forever changed by his love


Did Not God Choose the Poor of this World to Be Rich in Faith and Heirs of the Kingdom… James 2:5

Her name is Santia Joseph.

Santia Joseph

That is her full name, as it is written on her passport, and her Brasilian visa. I know this because I was with her the day she got her passport. And the day she got her visa. I must have written her name at least 100 times last summer when we traveled around the world together.

Santia is from Haiti.

Santia is from the poorest slum in Haiti.

Check out her neighborhood on Wikipedia: Cite Soleil.

I met her in our Belvil house a few weeks after I arrived in Haiti. She was cold and intimidating, never smiled, and seemed entirely tougher than me.

It was obvious her life was hard.

She came with two other girls from her church. Our three Cite Soleil girls.

Over the following weeks and months Santia began to sing. Maybe because she had a beautiful voice, so we made her help lead worship a lot. But then, before long, she came to us and told everyone in the house she’d written her own worship song.

Santia was changing. Everything about her was changing. She was starting to smile. Where there was once coldness, anger, and pain…she was growing warmer, kinder, and even playful.

Santia chose Brasil for her outreach location. Philipson and I would be her leaders.

First Flight! Port-au-Prince to Panama!

I sat next her her as she took her first flight.

When we arrived in Brasil it quickly became apparent, Santia would be indispensable. She was a VITAL part of our team.

She worked hard. She listened even when she didn’t understand the language (English or Portuguese!). She RARELY complained. And she had faith that could move mountains.

I liked everything about this girl.

Shoot, she was the only Haitian who didn’t speak English that I felt I could understand! She always remembered to talk slow and use gesture as she spoke in Creole to me.

Even when language failed us, I felt like we understood one another.

When we got to the Amazon Santia changed again.

All the other Haitians were afraid of the “anacondas” we knew were hiding in the bushes. (Ok, I was kinda afraid too.)

Santia’s courage exceeded everyone else’s on the team. She even caught the giant frog we found on our bedroom wall with the blender from the kitchen. When we realized what we’d put the frog in, she said “mmm, soup!”

Less than one week into our time in th Amazon Santia came to me crying. I don’t think I’d ever seen her cry before. She wanted to talk to me and the McClurg’s.

She told us God had spoken to her. That she was suppose to be a missionary. And that one day, God would bring her back to the Amazon to work with the indigenous tribes.

Santia in Brasil, just minutes after she’d told us God was calling her to be a missionary.
Photo Credit: Craig McClurg

In November our outreach ended. We left Brasil and returned to Haiti. Ten days later I left Port-au-Prince and moved home.

Before I left I told Santia I believed in her. I believe in the calling God has on her life. I believe she will go back to Brasil one day. I promised her I would always do everything possible to help her walk out in whatever God calls her to do.

She told me God was calling her to go back to school. She wanted to finish High School.

Six weeks ago Santia started calling me from Haiti (almost EVERY day, at 5am!). Summer vacation was coming. She felt like God was telling her to go serve on the YWAM base in Azua for two months this summer.

Azua is next door to Haiti, in the Dominican Republic.

Santia needs a visa.

She also needs about $600. She has none.

That money will cover her visa, border fees, travel expenses, and staff fees to live on the YWAM base.

I’ve spent weeks now trying to figure out the logistics, and how to get money to Santia in Haiti. Finally, we successfully sent money to her for a visa.

Now I need your help! πŸ˜€

Would you consider donating towards her summer in the DR?

You can send support to my paypal by clicking either of the donate buttons, and I will then send a check to the address below.

Or, you can send a tax deductible donation within the United States to YWAM Azua.

Make checks payable to “Farming God’s Way”, and attach a note stating that the donation is for Santia Joseph.

Then send it to:

Rodney Gephart
C/O Ronda Gephart
5050 Bowmans Bottom Rd
Tunnel Hill, IL 62972

Santia & I at Copacabana. The day before we left Brasil.

May there be many more Santia’s in the world. Who come from the slums…but are heirs of the Kingdom.

A Panama Airport Experience :D


My feet are currently wrapped up in my pink dress, that I crammed in my backpack this morning as I packed for the airport, so my feet don’t start to freeze. Philipson is snoring (for reals) on the bench in front of me. Santia and Sherley are sharing a bench to the side of me. Michelet couldn’t fit his sleeping bag into his checked luggage so he carried it around all day…and is now GRATEFULLY passed out on top of it on the floor. The Judes are spooning on the bench behind me. Jeannel is sleeping with a snow beanie on and BethAnn is probably somewhere around gate 33 still trying to get the Panama City International Airport Free WiFi to connect so that she can write home about this unbelievable day. πŸ˜€

It started out back in Belvil. It felt like a Monday even though it’s Sunday. Sean called a class gathering at 8:30am. We spent the first 45 mins discussing the fact that 2 laptops and an ipod were stoled out of our house last night. We retraced the last 96 hours and tried to determine who has been around who seemed like they were capable of doing that to us. Poor Nathan Case…he took his outreach team to a soccer came on thursday night and someone pick-pocketed his smart phone. Now this this morning his Macbook Pro is gone. 😦 Please pray for protection over his identification and personal information as they are in the hands of 2 different people in Haiti. Pray also for the outreach team he is leading that leaves this week to spend 2 months in the DR and Guatemala. All of the plans and contact information for their team was in his phone and laptop. :/


