Tag Archive: Trust


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.

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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!

Answered Prayer…

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.”  Matthew 7:7-8

When I wrote my last blog I told you about an opportunity Respire Haiti has for purchasing more land to help us build a better school for Respire Haiti and the community of Gressier.

The total cost of the land is $55,000…and here is some AMAZING news…we have been offered a matching grant for at least half of the total cost…meaning if we raise $27,500…they will donate $27,500.  Also meaning if you donate $50…that turns into $100…or if you donate $100…that turns into $200.

Boldly asking for money is one of the most difficult and humbling things that I have had to do since starting Respire Haiti….so here I am humbly saying…Every dollar counts and we are SO blessed by amazing supporters, encouragers and prayer warriors.  But we need you now…So we are asking…we are seeking….and we are knocking (Matthew 7:7)…if you can give, please give.  If you can’t give…please share this and pray for us!

Thanks so much!

Respire Haiti Christian School (1st-6th grade in left building; Kindergarten in right building)

Heartache and Hope.

There are days when I float around from problem to solution, from Bellevue Mountain to my house and all around in between…going in constant motion trusting, talking, listening, working, solving, planning, playing and everything in between…the days here are busy, long and beautiful…but then sometimes there are days that stop me right in my tracks…these are the moments where even the busyness and chaos of Haiti comes to a complete halt…these days STUN me and God uses them to reel me into a child’s life and situation so closely and deeply.

With over 350 children in Respire Haiti Christian School we desire to know the living situations, past and present of each child.  This is a slow but steady process that is both extremely beneficial but many times extremely emotionally taxing…

Often days after school I am invited to a child’s home to come and meet their parent or caregiver, it is encouraging and a moment to both learn about the family and to speak truth over the child and the family.

One afternoon, one of our 6th grade girls asked me to come to her home.  Her beautiful smile and outgoing personality are truly one of a kind.  At 16 years old, she had an extremely striking grace and presence about her.  She just started our school in October and her disposition is so pleasant.

We discussed me coming to visit and I asked who she lived with, as she proceeded to tell me that her mother and father had both passed away, my heart dropped hoping that she was not in an even more troubling situation…as she went on to explain that she lived with her Godmother who she said was a gentle and loving lady, a sigh of relief came as I felt somewhat comfortable with her living situation.

As we set out to walk to her house, we made the usual pass through small trails, ravines and peoples backyards…then we arrived.  She invited us in…I stepped in to her plywood house and just as I entered my heart stopped.  An elderly man lay on a small pallet on the ground, skin and bones, hardly breathing.  Trying to keep from showing surprise or panic, I calmly asked who he was.  As she looked lovingly in his direction she said it was her grandfather who is sick, he won’t eat, he can’t walk…my mind raced as to how I could help, how could I fix it, how could he get better.   As I saw him struggling to breathe I looked over at my friend Rita who was with me, as I begged her with my eyes and quietly voiced my desire to help…Rita swallowed hard, looked down at him and looked back up at me.  She said so gently, “I don’t think there’s anything we can do, he’s dying.”

Even with her words, my mind continued to race, I couldn’t believe that this joyful little girl came home every day after school to her grandfather slowly dying in their one room house.  As I asked her questions about him, she openly shared his story with tears in her eyes and tenderness in her voice.

Leaving there without a way to help this man was so incredibly difficult, but yet there was Peace as to why I was brought here…

As this precious little girl walked us out of her home, she grabbed my arm and pulled me back…she looked up at me with fear and sadness in her eyes saying that she couldn’t pay the fee to take the national exam (since we follow the national curriculum students have to pay for each national test they take)…I smiled and said that she needs not to worry, Respire Haiti takes care of the fee.  Her beautiful smile lit up and she hugged me tightly, thanking me over and over again….I thought of how, without God and HIS perfect plan, I never would have met this precious girl, I stood in awe for a moment with this girl, thinking of how ONLY God knows the specific needs of EACH of His people…ONLY God so omnipotent, leads us to EXACTLY where we need to be.

