Wednesday, June 29, 2011 was Haiti?

Friends & family,

I hope you’re all doing well and enjoying summer. It’s hard to believe that the mid point of the season is just around the corner, hoping you all have a great 4th of July!

I have been home from Haiti for just over a week now. As you might have guessed, my third trip was just as wonderful as the previous. Sometimes in life you’re graced with this incredible moment when unreal circumstances, suddenly become tangible. Being in a place like Haiti can often feel like you’re watching a movie from afar, but for me it doesn't any longer, being in Haiti just feels like home. There’s always a newness, something God is showing me, but I feel like I am truly present in each moment. For me, this trip stands out as the first time I have been able to return to a place where I felt true investment. While my second trip was incredibly meaningful, I still traveled to a new place in Haiti, however, this summer I was able to return to Bohoc. There is something really special about returning to a place you have served before, you know the people and you have played with the children. I experienced quit a few special moments as well as new experiences!

While in Bohoc, our team of 23 singles leaders had four projects: painting dormitories at the Haitian American Friendship Foundation (HAFF), weighing & providing nutrition to malnourished children, construction on a local church, and working with children in local orphanages and the community. Before we left for Bohoc though, we spent our first evening at an orphanage in Port au Prince. New Life Orphanage is run by Americans and is a garden of Eden in the middle of hectic PAP. We couldn't have asked for a better start for the week! We left for Bohoc Saturday morning and just as in December, the 90 mile trek took close to 8 hours. We arrived at the guest house and I was assigned the same room I called home six months ago! On Sunday we attended church in Bohoc, a new and special experience for me. We spent the afternoon at a local orphanage giving out as much love as we could. For the rest of the week we spent our mornings on the projects at HAFF and working on Pastor George's church. After lunch we spent our afternoons working with children. One very special moment came for me on Monday afternoon, you can read more about that special day on our team blog here.

To be honest, I am still trying to process everything. I'm getting into the grove of life in America. It's funny (especially for this only child) how quickly you get used to waking up with 23 family members, all enjoying quiet time with the Lord and then meeting for breakfast. Nights filled with ethnic dinners, family worship and card games follow days of hard work and hard play. There's a quote we learned on our trip, 'Haiti will break your heart and never give you back all the pieces." Each time I go to Haiti, I give away a few pieces of my heart, to my "Haiti family" and to the Haitian people. I can't get those pieces back and I wouldn't want them anyway.

The question you all really want to know is, "How was Haiti?" Lately, I answer with "incredible" and then, if you're lucky, I give a rundown of our projects. Here's what really happened in my heart though; God broke me. I felt the beautiful burden of being called to a broken country. Our gracious Lord filled my heart with joy and wonder that He would call messy and imperfect me to Haiti. Haiti, a nation that is broken but resilient, dark but fighting for joy. I get to give my heart, time and energy to this incredible place.

So, how was Haiti? Well, we did a lot of work. We built a lot of relationships. We played with the most wonderful kids. We created a family. We had our hearts broken. We had our lives changed. We felt God move. We had the privilege of seeing the future of Haiti in the youth. While I'm still processing it all, I can leave you with this though: there is a bright future for Haiti. They have not lost hope and you shouldn't either. Hope for Haiti. Pray for Haiti.

Thank you again for being part of my journey. Your support and partnership was continuously felt.


My precious Ensesca girl, who you'll hear plenty more about!

Eloch, the best driver in ALL of Haiti

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

my heart hurts

I. Miss. Haiti.

Remembering that God's timing is perfect. Even when my heart aches.

Monday, June 27, 2011

unexpected mercies

Today these two incredible people left on a big journey.

Danielle and Wes were my gracious hosts one lovely summer when I worked for student life. Danielle and I don't keep up as much as we'd like- but my love for her runs deep.
I learned more from Danielle and Wes than they'll ever know.

Today, they started the journey to Uganda. This is another step in the process to bring home their twins!
I am so happy for this soon to be family of 4.
I think I'll ask to move back in and live across the hall from their bouncy toddlers!
Babysitter? Done.

That sound good D & W...?

Please pray for the Sullivan's. They should be in Uganda 3-4 weeks, with their first court date scheduled for July 1st.
Here are their other prayer requests:
"We would appreciate your prayers for:
1. For us to be able to get both court dates before courts close on July 15
2. Please pray for the judge and his family. Pray for wisdom, guidance and discernment as he has big decisions to make!
3. Please pray that we will bond with our children quickly
4. Please pray for our Lawyer and the social worker caring for our children
5. Please pray for our hearts to be prepared for all God shows us and puts before us"

Can't wait to hear what God does!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

living bent low

Want to be inspired?

Wondering how God could ever make it all work?
Meet Katie.
Read her blog.

The tears will flow.
The hope will overflow.

Like Katie, I am
"Praying for you as you bend today for whoever is in front of you. He will meet you there."

Friday, June 24, 2011

I don't want the peices back...

I don't know what has gotten into my lately, but clearly I needed a blog break.

I'm back. Ready to process my thoughts on this semi public forum (which I'm not convinced anyone actually reads). I'm ready to write about love and hope and Haiti.

I've been home from Haiti for a week now.
Away from the muddy roads, big smiles and questionable smells.
Haiti was different this time. It really felt like home. Being in Haiti doesn't feel like I'm watching a movie, it just feels normal.
So many things happened last week.
Doors were opened. My heart was so full.

I've process some now and one particular thing thing is clear.
I am honored.
I am honored that God would call messy and imperfect me to Haiti.
Our last full day in Bohoc, in the middle of a team prayer I lost it.
I mean blubbering tears. Couldn't stop it if I wanted to.
I just let the tears flow. Let Jesus do His work.
To be honest, at the time I wasn't entirely sure why I was so emotional. I knew I was tired and I knew I was sad to leave. I didn't realize until I got home that the combination of sorrow and joy was the product of a girl who feels completely unworthy being told that God does not send the equipped but He equips the sent.

We were given this quote before we left Bohoc,
"Haiti will break your heart and never give you back all the pieces."
True and beautiful words.
Haiti has many pieces of my heart and I wouldn't have it any other way.
I'll go back home for them soon.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Meet the Family

I'll be back soon!
Until then...
Follow our Haiti team, ahem, I mean, family blog here!