Posted in NW_Personal Ministry Update, Personal Stories

When Fear Comes a Knockin’

I have one of those calendars on my desk where you flip through it each day and it gives you just a sentence or two that encourages you for the day. I’ve been so busy I haven’t been flipping through the calendar. The last day I had read was January 12th – the day of the quake.

On January 28th – Fear will always knock on your door. Just don’t invite it in for dinner and for Heaven’s sake – don’t offer it a bed for the night.

On January 29th – Proverbs 3:24 – When you lie down, you will not be afraid. When you lie down your sleep will be sweet.

On January 30th – Matthew 8:26 – Jesus got up and gave a command to the wind and the waves, and it became completely calm.

– – – – – –

I feel like fear has been sleeping in my home. Not the kind of fear where there are monsters in your closet – but a more subtle fear – Lord am I really being used to the full potential you had planned for me? Am I doing all I should be doing? What if  I can’t ease the fears that this quake brought on for my children? Will Jose ever be able to forget what he has seen, smelt, touched, heard, and felt in Port-au-Prince? Will the people there ever be able to understand what has happened to their country? Will I be able to bring peace and comfort to the people here? How are our friends and family here going to take care of so many family members when they are barely making it now?

The list goes on and on. So at night – I toss and turn – I allow doubt and fears to take over my mind. The hours on the clock pass by slowly and at 4am – I’m still awake. I suffer with a little chronic insomnia anyways – but it has been magnified since the quake.

I read today’s verse Matthew 8:26 and I immediately found peace. Jesus was sleeping – knowing that the storm was coming – because He knew it would be okay – and yet he was woken up. With a quick word – the chaos in the sea stopped. Just like that – it was over.

Jesus is the same Jesus today as He was in the boat. All that happens in this world is within His reach.  I am sitting at my desk right now and on the wall I have Psalms 33 – another beautiful reminder of how amazingly LARGE our God is. I  knows that our God (who breathes stars into space) can triumph over any circumstance. He is just THAT BIG.

More encouraging scripture from God’s Word:

John 16:33 – I have told you these things, so that in me you may find peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

Matthew 14:27 – Take courage. I am here!

Mark 5:36 – Don’t be afraid; just believe.

Fear creates a form of spiritual amnesia. It dulls our miracle memory. It makes us forget what Jesus has done and how good God is. Fear may fill our world but it doesn’t have to fill our hearts. The promise of Christ is this – we can fear less tomorrow than we do today. Jesus takes our fears seriously. The one statement He made more than any other was – Don’t be afraid

My prayer tonight is Proverbs 3:24 – When you lie down, you will not be afraid. When you lie down your sleep will be sweet. I think all of us here in Haiti are due for a sweet sleep. That’s my prayer for everyone – all over this nation – that tonight – there will be no earthly tremors – but only sweet heavenly dreams.

*My calendar is Fearless by Max Lucado

Posted in Mission Stories, Personal Stories

Last Notes….

There is a part of me
That’s only visiting
Torn from eternity
A stranger here

The awkward mingling of
The loveless and beloved
So far from things above
While I am here

So when the last notes of my soul’s summer symphony
Go stealing through this old world’s cold garden gates
I will hold no fear as You close my book of hours
And the hands of heaven carry me
Carry me home to stay

O Death where is your sting
Your tears and your tremblings
His peace is lingering
Even now

O Grave the battle’s fought (no graver battles fought)
Your vict’ry has been lost
To Christ who gave it all
To take me now

(Love, love, love, love)

By Shaun Groves

Magdala and I were just talking about how the gates of Heaven must have been over-run when the earth shook. I picture Jesus standing at the gates – arms wide open – welcoming all the children – giving them a Hi-5 – and placing them on His lap. I picture the embrace of the adults and their smiles when they see so many of their family who have gone before them.

Long before the quake – death was not a stranger here. Most have family that have died from starvation or disease. The reunion in Heaven that day would have been such an amazing moment of pure beauty. Nearly all would have family/friends there to greet them. I can imagine what that reunion looks like – I’ve been given a glimpse just in watching the workers here. When their PAP family shows up at the compound gates –  they scream, they hug, they cry, and they jump up and down with joy.

