Sunday, December 29, 2013

An honest look at JOY; more so MY JOY--or lack there of...

An honest look at JOY; more so MY JOY--or lack there of. 

"For the joy of the LORD is your strength."  Nehemiah 8:10

JOY comes from the LORD--JOY can’t come from my circumstances, my relationships, my ‘work’, my money or HAITI. My JOY needs to come from the LORD. 

Here comes the brutally honest part and it’s hard for me to even write about but if I don’t and keep it all bottled up well that makes satan happy. The last several months I have found myself having several conversations with other missionaries around here about JOY. I’ve found myself being able to be honest with them and thus opening my eyes to the fact that I have lost my JOY. This is not to say that I don’t love living in Haiti-because I honestly do-challenges, frustrations and all, but something has been missing. Over the past 17 months I’ve never felt it like I do now. 

I have come to conclude that I’ve let life's burdens, life's circumstances, others peoples words and thoughts overcome me. I have been living after the flesh and the things of this world. I have been seeking approval, trying to do things the “right” way, not step on anyones toes, and trying to satisfy other people. I have let myself believe and have been overcome with the lies of the enemy about who I am and what I really am doing here in Haiti. Asking myself the questions ‘why are you even here Jessica?’ ‘Your not needed here.’ ‘You can’t afford to do this anymore.’ ‘What talents and skills do you really have to offer.’ ‘You’ve done your time, now it’s time to move on.’ It sounds crazy-even as I write them they sound crazy to me but it’s the truth and that is what I have let satan do to me. I have let him steal my JOY. I have let him get into my head with all these lies and he has taken my strength and continued to prey upon me. What I now realize is that I have taking my focus and eyes off of the one and only thing that can truly give me JOY-JESUS.

In Psalm 16:11, Jesus says He will show you the 'path of life' - the way of life. Jesus is all I need.  He is where I get my strength from, He is my life. 

The JOY of the Lord is a spiritual strength. When I am filled with His JOY, He gives me the physical strength I need to go about my day and do HIS work and fight the battle.  

I read something today that really convicted me it said, “You can't live off of the joy that you once had because at some point in time you have either given it away or let it go. Joy can give you strength ONLY when you possess or have it.” The last couple months I have been living off a past JOY of my life in Haiti. Now in this time of transition that past JOY has run out and I’m longing to possess that JOY again. 

Habakkuk 3:17-19
Though the fig tree does not bud
    and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
    and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
    and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
    I will be joyful in God my Savior.
The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
    he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
    he enables me to tread on the heights.

Isaiah 12:2-3
Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

John 15:9-11
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.

The Lord longs for me to seek Him and to be filled with HIS JOY and HIS Strength. So in this time of lacking JOY, how do I get back to being filled with His JOY and being happy in all circumstances. 

Isaiah 40:28-31
Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall; 
but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

Psalm 16:11
You make known to me the path of life;
    you will fill me with joy in your presence,
    with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

So I have a choice, I can continue to have no JOY or I can choose to turn to HIM and get my life back in touch with HIM. I need to confess that I’ve lost my JOY and all my sins to Him and even the ones that I’m unaware of. I need to pray the prayer that David prayed when he had no JOY "Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me with Your generous Spirit" 
Psalm 51:12

It’s a hard to be away from family and friends during the holiday season but I am thankful it has made me more aware of how I’ve lost the JOY and my JOY shouldn’t be dependent on circumstances, but dependent on HIM. I am reminded of this daily in Haiti. I’m surrounded by people who are in a pretty crappy situation or circumstance, but yet they seem to be filled with JOY. They have even shared that JOY with me but I’ve been so closed off that it was hard for me to truly receive it or give it back! It has made me feel like a real schmuck at times. Haiti always has something to teach me-I just need to open my eyes to it. 

If your struggling with a lack of JOY I pray that GOD fills you with HIS JOY. But you too can choose to get that JOY back and not be stuck in a pit of no JOY. 

