He executes justice for the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets prisoners free, the LORD gives sight to the blind, he lifts up those who are bowed down, the LORD loves those who live justly. The LORD watches over the immigrant and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked. -Psalm 146:7-9

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Day 5 Reflections

"You are not here to assimilate us to the American culture. Nor are you here to demonstrate your power or expand your Christian empire. You are here to contexualize the Gospel for the Navajo (or in my case Haitian people) people. You are here to experience the vastness of Gods character and the discomfort that comes from the diversity of his body. You are here to learn what it means that God allows his disciples to speak the languages of the nations. "
- Mark Charles ( Fort Defiance, Arizona - Navajo Nation)

My time in Haiti has been one the MOST life changing things I've ever experienced. I'm really sad come Friday morning our team will be heading back to the U.S. . I know I said I would blog daily on my experience, but it's been so much to take in and process that I just haven't had time.

I just have to give thanks to the Lord for allowing my husband and I to be engaged in urban missions for the past 8/9 years . That experienced alone has helped this American woman not come in with such a haughty ,controlling, assimilate to my comfort and culture spirit. (Lord knows I love comfort)

I have seen the hand and heard the voice of God in remarkable ways while here in this country. We miss out on so much of Jesus with all that we have in America. The women I've been able to share the gospel with could care less about the weighty things I've learned through my systematic studies of Gods word. They're hungry for JESUS and practical truth!!

Truth that will set the captives free, give sight to the blind and help them through a culture that oppresses them in so many ways. It's been scary having to share truth with these women not knowing if their application will lead them to be abused more , killed or ostracized from their communities. But it's the risk that is taken here everyday when Jesus words are proclaimed and lived out .

In Isaiah 61:1-4 we see the pattern God uses to transform broken people and broken communities. He moves into the lives of people (I.e. Him sending Jesus) and He uses those broken people who have been transformed themselves to now become the transformers (Oaks Of Righteousness) .

What a joyous, yet difficult task it's been to participate in this great work God is doing amongst the Haitian people! What a privilege it is to be able to envision people God can transform into future leaders for their country, community, homes and places of work.

Any volunteer / missions team that goes into broken communities must always remember it's Gods power, His job- not our efforts that will bring about the renewal in people's hearts. What freedom this has been for me as I serve in Haiti as well as when I return to Washington Park. This freedom is also available to you in whatever work the Lord has called you to as well.

GO my friends and watch the spirit work!!!

pou m' bay moun mòn Siyon ki nan lafliksyon yo kè kontan nan plas lapenn yo, kontantman nan plas kè sere yo a. M'ap mete nan bouch yo chante remèsiman nan plas chante plenyen. Yo pral grandi tankou gwo pyebwa nan jaden Seyè a te plante ak men l'. Yo tout pral fè sa ki dwat devan Bondye, pou tout moun ka fè lwanj bèl pouvwa li.
Yo gen pou yo rebati sou anplasman vye lavil yo. Y'a repare kay moun yo te bandonnen depi lontan. Y'a rebati lavil ki te fin kraze yo, kay ki te fin tounen mazi depi lontan yo. - Ezayi 61:3-4 (Isaiah 61:3-4)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, June 25, 2016

The Arrival

So, after a layover in Miami and waking up at 3am to catch our international flight to Jacmel, Haiti, we're FINALLY HERE!!

I can't believe I got out of  the United States!!! This is a HUGE thing for me. I don't travel much and when I do it's not far. When I think over my life and all the things I've been through, I would have never thought the Lord would have this girl from the Chi overseas somewhere.  He's such a good Father ! 

We made it to the orphanage, received our room assignments, got settled and immediately we all fell in love with the city! I  met a young woman by the name of Lunda, who's one of the ground cooks. She's amazing and cooks everything from scratch!!! (Like literally) She speaks very little English and I speak zero Haitian Creole, but the little I knew I used to ask her for permission to help in the kitchen and she let me. This young woman worked so hard preparing a meal for us, and it was delicious!! 

I had so much fun learning  from her I didn't realize it was 150 degrees in the kitchen!! (It's hot in Haiti people) As I helped, I begin to think about all the many volunteers groups that come in and out so many ministries, including my own. I'm very sensitive to making sure I don't come into someone else's culture and try to take over, but come in with a mindset of learning and serving. Respecting  all cultural do's and don'ts and making sure my helping doesn't hurt them in the long run. Americans have a huge problem with that and we need to do better. 

I'm amazed and encouraged at all the work that goes on here at Children's Hope. One of the biggest and important messages I noticed about this ministry is not only their love for Jesus but their mission in making sure the people in Haiti know their value, dignity and worth. 

jouk pwochen fwa, (until next time)
~ Nicole 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

On Mission

I can't believe that in  almost a  week, our team will be heading to Haiti. I'm both nervous and excited. I've been wondering; what part of God's character will I  get to experience first hand while I serve over in Haiti? I really want to see the Lord and I want my experience to impact the work I do here in Washington Park, my marriage, parenting and the way I love others.

Our team is heading to Jacmel, Haiti to serve Children's Hope.  Children’s Hope is the orphan ministry of First Baptist Church here in Montgomery, Alabama. Based on James 1:27, it encompasses Foster Care, Adoption and Orphan Care. The mission of Children’s Hope is to engage the Church in carrying out God’s command to care for orphans.

We have two missions, one is to see the Lord at work and join Him. Secondly, to help meet some of the needs of the Children at the orphanage and local community. Some of our duties will be assisting local churches with evangelism,  helping teach  Bible studies and conducting Vacation Bible School.

I pray we're a blessing to this ministry and our helping don't hurt them in any way. Please pray for our trip and the little ones of Children's Hope. I plan to document my trip and write often. What a privilege it is to go and see the Lord at work and join Him. I'm so thankful.

To God be the glory!