As the death count rises well over 170,000 people….I hold that beautiful reunion in my mind – and it gives me peace.

Posted in Mission Stories, Personal Stories

Haiti is NOT Alone….

I haven’t been able to sleep the last several nights. My mind just doesn’t shut down. Maybe because I use the night-time to process what has happened here. Two weeks ago I was busy buying plane tickets for groups to come to Haiti.  Jose was flying down to PAP to pick up groups and do a little shopping at Caribbean Market – getting treats for the family. The kids were talking about what Miss Beth had taught them in school. The employees were happy having just started a new year. The earthquake happened and everything changed. Haiti changed.

The women were having a prayer meeting at the church when it started to shake. They told me they thought it was God. They were praying for God’s love and power to be shown in Haiti and the building shook. They were clapping their hands, singing loudly, and  praising God – believing it was all a sign. It wasn’t until one of the Americans yelled for them to get out of the church that they realized it was an earthquake.

But maybe it was a sign? The reports you hear on CNN – they don’t talk about voodoo. They talk about the faith of the people. Janeil preached at church that what this earthquake has done is shown the world that Haiti is a Christian nation – and not a voodoo nation. Haiti has taught everyone how to love, how to give, how to sing, how to pray –  how to live a life that is pleasing to God. Do you not see them singing and praising God in the midst of rubble? Have we not all gained insight on how we should live by watching them during this tragedy?

A place that most people never heard of – a place that was never given any attention to – it’s now keeping people up at night. Our eyes and our ears are so sensitive now to the needs here. Our hearts are all drawn to the thousands of new orphans. We feel compelled to do something. We’ve never had so many trip applications and emails come into the mission before. Aid is being given to this country like never before. God’s glory is being shown on TV, in newspapers, and in the media –  by people who lost everything. Maybe the women were right….maybe it was a sign from God when the church began to shake. Maybe He is showing everyone His power and His love……and we just have a hard time seeing it…..rightfully so.

I saw this video and found encouragement. Haiti is not alone……God in His magnificent beauty is here. These are HIS sons and daughters. We will never understand – but He writes the pages and His ways will always be better than our own.

I realize that this video is for another mission. But that’s the thing here….we’re all working for ONE God. We all have that in common. I have watched several videos from other organizations, read on facebook what other missions are doing, and am so proud of what Northwest Haiti Christian Mission is doing to help all these refugees.  I find peace in knowing that all over the world people are coming together with ONE VOICE and we’re showing the people of Haiti that THEY ARE NOT ALONE.

Posted in Mission Stories

Update On The Children In Port-au-Prince….

Published Date: 27 January 2010

By Ben Fox and Vivian Sequera in Port-Au-Prince

A TEENAGER was today pulled out of rubble of the College St Gerard in Port-au-Prince 15 days after an earthquake devastated Haiti. The last previous survivor was rescued on Saturday, when a man was pulled from the ruins of a hotel grocery store.

Darlene Etienne, 17, was suffering from severe dehydration and had a leg injury when French rescuers freed her. A cousin who had joined in the rescue effort said: “We thought she was dead.”

Aid agencies last night said thousands of orphans were among those being looked after in the poverty-stricken country now facing starvation.

Many of the countless thousands of children scattered among Port-au-Prince’s makeshift camps of homeless have nobody to care for them, aid workers say, leaving them without protection against disease, child predators and other risks.

“They are extremely vulnerable,” said Kate Conradt, a spokeswoman for Save the Children. She added that United Nations experts say there may be a million youngsters who lost at least one parent in the 12 January quake, or are separated from their families.

Some young Haitians are even being released from hospitals with no-one to care for them because there are not enough beds for them. “Health workers are being advised to monitor and send separated/unaccompanied children to child-friendly spaces,” the UN humanitarian office said in its latest situation report.

The UN children’s agency, Unicef, along with Save the Children and the Red Cross, has begun registering at-risk children and has identified three interim care centres at orphanages where they can be sheltered temporarily, said Bo Viktor Nylund, a Unicef adviser for child protection.

