Posted in NW_Frontpage, NW_Personal Ministry Update, Personal Stories

Great Expectations/Humble Beginnings…

Great Expectations From Humble Beginnings—that pretty much sums up our news. Friday, after moving to the Mole 20 months ago, we opened our orphanage! YEAH!!

Hand in hand with opening the orphanage is making sure they have everything they need. I have been working on the needs list for the last several weeks. I’m constantly adding and subtracting. Honestly I’m 100% struggling with making the list.

Humble Beginnings 

I know the children in the orphanage are coming from nothing. They are hungry. They are lonely. They are poor. They may have seen their parents die in front of them. They no doubt have suffered in ways we can’t imagine. This will change their life – to go from that suffering –  to being fed, loved, and cared for. These orphans are going to start off so thankful for every single thing we give them! It’s going to be so hard not to spoil them! I already want to give them everything my children have! How could I not want them to be as blessed as my own children are?

My Dilemma 

A speaker once told this at a conference and it still sticks with me. His words really touched me:

I was in Africa writing a book about one of the tribes. I brought my camera and laptop so that I could document things along the way. The children were mesmerized! Many had never seen pictures of themselves before. I loved seeing their smiles when their photos came up on my laptop screen. They had never seen a computer before. I spent several months with them. Before I left these folks who had never known what a computer was – were begging me for one. All of a sudden the joy that I had in showing them their pictures was outweighed by the sorrow they had because I couldn’t afford to get each of them one. 

What God showed me is that people can’t covet a laptop if they don’t know what one is. They can’t covet an iPod  – if they’ve never seen one. As Americans we have to be so careful what we introduce in other cultures or we are going to create this “more” mentality that we fight in the states. 


I see that already in the orphanages we have. Years ago the children asked for a basketball and a baby doll. Their faces would light up when they got their very own tennis shoes! Now they want iPods and DVD players. Not that there’s anything wrong with those items – my children are certainly blessed with electronic devices! But there’s such a fine line when it comes to giving and introducing those things in a culture that’s not accustomed to it. I don’t want the children at the orphanage to be upset or feel cheated when they “only” get a basketball and a brand new pair of shoes! I don’t want them to feel disappointed that there wasn’t “more”.

Sometimes if we’re not careful – we push our own sense of “entitlement” onto the children. I want them to have EVERYTHING! Then we get upset when they feel entitled to having more!  So this is the reason I’m struggling to make our needs list! I go back and forth with every single item -trying to decide if these are things that will only hurt down the road!

Great Expectations 

My heart is set on some Great Expectations for our children—but they have nothing to do with a list of material needs or wants. I expect our children to receive love and care. I expect our children to grow up in the full knowledge that they are wanted and will never be neglected. I fully expect our children to feel spoiled by the love of Christ lavished upon them by the hundreds of missionaries who come through to polish their fingernails, take them swimming, or just sit and rock and tell stories. I can’t wait for our children to truly experience a sense of entitlement when it comes to receiving the gift of salvation. I want them to know that no matter their background that through Jesus Christ they have an entitlement to life forever in Heaven and abundance on earth!

I know I’m just belaboring the fact that folks are still waiting for a tangible list but for now let me throw out to you what my orphanage really needs: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Those are my great expectations and what I really want for all of them. Perhaps from this humble list… we will all see what is truly needed to raise a child in the fullness of Christ in favor of God and man.


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

Health Care In Haiti…

My very talented friend Tiffany Parsons recently had an article published in Transformed Magazine! She shares our personal story & work in Haiti –  as well as other information from my Thanksgiving blog! I feel incredibly humbled by her kind words and SO GRATEFUL she was willing to share her personal story! She gives all of us a reason to be thankful for the blessings we DO HAVE!

Here is the Link:

Here is a cut/paste copy of the article:



Denied. It’s only one little word, but it sure stung. I was a 29-year-old white female in overall good health. I had no health concerns, no history of surgeries and was on no medication. I was, however, what I considered to be overweight. Little did I know, I had a BMI of 41. This classified me as “obese,” therefore giving the private insurance company for which I had applied for health insurance reason to deny me coverage.

I was in shock. Weren’t they obligated to give me health insurance? Sure, they could jack up the price if I was obese, but they couldn’t simply deny me coverage, could they?

Yes. They could legally deny me coverage, and they did. To add insult to injury, they included in my denial letter a quote of coverage for the rest of my family. They quoted us $320 per month to cover my tobacco-chewing 28-year-old husband with high cholesterol and my two healthy toddler daughters.

My inability to qualify for private health insurance was a determining factor in my decision to return to work after my husband lost his job and golden employee-sponsored health insurance.

We were unable to afford the monthly premium. Once my husband started his own business, our income surpassed the limits to qualify for state health insurance. To our delight and relief, I was able to quickly find a job and regain health insurance coverage for our family through my new employer.

My home isn’t the only one where health care has been a touchy subject. Health care has become a political and social hot topic. Americans are up in arms across party lines in regards to health care reforms, either ongoing or recommended. After my aforementioned experience, I have to say I, too, was discontent with our health care system. During those weeks we went without coverage, I lived in constant fear of a bone fracture or car accident or even the smallest cold that would have meant hundreds of dollars in medical bills. After being denied and then struggling to find affordable private insurance, I was completely convinced that our health care system was “broken.”

After reading Jody Castillo’s blog, I quickly realized how blessed we are to have health care, even in its broken state. Countries like Haiti are fighting for health care at all, while we fight for reform. Jody is an inspiring sister in Christ. As a registered nurse, mother, wife and missionary of Northwest Haiti Christian Mission, she blogs the words of her heart as she shares Christ with Haiti. As I read through her thanksgiving of health care, I soon realized that I had great cause to be grateful for a health care system I considered in need of change.

As a mother of seven children, some with special needs, Jody knows all too well how Haiti’s health care system works: If you don’t have money; you don’t receive care. If there is an emergency, there must first be payment before services are rendered. One of Jody’s youngest sons began having seizures last summer, which resulted in an emergency flight back to the states.

There was no seizure medication or MRI equipment in Haiti to help her son, leaving them no hope but to seek refuge in the health care of the states. Once returned to the states, her son was immediately hospitalized and started on anti-seizure medication without pause.

Haiti is said to be the poorest country in the Western hemisphere and most areas lack even the basic necessity of health care provision. Most areas that do have health care available are unable to take in patients incapable of paying for services. Jody and her family had the fortune of being able to come back to the states and receive the much-needed treatment for her son.

Children in Haiti simply don’t have the opportunity to receive health care. The mortality rate of children under 5 is grim. Though statistics in Haiti are hard to come by, the World Health Organization (WHO) is especially concerned about the ongoing outbreak of cases of cholera in Northern Haiti. The recent rainy season has made some roads to health facilities inaccessible. The WHO issued a Health Cluster Bulletin in November focusing on plans of action for the region.

Cholera, an infection of the small intestine, is characterized by watery diarrhea and vomiting. It’s contracted mostly through the consumption of unclean water. As you can imagine, a small child could especially be vulnerable, easily becoming dehydrated with such symptoms. Oral Rehydration Treatment, IV fluids and antibiotics are used to treat cholera. Given that the simplest things such as clean water and IV fluids are hard to come by in Haiti, the disease continues to plague the people.

Shining light in the darkness, Jody’s passion is medicine and children. She is excited about a clinic that she’s been able to open in her Haitian town where she can attend to patients’ basic medical needs such as stitches, wound care and fluids in a clean environment. Healthy Happy Hearts Pediatric Clinic is a medical ministry of Northwest Haiti Christian Mission that is able to work on the front lines. Imagine as a mother being unable to provide help for your ill child. I can imagine that in Haiti where such simple basic needs are hard to come by that the Healthy Happy Hearts Clinic must be a beacon of light and hope. It’s a way to share Christ in a real, tangible way.

