Tag Archives: Mickie West

God is Opening Doors for Muraelle

What started as a horrific sight last week, has turned into a journey of faith for the Charles family. They came to our clinic last week desperately seeking help for their child, Muraelle, who suffers from a retinalblastoma.

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The horrific photo I posted last week drew lots of attention, and that was the intent. This boy needed attention FAST, and though I hesitated posting it, I decided that it was worth the risk to get him help. It worked. In a few hours, it had been shared 27 times and I was already receiving emails and messages from all over the United States, from California to Boston to Florida and lots of places in between. On our first day of seeking help, we were turned away from four hospitals and it was devastating.

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Muraelle wouldn’t take his medicines, and hospitals were unwilling to give him what he needed by IV. So we prayed…. We had to resist the temptation to panic and take things into our own hands. We decided to trust God even though advice was coming at us from thousands of different directions. God said, “Be still and know that I am God.” We decided to start fresh this morning with a new plan of action. The Charles family arrived at Hope Center promptly at 7:30 as I had asked and we began working with Muraelle to see how we could get him to take his medicine. We finally found that a sippy cup with grape Pedialyte made him willing to drink his medicine and even ask for more. We celebrated the first dose of antibiotics in his little body and loaded up in the truck. We had heard from someone at Bernard Mevs and found out that although Haiti had a holiday today, the CT lab was open! We arrived at the hospital and there was practically NO ONE in line.

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On an average day, people wait for hours and hours to be seen. All we had to wait for was for someone to come take the money for the scan! In no time we were in the CT truck and trying to figure out how to get this little spit fire to lay still. They decided he needed sedation. He’s a strong little guy! Even with sedation, his father had to hold him down, but we got the scan!!

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Next we headed to St. Damien’s hospital to ask for copies of his medical records. Within about 30 minutes, we had put in the request, paid, and were headed back to the truck. Both the CT results and the chart copies will be ready tomorrow.

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So we returned to Hope Center (after grabbing some YUMMY beans and rice on the street) and the new team from Hattiesburg, MS, was unpacking and preparing for the rest of the week. Within minutes, Tony introduced me to a Dr. Jim Brown….ophthalmologist. Yep! As usual, God provides what we need when we need it…this time WHO we need. Dr. Brown dilated and examined Muraelle’s good eye and said he doesn’t see any spreading of the tumor to the other eye. That’s good news! He did say that his first course of action would be to seek to remove the eye that has the tumor for palliative care. He also said that if he does not get help soon, he could die. I’m sure he thought that what he was telling me sounded grave, but actually I focused on the word “could” and held onto the hope that he COULD live! God is opening doors, and we will continue to walk and sometimes even push through them. We don’t know where we are going with all of this, but one thing is for sure…we are trusting HIM. Please continue to pray for Muraelle. Pray that he continues to take his antibiotics and pain meds. Pray that God leads us to the person who can remove the bad eye. Pray that IF he needs further care in the states, that God will walk us through that process and open more doors. Thank you for your prayers!!!

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Child Sponsorships Coming Soon to Galette Chambon!!…EXCITED!

I am so excited to announce that possibly next week, people will have an opportunity to go to the BGM website and sponsor children from our village! Each sponsorship will not only pay all expenses for the child’s school, but once we reach 50 sponsorships in each of the two schools we support, we will be able to start a feeding program that will feed ALL of the kids in the school. In other words, one sponsorship pays one child’s school, but it FEEDS FOUR! EVERY DAY! THIS IS HUGE!!

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For those of you who don’t know, little rural villages like ours are full of bright children willing to learn, but their families struggle to provide food for them much less tuition for school. The average income in our little village is about $400 per year. Their annual tuition is only $25 per year, but they also have to purchase uniforms, books, school supplies, and they pay separately for all exams. It comes up to about a fourth of their annual income! The schools really need more than this to be able to pay their teachers and provide adequate classroom space for the children, but they also have to offer education at a price that more people in the village can afford or no one would go to school! Many of the schools just allow some kids to go to school without paying and their teachers go without being paid often as well. It’s just a very difficult situation.

All of the children gathered outside the school for the pledge and national anthem before school.

All of the children gathered outside the school for the pledge and national anthem before school.

BUT GOD….is making a way to change all of that! We have been doing the child sponsorship program up in Thoman now for a couple of years, and it is working out very well. They now have enough kids being sponsored that they are able to prepare a meal of rice and beans every day and feed every child in the school a good meal before they leave. For most of these kids, this is the only meal they will get all day! However, with a daily meal being served, these kids will not go hungry and they will be able to learn better! Praise the Lord!!

