Haiti: A 4 Month Recap

Where to begin concerning our experiences in Haiti is not an easy task. We have been here for 4 months now and the amount of things done in our hearts and minds are hard to put on paper. I will say, we are very thankful someone taught us how to use our phones as a “mobile hotspot” for internet on our computers. Now we can finally connect beyond Facebook! With all the things we see and experience here in Haiti, this seems like a trivial praise.  Nonetheless, we are so thankful.

When our journey to Haiti began 2.5 years ago, the Lord opened the door (and our hearts) to partner with a little village called Grand Vide. The village is on the western side of an island called La Gonave, which is 30 miles off the coast of Haiti. Even though our "yes" to His request seemed weak at the time, it was still a commitment. We knew we had a lot to learn (and still do) about Haiti, the people, the culture and realistically ministry. Although the language is different; our challenges have superceded linguistics.

We knew that it would be wise to adjust as a family to living in Haiti before we fully immersed ourselves “smack dab in the middle” of Grand Vide. While we have been adjusting to living here; the first few months were spent working with an organization that helps build businesses in Haiti. Our goal was to train Haitians in business management then move into our preparation for Grand Vide. As we fulfilled our role, we then entered a season of intense preparation for our final move.  Continuing to learn the language, helping our family continue to adjust and figure out what is necessary to survive in a very remote area of Haiti…we are now positioning ourselves to move in September. When we mention our organization Community of Hope Haiti....we are referring to our partnership alongside the people of Grand Vide....1) to get clean water; which also affects our family. 2) cultivate the land; there is very little rain or vegetation. 3) build a fishing industry; which is the main source of food. 4) bring education beyond 5th grade. 5) build a house of prayer; nothing in Haiti will be won without the movement of our God through prayer and adoration of our Father in Heaven and on Earth. (Isaiah 56:6-7; 2 Chronicles 20:15-22) "As they began to sing and praise, the LORD set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated." 

Our vision has been clear from the beginning. In fact, prior to coming for a visit in January 2014, I read Isaiah 60 (a chapter I was not familiar with). It seemed so true for Haiti. Isaiah 60:10 "Foreigners will rebuild your walls, and their kings will serve you. Though in anger I struck you, in favor I will show you compassion." I spent two weeks traveling the whole Nation on a prayer journey with Haitians Helping Haitians in January 2014. Grand Vide was on our list to visit. When I arrived, the leaders in the village wanted to know why we were there, so we planned a meeting. As I shared the goal of our family move and listened to their top needs; a man in the meeting spoke up saying: "this sounds like Isaiah 60 where foreigners come and rebuild your walls." Stunned in my heart I knew this meant the birthing of the Lord's ministry to Grand Vide. 

After having three children....I know well that no birth comes without pain. A process filled with more questions than answers: the who’s, what, when, where and how's entered in as well. Thankfully my God is not intimidated by my questions or fleshly struggles.

Making the initial move to Haiti wasn't as terrifying as making the final move to Grand Vide (for me as a mom that plans). This little village is far outside my comfort zone of living adjustments... I can handle little to no electricity, no fridge or air conditioning, flying cockroaches, constant sweat, cooking/food adjustments, language barrier, new money system, etc etc etc.  But to be so far from much civilization was something I had such a hard time mentally adjusting to.  By public transportation (via Haitian boat) it is a 7 hour boat ride from where we live. Our own personal boat with a double engine cuts it down to about 2-3 hours. I had made a sinful vow that I would not move until we had a boat. Although the words did not feel pleasant, they were firm. A few months later, I had conviction of my words and repented. In prayer I confessed to the Lord that I would go regardless of having a boat. Soon after, we made the long trip for the first time with our whole family to celebrate the marriage of some dear friends that certainly feel more like family. I realized that although the convenience of food was non-existent, it was not impossible. A boat leaves twice a week to "grocery shop" for the whole village...in which we could also refill our jugs for clean water. I was concerned for the adjustment of our kids; however they came alive during our visit! Elijah worked through his own language barriers by making farting noises with his armpit making the kids laugh. LOL!  Lily always talks about her new friend Dolly…who is excellent at sweeping dirt (kind of like vacuuming). As long as Luke has a bike and a ball and his dad….he is happy anywhere. I am so excited to start sharing stories….they are beginning to pile up.

Will there be adjustments? Of course. Will my kids complain? Most likely. Will I complain….probably. But, my heart is ready, my Yes is stronger. My kids will survive…not only survive, but thrive. My husband….was born ready. When God calls the parents; He calls the kids too. Just the other day Lily said, “I am ready to go to Grand Vide.” Ok sweet heart….me too JThis is not so much about our adjustments as much as it is for God fulfilling His plan on the earth. We get to be a small part! 

If you want to financially journey with us; please email me at withholdingstones@gmail.com