Tag Archives: God’s Provision

Working Together-Getting it Done

Last week at Hope Center, we had another combo team here from South Carolina and Florida. Sometimes team members may be a little apprehensive about joining up with a team of people they don’t know from somewhere else, but inevitably the members end up becoming close friends as they serve alongside one another and our Haitian staff and friends.

IMG_1660

SOOOO much happened last week that there’s no way to include it all! The first team arrived on Sunday afternoon. The team was from Lauren, South Carolina. They immediately unloaded the bus and began pulling out all of the goodies they brought for the children in the orphanage for the upcoming birthday party. Charles and Hannah had worked hard with their home church over the winter break to organize and accumulate birthday presents for each child in the orphanage so that over the course of this year we can have birthday celebrations for them. The South Carolina team had agreed to get the gifts to Haiti, and they were extremely excited to be delivering them. The team members had also chipped in by purchasing sheets and towels for the orphanage as well. For a while there was a sea of pink and blue all over the tables as we sorted through the gifts and prepared to take them to Rachel’s apartment at the orphanage.

On day two the Pensacola team began arriving. Because of the winter storm in the states, many flights have become delayed and rerouted, making people miss flights and have to rebook. It took two days for them to all get here. As team members arrived, everyone seemed to just fall into place where their help was needed. Junior, Dr. Seth, and Jimmy set up shop in the dental clinic, Craig, John, and Carroll worked with Makil and Woodnorder in the orphanage building a shaded area, Cindy helped Rachel get unpacked and organized for plans she was making for the orphanage, and Nancy was able to offer some amazing help to Hannah with homeschooling Lilly.

IMG_1662

One thing I thought was really cool was that on Monday, we were trying to figure out where everyone would work. Susan and Joe were in the pharmacy, but were a bit overwhelmed by the idea of filling prescriptions all day not knowing much about the medicines we had in there. Suddenly, someone said, “Clark has worked in a pharmacy before, why don’t we go get him to come work in here!” So we sent for Clark, who was helping the other men build a shade area in the courtyard at the orphanage, and asked him to help in pharmacy. Oh my goodness….this was one of the best moves made all week! Clark did an amazing job in the pharmacy. Susan was able to help us enter patient records into our computer system as they came in which was a huge help. Joe, Robin, and Adaire worked with Marc and Estima in triage, and Tony & I floated around fielding questions and helping everyone get what they needed when they needed it.

IMG_1664

Once the Pensacola folks arrived, we were able to double our patient intake because we added Dr. Mitch to see patients while Kirsten and Karen helped with pharmacy, lab work, and assisted with other needs in the clinic, and Susan was able to completely focus on entering patient records. Don, Eb, Peter, Seth, Ethan, and Doug immediately got to work on orphanage needs and Craig, John, and Carroll shifted to building an agricultural nursery in the ag yard for seeding plants before transplating them to gardens. Debbie, Natalie, Kim, and Tracey helped in both the clinic as well as the orphanage throughout the week. And at some point during the week, the men built benches to be used in the orphanage as well as in the clinic waiting area. These will be used every single day as people wait to be seen by a doctor, thankful that God has provided healthcare for them as well as a place to sit while they wait.

Pensacola & Laurens men working with Makil on the orphanage shade area

Pensacola & Laurens men working with Makil on the orphanage shade area

On Wednesday, the medical team packed up and headed back to the back of the village to a small school where they did medical checkups for all of the school children. They saw many, many children and their parents at the clinic. Our dentist, Dr. Seth stayed here at Hope Center and continued seeing dental patients. At one point, Tony and Kirsten had to return to Hope Center with a pregnant mother because they thought she might be in labor due to some belly pains. Once they arrived, they decided to send her on to the hospital. While they were here, a man brought in his mother who had recently had a mastectomy and was severely infected – almost septic. The infection was horrible. Tony drained the site and cleaned her up as much as possible and they sent her on to the hospital too. Tony said that had he not been here to see her and had we had to send her away, she probably would have died over night. God knew she was coming here and used the pregnant mother to get Tony & Kirsten back to Hope Center to get her cleaned up, antibiotics on board, and sent on to the hospital. God is always in control!

Dr. Shubert with two sweet children on mobile clinic

Dr. Shubert with two sweet children on mobile clinic

Karen and Clark with school kids at mobile clinic

Karen and Clark with school kids at mobile clinic

These two teams worked non-stop all week! They worked seamlessly and enjoyed worship time together each evening in the breezeway. On Tuesday night, we all went down to the church for worship time with the local membership. Tuesday night worship services are always such a wonderful time of ministry and praise. Someone had put a bug in Pastor Mickenson’s ear that Adaire was an amazing pianist, so he invited her to play a couple of songs. They ended the worship set with “How Great Thou Art” and the entire place was rocking with praise! It was a glorious time as both Americans and Haitians worshipped in song together with hands raised and voices loud. I think we all floated out of there that night, fed by the Holy Spirit, and blessed by God our Father.

