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 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*

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 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 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."*4 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.