In stark contrast to Haiti, in the United States we are able to take our children to the doctor for congestion or a low-grade fever. Our children do not and probably never will know such diseases as cholera. While without insurance, I never would have hesitated to take my daughters to the Emergency Room if they had injured themselves. Despite my fears of medical bills, I never worried that my children would go untreated. I had no worry of lack of medical care. Only months ago my youngest child pulled a cold iron onto her head, slightly cutting her head open. I was able to call and consult my doctor’s office. Free of charge, I spoke to a nurse and decided to take her into the emergency room. There I saw two doctors and a nurse. Though no X-ray or stitches were required our co-payment of $75 was.

To think that I complained of that meager $75 co-payment now slightly sickens me. The Lord has softened my heart and opened my eyes to the unbelievable blessing we have here in the United States called health care. If my child needs stitches or has a fever, I can have them seen immediately. Within seconds an ambulance could be at my door with medications and safe and clean instruments to use. If my child develops a fever in the night or begins to have a seizure, a medical center is only miles away. That medical center is open 24 hours a day and is clean and available to serve me and my family, whether we can afford it or not.

Sadly, that is just not the case in Haiti and other countries around the world. What we consider commonplace, an MRI or X-ray, is not available to every one of God’s children. How blessed are we that we can consider reforming our health care instead of building our health care system.

Next time you take a trip to the doctor, have an X-ray, your yearly pap smear or that dreaded mammogram, be grateful. Be grateful for a clean facility and well-trained staff, for God has blessed us with their services.

Want to know more about Northwest Haiti Christian Mission and Jody’s Healthy Happy Hearts Pediatric Clinic? Check out their website at And follow Jody as she shares her heart and the love of Christ with the Haitian people in her blog. You can pray for Jody and the NWHCM team and can donate to their ministries on their website.

Love Tiffany.

Tiffany is a Versailles, KY native and resident. She shares a crazy and love-filled home with her husband, Christian and daughters, Eden & Isla. She’s a self-proclaimed “name nerd” and dreams of writing a baby name book one day. She enjoys blogging, crafting, and traveling. Though she committed her life
to Jesus at a young age, she’s thankful for her recent “life interrupted” that’s allowed her to know Him more.

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

Not Her Day…

After living in Haiti all of these years – I still cannot wrap my mind around this. I’m watching my 2 year olds covered in orange from a bag of Cheetos – stains on their shirts from the bowl of rice & beans they just ate. And I can’t help but think about the little girl I saw this morning. Those big brown eyes – that precious little  mouth.

I have clinic Monday-Wednesday. I was walking a patient out of my office and letting the next patient know they could come in. I swung my door open and I watched a young mother slap her 2-year-old daughter right in the mouth. The little girl cried and the mom yelled at her. She wasn’t next in line but I told her to come into my office.

Here is our conversation:

What is your baby’s Name?
Her name is Michelet.

What’s going on? Why did you slap this beautiful little girl?
Because she was crying. I can’t listen to her cry anymore.

Why is she crying?
Because she is hungry.

When did she eat last?
Yesterday – Sunday morning.

Tell me about your family?
I am 23 years old. I have 4 children. I have no husband. I have no help. I work in the field making charcoal. Michelet knows it’s not her day. She needs to stop crying.

Why isn’t it her day? What does that mean?
I have 4 children. They are 6, 5, 3, & 2. I don’t have money to feed them every day. My 6 & 5 year old eat today. My 3-year-old and Michlet will eat tomorrow.

I’m sitting there listening to this young mother – watching tears stream down from Michelet’s big brown eyes. It’s 48 hours between meals for these 4 children. Understand what I mean when I say “meal”. I’m talking about a small cup of rice every 48 hours. They eat Sunday morning and then the next time will be Tuesday morning. This little baby is SO HUNGRY and the mom is slapping her because she won’t quit crying. This 2-year-old is somehow supposed to understand that today is not her day! OH.MY.HEART.

