Posts RSS Comments RSS

“The Lord has been working, and our hearts are humbled”

by Young Adult team member Rachel Thompson

What a great few first days!

The Lord has been working, and our hearts are humbled. On Monday we spent our first day doing “SVT” (Strategic Village Time). During this time our mission is to love on Haitians, build relationships, gather valuable information for Mission of Hope, and share the gospel.

Our groups have been overwhelmingly encouraged with the response of faithful followers of Jesus! Hearing our sweet brothers and sisters in Christ share their stories, speak of how God is working in their lives, and how we can continue to pray for strength in their walk with Christ is so encouraging for us!

Along with strong followers of Jesus, we met several people who said they were Christians, but who doubted if they would be in heaven one day. They based this belief on how good their performance was or how bad they have sinned. We were able to guide and point them to truth found in Ephesians 2:8-9: “For it is by grace that we have been saved through faith, not by works, so that no one can boast.” We reminded them that there is nothing they can do to earn their salvation and that they aren’t disqualified by their shortcomings. Instead, through their confession, trust, and faith in Christ they can be assured of their salvation. This was such a sweet moment to see their lack of confidence turn into a grace-filled confirmation of how Christ continues to pursue us and offer forgiveness each and every day!

Tuesday was spent serving two families by painting their homes. We were able to engage in conversation and encourage them while we served them by making their home a more inviting and welcoming place with a spark of color. One woman we helped was a widow who had two daughters who were 11 and 6 years old. She was a follower of Christ and worked as a vendor to provide for her daughters. She was super grateful and encouraged, which was an added blessing to us!

The other house we served was a younger man who is in seminary and discipling his Haitians brothers and sisters. Through acts of service we were super-encouraged to bless and serve these wonderful and deserving families who love and fear the Lord!

After a full day of painting, we had an amazing night of worship with the campus church at Mission of Hope. It’s always so amazing and powerful to sing worship songs to our Savior in two different languages! No matter the differences between cultures and nations, we are both singing to the same God and worshiping the Creator of the universe. Our God is so powerful, and we are thankful we get to see a small glimpse of what worship in eternity will look like!

Pray for our time in Titanyen and elsewhere as we share the gospel and build more relationships!

No responses yet

When Families Say “Yes” by Emily Loper

img_9245

This Sunday, I listened to a sermon on sanctification . . . in Creole. Or I should rather say, I saw the passages being used on the screen, flipped there in my Bible, and did my best to follow along, praying that the Lord would teach me something new regardless of the language barrier. And He did! The first verse that stuck out was 1 Thessalonians 4:3 – “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified . . .” I don’t know about you, but sometimes, I have a tendency to shy away from sanctifying moments, believing the lie that I’m probably doing fine as I am and fearful of the process ahead of me, because let’s face it, sanctification can be hard and messy. But God’s Word says plainly that sanctification is God’s will and will make us more like Jesus. Passing up opportunities to be sanctified means missing out on a whole new level of knowing Jesus.

This past week, I was allowed to tag along on the family trip to Haiti. In Haiti, I saw 16 Watermark families boldly lean in to every ounce of sanctification the Lord had waiting for them through Mission of Hope. I saw kids in 3rd through 11th grade walk into villages drastically unlike anything they’ve seen here at home and love their peers in completely new (and what could be nerve-wracking) ways. I saw parents step out of their comfort zones by giving their kids the freedom to play with and connect with the Haitian children wherever we went, seeking to know men, women, and children in Haiti, and sharing the hope we have through Christ alone. And I saw the Church at work in both parents and children asking thoughtful questions about how we can step up and better love and serve the people of Haiti as well as those we encounter in Dallas.

These families said yes to what they knew would stretch and grow them in ways that are hard and messy. But we also know that sanctification doesn’t just happen in Haiti. The pastor at church on Sunday closed with Jesus’ prayer for His disciples in John 17, just before His death and resurrection. In verses 17 and 18, Jesus prays, “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.” Regardless of whether we’re in Haiti or in Dallas, God has given us His Word as a source of sanctification, especially when we’re living out the calling it gives us to live as those sent into the world to love (John 17:26), serve (Mark 10:43-45), and boldly share about the hope we have because of God’s grace (Ephesians 2:8-9). I am confident that our trip to Haiti was life changing for the 16 families represented. And I’m even more confident that it will continue to spark conversations between parents and kids about our mission as the Church.

