Dear friends, family, and new acquaintances,
The past 6 weeks have been some of the most amazing of my entire life. I expected to come to Haiti and have a life-changing experience, but a difficult one at the same time. I didn’t expect to fall in love with this country and the beautiful people I have met here. I have made incredible friendships, learned so much about life, ministry, and culture, and I have been able to help the people of Haiti heal in real and tangible ways. It has been such a blessing to be here.
Although my plans were for me to return in 2 weeks and prepare to enter seminary, I have felt a voice (could it be God?) saying to me, “Your work here is not done. There is more for you to do before you go home." Through much prayer and conversation with mentors, I have discerned that God may indeed be calling me to continue my work here in Haiti for another 3 months. I chose the 3 month time frame because that is the length of time I can spend here without a visa. Also, more importantly, that would give me a chance to be a stable presence here at the Guest House for my boys through the fall, and it would allow me to return home and work for 8 months until I entered seminary in the fall of 2011. Brite Divinity School has said that they will hold my scholarship for another year.
If I stay, I will be able to continue to help the UMVIM Haiti program with various administrative, hospitality, and communications needs. I will also be able to continue work with my boys – being a loving presence - the hands and feet of Jesus - in their lives. Beyond that, I will be able to continue assisting with the various English classes and tutoring I’ve been involved in. Lastly, I will be able to strengthen the relationships I have already built. This is important because, beyond friendship, I have become a trusted ally, someone whom they can share their stories of great loss with. I would be honored to continue to serve and to love in Haiti.
While I feel God calling me to stay here, the biggest hurdle to overcome is finding the financial resources to allow me to continue my mission work. Fortuantely, the staff at the Guest House wants me to stay so much that they've offered to give me room and board for half the usual rate. But still, with airfare, medication/supplies, cell phone expenses, laundry, tips, etc, the cost to stay for 3 more months will be $3500. Surprisingly, without even trying to raise money yet, I have already received pledges for $1100! But I still need to find the remaining $2400.
Many of you have already given generously to support my current mission here, and for that I am so grateful. But if God is nudging you to give further support so that I may continue to be not only Christ's hands and feet but your hands and feet in Haiti, will you please send me an email and let me know what you will be able to give? My e-mail is email@example.com. However, I do probably need to hear from you in the next week so I can make the final decision and tell Brite in a timely manner if I will be attending in August or not.
If this is truly God's idea, then I am trusting God to provide the resources. Either way, I will fly home in 2 weeks to spend time with my family and take a vacation with them. If I am able to return, I will fly back to Haiti and be here from Aug. 12 - Nov. 10.
Regardless of which path God sets before me, I want to thank you so much for your prayers and support while I have been here. I have been amazed at the response my blog has received as well as the sheer amount of people who opened up their wallets to send me here this first time. As I’ve said over and over – I am a truly blessed woman.
Thank you again for your constant prayers, love, and general support,