More Than Planned

We landed in Haiti on Sunday morning. Our missionary team came together from a few different states to serve alongside each other in the mountains of Haiti.   The team had been preparing months to be ready for everything that God had prepared for them to do. This included materials for two different VBS groups, puppets to entertain and tell Bible stories that change lives. Team members brought reading glasses for an adult literacy program, shoes for all of the children at the center and enough candy to keep the kids very happy and a future dental team very busy. A person or a team should prepare thoroughly, have contingency plans and be ready for God to mess with those plans accomplishing much more than planned.

June 2015 Heart of God Team
June 2015 Heart of God Team

New school shoes for the kids
Church (left) and children’s center (right) in the mountains

The highlight and emphasis of any mission trip and the reason people pray, save, give, and prepare for months in advance is to see the gospel clearly communicated through everything that is said and done. It was clear from the start, this team with Heart of God International in Haiti were His ambassadors and they represented God and His mission very well. The game plan unfolded beautifully. Children, staff, the village and other spectators were prayed for, loved on, and the perfect plan was being executed almost as perfectly. Then the Master Planner interrupts with His own plan. Will you participate or will you cower at the potential of problems that intervening in this situation may cause? As you read this, ask yourself the question, what would I do?

As I drive down the mountain on the bumpy, steep dirt road going through nearby villages we drive upon a scene that most don’t even notice, but something in my spirit tells me, “Watch! There is something going on here.” We proceed to pass by, but I keep an eye on the situation in the mirror.  Then I see it…a man winds up and with all of his might launches a right hook connecting with the fearful face of a young woman who is thrown to the ground from the blow.

It was as if there was no thought, just a quick reaction to the brakes and the car came to an abrupt halt. A few of us men jump out of the car scurrying to the scene of the young woman now in tears and pain. Covering her head and face she folded into the fetal position trying to protect herself and the baby inside her from the next blow. Thankfully, the next the blow did not come and the situation quickly subdued apart from the heckling of some from the peanut gallery. I scolded the group of onlookers in Creole that this should never happen, that man should never hit a woman like this. One onlooker said, “This is not your country, so don’t tell us what to do.” I continued, “You need to be a man.”  Then looking at the 20 or so others that had just stood there watching a guy beat up a pregnant young girl, I said, “and so do each of you. If you see this happening in your home or village, put a stop to it. Be a man! Control yourself! Don’t ever hit women! And if you see another guy abusing a woman, stop him!” A group of ladies walking by with loads of vegetables in baskets on their heads, now spectators of the unfolding scene, were giving me big smiles and passionate nods of agreement. If I told you the whole story of the next 48 hours it would be exciting, frustrating, sad, disappointing, and inspiring. Family members, friends, missionaries, organizations, police, orphans, children and adults experienced an opportunity to be a part of what God was doing, is doing, and will do in the life of this 17 year old young woman and her 5 month old baby that is being knitted together in her womb.

The young mother is in a safe place, being cared for, but still needs a place for her prenatal care and delivery of her baby. Please be praying for wisdom for this young mom, her future, her baby’s future and her caregivers to be able to meet the needs of this unexpected, but divine guest.

A couple of the young ladies from our team had no idea that they would be called upon to meet this need but stepped up willingly ready to serve. They were truly the hands and feet of Jesus to care and provide for a girl that made some poor decisions; trusting God to take this mess and make it a message. Prayers are being answered, as this young future mom has recently trusted Christ as her Savior! Please be praying that she will continue to grow up in the wisdom and knowledge of her Savior. What is God asking you to do? Is it to take a mission trip? Is it to get into a small group and allow God through the power of the Holy Spirit to prepare you for every good work that He has for you? Is it to give of your resources to help this situation?

We make good plans, sometimes even great plans, execute them and then God has an even better plan. Prepare, plan, execute, be available, faithful, teachable and be ready for “God who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever (Eph 3:20-21).

Special thanks to David Young, Executive Director for Heart of God Haiti, and the June 2015 missionary team for your obedience to God.  Your faith and example to others is producing fruit. Thanks for allowing me to be a part of what God did and will continue to do through you, the privilege to translate for you, drive you all around, pray with you, spend time in the Word with you, and be encouraged by each of you and your ministry.

HGIM Haiti Exec. Director David Young on top of our vehicle unloading supplies. Kids around Eric as usual.

A few of us from the team also met with our KOFAEL program ladies at the monthly meeting. The team provided special refreshments for the ladies while sharing their life stories and listening as the Kofael ladies also gave testimony to how God was using the loans to change their families. Ten of the program members recently graduated and Elisabeth and I were privileged to treat/reward them to a day at a beach resort with a buffet meal the previous month. These were excited to share with the group about this very special event in their lives. (If you missed the post with pics of that special event click HERE!) We wish all of you who support the women’s micro loan ministry could see their tears of joy and hear how God has used your investment to transform so many individual lives and families. Thank you so much for your encouragement through prayers and support of the Kofael program.

No matter where we live, there are many people and situations that we encounter but certain ones stand out in our hearts and minds. I hope sharing a personal story reminds you of some of those divine guests God has brought into your own life and excites you for the next opportunity to love no matter the cost. Open our eyes Lord to what You are doing around us and help us not to miss Your eternal plan.

I returned to the USA with the HGIM team, met up with my family in Virginia and made our way to Texas after stops in Tennessee and Mississippi. We will be spending the month of July in Seguin, Texas, and are searching for affordable airfare to return to Haiti in August. If anyone has extra American Airline miles you can spare we would be very grateful as we used all of our miles to get here.  Ticket prices seem to be higher than usual at this time. If you would like to get together please send us a text, email or facebook message. If you would like to give or learn more about partnering with us through Heart of God International Ministries, we would love for you to join our prayer and financial support team. Please contact us personally, HERE or HERE.

A special thank you to our ministry partners for your investment and ministry to this team, to the young mother and unborn child whose story I shared, and fellowship in sharing the gospel with the nations. We are an extension of you and your ministry and you are an extension or ours. We have said this before and will say it again that we cannot do this without you! Thank you for giving us the privilege of serving in Haiti and wherever else God opens doors for us to be. Thank you for your prayers and continued support as we try to rest in order to return to Haiti refreshed and ready for all God is preparing.

Vacation Bible School group in Boukan, Haiti. Beautiful place and people!
Vacation Bible School group in Boukan, Haiti. Beautiful place and people!



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