Well that was a nice little blog entry i wrote last night before I pasted out on my own comfy green airport “bench”. πŸ™‚

Yesterday was incredible. It seems like a lifetime ago:

Sean Murphy, our school leader took Philipson and I and our 8 DTS students to the airport around 2pm. We made our way through security and checkin with only a few minor complications. (Note to self: Copa allows 70lbs of checked luggage per person. Total. Not two 50 lb bags. Yaye for trying to distribute 20 POUNDS of ‘extra’ luggage between the rest of your team’s luggage once at the checkin counter.) πŸ™‚

As we walked out onto the tarmac just before 5pm to board our plane I got SO excited for our team that I was literally bouncing around and clapping my hands. Seven of them had never been on a plane before. πŸ˜€



I rearranged the seating a little bit so I could sit by Santia, one of our Haitian girls, and as we were getting ready to take off she kept said “oh Ewika, I am not afwaid…sa bon!”. It was a small plane and I’m POSITIVE everyone onboard with us was aware that we were a group of first time fliers. There was a lot of clapping and “ohhh my goodness-es” and “wooooows” and “sa belle AMPIL”‘s!!!!! Ahhh…it was SO FUN!!! Not to mention we had one of the longest and most beautiful sunsets I personally have ever seen.


After only a slight increase in stress levels, all 10 customs forms were filled out semi-properly (along with a form asking if we’ve been vomiting, experiencing diarrhea, or been in contact with anyone with cholera in the past 48 hours) we arrived in Panama City, Panama.

It’s been an incredible, unexplainable, CRAZY, good and challenging 3 months in Haiti. When I walked off the pane, for a brief moment, I felt like I was back in the States (I even flushed my toilet paper when we went to the bathroom!). As I began to listen and see everything around me I heard nothing but spanish. Then I REALLY felt like I was back home in Chula Vista!!! hahaha…I forgot how much I love Spanish.

Then I tried to speak it.

“Hola, como ou yayi?!” “somos un equip de misioneros…ou konne donde estan los toiletes…i mean…los banos?!?”

What’s the proper term for Cringlish/Spanglish mixed together with a terrible addition of “i just got off a plane and have no idea where I am but there are 8 people depending on me and my co-leader?!”

It was REALLY not pretty! I can honestly say that was the most confused my brain has EVER felt. I would think something in english, try to say it in spanish, and it would come out mostly in broken Creole.

As we made our way down to immigration we were greeted IMMEDIATELY by the Panamanian air force (oh gosh…it’s been so long since I’ve written an update…that had been arranged a week or more ago..I was just surprised us they found us in the airport so quickly!). They welcomed us and gathered us together as a team and took our passports for us to personally deliver them to the immigration officers.


And that…ladies and gentlemen of the internet…is when outreach took its first semi unexpected turn out of my control and into God’s control.

See, when i learned we had a 20 hour layover in Panama just a couple weeks ago I began looking for a place we could stay for one night.

Now, let me interject here that when we purchased our tickets through Copa both the airline and our friend at the Brazilian embassy assured me that our Haitian students would not need a transit visa in Panama to get to Brazil.

So, through a really fun long story of God’s unexpected provision, our team was offered to be picked up by the Panamanian Air Force, transported to the YWAM base in Panama City, fed dinner, given beds to sleep in, fed breakfast, transported to the Panamanian Air Force base in the morning to share Jesus with ALL of the airmen stationed there, fed lunch by the Air Force, and then transported back to the airport in time for our 3:20pm flight to Brazil.

oh ya. for free.

Have I EVER mentioned how COOL God is?!

Anyway, he is EXTREMELY cool, however that wasn’t exactly what he had in mind for us.

Rewind to last Monday when I announced all this exciting news about God’s provision in Panama in our morning staff meeting. After the meeting one of our Haitian guys informed me that Haitians DO need visas if they want to leave the airport in Panama. In a scramble, and with very little internet access, I spent the next 2 days trying to research this and figure out what could be done about getting a visa. When google and a few phone calls to Panama consuls in the US simply could not provide me with the information I needed for our Haitian students I packed up all the information I gathered for our Brazilian visas and trekked across Port-au-Prince in an attempt to have the consular hand over 10 transit visas. πŸ™‚

I didn’t get passed the front gate. But for good reason…

Rober and I were told in both Creole and English that the Haitians would NOT need visas to leave the airport for one night as long as they had their boarding passes for their Brazil flights the following day.

So, although I realized every piece of information I received contradicted itself…I decided to believe everything would be fine when we arrived in Panama.

Fast forward to the Panamanian air force greeting us last night as we came down the stairs to the immigration area of the airport…

After about an hour, and a phone call to the Brazilian consular back in Haiti, it was settled:

All Haitians DO IN FACT need visas in order to leave the Panama City International Airport! (lol…spread the word people!)

Bethann and I, however, took our US passports and were allowed to freely come and go as we pleased. Maybe one day I’ll write about all my thoughts on inequality, and being born into unearned privilege, and what it felt like for me as i took my passport and left our 8 Haitian brothers and sisters to go meet with David Tracy past the baggage claim area.


David greeted us and then turned around to show us the full sized tour bus that was waiting for us outside. He was SO disappointed and sorry that our plans weren’t going to work out. Then he informed us that the dinner that they had been preparing for us was on its way and that he had arranged for us to get it past security and back to the team.