I know that satan has been gleaming lately because he thinks he has won the battle, but I KNOW THAT MY LORD AND SAVIOR IS STRONGER THAN ANYTHING EVEN THE LIES THAT satan TRIES TO FILL MY HEAD WITH. So today I’m starting the climb out of the pit of lies and getting myself back on the mountain top where I can shine and be a true example of what it means to LIVE for JESUS and be filled with HIS JOY! 

If you have a moment could you please pray with me about this. Your prayers are what have gotten me through the last 17 months and I am truly thankful for each and every one of them! I don’t know where God is leading me or what He is doing in my life during this season, but I was recently reminded by dear friend, ‘Know that God has a plan for you....’ and He has a plan for you too! He is in control and I need to let HIM lead me. My job is to follow HIM with obedience and faithfulness. 

May you be filled with JOY beyond measure today!! Be blessed!! 
(The photos are just a small glimpses into the things that bring me joy here in Haiti...the things that fill me up when I need it...but ultimately I need MORE JESUS)

Friday, December 27, 2013

Worst Field Trip Ever PART 3--Finale!!




Scene 31:
On the road again....Upon leaving it was made sure of that all the kids who had been sick before were well equipped with puke bags. As we began the long journey home, some of the younger boys were still filled with excitement at the new surroundings. There were silent prayers by all the adults that it would be a quick and clean ride home.

Scene 32:
About 15 minutes into our descent, you guessed it! The vomiting began again. (Mind you we were about 1 hour and 15min away from home still.)

Although the first child had a puke bag in hand, he still managed to first throw up on his neighbor’s foot, who was lying on the floor, also not feeling well. With a sigh, they all buckled down and braced themselves for a very long ride home....

Scene 33:
Once one child began vomiting, they all began.

Scene 34:
The sun had gone to bed and one by one the sick kids fell asleep, too. 
For this, the 2 missionaries and the Haitian staff were thankful. 

Scene 35:
As we made our way into Port au Prince, two things began to happen. The taptap began to drive slower and slower, until it was no longer in motion. Traffic! Traffic jam with no end in sight.
 A couple street kids saw this as an opportunity to terrorize the taptap. They jumped on back and were asking for food and money, while threatening those inside. Needless to say, this is not something the kids have seen often and watched with wide-eyes and concern. One of the Haitian staff had to jump out and scare them away, at one point. Unfortunately this didn’t last long and the kids came back to cause more trouble. Once the children inside the taptap started ignoring them, the street kids got bored and wandered away. 
Luckily there were Christmas lights to distract the children. Not only christmas lights brought awe, but also the simple sight of a lit up gas station. It’s the small things such as this that got us through the journey.

We still had a few smiling kids!! :) 

Scene 36:
Traffic continues, and continues, and continues, and.....

Scene 37:
As the traffic continued there was suddenly a giant, lit up, christmas tree and nativity scene! The staff and 2 missionaries made sure to get the kids excited about it. A shout out to Soge Bank for giving us this awesome display and bringing excitement to the smelly taptap.

Scene 38:
The taptap found a small break in traffic and snuck through. They were finally free sailing! The joy and excitement of wheels in motion and the air blowing in their faces was amazing! 

Scene 39:
Short-lived joy- 20 minutes of freedom quickly came to a halt. As they approached the next traffic jam, the driver decided to turn around to find a better route. This only led to another traffic jam and an even longer route. As the taptap sat in this traffic jam for about 1 hour, the joy was now gone and replaced with crabby, hungry, complaining children, as well as adults. Thoughts were rolling through the adults’ heads as to what should be done now. 
It was decided to turn around once again, only to re-enter the traffic jam we had previously left.

Scene 40: 
While deeply stuck in traffic, the dreaded words, “I have to pee”, were spoken. With no chance of a pit stop and safety concerns if we opened the door, one of the Haitian staff creatively diapered the child

Scene 41:
Traffic Jam # 241...or so it felt.

Scene 42:
The excitement of the christmas lights and new sights and sounds quickly ran off. Children began to slump down in their seats and with heavy eyelids, many fell asleep.

Scene 43:
30 minutes later the traffic broke and we sped home at breakneck speed. Silent prayers of safety were offered up to God. 

