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!