IMG_1680

One of the biggest events of the week was a birthday party for the children at the orphanage. Much planning had gone into the event, and everyone had a great time! Many children here don’t even know when they were born, and they certainly aren’t accustomed to celebrating the day of their birth. We want these kids to look forward to their special day every year and know that they are loved and that God has blessed them and has a great plan for their lives.

Hannah and Adaire and other team members serving up birthday cake!

Hannah and Adaire and other team members serving up birthday cake!

As we do every week when a team comes, we went on a walk through the village as soon as we could sneak in a couple of hours of free time. We went up on the hill visiting with families and explaining to the team members how God has provided in so many ways for the people here. We stopped by Mdm Marta’s house, and as usual, she invited us all in. She fell in love with Clark, and he asked her if she would go on a date with him. She laughed and said “Wi!” So on Tuesday night after church, we prepared a big meal for them and set up a table out back with flowers and a candle. To Clark’s surprise, Mdm Marta invited a guest to their date!! Mark said he got “swagger jacked” and we all enjoyed watching Marta and her friend enjoy a dinner together. It was a sweet time. Marta was eager, however, to box up her food and take it up to her house to share with the children, so the romantic dinner was cut short. That Marta is something else!!

IMG_1684

On the last day of the week before time for the teams to leave, we thought we were going to have a baby! Kirsten had prayed and prayed that she would get to help deliver a baby while here. The first-time mother came in with pretty strong contractions, but she was extremely anxious. After a little while in the clinic, she requested to go outside to deliver. The team made a bed for her outside under the almond tree, and the wait began. We thought a baby was inevitable when the mama’s water broke, but unfortunately contractions pretty much stopped after that. Tony eventually made the decision to let Meresse take them to the hospital. We were all sad that we couldn’t deliver a baby, but we were glad that the mama was going to get the medical attention she needed too. She came back today with her mother and husband and brand new baby girl. Both mom and baby are doing great…and so is daddy – who was quite nervous when they were here. Ha!

Kirsten and Karen with Tony and Alex laboring a mother under the almond tree

Kirsten and Karen with Tony and Alex laboring a mother under the almond tree

As always, it’s hard to say goodbye to a group of people who you have worked & worshipped with all week. It seems like just about the time you have gotten to know everyone, it’s time to put them all back on the bus and send them to the airport. They leave us with many great memories though and friendships that will continue on in the weeks, months, and hopefully years to come. They leave a part of themselves here at Hope Center, and they take with them a heart full of blessings from serving however God led them to serve while here. We are thankful for their time here. Until lot fwa! (next time!)

South Carolina team picture before leaving

South Carolina team picture before leaving

The Pensacola team before leaving Hope Center

The Pensacola team before leaving Hope Center

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Looking Back and Forward at Hope Center

Hello Everyone!

As we prepare to head back to Haiti after a LONG winter break, we are excited about all of the things God has planned for 2015. We already have many teams scheduled to serve at Hope Center over the coming year, and we look forward to meeting and serving with every single one. I prepared a newsletter this week that will be going out in the mail to those on our physical mailing list, but I wanted to add a link to it here too. Just click on the link below, and it will open in PDF format.

Newsletter February 2015

We also created a slide show of some highlights from 2014 at Hope Center. Hope you ENJOY!!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Here are some people and things we would love for you to join us in praying for:

1. Mdm Anastasia Senatus: She is the elderly mother of one of our security guards. His name is Anel. We have been taking her to Mirebalais Hospital over the last few months trying to get help with a large tumor growing on her forehead. It has eaten through her skull now and is very large. This coming week, she will go to Mirebalais to meet with a neurosurgical team who will begin preparations for removing the tumor. Please pray for God’s protection and healing for Anastasia and guidance for the doctors who will be helping her.

2. A 20 year old young man named Louinel: We met Louinel a few months ago, and he begged us to help him. He is suffering from gynecomastia, and it is painful to him both physically and emotionally. He has met with doctors at Mirebalais and we have him on a 90 day trial run of tamoxifen, but if that medication does not help him, he will be looking at possible surgery.

3. A little boy named Franzil: A few months ago, Dr. Freddy Grant noticed that Franzil had an irregular heart beat and suggested we take him to see a cardiologist. Kathy Warren took him up to Mirebalais a couple of weeks ago, and they determined that he has a hole in his heart. They put him on medication and said they are optimistic he will grow out of it. Please pray that God will close up the hole and give Frantzil a long, healthy life.

4. Pray for us as we begin Creole Literacy classes and English as a Second Language classes in our village of Galette Chambon. We pray that starting the classes will go smoothly and many will come to know Christ and grow in their personal relationship with Him as well through these classes.

5. Construction projects: Please pray for us as we re-open the clinic at Hope Center, begin documenting and reporting patient records to the Ministry of Health, and look at clinic expansion in the near future.

6. Clinic: Please pray for every single person who enters the doors of our clinic that they may not only experience physical healing, but spiritual healing as well as we share the love of Christ with them.

7. Church: Please pray for our church and Pastor Mickenson Gilbrun as he leads and shepherds our congregation to a deeper understanding of the love, grace, and mercy of Jesus Christ.

8. Agriculture: Pray for our community as we explore ways to irrigate gardens and grow our chicken program into a business that will lead our community one step closer to sustainability. Pray that our terrace gardens will prove to be a great education opportunity as well as provide food for our community.

