I Heart Haiti [part one]

Friday, June 18, 2010

Hey friends! Perhaps you remember this post from a while ago about my friend Kelly's time in Haiti. Kelly runs The Oak Project in Chattanooga, TN. She is one of those individuals I would consider "an anointed soul". She has a gift that can only be directly from the Divine...and that gift is translated into loving others well, specifically those in desperate need (of love, of care, of clothes, of humor...the list goes on and on). You can read more about her organization on her website - I thoroughly encourage you to check it out, it is a wholly worthwhile cause and God is using Kelly and The Oak Project to turn Chattanooga inside out with unconventional grace and unconditional love.
All this to say - more Haiti stories will be coming because my husband, Josh, is accompanying Kelly and other folks involved with The Oak Project to Haiti next month. That's right, in case you have been living under a rock or avoiding my twittering frenzy, Josh is going to Haiti! Amazing!
The Oak Project is partnering with an orphanage in Haiti called For His Glory Outreach. They have had over an 80% increase of orphans since the earthquake, and are in serious need of resources, help, love, and prayers. The nannies who work there just give give give - with truly nothing in return. As a mother, I can give all of myself to one little individual day in and day out and vouch for how wonderfully exhausting it can be - now, increase that by 80%! Whoa, those women are saints. Not to mention the nannies were already outnumbered before the earthquake - they've just had to continue to sacrifice and give all the more since their homes and hearts have been so devastated. This country is in NEED, people. I'm just like you - I watch the news and want to know how to help. Not just to say a prayer, but really help. And, not just send a generic check to a huge organization...but really help and know WHERE is this money going - what is going to come of it? Will it even make a difference? Will a child even benefit from this dime I drop in the bucket?
If you are interested...
Like all of you, I have a busy life. I have a job, not much vacation time, and a little one who needs me as much as possible. I can't go to Haiti. But, Josh can! It is a sacrifice - I will certainly miss him, Matilda will miss him, it is costing us a lot financially (even apart from the donations received, we are footing a huge part of the bill from our own pockets, plus paying extra for Josh since the general trip cost is from Chattanooga, not California) and frankly - it is scary! Haiti is unknown territory! But, when we talk to Kelly, when we hear the direct-from-Haiti-true-stories-of-miracles, when we pray about it and doors open up...well, that is undeniable. So, off he will go!
As you can see on the little website I made for Josh, he's posted his support letter explaining what they can do while they are there. Let me tell you, this is only the beginning of this story. God has BIG plans for The Oak Project in Haiti. The partnership they are establishing with For His Glory Outreach Orphanage is going to move mountains. It is going to change children's hearts. It is going to even save lives.
While Josh is there, he will be serving the nannies in the orphanage, helping to give them a break and to fill in the gaps of service wherever he can. He will take new photos of the children so that their roster can be updated for adoptions. He will probably do dishes and mop floors and who-knows-what-else. He will also be praying with and over the orphanage, using his newly acquired skills in evangelism and apologetics he's been learning in grad school this last year. Who knows exactly how God will use him? But, he will be helping The Oak Project cast new vision for this orphanage, for it's administrators, for the nannies and the children.
If there's one thing we know for certain about a mission trip - it is that you can't NOT be changed from it. I'm excited to see what God will show Josh while he is there. What vision for his own life will it cast in his heart? I'm curious how God will use me - the praying wife at home - loving from afar.

I urge you to join us on this journey! Visit the site, spread the word, and encourage Josh as he takes this leap of faith!

Thanks for your prayers!

p.s. I would be remiss if I didn't shout out a HUGE THANKS for those who have donated money for the trip - WOW - it has been AWESOME to see how God has provided through each of you. We sincerely appreciate it so much - Josh says it is so inspiring to be able to help pay that love forward...so, THANK YOU! Haiti thanks you too! God bless each of you tenfold!

p.p.s. Kelly is in Haiti RIGHT NOW! We will hopefully be Skyping with her directly from the orphanage this weekend (depending on the internet connection)! Please pray for her safe travels as she helps establish the details for the bigger group trip in July! THANKS!!!

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