Friday, November 25, 2016


I’m sitting here trying to write an update about what we are experiencing in Haiti as a family, and as an organization. It’s hard to process as an individual sometimes….so, there are many days when I am overcome with a loss of words to adequately describe what we face here in Haiti. Anyone that knows me in real life knows I am not a woman that is short on words and stories often. There are times when I turn to laughter and joking as a means to cope with the harsh realities that I find myself surrounded by. And even now, I am unable to conjure up a joke to satisfy my ache, my process.

I need you to understand that this doesn’t mean that I am unwell. It doesn’t mean that I am depressed or that I am unable to survive another day. It means that I am so deep in wonder and thought that it is hard to find words that do justice to the brutal world in which we have been called to serve. And yet, I count it as pure joy. I count as pure joy the suffering my heart must endure to be a voice for those without one, the pain that my soul must count as its own to be a mouthpiece for the cries of the poor that aren’t heard, that are many times ignored. I choose to not relent in my pursuit of mercy, generosity & justice. One situation & one life at a time.

In the last few weeks we have had a man come to our gate with an infection that started out as a minor puncture wound, that has overtaken his leg to the point of mass infection. How he was able to walk was beyond me and revealed what a lightweight I am, sitting here with my dripping nose and roll of (non quilted northern) toilet paper to wipe it away.  We’ve had a one week old precious baby girl that we dearly love fighting for her life because of things that are 100% preventable with education and resources.  We’ve had the batteries that give our own house power fail and we are spending more money to keep our power on with our generator than we have in our budget. If we don't have power, we can't pump water. That means no cold showers. No toilets. No power means no refrigerator, no fans, no computers to do Upstream work or homeschool work. These are things we simply didn't have to think about in our Wisconsin home. City power here is unreliable at best. We get a few hours of it a day when we are lucky. The time of day? We never know. The rest is solar and batteries with a generator to back it all up. Our generator budget will soon run out and we will be (mostly) powerless like our neighbors. Except for us, we have American friends backing us. We have support. We won’t be without power for too terribly long. We’ve had a neighbor, that we call friend, come to us with a cut in her eye, and I was thankful that a few weeks before moving to Haiti I had tiny holes in my own eyes that needed medication. A medication that I had leftovers of that could heal my neighbor’s wounds. The same woman would get word about my dripping nose and moments later be at my gate with a bag full of citrus fruit to make me a drink that will SURELY cure my sniffles and sneezes. This community, this family in Haiti…they daily teach me about fight, about priorities, about love and about sacrifice. They also humble me on the topic of strength of faith.

I find myself pondering how we can spend money on batteries and making our vehicle work better for the long run, in a country where babies will die if they don’t get food, if they don’t get medicine. I know that these trivial things are part of life, and I have to remind myself to trust God for even the things that have little or no meaning to those outside of my gated compound. Because they….they are fighting for their lives out there.

Our needs as a family and as an organization are plentiful, and I am thankful that God knows. I am also thankful that we have generous supporters in our corner. We couldn’t do what we do without all of you.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for believing in us, for loving us, and for being generous with us and the people we love and serve.

I pray that you don't grow weary hearing about the many things we face here. I pray that my words don't come off as condemnation, but as encouragement to seek out your own call. Your own yes's. I pray that as we submit ourselves moment by moment that you would be inspired to do the same. Not everyone is asked to move to Haiti. Not everyone is asked to start an organization. Not everyone is asked to do the things we are blessed and humbled to do. But, everyone is called to live WITH and ON purpose. Find the yes's around you. Listen to the voice in your gut that tells you to say no to that thing you don't need, to say yes to the neighbor that needs you to pray AND pick up groceries, the man at the desk next to yours that needs to be encouraged, the "nerd" at school that needs to be invited to your table, the single pregnant woman the needs you to be FULLY pro-life before she goes to the abortion clinic. Welcome her into your own life. Be pro-HER-life so that she can be PRO-her-babies'-life.  There are many things in our midst that we can say YES to. Ask God to reveal them to you. I assure you that He will.  He has answered those prayers of ours ABUNDANTLY.