I’m sure by now, everyone has heard our crushing news that the boat carrying a year’s worth of ministry supplies sank just 51 miles off the coast of Haiti.
For more information: I have written a blog explaining the heart-breaking situation and all the ways that you can be of help. I daily update the needs lists there – showing what’s being collected and what’s still left to fund.
It’s been a week now since it happened. In some ways it feels just like yesterday. And in other ways it feels like it’s been months.
I have been in awe of all that God is doing through this situation. We’ve been so humbled by everyone’s out-pour of love, prayers, & care for us. I believe God will do a miracle – I see it happening before my eyes. Soon this village will see it too.
I thought after a few days the pain would go away….or at least hurt less and less with each day that passes. But that boat in general carries a lot of sentiment.
It’s bigger than the fact it was filled with heart, mind, & soul. We packed each thing with love knowing the joy it would bring – the relief it could provide – the smiles that would cover every face – the “extra stuff” that no one expects but that makes everyone feel so special.
Those things still weigh heavy simply because I don’t have them going into this Holiday season and I had GREAT plans for WOWING this town.
But even more than that….
Jose, me, and our two dogs (who have since passed away) Tippy & Louie – boarded that same boat for a 3-day adventure 14 years ago. Jose and I were moving to Haiti as a married couple and came with all our furniture…..ready to start this adventure here as a couple called by God to do Mighty Things.
It was truly the worse 3 days I had experienced. I’m terrified of the ocean. I haven’t swum in an ocean since I was 12 years old and got stung by a jellyfish. I know – I live on the beach – but I hate the water. We loved the crew. We played cards with them & watched movies together. BUT It was rough seas and I was terribly sick.
I think back to how naïve we were back then. How we thought this life would be so easy because our hearts were here and the direction from God was SO clear. Little did we know how incredibly wonderful & sorrowful – beautiful & ugly – this adventure would become. Sometimes I miss those people who were on that boat 14 years ago….
The waves felt pretty rough and the weather was clear. I can only imagine how it felt on those hurricane-size waves. They had to be praying for God to calm the storm as their fear raged. They had to be horrified as they abandoned ship. Everyone survived but I’m sure they will never be the same.
I think about what that night was like for those men a lot. In fact what I thought was just nightmares… I soon learned were panic attacks. I have an oxygen tank beside my bed and as I find myself gasping for air as I awake – I put on my mask – take some deep breaths – and desperately pray for God to calm the storm that’s raging inside of me.
On my wall by my bed is this scripture in bright orange lettering: Exodus 14:14 – The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still.
As I wake up gasping for air – I see it every time I grab my mask. And I meditate on it over and over and over…..until eventually I can catch my breath and be still.
It’s JUST so hard to be still sometimes…..it’s so hard to block out the devil’s lies…..to just stop thinking…..to clear your mind…..to let go of the fact that this season will not turn out like I had planned…. to believe I’m not letting my children down when we can’t do the extras – when Christmas won’t be as big….. to believe I’m not letting down everyone else here with what will seem like empty promises… to not see this as a HUGE setback but some sort of set-up…..to allow only the truth of God to resonate inside.
Be still…. my soul
Be still…. my mind
Be still… my heart
Jody Owen Castillo
October 6 at 8:16pm ·
I just wanted to THANK EVERYONE again for – stepping in – stepping up – making it YOUR mission – and collecting supplies & donations to replace what was lost.
We continue to have 4am prayer services. It’s so much fun to tell the congregation about the people who are making such a difference for our community. God is CONSTANTLY surprising us with who He uses – what He uses – and how He works!
I’m not sure you can call it fasting if you are too heart-sick to eat….but as we see God continue to provide in big & small ways……food is starting to smell better every day for everyone!
Wanted to share these two little conversations with my kids.
Malaya: Mom, what can I do to help? I feel like I’m supposed to be doing something to help.
Me: I know. I’ll try and think of something.
Few minutes later….
Malaya: Can I start writing thank you notes to everyone who is helping us?
Me: YES! That’s a GREAT help.
Malaya: Well, if it wasn’t for them everyone will suffer even more.
Asher worked almost every day at the warehouse with Jose & my dad to help load supplies. His fingerprints are literally on every crate & barrel except our family Christmas crate. My dad would have Asher stand in the barrel – hand him peanut butter, shampoo. soap, or whatever – and Asher would nicely stack it at the bottom of the barrel to make sure we utilized every nook and cranny.
So he was in boxes & barrels and saw everything. It’s been 5 days since we heard about the boat. At least 6 times a day Asher will come ask me just one question about the boat. And then an hour or so later he would find me again to ask another question. None of these are back to back.
Asher: So the barrels with the shampoo it’s gone? The ones with the blue caps?
Asher: So the peanut butter with the red lids is not coming anymore?
Me: No buddy it’s all gone.
Asher: So remember the blue pens and the black ones and then we put them with the paper in the bottom of the crate? It’s gone?
Asher: So the gingerbread men that play volleyball and soccer (it’s a BIG 8 foot light-up Christmas Display) they can’t play it now?
Me: Well they’re not real. But they were on the boat too. 😦
Asher: So the popcorn machine – not the one that the cooks use on the stove but like the movie theater. We can’t use it now?
Me: No buddy. Maybe the fish can make popcorn.
Asher: Oh. …(leaves & comes back a few minutes later)
Asher: No. They can’t use it either. There wasn’t any popcorn in it.
Asher: So the blue guitar. Not the black one. But the blue one. It’s not coming anymore?
Me; No honey it’s gone.
Asher: Oh. Well what about that black one?
His little mind is consumed with all the work he did those weeks. It’s been bittersweet these conversations with Asher that we have ALL throughout the day. He actually reminds me daily of something I forgot was on the boat …. 😦
Categories: Mission Stories