Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Jetson & Titi

It’s always hard for me to know where to begin a story.  If it were only as simple as “Once upon a time..”  The thing I love about a good story is that if it is truly a good one, the beginning is further back than one may ever know.  People.  Places.  Events.  So much had to take place for a story to even begin.
One of my first times to ever hold Titi.

As best I can tell you, this story begins when I began my internship at Mission of Hope (MOH) in the fall of 2011.  I had the privilege of working with short term teams that would come down and serve for a week in Haiti.  MOH has a northern property called Leveque.  This is where teams spent a great amount of their time because MOH was building permanent block homes for people who were currently living in temporary tents.  With dozens and dozens of homes being built, there were dozens and dozens of homes to be painted.  MOH would send teams out daily to Leveque to paint homes.  With all this time being spent in Leveque, I quickly began to recognize children, families, moms and dads.  Among all these people, there were two little ones who began to capture my heart.  Their names are Jetson and Titi.  Brothers.  Every day when we would arrive in Leveque, about a dozen children that would come running for the bus, Jetson and Titi were always in the group.  I would scoop them up since they were both so little and kiss them till they couldn’t stop giggling.  Over time I met their old brothers and their mom and dad and even their aunt.  During this time of getting to know them I learned that Jetson and Titi were living in a tent.  This nearly broke my heart.  Such sweet, loving, adorable boys, living in such harsh conditions.  However, I also learned that their aunt had received a home from MOH and so the boys spent a good amount of time there.  As my internship was coming to an end, I was offered a staff position to work with teams in 2012.  I gladly accepted.  So even though leaving Haiti in December for a month was going to be hard, I knew that I would be able to see everyone when I got back. 
Or so I thought.


When I arrived back to MOH in January of 2012, I was so excited to get out into the villages and see all the people that I had formed friendships with.  It was no secret that Leveque was at the top of my list.  I was excited to see some of the families and children, but definitely the most excited to see Jetson and Titi.  It was a Sunday afternoon, we were arriving in Leveque and I couldn’t help but scan the children’s faces, eagerly looking for the two boys.  They weren’t there.  This didn’t concern me too much because they could be at their aunt’s house.  I quickly made my way to the house.  No one was there.  As I slowly walked back towards the bus, I was amazed at how much Leveque had grown in the short 4 weeks I was gone.  There were more homes and less tents.  I left Leveque that day and assured myself that I would see them the following week.  I knew that word would get out that MOH was bringing people again and that the boys would be there.  The next Sunday came and the boys were not there.  The next Sunday came and the same result.  For 5 weeks, I looked and the boys were nowhere to be found.  My heart was heavy.  What happened?  Where had they gone? 

I finally saw the aunt one day in late February.  After talking with her I learned that the boys, their siblings and parents had moved to Cabaret.  Cabaret is a city between MOH and Leveque.  They couldn’t live in a tent any longer and had an option to move into a block home and they made the move.  Leveque’s population is around 3,000.  Cabaret… 70,000.  I figured I would never see the boys again.  I asked if the boys would ever come to Leveque to see her.  She said that they might, but she could never be sure of when.  I asked her if I could come to her house and check every time I was in Leveque.  With a big smile, she told me yes.  Two weeks later, the boys were there.  As I walked up to her house, I quickly recognized the giggles and laughter coming from the yard.  When I walked through the fence the boys immediately ran to greet me.  I dropped to my knees, right in the dirt and hugged them both.  Hot tears streamed down my face.  I was so happy to see them.  For the next 5 months, I went back to the aunt’s house to check and see if the boys were there.  Little did I know that one time in February would be the only time I would see them in Leveque.

Reunited with Jetson!

Mid July I was in Leveque and as I began to walk towards the aunt’s house, I questioned myself.  Why do I still keep going?  You know they won’t be there. It’s been 7 months now since they moved and you’ve seen them once.  Why do you put yourself through this?  But I kept walking.  When we got to the house it was quite.  The boys weren’t there.  It took everything in me not to break down and cry.  As I began to walk back towards the bus with the translator, I saw the aunt coming up the road.  I greeted her and asked if she had seen the boys.  So shook her head and said she hadn’t.  The translator began to speak with her in Creole.  They spoke longer than I than I had expected.  After they finished, the translator looked at me and said, ‘I know where the boys live in Cabaret.  I have a friend that lives near there.’  I couldn’t even speak.  I just stared at him.  Again, it took everything in me not to break down and cry.  I finally said, ‘Are you sure?  You are absolutely sure you know where?’  He smiled.  ‘Yes. I’m sure.’

