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Here we go!

In 8 hours, this year’s Haiti Team will be heading off to serve Grace International in Port-Au-Prince!

Haiti Team 2014!

Stay tuned for our daily updates! Thank you for your prayers and support, and we look forward to sharing our journey with you all back at home!

What a wonderful trip!

It’s been a week since our last Haiti trip, and the team’s hearts are still left in Carrafour with Grace International.

For a complete gallery to our photos, click on the photo below!

The trip was a huge success, and many lives in Haiti were blessed by the people in the States who donated both items and funds generously!

See the video below to see exactly how your donations made a difference in their lives.

Thank you again for all who supported our team and the children in Haiti!

NOTE: We lost Internet access the other night and weren’t able to update the blog until we got on the plane ride home. We are all fine, tired, but incredibly blessed by the trip we were fortunate enough to experience. Here’s what happened yesterday and today!

Day 4

It’s our last day! And it was a busy one~

We got up at the rooster’s crow and had a delicious breakfast before splitting up into three groups. The first group (Tamia, Jennifer and I) headed off to help the wonderful ladies of the Lord’s Kitchen…

The second group (Peter, Angel and Ronald) went to wheel-barrow supplies back and forth from the office to furnace disposal area…

And the third (Corinne and Sandy) went to serve at the medical clinic.

Everyone had a blast serving: it was hard but rewarding work. The Lord’s Kitchen crew started by cleaning every pot, pan, and utensil in the kitchen. After everything was prepared, we peeled, chopped, and prepared vegetables and got ready to serve heaping servings of homemade spaghetti. The kitchen “mothers” prayed over the meals they made, made us laugh and were nothing short of fantastic. Today, the Kitchen was geared to feed the sponsored children of Grace International (and the rest of the week was paid for and dedicated to feed the rest of the children in the neighboring villages).

Meanwhile, in the Clinic, Sandy and Corinne performed routine check-ups on local families, and helped children battling fevers and sicknesses. After the line of people from the Clinic were all served, they moved on to organize, update, and restock the Pharmacy with all of the donated medical supplies that were sent with our team.

And finally, the men were sent to perform some hard labor out in the field. They wheel-barrowed boxes of supplies in the sweltering heat, to safely dispose of potentially hazardous materials. By the end of the session, they had soaked through their clothes with sweat and dust, but they finished what they started and did amazing work.

After lunch, it was time for the Lord’s Kitchen. Some of us focused on giving away the rest of the donated Crocs to the students and the staff’s children while others entertained and got to know the children that came through the gates.

We began to run low on food as the last 50 children arrived, and the women who work the Kitchen put in their own food (which they were saving for their children/families) to make sure that everyone got fed. When we saw their sacrifice, the team pooled together funds and gifted what we had in our pockets for each of the 5 mothers, in thanks for what they did.

The children were bright, grateful, and full of potential and it was a blessing to serve them.

After we washed up, we jumped onto an open truck and held on for dear life as we whizzed through the streets of Haiti to visit Grace International’s new Grace Village. When we arrived, we were greeted by a swarm of children, who grabbed our hands, climbed onto our backs, and proudly escorted us through their neighborhood.

Grace Village is a rural campus that Bishop Jeune purchased in an effort to relocate and better families that used to live in the tent communities at Grace International’s medical campus.

These 70+ families are hand picked to live there. They have jobs, families, and are taught how to build the houses they live in. As we toured the campus, residents proudly showed off the humble homes they lived in, and we were humbled by their hospitality and bright demeanors. At first glance, all we saw were tiny, over-heated homes, with very few belongings…but when we saw their joy at having their own place to call home, we felt at home as well.

After the tour, we were given the opportunity to play with the children and hand out the hundreds of candies we brought with us. Children were overjoyed, but desperate to collect as many as possible, and many of the members were overwhelmed by the helplessness they felt at what they saw. The children had tattered clothes, most were shoeless, but all were full of love and joy. It broke our hearts.

As we boarded our truck to head on back, the children asked if we could take them with us…and that’s when several of our team members broke down. We quickly drove away, and the feelings that welled up in the hearts of the team burst. On our way home, tears were shed, people were heartbroken, and when we got back to the campus, we had a serious discussion on what we just saw.

The sadness we felt was righteous sadness. The poverty that we saw broke our hearts because it broke God’s heart. The anger we felt was righteous anger because children SHOULD NOT STARVE.

It was a painful but eye-opening experience for everybody, and we are all better for it.

