Tag Archives: missions

A Generation Changing…..

When God called Tony and me to move to Haiti as missionaries with But God Ministries, He spoke to Tony’s heart saying, “I want to use you to change a generation.” Of course, we had no idea what that meant or how that would happen, but we trusted that eventually He would show us how, when, where, etc. ….and He has!!

It didn’t take long before we started realizing that the schools we began forming a relationship with were the key to “changing a generation!” Of course, it wasn’t easy, but as we began to work closely with the principals of the schools and dream big along with them, we started embracing a vision that God had in mind all along!

These pictures are from our first year working with the two schools known as Mixte Maranatha (Salomon’s school) and Mixte MEBEA (Johel’s school). The walls of Maranatha were sticks and tin. The interior walls were the rickety chalk boards that faced the makeshift desks, creating separate classes. At MEBEA, all but two classes met inside the one big room of the church and two classes were created outside on the back wall of the church, and those two classrooms were made of sticks and tin and the same rickety chalkboards. Very few children could afford uniforms or books. Most couldn’t afford tuition, so the school, in turn, couldn’t afford improvements. They couldn’t even hardly pay their teachers… but the directors, Salomon and Johel, wanted the children of this village who could not afford an education otherwise to be able to attend school. These two schools had a reputation of being the “poor schools,” but they did the best they could with what they had. But God had something bigger in mind…..

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God began providing resources for us to use by moving people to give towards our education programs in our village. We started by first helping Salomon pay for books for his students and raising his teachers’ salaries. We began helping Johel’s school by sending all of the new children who had recently moved into the houses BGM built on “the hill” behind Hope Center, and paying a tuition for them. We also gave them uniforms bought from a uniform company in the US and we bought books for his school too. We thanked God for His provision, and we began to pray that God would give us wisdom and provision to grow these schools to something better.

Meanwhile, God had begun to move us to help boost the economy by creating businesses here. One of those businesses was a sewing business. We met Henry, our main tailor, through the birth of his twin boys and our English classes. When it was time to start the sewing business, he began to work with our seamstress Ruth, and they now have a booming business of sewing uniforms and other needs throughout the village. The children began to feel like they were going to a real school because they had new uniforms. They knew they looked good, so they felt good, and they learned more. The schools were one step closer to being REAL schools!

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In order to maintain the ability to help children go to school and make improvements, we realized we MUST create a constant income for the schools. There was already a sponsorship program going on up in Thoman, so we asked how that worked, came up with a plan for sponsorship in Galette Chambon and launched it! The response was tremendous!! We were able to begin making plans for increasing enrollment significantly, giving teachers a fair wage, making more capital improvements, etc. But our dream didn’t stop there! It was God’s idea, and our desire, to begin a feeding program in the schools so that children would no longer struggle to learn with empty bellies. We wanted to grow the sponsorship program to a point when every child at the school would get a hot meal every day, including holidays and during the summer! People prayed with us, and they sponsored children, and we waited and prayed for God to bless….  AND HE DID!! We started the feeding program in both schools, and children became healthier and learned better!

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Just look at how much some of our children have changed from the beginning of the sponsorship program to today. They are healthy, happy, and educated!!!

Next, God provided the resources to make building improvements! We started by building new classrooms at Maranatha School. God led Great Bridge Baptist Church to raise funds to build four new classrooms on the property! Many teams came and built new desks for the classrooms at Maranatha as well as MEBEA school, and other teams came and painted the new classrooms and the inside and outside of Johel’s church, so that the MEBEA school would be clean and bright for the students to learn! Things were looking brighter!!!

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Around the same time that all of these capital improvements started happening, we began focusing on how we could improve the actual education quality in our schools. We prayed for more sponsors so that we could raise the teachers’ salaries and hire much needed support staff in the schools. Because the two elementary schools we sponsor only went to the 6th grade, we realized that we needed to make a way for our sponsor kids to continue on in school, so we started a But God Ministries Secondary School. Now when students graduate from elementary school, they automatically move on into the BGM High School! Each year we have added a new grade to the high school, and this year we are adding the 11th grade! We almost have a complete school system where kids can start out in kindergarten and go all the way to Philo which is a 13th grade that prepares young people for college!

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We now employ over 75 people in our schools from administration to teachers to support staff, cooks, and janitors. In the few years that have passed since the program started, we have been able to raise teacher salaries to be competitive with all others schools in Haiti. We have provided teacher training in classroom management, discipline, teaching strategies, and incorporating positive reinforcement and incentives in the classroom. These seminars have been led by teachers from the US on visiting teams, the University of Alabama Education Department, and professors from the University of Haiti Education Department.

