Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Shine Brightly

This morning during my quiet time I read Psalm 32:8, the LORD says;
“I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.”

As I read these words I couldn’t help but think it is not an accident that myself and nine other women will be going to Haiti the end of September and serve with Mission of Hope.  I believe each of us were hand picked for this trip.

What does the Lord have in store for us and the people we will meet? How will He knit our hearts together? What will we learn from the people we are going to serve? I don’t know the answers to these questions, but I do know I feel amazing peace knowing WHO is in control.

I’m told Haiti is a very dark place but I also know a flame shines the brightest when surrounded by darkness. From what I’ve read and been told, Mission of Hope is that bright shining light to thousands of people. I’m so excited to see all God is doing through them and humbled by the opportunity to serve along side them and meet the people of Haiti.

My prayer for our team is that God’s love will over flow from us and shine brightly wherever we go. May we be surprised by the unexpected and our eyes open to see God's hand at work directing our steps and the events of each day and by the end of our trip may we each be a little more like Jesus.  

- Kris McBride

Sunrise in Haiti

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

In 50 days myself and a team of 9 other women will be jumping on a plane and traveling 1,253 miles to  serve in Haiti for 8 days.

On paper, we know that we will be participating in children's ministry, women's ministry and maybe some home improvement projects like painting or cleaning. But, I know God has supernatural things planned for us - experiences only He can handcraft and lead us into.

As we approach our departure date, this concept of God planning our steps and experiences is in the forefront of my mind. I'm ready to see what miraculous moments and holy encounters He has for us.

This will be my 5th trip to Haiti in 3 years and EVERY trip, without fail, God takes my breath away and fills my eyes with tears of joy as I experience Him and His church in a groundbreaking new way! Whether it's in the smile of a child (who, on the surface, seems to have nothing to smile about), the greeting of a woman in a village, the faith of the Haitian Christians or the passionate worship service at the Church of Hope, I experience God in a new way through the people of Haiti.

So, again, I'm waiting on God expectantly and trusting that His will is done through me and my team. What better place to be than in the center of His will and doing His work?

- Caylene

"How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!" - Romans 10:15

Worship at Church of Hope in Haiti

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Forest Hill Ballantyne's next Haiti trip is quickly approaching! A team of 10 women will travel to Mission of Hope Haiti from September 29-October 6.

While in Haiti, the team will serve in various capacities within several different villages surrounding Mission of Hope (MOH). Check out Mission of Hope's website here. MOH has served in Haiti for over 25 years by providing medical aid, nutrition programs and secondary education.

Our team will stay on the 75 acre MOH property and serve alongside Haitians working at the Mission's orphanage, medical clinic, church and school. Here are some exciting facts about the work MOH does in Haiti:

  • MOH's nutrition program feeds 50,000 people EVERY DAY
  • 2,500 children (kindergarten through high school) attend the MOH School of Hope
  • 60 orphaned children call MOH's Village of Hope their home and receive education, nutrition and medical care
  • MOH is nearly halfway through their goal of building 500 homes for the poor and deaf community in nearby Leveque, Haiti
An important way you can help the team is to pray for our trip - pray for the ministry we will perform and for each team member individually:
  • Caylene Brown
  • Ashley Evans
  • Wendy Garrett
  • Patty Gemmill
  • Kris McBride
  • LeeAnn Pounds
  • Kimberly Spitz
  • Sophie Tucker
  • Erin Vinson
  • Blanca Wakefield
There are also financial needs for this trip. The cost per team member is $1,600. If you feel compelled to donate, please click the "DONATE" button on the top right of this blog. If you wish to do so, you can indicate which team member your donation should go to.

Thank you for partnering with this team as they prepare to travel to Haiti and Mission of Hope - only with your prayers and support is this trip possible!

God bless!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Today was a great day in Haiti! We got to enjoy some down time with each other at a Haiti resort, Wahoo Bay. We were able to reflect on our week and share some our favorite experiences with each other, while continuing to bond with one another. In everything we have done this week we have felt Gods presence and even today while we were chilling out on the beech, snorkeling taking naps, etc.....we were still able to see and feel God in his beautiful creation of Haiti. The caribbean  blue water against the rugged mountains, the white sand, palm trees and a few jelly fish reminded us of how awesome and creative our God is and how much he must love us to give us a beautiful world.  After the drive back to MOH, we met with the hope reps and recapped the week with all the groups who have been at MOH this week. It was great to hear about all the moments where God intervened in the lives of the team members this week. The challenge each of us were given was go home and make Charlotte our mission field and act on what broke our hearts here in Haiti. Tomorrow, we leave Haiti. We have a full morning of roof construction before leaving Mission of Hope around 1:45pm. We miss you all very much and are looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow night. We're looking forward to the baptisms on Sunday and fellowshipping with our FHC brothers and sisters.  Please pray for a safe and productive morning and a safe trip back to Charlotte. We will see you all tomorrow!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