9. Pray that God will lead us as we prepare to begin having monthly Motherhood seminars in our village that will educate new mothers on prenatal care, childbirth, post-partum care and breast feeding.

10. Pray for our orphanage as we prepare to take in seven more children bringing our total to 20. Pray for Ydalia and her staff as they adjust to the increase in children and pray for our new interns as they get settled in and help love and educate the children in the orphanage.

 

There are many more prayer needs, but these are just the first 10 I could think of tonight. I’ll blog more as the year progresses.

We love you all and are so very thankful that God has blessed us with YOU as our prayer partners in this ministry.

MAY GOD BLESS YOU ABUNDANTLY!!

 

 

Leave a comment

January 31, 2015 · 5:42 am

Every Day is a Day to be Thankful

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!

I apologize to all of my blog followers because It’s been a while since I have written on my blog. Our internet has been a bit sketchy, and time has been even more sketchy, but I decided today that I would try really hard to get a post out and be better about posting in the future. I post to Facebook all the time because it is easy to do with the internet on my phone, but we discovered that we can use a little Digicel thumb drive to get Internet on the laptop, and today I am trying it out. Hopefully it will work!

As the great Eucalyptus tree reaches towards the heavens, I want to lift my eyes towards my Father in heaven and rejoice in His love daily so that I too may give off a sweet aroma of his love and strength as I grow in Him and through Him.

As the great Eucalyptus tree reaches towards the heavens, I want to lift my eyes towards my Father in heaven and rejoice in His love daily so that I too may give off a sweet aroma of his love and strength as I grow in Him and through Him.

Today, God reminded me through Philippians 4:4 that in order to live a healthy life, we must learn to rejoice in all things so that we may be full of joy (“Always be full of joy in the Lord, I say it again – rejoice.” Philippians 4:4 NLT). It always amazes me how God sends just the right Word for things I am dealing with at particular times in my life. I don’t really think it’s worry that I deal with. God taught me to release worry to Him a long time ago. I think the biggest hindrance to joy I find that I deal with is gratitude. People who are ungrateful are miserable because nothing makes them happy. I don’t ever want to let daily frustrations wear down my gratitude to a point that I am ungrateful because it is at those times one can forget to be thankful. So first of all, I am thankful that He reminds me to have joy and rejoice in Him daily so that I don’t get bogged down in self pity or focus on the negative. When we focus on negative, it infects every part of our lives. Rick Warren calls it “stewing without doing.” He pointed out in my devotional today that we need to choose to think on the positive and on God’s Word.  So today I choose to be grateful and rejoice in ALL things and focus on His Word that tells me to be full of Joy in the Lord.

Thanksgiving in Haiti 2014: We are grateful to God for children who love Him with all their heart, and we are thankful to Him for bringing them to us safely for this amazing Thanksgiving week 2014!

Thanksgiving in Haiti 2014: We are grateful to God for children who love Him with all their heart, and we are thankful to Him for bringing them to us safely for this amazing Thanksgiving week 2014!

This week has been a very special week for Tony and me, and we are very thankful. It’s not an average week at Hope Center because there hasn’t been a team here, and we have had the blessing of having our children here with us. We have had an opportunity to refresh our minds, recharge our batteries, and enjoy many beautiful sights in Haiti that we normally don’t have the time to visit. It has been an absolute pleasure to enjoy the beauty of this country with our children. All week long we have been reminded of all the many blessings we have to be thankful for.

We did have a small glitch in our plans when the kids arrived at the Birmingham airport at 4 am to find out that Jonathan’s ticket had somehow been canceled. Tony and I worked feverishly to restore his flight, but we were not able to get anything that would get him here on Friday with Jacob and Katelyn. He ended up having to spend the night in the Miami airport and catch the first flight out to arrive early Saturday morning. It was frustrating at first, but we decided that since there was nothing else we could do about it, we would choose to rejoice anyway. Jacob and Katelyn were able to spend some quality brother-sister time, and Jonathan was able to catch up with some friends of ours from Birmingham and even get a few goodies for the orphanage kids while waiting for his flight. We were just thankful we were able to get him a flight at all on such short notice.

With all three kids finally under one roof on Saturday, Thanksgiving week started with an evening of celebration for Tony’s birthday. Jonathan, Katelyn, & Jacob gave him gifts that he has been in much need of, a new water bottle and a new Bible. Both of his have been falling apart. We had a great time on our first night together in Haiti. We have so much to be thankful for!

Tony with the kiddos after celebrating his birthday. They gave him a new Bible, water bottle, and a box of Reese's cookie mix! Yum!!!

Tony with the kiddos after celebrating his birthday. They gave him a new Bible, water bottle, and a box of Reese’s cookie mix! Yum!!!

I took a picture of our refrigerator because it’s an unusual sight. Most of the time it’s pretty empty, but with the kids coming, Tony & I filled it up with snacks for the week to make it more homey. There’s just something about opening the refrigerator and finding snacks that makes it feel like home, and there’s just something about seeing one of our youngun’s stand there with the door open looking for what might satisfy that craving they’re having that just feels right. Refrigerator searches, naps on the couch, movies in the dark, and late night card games are some of the many little pleasures we enjoy when the kids are home for a visit. We take it all in, and we are so grateful for these precious ones and their safe travel to Haiti to spend Thanksgiving holidays with us.