My kids act like they’re starving at lunch if they miss breakfast. How do I tell Rosie and Malaya that you can eat a cup of rice Monday, Wednesday, & Friday. And nothing else all week-long.  And Gabriel and Asher can eat Tuesday, Thursday, & Saturday. How do you make any child at any age understand that “today is not their day”.

The young mother was tired. Overwhelmed. Discouraged.  At 23 – her life was already too much for her to bear alone. She was doing what she had to do – clearly just going through the motions. She wasn’t “present”. And she is just one of hundreds of thousands of mothers who are just trying to make it each day. Mothers who listen to their babies cry themselves to sleep – only to wake up and cry all day long. No hope of stopping the tears – they’re mentally spent – no patience left. So they take their frustration out on their babies – or they tune them out and shut down all together.

The last team left some crackers and granola bars. I opened a pack of crackers and the little girl shoved the whole cracker in her mouth nearly biting her little fingers. STARVING.  I counted out enough items that all 4 kids could have something each day this week. But that’s just this family…..for just this week.


Posted in Mission Stories, NW_Personal Ministry Update, Personal Stories

Healthy Happy Hearts Pediatric Clinic…

I want to thank Mt Byrd CC and Crossroads Calvary Chapel for their donations towards my pediatric clinic!

Today I was finally able to go through and organize ALL the suitcases and tubs of medications! Because of your sacrifice –  I was able to obtain enough medications to keep my clinic open 3 days a week for the next 2 months!! This will allow me to help hundreds of children and opens the door for me to personally be the face of Jesus with each patient I come in contact with!


Posted in NW_Personal Ministry Update, NW_Special Needs, Personal Stories

Open Eyes + Open Heart = Open Arms…

The thing I pray the most fervently about is for God to give me wisdom. Wisdom to see the things that are hidden. Wisdom to act on the things He exposes. Wisdom to know which decisions are mine and which are His. Wisdom to make those difficult decisions no matter how tough. Wisdom to stand-up for what I know is right – regardless of the drama that might follow.

Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so i can see
Everything that i keep missing
Give me your love for humanity
Give me your arms for the broken hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach
Give me your heart for the one’s forgotten
Give me your eyes so i can see

I know those are the lyrics to a song but as I shared in a blog several years ago – those aren’t just words for me. It’s one of my daily prayers. Lord – open my eyes – open my heart – open my arms.

Many of you who’ve been to Haiti have had the pleasure of meeting Fedna! Fedna is a special-needs girl that lives by the bridge that goes to the mission property. She often sits outside –  alone – naked. I have driven past her house as late as 8pm – totally dark outside. No one was home. She is standing on the street in the pitch black. It has brought tears to my eyes knowing how little her family really loves her.

I know that the easy answer is to just take her. Bring her into my home and love her. Simple. But just because the answer is the easiest – it doesn’t mean it’s the best. I have worked with special-needs children for over 10 years. Sometimes the answer doesn’t lie in us “saving them” – as much as it lies in us teaching them – guiding them – showing entire families – how to love those that are different. I believe that there is an infinite number of lessons that Fedna could teach her family through our guidance. Through loving her where she is.

When we first took Gigi in our home everyone questioned us. Why would we take a child that was broken? Gigi has reached SO MANY people and shown them all what true love is during her precious 10 years of life.  I wanted Fedna to be that for her family. For her neighbors.

In praying for God to give me His eyes – to expose the things that are hidden – to know what concerns need follow-up – and to know how to act thoroughly upon them – God gave me clarity about Fedna.

I have told others before  – while this pleasant little town that I love with all my heart is beautiful beyond measure – – it also has many layers of darkness – many hidden secrets.

Regardless of all the good that Fedna could do in her neighborhood – when darkness is exposed as brightly as it has  – we have no choice but to act. We had already decided we would take Fedna in the orphanage once it was ready. But it will more than likely be spring now before that can happen. And simply put – Fedna is not safe.

So where do we go from here?

I prayed for Him to open my eyes. He gave me a telescope to see hidden things.

