St. Louis Staff Party

Tonight, we had an all staff party here on the St. Louis campus! It was a night full of laughter and spending time together. It’s not often that all the staff for every program and department are in the same place.

To start the night, we played a few games.  Musical chairs got quite intense and a few started scheming how to cheat so they could steal the chairs away from others. We also played the balloon stomp. It was hilarious how everyone got so into it. Each person had a balloon tied to their ankle and they had to stomp out everyone else’s balloon without theirs getting popped.




After we played a few games, we spent some time talking about 2016 and where God was leading us. The missionary staff have been doing the theme of “Boldness” this year. Boldness in what we ask God to do, boldness in our willingness to serve God, and boldness in how we love others. We wanted to share that idea with all of the Haitian staff and make it our “theme” for the year. With being bold, means coming before God with courage and faith, without reservation.  We decided a tangible way to be bold in our prayers this year was to “draw the circle.” We drew a huge circle and hung it in the common area. Tonight, we all took the time to fill that circle with our prayers for 2016. Our prayers for the programs, for the ministries, for our lives, for our community, and for how God can use us to advance His kingdom in St. Louis du Nord and the Northwest zone. Watching our Haitian staff fill in the circle was a humbling thing. They are asking big things for God this year and together, we will join in praying that God would work in his mighty way! I think we were all quickly reminded that God has surrounded us with some incredible family members who love Him and love His people.




After our time circling this mission, the ministry, and this community, we spent some more time laughing as a family together. We played hot potato, which got to be quite the competition. Everyone was very focused on the game.  We ended the evening with a dance-off between several staff members! Some of them have some serious moves.


We ended the night with a nice meal and were able to send everyone home with a small gift, which just a small token of our appreciation for how hard they work alongside us.


We had a great time praying together and laughing together. We are excited to see where the Lord leads us this. We hope that you will join us in praying BIG, BOLD things for our ministry in 2016!


Team Update!


One group led music time with the Miriam Center this morning. The group made small instruments with the kids and spent time singing with them. The kids chose about 5 songs to sing and the classroom quickly became packed with kids. There was a lot of joy filling that room. Everyone had a blast.

Another part of the group headed to the prison in Port de Paix. While there, they had the opportunity to share a devotion with each cell and pray for them. One of the prisoners, a cell pastor, really challenged us with his prayer requests: that like the Romans 12 passage about extending love to our enemies and those that have wronged us.  Despite the conditions, the prisoners had such a joy and hunger for the gospel.

Today was a great day full of ministry opportunities that challenged us out of our comfort zones.



Gran Moun Christmas Party!

Today was such a fun, joy-filled day.  This morning, we decorated the common area to get it prepped for the party this afternoon. We hung Christmas lights, balloons, streamers, and set up a photo booth.  The cooks prepared an amazing (and large) meal for everyone and we baked cupcakes with sprinkle overload, just the way the gran moun requested.


The gran moun got all dressed up, as well as their caretakers. We started off with some singing and a time of prayer.  After that, the team had a craft for the gran moun. Each of them got an ornament, either Santa, a snowman or reindeer, to design and decorate. The craft was quite challenging, but they loved it. A group of the gran moun performed a special song they had planned. Some of the children from the orphanage prepared a special program for the gran moun. They came and performed a few dances. Which ultimately turned into a huge dance party with everyone getting out of their seats and having a blast. I don’t think  we’ve all laughed that hard in a long time. The dance party lasted for almost 2 hours! One of the team members, Emily, loves photography so she helped with the photo booth.  They loved putting on props and getting their pictures taken. Although many of them couldn’t stand still because they just kept dancing.  There were many laughs and everyone had a great time.  Each of the gran moun went home with a gift, including head scarves for the women and new ties for the men. They also went home with tons of food and very full hearts.  We were so thankful we got to share in this afternoon with them. It was definitely a highlight for many and something I don’t think we will forget.


