Posted in NW_Personal Ministry Update, Personal Stories

God Can Do What He Says He Can Do…

Our women’s bible study is doing the book of Daniel. It was the first time I’ve ever participated in a Beth Moore study. I found myself wanting to go deeper – especially with our new move on the way. So I also got another Bible Study called Believing God. I do it in the mornings and Daniel in the evenings.

One of the things I’ve been studying this past week is just how amazing our Creator is. We all know He “spoke” and it was created. But I never quite looked at our existence as human beings this way before: If God wanted to – He could have just spoke it – and we would be here. But God wanted to get His hands involved. God formed our bodies with HIS VERY OWN HANDS. He was willing to get His hands dusty for us.

Did you even think about that? We all know he took dust from the ground to create Adam. I’m not telling you something you didn’t already know. Here’s the point –  did you realize that He didn’t need to do that? He could have simply spoken but He didn’t.  He wanted to have a personal connection with us. I don’t know. For some reason when I studied this I was just completely blown away that our God was so willing to get his hands dirty just so He can have a personal relationship with us. To truly be hands-on in our creation!

I have spent the last several days just thinking about the sin in my life. All the ugliness that happens in this world – caused by man – yet God chose US of all things as His precious jewels. He chose to be actively involved in our creation process.  Our purpose in this life is engagement. To engage with our Heavenly Father. He didn’t just speak us into existence – He lovingly used His hands to form us.

As if that weren’t enough to leave me speechless – as I was reading this paragraph I found myself in tears and in complete awe of my father in Heaven.

God knew enough to choose the womb where He would place His fearfully and wonderfully fashion of you. God hid you in a blanket of soft tissue and bid your heart to beat. For many days – HE ALONE knew you existed. YOU WERE HIS SECRET. God’s own skillful hands knit you together. His watchful eyes gazed on you. His wise counsel ordained each of your days before you squinted from the light of your first. Long before technology ordered the first sonogram, God watched you suck your thumb in your mother’s womb. In all our imperfections – we are the perfect blend of His finest works.  – Beth Moore

Does that not make you want to weep before your father? I immediately thought back to my last pregnancy. I always thought First Reponse was the first ones to know!! LOL! I never even thought about us being God’s secret. This past pregnancy was a surprise to say the least for my family. I read that and pictured God having this little secret about Asher and Levi. He already gazed upon them before I ever knew they were there. He already ordained each of their days. I spent 92 days in the hospital. I spent weeks getting shots and IVs to keep the babies from coming early. There were moments where my faith was tested and I cried out wondering where my Creator was? Little did I realize – He was right there – gazing down and ordaining the days of my precious little boys.

As I am studying about faith – preparing for what lies ahead – I have realized a few things. Faith unchallenged is faith stifled. Believers who refuse to be challenged may have a stand of faith – but they may not have a walk of Faith. Galatians 5:35 says – “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit”. We must keep moving with our God.

“Do not fear the conflict. Do not flee it. Where there is no struggle, there is no virtue. Where love and faith are not tempted, it is not possible to be sure whether they are really present. They are tried and revealed in adversity, in difficult and grievous circumstances.” — St. John Chrysostom

I am convinced that our Creator is bigger than we will ever stretch our faith to conceive. Faith is the primary means by which we place our hand in the outstretched hand of God and join Him. It’s a little intimidating sometimes to give Him our hand. It means we have to let go of what we think we know – stop living by sight – and really walk like we believe that – God can do what He says He can do.

Posted in Personal Stories

Psalms 62

My soul finds rest in God alone,
My Rock and my salvation,
A fortress strong against my foes,
And I will not be shaken.

Though lips may bless and hearts may curse,
And lies like arrows pierce me,
I’ll fix my heart on righteousness,
I’ll look to Him who hears me.

O praise Him, hallelujah,
My Delight and my Reward;
Everlasting, never failing,
My Redeemer, my God.

Find rest, my soul, in God alone
Amid the world’s temptations;
When evil seeks to take a hold
I’ll cling to my salvation.

Though riches come and riches go,
Don’t set your heart upon them;
The fields of hope in which I sow
Are harvested in heaven.

O praise Him, hallelujah,
My Delight and my Reward;
Everlasting, never failing,
My Redeemer, my God.

I’ll set my gaze on God alone,
And trust in Him completely;
With every day pour out my soul,
And He will prove His mercy.
Though life is but a fleeting breath,
A sigh too brief to measure,
My King has crushed the curse of death
And I am His forever.

O praise Him, hallelujah,
My Delight and my Reward;
Everlasting, never failing,
My Redeemer, my God.
O praise Him, hallelujah,
My Delight and my Reward;
Everlasting, never failing,
My Redeemer, my God.

O praise Him, O praise Him, hallelujah, hallelujah,
O praise Him, O praise Him, hallelujah, hallelujah,
O praise Him, O praise Him, hallelujah! hallelujah!

O praise Him, hallelujah,
My Delight and my Reward;
Everlasting, never failing,
My Redeemer, my God.

O praise Him, hallelujah,
My Delight and my Reward;
Everlasting, never failing,
My Redeemer, my God.

