Tag Archives: Haitiwest

Bondye Konnen

I am a bit delayed in posting the following post. I prepared it right after the Freedom Christian Fellowship team left, but there were a couple of things I had to add in before posting. Life never seems to slow down, however, around Hope Center, so days clicked by and they turned to weeks. So now that i have a few minutes to reflect and edit my post, I’m finally posting my recollections of the week Freedom Christian Fellowship came, and it makes me miss them all over again. We love you guys!!


The Freedom Christian Fellowship team with some of our Hope Center Family: Brian, Jane, Tom, Bicly, Brenda, Johnny, Jonathan, Phillip, Matthew, Dean, Macey, Junior, Fedna, Rachel, and Anel.

It is never easy to say goodbye to our brothers and sisters in Christ. However, after a full week of more activities than I can count, the team from Freedom Christian Fellowship loaded the bus to head back home, leaving tear stains on my face as I hugged each one and watched them climb the steps of the bus. Telling them goodbye is like letting go of something that is precious to you, because you know you have no choice. All you can do is hold onto the memories and know that your prayers for one another keep you close until next time. Sounds like family right? Well they are indeed family to us. We always cherish their time here and this week was no different.

The pastors that attended the pastors' conference showing off their certificates at the end of the conference.

The pastors that attended the pastors’ conference showing off their certificates at the end of the conference.

Pastors Dean Smith, Brad Smith, and Brian Miller and their team hold a very special place in our hearts and we know Haiti holds a very special place in theirs. Pastor Dean Smith from Freedom Christian Fellowship in Gautier, MS, has been leading pastor’s conferences here in our area for three years now. When he comes, he always brings a team of amazing people with him who show the love of Jesus in many, many ways. The pastors here know he loves them not only because he tells them so, but because he comes back. Tony and I know he genuinely loves us too. He and his brother Brad and their dear friend Brian Miller and ALL of their team members will always hold a dear place in our hearts.

Alex & Rachel lead the Easter Week VBS with the orphanage kids and Rachel & Macey hang out with the kids.

Alex & Rachel lead the Easter Week VBS with the orphanage kids and Rachel & Macey hang out with the kids.

It was a crazy, busy week. Besides the pastor’s conference, the team was also busy with other things happening all over Hope Center. Dean and Brian brought their daughters, Rachel and Macy along this time, and their favorite activity was playing with the kids at the orphanage. Because it was the week before Easter, and the kids were out of school, our intern Rachel had daily activities planned for them leading up to the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday. Every day Alex would lead them in a Bible story, they would sing songs, and they would make a craft that held some sort of significance to the Easter story. While this was going on, Brenda and Jane were leading a Motherhood Seminar.

Jane & Barbara talk with the first mother to arrive at the motherhood seminar. Translator JuJu was a tremendous help at the seminar.

Jane & Barbara talk with the first mother to arrive at the motherhood seminar. Translator JuJu was a tremendous help at the seminar.

I have been planning and looking forward to starting these Motherhood Seminars for quite some time. It’s been a dream of mine for a long time to periodically have teams come and spend a week teaching expectant mothers about pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, and newborn care. I mentioned the idea in an email to Brenda before they came, and as Dean said, she took the idea on with a vengeance. She put together an amazing week of loving on these mothers, stressing to them that they were chosen by God to be the mother of this child, and that He had equipped each one of them to be able to care for her baby. There were only five mothers who participated in the seminar this week, but I am sure that as teams come and continue the teaching, more and more will come and learn about how beautiful it is to be a mother. Thank you Brenda and Jane for taking this on! You have started something wonderful!

Tom & Jonathan take care of Esther in the clinic.

Tom & Jonathan take care of Esther in the clinic.

Throughout the week, two of the team members helped in the clinic. Tom and Jonathan were amazing help in the clinic. Unfortunately Tony came down with some sort of virus, so it was great to have someone so knowledgeable and equipped to stand in for him in the clinic. Tom and Jonathan took care of many medical needs in the clinic and Tony didn’t have a thing to worry about. He certainly wanted to be able to be in there working with them, but it was a relief knowing that God had provided capable hands during this time. We are so grateful for the love they showed to the people who entered the doors of our clinic this week.

Phillip & Matthew putting up fans in the breezeway.

Phillip & Matthew putting up fans in the breezeway.

