A Glimpse of Mi Vida...

It started with a missions trip to Camden, where my life and perspective were changed and where this blog began. Life has been a roller coaster filled with its ups and downs and I'm excited for the adventure and discovering what God has in store, even though I really dislike roller coasters... I am a Lady in Waiting...

Saturday, September 28, 2013

I Surrender

September 28, 2013

The song I Surrender by Hillsong has been on my heart and playlist recently. The words are truly heartfelt and captivating.

Here I am
Down on my knees again
Surrendering all
Surrendering all

Find me here
Lord as You draw me near
Desperate for You
Desperate for You

I surrender

Drench my soul
As mercy and grace unfold
I hunger and thirst
I hunger and thirst

With arms stretched wide
I know You hear my cry
Speak to me now
Speak to me now

I surrender
I surrender
I wanna know You more
I wanna know You more

I think of what it means to surrender, so that I can know Jesus more. I think I am in a time of my life where I am learning to surrender but also finding myself surrendering things that I held to be true at some point in my life.

I surrendered my life in California to come to Haiti for two months because it was where God was leading. I prayed to use my talents and gifts in a job and position that brought glory to my Father. I can’t help but think that I am doing that currently in Haiti for this short period of time. My prayer was answered in a way I didn’t ever expect.

Watch this video I made this week, it combines my love for the Miriam Center, using my photography and video skills in order to showcase sponsoring one of these children in need in Haiti at our orphanage.
To come to Haiti I surrendered the possibility of finding a job. I desire to serve and work in a service-based industry, ideally in a church or non-profit setting. I am sacrificing the things that I once wanted, the things my parents desired for me in regards to success. I fully want what God has planned. Has it been difficult? Absolutely. Without a doubt it has been one of the most difficult things I have ever had to experience. I have, to some extent, sacrificed relationship with my parents who don’t support me pursuing ministry. They have the best of intentions- they desire for me to provide for myself and handle life and to be successful. However, my vision of success is not monetary gain- it is to be within the center of God’s will. I have surrendered my ideas of success and of wealth. I believe God will bless me because of my surrender, but I don’t do it because of that.

Lord- I desire to commit all to you in everything that I do. I surrender in order to know you more. Lord, I have left my life behind in order to follow you- I am in awe of the ways that you continue to provide. Lord, have your way in me- continue to work in my heart and mind. But also work in my family’s hearts and those who don’t understand. I pray they may come to know you more in order to understand that I have given You control over my life.


September 28, 2013

Last night I came across an article from Kirk Cameron’s website that talked about fatherhood and what it meant to have a Holy and loving Father in Heaven.

He talks about, “It starts young when a little girl’s heart longs for Daddy. Not only do girls need physical protection from their fathers but also emotional and spiritual safeguards throughout their life.”
He discusses 8 non-negotiables for father to instill rich love and faith into their daughters for the long haul. It made me sad to read those because my father did not do a majority of them, and if he did, he did them for an extremely short amount of time.

My dad disciplined consistency in rules with me, which made me a very strong woman and it caused me to be very responsible and diligent in all that I do. However there wasn’t consistency measure in the rules and expectations for me as there was for my brother.

When I was younger, I lived with my dad and loved our daddy-daughter dates. We would make pizza together every Friday night and I thought it was the best pizza in the world. He also made the best spaghetti. We went on road trips together and camping. Soon after being a teen, that all ended and any time I tried to schedule time with him it was always forgotten about or other things came up. Now there seems to be this wedge that I’ve defensively put up to guard and protect myself from being hurt. I had spent a year in therapy slowing breaking down the emotional barriers I have built because of my relationship with my parents.

Then this morning I read Romans 8:15 which states: “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by Him we cry, Abba Father.”

While my parents may have had the best of intentions, there has been a lot of hurt and damage along the way. I am thankful for a Heavenly Father who loves to call me His Child. Who longs to spend time with me and loves me and offers grace no matter what I have done.

My prayer is a shout of thanks to God. Thank you Lord, with heartfelt gratitude and emotion for the ways I speak of your name, Abba Father, for all you have done. Your arms are always open and never to short to embrace me. I am thankful for a loving Father who provided love and strength for when my earthly father could not.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Two Weeks

September 24, 2013

It’s crazy to believe that I am entering my third week here in Haiti.
Time has flown by- some days are longer than others and some days are shorter.