 

Saturday afternoon, we went on a walk through the village to tell everyone hello and let them visit with the kids. People have been asking about them for months now, so we knew they would be very happy to see Jonathan, Katelyn, & Jacob. We had a great time visiting with everyone. I love how everyone greets us with a hug and a kiss and calls our children by name when they see them. This village is home to us now, and I think everyone looks forward to our kids visits as much as we do. I think the one person the most excited to see us was “Manu.” He ran straight to Jacob and jumped in his arms. He absolutely loves Jacob.

Emmanuel was so happy to see Jacob again. Jacob is his favorite buddy and he knows Jacob loves him.

Emmanuel was so happy to see Jacob again. Jacob is his favorite buddy and he knows Jacob loves him.

As we went from house to house visiting with people in the village, we came across one house that had a new baby in the family. Jonathan quickly scooped him up and was loving on him when two more mamas came out with babies! Three new babies all in one family!! What fun we had cuddling with those precious babies. Their mamas enjoyed watching us love on them too. Our Haitian neighbors know we love new babies, and we are so thankful they enjoy sharing their sweet babies with us.

We went on a walk through the village and came across a family that had three new babies all under 2 months old. Jonathan scooped up one of them for some sweet baby lovin'

We went on a walk through the village and came across a family that had three new babies all under 2 months old. Jonathan scooped up one of them for some sweet baby lovin’

Tony, Jonathan, and Katelyn all loving on the new babies we found while on our walk through the village.

Tony, Jonathan, and Katelyn all loving on the new babies we found while on our walk through the village.

Sunday was an extra special day because we were celebrating Jonathan & Katelyn’s first anniversary. Pastor Mickenson led the congregation in song as they all sang “Happy Anniversary” to them. Jonathan & Katelyn just glowed with gratitude in the love and acceptance of our fellowship of believers. Of course, Jocelyn rotated between their laps and Jacob’s lap all through the service, and we all enjoyed a blessing of song as Jonathan & Katelyn sang praises together during praise and worship time.

After church, our family went down to the orphanage to see the children. Jessi & Warren Flynt (from Birmingham) had sent some goodies to give to the children, so it was lots of fun to pull surprises out of a bag and play with the kids. Visiting the orphanage is often times the highlight of our day, and being able to visit with our own children made it even more fun. We played on the playground and in the courtyard until it was almost dark. I watched all of the smiling faces and thanked God for the huge family we now have.

As the week went on, the fun seemed to get better and better. Monday was the day we made plans to go on a trip up to the National Pine Forest with Kathy and Terry Warren (our new missionaries at Hope Center, Thoman). I think this trip was probably the highlight of our week. There’s no way to describe it to someone and do it justice. It’s a long, bumpy ride, but the sights and blessings are immeasurable.

Tuesday brought with it another adventure. We went from the mountain tops of Haiti to the beautiful sun-kissed seaside of Haiti. We spent one night at Club Indigo Beach Resort with the fam and the McCall’s for a much needed rest. We were excited to have an opportunity to go to the beach, but first things first, we had to stop to buy some new tires for the truck. As you can imagine, driving on these bumpy, rocky roads beats the tires to death, so in no time, they are worn down to nubs and simply must be replace. After one tire was chewed down to nothing on the drive down the mountain from the Pine Forest, we decided it was time to get them replaced before going to the beach. We were thankful to find a tire place that had NEW tires. Once that was done, we packed ourselves back into the the truck (girls with Vladimir inside and boys outside) and off to the beach we went. The trip on the way was an adventure in itself. We stopped along the road and bought a bunch of bread from a vendor so we could make PB&J sandwiches for lunch. The guys in the back decided to help themselves to a snack while enroute. We didn’t take many pictures while at the beach simply because we took a REAL break, but we did get a beautiful sunset and a picture of a boat out on the water. Rest assured, we did have some real quality down time together as a family. We are grateful…

After spending one night, we left the McCall’s at Indigo to spend a couple more nights, and we headed back to Hope Center in the truck.  Rested and ready to prepare for Thanksgiving dinner, we went through all of the preparation plans in our minds. As soon as we pulled in the gate, everyone got busy getting ready. Tony, Jonathan, Jacob, and Vladimir got busy with Woodnorder and Johnny preparing the pit for cooking the goat. (Junior had given a goat to Tony to cook for his birthday) Katelyn and I immediately got busy cutting carrots, potatoes, and other fresh veggies given to us by Miguelson’s family in the Pine Forest, and Bicly and Makil began the gruesome process of preparing the turkeys.  We went to bed late and got up early to start back to the process of cooking. The goat, prepared and wrapped up in banana leaves, cooked all night in the pit. When Jonathan and Tony lifted it out of the pit, we could smell the luscious aroma yards away. We put the turkeys in the oven at 6:30, and started mixing casseroles at 7. Katelyn was busy making desserts in our house while I worked on other dishes in the team kitchen. It was truly a team effort, and everyone was having a blast doing their part. The anticipation of having a huge feast together as a Hope Center family electrified the air, and smiles were on every face. Our friends from Hope Center, Thoman, Terry & Kathy Warren and Mathurin & Genese Merystal, arrived around 10 and we all visited in between timers going off and tables being prepared. By 12:30 all of the food was ready and we began sitting out plates and such to start serving lunch. We gathered together hand-in-hand and gave thanks to God for our Hope Center family and for the provision of food for this feast. We all ate in phases. Adults ate around 1, the orphanage kids and crew ate around 1:30, more friends showed up around 2, and we still had people coming to eat at 5. It was a full day of family, friends, and much, much thankfulness.

