“Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders, Let me walk upon the waters, Whenever you would call me, Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander, And my faith will be made stronger, In the presence of my Savior.” Oceans by Hillsong United
My heart for missions began long ago, when I was just ten years old and a missionary from Africa came to speak to my class in church. I saw God’s heart for the poor of the world, and I just knew that I would also become a missionary someday. God’s plans are even bigger and better than we could imagine, because that missionary soon married my mother and became my step-father! He shared with me about his life in Kenya and increased my love for God’s children everywhere and especially for the poorest people in the world.
Several years later, while I was in nursing school, I had the opportunity to go on a mission trip to Haiti with my nursing professor. She was born in Haiti to a missionary family, and she led us through the countryside of North Haiti to visit villages and bring medical care to the extremely poor people there. While on that trip, I was introduced to her extended family, and met my husband, Ryan! We have been married for 16 years now, and have six amazing children. Our family has kept our heart for missions alive through prayer and financially supporting organizations in Haiti, as well as being involved in foster care and adoption here in the States. Still, we always hoped to return to Haiti with our family.
So many times over the years, Ryan and I would start the process of traveling to Haiti, and then something would happen and we would end our plans. Last year, we were introduced to the directors of Haiti 180, a mission organization located in the remote mountains of Southern Haiti. Very soon after meeting the directors, Ryan and I knew that this was a clear answer to a calling we have been discerning for such a long time. It truly is a calling. Many times, it seems overwhelming and just impossible to bring a family of eight people all the way to the rural mountains of Haiti to serve the poor. Traveling anywhere with young children is difficult. Yet, we are answering this call, and we are ready to begin walking down this path.
I have been brushing off my nursing skills by taking online certification courses, with a focus on women’s health and tropical medicine. I am passionate about helping women during pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work part-time as a nurse in the Haiti 180 clinic. I also plan to begin a training class with the local nurses and young women in the village to encourage healthy families and natural family planning.
This year has been full of waiting. The global pandemic has changed so many things, and travel has become a challenge. Although it has been frustrating, this time of waiting has been extremely fruitful. Our three oldest children have been homeschooling since mid-summer, in anticipation of our first trip this Fall. Each of my girls are busy learning new crafts and gathering supplies to bring and to teach to the older children at the orphanage – crochet bags, cross-stitched saints, and handmade rosaries! We will spend six weeks in November and December getting to know life at the mission in Haiti 180 – loving on the children at the Kay Mari children’s home, visiting with the lovely people at the elderly home, and serving at the Saint Mother Theresa Medical Clinic. I can’t wait to share updates on this blog, and especially to include blog posts written by my children sharing their experiences!
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