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Showing posts from 2015

Falling

I'm not sure how many times I'll have to dive head first into the dirt to learn my lesson. But I do know (thanks to Jesus and Brene Brown) that vulnerability is key, not shaming myself is essential, and storytelling is a big part of "Rising Strong" (Brown's recent book) and getting back up after a fall. This past weekend, half of our staff went to the mountain to do a mobile clinic. The other We Care Haiti campus in the mountain is outside of Fonds des Negres (a good 4 hours away from where I live & work). Our staff did an incredible job of seeing well over 200 people in 1.5 days -- now that is hard work. I'm so grateful for them, their perseverance, hark work, and hearts for the health of their country. Friday morning - the 1st day of the clinic - I decided to try to be a gymnast before 6 am. I was getting out of bed the gymnast way instead of using the ladder like a logical human being. I reached over to the bunk beside me to have an arm on each bunk …

Balance

Balance-- isn't that the million dollar word? How do we achieve it? Here are a few of my thoughts after this week-- a great week and a very trying week here in Haiti.
I knew it was a big week this past week. Heck it's a big several weeks. This week we will do our first mobile clinic (as an OCHC staff... We Care Haiti has done many mobile clinics in the past) in Fonds Des Negres area and then the following week, I head to the states! Hallelujah. Sometime in there we've got to start running a small lab in our clinic. 
And I feel like I've been running a thousand miles a minute.. and I'm pretty tired. And when I get stressed, exhausted, and haven't spent enough time on self care & in the Word, I get: impatient, indecisive, and a people pleaser because I want to control how everyone feels about me (let's be honest.. that's what people pleasing really is, right?).
This week we had dear friends in town from the US-- Dr. Ellen Palmer, RN, PhD, and 'gl…

God of Abundance

Our God is a God of abundance.
That's what thought keeps entering my mind this week.
Murph's team from Pathways Church in Ft. Wayne, Indiana was here last week and headed back to states this past Saturday.
They loved abundantly, gave abundantly, served abundantly while they were here.
They welcomed me into their family and I welcomed them into my new Haitian family and the clinic here.
They brought gifts in abundance when they came. They were given a wish list very last minute (by me) and exceeded all expectations.
They reminded me why I'm in Haiti. They ate normal American snacks that I had almost forgotten about.
They came, they served, they took initiative, they loved... all with abundance and out of abundance.

See in Haiti, the mentality is a lack of abundance. It's a mentality of poverty. Since I've been here my mentality of abundance has gradually diminished. Things get stolen, I get hardened. I start to act as if there isn't enough. Isn't enough to g…

The sounds of Haiti and the sounds in my Mind

The to do list is mounting. Emails, connecting with people, documenting meetings, creating structure, how the Heck are we going to get a lab started in our clinic? The to do list ranges from stapling new patient forms together to creating a sustainable structure and process for the Onaville Community Health Center.
I need to do yoga. I haven't exercises in week(s).
My favorite place in the house is the front porch. Yes, I'll do yoga there. No, I don't have a yoga mat (yes one is on the way, Thank you Aunt Laura). Jesus give me rest.
So I did yoga. And I listened. And I thanked God for exercise and ability. And I listened. The sounds of Haiti are so different than the sounds in the US. Wind. The sound of the wind in Haiti blowing through the trees, blowing the dust off of the ground of this white town. The sound of tires crunching along the gravely, rocky ground. The sound of tap tap tires are very different from the sound of a big truck hauling concrete powder or sand. The …

Saturday morning, Reginald, & God's Love

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I wrote this out in my journal on Saturday morning-- excuse the journal-esque writing.

Saturday morning - what a fun morning.
We did not have electricity after midnight so I woke up burning up at 3am -- beads of sweat. So I got up, opened the windows and battled the mosquitos. I had 3 mosquitos in my room when I woke up around 7am and had an ant infestation as well. "This is Haiti." I got out of bed, very sticky and muggy, and went downstairs to see what was going on. I had some corn flakes, milk (warm b/c no electricity), peanut butter, and suger. I boiled hot water for coffee-- thank God for Nescaffe-- never thought I would say that. (The individual packets of nescaffe are so handy, Aunt Amy! Thank you!) When I say it was a fun morning.. i'm serious. It was a fun morning-- all the above details are just details about what it's like here. Thank goodness for beautiful Haitian children that have such personality and life and purity. Reginald has got to be the cutest ki…

"This is Haiti"