O praise Him, O praise Him, hallelujah, hallelujah,
O praise Him, O praise Him, hallelujah, hallelujah,
O praise Him, O praise Him, hallelujah! hallelujah!
O praise Him, O praise Him, hallelujah! hallelujah!

Posted in Personal Stories

It’s In Our Desperate Need – He Makes Himself Known…

I was watching the kids playing cards on our living room floor last night and for some reason I immediately began to feel overwhelmed by the new path we’ve chosen for them. I’m watching our twins crawling all over the tile floor – in a cool home – while the girls are drinking cold water. In that moment I realized that we are taking our children to the middle of no where.

I had thought about what I’m personally giving up – but I never really thought about what our children are giving up.  They love their home here and their routine. They love to go play outside and roam all over the compound. They like to go to canteen and get a cold sprite. They enjoy sitting down with the Americans and playing games in the afternoon. Gabriel is very close to many of the children in the baby orphanage and he plays there every day. They have a fan and a nightlight at bedtime. They have clean water whenever they need it and 3 meals a day.

We will be renting a home where the outside playground is simply the street before us.  We won’t have a lot of groups at first or a facility ready for them to roam and play. I had never thought about all the wonderful things I’m taking away from them. I’m sure at some point or another – every mother feels insufficient to meet the needs before her. I felt that way last night. All our needs are met here in St. Louis but it’s a new beginning in the Mole.

So last night I made myself sick to my stomach with worry. How are we going to accomplish all that is set out before us? How in the world are we going to meet all these new needs? Oswald Chambers says that –  Worry is an indication that we think God cannot look after us. How random (or maybe not) that I found that quote yesterday in one of the books I’m reading.

I have found whenever I start to worry – it’s time to open up the Bible so I can calm my nerves.

Phillippians 4:6 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving – let your requests be known to God.

I was reading the story of Jesus feeding the thousands. You remember the story of the fish and the loaves of bread. There were thousands of people and the disciples didn’t have the “budget” to feed them. So they wanted to send the people away. But Jesus took what He had – He looked up to heaven – and He gave thanks. In that moment a miracle took place and everyone ate and was satisfied. God was there – in their desperate time of need.

Susie Larson (author of a book I’m reading) says this:

Jesus understands our predicaments. His disciples faced impossible situations regularly. BUT – it’s in our places of desperate need that Jesus makes himself known. When our strength is unequal to the task, we see the strength of God come to bear in our lives. And when what we hold in our hand falls short of the needs before us – we can keep perspective because we have a place to go with our need. We have a God who makes up where we lack. We have an engaged Father who lovingly provides for us.

Some days we’ll need  – a loaves and fish miracle – and other days it will be enough to see a flower in the crack of a sidewalk. Either way – nothing is too difficult for Him.


I over heard the girls talking a few days ago. They had overheard a conversation I was having with another American who was here last week on a mission trip. I was telling them about our move and she didn’t understand why I would leave. I told her that it’s not my choice to leave – but that God has called us to go. I don’t want to be like Jonah and get eaten by the whale because I refused to listen. She reminded me about everything we’d be leaving behind and asked me what we would do for electricity and food. I didn’t realize that my girls were around but I should’ve known that Mikela hears everything.

Here is the conversation I witnessed:

Mikela: You know when we move to the Mole we’re not going to have anything.
Malaya: You mean we won’t have a house?
Mikela: We will have a house but it’s going to be empty.
Rosie: What about TV? We going to have TV?
Mikela: Nope. Our house will be empty.
Rosie: We gonna have food?
Mikela: No. Not even snacks.
Malaya: Why are we leaving then?
Mikela: Because momma is going to be eaten by a whale if we don’t.
Roise/Malaya: Oooh….

I interjected and cleared things up with the girls. But what it told me was  – we plant seeds with every word we say. The thing is – are we planting weeds or something beautiful? Apparently in that conversation I had – I planted some ugly weeds. I know that several of the Haitians have been talking to the girls about leaving and it has created some anxiety in their little worlds.

I don’t want them to worry. I tell them that God will take care of us. But yet here I am sick to my stomach worried that He won’t. I cannot impart what I do not possess!! I cannot tell them not to worry – if I am worried. I cannot tell them to be grateful for whatever God gives us – if I, myself am not grateful.

I believe God can do what He says He can do. I read Psalms 74. Our God is the same God who splits the sea by His power, hung the moon and the sun, and established all the boundaries of the earth. How do we know that God can stretch forth His hand and act on behalf of His people? Because He’s done it throughout biblical history.

Beth Moore Says This:

Mockers may surround us and the enemy seeks to devour us. Destruction and depravity threaten to suffocate our society. God has promised that the true testimony of Jesus Christ will invade every people group. The world is in desperate need of true spiritual awakening. The church is in desperate need of great revival. Believers are in desperate need of a fresh infusion of faith. We have miracles! May God take His hand from the folds of His garment and show us His Glory.

I read this prayer and have been praying it over the last week:

Dear Father,

These are desperate times for us, and we are tempted to fear. Yet we know you are faithful. Give us a bigger perspective during this new season. Remind us again that you know our need. We praise You ahead of time for the mighty ways You will come through for us. Open our eyes so we can see You in the many surprising ways You plan on showing up along the way.