I have done much more than photography as I have gotten to spend some time in relationship.

My favorite thing to do is to head down to the Miriam Center and visit and greet each of the children every morning.
I love hugs from Mackenly and I love running away from Ti-Carlos and Kenderson, and Carlos when he smells.

Gilbert and I have named some of the kids the Poopy Brothers… numbers one, two and three. Partly because last night when I walked downstairs to say goodnight to the kids I had to avoid stepping in poop as one of the mamas was cleaning up after Issac as someone how he got poop on three different parts of the walkway.

Please check out some of my blogs from the last two weeks:

This week I am looking forward to making a video of the Miriam Center children and taking more photos of all the areas at the mission. 

Community in Chaos

September 22, 2013

It started off as a normal morning. A typical Sunday in which we slept in a little bit, ate cereal for breakfast and got ready for church. I headed over to church with Caitlin and intended to stay for worship and then head to church at the Miriam Center. After worship in the Miriam Center I worked on some of my blog and then headed down to help Autumn set up a movie or video for the kids. Autumn went back upstairs to find something and I went up with her to grab something, I headed back down and was greeting each of the children again when Gilbert kept pointing outside and told me to look.

I ran outside and looked up to the orphanage and saw people running. At first I thought that it must be a child hurt and began looking around and
then I saw smoke pummeling from upstairs. I began to get panicked… and started yelling for Justin. Not long after I saw him run down, he had already been upstairs where the fire had started. I quickly ran over to the church and got Caitlin, where we began grabbing buckets and filling some with dirt and some with water that they were taking up to the fire.

The stench of being upstairs from whatever was burning was awful. It burned your nostrils and made your eyes tear up. So we kept helping with buckets and we saw Justin going into the room again with no towel, just doing what he had to do. As the fire was put out and smoke just covered the room we began clearing things out of the side room of the main room that the fire had been in.

As we cleared what we could in the room out, we began getting the story of what had happen. There are two possible ways the fire started from what we could tell from the burn damage. One is that a backpack had been wedged behind an outlet and the outlet had been somewhat pulled off in order to hold the backpack. The second was that someone had plugged in a battery or phone charger that had exposed wires and had set it on a mattress when we went to church. It had sparked and set the fire… it burned one set up bunk beds (which thankfully are metal), four mattresses, and two girls suitcases of clothes, and a few other items. The good things is no one was in the room when it happen. The bad was that all the doors were locked and so it took longer to get into the room. The doors stay locked to prevent kids from skipping church and sneaking back into their rooms. The doors and windows being locked allowed the fire not to spread as it would have gained oxygen, the is that because of that the room filled with smoke staining all of the walls.
We settled down after everything was cleared out and we had lunch. Shortly after lunch we got to work- we began washing all the walls and ceiling. Justin began removing all of the wiring and electrical in the room. Our goal is to get the little girls back in the room as soon as possible. We moved some of the older girls into another room, not attached to the building. Not all of the rooms were at full capacity and then we had about ten girls stay in one of the American dorm rooms with Caitlin, Amber, and I.

It was so great to see in the midst of chaos- how the cooks and mamas ran to the rescue to help with the fire. How the kids jumped in to help clean the walls.

Typically we spend Sundays taking our Sabbath and resting after church. Instead we sacrificed our day to help the kids get a new room as soon as possible.
I’m praising God for the fact that no one was hurt. No children were in the building and for the ways the staff came together. I also think that Justin putting the fire out and helping to save the orphanage is changing people’s view of him. Most of the kids are slightly scared of him- yet they fail to realize is all of the work Justin does for the mission on a daily basis. I think it has caused the Haitian staff and children to have a new respect and appreciation for him.

I am also thankful we end the evening winding down by having our Sunday Staff Game Night.
We will commence painting once the walls have dried shortly after lunch.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Haitian Pick Up Line

A Haitian Pick Up Line

September 22, 2013

SonSon was a boy that I met last summer during one of my last days in Haiti. He was my buddy for when we went to the park. He is a boy from the community and is about 9 or 10 years old. He has down syndrome, but his parents care for him which is a rarity in Haiti.

I have gotten to see him so much this trip and it is exciting to see how He has grown.