We hope you enjoy the small glimpse into our day with the pictures and short videos.

New Year’s Team

Team update:

Today started bright and early at 6:55AM when we had devotional. Afterward we had breffast and headed down the the courtyard and hung out with the kids. LeNia, Jess, and Thomas stayed in the Miriam Center all morning and spent time with the children there.  Most of our time there was spent playing random games with the kids and getting to know them. A couple hours into our time there we had a ton of fun doing yoga with the kids and then playing with chalk. We ate lunch around noon and then headed down to Gran Moun to do yoga and have a spa day before tomorrow’s Christmas party. We spent most of the afternoon down there with both elders and children. The kids were braiding everyone’s hair and doing everyone’s nails. Dinner was at 6:00 and then we had devotionals.
The Northern Kentucky team headed out and did grocery ministry. They got to visit with a woman who was ill and pray over her.
This afternoon, we had a fun time with the elderly home residents. We did yoga, made necklaces, sang, danced, and enjoyed time with each other. The orphanage kids came with and joined in on the ministry. We had a great first full day of ministry.
Tomorrow, we are heading over to Tortuga.

Haake and Liberty Team Updates

Today’s update is coming from the Liberty team as well as the Haake team.

Liberty Team Update

In 2010 my daughter Amber went on a short term missions trip to NWHCM and absolutely fell in love with the people here. She came back a changed person, on fire for God and returned the following summer. Five years later, she has had the opportunity to participate in the NWHCM internship program and spend the summer here ministering to the Haitians that live on the mission, particularly the children at the Miriam Center.  You fellow mothers and fathers will understand me, but for those of you who aren’t parents, know that as a mom, when you see something affect your child so profoundly, you have to get a glimpse, a taste, a feel of whatever it was. Ever since Amber’s first trip, I’ve longed for our whole family to be able to come to Haiti and experience the power of God in this place together. So far these hopes and prayers have been answered, as I’ve seen God begin to soften the hearts of the two teenage boys in our group.

Our team recently did a VBS (Vacation Bible School) at La Baia, which is an all boys orphanage. We sang songs with them, shared the Word with them, and later went to the beach to play. They were all so full of life, laughter, and love the whole tie we were there.

The small trip was full of so many unique experiences, but perhaps the most eye-opening one happened when we were  about to leave the beach to come back to the orphanage and get settled in for the night. My feet were sandy so naturally I grabbed one of the many water bottles I’d brought and dumped it out to rinse them off (a pointless action as they were almost immediately covered in sand again). We began the long trek back and the whole way there I couldn’t stop thinking about how nice it will be to take a good bath and then go to bed. We arrived at the orphanage to find that they had very limited water, and suddenly I realized the value of the clean water I had poured out on the beach. While there I also learned that many of the local people there had no access to clean water at all. I fell asleep that night under stars listening to the orphan boys singing praises to God and thanking Him for all of his blessings in their lives. I’ll never forget the how seemingly contrasting the boys singing was with their situation, and how sweetly grateful they were to be alive. The following day, the locals took us out on a boat to fish and swim. When we were a good ways out, I leaned over the side of the boat to find the bluest water I’ve ever seen. The surroundings were so breathtaking, I couldn’t help but cry. It was a jarring experience to take in perhaps the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen (the boys singing and the beautiful scenery of the ocean) in the same breath as some of the most heartbreaking sights I’ve encountered.

Haake Team Update

As Susannah said in the update two days ago, our team has spent much of our time working with the deaf community here in St. Louis-du-Nord. They are in general very isolated from the rest of the community here as people don’t have a way to communicate with them, so it’s easier not to even try.