-          -      -

Reunited with Titi!
As we drove the roads of Cabaret, my heart began to race.  Would we really find them?  Would this be the day I would get to see them?  We parked.  We got out of the car and walked through a metal gate.  As we entered the yard, I could hardly contain my excitement.  And then, there they were.  I think their level of surprise somehow outweighed my level of excitement.   The shock quickly wore off and with screams and giggles, they ran to meet me.  There was no holding back the tears now.  I scooped them up and held them so tight.  They spoke so quickly and at the exact same time.  I couldn’t make out anything they were saying.  I didn’t even care.  I had found them.  After 7 long months, I had found them. 

I’ve been back a handful of times since that day.  It’s amazing how much I appreciate my time with those boys because I learned that it could easily be taken away from me.  It makes me look at other relationships in my life.  It makes me question if I appreciate the time I have with others, now fully knowing they could be taken away.  I pray that I would appreciate and cherish the relationships I do have.  I am also praying that these young boys and their family come to know Christ.  In my last few visits I’ve learned that voodoo is predominate in their home.  I know that the Lord has put them in my life for a reason.  I know that it will be a journey.  It almost feels as if the story is really just beginning.  I am so thankful that I will be in Haiti for another year, working with MOH and I will have the chance to see where this story takes me.
Most recent visit with the boys.  Also getting to know a lot of their friends.


Thursday, October 4, 2012

For Such A Time As This

Little did I know that a 1 week trip to Haiti in the summer of 2011 would change my life forever.  I honestly didn’t even know where Haiti was.  I knew of the earthquake.  I knew it was a struggling country but really nothing more.

Me & Carvona. One of my sweet Haitian sisters.
Little did I know that becoming an intern with Mission of Hope would draw me to closer to the Lord and closer to this amazing country.  Serving for 3 months in the fall of 2011 not only confirmed that Haiti was exactly where I was supposed to be but also planted a seed that would grow into a deep love for the people and country.  So in October of 2011 when Brad Johnson the president of MOH, offered me a staff position, it was a no-brainer that staying for the first 6 months of 2012 was exactly what I would do.

Now I have to be honest, when I signed the commitment to be on staff for 6 months in 2012, I remember praying, Lord please let me stay for the whole year.  Let these 6 months turn into another 6 months.  You see, there is something about Haiti that is contagious.  I can’t quite put it into words, but if you’ve been to Haiti and you’ve been to MOH…. You get it!  The Haitian people are phenomenal.  I say it time and time again that they are the most resourceful and resilient people group I’ve ever seen.  They challenge and encourage me daily! 

Me & Meagan Malone and my dear Haitian family in Leveque.
So for most of you, it probably won’t be too big of a shock that I will be staying in Haiti and working with Mission of Hope for another year!  That’s right – 1 week turned into 3 months – 3 months turned into 6 months – 6 months turned into 1 year and now 1 year has turned into 2 years.  I have officially committed to work at Mission of Hope for the year 2013 and I couldn’t be more excited.  I know that the number one reason I love working and living in Haiti, is because I’m seeing the hand of God move in ways I have never before.  Daily I witness lives being transformed.  I see North Americans come down and think they will have a major impact on the country but ultimately are impacted the most.  I have seen Haitian families moved from a temporary blue tarp tent into a permanent beautiful block home.  I see miracles happen every day!  People ask me why I want to stay… I ask them, why would I ever want to leave? 

For those of you who have supported me in prayers, finances, letters, care packages…. “Thank You” doesn’t even cut it.  I wish there was something more I could say or do.  But all I have for now, is Thank You!  Thank you for the constant support.  Thank you for the prayers.  Thank you for the Facebook posts, messages, emails, tweets and so much more.  Thank you for being a part of my journey.  And now, let the journey continue!

If you would like to become part of my prayer support team, please comment on this blog post and I will add you.  If you would like to become part of my financial support team, please click here.
I became the godmother of a soccer team in a nearby village!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


*Thoughts from Saturday August 25th , 2012.  Could not post this blog because there was no internet.*

After living through the last 18 hours of Hurricane Isaac blasting it's way through the country of Haiti, the word refuge has an entirely different meaning for me now. As winds whipped roofs off of homes and trees fell to the ground, here at Mission of Hope, we were safe. What a beautiful and tangible example of the Gospel and God's favor towards us. Without the Lord, we would be alone in the storm but in Him we find safety and rest.

As I walk the MOH campus and see what little damage has happened, I can only thank the Lord that He is our refuge. And as I look through the chain length fence to the villages that surround us, my heart rejoices in the fact that I know we will do all we can to help them and simultaneously my heart breaks as I imagine what the last 18 hours has looked like for them.

We wait. We pray. And know that this storm will pass. The Son will rise and His faithfulness will continue day 

after day after day.

Join me as I work with Mission of Hope: Haiti to see this country changed for Jesus Christ.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

You give and take away

Years ago, I heard it said that “Christians do not tell lies, they sing them.”  In that moment it didn’t make a whole lot of sense and I didn’t think much of it.  It wasn’t until I was in church that next Sunday and I stood for worship and began to sing along as I normally do.  I didn’t give much thought as to what I was singing because I knew the words to the songs in and out.  No need to look at the lyrics being projected on the wall, I knew every word.  As I continued to sing, I began to process what words were actually coming out of my mouth.  And beyond that…. I wondered if I actually believed what I was singing.  Did I believe that grace is amazing?  Or that the more I seek You – the more I find You.  Do I lay my crowns at the feet of Jesus?  It is so easy to speak, but do my actions align with the words I sing, that I hardly give a second thought to? 

Last night as I gathered with the summer class of Mission of Hope interns for a night of worship, this realization of ‘what am I singing?’ hit me again.  Most are going to be familiar with the song, Blessed Be The Name of the Lord.  It has been sung for years.  I have sung it for years…  But last night a phrase jumped out at me and caused me to stop singing.  These were the words: “Blessed be the name of the Lord, blessed be your name.  Blessed be the name of the Lord, blessed be your glorious name.  You give and take away.  You give and take away.  My heart will choose to say, blessed be your name.”  I had to sit in silence. 

Let me explain a little more why these words struck me with such conviction.  Yesterday afternoon I went to find a Haitian family who I have not seen in a very long time.  They had moved to a different village and I wasn’t sure where to find them anymore.  So with a team of Haitian friends, we set out to find this family that I love so dearly.  One of the reasons I was so eager to find them was that the mom was pregnant with their 5th child.  And to add more excitement to the scenario – back in the states, my brother and sister-in-law are also pregnant.  The miracle of life seemed to be all around me.  While we were in the car, searching for the family – I was receiving messages from home the contractions had started.  My niece was coming!  Surprisingly, it didn’t take long for us to find the Haitian family in their new home.  I eagerly greeted them!  You could see the shock on their face as I came walking through their gate!  I had no way of telling them I was coming – their surprised faces were priceless.  I quickly scooped up the youngest boy and hugged him as tight as I could.  Such joy filled my heart as I was reunited with this family.  As I looked at the mom I could tell that she was excited to see me, but I could also see a deep sadness in her eyes.  As she began to speak, I knew what was coming.  The baby had not lived.  Sadness gripped my heart in an instant.  Fighting back tears was impossible.

So going back now to the worship night – fully knowing that one baby has died and one baby is on the way, my heart wrenched as I sang the words ‘you give and take away.’  But beyond those words… the ones that caused me to stop and be absolutely sure before I sang them again were, ‘my heart will choose to say.’  My heart will choose.  A choice.  The decision is mine.  Not one of force.  So as I sat thinking of such sorrow in one hand and such joy in the other, I could not help but think of Jesus.  I could not help but think of grace and how amazing it really is.  I could not help but think of the choice He made on my behalf and once again fighting back tears was impossible.

Today, joy fills my heart yet again as Evelyn Hope Billingslea has entered the world.  Evelyn Hope.  Her name literally means bearer of life and hope.  I am more thankful for her than she will probably ever know.  She is tangible evidence of God’s grace and love for us.  I am excited to be back in the states in 10 days and be able to hold her.  There is no way to explain how thankful I am for the miracle of life.  And even more thankful for the breath in my lungs to be able to sing of the Lords goodness day after day after day.

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Beauty of Surrender

There is nothing easy about taking a step to leave friends, family, cherished relationships or your home...  But what if, that step of leaving propels you into the depths of the most intimate relationship with the Lord that you have ever known?  What if that relationship with the Lord, always requires leaving something behind?  What if leaving something behind requires you to trust him even more than you already do?  And what if trusting him even more than you already do, leads to restoration and the progressive sanctifying of your life?

There is a line.  Not a physical line or something you can see, but a line of where our adequacies as human beings end.  In our own strength and what we can muster, we can only go so far.  And then beyond that “line of reality” is a place where we have the opportunity to exist.  The only reason that we can exist in that place is because God fills the gap.  He fills that space of impossibility with Himself and gives us a solid foundation to stand on.  When life seems uncertain and we want to take the step that seems to make the most sense, He whispers to the depths of our soul….. step here, I’ll be waiting.
Fear or Faith? Two relentless and opposing factors.  One, causes us to question and doubt.  And even more simply than that, it forces us to stop relying on the One and trust in the falsehood that “we know best.”  It robs us of true freedom, joy and life to the fullest.  The other is not something we can produce or even in and of our self, bring into being.  It is something that the One is crafting and fashioning inside of our hearts and minds.  It is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

The action step that we must take is to be obedient to His still and gentle voice.  The certain foundation that God promises us on the other side of the chasm, is often times unseen.  If we could see it, then it wouldn’t be faith.  So we take a deep breath, lift our chin and maybe even close our eyes…. And we step.  We surrender all control and we fall into the arms of the One who anxiously awaits us on the other side.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Life to the Fullest

Just wanted to send out an update on my first 4 months of being on staff with Mission of Hope.  First, it's crazy to think it's been FOUR months already.  I feel like it was just the other day that I was arriving and wondering what a year of LIVING in Haiti would look like.  To describe the last 4 months in a single word, I would have to choose .... ADVENTURE.  I never would have imagined that I would have so many amazing experiences in such a short amount of time.  Some of the highlights would be: having my brother come down and serve alongside me, flying in a private plane, meeting Jay Feely, seeing a good friend move out of a tent and into a home, meeting David Barnett and countless other experiences!

I think the most beautiful revelation that I've had in the last few months would be this: doing things for God, is NOT the same as knowing Him.  I have always struggled with finding my value and my worth in what I do and not always in the fact that I am a child of God.  For whatever reason, “works-based faith” is much easier for my mind to grasp than the actual TRUTH of being saved simply by grace….. but then that’s what makes grace so amazing.  Another hurtle I face, especially working for a Christ-based organization, is that yet again it is much more easy for me to do things for the Lord vs. knowing Him more intimately and letting my relationship with Him grow.  It has been a challenge not to equate working for the Kingdom as quality time with the Lord. It has been another beautiful step in this journey of progressive sanctification.  It makes me all the more thankful for grace.  It makes scripture like Eph 2:1-10 become more and more alive in my life.

The next 8 months of this year are FULL!  May, June & July promise to be busy!  Hundreds if not thousands of short term team members will be coming down to Mission of Hope to serve.  I eagerly await the new adventures that will come with these months.  I covet your prayers as they will also prove to be a trying time, not only physically but emotionally and spiritually.  Words like peace and organization are what I am praying over my life.  Wisdom and strength for the days to come.  I would also appreciate your prayers for my finances.  It has been another facet of my journey that has been both testing and rewarding.  I’ve never lived in a season where my finances were literally a month to month basis.  It has been such a gentle reminder that everything in my life is ultimately in His hands.  I’ve included the link to my support page if this is something you are curious about or would like to prayerfully consider.

Thank you for the opportunity to share my heart with each and every one of you!  I constantly talk about the support base I have back “home.”  Whether home is Colorado, Arkansas, Texas, Haiti or anywhere else the Lord will take me, it has been a constant testimony to the sovereignty and wisdom of the Lord.  It has never made sense when He has moved me somewhere new, but then the amazing support structure I have developed along the way makes all the sense in the world!  So no matter where you fall into my story, know that you are there for a reason and I cherish your involvement in what the Lord is doing in and through me.  Blessings – and let the adventure continue!!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

March Madness

We knew that the month of March was going to be an exciting time at Mission of Hope. Spring breaks would be in full swing and hundreds of people would be coming down to serve. Our project lists were long! Our village locations had expanded. But more than anything we trusted that the Lord was bringing us just the right people for just the right purpose and timing. And because our God is so wonderful and His timing is PERFECT, it was just as we anticipated!! I wish there was some way I could give you every fact and detail from the last month, but you will have to forgive me as I go through just a few of the highlights! Hundreds of people were treated at our mobile clinics. Over 60 students were sponsored by team members while they were in country. 2 North American team members accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior. Countless homes were painted for families in our church as well as more of our MOH 500 homes in Leveque. Our orphanage has taken in 2 new twins!! The cement for the 2nd floor of our new office space was poured. Our new guest house in Bercy has begun. And the lists go on and on and on.

I truly count it a blessing to be here and daily see all that the Lord is doing. My hope and prayer is that we will constantly and continually boast in Him. There is no way we can describe the goodness and greatness of our God, but I love that He gives us these beautiful glimpses.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

I _ am _ a _ planner!

I am a planner. No doubt about it. My brain thinks in lines. Organized. Strategic. Lines.
My closet is color coded. I like paper clips, sticky notes, staples and high lighters.
I like lists and puzzles. My movies are in alphabetical order.

I _ am _ a _ planner!

I never realized that God has literally hardwired me in such a way that is unlike most people. The more and more I tell my story of how the Lord turned my world up-side-down in January of 2009 and brought me on this epic journey from Colorado to Arkansas to Haiti.... I realize more and more and more than He was preparing me in such a strategic way for the job I have today. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that being a manager at Texas Roadhouse would be my "classroom" for learning how to work with people and prepare me to be the Group Trip Director for an non-profit organization in Haiti!! I dealt with every kind of person you could imagine and today - I do the same. Who knew that the delicate juggling act I learned in a multi-million dollar restaurant industry would pave the way for working with thousands of short term missionaries with Mission of Hope. When I stop to take a step back and look at the way everything has unfolded.... the only words that come to mind are Divine Orchestration. Only the all-knowing and all-seeing true God could have written such an epic tale. Only the Master and Creator of the universe could have foreseen the skills, talents and expertise that would be required and so gracefully shaped and molded me for the task.

Please hear me when I say this - "not by my might or by my power" are things this way but only by the Spirit of God. For years I thought I had what it took to live a successful life and achieve everything I wanted, but my thinking was flawed! Everything I put my hand to, in my own strength, quickly faded away. It wasn't until I released everything and allowed the Lord to move in and through me, that I truly saw change.

So yes.... I am a planner..... but now, the only plan I'm working towards is the one He has placed in my heart. It isn't a distant thought or a far away idea, it is a daily surrender and a moment by moment obedience.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

He is making ALL things NEW

I could go on and on about all the beautiful things I get to experience day in and day out, here at Mission of Hope. But to me, apart from seeing someone come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, there is nothing better than seeing a life transformed. Whether it’s a new orphan that arrives at our doorstep or a family that has been living in a tent since the earthquake and seeing them receive a home in Leveque, or maybe a child in our school eating in the cafeteria - the only meal they will receive for the day, life transformation is truly a sight to behold. But beyond the life transformation of Haitians, the “icing on the cake” – for lack of a better term – is sitting with a North American team at the end of the day and hearing stories of how God is transforming their lives!! Some team members arrive somewhat nervous because they’ve heard all the reasons why going to Haiti is unwise or maybe a foolish decision. While some team members arrive and their eyes are bright with excitement and anticipation of what the week may entail. But ALL team members leave with eyes even brighter of the hope they have not only for Haiti, but for themselves! The year is just getting underway and I cannot wait to continue to see not only life transformation for every man, woman and child in Haiti, but also every man, woman and child that steps foot into this country!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Letter From Home

Who knew that hand written words on a page could be such a beautiful example of love? Not an electronic mail. Not a status update. Not a tweet. Simple ink stained pages.

As my life continues to move forward here in Haiti, my appreciation for the “simple things in life” continues to grow and grow. A cool breeze on a hot day. Sunrises and sunsets. A cold glass of clean water. Breath in my lungs.

Today I received my first letter from home. My first instinct was to rip open the envelope and quickly read the special words that had been sent to me, but instead I chose to tuck it into my purse and retreat to a solitude place to cherish the letter. It took more time that I would have liked to escape the clamor and clutter of the day, but I finally managed to slip away. Gently I slid my fingers along the seal and released the folds of the paper. It only took a few words and my eyes began to fill with tears. I’ve never cherished a letter until today. Yes, I’ve received many letters in my life, but something is different now. Being oceans apart from family and close friends, it’s amazing how special a letter can be. So today, with a cold glass of water and a cool breeze and a hand written letter, I appreciate the “simple things.”

Friday, January 13, 2012

Meeting a Child

There are a lot of things I really love about my job. Holding a child. Learning Haitian Creole. Walking through the local villages. But probably one of my absolute favorites is being able to witness a team member meeting their child that they have chosen to sponsor. I can never tell who’s smile is bigger, the team member or the child. It’s almost as if you could reach out and grab a handful of pure joy, as you watch the meeting take place! The student is so excited to know that someone is investing in their future and that they are loved by a complete stranger. And the team member begins to realize that they really can make a difference in the life of a student and they can be a part of the “bigger picture.”

Today was one of these days. I took a woman and her daughter down to the School of Hope to meet their sponsored child. The little girl was maybe 5-6 years old. I literally fought back tears as I watched the woman and daughter give the little girl a jump rope and some barrettes to put in her hair. The light in the little girls eyes was unexplainable. They sat and held her. Laughed. And took pictures. You could see it in all of their faces that if time could stop and they could stay in this moment for as long as possible, they would! What a beautiful representation of the Gospel. I am so blessed to be able to have this experience week in and week out. I love my life in Haiti.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Toss'n Rocks

Upon arriving in Haiti it was amazing to me how much I remembered but what probably shocked me even more, was how much I had forgotten.

I had only been at the Mission of Hope campus for maybe 2-3 hours when some of my dearest friends came walking up the hill towards my house. It was a few of the Hope House boys. Boys that live in our orphanage, that is on our compound. When I was an intern in the fall of 2011, I had spent quite a bit of time working with them, getting to know them, laughing with them and developing some wonderful friendships. So as you can imagine, when I first saw them walking up the hill, I was very excited. I hugged each one of them, asked them about their Christmas and New Year's and walked up to the playground. It didn't take long for us to all sit down on the loose rocks and continue to talk. One by one the boys started to pick up a rock or two and gently toss it at another rock, attempting to hit it. Watching them, I quickly realized that this was more habit than a conscious decision. They didn't even break conversation to pick up a rock and aim it at another victim rock. First just a few rocks were being thrown and then more and more. As more rocks began to be aimed and tossed, the less the conversation continued. And almost a matter of minutes the only sound that could be heard was the clank and clap of a rock being tossed into a pile of more rocks. This silence of words went on and on and on. I quickly found myself trying to come up with something else we could do. What game could we play? What subject matter could I bring up that they would want to talk about? My mind was literally racing. And then it hit me..... just toss rocks. I had forgotten the simplicity in which I had grown so accustomed to. I had forgotten that taking the time to just sit with someone, may be the most important thing you do that day. Tossing rocks may not be profound, it may not even make a whole lot of sense. Life doesn't always have to busy, things don't always have to be done. Everything has a time and a place. And right now, in this time and in this place, I'm going to toss rocks. So with that thought, I picked up another rock, glanced around at the boys to observe their smiles as their aim was getting better and better.... and tossed another rock.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Mystery of Hope

I read something the other day that shook me. It was a tweet from a pastor name Paul Tripp. Here is what it said:

"Hope is not a situation, location, idea, or thing. Hope is a person and his name is Jesus."

It made me stop.... and think. What do I put my hope in? What do I trust? What do I depend on? The definition of hope is " to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence; to believe, desire or trust." As I pondered this quote, I cringed as I thought of things that I so quickly put my "hope" in. Finances. Family. My car. Good health. The fact that I'm an American. It was a sobering reality.

Hope seems to be a word that gets thrown around casually in conversations. "I hope my team wins tonight." "I hope the restaurant doesn't have a long wait." "I hope we're not late for the movie." It challenges me to be slow to speak... to weigh my words. Now don't hear me say to tip the scales and go legalistic with this. I'm not asking anyone to alter the English language, but I am saying this.... I choose to put more weight to this word, "hope." I'm sure the fact that I'm going to work for an organization called Mission of HOPE, has magnified my awareness of this word. As I move forward and begin to live my life in Haiti, I want people to find their hope in Jesus. I want them to know that their hope IS Jesus. It's not comfort, possessions or the myriad of other things we try and complicate life with. Our hope is Jesus. Plain and simple.