First of all, let me say, “Bonjou, zanmi mwen!!” This is creole for “Good morning, my friend!” (I have been working on my creole lately every chance I can get. Ha!) The days are steadily ticking by, and we have a little over three weeks until we board our one-way flights to Haiti! So much has been happening, I just don’t know if I am going to be able to recall all of it to post here! I have been longing to record it all, so I decided I better sit down right now and do just that – not only record it, but SHARE it with our friends and family who have been walking with us on this journey.
Every where I look in this house there are boxes and suitcases. Preparation for moving is steadily moving forward. We have already taken two truck loads of things to the storage building, started filling suitcases for the move, and had a garage sale to clear out MANY things in the house that we do not need to keep. As for the storage building, as usual, God out-did himself! We ended up with a 10×10 climate controlled storage unit in a very good location. Praise God for his provision for our needs once again! The boxes have come in handy, and slowly but surely, we are reaching the bottom of the pile. We have been labeling our boxes with orange duct tape and arranging them in storage by priority so that if Jonathan needs to get anything out, it will be conveniently placed in there for easy access. For those of you who have not heard the story about the suitcases, brace yourself for yet another testimony of God working things out….
About two weeks ago, we booked our one-way flights to Haiti for August 2nd. I went through the process I usually go through in booking our flights. After going through the process and confirming the tickets, I noticed that American Airlines had automatically placed us in First Class! I was so confused that I decided to call AA to make sure I didn’t do something wrong. I certainly didn’t want to pay a lot extra for First Class when we didn’t need it! After comparing prices, the agent just said that it apparently booked that way at no extra charge! I just thanked her and laughed at how amazing it is that God would arrange to take us to our new home in style! A few minutes later, I discovered WHY He had arranged to send us in First Class. I read the baggage information for the flight, and I noticed that if you fly First Class, you get to check THREE suitcases, and they can weigh 70 pounds each!! God wasn’t just sending us in style, but He was once again providing for our needs! In Economy Class, you can only check one bag at 50 pounds. Any extras cost $40 each to check! This meant that between me, Tony, and Jacob, we could take NINE large suitcases with us when we move over there. Discovering this nugget of information was particularly helpful because we are not the only ones going over to Haiti the first week of August. Our oldest son, Jonathan, his girlfriend Brianna, her father John, and Jonathan’s friend Chris are all going over to Haiti the day before us on August 1st to help us with the move. We had already put some flights on hold for them, so I decided to check into upgrading them to First Class as well. I found that all I had to do was upgrade one leg of the flight and they, too, could take advantage of the extra baggage option. Because theirs is round-trip, the cost to upgrade their flights was $75 each. However, instead of only being able to take one bag each at 50 pounds, they can now take 3 bags each at 70 pounds. So they will be taking 12 bags for us over there the day before we leave. In all, we will be taking everything we can fit into 21 bags and moving it all to Haiti – our new home – in two days!! This is amazing! Once again, we are reminded that our God has already planned our steps and made provision for our needs before we even go. Thank you Lord!
In the last week, God has also once again reminded us that He has planned everything out in advance for not just our move as a family, but for each one of us, including our son, Jacob. I have asked many of you to remember Jacob in prayer particularly because, as a sixteen year old, uprooting yourself and moving to a third world country can be pretty devastating. God has prepared Jacob’s heart, however, and he has been nothing but positive throughout the whole experience. Over the last few months, however, I had been sensing that Jacob didn’t really have a clear vision of his specific purpose in this move. He knew that God was going to use Tony in the medical clinic and me in helping host teams coming to Hope Center, but I just felt like he only saw his part as just going along with us because he is our child. However, God has been pointing out to me in recent months that He has a plan to use Jacob in a mighty way there too. As a matter of fact, He has made it clear to me that He has been preparing Jacob for this time in his life ever since he was 3 years old! If you read the post about our calling, you know about how God showed us when the time was right to share our calling with the boys after the soccer coach with the Haitian National Team called my cell phone out of the blue to talk to me about Jacob playing soccer over there. Well, over the past months, Coach Peterson has called us numerous times checking on Jacob and the progress of our move. Last week, he called and said that he will be in Miami on August 2nd and he wants to book his return flight to Haiti on the same flight as ours so he can meet and get to know Jacob better. He asked me if I thought it would be possible to get Jacob to Cap Haitien on August 15th because he wants Jacob to PLAY in an All-Star game that day before a crowd of thousands!! See, Coach Peterson has been conducting soccer camps this summer all over Haiti, putting together youth teams and having them play one another in tournaments. As the tournaments have progressed, he has selected certain players that he noted had exceptional talent, and he has put together this All-Star team. He is arranging to get all of these players to Cap Haitien on the 15th to play on teams against one another in a final tournament. He said that this will be the largest crowd Jacob has ever played before. Imagine how blown away I was after hearing this news!! I couldn’t wait to tell Jacob. Of course, Jacob is pretty excited about this opportunity as well.