To open my heart. He showed me His love for the least of these.

To open my arms. He stretched His out and asked me to follow.

Little Fedna is staying with Tizzie until we return to Haiti September 1st. Then she will move in with us until the orphanage is ready. Please pray for her little life – that she will forget those that hurt her – that she will still reach those that don’t understand her – that she will be a source of light in a dark village.

Posted in NW_Personal Ministry Update, Personal Stories

We’ll See…

Rosie was just a tiny baby when she came into our lives. Her mom was on her way to the mission to deliver her. She made it as far as the gate and gave birth on the dusty road. Rosie’s umbilical cord became infected with the dirt and she contracted Tetanus. 90% of children with tetanus die.

We were blessed because we had a medical team from Jacksonville, IL in Haiti at the time. Somehow we found the medication that she needed. But it would be a tough 3 months for little Rosie. Unable to open her mouth or fingers – unable to move ANY part of her body – she laid lifeless in an incubator inside my bedroom. The medical team was flying back to the states and at 10 days old –  Rosie was left entirely in my hands. I was SO nervous. She had a feeding tube and IV’s. She needed 24-hour care. The medicine caused her to have explosive diarrhea but you couldn’t actually put a diaper on her because you couldn’t open her legs to put one on. It was like her whole body was frozen.  No doubt she was the sickest child I had ever taken care of.

After 3 months – the feeding tube came out and I was able to start moving her body. We had therapists living in Haiti at that time and they worked daily with her trying to get her to open her hands and start moving her limbs.

Then around 6 months old Rosie got Cerebral Malaria. She had 103-104 temperature for nearly 5 weeks straight. She had 8-10 seizures a day. We tested her for everything. Her malaria tests came back negative so we treated her for everything else. Luckily the same team that was there when she was born – got their hospital to provide free care for Rosie. So we flew her out on an Emergency Visa and she was thoroughly tested and treated in Jacksonville, IL.



Every advancement that Rosie made – we had to start over. At 9 months old she couldn’t even hold up her head. We had to teach her to sit again, to hold her bottle, to roll-over, to swallow her food, etc.



Then around 11 months old Rosie got Typhoid

Seriously? I remember thinking to myself – how in the world can one child survive all that she’s had?  No doubt she continued to beat the odds.



Rosie was diagnosed with Sensory Integration Disorder when she was 3 years old. We began tailoring our teachings to that effect.

We knew that Rosie was a little slower than the other girls. She often struggles to get her words out. We noticed she writes her letters backwards, sometimes she can count to 100 and the next day she can’t count to 30. She can wiz through a book in the morning and in the afternoon she struggles to pronounce the same words she knew by heart already. There were behavior issues too. Issues with attachment. But we figured it was all related to the Sensory Integration Disorder.

Beth (our homeschool teacher) has been spending a lot of time with Rosie – working one-on-one. Little by little she’s advancing but we felt like it was time to get her tested again – just so we could continue to tailor our teachings.

We contacted a good friend of ours at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and they graciously made room on their schedule for Rosie to be tested. She had 2 3-hour appointments this last week. We get the “official” results next week.

The doctor went ahead and called us in on Tuesday to go over some of his initial findings. It was at that moment that our hearts were troubled. These were his preliminary findings:

Rosie has irreversible brain damage on the front and back of the right side of her brain. The right side of the brain controls the left side of the body. To give you an example of what that looks like:

You know those little peg games at Cracker Barrel? They’re shaped like a triangle and you have one peg jump another until there’s only one left. If you tell Rosie to use her right hand – she can move a peg in 39 seconds. The average is 45 seconds. So that’s really good. But if you put the peg in her left hand – it takes her 90 seconds.

So I asked him – we just need to work with the left side of her body? So we can make is stronger and quicker? He told us that it’s not a matter of her needing therapy. This is brain damage. You can’t change it. It is what it is.

