Saturday, October 30, 2010

Love, Peace, and Isaiah 55 :)

For me to be blessed and at peace, I have only to look to You!  You say to come when I am thirsty and hungry and You will nourish me.  You  will give my soul life - eternal life in You.  I must only seek You, for You have made yourself readily available.  You are Merciful God and pardon my sin, for Christ gave my soul freedom on the cross.  Your ways are perfect, and higher than any other.  Your will is perfect and You will never lead me astray.  Your Word will accomplish what You set out to do, and we are only Your servants, here to do your task, be a light to the world, and dwell peacefully in you.  In You, we find love, peace, and true Joy.  Your world cries Your praises, and We should do the same!  Thorns and briers will become pines and myrtles, and all the sin and torment in the world will melt away with your perfect Glory, forever and always.  Thank you!


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Haiti: Reflections

     As I think back on the trip to Haiti, I realize more and more how God blessed both the journey and the lives of each and every person involved.  He used our preparation, our time in Haiti, and our experiences; I know I have had to look hard at my own life and question my priorities and expectations as well as the assumptions about life that I have developed from growing up in America.
    In the months leading up to the trip, Ashleigh and I worked hard to raise money, and I won't lie - at first, we wondered why God would allow us such an opportunity yet leave us without the funds to go.  However, we decided to trust completely in him and let Him bring the money to us.  He did.  In the last few weeks, as we grew desperate and watched our college funds trickle away to pay for plane tickets, immunizations (what a miserable way to spend your money!), and passports, we had a sudden inflow of donations.  We had made shirts to sell, of which we sold a countless number, and many left donations rather than taking their change.  Family members and friends began sending checks, but what moved me the most was the donations from complete strangers - people who did not know me personally yet gave so that I could go.  In the final week, we had enough to cover all of our expenses and then some.  God knew what He was doing, and He simply wanted us to rely on Him for our finances - after all, HE is what this trip was about!  I know I can trust God in anything, not just in preparing for a trip, but it was a wonderful reminder to His great glory and His complete control over everything in our lives.  Thank goodness He does - I would be in trouble if I had to make every decision on my own!
     We met several other missionaries in the Miami airport who were spreading all over Haiti to do different types of evangelical work and disaster relief.  Organizations such as Global Outreach, Salvation Army, and World Race to name a few were all represented; the plane had only a handful of individuals not involved in a Christian group.  It was incredible to see all the help Haiti was receiving...because of a disaster.  The earthquake, which devastated the entire country and left millions homeless, had made people notice.  While talking to our youth group of about 20, Ashleigh and I asked who ever thought about Haiti before the earthquake - only one young man raised his hand.  Yet now, everyone has heard about it and many have been called to go.  God has used this "suffering" to bring others to realization, much like we find with the blind man in John 9:2,3.  God has a purpose in everything, and can use EVERYTHING for good, no matter how disastrous it may seem to us at the time.
     I realized I have rambled on and have only discussed what we learned in our I will save the rest for another post.  God Bless :)


Friday, August 6, 2010

HAITI: the final day :)

First off, thank you for all your prayers!  I am 110% recovered, after lots of sleep and plenty of medicine (since that is all they have here). 
     Yesterday and today were much alike as far as work goes, we simply worked our rounds with the clinic team.  HOWEVER, things were made much more interesting when Amber, the summer missionary who we helped with filling the prescriptions, was whisked off to do another job and Ashleigh and I were left, alone, to work as the pharmacists.  Thus, after two days of training, we had to read the doctors writing (isn't it known to be illegible?), and to make it worse we had to know what medicine it was that they were trying to write...not easy when you have Doxycycline, Chloroquin, Erythromycin, and literally a hundred more medicines with crazy names.  So, I learned to say phrases like , "mwatye grenn avek manje chaksjou" (take 1/2 a pill with food every day), "yon fwa pa jou" (once a day), or "de grenn twa fwa pa ju" (two pills three times a day).  But we met many people and played with the kids; most importantly, we have been able to shine a light and make memories we will never forget!
     One of my favorite experiences besides the clinic was the marketplace we went to this evening.  For half an hour we went to all the stalls set up and bartered, which was sooo much fun!  A typical convo went like this:
Them: "hey!  look!  you buy, only $15!"
Me: "oh, bel, no, mesi."
Them: "I give you, for $10"
Me: " about 2 of them for $5?"
Them: "wi, wi! 2 for $5"

or my favorite:

Them: "Look, you buy for $20!"
Ashleigh: "how about $5?"
Them: "Ha!!  No way.  $12."
Ashleigh: "No, mesi. No." (walks away)
Them: (running after her) "oke, oke, $10!  uhh..$8!  $5!!"

Haha it was a blast, we would make a deal, then get them to throw in a couple more items for free.  I ended up getting a big bag of woodwork and jewelry for under $ less than half and hour.  Good thing we didn't have longer, or I would have terrible credit! 
     Tomorrow morning we leave the compound at 6 to escort the young girl who is a summer missionary back to the airport, and our flight leaves 3 hours later.  It has been a wonderful experience, and I am excited to come back one day soon!

Love from Haiti,

Thursday, August 5, 2010

HAITI: Day 5

I'm not feeling too well today - slept as soon as we got back from the clinic until dinner, now we will have devotions and I will go to sleep again.  I will update tomorrow though!  Please pray for us, a couple of us on the team feel ill.   Thank you!

Love from Haiti,

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Haiti: ORPHANGE :)

First, while it is fresh on my mind, let me be the first to tell you about on eof the most delicious desserts I have enjoyed in quite a while: after a long day of toting around 6 babies and toddlers at a time and sweating in more places than one would think possible, the medical staff was given a treat - corn flavored ice-cream!  We were trying to look at it and figure out the flavor, and upon being told Ashleigh and I did not know quite what to expect.  However, it was a tastebud-tingling flavor that I can only describe as a mix between vanilla, coconut, and coffee.  It was amazing!
    Anywho, about the orphange.  it took us about an hour and half to get to the orphanage (maybe longer?) though we were too busy watching the people and towns go by to really notice how long it had been.  There were about 80 orphans ranging in age from babies to probably about 8 or 9 years old.  They we all waiting for us when we arrived, and not a single one was bashful.  Nearly knocking us over, a stampede of toddlers ran to Ashleigh and I, giving us high-fives then promptly clinging to our long skirts.  The next several hours were no different; we sat in the concrete room with the children as they received check-ups and took some outside in the concrete open space to play.  Some children had incredible energy and were always laughing and smiling, but others were sick and sad-looking, not saying a word the entire time.  One such baby girl, only about 3, became an extra appendage for me after a while - she was content to be held and carried around as I tried to amuse others.  It broke our hearts to see these sick little children, with the older ones having to care for the younger ones.  The workers, all very kind but understaffed, did not even know all the childrens' names, so we had to ask other kids in the orphanage.  some babies were witting on beds all alone and sick, with no one watching them except our volunteers.  It was a sad sight to see, and we did not want to have to leave the kids.  Giving them beanies babies helped though - they adored their new toys, and they were able to pick from a hundred (literally) different animals.
     Every one of us felt guilty for eating and drinking in front of the kids, and we only did it when we knew we had to in order to continue functioning at our best.  As soon as Ashleigh and I reached for our sandwiches, about ten toddlers clung to our skirts and wailed as we ate.  We knew they would be fed within the hour, but seeing the pain in their eyes and their bloated, hungry bellies made us want to cry along with them. 
Soon we said our goodbyes, but hopefully not forever.  Ashleigh and I will enter the mission field after college (with a few trips between), and a calling may be with an orphanage.  We are still praying about what to major in; we want God to use us for what HE wants us to do in the field (and we would LOVE any prayers you would be willing to say for us!). 
Today has been exhausting, so it is time for sleep.  God bless, and please be praying for the Haitians and the children, and everyone else in the world who is not as fortunate as we are!  (Though a note on that too - these people are so tuned into God and so caring of one another that I honestly don't know who is more fortunate.)

Love from Haiti,