Thursday, February 28, 2013

basketball and slinkies

find something more adorable than this. i dare you. 
[you won't]

The basketball is still to heavy for her to pick up, so they

"Go dad!!"

"What do i do with this weird toy the white woman gave me?"

"Oh, I can stay attached to dad forever!"

Monday, February 25, 2013

February Update

February Newsletter (contrary to my spelling skills in my emailed letter, I can spell "February" correctly ;) 

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.
Exodus 14:14

This past weekend I finished reading through Exodus and I find myself relating to the Israelites more each day. I have left the home I always knew to follow the God I love - and through all my grumbling and doubt He provides all the manna I need. 

This month has been a busy one for HAFF. We recently hosted a small team, which included our board president and vice president. I was grateful for the opportunity to learn more about HAFF - and to hear everyone's visions for the future of the ministry. Our Haitian Executive Team shared their dreams for HAFF with our board members - everyone is excited and ready to move forward. We also spent a lot of time in prayer seeking God's will for this ministry. First and foremost, everyone involved in HAFF wants the ministry to be one with a rich spiritual life - a life that makes disciples above all else. Please join us in prayer in discerning God's will for HAFF. 

I have been very busy teaching as well. I teach 11th grade English on Tuesdays and have also been working with the 12th grade classes lately. Class by class I learn more about out how to best help my students. I am so glad I can work with a Haitian teacher, who can explain more difficult concepts in the students native tongue. My language learning is moving along - but I am not quit ready to teach direct and indirect speech rules in Creole :). I did have an exciting "language moment" last week though - when we were praying at the home of an Executive Committee member my turn came around and I almost prayed in Creole! It was the first language that came to my mind - it was so exciting! I ended up praying in English though - just not confident enough to pray in Creole yet. 

I have also been spending a couple hours a week working with the daughters of one of our agricultural workers. One is his biological daughter and the other is an adopted niece. The girls are both around four and five. I've worked on some sight words with them - but mostly spent time playing with them and loving them to pieces. The chance to invest in the age range I am most comfortable with is a answer to prayer! 

As Spring approaches life will continue to pick up pace here at HAFF. We have a few teams scheduled over the next few months - and I am looking forward to a few friends coming with teams from Buckhead Church/The 410 Bridge! 

As always, thank you for your thoughts and prayers. The picture you give me of the body of Christ is so beautiful. I'll continue to update my blog - and hopefully you will see new posts on the HAFF blog very soon. Feel free to email anytime if you have any questions. 


Prayer Requests
For Me: 
- Discernment for which projects at HAFF I should work with
- Continued prayer for how to connect with children in the community
- Comfort in being away from family & friends
- Rapid language learning, more diverse language learning opportunities 
- My tutor, Phanette & her mother's worsening health 
- The young girls I am working with & their family

- For God to raise up more financial support this year, particualrly to cover increased teacher wages
- Wisdom & courage for the Executive Committee in decision making
- For the U.S. Board & all the work they hope to accomplish
- The spiritual lives of our teachers and students at IPB

Thursday, February 14, 2013


Someone is feeling much better these days!

He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.
Psalm 147:3

Friday, February 8, 2013

back on my feet

Yesterday, I ran. It was a good - sweaty - dirty - I probably got dehydrated run (sorry mom). I've been itching to run, to clear my mind, to sweat out all the worries. While I live in rural Haiti, running down national route three isn't exactly…recommended. But I live on a 40 acre gated campus, surely there's a path somewhere, right? Well, two days ago I went searching for one and didn't find anything I thought would suite me. Everything was too short, too jagged or just pure woods with no paths - - and I was afraid to explore too far. Yesterday though I found myself in a mood where only a good run would do the trick. So I persevered and kept looking, I mustered up the courage to make a few new twists and turns, going beyond what I thought might be safe. That's when I found it. My perfect running path. It's narrow and I have to dodge rocks and cactus, there are hills, but it is perfect. I found the very edge of our campus and ran along the gate - a few times I was fairly certain I had crossed a boundary and was somehow out of the safe confines of HAFF, I kept going though. I didn't want to turn around. The path ahead was unknown, sure, but it was adventurous, and anyway, I knew somewhere deep inside that no matter where I ended up, it would be fine. Honestly, I didn't care where I ended up I just knew I had to keep going. It was beautiful and quiet and so very peaceful. Sure enough though, after some huffing and puffing I ended up back in a familiar spot…and then I did it again - - with more assurance (and speed) the second time around. Each song on my ipod was more perfect than the last and each view at the top of a hill reminded me why I feel in love with this country.

This path isn't 100% safe (again, sorry mom - the guards do walk it twice a shift though, so if I trip or collapse out there I will be found). Not safe, but good. There are still unknowns along the way, turns and twists I can still take if I'm brave enough. 

Out there, in complete solitary peace God revealed to me that my new running path is just like life right now. I cannot turn around. There is no point in going back and surely no reward. The way ahead is unknown, I am scared and I have no idea where I am going. Everything keeps moving though, weather I am walking or running - - and sometimes the moving is found in stopping, in waiting, in taking in the views. 

I know each afternoon, I'll put on my running shoes and set out on my new running path, welcoming whatever comes my way. And I know each morning, I need to get dressed and face the road ahead - - embrace the journey - - and know God will make sure I ned up exactly where I am supposed to.  

This place is trying to break my belief 
But my faith is bigger than all I can see 
What I need is redemption 
What I need is for You for to put me back on my feet

I swear I'm trying to give everything 
But I feel I'm falling, oh make me believe 
What I need is resurrection 
What I need is for You to put me back on my feet

I lift the knife to the thing I love most 
Praying You'll come so I can have both 
What I need is for You to touch me 
What I need is for You to be the thing that I need 

If I could feel You shine your perpetual light 
Then maybe I could crawl out of this tonight 
If I could feel You feel You shine 
Oh let me feel You shine 
So beautiful and warm 
So beautiful and bright 
Like a sun comin' out of a rainy sky 
Oh let me feel You shine 

God I need a Savior 
Oh come Generous King 
Oh God I need a Savior 
To come rescue me 

Oh let me feel You shine Your magnificent light 

Let me feel You shine 
-David Crowder

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

coke, coffee and choirs

There are a lot of emotional, deep topics I've been sorting through and dispersed throughout them I have shared frustrations of all kinds - of course every frustration is met with God's grace - and my thankfulness for His presence is unmatched. 

During this season God has taught me so much already about my heart - but He's also provided a lot of surface level blessings I have failed to share - - but they are blessings from Him, and blessings from Him, of any kind, are to be shared for His glory. So here are a few 'superficial' blessings about living in Haiti…

Sunshine. So much sunshine. A constant loop of Spring & Summer. More sunshine that you could ever want and I love every minute of it. 

Coke in glass bottles, made with sugar cane. 

Homemade peanut butter. and bread. and cinnamon rolls. Pretty much everything is homemade - and delicious. 

Pumpkin soup. Pumpkin bread. Pumpkin is a celebration food in Haiti - I know, I know, they so have the right idea here. 

A dog who loves when I pet her, begs for food and often brings me comfort by sleeping inside my house. 

For lack of a better description, Colin is a handy man. Living in rural Haiti, you need a handy man. 

Lots and lots of coffee. Grown here, cooked here, ground here, consumed here. 

Choirs practicing within ear shot. The Haitian choir is a gift from God. 

The Haitian sense of humor. They'll laugh at just about anything, and everyone is more relaxed when laughing is involved. 

Missionary Flights International. We get mail because these rockstars fly it to us, it's an amazing ministry that helps each of us feel closer to home. 

How often I'm told I'm pretty. I know, this is really and very literally superficial, but seriously, it doesn't hurt the self-esteem that these people treat me like a beauty queen. 

Then there are the things I am endlessly thankful for that so many Haitians don't have: a bed (to myself at that), a mosquito net, blankets, clean water, food (three times a day). 

This unique season of life full of challenges is also full to the brim with blessing beyond blessing - even on the hard days, the sun shines bright, the smiles are plentiful and grace flows. 

Thank you Jesus.