I pulled her away slowly and said, Don’t thank me, God is the one who brought me here, He has you in His hands and is making all of this happen.  She smiled again and said she knew that and said, “Mesi Bondye.”

I KNOW the situations of each of my students at my school are challenging.  I KNOW that even after seeing their situations with my own eyes that I can hardly relate.  But, what I also KNOW is that God has given me a voice to fight for them.  To SHARE THEIR STORY and to ask YOU to Share their stories as well.

As we continue building Respire Haiti Christian School I am CONSTANTLY reminded that we are NOT just building some buildings.  We are building a FUTURE.  We are building OPPORTUNITY.  We are building…HE is building… HOPE for these children.

 

Sponsoring a child at Respire Haiti Christian School is sponsoring a child who has most likely lost at least one parent if not both…and who is living in a difficult situation…and who has NEVER been given this opportunity before.  We desire to continue to support, love and encourage children like this 16 year old girl through college.  If you are interested in sponsoring a child, please click here!

There is no way I can even begin to put into words what God has done in my life in 2011…but I will try with few words, and many pictures🙂

After starting Respire Haiti in November 2010 and meeting Michaelle in December of 2010, God guided my path to Bellevue Mountain in Gressier.  Moving to Gressier, Haiti on January 9, 2011 I had no idea what I would be doing…

The only tree on Bellevue Mountain

Over the past 8 months, Respire Haiti has purchased over 3 acres of land to build a school, library, pavilion, medical clinic and more…

Our recently acquired land, the top of Bellevue Mountain.

Respire Haiti Christian School started in a one room church in January 2011 with 97 children…with no uniforms, books, school supplies or even desks…

Students in March 2011

Ricardo using a chair as a desk, March 2011.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now we have over 350 students…with uniforms, books, school supplies, breakfast every morning and more!  For the first half of the year we continued to meet in the one room church, outside of the church and in another nearby location.  Respire Haiti Christian School will start 1st-6th grade in a new building on Wednesday January 4th, 2012!

Students in October 2011

We have seen children transformed by the opportunity to go to school…

Vanessa when I first met her in March of 2011

Vanessa now enrolled in Kindergarten at our school.

Taken out of situations of Restavek and other working environments…

Florencia during a school day last spring before she was enrolled in Respire Haiti Christian School.

And put into environments of learning…

2nd year Kindergarten painting with Water Color

 

 

 

We have seen how quickly things can happen in Haiti when it is GOD’s Plan…

August 2011

September 2011

October 2011

November 2011

December 2011

 

Hallway of first finished 6 classroom building, opening on Wednesday January 4, 2012 for 1st-6th grade.

 

Our first Community Activity was in January of 2011 with just over 70 children…

Now we have two community activities (feeding programs) every Saturday which feeds more than 700 children…

La Colline Feeding

 

We’ve also seen God’s hand move in amazing ways, through the closer of Son of God orphanage after 11 months of fighting for the freedom of these trafficked, abused and neglected orphans…

Son of God Orphanage

And though the fight for justice is not yet over for these children from Son of God Orphanage, the majority of them have been taken out of a situation where they were being abused, starved and neglected.  Praying that God continues to do BIG things in 2012 for these children and the justice they deserve.

 

 

 

And lastly, I have gone from not even thinking about being a MOM to being the Mommy to two beautiful girls who have changed my life forever.

Michaelle (8), Megan, and Jessica (4.5)

THANK YOU to everyone who has prayed, donated and believed in the vision that God has given me for Bellevue Mountain and the children of Gressier, Haiti.

A special thank you to our American builder, Kyle Fishburn, without him we might still be meeting outside under a tree😉 and to Bernard Joseph, our Haitian backbone/superman that helps us get things done fast and right!

Kyle (aka Kyle the Builder, KTB) pointing out his ideas for the ceiling of the school, and probably teaching me some building techniques and construction lingo as well!

Happy New Year to All and please continue to follow our next endeavor of our 4 classroom Kindergarten as well as our two-story Library and Computer Lab!

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