Scene 44:
Grace Village! Hallelujah, thank you, Jesus! 
The taptap with 2 tired missionaries, 5 Haitian staff, and 25 kids arrived at their final destination- home! They were smelly, dirty, hungry, crabby, tired, some covered in vomit, but all were oh so thankful to be home. 

Scene 45:
Showers, food, Duck Dynasty, sleep.

Lessons learned: There are several other factors to take into account when going on a field trip in a 3rd world country. Bumpy, windy, dusty roads. Traffic Jams consisting of too much exhaust, honking, odors, and few road rules. No bathroom breaks with actual toilets. No fast food options. 

Needs: face masks, butt cushions, puke bags, full body dust protection suit (great invention idea for those looking to make money), more diapers, more food, more water, more clothes, more hand sanitizer, more wet wipes, more seating, anti-nausea meds, more money, and lots more patience.....or maybe reconsider trip altogether?

Cheesy music plays softly in the background:
The positive side of this no good, horrible field trip.... We got some great photos, learned a little about history, bonded with each other, and experienced new sights, sounds, and smells. We even got to go on a Christmas light tour in Haiti and see a giant Christmas tree. Although it seemed to be a no good, horrible field trip we are able to make light of it, learn from it, and enjoy it for all it was. 
Most of all, we are just thankful that we made it through alive! 

.....let’s hope there will never be a sequel to this movie......   ;)


Monday, December 23, 2013

Worst Field Trip Ever PART 2!! :)

Here is a much lighter and enjoyable side to our field trip!! :) 
IF you missed PART sure to check it out!! 
Part 2
Scene 25:
Fort Jaque: a little history lesson, photo shoots, and begging the gateman to let us have just a little peak inside the fort--failed. 
Lined up ready to go check it out! 

Check out the view!!! 

Striking a always! ;) 
In front of one of the entrances to the fort.

Cute as always! :)


History Lesson Time!! 
Taking a little break on the cannon!  

Checking out the cannons and getting a little lesson on them

Cool dudes

Scene 26:
Kids, staff and 2 missionaries enjoy a nice little walk in the “forest” to get rid of some energy and enjoy the smell of fresh air! 
The trees are huge up there!!

Those are some looks of trouble! ;)

A great looking bunch!!
Running through the "forest" :)

Scene 27:
Start giving the kids a little snack...(this included the kids who had previously vomited because they were complaining that they were so hungry) dogs come crowding the scene as soon as they see the food. Some children terrified others throughly enjoyed feeding the dogs and watching them jump in the air to catch it. One child enjoyed it so much that he gave all of his food to the dog--this later resulted in tears because he was so hungry. 

Scene 28:
It was a busy day at Fort Jaques and the 2 missionaries appeared to have some admires from a far. Unfortunately the admires did not stay afar and they thought it would be fun to try to strike up an awkward conversation with them and secretly-but not so secretly-take photos of them. The 2 missionaries where not amused. 

Just a little bit of the beauty around us!!
Scene 29:
The time now was about 4:00pm. Time to load up and head back to Grace Village. 

Scene 30:

Needless to say this was a much dreaded trip home considering what everyone went through to get there. Wasn’t there another option!!!??

To be continued....PART 3 coming up!! 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Worst Field Trip Ever--PART 1

The other day we took the kids on a field was one of those days where I was waiting for someone to jump out and say "ha got ya" and then it would all end...of course that didn't happen and it didn't end...It was honestly like a scene from a movie...We are thankful that today everyone is doing great and in the end we all made it home safe and sounds!! And we can laugh about it! :) 

Here it is for you all to enjoy..PART 1 
(don't worry parts 2 and 3 will come in the following days!!) 

Movie: Worst Field Trip Ever 
Set-up: First day of Christmas break in Haiti for the children at Grace Village!! Sounds like a great time to go on a little field trip with some of the kids! So some of the staff and missionaries decided to split the children into two groups: 1 group would go on Friday and the other group would go on Saturday. Small groups seem more manageable--makes sense. The field trip is to a place called Fort Jacques. Fort Jacques is a part of Haiti History! 
Here is what Wikipedia has to say...