Save the Children, meanwhile, has set up “child spaces” in 13 makeshift settlements. In addition, the three agencies are working to reunite families, by creating a database of separated family members.

“This is just the beginning of the exercise,” Mr Nylund said. “Considering the number of people who died, we are expecting children in the thousands who have lost their parents.”

The plight of the young is especially poignant, even in a country where the UN estimates one-third of the nine million people need international assistance.

At Port-au-Prince General Hospital, Haitian-born pediatrician Winston Price, a volunteer from New York, was caring for 80 children in four tents in the hospital grounds. A handful had been brought in with no clues as to the whereabouts of their families.

“Maybe some of these parents are not even looking because their house was destroyed and they might think the kid was inside,” he said. “But maybe the kid was pulled out, so they are missing each other.”

Children left alone are everywhere. At one of the 13 Save the Children sites, about 25 children have no adult relatives taking care of them, said Ms Conradt, who added the group had helped 6,000 children since the quake.

The child spaces are cordoned-off areas where children can play under supervision, “giving them a chance to return to normalcy as much as they can”, she said.

Such areas also protect children against abduction by traffickers, a chronic problem in pre-quake Haiti, said Deb Barry, an emergency protection adviser with Save the Children.

She said her organization was working to track down every rumor it heard about threats to stranded children, “but we haven’t been able to verify those thus far”.

Posted in Mission Stories

Understanding NWHCM Website

I have had several people email me and ask how to find things on the website. So I wanted to take this moment to help you understand how our homepage works.

The Mission’s Website Is:

When you land on the Homepage:

We have rotating stories on the top. When you click any of those pictures it will take you to the story that goes with the picture.

Underneath the story (but above the WELCOME) there is a place you can click to see pictures of Andy and Jose’s trip in PAP. Beware – these photos may not be suitable for children. They are done in very good taste but show you the reality of Haiti.


On the left-hand side of the website you see all kinds of paragraphs. These are all updates from the mission. The first paragraph is a new notice that was just posted today about Medical Volunteers. Underneath that it talks about the IRS letting you still claim donations that you make right now on your 2009 taxes. The 3rd paragraph is where you can find updates from the field. These are little updates of what is happening here. Melissa or myself will be emailing information to our Media Director – Andy Olsen – and he will be posting those updates there.


On the right-side of the mission website – you’ll see another slew of paragraphs. All those paragraphs are from the blogs of the missionaries. Not all the missionaries feel like each post they write needs to be on the main site. So even if you don’t see updates on the home-page – it doesn’t necessarily mean that they didn’t write something new. You can always go to the staff page of the website to find the missionary blogs. If you click About Us and then underneath that click Our Staff that will take you to all the staff. You can find their blog-links beside their pictures. Also – most of us missionaries link each other on our blogs. So if you get confused – just click on the blog (even if you’ve already read it) and you can navigate from one blog to another by clicking the links we have on the sides.

Mission Trips

Underneath the Welcome  (dead-center of the homepage) you will find information about our upcoming trips. For example: We will not be processing applications until February 1st. This is because this is a rapidly changing Haiti. Yesterday we could buy plane tickets to come into Haiti February 2nd. By the afternoon we found out the airport is closed until February 19th. It could be longer. So to be updated on how the earthquake is effecting trips – you want to check the middle of  the homepage for that information.

Now if you want to come to Haiti and see what our upcoming trips are. If you click in the upper right-hand corner (Beside the rotating pics) you will see NORTHWEST HAITI TRIPS. Simply click that link and you’ll see all the trips the mission is offering.

To find out more information about trips – the costs of trips – FAQ – download a trip booklet – you want to click on GET INVOLVED. There is information right there in the center of the webpage that talks about Trip Photos, Trip Blogs, and Trip Payments. If you want more information – Right underneath the GET INVOLVED there are some sub-categories that are GREEN. If you click MISSION TRIPS WITH NWHCM – – you are going to find so much information! That is where you find out about Trip Costs, FAQ, Mission Travel Booklet, Trip Applications, etc.