Posted in Personal Stories

In Tents Again…

This devotional was shared with me today and I wanted to share it with you. By: Marybeth Whalen

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt; I will make you
live in tents again, as in the days of your appointed feasts.” Hosea
12:9 (NIV)

Many times in the Bible we read about God giving us direction, pushing
us forward and providing us with a future. But have you ever felt like
He has taken you backwards instead? Have you ever wondered why?

In today’s verse we read about Him telling the Israelites that they
were going to take a few steps backwards. They had gotten out of Egypt,
moved on with their lives, stepped towards a future, but forgot their
God in the process. He determined that the best thing He could do was to
take them back to the days they lived in tents, back to the time they
celebrated feasts and remembered His goodnes s. A time, the Bible notes,
they were filled with indescribable joy in spite of their surroundings.

God has had to take me back many times, I am sad to say. I get in
forward motion, so focused on what lies ahead, that I forget what He has
done for me in the past. Living in fast forward gives me little time to
rewind, to replay what He has done on my behalf, to rejoice over His
sovereignty. Sometimes He has to take me back—not because He is
punishing me, but because He knows how spiritually forgetful I can be.
He simplifies my life for me, weeding out the distractions so I can
refocus on Him. He puts me in “tents” again so I can remember where I

Maybe today you are feeling like you are in “tents” again financially
or professionally. Maybe your marriage seems to be in “tents” again.
Maybe you are going through something with a child that feels reversed
when what you really want is to move ahead. Let God take you back, and
trust that forward motion doesn’ t always mean growth.

Sometimes going backwards is what He knows is best for you. Trust the
direction He is taking you. Settle into those “tents” and look for Him
to dwell among you as He did with the Israelites. Instead of grumbling
and complaining about where He has you, choose to feel His nearness and
soak in His love. Sometimes He puts us in “tents” again because there is
something He once taught us that we need to relearn. What might that be
for you?

Dear Lord, I don’t like going backwards. I want to move ahead but I
know that isn’t always what’s best for me. I trust the direction You are
taking me, even if it means going back. I want to draw closer to You and
I trust Your guidance. Please reveal Yourself to me in “tents” again. In
Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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

Battle At The Mole…

I had written earlier this week that my family would be heading to the mole to purchase the land. We were hoping to do this on Saturday. However, the rivers were up due to the rain and we weren’t able to go. So on Monday we left with 15 of our Haitian friends (who will move with us to the Mole). It was quite the adventure with two flat tires, 6 kids, and a 6 hour ride. We were fairly worn out when we got there.

Jose and I wanted to show everyone the town, the land we would be purchasing, and the beautiful beach. All the pictures on the right side of the blog are from Tuesday’s day at the beach. As for our staff and our family – it was a wonderful trip. EVERYONE loved the town. The slow-pace of the village, the large streets, the beautiful greenery – it truly is one of the prettiest places I’ve ever visited. There were moments on the trip – where you think you’re in another country. Seeing people travel by donkeys – I imagined for a moment we were in the Holy Lands. There aren’t tap taps or even motos. When you cross each street – you look both ways – only so cows or goats don’t run you over. I’ve never in my life seen so many plants, flowers, grass, and palm trees in Haiti.

The town is quiet. You don’t hear loud music, shouting, or vehicles. This is a place where fellowship is key. The children do not run up to you and say blan, blan, blan. There is no parade or fanfare because we’re Americans. They all loved seeing the two little white babies – but outside of that – we blended into the background. The children might wave at you but they don’t run up to hold your hand. The people may or may not even notice you while you walk their spacious streets. Again – I felt like we were in a different country.

The people were very receptive to us.  The town has power (for the street lights only) from 7pm-10pm. When the clock strikes 7 – you see the small children take to the streets to play soccer or study. Yet even when they’re out playing – the town is still so quiet. This is a place where my children can take to the streets at 7pm too and never once will I wonder if they’re okay. The crime rate in the town is low. It’s been weeks since anyone has been arrested for anything.

Our family and staff walked the streets in the evenings simply talking with the community. With the deep Catholic roots – we knew we wanted to approach this town slowly – getting to know them first before ever trying to talk to them about our God. So that’s what we did. We stopped and asked people how they were doing. We asked the names of their children or simply greeted them with friendly chatter. They were warm and receptive.

The staff and I stayed up late talking and laughing. WOW – DO I MISS HAITIAN FELLOWSHIP!! If I were in St. Louis I would have felt compelled to work –  to be answering emails or booking tickets (which in just the two days I was gone I came home to 423 emails). But having no electricity, tv, or internet – all we had to do was to sit and talk with each other. We laughed until we cried. We dreamed together. We prayed together.

It was so funny the last evening we were there. I had asked Benna to go get all of us some Boissons (drinks). He asked us were we sure we wanted this so late at night. We all agreed – yes we’re thirsty. So imagine our surprise when he shows up with this black plastic bag full of fish! He thought I said I wanted Poissons. LOL! We still laugh about it even now. He brought us the stinkiest little fish around 10:00 at night! No one wanted it in their hotel room so we ended up giving it to a family who lives close by.

