Last week Salem Heights Church was out in our community evangelizing and Carrie (a former missionary with FGIM) noticed a lady she recognized from church with a newborn baby boy. They began talking and found out the babies mother had passed away and this lady was a distant relative. She had decided she wanted to care for the baby. Which is exceptional and I am so proud of her for taking on that burden. Praise the Lord!
Thank the Lord this team took notice of what God obviously wanted them to see because through this conversation they found out the lady only had the means to feed the baby sugar water. They could not afford formula.
Carrie reached out to another orphanage in town that takes in babies for advice. We found out they have formula for situations like this one to encourage families to stay together. Praise the Lord! She got the formula and sent it with a Haitian staff member.
Later we went to visit to see how the baby was doing now that it had some nutrition. He was so much more alert, but was spitting up. We took a look at the bottle and there was a big hole in it. This adoptive Mama is trying so hard and my heart broke looking at that bottle and knowing that sweet baby boy was struggling to drink the formula because the nipple hole on the bottle had another hole in it. Most Haitians breast feed, so this can of formula and a bottle is all new to this family and to me too!
After we left I assured the team we would get them new bottles and I would continue checking on them. Where they live is close to our home, so I was just excited to say I can actually do that with Sweet PE! Life with my beautiful blessing of a daughter has changed my ability to be out in the community, so I am so thankful when God orchestrates events like this one where I can actually be present!
Chase was able to pick up two bottles in town and we again sent them with a staff member to their house (we try and be careful on things coming from the white people). Today I was blessed with an opportunity to go visit and feed that precious baby! The Mama is so happy and grateful to have some help caring for this baby. We went over how many ounces he should get and how often. And how to scoop the right amount of formula each time… and to be honest, I had to google it! 😆 I have been able to share with this Mama I am not a know it all and that I am learning right along side of her. I could see the relief on her face when I shared how I’m right there with her learning how to properly feed this baby!
My prayer is that God will continue to use teams to to show us what God wants us to see! What a beautiful ministry opportunity that I cannot help but think, “what if they ignored the Holy Spirit and did not stop and ask questions?”
So today, what is the Holy Spirit nudging you to see? It might not be a baby in need, but everyday God gives us the gift of life for a reason. I’m am challenged by this unfolding of events to ask myself everyday what He wants me to see that day!
Please be praying for this family by name as they learn to care for this precious baby boy.
New Mother- Irana
New Father- Molanje
Baby Boy- Davidson
Ephesians 6:12 -“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
I debated even sharing some of the things that happened to us last week incase there was a chance people thought I was complaining or that our house was dirty. But, as I have continued to pray and ask God why these things are happening, I have realized it is okay to share these troubles, but also share with you that God is victorious at the end of this broken life. This life is filled with trials, tribulations and dad-gum pesky bed bugs. As believers we know these things, but sometimes we fail to show transparency and act like life is always grand. Well, it is not always rainbows and sunshines. We have an enemy that prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. So why do we let ridiculous things get us down when we know we have an enemy out there wanting to devour us and kill our joy? We refuse to let these problems (that seem to continue) even affect our joy for one minute. I would be completely lying if I said they have not made us down right tired and ready for a break. But, THEY WILL NOT steal our joy. The devil does not get off that easily.
“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
Holidays are tough living half-way across the world away from our families. But, it reminds us of things we have to be SO thankful for! We are thankful to have family to miss. We are thankful to have had SO many yummy, fun and crazy thanksgiving memories with our families.