Fort Jacques and Fort Alexandre

Fort Jacques and Fort Alexandre is one of the fortifications of the defensive system improvised by 
Emperor Jean-Jacques Dessalines to prevent the return of the French after the independence of the island of Haiti .
The forts were built under the direction of General Alexandre Pétion . They were high on the hilltops surrounding the
 town of Kenscoff near Petionville .
The forts were named Alexander in honor of Alexandre Pétion and Jacques in honor of Jean-Jacques Dessalines.
 Fort Jacques was completed in one year and armed with guns and bombs . Fort Alexander was flanked by 
four bastions corner. Fort Alexander was abandoned after the death of Jean-Jacques Dessalines in 1806 .
From Fort Jacques, one can see fully Bay Port-au-Prince .
Fort Jacques was restored, while the Fort Alexander, which is east of Fort Jacques, is practically in ruins.
Every year, May 18 (anniversary of the establishment of the Haitian flag), a pilgrimage, a fun fair and music
 concerts are held in the same places of these forts.

This is where the story begins...a field trip in a 3rd world country....

Part 1
Scene 1: 
Starts at 9:00 am: Kids, staff and 2 missionaries hanging out waiting for the taptap to come. 

Scene 2:
2 hours later--11:00 am: Kids, Haitian staff and 2 missionaries still waiting for taptap. By this point the kids are being wild and crazy and the missionaries are starting to lose their patiences. (It's Haiti one should be used to this by now right....nope.)

Scene 3: 
10 Minutes later taptap arrives: It has construction materials on it that need to be unloaded. Everyone waits about another 15 minutes for it to be unloaded. Meanwhile 2 missionaries find out they all need to first go to the guesthouse to switch drivers before heading up the mountain to Fort Jacques.  (OK it's Haiti...we'll be fine...)

Scene 4:
Kids, Haitian staff and 2 missionaries load into the taptap! All is well and they were ready to make it a great trip! 15 minutes pass and one of the little girls needs to go to the bathroom. While stuck in line at the police check point there was no where for her to go...she had to hold. Eventually they get to a place where they can pull over. Now not just her but about 8 other children pile out of the taptap to go pee. And the journey continues on...

Scene 5: 
30 minutes later we arrive at the guesthouse. All the kids were excited to see Gracie! Meanwhile staff and 2 missionaries are containing the kids in the taptap so they don’t all get out of the taptap and go running wild. 

Scene 6:
After about 10 minutes the 2 missionaries hurried the exchange of the drivers and got everyone back on the road. 

Scene 7:
The excitement filled the taptap. The kids, staff and 2 missionaries were excited to finally be on their way up the mountain to Fort Jacques!! Smiles all around! 

Scene 8: 
As they headed through Port au Prince they stumbled upon a little traffic...not unusual in's Haiti...this too shall pass. So the driver decides to wind through the neighborhoods and get them past the traffic. Sounds like a great idea....

Scene 9:
While winding through the unpaved, bumpy, dusty, Haitian roads. The kids are start to get hungry. So one of the Haitian staff members decides to start handing out the food. Obviously not an easy task, if one has ever ridden in the back of a taptap on the Haitian roads, but with the help of a few others she does well and gets the job done. The children all pray and everyone starts to enjoy their food. 

Scene 10:
One of the missionaries hears some commotion and feels a little something warm on her foot. The chaos begins...she looks to her left and sees a child spewing up his mango breakfast all over himself and others sitting next to him. One of the Haitian staff members jumps quickly into action giving him the bag they were using for garbage. 

Scene 11:
Meanwhile it happens that another child is not feeling well, but doesn’t say a peep. Suddenly there are now 2 children spewing up orange, stringy, mango breakfast. Yum!! Eat your lunch everyone. ;)

Scene 12:
It appears that one of the older children has a very low tolerance for watching others spew....seconds later she literally projectile vomits across the taptap. (Really!!? Seriously!? Are you kidding me?!?!)

Scene 13:
They finally get the taptap drive to pull over. 