When the food arrived it was delivered by a sweet Panamanian man named Carlos, who blessed Bethann and me, prayed over us, and told us how good his broccoli and chicken, and wontons were. πŸ™‚

As we were getting ready to leave David told me Carlos’ name and informed me that he has been to Haiti many times and has a real heart for the Haitian people. As soon as he said that I looked back at Carlos and realized, I knew this man!!! My reaction was something like this, “CARLOS!!! I MET YOU IN MY HOUSE IN BELVIL IN JUNE!!!! You prayed over me and anointed my feet with oil!!!!!!”

He said, “yes, I know you sweetheart! Now I bring you dinner in Panama!”

And this is the way the family of God works across this planet. πŸ™‚




This morning as we were trying to figure out what to do with our extra time, Philipson and I decided we may as well start ministry right away.

We gathered our team together in our little corner of the airport next and started the time with worship. When we finished the first song there were 2 security guards and a supervisor standing over us. The supervisor informed us, “you sound like angels…please, can you sing another song…it sounds so good”. πŸ™‚

When we finished the second song a pastor from Columbia was standing next to us and told us “I heard you from the other side of the airport and the Holy Spirit told me to come over here. It’s so good to meet brothers and sisters in Christ all over the world. Who are you?”

When we finished talking with the Pastor we offered to pray for him. As soon as we offered, the supervisor, who was still standing there, said “me too…I am Christian too…pray for me too!!” As we all said our good byes the pastor pulled out his wallet and handed Philipson $60. He INSISTED on blessing our team and told us there was no way he could NOT give us the money.

So, lunch in Panama was on an english speaking Pastor from Columbia. πŸ™‚

Did I already mention in this blog how GOOD God is, and how awesome his family is?

Here is a pic with the second Pastor Carlos πŸ™‚


This flight to Rio is half empty. I’m sitting in the back right now so I can take up an entire row. πŸ™‚ I’m so STOKED to land in Brazil in a matter of hours. And I’m even more stoked to see everything God has for us and walk out everything He wants to do through us over the next 2 months.

Boarding our flight for Rio πŸ˜€

God is good people. Allll the time. Everrrry where. πŸ™‚

Love from South America πŸ™‚

T-minus 2 weeks til airport take off…first though…let’s all ride an elevator :)

August 18, 2011…

Yesterday I took my zillionth trip to the Brazilian Embassy (it felt like). We were there to turn in the last of the paperwork required for our team of 10 to get visas for our outreach. I thought we were all squared away and we’d just have to come back next week to pick them up. Then Sonia (our now good friend in the PAP Embassy office…she’s even come to visit us at our Belvil house!) told me, “great! now, tomorrow, you come, with your whole team, to sign, and to take finger print!”

I said “OH!!! You never mentioned bringing the whole team! Uhhh…Great! See you tomorrow!” πŸ™‚

So, today Philipson and I gathered together all 8 of our crazy clan and headed, once again, to Petionville to get this all taken care of.

We were also suppose to go to the Soge bank today up the street from the embassy to pay for the visas. Then, we were suppose to give Sonia the receipt from the bank so she could process our applications.

We arrived in Petionville at 2:40pm. Soge bank is open til…i dunno…at least 4pm. Their little desk that deals with visa paymets for the Brazilian embassy however, closes at 1pm. Or at least it did today. πŸ™‚

Yaye Haiti. πŸ˜‰

I’m not sure how it’s possible that 9 people signing 1 piece of paper each and finger printing all 10 fingers could take OVER 3 1/2 hours. But it sure did! Thank GOD it was all completed in one day though, and now all that’s left is another trip to the bank and another trip to the embassy to give Sonia the receipt.

Somewhere in that 3 1/2 hours in the embassy three of our students took their first elevator ride. Ever. In their entire lives. I was SO sad to have missed Jude and Santia’s first “flight” experience. Even though I didn’t get to be IN the elevator with them, Santia’s commotion and facial expressions when she walked into the waiting room of the embassy was enough to crack me up. Then, I did have the honor of going down stairs to get Jeannel. He’s 49 yrs old and I had to stop him and show him that there’s a button to open the elevator door b/c he was trying with all his might to slide the door open with his hands.


Some of us foreigners have decided that it is IMPERATIVE to have a little “training/orientation” time for our students who have never flown before.

Things like, taking your shoes off when you go through security. Where to put your stuff when you get to your seat. What to do when the flight attendant comes by with the little cart! Or how to deal with the bathroom doors inside the plane (honestly, I think I’m still figuring that one out myself).

I seriously can not wait!!!

This trip is going to TRANSFORM these students’ lives and their worldviews.

My prayer is that it will mold them and shape them into world changers themselves. May they return to Haiti and possess the heart and the tools and the Biblical character that will be necessary to transform their own nation for the glory of Jesus.

Check out a few of our students signing their visa applications today!

Jhud & Sherley...signing the application!

Jhud was sick and threw up outside the embassy just before this. lol...just incase you all wanted to know.

Yrben and Michelet


























August 19, 2011….

It only took 2 Soge banks, 2 fairly short ‘lines’ (this term is often used loosely in Haiti), 1 very long line, and 3 hours (TOTAL! from the time we left til the time we got back to the Belvil house) to get our visas paid for and the receipt turned into Sonia at the Embassy.


She says we can come pick up all 10 passports with their visas at 3pm on Monday πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

The best part of our trip today was definitely this…

By the time we got to the Embassy both Leah and I needed to use the restroom. I lead her to one I’d discovered yesterday and explained to her that there was no TP. And no lights. We pulled out the Charmin-to-go and reasoned that we’ve used a dark bathroom enough times in the past 3 months that we could manage this one without any problems.

Then I remembered something…

My headlamp was in my purse.

So, there we were: The middle of Port-au-Prince. In a beautiful multistory building who’s 3rd floor houses the Brazilian embassy. Peeing with a headlamp.

As I was coming out of the stall I asked Leah, “there isn’t soap by any chance is there!?!”

She replied, “oh no. but there is a razor on the back of the sink…in case you need to shave!”

In the midst of laughing about the irony of our circumstances I forgot that I had my headlamp on walked out of the bathroom with it still on and shining. πŸ™‚

Pray for us as we’re exactly 2 weeks out and still don’t have the airline tickets!!!!

Take a look at some of the excursions we’ve been on to get these silly visas…

A couple weeks ago we had a ministry day in one of the largest tent cities in PAP. The Brazilian UN was there patrolling that day, and they started taking pictures of us. So we asked for a pic w/them πŸ™‚

Then they let us pray for them.













Part of the visa application process was getting everyone a yellow fever vaccination. Jhud is going to ROCK our outreach dramas in Brazil. πŸ˜‰















This is Michelet! He calls me mom. πŸ™‚











BethAnn did NOT appreciate needing a vaccination shot!














But she survived πŸ˜€













This is the lovely Sherley! One of our 2 Haitian girls on the team :)













Santia is from Cite Soleil. They say it's the largest and most dangerous slum in the western hemisphere. God has changed this girl in SO many ways. I can not WAIT for her to get on that plane to Brazil!












The newest addition to our team! Yrben Dortil! They messed up his passport and his name, for all recording purposes, is now Iben. lol...oh Haiti. SO stoked Yrben speaks a little English!!!















This is Jeannel. The oldest and wisest member of our team. He's 49 and took his first elevator ride this week πŸ˜€














Our fearless leader...Philipson Georges. This was about 20 minutes after he applied for a new passport downtown at the immigration office.















This is the poor tap tap we took to the American embassy that lost it's front axel when it tried to pull over to let us out..












Our night of generosity. People gave paintings, money, ipods, cameras, even entire wardrobes in obedience to what the Lord was asking them to do.












SUCH a powerful night.











And last but not least...for no other reason than to let ya all appreciate your beds a little more tonight. This is where some of our guys sleep every night. lol.

Random Facts About Haiti…

8/10/11 (this is a few days old already…but it’s still relavant!! And Mike is currently sleeping in our gazebo!) πŸ˜€

My brother, Mike, will be here Sat to speak in our DTS next week!!!!!

It’s 11:41pm and I just took a shower with what was left of a bucket of water from Eleah’s shower (which she carried from the well about 1/4 mile from our house.)

I am sweating again already.

PAP hasn’t given us any electricity since last Sat. Again.

(Mike comes on Sat!!!) πŸ™‚

We ran our cistern dry last night…so nobody could even wash their hands or their faces this morning.

People came and gave us “new”/”better” internet this past Sat.
I’ve since seriously questioned the Haitian definition of these words.

Today, after spending hours on the internet finishing our team’s online visa applications and looking for flights less than $1,400 to Brazil; Chimene, Bethann and I tap-tapped to the US Embassy to see if they would give Chimene’s Africa team an appoint for transit visas sooner than Sept. 28th (according to their website that was the soonest appointment available). We, however, are suppose to leave for outreach by Sept. 5th.
When I yelled “Merci!” to the tap-tap ‘chauffeur’ in front of the Embassy he stepped on the brake and his left front axel broke and fell to the ground. We skidded to the side of the road.

Only in Haiti do you get out of a broken pickup truck with literally 15 other people, look underneath the truck to see what happened, realize the truck just BROKE AN AXEL…and then walk away and go about your day as if that’s normal.

We arrived at the US Embassy at 3:50pm.

Here in Haiti…the American government is done with its day at 3:30pm. That was a fun hr and a half of our day πŸ™‚

(Mike is bringing my laptop with him on Sat!)

A week and a half ago I spent the weekend at the Maisgate house with some of my Haitian brothers & sisters (and Karli and Justin). When it came time for all 9 of us to go back to Belvil we flagged down a mini van on the side of the road.

When the driver tried to open the back of the vehicle to let us put our luggage in the key snapped in half inside the key hole.

Haha. (oh Haiti.)

Somehow we felt obligated to stand on the side of the road for about 30 mins in the 90 degree weather while the man tap-tapped back to his house to get his spare key.

Somehow this didn’t seem odd at the time.

Last night one of the girls had to be taken to the hospital bc she was puking and convulsing pretty bad.

After her blood work came back positive for typhoid they were driving her home in the middle of the night and the clutch broke in the Hyundai they were driving.

Two of our awesome Haitian students had to push the truck and our sick little lady back to our house.

Somehow…this wasn’t the end of the world either.
(Ps. they put Steph on antibiotics and she is already doing MUCH better. But please pray she’s 100% SOON!)