When we look back to where we began, it is hard to believe what all has taken place in just six years! From sticks and tin to nice classrooms, desks, uniforms, books, employees, etc. Two years in a row, one of our high schoolers has made the highest score on the national exam over the entire region! We have had two high schoolers make perfect scores on sections of the national exam. Our schools are being recognized and applauded by the Ministry of Education! God is INDEED changing a generation! We have actually been watching a miracle take place.

This year, we are looking forward to BIG changes. But God Ministries has been working with all three schools to form our own SCHOOL SYSTEM. We have asked the high school principal, Moliere, to be our school superintendent; we will have qualified principals at all three schools, secretaries, assistant principals, and all very qualified teachers! We will serve hot meals at all three schools, and all three schools will have students sitting in brand new classrooms. God is so good!! And all of this is being done because God has led people all over the world to sponsor kids in our program.

The funds generated through the BGM Sponsorship program pay tuition for sponsored students, pay for their books, uniform, exams, and initial school supplies. After that, sponsorship funds pay for the individual sponsor child plus two more children in the school to eat a hot meal prepared every day at the school – all year long. Sponsor funds also provide salaries for over 75 employees. That means 75 families in our village now have a steady income to provide for their own children! We are literally watching the miracle of the loaves and fishes taking place here in our village, and it’s all because people have been faithful to sponsor.

In order to continue making these and many other future improvements, we need to find 30 more sponsors for the program. In the coming days, we will be adding more and more children to the website to allow more people to sponsor kids in our schools. We want every sponsor and potential sponsor to know that ALL funds received through this program go 100% back to the schools. There are ZERO “administrative costs” being funded. BGM pours every single penny received back to the schools. And we are committed to keeping it this way. Sponsors have opportunities to write to their children, send gifts to their children, even visit their children if they come to serve at Hope Center in Galette Chambon. There is no other sponsorship program in the world like this.

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We desperately need at least 30 more sponsors to make our proposed 2018-2019 budget. We have cut and trimmed all we can, but we can’t make the needed changes without increasing our budget. Will you please consider becoming one of those 30 sponsors that will help us move this system to the next level? Will you please pray and ask God how He can use you? If you don’t necessarily feel led to sponsor a child, but you do want to help the education needs of But God Ministries, you can simply go to our website and give directly to the general education fund at BGM. Make sure you add an additional comment that it is for “Education in Galette Chambon” We invite you to be a part of what God is doing in Galette Chambon, Haiti, to CHANGE A GENERATION!!! Thank you so much for your support!!

~Mickie West, But God Ministries Child Sponsorship Program Administrator

Click here to get started……

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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.

soloman's kids

 

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

BGM screenshot copy

 

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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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…

Johnny's house 3

Johnny in front of his house.

Johnny's house 2

Missing door and roof on Johnny’s house

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

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

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

GIVE TO JOHNNY'S HOUSE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God Bless You!!

Mickie

 

 

 

 

 

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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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Saturday Emergency

