Tuesday, January 18, 2011

He is GOD of ALL!

The Last day in Haiti.. The team went up the mountain and had the chance to see the city from a different view.

I could not get this song out of my mind as I stood there and looked down…

You're the God of this City, You're the King of these people You're the Lord of this nation, You are! You're the Light in this darkness! You're the Hope to the hopeless! You're the Peace to the restless!
You are! 

There is no one like our God !!!
There is no one like our God !!!

For greater things have yet to come. 
And greater things are still to be done in this City. 
Greater thing have yet to come 
And greater things are still to be done in this City.

…And greater things are still to be done in this City, 
Greater things have yet to come 
And greater things are still to be done here!!!!

Before coming to Haiti for some reason I thought of it as a very spiritually oppressed place. I thought I would see even more helplessness, more sin, more evil. I had heard the history of how years ago Haiti was dedicated to Satan (although I know that it was recently rededicated to Christ). What I thought I would see was totally not what was there….

I really did see Jesus in Haiti. I saw him in the eyes of each of the children we touched.

I saw people seeking after him as we drove by the packed out churches as sounds of worship leaked out of the cracked walls.

Written on doors....

On their homes...

Above the doorways of their schools...

I saw him alive and at work in the missionaries we met,

definitely in “Healing Haiti” ministries...

and the incredible staff they have working with them …

I saw God at work in my incredible team members...

As we got to be His hands and feet to the YOUNG and the OLD.....

AND I felt his mighty hand working inside me … leading me, teaching me and molding me just a little more into who He wants me to be. He is the GOD of that City and the King of those people He is the only LIGHT that will pierce through the darkest of times. …. I know there is so much more to be done there … BUT I have complete confidence He is at work in a mighty way.

With that said, I also think we can find Jesus everywhere we go…. If we are seeking after him, If we prepare our hearts and minds and want God to work in us and through us. While God used Haiti to show me so many things… I know that the same God is at work here today as well. We do not “HAVE TO” go to Haiti to be his hands and his feet.. to feel or see His presence at work.. to be molded into the person that He wants us to be… BEING ABLE TO GO TO HAITI AND TO BE USED IN SUCH A WAY is a privilege, and honor… one that I humbly hope I will be able to do again sometime soon.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Preparing for HOME!

Ok so I know I have some catching up to do on this blog and hopefully I will find sometime go back and finish up soon. It is not that I have not been trying to process some of my thoughts it is just that I seem to hit some road blocks along the way … Not bad ones but just can’t seem to get it on paper (or computer screen) right away.

But for now… I am starting to prepare my heart to return back home. God has a crazy way of ripping your heart out on a mission trips and molding it to be the way that He wants it to be. It is an incredible time to really reflect on GOD and His plan… not ours. I have thought a lot about submission on this trip. Submitting to God’s plans even when they don’t always match with ours.

Ok, I have to go back and tell you about the day we met Jude JohnPaul. He is a young 17-year-old boy who at the age of 5 started having seizures. His mother showed us his school pictures when he was a normal active young boy running around and playing like everyone else. The problem was when the seizures started they had no medication for him to control them like they would in the U.S. They became so severe that Jude John-Paul must of sustained brain damage at some point and for the last 12 years he has been bed ridden, his mind and body both completely affected.

As we laid hands on him and prayed for him I was overcome with emotions (YES, AGAIN!! ; ) ) So many things were running through my mind all at once and still do when I even try to process that moment. I guess the bottom line for me is that of submission. I will never have all the answers to the questions before us. I do not completely understand why God allows Jude JohnPaul to remain like this for so long.

Verses flood my mind like…

…“Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustardseed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20

(in which I know 100% that God could heal Jude JohnPaul if he wanted to, is my faith really so little)

“…You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” James 4:2-3

(LORD, We ask for this that your Glory be Reviled!)

Yet, I feel Jude JohnPaul is another example of us learning to submit to God. learning to trust that His ways are better than my ways even though we don’t always understand. For those of you who know me well and have read my other blogs know this is a repetitive subject for me.WHAT IS GOD TRYING TO TELL ME?

For now I will just …

Keep on asking and it will be given to you; keep on seeking and you will find; keep onknocking and the door will be opened to you

For everyone who keeps on asking receives; the one who keeps on seeking finds; and to the one who keeps on knocking, the door will be opened. Matthew 7:6-8

Kerry Ann is reading the Seeing God – by David Roper. I was looking through it and just need to share with you a part of it that hit me as I am preparing to go home.