No responses yet

Young Adult Team Arrives Right on Time

by Dean Ray & Bobby Senter, Young Adult Team members

We all finally made it to Haiti!! We had a couple events that meant 11 folks on our team (out of 16) weren’t able to make our flight to Haiti from Miami. Fortunately, our team of rockstars were flexible and stayed positive throughout the 16 hours at the airport, passing time by farkling and utilizing the downtime to prepare our hearts for the rest of the trip. We also had several great, eternal conversations as we stayed “on mission” in our home airport throughout the day. Because we were so delayed out of DFW, we were forced to stay overnight in Miami. We knew God was orchestrating everything.

We knew God was orchestrating everything.

When we finally got to the hotel (after 11 folks crammed into the airport shuttle), there was a tremendous series of loud thuds from the highway that could not be mistaken. While the girls began to pray, Frank, Dean, Vo, and Bobby ran towards the sound to find a car inverted with its engine and front axle ejected and smoking from the frame. Praise God that our friend Mauricio was still conscious, and while Bobby called 911, Dean and Frank were able to minister to him, keep him awake, and clearly share the gospel with him – even while he was bloody, bruised, and trapped in his vehicle.

The dash of the car was ripped out, and the backseat was smashed against the front seat. Gasoline was leaking everywhere. Mauricio was trapped but breathing. Fortunately there was no one else in the car. We were able to keep him awake through sharing the gospel and asking him some personal questions (family, occupation, etc).

It was so crazy to see the timing of our arrival, so we could help. God is sovereign and in control. Because of the delays, it took us 16 hours just to get to Miami, but it was worth every minute of waiting to share the gospel with our friend Mauricio. God is good.

We don’t pretend to know what God is doing, but we sure are thankful that we got to help our friend in that horrific situation and that God brought us to our final destination today at just the right time!

Please pray for our village time tomorrow, that we would be rested, bold, and faithful to share what Jesus has already accomplished with the Haitian folks we meet!

2 Corinthians 6:3-10

No responses yet

“It’s Just Haiti.” “It’s Just Dallas.”

by Family Trip member Mandy Sisco

Today a sweet eleven-year-old old girl took my hand and spent all morning teaching me Haitian words. Ubelle means “beautiful.” That was the theme of the day for me.

Beautiful smiles.

Beautiful people.

Beautiful weather.

Beautiful scenery.

I stood overlooking the homes of Lavic and was floored by the beauty that my eyes were taking in. This little community is tucked among vibrant green vegetation at the base of rolling mountain tops. Grey clouds were sprinkled throughout the crisp, blue sky, seemingly shouting HOW GREAT IS OUR GOD!? As I turned to the person to my left to see if they were taking in all that I was experiencing, I realized it was one of our interpreters, and he didn’t seem phased. I told him that my breath was taken away at this sight, and he smiled politely and said, “It’s just Haiti.”

It struck me how easily we miss the beauty around us. What does God have for me back home? What amazing scenes has the LORD set for me that I respond with, “That’s just Dallas”? I’m hopeful that today can serve as a reminder to have my eyes wide open. Open to His goodness even when chaos seems so evident. Open to His faithfulness when I can only see what’s just in front of me. Open to His reminders of who He is.

I can’t help but be reminded of Psalm 121:1. It says, “I lift up my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from?” As I lay a weary head on my pillow tonight, my prayer is that our whole team would have our eyes lifted up and ready to see where our help comes from.

No responses yet

Spiritual Jet Fuel for the Two Julies

by Family Trip leader Rick Howard

Over the past 5 years, I’ve made 7 trips to Mission of Hope Haiti with Watermark teams of all ages and compositions. But family trips are my favorites of them all, because it’s on family team trips – like the one I’m on this week – that I see the best in parents and kids come out. Parents are at their best, because it’s on these trips that those parents, unencumbered by the distractions and busyness of Dallas, more often than not step out of their comfort zone as believers and live out their faith in ways  that seem more tangible and fruitful than they often do at home.

