I am so excited to share with you all about our short journey into Haiti earlier this week. It truly was a God ordained trip. Although we got off to a rough start with Dominican border/customs offices giving us a hassle about paperwork, we eventually crossed the border at 1:30 pm, arriving in Port au Prince around 5:00 pm.
Since it took us so long to cross the border, we had no choice but to stay the night in Port au Prince (border closes at 6:00 PM). When we got into Port au Prince we met up with Kailey Stutzky (our long time friend) and a group from Grand Rapids, MI area (specifically the Catholic parishes in Grandville and Pewamo). Despite our late arrival the group of fellow travelers embraced our presence and made us feel very welcome at their "home" for the week. Several of them even rearranged their bedrooms (slept on floor cushions or doubled up in twin beds) so that we would have rooms for the night. Their sincerity and hospitality was astounding and a true testimony of what it means to "welcome the stranger".
Two of the members of this group are particularly important to me. The first is Michelle. She is Kailey's mom and one of my most honest sounding boards. She has sat with me as I've cried and laughed about all of the crazy things that have happened over the years. And she is one of our greatest prayer warriors. To share some time, however short, with her in Haiti was a true treat. The second person that I was excited to see was Jean Paul. I first met Jean Paul in college when I was involved with the Haiti projects run by Aquinas College and the International Haiti Conferences that were hosted by the college. As a Haitian - Dominican he brings a unique perspective to the table. Over the years I have gleaned a lot from his stories, experiences and advice. I surely wouldn't be the same missionary I am today without his insights during my formative college years. As a resident of Grand Rapids, he often serves as a guide and translator for missionary groups going to Haiti.
Before we arrived in Haiti, Kailey had the opportunity to speak with Sr. Luevia about Nelson, a very special boy in one of our communities. If you didn't get a chance to read the last post, please scroll down to the recent blog titled "An aching heart" to learn about his situation and relationship to BBOH.
After explaining Nelson's story Sister responded very humbly saying,
"You can bring him to me. I will find a place. This is my job."
Those three small sentences instantly relieved a great amount of pressure and worry. This is an opportunity for Nelson to continue to live within his own culture, speaking his native language, surrounded by a faithful Catholic community. He will receive an education. A good education. And yet, as he gets older will have the ability to decide for himself if he will visit family during holiday breaks or summer vacation. Quite literally, this is a combination of the best outcomes. Of course, there are several steps before Sister actually begins caring for him.
Please, please join us in prayer with the specific intention that if this is the Lord's plan for Nelson, may nothing prevent or delay his transition into a healthy and loving environment. We will be sure to update as things unfold. Our next steps include several hikes into his home community to speak with the biological family about this new option. Prayers for safety and ease of conversation are greatly appreciated.
As you read through this and other blog posts, we want to remind you of the great role that our sponsors play in this mission. We truly wouldn't be here working on behalf of Nelson or anyone else without your financial support and prayers. We are profoundly grateful for your presence in our mission. Thank you to each and every sponsor! If you want to learn more about sponsorship please click here.
REMINDER: Our charity auction, Raise the Roof, will be held on Sat, August 12, 2017 from
5:30 PM – 11:00 PM at Corsi's Restaurant and Banquet Hall (27910 W. Seven Mile Rd. Livonia, MI 48152)
Tickets are available for purchase at our Eventbrite website. We can't wait to share food and fellowship with you!
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We are Catholic lay missionaries serving along the border of Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
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