I have prayed over this blog several times.
I constantly write, sleep on it, and delete. It’s been my daily process for 8 nights in a row.
There are so many days where we find ourselves entangled in a critical & vulnerable position.
On those utterly unbearable days, where we are waist-high in the thickets – – we perpetually find ourselves beseeching the Lord for His wisdom… pleading with Him for peace & discernment… and longing for the liberty to publicly solicit our most recent & pressing prayer requests.
Because I know that many people from the surrounding area read my blogs, I’m constantly tip-toeing on this seemingly tattered tight-rope… desperately wanting to share & seek advice about “whatever drama” we just happened to stumble into.
The problem is, I’m just as equally concerned that sharing about those difficult predicaments – might unintentionally cause harm – or possibly even expose/jeopardize our very “unique” approach to sensitive situations.
Everyone in town knows that I have a huge heart for women and children, who needlessly suffer at the hands of others. There’s not a conference, revival, seminar, or downtown activity where I don’t publicly address it in one way or another.
In fact, back in 2012, I took the chorus from the famous American song – We’re Not Gonna Take It – (Twisted Sisters) and translated into Creole. We actually had a team member blog about singing that on stage at one of our revivals- click here.
For 2 years straight, regardless of the public event – or –even if men were present – I taught those words to every lady and child. We’d repeat it a few times together. Then I’d make them stand up – and shout it out as boldly as possible…
We’re not gonna take it
Oh no, we ain’t gonna take it
We’re not gonna take it anymore
When teams visit the Mole, they are encouraged to blog nightly, so loved ones can follow along on their journey in “real time”. Whatever their experience was that day – whether good or difficult – they are free to share their hearts. After the blog is posted, anyone who reads it can comment. Comments are then read to the teams every single night at dinner.
BUT – before any blog can be posted, sensitive information must be deleted. Sharing experiences with loved ones (face to face) is ALWAYS encouraged. But not everything is safe or appropriate to post on public platforms.
Our teams have uncovered incredibly vital information and completely changed how we approach ministry– on accident!
Seriously, I can’t tell you how many times that we’ve prepared for an activity, assuming it would have a specific & intended impact on the participants. ONLY to realize later, that it actually served the community in a completely different capacity – perhaps even bigger and better than we thought it would be.
We once showed a movie downtown and tied it into a lesson about how God is always looking for His children. We passed out popcorn, played some games, showed a movie, and laughed a lot. The purpose was simply to have a fun night with the kids & share a little bit about Jesus.
HOWEVER – After the movie was finished, a child walked up to us with the sweetest smile on their face and thanked us for showing the movie. (That was the expected response – thankful for the entertainment it provided).
ONLY what they said next completely rattled our world – and was our first introduction into the layers of darkness hidden in our area. They didn’t thank us because the 2-hour movie was “entertaining”.
They thanked us because they knew upon arrival to their home, their dad would be asleep, and unable to “touch” them. The movie gave them an acceptable excuse to stay out late. That simple activity – unintentionally served a completely different purpose that we had never anticipated.
I recently came across a blog I wrote back in 2012, 2 years after we moved from the St. Louis Campus. The story I just shared above about the movie, can be found on that post. Here is the link: Scarred or Starved.
As I began reading through that blog, I found myself in tears. Not because of the information shared… those stories have been embedded into parts of my soul for over a decade, never forgotten. It wasn’t about the words; it was about the girl writing them.
I vividly remember those nights where she cried herself to sleep… those nights she prayed for God to release her from the call He had placed on her heart when she was just 9 years old. I remember how she felt so ineffective and completely incompetent, as each layer of darkness revealed itself.
I can clearly see her sitting on top of that 2nd story house in town, full of despair, as she stares down at the voodoo service taking place on her doorstep for the 5th night in a row.
Oh…and the pressure. She was clueless in a lot of ways, but she KNEW all eyes were glued to her that day – when the police asked for her assistance. It was that life-alternating afternoon… when a large crowd had gathered at the police station. She was asked to bandage the bleeding head of a prisoner who had just raped a 6-year-old girl.
Actually, I remember every single thing about her and how she felt…. I mean how I felt.
We began changing the focus of our ministry once we realized how prevalent child slavery, abuse, and sex trafficking was in our area. We met a lot of resistance as we tried to be a voice for the voiceless. We were oblivious to the right approach– when our own staff could not accurately define what abuse was.
I had no idea what to do… and yet doing nothing just felt sinful. My incessant pursuit of justice – was met equally with an overpowering sense of helplessness and hopelessness.
BUT I AM NOT THAT GIRL ANYMORE.
That girl on the roof night after night, never dreamed that she’d still be as passionate about this ministry 12 years later.
She’d be shocked to know, that there would come a day, when she’d no longer feel paralyzed or tortured by her inabilities. Although she still frequently cries herself to sleep, her resolve pushes her to keep getting right back up.
MY BELIEF THAT WE CAN IMPACT THIS COMMUNITY IS UNWAVERING.
Over the past decade, I have passionately pursued resources, schooling, seminars, conferences, and spent many years training right alongside licensed therapists. With each new layer of darkness exposed, I have had the best back-up that anyone could ever pray for.
This team we have created is essential and vital to our calling here. Not only have they visited a few times already, but there’s rarely a week that goes by where we aren’t discussing sensitive situations. They intimately know all the players involved and they know all about the communities’ cultural expectations. AND although they might not know all the right answers – they kneel right alongside us, praying to the one who does.
If I shared every tragedy that we’ve walked through – this blog would become a novel. I recently went through our past blogs and tagged any post that could be relevant to “trauma/voodoo”. If you click this link, then it will take you to all of those posts.
THE NEED IS GREAT – BUT OUR GOD IS EVEN GREATER
Do you know how difficult it is to fundraise for the stories that can never be openly shared?
- The circumstances that involve… frightened women/children sleeping on our campus while their husband/father takes a few days to “cool” down.
- The circumstances that involve……writing contracts with single moms who agree upon receipt of the donkey, they can no longer use their daughter as a source of income. AND in order for us to verify that the contract hasn’t been broken, weekly check-ups are required for their daughters.
- The circumstances that involve…. paying off “debt” so children can be returned back to their families.
- The circumstances that involve… complete discretion, with only a few people privy to the situation.
WE NEED YOUR HELP RE-WRITING THESE STORIES
Between Covid & Haiti’s unpredictable political climate – our ministry has taken a significant financial hit.
For the past 2 years, we’ve been eagerly waiting for the “LIGHT” to shine at the end of this never ending tunnel. We keep waiting for someone to intervene in Haiti’s government – especially now that the President has been assassinated.
We keep waiting for the rioting to stop so that teams can return once again. We lead most of our outreach ministries…but sometimes we just want to be led too. Our teams are our church family. We miss the fellowship, the laughter, and the encouragement.
We keep waiting for our mountaintop season… when you can finally stay out of the valley long enough to get a tan. That moment where you can breathe deeply without feeling the financial weight of the ministry. That moment when you are so consumed with peace – that the realness/closeness you feel with GOD totally supersedes any heartache you’ve just endured.
We know it’s coming….that moment is coming. I know it. The girl who sat on the roof 12 years ago felt that same pressure we have now, only she couldn’t imagine what I know to be true today.
CHECKS CAN BE MADE TO:
NWHCM 7984 West State Rd 32. Lebanon, IN 46052 – OR – ONLINE GIVING – CLICK HERE
Please mark: HEALING HANDS in the memo/notes section.