So why did I call this blog the Battle at the Mole? Because while the fellowship was wonderful – our purpose for visiting was to purchase the land. What sounds so easy – buying land that is for sale – ended up being a nightmare. The land we want is several acres. It covers one side of a mountain and it’s valley has a luscious garden. No one has ever tried to buy this land before we looked at it. When we were out last month we had decided on a price of 12,000.00 per Karo (which is about 1.5 acres).

There is another Preacher in the town. He has a school that he runs. This pastor does NOT want any other mission to come to the Mole. He went to the landowner after hearing we wanted to buy land. He offered him 20,000.00 per Karo. He told them if the mission met that price to let him know and he would outbid us no matter what. He then told the mayor whatever land the mission looks at – to let him know and he will buy it for a better price. He will not build on the land – he simply will buy it to keep us from coming.

What kind of crazy “Pastor” does not want a mission to come and bring people to the Lord? We believe the reason why some of this town hasn’t developed is because of this type of hidden corruption. Some of the town people believe that he is blocking missions from coming because he is doing some crooked things and doesn’t want to be exposed. It makes a little bit of sense because where is he getting all this money to just buy any land that we might want? Looking at the town itself – you’d think you were in a sleepy little drama-free village. But I’m telling you wherever we tried to do business – the corruption was there.

We thought we had reached an agreement with the man responsible for the land. It was 8,000.00 more than what we had agreed on but we gave the money and signed the papers the night before we left. The next morning however, we got a phone call. The man we gave the money to might be responsible for the land but he doesn’t own it. The guy who owns it is in PAP. So we wasted 3 days talking to someone who acted like the land was his – even gave us paperwork about it – but it really wasn’t. We got our money back and now Wisley will head to PAP to meet with the true land owners.

This was very disappointing to us to say the least. The trickiest part of starting any new campus plant is purchasing the land. Our mission is a pro at it as we have land in nearly every village in the northwest. But even Wisley was surprised by this week’s events.

This same kind of shady corruption happened as we were looking for homes. My family will need to rent a home the first year until we can build one. Most of the homes were very small which we realized when God called us to the Mole that he didn’t say we’d have it easy. We knew we’d be leaving the comforts of generators that run nearly all day long, ice, air conditioning when there’s power, and a home where 7 children can have room to run and play.

Imagine our surprise though when we arrived and found a small two-story home. It’s floor plan doesn’t make a lot of sense but the top floor has 5 small bedrooms (sort of) and a bathroom. It has running water. The windows are like American windows and the doors actually flush with the ground so rats/bugs cannot enter in!! I told God I’d give up a lot of things but I was not called to win rats to the Lord! This is a place that is sealed up so nicely that there is no rat coming inside!!

The first floor as two bedrooms, a bathroom, and a kitchen area. Our home school teacher (Beth) and our interpreter (Pierre) could live in those two rooms. Then the kitchen area is a decent size so we could cook for small groups that come to minister there!

Are you serious? There is a home like that in the northwest part of Haiti? And not only that but it’s in the Mole? It’s not the perfect little house you’d dream of living in and again it has a crazy set-up  – but at the same time – – it’s that perfect little house – better than what we thought we could ever find to rent in Haiti.

We were originally told we could rent it for 3,000.00 for the year. When we tried to really lock in the price it had gone up to 5000.00. Ugh! We were told when we left that 5K would be the final price. But we were told 3K was the final price the day before. So again – it’s kind of shady.

I feel like working in the tent city and facing all the frustrations there was God’s way of training us for what lies ahead. We plan to head back there early next week for the next feeding of the 52 families.


You all have asked me what our needs are. You have asked me what you can pray for specifically. I mean this with no disrespect but simply want to point out a reality. Realize this – every time I make a request for help –  whether it’s for christmas decorations, personal support, baby orphanage support, or helping in the tent city – everyone asks what they can do to help. I get emails, blog posts, or facebook posts about people wanting to help. But the reality is – maybe 1 or 2 people actually follow through. I’m just being really honest. I think we all live in a world where we think someone else will take care of a need – so we (ourselves) make excuses why it’s okay to look the other way. I do it too. It’s just so easy to rationalize that the world’s problems are someone else’s.

I am still compiling a list of our needs. It’s just such a different life for us and I’m trying to figure out what all our needs will be. But here are some specific things that our family of 9 simply can’t do alone.


1) Pray for the purchasing of the mission land. We have groups coming to build the church in June. It is obvious that satan is battling us for a reason. It’s because he knows that we are going to change this town for the sake of Christ.

2) Pray for the transitioning of our family – for the home that God wants us to rent the first year. For the funds for that home. For the tears that will be shed when we leave and for the new family and friends we will meet.

3) Begin praying for the hearts of the people in the Mole. That when the time is right – they will be open to receive the word of God.

4) For the hearts of those that are corrupt and yet in positions of power. For the Baptist preacher who has forgotten His calling.

5) For the employees who are going with us and the transitions that will take place in their lives.

6) For the displaced orphans and the granmoun who will call the mole home. For their protection in all ways – until the campus is ready for them.

7) For the funds to run this campus and to reach out to the community.


