Tag Archive: Body of Christ


In The Trenches

I miss writing.  It has been nerve-wracking and a struggle to get words on paper (or typed) for some time now.  I was trying to get my thoughts down last night when I came across this blog that I wrote in April of 2015.  After reading it, even though it has been nearly a year since I wrote it, I still feel that it is as valid and true now as it was then.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As we drove one of our pregnant 17-year-old students home, my heart was in my throat thinking about how she just got kicked out of her mother’s house and we were now on our way to her boyfriends sisters house, where she was now living. Then, we passed him, a sweet man clothed only in an oversized pair of shorts crouched in the grass. My slight, “Bonswa” led to his glazed response of “Bonswa” followed by his quick “Koman ou ye? (How are you?)

My mind left our sweet student for a second to think of what this man’s story was. We passed him and continued to her house. We got as far as we could drive and stopped the car. As we got out we walked up the steep dirt path to the home where she was staying. As Steph, Sharon and I exchanged a few words with the baby’s father and our student, we soon left and headed back to the car.

By the time we passed the same elderly man he was now crowded with a dozen people. The immediate response from me was sympathy but then I saw what was happening, my heart filled…the neighborhood was bringing him some food….some water….trying to asking him questions. All to no avail, but still they were trying. He was obviously struggling with his memory and what was going on. As I saw some of the people who were helping were our professors and others I knew in the neighborhood, I stopped the car and asked about him.

As there seemed to be no clear plan one of our teachers asked me where he thought we could bring him. Making a few phone calls I tried to find a plan.

Bringing him to the police station we were met with laughter and absolutely no help except for one of our security guards (who is also a policeman). As the situation became more hopeless and the time grew on I realized that I needed to ask Josh to try and come and pick up this sweet, calm but lost man.

Josh came and picked up the old man. As he drove to the first hospital and was turned down he began praying for him. Hospital two and three were all to no avail as the last hospital wouldn’t even accept him because he did not have a shirt on. We ended up deciding to let him stay in a safe place of Respire Haiti’s.

As Josh came home from dropping him off half naked because Josh gave his clothes to this sweet man, my heart was crushed. The situation felt hopeless, like no one wanted to try and figure anything out for this sweet man except for us.

My mind began running as I selfishly thought, “We are in the trenches and it’s exhausting, and no one else has to deal with trenches like this” …The trenches of most third world countries. No systems. Corruption. Lack of education, knowledge and compassion. No one willing to help.

For us, this is exhausting and discouraging.

And then for a split second I thought, man this is impossible. So hard. Our trenches are just too deep….too dirty….too hopeless.

And then God clearly revealed to me, “No Megan. It’s not just “YOUR” trenches.” I felt selfish and then dug deeper. How conceded and selfish to think that “our” trenches here in Gressier, Haiti are the deepest, the worst.

Everyone’s trenches are different. God reminded me…You have friends who have recently lost babies and others who are struggling with infertility. You have friends who have cancer and are sick and others who are struggling with losing jobs and have trouble financially.

Are my trenches still worse?

No.

I was in the states a few weeks ago and was OVERWHELMED with the darkness I felt and saw there. Depression. Broken Marriages. Selfishness.

And then I recognized clearly…Everyone’s trenches are different.

My trench is NOT more important than your trench…your trench is NOT more important than mine.

The important part to think about is WHERE is Jesus in your trench?

Do I feel hopeless? Or hopeful? Do I feel alone?

Regardless. Bring Jesus in. Invite Jesus into your trench.

As I thought about driving past the people crowded around this old man. My flesh wanted to pass him but my foot pressed the break. I KNEW there was not an easy solution for this. And I KNEW that if I entered into this trench it would probably NOT be an easy one….

Are You willing to enter into someone else’s “Trench” …someone else’s darkness? Am I?

I can tell you right now, it WILL most likely mess up your plans, your dinner, your day, your week, maybe even your month.

BUT God, do you know what He is showing you or leading you too?

Pray for us as this sweet man is staying in a safe place tonight and we will hopefully be able to help him more tomorrow. Because what I am realizing tonight is that many times what I think are trenches are really mountaintops…bringing me closer to Jesus than I could ever imagine. Because ONLY HE can turn our deepest, darkest, most frustrating and hard things into moments where we SEE Him, FEEL Him, KNOW Him more than we ever thought we could.

Update: After Josh drove around the next day for less than an hour people kept directing him up into the mountains.  Finally after asking at practically every intersection a motorcycle driver recognized the sweet old man and heard he had wondered out of his house down the mountain.  Thank God, he was reunited with his family and is now safe!

