Hey, internet world! I’m in North Carolina, training to be better at serving & working cross culturally.As I work hard here (my schedule and free time is packed, but with things that are equipping me that I am so thankful for!), there are some awesome friends working hard in Ohio for a night of food, raffles, silent auctions, and…Haitian made jewelry! I don’t use my blog for this typically, but this is my long-distance way of spreading the news – I will be traveling up for October 19th. We want to create a night about stories, and you being a part of this one. If you’re in the Columbus area, please come! Don’t just come, bring a friend or family – or please invite them!
Seventeen people could give $5 of spare change a month,
Fifteen people could give up $10 a month,
Twelve families or individuals sacrificed $25 a month,
Four families sacrificed $50 a month,
& one family sacrificed $100 a month,
I would be fully funded to leave for five years! I’d get Westhalineda organized for medical help, be greeted by neighbors asking if I’m coming back, and I’d hit the ground running with teams who are coming down for a week with their partner church and long-term interns coming soon.
This is just a sampling of how God may choose to bring us together in this story. We’re asking you to pray about if you’re one of the many it takes to make this happen.
[originally posted on Five Year’s Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/felaviansanm]
Thanks for the support you show me so often, friends! Hope you’re having a great weekend.
established relationships all over Cabaret as I lived at Shernando, then Bercy as I both worked – then moved – in the Sant Mouvman. Relationships also started to take root in Canaan and Labourdie in the meantime as I spent lots of personal time in partner communities.
Your monthly partnership gave Nadia someone to pour into her,
and Maxon someone to take him to the doctor – it also sent him to the doctor, paid for the medicine, and paid for all the moto rides.
Your dollar – literally, your one dollar – grins at the street boy who sells water all day in the heat of the Cabaret and gives him a little extra for those three plastic bags.
Your money put someone in the kitchen to listen to Louis about her life and remind her that she is loved in it all. Louis accepted Christ on Valentine’s Day, which is one of my favorite details because the representation of true love.
Your money walked to the back of Bercy and sat down on an upside down aluminum can as a chair under a banana leaf roof that created a gathering area outside of Simon’s home. God used what you sent to use a broken vessel for his glory, with his Holy Spirit guiding a young woman blown away as Simon looked at her saying, “Aren’t you going to pray with me to accept Christ today?” in the midst of crosses, hanging bottles, and blue paint all over the sides of the home.
When Janine, the neighbor that God placed right next to the Sant Mouvman, breaks her strong exterior as she’s at a loss for what to do in the midst of school fees, God is using the work from your hands to provide the simple 1000 gourde – 20 American Dollars – that she cannot imagine finding in time. Maybe you give up exactly that amount each month, and God is using it to pour into Janine, Kiki, Gina, Bethsaida, and the rest of their family for five more years as a result – pouring into them not just spiritually but physically, like Christ.
God used sacrifices in lives of those who gave them, in church members who came on teams, and in those who only hear about God’s work through a simple blog updated when the Holy Spirit is stirring a topic.
God used those same sacrifices – or for some they weren’t even sacrifices, but just changes in spending priorities – to break through to young women who seemed to be closed off forever.
He let me watch Wes grow up and sit with Juslaine (TiKris’ mother) as she tearfully reflected on how she was leaving her children to search for opportunities.
He sent someone to connect to Jessica and Hope, Hope probably making him grin as she still sticks to being stubbornly silent in the personality he stitched together if I show up with anyone more than just myself.
God provided for over thirty children in Haiti through the sponsorship program that Amanda and I helped get off the ground the past school year and he pushed the miracle tree that he created into families with the orange hair of malnutrition.
God uses the day to day, from walks to the moto to get to market to sitting on the tap-tap visiting with Friegal while waiting for teams (who just accepted Christ in June!) as we give the money and resources he gave us back to him.
He gave us our resources, money, and time knowing the opportunities that he’d present to us. He invites us to partner together to be a part of what he’s doing, and be blown away that we get to be used by Him in what He is doing.
I hate it when I can’t solve something. (Don’t tell my mom I used the word hate)
When a problem is presented to me & there’s no clear solution that I can think up or carry out.
When I hear the news & the best I have to offer is “I’ll pray for you”.
But let me talk about my friend for a moment.
Jasmine is a teenage girl who is gorgeous, quick to help, learning English, engaged, and the daughter of a mother who is constantly sick & raising her children alone after moving away from her husband, a vodou priest who did not want to convert to Christianity. I met her last January & we’ve grown closer over time, using the internet when she randomly has access to it to communicate in little snippets. Love this girl, praying for her, and I think that she’s been connected the church partnered with CPR-3 for a purpose – because God is intentional. She is unique in that she never asks for help when she lists off all of her problems, but that doesn’t stop the fact that I want to solve her lack of food, closet-sized home full of young adults, sick mother, troubles paying for school, and lack of opportunity based solely on the socio-economic status she was born into. The other day she posted a paragraph about God’s surprises and how good He is, the blessings He has for us and His awesomeness, basically. I responded with a “Yes! God is good!”, basically just a big ‘AMEN!’ as we celebrate that God is good and she’s seeing it in her life.
She responds with “Yes! And thank you so much for praying for us.”
Cue the emotional music in my head when I read this. I loved her post, seeing her excited heart and His blessings for her dear family….but then for her thanks for prayer? Implying that I could have anything to do with His goodness?
Do you guys drop your jaw at that like I do? How in the world do I get to play a part in His plan like that? How in the world do I deserve to be thanked for my prayers, when GOD is the one fulfilling them anyway?
God’s been showing off the faithfulness of His character this month (He’s always showing it off, but it’s sticking out to me this month), over and over again causing me to stop in amazement that He offers the ridiculous chance to go before Him and ASK FOR STUFF. Here He is, CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE WITH ANGELS SINGING HIS PRAISE 24/7, and He not only allows me to approach Him, but then start talking. And then, instead of shaking His head at my small-perspective, foolish words, HE ANSWERS ME. Oh, and in His details & love for me & his habit of going above-and-beyond-and-then-some, he then LET’S ME KNOW I’ve been heard and answered. Guys, this is jaw dropping stuff.
Your prayers are making a difference. MY prayers are making a difference.
Across the map, unseen, places that I will never know about. In ways that I’ll never hear about. In people I’ll never see.
But also in the people I get to hear about.
Westhalineda was found in time to be taken to a consult set up for her through The Red Thread Promise with a visiting doctor from America. Totally God taking care of her. I apologized profusely in a message to the people networking to get Wes help when I had heard no word for weeks. Those same people were extremely understanding. The Red Thread Promise, through those contacts, posts pictures of Wes – not linking me, just a prayer request for Wes to be found. Amanda gets linked to this post from a mutual friend and says “Now that I’m in Haiti I’ve seen Wes! She’s with a family member down the street & I happened to see her because she needed medicine!” – Then Amanda & Jordan are able to set up the details to take Wes and this family member to Port-au-Prince, sacrificially giving time, gas, and pouring into Wes and TiKris – the family member taking care of her. Wes was checked out by the doctor after months of searching for answers for her legs/feet & weeks of thinking she’d miss out on this opportunity.
God is faithful. It’s what He does. I didn’t ask for Wes in my life, I didn’t have the connections needed to get her help when her mom pointed out her legs with worry. I was lost & hating the feeling of not being able to do anything. What good am I in this country if I can’t offer any solution to a problem placed in front of me? I prayed. I’ve prayed for her life since I met her, I’ve prayed for her mom. I prayed when she fell in water & most statistics, as well as the doctors with her, questioned her survival and I prayed when her mother told me she noticed her legs were “not right”. I prayed when I left Haiti and I prayed when I found out her mom and her were MIA. Others prayed too and haven’t stopped praying. We’ve prayed for TiKris, her health and heart since the last news I heard about her. And God loves them both more than we can imagine, and he hears us when we go before Him with His will in mind.
So what now with Wes?
She needs multiple surgeries on each leg/foot, the sooner the better. We are coordinating efforts to get her story out and fundraise, because that is the only next step that CAN happen. She needs multiple surgeries (including multiple times with travel & pre & post op care as well as every other detail that goes into surgery on a girl not even able to talk yet) and has an MIA mom right now, with a teenage half-aunt watching her for now. She is in need. She is beautiful. She has a purpose. She is loved.
I’m intimidated at the thought of cost and asking for money for yet another thing soon, but then again, I’m not. I’m so scared that things will fall through for her medical needs, but that’s foolish if I look at how far she’s already been carried. I hate having another problem to read about, another thing that needs solved. But then I re-read the story, and I don’t hate it.
Because this isn’t my thing. It’s His, that He’s brought me in on. And he is faithful.
Here’s the thing about God: His character traits are 100%, no take-backs.
That’s not easy for us to comprehend, because we’re human. I can’t imagine coming through on everything, because I don’t, even when I have the best intentions. I can’t imagine working everything in my power for the best of someone else, at all times, because I don’t. But He is faithful. He is good. He makes promises, and He keeps them. We seek Him, and He is delighted to be found. There’s no “other side” to it or shortcoming in how faithful He is.
And friends, I’ve shared just two of literally hundreds of stories of what He’s done JUST. THIS. MONTH. that I could list off for you, answers from prayers both years and minutes ago.
I hate not being able to solve something in front of me.
But shame on me for thinking “I’ll pray for you” isn’t doing enough.