**The plan is to move to the mole by the end of the summer.

1) For a quiet, small generator  that we can run 5-8 hours a day so we might be able to keep food in a refrigerator, have internet a few hours a day, and charge batteries for flashlights and a fan in the evenings. (About 6,500.00)

2) For an inverter system/batteries that can help give some electricity when the generator is off. (About 2,000.00)

2) For a 4-wheeler, gator, or other small vehicle that we can quickly take our children to the hospital in Jean Rebel (about an hour away) in case of emergency or for other misc. transportation needs.  (About 5,500.00)

3) For a gas stove. (about 400.00)

4) For a gas dryer. We have 4 kids still in cloth diapers and we need to be able to keep up with the demand – especially during rainy season. (about 400.00)

5) For the funds for our home. We paid for our home in St. Louis by fundraising for it BEFORE we moved to Haiti. As wedding gifts we asked for donations to be made to the mission. We lived with my parents the first year we were married so that we could use our rent money to build our home. Now imagine leaving that with your 7 children and not really having another place to call home – or the funds to start from scratch. As selfish as it is – I have cried over leaving our home in St. Louis almost as much as I’ve cried about leaving our Haitian family here. It’s all Jose and I have ever had that felt like home. It has all the memories of our married time in Haiti and our kids have never known anything different. I cannot wrap my mind around how we will ever afford to build even two rooms much less a home – but I know God told us to go – and He always takes care of my family.  (About 40,000.00)


I am learning not only to believe IN God but to BELIEVE God… who He is – what He can do – and who I am in Him. I cling to the promise that I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Please pray for this amazing journey that God is taking our family on.

The top row of pictures is the land the mission is looking to buy. The bottom pictures are from the beach which is about a block from the land.

Posted in Mission Stories

A Little Info About Mole St. Nicholas

1492 – Christopher Columbus landed on Mole SaintNicolas on December 5, 1492 and claimed the island for Spain. So the origins of America lie in Haiti. One might argue convincingly that this is where trouble begins for the native people of Haiti

1793 – In 1793 British troops were landed and the French commissioners in desperation declared the slaves emancipated. This at once won back Toussaint from the Spaniards. He became supreme in the north, while Rigaud, leader of the mulattoes, held the south and the west. By 1798 the British, having lost most of their forces by yellow fever, surrendered Mole St.Nicholas to Toussaint and departed.

1798 – On October 1, 1798, Toussaint entered Mole St. Nicholas as conqueror. The white troops saluted him. He was dined in the public square, on a silver service which afterwards was presented to him in the name of the King of England. A treaty was signed by which the English gave up the island, recognized Haiti as independent, and entered into a commercial agreement. They then tried secretly to induce Toussaint to declare himself king, but he refused.

1842  – In 1842 a big earthquake hit the north of Haiti. Between the shaking and the tsunami (5 meters high), the event destoyed most of Cap Haitien, PdPaix, St. Louis du Nord, and Mole St. Nicolas. The fault line is in the deep chanel between PdP and LaTortue.

1913 – In June 1913, The German government was interested in obtaining a naval base in the harbor of the Mole St. Nicholas. He wrote Wilson that the United States should press the Haitian government into selling the Mole St . Nicholas to the United States.


The Windward Passage is another name for Mole Saint Nicolas as it is well known for strong winds. However the beautiful bay of Mole St. Nicolas is well protected and continues to be used as refuge for barges, merchant ships, yachts, and ferries passing by in hurricane times. Besides the bay, the powdery white beaches are alluring and are said to possess medicinal values. The waters in some areas run deep. There are many fishing spots and coral reefs create a real paradise for anglers and divers and snorkelers . The history of the town is very rich with artifacts and vestiges of the old city quarter filling up a large amount of the geographical space in the city.

In the morning of December 6, 1492, Christopher Columbus called the area “Maravillosa”: Translated in English it suggested that the place was marvelously wonderful. Most of the area in the old town was considered to be a tropical paradise with 85% of the area being wooded.

The town itself is well designed, but the desolation can not be hidden. Approximately 20,000 people live in the city and the majority of them rely on fishing and charcoal activities as means of survival. Potable water is flowing, but electrical power is non-existent. However, the potentialities for economic development of the northwestern peninsula are widespread:

Remnants of ancient colonial forts are scattered almost everywhere; in Batteries de Vallières, Fort George, St. Charles, La Poudrière, Le Fort Allemand and Les Ramparts, etc. With its breath taking panorama and historic forts, the local environment and the infrastructure are in need of a great repair but the shambolic existence of the roads hardly wounds or covers the historicity of the place.

Posted in Personal Stories

In Loving Memory of Virginia Guilliams

Virginia Guilliams (Sam’s momma) has been coming to Haiti since I was a little child. I remember her teaching the mothers in the nutritional program along with my mom. She loved the orphans and she loved women’s ministry. She worked in the schools as well. In fact, there wasn’t much she didn’t do in Haiti. Her love for the people was evident by all that had the privilege of knowing her. She lost her battle with cancer yesterday morning. I know she’s dancing with Jesus now but it doesn’t change how much we love and miss her. This is a poem my mom wrote and I wanted to share it with you so you might know what a wonderful woman Virginia was.