Tonight, as Philipson was chasing one of our students around our house they found a tarantula in the speaker’s bathroom. It was huge and hairy and got passed around the entire house in the speaker’s shower bucket.

Mike…maybe you should read this before you come on Sat πŸ™‚

This past weekend I went on a little excursion with the fabulous Genese and Robert to Genese’s mom’s house in the countryside between Leogane and Jacmel. Chimene and Joanne came too and just getting there was quite the adventure. πŸ™‚

20110812-095006.jpg20110812-100111.jpgEntirely too many people in one truck…

Robert decided we should go hiking on Sunday morning to the top of the mountains on the other side of the river from Genese’s childhood home.

When we protested a little bit bc we only brought flip flops he assured us it would only be an hour hike.

Three hours into our hike we were finally almost back to the highway that’s pretty much directly on top of Genese’s house.

I saw so many things in that trip that I never expected.

check out a few of them… πŸ™‚

Genese’s 90 year old grandma who lives in their wood hut of a home. She told me I could never leave her… πŸ™‚ 20110812-095558.jpg

Genese’s tom-boy mother. She could be an entire blog in and of herself…20110812-095513.jpg

This is her after she went off in the dark…on the side of the highway….to get her cow πŸ™‚ 20110812-095052.jpg

Spending time in the “hang out spot” in Genese’s little mountainside community. Yes, that’s the side of the highway. πŸ™‚ 20110812-095042.jpg

Two tarantulas…


A giant old fashion corn masher…


A little boy in the middle of pooping on the side of our hiking trail. Lots of half naked bathing people. (sorry no photos of them.)
An almond tree. Peanut plants. Potato plants. A lot of other plants that I don’t remember. 20110812-095135.jpg
Avocados falling out of a tree that nearly knocked Robert out. Genese’s brother is holding them πŸ™‚ 20110812-095153.jpg

Waterfalls. Lots of men walking with machetes. One particular guy sharpening his machete on a rock.

An old old man whom Genese knew and loved who was laying in bed with a racing heart beat. He asked us to pray for him and then thanked us from the bottom of his heart for coming and visiting him.

After all that there was the man who had JUST killed his goat…and was prepping it on the side of the road. 20110812-095434.jpg
And then my African friend, Chimene, very excitedly bought half the goat for 300 goudes (approx $7 US) to give to Genese’s mom, saying “oh my gosh, this is my favorite meat…it’s SO good, she will love it”.

We watched guys ripping apart 50 lb plastic potato sacs and making rope out of them.

Genese, fully bathing…fully clothed…in the river that she grew up in. 20110812-095446.jpg

Me, not so fully bathing…but still trying to get clean a little bit!


Then we saw my friend from home, Brian Perry. He lives in Leogane and we stopped and visited him on the way back to Belvil. He made us garlic fries and gave us Coke. Sometimes its the little things in life that really make a difference. πŸ™‚

When we got back into PAP we found…lots of trash.’s


And destruction in PAP. Lots of it. (Once back in the city, we had to walk to find a tap-tap back to our side of PAP. We ended up walking through the part of PAP near the palace where the most destruction happened in the earthquake. It was unbelievable. And overwhelming.)


20110812-095913.jpg This house remindsΒ  me of Jenga. :/

20110812-095825.jpgThere used to be a roof on that house, I’d be willing to bet.

20110812-095701.jpgOh there used to be 2 stories? oh…ok.


20110812-095615.jpgUnbelievable. It feels like you’re walking through a set for a movie.

Sweet Surprises and Beautiful Surrenders

So much is actually going on down here I could probably write a 10 page blog every night and you guys still wouldn’t get all of the details.

From people coming to surprise me here in Haiti, to spiritual warfare classes, lunch clean ups and naked kids in tent cities. From outreach prep and praying for money, to prepping a house of 80 plus people for a tropical storm and then watching God transform people’s hearts so that they willingly and joyfully step out in HUGE acts of generosity…there’s just never a dull moment here in Port-au-Prince.

Almost 2 weeks ago already (holy cow) my pseudo-dad, Craig McClurg, surprised me by showing up in PAP with giant bags of Trader Joe’s snacks, Walmart candy AND homemade brownies WITH milk!!! It honestly felt like Christmas!! He had come to do a filming project with another YWAM team and they spent most of the week in St. Marc working with other YWAMers there. This happened to be at the same time as our mini outreach to Montrouis and Craig was able to drive out and visit my team 3 different times during the week.

Brownies and Milk!!!

Getting presents! πŸ™‚

The biggest blessing though was when we got back to PAP and Craig was able to spend over 48 hrs with us at our crazy Belvil house. (Yes, he had to sleep on our roof b/c there was no other place for him in the ‘inn’) πŸ˜‰

Craig stayed up way past his bedtime both nights helping me process a lot of what’s been going on here in Haiti and helping both me and Philipson prep for our outreach to Brazil. Craig and Kay Charlotte (my “adopted parents” who opened up their So Cal home to me for the past 3 years while i finished college) have both been to Brazil multiple times with YWAM and have several reliable contacts there. it was SOOOO helpful to have Craig here and make plans for our team! I can not begin to express how grateful i was, and still am, for his visit!

Thank you for coming and caring for me, Craig!!! I had no idea how important your visit would be!! Shoot, i had no idea you were gonna come visit at all!!

