Monday, December 6, 2010

Stepping out of my comfort zone.

Stepping out of our comfort zones is challenging, and honestly most of us can say we do what we can to avoid it. No one LIKES to feel uncomfortable.

Sometimes God askes us to step out so He can use us, its always a matter if we obey him or step back.
When we obey Him, it can be uncomfortable or scary at first but in the end we will receive a blessing for being obedient and doing what He wants, not what feels "comfortable."

I think God likes to shake us in our lives and ministries, it makes us rely on Him.

My comfort zone in missions seems pretty far- sitting in a ravine in a third world country in the 900 degree weather holding malnourished children with scabies, lice, and who knows what else is heartbreaking, but I LOVE it. Its my passion.

Yet, going to work in the 5 degree weather in snow in my OWN COUNTRY. Is scary to me. I've been so many times, but still, the cold is just not my thing. Going to a place and ministering to mostly adults is not my thing. Going on a team with no one under the age of 25 is not my thing.

But, its not about me.

Its about Christ in and through me.

I am going on a mission trip to Beatyville, Kentucky this week. These people are in poverty like you'd never imagine in the states.

Excited to see what this week brings...

Saturday, July 17, 2010

What it feels like being back in the States.

I'd rather be punched in the face all day.

Its been 11 days since I've been back. I wish that time would just stand still and allow my brain to process things-but it doesn't. I wish that reverse culture shock didn't exist- but it does. I wish that it didn't hurt so much to be back-but it always will.
Sometimes, it feels like I'm still home in Haiti... then I wake up.

I miss.- Holding and loving babies, speaking Creole, my friends, Port-au-Prince fellowship, proving random kids on the street wrong that I DO understand them and can talk back, drinking from water bags, My Heart Will Go On playing from water trucks on the streets.... so much more....

I miss my time at the Tluceks.- I miss talking to my friend Nounoune, the team, sleeping on a balcony, I miss Melodie and David SO much, I miss my English Camp class, I miss Nadege and her "asian laugh" and how happy she is about everything, I miss teasing Nadia and telling each other stories, Renald, Emmanuel, going to the Heartline Hospital.

I miss MdL- I miss the feeling of finally being back there, when random people would shout my name that remembered me on the street, kisses from Estaline, singing with the kids, awesome conversations with the girls about the future of Haiti, piggyback rides, talking to Marie-France for hours in Crenglish, holding Alejandro and Rihanna talking to their mommas and playing with Angelo, listening to the girls sing Waka Waka, Ari and Vienna, Mr. Bill, Susette, ahh just all the Manasseros, The Feeding Program....

I miss everything.

I think I'm gonna just wrap all all of High School now and graduate so I can move there....

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Well, Summer's finally here! I am so thankful, life is so good.

A lot of exciting things are happening this summer =)

Feeding program <3-

We (our church) have started feeding 150 beautiful little inner-city kids everyday! They are so sweet and so fun! I love love love working with them, holding them, talking to them, and playing with them!Add Image

Day care- I am now working at a "mothers morning out" as well =) My life is so full of kids now, I LOVE IT!

Camp is next week! I am so sad there will only be 12 people!!! Last time, it was about 60 something. :( But I know God is still going to do big things! it will still be a lot of fun though! We have new exciting activities like snorkeling and skooba diving, as well as scavenger hunts and trips to the mall. It will be different, but I'm excited!

Haiti- I'm going back!!!! Ahhh God is SO GOOD!!

Well, thats an update on my life at the moment.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

20 days!

2o days until I am finally in Haiti!!!
Oh, I can't wait until I see the beautiful people on the streets through over-whelming amounts of smoke, the vendors and beggars lining the streets, paintings and shoes and clothes all over the walls, women doing their friends hair, kids playing.. until I hear a mix of loud voices speaking Creole, and kids laughing and playing... the sounds and sights of my "home." But more will be there. Heartbreak, tent cities, rubble, collapsed buildings.

I am sort of glad I will finally see the damage caused by the earthquake finally. I've been warned, Haiti won't look the same, it will be way more over-whelming, it will break my heart, I need to prepare my heart, etc. I don't mean to sound like I'm in my own little fantasy and my Haiti is perfect. Its so, so, so far from perfect. Its the opposite. It is so broken, it was before the earthquake.

But God. He is so present there. He is in the compassion and love shown by the people, He is in their smiles- you can see Jesus in their faces! He is in the people who leave their life, home, friends and family to go serve them, He is in their little make-shift churches, where they worship for hours in the scorching heat joyfully and with unrelenting passion. They are the most beautiful people I've ever known.

Haiti has hope, even after the unimaginable, even after the earthquake. Haiti has Jesus.

This is where my heart is. This is the place I love. This is where I am returning.

"I am SO HAPPY to be home again! This place is where my heart beats, in sync, with His."-Susette Manassero.

How I fell in love with Haiti

In 2000, some ladies from my church visited Haiti. When they came back, they came with stories, a passion and a love to tell. I hated everything about what they said to me. I said I hated Haiti. I was so scared of seeing their pictures of little skeleton kids, some with deformities, some so skinny they didn’t look alive.

They kept on saying since I was so against it, it would be my calling later on in life. I denied it as much as I possibly could. I hated the idea. I wanted them all to stop. Every time a World Vision commercial came on I’d run in the other room, crying.

Everyone said it was my compassion, I did not feel it that way. I felt scared. At least that’s how I sorted out my feelings. fear. Inside of me I knew I was called to Haiti, little six-year-old me, in my fear and rebellion knew it was a huge piece of me. I cried and denied it on numerous occasions.

They also would say things like “Since you are so afraid of blood, you will be a nurse one day.” I thought the people who would say that were so stupid. Why would I work with something that scares me to death and freaks me out? Guess what? They were right. I want to become a nurse now. We’ll get to that later.