What a Godly woman Virginia was
A loving mother no less
She loved Orville so much
Her Christ-like witness was the best

Her faith never faltered
Her goal never changed
Virginia started down the pathway
Never altering or loosing her aim

She was a child of God
A quiet Spirit but firm
When she taught the women in Haiti
She told them about a Heavenly Home

You see Haitian people cannot imagine
A house like we live in now
But I remember Virginia telling them
One day you will wear a crown

I am so glad she got to see
Sam leading the Haiti Mission
She was so proud of all her kids
Her grandkids were a joyful vision

But the battle is over now
I can hear her stand and sing
Who will share the gospel message
The harvest is ready to glean

She is calling each one of us
To continue the Gospel fight
Do not let Satan gain an inch
Hang on to the Everlasting Light

She will probably meet me at the pearly gates
With her Haiti shirt on and shinny wings
The roads aren’t bumpy up here my friend
Come on in and worship the King

Virginia was a special friend of mine
I have many memories to ponder
In my book she was the best
I can’t wait to see her up yonder

Posted in Personal Stories

Our Precious Friend, Pam Shelton…

I have to tell you that I was completely in shock this past Thursday as I learned of Pam Shelton’s passing. Pam has been the mission’s office manager for the last 7 years or so. If you’ve ever called the office or had questions about your contribution/donation – I’m sure you’ve talked to Pam.

Pam found out last fall that her leukemia was back. She had a bone marrow transplant last week. It went well. In fact she was walking around the hospital courtyard with her daughter the day she passed. She had some internal bleeding in her brain. Her daughter took her from the courtyard of the hospital right to the nurse and she was put in the ICU. She passed away that evening.

It’s a little hard for me to imagine that she’s gone. This isn’t someone dying of cancer. This was someone who was recovering. I would have been less surprised if she had been in a car wreck. I was in the hospital for 92 days last year when I was pregnant. She visited me no less than 15 times. I remember the first time she came she brought me toilet paper! I laughed! She told me the hospital paper isn’t soft enough! Whether it was hand soap, journals, magazines, or candy – she always brought a little gift and would sit and talk to me for an hour or so.

She took the girls often and would watch them at her house. I’ll never forget when she invited the girls over for a pool party. This included Gigi. She had all these inflatable pools outside her house. When we pulled into the drive to pick up the girls we noticed that the pools were empty. She said Gigi pooped in them and the girls refused to go in them after that. She cleaned them and cleaned Gigi! It was an eventful day!

Please pray for Pam’s family as they deal with this sudden loss. Pam loved Haiti so much. I emailed her right before I blogged about moving to the Mole. This is the email she sent me in response (the last email I got):

Ooh Jody! You won’t believe this but when I was praying this morning you came into my thoughts. And the thought was that u were moving!  How awesome that you are  excited to open this new area for the mission.  May God bless you and your family.  I guess I”ll see you next year in the Mole. Love on the girls for me. Love always,  Pam


We truly never know when it will be our time. Pam didn’t really get to say good-bye to her family. Whatever you do – don’t leave anything left unsaid.

It’s so cliche but it’s true – live every day like it’s your last. You just never know when the earth will shake or when God will call you home.

Pam – you never got to see our home in the Mole – but I know we’ll be neighbors in heaven! Love you and thanks for all you did for our family.

Posted in Mission Stories, NW_Personal Ministry Update, Personal Stories

Believing God…

I have to tell you that I have been OVERWHELMED TO TEARS  by the outpouring of emails, blog comments, and facebook postings. Moving to the Mole is a huge step for our family. We will be heading out there this weekend with the children so they can see our new hometown. I sat the girls down tonight and talked to them about our move. They seemed to understand that we’ll have a new home but they didn’t understand why we had to give up this one too! They thought we should just have two homes. (Selfishly – I wish the same thing too.) But you cannot live with one foot here and one foot there.

I am working right now on what our needs will be there and specifically how you can help. We need churches/people to partner with us and this new community. The need for evangelism has already been laid out before us. I saw it the first time I visited. The majority of the community is catholic. In most Haitian churches (not all) – there is little difference between Catholicism and Voodoo. You will find voodoo priests in the catholic churches. When I try to compare what I’ve personally seen –  I think of catholics as Diet Voodoo.

So there is much work to be done in the way of revivals, small groups, teen conventions, VBS, sports camps, and simply mentoring to the community overall. Much of what you do in St. Louis can be repeated in the Mole – but realize in the Mole this is a whole new audience that hasn’t heard much about our God. The ties to the catholic church run deep. I spent the afternoon fellowshipping with the pastor and he told me the troubles he faces. Starting a christian mission there will be a challenge.

We will definitely be taking groups. This campus will be built fairly fast – as long as the funds come through. The land itself is about 3 times the size of the St. Louis campus. We will have a large agricultural area – there are already tons of plants, corn, and banana trees growing on that land.  This weekend we hope to purchase it. Please be in prayer about this.

I had some friends ask me how could I just leave everything and uproot the family? How do I know everything will be okay? Let me ask you something? Do you believe God? I’m not asking if you believe IN God. I’m asking you do you believe God? There’s a difference.