He explained that there will be a point in Rosie’s life where she will not be able to absorb any more learning. We don’t know when that point is – could be soon or could be a few years from now. But that we are to prepare ourselves now that she will never reach her full potential.

If that weren’t discouraging enough – he continued to explain something else even more troublesome. Those moments where Rosie seems like a “deer in the headlights” or “distracted”- it’s because her brain is having these constant little seizures. Because these seizures are not visible – parents often don’t know their children are experiencing them until one day they pass out and end up in a coma.

These seizures are dangerous and kill brain cells. We need to do an EEG (which is $700.00 we don’t have) so we can figure out what type of medication she needs. Without the medication and treatment – It is very possible that Rosie could end up in a coma.


AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!! Even now that I’ve had a few days to absorb it I am still crying. My mind immediately drifts  –  What If…..What If…..What If…..

I was talking with Beth – giving her the results of the tests and she sent me the following:

We’ll See….
My family has a favorite phrase: “We’ll see…”
We add it at the end of stories. Grab onto it to describe the future. Toss it into the middle of decisions.
It works pretty well. And yet lately I’ve found myself wondering what it might mean to add more to the end of that phrase – to not simply stop at “We’ll see.”
What if I finished the sentence?
We’ll see…God come through in amazing ways.
We’ll see…how He’ll work all of this out.
We’ll see…His goodness in the middle of the happy and hard places.
Yes, He knows all our circumstances, every hair on our heads, every care in our hearts.
He’ll see…always has, always will (that includes today too).
And somehow that’s enough to make me close my eyes and smile for awhile.
-Holley Gerth
Posted in NW_Discipleship, NW_Personal Ministry Update

“Put me in coach, I’m ready to play!”

9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Cor 12:9-10 NIV

Every time a new group is on their way, I have a level of excitement that builds like a player getting ready for his next game. When I know the groups have landed in PAP airport and are on their way to the Mole, things change around here. Just like a stadium making sure all the programs are stacked, the field is marked, and the hotdogs are grilling-we are preparing for a really big game. I am always amazed at the teams that come to meet us. They may have different names and quirky little characteristics but there are a couple qualities that ring true with every team.

First of all, just like seeing a team standing on the sidelines, there are players that crowd the coach wanting to be put in the game.  Sometimes it is quite comical to meet these folks. You really don’t have to go looking for them; they are the ones whose hands pop up every time you mention anything that needs to be done. It reminds me of little kids saying “Pick me, pick me…o o o o o pick me!” These missionaries are a lot like the disciple Peter—they would probably rush into the middle of a voodoo service with fried chicken if I asked them to!

And then there are other players who stand several yards away from the coach—they are almost afraid to go into the game. These are the youth and adults who are happy to wear the mission t-shirt but are so afraid of making a mistake that they are gripped with fear when we just ask them to give out a bag of rice. My heart goes out to these Christians. I know it took so much courage for them to step out of their comfort zone and serve the Lord in such a nasty dark place. As I have watched many groups come and go, both of these groups have one major thing in common. They do love their God. They are not here under any false pretenses. Both groups knew they were going to do ministry and were ready for the challenge when their feet was firmly planted on American soil.

Unfortunately, as game time approaches one group soars and the other group panics. Have you ever been there? Perhaps you are experiencing it right now. Your heart has been moved by the news that a family member is going through divorce and you really want to help them but when you are face to face—you have no words and you wonder if whatever you do say will really help anyway. Or you may be one of those folks who just happen to overhear a mother trying to negotiate a better price for the meds for her baby and immediately you step up and say, “Let me take care of this for you.” I am always moved when I see a veteran or a soldier in uniform when I am in the States. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate everything they have done to protect my right to be me. Yet, seldom do I actually confront them personally and say, “Thank you.” However, if you were ever out with my mother, she actually will stop whatever she is doing to go out of her way to say, “Thank you for serving.”

I say all of this as a challenge to myself and others as we become children of light in this world. As I see it there are two motivations that can take over when we are in a position of serving God. The first is our giftedness. When we are serving and doing something God has supernaturally gifted us with—we experience an incredible sense of blessing and even pride. Most of the time when I am serving through my gifts of administration I am completely fulfilled. I am doing what I love to do with an intensity that is ordained. Very few things stump me—I could organize 200 Haitian preschoolers going to the potty if God called me to it!  However, if you asked me to sit down with one of those preschoolers and teach them how to do a lace-up card, I have met my match! I’m not gifted as a preschool teacher.

In the same way, I have found that there are other times when God calls me to do something that is not even close to being in my gifted area. Actually, living in the mole has made it more apparent that there are many times that God has me doing things completely out of my comfort zone. The need becomes the call…at those times, serving the Lord is not necessarily the thrill of a lifetime. In fact, it is one giant gulp and step of faith at a time. Honestly, every time I go to the fishing villages, I am serving this way. I am not spiritually gifted to do this! Yet the need is the call, if I don’t go—who will?

I think back to the writings of Paul in the 12th chapter of 2nd Corinthians. He looked at his weakness as a blessed handicap keeping him in constant contact with his limitations. I guess for myself, I must begin to look at serving outside my giftedness as the same. By serving through weakness, the Lord actually gives me strength. Don’t get me wrong—it’s not a physical strength as it often leaves me in a mangled heap of nausea. But spiritually, every time I achieve one more boat ride—my Spirit soars.

As you serve where you are my prayer for you is 2 Cor 12:9-10—that you may have Christ’s power rest upon you!  May you never cower but boldly say to the Lord “Put me in coach, I’m ready to play!”

My grace is enough; it’s all you need.   My strength comes into its own in your weakness.

Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.  2 Cor 12:9-10 THE MESSAGE

Posted in NW_Personal Ministry Update, Personal Stories

Solid Foundation…

Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”  Mattthew  7:24

As I walked upon the campus at St. Louis this week, I suddenly became overwhelmed with emotion. I had so much pride when I looked at my Dad’s masterpiece -where the depot had been built. It was magnificent. This massive project which could have been my Dad’s last major build  – was completely amazing when you figure that each inch of cement had been placed there bucket by bucket…inch by inch.

I looked at what had once been my own home; I remembered the joy of building that house with my Dad. The loving care that he took in making sure every piece of block was laid correctly. No doubt, my father has always had an eye for detail for building things.  Above all, I knew that no storm or earthquake would take down what Dad had built. He made sure the foundation was solid and could hold whatever it held.

That home that Dad helped build is now ten years old and Jose and I have moved on. We are no more than just visitors to this campus and our first home is just a relic of our past.  We aren’t the same people who lived here. We are kind of like a crab that has outgrown our shell! (Most people have been saying I was crabby for quite a while.)

Ten years into our ministry in Haiti and our marriage, Jose and I are convinced that we are entering into the decade of our own building project. Not just looking at the prospect of building our own physical home but making sure we are truly building a Spiritual edifice for our family that cannot be torn down by any storm that comes our way—sickness may try to tear at our foundation, the heat may try to melt our fortitude, discouragement and loneliness may chip at us brick by brick—but we commit that our home will be built upon The Rock!

We are entering into a new era of independence from earthly relationships and dependence on the Supernatural God we serve. Our eyesight is changing—we daily ask the Lord to give us His sight. Allow us to see through the trappings and wrappings of the natural and let us see what is really happening in the Spiritual. We know we will not be perfect and sometimes we may have to “tear out the plumbing” and restart some projects to get it right. But our Lord is faithful and we rely on His benevolence to these dedicated Kingdom builders.

We look at our sweet family and breathe a sigh of thanks and then hold our breath as we watch each of our dear children grow in the Lord. We are not doing this alone! O no! Living in the supernatural does not mean we think we have super powers—actually “superpowers” are too lame for how we live—we are living with Holy Power from the Most High God.

I have learned much from my Dad about building in the natural…and actually building in the supernatural. As Jose and I go into our next decade of marriage and ministry—we commit to live daily standing on the solid rock of Christ.

But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15

Posted in Mission Stories, NW_Personal Ministry Update, Personal Stories

Children Go Where I Send Thee! How Shall I send Thee?

In A GO Cart!

I’ve been singing that song since I was a little girl… “Children go where I send thee. How shall I send thee? I’m gonna send thee one by one… one for the little bitty baby…” This counting song is all about folks who either spread the Gospel or needed to hear the Gospel!  Over the last few weeks, my heart has swelled as I have watched God begin to mold our family into a ministry team.

Preaching The Word

Baptizing New Believers

Healing the Sick

Praying For The Lost

Giving Living Water

As you can see from the pictures, even my children are getting into the act! They know how important it is to preach the Word, heal the sick, feed the hungry, and give hope to the hopeless. I have learned from them as they role-play and now realize that it is time for the performance. The curtain is rising on a beautiful new ministry for the Mole and I would love for you to be a patron sponsor! In fact, just like any good play, I can’t really make this happen without some audience participation.

My vision is to follow Matthew 28:19 and GO! Go to the fishing villages. Go to the huts on the mountain. Go to the folks who have been forgotten. The devastation in Japan just makes the vision all the more clear for the work at the Mole and the work of the Castillo’s! A year ago, there was a chance of a tsunami after our earthquake. If it had hit Haiti, there would be nothing left. A nation lost to the sea… and worst of all quite possibly an entire group of people who died living in fear of Satan and never knowing Christ as their Savior.  There is no time to stop—it is time to GO! There are folks on this mountain that do not know Jesus and while it is awesome that I can give them a fishing boat—I will be a complete failure if I don’t get to them weekly and teach them about the Savior who brings Living Water and can give them more than food to satisfy their hunger.

I need your help. God has told this child to go and reach the lost. I have asked Him how. And I am left with a plan. We would like to purchase a Diesel Kubota – as pictured here:

I have ridden in this vehicle and traveled through the mountains. This vehicle can handle any kind of terrain. It can be easily equipped with supplies needed to minister to each village in our area. Will you help us? The cost of the vehicle is $10,000.

Without a teacher – how will they learn?

Please Help Us Help Them!

Please don’t let this idea run out of gas! As you can see  – my kids love to play games and pretend to be like their Mom. But the truth is– this is not child’s play. The curtain is rising… its opening night… will you help me bring down the house for Jesus?

If you can give to this project, please send it to

NWHCM     7271 South Mayflower Park    Zionsville, IN 46077




You can write in the notes section – Go! Cart

19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them
in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Matthew: 28:19 NIV

Posted in NW_Frontpage, NW_Personal Ministry Update, Personal Stories

New Year’s Eve Celebration In The Mole…

Last night was SO MUCH FUN! The church was very colorful! We sang, prayed, and had many testimonies throughout the night. I shared about my time in the states, Asher’s illness, and how God specializes in the impossible. Even though 2010 was a horrible year for Haiti – we don’t have to be afraid of next year – He’s already there.

I had brought in hats and blow horns to pass out right before midnight! Wow did it get loud really quickly!

It was the first time the Mole saw fireworks! It’s so neat to see things through their eyes. When the first one went off people got really  nervous. The noise frightened them. After about 4 of them they thought the show was over! They started clapping and we had to tell them – it’s not finished yet! LOL!

Gabriel was totally cracking me up! There were several little boys trying to hang out with him at the party. One of them asked him for $1.00. He told them – “You just need to be quiet and pray about it”!  Too funny!

After the fireworks  – we served goat, rice, beans, and a few vegetables. There was no fighting or pushing! Everyone went to bed with a full tummy. The night could not have gone better.

The ladies worked tirelessly all yesterday preparing soup for thousands of people to enjoy today! I will be posting pictures soon of today’s events on the Mole Haiti Blog. Please check it out! You won’t want to miss hearing about how we totally surprised Ka Pa Fu and Karanage this morning!

Below are pictures from last night! Enjoy!