Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fam Jam February!

With the flip of a calendar page, we embark on a new month!
But not just any month... A month of looooove. And what could be more appropriate than celebrating these red-letter days including...

- Rachel and Kenol getting married!!!
- Valentine extravaganza with my boys!
- Reunion with Cheri!
- Ground-breaking for the mountain family homes!
- A house full of besties!
- Dance party with the 3Cords ladies!
- And out trips like this >

... all with some of my most loved people in the world.

So, let's get this party started, Cancrete Crew!
All you returning neighbours and roomies, MWEN PAKA TANN!
And Well BIC, you are the icing on my cake.

Can I squeal now!?

Friday, January 27, 2012


Around 10:15 every weekday morning, I give my boys a half hour break from the books.
After grabbing a snack from the fridge, I usually find them somewhere between playing Halo, jamming on their guitars, or hiding in the tree fort shooting BB guns.
When the time came this morning though, they knew exactly where they were headed. Caleb's new horse, Dixie, was waiting in the field, and they were all about showing off their skills...
And believe me, they're naturals!

Just another recess break in Haiti! :)

Thursday, January 26, 2012


The past few mornings, my devotional readings have centered around practicing the presence of God. Spurring me towards an expectation for the Lord to reveal Himself in marvellous ways throughout my daily comings and goings, while also not restricting Him in how and when He will show up.

Last night I was thinking about the events of my day, and recounting evidence of the Lord's presence. Then it hit me, could it be that practicing the presence of God doesn't just mean that I am looking for Him, but that I can actually bring His presence into my moments? Rather than sitting around, watching and waiting for the Lord's divine appointments, could we be the catalyst in bringing others into an awareness of Him? In the simplest form, aren't we called to live like Christ in order to shine out His truth and love, radiating His presence?

Now the Lord is the Spirit;
and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
~ II Corinthians 3:17-18

If Paul's words mean what I think they do, then with Christ inside of us, we can freely shine as radiantly as He does. Harmonious with the Spirit. Stooping to the level of a servant. Pouring out love. Surprising others with joy.
It's another head-spinning truth, that the more we dwell on Jesus and live in His presence, the more we are able to overflow that into our days and be evidence of His glory to those around us.

Marinating in this challenge today.

Monday, January 23, 2012


Every day is like a link in the chain. Growing, strengthening and transforming the daily projects and goals that lay before us. Usually, the days fly by and I don't realize the progress until I turn around and see how far we've come.
But today, two very tangible and exciting milestones were hit within about an hour, and there is no way I'm keeping it to myself!

First off, 3cords just launched our very own website where you can browse and order the gorgeous handmade products we make in Haiti, crafted by our equally as gorgeous lady friends. Please join me in the hype by visiting www.3cordshaiti.com and scroll through all the different sections and stories... don't forget to pick up some goodies in your cart while you're at it! :)

In other news, all 5 of the mountain children are officially sponsored for their school year! Thank you to each and every one of you (you know who you are!) who have sacrificed to make a lasting difference in the lives of these sweet children. Every time I see them in their plaid uniforms, my heart swells with joy.

I hope that these milestones put a spring in your step as they did mine!
Stay tuned for more soon...

Thursday, January 19, 2012


I've got one best books I've ever read sitting on my coffee table, and I'm not even done it yet. One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp has shaken and stirred me in new and inspiring ways.
It's a book about finding joy in the ordinary. A challenge to awaken a thankful spirit in the even in the mundane, and breathe gratitude.

Her words have echoed through my days lately, and I've found myself counting and discovering some of the most beautiful gifts - as if I'm receiving them for the first time. Yesterday I paused as I filled up my water cup in the kitchen and began to listen to the sounds around me. Sounds that I am blessed to hear.
In the past 24 hours, here's what I came up with:

- Gurgling, cold water flowing out of my water dispenser
- The faint blaring of a clown car horn from a truck barreling down Route Nasyonal 1
- A rustling, cool breeze whispering through the tree leaves outside my window
- Harmonies of the Hope House children drifting up the hill from their breakfast prayer
- The electric buzz of my repaired ceiling fan
- Tip-tapping of fingers on the keyboard
- Jingle rings of a cell phone
- Roaring diesel engines
- The opening spritz of a Coke bottle
- Squeaky screen doors
- New playlists
- Familiar voices on the other side of my Skype screen
- The finger strums of guitar chords being learned
- The chirp of a lizard on the balcony
- Creole chatter
- Humming sewing machines at 3cords
- Flip flops clapping with the soles of my feet on the way to school
- Haitian radio static
- Pierre's laugh

Keep listening, my friends.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


I write a lot of drafts on this blog. My words spill out as fast as my fingers will take them, and then I look back to see that they were more for my own heart than anything else.
But every once and a while I take a walk down memory lane, and with a few tweaks, I can give my post another chance.
Today is one of those days.

The past few months have been a season of transition.
When fellow workers, tag teamers, faces around the dinner table, and next-door neighbours say goodbye. The photos of smiles around my apartment are evidence of the changing faces around the mission. People that the Lord called here for a season, and then called again to a different place. Each one who has left me challenged and changed.
But something about it feels weird that I'm not packing too... I never thought I'd be the one to stay.

This morning we sang a song in church that lifted me to my feet and caused my voice to crack as I sang the chorus line:

Se fidèlite'w ki fe'm la toujou.

I can't justify the Creole words, but it translates to something like this:
It's your faithfulness that keeps me in this place.

What perfectly fitting words to be sung.
Because more than any strength or will of my own, or any neighbour or roommate or role, the Lord is the only reason that I am here. In this place yesterday, today and tomorrow. It's His voice that continues to beckon me into the story He is writing.

Surely God is my help; The Lord is the one who sustains me.
~ Psalm 54:4

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Jolly Jumper.

The day before I boarded the plane, Betsy had the brilliant and generous idea to send me off with her boys' jolly jumper, in hopes that Pierre could make use of it.
I took it and promised to give it a go with him, although I didn't want to get my hopes too high. Pierre has surpassed a lot of milestones in the past few months, but the whole concept of him supporting himself upright and having the strength to move around made me nervous.
Each day, he is relayed from mommy lap, to wheelchair, and then back to his crib - How I longed for him to get some more muscle and independence. Maybe just maybe, this could be the next step.

This morning I headed down the hill, jolly jumper in hand, and found the baby house buzzing with action as usual. Pierre was taking a bottle in his crib while the other toddlers, kids and teens bobbled around. I took the plastic and metal pieces out of the bag and began to explain to the older girls how the jumper worked. They looked at me with wide eyes and were eager to try it. Not long after, I was attaching the chain above the doorframe and Pierre was being lifted out of his crib to try out his new toy. He was babbling and laughing the whole time we were strapping him in... and he hasn't stopped since.

Truly, Pierre puts the JOLLY in jolly jumper.
He spins around, he bends his head forward and back, he bounces, and he is LOVING it.

Thank you for your continual prayers for Pierre. Pray that his legs would continue to strengthen as he jolly jumps, and that the Lord would bless his little life more and more each day, just as he blesses ours!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Repeat the sounding joy.

After 2 weeks of wooly scarves, city lights, comfort foods, creamy drinks, and cherished reunions with friends and family, I have landed back on the island.
Thank you one and all for welcoming me back to the North, reminding me again of how truly loved and supported I am, and for sending me off with prayers, hugs and bright eyes. It is overwhelming.

The unpacking of memories is just about done, and I sit again on this velvet couch. The gusty Caribbean air sways in my window curtains, a mouse scratches behind the fridge, sunlight streams in the front door, and my barefeet rest on the coffee table. It's good to marinate in this place.

My mind flashes back to Christmas eve.
I stood alongside the congregation of families and we repeated the lyrics of the classic carol, 'Joy to the World'.
One line: repeat the sounding joy, lingers.

Joy. Yes, sounding joy.
I can't help but let that be my guide as I embark on 2012.

Because no matter where, who, what, when, or why questions float around my head for this next season, there is joy. A joy that came over 2000 years ago is still here. A joy unaffected by circumstance or time. It's alive and ready to be tapped into. May I be aware of it and repeat it over and over again in the days to come, wherever they lead.