When God brought me back to Haiti in November I had the pleasure of meeting a wonderful person named Kourtney who had come to work with New Vision for three months. We were roommates in the Mission together and it didn’t take long for me to see that she had the same love for Haiti that I do. She had been here once before and felt that God was calling her back to Haiti, but was trying to figure out what that looked like. During the two months of living together we talked about what ministry in Haiti looks like; how relationships should be the foundation of all ministry, and that God wants to change the lives of people through showing His great unfailing love.
We both enjoyed living at the Mission, with the conveniences of electricity, water, someone to cook, someone to do laundry… not to mention the joy of living close to the children. But we couldn't help but see that God had connected us for a purpose and we both felt the nudge to step out. So in November we began to look for alternative housing closer to Kalalan, the fishing village where I minister. We wanted a location surrounded by people we could connect with and who would in turn watch over us. Our friend, Wesner, pointed us to his Aunt's home which was available for rent as she is currently living in the States.
The house has two bedrooms, one bath, a living room and a huge kitchen – more than enough space for the two of us – and it met our budget. The house is less than five minutes walk from Kalalan and only three or four from the market. It is a safe community with many of Wesner's family as neighbors. It seemed a perfect fit.
In early March, Kourtney returned from America where she had gone to raise funds. God is so faithful! In less than three months He supplied all she needed to return for the year. There is no doubt that God's hand is on this, putting all the pieces together. We were supposed to move into the house March 1st but there were complications with the house. It has been a bit of a rollercoaster getting everything figured out, but on March 23rd we were finally able to move in!
The entire process has been quite the growing experience. But despite the challenge – or perhaps because of it – there is blessing. I am learning the importance of trusting God and following His plan despite what others may say and what problems may arise. To be honest it has been tough getting this house and now moving into it. There have been times of doubt, times of wanting to quit and run away. But we kept moving forward, believing that God is the one who set this in motion and He will be the one to carry us through. I am reminded that when something big is about to happen, the devil will fight it any way he can. He tries to discourage and distract, introduce doubt and generally create problems in any and every way possible. It is in those times that we need to stand strong knowing that God is on our side and that in Him is the victory!
We have already begun to see how God is using us in little ways to impact the community. Our house does not have a generator so we are dependent on the whims of the city to provide power (usually once or twice a week). This limits how often we can pump water up to the tank on top of our roof. When we moved into the house there was no water in the tank, so we had to do as the Haitians do. We went to the local water pump with the only bucket we had – a trash can. They watched with amazement as they saw two white girls go to the pump and carry a bucket of water to their house just as they do. We do not have a generator, we do not have batteries, nor many of the other accommodations Haitians consider “normal” for Americans. I would venture to say that two white girls at the water pump was a sight they had never seen before. We were definitely the topic of conversation for the rest of the day!
I am praying that God uses opportunities such as these to show the Haitians that we are no better than they. That we come from a different country and our skin is a different color, does not make us more entitled or privileged. The primary reason Kourtney and I moved into this house was to get closer to the people, see how they live, and build relationships with them. Already, many of the young people in the community have begun dropping by our house to spend time with us on our front porch. It has been wonderful getting to know them, and it provides a natural opportunity to speak into their lives. We pray that God will continue to use us to break down barriers and expectations and to build bridges of love that lead them to Christ.
This house has purpose! I know there will be many challenges; but that only means bigger blessings are on their way. There is a reason God brought Kourtney and I to live here, and we are excited to see where God takes us and how He uses us.
Please pray for us as we continue to transition into the community and build relationships; that God would grant us wisdom in every situation and provide more opportunities to reach out to those around us. Pray that we would trust God alone for provision and protection in all we do; and that we would continue to depend on Him for strength and patience, and that our joy may be full.
Kourtney and I could not be more excited about the new adventure that God is taking us on! Thank you for all your prayers and support!
P. S. We tremendously value the connections we are making by living as the Haitians. But we would eventually like to acquire a generator and batteries for the house. Yes, it would no doubt make our lives easier. But Kourtney and I would also like to get a screen and a projector so we can hold Christian movie nights in our big back yard for the children in our community. In addition we are looking into the Jesus Film Project – we would be able to use the same equipment to show the film and share the gospel with those in our area. We are full of ideas and excited for the adventures yet to come!
If you would like to be involved in providing the generator, batteries, screen, and/or projector for this project you can donate by clicking here.