'This is Haiti' is a common phrase used around here. Usually I find that it is a way of explaining the culture, the customs, the past, the way of life, the heat, the dust, the difficulty, the beauty… this is Haiti. So this is a blog about my first 2 weeks in Haiti. It has not been easy. Each day is so full, so rich, with good experiences and bad experiences.
I've been sweating for the past 24 hours straight… with the exception of a few hours that I slept last night because I woke up this morning not sweating-- I was pretty excited about that. The generator battery needs repair/replacement and the city electricity in Haiti comes on whenever it wants… which means that sometimes it comes on 5 minutes per day, 1 hour per day, or even 12 hours per day. It totally and completely depends.. On….nope, nobody knows. I feel relatively accomplished that I spent my first night without any electricity -- no fan, moving air only through your windows.. So I took a quick shower with a trick…

God Does

I've been meaning to write this blog post for quite some time. It's been a bit crazy lately-- the last two weeks I've had a goodbye & fundraising party, had a garage sale, gotten rid of almost all of my material possessions (or pawned them off on family-- thanks sister and cousin), and I'm now on the plane to Florida to move to Haiti tomorrow. Did I even mention saying 'see you later' (goodbye is too hard) to my AMAZING community of friends and family in Texas and Oklahoma? Yup - I've been a puddle of tears most of the day (yes, day, because God was gracious enough to help me hold it all together during the last month of 'see you laters').
This story of God Does should be many blog posts… but I'll try to condense it as much as possible. Here we go:
International missions has been on my heart since I was a child. Can't tell you a time or day but it's been a long time. As a competitive gymnast most of my life, mission trips were not rea…

Love Does

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Have you all read the book "Love Does" by Bob Goff? I listened to it on audiobook in the last year and recently have had many encounters with people who live out Love Does.
Let me give you examples of what I mean.

My discipleship leader, Annetta, and her friend, Hollie, offered to throw a fundraiser party for me in July. HUGE blessing. Annetta had only been married for a few weeks and was still getting settled into the house with her husband. Hollie and I had met maybe twice before and she blew me away with how willing she was to jump in and say 'of course I'll help.' The party was a huge blessing, a forum for me to be able to tell friends and family about what I'll be doing in Haiti and how they can support the cause, a time of prayer, and just a sweet time of love and support. During the party, Annetta was already planning a mission trip to Haiti in early spring for friends and supporters. After the party, Hollie came up to me and said something to the effe…
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Friends and family-
Please forgive me for lack of blogging lately! It has been a whirlwind and boy do I have a lot to catch you up on!

A few topics I plan on covering over the next month:or
1. trip to Haiti with We Care Haiti in late July
2. fundraising update
3. Joy and Rest

So first let's start with my trip to Haiti with Mr. Cundiff, Director of We Care Haiti, July 17th through the 21st. There are so many stories from just one trip it's hard to figure out how to summarize them in a blog post.
I've told friends that the first full day I was in Haiti we drove a dying man back to the 'mountain' to his family and my last day in Haiti we had 3 women show up with their dying sons in tow seeking help. And during that trip there was everything in between. This is Haiti. Extreme highs and lows. Extreme juxtapositions. I'm going to get lots of practice dealing with my emotions because on most days I want to laugh and cry all in the same day.

So Mr. Then (pronounced …

Ask

I am bad at asking.
So I'm going to practice... which is hard for me.
I have been encouraged by very wise people (mainly my counselor) to ask for what I need. Sounds simple right? I am very comfortable responding to other peoples needs on a daily basis.. I work in a big hospital system which means there are an abundance of needs every day. But my own needs? That's a bit harder and takes a quite a bit of self awareness to know what you really need (not the superficial stuff that initially comes to the surface like food, a massage, shopping, or a good beer).

So I'm asking for:

1. Grace. I've never done this before. (This meaning ..being a missionary). I am doing my due diligence, my research, taking the right steps, etc. etc. etc. but it's not going to be perfect. (I'm pretty sure I'm the only one who expects me to be perfect).

2. Support. Encouragement. Prayer. I need people on my team and in this with me.. and I know there are many. I am abundantly blessed with …

Rachel’s Haiti Adventures

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Hello supporters! Wow God has worked in incredible ways since I reached out for your support to go to Haiti! First of all, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your prayers and financial support to allow me to travel to Haiti. Our team had a great time in Haiti serving in the poor town of Titanyen, sharing the gospel, praying for those in need, loving on children, organizing a VBS of sorts, building a latrine and planting trees, and loving on the Mission of Hope staff. Haiti is a beautiful country full of mountains and ocean views but also with an intense amount of need. The country has a history full of abuse, revolt, corruption, and natural disasters. The stark poverty there and lack of resource seems overwhelming but at the same time there is such a hope in Haiti.
The Lord graciously used my time in Haiti to remind me of the gifts that He has given me including building relationships, serving, empowering others, and sharing the gospel joyously and intentionally. He also reminde…