Wednesday, April 30, 2014

serving state side

Just because I'm back in MN doesn't mean I get a break from sharing God's love with others. 

I find that it's easy to get comfortable here in MN and just do my own thing. 

Last weekend I was reminded that we are called to serve no matter where we are!! 

To be honest it's a little more intimidating knowing that I can fully understand everyone I come into contact with and can't use the excuse that I don't understand and only speak some Creole. Why is it so much easier for me to say, "Ke Bondye Beni Ou (God bless you in Creole) than to tell someone in English "God bless you" ? 

God is working on me, even while in MN, HE is using me and showing me what it truly means to serve. 

Last weekend I was able to attend an event called: 

“The Church has, at times, done a good job of seeing the need for revival and responding with prayer and fasting. But it seems to always stop there. We have to take it one step further and actually go and make disciples. It’s a ‘both-and.’” 
Kyle Martin



What!?!  You mean I have to just go out and ask people if I can pray for them and then share the Good News (ok. there's a little bit more to it than just that but still)....I thought that was just something I had to do on a week long mission trip or while living in Haiti...NOPE God calls us to minister to those around us, no matter where we are! Ok GOD...


for 10,000 Laborers to GO and share the 

GOOD NEWS. They are holding an event 

JULY 21-27 and YOU can make a 

difference right here in the TWIN CITIES! 

Will you be 1 of the 10,000 labors?! Churches around the Twin Cities are making their pledges to send laborers from their congregations. If you are wanting to serve but your church isn't participating you can serve with Serenity Village Community Church. All you have to do is send an email to: stating you are ready to REVIE TWIN CITIES and you will be contacted with more information. 

Jesus said, “…therefore, beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest” (Luke 10:2b).


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Anything but "normal"

My life is anything but "normal"...

As I traveled back to the states I felt myself having feelings upon re entry like I did after my very first trip to Haiti. What does this "good American lifestyle" have for me? I felt myself judging others and getting really annoyed by the petty things I was hearing three high school girls talk about, one with a shirt on that said 'material girl'. Does she have any clue what's really happening in this world. That there's people living in tin shanties with little to no food, kids running around naked, people just striving to survive. The thing is, I was standing in that same Starbucks line waiting to order my $5 drink. Ugh. It made me feel like such a hypocrite. I had to ask The Lord to help me not to judge and take a look at my own life. Life here in the states is hard and I struggle with it every time I come back but this time has already been extremely difficult ever since I left the walls of Grace Village and as I'm writing this I'm only sitting on the plane back to MN! Let's just say there have been many tears traveling back. God is working on me and the devil is trying to get the best of me. 

As I was flying into Florida I hadn't been paying attention and all of a sudden as the wing of the plane dipped down as we were turning I glanced out the window and my heart immediately ached. All I saw was row after row of orangish/brownish roofs neatly aligned in a nice little neighborhood many with bright blue pools in their backyards. Is this wrong that people should live in beautiful houses and enjoy a dip in the pool to refresh from the heat? Absolutely not. But the differences in reality from living in the states and living in Haiti always breaks my heart. Don't get me wrong there is nothing wrong or bad about having nice things and providing a nice home for your family but the reality makes me what to scream! 

Of course I'm more than excited to see all my family and friends and spend time with everyone but these transitions are hard. Trying to do a "normal" life in MN is hard. Heck trying to do a "normal" life in Haiti is hard. What is "normal" anyways? I guess I'm not really sure what normal is and it is probably different for everyone. I know many people think I live this crazy life of living in Haiti and just 'following Gods call' and maybe so but that is my 'new normal.' Longing for a hot shower is my new normal. Asking for cheese to be carefully kept frozen and sent down to Haiti is my new normal. Seeing poverty daily and asking God why or what can I do to help and not hurt is my new normal. My new normal is difficult in many ways and I often long for the ease of life in the states but I love my new normal that I have. One thing that scares me is that I will get 'comfortable' with life in the states and lose sight of what is important and where I feel God has called me. 

My life is anything but "normal" but I wouldn't have it any other way! 

Disclaimer: I know I'm a roller coaster of emotions on this travel day but it's reality. Life isn't always roses and rainbows living in Haiti and coming home. I want you to know it all: the good, the great, the sad and the difficult. I definitely don't have it all figured out yet and probably never will, but this is my journey and I honestly couldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for all of you and your support and prayers. Thank you!! You are truly a blessing to me. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

One week till a little extended visit to MN

In one week I'll be headed back to MN for a little "extended stay"
It's been a week of making visits and saying goodbye. 

The kids have the week off of school so it's been great being able to hang out with them during the day. 

We had stopped at Marie's and I told her I would be sure to come and see her before I left next week! She was so excited to have this cute little man come and visit her too! You know she just love kids! 

