Monday, August 8, 2011

Vision

So this is my first post being back from Haiti, it’s about month later. I apologize for not giving a summary of my trip. I have had a hard time answering that question myself. How do I sum up a whole month in Haiti? You can’t. This past month has been filled with busyness, which has slowed down my processing time of my trip. I pray that I never stop thinking about the lessons God taught me in Haiti.
Currently I am at the beach. One of my favorite things do here is to read. However, it’s hard for me to make time during the rest of the year to read. Due to this, I am still reading through a same book that I started months ago. The book is called the Next Generation Leader by my favorite speaker Andy Stanley. It is an awesome book!
One of the biggest lessons I learned in Haiti was about being flexible. Every day there in Haiti showed me that plans don’t always work out. It is how you handle the change in plans that matters. Also, it remembering that Lords purpose prevails (Proverbs 19:21). However, I was having a hard time trying to balance being flexible and having plans in my mind. Today Andy made everything clearer…
“As a next generation leader you will be forced to abandon your plans from time to time. Clarify your vision and embrace the uncertainty of your plans. Pencil in your plans. Write your vision in ink.”
Vision was the piece I was missing. Whatever I am doing I need to have a vision, ultimately God’s vision in mind. Being flexible is being ok when plans change and going with it. But it doesn’t mean when plans change that the vision changes. His vision remains the same and always will. Sometimes it just means adjusting the way to achieve the same end goal.
Pencil in your plans. Write HIS vision in ink.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Bittersweet


Bonswa!

As the days draw closer to coming home, I am torn about how I feel. Part of me is so excited to come home and see my family and friends. I know the rest of the summer is going to be great for so many reasons. But on the other hand, Haiti has been my home for these past few weeks. I feel like I have been here a lot longer too. Frankly I am sad to leave. I am going to miss all the staff that loves us like family, the children who constantly smile and laugh, the passion of the Haitians, the beautiful mountains surrounding us, and the awesome team I have grown so close too. God has blessed me so much through this trip and taught/challenged me a lot! I am so thankful for all He has done. Haiti is somewhere I definitely want to come back to in the future.

“However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.”     -Acts 20:24

This verse can definitely be applied to my life, but I also think it can be applied to this trip. I came to Haiti to share Gospel, serve Him in any way I can, and show the love of Christ. I have 3 days to finish this trip strong. Instead of being excited to go home or sad about leaving, I am going to be so intentional about my time.

Today was our last day of manual labor and now we have the rest of the day off. I am going to the village (Chambrun) to spend as much time as I can with the kids. Today starts the goodbyes and the processing that I am going home in 3 days. These next few days is going to be hard. But I know God has done so much work over these past few weeks and He will continue to do so here in Haiti! 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Our God is greater!


Bonswa!!

So let me catch you up on the last few days!

Wednesday we went to a college to meet to share the gospel with college students! It was awesome! The Cru students/our translators were so excited to help us share the Gospel! We split up into small groups and it was so encouraging to see the Haitian students so open to talk with us. It was cool to build relationships and get to know them. We also had awesome conversations about the Gospel. Between all our groups a few students came to Christ and 19 signed up for more information to get involved with Cru. God is so powerful!

Thursday & today were regular workdays. We spent these two days painting the outside of the church white. It was HOT both days too (around 110 degrees)! But in the end, it was beautiful to see the church painted.

Friday we went to the beach!! It was an awesome day having fun in the sun. Also it was nice to take a break from working everyday and just relax. I have never seen a beach more beautiful! Clear blue waters and mountains along the seashore, it was breathtaking! But it was crazy to think how beautiful this nice resort was and how just outside of it were tent homes and people starving. It was like two different worlds. Nevertheless, I know God is here and in Haiti and is doing big things in hearts of the Haitian people!

