Changing Heart

The crazy busy of the holidays is finally winding down, our family got back late last night from our family vacation to Kentucky.  It was truly a blessed trip.

IMG_4568

At the Creation Museum, Kentucky USA

I have been thinking about this post since about my second day in Haiti this last trip.  It seems that God lays the right words on my heart and I can write this so well in my head, but when I sit down to actually do it, the words escape me.  But here it goes.

I have been on a short term mission trip to Haiti through Children’s Lifeline 5 times now.  This last trip was probably the most eye opening for me.  It was a very blessed trip from the moment planning started until we all arrived home.  The team and their goals were absolutely amazing.  This trip was a medical mission trip, and that was new for me, I was very nervous because I have no medical training or knowledge.  (I can apply a mean band-aid though)  We had 4 nurses with us on this trip, with Sarah taking the role of leader of the medical pack.  She did AMAZING.  It was like she had done this four hundred times.  She got up every day with a positive attitude, a smile on her face, and a “let’s do this” mission.  Even though she had contracted shigella, and was feeling quite ill for the majority of the trip, she trudged on.

IMG_4001

Sarah with a child at the first school that we visited. Lots of ear infections and a couple children with pneumonia…

IMG_4142

At Louissant’s orphanage, near every child here was ill.

Of course the physical need is ever apparent, no matter where you travel in Haiti.  And Sarah and her team had a great grasp on the physical needs.  We were blessed with 20 suitcases FULL of things to bring to Haiti… almost all of which had been donated by the mission team members and people that support 7:10 Foundation.  Over 3000 antibiotics, Tylenol, medical supplies, birthing kits, other pharmaceuticals, clothes, household supplies, hand made (beautiful) pillow case dresses….. the list goes on and on.  Seven families were blessed with goats while we were there, and yet another family with the gift of a home.  But where do I fall in with all of this?  I am not a carpenter, a nurse, a teacher…  I am great at planning and organizing, which is required prior to each trip.  When I get there, I am in love with the people and I feel at home.  My heart tugs at the idea of someday spending more time in Haiti.  Jeremiah and I were sitting with Daniel one night, and talking about his salvation.  Jeremiah said something to Daniel, and it resonated with me.  It has been heavy on my heart since the moment he said it.  He told Daniel “Daniel, we can come to Haiti and leave you with suitcases of “stuff”, but if we leave here and go home without leaving you with Jesus, we have failed in our mission.”

IMG_4262

7 families came to the mission to pick up their goats. Hopefully they will breed and be a source of income for the families.

IMG_4272

The walls on the house for the family in the woods. This was 4 days after they started construction.

housedone - Copy

One week to the day and the house is finished. They were also blessed with beds, and a suitcase with bedding and other household items.

Wait, What?  Isn’t that what we have been doing, for five trips now? We are traveling through a christian organization. Children’s Lifeline.  We are telling the children at the orphanages a bible story when we visit and bring them gifts.  We are praying before, during, and after every trip we make.  But he is right.  How many people have we left the gift of the knowledge of Jesus with?  Our storm trooper of a nurse, who worked her self from the moment we woke up said it too.  When it was dark (5:30 pm) and we were in for the night, supper and dishes completed, isn’t there more we should be doing?  Sarah asked, couldn’t we do a bible study in the chapel in the evenings?

Brain is swarming now.  I am failing.  I am failing at spreading the good news.  I have been there enough times to establish relationships.  I should be equipping these souls, so that they can equip others.  Didn’t Jesus tell me to Go, make disciples? (Matthew 28:19)   Doesn’t the bible tell me to equip the saints? (Ephesians 4:12).  I have loved Daniel since the moment I met him, loved him like he was my own son.  I have preached to him over and over again the importance of working and taking care of his family. Have I  told him what is necessary for him to enjoy everlasting life?  I only just found out this trip that Daniel couldn’t read.  What?!  We gave him a gospel of John, in Haitian Creole, and asked if he would please read it and study it.  He couldn’t because he can not read.  It was Jeremiahs goal to find someone who could read the gospel of John with Daniel, and he did.  Tellihomme has committed to reading and studying with Daniel.  Why did it take me 5 trips to get this?

One of the orphanages that we visited this time, COBBA, had a profound affect on me also.  Sarah and her team had seen and treated almost every child at the orphanage right before we visited COBBA…  while at COBBA there was only one child that wasn’t feeling well, and had a tummy ache.  Joe, who runs the orphanage is a very Godly man, and he loves his children.  He is raising them in the Word.. as best he can.  Every morning these children are blessed with devotions before school.  But, these children do not have bibles of their own.  What could they do with their own bibles?  A bible in Haiti, (in Hatian Creole) only costs about $12.  The orphanage was blessed with 4 bibles before we left, but if the best orphanage that we visit doesn’t have bibles……..  ????????

IMG_4271

Pastor Odmy and Joe with the bibles to take back to the orphanage

IMG_4223

Zoe enjoying fresh coconut water at COBBA

My personal mission has not changed, but it has certainly expanded.  The need to share the Word is so incredible.  And not just in Haiti…  We are responsible for teaching our children the Bible.  If we don’t, who will?  My desire to lead team trips to Haiti is still strong..  collecting the physical items and meeting the financial goals is still a passion. The desire to build homes and buy property in Haiti burns in my cells.   I just know that I can not go to Haiti and leave suitcases full of stuff and not leave Jesus.  The spiritual needs are just as great as the physical needs.  We can leave someone with tuna and peanut butter, a new pair of shoes, and Tylenol for their fever…. but…. if that person dies with a full belly, wearing their new shoes, but dies without the knowledge of our Savior, then what good have I done?  How am I going to accomplish this?  Well, for starters, with your help.  I need to get in the Word every single day.  I need to devote time every day to learning, so that I can share with those who do not know.  Your prayers for me will help me a lot.  My intentions are always good, but it seems that the distractions of the day keep me from what I should be doing.  Pray for me to have the right words at the right time for the right people.  Pray for the financial support to send me to Haiti keeps coming in, so that I can act on these expanded goals.

The Raising Hope, Building Homes event is an ongoing event.  Please prayerfully consider a monthly donation of $10 per month.  You can send a check with RHBH in the memo line, or donate online with a message of RHBH.  Also, if you feel led for a one time donation of $12.00 for a bible to be purchased in Haiti, please note “bible” on the memo line or in the comment section of your Paypal payment.

Checks can be mailed to:

7:10 Foundation

63508 450th ST

Sebeka, MN 56477

Online donations can be made at:  www.710foundation.org, click on the “donate” button and it will direct you to our secure Paypal site.

Once again, blessings to you all and thank you for the many gifts that you have given over this last year. We know that God is working through each and every one of you and your decisions to help the people of Haiti.