Faith and Family Multiplied

I have wanted to write about this for weeks, but it seems like the words couldn’t come out.  My sentences were incoherent and my thoughts were spinning…

 

People who have visited here always make comments about how they can see how easy it would be to all of a sudden have a house full of 20 children.  Our kids we work with come from a multitude of mostly terrible situations…restaveks, orphans, abusive situations…and after these peoples comments about having a houseful of children, I normally smile and chuckle a bit and then say my prayer of NOT wanting that…my mind spins with the amount of therapy, healing, prayer etc went into two children…

 

Having two children from restavek backgrounds has been a challenge enough, and we seem to have arrived in a beautiful moment where their past is their past, and God has grown these two girls into beautiful, healing and blossoming children.

 

But God knows OUR stories and OUR journeys WAY before we do.

 

A little over a year ago I received a call from a Pastor we work with saying that he was really worried about some people that had just moved near him.  In his words, “These people are VERY poor and they have nothing, can you come see if you can help them.”  As I got off of the phone with this pastor who lived in between a tent and a hurricane broken house, my mind spun with his comments.  I felt like I was in the MIDST of poverty already, so for someone to call me who already LIVES in poverty and express that they were worried about someone in poverty, I couldn’t imagine how it was.

 

As I arrived at the place where these people were, I saw two incredibly thin children with oversized t-shirts living under a tarp.  Their mother and father were dead and they were living with some “relatives.”

 

God knew that meeting these two children would only be the beginning.

 

As Respire enrolled them in school since they had never been before, I knew that I would be able to watch and monitor them more…but I had no idea what kind of relationship HE was starting.

 

Over the next 6 months we grew in relationship with not only the children but also the people “taking care” of them.

 

It wasn’t until a knock on the door in January changed everything.  You can read the whole story in a previous blog as it was fresh in my mind here.  But basically the 12 year old girl was kidnapped and brought to a Voodoo Temple.  Her 10 year old brother divinely led us to her.

 

As she began living in one of Respire’s houses, a few weeks later the 10 year old boy, her brother,  went missing.

 

Our hearts broke as we had only a faint idea of where he might be.  Josh and I prayed daily for his return and then as ONLY God can do….He rescued this precious boy.  You can read more about that story here.

 

With both of these precious children living on Respire Grounds we began praying fervently about these children.

 

After much prayer and support, we have…God has, grown our family.

I am so blessed to have a mother that is so supportive and encouraging, and friends and family who trust what Christ is doing in our lives here in Haiti.

And most importantly, I am beyond blessed to have an incredible husband who is a natural parent and is such a good Daddy to so many.   In his words, “6 months of marriage and we aren’t adding kids we’re multiplying :)”

 

The healing that needs to happen is huge.  We can definitely use your prayer.  Although their bodies are free, their minds are still in a battle that ONLY God can heal.  Please pray with us for protection, courage and healing.  Voodoo, oppression and demons are VERY real here.  It is a long process to understand and work through the things that our children have seen, heard and experienced.  We have been HONORED to see that God has already made remarkable changes and can only imagine the incredible plans that God has for these beautiful siblings.

 

 

 Johanne (JoJo) 12

JoJo

 Saintil, 10.

Saintil

CrazyBeachKids

Fam

And then there were 6 (or 7 if you count the horse on Josh’s shoulder)

“The enemy’s purpose on earth is to kill, steal and destroy. And often times it feels like he is succeeding, like we are fighting a losing battle. But then I remember, the war has already been won…”

Read the rest of this blog on SheLovesMagazine.  Blessed to have the opportunity to share what God is teaching me in Haiti and through   Will Reagan’s awesome song Take Back.

 

God Knows the Ending

Thursday morning, walking down the road away from the Respire Haiti Café I heard a scream and some yelling.  I turned around and saw the typical scene of a few discombobulated Haitians yelling about something.  Then I saw her jetting across the busy street towards me.  No shoes, ripped clothing, face in a panic, and eyes FILLED with fear.

As I told the Haitians throwing rocks at her to calm down, they yelled out, “She’s a crazy person.”  Again, I insisted they calm down and I began to walk toward her.  Wringing her hands together she looked at me and without saying a word she grabbed my hand.

Asking her questions, her eyes hit the floor and she wouldn’t respond to anything.  People continued to yell at her.  I asked if they knew her and they all said, “No, she’s a crazy person.” so I just gave them the evil eye and turned around.

We began walking toward my house having every other person stop, stare and continue to yell out, “Megan, she’s a crazy person.”

After about the 5th person to stop and yell this out…I turned around and yelled out….”She’s a CHILD, A CHILD, A CHILD of God….Do you see that?” and then further mumbled”Stop staring, if you’re not going to help, keep walking.”  Okay, maybe not one of my most gentle moments, but with just those 5 minutes of people yelling and throwing rocks I had about had it.

When we finally got to the house, I stood outside the gate…the staring continued and people literally stopped and gawked at the “Crazy person”…Precious FiFi who works at our house came outside and stated clearly, “She’s a Zombie.”  I looked at Fifi and told her, “Fifi, she’s a child, and if you don’t have anything nice to say, go inside.”  Fifi covered up her mouth, said sorry and stayed put.

