Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Completely His

Loving Jesus without Limits, learning to love like Jesus loves. Shannon Ethridge has written many books for women. One book that I've read a few times is the series Completely His. She writes in her book, three truths that I need to be reminded of...

The first, God doesn't call the equipped, He equips the called.
The second, our fears do not change God's plans, but understanding God's plans can change our fears. Third, accomplishing great things for God doesn't require great talent, only great faith in Him.

I just love this..I love how no matter what I say or do the love God has for me is constant. He knows me and loves me just the same.

We are His chosen people, we are called by His name.

Listening to a sermon from Evelation Church in their series about the unqualified. Stephen tells the story of Sarai and her maid servant Hagar. The story has been on my mind for the last week. This story of trying to do life our way without really relying on God.

Sarai (Sarah) knew that God promised to give her children, yet in her old age she couldn't understand how God was going to do this.
-- For me I often have similar thoughts; God I'm going to be 26 soon, when is this having a relationship and starting to date thing going to start. 
God promises that He will provide, He will give us the desires of our heart. Sarai wanted to "help" God out so instead of waiting and following his guidelines she sends her maid servant Hagar to her husband and she becomes pregnant. Of course this stirs up jealously and isn't a real solution to her problem of wanting a child.

I love the pastor's take on this dynamic. There's Sarai that is yearning for this child, something she's prayed for. Then there's Hagar she is pregnant yet didn't ask for this, instead she doesn't want to be in the position of giving birth to her master's child. Both women are not happy with the situation. One has something they didn't ask for, the other wants what they don't have. So often as humas this is how life tends to be.

There are people in the world praying for the very thing that you and I take for granted every day. 

This truth I'm reminded of daily while living in Haiti but something that I never want to forget. This life that I have been given is such a gift. In times where I wish for more, grander or greater I want to keep in my mind that God knows me. He knows the desires of my heart and just as He knows every hair on my head He knows me.

Hope everyone is enjoying the week as it leads into Easter. What a joy that we are able to celebrate that Jesus was raised from the dead and that Sunday is coming!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Good Good Father

You're a good good father. its who you are, its who you are, its who you are, and I'm loved by you

I first heard this song at the beginning of the summer from a worship team at the guesthouse. Then at the Global Leadership Summit, Bill Hybels introduced the song with two other worship songs. I often find myself repeating these lyrics in my mind and am reminded of the good good father that I have.


He is good and he loves us immeasurably more than we can imagine. In so many ways I can relate to this song because I have an earthly father that loves me. He knows me, he cares for me and is willing to walk with me in times that are good and times that are difficult.

I have been reading a book Forgotten God by Francis Chan with some amazing women. I love how the truths found in this book have power in our lives today. In one of the video segments, Francis describes the relationship with each of his children. How he loves them differently, each in a way that matters most to them. Our Heavenly father knows each of us by name, how we desire to be loved and how we feel valued. This is how I feel. I know my Heavenly father loves me in a way that speaks to who I am. He knows me, he loves me and he loves me in a way that matters most to me. 

 Grace Village, has the responsibilty of over 40 children we are called to care for them as the father cares for his children. To know what makes them laugh. To find that smile, squint or smirk. I know when I am at Grace, I will try in any way to love the kids in a way that makes them know they are valued. Sometimes that means my hair gets some crazy dos, I learn all about some awesome soccer move that Messi recently demonstrated in a game and constantly hear Gade'M or Watch Me because they want me to see them. I want them to know how incredible they are and how valuable they are. 

Just one of my subscribed Youtube Channels :)

When children know that no matter where they go, or what they do, they will be loved. This is transformative. I know when I truly know that I too am valuable and that my father loves me, I am capable of more and have the ability to change the world around me. 

Karyn Purvis and the Texas Christian University Child Development Program demonstrates how we can show children they are precious and loved. What a blessing it has been to show this love to the kids at Grace Village. Its been over 15 months since the Grace Kids moved into their family homes. They know their parents love them, care for them and will provide for them. Parenting is one of the hardest jobs, but it gives the greatest reward. James 1:27 is simple in its command "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress.." This is our call. This is what we get to do. 

Family is a blessing from our father. It demonstrates the Heavenly connection we have to our perfect father.  "The World is a better place when the family is strengthened" Healing Haiti's purpose statement has been demonstrated in families that live at grace, the families in the areas we serve and in my own family. My own family has been to Haiti several times on holidays, vacations and extended trips. Haiti has had an effect on each of us. I know the blessings continue to come as my own brother and sister-in-law will be parents this spring!

God, you are a good good father. Its who you are. My prayer is that each of us would know how truly loved we are by the father. Whether we have a supportive family on earth or not. Our Heavenly Father knows our preciousness and wants us a part of his family. 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Loving This Life

Grateful for the blessing of today, for staff that are dedicated to our kiddos, for laughs and for the hearts of those that love this beautiful country.

This past week I was blessed to be able to go to Kaliko resort with our Spring Interns. Truly what a blessing. To be together and enjoy each other, life as missionaries and the beauty that Haiti has to offer. 

Lately I have been blessed to be able to stay for longer periods of time at Grace Village. This has helped me improve my creole :), spend time with some amazing kiddos and deepen relationships with staff. 

Photo from friends in Haiti

Even though there are some tough days. I know this has where God has called me, for that I am so grateful. Each day the Lord reveals who He is through my weakness. My love for the people of Haiti, the country and the potential that has, has only grown since my first trip July 2012. 

Looking forward to the Lord's hand in the upcoming months. What a blessing to know the Lord is working in real ways. To live amongst those with a passion for service. This evening I am reminded of the blessings even in the little things. Little hands, little smiles and little eyes that glisten. 

What a blessing to be a part of what God is doing in Haiti. 


Elisa Laura

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

2015 is an exciting year for Healing Haiti. I am excited to see where the Lord continues to lead and guide. I know personally 2014 was a tough year and as I continue to learn who I am in Christ I am eager to see how He unfolds the future. 2014 brought about a lot of change, good change and some difficult change. I am grateful for another year in Haiti, to serve alongside both missionaries and staff. To see God put his blessing over his people, to see faithful men and women rise and call Him blessed. In August, I was honored to have Michael and Kristine put together a fundraiser at the barn.

I was humbled that more than 5 people showed up :) Honestly, I am so grateful to have such loving friends and family. Living as an expat is not easy and truly at times people can be hurtful. So to have so many people come and celebrate what God is doing was such an amazing feeling. Later in August I had the opportunity to meet some amazing missions in Haiti along with Chris Tomlin at the Songs for Freedom concert. What a blessing to see and meet those that desire to see Haiti rise above in the coming years!

This past fall I was given the opportunity to attend TBRI's conference in Texas. I was able to learn about caring for children and am excited to see where the TBRI's partnership with Healing Haiti will lead.

I am grateful to have been in my friend Angie's wedding this past November and watch and she married her best friend. To be able to spend time with long time friends and be a part of her special day, truly blessed!

Blessing to have my family serve again in Haiti alongside the Nelson and Stoebner family over Thanksgiving.

At the beginning of the year I was able to attend Passion Conference with Angie and Denice. I am honored to call both of these women friends. One year at Pensacola and we were set for life.

2015 continues to look promising. Please continue to pray for Healing Haiti for the people that we have the opportunity to serve and for the country. Pray that the leadership of Haiti would come to know the Lord as their personal Savior. Pray that goers and those we serve alongside would live lives of complete surrender to the Lord. I am asking that you pray for me in the position that I am able to have within Healing Haiti. Pray that the Lord would grant me wisdom in decision making and that as difficulties come forth I would be reminded of who I serve.

Blessings to each and everyone of you.

Love from Haiti,


Sunday, January 4, 2015

Am I enough?

Something I have struggled with for years. Whether it was friendships, family, work or general life. I think the devil wants believers to struggle with this question. He wants us to believe that we aren't enough and that God can't use us in the grand scheme of His plan. This lie is something the devil is feeding believers to believe He doesn't love them. That somehow God's own children aren't enough for their father.

Ephesisans 2:4-5 says; "But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, evenwhen we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved"

God loves us with a love that is something we will never be able to imagine. Living in Haiti and being responsible for over 40 children at Grace Village has made it easier for me to understand a parents love. I want each of our children to understand they are loved, safe and cared for. If any of them ever doubted my love for them that would kill me. To me its just a glimpse of God's love for me. 

When I doubt his love, doubt that I am enough that hurts him. His heart is for me to succeed. Apart from Him I am not enough, but as His child I am MORE THAN ENOUGH. 

I am grateful for the opportunity to serve in Haiti and to be a part of what God is doing. When the devil whispers in my ear I'm not enough I need to remember that God designed me to be exactly to be the person He wants me to be. 

Praying that today and in the days to come that each of you know how great the Father's love for you. His desire for good for His children.


Elisa Laura

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Blessed by these College Friends

College in Florida! Something I would often lead with...but really going to Pensacola Christian was a quick decision but also a really great one! I met some of my best friends in College and learned so many lessons.

Today one of those friends just had a baby girl! I am so proud of her and husband Tommy....for waiting for this baby and for the gift that she is.

Some really awesome memories took place in college but really I am so honored to be able to know some of these amazing girls and where God is leading them...

Engaged! So proud of Angie and Drew

Mutia-The graduate nurse and her new wheels

Mama and baby!

Beauties at the Beach

Beautiful baby girl Makenna Kate 

Reminiscing about college years (Caroline is about to start her last year at Liberty..) and just talking about what a great time/lots of lessons learned. Its funny how sometimes situations with friends can seem so crazy but really these girls that I met at Pensacola are some of the best....

Paj~ I'm so proud of you for following your heart and listening to the call God has put in your spirit. I'm so proud of you for finishing your Masters, and without missing a beat starting a second one! I know your heart is to reach others for the gospel and man how humbled I am to hear you speak about loving others for Christ.

Giordana~ Thank you for coming to Haiti! For sharing my love and for serving alongside. You have a big heart Gee and I know that God continues to work good things in your favor. Your smile and laughter are contagious. You will move mountains, you are a great girl and God will continue to bless you as you seek to honor him.

Jess Jess~ Eskimo Jess! You beautiful.. are a blessing. A blessing to those you meet and interact with but especially a blessing to a little baby girl :) I am so proud of you and thankful for you. In college as we try to figure out who we are you were so instrumental as I tried to navigate that process, thank you.

Mutia~ Budi man who knew that 4809 would end up like this? God knew exactly what He was doing when He brought the four of us together and He continues to bless and honor. I am thrilled that you will be staying at PCC to get your Masters and am so proud of all your accomplishments. Mut I knew you were capable of great things and I know you will continue to amaze. So proud!

Franki~ Oh man I know whenever I see you it will be a good time! I loved all the fun girls nights...what a treat to be with you on your wedding day! To see you and Chad committ your life to each other! Girl I am so blessed to know you and know that I can't wait to see you again soon. 

Angie~ You amaze me pal..God has such an amazing testimony in you. Your passion is so real and honest and I am so grateful that you and Drew have found that same passion in Jesus. Since I first met you I knew God had great plans for you. I am looking forward to your wedding and to the new adventure that God has laid out for you. Girl you are amazing and through everything you are, you!

Denice~Denice Moore for President! Girl one year that's it! One year at Pensacola and life has not been the same. God truly has brought you into this world to be one amazing woman. You are a great wife and will be an amazing mama! 

Girls on the 3rd floor~ Truly I had such an incredible Senior year because of you girls. My love for other people and cultures came from late nights in 3rd hall. What a blessing to be able to be with each of you. To know you, study with you, and to pray with you. Such a joy I found everytime I walked onto your floor

These are only a few. A few of the woman that have been influential in my life. There are so many more...so many more in Haiti, Pensacola, Minnesota and honestly all over the world. 

I am blessed to know each of you and am blessed to work alongside each of you as we serve this world for Christ and His kingdom.

Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace
1 Peter 4:8-10

Saturday, May 10, 2014

What is Haiti's Greatest Need?

I asked our drivers/translators this question and some of their answers were...


