his life!

Next up, some thoughts from Sarah, Team 6.

I had an opportunity to get to know a translator named Max on our way to the village of Canaan. It is a relatively new village, primarily made up of people displaced after the earthquake.

As we were passing a huge sign that said “Memorial,” I asked him what it was for. He let me know that the memorial that was built over a mass grave, specifically after the earthquake in 2010, when thousands of Haitians died and even more were displaced. It is a beautiful stretch of land, with mountains in the background and an amazing view of the ocean. I asked if he had ever visited the memorial, and he said yes. He communicated that it was very sad, especially because he had lost a friend in the earthquake. Every year the president of Haiti comes to the memorial on the anniversary and speaks about the earthquake. It is amazing to me  that something I remember hearing about on the news and being confused by is still affecting people today.

What an amazing opportunity to partner with Mission of Hope and the people of Haiti. It is so fun to see the way the Lord is working through MOH and redeeming Haiti, and to be able to meet people who are faithfully persevering through great tragedy.

Finally, Molly from Team 5 shares a surprising opportunity from the group’s first full day in Haiti.

Proverbs 19:21, “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” The first day did not go as planned! Surprise! But how great that God’s plan was fully present.

Mario, one of our translators, sat by me on the bus, and we engaged in casual conversation. As we continued our conversation, I felt compelled to ask him on a scale of 1 to 10 – 10 being the most sure – how sure are you that you would go to heaven? He answered 5, and when I asked why, he said because in Matthew 5:48 we are supposed to be perfect to get to heaven. I was able to share with him that yes, that is true but that is not the end of the story!

As I shared the gospel with him and Ephesians 2:8-9, he was able to see that JESUS is the way, not his own doing. It brought tears to my eyes to see that our mission today was to love on the people who were sitting right beside us. Many more conversations with the translators were like mine, and we were encouraged. Thank God for His plans and knowing exactly what we need!

 

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Young Adults have arrived in Haiti!

The internet situation is always a bit unclear in Haiti, and we just got three posts this morning. Here’s the first, a “travel log” about the team’s arrival and plans.

We made it! We’re here! After a few tiny hiccups and some fun memories, we are all officially in Haiti! We have mountains on one side of us and the ocean on the other—our own tiny slice of Heaven. We spent tonight learning more about Mission of Hope, worshipping our Savior, and praying over the week. We’re all super excited to get out in the field tomorrow and will be making our way to Canaan and Archaie as we get to do some exploratory work for Mission of Hope in these areas they haven’t been able to go to yet. Our medical team will be heading out in the mobile clinic and are super pumped to get to meet some physical needs for the people here.

We’d love your prayers against spiritual attacks, sickness, and anything that might try to stand in the way of the advancement of the gospel. We KNOW God is going to do big things this week and are so encouraged to see what He does! What an honor it is to get to be a small part of that!

 

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