You see, God has given Coach Peterson a vision to help his country by locating exceptional talent for college recruiters in the U.S. As young Haitian soccer players are given the opportunity to play for colleges in the U.S., they will receive a college education that they can take back to their country to help improve the condition of the entire nation of Haiti. If you recall, God had given Tony a similar vision when He told Tony that we would eventually build a school at Hope Center. Tony’s vision included partnerships with colleges in the U.S. that would agree to offer scholarships to bright, young Haitian students so that they could receive college degrees and return to Haiti to help begin to lift their people out of the oppression they have been living in for centuries. Thankfully, Coach Peterson is a Christian, and he recognizes that God has crossed our paths for a reason! Coach Peterson told me last week that there is not a youth league currently in our area of Haiti, and in the months to come, he would like for Jacob to help him locate talent in our area and put together a team that will train for future tournaments such as the one Jacob will be playing in. So there you go! God plans to use Jacob not only as a player in Haiti, but as a recruiter and a trainer that will move God’s plan forward in helping the people of Haiti improve their lives! As always, we are finding that God’s plan is so much bigger than we could have possibly imagined!!
As I conclude my post today, I am asking you to PRAY for us in our move and in the months to follow as we make Ganthier, Haiti, our new home. Throughout this entire process, we have not had to ask people for help financially because God moved ahead of us and provided our support for the coming months through individuals giving and the sale of our house. He had also already begun speaking to certain individuals about helping us in various ways, and those people have graciously obeyed God’s calling to them to help us. For this we are so very grateful. Upon the urging of our affiliate organization, But God Ministries, we recently sent out over 400 letters to area churches and corporations about partnering with us in one way or another, whether it be through prayer, sending teams, sending supplies, or sending financial support. We know that as more and more people hear about what God is doing through us and But God Ministries, God will lead them to partner with us in one or more of these ways. We have such a peace about all of it because God has CLEARLY shown us that it is best to be completely dependent on HIM to provide for us. HE will move those who He intends to use, and HE WILL PROVIDE. All we ask of you is to be in prayer, and if God calls you to be involved in some way, that you will TRUST Him as we have, and let Him show you how He wants to use you, then you will ACT on that call accordingly. Those that He calls to pray, will PRAY. Those He calls to GO, will go to the But God Ministries website to plan and book mission trips, and those that He calls to GIVE will contact us or go to the But God Ministries website and contribute. Our particular ministry is designated as the Nursing Ministry, so if you are led to send support, it needs to be designated to the Nursing Ministry specifically. Again, let me make it clear that this paragraph is not a plea for money. It is simply to inform you if you are feeling led to be involved in some way. We have had many, many people ask over the last few months how they can get involved, so this paragraph is simply intended to answer that question in case someone reading it is wondering. Our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and the But God Ministries website is http://www.butgodministries.com.
Thank you once again for joining us on this beautiful journey! God is moving in a mighty way, and it is so exciting to be a part of it. We are so very thankful for you, our friends, and we look forward to many exciting and miraculous things to report in the coming months!