Haiti's greatest need is for the Savior! No matter where you were born, what kind of house you live in, who your parents are, everyone's greatest need is for the Savior of the World to grant them access into the kingdom of Heaven. As Christians, we have accepted this free gift of grace, now we are asked in Matthew 28 to Go into the world and tell others of this Great News! Our job is not just to "pay the bills," to socialize with friends, or work on self-improvement but rather we have a greater calling to tell others about the love and benefits that come with a relationship with Jesus Christ. The Christian life is not an easy life but a fulfilling life. Personally I know that I would rather be exhausted by the end of the day doing God's will than relaxed pursuing my own pleasures. 

Acknowleding Haiti's need for a Savior and that as one works to be the hands and feet of Christ in Haiti we also know that Haiti is in need of more opportunities. 

Education is taken for granted by so many that some look at it as a right and not a privilege. However I have witnessed enough mama's beg for money to pay for their children's school, children willing to wash car windows to help supplement school costs, and young kids that grow up in a tent cite that already as a toddler and elementary aged kid understand they will never be apart of the 50% of kids in Haiti that actually do go to school.1*http://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-2748-haiti-education-only-50-of-children-attend-school.html

True orphans is a phrase I learned while living in Haiti. True orphans? aren't all orphans..true orphans? This name has been placed on children that are living while both their father and their mother have passed away. Often times in Haiti orphanages are filled with kids that have parents but the parents are not able to financially support their child, these kids are sent to an orphanage. 

Financially Supporting a family anywhere in the world is a difficult task. One that seems even more difficult when the jobs are so scarce. In 2010 the unemployment rate was 40.6%. With 10.41 million people living in Haiti that means over 4 million people are without jobs on this small island of Haiti.*2 http://www.tradingeconomics.com/haiti/unemployment-rate Personally I think these numbers are lower than reality and I believe the unemployment rate is really quite higher. Now if those that can't find a job actually do find a job, is that a game changer for the whole family? Not necessarily. Unfortunately in Haiti there are quite a few issues regarding paying a fair wage. Factory workers are often part of those that work long hours with little pay.*3 http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/05/09/4108244/haiti-raises-minimum-wage-for.html I want to mention this is not one side is right and one side is wrong type of issue; I think there are many factors but one thing I always want to be aware of is my own personal responsibility.

Am I doing my job in the best way? Am I glorifying God? Colossians 3:23 says that whatever we do (our job, hobbies, recreation, family/friends, house...) we are to work at it with all of our heart as working for the Lord and not for man.

"the single biggest challenge we’re facing right now is finding people who are willing to retool, retrain, reboot and learn a truly useful skill from the ground up — and work, show up early, stay late and work."*4http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/04/29/mike-rowe-tells-members-of-congress-why-hed-never-do-a-dirty-jobs-episode-about-them/ Mike Rowe is speaking to America but I believe also this applies to those in Haiti. From an employer's perspective I know that when quality work happens day in and day out it does not go unnoticed, rather it puts employees in the running for rewards and advancement.

I believe if we are able to provide more jobs and create a better education learning experience for children then issues related to lack of food will no longer be such a need. Once we walk along side others to pick themselves up we can empower people to make wise decisions and to own the consequences of their decisions. Living in Haiti in many ways is very different than the states but I am learning that it is also very similar. Daily God continues to show me what his expectations are of me. One of my favorite verses is Micah 6:8 "And what does the Lord require of you? To Act Justly, To Love Mercy and To walk humbly before your God." That is what He wants from me, to be fair and just with those I come into contact with, to love and thrive on mercy with others and overall humbly allow God to work and mold me into the woman He's creating me to be. 

My Greatest need is Jesus and I am reminded daily that without him I can do nothing. However, because of the Holy Spirit that lives within me He is able to do more than I can immeasurably imagine. To know that the Creator of the universe hears the prayers from my heart, the prayers of a mama wanting to send her children to school, for a father that wants to work with dignity or even the prayer of a young child that yearns for food to fill his belly--the fact that all of these prayers are answered by a Justful, Merciful and Soverign Savior that gives me hope for the future and peace for today.