It seems like with almost every team that comes, God provides a handy man in the group because He knows that we have so many needs here that just require the attention of someone who knows how to fix it. This week was no different. We have had fans sitting in the depot for several weeks. Al Subblefield from Pensacola gave them to us to put up in the breezeway to help keep the air moving and provide softer lighting at night. Among many other “fix-it things” that needed to get done, Phillip and Matthew jumped right on the fan installation and did a wonderful job. Throughout the week, they helped with other things as well. They helped Charles and Junior get the post holes dug for the garden fence; they worked on the generator; they helped with VBS for the village kids two days, and one night they even held a youth praise and worship event for teenagers in the village. They were some versatile and busy guys all week! We are grateful for their talents and servant’s heart.

Kelly, Leyna, and Macey with Marie Francis and Yvnante making plates for the pastors' conference.

Kelly, Leyna, and Macey with Marie Francis and Yvnante making plates for the pastors’ conference.

I certainly can’t talk about this week without also mentioning two very special people we had with us who were not a part of the FCF team, but they were definitely a VITAL part of our Hope Center team this week. We have had two short-term interns here with us in the last few weeks, and as always, they have been a HUGE help and made an amazing contribution to the ministry of Hope Center. Kelly Dukes and Leyna Hendley have been here before at different times, but it was definitely God’s plan for them to be here at the same time during this week. Again, God provided who we needed when we needed them, and Leyna and Kelly were right where God wanted them to be….Hope Center.

Kelly practicing her head-balancing skills while taking plates to the pastors' conference

Kelly practicing her head-balancing skills while taking plates to the pastors’ conference

Kelly’s expertise as a paralegal was extremely valuable this week in helping Tony with paperwork in the clinic. Tony has been working hard to get our clinic working under Haiti Ministry of Health standards, and with that comes a LOT of record keeping. Kelly took on the task of entering patient records into the computer and assigning dossier numbers to all of them. She spent HOURS on the papers, and she helped Tony find his way out of a mountain of paper work. Not only did she help with this, but she also took on registration in the pastor’s conference, made the coffee each day for the team and pastor’s conference, helped us prepare lunch plates for all the pastors, as well as many, many other odds and end things that she gladly took on to help out. It’s always good to have Kelly around, and we are so thankful to have had these few weeks with her at Hope Center.

Leyna visiting with Bicly's family in the village.

Leyna visiting with Bicly’s family in the village.

Leyna is one of those people who has a contagious, genuine love for Jesus, and every single person she comes in contact with can see it and feel it in her smile and her touch. I truly believe that she sees every moment she has interacting with people as an opportunity to show the love of Jesus and allow that person to introduce her to a new experience in life. Leyna spent her time here at Hope Center doing many things. She helped Hannah with the girls and homeschooling; she helped in the pharmacy; she helped Vierge and Marie Therese in the kitchen; she helped prepare the lunch plates for the pastor’s conference; and she absolutely LOVED it when she had opportunities to go into the village and connect with people. Leyna and I had three very special occasions when we were able to visit and love on people together. One was when we went to Bicly’s house because his mother had invited us to come eat pigeon! Leyna has an adventurous streak in her, and she loves to experience other cultures. Rachel and I went with her to Bicly’s and we all had a delicious meal of pigeon and bread and sauce sitting at Bicly’s dinner table and enjoying great company. Another special time was when we went back to Bicly’s and shared in worship with his family and neighbors at a revival service they were having. We prayed and sang with them and worshipped our Father together, and I am so thankful for this time she and I shared with these precious people. Lastly, Leyna and I had an opportunity to minister to a young woman on the way home from Bicly’s house, and I think this was probably a highlight in her time here at Hope Center. When we were walking back to Hope Center from Bicly’s house, we came upon a young woman walking on the main road. We began to initiate conversation with her and we found out that she had been to the clinic and needed to go get her husband and go to the hospital in Croix des Bouquets. She didn’t feel well and she had no money to pay for food or transportation to Croix des Bouquets, so she had a very long walk ahead of her. When Leyna and I arrived back at Hope Center, we grabbed up the keys to the truck and a got a little money from Tony and headed out looking for her on the road. We found her, pulled over the truck, and asked her if she wanted a ride. She climbed into the truck and immediately fell apart in tears. It was obvious that she was overwhelmed. I could tell that she had been praying for God to help her, and in minutes, He answered her prayer by sending us to give her a ride. As we rode, we talked about the love of Jesus and how God knows our needs. Along the way, Leyna and I realized we had rushed out of Hope Center without our passports and I didn’t even have my purse or driver’s license. We immediately prayed for protection and favor and trusted God to do just that as we went on our way to Croix des Bouquet. By the time we arrived at the house where her husband was working, she had a totally different countenance. She was smiling, happy, and grateful. Leyna and I had no doubt that God had used us to remind this lady of His love for her and that He provides for our needs.