 

We had invited an army of people and yet we never worried once over how we would be able to afford to feed them all. We trusted God to provide and He did. Two weeks prior to Thanksgiving, the FBC Jackson team brought two suitcases full of food items to use in preparation for the meal. They also gave us money to purchase the turkeys! On our trip to the Pine Forest, God provided even more food as Miguelson’s father blessed us with several HUGE cabbages, a sack full of giant carrots, and another sack full of potatoes. All of it was used to prepare this enormous spread of food to celebrate our thankfulness to a Father who loves us and provides for our needs.

Friday was a lazy day for all of us. We slept late, hung out at the house and around Hope Center all day, and continued clean up after our huge day of feasting. We put decorations on the Christmas tree and hung lights around the room in anticipation of the season for celebrating Christ’s birth. We savored every last minute we had left together knowing that the next day our family week would be over and we would be headed back to the airport bright and early Saturday morning.

 

As I have recounted events over this past week, I can’t think of one single moment that we can’t be thankful for. I’m sure there were some stressful or hard moments mixed in there somewhere, but I honestly cannot recall a single one. I guess that’s because God continues to teach me how to have an attitude of gratitude and find ways to be thankful even when times are hard. We are thankful for our children, thankful for our friends, thankful for our staff, thankful for our family back home that loves us and prays for us daily, thankful for others who support us both financially and prayerfully, and we are thankful that God has made us part of a community of people that has accepted us and loves us because they know that we love them. We are all learning to depend completely on God to give us strength and gratitude for both the good and the bad, and we are grateful to Him for our call to service in His name.  We….are….grateful.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Committing Our Plans to the Lord

On June 12th, Jacob and I will be returning to Haiti, and I already have a list as long as my arm of projects I want to tackle once I get moved back. Of course, our ministry is not our own; it’s God’s, and being such, it requires the input and contribution of many people to accomplish all of the things God wants us to accomplish at Hope Center. We are just excited to be able to be a part of what God’s up to!

Throughout the year, I have been able to post needs that we have had there, and every single time, within minutes, God has moved someone to meet those needs, and they have followed through with making it happen. I am so amazed at how God does that! Just last week, I asked if anyone wanted to purchase boots for our security guards at Hope Center, and within 24 hours, all six pairs of boots had been ordered! Amazing! God is faithful!

IMG_0679

 

So today I have debated about whether or not I should make a list of upcoming projects and needs, or focus on just one. As I have prayed about writing this post, I have come to the conclusion that I will focus on the one God has placed heaviest on my heart, then I will briefly list other things coming up in case God wants to begin moving people to pray about becoming involved in the other projects. Every time I do post a need, however, I want to remind people that I do not post these things with the expectation of every single person taking part in every single project. Yes, God wants to use everyone to do His work, but He moves some individuals one way and others another way, and through it all, things get taken care of through the individuals He moves to be used in individual ways. Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” That is what I do when I tell people about projects we are working on. I pray about needs, wait for the Holy Spirit to burden my heart then give me the voice to put it out there. Every time we have done this, God has moved people to respond, and it absolutely blows my mind every single time! Hallelujah! 

commit

Okay, so here’s the most immediate need: Most of you are probably familiar with our friend, Johnny. Not long after we moved to Haiti, we met Johnny, and God placed a burden upon our hearts to minister to him. He had been hanging out at Hope Center a lot, and he was incessantly making requests for things. Tony and I finally decided we needed to reach out to Johnny. We invited his mother over to talk with her about offering Johnny a little part-time job of helping us keep Hope Center clean, and we also wanted to talk with her about sponsoring Johnny in school. We felt like it was important for Johnny to learn to earn his own money to buy things he needs instead of asking people for things all the time. We also felt like Johnny needed incentive to stay in school, so we could help him with that by paying for his school. We asked his mom to take us to his school to meet his principal, and from there, God began meeting the needs of hundreds of children as people began giving to help send more children of our village to this same school.

Johnny getting ready to head to school.

Johnny getting ready to head to school.