This past Saturday started out like any other Saturday. We were all buzzing around Hope Center, cleaning the dorms for the next team, packing away the groceries the cooks bought in preparation for another week of team meals, reorganizing the clinic for another week of seeing patients, etc. when suddenly there was a loud rap on the back gate of the compound. When Tony opened the gate, there was a thin, young woman who could barely walk, obviously in tremendous pain, holding her hand that had been loosely wrapped in gauze but was quite saturated with blood. Two men held her up on either side, and they were all very much in distress. Tony quickly helped the woman to the clinic and began to check on the injury. She explained to him that someone came to her house that morning and when she opened the door, the person at the door attacked her with a machete and nearly sliced her hand off. Her hand was deeply gashed across her palm and on around to the top side. The tendon of her pinky finger was obviously severed because it was hanging to the side and she could not lift it. Tony was afraid bones were cut as well. As soon as he saw that the tendon was cut, he realized we needed to get her to a hospital. About the time he was headed to the house to check on some things, I walked out and could immediately tell by the look on his face and his three unfinished sentences started at once that something was terribly wrong. He explained to me what was going on and I rushed over to the clinic to see how I could help. As soon as I saw her, my heart wrenched for her and I knew I needed to go with her to the hospital. The two men with her wanted to take her to the hospital on a motorcycle tap-tap, and she clearly would not have made it to a hospital that way. She couldn’t even walk! I asked Tony if I could go with her to the hospital, and he said I couldn’t go to Port au Prince, but I could go as far as to Ganthier to help secure a tap-tap to get her to the hospital. We lifted her into the truck and she immediately fell back on my shoulder in tears. I held her and began to pray. On the way down the road, we passed Jacques’ truck near the orphanage. Tony asked Jacques if he could take her since he speaks good Creole as well as English. We switched over to his truck and off we went. She wimpered softly through the fog that the medicines had brought upon her, and tears continued to gently stream down her gaunt, ebony cheeks. Jacques proceeded to make phone calls to see where we needed to go. I continued to pray. He decided to take her to a clinic in Fond Parisienne that has an ambulance service and doctor on duty. We took her in to see the doctor. He decided to x-ray her hand to see the extent of the damage. Hallelujah, there were no severed bones, however, he confirmed that the pinky tendon was severed and that would need to be fixed before sewing her up. He wrote us a letter of admittance to the emergency care hospital in Tabar, gave her a pain injection, and off we went again, this time to Port au Prince. (He would not agree to an ambulance) I decided to sing to her to see if that would help calm her spirits. She slowly drifted off into a deep sleep as we jostled around in the back seat of the truck while passing over portions of the highway that were covered in pot holes, cracks, and rough terrain. After driving for about 45 minutes, we finally reached the emergency care facility. I took her in while Jacques parked the truck. The hospital staff had me take her over to a gurney in an open waiting area then communicated to me that I would need to wait in the waiting area where there were no less than 70 people. After praying with her one more time, I obeyed and waited for Jacques. He informed me that her family had called and that they were on their way to the hospital too. After being assured that they were almost there, we decided to go on out to the truck to prepare to head back to Hope Center. After a few minutes of waiting, Jacques said, “There’s more to this story than just a guy attacking her with a machete. This lady is involved with voodoo.” He explained that she had said some things to him in Creole that I didn’t pick up on. From there, we proceeded into a conversation about the voodoo culture and the things that are practiced and believed in Haiti connected with voodoo. It is truly something that most Americans simply cannot wrap our brains around. One thing is for sure. It is very sad, very violent, and very evil. I am praying that Marie realizes that Jesus loves her and that He is the reason she has survived this terrible act of violence. I pray that she will return to our clinic soon to see Tony and hear more about the love of our savior, Jesus Christ. I pray that she will be saved and healed and will no longer be tormented by the life she has been living under the curse of voodoo and violence. I pray that she knows she is loved. My heart is heavy for Marie tonight. I wonder if she is at home now. I wonder if she is thinking about the prayers she heard whispered over her. I pray that the Holy Spirit will give her peace tonight and that she will KNOW where that peace is coming from. 

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What It’s All About

Today I sit anxiously awaiting the return of one of the teams that has been at Hope Center this week. It’s a team from Jackson, and not only do they have the remainder of the clay orders, but they have PICTURES from this week’s mission events!!! I can’t wait to see them and share them with all of you!! I have many stories to tell, but I want to put pictures with the ones I share. Stay tuned…..I

In the meantime, there is one story I cannot withhold from you because it completely melted my heart. This week has been a very tiring week for Tony, both physically and emotionally. It was his first week back (seems like an eternity to me), and he set foot back on Haitian soil with a team from Hattiesburg, Ms, there to run a medical clinic and dental clinic in tandem. This is exciting because we have seen soooo many people who desperately needed dental attention. On top of that, Tony has looked forward to learning many things from the dental team so that he can continue to meet the dental needs of the people of our village. We have a very nice dental clinic with tons of supplies and such, but he had no idea what we had and how to use it. He looked forward to being schooled this week…..and that is exactly what happened. Well, that and much, much more of course. Tony is so excited to know how to pull teeth now, and he can do it without causing pain to his patients, so that is really exciting. Thank you, Lord, for once again for Your provision!!

In addition to getting to learn in the dental clinic, we had a rather extensive medical team at Hope Center that included several doctors, including a dermatologist. Isn’t it amazing to know that God is providing not just general medical care to the people of this village, but specialty care….and FREE! These are people who get up early in the morning, many before daylight, and walk for hours in the dark with only the light of kerosene in a vegetable can to try to see a doctor. They will wait not just for hours, but some will wait all day long to see a doctor about a need that they have been having to ignore for months because they could not afford to get medical attention anywhere else. There are many unusual skin conditions in Haiti that need medical attention, so having a dermatologist there to see about these specific needs is such a blessing!! And here’s the biggest blessing….in just four days, this medical team saw over 500 patients and the dental team treated about 150 patients. Now THAT is exciting!!