I’ve been studying the book of Ephesians over the last several weeks. A few verses stand out to me:

Ephesians 1:11 – In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will.

vs 13 – And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. HAVING BELIEVED you were marked with a seal, the promise of the Holy Spirit who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession – to the praise of his glory.

vs 18 – I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us WHO BELIEVE. That power is like the working of his mighty strength which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms.


Our faith walk began when we accepted Christ and came into a relationship with Him but that’s not where it ends. Having believed in Him – we’re called to continue believing all He came to do and say. Oddly enough – many of us who have believed in Christ – have believed little of Him since.

We believe in God but then we doubt what He can really do. God exerts incomparable power in the lives of those who continue believing in Him. “Continue” is an active verb here. God gives us power when we CONTINUE to believe Him. The power is the same power that raised Jesus from the grave. That same power is available to us. Do you know any situation that God can’t handle?

Going to the mole involves faith for sure – but it really boils down to whether or not I believe God and what the Bible says about Him. When you look at it that way – – it’s not this huge giant leap – it’s simply walking hand and hand with Him.

This isn’t my statement of faith (I got it from Beth Moore) – but I believe it and say it every day:

1) God is who He says He is.

2) God can do what He says He can do.

3) I am who God says I am.

4) I can do all things through Christ.

5) God’s word is alive and active in me.

THIS IS BELIEVING GOD. See the difference?

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

We Will Follow…WHEREVER You Lead.

If you had asked me last year if I could write a blog like I’m getting ready to write – I would have thought you were crazy. Personally – I still think you are! LOL! Maybe I am too!

Since the quake happened – God has really been stirring in our home. Having spent that first week not knowing if Jose was really okay or not – seeing how quickly everything can change – we learned what really matters in this world.

So Jose and I began to pray for God to really use us. I mean to REALLY USE US! We thought that prayer was answered when we met the little boy in the red shirt – Juvenson. We have felt His presence with us every step of the way. Having spent time in the tent city – we have rekindled the passion we have for the people here. Yes – it was probably one of the most frustrating times trying to feed them – but the fellowship we had with them was priceless. Telling them about Jesus and how much He loves them – it made us feel ALIVE. I haven’t felt that alive in a long time – probably because I’m always pregnant! LOL!

ANYWAYS – We believed our prayers had been answered. So when Jesus started “calling” us about a new project back in January – we were totally shocked. The following calls happened from January-March (if you will).

Call 1

This Is Jesus. I’d like to talk to you about some mission work….

I’m sorry God. I think you dialed the wrong number. You dialed 011 and I think you meant to dial 001. That’s the country code for the USA. We are ALREADY missionaries. Please hang up and dial again.

Call 2

This is Jesus. I’d like to talk to you about moving your family to….

Sorry to interrupt God but I believe your prayer-wires have been crossed. This is the Castillo Family from St. Louis du Nord. I did not subscribe to a prayer about moving. You might try The Bay. That’s where the Indiana-Jones Missionaries live. Please put me on your “Do Not Call List”.

Call 3

Is this Jody?

Sorry. Me no speak English.

Call 4

This is Jesus.

Seriously? Fine…. LA LA LA LA LA.  I can’t hear you!

Call 5

This is Jesus. I’m trying to reach the Castillo family. I got a text about them wanting to be used. I really need to talk to someone.

I’m sorry. You’ve reached a number that has been disconnected or is no longer in service.


Is that not how it really is? Do we not begin to pray for something and then when God starts to talk to us about it – we stick our fingers in our ears!

Jose and I prayed to be used and He began to answer us. The problem was – we didn’t like His answer at first. In fact – once we heard it we quit praying about it! LOL! Isn’t that how it always works? We thought perhaps if we ignored it then it would go away!

Like a mosquito bite on your arm – God gave us an itch that would NOT go away. We had asked Him to lead us and He wouldn’t let us forget it. I mean I changed numbers. I got a new sim card. I refused to pick up the phone. BUT HE KEPT CALLING. Where is the whale that swallowed Jonah? Does he have room for a family of 9?

Seriously Lord – stop. Stop calling me. I cannot do what you are asking me to do. I can’t. This life is all I’ve ever known. Please – call someone else.

Jose and I have been married 9 years and have spent our marriage right here in St. Louis du Nord. This is also where I spent all my time growing up as a child. I was a 5 year-old playing with the kids in the nutritional program. I know the people here like I know my own personal family. That’s what the people in this area are to me – they’re family. Every time an illness/pregnancy takes me to the states I fight to get back to them.

So – when God revealed to Jose and I that He wants us to move – we were not hearing it! We are comfortable right where we are. We are established right where we are. We are home – right where we are.


God just wanted us to hear Him out. So we quit fighting and really started to listen. We began to study God’s Word – and week after week we began to have peace. These are just a few scriptures that God used to speak to us:

Numbers 10:11

We studied the part where the Israelites were approaching the promise land. Moses sends out the leaders to spy but the spies come back with discouraging reports. So the Israelites made up their minds and began to complain. As punishment for their lack of faith, God condemned them to wander in the desert for 40 years.