There are several ways you can give. Whether it’s for a missionary, earthquake relief, or paying for a trip. If you click GIVE – from the homepage – it will walk you through setting up an account with the mission. You can also click GET INVOLVED and there is a place where you can enter in your trip payments. We also have a brand-new way to give by TEXTING from your phone. That explanation can be found on the left-hand side of the homepage.

I hope this has been helpful. There is so much information – so dig in! You’ll learn a lot about what NWHCM is doing! 🙂

Here is also a link from the mission website that will give you information on how to navigate around it- click here

Posted in Mission Stories, Personal Stories

Malaya’s and Rosie’s Birthday Party

On Saturday we had the girls’ birthday party. Rosie turned 6 years old on January 8th and Malaya turned 5 years old on January 20th. I have to tell you that it took everything in me to get into the “party” spirit but it was so good for the girls. It brought some type of normalcy to our day. We invited Haylee and Hannah from the baby orphanage, Wisley’s two boys, and Ymadel’s two daughters. The kids made bracelets, watched a movie, ate sloppy joes, had cake with ice cream, and of course got a few presents. Rosie told me this was the best day all month. Malaya told me she wanted to share her dolls with the children that were under concrete. (Aww…So close. We almost had a day where we didn’t talk about it).

I posted a few party pictures on the side of this blog. My parents came to the party and I think it was just a nice break from our reality. It was a few hours where we got to pretend that everything was okay and it was just another day. Last night there was another quake. I knew our bed was shaking but Jose kept telling me it was in my head. I found out later we really did have another quake – 4.7.  To Jose’s defense – I think our bed shakes all the time. I talked to some of the Haitians and other missionaries – I think we all struggle with that.  We have yet to have a night where one of the girls isn’t scared thinking the house will fall.   I can’t imagine what it’s like for the people in Port-au-Prince who get the brunt of the shaking.

Today at our nutritional program a lady had a baby and left him in the toilet. Another lady in the program found the little boy and took him to the nurse. He was really cold – and is now in an incubator trying to warm up. We plan to put the baby in the baby orphanage. So terribly sad.

The surgery and medical teams are very busy. I am emailing updates to our webmaster and he will be posting that on the main mission website. I think it’s easier for everyone to stay updated from the main website. So if you want to know what kinds of patients they’re seeing and what the mission is doing – please check the mission website frequently-

Posted in Mission Stories, NW_Relief, Personal Stories

What The Mission Is Doing Right Now….

Today we had 22 surgical and medical personnel arrive safely at the mission. Tomorrow we will start dividing out roles and making plans for this week. Something you have to realize is that LaPointe and Port-de-Paix are basically the only functioning hospitals on this side of the coast. Most of the major hospitals around Port-au-Prince are gone. So we will basically be a 3rd hospital for our region. We’ve always seen patients and had clinics – but there is a difference in having clinics where patients go home everyday and setting up a full-time hospital. Only God knows how we can pull all of this off.

As I had written earlier – there are thousands of new faces that are in our village. The mayor came and talked to us a few days ago about how we could help him. We are working closely with him to help all the victims of this tragedy. Everything that the mayor is doing – we have our hand in it – helping to make it happen. Anyone who comes from Port-au-Prince to seek refuge here – they have been given money to cover the expense of their trip. If you don’t have a place to stay – the mayor is putting people in hotels or small one-room apartments. The mission is giving away bushels of corn that was donated from Larry Stipe and the boys from New Brunswick Christian Church. It’s our hope that we will be able to get our containers of rice and beans soon so we can provide more food.

Today I heard the tragic story of one of my friends who recently moved to Port-au-Prince. She told me –  Jody I was in Port-au-Prince. I was at the market when the earthquake happened. My two children were in school. I went to the school and the building had fallen on them. They were dead. I was staying with my brother. I ran to his house. The house had fallen on him. He was dead. I lost everyone. I just made it back to St. Louis today. I lost everyone. They’re all dead. Jody  – they’re all dead. I lost my babies. They’re all dead.