Since that time, Johnny has continued to work at Hope Center. Tony is pretty much the only male influence Johnny has in his life because his father, who is voodoo priest, is not in the picture, and Johnny’s mother relies heavily on him to help her with the other children in their household. It has been both a challenge and a joy to watch him grow and develop over these two years. Last summer Johnny accepted Christ, and although he often struggles because of outside influence, he continues to mature as we pour into him and pray for him as well as his family. Recently, Tony felt led to ask Johnny to show him where he lives. It occurred to Tony that after all this time, Johnny has never mentioned us seeing where he lived. So Tony asked Johnny to tell him where he lives. One day, after finishing clinic early, Tony decided to pay Johnny a visit at his house. When Tony arrived there, he found Johnny covered in mud from helping a neighbor build his own house out of sticks and clay. Johnny took Tony over to his house, and this is what he found…

Johnny's house 3

Johnny in front of his house.

Johnny's house 2

Missing door and roof on Johnny’s house

Johnny, his mother, and four more children live in a three-room house, but only one of the rooms has a roof. There should be four doors on the house, but two of the doors are missing. The one room that does have a roof has many holes and open spaces in it, so when it rains, even though they have a roof, everything in their house pretty much gets soaked. Seeing this absolutely broke Tony’s heart. He immediately sent me pictures of what he saw and said that he would like to talk to Jacques to get a quote on how much it would cost to fix Johnny’s house. Jacques came to look at it and estimated the cost of repairs to be $1500. Of course, we do not personally have this kind of money, but our Father owns “the cattle on a thousand hills” (Ps 50:10), and we know that He can provide these funds in no time. The next step was to discuss the project with our CEO, Stan Buckley, to get his approval to raise the funds. Of course, Stan immediately said, “Sure! Let’s do it!”

So now is the time to voice the need. Our prayer is that God will lead enough people to participate in this effort to raise a minimum of $1500 to fix Johnny’s house. Any funds we raise in excess, we will use them to purchase beans, rice, and oil to help feed his family. What we need you to do now is to PRAY. Pray and ask God if He wants to use you in this effort. Again,  I want to reiterate that not everyone that reads this is expected to participate. God already knows who He wants to use in this project, and who He wants to use in other projects. Our job is simply to pray and ask Him to burden our hearts and move us to respond. That’s what He has done with Tony and me in every single project we have started, and every time He has been faithful to provide. It’s always miraculous how He brings it all about!

If you are indeed burdened to participate in this project, please send your tax-deductible contribution to But God Ministries and designate it to “Johnny’s House.” The website is http://www.butgodministries.com and there is a link there that says, “Donate.”  From there, you will first be asked to create an account if this is the first time you have given. Once you do so, you will see a screen that looks like this:

GIVE TO JOHNNY'S HOUSE

Designate it to General Budget, but in the comment box, put JOHNNY’S HOUSE as you see on the example. Finish filling out the form and click “Submit” and that will lead you through the rest of the process. Of course, you can also send in a check and write on the memo line “JOHNNY’S HOUSE” as well and it will do the same thing. The address to send checks is BGM, 1440 N. State St., Jackson, MS 39202. We look forward to seeing God work in this effort, and as always HE WILL BE GLORIFIED.

As promised, I said I would mention other upcoming projects as well. This is certainly not a complete list, as God is always leading us to start new projects, but these are some things you can be praying about:

July – School Tuition & School Needs Drive for Village Children (school begins in October)

August – Textbook Orders for New English Classes (classes begin in October or November)

August – Re-Order School T-Shirts (just need two church sponsors to place the order)

August-September – Backpack and Tennis Shoe Drive for School Children

Ongoing – Chicken Coups and Laying Hens for “Houses on the Hill”

Ongoing – House building (groups are always raising funds to build more houses for people in the village)

Ongoing – Thoman Hope Center II (designation already on drop down list on website)

As always, we are so very thankful for your prayers and support as you join us in all of these efforts. We consider ourselves part of a big team of believers who work together being used by God to bless others in amazing ways. We have thoroughly enjoyed having you as a part of this team! 🙂 We look forward to reporting many great things to come as God continues to use us all to bless our village one heart at a time.

God Bless You!!

Mickie

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

June 5, 2014 · 7:00 pm

Comfort from the Father

Sacrifice…

You know, I have heard it said many, many times that Jesus Christ knows our struggles and He can understand and identify with things we are going through, for God’s Word says in Hebrews 4:15  “We do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” His Word says that there is no difficulty or trial or temptation that we can go through in this life that He was not faced with in similar fashion. He also knows that we, unlike Him, are fallen creatures. He was without sin because He is God – He “knew” no sin! He was the “I Am” that spoke to Moses through the burning bush, and He is the “I Am” that He claimed to be when he spoke to the Jews and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM” in John 8:58. The Word says, in 2 Corinthians 5:21, “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” And in Philippians 2:5-8, the Word states, “Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it something to be held  as equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.  And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”

Wow. Today God has been speaking so much to me about this very thing….sacrifice. I know God is speaking to me about this because I spent most of the night last night speaking to HIM about it! You see, Tony and I both have been becoming very weary under the burden of the calling He has given us. This is not to say we have second guessed the call and the decision we made to surrender everything we knew as normal to become full time missionaries in Haiti. It just means that there have been times when we have found ourselves simply very tired and crying out to God for relief. Last night, as I cried out to Him for strength to continue on, He began speaking to me as my Father often does, saying, “My daughter, I love you, and I know how you feel.”