Scene 14:
The sick children pile out of the taptap. A missionary and one of the Haitian staff members start to clean up the back of the taptap. It was a good thing they were well prepared for the cold weather up the mountain because one of the extra sweatshirts came in quite handy when cleaning the taptap. Thank heavens for medical gloves!! Meanwhile the other Haitian staff member was attempting to clean the vomit off some of our other children who unfortunately were the recipients of this untimely and not so fun event. 

Scene 15:
One child continues to vomit while outside. 

Scene 16:
The staff and 2 missionaries scrounge for bags or other vomit catchers to be used if needed. Thankfully they found one plastic gallon size ziplock baggie. They pile all the children back in the taptap and strongly encourage the children to SPEAK UP if they are going to vomit so that they can give them a bag and pull over. 

Scene 17:
While continuing up the winding mountainous road several of the children were able to enjoy the spectacular view. The staff and 2 missionaries had their eyes glued on the sick children and were ready to jump into action! The words: ‘Are you sick? Are you going to vomit?’ became a norm in the taptap. 

Scene 18:
Didn’t take long for one of the children to start throwing up again....

Scene 19:
Didn’t take long for one of the other children to grab the same ziplock bag and start throwing up too--he was not a repeat offender but a first timer.....just keep adding them to the mix! 
**It should be noted that anytime a child began to throw-up water was whipped in their face and dumped on their heads by one of the Haitian staff members and they were also handed a bottle of water to drink and swish around in their mouths. (It was a term of endearment and trying to help them feel better I'm sure of it!!) 

Scene 20:
Out of vomit bags and in a frenzy!! 

Scene 21:
They were so close to their destination but had to pull over to restock vomit bags and discard one overused vomit bag. Thankfully there was a market in the area! One of the Haitian staff members ventured out to buy some candies for the sick kids to suck on and purchased some black plastic bags AKA vomit bags. The great thing about these bags is that they are black and not see-through like the ziplock bag. (At this point I had seen enough vomit and enough people vomitting to last me a long time!!)

Scene 22:
Everyone piles back into the taptap and if they were feeling even a little nauseous they were manned with a black plastic vomit bag! All the children were given a little piece of candy to suck on. 

Scene 23:
As their destination neared the children who were still feeling well were filled with anticipation and excitement as they could feel the temperatures drop! The 2 missionaries were also excited about the temperature drop as it helped relive the carsickness and give the sick kiddos and all of them a little relief. 

Scene 24:

After about 2 hours from departure......ARRIVAL!!! Shouts of joys and hallelujah rang in the air!! But not for child who literally was covered in vomit didn’t even leave the taptap. Another child hurried off the taptap and proceeded to vomit over the ledge. But everyone else was happy!!  

***I think we have had enough vomit talk/reading for the day...tune into Part 2 tomorrow...or don't I will completely understand if you don't want to! ;)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Jewelry for a great cause!!!

Hello everyone! Here is another opportunity for you to shop but also support two great causes!! 
With your purchases you are supporting at-risk women and also my adoption. 

 ABOUT Vi Bella:
The Vi Bella story begins with a passion to create Vi Bella – a Beautiful Life.  Everyone who is connected to Vi Bella is part of a greater mission to share Christ’s love by transforming lives and the earth.  

At the heart of our mission, Vi Bella impacts the lives of at-risk women in Haiti, Mexico and the United States.  These women serve as our artists and our inspiration.  Our Vi Bella artists “upcycle” discarded plastic and glass bottle, metal bottle caps and paper, transforming them into unique, handmade jewelry that is truly a work of art.  We then invest all our profits back into the artists’ communities, which brings the transformation full circle.

Vi Bella jewelry spreads love and fellowship across the cultures by providing a sense of purpose that rejuvenates once-tattered lives.  You’re not just purchasing a piece of Vi Bella, you’re helping to create beautiful lives.

The money raised with this fundraiser will not only supportMissionary work and adoption but will also support the women who make the jewelry and their families.

How does it work?
--Visit Vi Bella's website: 

--Check out what Vi Bella is all about and watch their powerful video about their story

--Select SHOP NOW, find the items you love and put them in your cart

--At check out type FDJB07 in the coupon code section to receive the discounted shipping rate.  This step is very important!  It ensures the credit goes to my fundraiser.

