A thankful heart

As always I would like to say thank you. The support I have gotten from each of you keeping up with this trip has been overwhelming. I’m so thankful to be surrounded by so many people who support our vision as a church.

I thank God yesterday wasn’t as smooth as my team would have liked. For our sake, God stretched us. I feel as though each moment that occurred yesterday day taught me to truly be still. No matter how fast pace life can be at times, its vital for us that we take a deep breath and remember, its truly not about us. I leanred two years ago when challenged by Daniel Cazanev that its not about me, nothing ever is. We fool ourselves into this great big idea that life is about us, but in all true reality, this shows our selfishness. Going into today, I knew I could overcome any situation with being still, for the simplest fact that I overcame yesterday.

This morning was our last in Little Africa. We passed out the last of the water filters for this specific area of Little Africa. During our time our team was humbled to see the delegation of the leaders we are partnered with, as well as the desire of the other Haitians to help pass put filters to their own people. My favorite part about this process was handing out a filter to the voodoo temple. Seeing that I have the opportunity to be a part of a church that just desires to be Christ to each and every person we come in contact with blew me away. As we finished up, we waited in the church for the kids to get out of class. While we waited, Robb presented the gospel in such an amazing way to a congregation of people. They were captivated by every word he said,  fully engaged in conversation, many prayed to receive Christ. Before we know it, Robb Billue is going to be pastor Robb! 
Finally when the kids were out of class, they all came in the church. April taught the students about the creation story and led us in learning children’s songs together. It was incredible to see her where her passion is, with children. Each student was so engaged by who God was and what He did as April told each of them. As this afternoon progressed we were able to feed the community in an orderly fashion. Children ate first, adults followed after the children were completely finished with their meals. As I sat in the truck passing put food with other leaders from Haiti, as well as Kim and Laura, my heart becamed filled with the thought of this, “Although we may not be solving world hunger, we are solving hunger for this specific community on this day. Tonight, they will not go to bed hungry.” In missions I have learned through Michael Wahl that missions isn’t about doing everything that needs to be done, but doing what you can with resources you have access to. Missions has become so much more than a week trip to a country, missions has become a partnership with missionaries on the field and helping their vision come alive with o ur resources. Missions is a calling, for everyone as a believer in Jesus Christ. Matthew 28. And when I say missions, I don’t always mean over seas. Missions is being a disciple od llf Christ, dying to yourself for the hope that someone may come to know Christ. Missions is hard and rewarding when done correctly. Tonight I heard something for the very first time from someone I met, “People mistake being a vacationary for a missionary. A vacationary goes to a country for a week and builds half a church, goes home and rejoices about what they did. What they fail to realize is they leave the people of that country to finish that building with no  resources or money.” One thing I learned was I never want to be part of a trip that cannot fulfill what they started because lack of leadership, delegation, and motivation to get it done. I’m thankful to be a part of something greater than me, because as I have said once, its not about me. I’m thankful for the leadership our lead pastor Greg Towler gives our staff members, like Michael Wahl, who can carry out a vision through utilization of resources, delegation, and other great leaders.

As we finished serving the community, we were waiting to load up the bus as we said our “see you soon” to our friends in Little Africa. During this time I was drawn to Lisa Yancey and Kim Tidwell who were leading one of our new friends, Jedidia, in learning one of the songs April taught the students. (Its called deep and wide.) During this time, he was so determined to learn the song and exactly what the words were, so that he could take it back to his community and teach the children. Seeing the patience and joy Lisa and Kim had in teaching him filled my heart with the upmost happiness. Seeing the image of Christ shine through them was overwhelming. I’m so happy to serve with these women of God. As we drove away, we stopped one last time in some land and Robb Billue anointed Jedidia. Robb felt passionately about letting Jedidia that God had something special for him. We all could sense that. The moment Robb started to pray for Jedidia, Jedidia threw his hands in the air, showing his submission to God and desire to follow wherever God called him. We were all touched by our friendd obedience. For we know the Lord has plans far above and beyond anything we could fathom.
Finally we were heading to the metal mart. This was my first time going. The metal mart is just a market place of nothing of metal shops with people creating different art. I bought some pretty awesome things! During our time there, it was just wonderful to be shopping around with everyone. After about 40 minutes, we headed back home for dinner.
When I got off the bus, our two translators stopped me to ask when I was coming back. As we discussed future plans, they expressed to me that they are going to allow me to do some children’s ministry next time. I was taken back. I haven’t ever exactly considered doing children’s ministry. I know I’m great with kids because of my passion for that age, but its never connected. So, to say the least, I’m thrilled to see what God does when I return to thr beautiful country of Haiti.

One last thing. Where we are staying, there is an orphanage on the same land. The orphanage is maybe 50 yards away. Each night they have devotion before bed, which consists of children’s worship songs and a mini lesson from a man who helps run the orphanage. Each night many children fall asleep outside until they are carried in by a nany, which is their mother figure.  Tonight I held a child and rocked him to sleep. He is 9 years old and the size of my 6 year old sister. With sadness in my heart, I rocked him until I had to go put him in bed. They recently found him in the mountains, malnourished and orphaned. As sad as I was to hear his story, I had to rejoice and be thankful for a place like New Life that is rescuing children and keeping them safe from starvation and even death. So I thank God I’m here today, not sad, but thankful and excited to see what He does and how I get to be used in his plan of restoration for many children like the little boy I held tonight.

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Morning meeting
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Johnny passed out before our day started
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April and Robb get ting ready to teach the children
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April bringing the word to these students!
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Momma Mary and Kim preparing the food
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Lisa and Kim in thr background, this is when they were teaching Jedidia Deep and Wide
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This sweet little girl wouldn’t let Brian go
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Jedidia being anointed today by Robb
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Our team! Minus Johnny
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Medal mart shopping!
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Laura, me, Michael and our new friend who helped pass out some food.
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New bracelets from the mart
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Dinner down at the orphanage
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The sweet 9 year old who has forever touched the depths of my heart.

Thank you for being a part of what Crossroads has the opportunity to do because of the doors that God is opening. As always, this trip if fully about Him. To God be the glory

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