Category Archives: Haiti

Happy Birthday, Mamay!

Today is Mamay’s birthday. This adorable boy is nine years old and I’m so proud of who he is.


He lives in a small village in Haiti where life expectancy is 49 years, annual income averages $400 (making it the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere), literacy rate hovers at 45% and unemployment is stagnant at 40%.

But this boy wakes up with purpose each day as he puts on his school uniform, sits in a classroom, is fed a meal, and learns. He is learning. He is receiving an education that will help pull him and his family out of the despair of impoverishment.

Jared Bernstein is an economist and senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and he says “economists may disagree a lot on policy, but we all agree on the ‘education premium’ — the earnings boost associated with more education.”

Education is a key to eradicating poverty. And we have the privilege of sending this precious child to school through sponsorship at Mission of Hope.
One of my most holy moments was when I met Mamay for the first time.
Sweet, shy, funny, creative Mamay. We were both a bit overwhelmed by the experience, but Jesus met us there and helped form a bond that stretches over an ocean. Every letter we get from him has a picture.
(Note to self, send more drawing supplies!)

He’s quite the artist! Just like my husband, which is special. See, he’s become a part of our family.

We’re taking the kids to serve at Mission of Hope in October so that they and my husband will also have the awesome opportunity to get a Mamay hug, maybe kick the soccer ball around, sit in his classroom and just be with him for a bit. He’s a special kid.

If you want to make a difference in another special kid’s life, consider sponsorship. Pray about it. Please. And see what starts to happen.

Haiti happy

Y’all, I went to Haiti and back. To all of you who supported me, prayed for me, followed along with me and encouraged me, I thank you. This was a big time moment for me and I couldn’t – and shouldn’t – have done it without you. God created us to live in community and I needed my tribe! 

And now my tribe is just a little bigger. I’ve made friends and shared experiences and seen God move. 

I’m what we call “Haiti happy.”

These people, these people who see death and devastation and desperation every day, are happy. It’s a joy that comes from the Lord, and woah, did I learn from them.


From Kensley who lost his daughter less than a year ago but still leads youth ministry and shows the love of Christ to children all through Simonette. Kids flock to him because of his loving kindness and silly goodness. It’s beautiful.


From Analiese who is elderly and paralyzed with no remaining family and relies on the service of her village for every need, asked us to pray for her to have a stronger relationship with God.


From Joesph who began as a translator for mobile medical units who is now in nursing school, himself. He opened his still earthquake-damaged home to us and it turned into a party!


His brother, Jacques, is sponsored in school by a friend traveling with me and their connection is precious.


From Mamay, my family’s sponsored child, who’s sweet shyness won my heart ten times over, who I had to teach how to hug. Jesus met me in that moment.

photo copy

From these women, who left their families and jobs and lives to serve in a foreign land. They amaze me.

And Wilkens and Jhonny and Mike and Courtney and Franell and Jack and Chedly and Leonida and Kayla and so many more who have stories and joy and loss and love they shared with me this week. 

My prayer is that as I get back into the rhythm of my life, that I retain this understanding the people of Haiti tend to have – that regardless of circumstance, all things are good and the glory be to God. Which was surprising since Haiti is the “voodoo capital of the world.” But God is doing a great work across the nation and most all I interacted with depended on the creator in ways we in North America don’t.

I realized that when I’m able to strip away the distractions of life, it’s so easy to see the tangible work of God. It’s powerful stuff. Not that the way I live is wrong – believe me, there’s NOTHING wrong with air conditioning and a warm shower after a week without either! It’s just that those things and all of the other things we can get caught up in – work and school and baseball tournaments and sick kids and troubled marriages and broken relationships and grocery shopping and promotions and birthday parties and the list goes on – can’t be where I place my identity. My identity is in Christ and my hope is in Him alone. Knowing and seeing are two different things and I saw it in the villagers in Simonette.

Haiti doesn’t need me, I need Haiti. I need to see how big God is. How loving God is. How mighty God is. Even in the midst of poverty and desperation, God is with us and we are commissioned to be good stewards of our resources, whatever they may be.  

Because poverty is not only about money. In fact, poverty is more often about shame, despair and inferiority. We are all impoverished in some way. And we can help heal the hurting wherever we are. So let’s be Haitian where we live. Let’s invite our neighbors to dinner, serve the refugees in our city, volunteer at our churches, offer to babysit for free, sponsor a child’s school and nutrition. Be like Jesus. Love, mourn, celebrate, and live in community. 

“Peace be with you, as the father sent me, I am sending you.” John 20:21

So go!



Haiti, here I come!

I blogged recently about joy and the thing that brings me my greatest joy in life is my faith. I believe in Jesus. I believe he loves me and you and all of us and calls us all to bless and serve one another.

One way I’ve been able to live out my faith is by supporting two students in school at Mission of Hope, Haiti  Mamay and Sheilla.

haiti kiddos

Adorable kids the same ages as mine and our family has enjoyed corresponding with them and loving on them from afar. And now I have the opportunity to meet them! And serve those that educate and bless these precious children every day as I’ve been selected to join a mission group heading to Titanyen, Haiti, this June. And I’m stoked!

While I am in Haiti I will be working with Mission of Hope. Y’all, they have been at the center of serving Haitians for over 12 years and are doing amazing work, some of which includes:

  • Feeding 50,000 children each day
  • Providing medical care for 100 people each day
  • Educating 2,500 kids each year
  • Caring for 60 orphans
  • Providing a spiritual hub for the community through Church of Hope

For years my church, Gateway, has partnered with Mission of Hope to serve the spiritual and physical needs of those in the region. I’ll be right there working along side them to bless the orphans, many of who lost parents in the earthquake, the students and the villagers.

My hope is to serve as Jesus would serve.

I’d love it if you would consider praying for me and my team. Prayer is powerful and we’re going to need it! To be who God wants us to be and to do what God wants us to to. And for our health. I really don’t want to get all those shots for nothing!

If you are so inclined, you have the chance to join me in this adventure by contributing to my mission fund. The total trip cost is $1750 and I believe with all my heart the experience will be totally worth it. If this is something you’d like to do, you can donate online by clicking the GIVE NOW link. But seriously, no pressure. Just you getting to this part of the post is a blessing and accomplishment! 

And listen, if you don’t share my faith, that’s cool. If you’re curious about my faith, I’d love to chat with you about it. Or feel free to check out Gateway, a place that understands no one is perfect and welcomes your questions. We have campuses and networks all over Austin and we stream our services live online each Sunday. Another great resource that tackles tough questions is Explore God. We all have questions — even those of us that believe. Don’t hold them back.

Alright, I think this is officially my longest post ever. Thank you so much for sticking with me and any consideration you may want to throw my way.  

Haiti, here I come!