Saturday we split our team of 42 into 4 groups for painting houses, playing with kids, and sharing the gospel. On those teams, two women in particular stood out, as they did that one thing that makes most believers very uncomfortable – but for them it is “jet fuel” for their soul. That is sharing their faith with strangers. Those ladies, Julie Fowler and Julie Anders, while blessed in many ways, have also both experienced more than their fair share of challenges and disappointments the past few years. In spite of that, they’ve never lost their passion for telling  others who Jesus is and what He did for all of us. That passion for evangelism was never more evident than earlier in the trip as we traveled and Saturday as we served and shared in the village.

These two Julies, it’s clear, rather than shy away from conversations about faith and Christ, looked for them, embraced them, relished them, and celebrated them. As many on our team focused on painting and playing, the two Julies remained on point as our lead evangelists on their teams. No matter what else was going, they did what we are called to do – share not just the love of Christ, but the story of Christ. In doing so, they set an example for every parent and child what it looks like to truly be on mission with the gospel – while at the same time being refueled spiritually for the days ahead when they’ll do it again whether in Haiti or in Dallas.

julie-on-haiti-family

No responses yet

Family Trip Arrived Safely!

As of this morning, the Family Trip folks had arrived safely in Haiti and at Mission of Hope.

They headed out today to paint two houses in a new village and spend time with kids at a church, but you’ll start to receive “reports from the front” (as internet availability allows) soon.

Thanks for praying for the team!

No responses yet

What I was created for by Andi Reagan

When I came to Haiti for my second time, I was expecting to see God’s beauty in the way I usually do… which is in nature and feeling His presence in worship. While I have enjoyed those things, I have to say this time around I saw God reveal Himself through my team. I have seen us individually share the gospel and pray with patients in the Questcare Clinic back at home in Dallas, but seeing the faithfulness of our entire team all together was so encouraging!

I looked around and all at one time, Rachel was singing “Jesus loves you” to a child, Bobby was sharing his own story of life change, Laura was praying with a Haitian to accept Jesus as his savior, and Amy was sharing the evangicube. Moments like that bring me a joy that is hard to explain.  God’s church being the church.  Standing in that medical clinic set up in a church building, time stood still. I felt like I was exactly where I was supposed to be and doing exactly what I was created for.

In John 10:10 Jesus says, “I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full” I never thought that at the top of a mountain village in Haiti, and sweating more than I ever have is where I would be living my life to the fullest.   Nothing beats a feeling like that! I praise God for showing me Himself through the people He created, in the world He created bringing His name glory:)

No responses yet

Value by Robert Duhaney MD

haiti-medicalOne obvious thing that stands out while serving on this medical trip is a lack of basic needs. It’s one thing to read about it or see it on TV but to experience it firsthand is quite sobering. It’s only been our second day on the mobile clinics and we’ve seen everything from an elderly man with a huge hole in his shoes to two kids who have stomach aches due to poor nutrition. It’s easy to question the justice in this. How was I so fortunate to have what I have and they have so little. Does God value me more? No, he values me the same way as the Haitian patient sitting across from me. And while we can look at injustice like Habbakuk did and question “why Lord?” I think the answer lies in the church. As followers of Christ, we are the ones he has commissioned to help meet the needs of those around us.

At Watermark we have been learning in Acts how the early church shared with each other as they had need. These are our brothers and sisters in Christ who we seek to serve.  According to Psalm 139:14, we are fearfully and wonderfully made. God cares about the orphan and the wealthy businessman alike. He cares so much that he sent his son to die for us (John 3:16). In Romans 5:8 it says that while we were sinners Christ died for us.

So it is nothing we bring to the table that makes us – we are valuable because God said we are. He made us all that way. It’s not something that man gives to another man or takes away – it’s in intrinsic to who we are.  What a beautiful truth! We are in desperate need of Jesus no matter how much money or possessions we have. Jesus taught us this in the parable of the rich man and the kingdom of heaven – our wealth makes us even in more need of him.  I have been touched by the faith of many of the Haitian people and our ministry partners at Mission of Hope who believe God’s view that every human has value. They see the poverty around them, and are faithful to help supply the need in the name of Christ.  Our Watermark medical missions team has a unique opportunity to share God’s love with the Haitian people because of the love he poured out on us. Coming to Haiti is a response to that love.

No responses yet

We are all called By Amy Votary

img_1954When I said I would come on a medical discipleship(mission) trip to Haiti with a team from the Watermark’s QuestCare Clinic I honestly thought I was just signing up for the medical side. Sure, I’m a nurse. I’ll go and do nursing things. No problem. And yes, of course, I love Jesus. It all seemed to make sense. Then came the training for Haiti. I’ve always believed that everyone can share the gospel if we want, but that it’s not necessarily everyone’s calling. I can remember signing up for a shift at QuestCare and seeing that the only open position that day was pastoral care. Skip- I’ll wait till there’s a nurse position open to volunteer. What would I have to offer in a pastoral care role? How would I initiate a conversation about Jesus with a stranger?After texting Paige and being encouraged to come in anyways, I did. That day she had me draw the bridge story of salvation to a patient. I was terrified and didn’t know how I would ever get through it without enough awkwardness to fill a room, but I did it. 

 

Training for Haiti shocked me in all the same ways. I remember leaving one of the first meetings thinking “We are ALL going to tell these people about Jesus? I’m here for the medical part because I love Jesus, but I won’t actually be the one telling them about Him”. Little did I know I would spend this week in medical clinics all over different villages in Haiti talking to patient after patient about Jesus Christ, salvation, if they have a relationship with Him, and about if they knew what that means. Just weeks before that the thought of bringing those things up in conversation scared me half to death, not because I don’t have a close relationship with Him, but because I didn’t realize that everyone can share the gospel. No, we aren’t all called to be preachers and missionaries or lead other ministries, but we are all called to share how Jesus has changed our life. And I must say, that’s good news! God has given me everything I need to tell of His love. In addition to that he better equipped me with all of the training and practice we went through during our Haiti meetings leading up to this trip. I can truly say I’ve see such a huge change in my boldness. I’ve seen so much growth in my ability to share the gospel. I would have never guessed that I would be talking to complete strangers so openly and unashamedly about the love of my Savior. 

 

We are equipped to share. We are equipped to serve. And we are equipped to love. We just need to be bold. 

No responses yet

Marriage Matters

by team member Anna Hughes

 

Last night during our devotional, we were asked to share a single word we had been “feasting on” – a specific word God had presented to us that described what we had been enjoying and celebrating during this season. One of our doctors, Bill Lee, shared the word “marriage.”

We were supposed to describe our word in just a short couple of sentences. Bill gave the most beautiful testimony of how his marriage has only grown sweeter over the past 47 years. He shared how his marriage was such a beautiful image and reminder to him and his wife and (he hoped) to others as well, of Christ’s love for the church.

Needless to say, he had us all close to tears.

But one of the things that has been so amazing to me on this trip is how important this word needs to be in Haiti, and how important it isn’t.

I can’t help but to think that we are losing sight of the importance of this word back home in America as well.

In Haiti, a nation overwhelmed by economic poverty, single mothers with multiple children and absent fathers are far from uncommon. Mothers are unable to go to work and in turn, unable to provide for their children or take care of themselves.

In Haiti, they are forced instead to rely on local clinics that provide little education and temporary “fixes” – similar to Planned Parenthood clinics back in the United States.

Rarely are they educated on what their children really need nutritionally, how and when to have sex healthily, or what a relationship with Jesus truly looks like and how He applies to these issues.

Many of these young women we have seen, however, have come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Praise God! And they love Him and press into Him and trust that He will provide. I prayed that for many women today.

But marriage is about so much more than economic stability. It isn’t just a status.

Marriage is the type of relationship God desires. It is the kind of relationship He desires to have with each and every one of us, as individuals. And it is the kind of relationship He intended each and every one of our families to be founded on – so that our families would also be the effective ministry He intended them to be.

It has been such an awesome opportunity to volunteer with Mission of Hope’s mobile clinics here in Haiti, provide care, and help meet both the physical and spiritual needs of the people here. They not only focus on what brings people to the clinic, but also what their relationship with Jesus will look like after they leave. It’s a lot like what we get to do back home at QuestCare Clinic in Dallas.

Today I am thankful that God has revealed the kind of awesome and selfless relationship He desires to have with us – a marriage sort of relationship. And I pray that both the people here in Haiti and back home would be constantly reminded of the importance of marriage.

No responses yet

« Prev - Next »