The Vision I Received Before Haiti



The Sunday before we left for Haiti, I was deeply moved during one of the worship songs. I bowed my head to pray and felt tears burning to escape. I opened my eyes slightly to release the pressure and felt the tears sliding down my cheeks. That’s when I saw this image of the eyes of Jesus. I squinted my eyes to see further into my mind’s eye. The eyes were deep, intense and staring hard into me. As if right into my soul.

I wanted to look away from this look that was intimate and knowing in a way I’ve never experienced. But I couldn’t look away. My eyes focused on the image in my mind. These burning eyes.

Then it was gone. And I knew I had just experienced Jesus in a way I had never experienced Him before. I had no idea what that look meant, what that image of His eyes given to me purposed.




4 days later we arrived in Haiti. After a full day of travel, we hopped on a bus for a 4 hour drive up into the region of Cathor. The drive through Port-Au-Prince was shocking. I’d never seen anything like it in my life. Finally through the city we continued the journey through more isolated and remote areas.

Children would catch sight of our bus, see our white skin, eyes lit up, they pointed calling out, “Blan!!! Blan!!!” “White, White!”

Their smiles. Oh their smiles. The smiles transformed their faces. And their eyes. Some of those eyes held words lacking a voice. Many eyes I met along that road began to pierce my heart.

The tears began to burn behind my lids again. I felt the pressure. I swallowed hard. The looks in these eyes all held something so….familiar, something so identical. They mirrored the eyes of Jesus that bore into my soul only days before.

My throat caught. I saw Jesus in their eyes. Maybe they knew Him, maybe they didn’t. But He knew them and was looking straight into my soul through their eyes.

It wasn’t just the eyes of the children. Even more knowing was the look in the eyes of the Haitian adults. Piercing at times. God was speaking to me through the eyes of the ones He loves.




In a post coming soon, you will see why He spoke to me through the eyes. So that I wouldn’t miss what He had in store.


Is God Really Enough?



In the months, weeks, and days leading up to Haiti, I prayed (and had many others praying) for protection from malaria transmitting mosquitos and all other health concerns related to traveling to a 3rd world country.

I researched the threat of disease, the risks involved with medications and vaccines, weighed the pros and cons, and prayed for God’s guidance. God was asking me to trust Him completely. Steve and I prepared our immune systems in the weeks leading up to the trip.

I remembered a lesson I taught to a 4th grade Sunday school class about God having authority over nature and His creation so I began to pray that God command all biting insects away from us while in Haiti and that He close the mouths of all disease carrying insects that He allows to come near us. I prayed for invisible mosquito nets to cover us every step of our trip. And we had many people praying for my fear bordering the edge of ridiculous.

The real question became Is God Enough? Is He enough to cover me? Is He enough if He allows me to get sick? Do I really believe that God is all I need? I say He is, but when I’m bumped up against a fear, He quickly becomes not enough.

As we prepared for the trip, I began to stockpile bug spray. All varieties. I’d place an order on Amazon and slip in another bottle or two of insect repellant. Just for good measure. I was careful to order only sizes that would pass security, some 1 oz bottles, some 3 oz bottles. Along with all our other liquids. I packed and divided up some in my suitcase then slipped some into Steve’s suitcase.

We were prayed up and prepared up. As we stood in the security line at the airport, I felt as ready as I imagined I could feel. I’d prayed for months and couldn’t have done one more ounce of preparation or planning for disease protection. Twinges of guilt reminded me that I spent more time praying about my fear of disease and bugs than I spent praying for the hearts and souls I travelled to see.

Steve and I placed our bags on the conveyor belt. I stepped into the body scanner, holding hands high above my head. Walked through allowing them to wave the wand all over my body. I grabbed the bucket containing my shoes and purse when the conveyor belt stopped.

The TSA agents began pointing to the screen, pulling items from our belongings, consulting with each other. One held up a gallon size Ziploc bag containing about 10 containers of bug spray. “Is this for one person?”

Steve looked at me with that look that said, “What in the world have you done?”

He responded back, “We are traveling together. To Haiti. It’s for both of us.”