30% of your purchase will go towards my fundraiser!

Thank you for your support.  

Creating BEAUTIFUL lives for women at RISK    

This adoption journey...

This adoption journey....

I feel like things have been at a stand still for a long time and needless to say I've been learning a lot about patience!! God teaches me everyday to trust in HIS timing. It's not easy. Some days I can rest in HIS timing. Other days it brings me to tears at how difficult this process has been--and I'm only at about step 2. I'm fully aware that this will continue to be long difficult journey, but that's exactly it, it's a 'journey.' I can't continue each day to long for the final day when I will have my child(ren) with me forever; I have to live each day and enjoy each day of the journey. Through this journey I know God is going to do amazying things, I fully believe that no matter what happens or when it all happens it will all be in God's perfect timing. 

My dear friend KT sent me a wonderful gift about a month ago. She sent me the Jesus Calling for kids devotional. On Decemeber 11th I read the devotional and it hit me hard. "Faith is Knowing" Every single day God is working on my behalf. When I start to stumble or lose faith He is there. He longs for me to talk with Him about my deepest fears, sadness, hurts and frustrations. He also longs for me to bring Him my hopes, dreams, joys and those I love. He wants to work on them TOGETHER with ME and little by little they can become my reality. It takes times, God cannot be rushed and He knows what is best. I need to learn to accept HIS timing. Look at how long Abraham and Sarah waited for their son!! Wow, now that is patience! I'm praying that isn't in God's plan for my life, but if it is then it will be the best plan! Because of their long wait for their son they were filled with unbeleivable amounts of joy and love for him when he finally arrived. 'Faith is knowing God will keep His promises--believeing that things I am hoping for are as real as things I can already see.' 

That is what gets me through each day. That is what keeps me going. Is knowing that God has perfect timing. God sees the big picture. When the day comes that I have my son or my daughter or both I can only imagine all the love and joy that I will be blessed with on that day! So when my days are rough; I pray that I will be reminded that HE is in control and I need to lay it all at His feet. He is going to walk through this journey with me. I wouldn't want it any other way! 

I pray He fills me with overflowing amounts of wisdom, guidance, peace and patience while I'm on this adoption journey.

If you would like to help out financially please visit: or if you would also like to purchase some Haitian metal artwork check out the facebook page by clicking here.  The artwork is also available at Art2Heart in Hamel, MN. Proceeds from this artwork also go to support the adoption! :)

Thank you as always for your continued prayers and support on this adoption journey and also my journey of life in Haiti! :) 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Marie continues to teach me..

On Saturday Jonas, one of our workers here at Grace Village, told me that Marie couldn't come to church on Sunday because she said didn't have any clean clothes. My first thought was 'well thats silly' and 'really she doesn't have any clean clothes' but I also know that in Haiti on Sunday's everyone dresses in their best! Even though I still thought that this was a silly reason for her to not come to church, I understood it and the culture behind it. 

 I told Jonas to wait a minute and I'd see if I could find her some clothes. 
I first tried to think if I had seen any donations come in that would work for her, but quickly knew that wasn't the answer I was looking for. As I started thinking of the dresses I had in my closet I was thinking theres nothing in there that she could wear or would want to wear to church--if you haven't noticed Marie is tiney-tiny! But then I remembered a beautiful dress my dear friend Karla Olimb had given to me a long time ago that I absolutely love!! It would be perfect for Marie because it has a little belt on it. I'll admit I took it out of my closet and looked at it and hesitated for a second if I should give it to her but then I quickly came to my sense and OF COURSE she should where it to church!! 

When I gave it to Jonas I told him he could give her this dress to wear to church tomorrow and that I could get it back from her at some other time--still in myself way of thinking. :( 

But after I saw Marie wearing this dress and how ADORABLE she looked and how thankful and excited she was that I gave it to her to wear so that she could come to church--well there is no way that I can take that dress back from her. I mean look at her and how adorable she is! It looks way better on her than it ever did on me that's for sure!! 

I love this woman like she is my own Grandma! 