He sat next to me during the funeral for Rachel this week. He hadn’t seen me yet for the week or for the day and he smiled and came over and sat next to me. A few minutes later he looked over at me and said, “WOW”. I don’t know why… maybe because I was wearing a long black dress and my hair was braided and I had a headband, which is more than my normal fun-bun and skirt. Either way it was kind of funny.

Then a few minutes later, he looked up at me again and practically did the old school yawn move and put his arm around me. He held it there the entire service.

I don’t know about you, but I think I was just hit on my a cute little Haitian child.

I wonder if he thinks I’m his girlfriend haha.



September 22, 2013

One of my new favorite things to do in Haiti is watch the sunsets. It started with Caitlin and I going up to the roof that overlooks the front of the mission and we would watch the sunset and await for the power to come on.
Now we got a few of the other girls going with us each night. I love going up there because it is relaxing and peaceful. I love to see the way that God paints the sky each night.
One of my devotions this week talked about God being CREATOR.

“The Lord is the everlasting God, the creator of the ends of the earth.” –Isaiah 40:28

Every day God paints the sky beautiful. He plants his beauty within my heart and it is only through His eyes that I can see the world the way He does. Someone might just think, oh that was a nice or pretty sunset. I think, “Wow, God painted that for me”. I acknowledge His beauty and creation because He is the ultimate creator. You cannot know God and not acknowledge the glory of His creations.

I love praising God for the good things He has done. I love sitting on the roof and talking about the things God did and the things that I learned.

I have learned that God loves for us to celebrate with Him the finished work of His own hands. In my life, as well as in the sky and say:
“It is God and it is good, it is good.”

Life Is A Journey

Life Is A Journey

Life is a journey which has led me back to Haiti for two months this fall.

One thing I am trying to keep on my mind constantly is that God’s got this. God is the alpha and the omega.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.” –Revelation 21:6

Tap Tap ride into Haiti.
There are a lot of things I’m hoping for out of my time in Haiti and a lot of things I’m hoping for once I get home. But I have to remember that I never have to be confused about who God is or where I am going.
He is with me every morning that I awake. When I work through the day, especially the hot and sweaty ones, He is always close by. He is always ready to guide me. I never have to worry about how I fit into God’s plans- my biggest concern should only be with knowing God and spending time with Him. My future is in His hands.

The Lord knows the things that I will encounter in Haiti. The things that are happening at home and the things I will return to.

My every thought and step is recorded with God because He know my past, present, and future. He has planned every detail of my day and life with such great purpose and love. Gently and firmly He is preparing me for the day in which I will join Him in heaven and be made perfect.

Lord – I pray to continually give my life to you for safekeeping. Your wisdom and protection is marvelous.

Simple Truth:
Life is a journey that begins and ends with God.
I am so excited for what He has in store.
Playing in the courtyard with brother Julmard and Richie!



September 18, 2013

To have compassion and empathy is something that I am constantly learning about- especially within the mission field.
This morning in my devotionals I read about compassion and within thirty minutes of reading about it, I experienced what is it so have compassion and empathy.

After breakfast we got ready and dressed for the funeral for Rachel, not knowing when it would start. I sat in the staff lounge doing my devotional and checking emails when they told me it was time to head over to the church.

We headed over. I didn’t understand any of the service. It was all in Creole. It was heart-wrenching to see this little casket on a table. To know there she was, laid to rest. She was now with Jesus for eternity.

I consider myself to be a pretty emotional person- if one person starts crying then I’ve lost it. I build connections and have a deep sense of love and admiration for those I encounter. With death however, I find myself continually at peace because I know of God’s goodness and how He bring healing and restoration and peace to those who have joined Him.

I didn't think I’d be emotional until the mamas began to wail. They screamed and cried out loudly. My eyes were closed as this happen and emotion swept over me. You felt their sadness and their pleas. It was heavy- the weight of their cries was so overwhelming.

I truly began to weep as they sang “It Is Well With My Soul” in broken English and then in Creole. It was beautiful and you felt a sense of peace.

We walked back to the church and helped carry some of the children from the Miriam Center who attended. Then it was like an emotional wave of tears began to flow within the bird cage. Minushe began to cry and wail hysterically. We sat her in her chair and I began holding her hand and rubbing her shoulder. Then Roselore and John began to cry. We quickly moved them all inside so that the orphans would be staring or making fun of them. Joshua began crying and then Amber and myself as we were trying to comfort and console them. You felt this pressure on your heart of their heartache and sorrow. Tears began to flow steadily as I was trying to comfort Kem and Minushe.

I think what made it difficult is that I have such a love for Minushe because my friend sponsors her and we've been to Haiti twice to be with Minushe. I felt like there was nothing I could do.

Magdala (who oversees all of the programs here at the mission) came over and whispered something to the girls and boys and they slowly began to stop and then their normal smiles began to emerge.

God definitely taught me that his compassion has no end.

Resting in Him today allowed me to experience His love and compassion. His compassion overwhelms me and draws me closer.

I learned today yet again that God’s plan is never destruction- only restoration.

“His compassions never fail. They are new every moment, great is your faithfulness.” –Lamentations 3:22-23.

Wonderful Counselor

September 17, 2013

Today my devotional today was about God being a wonderful counselor. It couldn't be more perfect for the day we are finishing out.

“And He will be called a Wonderful Counselor” –Isaiah 9:6

I was in our staff lounge, not feeling too well, exhausted and tired mainly. I had just laid down to rest when I heard what sounded like blood-curdling screams let out. I ran out of the staff lounge to the balcony overlooking the Miriam Center. They knew. They had been told. About an hour and a half prior we received the news that one of our precious lower-functioning children of the Miriam Center had gotten sick and could not be revived.
It is devastating. I had seen her every day since I had been here and would always hold her hand and greet her with a hello and a brush of hand against her cheek. She would light right up and give you the biggest smile.

The mamas of the MC had just finished dressing her and doing her hair and then their wailing began. Apparently that is how they mourn here in Haiti. Letting out loud screams and they let them out for about five minutes.  

Most big funerals in Haiti go on for about three hours and they consist of the constant screams of why’s. Tomorrow we will hold a small service and then walk to the cemetery for burial.

Tonight in my devotional it was perfect for what we/I needed.

He is there to counsel you with arms of love. Rest in Me and soon you will see the clouds disappear. Trust Me today.

The Lord is there with listening ears and compassionate eyes. With discerning thought and gentle affirmation- He speaks directly to the issues in my life.

Thank you Lord for always being there.

God is never the author of confusion. His counsel is 100% accurate.
As sad as it is to lose a precious, innocent child- God is present and is there. He is with her now and she is of full body and mind and smiling her ever-bright smile. She is made perfect.

He Lights The Way

He Lights The Way

September 17, 2013

One of the things that Caitlin and I like to do after dinner is stand on the roof watching the sunset. We go up to the roof because it is quiet. We have just finished dinner and it is lighter on the roof as the sun sets and we wait for the power to come on, also there is always a nice cool breeze.

Last night Caitlin told me a story about the cross on the church across the street from the mission. I never knew that at night it is lit up by solar lights. It is a glowing reflection of God’s love to the people of the village here, but also to those outside of St. Louis. It lights the way… literally.

Many years ago there was a boat full of Haitians who were lost at sea when a storm hit- their boat capsized and they saw the cross on the church and the began to swim towards it and it got them safely back to shore.
It is so cool to know that God lights the way in so many ways here in Haiti. 

The Branch

The Branch

I praise you God for being my: BRANCH.

“In that day the Branch of the Lord will be beautiful and glorious.” –Isaiah 4:2

The branch has been extended for me to come back to Haiti to help build branches… to help others take root in Haiti. To build connection to the people here for sponsorship and funding of the programs for NWHCM.

This program is called The Family Tree (http://nwhcm.org/).
It’s a really cool new way to connect with the child that you sponsor. It gives you access to how they are doing on a somewhat-regular basis. It shows pictures and gives updates- more than most giving programs that update you once a year.

Amber and I are working to update all of the photos for everyone within our programs at our Saint Louis du Nord and La Baie campuses.
My devotional for this on September 14th was perfect.

No matter where we go, He will comfort us with His loving grace.

This family tree sponsorship program will allow the children, people, and programs of the mission to be covered- to hopefully become fully sponsored.

God’s mercies never dry up. His “branches” will always reach far enough to cover.

Lord- I pray for the family tree of NWHCM. That is will be fruitful and your abundance would be multiplied and poured out.
Lord- thank you for your continual covering grace and protection. The ways that you provide for me are beautiful and glorious.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Sticky Hands

Today while we were painting one of the classrooms of the Miriam Center, Autumn (physcial therapist for the mission) sent out one of the women to purchase her groceries.
She came back with buckets and buckets of mangos and so Autumn gave one out to each of the kids of the Miriam Center. After we finished painting part of the room before lunch, I went over to greet each of my boys. When I got to Carlos, he was sucking on his mango and I patted him on the head and said hello again. He motioned me to wait. He proceed to suck on the mango as he began wiping his hands on his shirt and then reached for my hand. He wanted to hold my hand with his mango-sticky hand and go for a walk.
I am loving all of the connecting moments that I am experiencing with the children here. They just desire to be loved on and shown attention.

Fast Asleep

I am yet to be a mom, but tonight I felt like I got to experience what it is to be a mom and to put a child to bed.
Left to Right: Mackenly and Carlos
After dinner tonight at the mission I showered and got ready for bed. I went to our staff lounge and was awaiting a telephone call, so I decided to wander downstairs to our clinic. We were having a movie night with the kids on campus. I first noticed that one of our MC kids was literally passed out asleep on the concrete. Through the room of children, I spotted Mackenly. Mackenly is one of the kids I have recently been bonding with recently and spent some of the day hanging out with. I saw him sitting on the side wall with a space next to him and so I went over to sit next to him. I started scratching his back and he immediately laid down on my lap and within minutes he fell asleep. So I picked him up and carried him back to his room where one of the nurses/mamas of the MC took him.
I came back and picked up Carlos who was fast asleep on the concrete and carried him back to the room and into his bed. As I walked into his room, I had to help Mackenly set up his bed and blew him a kiss goodnight and whispered “Bon We”, which is good night in Creole.
It’s moments like those that make me excited to be a mom one day. Moments like those that allow me to love like a mother to these motherless children of the Miriam Center. It’s those moments that make me thankful for the love Christ has shown me that allows me to love these children as He loves me. I am truly thankful that I get to pour and invest into Mackenly and Carlos.

Bon We!

If you would like to sponsor Mackenly or Carlos for a one time donation or monthly at $30, please click on the link below:

Friday, September 13, 2013

A Beautiful Place To Be

Beautiful Place to Be

Today (September 13, 2013) I found myself painting for several hours in the Miriam Center’s Bird Cage. Some of the children found it amusing as they would sit and stare or just sit outside the cage and watch me.
One little girl that I have made a connection with is Roselore. Roselore came to the mission the mission about two years ago. She used to have seizures all the time and as of recently she hasn’t had any in months. The left side of her body when she first arrived did not function- and she lost the ability to walk. Now you find Roselore running around the mission, with a sassy attitude and giggling like crazy.

Today and like every day I have been here so far I pushed her on the sings in the morning. She speaks some English and shouted, “Push please, push please”. So I pushed her for almost ten minutes this morning.
After lunch as I was painting we were listening to Tyrone Wells, my favorite artist. One thing I love about music is that it can transcend and speak through all cultures. As one of my favorites came on, I began singing it to Roselore and she began dancing.

One line goes:
ABC, it's as simple as can be
123, baby you've got me
So I don't know my right hand from my left
Green light go, and I'm standing still
Red light stop, I keep going 'til
I don't know just what I should do next
Stuck up on this crazy ride
I'm all jumbled up inside

As I sang “stuck up on this crazy ride”, Roselore looked at me with an upset face and said “I not crazy”. I just laughed and said “No, no it’s the song”.

Amidst our Tyrone Wells music hour we then began listening to “A Beautiful Place To Be” and Roselore would sway back and forth to the song. She then realized the song said beautiful and she caught onto the song quickly and would slightly sing along to the chorus:

You make the world a beautiful place to be (2xs)
And I never want to see you go
Yours is the only world I want to know
You make the world a beautiful place to be

It’s amazing how music can just speak, no matter the language or communication barrier. And it helps that she was loving my favorite artist. Music truly does make the world a beautiful place.

If you'd like to sponsor Roselore- you can sponsor her for $30 a month or make a one time donation.

Check out Tyrone's Music Video: