We landed in Port au Prince and traveled approximately 4 hours to Jacmel. I had only been in Haiti a total of 8 hours upon my arrival and in this short amount of time, I was overwhelmed by the insurmountable poverty. I lay in bed that night thinking to myself……”only God can change this country”.
I awoke the next morning to participate in the first full day of planned activities, and by that evening, I saw plainly how God is going to change the country of Haiti. Here is how I saw it:
Our Mighty God chooses to reveal Himself in this world thru His faithful followers. As we serve our God, we become a “moving portrait” of His Love and His Grace. The people who participate in this organization are servants of God and they have the mind of Christ. They seek the good of others. This organization called “restorehaiti”……sees the BIG PICTURE…..they look away from themselves and choose to serve God for His Glory and His Purposes. Haiti may be a small country, but it has a gigantic need. Where does a person begin? It begins small, in the hearts of 2 people, willing to serve God. It continues to build, one heart at a time, until many hearts, (one heart from Haiti and one heart from abroad)……. join in the cause……to see Haiti restored, which in turn, glorifies The Living God.
This charity is building upon the Rock. On this foundation comes the practice of pure religion and the building up of family. The father is lovingly encouraged to “step up” in providing and participating in the family unit. Marriage is a blessing of God and is a requirement in order to live in one of restorehaiti’s wonderful homes. The family unit is strengthened and as a result, the community grows stronger. Education for the young is essential. This ministry is growing “leaders” for the country of Haiti. Thru these leaders, God will move to heal this impoverished country.
In closing: I saw God’s love given….. I saw God’s love received….. and I saw God’s love shared. It was an incredible life changing experience and I thank God for allowing me to see His Glory in the people of Haiti and in the people I served along side.
Patty Lahey (alias–mama Pat)
So many amazing things are happening while I’m here …. I’ve seen 2 houses finished , a kitchen for the feeding program that is nearly finished … God is truly blessing this community and it’s awesome to witness in the time that I have been here this summer … Another highlight of my trip , I was sitting in the foyer at the house with Pastor and we were watching a Hillsong United DVD …. It got to a quiet part and he looked at me and said do you mind sharing the message tomorrow in church … At first I was shocked , because I had nothing written down or anything to go by … But the Holy Spirit immediately took over I said yes I would love to …. So that night I found myself staying up pretty late diving into scripture and finding the right words to say … I shared about the power of the Holy Spirit and what he has done in my life , I gave some scriptures to go along with the examples given …. I then asked the congregation if they had anything that was tying them down and keeping them from experiencing the fullness and goodness of the father ,if they did I encouraged them to lay their burdens at the feet of Jesus and to be done with the junk that was attacking them ….. In closing I prayed over the congregation …. When I stepped off the stage I felt very charged up , I began to give God praise for what he had just done You see I’ve always struggled with speaking in front of large groups , This message came out with “ease” … God is so good !!!! When I went to sit down Pastor said a few words and they began to play “Break Every Chain” by Jesus Culture …. I had my head down in continuous thankfulness for speaking through me …. As I looked up 3 men had come to the front of the church …. All 3 accepted Jesus on Sunday !!!!! Praise Jesus !!! Really hard to believe that this trip is coming to an end but so overjoyed at what God has done on this trip , And super stoked that I got to be a vessel of encouragement to a few folks while I’ve been here …. Until next time God Bless!!!!Learn More
I’ve been back from Jacmel a little over a month now and my experience there is still very vivid in my mind and heart. It is a place I will never forget and I cannot wait to return. Since I’ve been back I’ve told countless numbers of friends and family about my trip and they only seem to ask about what I consider to be insignificant parts of the trip; my personal safety and concerns about what people do and don’t have. Even in sharing my photos about the trip it didn’t seem like people were getting the gist of what I wanted them know about my trip and exactly what I experienced. As I was looking back through my photos I realized that they were, obviously, from my view point but represented different encounters with God. Some were pictures of kids, goats, cows, people, etc. and each is like a hug or a reminder from God that He is always present and in many forms. While in Jacmel I’ve never felt safer and surrounded by people with such abundance. The abundance of God, love and community was overwhelming. The moment we landed in Port-au-Prince and I looked out at the mountains I knew I was surrounded by God. Riding to Jacmel, I knew I was surrounded by God. I saw God in everything in Jacmel.
As time goes on I’ve been trying to figure out how to describe the experience to others in a way to make them not focus on “lack” but the spirit of God that is present there. It’s hard to explain an encounter with God and resting in His arms daily. Ephesians 3:18-19 was my experience in Haiti, it happened but it is difficult to put into words. It’s all of the feelings, the hugs, the words, the smiles, the kids calling out your name, the sounds and everything I saw…all of which I’ve found simply unexplainable. It’s hard to explain Jean-Mary singing at the work site on a hot day to someone that wasn’t there or the kids that show up at the work site to help without being asked. I came to Jacmel hoping to make a difference in someone’s life and I suppose searching for something and what I found was that God was searching for me and He had to bring me to Jacmel to whisper in my ear and even use a child to remind me of His love for me and how He is constantly chasing after me even when I don’t always make myself available. I could attempt to come up with a detailed account of my trip to Jacmel but this sums it up:
…to grasp how wide and how long and how high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. ~ Ephesians 3:18-19~
This was Jacmel. I look forward to meeting God again.
And the presence of God which transcends ALL understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:7~Learn More
It’s been awhile since I last wrote …Staying busy … Lots of projects going on .. Let me start first with Chicken Leg Day … In the time that I have been here I will have seen 3 chicken leg days …. This if you don’t know is a day where each kid in the feeding program gets a chicken leg with their meal along with a glass of milk … Very awesome to see … I’m also continuing to take heights and weights of the kids in the feeding program … This is something the sponsor can check on the Restore Haiti website … I’m not done but I’m getting there .. And eventually all the kids information will be entered .. Another project that the teams are working on is a new fence in front of the preschool I haven’t been over their with any of the teams but they are continuing to work hard on the project. The house next to the palace is a project I’ve seen each team work on since I’ve been here Involves carrying large bricks down a steep hill along with large wheel barrels and large buckets of sand .. Each team has brought 110% energy to this project .. This is really awesome to see what was a hole in the ground turn into something that is going to provide awesome shelter and bring great joy to the family moving in …. Our God is awesome !!! Another project that we have started at what once was Pastor Rodrigue’s is total transformation bunk beds being sanded and painted along with a few other projects as well … That’s it for now … My body and mind need some rest …. Please continue to pray for the leaders .. That God will provide them with rest and strength … There are a lot of things going on . Thanks and God BlessLearn More