Rachel playing with the kids at the orphanage

Rachel playing with the kids at the orphanage

To recount every exciting event that happened throughout the week would take forever, so I will spare you the reading. I do, however, want to thank each of you who pray for us and for those who come serve here with us. There is no telling how many lives are changed every single week around here as people share the love of Jesus with people who depend completely on God’s provision for their every single need. Oh that we could all come to that place when we realize that HE is Lord and Bondye Konnen!! (God knows).

The team at dinner sharing some love for Hannah on her birthday. This cookie is for you!! Happy Birthday Hannah!

The team at dinner sharing some love for Hannah on her birthday. This cookie is for you!! Happy Birthday Hannah!

We are thankful for another amazing week with the Freedom Christian Fellowship team and Leyna and Kelly. We look forward to the day you all return and share your love for Jesus with the people of our village.

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Living Stones and Kingdom Work

Some weeks here at Hope Center are quiet. As I sit here writing on my blog, I hear a rooster call in the distance; the guineas in the yard are calling out to let us know that Jillian has arrived; a baby is crying in his mother’s lap while they wait to see the doctor; and Madame Marta is greeting people in the yard as she looks around for trash to pick up. “Ti cafe ak pen souple,” she asks as I step out onto my front door step to say hello. She’s asking for a little coffee and bread for breakfast before she commences with her work. At 85 years old, she comes to Hope Center every day with a bag in her hands, working to keep the place nice and clean to earn chicken feed for her chickens. She’s like the Hope Center Clinic cheerleader in that she walks around among the waiting patients in the morning, greeting them with a kiss on the cheek and asking them how they are doing. Her voice dances with the mountain fresh air and touches my heart. I glance out my front door and see the flower petals waving in the breeze and the empty chair swing spinning in a slow circle. It’s a quiet week here.

Sitting on the love seat in my house, looking out my front door, listening to the sounds of Hope Center

Sitting on the love seat in my house, looking out my front door, listening to the sounds of Hope Center

Other weeks are not so quiet. Last week, Hope Center was one of those not-so-quiet weeks. That’s not a bad thing at all. It’s actually a very good thing. When teams are here, every day begins with a buzz of anticipation as team members prepare for the tasks of ministry they have planned to do. As the day progresses, the team members gather back together for lunch and then dinner and share with one another about the things God did through them over the course of the day. At the end of the week, we are amazed at how God multiplied their efforts to do many great works that will carry on many months and years to come. It’s often too much to recount. This is the case with the Crystal Springs/MSU team. The group from New Zion Baptist Church, some students from Mississippi State University, and our Jacob and his girlfriend Madison all joined together for an amazing Spring Break of ministry at Hope Center in Haiti.

The Crystal Springs team in front of our church at sunset

The Crystal Springs team in front of our church at sunset

Their plans for the week included building benches for the church, hosting VBS, building a house for Johnny’s family, helping with clinic, and hosting a ladies Bible study. With God’s help and provision, they accomplished all of these things and more.

On day one, the buzz of the saw in the yard cranked up early as half the team immediately got to work on making benches. Charles had created a design that is very sturdy and will allow for a hymnal tray to be added to the back of each bench later. These benches will allow us to pack in so many more people in our church as we grow in numbers every week.

Also on the first day, another group of team members loaded up and went into the village to begin work on building Johnny’s family a house. The house they have been living in had three rooms, but only one of the three rooms had a roof, and it was falling in. There was only one working door on the house, and inside was dark and dusty from the mud walls and heat. Their new house has two rooms with a vented roof for air flow and windows to allow for light to come in during the day. It has a locking front door and a concrete floor instead of dirt. It may not seem like much from American standards. but to this family that has endured many a muddy night as the rain poured through their tattered tin roof, it is a blessing from God that they have prayed for for a long time.

In VBS, the team loved on children throughout the village each afternoon, teaching them about the joys and benefits of knowing Jesus. They talked about how Jesus is the light and He shines through us when we let his light shine. They gave out little LED flashlights from Community Bank as a useful reminder of the light of Christ. They also gave out water bottles that said “Jezi se vivan” (Jesus is living water). On the last day, they walked the children down to the well that the team members had fixed in their “spare time” and let the kids fill their water bottles up with fresh, clean water. It was LOTS of fun!!

Ladies Bible study was a huge blessing to the women of our village. They love spending time with the American women, discussing issues important to women and letting God minister to their hearts through song and sharing of the Word. On the last day, the leaders of the Bible study washed the ladies’ feet to demonstrate the love of Christ in us as we minister to one another. It was a touching moment. Even Jess got in on the special time as he washed the feet of a man that came to the bible study and then he and Junior washed one another’s feet. Such a precious time!

Throughout each day and in between all of the planned activities, many team members helped with clinic by working triage, counting pills, and entering information into the computer from patient files. There is always an abundance of activity that goes on behind the scenes each week at Hope Center, and this team jumped to action whenever a need was seen.

I could talk about and post pics of all of the things this team did to minister to the people of our village last week, but time will not allow because it was MUCH. I will list other things below and post a slide show of all of the pics of the week below. Suffice it to say that we are so very thankful that people are willing to be led by God to come serve in our village at Hope Center, Galette Chambon. We do not take lightly the sacrifice it takes to come here and serve. However, we do know that God blesses people who trust in His provision and say YES when he calls them to come serve. And when people come, they allow God to use them in many amazing ways, and those works carry on for many years to come. It’s called KINGDOM work because as people come serve, they are building the Kingdom of God up in a way that has eternal impact in people’s lives.1 Peter 2:5 says, “You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” When teams come here to work, they are like living stones that build up the kingdom of God. Their sacrifice is an offering that is acceptable and blessed by God. Long after a team leaves, the memories of laughter, prayer, worship, and hard work echo through our minds, and through the minds of the people they touch, and we are all blessed.

Other things the team did: (I’m sure I don’t have a complete list here either!)

  • Fixed the village well that has been broken
  • Worked on electrical issues within Hope Center
  • Installed an outlet in the ag missionary house
  • Worked on the ambulance and bus
  • Helped with ESL classes and Creole Literacy class
  • Fixed a door latch on the mission house
  • Fixed the deep freezer hinge
  • Changed oil in the skid steer
  • Visited people in the village
  • Watered trees in the village
  • Built a chicken coup
  • Special VBS at orphanage
  • Shared in song during worship service at church
  • Helped deliver a baby at 3:45 a.m.

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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.


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.


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.


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.


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!!


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

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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!



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! 


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:


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!!







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June 5, 2014 · 7:00 pm

Spring Break at Hope Center

I have been working on this post for two weeks now. It has been extremely difficult to write it just because I am writing about our time together as a family in Haiti over spring break and I just didn’t want it to end! I think I will start with a recap…. It has been a difficult year and yet it has been a glorious year as well. To think, this time last year we had just returned from Spring Break in Haiti with a team from Petal, and we were making plans to move to Haiti to serve full time. Now, a year later, we have sold a house, two vehicles, all of our furniture and most of our belongings, moved to Haiti; opened the medical clinic full time; opened the dental clinic (Tony learned to pull teeth); finished the orphanage; began making our house a home by painting walls and building cabinets;  raised money for scholarships for over 200 children in our village; built over 20  houses and moved 18 families out of a tent city and into those houses; hosted many, many teams that have come from the states to serve in VBS, construction, medical and dental clinics, evangelism, and discipleship; taken mobile clinics to remote parts of Haiti; hired a Haitian pastor and countless other Haitians who for the first time have steady income for their families; seen over 150 people come to know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior; and now we are about to begin having services in our new church. Of course, this is not a complete list either! If I listed out everything, it would take forever to list and forever for you to read, so I have mainly hit the high points. In the midst of all of this, our family was faced with a difficult decision to sacrifice time together as a family in order to give our youngest son an opportunity to finish school in the states. It changed the dynamic of our experience dramatically, but God has assured us over and over again that we made the right choice and that He has the whole plan under control. This decision, however, has required more faith and trust in God than even our first decision to sell everything and move! We have had to trust that God would provide us a place to live while here in the states; trust that He would provide support that would cover the increased cost of living in two different countries for a period of time; trust that He would sustain us while being separated by so many miles and missing out on precious moments that we would prefer to enjoy together as a family. But God does sustain us, and He has provided in ways beyond our imagination, and for that we are so thankful. It is so hard…but it could be a lot worse, and we are thankful for what we have and how God has blessed in so many ways along the way. Now to Spring Break… Before we all arrived in Haiti as a family, the Lord made a way for us to be able to do some things together in the states as well. The week before spring break, we were invited to Briarwood Presbyterian church in Birmingham, AL, for a missions conference. God blessed us beyond our wildest dreams by introducing us to so many new friends and giving us many opportunities to visit with other missionaries and share the story of our mission to Haiti to countless people in Birmingham. We are so thankful for the new friendships we made during our time there!


During the conference, Tony and I sat on a map where Haiti is located and the children prayed for us and our mission. Such a powerful moment!


This is our first host family, the Shirley’s. Such a precious family!! We were so blessed to get to know them! I wish I had gotten a picture of the Warren family too! We stayed with them the second part of the week. Both were so gracious and a JOY to stay with!

At the end of the week, Tony went to Brandon to get Jacob and take him down to Dallas for a soccer showcase, and Jonathan and Katelyn came to Birmingham to finish the week with me and catch our flight to Haiti for Spring Break. I am so thankful that Tony could take Jacob down to Dallas and watch him play soccer. It is hard for me not being in Haiti, but I know it is also very hard for Tony not being able to see Jacob play sports. It is a sacrifice we have both committed to, but it is not easy by any means. We are thankful for chances to be able to to do these things that we used to take for granted before our call. At the end of the weekend, Tony and Jacob caught a flight from Dallas, and Jonathan, Katelyn, and I caught a flight from Birmingham, and we all met in Miami for our flights to Haiti together. When we arrived in Haiti, the team from Grace Chapel in Madison was already there. As always, God had already planned to have the perfect group at Hope Center for such a time as this. The team was a group of young people all around Jacob’s age that worked on construction and VBS with children on the Hill. Jacob had planned to go to Leoganne and join up with a group from Crossgates that was serving at an orphanage there, but after getting to Hope Center and getting to know this group of teens, he decided to just stay home and serve with them instead. I was actually glad it worked out this way because our family was together all week instead of separated once again. We enjoyed working with the team on a few things, but we also enjoyed just being “home” together as a family during this time as well.


Meal time with our team from Grace Chapel


All the young folks on the team playing cards together


Hanging out on the water tower. Fun times together!


Playing with the kids from the village by the soccer field


Jacob riding Bicly’s donkey


Family picture in front of Hope Center


Neighbors from the hill came to help pick beans for dinner


Me and sweet Bicly


Each mealtime, our cooks, Vierge and Therese, wanted to have their picture made with the food. They are so proud of their jobs!


Children having fun at VBS

We gave out lots of hugs and Easter suckers to the kids, and we enjoyed just walking around in the village and visiting with friends that we enjoy catching up with when we return to Haiti. We got to celebrate with the families on the Hill as they experienced electricity at their houses for the first time. We got to see great progress in the construction of the church at Hope Center which has made us look forward even more to worshipping with our Haitian brothers and sisters this summer. There was one really cool moment in clinic during the week that I wanted to mention. On Thursday, Tony sent for me to come down to the clinic to meet someone. Sitting there in the chair next to Tony was this precious elderly man. Tony introduced me to him and explained that this is the man who walks 8 hours every two weeks to come have his blood sugar levels checked and refill his prescription. He lives up in the mountain area. After kissing my hand, he immediately started trying to tell me something. Vladimir interpreted and I learned that this is the man who is responsible for initiating God’s vision for Hope Center and calling us to Haiti in the first place. He said, “I am the one who went to the mayor and explained that we need to partner with someone in the US to build a clinic here.” He is such a precious man!!


Sweet elderly man who walks 8 hours to the clinic every two weeks

Another precious moment was when Tony showed up in the house in the middle of the morning with this sweet baby in his arms. She is 3 months old but she looks like she is 3 weeks old! Her mother brought her into the clinic a few weeks prior and Tony was not sure if the baby would survive. She was severely malnourished and very sick. Tony prayed for the baby with the mother and asked God to give him the wisdom to prescribe the right treatment and for God to give health to this baby. God has answered his prayer! The baby is healthy and growing! Hallelujah!


Three month old baby that we have been praying for. God is answering our prayers and healing her body. Hallelujah!

At the end of our week together, we all went up to Thoman to go to Mathurin’s church. Jonathan and Katelyn sang and Bicly joined us for church and dinner. On the way back down the mountain, we all stopped to take in the beauty of God’s creation and take pictures. It was a PERFECT week, and we are so very thankful for the time we had to spend together!

Tony & Mickie on the way home from church in Thoman

Tony & Mickie on the way home from church in Thoman

Family time!!

Family time!!


Jonathan & Katelyn at church in Thoman

Jonathan & Katelyn at church in Thoman


Jacob in Thoman

We thank you all so much for your continued prayer support as we seek to find a balance between serving in Haiti and supporting our boys as well. God is teaching us so much about our faith and perseverance at this time. As I studied the book of Hebrews this morning, God reminded me that the picture of our life doesn’t always look the way we thought it would look, but that doesn’t make it an imperfect picture. God’s plan IS perfect, and if we just trust Him and remain faithful to Him, He WILL bless us and reveal to us the perfection of His plan eventually. So many of the heroes of the Bible endured great hardship. They trusted God and He brought about so many mighty things for many years to come through the perseverance of His faithful servants. I want to be a faithful servant in both the work He has called us to as well as the role He has given us as parents. In both He is creating a legacy of faith that will endure long after we are gone. That is His perfect plan, and we are honored and committed to that work. HE is faithful to complete that good work through us, and no matter how hard it is sometimes, we will never give up on His great plan for our lives.


Filed under Haiti

God Knows Our Needs…from Tony West

I received this touching email from my husband this week, and I decided I would just post it as my next blog post. I am going to add in a few pictures as well. It blesses us so much that so many of you pray for us and support us through But God Ministries. We would not be able to daily reach out to so many people if believers weren’t faithful to trust God’s guidance. You all bless us as you lift us up. Thank you….


Dear Mickie,

Tuesday, I had planned to have the day off. My plan was to get up early and read the Word with a cup of coffee. I did have one patient to see. Mirline had been in the clinic Monday night with a fever of 102. It was otitis media and horrible bronchitis. She had to have nebulizer treatments and medications to treat her infection, fever, and cough. I told her mom to bring her back Tuesday morning at 8:00 for another treatment.  (I did not expect her mom to have here at the exact appointment time).

Mirline<<<<This is Mirline in her little school uniform.

  G came to the door at 8:00 to tell me that I had a patient to see. I misunderstood him. I thought he was talking about Mirline.  However, when I got outside, not only did I see Mirline, but I saw the waiting area was full of patients! There were 7 additional patients to see besides Mirline. They were all from the village where I went a few weeks ago with a midwife to a delivery.  They had to cross a river to get here. The river level is up right now, and the currents are strong. It was a dangerous trip for them. After crossing the river, they then had to walk another hour to get to the clinic for a total of about 3 hours of walking. There were 5 children and 2 adults.  The two adults were there because they brought the children. They had minor needs. Four of the children were very sick with fever and congestion. The other child had severe pain in her leg. She had to be carried in to the clinic.  They all were assessed and treated and discharged with a bag full of medications and a few treats. 🙂  The children all needed antibiotics. We had exactly what they needed. The girl with the leg pain needed more than ibuprofen or Tylenol for her pain. We had Darvocet and topical lidocaine patches for her leg. We had exactly what she needed. We gave her the medicine and prayed with her. Within the hour, she was almost pain free, and she WALKED out of the clinic!  One of the adults is the midwife that invited me to the delivery.  I was humbled that she trusted me to take care of her grandchild and neighbors. I am humbled that God uses me to touch the lives of so many people daily who would otherwise die without medical attention. I get to see His miraculous healing power every single day.  God is so good.

7 month old twins

This is a mother of twins who came to the clinic recently. Her children had never seen a doctor before. They will now receive regular check ups and health care. Praise God!

God has provided us with with all the right medications and supplies exactly when we needed them in order to care for the wonderful people of this community. When Dr. Sullivan was here a couple of weeks ago, he commented that we were better stocked than some of the family medicine clinics in Mississippi. Each time a team visits Hope Center we gain supplies, medications, skills, and years of clinical knowledge freely shared. I am so thankful for all of this. I am so blessed to be a part of what God is doing in Haiti.  One big need has been dental care. We have tons of supplies and equipment, and we have a huge need for dental care, but I just have no training in dentistry, so I haven’t been able to take advantage of what we have. Recently, God sent a team from Hattiesburg to Hope Center and a young dentist named Drew Middleton took me to school! He taught me how to assess dental needs and extract teeth! I am so thankful that God is providing not only the equipment and supplies to take care of the people of this community, but the training as well. I am just completely blown away by this. It’s additional confirmation that God is doing mighty works here in Galette Chambon. I am thankful to Drew and all of the other team members from all over the US who come here to share their gifts, talents, and expertise with us at Hope Center so that we can continue providing care to these beautiful people whom God loves.

Tony with Drew Middleton learning how to remove teeth in the dental clinic

Tony with Drew Middleton learning how to remove teeth in the dental clini

Today we had a lady out in the waiting area that was lying on the steps of the dental clinic. I asked her come into the clinic to lay on the stretcher until I could see her. She said she had severe abdominal pain and that she had lost a baby earlier this week. Initially I thought maybe she had a miscarriage or had a baby die at birth. Neither was correct. Earlier in the week, she had an 18 month old child die suddenly. She didn’t know what illness the child had.  I assessed her and realized that her major  problem was grief. I treated her medical needs, gave her her medications, then I asked Ray Meany to spend some time with her.  (Ray is a dear friend of mine who I met through Samaritan’s Purse last year, and he has been visiting here with me all week.)  Ray’s training as a first responder chaplain was exactly what this woman needed. He spent time with her and discovered that she was not a Christian. He took time to share Jesus with her, and she accepted Christ!   We had exactly what she needed. God provided.  I thought Ray had come to Haiti to support me. Ha! Although he has been a lot of fun to have around while there has not been a team here, he has been tremendous with the patients while they wait patiently to see the doctor. Again, God is providing all of our needs.

It is great that we are meeting the needs of the people. But what I am more glad about is the fact that we are doing so through the love of Christ as outlined in 1 Corinthians 13, “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.” This was validated a few weeks ago when I asked the community leaders how they thought things were going here at Hope Center. They said that they were very pleased with the care that their people were receiving, but they were especially pleased with how we were showing love and loving on their people.  That thrilled my heart.

congressmenApparently the leaders of the community of Galette Chambon are not the only ones noticing what God is doing here. Today some Haitian congressmen came to Hope Center for a visit. They had heard that wonderful things have been happening here, and they wanted to come see it for themselves. We had a fantastic visit, and I even got to treat three of them for health issues. As we gain trust among the leaders of this nation, we spread the good news that Jesus loves the people of Haiti, and that God can and will provide for their needs. By they way, I have invited the mayor of Ganthier and his family over for dinner when you and the boys get here. Be thinking of a real “American” meal to cook for them. Vladimir and I have both been bragging on your cooking. 🙂 They are looking forward to meeting you all and visiting with our family. I am looking forward to sharing my family with the mayor too!

Thanks for encouraging me to write about events of the week. It s helpful. I hope the message of the notes is clear…. God is proving everything we NEED. Trusting in Him is not a risk at all; it’s faith that is moving mountains.

I miss you and the boys very much!  I am counting down the days until you and the boys are home with me.

I am attaching a few more pictures that I thought you would enjoy sharing on the blog. Thanks for keeping that up. People need to know what God is doing here, and they need to know what to pray for.

Blessings to all….


Tony gets a big hug from Esther Geoffroi after he returned from a visit to the states in October.

I got a really big hug from Esther Geoffroi after I returned from my visit to the states in October. I was gone for 18 days and to Esther it must have seemed like an eternity. I know she is going to be very happy to see you and the boys when you get here. Everybody will be actually.

Long day

This father brought his little boy to the clinic a few weeks ago. They waited for a very long time before finally getting in to be seen. The boy was very hungry so I gave him a little can of Pringles. He fell asleep standing there with his hand in the jar.

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