Haiti. The country that has captured my heart in ways I could have never imagined. My journey to Haiti started in 2009. I was sitting in church when the high school youth pastor spoke about their recent trip to Haiti. He told many stories, and showed a video slideshow. While I was watching the slideshow, I said to myself, "I'm going to go there someday."
Fast forward to 2011. I wanted to go on a mission trip. I mentioned Haiti to my husband, Nathan, and he suggested sticking closer to home for our first trip.
So we went on our church's family mission trip to Lynch, Kentucky (Appalachia) to Lonnie and Belinda Riley's Meridzo Ministries. We held a sports camp for the local school kids, and helped with community service projects like painting and cutting grass. I posted a picture to this post of me playing the balloon stomping game with the kids at the sports camp. The kids really enjoyed that game. All in all, it was a great trip.
Lonnie and Belinda, along with their staff, live by faith. Lonnie told fascinating stories about how God had miraculously provided for their ministry over the years, and I was intrigued. I had never heard of the concept, "living by faith." Each story Lonnie told pointed back to God as the great provider. He never took the credit, but instead always gave God the glory.
In fact, Lonnie has so many stories that he actually has a book called, "Miracle in the Mountains" and a video testimony for Henry Blackaby's "Experiencing God" book. I read Lonnie's book cover to cover in about two days. It was the first Christian book I had ever read, and I've read it a few more times over the years. I liked the book so much that I actually purchased a second copy so I could loan it to family and friends.
On the last evening of our trip, we sang, "The Stand." The chorus goes like this,
I'll stand with arms high and heart abandoned In awe of the One who gave it all I'll stand my soul Lord to you surrendered All I am is yours.
"All I am is yours." Those words resonated with me. And in that moment, I told God I was "all in."
I learned several important things on this trip - the power of prayer, what it means to live by faith, and how God truly is the Great Provider. I'm convinced God used this trip as a foundation for Haiti.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]