Today when I went to go see Marie she told me she was crying that morning because she thought that I left and I didn't go and see her. :( I told her I will be back again and will see her on Sunday too. 
She was happy to hear that! ;) 

Awhile back I told Ofane that I would be sure to stop by and see him and his goats before I left. The big one is named "Adam" and the little one is named "Teka" for 'Jessica.' ;)

He was so proud to show us his goats. When we got there the goats were off in the distance and it was such a hoot to hear him call his goats...'baaaaa baaaaa' and sure enough the came!! :)

 This picture pretty much sums up our visit. While on the way to Ofane's we stopped by Dieufort's house-- so he too of course wanted to come along! Him and Ofane are like brothers. Always picking on and teasing each other. They like to "fight" over who I and another missionary 'belong to' and then get jealous if the other one talks to us. ;) They were quite funny that afternoon.

Apparently they are expecting to have a party tomorrow up here....Looks like we better start planning something.. ;)
Ofane has his goats and Dieufort has his dog! He made sure that we got a picture of him with his dog and was so excited to show us how he listened to him. I must say I was impressed! ;) 
I'm going to miss this guy. He told me I could only be gone for 15 days. I told him "God knows and I'll pray about it." He said 'I'm praying too and God told me 15 days.' ;) 
If you are going to be in Haiti you have to visit this super cute new boutique!! It is only about 10 minutes past Grace Village on the left hand side(right where the bus is crashed into the wall)!! Make a stop on your way out to the beach! They have super cute stuff from several of the other boutiques in Haiti including Apparent Project and 2nd Story Goods. 

My good friend opened this boutique and I can't wait to see all that God is going to do! I know He has big plans for this place!! 
located in Cabaret right on highway 1 by the Total gas station, behind the large crashed bus! 
So in a week from today I'll be on a plane headed to MN. I would love to connect with you while I'm home and share with you about all that God is doing and possibly ways in which you could help out. I plan on being in MN for about a month or two and then come back to Haiti with a new vision and purpose!! I'm excited and scared all at once about what the next couple months will hold! I know God has something in the works and it's exciting to have everything surrendered to His will but also scary at the same time! :) 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Ketia update and a Hope for Job Creation

In my last blog I mentioned that the woman Ketia was staying with kicked her out. It had been an ongoing situation with this woman and she wasn't treating Ketia well at all. Many times she wouldn't even feed Ketia but would feed everyone else. So heart breaking and unfortunately I feel it happens more often than it should around here. I'm just thankful that we were able to get her out of that situation. 

The day we talked with Ketia and I saw the horrible look on her face I knew we had to DO SOMETHING. So that afternoon the Haitian woman who was with me went out and found this one room house for rent. We decided we had to do it. So we rented the place for 6 months for a little less then $100. 

Seeing Ketia at her house and how proud and happy she was confirmed in me that we did the right thing for her. She still doesn't have a matress or anything, we are working on that, but despite not having anything she is smiling and has a new sense of hope. My desire is that she will be able to work to help pay for some of the rent and provide food for her and little Keti.  

The other day Ketia and Keti come up to do some work! She was a rockstar! She had so many frames to paint and sand! It was a busy morning. Thankfully I had a meal in the freezer that I could pull out and put in the oven. We both needed a lunch break after working so hard and running around all morning. 

The best part was sitting down together to have a meal. I asked Ketia to pray and she said “I don’t know how to.” I said you don’t need to say much just give thanks for the food and the things that God has given you. Bless her heart she said the sweetest little prayer thanking Jesus for everything and for blessing her. 

When I look at Ketia and Keti I always wonder what her future will hold and how this will all turn out. I pray that I’m making just the slightest positive impact on her life and showing her that with God all things are possible; even when you have nothing; literally. Sometimes we all just need that one person who is going to stick by us through the hard and difficult times to show us that God still cares and He’s there. 

I pray that God continues to work in a might way in her and Keti’s life! 

Here are a few examples of the amazing HAND MADE frames that a man in Titanyen makes (no big machines or anything all done by hand saws!!) and Ketia's nicely done painting and sanding work! 

oops this one didn't get get the idea though ;) 

"I have found the one whom my soul loves. Song of Solomon 3:4"
Could make a nice wedding gift and gives back to support Haitians and single mommies! :)

If you have a heart for helping others and know a little bit about job creation I'd love to connect with you while I'm back in MN. I would love to try to take these frames and create jobs for some of the woman in Titanyen and take it all to the next level. I'm not a business person at all but I'm willing to learn if it can help even just one mom keep and care for her child. If you can help or want to be apart of this in any way please email me at

Thursday, April 10, 2014

When your heart breaks...

Sometimes we don’t have the answers but we know we need to DO SOMETHING. 

Today is one of those days here in Haiti where I need to DO SOMETHING. 

Today and last Saturday I’ve had two situations that have broken my heart and hit me to the core. I know that I need to help I need to DO SOMETHING for these women. 

Last Saturday a woman came to the gate asking for me. I had never meet her before and I knew nothing about her. As I sat with her she was holding a young child, maybe 7-8 months old. I sat and listened to the words coming out of her mouth and could pick up the basics of what she was saying...she needed help. Lots of people in Haiti need help right? But by the look on her face and the sound in her voice I knew it was something more. As the translator filled me on the details my heart broke for her and her situation. Her husband who she has been with for many years and has a well paying job doesn’t support her or their children. Instead he is addicted to alcohol and spends all his money on feeding his habit rather than feeding his family. He comes home late and abuses her. All she wants is to get away and protect herself and her children and move to the country side to stay with her family. She wasn’t asking for much just some money to get to the countryside and some money for food. I was broken and at a loss for what I could and should do. I told her I would pray for her and pray about how I could help and would connect with her in a couple days. 

I connected with other people to verify her story. Sadly its true. I have to DO SOMETHING. After seeking advice from others, Haitians specifically, I know I have to get this woman and her children out of this horrible situation. 

Today was one that hit a little closer to home for me. Ketia had come up to paint yesterday so I had a few things I had purchased for her and needed to get them to her. I stopped by her house with another Haitian staff member and in my heart I knew things weren’t good. Ketia wasn’t at the house when we got there, she had gone out to get something. But the woman who she was staying with (the mother of the baby’s father-the father who is no longer around) was cooking and there was little baby Keti on the other side of the house sitting all by herself surrounded by buckets of water and dirty laundry crying. 

I asked when Ketia would be back and she said soon. As soon as I turned to walk out the door there was Ketia. The look on her face made my heart hurt. I had never seen her look so sad, discouraged, and beaten down. She told us that the woman put all of her stuff outside and told her she had to leave. The woman was standing there hearing everything she said and started yelling at her. Ketia told us to leave and she would talk to us later. I have to DO SOMETHING. 

There is another woman in Titanyen who has 2 young children. She also has a difficult situation and has been asking for a job for quite some time. When talking with the Haitian woman who was with me we thought maybe Ketia could live with her in her house and we could help out with the cost of rent or something. I was hoping this would work out. 

When we asked this other woman from Titanyen to come up to Grace Village she told us she was living in a one bed room house with 2 other people, I believe she said they were her brothers. Because of this her children are currently living in the country side with her mother because she can’t take care of them and where she is living isn’t a good situation for her children.  

Plan A didn’t work. I knew this was all real when the Haitian woman who was helping me with all this started crying as she walked away after our conversation. I know I needed to DO SOMETHING.

Here are these 3 woman, one of which is a friend to me and mother of my goddaughter and they ALL need help. They all need GOD to come through in a mighty way. LORD use me. Show me what my role is in all of this and how I can best help these woman care for their children in a loving and caring environment and how they can support themselves. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

15 days..till MN...just a few of the things I'm gonna miss!!

Today marks 15 days until I head to MN to doing a little different form of mission work stateside!
It's a bittersweet feeling for sure!
Here are just a few snapshots of the things and people 
that I love that I will miss while back in the states for a short time. 
(only a few because pictures take too long to upload!) ;) 

This little ham and her craziness and most of all her hugs and kisses!!

I'm going to miss every single one of these kiddos and their smiling faces and hugs! 

My visits to see this amazingly talented man.
Good thing I got a big order of stuff before I'm leaving!! 

Another amazingly talented man in Titanyen who makes beautiful frames all by hand!! 

Oh how I will miss Keti and Ketia!
Praying that Ketia can provide for her little girl and take good care of her!

Although I don't get to experience this often...I will miss it! 

Of course without a doubt my heart aches at the thought of not being able to see Marie every couple of days! 

Playing soccer with the kiddos in the evens with the amazing sunsets...
every time I play they are amazed that a girl actually knows how to play... ;) 
Everything about these days and these kiddos! 

These two little spit fires and all their sass! 

Oh how I will miss this little buddy (not the dog) ;) and all the JOY he brings into my life! 

The kiddos playing with Beethoven (the dog).
They really do love him and always are asking for him to come out and play!!
This amazing and wonderful woman and all the JOY she brings to my life!!! 
the amazing sunsets and all the fun and laughing that happens on this playground! 

These being kids...oh the belly laughs we have in the afternoons
I am going to miss everything about this place and all the amazing people that enter that purple gate!
Only for a short time and then God willing I will be back with
 a new vision and new tasks to set forth and accomplish!