Students waiting for school to start

Students waiting for school to start

James 2:14-18 says, “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith BY my works.” THIS is where we experience REAL faith. It is when we say with our mouths that we believe in the power of a living God and then we MOVE in faith to help care for someone in need. If God calls you to do it, He will also make a way for you to be able to do it. You will not only witness the miracle of provision every month, but you will also be able to see it taking place in a child’s life in our village as we post pictures of them throughout the year. You can even come visit them or send pictures or packages to them! It’s more than just a sponsorship program; it’s a relationship of ministry with a child in need. Please pray about it!

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I am going to post a slide show below previewing all of the kids we will post soon. I will also post a link here to the  BGM page so you can check periodically for the sponsorships to go live. We already have a link to Sponsorships in Thoman with pictures of the kids in the program there. However, soon you will be able to sponsor kids in our village of Galette Chambon – many of them you probably even know if you have visited Hope Center! After all 25 of these are sponsored, we will add 25 more. We are trusting that very soon, all 100 kids will be sponsored and we will be ready to start the feeding program!

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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!!

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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!!

 

 

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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.

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Family Changes…again

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Fun times with the family at the beach. It was only two days, but they were two GLORIOUS days! 🙂

It’s been a pretty emotional week for our family. After spending a wonderful weekend at the beach together, we moved Jacob into the dorm at MC last Wednesday to begin his new life as a college student.

Over the last two days, Tony and I have been working to get everything he needs now to make the space more comfortable. You know, guys don’t think of all of those things ahead of time. Ha! I am sure that eventually he will have it set up just like he wants it.Tonight we will have dinner with Jonathan, Katelyn, Jacob, and Madison one last time before Tony heads back to Haiti. I will stay around for a few more days to help Jacob finish getting settled in, and next Saturday, Josh, his roommate will move in with him. It’s hard to believe that in a couple of weeks, Tony and I will be in Haiti, and our boys will be in the states, going about their lives, living life on their own, while we carry on with our busy lives at Hope Center.

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Jacob and Madison in his college dorm room at MC after getting moved in.

Where have the years gone? How did our baby grow up so fast? I haven’t really cried yet. I think I get so excited for them and the exciting time it is for them in their lives that I don’t stop to hurt until I am alone. I have a feeling I am going to do a lot of crying on the flight back to Haiti.  I am sure I am going to spend a lot of time on my knees praying over the next months as we try to get used to this new phase of our lives.

We are really excited about Jacob starting college at Mississippi College, and so is he. We are going to have to pray for God to give him patience through the next couple of weeks until he can actually practice with the team, but we know that God is going to continue to heal his ankle and prepare him for soccer as well as school. The athlete convocation last Wednesday night was pretty special. First we had dinner, then the parents stood and pledged to pray for and support our children, and then the athletes stood and pledged to be accountable and handle themselves with integrity.

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MC Athlete Convocation.

We were pleasantly surprised when President Lee Royce decided to move from his table to ours to eat and visit with our family. He even offered to take Jacob’s plate and put it away for him! Wow. What an amazing place where the president of the university chooses to visit with families and students and actually serve them! Jacob returned the favor after dinner and put away Dr. Royce’s glass from dinner. It was a real honor for him to sit with us and visit with Jacob. We told him that after he gets moved into his new house, Jacob would like to come hang out with him sometime. He told Jacob to come on over, that he was more than welcome. Ha!

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Jacob and Dr. Lee Royce, President of Mississippi College

So now we again covet your prayers as we enter into yet another major change in our lives. Instead of having an empty nest, sometimes it feels like our nest just sort of exploded! Ha! We know there will be days when our heart aches because we will want to be able to see Jacob’s games, or we will want to be able to meet Jonathan & Katelyn for dinner, but God knows our hearts, and He replaces these aches with many, many other blessings. We find ourselves praying for one another so much more than we normally would if we all lived in the same place. It’s a wonderful thing to know…even FEEL….that your children are praying for you while you are yet praying for them. We are a very close family, and although distance is hard, our love grows greater and greater through it all. We are so thankful for that. We will eagerly look forward to having all of them with us in Haiti for Thanksgiving, and we will look forward to being with them over the Christmas holidays. Time flies, so those two visits will be here before we know it.

