Hi DW's! As many of you already know, recently I was in Haiti on a missions trip with friends. I was part of a small group of four people who independently traveled there to help out friends at The Apparent Project. The trip proved to be overwhelming on so many levels considering the large amount of poverty and the mass rubble still present from last year's earthquake in Port au Prince. Anyway, my bunk-mate and fellow DW friend, Jennifer, wrote a daily synopsis of the experience (from her viewpoint) in order to update family and friends while we were there. I was so impressed with her writings, I asked for her permission to post them here on Fresh Flowers for the coming week. We hope and pray that these daily entries paint a real-life picture for you and bless your hearts to further help the poor, the widowed, and the orphaned as mandated in James 1:27.
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. (James 1:27)
Ladies, each one of us is able to make a difference in the lives of others! We must only be willing to follow God's call! May you be richly blessed by His love as you enjoy Jennifer's writings this upcoming week. Blessings! ~Victoria
(Pictured above: Haitian-made, artisan jewelry from The Apparent Project)
My Heart in Haiti (Day 8)
By Jennifer Theodorou5:30 a.m., awake and already sad. We're going home today. The emotions are so complex. I miss my babies and my husband. I even cried after the one time I talked to them during the week. But I don't want to leave here. In my heart I know, if I were single, I would be spending some significant time in Haiti. But, that is not in the Lord's plans for me. He has blessed me with a family, a home and so much more. Though I will be back to Haiti (I hope soon), my time here was truly a gift.
I'm thinking about all of the wonderful people I've met this week. Shelley and Corrigan are amazing. What they are doing here is having a great impact on those around them. From the calling of the Lord they are caring for the orphans, the widows, the least of these.
James 1:27, "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world." (English Standard Version)
I've not seen Peterson since Tuesday night when he had dinner with us at the Clay's. We are leaving early enough this morning that I don't think I will get to say goodbye to him. This absolutely breaks me in two. On day one he got into my heart. If there were a way, if my husband agreed, I would bring him home. He would have so many friends at our house. I live surrounded by a neighborhood of little boys that would love him. I love him. Perhaps there is another way to help him, we just haven't figured that out yet.
And then there is Rodney, our walking companion. Rodney has left another beautiful imprint on my heart. I had two amazing conversations with Rodney. One, after he took us to church on Sunday. He asked if I loved Jesus, which seems to be the leading question with these boys. I shared again that indeed I did and he voiced the same. He asked if I thought I had the Holy Spirit. I explained that I believed all who have received Christ as Savior and have proclaimed Him as Lord, have the Holy Spirit. That that is our guidance for this life. He nodded and said he wants to get baptized. I think he sees this as a link to the Holy Spirit. He asked me some questions about heaven and I shared what I could.
Last night, Rodney accompanied us on a walk to and from the Clay's house. It's only about a 10 minute walk. On the way there we walked in a light rain which felt so refreshing in the heat of the day. On the way home, the sun was shining. As we set out Rodney pulled out his phone and started to play worship music. We walked and sang along to "You're All I Want." Rodney shared that he loves listening to "Jesus music" and I asked him why. He said, that if he is thinking about doing something wrong, he listens to this music and then he doesn't want to do it. I put my arm around him and said, " See Rodney, THAT is the Holy Spirit. He's with you to show you the right way to go." He smiled broadly and nodded. We returned to singing and to our walk.
Rodney will stop by this morning on his way to school, to say goodbye. I know we will see him again. He hopes to finish high school, and come to the states for college. He wants to become a doctor and come back to Haiti to help his people. His heart is huge.
I will never forget Vesline and baby Pierre. Both are doing well by the way, praise the Lord!
The faces and smiles of the Haitian people are forever imprinted in my mind. I can close my eyes and here their beautiful Creole voices. And though I must go, this will never leave me.
For more information on how to help the Haitian people through The Apparent Project, please visit www.apparentproject.org.