Posted in Personal Stories

Hide N Seek…

Trying to find quiet time with 6 kids can be quite the adventure. They just flock to Jose and I. We will be sitting upstairs and put their favorite movie on. Then we fix them popcorn. We head down to our bedroom and within 5 minutes every single one of them are laying in our bed with us!

There were a couple of days that I just didn’t have the energy to get out of bed. We’ve just been going non-stop since we’ve been out. I’m needing a vacation from my vacation! Know what I mean?

So I was laying in bed in our basement – watching the boys play Hide N Seek (all on their own).

The twins are 3 years old and Gabriel is 5 years old. One would stand in my bedroom and close his eyes and count to 8. The other two would take off hiding. Gabriel would look in my room and not see them. But before he could even walk into the next room – the boys would jump out and say HERE I AM! 

We kept trying to explain to the children that they had to stay in their hiding spots until someone found them. The next round went on and sure enough Levi would yell out – I‘m over here!  Jose tried to help the twins hide in different spots but sure enough once the counting was almost over – they would run right back over to where they always hid and Gabriel found them right away.

The way they played the game did not make any sense. Yet they laughed and laughed the whole time. They play it EVERY day. Doesn’t matter if there are perfect hiding spots. They always go back to the same 3 spots to hide. If Gabriel takes more than a 30 seconds to find them  – they can’t contain themselves – they have to pop-up and say HERE I AM! 

No matter how much Jose tried to help those boys find a new way to play – a new direction to go – they kept going right back to the same spots that cost them the game.  And while the game was still full of laughter –  no one ever advanced.

As I was watching this ridiculous game of Hide N Seek –  God really began to speak to me. How many times do we “do the same thing” hoping for different results? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found myself in this repeat cycle – arriving in the exact same spot – and never advancing. Even with coaching from those who love us dearly – it can be really difficult to get out of our comfort spot.

We’ve experienced a lot of bumps this year as we traveled on this beaten path. There’s a reason it’s called “the road less traveled”. It can really hurt!  We have felt satan’s attacks like never before!

BUT – we have also learned SO MUCH!  God has used adversity to strengthen us & to grow us!

As we begin 2013 – we will definitely be getting out of our comfort spot and approaching many aspects of our ministry in a whole new way. Because if you always do what you’ve always done  – you’ll always get what you’ve always got!



Posted in Personal Stories

Merry Christmas Y’all!

I pray this week has been a blessing to each and every one of you! We have definitely spent this season celebrating Jesus & treasuring our family! It’s been an incredible Christmas Eve & Day!

Papaw had taken Mikela, Rosie, Malaya, & Gabe Christmas shopping last week. So on Christmas Eve we exchanged their gifts! The children were SO excited to tell each other how “perfect” they thought their gift was for that person.

For example:

Mikela knew that Malaya wants curly hair. So when she saw a special craft where Malaya could make her own curly shampoo – she knew it was the “perfect” gift!

Gabriel knew that Papaw hung up his Christmas Cards on the wall. So when Gabe found a Christmas Card with a glittery house on it – he knew that was the “perfect” gift for Papaw! What’s funny is that Gabe can’t read but the card was about a parent who shows so much love & kindness and sets the example for us to follow. **Made us a little teary-eyed how sweet that card was!!

Rosie got the twins a flash light because she knew that they were scared of the dark. So the flashlight was the “perfect” gift so they wouldn’t be scared!

Malaya knew how much Momma Gigi loves painting her nails so she got her a nail polish kit! She knew when she saw it  – it was the “perfect” gift!

The girls knew how much I love decorating for Christmas so they each picked out a special ornament for me! Jose got hot sauce & coffee mugs! All of them were the “perfect” gifts!

Today we opened up our Sparkle Box which was full of the kids’ gifts for Jesus! Each child had dozens and dozens of papers in that box – each representing an act of service in the name of Jesus! It gave us a chance to discuss what REALLY is the “perfect” gift!

Tonight I think about all the Haitians who are celebrating Christmas who didn’t even know the name of Jesus last year!  I’m so grateful for our devoted staff and mission teams –  who spent all year loving on & reaching out to our communities  – so that tonight –  they might unwrap the perfect gift – and truly celebrate the birth of a King!


Posted in Personal Stories

Family Christmas…

Today we had our family Christmas!

My sister’s family, my brother’s family, & my family all gathered together for the first time in MANY years!! What a house full!! I thought that the craziness might be too overwhelming – especially having 10 kids under the age of 9! But they all get along so great that the noise isn’t any louder than usual! 🙂

Today we played games, ate the most amazing desserts my sister baked, laughed until we cried, opened presents, and just had wonderful fellowship with each other!  It was so long overdue!  We also had a White Elephant Exchange for all of us adults! I must say that Momma Gigi didn’t quite understand the rules as she stole things from people whether it was her turn or not! HA! It was REALLY funny!

Now all the kids are playing Restaurant & uncle Janeil is the short-order cook! It’s about time we had a home-cooked meal in this house! HAHA!  The kids have created a menu, they all have their aprons on, taking orders, and ready to serve the yummy food! The whole thing is really an act of service!

Jose & I have really relished this time we’ve had together with our family! We just wish my other brother Bud could have been here today as well! He has to preach tomorrow and wasn’t able to take the long drive here.  Our boys were so happy to see their cousin DJ and the girls have been in Heaven playing with Nene & Ruby!

Last night after the kids & Papaw went to bed – Jose, Janeil, Heather, Nana, & myself must have laughed ourselves silly until 2am! OH how I will cherish that memory……  and this special day we’ve all had together!

Posted in Personal Stories

Christmas Traditions…

Before moving to the Mole we spent our Christmases in Haiti! We would decorate the entire courtyard in October! Then we would invite children to come in each night and walk around the campus! In December we would do 10 days of Christmas Movies in the mission courtyard with all the street kids!  On Christmas Eve we would show a Nativity Movie, hold a special prayer service, & feed hundreds of kids!

Once we get our house in the Mole built – we will go back to having Christmas in Haiti again! Right now we have all our Christmas decorations in storage on the St. Louis campus. Here is a link to a few blogs with a bunch of pictures from our last Christmas in St. Louis: and

The last few years we’ve had Christmas with my parents. They’ve created such fun traditions and memories! My momma makes some of the BEST sugar cookies – all from scratch! The kids LOVE to bake with her! Tonight they were double blessed because not only did they bake with their Nana –  but some of their cousins too!

Papaw really enjoys taking the kids out to Christmas shop for each other! He even took them to see Santa! He’s a BRAVE Papaw for sure! The kids look forward to this special time with him every year.

Today I wrapped up all their gifts and found myself in tears! You can really see they put so much thought into the gifts they got each other. They’re not expensive – just a few dollars each. But the excitement they had in telling me who each gift was for – it was really overwhelming!  I was SO proud of them!

The Sparkle Box is full of their gifts for Jesus….and they add more things every day! I LOVE  – that THEY LOVE – to think of ways to serve Christ!

It was just a month ago that I was fighting to keep my family together. It was just a month ago I was pleading for my Haitian kids to travel with us.  It was just a month ago that I was praying that my girls would NEVER feel like outsiders in this family.

Now I’m watching them play in the snow together- shop for little gifts for each other – and bake with their Nana.

I sit here tonight – tears streaming down my cheeks…… incredibly grateful …….and completely humbled……by this crazy & diverse family –  my MIGHTY God knit together!

Posted in Personal Stories

The Great Raise…

Even though Jose & I live in Mole St Nicholas – we have not forgotten our roots! We were married on the St. Louis du Nord Campus in May 2001. We knew we wanted to share this special day with all of our Haitian family. It was quite the event and for many years we held the 11PM time slot on the Port-au-Prince television! Not quite the audience as Prince William & Kate! 🙂

Over the years we have taken in MANY children – over 17 who lived with us from a few weeks to a few years…. and some forever! We were once teased that we had a child from every mission program living under our roof.

Gigi was just 2 years old and 7lbs when she was brought to the mission. She lived in our special needs orphanage, which was called Heaven’s Waiting Room. Jose & I immediately fell in love with her. We took her to Columbus Children’s Hospital where they diagnosed her with Ruebella and gave life-saving medication so her body could absorb food. MANY people –both American & Haitian – told us that she would never make it. Today she turns 12 years old. HAPPY BIRTHDAY GIGI!!!

Medjina was just 3 years old when she was in the nutritional center. I ran a pediatric clinic for the mission and saw the nutritional children every week. I discovered that her mother’s boyfriend was abusing Medjina. She lived with us for 2 years and then moved to the orphanage with Heather & Janeil.

Haylee, Hannah, & Lovely were triplets. Our baby orphanage wasn’t open yet. Our house was full as well. Together the babies didn’t weigh more than 6lbs. We gave them formula and sent them out the gate. The next week we buried Lovely. I personally took Haylee & Hannah into our home where they lived with us for 2 years before transferring to the baby orphanage. Now they live in our Mole Orphanage!

Rosie came to us through the mission’s birthing center. Her mom delivered her on the road where her umbilical cord got infected and she contracted tetanus. She spent 3 months in an incubator in my bedroom.  Shortly after she was healed –  she contracted Cerebral Malaria & Typhoid. She had 8 seizures a day for weeks and was lifeless for most of her first year of life. The medical program saved her life numerous times.

Mikela was left on a path and one of the mission workers brought her to me at 4lbs and 10 months old.  She is just one of many that our NWHCM Haitian workers have rescued.

Isebelle’s mom died of TB. At 6lbs & 6 months old she needed special attention.  While visiting the St. Louis Campus this summer  – we felt the call to care for her & provide that extra attention she needed. No doubt she would have died already without NWHCM’s baby orphanage.

While our ministry is focused in the Mole now– our hearts are reminded of the life-saving programs the mission has there. In fact – our children are our daily reminders of the fruit of His mission.

Spending most of my life living in St. Louis – I could write a book with all the children & adults the mission has had a hand in rescuing. NWHCM is on the frontlines EVERY DAY to Rescue, Restore, & Redeem.

Please consider participating in The Great Raise so we can continue to spread the Light of Jesus to the northwest zone.


Posted in Personal Stories

What a Tragedy…

Last night I had the privilege of speaking at Momentum Christian Church. Over the past year they have donated hundreds and hundreds of solar lights, which have been hand-delivered hut to hut by our incredible Mole Staff. I was able to update them on the impact this ministry is making in the Mole & its surrounding communities.

When the night was over I was able to connect up with the doctor who led their medical team to Haiti this past September – Allan Imes. This is the team that stocked my clinic so that I could be open every day of the week! He has served as a great mentor to me as I begin seeing complicated health issues that are way over my head!

Here we are standing in a church – and he’s teaching me how to treat sexually transmitted diseases in children as young as 8 years old.  What I thought were rare cases coming through my clinic are becoming weekly occurrences.  – What a tragedy.

I was recently told of a lady who fought cancer for over a year and WON! She was cancer free!! Her suffering had finally ended. As she went to flush her IV port which would be taken out the next day – she pushed a blood-clot through her vein and died.  – What a tragedy.

Seconse was a gate guard in St. Louis du Nord. He was as close as a brother to me. He called my daddy – DADDY.  Many Haitians call my dad – PAPA. But he called him – Daddy.  There was a crippled boy that we reached out to – we saved his life and operated on him. We even gave him a job as a security guard. We caught him stealing and he was fired. He believed that Seconse was the one who told on him. So he successfully plotted a scheme, which ended in Seconse digging his own grave..  – What a tragedy.

When the earthquake happened in Haiti – 100’s of thousands of people perished. A lady found my number and asked me to call her friend who was trapped in the rubble. We called her because she had an American phone. Her battery was dying. We knew exactly where she was but couldn’t reach anyone who could help her. I was one of the last people to talk to her before she died.  – What a tragedy. 

Tizzie is the orphan manager in the Mole. She used to work in our special needs orphanage in St. Louis du Nord. Before we moved to the Mole I was the campus manager there. Her son Reginald came to my office looking for money for his schooling. Other teenagers watched him leave my office and later that night he was “robbed” and beaten to death. Only I didn’t give him any money that day.  – What a tragedy. 

Late last night I learned about the shooting in Connecticut. As I was driving home from GA today I couldn’t hold back the tears. I listened to my children laugh and cry and bicker and fight and laugh again! All I could do was Praise God for their noise! A noise that many other families were wishing they could hear tonight.  – What a tragedy.

I am no expert in tragedy but I have definitely lived through more than I would ever want to. Over the years I have learned to quit holding onto the “whys” and “hows” and simply cling to my Father’s neck.

Darkness and tragedies happen every single day and while all of us are holding our little ones as tight as we can right now – I can’t help but feel that God is pleading with us to start being intentional Christians. How many more stories do we have to list before we realize that we have NO TIME to waste on this earth?

While every part of my mind & heart cannot understand – – every part of the Holy Spirit that is in me – is SCREAMING…. There’s no more time to waste. I need for my followers to be intentional with those that I send in their path. I need for you to rid yourself – of self – and be so full of ME that the overflow lights up & stomps out the darkness in this imperfect world. 

It’s my prayer that I am never too busy or too distracted….. that I can’t be intentional in showing EVERY SINGLE PERSON He puts in my path – –  the hands, feet, face, & heart of Jesus.

Because the biggest tragedy of them all – is someone leaving this world and not knowing the hope that is Jesus Christ!


Posted in Personal Stories

Dental Duty…

Yesterday we came back from Indy a little early so we could start Rosie on some medication for her dental appointment this morning. For the last several years we have been blessed with a dentist who sees all of our children for free each December when we are out.

Two years ago she noticed that Rosie needed several cavities filled. We gave her medication to knock her out before her appointment but it had the opposite effect on Rosie. Rosie screamed and flailed.  She was unable to treat her. Last year the same thing.

This year her teeth were much worse. She needs 4 teeth pulled & has 6 cavities. She also needs a root canal & a crown. The dentist told us that the infections in her teeth are very serious. If they are unable to treat her than we will need to rent an entire OR so that we can give her general anesthesia. This is not something she can help with as she doesn’t have an OR at her practice. It would cost us nearly 8K to get it all done.

Since Rosie is a little older – we were able to try Valium this time. The medicine completely knocked her out! We were SO excited! She was completely asleep in the van ride and couldn’t walk. We arrived at the dentist early this morning and as soon as we laid Rosie on the dental table – she SCREAMED and THRASHED again! We took her off the table and she was completely asleep. It made absolutely no sense.

The dentist was apprehensive to treat her as it was nearly impossible for Rosie to lay still. It took 4 of us to hold her down as she screamed &  tried to move! We brought sensory items for her – I brushed her arms & legs- she had sensory toys in her hand. It just didn’t matter. I think everyone on the whole floor could hear her!

At the same time Malaya is getting 1 cavity filled & since we are holding Rosie down – she is screaming while she is getting numbed! As another dentist begins drilling on her they realize her tooth is much worse than they thought and she also needs a root canal! 🙁

I am SO grateful that the dentist didn’t give up on Rosie. She ended up pulling 2 teeth & filling 2 cavities. She fixed everything on her right side. There’s twice as much work on the left size.

Rosie has been crying off and on today still traumatized by the event! She couldn’t process that part of her mouth was still numb as we drove home. I wished you could have seen her sisters just rally around her. Malaya held her as she cried on the van ride back home. Mikela brushed her and covered her up with a blanket as she laid on the couch. It was so touching to see the way they loved on her today.

Right now we have an appointment for January 2nd to finish the rest of her dental needs. We are going to increase her medication. She is having Rosie come in before they even open-up so other children aren’t scared by her screaming.

I know it’s a month away  – but I appreciate your prayers for a successful treatment that day!


Posted in Personal Stories

The Sparkle Box…

Last week I went to the Christian Bookstore looking for the next devotional series I would be leading with our Haitian ladies. I  just randomly picked up a book called The Sparkle Box for the kids. I actually had no idea what the book was about. I just liked the cover! 🙂

The book is about this little boy who sees a beautifully wrapped box under the tree. He thought all this time that the box was for him. But on Christmas Day  – he learned that the box was actually a present for Jesus. For the last month the mother was watching the things he did for Jesus.  She took strips of paper and wrote those things down and put them in the box. On Christmas morning she read out loud the gifts that were given in honor of His birthday.

If you could have seen the excitement that the kids had!! Especially when they saw the book had a sparkle box that we could use.


Jose & I were in Indiana this last week for the mission’s board meeting & staff meeting. I totally forgot about the book. The kids couldn’t wait to tell me that they had been filling the box while we were gone. I know it’s not Christmas yet – but today is my birthday (also my mom’s)! So I took a little peek!!

Papaw had to help the boys write their gifts down & the girls wrote theirs all on their own. Here are just a few of the things inside the box! Seeing their love & excitement for giving something to Jesus just makes this the best birthday ever!

Gabe: I found a penny on the bathroom floor and I gave it to Papaw.

Asher: I helped fold clothes.

Levi: Gabe spilled the milk but I cleaned it up with a rag.

Malaya: I helped the neighbor with her homework.

Rosie: I helped Papaw exercise.

Mikela: I washed the dishes.