Thursday, March 20, 2014


Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard...if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong;and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in."
Isaiah 58:6-8,10-12
I am thankful for our LORD who brings healing, satisfaction, protection, and restoration to His children. He came for the oppressed, the hungry, the homeless, the naked, the shamed, the sick, the poor, the broken. You and I are those broken people. We need Him.
I have been learning about women who feel an oppression I will probably never experience or ever fully understand. These are women who are trapped in sex-trafficking, who need the LORD to bring full restoration to their lives. Their spiritual need is no greater than mine and their lives are just as precious to God as mine.
  • "The most common age of entry into the commercial sex industry is 12-14 years old." (
  • "Sex traffickers frequently target vulnerable people with histories of abuse and then use violence, threats, lies, false promises, debt bondage, or other forms of control and manipulation to keep victims involved in the sex industry." (
  • Sex-trafficking looks different all around the world, but it is taking place in the US and not all that far from our homes. Last year, Angela Schmidt came to Crossroads to speak about Daughters' House, an organization that does outreach in our community to women who are sexually exploited or abused. She shared that the ministry is growing and in great need of people to pray and to come alongside these women to share Christ's love and offer assistance to find food, shelter, toiletries, work, etc. It takes more than a few people and a few encounters with these women to undo the lies that they have been taught to believe about who they are, why they exist, and how much they are valued. (
This passage in Isaiah cannot be ignored by any one of us, although it makes me uncomfortable as I struggle with what that looks like for me to live a life that reflects this. But it clearly calls for God's people to take action, to be a part of God's story of restoration. We are by no means required to save the world, yet we must pray that God would be at work, restoring our city, making all things new. Asking for His guidance on where He may be calling us to serve Him. The incredible part of Isaiah 58 is seeing that just as God was present with his people Israel, He is with us and He will guide us, strengthen us, and equip us to do this work that He has given us.
I would challenge you to look at the passions and abilities that God has gifted you with and to think about where God is calling you to redeem our culture. Are you pouring yourself out as the LORD poured himself out for you?
"For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads,with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness."
Romans 12:3-8

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Hunger Pains

It was Monday, my first day with the medical team in Haiti and I was triaging the children at the orphanage. I would ask if they were having any problems, any pain.
photo credit: Junia Mulia
The first little boy (pictured above and below) came and sat down in the little chair next to mine. He responded to my question by telling me that his stomach hurt. I asked for further details, like when did it hurt? He told me it hurt because he was hungry. What do I say? What do I tell a little boy who is hungry that it's probably because he needs to be eating more and more than the 2 times a day the children are fed. Because that's not really an option for him. I wanted to sneak him my extra granola bar, but we've been told that to do something like that is extremely unwise, unless we want a mob scene on our hands. I wished I had an extra granola bar for all of the kids.
photo credit: John Bone
We had been told that the children had previously only had white rice to eat and that recently beans had been added to their diets, which was somewhat encouraging but also very sad to me. I kept thinking that if the people back home knew that there were kids eating only rice for every meal, that they'd want to do something about it. The thought of eating only rice and beans everyday is not something I had ever thought of and it sounded horrible. Maybe not horrible when your only option is nothing to eat.
The day before I had seen a young boy who looked to be about 9 years old and was told he was actually more like 15 years old. It wasn't hard to figure out that undernutrition was a big factor in this. Many of the children in Haiti did look younger than they actually were. (For more information on undernutrition:

I love food and I love eating. It is so easy to justify spending money on food, because everyone has to eat! But instead of eating out even just that one time, what if you spent that money on sponsoring a child? I know solving the problem of hunger isn't going to be solved by sponsoring one child, but for that one child it makes all the difference to know that someone cares for them.

El Shaddai Ministries International, the organization I went with to Haiti, says that it cost's $90/child to pay for different needs, including support the mission itself (housing, food, house moms, teachers, staff, pastor, facility, and grounds maintenance, etc.). They do give the option of support at $30, $60 or the full $90/mo or just a one-time gift.
If you are interested in sponsoring a child from Haiti, please comment below or send me an email at and I can send you more information!

And you get a really nice picture of a super cute kid, like this one:
photo credit: John Bone

Here are some other highly reliable organizations where you can sponsor a child:

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Adventures in Haiti, Part 4: Port Salut

On Thursday we went to Port Salut, which was an hours drive away up and down a mountain. It was market day and so we had a lot of tight squeezes in our school bus on the narrow roads filled with people.

 The views we'd catch of the ocean would send us flying to the bus windows to take photos of the beautiful waters and old fishing boats that dotted the sandy coast.

 Below is the school, Bon Berge, where we had medical clinic. Most of the students had gone away for holiday, but we still had many local families and children come for medical care. The teachers were so gracious and allowed us into their home to use their toilet and provided toilet paper, which none of us took for granted there.

The "Pharmacy"
 Connor (in the photo below) and I were in charge of Scabies washes that day. They'd bring in the children and we'd soak paper towels in the wash and wash down each child, then sending them to another teammate, Lia, and sometimes helping them pick out new clothes and underwear. It was a transformation as the girls traded out their usually worn, faded clothes and put on the colorful dresses and headbands that had been made for them. It was a lot of fun to see their faces after Lia would take their photo and show it to them.

 These girls were each so unique and beautiful and it was fun taking their photos, seeing the different personalities through their smiles.

These girls were absolutely adorable. Such perfect little faces!

The special treat was going to the beach for about 20 minutes! It was gorgeous. Pictures do not do it justice.