Even though I've been here for about 17 months, God is still working on me and teaching me things all the time. This was one of those moments where He had to remind me that it's not about me--really it's never about me. I'm praying that this is something He will continue to teach me and instill in me! I also pray that as we are approaching this Christmas season we all remember its not about us, it's not about the gifts, the cookies, santa, the elf on the shelf but rather it's about JESUS and how He came into this world on Christmas to save us from our sins so that we could LIVE WITH HIM FOREVER. I pray that you have a most blessed and holiday season and that you are filled with love beyond measure! 
Merry CHRISTmas!! 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Your future is so BRIGHT you need shades!!!

A much overdue post..(as they all are) ;)

A while back I got connected with Amara's Acts of Kindness. We were blessed to be able to be apart of their "Shades HOPE" event. Amara's Acts of Kindness sent down about 100 pairs of sunglasses to be shared with the children of Grace Village and children at church!

This is what "Shades of HOPE" is all about:

"Amara's Acts of Kindness" hosted their 1st Annual "Shades of HOPE" event….they collected close to 1,000 pairs of sunglasses that went all over the world, to people young and old who are in need of some HOPE!!!

Check out a post from their Facebook page:

 We were overwhelmed with the number of people who came to honor Amara's life and keep her LIGHT for JESUS SHINING BRIGHT!! I knew she was watching, along with Jesus...talking about how this was all a part of His plan!! Thanks to all who made it out to take the pledge to do at least one act of kindness a day, for the following year!! You really do make a difference!! Lives are being touched, seeds are being planted, and changes are taking place....I have heard many stories to testify to this, and it is a TRUE gift from the is humbling to sit back and see His hand in all of this!! God bless you all for what you have done and are continuing to do each and every day!! Be STRONG and COURAGEOUS and SHINE ON!!!

The kids here in Titanyen were blessed to be able to be apart of this. We had our staff talk about HOPE and what it means to have HOPE in Jesus…no matter what life brings at you. They talked about how God's plan for their future is so bright that they need 'shades'! Their sunglasses that they received with Amara's photo on them is a constant reminder that their LORD and SAVIOR has a BRIGHT future planned for them!! 

The kids got to each pick out their favorite ones!! 

One of our "mommies" talking to the kids about HOPE.

Teaching all the little boys about HOPE and how Jesus has a great plan for their life!! 

After talking with the older boys they got pick out their "SHADES of HOPE"

Some of our boys showing off their new shades

The kids at Grace Village were SO excited about their "SHADES of HOPE"


Look at these two sharp looking kiddos with their new SHADES!! 

Even the teddy bear got to participate in the fun!! :)

Looking good little man!!!

BFF's with smiles because they have HOPE!!  

Always smiling!! 

She is just too adorable in her new SHADES!!! :)

All decked out in purple and smiles with their new SHADES of HOPE!! 

A girl with a bright future and full of HOPE!! 

These twin brothers will always have each other!!

Her future just keeps getting BRIGHTER!!

Too cute!! 

One of our older girls....where is GOD's HOPE going to take her!!! 

They know this thing we call "HOPE" is serious stuff!! ;) 
Only GOD know's where it will take them in life! 

These boys know their future is going to be BRIGHT!!! 

Dressed in their Sunday Best with SHADES OF HOPE

These sisters have spunk and sass and God's got a BRIGHT future planned for them!! :) 

Bringing SHADES OF HOPE to the beach! 

Headed to the beach with their new shades! :) 

This precious little boy was holding AMARA'S little bookmark at church...melted my heart. 

This little girl is from Titanyen and was showing off her cool looking sunglasses at church...She knows her future is BRIGHT!! 

We are so thankful for all that GOD is doing through AMARA'S ACTS OF KINDNESS!! 
HE had the perfect plan for her and I'm so thankful we in HAITI could be a small piece of the plan. 

They have a BRIGHT future waiting for them!! 

1...2...3....THANK YOU AMARA!! 

Amara you have touched the lives of so many and we here in Haiti have been beyond blessed by AMARA'S ACTS OF KINDNESS! 
One day we will all get to celebrate with JESUS! We know there will be more people up in Heaven because of you and your heart for JESUS!! 
Always in our hearts--love from Haiti.