As the gawking continued, I brought her inside of our gate.  Darline  gave her a peanut butter sandwich and some water and she proceeded to scarf this down and drink every bit of water.  She then proceeded to start running around outside, touching and grabbing everything.

My first instinct was to pray.  I had no idea where she had come from, where she had been, how she got here.

I sent out a mass text to our staff and within minutes everyone arrived (Shout out to Mark Langham who ran down the mountain in a record time of 3 minutes).

As everyone arrived we began praying for her, she sat down and was miraculously quiet and willing to pray with us.

Not knowing what to do next, but knowing that it is quite illegal to just keep a child with us, Bernard and some of the team headed to the police station.  As Bernard drove, he was put on a wild goose chase, going to the Gressier Police Station to only be directed to the Leogane Police Station and then to a “Child Officer” in Leogane who then ironically said the only one who could help was a woman officer in Gressier, who after calling her, was actually the first officer at the Gressier Police Station that said she couldn’t do anything.

Yes, confusion and mission NOT accomplished.

Talking with a few other friends we thought that we might have some information about her family.  As we waited a few hours for this information, it never came.

As evening came, Sharon, Stephanie and I (yes it took 3 people), began to bathe this precious 12 year old.  Covered in filth and dirt, she got a glance of herself in the bathroom mirror.  “SARAH!” she exclaimed.

After putting on clean clothes, we made a bed for her and all huddled in a room downstairs watching her and playing with her.  She looked again at another mirror on a cabinet, opened the cabinet looking behind it, and closed it again and tapped on the mirror.  She smiled.

Sitting on her bed, she began picking at her feet, as we took a closer look we saw she had tons of splinters, cuts and stuff in her feet,  from walking around without shoes on.  As Sharon huddled near her foot she tried her best to take out whatever was bothering her in her foot.

As we sang some Will Regan (love his music), Sarah began to calm down and slowly gave in to sleep.

All exhausted, we discussed who would stay with her, as Mark said he would, we all left and showered and tried to get some sleep.

As I laid down, my mind was spinning and the thoughts came flying out….”Why will no one help us?”  “What are we supposed to do?”  “It SO easy to just turn the other way, she’s a CHILD, how can they not see that?”

No one slept.

Sarah slept for over 12 hours and awoke in a tizzy, our new intern Andre who just arrived a few days earlier, was sitting in her room reading and watching her sleep.  He said she literally popped right up and started running around, I glanced over the balcony and saw him using his few Creole words, running behind her and trying to get her not to touch everything.

Making a few more phone calls we were told that we should not have her without any information or paperwork, yet no one in Gressier could help us with this.  Our friend suggested we go to IBESR, basically Social Services, (my worst nightmare) in Port au Prince.

What happened next is only how it’s been told to me, I know Sharon will write about it when she can and explain the difficulties.  Sharon and Bernard then proceeded to try and figure things out, but basically it was the same run around.  Arriving at IBESR, they took one look and said, we can’t take any child without paperwork.  And didn’t give her a second thought.  In fact one of the awesomely kind workers at IBESR, looked at her and stated, “This is an office.  Get THAT out of here.”

All I can say is thank God that I wasn’t there…I might have puffed up my feathers and punched somebody 🙂

Finally, we were told to bring her to BCPJ (Basically the children’s police station), they said that they were the ones who were going to write up paperwork, and bring her back to IBESR where then she could be placed somewhere.

I had already drawn up a list of every Special Needs Orphanage, Home or Organization I knew of with matching contact numbers, hoping to do as MUCH of the police and IBESR’s job as possible, knowing that they wouldn’t 1- know what to do and 2- actually do it.

The officers at BCPJ looked at Sarah and literally did not know what to do.  As I called the Inspector again trying to explain that if they write up paperwork that they can call these places to place her, he seemed generally confused.  Simultaneously all of these places were telling me that they couldn’t take a child without paperwork (understandably) and the only division with authority to give paperwork was IBESR (but IBESR couldn’t take a child without paperwork…hmmm…)

Our brains spinning, our team split between Port au Prince and Gressier, we were exhausted.

Who knows what the right thing to do was?  The Gressier Police were telling us that we are NOT able to keep her with us without papers.  But then no one would take her or direct us.

The day ended with Sarah staying at the Port au Prince Children’s Police Division, and some of our tired, saddened team headed back to Gressier, with our Gressier team simultaneously praying, crying and frustrated at how broken and disgusting this world can be.

The endless circles and games of Haiti can be so discouraging, so challenging.  The broken systems, exhausting.

We are PRAYING for Sarah, our hearts broken, our minds asking questions of what we should have or could have done.  We are PRAYING that the police were able to take her to one of the places on our list, we are PRAYING that she is SAFE.

Please pray with us.

%d bloggers like this: