The past couple of weeks have been sort of surreal. Tony and I have been absolutely overwhelmed by the love, prayers, and support of so many people. It has been hard to keep up with the emails, inbox messages, text messages, and post comments that have come our way. We are humbled and feel very blessed so have such an amazing and wide circle of family and friends. If you are hearing about this for the first time and are asking, “What in the world are you talking about?” here is a link to Stan’s update that explains it all… https://www.butgodministries.com/category/stans-updates/
As we face this next hurdle that life has thrown our way, we will not be overcome with fear. We know that our God walks before us. Looking back over the past couple of years, it is crystal clear to us that He has been walking before us and saw this time coming before we even had a clue. He provided a home for us; He provided an affordable source of transportation; He grew an amazing staff to be prepared and completely able to manage Hope Center in our absence; and He has now answered the question that has been nagging in our hearts as to “Why” we have not been able to return to Haiti. With all of these assurances in our lives and in His word, how CAN we be afraid!? This is not a road we would have chosen to walk, but we will walk it shouting the praises of our Lord Jesus Christ as this experience brings glory and honor to His miraculous power and might. We cannot be shaken or moved. We claim Isaiah 41:10 which says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Did you know that God actually says, “DO NOT BE AFRAID” in 365 different places in the Bible? I have shared this fact with countless students in the past, countless Haitian friends that have come to me in desperation over one thing or another (I can even say it in Creole! ha!), and I have reminded myself of it numerous times throughout my life. Why would He say this 365 times? Well duh!! Because we have 365 days in the year and our precious Father wants us to claim it every single day of our lives because He knows that this world deals us hits every day that are cause for fear. But as the Psalmist said in Psalm 56:3, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” And God has reminded us countless times in the last few days the words of Isaiah 43:1, “But now, this is what the Lord says…Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” Yes, he DID summon us by name, and our calling is not done. The enemy cannot stop what God has started. We will not be moved.
With this said, many, many people have asked us “How can I help?” Of course, our immediate response is PRAY. Tony and I have absolutely NO DOUBT that it is the prayers of God’s people what have carried us and strengthened us and even provided for us for the last seven years!! It’s a miracle actually! Praise be to God! Today a precious friend felt led to post on Facebook a suggestion that people help us financially. In obedience to God’s lead, I have to share how people can do that if so led. It is so hard for me to share this because asking people for help is not an easy thing for us to do, but I have learned that is pride. As a very dear friend explained to me before we moved to Haiti, “You better get used to it because it is your life now. Don’t let your pride stand in the way of letting the Body of Christ BE the Body of Christ.” Oh how wise his words were. They are still not easy to put into practice. So, as you pray, if God leads you to want to help us in this way, we will humbly accept your help. We have no idea what we are in for as far as future medical expenses are concerned when it comes to the surgery Tony is having or what additional expenses will come after that. We do have insurance, thankfully, but I have heard from people who have gone through this before that the 20% insurance doesn’t pay can be a huge bill. We just know that God does know, and He will lead and provide as the needs arise. We have always been able to trust Him to make a way and today is no different. Someone asked me about Paypal and we do have it. It’s under our email: firstname.lastname@example.org. And our Venmo is @Mickie-West-1 . PRAYER is our biggest weapon and our biggest need. From there, we trust God to lead.
Now, as the day approaches for Tony’s surgery, a precious friend that we don’t even know personally (now THAT’s God!) has offered to let us stay in their cabin in the mountains for a week. We will take this time to breathe deeply, pray earnestly, and prepare our hearts for the battle ahead. Our armor is the finest and our weapons are fierce, praise the Lord! So over the next week, Tony and I will be going “off the grid,” reflecting on the greatness of our God and what precious, precious friends He has given us to walk along side us. Please continue to be in prayer for us… and know that if you text or email or call and we don’t reply, we will definitely get back in touch with you when we return. Thank you all so much! We have so much love for you, and so much to be thankful for…..we are overwhelmed with joy…..