Day 5:

Before we left the campus, we had the opportunity to visit the schools at Grace International and give a little speech to the children. Bishop and Madame Jeune prayed over us and we were on the road home!

The ride to the airport was certainly bittersweet. Everyone left with a child on their heart and a mission in their spirit. Several of our members were even able to sponsor a child that they met. What a blessing it was to leave our hearts in Haiti!

Thank you to all that prayed and financially supported us! We can’t wait to organize the videos and photos we took and post them for all to see~

Love your faces. Bon nwit!

Worship worship worship!

Today was full of it~ And it was so good.

I almost forgot to mention, but yesterday, at the crack of dawn (5 am), Peter held a seminar for the Grace International Security Personell. He gave them an hour long session where he taught Tae Kwon Do and self-defense techniques for hand-to-hand combat, and they had a great time learning.

Despite one incident where a security guard got accidentally punched in his face by a partner, everyone was all smiles at the end. (The funniest part was when one of the security guards asked Peter if martial arts fights went down just like the Bruce Lee movies, and Peter had to gently dispel that myth.)

This morning, we got up around 5 am to the sound of roosters crowing. After a flashlight-illuminated breakfast, we hopped onto our bus and headed over to visit two churches with Grace International as Bishop Jeune’s guests.

During both services, we were able to sing and lead worship in Creole (the congregation was very gracious in our butchered version of their language), and we had a great time hearing the testimonies of the church.

One woman came up to the pulpit with her husband and shared her story. She was pregnant with her first child when she experience incredibly painful birth pangs. She was rushed to a nurse, but the doctor wasn’t anywhere to be found. After pushing for what seemed like a pain-filled eternity, she completely ran out of energy once she heard from the nurse that the child was dead in her womb.

She cried out to Jesus for mercy and prayed that He could save her life, even if her child was already gone. And at that moment, she gained unexpected energy to push and the baby came out. To the nurses’ surprise the baby was alive! And the mother was fine as well.

When the doctor finally arrived, he was speechless. When he assessed the situation, he let the woman know that the baby had been dead in her womb for two days, which sparked the birth pangs and prevented her from pushing. And she should have been dead. But God answered her cry for help and saved her and her child.

We led worship at both churches, and left with hugs, smiles, and kisses from the elderly ladies and children of the congregation. It was a wonderful experience, and we were blessed to have been there.

After church, we freshened up (the boys were drenched from having to wear long-sleeved button ups with ties) and then headed on over back to the church to hold a evening worship seminar.

Ronald and Angel did a beautiful job sharing their knowledge and experience in worship ministry and also gave the bright young worship leaders/musicians practical application points to use in their own day-to-day ministries.

At the end of the night, we met up with two other groups visiting Grace International (EMI – Engineering Ministries International) and Solid Rock’s Forward Edge and shared dinner and one last worship session before heading off to bed.

Tomorrow’s a big day! We’ll be working at the Medical Clinic, doing some good ol’ fashioned hard labor, and serving at the Lord’s Kitchen!

Thank you for your prayers and support!

To be continued.

Today was awesome!

We had the opportunity to visit the boys’ and girls’ home today and it was a wonderful experience. We were so blessed!

The boys’ home was the first place we drove to, and they were so full of energy and love! We spent hours listening to them sing, watching them dance, and playing with them. The shoes that were donated were a huge blessing and almost every boy left with a new pair!

What blessed us even more was seeing the wonderful character of these young boys: the older children, whose feet were too large for the donated shoes, were so kind and gracious. They didn’t even blink an eye at the fact that they couldn’t have their own pair, and instead made sure the little ones had theirs.

I got to see Wilkens and Chris again, and it was a happy reunion! We bonded with several new boys, like Andres (the class clown and “big brother” of the group), met with the widows and toured the campus. We fell in love with the boys, and had a really really hard time leaving. And when the time came for us to go, every single team member left with a certain child on their heart to continue supporting and praying over.

After a delicious lunch, we headed out to visit the girls’ home. The girls were much more demure, and the little ladies took their time choosing the color and right size shoe to leave with.

They played with the donated jump ropes, stickers, markers and paper, and sang for us. They made us laugh, cry with joy, and the second goodbye was even harder than the first.

We will continue to support these children, and ask that if you feel in your heart to support a very bright child with lots of potential, to go to Grace International’s Website and sponsor a child!

Love your faces! Thank you for your support and prayers!

We are safe and sound in Haiti!

The team met at Bridgeway’s parking lot at 3:30 am to catch our early morning flight. Everyone was sleepy, but buzzed with the excitement of having this opportunity to travel to Port-au-Prince!

The flights themselves were (thankfully) uneventful, all the bags were checked in without overweight fees, and we were stress free…but when we landed at the Port-au-Prince airport, it was game on.

Between the haggling with workers and the bribing of airport officials to let us pass with all the medical supplies, we had our hands full. But thank God, everyone on the team was vigilant, aggressive and bold, and we left the airport with Grace International’s security, our translator Johnson, all of our donations, and were on our way!

The drive was not too bad (in comparison to previous trips), but I saw the looks on my teammates faces, and saw how much the destruction and destitution of Haiti affected them as we drove by. It was only when we drove through the gates of Grace International, when the feelings of tension and concern were lifted away. There is something about GI’s campus that you just feel at peace, and it was sensed by all. One we safely parked onto the campus, we were greeted by Michael’s friendly face. He warmly welcomed us to Grace Village and we brought all the donations up to the Hospital.

Once we unloaded all the bags and ate a delicious meal, we headed on out for a tour of the Village. I noticed that many tents had also moved away and a new school was being built. Progress was fantastic, and the team members were able to make some new friends as well.

We ended the night worshipping, praying, and studying Matthew 5:16 “Let your light shine before men, that they might see your good deeds. And praise Your Father in Heaven.” Ronald summed it up beautifully by bringing the verse back to the fact that we have been called to be salt and light unto the world…to preserve a dying world with the blessings that God has given us.

God is so good. We are all settled in now, and a huge storm just passed over. Despite the slightly flooded bedrooms/bathrooms, we are safe and sound, and about to get some sweet deep sleep.

Thank you all for your prayers, support, and donations! And a special thanks to John Yum for the hundreds of Crocs that we will be handing out to the Boys and Girls Homes tomorrow!

Stay posted, and please keep us in your prayers!

It’s been a wonderful weekend with my family~

On Friday, we all celebrated my brother Peter’s 23rd Birthday!

I’m very proud to have such a wonderful and mature younger brother. Happy birthday, Peesha!

Today, I had the opportunity to hang out with my sister Faith before she heads back out to college on Tuesday. And per our annual tradition, we had ourselves a Photoshoot~

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It was a beautiful day to take photos, and my lovely subject made my job very easy~. With my new camera (a pretty little Olympus E-PL2 Compact Camera) and the Adobe Lightroom program I got for Christmas, I plan on taking many more pictures! So happy!

Tomorrow and Monday will be just as awesome, because I have the wonderful opportunity to hang out with a team of amazing people who are going to be traveling to Haiti with me to visit Grace International in October. And one of those people is my own brother! So proud, so excited! I can’t wait for him to see the things and meet the people that have changed my own life.

I know this trip is going to be just as life-changing for him and the friends I’m taking.

As you all know, for the past few years, I’ve been dedicating my time to promote a cause that’s near and dear to my heart.

It has been just over 2 years and 7 months since the earthquake of 2010 ravaged Haiti and its capital, Port-Au-Prince. Although Haiti is nearing its 3 year mark of recovery, the aftershocks of the destruction proved to be long-term and devastating. By the grace of God, non-profit organizations, such as Grace International in Port-Au-Prince, have been aiding the Haitian community by overseeing and managing 270 churches, 65 schools, 3 orphanages, medical clinics, hospitals and elderly widow care for over 30 years. The Lord’s Kitchen, Grace International’s children feeding program, has also aided in saving the lives of the children living on Grace International’s campus and in surrounding neighborhoods.

Unfortunately, as time has gone by, the Lord’s Kitchen has struggled to accumulate the funding necessary to keep the program running, while their medical ministries have expressed a need for support and expertise. In response to these specific needs, myself and a carefully hand-selected group of 7 leaders from Bridgeway Community Church will be traveling to Haiti between October 12th-16th to aid and partner with Grace International and serve the Lord’s Kitchen and their medical ministries.

It is my hope that with your help, we can raise enough funds to go above and beyond the $900/per member cost to go to Haiti. Every dollar raised in excess will go directly into funding for The Lord’s Kitchen, and every dollar will feed 3 children! Even the smallest donation has the power to save lives, especially after the wake of Hurricane Isaac.

I humbly ask for any help you can provide so that we can help Grace International continue to spread God’s grace and love to his children in Haiti. Whether you send an online donation or a prayer, I am extremely grateful for your help. You may go to www.bridgewayonline.org/give to give a tax-deductible donation.  Please click on Haiti Missions Trip and designate the Trip Member (Grace Whang) you are supporting. 

Love your faces, and I’ll keep you all posted!

 

Happy Independance Day, my lovely readers! America! WHOO!

This past week has been incredibly eventful. It all started last Friday, when 3 million people (including the Whang Gang) lost all power.

And boy, was it sudden!

That weekend, our family pow-wowed in the basement to keep cool in the 100+ degree weather until (thank God!) we regained power Sunday early afternoon.

I was suddenly reminded of the blackout in Haiti, and I couldn’t help but feel immense gratitude and thankfulness for the situation that our family was blessed to be in, despite the lack of power.

The fact that we have a basement that keeps cool without air conditioning, and clean, running water that allowed us to drink, cook, clean, and wash up…I was re-humbled and re-invigorated for my next trip to Haiti this October.

After the hullaballoo of settling back into our re-powered house, we got ready for the 4th of July!

Our family celebrated by participating in a sponsored event at the Columbia Sheraton Hotel, where we had a beautiful front-row seat to the fireworks show.

The show was beautiful and the night was perfect. And I FINALLY got to try out that “Fireworks” setting on my Canon S90 camera. (See the gallery below for the photos I took that night…the setting is not bad!)

This weekend, the Whang ladies are heading out to Pennsylvania for a girl’s night on the town!

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know that any time spent with my Mom and my sister will bring about some crazy memories.

Look forward to it! Mwah!

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Can you believe it?

It’s already been two weeks since that amazing trip to Haiti. I miss Haiti already!

I’ve put together a short little video to let you all see and know the kind of impact your donations and support have made in the lives of the children in Haiti.

I love your faces, my lovely readers. You can always donate to www.newmercyproject.org and 100% of your donations will make its way into the Lord’s Kitchen and keep it running.

(Sorry for the delay in posting. Due to a country-wide blackout, the Girl’s Home, which is where the Internet router is, unfortunately had no power and therefore no Internet. The generator at the Grace International Children’s Hospital (where I am staying) fortunately is still working, but we are conserving the electricity just in case of an emergency. Now I want to buy the Girl’s Home a generator…

Anyways, as you’re reading this, I’m at the airport waiting to board the plane back to the States!)

Everything folded together beautifully today.

Last night, before we went to bed, several of us decided to pre-empt the darkness we experienced previously by worshipping with some of the young men working at Grace International until the sun had slipped away and our eyes were literally dropping shut. We prayed, we heard more stories, and we slept long and peacefully.

This morning, I said my temporary good-byes to Amy, Tim, and Sharon, as they headed off to Gonaives to visit Beyond All Boundaries, while Ms. Tracey and I stayed behind to work at the Lord’s Kitchen.

As we peeled garlic, stuffed peppers, and sorted through beans, we shared what was on our hearts and re-hashed what we felt and saw during this trip. We were completely blown away by the almost unreal stories that we heard since Wednesday, and shook our heads in awe of the power and might of God our Father. Here are some of the stories we heard:

Chris

Chris had been walking home from school when the 2010 earthquake hit. A benefactor of Grace International’s Boy’s Home and schooling system, Chris had been raised as a believer in Christ and educated at a great school. He didn’t realize it, but that day, God spared his life. For some strange reason, he felt the need to leave school early that day and head on home before classes had ended. As he was on his way, walking down the middle of the road, the earthquake hit hard. He had never experienced an earthquake before, and was terrified at what was happening. Buildings around him literally crumbled into rubble before his eyes, and people were crushed and killed right in front of him. All he could think about in that one moment was “Jesus…please save me and my family!” And the quake was over. With destruction and devastation literally surrounding him, he had been spared without injury. The school he had been in just minutes before had collapsed, and his teachers and classmates had been crushed. It took him an entire day to walk home, but his family, who God had also spared, rejoiced and praised God to see him alive and well, when they had feared the worst. Ever since that day, Chris has never worried or allowed fear in his life. He lives with a passion and security knowing that God had been the one who spared his life, and that very same God did so for a reason. Therefore, Chris, who desires to become a preacher and run his own orphanage and school one day, does not worry about how or when this will all come to being, but works hard day-by-day knowing that our God works miracles, provides for his needs, and will ultimately fulfill his dreams.

Madame Jeune

Madame Jeune’s story sounds like something straight out of a novel or drama. She was born to a young black girl that worked as a cook at a girls’ orphanage and a married white European doctor that had been volunteering at the very same orphanage. When the doctor found out that the young girl was pregnant with his child, he tried using pills and a coat hanger to abort the baby, but ultimately, both attempts failed. God had bigger plans, the baby was still coming, and there was nothing that the doctor could do about it. Despite the laws at the time concerning unwed mothers and mixed blood children, when the baby was born, the orphanage’s headmistress compassionately allowed Madame’s mother to stay and work as a cook…on one condition: The headmistress would adopt Madame Jeune as her own daughter, and the cook would not be allowed to show even a hint that she was her real mother. Madame recalls her days living at the orphanage as frustrating, harboring an immense dislike for the cook who was inexplicably mean to her at every turn. What she had been unaware of was the fact that her real mother was doing this to harden her daughter’s heart and keep them emotionally distant for Madame’s sake. And because of her mother’s sacrifice, Madame grew up with an education, Christ, food and a home. Unlike other girls her age, she never had to even consider selling her body for money, nor would her convictions allow her to. Finally, on the day of her wedding, Madame’s mother finally revealed her true identity, and the two were joyfully reunited in love. Michael, Madame’s son, laughs as he ends the story. “If you saw my mother and grandmother standing next to each other, you can see that they look identical! I have no idea how she (Madame Jeune) didn’t realize it sooner!” God obviously had a plan for Madame and knew that she would be one half of an amazing partnership that would affect hundreds of thousands of lives. Abortion, laws, and circumstance couldn’t outdo what God was doing in her life and now her legacy stands as testament to this.

Edward

Edward is an older gentleman that stopped by Grace International’s campus twice to show us his arts and crafts and sell them to support his ministry. Under Michael’s advice, we asked Edward to share us his testimony and life story, and he happily obliged with the English he picked up on his own. When he was a young man, Edward had been blessed with a wife and two children. But one day, during a hurricane, both his wife and children perished and he was left as the lone survivor. Instead of raging against God, Edward picked himself up and realized that God had spared his life for a reason, and was given a mission and desire to start a ministry of sharing Christ to others. On his first day of ministering to his Haitian brothers and sisters, 5 people came to know Christ. On his second day, 15 people. On the third day, 25. On the fourth, 50. God kept sending him people that ultimately were moved to give their lives to Christ and turn away from their old ways and practices. Today, Edward tells us with a huge smile on his face that he is re-married and blessed with 6 children. All of whom have joined him in his cause to minister to his fellow Haitians, and support him through the creation of the hand-made crafts that he was selling at Grace International’s campus. (Needless to say, our team bought a bunch of things.)

Christmas 2010

Every Christmas, Madame Jeune organizes a huge Christmas event for thousands of children in Haiti (from both inside and out of Grace International’s campus) to give them donated toys, a hot meal, and a Christmas pageant that teaches them the story of Christ’s birth. The year of the earthquake was a particularly difficult year. The number of donated toys that came in was very limited, and Michael saw that the 2,500 donated shoeboxes from Samaritans’ Purse were not going to be enough for the 5,000 children that showed up. Madame was adamant about giving the toys out nonetheless and told her son to start handing the shoeboxes out. After arguing back and forth over the logistics of passing out 2,500 toys to 5,000 kids that had the potential to riot, fight, and go nuts, Mom’s voice reigned supreme, and Michael obediently instructed the volunteers to continue handing out the boxes one-by-one. They saw in their inventory that they only had a couple hundred boxes left to hand out to almost 2,000 more kids. But they continued handing them out one-by-one, and before they knew it, every child in that room left the event with a shoebox. The numbers didn’t make any sense at all. There was such a huge disparity between the number of boxes and children that it didn’t make sense for there to be additional leftover shoeboxes to be given to the volunteer’s children. And there were 15 of those extra boxes. Michael could only shake his head in awe at the miracle he witnessed.

(There are even more stories, but these were the ones that resonated with me the most. If you want to hear more, let me know, because I’d love to share them and pass them along!)

Before Ms. Tracey left, I talked to her about something that lay very heavily upon my heart. On the first day of our trip, when Michael gave us the tour of the campus, he told us about an issue that was occurring Haiti-wide due to the lack of food: girls under the age of 12 were selling their bodies to men for a single plate of food. Not even money…just food. And men were taking these children up on those offers (which infuriates me). Ever since I heard that, every little kid’s cry in the night made me wonder if something abominable was happening to him or her, and I couldn’t rest easy with that thought in my head. More than ever, the need to fund Grace International’s feeding program is evident. Not only is it sustaining the lives of these kids and their families, but it’s also keeping them from having to do irreversible, terrible things in order to get a little bit of food. By feeding the children every day, we are taking away the desperation that causes little girls to think that they have to take such drastic measures to survive.

