Posted in Mission Stories

You’re Here…

Hold on now, got to take a deep breath.
I don’t know what to say when I look in your eyes.
You made the world before I was born,
And here I am holding you in my arms tonight.

Noel, Noel
Jesus our Emmanuel.

You’re here.
I’m holding you so near.
I’m staring into the face of my Savior,
King and Creator.
You could of left us on our own.
But you’re here.

I don’t know how long I’m going to have you for,
But I’ll be watching when you change the world.
Look at your hands, they’re still so small.
Someday you’re going to stretch them out and save us all.

Noel, Noel
God with us, Emmanuel.

You’re here.
I’m holding you so near. Oh, oh.
I’m staring into the face of my Savior,
King and Creator.
You could of left us on our own.
But you’re here.
You’re here.

Someday I’m going to look back on this,
The night that God became my baby boy.
Someday you’re going to go home again,
But you’ll leave your spirit,
And flood the world with joy.

You’ll be here.
I’m holding you so near. Oh, oh.
I’m staring into the face of my Savior,
King and Creator.
You could of left me on my own.
But you’re here.
You’re here.
Hallelujah, you’re here.
Hallelujah, you’re here.

Posted in Personal Stories

A Mole Thanksgiving…

Our last Thanksgiving/Christmas we celebrated in Haiti was in 2009. After the earthquake in January 2010 – we felt like God called us to minister to a new group of people who haven’t had the chance to really hear about Jesus. We had to rent a place until we were able to build on the property.

Four years later and we were SO READY to celebrate Thanksgiving in our home with our closest friends. We set the table for 26 Haitians plus our family. While many of our staff from St. Louis remember our past Thanksgivings, those from the Mole did not really know what it was about.

Last week during our staff devotions – I explained that Thanksgiving is a time to remember all the blessings God has bestowed on us. Even during our times of great need – there are blessings that surround us. There are things to be grateful for each and every day.

So we went around the table and each of us said the things we were thankful for. Many of us shed tears at God’s sheer goodness…..

Bena told us that even though he didn’t come from my mom’s belly – she took him in at 3 years old and loved him more than anyone else ever has. Even though he makes mistakes and he is not perfect, we have never turned our back on him. He said NWHCM is the only reason he is still alive today. He said he would give his life for each person at this table.

Mme Certisse (our cook) has a cyst and desperately needs an operation. But we can’t find anyone to operate on her. She thanked God that she was still alive. She also broke down and cried and said that we are a real family. There are brothers and sisters who she no longer talks to but she prays that this family right here will never become that way. She is thankful that she has a table full of brothers and sisters.

Many praised God that this year they still have a healthy family. Many praised God that they were still alive. They praised Him because they still have a job. They thanked Him because even though they are not worthy of Him – He never leaves them. They thanked Him for never giving up on them. They thanked Jesus that they could even be invited to such a beautiful dinner like this. They thanked Jesus that the mission has set such a good example for this town. They thanked Jesus that the Americans come every year just to show the love of Jesus. They thanked Jesus that they were chosen to come to the Mole as missionaries in their own country. Their thankfulness was overwhelming.

I had our children participate too. Miss Beth said every day this month each child was asked what they were thankful for. But the boys’ answers today were unlike any answers they have given before.

Mikela: Thankful for our home. Thankful for family. Thankful for her hair! :)

Rosie: Thankful for sharing her room with Mikela. Thankful for school. Thankful for her family.

Malaya: Thankful for having her own room. Thankful for each person who is sitting around this table today.

Gabriel: Thankful for school. Thankful for homework. Thankful for God. Thankful for this house. Thankful for family.

Asher: Thankful for God. Thankful for family. Thankful for his brothers. Thankful for the Christmas tree.

Levi: Thankful for “THE LIVING GOD”. Thankful for every person who is here. Thankful for his brothers and sisters. Thankful for food. Thankful he can walk. Thankful for his house. Thankful for church.  (I actually had to cut him off because he just kept going – and everyone was hungry!)

And for those of you who know me well – I actually cooked corn pudding and sweet potatoes in carmel sauce and EVERYONE ate it and LOVED it! It’s another Thanksgiving miracle! :)

A Time to Think of Others….

I also thought of a little game we could play. We don’t really have the funds to exchange gifts with each other but there’s still a way to give that’s not costly! At the end of our Thanksgiving meal, I had us all draw names. We can’t tell anyone the name we drew.

From Thanksgiving until Christmas we will have to do 4 random acts of kindness WITHOUT BEING CAUGHT! We can trick each other, we can make them think the person they have is someone else, we can do whatever we need to do (within reason) to keep our identity a secret.

Than at Christmas everyone will write down who they think their secret kindness partner is. If they correctly guess it, then they win a prize. If they don’t guess it right than their kindness partner gets a prize!

It took us forever to explain how to play the game.  But after giving many examples and explaining they would be secret agents – everyone finally understood and then they got REALLY excited.

After we passed around the basket of names – I went around to write down who each one had. They would barely open the paper for me to see because they didn’t want anyone to know.  I have no idea how this will play out – but I do know at the very least – we will spend the rest of this year putting others above ourselves!

Posted in Mission Stories

Don’t Let the Door Hit You On Your Way Out…

Everyone who knows me – knows I’m not a “morning” person. Now you give me a couple of 5-hour Energy – yes typically I need a dose of 10-hours  – and then I’m ready to hit the pavement.

I’ve always been a night owl by nature. I get the most work done in the evenings when everyone else is asleep. You see, if you reply to emails after midnight you typically can clear out your entire inbox since THEIR replies won’t come until everyone wakes up the next morning. (Unless you live in the Kansas City area because apparently those folks are up 24/7).

I was officially diagnosed with chronic insomnia after giving birth to my twin boys. If you don’t know that story just start reading posts from January 2009 to their birth in June. You’ll see I was a bigger baby than the two I was carrying. I often think about deleting all those posts where I wore everyone out with all my baby-drama…..but it represents the reality of where I was at the time.  I remember telling my mom that, “I don’t do well with pain and discomfort”. She’d always respond sarcastically, “You think!?!”

My focus was on my weakness those 9 months. It really all boiled down to the fact that I felt overwhelmed, outnumbered, scared, and simply exhausted.

I’m taking our Monday’s Bible Study group through the story of Gideon. I try to stay a week ahead so that I can pray and meditate on the topics covered.  Then I go back through the homework and decide which things I’ll focus on for Monday’s session.

I read this a few days ago and it continues to be something that I keep going back to.

Gideon – by Prescilla Shirer…

When Gideon was told he was going to defeat the Midianites – a 32,000 member army with only 300 men  –  I’m sure he was filled with emotions. Maybe he was scared, outnumbered, intimidated, or even exhausted.

Maybe we have felt that way ourselves….. Perhaps it’s a new company that just hired you, the job you just lost, the family that needs you, or the ministry that’s stretching you. Your circumstances can make you feel ill-equipped to handle all the exhausting demands. That pervasive sense of inadequacy  – the one that hits you in waves when everything seems completely beyond your capacity – can end up totally paralyzing you. No doubt Gideon felt that same pressure.

Our weaknesses are the conduits through which we experience God’s strength. Weakness is a key that is designed to open something. God designed your key specifically to fit the lock He has in mind for you. He uses your weaknesses, the areas and places where you feel the least strong, to open a divine door. Without this key, we would rarely experience God’s strength. He didn’t pass you over on the manufacturing line when handing out specific gifts or traits. On the contrary, He specifically and uniquely fitted your keys to open divine doors.

When we feel outnumbered or beyond our abilities – are we looking at the right thing? Do our eyes linger on our scarce resources and looming problems – or instead do we concentrate on the fact that Jesus is with us?  A change in focus can change everything. 


Sometimes our weakness is made abundantly clear to everyone within a stone’s throw – like those journal entries I made back in 2009. At other times our weakness may be a little more subtle.

As we approach the holidays I find myself a little bit more emotional than normal. Does anyone else cry at the Kohl’s commercial where the neighbors decorate the home of a single elderly woman? When she opens the door she has a a grin that is brighter than those beautiful decorations she sees for the first time. That sweet little smile reminds me of my granny and my mind goes back to the last few Christmases we celebrated with her.

And – The Christmas Shoes song  – that should not be allowed on the radio this early.  The song is about a young boy buying shoes on Christmas Eve for his dying mother so she will be beautiful when she meets Jesus.

This year, my niece and nephew will experience their first Christmas without their mother. Two years ago we spent Thanksgiving with Jose’s sister. She always makes a feast. There were three different birds and all the fixings. She slaveed away cooking all day long for her family feast. This week, a seat at that table will be empty.

I think about Ydalia, a worker on the St. Louis Campus who I got to visit with this past May. She passed away a few months ago from elevated sugar levels. I’ve known her for 15 years.  She was in our women’s group and very active in the church. This year a seat is empty at their table.

I’m sure all of us know of tables that will have empty chairs this holiday season.


Since my diagnosis of Chronic Insomnia, I have medication I take nightly to help me sleep.  If I don’t take it, I can go about 72 hours without sleeping. My doctor changed my dose of that medication to an extended-release pill, which is supposed to help me sleep and stay sleep. Unfortunately it doesn’t matter what time I take the pill – I haven’t been able to fall sleep before 3am for the last several weeks.

At first I was really frustrated. The focus was back on me again. But I decided that if I couldn’t sleep I would spend that time doing my devotions, listening to worship music, and praying.  I was going to use my weakness to His Glory. You know what happens when you change your focus – everything indeed changes.

Now I spend my evenings specifically praying for families with empty seats at their tables. I pray for the children who wake up today without their mothers and the mothers who wake up without their children.

I pray for God to cure cancer. I pray for God to provide miracles for families in desperate need this season. I pray that God wipes away each and every tear along with our worries and our fears. I pray that more people around the world will celebrate the birth of Jesus this year than ever before. I pray for our country – for the leadership – both in America and Haiti.

I pray for God to cure the hearts that hold bitterness. I pray for God to bring comfort to those who feel so alone. I pray for God to give strength to the families who are stretched so thin this year. I pray for Northwest Haiti Christian Mission. I pray for God’s deliverance for all of the ministries in the world who are struggling this year just to keep their lights on.

I pray that all the missionaries will not grow weary doing good. I pray they won’t give up even when it seems they are not gaining ground. I pray that God’s presence will be felt in Karenage and that these precious mommies we are ministering to will bring Jesus to their children – oh let those little children come unto Thee.

I pray our ladies will continue to speak with BOLDNESS in a country full of darkness. I pray that God will give peace in families where brothers and sisters no longer speak. I pray God will bring healing to those who cannot look past their hurts. I pray for God to fill each and every hole in hearts of those who are suffering.

These long nights that I used to complain about – I now look forward to. You see a shift in focus really can change everything. This may be shocking to you guys – so take a seat before you faint – but sometimes it’s just not about ME! (crazy right?)

My journal is filled with prayers for others…..prayers that wouldn’t have been prayed if I was fast asleep.

As Thanksgiving approaches – I pray all of us are able to use our weaknesses to bless others. Many of us have real problems, real burdens, real pain, realities that perhaps no one else can understand. But I can personally testify to what a change in focus can do for your heart, soul, and mind.

May you embrace the key God created just for you –  and may those divine doors fling open with a crashing bang!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted in Mission Stories

Transformed Through Obedience…

I spent this past week studying the story of Gideon –  as I prepare to teach this with our women’s group over the next 6 weeks. When I talked with some of our staff they told us that they were not very familiar with his story. I love it when I can teach something that they aren’t familiar with – and quite frankly even I didn’t know much of his story either.


This past Friday, 20 ladies from our Bible study walked to Karenage to choose 20 women who didn’t have a relationship with Jesus –  to participate in our 2nd Discipleship Program. We honestly were not sure how many of the ladies would want to be involved. We have tried ministering to that fishing village time and time again. Many of our efforts have come up void.

We were not sure what kind of response we would get. It’s a 30-minute walk from the Mole to Karenage. We decided over the next 2 months – we will hold 4 weekly sessions in Karenage and 4 weekly sessions in the Mole. This meant that not only are we asking these ladies to allow us the chance to minister to them – –  but they also have to work for it – since they too will have to take that 30-minute walk every other week.

Momma Gigi, Mme Nene, Elirose, and I prayed several times together this past week about this Discipleship Program. We were nervous that the homes we visited would want nothing to do with us. But as our ladies reached the village – the entire town was excited to see them. It’s not just every day that 20 women show up together singing and praising Jesus – especially in a small village like that.

To our surprise every single lady accepted our invitation to be apart of this program and on Wednesday we will hold our very first meeting with them. At that time I hope to take their pictures, learn about their families, and begin praying for them by name.



I’m only one-week into our study on Gideon and yet I can already see the life lessons that will be engraved in my heart.

When we started this women’s group 4 years ago it was really rough. I honestly wanted to give up on the church and everyone in it. I am a nurse and purposefully did NOT go to Bible College like everyone else in my family.  All of a sudden we were responsible for managing the church and all the activities that our congregation would participate in.

When we started our ladies group – many of them came at first just to see if we gave things away. We had several ladies that tried to divide the group and chaos was the theme for our first year here. Many of these same ladies were also involved in putting curses on our steps – curses that we could not see the truth of what was going on in this town.

Follow me here for a moment….

If God would have told me 4 years ago that this week 20 of those same ladies would be some of the strongest advocates and representatives of Christ – I don’t think I would have believed it. That first year and even the 2nd year – I thought it would be impossible for us to have a group of ladies united for the sole purpose of establishing a relationship with Christ.

Just like Gideon – I really had no idea what our life was going to be like here in the Mole. My mom was pregnant with me my first trip to Haiti and when we moved here it was like those 30 years in St. Louis didn’t even exist. This was a new village with new people and we had to start from scratch.

I remember the first week we were in the Mole. I kept thinking – What in the world did we just do? We left our comfortable life -we left the family and friends we knew – we left an established ministry – to come as far northwest as we could to reach a people who didn’t really want to be reached at the time.


Isreal was making decision based on their limited supplies instead of the boundless resources of their God. No weapon could stand against the power of Yahweh.

The Isrealites thought having access to some of the promised land was better than having to FIGHT for it all. So they were comfortable.  They chose to enjoy the quiet rather than upsetting others by obeying God completely.

If they would have only done what God asked they could have enjoyed all that Jesus had for them – instead of facing the struggles and oppression from their neighbors.

God has positioned each of us to be His representative, beckoning our ailing culture to Him – one person at a time. His hand is on us to wage war against the enemy without our spheres of influence.



Gideon learned to trust God step by step. If the angel had told Gideon that he would defeat the 135,000 person army of the Midianites with just 300 men, Gideon would have had an impossible time believing that the message really was from God. God led him step by step. Paring down the army in such a way that Gideon knew God was in control.

The purpose for having such a small army was that God wanted Israel to know that it was He, and not Gideon and his men, who defeated the enemy (Judges 7:2).

What is it God wants you to do? Do you find it impossible to believe? The truth is, whatever God wants from you, it’s probably even more impossible than you could imagine.

God is accomplishing His purposes on earth through men and women today. If you told me four years ago we would be a leading force against sexual abuse & slavery in this town – I would have never believed it. If you told us that we would be working hand in hand with the Haitian social services I’d think you were smoking something!

The growth that has happened here these past four years seemed impossible each and every year……but we will continue putting our fleece out  – waiting for God to show us the next step.

We are ready to get out of our comfort zone so that we can enjoy all that Christ has in store for us! Are you ready to stand with us and wage war on the enemy? It WILL require obedience through chaos! But the great thing is – you can do it right where your feet are planted! We can be transformed together –  all across the world – through radical obedience!


Posted in Personal Stories

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things…

A Few of my Favorite things being –  Huey, Dewey, and Louie!  (Asher, Levi, & Gabe)

Gabe’s Dilemma

After walking into the boys’ toy room  – which was completely a mess – we made all 3 of them clean it up! As they began to put all the toys on the shelf they complained that it was too much work! Then I realized that these 3 little ones had too much stuff.

So I asked the boys if there were things that we could give away. Asher & Levi picked up a few ugly cars that they were willing to part with. I told them that I wanted them to give away something they really loved – not something that was broken or they never played with. I wanted them to give their best! Just like God have us His best – Jesus – I want us to do the same thing.

So a little later Asher & Levi had a truck, some army men,  and a small bag full of toys. Gabriel had disappeared so I went to look for him. He was sitting in my bedroom in a chair with little tears streaming down his face. You could tell he was in deep thought.

I asked him what was wrong? He was quiet for a moment. I asked him if he was okay?

Gabe:  I just can’t do it mom. I can’t give away my favorite thing to play with. I can’t give away Sophie. 


Gabe: You said we had to give away our favorite thing but I love Sophie too much. She will be crying for me every day. I can’t look her in the face and tell her to go!

Oh Gabe……how you warm my heart!


Levi constantly calls Asher “his little brother”…..which is funny since they’re only a few minutes apart. The three boys are laying on my bed today and we start talking about babies. I was afraid I was going to be asked “where do babies come from?”

Instead the discussion went a different way….

Gabriel: So I’m the first boy to be in your belly. Then Asher & Levi. 

Levi: Yeah but then you have Isebelle. I didn’t see her in your belly.

Asher: Yeah I saw her. She was little. But I didn’t know that she would be a different color.

Levi: Yeah I was hoping she would be blue.

Gabriel: So who gets to choose the colors? Is it always a surprise or do you get to pick yourself?

Asher: I can’t wait for the next one to come out! I’m gonna pray it’s green with purple hair!

Yes…..these are a few of my favorite things…..and on a rainy day like today – they are just what my heart needed!

Posted in Personal Stories

The Shining Star…

I think I understand the star of Bethlehem a little better tonight. I can imagine the joy that the shepherds found as the angels began to sing – the chills that ran down their spine at the sound of their voices! The Star…..I can picture the way it overtook the moon – the way it reflected on creeks and slow-flowing rivers – the brightness that caused those who were sound asleep to open their eyes as it peered down through their windows.

I can imagine it started as very dark and dreary time in Bethlehem – the taxation and all the incovnience of everyone traveling on such a cold and damp night. There were probably those who kept their heads down – holding a lantern so they could see the crooked path before them. For many it was just like any other day. Off to work and back home to sleep…only to mimic the same pattern the next day.

I imagine the shepherds in the fields tending their sheep. Were they shivering from the cold? Were they downtrodden? Did they feel all alone? Did it seem as though the ones closest to him couldn’t understand him? You know……those little sheep that he was caring for?

Then on what felt like an ordinary day  – perhaps even the darkest and loneliest night –  there came the sounds of Angels from above. There was a star that shined so bright it simply couldn’t be denied. It brought joy to everyone – even those shepherds in the field.  No matter how cold it might have been that night or how alone they might have felt……the blood rushed through their bodies as the news of the King brought indescribable warmth.  The excitement filled their souls. Oh the JOY they felt that night. I can just imagine it all…..

This has been such a difficult time for our family. There often aren’t words for the hurts that linger in our hearts. It’s not that we are the only ones who’ve ever experienced persecution, death, sickness, or pain that simply can’t be explained.  But for the past several months….. I’ve often felt like the shepherd in the field…..maybe not shivering in the cold (since it’s pretty hot here)…..but definitely feeling all alone and unable to really communicate with those that surround me.

My parents showed up this past Thursday…their first time here since we moved to the property. The kids were so excited to see them. The girls already had their agenda planned….. making cookies, decorating the Christmas tree, and Nana’s famous midnight omelets!

There has been such sadness in my heart this week as those I love have lost their jobs, as those I love continue to mourn their family, as the rain continues to pour down and flood the huts that hold the most precious people I know.  All of it..….it’s enough to make you lose your mind!

But in the midst of a dreary night there was that star again. It shone just for a little while as we enjoyed our family – the company of one another  – the memories that filled our hearts  – and the laughter that made our bellies hurt.

We are in OUR home and I’m remembering the beauty of Christmas……especially that night when the sky illuminated with the most beautiful lights & sounds!

And after we decorated the tree with as many ornaments as it could possibly hold…..I stared at the Angel on the top. And in that moment I could almost hear their voices singing and shouting with glee…… Glory to the newborn King!

Everyone likes to tease me because I’m a little bit of a nut when it comes to Christmas! I’m the girl that wishes every day was Christmas!  But not just because I love to decorate with shiny lights….but because the lights remind me of the star that awakened the shepherds from the darkness that surrounded them.

This weekend as we celebrate our 4th Women’s Conference –  special time spent with family – I am reminded once again of that starry night.

I know that in my darkest hour I NEED to be looking for that star…….. because I know it’s there.

While there may be days where the shadows block our view of the blessings  – those clouds WILL go away….the moon WILL come out….. and that star WILL shine again.

Posted in Personal Stories

Salt and Sugar…

Nana and Papaw came to the Mole yesterday afternoon! We’ve been going non-stop! Since we are not going to the states for Christmas we are trying to create some family memories here before my parents head back to the states……..all while I have the Women’s Conference going on! We’re a little busy around here to say the least!

Here’s the Salty Part:

This morning my mom spoke to the ladies about Holy Soup! Each ingredient in the soup represented a characteristic of Jesus! Then every time she heard someone gossip, or said a bad word, or had evil thoughts, or made fun of someone – she’d put a pinch of salt in it. Before you knew it the soup was so salty you couldn’t eat it. This spoke right into our theme for the conference:  James 3:11 – Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?  She really did a GREAT job and held everyone’s attention. (Apparently I was so into it myself I forgot to take a picture) 🙁

So this morning we shared with the ladies, in the afternoon the Dames Group was out evangelizing and inviting women to the revival tonight, the kids wanted to make sugar cookies with Nana, then it was off to the beautifully decorated cafeteria to get our Jesus Jam on!

I’ll be sharing more about this conference on the Mole blog!

Now here’s the Sugar Part: 

Every year the kids make sugar cookies with Nana. Even though we don’t have a kitchen or kitchen counters – and we had to use margarine instead of butter  – and we don’t have cookie cutters – – – we do have plastic table covers – – anything  is better than rice and beans – – and the kids could care less if they sit on the floor to roll out their cookies!

Those are the perfect ingredients for an afternoon of fun…..which we tried to capture below!