Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Tough Conversation

Tonight, I had a long-awaited conversation with Riley about my upcoming trip. After his bedtime story, I pulled up a map of the Island of Hispaniola to show him exactly where I would be traveling. He was full of questions - Would I get in a boat? Fly in an airplane? What would the bus look like? What would we eat?
The city we will stay in is on the DR-Haiti border at the bottom of the map:
Pedernales. We will work in a Haiti village just across the border: Anse-a-Pitres.
I answered them to the best of my ability, and eventually we moved on to what I would be doing during my trip. In his mind, a trip this long should involve the beach and a swimming pool and lots of fun things (per our family trip to Orange Beach last summer!). And while there will (hopefully) be a chance to see the nearby beach, that is far from the focus of this trip.

Thank goodness for the Internet!! I showed him several YouTube videos of the village and then we talked about the importance of CLEAN water, how different things are in Haiti from our home, and how we have more than enough of everything but there are others with very little. He listened very intently and asked a few questions (mostly about the solar-powered water well on the YouTube little science nerd!). 

But when I finished, he said the most wonderful words....

"Mama, can I go on a mission with you one day?" 

My heart overflowed with joy at his compassion and desire to help these people after hearing just my descriptions and seeing videos and pictures (Don't worry, Mom! I'm not taking him to Haiti...any time soon!). I explained that he needed to be a little older, but that we would do our best to take him on a trip. He asked if Eli could go, and I told him not yet. His response? "Yeah. He wouldn't be a very good 'missioner' right now." 

So, while my heart aches at the thought of being away from my sweet family for the week, it is full of joy at the Riley's receptiveness to embrace a life of service to others. With his daddy beginning seminary in the fall, this will certainly be our life...

I finished our talk with Riley's prayer charge. For the next few weeks, I asked him to pray for these two things, so I guess I'll ask you to do the same:

1. That people will ask Jesus to come live in their hearts while we are in Haiti and we are able to share His love with as many people as possible. 

2. That God would keep Mommy safe until she can be back at home with her boys and Daddy.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Counting Down to Haiti: 10 days...

In 10 days, I will be in Haiti! It still seems surreal to think about my journey to Haiti thus far...

For the next few days, I'll be posting some specific prayer requests for the trip. I hope you'll be willing to jump on board and pray for our team.

1. Pray for the people of Haiti. Roman Catholicism is the "official" religion of Haiti (80%) but voodoo became officially recognized as a religion in 2001 and is widely practiced throughout the country. Please pray the Haitian people will open their hearts to God's love and grace.

2. Pray for the team as they have contact with the Haitian people. Every chance our team members have to be the His light to the people of this country needs to be covered in prayer. Pray God will open doors for the team and again, open hearts to His love.

I'll keep it short as I'll be posting more frequently in the coming days.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

One month!

In one month, I'll be in Haiti!

When I think about all the things in the pages of my calendar between now and then, I get a little anxious. Who could imagine that a trip to Haiti, one of the most destitute and broken places in the world, would be the light at the end of anyone's tunnel? 

God is revealing Himself in every aspect of this trip as it draws nearer. From the amazing prayer partners who have committed to pray for the team, for my family, and for me to the overwhelming financial contributions I have received to help cover the expenses, God continues to confirm this is His time for my trip and that He is preparing the way for me. 

Last week, I was feeling especially anxious about leaving my sweet boys for the week. Doubts about their well-being, my safety and a million other things began to crowd my mind and take my focus off the purpose of the trip...even began to make me doubt this was the time. I sat down to do my devotion and these were the verses for the day....

9 I took you from the ends of the earth,
from its farthest corners I called you.
I said, 'You are my servant': 
I have chosen you and have not rejected you.
10 So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:9-10

Wow. Just wow. I had not even stopped to confess my worry and give it to Him yet...and He took it without me asking.

Counting down and praising Him for Haiti...