An old, worn down school bus with cracked seats and open windows awaits our team as we leave the dirty, crowded airport. We load the bus and secretly hope for the driver to start moving quickly so the airflow will cool us down. It is so hot. It’s our first day in Haiti and the views as we drive are eye–opening. Shacks, barely standing it seems, surround us as the homes of Haitians are laid bare for us to see without the privacy that we are so accustomed to in our own homes. Open spaces where we would see glass are the windows for air to move through. No air conditioning. No electricity. No running water. Just a barely surviving structure to find at least a bit of refuge from the elements.
This was just the beginning of the week that changed my life forever. Last summer, Lance and I joined a team from New Life Church Fort Smith and embarked on a journey far away from the comfort and familiarity of home.
That week, we met a family. Ahmond and Michelin were the grandparents and housed around 12 people in their small 3 room home. Beyonce, a 10 year old girl, latched onto me the 2nd day we were there and held onto me the rest of the week. The bond was strong and the goodbye heart wrenching when we told this family goodbye.
So much happened that I was going to write about, but it seemed I could never find the right words. I was broken, returning to the U.S. where we take running water, drinking water, and food for granted. I realized while in Haiti that the Christ followers had something we didn’t because of their strong need to completely rely on God for even the most basic necessities. It seemed that while we are blessed with these things and don’t even realize it, they were blessed with the true understanding of faith in its simplest form. I struggled, and still do, to find the words to describe all I saw and learned.
This summer, 2018, I’m returning for another week with some of the same team and additional members. My amazing husband Lance has been called to serve in Peru this year so we will be separated physically for a time.
To say I’m excited is an understatement! I cannot wait to see Beyonce and her family again. I look forward to sharing Jesus with even more people and continuing to serve the village of Laboradie. A short term mission trip during the summer of 2017 caused long term changes in my heart and I’m expectantly waiting for God to move again in me through the trip this summer.
There are three ways you can help me:
- PRAY from now until we leave, that God prepares my heart, soul, and mind as well as the rest of our team.
- Commit to praying during certain times while I am there. Go to www.tinyurl.com/AJMission to sign up for a time. I will remind you of your selected time(s) prior to leaving.
- Help contribute financially. The total amount needed for my trip is $1,800. I’ve raised almost all of it! We would love for you to consider helping fund Lance’s trip. If you would like to contribute to, go to www.tinyurl.com/LJdonations. His cost is $2,700 and we are still needing to raise around $2,000.
Thanks friends! I will try to keep you updated from now through the trip. Lance and I love you dearly!