Saturday we went to the Campus Crusade for Christ office in Port au Prince to train with the Cru students there. We had a devotion, a message about the Holy Spirit, and joined in fellowship together. It was so encouraging to interact with the Haitian students and see their great faith and urgency to share the Gospel and His love. We believe in the same God, our God.

Sunday we had church in the morning. It was a great service. Later that night we had women’s time. We watched Tangled (SO GOOD) together and it was a great time of fellowship!! Half way through the movie some of the kids of the full time staff of NVM came out to watch it with us. Two of these families have adopted Haitian children, but also have children of their own. It was a beautiful sight to see love between the siblings. It makes me thank God for all He has done in my life. I have an awesome family. It’s incredible to think how God placed me to be a part of the Carlisle family. My parents didn’t physically give birth to me, but blood doesn’t make family. They (and obviously God too) gave me a second chance at life (literally)! It is because of God and my family I am where I am today. Adoption is such a beautiful thing. God even adopts us as sons and daughters through Jesus! His love is overwhelming.      

“For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will – to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves.”    -Acts 1:4-6

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Grace like the rain!


Bonswa from Haiti!

            I know it has been awhile since I blogged last. But the internet connection is bad. So I will try my best to sum up the last 12 days in Haiti. First, I want to thank everyone for your prayers and support! It has been so encouraging and a true blessing! I think back right before getting on the plane for Haiti; I was so overwhelmed with emotions. I was nervous and had no idea what to expect. However, I was excited to see God challenge me in new ways and break my heart for Haiti.
            When we arrived at the NVM (Nehemiah Vision Ministries) compound, my first thought was how beautiful Haiti is! We are surrounded by beautiful mountains and it is a constant reminder of how God is here in Haiti! It is so awesome! Since then we have been hard at work serving NVM is so many different ways. We have done a lot of manual labor, with rearranging food, bagging beans and rice, putting together hygiene packages, painting their church, and working in their garden. Another thing is we have been having Creole lessons, which has been has made interacting with the Haitians so much easier. Also, we have gone to Port au Prince to their Campus Crusade for Christ and met with their director who shared his heart about sharing Gospel in Haiti. Over the next few weeks we will be training with the Haitian Cru students, learning how to share the Gospel and then go out together to share the Gospel with college students. We start this tomorrow and I am so excited. Lastly, our team has been getting really close. Each week we are involved in devotions, worship, discipleship groups, and Bible studies. It has been great to grow so close to them as we all grow close to the Lord.
            I think my favorite part so far has been interacting with the Chambrun (the local village) community. The children are beautiful and so joyful. They have nothing, but they are constantly smiling! I have been able to play with them in the village, during their recess outside of their school, and after church.
            My favorite memory so far is at church this past Sunday. It was awesome to see the Haitians worship the Lord. They raised their hands, sang, clapped, and danced all for the Lord. It was beautiful to watch and be a part of. Also it was so humbling to know that one day in Heaven we all (from every nation) will be worshipping our God together forever! After worship and the sermon, Pastor Pierre spoke to the congregation about the outbreak of Cholera in Port au Prince. It was awesome to hear him take the time to make them aware of the situation and explain how to help prevent the disease (washing your hands, etc.). Afterwards, we helped him pass out the hygiene packets, water jugs, hand sanitizers, and bags of rice and beans. It was beautiful to see NVM’s church put their words of hope into action, something tangible and needed. Everyone left with smiles and the hope that only comes from Jesus Christ and His faithfulness.   
            Lastly, I want to share one of things that the Lord has taught me so far. As they say in Haiti,  “Americans have all the watches, but Haitians have all the time.” That is definitely something God has challenged me with.  If anyone knows me, you know that I like a plans, structure, and efficiency. From the beginning our project directors told us we needed to be flexible, patient, and trusting in God’s plan and not our own. It has been amazing to see how Haitians just go with the flow and take joy in whatever they are doing.  It has totally convicted me of how I get so stuck on the details and miss out on purpose of being here, which is to bring Him glory. God’s plan prevails, even if mine doesn’t. Praise God! It has been hard at points to learn this lesson, but I am so blessed to being learning to be content in Him and trusting in His plans alone! He is doing awesome things in Haiti!