Image

This cross reminds me of the sacrifice our savior gave to leave His Heavenly home to provide a way of reconciliation to me. Thank you Jesus!

It’s been a remarkable, yet at the same time, difficult six months for our family. We have experienced what it means to sacrifice in many ways. However, at the same time I have to ask myself, have we really? It certainly and often feels like we have! When we think back on what our hopes and dreams were years ago when we signed papers on a piece of land and began looking at house plans with dreams of building our own home there, our vision for the future did not include giving up everything and being divided between the US and Haiti. We did see our dream come true, and we lived in the house we built for twelve years, watching our children grow up and enjoying many, many fun times with them and their friends. Actually, when we look back, we realize that we have been blessed in so many ways. God has given us two amazing and talented boys who have been a constant source of joy. He has allowed us to travel all over the world whether through sports events, family vacations, or mission trips. He has given us gifts and prepared us for this time in our lives in such a way that we recognize that we are perfectly designed for such a time as this. In our weariness, it so easy to focus on the sacrifice and sometimes feel exasperated. However, just about the time we both feel exhausted under the weight of our current circumstances, Jesus reminds us of His sacrifice.

Think about it. Jesus left the glory of Heaven to become not just a part of humanity, but a sacrifice for the sins of those He came to serve. He gave up everything for us, and we questioned Him, rejected Him, and ultimately sent Him to His death. It was all part of a plan that He knew had to take place, and He willingly gave Himself. In one of His most human moments throughout the time He spent here, he cried out to God, when Matthew 26:39 describes that “He fell with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.’”  Because of His love for us, He willingly went along with the plan. He knew that in order for us to be reconciled to God, He had to give Himself as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. Was this easy for Him? NO! Was it necessary? Yes.

So when I compare our sacrifice to His, I come to realize that ours is small, yet He doesn’t see it as such because He comforts us when we cry out to Him! He says, “I know how you feel,” and He does!! He left His home and His father. He went to a place where life was very different and difficult. He experienced what it felt like to give up everything and serve with no real home to call His own or income other than what God provided through those He chose to use to bless and provide for Him. He sacrificed it all only to be unappreciated and taken for granted by those for whom he gave it all. He knows how it feels to be separated from His home and the comfort and glory of Heaven to go to a place of anger and filth and despair. Yet He looked around at the people He came to serve, and He felt nothing but Love. THAT is the key!

We turn to Him and we ask Him to let us focus on His love for us so that we can in turn love on those we now serve THROUGH Him. Just as Jesus had precious moments with those who truly loved Him and followed Him, we too have many, many precious moments with others who He uses to bless us – from precious Haitian brothers and sisters in Christ, to serving brothers and sisters on mission teams, to attentive brothers and sisters here in the US, God uses so many others to bless us in unimaginable ways. We turn our focus to Christ and His sacrifice, then we lift our eyes in praise to our loving Father who truly does know how we feel, and we are comforted and refreshed.

Image

God has given us many precious moments like this one to be thankful for!

I am so thankful for a Father who loves us unconditionally and has a plan beyond our ability to comprehend. It is a good plan, and we trust Him. We are experiencing His grace and provision unlike anything we could ever have imagined. We are blessed to be used by Him daily, and we serve Him with GLADNESS!! Most of all, I am thankful that He loves us enough to comfort us. He is Good ALL THE TIME. 

Image

Our Crossgates Family praying for us before we moved to Haiti. Oh how we cherish the prayers of those who are led to pray!!

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

A Story of Healing and God’s Provision

Today I am just overwhelmed with thanksgiving to God for the miracle of healing and provision that He has performed in our lives. Every day God sends hurting and sick people to Hope Center – many walking hours from far into the mountains, seeking not only free healthcare and medicines, but prayer from a God-appointed, miracle believing man who loves the Lord and loves the people of Galette Chambon, Ganthier, Haiti. That man is my husband, and I am so very thankful to God for the miracle He has worked in our lives to move us to this place where we can serve Him and BE the love of Jesus to so many people every single day. Again, I am simply overwhelmed by the many testimonies God has given us in just the few months we have been on this mission.

baby

Tony holding his first spend-the-night patient at Hope Center Clinic. A two-week-old preemie who’s mother was suffering from sepsis but has now been healed!

On Tuesday of this week, around 7:30 in the evening, a local tap-tap driver brought a young mother to Hope Center Clinic for emergency medical attention. She had given birth to a premature baby girl two weeks ago, and at this point, she could not walk, she had a fever of 104, abdominal pain, and low blood pressure. Her aunt held the tiny baby who was sleeping soundly, not having a clue that her mother’s life hung in the balance, needing nothing short of a miracle. Tony and Vladimir (our interpreter) and Ray (a dear friend and SP Chaplain visiting Tony right now) prepared for the task set before them. The air was heavy and urgent. Ray immediately began praying, and Vladimir and Tony set out to ask the questions necessary to diagnose the problem. In his heart, Tony prayed that God would give him wisdom and understanding to provide the care to this young mother that God would have him give in order to save her life. Within a few minutes, Tony had diagnosed the problem as sepsis and started IV fluids and antibiotics and something to reduce the fever. Desiring confirmation of his diagnosis and plan of action, Tony began to seek consultation with an OBGYN doctor and friend who had been at Hope Center just weeks ago. The doctor confirmed that he felt Tony’s diagnosis and plan were indeed correct and that she was better off at Hope Center than going to a hospital because not only had God provided the understanding and expertise, but He had already provided all the supplies and medicines she needed to get better. As soon as Tony could get a break, he went in the house and called me and asked me to get all prayer warriors on board to pray for this young mother because her condition was very serious. I sent out an email as well as a Facebook status, and within minutes hundreds of people started praying for a woman they did not know, but God gave them a burden to pray, so in obedience they prayed. “Praying” said one, “Done,” said another,” “Lifting her up,” answered another, and the responses went on and on. God had begun a chain of power that reached beyond an ocean to literally hundreds of people within minutes, and His power began to manifest itself in the body of this woman. Within two hours, her temperature had gone down to near normal and her blood pressure had returned to normal as well. She was still very week, but she was recovering miraculously. She rested in the clinic through the night, and Tony checked on her periodically. Above is a picture of Tony with the sweet baby.

This was our first spend-the-night patient at Hope Center, and as God provided everything this mother needed medically, He also provided for her family. You see, most of the time Hope Center is full of visiting short-term mission teams. Our women’s and men’s dorms are usually full to capacity and then some! However, this particular week, there is no one visiting besides Ray and Stan, our BGM CEO. That meant that an entire dorm sat empty – available for over night company! The young mother, her baby, and her aunt, who was attending her, stayed in the clinic, and several other family members, who came along on the long journey down from the village of Thoman in the mountains, were able to stay in the men’s dorm. Knowing this day was coming, God provided for this family’s needs by providing a place for them to stay while they waited for a miracle. Oh but wait! That’s not all!!

With no team staying at Hope Center, we normally would not be prepared to feed any extra guests. However, last week, our sweet friend Bicly had come by to share some fresh baked rolls with Tony, Vladimir, and Ray. After tasting the rolls, Tony asked if he could buy some from Bicly. Bicly said that he could not sell his mother’s rolls, but he could go back to the bakery and get some for Tony. So Tony gave him some money – a Haitian bill equivalent to about $13. He told Bicly to buy him a few rolls. Bicly went to the bakery and returned with $13 worth of rolls!!! Tony had three bags of rolls – enough to last him for at least three weeks!! He called me and said, “I don’t know what I’m going to do with all of these rolls!” Well God did know. God was preparing for a few guests! Tony was able to prepare breakfast for the family the next morning before going back to the clinic to check on Mom and baby. Hallelujah!

straw

Tony needed a straw so his patient could drink while continuing to lay in the bed. He looked around and saw some oxygen tubing and cut a piece of it to use as a straw. If you look closely, you can see the straw coming out of the cup. 🙂

So the next day, after taking breakfast to everyone, he found Mom doing much better, but baby and a fever of 102 and was crying incessantly. Tony prayed for wisdom and decided to try ear drops. Within seconds of applying the ear drops, the tiny, baby girl became quiet. He started the baby on antibiotics as well, and she fell asleep in her aunt’s arms. Next, he checked on Mom. She was free of fever and her blood pressure remained normal. He started another round of IV antibiotics and prayed with her. Afterwards, he gave her a roll with peanut butter and a glass of Gatorade. She was too weak to sit up, so Tony created a bending straw for her to drink from by cutting some oxygen tubing. He sent me a picture of his ingenious work. Ha! He was quite proud of his resourcefulness. 🙂 Oh, and the rolls Bicly bought are there on the plate next to the glass.

As Mom began to be nourished, she also began to regain strength. By Wednesday afternoon, she was able to WALK out of the clinic to the ladies restroom to get a shower. Her family was elated to see her walking ON HER OWN. God had truly spared her life and performed a miracle in their lives, and they were quick to give God the glory!

Today – only two days after arriving at Hope Center near death – Mom and baby have been discharged to go back to Thoman. Baby is getting antibiotics and ear drops, and Mom is continuing on antibiotics as well. Both are continuing to be lifted up in prayer by countless believers who are rejoicing in the miracle we have witnessed this week. Not only did God provide healing, He provided food in advance for her family, shelter, wisdom in her diagnosis and treatment, strength as she recovered, medicine and supplies needed for treatment, and lots and lots of LOVE. This is truly and exciting day at Hope Center in Galette Chambon, Haiti, and we are rejoicing once again over God’s provision and guidance.

It is such a privilege to be a part of what is going on in this village. I thank each and every one of you who prays daily for our family and our ministry. I thank those of you who sacrifice each month to provide the support needed to keep our family on this mission. I thank all who follow the events that happen at Hope Center and rejoice with us over all of the ways God provides. I thank the prayer warriors who are faithful to jump into action when a prayer request is posted. Most of all I THANK GOD for what He is doing through all of us as we travel together on this journey. You have no idea how your words of encouragement, support, and prayers bless us. They really, really do. 🙂

Praise be to God for his provision!!!

Mickie

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized