This blog was written last night…. Also friends/family of the Michigan Group – they arrived in the Mole safely yesterday. Last night they showed a movie with the campus kids.
Hi everyone, Kristen here! Wow this week has gone by incredibly fast and I say it every year, but I can’t believe it’s already our last night here!! I think the Lord really listened to me when I said, “Man I wish the orphans didn’t have school on Friday,” because this morning their school was cancelled due to rain! Yes I said rain!! It has been raining like crazy here! This morning we got to love on all of the orphans and play with them. My heart explodes when I see their eyes light up, hear their silly giggles, and feel their little arms wrap around my waist.
Today we went to Savane Mole in the tap-tap and boy did it rain, but we made it safely. The joy that these kids have is so real and radiant. They were sprinting full force with huge smiles after the tap-tap in the rain and mud when we arrived, because they were so excited to see us. It’s no surprise that I bonded with all of the small children. Every baby I held fell asleep on me (am I a baby whisperer???).
The muddy ground didn’t stop anyone from dancing and playing. A simple “bonswa” can make a Haitian’s whole day and we say hi to every single person we lay eyes on. What if we took this back to the States and said hi to every single person we saw, what would that look like and how would that change lives? We live so boldly here, yet for some reason we fear judgment back home.
This whole week I’ve been waiting for something “big” to happen like an “awha” moment, this is the reason why I’m here. I haven’t experienced a “huge” moment, but the lord keeps reminding me of Romans 10:13-15 scripture: “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, how beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
This is the reason I am here. It might not seem like a huge deal but in reality it actually is. If every single person said no to going and sharing the good news, then how would people know that they have a light in the midst of their darkness? How would the fatherless know that they have a heavenly Father who loves unconditionally? How would the broken know there is hope in life everlasting? God keeps reminding me that sharing the good news and His love to people is my “awha” moment. There is no waiting for a big moment, because this is the big moment.
This scripture doesn’t just stop when we leave Haiti and return home. These words have meaning even in the Unites States; a place where it seems mostly everyone has the best life and has everything together. This is not reality though. In fact, there is someone walking by you, sitting next to you, at your work or school who does not know about our loving Father. So to all of you reading this, remember to love boldly and to love fiercely and to share the good news always.
Tomorrow morning at sunrise I, along with two other team members, will be getting baptized in the ocean that God created! It has been on my heart to get “rebaptized” ever since I truly understood God’s love for me and truly began to understand the gospel. What better place to do this than the place that changed everything for me and brought a whole new light into my life?!
Tomorrow will probably be one of my hardest goodbyes. Every year I have said goodbye fully knowing that I would be back the next year. Tomorrow I will say goodbye not knowing when I will be back. This is the place where I fell head over heels for the Lord two years ago. He showed me his everlasting love, pure joy, and stillness here. He used Haiti to begin softening and molding my heart into His heart. He broke down walls and allowed me to see beauty in brokenness and weakness. He is a good Father and will never leave any of His sons and daughters. I am loved and each one of you reading this is loved more than you can imagine.
P.S.: Khalil is AWESOME at construction!! Wild I know!!
Lucky me!! This is Kelly McDaniel about to hit my parents with that shout-out (hi mom and dad<3 you may not recognize the number calling you when we arrive back home because my phone may or may not have lost it’s life this week..stay tuned)I’ll keep this short, but I want to share the ‘theme’ of this trip that I’ve felt this week. I’ve always known that the lord has carried us, but this week He revealed to me why negative things in the past have happened, how they have positively impacted my future, and ultimately how we are His.
This week in VBS I fell in love with a little boy named Hef-Lee. I knew he had to be my buddy when he walked in the first day with a blue and white baseball cap and the sweetest smile I’ve ever seen, and spotted him each day after that as soon as he walked in the church gates.
The last day of VBS someone else was able to spend time with Hef-Lee, yes I got my wave and was able to talk to him, but was never able to wrap my arms around him, or hold him and pray over him like each day before. My friend Bullett made the comment “aww someone took your little buddy from you today” to which I said “he was never really mine.” This reminded me of something that my mom and dad have always told me- “Before you are ours, you are HIS, we are able to have and hold you for our time on earth, but you belong to the Lord.”
This week we are able to hold the people of Haiti and have time with them, but when we leave and have to hug goodbye, we can leave confidently- knowing that the Lord is continuing to carry His people. That’s all I’ve got for now ( Mom I only cried when you said ‘sugar’ in your comment )
S/O Khalil, I was able to co-lead a group with my friend Khalil (yes Khalil friend not acquaintance) but let’s be honest he did most of the leading. Also hi Erika you’ve got a fan base in Lubbock that loves to hear about you, and the wedding sounds beautiful from what we’ve heard. Okay get ready to be blessed by my friend Claire’s words.
ATTN: Mitch & Marsha Porter!!!!!!!! (this one is for you)
Hey dad and momma ❤ Boy do I miss yall. I was going through pictures on my phone today and came across a picture of the two of you I took this summer. I turned to my new friend Chris, smiling, saying these are my parents. J I like to brag on yall. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOMMA! You don’t look a day over 22. I so wish I was there to give you a big birthday hug, but I know daddy has it covered. I hope your day is filled with so many blessings, because you sure are a blessing to everyone around you. Daddy, CONGRADULATIONS on passing your test! I knew you could do it and I am so proud of you. I cannot wait to be back and tell you all about the trip. I’ll probably cry. This year has been much more emotional, but very revealing. Love you both so much!!! Can’t wait until Easter!
Love your babygirl, ClaireBear ❤
Dear Bear, papa loves ya
The team will be leaving today in about an hour for PAP where they’ll spend the night! It’s been an incredible week working alongside Texas Tech!