"Therefore, my beloved brothers, the steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord,  knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain."  1 Corinthians 15:58 The above bible verse holds true to the last 4 days of rigorous construction work our team has faced and that our days of labor will not be in vain, but will serve as housing for our beloved brothers who are serving at MOH as interns. The interns are called "hope reps". They support and guide the mission teams in their efforts to serve the Haitian communities.   I want to introduce you all to Pierre, one of the orphans at MOH. He is 3 and his current condition is undiagnosed because the technology is not available. Pierre is a bonafide miracle. Last Fall, one of the guards found Pierre abandoned outside the MOH gates. He was a shell of a child. Unable to move or communicate, Pierre was very uncomfortable and unhappy. Fast forward to today: Pierre giggled his contagious giggle as Mike did physical therapy. He recognized  each of us and remembered some of our names. It's beautiful to see him loved by the other orphans.  On so many different levels we've experienced God this week; such as spending time with babies like Pierre and making him laugh, picking flowers and playing basketball with the older kids, working construction along side our Haitian friends, doing our team morning devotions. In everything we do here we feel God and our filled with the Holy Spirit.  We love our God and love serving Him! We ended the night with Tyler playing a djembe drum in the middle of a intense rain storm! It was epic! (Tyler wrote this)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

It's Wednesday and we're half way through our stay in Haiti. Last night we had a worship service at the Mission of Hope Church. Haitians really know what it means to praise our"Senye" (Which means "Lord"  in Creole).  We worshipped in Creole and English. It was awesome to hear the same songs we sing at Forest Hill sung by the members of MOH church. What blew us away was the Haitians sang louder when they sang in English versus when they sang in Creole. Hearing these familiar songs  in this context, with these people, took these songs to a different level. Imagine "Our God is Greater" with fist pumps,waving arms, and jumping. They sing this song the way it should be sung.  God has blessed us with great health this week. Everyone is hydrated, rested, and free of sunburn and injury. We've had a great breeze and the weather has been relatively nice this week. Considering our group is a construction team, being on the good side of Haitian weather is a blessing.  We have 1 workday left, please pray that the weather holds as we need every minute to finish the projects. We finished the 61st latrine door today and the wall framing for the intern offices. We started the framing for the roof and we still have a way to go. Please continue to pray for the teams' safety and patience. It a lot of tedious work!  Several of our team members got to venture off the construction site and do some pretty cool things. Emily went with the mobile clinic to Simonette and worked with over 100 patients.  Mike and Tyler traveled to a nearby hospital with Naoki and David, who run the prosthetics clinic. Mike worked with a patient who recently under went a transtibial amputation. Tyler took pictures. It's a great experience to work side by side with the Haitians. With a 90% unemployment rate in Haiti, I love watching the Haitians coming and going from work. Jobs are hard to come by and they are good stewards with their jobs. You hear a lot about "Haitians helping Haitians" at MOH. It's inspiring to see it. Last night we sang, "Savior, He can move the mountains. Our God is mighty to save." God is using MOH and the Haitians to move some pretty big mountains in this country. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

4-29-12 God you are Awesome! It's hard to put into words how amazing today was! I had no expectations coming into this mission trip , the only thing that I truly wanted was to be filled with the holy spirit and be led by him each day.  Today the spirit had us by the reins! We started the day off worshiping in the MOH church with hundreds of Christian Haitian  brothers and sisters. It was an awesome experience watching them praise and worship our one and only God in such a humbling and exciting way. They were loud, happy, joyful and just so grateful for our Jesus Christ and the hope and future he gives us. It was kind of a humbling experience because we have so much and they have so little, and they were praising and thanking Jesus for his great love and blessings like they were the ones that had everything. As I'm thinking about this I realized that they did have everything. God is everything, and everything else is nothing! So after church we take off to visit the village of Bercy which is a beautiful piece of property by the sea.  The future plan for Bercy is to build schools and housing, but also to make it a nice resort so people will continue to come to Haiti to serve, but also relax, have a good time, and the money from the resort will help support the new schools and other future needs. At Bercy We spent time watching kids play in the ocean and viewed some new construction sites. God has an awesome plan for this village and it was great to see it in the works. The second village we visited today was LeVeque.  This is a new village that has 350 new homes and through the MOH will eventually have 500.  Visiting LeVeque was the highlight of my day. We were greeted by 100 kids wanting to be held, played with and loved. We all had kids in our arms,  or on our shoulders. We played soccer with them and taught them how to do pull ups while tickling them and making them laugh.  I think we all experienced Jesus loving on these kids through each of us.  We ended today in devotion as a group of new friends praying and worshipping the Great God that we began the day worshipping. Today was a Great day in Haiti!