Little naked boy ran just across the beach just as I was taking this photo!

This was such an incredible view and it was even better from in the ocean
Not long after this picture was  taken, I joined the other ladies in the ocean, scrubs and all! It was heavenly. I could have stayed in that ocean for hours.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Adventures in Haiti, Part 3: Savanne

The Church in Savanne is a place with an incredible story of revival. But I will have to share that story another time.
In Savanne I met Jessica, a shy and sweet 17 year-old, as I was working triage.
She began to tell me more than just her physical symptoms. At first I didn't connect with what she was saying and wasn't sure what to do with the information she was sharing with me. I was wondering if I should send her on her way to the doctors, but then, through my translator Ezekiel and our team leader Ted, I learned that her parents had died in the earthquake of 2010 and their bodies may not have been found. She lived with her grandma, but something had happened so that now she was on her own living with friends. She wants to go to Church but feels she can't because she only has the 1 skirt that she now wears, and no Sunday clothes to wear. She asks that I pray for her heart and for her to be able to go to school next year, because she hasn't been able to. School costs and she has not been in a few years and it is seemingly impossible for her to go without a lot of assistance.
After I finish praying, I tell her that I will get her connected with the Pastor of the Church to make sure she can get the help she needs and make sure she gets the clothes she needs to come to Church. The interpreter tells me she is crying, so I just stand there rubbing her back. I don't know this kind of grief but when we meet as a team that night and there are so many other needs shared one after another, I weep for her loss and for others who have lost so much, who have experienced so many forms of injustice.
Pray with me for those in Haiti like Jessica who may have a physical need, but ultimately need the comfort, hope and love that only a relationship with Jesus Christ can offer. I pray that God would work in Jessica's heart and the hearts of the men, women and children we met, that they would have seen God's love for them through the time we had with them.

One of two stop lights I saw in Haiti (the only one I saw working)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Adventures in Haiti, Part 2: Cavillion

On Sunday, we went to the Church Bon Berge in Les Cayes and were led in worship with the familiar songs "Wonderful Merciful Savior" and "Holy Holy" (Worthy is the Lamb) being sung in Creole. I couldn't stop the tears from coming as I was struck by the beauty of our Savior, who isn't just the God of the U.S. believers, but who is the God over all nations. He is being worshiped in countless languages today. I look forward to the days in which we will get to worship with all of our brothers and sisters in Christ from around the world, in Heaven.
We went to the evening service at the Cambry Church where the children from the Cambry Orphanage attend.
  On Monday we went to Cavillion Orphange not far from where we stayed.
Living space for the children.

Triage table and the pavilion where the doctors saw patients.

Beautiful mountain scenery all around us.

The school of Cavillion
 I was able to assist with Triage and Judin helped me interpret. He is from Haiti but now lives in Canada most of the year, coming back once or twice a year. With his experience I hardly had to ask the patient's questions before he knew exactly what to ask next in Creole. I was thankful, but felt a little silly and inadequate not knowing any basic Creole. I kept thinking he must think I am pretty useless, but he never treated me that way. Instead he acted grateful for my presence and told me he hoped that I'd be back and that maybe we'd see each other again next year.
Triage and Photographing the Orphans for sponsorship.
Ted praying with one of the men.

Waiting their turn for a scabies wash, new clothes, and to see the doctor.
Does he not have the most beautiful eyes and smile?

One of my favorite pictures. She was so sweet. One of my first friends from the week.

They are all cute, but he was the cutest littlest boy!
Sweet Judlynne

Draining an infected knee wound. Bravest girl I know took on the pain without any pain relievers.

This little toddler would just wander around doing his own thing!
Proud of his drawing!
   These kids literally have so little, that to give them anything means so much to them. They went crazy over the stickers and bubbles we gave them. Before I left I wrote my name on Judlynne's paper she had colored that day and I pointed to it and her bright, beautiful smile light up her entire face. I stuck my duck tape "name tag" on the little boy in the yellow shirt and he gave me this big smile. I'm thankful to hear that their health has improved so much and that they are finally getting more beans to supplement their rice diet. After this day the Haiti children found a big place in my heart.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Adventures in Haiti, Part I

On Saturday, February 22, we flew out of Miami after 11am and arrived in Port Au Prince after 1pm. We were greeted by a Hatian band playing loud, lively music and continued down a long hallway to immigration.

Grabbing our luggage and putting them on carts proved to be a little chaotic, sweaty, and challenging. We had at least 25 bags between the 17 of us, each bag around 50lb, so around 1000 lbs all together. 
Then came the challenge of getting through customs in which they could ask to search all of our bags. Thank the Lord, we saw His hand at work when they only searched a few of our bags and sent us on our way, no fees, no confiscation of bags!

There was so much to see on our 5 hour drive to Les Cayes that my eyes were glued to the window and only exhaustion and the dark night made me close my eyes to rest. 
Our ride.
Market and more tents on the side of the road.
There are people in Port Au Prince still living in tents, 4 years after the earthquake.
Texaco and incredibly beautiful mountains in the background.
Just relaxing in a couple tires!
There were so many homes on the sides of the mountain. 

My bunk bed
El Shaddai Ministries International

The scenery around where we stayed was incredibly beautiful. We were up on a mountain top and could see the surrounding mountains and beautiful farmlands all around. We laughed as the sounds of rooster, donkey, sheep, goat, dogs, and car alarms punctuated our devotions and singing morning and evening. We did not laugh much when this rooster and its rooster friends woke us up multiple times in the morning.

Where we ate our wonderfully prepared meals.