Well, yes, it was for both of us, but there was more they hadn’t seen yet. They grabbed only the first bag of spray, but I’d slipped into Steve’s bag another Ziploc containing our ‘just in case’ supply.

We stopped the security line as 3 agents began to deal with us. They were digging in all of our stuff. It wasn’t just bug spray. I had essential oils for every possible ailment. I had peroxide, magnesium oil, colloidal silver, creams. You name it, we had it.

The agent turned to me with 2 itty-bitty, teensie weensie quart sized baggies. “You can each only take liquids to fill one bag each. I looked at the bucket of liquids staring back at me.

“But we are going to Haiti!!!”

I honestly believe the security agent felt sorry for me in that minute.

“I’m sorry.”

“But this is a ton of money in these bags. Will you throw it all away? Can you at least use it or give it away?”

“No, ma’am. We are required to throw it away.”

I felt my stomach turning over. The thought of all that money going into the trash can followed by the realization that I would now enter Haiti much less prepared than I planned or desired.

That pestering thought whispered again. “Is God enough? Really enough? Is He enough to cover you? Is He enough to hold you if He allows disease? Is He enough?”

With the pressure of the growing line behind us and our waiting travel partners ahead of us, we began the task of deciding what made the trip and what made the trash. About 10 containers of bug spray made the trash, but I managed to take about 3-4 small containers with us.

Psalm 63:1-8

God, You are my God; I eagerly seek You.
I thirst for You;
my body faints for You
in a land that is dry, desolate, and without water.
2 So I gaze on You in the sanctuary
to see Your strength and Your glory.
3 My lips will glorify You
because Your faithful love is better than life.
4 So I will praise You as long as I live;
at Your name, I will lift up my hands.
5 You satisfy me as with rich food;[a]
my mouth will praise You with joyful lips.
6 When I think of You as I lie on my bed,
I meditate on You during the night watches
7 because You are my helper;
I will rejoice in the shadow of Your wings.
8 I follow close to You;
Your right hand holds on to me.

Now began the days of walking in faith that He would be enough.

The only way to believe God is enough is to know Him. Not to know about Him or to serve Him, but to know Him. So I read the Psalms. Reminding myself who He is.

I fought back against my fears, which spoke to make me believe the lie that He would not be enough.

Our travel team received a good laugh at my ridiculous preparations and disposal. When I realized each of them brought one tiny bottle of spray, if any, I felt even sillier that I thought I needed 15 bottles of spray. But that is what fear does best.

One of the very first things I learned in Haiti is we need a lot less than we think we need. In Haiti the things I think I “need” didn’t exist. Or they were left at home. Or God took them.

The rawness of life exposed. What is truly necessity? And what is a crutch. What is a pleasure? And what are the things that allow me to rest my fears on them rather than removing everything so all I see is God. In Haiti so much is removed that seeing God is not difficult at all. Seeing God is seeing that He is enough.

I shared this on my Facebook page on April 19th (exactly one month from our departure date):