Fast forward 2007.

My parents go to Haiti in June. I pray that they don’t fall in love and make me go. I see my mom’s MySpace pictures she posts while there and see the most beautiful kids I’ve ever seen. After seeing these my heart formed a new ache, I knew in my heart these kids were my calling. That the kids in Haiti would be a huge part in my life. I still tried to deny it.. I still prayed against it.

When they got back they brought back a zeal for setting the nation free! They prayed for Haiti and told us about it a lot. They finally decided to set up a mission trip to go later that October, well, guess who was going on this trip?

My friend was going, and I tried to pretend I wasn’t nervous at all. I would countdown the days with her, I would pack tons of stuff to give away to the girl’s home, and I would talk about it all the time. I was SO nervous though. I imagined all the people to be naked, live in mud huts and try to kill me-hahahaaaa!

About a week before we were to go to Haiti my parents sit me down and tell me that we may not go. Once I heard that I just started sobbing so hard, I had no idea why because I was so nervous, but I just bawled. They finally, trying to comfort me tell me that they were silly and still feel like God wanted us to go to Haiti.

About the next day is where Daphne came in.. Daphne changed my life more than any person I’ve ever met.

Susette, the missionary there emailed us about a very, very tiny little 22 month old they had just gotten named Daphne saying they needed some baby items for her. My mom told me about her and said “I bet you can’t wait to get your hands on her.” sure, I thought. 22 months, that’s almost two.. I probably won’t even get to really hold her.

When we got to Haiti we were greeted by tons of people. The Hojaras, The McHouls, Half of the Manasseros, Alex, white Alex, and Patrick. We stepped off of the plane into the smell of burning trash, crazy heat, and music playing. It was surreal, it was so weird. When we went out to meet the people to pick us up I kinda shut my eyes… it was so loud. The people were all asking for my bags. I had never experienced anything like it.

The next morning we went to the girl’s home for the first time. I was walking behind everyone else and the first words I heard were “this.. is our new little Daphne” when I saw her I froze. THIS was how beautiful Haitian children were? I had been missing this for 8 years? I had never seen a kid that adorable in my life. I was instantly drawn to her, I couldn’t stop staring at her.

We met the other little preschoolers-Kenny, Cendy, Adnai, Youdelka (Widelka at the time.. they changed her name or something), TiBo, and FanFan, and were asked to teach preschool. The kids were so incredibly cute. I was so in love. Every minute was so much fun.

Later on that day, Daphne and I clicked. She clung to me, she called me mama. When I put her down she screamed. The girls and her nannies would try to take her from me and she would hit them. That's how it was the rest of the week. She was my baby…

Every night the reality would hit me that I would have to leave Daphne and this beautiful county later on that week. I would just lay there awake for hours and cry. It was like I finally found my calling, and this huge gap in my heart was filled. I never knew I could love anyone or anything that much. Hah that sounds so cheesy, but its true! :)

Haiti is the perfect example of beauty in some of the worst situations. In my eyes, it is the most beautiful place in the world. Beautiful children run and skip on the streets. Big, beautiful smiles flashing at you. Lining the walls, are vendors selling some of the most beautiful art. You hear music being played everywhere. You see kids dancing and laughing, jumping rope.

Kids and teenagers coming up to you in your car saying they’re hungry and begging for food. Sickly dogs walk on the street-you can see all of their bones. Sometimes, all you see is smoke because they burn all of their trash. I now find the smell of smoke beautiful and comforting. A piece of Haiti. There’s child slaves. You go to their homes and there are fleas all around. There’s rats in their homes. They all sleep on the floor. This is what they’ve known their whole lives.

I did leave, and it was the worst thing I had ever done or experienced. I cried the whole way to my house, I cried almost every day… I wanted to go see my baby, I wanted to pick up random little kids, or put the preschoolers in their beds after falling asleep on the swings. I wanted to talk to my new friends, I wanted to hear the kids talk and try to master “mwen renmen ou” again. None of those things were tangible anymore and it hurt me so bad.

After nine months, I returned and it was so amazing. I clicked with all the kids, and over-all the trip was sooo blessed and just as amazing as the first one. One little girl I fell so in love with. Her name is Katrina. She didn’t leave my side. When I went to say bye to the girls she ran to me and I held her. She was shaking and sobbing. I tried to comfort her telling her I would be back soon, but I couldn’t because I was holding back the sobs…

October 2008, I went to Haiti again. Four months after my previous visit. Of course, it was incredible. In the middle of the week, Susette asked me to bandage a little boys hand out-side. She just kinda handed me this first-aid kit and I was like… oookay. Get the girl who hates the sight of blood. That’s cool.

He was bleeding, he had a gash in his hand. I didn’t care at all. He was one of my street boys, I hated seeing him in any pain. Maddie ended up doing it, but I translated for her. I realized then that no amount of blood could keep me from caring for Haiti’s kids.

When I saw the coverage of the earthquake that confirmed it. I wanted to be there.. cleaning wounds, holding the kids, telling them how much Jesus loves them…anything. I didn’t care about any amount of blood. I didn’t care about seeing lost limbs or seeing amputees. None of that stuff mattered. The country I love was shattered in a huge way. The baby I loved had a wall fall on her and leg broken. I didn’t care.

That confirmed what burned in me from October 2008. God had in fact, called me to be a nurse in Haiti. He had callen me to fall helplessly in love with this beautiful country. He planned for my heart to ache everyday to be there, since I was a little girl.

His plan is ALWAYS greater than ours. I prayed against Haiti for years and years, and once I got there, I just let go. I finally let God work through me and direct me, to do His will and not mine.