While Craig was here he also had the opportunity to meet with our Brazil team during one of our meetings AND share a word with our entire DTS class. The Lord had really impressed some things on his heart about our school and Sean allowed him to stand up and speak to everyone…about generosity.

Craig brought a STRONG word to our class about living in unity and walking in generosity and giving out of a pure heart (i dare all of you to stand in front of your mirror and very dramatically YELL Psalm 50 to yourself in the morning!). It was REALLY powerful and many of our students responded in bold ways. Both staff and students are still responding to his words even today. Up until this afternoon an Iphone, a guitar, a laptop, and 2 people’s entire wardrobes have been given away out of a response to what the Holy Spirit spoke to us through Craig.

Then tonight, we watched as God guided some of us to a new level of generosity.

The deal is this: our time is nearly up here in PAP. We leave on outreach in less than 5 weeks. We are facing MULTIPLE deadlines. And not one of the students has an airline ticket yet. Trying to do everything together in groups has slowed down all the processes (like getting 21 yellow fever vaccinations at one time in PAP, or applying for 9 visas at one time)…and trying to get well over 2 dozen Haitians out of their country for the first time has only added to the difficulties…mentally, emotionally, spiritually and especially financially.

But tonight, 4 Americans and 1 Australian stood up and offered their seats on the Benin, Africa outreach to their Haitian brother and sisters. They each felt strongly that God was asking them to walk away from their Africa outreach, stay in Haiti for those 8 weeks, and give the $2500 difference between the outreaches to a Haitian. One even felt called to leave the entire $3500 for a Haitian student and then pay again for his own $1000 outreach in Haiti. It was SERIOUSLY such a beautiful evening of people surrendering their rights, so much peace and gratitude and HOPE flooded the house! Everybody’s faith was increased for getting to their outreach locations!

Just a quick low down on our Brazil team with a few of the latest facts:

Jude A’s passport is suppose to arrive tomorrow.
Philipson is going tomorrow to try to start the process of getting his passport renewed.
Friday everyone on the team pays $65 and then goes to get a yellow fever vaccination.
Monday or Tuesday, provided all the other paperwork comes in, we send in our visa applications.

Philipson (Leader, Haitian) – still needs all $2500 for his outreach. Needs a new passport πŸ™‚
Erika (Leader, USA) – Outreach paid in full
Bethann (Student, USA) – Outreach paid in full
Santia (Student, Haitian, comes from Citesole, one of the worst slums in all of Haiti) – still needs
all $2500 for her outreach
Sherley (Student, Haitian) – Has $500 towards her outreach…still needs $2000.
Jhud (Student, Haitian) – a human washing machine/amazing entrepreneur…he has earned/raised over $400 in the past 1 week in our house from doing odd jobs for people (like our laundry) and selling plastic bracelets. Still needs $2100.
Jude A (Student, Haitian) – still needs all $2500 for his outreach. Should get his passport TOMORROW!!!
Michelet (Student, Haitian) – still needs all $2500 for his outreach
Jeannel (Student, Haitian) – has paid $300 for his outreach. Still needs $2200.

Now, to all that, SEVERAL people have contacted me and expressed their own generosity by donating towards some of the Haitian’s outreach fees. We are in the process of collecting those funds and distributing them equally among the Haitian students. THANK YOU SO MUCH to those of you who have given!

If you would like to partner with us as well PLEASE don’t hesitate to give! Just click on the “support for Haiti” tab at the top of this blog. All of the information on that page is still accurate and any money given through those avenues will reach us here in Haiti and can be given towards the Haitians fees.

That’s all for tonight. Our little friend Emily is on her way over from the DR right now. They say she should be here in the next couple hours. We are totally safe and not worried about whatever she might bring our way. In the midst of running the school we’ve stocked up on gas, food, and water in case places get flooded and we can’t really get anywhere for a couple of days. PLEASE PRAY for the 1.5 million people still living in tents in this city though. MANY will loose all of their possessions and see their lives threatened, yet again, if this storm comes with any vengeance.

Yesterday we spent the afternoon in Soupis (“sue-pees”), an extremely poor and extremely large tent city in PAP. No one in the tents even knew the storm is on its way.

Such is life in Haiti.

G’night toot moon.

Mini Outreach to Montrouis

Last Friday our DTS broke into their outreach teams and took off for a 5 day adventure outside of our Belvil house. Our goal was to become unified as an outreach team, share Jesus with beautiful Haitian people, build rainwater catchment tanks, do medical clinics along side 4 different US doctors who came to serve with us, and get a glimpse of what our real 2 month outreach in another country could be like.

Our Jamaica outreach team team headed up to the mountains, to a village called Kenscrff where everyone froze because the temperature dropped below 88 degrees. They were accompanied by a doctor from Washington state who helped them run a medical clinic for the time they were there. Little did any of us know, this doctor was Jamaican and was PERFECTLY matched with the outreach team we put him with! Our USA team hopped on a boat with giant wood forms and a doctor to build a rainwater tank AND do medical clinics on Haiti’s Island, called La Gonave. Our Haiti outreach team spent the first night in Montrouis with my Brazil team and then hiked almost 2 hours up a mountain with all their luggage and medical gear to run a clinic in a neighboring village for 2 days. Their crazy awesome God story is that they met a witch doctor and led him to Christ!!! They said he actually started telling the people who were coming to him for business that he wouldn’t do witchcraft for them anymore and he went to church with the team on Sunday! Hahaha…God wins! πŸ˜€

Our Africa outreach team stayed in PAP but lived in another one of our YWAM houses for the week. They did ministry in Citesoleil, the largest and most dangerous slum in Haiti. They, like the USA team, built a water tank and did medical clinics. This was the largest team and they saw God do some incredible things within the slum. Three older women waiting in line for the medical clinic were healed of whatever their ailment was when some of our students came and prayed for them as they waited. They just got up and left after they were prayed for because they felt so totally better! Gavin, one of our 17 year old students from Guam stitched up a guy’s wrist that had been cut. And Jude, one of our staff learned out how to give injections and has affectionately called himself “Doctor Jude” ever since we’ve got back.

Our Brazil team traveled two hours north towards St. Marc to an oceanside town called Montrouis (pronounced Mowee). We slept on the floors of a school with no electricity for the week. Our team didn’t get a doctor so we devoted all of our time to building 2 separate water tanks. One for a church and one for an orphanage. I’m pretty sure this was the longest I’ve ever gone without washing my hair ():)

It was a crazy, fun, hard, hot, dirty, but incredibly bonding week!

We rearranged all of the teams a little bit in order balance the work that needed to be done in each location, so our team was a team of 16 (including the “Water for Life” team that came from the states to lead us in building the water tank. Our Brazil team is just 9 people, with 7 Haitians). The Haiti outreach team returned from the mountains on Monday morning and then half of them joined our team. So, the majority of the time we were a team of 26.

I feel like I learned SO much about Haiti and Haitians in the 5 days we were in Montrouis. Philipson and I went to the market 3 times a day everyday in order to keep our team fed. I felt like I walked into the heart of the town and its culture every time we went to get a meal. First of all, it never took less than an hour to get food for the 26 people. Everybody barters with everybody. And everybody knew Philipson because Montrouis is his hometown. Women who tried to sell him avocados on Saturday remembered that he said “maybe tomorrow” and came looking for him on Sunday. The first night we arrived we tried to find breakfast food for the morning. The bread maker didn’t have the amount we needed out on the street so we drove him to his house and waited while he brought us another batch. Then, we didn’t have the right change for him…so we agreed to bring him the correct amount in the morning. That next morning while we were looking for the rest of breakfast we asked a woman if she had any peanut butter. I thought she didn’t. So we went on. Little did I know she did. But it, like the bread the night before, was back in the seller’s house. About 30 minutes later while we’re still out looking for cheese and bartering for mangos, the lady finds us about 3 blocks over holding a thermos and hands us 2 jars of peanut butter from the container. πŸ™‚ When we got back to the school and realized we didn’t have a knife to cut the mangos Philipson taught me how to say “can I borrow your knife” in creole and I retrieved one from the neighbors.

Life is different in Haiti.
It’s so much more relational.
I love it.

The other thing I learned about Haitians while we were in Montrouis was their work ethic. And their resistance to heat πŸ™‚ We were quickly running out of time as we tried to finish the second tank at the orphanage. The last 2 days we were there the guys decided to get up at 5am to start working. The second night they chose to stay and work with the lights of our truck…til 10pm. After that 17 hour day we only had one morning left to work and Philipson was woken up by some of the Haitian guys at 3am b/c they wanted to go and finish the tank. He sent them back to bed and we ended up sending the whole team to the beach in the morning instead of making them work again. I was SHOCKED when he told me what had happened in the middle of the night. The guys were heart broken that we didn’t get the second tank completed.

We will be heading back to Montrouis next weekend to finish the tank for the kids πŸ™‚

Pray with us as we discuss the idea of making one of these water tanks on our international outreach in Brazil. We would love to and we have the man power within our team, but we feel like it’s an impossibility at this point because each tank costs approx $500 for materials and we are still needing to raise over $10,000 for the 9 of us to get to Brazil and live for two months. But! Good thing we serve a God of impossibilities! Oceans don’t normally split in half and virgins don’t normally get pregnant either. So…Selah. πŸ™‚ The tanks can supply clean drinking water for an entire community if it rains a lot in that area and we would love to be able to bless the people of Brazil (especially those up in the north in the jungles surrounding the Amazon) with this sort of gift.

I hope all is well back home!! Love you guys and love hearing from you! Write me or Facebook me and tell me what’s up!!

Here’s a look at the tank building process at the church in Montrouis!

Just our Brazil team, headed out for the first day of work!

We seriously have the best outreach team. (no offense to the rest of you..!) πŸ˜‰

This is the cute church we built the water catchment tank for. The pews were packed on Sunday morning πŸ™‚

Sunday School rooms…!?

“Big Z” and Zack Smalls breaking ground where we poured our foundation! We love our two Zacharies in our DTS πŸ™‚

Our great and fearless leader, Ryan, overseeing the decision on the project location.

hahaha…this sums up Haitian women to a T. Hard working, dedicated, sweating in the island sun, taking care of other’s personal hygiene needs. πŸ™‚ So glad God brought me to these girls!

foundation location marked out!

Measuring the foundation.

Making cement to pour the foundation.

Big Z mixing cement. He’s incredible. In just about every way. He’s about 102% pure muscle. He works harder than anyone I’ve ever met. He loves children, dancing, and laughing so hard he throws himself on the floor when blancs write silly songs about waiting to marry til after DTS. He also wants to have an orphanage and be a teacher. Oh and he loves Jesus. πŸ™‚

Sifting sand πŸ™‚
(so that we could add gravel to it. lol. the girls questioned the boys on this several times. I think there was a logical explanation at some point. Maybe…)

Pouring the foundation!

Ladies & Gentlemen: our foundation!

“One love Shosho!!” Miss you DB πŸ™‚

smoothing the mound to make the water tank’s cap. This was actually a super long and tedious job.

The Cap. Finished a few days later πŸ™‚

Work site overview! Zack Smalls is working on the gutters. Ohhhhh the gutters…sigh.

We went to church on Sunday morning at the construction site. When we arrived the pastor asked Philipson if he would want to preach. This was somewhere in the middle of his hour long improv sermon. haha!

I asked the girl if I could take a picture of her making us plantains for lunch one of the days we stood there and waited for our food. I totally want to buy some of those wooden paddle smasher things before I leave this country.

Yeeeaaaahhh Team Brazil!!!! (with Team Haiti!!!)

Weekends. Visas. Passports. And Trusting God for an Impossible Outreach!

Hello Friends, Family, Acquaintances, and even Strangers out there in the land of the Internet!

Greetings once again from Port-au-Prince Haiti πŸ™‚


It’s Sunday.

I slept in past 6:30am for the first time since the first week I arrived here (I was, however, up til 3am talking to Jesus with 4 of our awesome guy students).

At lunch time Chimene, Bethann, Andrew and I walked up to the Granite Market where George, the Middle Eastern Canadian who’s lived in Haiti for 16 years now, sells us all the little necessities in life (like Ritz crackers and peanut butter). He also exchanges our money for us and has decided that he and I will be friends. Today he RANDOMLY asked if I could interpret dreams and then asked if I prayed to Mary because he believes she has more power than Jesus. It was a super interesting conversation and when we left the four of us Jesus lovers prayed for truth over his life and heart as we walked down the busy Haitian road to find street food for lunch.

Genese, my dear dear Haitian friend who is married to one of our staff, braided my hair in the gazebo when we returned with our chicken, avocado, tomatoes and bread.
(this is the lovely Genese…)


Then, there was rumor of city electricity so we all just came in the house to grab our laptops. The rumor was true…however, for whatever unimaginable Haitian reason, only ONE room in our house is getting power at the moment.

Something about a circuit breaker problem?

I love Haiti. πŸ™‚


Random note: Nate Chace just walked up and started playing with my camera. Then he plopped down and had someone take a pic of him, me and Leah (and apparently Jordan is sleeping on the floor next to us πŸ™‚ ). This is exactly where im sitting right now writing this blog πŸ™‚


Yesterday, Philipson and I took 3 members of our Brazil team and TRIED to get their visa applications done and printed at an Internet cafe. We also sent Jhud 1 (we have 2 of the 3 Judes in our DTS on our outreach team!) out to get his passport pictures taken for the visa. We’d only walked half a block when Jhud informed us he didn’t have the 250 goudes it would cost to buy the photos. 250 goudes is $6.25 American (40 goudes to the dollar). He didn’t have it. Like…this sweet sweet 21 year old kid doesn’t have 10 bucks to his name.


I wanted to give him the money out of my wallet SO BADLY. I had it. It’s not that i didn’t want to be generous. But I couldn’t. If we couldn’t believe God for $6.25 for him this day, how can we believe for the $20 for the visa next week? Or the $300 that’s due on July 30th as an outreach deposit. Or the $2200 that’s due for the outreach after that. :/

So…we all prayed for him together in the street. Told him not be do anything illegal. And sent him on his way to get the pics. Without any money.

If you have a minute…go look up Matthew 10:1-10 in the Bible. Yaye for being a modern day disciple of Jesus. πŸ™‚

Our outreach is budgeted at $2500 per person. For 2 months of traveling. That includes an airline ticket and $15/day to live on (housing, food and transportation within Brazil).

It’s totally reasonable.

And yet it’s completely impossible.

Most Haitians with a good job won’t make that much money in a full year. These kids are still in high school (many won’t finish til they’re in their mid twenties because of the way their school system is set up).

Please…please please please pray for these Haitian guys in the area of their finances. Pray that they would encounter generous hearts in people that they know here in Haiti. And pray that people around the world would be prompted to help them with this crazy incredible life changing experience.

(If you’d like to partner with us in this awesome outreach to Brazil PLEASE feel free to give in whatever way you feel led! You can donate via my paypal or send a check to my church for a tax deduction. Just click on the link that says “support for Haiti” and get all the info there! Then contact me and let me know who/how you’d like the gift to go to.)

Once we sent Jhud out on his little faith journey the rest of us spent the next couple hours walking to 3 different Internet cafes in an attempt to find a computer that had a) a computer b) internet and c) a printer connected to the first two so that we could print our visa applications. We finally got the applications filled out, but in the end the printer didn’t actually work (haha!). AND we discovered Philipson’s passport expires in January. Since a passport has to be good for 6 months after a person returns to their home country in order to receive a visa for any other country, this means the number of people still needing a passport on our team has gone up to four!! Yaaaye!! 😦

Aaahhhhh!!!! Nothing is “easy” in Haiti friends…but it’s good. And our God is bigger than our little problems. πŸ™‚

This is Jhud πŸ™‚