What a beautiful Saturday we had watching 15 members of New Perspectives Church (a church plant with Future Generations International Missions) give their testimonies of how the Lord saved them and then each one followed suit in believers Baptism. Each one of these believers has spent time in a discipleship class learning what God’s word says about our believers Baptism.
Greetings from our home sweet Haiti!
Before I begin to tell you about our journey to get home to Jacmel, I want to thank each and everyone of you for your prayers, financial support and the love you have shown our family over these past several months. The journey to Haiti has been full of trials. But, in the end we are here. God has brought us this far, and we know He has great things in store. Stick with me, this is going to be a long post.
Many of you may not know this, but while Chase was setting up our house in Jacmel two weeks ago, he had a accident. While he was drilling the holes in our bedroom wall to install a small air conditioner (can I get a double praise for some AC!), the ladder he was using collapsed under him. He fell and hit the side of his face on the side of the ladder. He immediately called our teammates on the ground and they took him to a clinic. The clinic was able to call an ER doctor in the states and access the damage done to his face. They instructed him that he needed to get a CT scan done as soon he was able to get back to the states. He had one more full day of work ahead of him, and he insisted on staying to get as much done as possible. He was scheduled to fly back to the states two days later. He continued to work and flew back to the states on Wednesday March 8th. He arrived back to PE and myself around midnight.
“For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord…”
Boy does He ever! If you would have told me three years ago we were going to extend our stay in Uganda not once, but twice and then somehow connect with a different ministry on the other side of the world than Uganda, I would have never believed you. After all, that does not seem geographically possible. How would we even connect with a ministry on another continent while we live in Uganda? Well, ladies and gentlemen, with God all things are possible and His plans are greater than ours. Including the unthinkable, another move… to another country… outside the USA. This time to, an island, Haiti. A place where I have been once and Chase has never stepped foot.
We have humbly accepted an offer to join For Life Ministries as missionaries in Haiti. Chase will be heading up construction and I plan to round up a group of women to disciple while teaching them to sustain themselves by making paper jewelry. All with the goal of teaching others about Jesus and creating disciples in Haiti.
A lot is still unknown, but what we do know is on May 2. 2016 we will board a plane, leaving Uganda, with a one way ticket. Our hearts are overwhelmed to leave the place we have called home for almost three years. We are burdened knowing there are many of our friends/workers that have continued to reject Christ. It hurts us to know we will not be here to help ensure that our friends are taken care of. But, we know God has it under-control. Everything that has been accomplished at Abaana’s Hope is a testimony to God’s amazing grace and blessings poured out. We are foolish broken people and on our own have accomplished absolutely nothing. The reality is we are simply willing vessels of God’s hands. He will continue to use the missionary families, with Four Corners, to reach the Abaana’s Hope community for Christ. We are excited about the future of Abaana’s Hope more today, than yesterday, and we will be longing for the day we get to return to fellowship with our Ugandan friends and missionary families on the ground.
Here are a few answers to several questions we have been asked along our journey in Uganda. I know our commitment to move to Haiti will reawaken many of these questions…
- “Is this your dream to travel like gypsies?”
- No, if we gave into our fleshly desires we would most likely be living in Auburn, Alabama awaiting the opening of Krispy Kreme and holding season tickets to watch the Tigers play football. After all isn’t that every Auburn University graduates dream?! But, we are not our own. God does not call us to have self gratification or to build a comfortable nest around us. We are not supposed to keep His good news to ourselves. He calls us to go, to the nations. To proclaim His name and make disciples.
- “There are lost and needy people in the United States, why not stay and help them?”
- We could, but we know at this moment there is an opportunity to use the gifts God has given us to glorify His name in Haiti. 1 Peter 4:10- “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
- “So are you saying you are better than Christians that live in the United States and have a good paying job?”
- Absolutely not! In our eyes everyone is a sinner and in need of a Savior, including us…most definitely us. The need for the gospel is as great in the United States as it is in Haiti. We are no different than you. And, people are called to be faithful givers. How can one give if they do not have a good source of income? It would be impossible. Words cannot express what our faithful supporters mean to us.
- “Why are you doing this? You both could have great jobs and live almost anywhere, why would you choose a third world country?”
- The only reason we are doing this is because God is worthy and we are not. He is worthy of our obedience. He is worthy of every ounce of our being aimed at fulfilling His commandments. He does not give us a suggestion, but a commandment in Matthew 28:19 when he says, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”
- People are going to hell everyday. If you are Christian, then that is a horrible reality. We cannot sit by and not proclaim Jesus to everyone we meet. Romans 10:14-15 sums it up, “And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent?”
- “Do you worry that all of your hard work of building buildings will be worthless because third world countries are known for having wars break out? Also, a natural disaster can strike at anytime and they will not be able to rebuild what you have built.”
- The only thing that matters is the gospel. The only thing that is of any lasting worth is the gospel. Sure we (uh, Chase) can build beautiful buildings and we can equip people with job skills that enable them to meet their physical needs. But, if we have neglected their spiritual needs, we have done them the biggest dis-justice of their lives! We have heard this quote many times, I have no idea who first said this, but it is something we dwell on often to keep our type “A” personalities in check (we were even reminded of this quote this week by a sweet FCM board members wife.), “If all we do is give housing, clothes and food to those in need, all we have done is make this world a more comfortable place for them to travel to hell from.”
“If all we do is give housing, clothes and food to those in need all we have done is make this world a more comfortable place to travel to hell from.”
We will have more information about our future in the coming months, but until then, will you join us in praying for a few things?
- For a smooth transition from Uganda.
- For our hearts as we face leaving our friends in Uganda.
- For Abaana’s Hope and for For Life Ministries to stay gospel centered.
- For our time in the states (3-4 months)…
- Doctor Visits
- Rest and Rejuvenation
- Our Families (as they once again will watch us board a plane to another country)
- Housing while we are state side