Monday, July 29, 2013

more on letting go...

Photo taken by: Maya Laurent (
"He has shown you, O man, what is good.  And what does the Lord require of you?  To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."
Micah 6:8
When I first moved to Haiti I was planning to simply step out and take a break from my life in Indiana.  When I left I placed my car in storage, packed my belongings in rubber maid bins, and rented my home.  I was planning to return to that life.  After several months in Haiti I realized that God had a different plan for me and that His story for my life was far more than I could have ever dreamed or imagined.  For the last several months I've felt very anxious and overwhelmed at the "things" in my life and with trying to live in both Haiti and Indiana.  After lots of prayer and conversations with my family I decided it was time to let go of everything that wasn't part of me living in Haiti.  In a way that only God could orchestrate each and every detail was worked out perfectly.  Between my family and the Zachmann's my home was quickly cleaned and prepared to place on the market.  In just 24 hours the house had ten showings and a full price offer.  The reality of actually letting everything go has been hard because those things held lots of amazing memories.  Today my home in Indiana has a new owner and is no longer mine.  There really is no word to describe how I'm feeling right now and yet this life that He has called me to is so very right.  As emotionally crazy as this whole process has been it is also so freeing to know that I am no longer tied down to things and that I'm truly free to live and serve wherever He leads. 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

kids will be kids!

All of my little friends love to take photos and recently they have found it even more entertaining to make videos.  They think it is absolutely hilarious to sing and dance for the camera!  Daniella (pink dress) and Kris (yellow dress) wanted to make a video of them talking to me.  Davidson is all boy and just recently decided that each and every situation calls for him to tackle anyone in his path.  Needless to say my initial idea of having a cute video of Daniella and Kris turned into complete chaos.  Love each of these little crazies! (translation for the video: let's talk, Anson (Davidson's other name) let them go, Davidson stop, lots of Davidson stop stop stop (ha!), Daniella and Kris tell me their names and how old they are)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

just one more...

One of the most common modes of transportation in Haiti is the tap tap.  Tap taps are vehicles that run routes and operate similar to a taxi service.  People pay to ride the tap tap and they can choose to get off whenever they want.  Tap taps are known for being brightly painted with sketches of musicians or athletes and of course bible verses too.  There is a saying that in Haiti there is always room for one more. This saying proves to be completely true with the tap taps!  Personal space is for sure not even a thought as people, animals, and all sorts of supplies are crammed into the trucks and buses!  It isn't uncommon to see a tap tap with chickens tied to the side or goats hanging off the top and of course they are all alive.  When I ask my Haitian friends if it's dangerous to ride on the top of the trucks they just laugh and tell me not if you are used to it.  Looking at all the different tap tap's always makes for a fun trip to the market or just anywhere in general!
When the inside is full- feel free to add
things to the top and back!

Friday, July 12, 2013

letting go

For me this has been a season of learning to let go.  I've never been the person to necessarily want to live the "American dream" type of life but I've always had a picture in my mind of what I thought my life would look like.  When I first moved to Haiti my plan was to be here for one year.  God quickly made it clear to me that I would be here much longer.  I still felt "safe" with being here though because I had just enough ties connecting me to my old life in Indiana.  I still owned my house, car, and had plastic bins filled with things.  To me having all this "stuff" meant that eventually God would call me back to Indiana.  Back to that old life of living near my family and friends.  And maybe even more importantly to me, back to the life where I was physically, financially, and emotionally comfortable.  

Before moving to Haiti I read about poverty, knew the statistics, saw the pictures, and watched the news segments.  I had the head knowledge I thought I would need but my heart was so unprepared for what it truly meant to walk alongside those that I was called to serve.  I think part of me thought I would come here to help and to do the needed tasks.  Sure I would hold some cute babies in the process and maybe even learn some things culturally.  I knew it would be difficult but I didn't realize how much I would fall in love with those around me.  How much my heart would hurt for them.  They have become my family and friends so they are no longer just statistics to me or photos of random people.  Knowing them allows me to rejoice with them over baptisms, birthdays, and just normal everyday life.  Knowing them also means that I have an inside window into their hurt and struggles.  I have the opportunity to walk with them when life isn't easy and there appears to be no clear answers.  
Living here has changed me.  In so many ways I wish I could go back to my life before I moved to Haiti.  I wish I could fit back into life in the States but for at least now I know I can't.  I have realized that there was no way God was going to release my heart to leave Haiti in September as I had planned. In April I started to realize that God was also calling me to let go of the things that were "tying" me down to my old life in Indiana (more to come on this another time) and that He was preparing me for committing to another year of living in Haiti.  I'm surprised at how hard it has been to let go of the "things" and yet with each step I take it is both emotionally and physically freeing. 

I am now committed to serving with NVM in Haiti through September 2014.  As I prepare for my third year of serving in Haiti below are ways for you to remain connected and to continue to partner with me.  

*Prayer- I believe that it is only through God's call and prayer that I am able to live and serve here in Haiti.  I can't thank you enough for praying for me, the ministry I work for, and the people of Haiti.  

*Monthly support- to donate online and follow the steps.  Or you can go to and click (top left screen)  donate now and then select "missionary support" from here you will be able to select my name and fill in the remainder of the information.  You can also donate monthly by mailing a check to Debra Smalley (address in One-time gift).  Let me know if you have any questions!

*One-time gift- Please write all checks to Nehemiah Vision Ministries (tax deductible).  In the memo line write Intern 3 (my name can NOT be anywhere on the check) and mail to Debra Smalley 7014 W. Yant St., Silver Lake, IN.  46982.  To make a one-time gift online please follow instructions listed in "monthly support"- you will be able to select one-time gift.  

*Staying connected- For pictures and stories you can follow along through facebook and this blog.  Feel free to email me at for questions or to say hi!

I can't tell you just how much it means to me to know that you are on this journey with me- thank you for your prayers, support, and love as I continue to live and serve in Haiti!

Friday, July 5, 2013


"Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship your holy name"
~10,000 Reasons, Matt Redman

One of the many things I love about the Haitians I serve with is that they sing as they work.  They don't just hum- they literally sing with all the strength they have in them.  It doesn't matter if they know all the words or if they have an amazing voice- they sing.  They sing out loud as they mop, prepare food, walk to the well for water, hand wash laundry, and the list is literally endless.  As I go about my days I find that He places songs on my heart.  Songs that speak to the brokenness and scream at the injustice.  The songs comfort and remind me that He is there and ultimately knows the bigger plan.  Life here is hard and it's not easy for me to be emotionally vulnerable or to really process things.  Over time the stories, faces, and moments- they add up.  I love how He is faithful and how He has chosen to speak to my heart.  When I sit and rock a toddler that is crying simply because he hasn't eaten.  When a two month old baby that weighs only 1.7 pounds is resting in my hands.  When I hear that hospital after hospital refuses to provide care for an infant because death is so near.  When eyes are empty and filled with such darkness.  When I can't come up with the words to even start a prayer- He places a song on my heart.  It's through a song that He reminds me of His goodness and sustains me in the moments I can't breathe.  It's in humming a song that He steadies my heart and hands to truly seek and serve Him.