When we have the opportunity to help anyone, we should do it. -Galatians 6:10a (NCV)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Congrats Met Sorel and Margareth!

 Met Sorel and wife Margereth are proud to announce the birth of their son James!

I went by their house on Sunday and boy are they proud of their little boy!

Most of you who have been to Peredo know Met-Sorel. He is the principal of the HCO mission school. Margareth is a teacher in the school.

I posted pictures of their wedding last year on the blog.

James was born by C-section at the Cuban hospital in Cayes Jacmel because he was breech. Mother and baby did well and now they are home. Margareth's mother is staying with them helping with the baby. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Emeralds and jasper and pearls...OH MY!

There is a saying that I often hear that is so untrue but used so casually, even by Christians. I wonder if people realize what they are saying when they say it. I remember a time in my early 20's I used it a lot too.

"You only live once."

I think we use it to justify a lot of decisions we make. For example, those jeans that are way too expensive but fit sooo good. Or splurging on that all-inclusive vacation or dream wedding. Or even over indulging our kids. They're only a kid once you know. See how easy the justification is?

The great news for Christians is we don't only live once. (Bad news for non-Chrisitans) Round 2 is coming. Where there is no sickness or tears. Where there is no poverty or orphans. Where we are not judged on model of our vehicle or the quality of our kitchen countertops. Jesus is preparing a place for us. Did you catch that? Jesus...the man sitting at the right hand of GOD left to prepare a place for us.

John 14:2-3
"There are many rooms in my Father's house; I would not tell you this if it were not true. I am going there to prepare a place for you. After I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me so that you may be where I am."

I remember when I was younger thinking old people were crazy when they said,"Come Lord Jesus Come. Come quickly." Frankly there were a lot of things I still wanted to do in life. Now that seems ridiculous. But at the time I had college ahead of me and I wanted to learn to drive a car and couldn't wait to be out on my own. I wasn't ready to forget the worldly adventures.

And now that I have experienced those things and many other unpleasant things I understand the much wiser older people I once scoffed at.

I have lived in a third world country for 4 years. I am tired. Tired of sicknesses with a lack of medicines and hospitals. Saddened by a poverty that sends children to bed hungry. Aching for parents who send their children to bed hungry. Nauseated by images burned in my mind of child slavery. Disgusted with some missions and humanitarian organizations who do not practice in Haiti what they preach in the United States.

But God never promised me this life would be easy. Trust me. I have searched the bible and googled it and asked more mature, educated Christians. That promise is not there. He did not promise that there would be no tears in being a missionary. He didn't promise I wouldn't watch people die of illnesses here in Haiti that they could be treated for in the United States. He didn't promise me I wouldn't be homesick and lonely. He didn't promise I would be making meals bought in a grocery store on my granite countertops in my gourmet kitchen.

But He did promise the following:

Revelation 21:4
"He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death, sadness, crying, or pain, because all the old ways are gone."

No more tears? Well then there must not be hunger, sickness, death.

Read Revelation 21:18-21. Seriously. Stop reading here and look it up. I'll wait.

For those of you who didn't go get your bible and look it up go to www.biblegateway.com and type in the bible verses and it will instantly look them up for you. It seriously can't get easier than that.

Did you read it?

Now imagine it.

Jasper. Every kind of jewel. Sapphire. Emerald. Onyx. Topaz. Amethyst. Pearls. Pure gold as clear as glass!

This is living! Forget granite countertops...the streets are made of gold! If we are going to be walking on gold, what has He got planned for us to eat off of???

I can not wait to see Heaven's dessert table. That may sound dumb but I love making sweets. I have often said if I had it to do over agin that I would go to culinary school not nursing school. Can you imagine the cake decorating skills we are going to see? That gets me so excited. I know, it's pretty petty but I get all giddy thinking about it.

Ok back to topic.

So when this world gets me down...I remember there is another life coming.

Next time you hear someone say, "You only live once!" Use that as a evangelism tool.

Monday, February 20, 2012


We took the kids to the playground last week. GG is the little boy and David's nephew. He is in Odessa's class at school. They are best buds. Sarai is the teenage girl, David's little sister.

And what I did all day...hold the baby and camera ;)

Monday, February 13, 2012


And we have a truck!

Thank you thank you thank you to EVERYONE who prayed, donated and fundraised for us. I can not tell you how much I appreciate it or can I tell you how much easier this will make my work and life here in Haiti.

We have been totoally without a vehicle since March and I have been needing a reliable vehicle since I arrived in Haiti in 2008.

It is a 2012 Nissian Frontier so when you all come to visit/work with Invest Hope in Haiti, we'll pick you up at the airport in style :)

Special thanks to Summer Conley who lead the fundraising campaign :)
Also Drew McClain, Woody Lockhart, Brian Fracker and Gus Andrews for helping with all the purchasing details. 

We were on the road with it already this weekend and it drives/rides so nice.

Mesi anpil!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

This is the edited version of the original post. Just before I posted it I reread it and thought it was too harsh, crass and filled with anger. OK, overflowing with anger. So I deleted and started over. There's your warning...read this with a grain of salt. (you know what I mean)

I am still in the process of Odessa's adoption. There has been very good news lately and things are moving more quickly than they have in 21 months, but I am still waiting. In short, I don't meet the Haitian age requirements to adopt as a single person. You have to be at least 35. (If you don't meet the requirement you have to get a waiver signed by the president of Haiti. Literally.)

I am 3 years from 35.

When I reread that last sentence, I feel defeated. Tired. Weighed down.

There is the possibility of this taking 3 more years. Odessa will be 6 when she meets her extended family members, spends the night at her grandparent's house and plays with my friends kids.

However, over a month ago the Haitian adoption office accepted my paperwork. I had been waiting 20 months for that. SO that is a HUGE step in the right direction but not the last.

I have met others here in Haiti who have adopted or are in the process also. I have helped some of them out and they have certainly helped me.

My problem is not everyone is doing it the RIGHT way. Haiti is a country where bribes and pay-offs are part of daily life. But does that make it alright for us Christians to go around the law?

I was told a few weeks ago by someone that they have a contact that can get my paperwork processed even though I don't meet the age for $1000 US.

At first I was estatic. My heart was racing and plans of buying 2 plane tickets to Columbus, Ohio started being set in my mind.

The person explained how this is a "under the table" payment. And they could give me references of people who did it and it worked.

Talk about someone setting a big shiny apple of temptation right in front of my eyes. In that moment I understood Eve. I was being told no one would know of this "deal". The person even went as far to tell me that is everyone else is jumping on one foot to get something, sometimes you have to jump on one foot too.

The reason I am writing about this a month after I learned about it is...I almost bit the apple. This apple is the one thing that has been on my mind and heart for nearly 2 years. I justified in my mind saying that this could be help sent by God. Yea...that's it...His way of helping me finish Odessa's adoption. I told myself that the law here is stupid and I have taken care of Odessa for almost 2 years so I have proven I can do it.

But there was always that gut feeling that it wasn't right. I tried to shut it up. Ignore it. Justify. But nothing worked.

And then there was the best excuse I gave myself...

"Everybody else is doing it."

OK not everybody. But a significant number. People not doing adoptions the right way. They say one false document isn't a big deal. Or that it is too difficult to find a certain person for legal signatures.  Or that paying government officials for signatures is just part of the game.

Adoption in Haiti is hard. I think the government makes it that way on purpose. I also think it shows who is willing to go the extra mile because it is the right thing to do for the child they say they love.

James 4:17 (NCV)
"Anyone who knows the right thing to do, but does not do it, is sinning."

I know what the right thing is to do.  It stings so much though when I see others farther ahead in their adoption process than I am b/c of this. And these people beautifully justify why they are doing it. 
The apple looks so good...

I can almost taste it...

But my little girl is worth every day of waiting. 

And I know God cares about the way His people interact with the world.

Proverbs 4:24-27 (NCV)

"Don't use your mouth to tell lies;
       don't ever say things that are not true.
  Keep your eyes focused on what is right,
       and look straight ahead to what is good.
  Be careful what you do,
       and always do what is right.
 Don't turn off the road of goodness;
       keep away from evil paths."
This coming week I am going to read these verses everyday. Remembering what God wants of me. Not to look at what others are doing but looking straight ahead at what is good. And praying I focus on what is RIGHT...not the shiny red apple being dangled in front of me.

Disclaimer: This post is not meant to give the impression I am perfect. those of you who know me this is FAAAAR from the truth. But I am trying to follow God's word and wanted to share one example of a struggle I hope to win with you.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

A real battle

Before I came to Haiti I didn't get it. Now, 4 years after living in the country, I am only beginning to understand it.


America treats it almost as a joke. One of my best friends back home bought Odessa the movie "The Princess and the Frog" for Christmas last year. It's a cute movie, but it revolves around Voodoo. Jokes about curses and spells. About selling your soul. When David watched this movie in French with us he was shocked that we would play with Voodoo in a kid's movie.

If I was reading this 4 years ago, I would not take it seriously. But let me tell you it is very much serious. Haiti is infiltrated with Voodoo, and it is NO joke. There is a real spiritual battle going on here. 

Ephesians 6:12 (NCV)
"Our fight is not against people on earth but against the rulers and authorities and the powers of this world's darkness, against the spiritual powers of evil in the heavenly world. "

This is very evident out in the village of Peredo. I can not tell you how many times, when walking, people stop me and tell me to walk around the path or go another way. They said that the devil passed by here or that the devil eats people who pass by this spot. I know you are shaking your head or laughing. I used to be in your shoes. 

The following pictures were taken about 50 yards away from Nadine's house in Peredo. Nadine is the young lady who is coming to the states for treatment on her stomach. She has family members who practice Voodoo. The first picture is of a house that a group who practices Voodoo began building for the Devil. Yep. You read that right. But they devil did not accept it and it caught on fire. By itself. People who are very respected in Peredo and that I have known to always be honest swear this happened.

 So they then built this house above. There are ceremonies held here by voodoo priests. They say the devil accepted it.

The thing that is weird to me in this is that most of the people who built or helped buy supplies to help build this dwelling live in huts themselves.  But they worship the devell and wanted to give him their best.

This last picture is of a huge tree growing on a small riverbank right down from the 2 houses. This is where they say the devil lives. Inside the tree.

Even the Christians in the area believe he lives in the tree. They believe in God and worship Him only but are wise enough to recognize the devil is lurking around. Waiting to pull down as many people into hell with him.

I was taught this growing up in the church, but it took me coming to Haiti to really "see" the spiritual warfare going on.

I don't take another path when I am told the devil is there. I don't shake or shudder when I pass Voodoo houses. I am protected. I am covered in the blood of Jesus Christ. This makes the Devil shudder! He can not touch me without God's permission. There is Power in the Blood!

Please pray for Haiti. Voodoo is so wrapped into the culture here that some Christians don't even realize what they are saying. And that's just the way the devil likes it. He is a master of disguises.

Don't let him fool you.