We, once again, want to thank all of you who faithfully support us through prayer, through friendship, through ministry on short-term mission trips, and through financial support. God uses all of these things to sustain us, strengthen us, and carry on the mission that He sent us to accomplish. We recognize that, as a family, we were ALL called in one way or another to serve in this mission. It just happens in different ways and in different places. The absolute most important thing you can do for us is PRAY. Pray that God will give us strength, endurance, wisdom, protection, and patience as we serve the people of our village and carry on our separate lives as a family. We love you all so very much!! Thank you for your prayers!

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Our family on the steps of our house at Hope Center.

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Getting Ready for School

But God Ministries is making plans again to sponsor over 200 Haitian children in school again this year, and we would love for you to pray about being used by God to bless the children of our village!!

Jacob walking the children to school on their first day of school in their new home.

Jacob walking the children to school on their first day of school in their new home.

 

There are several ways you can help:

(1) DONATE A BACKPACK – We have two churches in Pearl, MS, who are collecting backpacks to send to Haiti. You can drop off your donation at Park Place Baptist Church or Truitt Memorial Baptist Church. Stop by the church office to find out where they are collecting them. We have been told that Walmart and Fred’s have the best prices ($6-$10).

Johnny getting ready to head to school.

Johnny getting ready to head to school.

 

(2) DONATE MONEY to help send a child to school and/or pay for other expenses. Just go to http://www.butgodministries.com and click on “Make a Donation.” Once you get to the donation page, choose General Fund, IMPORTANT: in the comment box you MUST ENTER “SCHOOL NEEDS”. (Soon we will have a drop down choice for school) Here are the suggested amounts: $50 pays for a child’s tuition and fees for the year; $75 pays for tuition, fees, & uniform; $100 pays for everything including books. If you want to choose a different amount, just indicate that.

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*I’ve posted a screen shot of the donations page to see what that looks like.

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THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR YOUR PRAYERS AND YOUR SUPPORT AS WE CONTINUE TO ALLOW GOD TO MOVE IN OUR VILLAGE AND USE US TO BLESS OTHERS. YOU ARE JUST AS MUCH A PART OF THIS MINISTRY AS WE ARE, AND WE ARE HONORED TO PARTNER WITH YOU!!

“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever.” (1 Peter 4:10-11)

Let’s Glorify our Savior TOGETHER!!

~Mickie

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Bouncing Back

For the last several days I have been very sick. At first we thought it might be Chikungunya virus, but there wasn’t as much bone and joint pain as fever, vomiting, and diarrhea that quickly dehydrated me to the point of skin and bones. The headache and fever were relentless. When I closed my eyes, flashes of light in my head would keep me awake and make it difficult to sleep….so I would stare at the ceiling and wait for the next violent wave of sickness to hit. I eventually made my bed on the floor of the bathroom because my legs were too weak to carry me back and forth. As soon as the sickness had reached a point where there was clearly nothing else left to leave my body and I could stay put for a little while, Tony began the IV therapy. He took down our mosquito net and used the hook in the ceiling to hang the bags of fluid. He twisted a clothes hanger to hang from the hook so the bags would be at the proper height, then he inserted the IV. My body was so dry and fragile that the stick was very painful, but my husband is a good doctor and a gentile doctor, and I was soon receiving the fluids I needed to bounce back.

Today I am much better. I still have a headache, but now it feels more like the headache you get from being in bed too much. I’m ready to see the faces that go with the laughter outside my window. I’m sad because I missed the departure of a team that quickly became friends, and I’m losing time with the new team that arrived here yesterday. All I know of them is a mixture of voices. I hoping to get out to meet them this evening.

Today is Sunday, a special day in our village, and my heart is overwhelmed. I can hear the music drifting faintly through the air as our brothers and sisters worship a loving God together. I wish I were there. To pass the time, I open Facebook. As I read through so many comments of encouragement and prayers, my heart begins to swell and tears spill out over my face. I’m alone in the house, but I feel the presence of many. God has blessed us with so many amazing, genuine friends. I am thankful for every single one of you who have prayed and given me encouragement. It’s simply more than I can handle right now without crying.

It has been an extra special day today because God has also reminded me of new friends. Friends who can’t post on the internet but want to share their love and concern all the same. It started with Bicly coming to check on me before church, followed by Djeny who asked Tony after church if she could come see me. Her sweet smile lit up the room. Then there was her father Makil with Jilliene & Wilsaint who prayed and sang over me. Their creole song was medicine to my heart, Next was Marie Therese and Vierge who encouraged me to eat. They kissed my cheek and made me laugh. Then there was Johnny with his sunglasses propped on his head checking on me before going to work with the chickens. Then came Martha….

Martha is our eldest neighbor. At 84 she could run circles around any of us. She immediately said it was too cold in here! No wonder I’m sick! Ha! I explained that Americans are too used to air conditioning. She said she missed me at church and told me I need a bath. Martha can tell a person anything and it comes across as intended – with love and concern – grandmotherly advice. Vladimir & Tony step in the room and her demeanor changes slightly. She’s peppier and leans towards them with a sassy tilt in her head when she talks. She’s playful. Men love Martha. Everyone loves Martha. They hand her a sack of fresh eggs and she lifts her arms in the air and does the “Madam Martha Dance.” “Mesi Jezi!!” She cries. She praises God for the provision of food for the day. We smile with her.

Now my door is closed again and I go back to hearing the faceless voices, busy preparing for the week at Hope Center, outside my window. I feel more energy coming on after taking the cooks’ advice and eating a little. I think I’ll take Martha’s advice next and shower.

I laid down four days ago in pain and misery. I rise now with Hope of new strength and a heart so full of love it could burst. Do you know how much I love you? Let me take this chance to say it: I love you and I thank you for being my friend…my brother, my sister, my encourager, my prayer warrior, my precious gift from God. We serve a mighty, loving savior who gives us strength and courage and provision to face everything we encounter each day.

I think I will go shower now…and I just might do the “Madam Martha Dance.”
Mesi Jezi pou remen mwen, epi pou zami qui remen mwen too!

(Thank you Jesus for loving me, and for friends who love me too)

Blessings,
Mickie

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Finally Heading Home…

Our bags are all packed….The house is cleaned out. We will make our final trip to the mini-storage tomorrow, finish up last minute errands, and around midnight Wednesday night, we will be headed to Birmingham to catch the first flight out to Haiti. Ahhhh…..my heart flutters just thinking about it!!

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Living room at the FBC mission house where we have spent a good part of the last year. We are so grateful to have had this place to stay while in the states. It has been so comfortable, and a comfort for Tony to know we were safe and secure. We will miss this place.

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Six very heavy suitcases ranging from about 55 to 70 pounds. Whew! Tomorrow is going to be interesting….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even while I type this post, Tony is texting me updates on a mother in the clinic in labor. She’s 19, it’s her first baby, and she is scared. I send a text, “Remind her to breathe slowly..respire dousman.” As if he needs me to remind him. “Okay,” he texts back. “Be sure to explain to her what to expect. It’s her first time. She’s scared,” I text. “Wi (yes)” he texts back. “Tell Vladimir to massage her feet with lotion and sing to her,” I text….nothing. I know good and well Vladimir isn’t going to massage her feet and sing to her. That’s my job! …and I can’t wait to be there to do it too. I can’t wait for the hugs and laughter of the children in the orphanage as they pile on one another wrapping their arms around me and pulling me down to their height. I can’t wait to walk around the village to each house saying, “Bon swa!” to all of my neighbors, exchanging kisses on the cheeks, and listening as they tell me the latest news. The children will all run into their houses to get their report cards to show me because the last time I was there they were taking final exams, and they will want to show me what their final grades were. Home….

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Our “front yard” in Haiti! Thanks to the McCall’s we have flowers!! Can’t wait to see them!

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Our livingroom in Haiti…it’s where we put our feet up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s where my heart is. It’s where I sink into my couch at the end of a full day of loving on people and sharing the love of Jesus. It’s where God has placed us for this time in our lives, and we are loving every minute of it.

These last 20 months have been both challenging and a blessing. It has not been easy to be away from my husband and the ministry we both were called to. It has not been easy moving from place to place, living out of suitcases and boxes, and being dependent on the generosity of others. It has not been easy flying back and forth to see my honey and all of our Haitian brothers and sisters in our little village. It always seemed like just about the time I would be getting settled back in and my Creole was flowing well, it was time to pack back up and leave. I have stared longingly at those mountains through tearful eyes many, many times as we rumble along the rock road to the airport. On the other hand, I have had special times too. Over these past 20 months I have spent such precious time with my Jacob, watching him develop and mature into a fine young man. I have been awed by my Jonathan watching him grow and become a godly husband and teacher.

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Oh how this mama loves her sweet boys.

I have worked feverishly on ministry needs as well as senior parent things while here and have enjoyed every hectic minute of it. It has been a full year, and God has held us when we’ve cried, He has picked us up when we have fallen, He has comforted us when we were afraid, He has protected us from danger, and He has provided for all of our needs. We have rejoiced over answered prayer for healing, gained a daughter, and celebrated a graduation. God has been so good, and my heart is completely full just thinking about it.

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Celebrating the marriage of Jonathan and Katelyn

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Tony praying over Jacob in the ER after his auto accident

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Celebrating Jacob’s high school graduation.

Now my mind turns to friends. I was just thinking last night, as Jonathan & Katelyn, Jacob &  Madison, and I went to eat and spend a wonderful evening with friends, that God has gifted us with so many absolutely amazing friends through this journey. Even while I type this, the faces of people dear to me begin to flash across my memory, and I cannot hold back the tears because I feel so richly blessed. We feel God’s love in such a powerful way through the love that is shown to us through each and every friendship He has placed in our lives. We could not have made it through these 20 months without God’s using you to support us in so many ways. There are just SO MANY of you, and I wish I could tell each and every one of you how very special you are to me and to Tony right now. Since that is not possible, I am asking God to speak to our friends as they read these words and let them know and FEEL the love we have for them. It is impossible for me to express in words how you all make us feel. Words are not adequate, but I ask my Father to bless you in return for your love, loyalty, and kindness, and I hope that you know how much we love you.  Thank you for praying for us. Thank you for checking on us. Thank you for helping us through difficult times and celebrating with us in joyful times. God has used you to bless us.

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Even though the boys are squinting, it’s one of my favorite pictures. It was taken on the mountain road to Thoman

Now, as Jacob and I return to Haiti for the summer, please pray for safe travels, continued rest and healing for Jacob’s ankle, protection from sickness, ease in settling back into our home, and precious, precious catch up time with Tony and our Hope Center family. Please pray for Jonathan and Katelyn as they continue to seek the Lord in growing their marriage and moving them down the path of service upon which He wants them to serve. Please pray for our families as they love and support us from afar. And please pray for our ministry, that GOD would be glorified, people would come to know the joy of knowing our Savior, and that our community would grow and thrive and prosper just as God has intended. We look forward to reporting many more exciting adventures and blessings in the days ahead. Thank you for being a part of this ministry with us. It is truly an honor to serve with you.

Blessings!

Mickie

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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!

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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! 

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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…

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Johnny in front of his house.

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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

 

 

 

 

 

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June 5, 2014 · 7:00 pm

God’s Provision is Amazing

Recently I posted about my friend, Jores, and I wanted to give all of you an update. Before I do, however, I also wanted to brag on what an amazing God we serve. Most of you reading this already agree with that statement, but it just never ceases to amaze me how our God watches our day to day experiences, and He works things out to see His Will come about in ways that we could never dream as we simply pray, “Not MY Will be done, but Your’s, oh God.”

You see, Jores has never been one to go around soliciting others to give him what he needs. Jores has always simply ministered to others, giving as he could to honor the Lord with his gifts and abilities. He never went around telling people how desperate his situation was, but rather served along side others who serve the same Lord, and prayed that God would use him in any way He wanted to use him. Then God sent a ministry to Jores’s village, Jores joined up in the cause by working as a translator, God led missionaries to go help in the school where he had been volunteering as an English teacher, then God put it upon someone’s heart to pray that he could one day go to college, then that person shared their burden about Jores to someone else, then that person found a way to send Jores to school….and now he is not only on his way to med school, but with a brand new computer to do his work on. GOD IS GOOD!!! You see, God created each one of us to do great things in His name. We don’t have to make that happen; we simply seek His Will for our lives and obey when He calls, and one day we will discover that purpose God had for us all along and HE can be praised for leading us to it.

I am so excited for my friend, Jores. He is working so very hard in school, and when he sends me messages to thank me and others for believing in him and for providing a way for him to go to school, I just thank God for the way he has worked in Jores’s life, and I pray that God will continue to bless him, give him endurance, and lead him down the path which he was destined to go. Thank you all who have prayed for Jores!! And Thank you all who have helped him begin to see his dreams come true. I am sure sometimes he just wants to pinch himself because it’s hard to believe that his dream of one day becoming a doctor is actually happening, BUT GOD knows the plans He has for Jores, who is called according to HIS purpose – plans that are meant to give him a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11) – and plans that will also give others a future and a hope. Our God is an AWESOME God.

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Jores and Tony on the day the new laptop arrived. Jores sent me a message and said, “It’s so light! And it looks like no one has ever used it!” I explained to him that it is what we called “brand new” and that he will be the first and only person to use it. It is HIS. 🙂

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