In my time in the Word this morning, the Lord took me to Isaiah 65. In verse 24 he wrote, “Before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear.” This promise is reassuring to me in that I know that before we even utter a word, God is already involved in bringing about His plan for our lives, and that plan is perfect. Understanding this does require a significant measure of faith, but once we have grasped this promise, our walk in faith becomes a source of peace to us that often doesn’t make sense to others. Here’s an example related to our journey to Haiti: If I sit down and begin to think about all of the details that have to be worked out before we leave, my mind can become clouded with more and more questions. These questions can become overwhelming if I dwell on them. However, because of His reassurance in His Word, God tells me that He is already answering my questions before I even ask them! Thats pretty cool, don’t you think? This was proven true as we prepared for our first trip as a family to Haiti.
In my last blog, I told all about our visit to Ganthier and the property to which God has called us to make our new home. Well, the story doesn’t end there! When we booked our trip to Haiti, we knew that in order for us to get a good feel for the culture and needs of the people, we needed to stay more than three days. However, after scheduling our return flight for 8 days after arrival, we realized that our time in Ganthier was only going to take one full day. There would be no construction team there at the time working, and Barbara needed to get on back home, so the big question was, what in the world will our family do for the next five days? Before I even asked the question, God already knew the answer. How do I know this? Well, first of all, He said so in His Word, but second of all, it was quite obvious God was up to something long before we even booked our flights. Let me explain…
On our last day in Ganthier, we packed up and headed to the airport in Port au Prince to meet up with a driver that had been secured to take us to Carrefour to meet up with a medical mission team out of Canada. You may ask, “How in the world did you end up partnered with a team out of Canada in Carrefour?” Well, like I said, God was up to something long before we made our plans. Once I realized that we were going to be in Haiti for five days with nothing structured to do, I began searching the Internet for options. I emailed a couple of orphanages around Ganthier, I emailed a couple of mission groups that had trips posted online scheduled for this same time, etc. One of the groups I found in my search was GAIN which stands for Global Aid Network. I emailed Lindsey, the team coordinator, for their current Haiti mission, and she immediately replied that she would talk to her director. The next day she said it was a go, but we needed to fill out a great deal of paperwork and pay our expenses for the trip. We got all of that worked out and made plans to meet up at the designated hotel in Carrefour on Sunday after we took Barbara to the airport. We asked our interpreter, Vladimir, to go with us to Carrefour, and ironically he actually LIVES in Carrefour so that wouldn’t be a problem at all! When we arrived at the hotel, the team was still at church and it was too early to check in, so Vladimir stayed with us. Once the team arrived, introductions were made, we put our luggage in a team member’s room and off we went to our first mobile medical clinic in Ca-Ira. Vladimir went along and the plan was to drop him off near his home before heading to the orphanage in Ca-Ira. However, the driver forgot to stop, and Vladimir ended up going with us to the orphanage. Well, we soon discovered that, once again, this was all a part of God’s plan. The clinic in Ca-Ira quickly went from seeing about 40 children to over 130 people from all over the village. While Jonathan quickly settled into his roll in the pharmacy and Tony settled in to his roll assessing the health needs of the people, Jacob and Vladimir and I set out to meet people in the community and tell them about the free clinic. (This is why we went from 40 to 130 people. ha!) It was such a blessing to have Vladimir with us to help us communicate with the people in the village. We worked steadily from about 3 p.m. until 8 p.m. when we were forced to pack up because it became very dark and our doctors and pharmacy were working under the light of head lamps!
It was crazy, but it was very obvious that God had put this team together LONG before we even found one another. Jonathan’s roll in the pharmacy throughout the week was priceless. He made a daily inventory of meds to provide the doctors with a knowledge of what we had available to prescribe. He was also in charge of mixing the medications that required careful preparation before giving them to people. And because of this handy little app he had, he was able to quickly check to see if there were any conflicts or substitutions available when we needed to offer a different medication to someone. Of course, Tony’s experience with Samaritan’s Purse mobile clinics and his God-given gift of compassion and diagnostic ability made him a very valuable asset to our medical personnel. It was so cool to watch him with the children. He would put the child on his knee and talk to the parent about their needs and concerns. It was obvious that God was using him to LOVE on the people there as well as provide for their physical needs. Jacob quickly fell into his roll with the team in multiple ways. Of course, he was a huge hit with the children everywhere we went. The Haitian people love to teach Americans about their language, and Jacob quickly took advantage of that. Every day he would spend time with the children while also soaking up the language like a sponge. Jacob also worked closely with Lindsey helping her run errands to get supplies and helping her mix the rehydration salts to give out to the people in Desarmes. My biggest roll in the medical clinic became education. Each day, around 11:30, after the waiting area at the church clinic had become pretty full, my interpreter Donnie and I would give a little seminar on sanitation, personal hygiene, and hydration. After talking to them about how God had created our bodies to need plenty of water to survive, I would segway into a message on how He also created us to need the Living Water that Jesus provides. Without literal water (H2O), our bodies will dry up and become tired, hurt, and in danger of death. In the same way, without the Living Water of Jesus Christ, our spirits will dry up and become burdened with pain and hopelessness. Jesus provides the living water that gives us joy, peace, and HOPE even when our circumstances seem hopeless. This was a message that the people of Carrefour, Haiti, needed to hear, and I felt so honored to be able to be used by God to give them this message of Hope.
So you see, before we even contacted GAIN, God knew that the team needed an experinced pharmacy person, an experienced nurse, an energetic and positive helper, and an educator with a love for the spiritual needs of others to be on the team. Each member of the GAIN team from Canada also had his or her own special gifts to contribute to the project as a whole, and together we all meshed beautifully….all because GOD knew our needs and the needs of the people in Carrefour LONG before we even found one another.
Below is a slide show of some of our pictures from the week in Carrefour, Ca-Ira, and Desarmes.
On my next blog I will share a few specific stories from our experience. In the meantime, I pray that this story will be an encouragement to you as you seek God’s will for your life as well. Do you have questions about your future? Do you find yourself worrying over what you will do about a particular problem you have? Share your needs and desires with God and then TRUST that He has a divine plan for your life. He is already working out the details, but you must let go and let HIM guide you along the way. His plan is perfect. 🙂