If we had any idea of God’s deep affection for us, we would go through life fearless. If we really trusted Him, nothing would cause us to pause in the dark before moving forward.
We are going to Haiti on a mission trip in 4 weeks. To be quite honest, I’m scared. Scared of many things, and I have an army of people praying right now.
Here’s what God showed me this week. He knows every tiny speck of fear that has found a home in our hearts, even the ones we’ve denied and not brought before His throne.
Two weeks ago I walked outside and the biggest mosquito I’ve ever seen in my life darted at my face. I screamed. At a mosquito. It was the size of a small bird. Or was it my fear distorting my view? I don’t have a mosquito fear in America. But in Haiti? Yes, yes I do fear the mosquitoes there. In God’s sweet kindness, He has sent the biggest mosquitoes of my life to me in droves over the last two weeks. I’ve never seen anything like them.
In God’s kindness, He is forcing me to face my fear here and now so I see how small an issue it actually is when placed in the light of a great big God that commands the mosquitoes to shut their mouths. Or command the mosquitoes to go here and there. He is in charge. Not my fear.
This morning I stood at the sink when a prehistoric mosquito made a dive at me. It bypassed the children and made its way straight at me. Instead of shrieking, I grabbed a towel, swatted it down, and threw it in the trash.
I tossed my head back in laughter as my children looked on wondering who this strange woman was in disguise as their mother.
“Boys, God is just so good. He knows I’ve been praying He would close the mouths of the mosquitoes in Haiti and He knows I’m scared of being eaten alive by them (so silly I know but if you saw how mosquitoes attack me, you would understand). And in God’s great love and kindness, He is sending me the biggest, scariest, most monstrous mosquitoes now so I can see that my fear is unwarranted and I won’t be shocked and scared in Haiti.”
They went back to pancakes, and I went to God in praise.
Last night at dinner, Andrew asked if he could pray. After blessing the food he said this, “God, I pray for Haiti and all the people there. And God, I pray that you would help mom to not be shocked by all she is going to see when she is there.”
Ya’ll. That is God! I’ve never said those words. I’ve never considered praying about that. God placed in that little boy’s heart the very thing God knows is going to turn us upside down. What we will see is going to be shocking and jolting in ways we’ve yet to consider.
God is concerned with the most microscopic concerns of our life and this entire world. If we believed that in the bottom of our souls, we would walk in confidence and purpose for His glory.
God has been teaching me so much in the past few weeks. He’s been drawing me into Him in new ways. Showing new things. Giving new understanding and insight. In the in-betweens, there are giant mosquitoes that must be taken down.
Today, remember He loves you in a way you could never begin to fathom. The depth of His affection you could never see. Take your fears to Him. He already knows them. He is ready to go to war on your behalf. Casting down the mosquitoes that arrive in droves.



God is enough. He is enough in America. He is enough in Haiti. He is enough in all things good and bad. Haiti taught me that too much very often is the thing that covers the fact that He is all we need.

I can’t wait to share more stories from our trip here with you. I have one in particular that still leaves me speechless. So the next few posts, I’ll be sharing stories of our time in Haiti and what God showed us. Thank you for praying!

Oh! And btw, I didn’t receive a single mosquito bite in Haiti. In fact, I maybe saw five mosquitoes the entire time we were there. And they were just outside that invisible net God provided.

Much love,


Mission Mondays: A Summer Tradition



Summer is in full swing and so begins one of my favorite summer traditions.  Mission Mondays.  Summer is for memory-making.  We have so many opportunities to create meaningful memories.  While we are creating memories, we can do something for others in need while sewing seeds of compassion into our children’s hearts.

2 years ago we labeled Mondays as Mission Mondays.  These were dedicated days of service projects.  Looking back over the years, these projects have become some of our favorite memories.  As my boys get older, I’m realizing how important continuing this tradition actually is.

This year we invited friends to join us.  For our first mission project of the summer, we filled blessing bags. These are bags that you fill to keep in your car so when you pass a homeless person in need you have something to offer them.  We fill the bags with personal hygiene items, small non-perishable food items, a Bible, a handmade card, some hard candy, etc.

Once our bags were filled and cards made, we moved to our 2nd project.  Making a welcome sign for a 12-year-old we are hosting through New Horizons for Children this summer.  If you have been a reader here for awhile, you will remember when we hosted Viktors, an orphan from Latvia, during Christmas 2012. This summer we will host again, this time a girl. We know her well since she has been hosted by my sister’s family 2 times.  We are so excited to shower her with love this summer.  And have some girl flair in this male-dominated home for a few weeks.

This summer we have selected 4 Mondays to serve others.  I find that my children tend to learn through action rather than just my words and these projects allow them to become involved and take ownership.  Summer is a time of fun and relaxation, but I want them to see beyond themselves.  To see that summer isn’t about only themselves and having fun.  I want them to use their time and their talents to serve others.

Our first Mission Monday last week had the girls all over it.  Marina has a beautiful sign that will greet her in 9 days!



Here are some Mission Monday posts from the past:

Homeless Blessing Bags

Mission Monday Ideas

Lemon-Aide Stand

What are some ways your family serves others during summer break?  I have shared a few ideas in the links above and would love to hear your ideas!