Needless to say, for Tony, who is not only helping with the medical teams now, but he has also taken on many more administrative tasks now that I am not there, is very tired today. There have been meetings upon meetings upon meetings all week long with groups and individuals as we take care of other needs in the village besides medical care. There have been meetings about the orphanage, meetings about the school, meetings about a church BGM is helping to build, and meetings about general activities going on around Hope Center. It’s a lot to take in and a huge load to carry. I have prayed and prayed for my precious husband as he has flexed his administrative muscles this week. He is so compassionate, yet very detail oriented, and that is what makes him so good at what he does, but it can also be very tiring. Well, our God is a loving, compassionate God, and He knows that Tony needs a fresh touch from Him on a daily basis. God uses so many people and situations to do just that….every day. I am so thankful that my husband is in the hands of such a loving and personal God. This leads me to the story I want to share with you….

Yesterday, Tony and Vladimir went into the village for yet another meeting at one of the schools there. It was a difficult meeting, but God led the meeting and God provided the needed words to communicate what Tony needed to communicate. Hallelujah! After the meeting, Tony and Vladimir were walking along the dusty pathways through the village on their way back to Hope Center, and they were having a conversation about why we do what we do. He began to share with Vladimir about the scripture in Matthew 25, verses 31-40 where it says,

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”

After sharing this passage with Vladimir, Tony said, “When we take care of the sick; when we give people water; when we give them clothes to wear and food to eat; when we love on the lonely and give hugs to the hurting, we don’t do it for our own glory or to gain points with God or anyone else. When we do these things, we are sharing the real love of JESUS. We do these things because the love of Jesus is INSIDE of us, and in our love and reverence to Him, His Love pours out of us to others. THAT is why we do what we do.”

Just as Tony was saying this, an elderly woman came running across an open field towards where Tony and Vladimir were walking. She was waving her arms in the air and yelling something they couldn’t understand. They stopped and awaited her approach because they knew she was coming to them. When she reached them, she began to hug on Tony, kiss his cheeks, and tears were streaming down her face. He understood some of what she was saying as she cried out, “Mesi Jesi, mesi Jesi!” (Thank you Jesus) Vladimir began to interpret to Tony what she said after this. She was saying, “I came to you in the clinic, and I was sick and you prayed with me and gave me medicine, and now I am well. I was so thirsty and you gave me a drink of water. I was hungry and you gave me some crackers to eat while I waited. Thank you, thank you, thank you Jesus for sending this man to our village.” Oh my goodness, I can hardly type right now for the tears filling my eyes. The screen goes blurry and my fingers shake. God sent this precious woman to assure Tony that what he was explaining to Vladimir was right on point. God assured Tony and Vladimir both through this woman that His Word is ALIVE, and His Word is being acted out every single day at Hope Center, and He DOES bless it. As if this wasn’t enough to knock their sandals off, they continued on their journey back to Hope Center and a middle aged farmer approached them as they were nearing the soccer field. He went to Tony and shook his hand in the usual Haitian fashion. Theirs is not a casual shake of one hand to another. They take your hand in theirs, then touch your arm or hand with their other hand as if to say, “I want to bless you with BOTH hands.” As the man shook Tony’s hand, he asked about Jacob. Tony explained that Jacob is not in Haiti right now, but he is coming back in a few weeks. The man proceeded to tell Tony and Vladimir that he misses seeing Jacob in the village. He said that Jacob would always stop and talk to him and practice his Creole with him and teach him English words so they could communicate better with one another. Then the man said, “One day I was hungry and Jacob went to his house and got some food for me. I was also thirsty and he also brought me something to drink. God used Jacob to bless me, and I appreciate it very much. I really do miss that boy.” Tony and Vladimir were both just amazed at what they were hearing. It wasn’t that they were surprised that Jacob ministered to this man and we never even knew it; it was that once again God sent someone to confirm His Word to them….”Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” God was once again confirming His blessings upon our work there and assuring Tony that He has used and will continue to us ALL of us in His plan.

Tony and Vladimir continued on their journey to Hope Center with a renewed and refreshed spirit. God sent these people along the pathway to bless them in return for their blessings to His people. His blessings are fresh and new every single day. We praise Him for being ACTIVE in our lives and taking care of every single detail. We praise Him with all that we have, all that we are, and all that we do. Oh how He loves us!!

Stay tuned for pictures of the week!!!

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