We’re home. Landed, unpacked and adjusted to another time change. We’ve had time to process the early months of 2022. It feels good to be home. We returned changed; different from when we left in January. We immersed ourselves in the Irish culture of County Kerry; we reconnected with old friends and made new. Any time one opens themselves to another or something new, they change.
Our return in 2019 and again in 2020 started me thinking I needed to slow down and not rush through life as I was. I had no plan for implementing this change, but recognized it was something I needed. (Enter Covid), which made the change possible. Ha-ha.
The Pandemic left me (Linda), believing God was refining his church. What Ireland revealed to me convinces me of this belief even more. Pastors would tell us they lost some members, they gained some members during Covid. We saw them last in January/February 2020, just prior to the world closing its borders because of Covid. The difference in those congregations/fellowships between 2020 and 2022 was discernable, and so encouraging. People appeared more committed to their faith, and so much more compassionate and committed to their fellow believers. Covid did not surprise God, nor has he stopped working in the hearts of believers around the globe. These communities were more confident in themselves and what they believed. I returned to America with hope in my heart. Hope that we too in America will draw strength from our faith, that we’ll become more committed to the basis of our faith and that we’ll have more compassion for those around us.
When I think of the friendships in County Kerry, my heart is overflowing. I’m grateful for the time I spent with fellow believers, fellow writers, friends of mine.
Between Ireland and home, we spent a week with friends/family in Dorchester, England. It was a time of relaxing, refreshment, and renewed friendship. Sometimes I wish the Atlantic Ocean was not between me and my friends.
There may be more thoughts later, but for now, I’ll just share some of my favorite photos.
It’s that time, when I reflect on the past year. I began 2015 with no particular expectations for the year. It became the year to conquer fear. Or should I say, turn my fears over to God.
By March, I found myself on a new trajectory. I would be going to Haiti in June. This newfound knowledge was surrounded by much fear and trepidation on my part, yet I knew it was a trip I was supposed to make. I had fears about my personal health; my ability to withstand the heat and humidity; letting go of pride to ask others to partner with me and greatest of all were the words a wise elderly woman spoke to me when she said, “These trips change people. You will never be the same again.”
Those words were frightening to me. It had taken many years for me to learn to accept and appreciate myself, and my life. Now I was hearing, I would never be the same. What would that mean, and would I like the person I would become?
As I prepared for the trip, I watched God graciously erase each fear before I arrived at the action part. The departure date arrived and I was ready to go. The trip itself was amazing. All I’ll say, is if God is asking you to step out and do something like this – then GO.
I was changed! Changed in the best possible way. At the end of the year, my husband received some medical news that created some uncertainties in our life. Fear was not part of this time. When I stopped and reflected on this, I was surprised! The old me would have been fearful and anxious. The new me was able to go about the required actions, procedures, tests and waiting, resting in peace.
Though I’ve been a child of God for years, I’m ending 2015 with the following refrain from “No Longer Slaves” having new meaning for me:
While in Haiti I was impressed by the people. They are poor. Poor beyond anything I could imagine. Yet these people were dignified, gracious and grateful. The following photo is a candid shot of one of these couples. I also shot the formal pose, which was their preference.
I volunteered with Poured-Out, installing bio-sand water filters in homes. The people have requested these filters, signed up for and paid 200 Gourde (approximately 4.00 US dollars.) This small contribution to the cost of the filters denotes ownership in the process. These people were interested and invested in learning about the benefits of the filters and the maintenance. As part of the extensive survey they participated in, they were asked if there were things they wanted shared with people in the United States to understand what the filters mean to them and why their contributions are so meaningful. I was blown away by the responses! Below are some of the responses I would like to share. Hopefully these words will give you some insight into the gratitude I was able to witness during my work in Haiti.
Thank you, this kind help will be easy for us to save more money, to keep our health – May God bless you. I hope this favor continues in Haiti.
Thank you a lot, encourage you for this good work, it is a great work, we really like it. We will pray for more people to give to this work, so God will touch their hearts. We are very happy with the work.
Thank you so much for the work you are doing. Be strong in the world. Cover much area with filters. She will pray we will be blessed and can continue this work.
God sent you to Haiti to bring clean water. Thank you so much for helping another country. We will pray for you.
I feel it is a big lesson, just sitting here while you install a filter for my family. Now we don’t have to worry about diarrhea or other diseases because now our water will be clean. This is a big opportunity for all of us. A big thank you to all of you.
I congratulate you! I think it is a big thing. My family has a filter. I hope others will have filters also. That’s why I will continue to pray for you so that God can continue to bless you to have a giving heart. Thank you.
Thank you for the good work. Continue the good work. Don’t get discouraged. Even though you do the work for us, God will bless you. Thank you and God bless you.
We need to get the word out so more people can have filters. More people need them. Doing this is a big job in Haiti. You are killing cholera in Haiti. Thank you so much. Pray that God can bless you as an organization and keep on working. Pray that God would continue to provide the money for this work.
I have satisfaction you have given us this filter. I want to thank you for doing this work. I know the area next to mine needs filters too, so can you guys bring more? We have other areas, communities, people who have sickness and cholera and they need filters and would love it if you could bring some there too.
This is a big help because we have a lot of disease in this country. This filter will help us a lot because clean water is the most important thing in our lives. Thank you.
I am so happy about the work I know that God put that in your heart to help us. I want to say thank you again. May God bless you to continue to do this job.
I say thank you for this support. It will help me not to buy water again. Money it will be used for other. Thank you a lot. May the Love of God follow you.
We say thank you for this effort for this help in Haiti. We encourage you to continue doing this job because God will bless you. May God protect you and bless you. Thanks for having God in your life.
We say thank you. May God continue to bless you and give you the ability to continue installing these filters. May God bless you.
Thank you so much because you leave home, your family to come. We will pray for you I pray that God will protect and take care of you. God is the one who is in control of you.
We thank you for this gift that you guys give. If we were buying it would cost a lot of money, but to have one is a big gift.
We say thank you for the team that our eves see right now because God gave you the opportunity to think of Haitian people, after the two big shocks that we have had in our country of the earthquake and cholera outbreak. We say thank you to all the people who contribute to buying this for the Haitian people. May God bless you.
First of all we thank God, that makes the idea in your mind to think of Haiti, and we thank God because he made it possible to do this good work. We pray the blessing of God over everyone who is doing this work. We were in need of this because we used to have to buy water to drink now we won’t have to buy it anymore.
The Sunday I felt God calling me to go on this Haiti trip with Poured-Out left me filled with many fears. Previously, I would have used all those ‘fears’ as the reason to just stuff the thoughts and go on with life. I was just finishing up a Bible study with an amazing group of women on discerning the voice of God. We were on the lesson about God’s expectations when you hear from Him. SimplyOBEY. Yikes! Knowing the truth and not complying is sin.
I asked a friend if she would go with me. She said yes. So with much fear, I signed up for the trip and started praying about the adventure and what God would have.
Without going into tons of details, it is safe to say my list of fears was long. Some of the issues were:
all the necessary shots and drugs I would need to take for this trip
having to ask people to partner with me on this adventure, both financially and in prayer
how my personal health would fare in this hot humid environment
the bugs in Haiti
and the list goes on
What I found was one at a time, as I turned to God in prayer I was able to see my fears listed on a sheet of paper and each one was slowly being erased from the list.
In Haiti, I realized as I had turned my thoughts to Jesus and what He was asking me to prepare for and focusing on those aspects of the upcoming trip – He was working to take care of each of those issues.
Before I had even started my partnering letter, a friend ask me to make sure she got a copy because she wanted to help support me on the trip. Her gesture was huge in giving me the confidence to write my letter and contact others. The generosity of those partnering with me was also huge and I’m grateful and have been greatly blessed.
The shots and drugs were taken with no adverse affects.
Though I was in an extremely hot, humid environment – and I know there was mold present as I could see it even on some of the plants at the compound where we stayed, I experienced no impact to my respiratory system.
Yes, I used insect repellent and sunscreen and was only mildly bitten by the bugs there.
When Jesus is the focus and you are worshipping Him and focusing on what He wants you to do, there is no room for fear.
1 John 4:18
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
It is my prayer, that God our Father will continue to work His love in my life. May He do so for you also!
Go Learn Love is the motto our church uses for our missions programs. Haiti is the place in June. This week I completed the last of the immunizations I need before leaving on this exciting trip.
Thank you! Those of you who have been praying for me, and the team – God has been answering your prayers. He has been erasing my fears one at a time and building my confidence about this trip. He has also been building relationships between team members. This last Sunday as a group, we did a fundraiser. We fixed the after church brunch, provided music during lunch and had a great time working together. Lunch was a success! The money earned from this effort will be distributed between the team members. Then we had a Skype session with one of the folks from Poured-Out giving us more detailed information about our trip. June will be here before we know it!
I’d like to thank those of you who have graciously contributed to my expenses for the trip. I have about a month left and a small amount to raise to cover my trip expenses, and am confidant God has this under control. If after praying about this, you feel God is asking you to contribute to this great effort, please private message me so I can provide you the necessary information.
It will be my pleasure to share the adventures of this trip with you.
I pray blessings to each of you, who have been supporting this trip through your prayers. I believe God will use your prayers and financial support in a mighty way.
Living out west has given me a totally different appreciation for water and how important it is for life.
Something broke within me this year when watching a video of a mission trip to Haiti with Poured-Out. I’ve prayed for and supported others on specific mission trips as God has guided me, but I’ve never before felt the call to actually go on a mission trip. All that changed this year.
I’ve learned that in Haiti, it’s estimated 1 in 5 children die before the age of 10 due to dirty drinking water. I have the opportunity this summer to be the hands and feet of Christ for these individuals in Haiti. I will be traveling to Haiti with a group from our church, ‘The Orchard’ to partner with Poured-Out. We will be installing water filtration systems and sharing the love of Christ with individuals in desperate need. Our focus will be in the rural areas of Haiti reaching the communities and people who have not yet received aid and desperately need clean water.
As my friends, it will be a blessing to share the adventure with you and I’m asking for your help. Please pray for each member of the group. You can especially pray for me that I will trust God to help me overcome my fears and see His glory in this trip. Above all, pray God would be glorified throughout this journey. I’m expecting great things and consider it an honor to be able to serve beside other believers to help improve living conditions in this area. I also hope the local people will witness the love of Christ in our actions. Poured-Out is a nonprofit organization focused on under-reached communities across the globe in need of clean, safe drinking water. Their current focus is in Haiti, where the need for water has grown exponentially since the 2010 earthquake.
In order to be a part of this opportunity, I need to raise $1800, which will cover airfare, insurance, room & board, the purchase of a BioSand Filter for a family, and travel while in Haiti. Please pray and if you feel compelled to help support this missions trip, please message me for the details. If you are not able to help out financially, please be a prayer supporter. I believe that God will use your prayers greatly!
Expect to see periodic updates leading up to and after the trip. Thank You for your Support through prayer, finances, or both.