“Everyone thinks of changing humanity and nobody thinks of changing himself” – Tolstoy. From the beginning of the trip Jeff has repeatedly said.. maybe this whole thing is more about US and our HEART then the people we are here to help. …

The book goes on to say …

“I can talk about compassion for others and yet be utterly tactless and inconsiderate to my own family. In which case, what I am at home is what I am.Or I can think myself reasoned and self-controlled, but what I do and say when angry and unobserved gives me away. My character is what I am when I am alone.

…. There’s old Adam within, with vast potential for greed and selfishness. I know I can’t change him much. Frontal attack has never worked for me. As soon as I resist sin, I endow it with more power. This same power it usese against me.Inner transformation, thus is God’s work. As Mother teresa put it, we may will holiness, but He must do it.

What I need is more of God in me. He must work His work. Righteousness is His gift, which I may receive, David’s prayer in Psalm 19:12-14 becomes my own.”

Psalm 19:12-14

But who can discern their own errors? Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. 
Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression.

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

I am making this my prayer…. praying that God continues to make me and mold me (no matter how painful it is at times) into exactly who he wants me to be.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Guillaume’s Orphanage -JAN 13TH

Another stop we went today was one of Healing Haiti’s orphanages they sponsor. As we arrived the kids were in a big circle…

...wonder how long they were waiting. We pulled up and they all started to greet us singing with the most beautiful voices. You could tell they were so excited to see Jeff. They continued to sing songs of worship and praise. If you ever wonder what true SONGS OF WORSHIP was suppose to look like it was what I saw and heard today coming out of the mouths of babes. AMAZING!

Thanks to Noelle’s creative mind we came up with a craft to do with the kids. We thought it was pretty simple, paint a rock, put a couple eyes on them, a dab a glue on the top and plop the little fake hair we brought. It started out pretty good..

but then one thing led to another…

(tracing with chalk)
another and ….
and another….
as the fake hair was glued on their own faces.
(they are just posing like they are tough… such sweeties)

We had so much fun playing with them. Jeff and Fan Fan took some of the older boys and played some soccer, and keep away. I really could not tell you who was having more fun.. the boys or them. It was obvious how much the kids love them and it was obvious how much joy they bring to Jeff. AMAZING!

In the end the writings on the wall reflected the hearts of the children and it was absolutely beautiful. Their love for Jesus and their thankfulness for Jeff and Alyn.

After gathering together for more worship and prayer the kissing and hugging line formed.

We seriously have to do this at home sometime.. Maybe for my birthday!!! ;-) j/k. but it was AMAZING!!!

Really an incredible day….

The Lord is Good and His spirit is most definitely alive here in Haiti!


We WILL NEVER FORGET - 1/13/2011

Today was jammed packed -although we got a lttle slow start it did not really bother me. There is just something about all sitting around a breakfast table together starting a day with the best happy face, high five and/or abstract pancakes. A slow start yet jammed pack and by the end we all were pretty exhausted… and dirty of couse.

One of the stops we made today was the grave site of the mass grave that was created at the time of the earthquake. Yesterday was the 1 Year Anniversary of this horrific event. 232,000 people were killed that day. At least 100,000 of them buried here. There were many crosses and wreaths that were left behind to remember their loved ones.

I know Jeff spoke of being dissatisfied in the site and I understands what he was saying. Think of what great memorial we would of built in the U.S. to remember so many lives lost. I may be wrong about this – forgive me if you strongly disagree – but part of me walked over the site and all I could think of was how all these people got to heaven just a bit quicker. I know how some home how feel closer to our loved ones when we visit the site where they are buried but for some reason I find this a bit odd. While I am in no way wanting to disrespect the remembrance of such a terrific life altering/ world altering event, I just don’t know if the site of the buriel is where I would go to feel closest or even remember my loves ones. Their body or outer shell may be there but they are no longer there at all. (I pray if I were to die people do not remember my ohhh so flawed outer shell but remember my still flawed but forgiven inner being who hopefully represents me a bit better).

It just so happened that this site was just on the way to GRACE VILLAGE. As we approached you could start getting a glimpse of it sitting up on the hillside over looking the town of Titanyen.

Driving through the little town I became so over whelmed with excitement to actually be able to see the place that I have heard of for so long. We tredged up the mountainside and when we got there the first thing that I noticed was the incredible view. I did not have to even look at the structures that were on the land but just taking in the incredible view of not only the gorgeous ocean side but being able to overlook the village, shanties and people below I knew this was a place where God was going to do mighty things. As we walked the land and buildings and Jeff shared the vision that God gifted him and Alyn with I was overwhelmed with emotions. There are little fingerprints of Alyn everywhere. Jeff said one of Alyn’s wishes were to see Grace Village finished but God knew she would love the beauty of heaven just a bit more. Alyn’s memory is so much more throughout Haiti then it could ever be at any gravesite. I am so overwhelming grateful to Alyn and Jeff for being so obedient to God’s calling and for touching so many lives in return, mine, the people of Haiti and so many in the US included.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

BLESSED 1-12-2011

At the end of every day we gather together for a time of reflection, sharing and prayer… part of this time we go around the room and each share our WORD of the day. It can only be one word but usually it is followed up with a longer explanation which leads to some discussion amongst the group – Really a great way to get us chatting , although this group does not really seem to have too much trouble doing that.

Today my word was … ‘BLESSED.”

I feel so amazingly BLESSED to be able to be here … to have this opportunity to be able to be used by God in such a way.

Blessed by the smiles and love each and every child gave me each time I held them or played with them or even touched them. (even the ones who cried the entire time not being held).

Blessed to be able to attend the amazing memorial service I did tonight with some of the most amazingly selfless people who have given their lives and moved to Haiti to serve the people here.

Blessed by the worship tonight and..

Blessed by just how much.. HE LOVES ME!!! - yep we sang many of my favorite songs tonight but this one especially always hits me right where I need it. It is one of Jeff’s favorites too… I know this because I think we have heard him play it about 20 times … and no, not sick of it at all. Who can ever get sick of hearing just how much our heavenly father loves us!!!!

I think of the kids today that we visited at Gertrudes Orphanage. I know that they are well taken care of and their caregivers probably do love them… but no one ( But God) can love a child like their Mama and Papa. Most of the children there may go throughout their lives never experiencing that due to their physical or mental handicap.

Like Mickey…. A 17yr old boy in a wheelchair, so smiley, and spoke pretty good English even, most likely intelligent-yet so skinny, entire body frail, legs seemed immobile, but he could use his arms to get around in his wheelchair although his entire body seemed to be contorted a bit, his eyes appeared as if he could not see but I think he could to some degree. He loved when we talked to him and especially when we massaged his arms and legs with lotion. Such an amazing thing what touch can do. Mickey will never know what it is really like to be loved and cared for by a mom and dad. He will most likely never be tucked in at night, prayed over and kissed on a consistent basis. But then I think how David called God, “A father to the fatherless.” And I think how Mickey has a Heavenly father that loves him so deeply. I know that someday Mickey’s body will be restored and perfect and then he will be able to run with all his might right into those arms of His Abba , Daddy who loves him so much!

Mickey was just one the children I had the privilege of caring for today. Each and everyone of them were so special in their own way, I long to know each of their stories, to spend so much more time there with them.. loving on them the way they so deserve to be loved.

Needless to say my heart was broken today but I am ok with that. I never want to grow indifferent or blinded to what I see. I always want my heart to continue to break for what breaks God’s in every way!

I am Blessed today! I don’t think I could ever bless any of the people or children that I have met on this trip as much as they have Blessed me.



One cannot experience a day like today without having the question “WHY?” go through your mind at at least some point? Why them and not us? Why are we blessed with so much and they suffer so greatly? Why don’t we as a country, church, people do more to help?

Tonight we gathered as a group and pondered some of those questions together. One thought was…. Maybe it’s really not about their poverty at all. Maybe it is more about OUR hearts… OUR abundance… and this is God’s way of (for lack of better word) testing us.

Just think how time on earth is really just a twinkling of an eye compared to the eternity we get to spend in heaven with the Lord. There are a number of different places throughout the bible where it talks about “those who are last who will be first, and the first who will be last.”(Luke 13:30) Maybe these people… “The least of these” Matthew 25 are actually so much richer than us… rich in faith and rich for these are the people that may just be a little quicker, a little closer or just "the first" that is spoken of.

Mike always talks about delayed gratification… Working hard now for something better later.Some, in the US, think of retirement as their delayed gratification. But really, the biggest retirement party I can ever imagine is the one we get to celebrate in heaven.

I am totally just babbling a whole mix of thoughts that are going on in my head and heart right now but that is kind of how I am feeling at the moment… I think it may take some time to really process all that is going on.

It was brought up over Christmas in a discussion with my brother, about just how far one can go with the giving and sacrifice. Are we all to live on a shack on the side of the road and give everything we have? I don’t know the answer to this. Maybe we are not supposed to know. I think God works in everyone’s heart and lives differently and at different times…. but I do believe we all should wrestle with this question though. I do know this.. “Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for ME will find it.” (Matt. 16:24&25)

“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.
 As much as is given as much we are responsible for (Luke 12:48).” OH boy does everyone in the U.S. have a lot of responsibility. At one of the stops today I met a little bit older boy, probably a teenager of some sort. He was different then the rest.. he spoke incredible English that he said he taught himself and he said he could read and write also. He was dressed nicer than those around him and he said he has worked from time to time helping at the Cholera treatment center. I told him that God has blessed him greatly with such a gift and that with that gift I pray that he continues to use it to help others and for God’s glory. Oh and he agreed and said he thanks God very much for giving him the abilities he has. My words stung as soon as they came out of my mouth though. How many gifts has He blessed me with? Am I using them all for His glory? Who was I to be saying that to this young man?

Amy Lindahl

Healing Haiti Team Member
January 2010

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Here we are .... send us!!!!



Whew... What a whirlwind this week has been! At this time last week none of us knew what an adventure God was planning for us. We are so sad for the tragic loss the team that was planning on going has experienced thus causing them to have to reschedule but also feel so blessed for the opportunity that has come to us.

One week ago today I sat next to Julie Sexson at Rockpoint church (even that was not a coincidence). After service we stood there for sometime sharing our heart for Haiti and I expressing how I was not sure when an opportunity would come for me to be able to visit. I mentioned how I felt like maybe I could find some way to be involved locally but really not sure what that would be.

Monday morning I woke up ... still thinking of Haiti and I wrote the Mission Team sharing my heart a bit then that night Mike told me that some guys from his Bible Study were getting together for Appetizers. I was asleep by the time he was home but the next day he called me from work and told me that Jeff was there and mentioned how he was not sure how he felt about going to Haiti alone the first time since he has lost his incredible partner, and wife Alyn. Mike asked if I would want to go. I whole-heartedly said YES but at that time I honestly never thought it was at all possible to pull everything together in such a short period. Guess the verse “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matt 19:26) slipped my mind at the time. .. oh God must have been laughing.

One phone call to my mom and the reality of the trip actually happening started to sink in.There is no one I would feel more comfortable with or who would be as capable to come live at the house and love on my family for the week, but I still needed to find someone who was as crazy as me to drop everything and fly to Haiti with less than a weeks notice.Little did I know God had been working in the heart of my dear friend, Mary Ericksen, long before the actual invite came. I first called Becky Nelson, who could not go herself but then said, “I know who wants to go. We just have to call and let her know she wants to.”Becky immediately hung up the phone and called her…. I am sure Mary will share what was going on in her heart at the time… bottom line is, she said YES!

We met with Jeff for lunch on Friday. Saturday our tickets were purchased and we are leaving bright and early Monday morning for Haiti!

OH wait, there is more… I sent a text out to a few of my family members saying I was going on the trip and wondering if there was anyone who wanted to go with me. My niece Alana texted back within seconds …. YES, PLEASE!!!! Alana is the sweetest girl and I know God is going to break her heart on this trip for what breaks His. She is on her winter break right now and it was the perfect timing for her.

Now reading this you would think we were nuts…. going without preparation and thought, the 3 of us headed to Haiti with Jeff, but I have to share with you… I truly believe God has been preparing each of us for this trip for sometime now…. Which is a huge lesson in itself!!! How so many times we have no clue what God is doing …. Is He there? Active?But HE always is… He knows the plans He has for us (Jeremiah 29:11)(EVEN IF HE DOES NOT TELL US TILL THE WEEK OF) . Can’t wait for Mary to share all that has been going on in her life lately and what she has been studying. God knows what we need just when we need it. Are you ready? It may not always be a call to jump on a plane and fly to Haiti but man, I love it when He makes something like this happen when we are willing and obedient to say YES GOD!

There is a blog that I read not so long ago that I just love and would like to share…..


So now we are “AT ONCE” throwing down our nets and going…. SO excited to put the next foot in front of the other and see what God has planned for us…. How He will use us, and what is He going to do with our hearts on this trip.

Thank you Lord, Thank you Mike, and Mom, and to all my children who are willing to sacrifice their comfort a bit and give up their mom for a week.