There is a story like this nearly every day here. Word is just now starting to get back to some families. The effects of this tragedy are far from being over. We ALL have a role. Whether it’s to come to Haiti and be the face of Jesus or collect supplies and raise awareness in the states – we all have a responsibility. We cannot see with our eyes and hear with our ears and now walk away. Haiti needs you not just now but for the many months and years to come.  While you need to pray for all of us here in Haiti – you also need to pray about the role God is going to have you play. Be open and start listening for His whispers. He has a plan to USE YOU and BLESS YOU. So keep your radar up for what He has in store for you.

Posted in NW_Personal Ministry Update, NW_Relief, Personal Stories

Faces We Don’t Recognize…..

Everywhere you go – there are new faces. While some of the news in the states has moved on – those of us who are here cannot forget. I started watching the telethon for Haiti – and had to shut it off. Seeing the words HOPE FOR HAITI NOW on the screen – it was too much. These types of shows are for countries that I’ve never been to. Tragedy like this isn’t supposed to happen in my backyard. So I turn it off. Yet I cannot forget. Turning it off doesn’t take away the fact that I walk outside my home and there it is staring at me.

We don’t have the option of “turning it off” because it’s too emotional to deal with. No – Haiti is our home. We walk outside our home and there we are – faced with tragedy right before us. The town is full of people – faces we do not recognize.  They come from all over – people looking for extended family to take them in. They come with nothing. How they even made it this far – it baffles us all. Stories of sorrow….people losing everyone around them – children who witnessed their parents being crushed – parents watching their children die….. those are the stories that now fill the homes in St. Louis du Nord.

Our workers come to the mission every day – each one with their own story. So many who still haven’t heard from their loved ones. Others wondering if they’ll ever know what has happened to their family. Mass graves cover Port-au-Prince now. I believe there will be over 100,000 people lost. Each person mattered to someone. They were the daughter, mother, son, father, sister, or brother of someone. There are no names. There are no records. There is no way for people to really know if their loved ones were buried in those graves. There’s no way to know if they’re still buried under rubble. So people just wonder – wonder what has happened to the people they love so much.

They search for peace but their hearts are left empty. Where is their family? What really happened? Will they one day be surprised and they’ll show up at their door? Will they hold out that “hope” for the rest of their lives? I talk with our workers here – they all say the same thing. There are so many faces – faces we don’t recognize. They must be refugees- but will they indeed find refuge in a village that already struggles to survive? If our workers cannot feed their families already – how will they feed all these new faces?

If it were not for my Jesus – I would not find the strength to walk outside my home. But I know that He is a place of refuge. As tears continue to stream down my cheeks – I find comfort in the scriptures. I find comfort in knowing where I can find refuge. What about the faces of those we don’t recognize? Who wipes away their tears? Do they know that God will hold them like they once held their children? We may not be in Port-au-Prince digging people out of the rubble but our job is life-saving just the same. These faces we don’t recognize – God knows every hair on their head. WE MUST TELL THEM. We have to tell them where they can find refuge. Please pray – that in all we do – we will be the face of Jesus to the thousands looking for a savior.

2 Samuel 22:3
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior— from violent men you save me.

2 Samuel 22:31
“As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.

Psalm 5:11
But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.

Psalm 9:9
The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.

Psalm 18:30
As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.

Psalm 36:7
How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings.

Psalm 46:1
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

Psalm 62:8
Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. Selah

Psalm 71:3
Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress.

Isaiah 25:4
You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat.

Posted in Personal Stories

Emotions Are All Over The Place….

I am feeling a little down today. Sometimes it’s good for me to just to write. Some days I feel like it’s all I can do to keep my head above water. Emotions are all over the place these days. We laugh, we get angry, and we cry. Sometimes we do all 3 at the same time. We hear stories of loved ones reuniting, we hear stories of horror and sadness, and sometimes we just close our ears – because we really can’t take hearing anymore of anything.

We sent our medical workers to the hospital in Port-de-Paix yesterday and they were greeted with a very busy and overwhelmed staff there. There are patients missing limbs, some with broken legs or arms, and some with severe cuts on their bodies/heads. Yet as overwhelmed as this hospital is – it’s like this even on a good day.

