Thursday, February 25, 2010

Ever Changing

Life here in Haiti is never the same from day to day. The only constant is the heat and the rising and setting sun. (not that it changes the heat) Let me give you an idea of the comings and goings, shifts and craziness around here.

Monday: We thought we were doing a kids club not the case
We picked up Mark at the airport
2nd Earthquake of 4.7 close by
More people move outside under tarp

Start building bunk houses so people have the option not to sleep under cement.
3 people from CARE come to do just that.
4 new teammates arrive
Mark Leaves to stay closer to the airport

Wednesday: 2 bunk houses are well under way
Most people move outdoors

Brian and Sarah Leave
CARE team leave
One bunk house is almost finished

I tell you this not to complain, but the opposite to share with you how fantastic my team members have been here. And how God is helping to guide and direct us, how He graciously gives us wisdom and the people we need as we need them.

Our Construction Crew are some of the most amazing men I have ever worked with. I have not heard a grumble, have not seen them without a welcoming smile. 3 great friends from MA and 1 from MN and now a guy from Vancouver, and one from WI, and one who already had to go home...have worked everyday to make the Haitian Queen a place ready to welcome teams and last for years to come. They have:

Knocked down walls,built new ones, installed shelving, made benches, designed and constructed these 2 bunk houses when things seemed a little too shaky, made a stool for our cook so she can reach the high shelves, fixed generators, rewired the house, worked on solar panels, plumbing, water systems and made 9 sets of bunk beds, carried blocks, mixed cement and likely far more. All this done with a great sense of humility and humor.

They are truly a blessing and we would be in a heap of dark hot mess without them.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

He is my refuge and my fortress my God in whom I trust

Psalm 91 (New International Version)

1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. [a]

2 I will say [b] of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust."

3 Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare
and from the deadly pestilence.

4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,

6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.

7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.

8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.

9 If you make the Most High your dwelling—
even the LORD, who is my refuge-

10 then no harm will befall you,
no disaster will come near your tent.

11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;

12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.

13 You will tread upon the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

14 "Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.

15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.

16 With long life will I satisfy him
and show him my salvation."

Thank you for all your prayers for the time I have been here. Especially for yesterday and the prayers for our security. God is faithful, and last night their was rest! No Quakes!!! After two nights of 4.7 and smaller tremors, located only 8 miles away, this was such a blessing to us and we awoke refreshed and ready to work.

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Beautiful Worship

My teammate said it well today after we attended this mornings worship service under the trees, "the church was forced out of it's walls and now there is no borders!"

It was not only at the service we attended that people were pouring out praises to God. Later this afternoon, our neighbors across the street met with their home church and sang praises for hours, it was truly beautiful. Brian and Sarah went for a stroll up into the surrounding hillside and heard praises ringing out all around them echoing off the hills!

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Joy in the midst of Suffering

It is a popular phrase, "Joy in the midst of Suffering" but until you see it I don't think you can fully understand the power of God to bring peace to us. (at least that is true for me)

On Friday night I was asked to put together a 2 hour kids club for about 50 kids in a room that is smaller than most American living rooms for Saturday morning. Ok, I can do that, I have run kids clubs, camps, I was a Children's Ministry Director, and a Youth Pastor. Not a problem. And to tell you the truth it was not a problem. We made a ball out of a t-shirt and duck tape, balled up my socks for smaller balls, brought along a clothes line and a key chain ring for another game. I found a Bible story that was simple and relevant and we made a game plan. I was confident that we (my team of 5 and I) could pull this off.

But on the way to the club my emotions crept up to the surface and I found my self overwhelmed with tears as I thought about the kids we were going to minister to. Kids who have lost EVERYTHING, kids who have not had enough to eat in weeks, if not their whole lives, kids who have witnessed more death and destruction in their short lives than most adults ever will. My heart broke, even now as I type my heart breaks and the tears well up.

I lost my confidence, that I could hold it together. But God is faithful, we hit traffic, and by the time we reached Delmas 19 I had been comforted by my team and had managed to pull it together again.

When we arrived, things were already in full swing. Chairs in rows, filled with children 3-15 years old singing praises to God. My heart was truly blessed. We listened, and tried to sing along. Then kids took turns reciting scripture verses from memory! With such pride they stood up to share!

Then it was my turn to take the reigns. I took the stage, with my interpreter, Orange and retold the story of Jesus feeding the 5000. Then Linda (one of my teammates) wisely shared how we too had seen God meet our needs in a similar way this week. It was great. Then we sang, played games and sang and prayed. It was a beautiful morning! Filled with Joy and Peace that ONLY God can provide.

We spent the next hour or so taking pictures with kids, which they could not get enough of. We exchanged, smiles, hugs and love.

After the kids had been picked up we headed out into the Neighborhood of Delmas 19 to take a tour with the Pastor Absalom and his brother Orange of the neighbor hood they and the kids call home. They wanted us to see that this area had been missed by the distribution maps. Which means they have not gotten food or tents. It was once again heartbreaking. We were so devastated that we could not meet their physical needs, but we are making efforts to get them connected.

I promise you that I will always remain heartbroken when I hear a child from America complain their room, their meal, the latest toy. The kids we met, have nothing. And yet they have more joy and smiles, than any kids I have ever met.

PRAY for the people of Delmas 19!!! Who are sleeping under sticks and sheets, who have not had food to fill their bellies. PRAY that God will provide for them like he did for the 5000.

After our tour we were welcomed into Pastor Absalom's home, to visit with him and his pregnant beautiful wife. They fed us a wonderful lunch even though they have nothing. Our conversation was sweet.

Now I am off to church, to worship with people who once again have nothing but God, who realize that and love Him even more because of it! What a blessing. May you too be blessed today!

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Friday, February 19, 2010

Day 5

It is so hard to believe that I have already and only been here for 5 days. I feel like I just got here and that I have been here forever.

Everyday is different, each day my role has changed, but tonight Mark (Our Fearless and intrepid leader) has suggested I..." be the go to person for volunteers when they arrive, to have figured out where people are sleeping, to communicate with rest of team/rosita who and when and how many are coming…, do team debrief when the leave, do orientation and set up monitor the house rules, to listen and invest and challenge the teams as they hang out in the evenings, to be like ‘cruise director Julie on the Loveboat’… ok, probably dating myself… and that could be you if you are willing. "

Today I spent the whole day at my computer, I know doesn't sound like life in Haiti, but part of what we are doing this week is preparing for future ministry, and that means systems and procedures need to be worked out. So today I typed, created and brainstormed how we can set up a lasting ministry here in Haiti. At the end of the day I have completed 8 documents that explain everything from Meals to Job Descriptions. Funny how skills like starting a non-profit come in handy.

At the very end of the day we found out that we are doing a kids club for 50-100 kids tomorrow morning at 9am. So I spent the last hour "planning" what that might consist of. But given that I do not know the kids, have not seen the room, don't know the language, and a millions other factors the best I can do is have a general game plan and be prepared to wing it! Looks like years of Child Care, Youth Ministry, VBS and Kids Clubs was good preparation.

All that said though, I covet your prayers for my emotions tomorrow morning. Seeing one little boy who was blind was almost more than I could bear,

Tomorrow's Bible Story is the Matt 15 version of Loaves and Fishes, I found it in Haitian CreoleThank you Jesus and I will have an interpreter,yet another new experience for me.

Please pray that the kids who come will experience the overwhelming love of Jesus tomorrow, that they will get to know Jesus a little better or for the first time if need be!

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Marche' Day

Tuesday and Thursday's are the days for shopping here at the Haitian Queen (Our Headquarters/Home) Shopping in Haiti is always an experience today was no exception. Myself, Linda and Barb accompanied our cook, (I should say Chef, because she is amazing)Rosita to the local Marche' to purchase our groceries for the next few days. First we went to a small store called Deli Mart to get the meat and a few other things, on the way there I took the video below of Rosita and Miguel singing together as we drove.

After Deli Mart we stopped to buy some a box of frozen chickens and then headed to the Marche'/Market. We had no idea what to expect. We have seen markets from the car windows, but this was our first time at the market.

I have watched the Travel Channel and read tons of travel books and every travel host will tell you that you should check out the local market to know the culture. It is true of Haiti. The Market like most everything here was operating on a pile of rubble. Little stalls set up admits the debris where the locals sell produce and other goods.

Here are a picture.(more to come but not tonight I am tired.)

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Life Observed

I am still processing my feelings about life here in PAP, but I wanted to share simply what I have observed, without my opinion involved in the matter. Before doing so I want to be clear that these are just my observances, I am not saying this is how life is only how I perceive it to be, I have in no way been here long enough to say how life really is.

Of course, the buildings are but piles of rubble. Those that are not completely crumbled are soon to be, the vast majority of the city is in shambles. And yet, are making do with what is available. Which is to say that they are breaking away what is left of the crumbling buildings in order to use the scraps to make shelter.

Shelter- there are still houses standing but you won't catch a Haitian in them, especially at night. Which is why tent cities are popping up all over the city. So for now the lucky ones have tents and the not so lucky are making do with tarps and whatever scraps of lumber and tin they can get their hands on. Some have ended up living on the median of the streets. Risking life and limb living between crazy amounts of insane drivershref="">

One area that is not at all kept up is a market place down by the port. It is over crowded with life. Human and livestock, owned and stray. All doing their business seemingly unaware of the filth and disease that they were doing life in. The smells of rotting food, urine, waste and sweat hang mingled in the humid air.

Not far past this point there is a lined up thousands of women waiting food ticket in hand hoping to secure a bag of rice for their family today. Yesterday there was an equally long line waiting in the squelching heat and as we drove by the call rand out from the armed guards that there was no more rice today. Those who had obtained their 50lbs sacks hurried off with them on their heads, while the rest left tired and empty handed, likely to come back again tomorrow.

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Monday, February 15, 2010

The Arrival

Well I made it safe and sound to PAP. And for the most part it was a pretty easy trip. We got a late start, as our plane was held up for some reason, still not sure why. But the flight from FLL to Haiti was actually much more roomy than most planes I have been on lately. They also handed out brown lunch bags with goodies which served as our Breakfast and Lunch. We touched down briefly on an island in the Bahamas called Exuma.

Then we landed in Cap Haitian where we waited for our friends from Missionary Aviation Fellowship who picked us up in a beautiful Kodiak plane. Which we loaded up with all of our luggage and flew to a smaller airport in PAP.

We were met at the airport by Mark. The Airport you should be pleased to know was invaded by the British and many many supplies. We loaded up a "Kia Truck" with the luggage and us plus all the food and stuff that was already in it. Picked up an electrician and our wonderful Haitian driver spent the next hour and half or so navigating the crazy streets of PAP.

I am still processing that part of the journey, but needless to say it was overwhelming how bad this city was damaged. And yet the people I am told spent the whole weekend fasting, praying and singing worship songs. The Whole City. They shut down everything, so that they could spend the weekend getting right with God. Sad I missed that.

I am now at our house, but till be sleeping out under a tarp and my mosquito net. I will share about that later. Those of you who know me well know my biggest fear and let me just say they found a huge one upstairs. PRAY.

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It is 5 am here in Florida and I am about to leave for the Airport. I will be flying with 6 guys to Cape Haitian on Bimini Air then we are switching planes to ride in a MAF (Missionary Aviation Fellowship)Plane the rest of the way to PAP.

My team has found a house to use as a base! That is the good news, the sad news is that the satellite they tried to hook up did not work, so as of now you can expect not to hear anything from our team.

Thanks again for all the support and prayers! I really have that peace that is beyond all understanding. Other ways you can pray:

1. Safety
2. That I would be a blessing not a burden
3. That God will continue to fill in my weak spots
4. For my family while I am away (peace)
5. For the people of Haiti OF COURSE that they will have their needs met
6. For my Team that we will bond quickly and work together efficiently to bring glory to God.

Thanks! Love you!

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Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Different Kind of Valentines Day

I can honestly say that I never imagined spending Valentines Day traveling alone to a state where I know absolutely no one to head to Haiti.

As I sit here alone in my hotel room in Ft Lauderdale, FL watching the Olympics counting down the hours till I leave for Haiti you might think I would be sad or at least overwhelmed. Shockingly, I am not. I am thankful for the chance I have to go and love people, I am excited to understand the God I love in new ways as I have to depend on Him more than ever before. It is in fact maybe as it should be. On a day that we have dedicated to celebrating those we love and our love for each other, I get to show my love for God by obeying His call to go to Haiti, I get to experience His love as He travels with me.

I don't know what you are doing this Valentines Day, I hope you are spending it with people that you love, but more than that I hope that you know God's unfailing love today. I hope that you trust Him more and find Him to be your greatest love.

Thank you for all your prayers, God is answering by giving me an overwhelming peace. I hope to keep you involved in what we get to do in Haiti through out my time there, if at all possible.

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

One Month After

Yesterday was the one month mark of the Feb 12th Earthquake that rocked Haiti. Here is a good article speaking of that day.

Let's continue to be in prayer for the people of Haiti and all those there to serve.

Friday, February 12, 2010


Today is a day of getting ready.

Things done so far:

Purchased One Way Ticket to Fort Lauderdale, FL.
Sent Lots of Emails
Posted Facebook Updates
Typed a few Blogs
Purchased Travel Insurance! (yea! For discount for Haiti Relief Thank You
Picked up some extra Malaria Pills (Thank You Dr. Dover)
Sprayed Clothes and Mosquito Net with Heavy Duty Bug Spray Stuff
Began Breaking in Awesome Boots
Reserved a Hotel Room
Confirmed Shuttle

Thank you for all your prayers, I really do have peace about this that could only come from God.

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Heading to Haiti

Okay so the word is that I am to fly to Florida before Monday and then I will leave Florida Monday Morning for Haiti. That is all I know thus far.

Thanks again for all the prayers!

Hurry Up and Wait

There is a lot more to being a missionary than I originally thought, and one of those things most missionaries fail to mention in their speeches at churches is the idea of, "Hurry up and Wait." I too have struggled with how best share with you my supporters what the Road to Rome is like. Do I paint you a pretty picture, do I bore you with details, or do I give you the raw truth. I am opting more and more for the raw version.

Why? Because I feel there are a lot of misunderstandings about missions, and missionaries and I want to have a more open dialogue about the reality of missions. So today we tackle just one aspect of missionary life, that of, Hurry Up and Wait.

This applies more often than not I am finding. When I applied to be a missionary with ReachGlobal it was a 6 month application process, filled with many, many tests and forms in the beginning, then months of waiting, then interviews, then more waiting. Then a plane ride to Minnesota for a week long interview and information session, then an day of waiting for the final decision.

Seeing that this is how things started you would think I would have caught a clue that this was just the beginning.

Then there is Support Raising, which any honest missionary would tell you is a whole lot of hurrying, for appointments, and contacts and phone calls, and an abundance of waiting for returns on those investments. If you have ever worked on a church committee then you can imagine just how much waiting it takes to get a decision from a church on whether or not they can and will support you.

Right now, I am waiting for the remaining 49% of my support to come in. I would be lying if I told you this waiting was easy. That is not to say I cannot see God at work even in the waiting. I have indeed seen him at work in the waiting, and I know He is using this time to prepare me for more, Hurry Up and Wait. As that is culture in Italy, and many parts of the the world.

I am also waiting for word on when I will be heading to Haiti, right now this is the hardest wait, because I can see reminders everywhere of the vast need, and I long to be there working, serving and growing in my relationship with God. But again I hurried to get ready to go and now I wait.

As I touched on waiting is not horrible, it is part of the process, part of being a missionary, perhaps part of being used by God. As I wait I am not only waiting on people but I am waiting on God. That is a good but not always easy place to be.

How can you help me in all of this waiting? So glad you asked.

1. Pray for me. That I will continue to wait on God and His will and timing rather than own.
2. Join me in fasting tomorrow for the people of Haiti. Perhaps as we wait together at the feet of Jesus on behalf of the people of Haiti we will in fact be just where He wants us to be.
3. If you have a church that I can come and share at please invite me to do so. If you work at a church I would strongly encourage you to take some time, to look at your missions policy and missionaries and see if there are ways you could help speed along some of the waiting. There is room for improvement on both sides.

Thanks for joining me on this journey for encouraging me along the way, and for your many prayers, it really does help especially in the times of waiting.

Lessons learned during the wait:

God is Faithful
I cannot do this alone
My timing and God's timing are not the same and His is best.
Waiting gives you time to wait on the Lord, use that time wisely.
If I was in Rome already we would have missed out on being in Haiti.
My waiting is nothing in comparison to those waiting for Food, Justice, and Shelter, Hope and Peace.
There is time now to rest, there might not be soon.
What can I be doing for God and with God here and now?
I need to be ready when the time comes

Just to name a few.
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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Haiti Update

1. I am still here in CA waiting to hear when I can go to Haiti.
2. Good things are happening...Read below and join me in Praising God!
Brian And Sarah's Update
Missionary Aviation Fellowship: Call to Prayer and Fasting

Great Info On Haiti past Present and Future: Haiti's Hour This is a webinar link, it is a bit long, but worth watching and listening to for a better understanding of Haiti's Situation. Provided by World Relief

3. In light of the updates I am going to be fasting on Friday, join me in praying that God would indeed Save the nation of Haiti, and that it would have it's foundation built on Him.

Join me in Praying through this Passage with Haiti in mind:

Proverbs 3 (New International Version)

Further Benefits of Wisdom
1 My son, do not forget my teaching,
but keep my commands in your heart,

2 for they will prolong your life many years
and bring you prosperity.

3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.

4 Then you will win favor and a good name
in the sight of God and man.

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;

6 in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight. [a]

7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the LORD and shun evil.

8 This will bring health to your body
and nourishment to your bones.

9 Honor the LORD with your wealth,
with the firstfruits of all your crops;

10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing,
and your vats will brim over with new wine.

11 My son, do not despise the LORD's discipline
and do not resent his rebuke,

12 because the LORD disciplines those he loves,
as a father [b] the son he delights in.

13 Blessed is the man who finds wisdom,
the man who gains understanding,

14 for she is more profitable than silver
and yields better returns than gold.

15 She is more precious than rubies;
nothing you desire can compare with her.

16 Long life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honor.

17 Her ways are pleasant ways,
and all her paths are peace.

18 She is a tree of life to those who embrace her;
those who lay hold of her will be blessed.

19 By wisdom the LORD laid the earth's foundations,
by understanding he set the heavens in place;

20 by his knowledge the deeps were divided,
and the clouds let drop the dew.

21 My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment,
do not let them out of your sight;

22 they will be life for you,
an ornament to grace your neck.

23 Then you will go on your way in safety,
and your foot will not stumble;

24 when you lie down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

25 Have no fear of sudden disaster
or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked,

26 for the LORD will be your confidence
and will keep your foot from being snared.

27 Do not withhold good from those who deserve it,
when it is in your power to act.

28 Do not say to your neighbor,
"Come back later; I'll give it tomorrow"—
when you now have it with you.

29 Do not plot harm against your neighbor,
who lives trustfully near you.

30 Do not accuse a man for no reason—
when he has done you no harm.

31 Do not envy a violent man
or choose any of his ways,

32 for the LORD detests a perverse man
but takes the upright into his confidence.

33 The LORD's curse is on the house of the wicked,
but he blesses the home of the righteous.

34 He mocks proud mockers
but gives grace to the humble.

35 The wise inherit honor,
but fools he holds up to shame.


1. Proverbs 3:6 Or will direct your paths
2. Proverbs 3:12 Hebrew; Septuagint / and he punishes

New International Version (NIV)

Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica

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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Holding Pattern

First off thank you for all your kind words, your prayers and your support!

I wanted to let you know that as of yesterday (meaning could change at any moment) I am in a holding pattern for Haiti. I spoke with some of the men in charge and they felt that at this point Haiti is too unstable/unsafe and they would like to hold off in sending me.

So I am waiting.

When I signed up to go I was willing but not longing to go. In the past week I have developed a heart for Haiti, and for the people there, and I can honestly say I long to be there helping as soon as can.

I will keep you posted.

Please continue to pray for those serving there, and for the people of Haiti who for so long have lived in the midst of death and fear. Pray with me that God will use the people who are left and the people on the ground to bring peace, and life to the nation of Haiti! That He will not only meet their needs but will raise them up out of the rubble and plant them on a firm foundation!

I want to be sure you see positive images coming out of Haiti not just the stories the news chooses to focus on. Here are some pictures from last Sunday morning in Haiti, where hundreds of Haitians gathered together in a tent to worship God!

The images are of my team leader Sarah and some local people, whose names I do not know. Please pray for more of these kind of situations and reports flowing out of Haiti!

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

"Are you excited? Are you Ready?"

These are the two most popular responses of friends when I tell them I am heading to Haiti. Excited is not the right word, and I am having a difficult time finding one that sums up the energy about me when I think of going to Haiti. I am not scared. And as surprised about that you, but I can honestly say I have an indescribable sense of calm. Peace, maybe, but peace implies that I am not bothered,and I am. I am saddened by my lack of knowledge about Haiti prior to this Earthquake, disturbed by the ongoing decay in the country and lives of the people who call it home. At the same time calm, because I fully see hope in the person of Jesus Christ and have joy in the fact that in some small way I will get to minister to the needs of the people in a country that to be honest I still know very little about.

Which leads me to the question of readiness. How can one ever be ready for this? I am more prepared than I was last year, even more than last week ore yesterday. I have been through training with ReachGlobal, I have worked a week here and there at the Dream Center, never imagining that I would need that experience as much as I am drawing on it now. I got my shots, I am getting Malaria meds in my system. I am reading Mountains Beyond Mountains, watching the news old and new on Haiti, and I am collecting my supplies, but no I am not ready.

I doubt I will be ready. But I am not sure that it matters...if I failed to go because of my lack of preparedness I would miss out on having God meet me in my weaknesses. I know I am going to need God like never before, and I am ready for him to meet me in Haiti in ways I cannot prepare for.

God and I met this morning when he woke me up so we could have an early morning chat. He kindly reminded me of the call He has placed on my life. A call that fits for Rome, fit for Youth Ministry, Children's Ministry and fits for Haiti. Jeremiah 1 is God calling Jeremiah to be a prophet to the nations. It is also how God called me into an awareness of who He created me to be. It was what I needed to hear this morning a reminder of God's hand that knit me together, His hand that touched my lips and placed His words in my mouth, His hand that is holding me now and His hand that will rescue me in my time of need.

So, yes I am excited to see how the life God has created me for continues to unfold as I follow His prompting. And yes, I am ready to know God in new ways as I encounter Him in the lives of His children in Haiti and as I struggle to understand Him in midst of a disaster so devastating.

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