Different From All the Rest
Since 2009, my husband, Mike, and I have traveled back and forth to Haiti numerous times. This past trip, June 29th through July 6th, 2019 was my fifth trip with Haitian Christian Outreach in less than a year and my 6th total with them since February 2018. This one was different from all the rest.
It was Mike who first ventured to Peredo, Haiti with HCO in 2017. It was through the description of his trip and the encounters with Ro and Eline that I first took interest in this particular organization. Mike said to me, “You have to go. You have to see.” In February 2018, with my home church, North Terrace Church of Christ, I found myself in the remote community of Peredo, Haiti.
For about a year leading up to that first visit, Mike and I had been intentionally praying and asking God to show us what missions looked like for us as a couple and for our family. We had found ourselves making trips together, leading trips separately, and supporting each other through those times away serving. We had several conversations with each other and members of our church family about our passion and call to the mission field. We simply did not know what it looked like or what exactly God had planned.
We caught a glimpse of this plan as Mike and I spoke with our lead pastor one evening under the stars, surrounded by the outer wall of the Peredo Community Hospital. Just 3 months after our return home, meeting Cameron and Jennifer Mayhill and spending some more time with Ro, I heard God calling me to be more involved with HCO. I was presented with the opportunity to hold a volunteer position as the Director of Health Care Partnerships. Leading medical teams and assisting in the completion of their new surgery center in Peredo were my main focuses.
Fast-forward seven months and many prayers later, it was December 2018 and I had just provided my resignation to the Board of Managers I had worked with for the last 3 years. Throughout those seven months, God had been speaking to me with great diligence to step out of my comfort and into something bigger than I could imagine. With their support and encouragement, I gave my board until April 2019 to find a replacement. During that time, there were many who approached me with much skepticism and even those closest to me who were fueled by doubt. Leaving a well-paying job, which I enjoyed, for, essentially the unknown was not a common or well-received concept. I would be lying if I said there were not times I asked God if this is what He really wanted me to do. There was one particular verse that I held tight to during those months: “Let us hold unswervingly to the Hope that we profess, for He who has promised is Faithful” –Hebrews 10:23 (NIV).
At the end of April, I learned Cameron Mayhill had also been having similar conversations with God and his role as US Director of HCO. Through a series of chats with Cameron, long discussions with Mike, and even longer, discerning conversations with God, I saw the pieces coming together. I interviewed for the US Director of HCO. Immediately after the interview, I called Mike and told him that even if I was not the person chosen for this opportunity, I felt uplifted and encouraged through the time spent with the Board of Haitian Christian Outreach. Their passion and heart for Ro and Eline and their mission was evident and sincere.
So why was this past trip different from any other trip to Haiti I have taken in the last eleven years? This time, I had the honor and privilege of entering as the new US Director of Haitian Christian Outreach. I was viewing everything from a wider lens. I was able to walk with Ro and Eline as not only a friend but this time also as a partner in their vision.
I am excited God has entrusted me to be a small player in this piece of His grand plan! My prayer for the ministry and all those involved on the ground in Haiti and here Stateside is this: May we all know the important role we play in building and furthering God’s Kingdom. He chooses to allow us to be part of this amazing journey. Let us seek His wisdom in each decision made. Let us hear His voice clearly when discernment is needed. May we all see and know and work toward the same vision. And may it be All for His Glory that we strive!