“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails!”                         -Proverbs 19:21

Sorry for the length of the post. I am going to be better about updating as well! Please keep me in your prayers! Thanks again for everyone’s support!        

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Less than 24 hours...

In one day until we fly out to Haiti! 


I am currently in Miami staying at one of the girl's house, it is absolutely beautiful!!! Here I have finally met the team that I will be with for 5 weeks. It has been wonderful meeting everyone, they are all so nice and ready to serve in Haiti! We have been getting to know each other and sharing our hearts, it's like we are family! :) Also, we have discussed a lot about culture shock, being flexible, and understanding graee and turth. I have learned so much already. 


Tomorrow, we fly out at 1:30pm straight to Haiti. It's nice to know that I am not the only one anxious, because we all are. Please pray for me and my team, that we rely on the Lord for His stength. I may be nervous, but I am SO ready to experience Haiti. I already know I am going to fall in love. God is so good. I  praise Him for this opportunity. I know He is going to do powerful things during my time there. He is going to challenge me and push me out of my comfort zone, it is going to be awesome! Because with the hardships comes growth and wisdom. It will be so humbling.


He already has been challenging me... I had a really hard time saying goodbye to my family and friends. But I know He has called me to go to Haiti. Haiti here I come!


"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."  -Ephesians 2:8-10

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Starting now!


So the time has finally come for me to actually leave. The last few days have been filled with the craziness of getting ready and meeting with as many people as I could before I leave! Today I fly out of RIC at 11:24 am to Fort Lauderdale and get in at 1:42pm! There we will stay 2 days for a briefing and getting to know each other! Then on Friday, May 27th we will fly out to Haiti! Thank you so much for everyone’s prayers and support and encouragement! I am so excited to see how the Lord will use me to glorify His Name! See you all in five weeks! 

 "And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to Him, to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul."  -Deuteronomy 10:12

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Days away!

Four days… until I leave!!

I am freaking out (in a good way)! My mind can wrap out around the fact that I will be gone for 5 weeks! This week it has hit me how hard it is going to be for me to leave all my friends and family. I feel like I don’t have enough hours in the day to hang out with everyone before I leave (my love language: quality time). I hate goodbyes. I know it’s not forever but I am going to miss everyone. However, I know God is going to use this time away for His glory! I can’t wait!

Saying goodbye to one of my best friends, Katie!
Today my mom and gammy (my name for my grandma) went shopping for my trip. To socks, to bug spray, to long shorts, I felt very overwhelmed to how I am going to fit everything in my bag (for 5 weeks) and not over the 50 pound limit. My goal is to pack light, but I definitely tend to over pack. This will be a challenge for me. I like to be prepared for everything. But with the help of my mom, who is a great packer (in terms of packing efficiently), I should be able to fit everything. Afterwards, we had lunch at Chick-fil-a (there is no better place). Gammy who has a huge heart for Haiti and has been many times, told me some of the history of Haiti and some interesting facts. It was awesome to hear her heart/passion for Haiti! She has always wanted me to go to Haiti. When I told her I was going to Haiti back in March, she asked if she could come too! :)

Please be praying for preparation over these next 4 days. I have a lot to do, but I don’t want to get wrapped up in the busyness of getting ready that I don’t make time for Jesus. Also be praying for my friends who are going to be all over the world this summer for missions! God is doing awesome things in my friends!!
Michelle: South Africa
Bryan: China
Shelley: Durham, NC and Malaysia
Cary: Chicago Summer Project
Katie: South Africa
Mark: San Diego Summer Project
Jonathan and Cody: Venezuela Summer Project
Katilynn: Ozark Lakes Summer Project
… and many others!

"Your word, LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures." -Psalm 119:89-90
Thank you for your prayers!