Ms. Tracey left for the States soon after, and I stayed back alone to work at the Lord’s Kitchen. I was given a 20-pound bag of beans to sort through. Yesterday, it took hours for 3 of us to get through one bag, and on my own, I was hardly making a dent. For the type-A personality in me, I was incredibly frustrated that this 20-pound sack of legumes was besting me.

As my mind raced and my little hands attempted to work as quickly and efficiently as possible, I heard God laugh at me. I pouted internally.

“I wish You could grow me another pair of hands, Lord.” I muttered immaturely, scooping beans into my lap.

God shook His head and gently said, “You’re asking for the wrong thing, my love.”

I sighed, looking at the huge remainder of beans that were left. “I know…I know you’re trying to tell me that I can’t do this alone.”

He smiled. “My silly daughter, you are always trying to do even the smallest things in your own power. Even now, I know you’re calculating how long it will take you to complete this task on your own, when this task was never meant to be done alone. Why do you have a hard time trusting that I have others out there that are willing and waiting for the opportunity to help you?”

I continued sorting and muttered, “Something tells me that You’re not talking about the beans anymore.”

He spoke again, graciously ignoring my back-sassing. “If your life ended tonight, would there be anyone out there to pick up the baton where you left off and run with it in your stead? Or would this entire endeavor die with you? And since when were you ever doing things on your own? The prayer warriors that are covering you at home, the hundreds of donors that contributed your call to action, the job you have that supports you flying out of the country for missions…I am the One that provided all of these things, and yet you’re still trying to think things through with your own power. Now ask me again, love.”

I stopped working and laughed quietly. I realized that during the past several months that I spent raising funds and supplies, I never once prayed to God for a team of people to run this race with. I gave it another shot. “Lord, you know that I am grateful and joyful at this opportunity to serve the people of Haiti and work alongside with Grace International. But at the end of the day, You and I both know that I am just one person. Lord, I ask that You send me an army of people with a heart for the orphans. People who are just as passionate, if not more passionate about feeding these children…people who want to partner with this mission and add their two hands to this project…people that can, in turn, raise their own armies and make a real difference.”

God smiled. “Do you believe that I can provide this?”

I smiled. “Yes.”

“Trust and know that I Am. And be ready for whatever comes.”

After lunch, Alex (a young man working at Grace International that I had met in 2010) and one of the older ladies working at the Lord’s Kitchen helped me tear through the bag of beans that triggered a wonderful conversation where I was able to ask my Father for something that He knew I needed.

Another 400+ children were fed today, and treated with candy that had been donated and brought by our team. At the end, a small mob of men had attempted to storm the gates to demand food long after it had run out. They were quickly ushered out by Grace International’s security guards and local volunteers. It was quite an eventful way to end the program, but I was impressed to see how well-equipped Grace International was with both their security and volunteers, who respectfully but strictly kept the compound in order.

The rest of the afternoon and evening was spent talking with more people (including the new group coordinator Grant, a young man who moved from Oregon to Grace International for 3 months when he heard God calling him to Haiti) and typing out their stories. After listening to the testimonies I heard, witnessing the things that I saw, and all in all having the time afterwards to be still and quiet in the presence of God, many of the worries and troubles I had battled with in the States seemed so miniscule and petty. Not because the problems were petty or miniscule, but because I had held onto them instead of completely trusting those problems to God. But seeing how God worked literal miracles in the lives of my friends, and seeing them walk in faith humbled me and encouraged me to do the same. I worship the same God that spared Chris’ life. I worship the same God that brought Madame Jeune to where she is now despite the efforts of man’s every attempt to prevent even her birth. I worship the same God that multiplied those boxes on Christmas in abundance. I worship the same God that gave Edward back his life in excess, with a new mission and purpose. And I worship the same God that was willing to talk to me while I sorted through beans for my own benefit. That same God will continue to care for my life and use it as He sees fits. And I trust that He will continue to speak to me and to the partners and people He wants me to join hands with.

I’ll be flying home tomorrow and will be back around midnight. Thank you all for your prayers, donations, and covering. I am so excited to come home and share these stories in person, and am looking forward to the next time I get to come back to Grace International!

PS: I couldn’t find Clemen. As she was a girl living in the tent community around the Boy’s Home (a 5-10 minute drive from the Grace International campus), no one at Grace International knew who she was or where she lived. I will continue to pray for her and will cling onto the hope that I will find her one day.

A Cartoon Stuck in a Real Girl’s Body

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