So today we took all of them to the beach. Two truck-loads full of deaf Haitians and a few extremely burnt Americans…it was a little chaotic to say the least. Chaotic and wonderful. As they were arriving this morning to get on the trucks, the courtyard was full of old friends being reacquainted as well as new relationships being established. Those on our team that are fluent in sign language were being pulled this way and that as eager faces called for them to listen with their eyes to all that’s happened in the year that they’ve been gone. Those of us NOT fluent in sign language were very grateful that we at least knew how to sign our names so that we could meet everybody. I spent the truck ride getting to know a few of the Haitians with the help of Madison, who is studying to be a sign language interpreter (and who has a never ending waterfall of patience that I can only hope to someday understand). When we got to the beach we took tons of photos before the party began with blaring music and playing in the water. We had contests for who could hold their breath the longest, had chicken fights, played soccer and volleyball, buried each other in the sand and had lunch before returning home to the mission. Then we rested, tired from a full day of ministering to the people of Haiti by loving them like Jesus would and of making new friends and having fun with them, which turns out are often the same thing.


Since being in Haiti, I have been engulfed in cultures different than my own. I have been to NWHCM once before so my exposure to Haitian life is not new, though I am consistently amazed by the people here and the joy that they have. The team I have come with this year works specifically with the Haitian deaf community, and this is opening my eyes to an entire new culture—one that is very kind, sincere, and just as in need of purpose and of Christ’s love as any other.

Our team has been blessed with several members who are fluent in sign language and communicate beautifully without words; I am not one of them. I have watched these team members as they teach sign to our team, to other teams that are here this week, to interns, interpreters, and even children here at the mission and in the community. The men who are in the Haitian deaf community and are dear friends of our team leader have also been teaching us signs, as I learned “chicken,” “donkey,” and “little pig” in our walk today alone.

Yesterday our team went to Anse a foleur to lead a Vacation Bible School with the children in the community. Not only did they come running to join, but some adults joined as well as we sang songs, performed skits, colored, played soccer, and loved on that group of kids. Our deaf friends were able to join us on this adventure and participated in every single part of witnessing that took place. My favorite thing is that when it comes to sharing the love of Jesus, every single person can use their skills to do so- no matter what their skill may be. We learned about the culture of that community and their beliefs, and prayed over the city and the people there.

Today our team did a lot of walking through the community here in St. Louis-du-Nord. A group of us, along with our deaf friends and very helpful interpreters, visited the homes of a number of deaf children who attend the St. Louis School for the Deaf. Deaf Child Hope International partners with this school to sponsor students. We were able to communicate with the children and their families, gaining information to share with each child’s sponsor as well as other people who may be interested in sponsoring a child who is still in need. The joy of these children as they could communicate with the group that came to visit them and the hospitality as their families excitedly welcomed us into their homes was such a beautiful experience.

It has been amazing to come in with a specific purpose in our service, to work toward the purpose that God has laid on the hearts of my teammates, and to learn from them as I watch and help serve alongside them. It has also been amazing to see the impact that this ministry has had on those who are not directly involved as well, and to consistently watch the Lord unfold bigger and better plans than we could ever anticipate.

Awesome day of ministry

Today, we had another awesome day of ministry throughout the northwest.

One life spent the day helping do repairs around the mission. The guys even included the boys from the orphanage in their repairs. They were able to pour into the boys and teach them some new skills.  Willow hosted a three day purity program with the older girls from the orphanage. Although hesitant, the girls started to open up and were really appreciative of Willow’s time with them.

The women went and shared at the brothel this afternoon. They planned an activity to reaffirm the girls and teach them that labels aren’t what defines them.  It was so neat to watch the girls really engage the activity. Each girl got a piece of cardstock that had a written passage in Creole. Then, they were each instructed to take the descriptive words written on a piece of paper and choose what described them. The girls picked out different affirmations for themselves.  Several of them never learned to read so they had others help them pick their words. It was an awesome time of encouragement. Even the brothel owner and his wife joined in on the activity.

BGBS returned from the Baie today. They had an awesome few days out in the community pouring into the kids. They engaged the kids through sports and spent some time going hut to hut.

Rescue, Restore, Redeem