Please pray for our staff here – Haitian and American. As much as we try – it’s hard not to think about what’s happening here. Especially when you have an aftershock every day. Many people find it hard to sleep or concentrate.  Jose often wakes up at night thinking that the house is shaking. Others who have come here from Port-au-Prince go through the same thing and find it hard to function.

Our kids talk about the quake just like your kids talk about what they ate for lunch. Malaya prayed last night that the people who died would all go to Heaven. Mikela prays for people to understand there is only ONE God and that He will take care of them. Rosie prays for people who are still under concrete. All three of them ask me why this happened and will it happen again. Malaya ran out of her room last night at 3am telling me the house was going to fall on her. Those are daily conversations.

As I type tears just stream down my cheeks.  As a mother I find it so overwhelming sometimes that I cannot comfort my children or keep their minds from thinking about what is happening in our country. How do the Haitian mothers tell their children in Port-au-Prince that everything is going to be okay? How do they bring them comfort? What burdens must they carry. The ground still shakes there – but their faith remains firm. I pray that I might have just an ounce of their faith.

Yesterday I booked 22 surgical people to come to Haiti. We hope to start surgeries this weekend. I know many people want to volunteer. There is a fine balance though between having too many people and not enough resources. We are not ready/nor do we have the resources yet to open the mission up to lots of volunteers. Please pray that we are able to touch many lives with what we have readily available and that with everything we do – we honor God above all us.

Posted in Mission Stories, NW_Frontpage, NW_Personal Ministry Update, NW_Relief, Personal Stories

Jose Is Home….

I was upstairs in the group eating area with Melonnie when the truck came through the gates. I ran down the steps and so happily hugged my husband. After sharing some tears together the girls joined in right behind me. Our family was together. How many others could say that after the quake?

Malaya had to tell him all about the quake and how the bed moved – how he had “missed” all the excitement. The girls were telling him all about the people who had died and how so many people were crying. I believe I shared this on facebook but I never did write it down on the blog.  Most parents watch their children playing school or doctor. I watch mine play Earthquake.

Mikela: Okay. Your house fell down on you. It’s shaking. It’s shaking.
Rosie: Help me! Help Me. My house fell on me.
Malaya: My house fell too. I don’t see my baby.
Mikela: Sorry Rosie. I can’t help you. You’re dead. Malaya – I will try to dig you out. I cant save your baby-sorry.

We had another lady come to my house. She had lost her sister and was crying on the couch. My mom was here listening to her story. Mikela told her not to cry. Then she told my mom – – Tell her Nana – Tell her about the thing in Heaven…where they feel better and they dont hurt and they get to sing and play all day. (Then before my mom could speak – Mikela started speaking it in creole and wiping away her tears).

The girls had to tell their daddy all about it.
– – – – – – – – – –
Melissa and Maureen got off the truck tonight and looked like they had been through some pretty rough days too. I can only imagine the patients that they’ve seen. Please pray for them and for their hearts. We watch things on the TV and we look at pictures – but it’s not the same thing as being on the front-lines and experiencing it in person.

I talked with Magdala and Roselande tonight. The Haitian radio is playing a phone call from some Haitians that are still buried under the rubble but are alive. Roselande is telling me  –  “I heard her voice on the phone.  She told everyone exactly where she is and people are there now trying to dig them out”. I never know when you hear those things on the radio – whether you can believe it or not but so many Haitians are holding out hope that there are still hundreds alive that need to be rescued.

The next few days we are focusing our efforts on how to best help the victims of the quake that are making their way north. Our focus can’t simply be on those that are injured. We have to address the needs of those that are healthy too. Many of our Haitian employees were barely making it before and now they’re adding their extended families.  How can they take care of so many? Their burdens have tripled.

In all that we do we want to remain faithful to His calling and direction. So please pray for the leadership of the mission as they try to make the right decisions. Pray that logistics that sometimes seem so hard to coordinate will line-up as needed. Please pray that we can get the right people and the right supplies all here at the right time. We need all 3 things to line-up just perfect.