I always imagined Abraham as an old man with a long white beard. He wore a worn out wool rob and was hunched over a crooked walking stick. His back was bent like you could actually see the weight of the burdens he carried on his shoulders.
One moment with God altered his entire life when we was 75 years old. God whispered to move, so he packed everything and everyone and left his home. I wonder if he ever doubted what he heard. I wonder if he ever stopped to consider if what he was risking was worth it. How long did he live off that one moment?
God came through for Abraham like he always does. After a long test of faith he got the son he’d been awaiting. His descendants would be as numerous as the stars. Everything had finally paid off until the day God asked him to give it away.
God whispered, “Would you give even your son to me, if I asked?”
What kind of faith would that take to hand over the one thing in the world you love more than anything for the sake of God’s glory?
We’re called as Christians to love the Lord God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Nothing comes before him in this life, not even our own children.
April 1st of this year was exactly 6 years since I first came to Haiti. This April I wasn’t traveling to Haiti though. I was traveling away from it. I was tired, sick, and burnt out. My heart has been so torn the last few months as I watch my ministry grow and flourish while my own strength has slowly weakened. Loneliness and depression has covered me like a blanket but I see my Haitian families growing and it gives me purpose. My love for the children has in no way diminished but my role in their lives has some how shifted. I’ve sit on my land training pastors and cooks. I step back as they lead Bible studies and organize feeding programs. I smile to myself when they come to me with new ministry ideas for soccer clubs and elderly outreaches. My job is simply to distribute the money where it needs to go and watch as they make what I’ve built become their own. A Haitian run organization that equips their own children with what they need to live healthy productive lives. I’ve become merely a bystander to the mission that used to revolve around me. So on that warm day in April, when I finally made my way back home, I asked God what I should do. I sat beside the river with tears running down my face telling him how bad my heart hurt, how lonely I was, but how desperately I still loved those people.
Then God whispered, “Would you give this up for me? Let the Lord God fight for you.”
Just like Abraham I was being asked to let go of something that has meant so much to me. Living in Haiti has been my whole life. What would I do if I’m not there and what exactly is God asking of me now?
I believe, after much prayer and time spent with the Lord, I’ve been asked to run this organization from my home in America. I’ve handed the keys over to a trustworthy Haitian pastor and the other men I’ve spent the last few years discipling. With an enormous amount of faith, I’m letting God watch over my children and our land. Its not easy stepping away and giving everything back to God, but I know in my heart this is what’s right.
I realize I’m still very much needed by my children and the Haitian men running Project Eden. Financial support still needs to be raised. Feeding programs don’t pay for themselves. They still need that accountability in their lives and I can still be all that to them. Facetime calls happen daily now. Thanks to technology I can still continue my Bible studies with them. I’m collecting donations and organizing fundraisers because, even though I can’t be with them every day, they are still a huge part of my life. Project Eden and all its programs are continuing even in my absence. With God’s guidance, I’ve built something that has become bigger than me. I’m in awe of it, at times. Sixty children come to that land and receive a meal every day during the week. Their schooling will be funded and all their medical bills paid. This organization will prevent 60 children from ending up in an orphanage because of poverty.
They’re my legacy. I wonder if they realize how much they’ve meant to me. I receive pictures of them now while I work my shifts as a waitress. They show me their report cards and send videos of soccer practices. Yesterday, some of the girls learned a song they wanted me to hear. Hearing their laughs and seeing them grow will most definitely be the greatest joy of my life. I plan on making trips down to see them every few months. There’s no way I could be away from them forever, but I do believe God has shifted my role in all this. Maybe it was always suppose to be this way. God knew from the beginning what he wanted to become of that empty field on the outside of town. I’ve been unbelievably blessed by all of my adventures in Haiti and I’m looking forward to seeing what God has planned, not only for my ministry, but for myself as well.
As always, if you’re interested in helping support my children you can donate on our website or when you visit Northbend Church on Sunday. You can also contact me through our website if you’re wanting information about taking a trip to Haiti. I’ll be leading teams down periodically in the upcoming year.
It’s a new season for Project Eden and as always I know God has big things in store!