Here is what my Study Bible says about this story: Those who travel, move, or face new challenges know what it is to be uprooted. Life is full of changes and few things remain stable. The Israelites were constantly moving through the desert. They were able to handle the change only because God’s presence in the tabernacle was always with them. The portable tabernacle signified God and his people moving TOGETHER. For us – stability does not mean lack of change – BUT MOVING WITH GOD in every circumstance.

Do I think that God is going to punish my family if we don’t follow him by having us wander around Haiti for 40 years? No. But does he have a work for us that we are missing because we’re too scared to follow? Maybe. Will we not be traveling with His Holy Spirit – together? Yes.

Matthew 8:19

This is when Jesus teaches about the cost of following him. Verse 19 – Then a teacher of the law came to him and said – Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go. Jesus Replied: Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the SON OF MAN has no place to lay his head.

What my study Bible says: Following Jesus is not always easy or comfortable. Often it means great cost and sacrifice, with no earthly rewards or security. Jesus didn’t have a place to call home. But while the cost of following Christ is high, the value of being USED BY HIM is even higher.

Matthew 9:9

This is where Jesus eats with the sinners at Matthew’s house. He sees a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth – “Follow me,” he told him. Then Matthew got up and followed him.

What my study Bible Says: When Jesus called Matthew to be one of his disciples  – Matthew got up and followed – leaving a lucrative career. When God calls you to follow or obey him – do you do it with as much abandon as Matthew? Sometimes the decision to follow Christ requires difficult or painful choices. Like Matthew – we must decide to leave those things that would keep us from following where God calls.

Do I believe that God has truly called us to minister in another area? Yes. Does it mean I have to make some painful choices? Yes. Does it mean I leave my established and comfortable home? (Yeah… kinda does).

Luke 9:23

If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it but whoever loses his life for me will save it.

What my study Bible says: Consider this: do you think of your relationship with God primarily in terms of what’s in it for you (which is considerable) or in terms of what you can do for him? Are you willing to deny yourself and take up your cross daily and follow him? Anything less is not discipleship; it’s merely superficial lip service. If this present life is most important to you, you will do everything you can to protect it. If following Jesus is most important – you will find yourself in unsafe, unhealthy and uncomfortable places. Nothing material can compensate for the loss of eternal life. Spend your life serving God and His people.

Proverbs 19:21

Many are the plans in a man’s heart – but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

My plans were to live in St. Louis du Nord until I was old enough to join the granmoun home. I could wake up in St. Louis every day for the next 30 years and be content right where I am.

Psalms 139:7

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens you are there. If I make my bed in the depths you are there. If I rise on the wings of dawn – if I settle on the far side of the sea – EVEN THERE – your hand will guide me. Your right hand will hold me fast.

God is omnipresent – he is everywhere. Because this is so – you can never be lost to his spirit. The good news is to those who know and love God  – because no matter WHAT WE DO OR WHERE WE GO – we can never be far from God’s comforting presence.


I have to tell you this – be careful what you pray for – and be ready for the answer when it’s revealed.

God has been stirring our hearts like a big bowl of  boullion soup. We can no longer simmer on the sidelines. So about 3 weeks ago we approached Janeil and shared what God was telling us. God has asked us to follow Him…..all the way to Mole St. Nicolas.

I can’t explain it except to say that it’s totally out of our hands. We placed it in His hands and we refuse to pick it back up. I would love to layout this beautiful time-line of when I think everything will take place but the truth is – God’s agenda and mine have NEVER matched.  It could be as early as July – should God line it up that way. While I’m unsure about the timing – the outcome remains the same. Jose and I will move our family to Mole St. Nicolas to start a new campus plant. Beth Lockwood – our home schoolteacher – has been praying about where God might be leading her. When she learned how she could help mold the hearts of hundreds of children… it was hard to say no!

The mole is about 5 hours from St. Louis du Nord. It is on the far tip of the northwest zone. Much like the St. Louis campus – there will be a clinic, school, church, granmoun home, an orphanage for 300 children (many displaced from the quake), and a group center.

Because I am a nurse, Jose is the jack-of-all-trades, we speak Creole fluently, and we have spent most of our lives learning the Haitian culture – we should really thrive in this setting. With Beth’s love for scripture, teaching, and little children – she will be a natural fit!

Here is the amazing thing about following where Christ leads –  after you give up the initial shock – and let go and really listen  – He whispers peace into your heart. God has given us a peace that truly passes ALL our understanding. What once was fear has now turned into excitement. In fact -we haven’t been this excited in a very long time. We know that starting a new campus won’t be rainbows and sunshine – but we are ready to fight on His behalf. We are SO ready to be the face of Jesus…even if it’s on the furthest tip of the island!

Please pray for us as we begin this new adventure. We are leaving the comforts of our home and starting from scratch – with 7 kids! We actually have nothing in place there yet – no place to stay/electricity/water, etc.  But God told us to go. And FINALLY – we are listening! There is a lot to do and many people (family) to say good-bye to. We will still be ministering in the tent city. I will still be booking all the plane tickets/travel arrangements for the Americans coming into Haiti. BUT –  a new Haitian ministry now awaits us. AND….we couldn’t be more ready to follow!