In 2008, I walked the roads of Haiti for the first time.
The trip was an act of faith, as I responded to a post late at night on a church forum. Quickly thereafter, I attended an informational meeting about the trip where I heard horror stories about illness and voodoo practices. I was terrified, but I knew what God had called me to do. At the end of the meeting, the facilitator asked the group for commitments, and despite being scared, I shrugged and said, “I’m down”.
That first trip lit a fire in my soul for Christ and His people. I fell deeper in love with the Lord during that trip because in my act of faith, I was able to grow beyond myself. I was forced to meet other people and drew courage from Him. And over the next several years, I found myself in the beautiful mountains of Haiti growing and learning many more times.
During one of my trips, I met a young man. He was a recent high school graduate and impressed me. We talked about his life, his education, and his hope for the future. I was taken back by him and tucked his story in my heart. His greatest dream was to attend college so he could give his family financial stability. I kept in contact with him through Facebook and we grew closer. I knew I wanted to help him, but I didn’t know how. Suddenly, I found myself waking up at 4 AM thinking about this young man. The desire to help him grew stronger, and I knew what I had to do, but ignored the calling. The 4 AM wake-ups wouldn’t stop, and in my selfishness, I started rejecting the order the Lord had given me. I felt crazy. I felt too young to help, and certainly lacked the resources. Finally, I surrendered to the call and built up the courage to talk to my family and friends because I was called to help him get to the USA to attend college.
I brought the idea up to my husband first. He seemed perplexed, but said, “If you can raise the money, we’ll figure it out." After talking with my family and friends, I had commitments from them to help - in prayer and tuition support. Those commitments gave me hope and I began searching for ways to find him school placement. I started asking tough questions, talking to people I had never met, and boldly pursuing the calling God had given me.
Soon, I realized God had opened doors for this to become a reality and I was going to be able to bring him the USA. These same doors were opened for him in Haiti and he was able to receive clearance on his side.
In April of 2014, I went to Haiti to tell him this crazy dream was about to become a reality. Since that day, I have been humbled by the outpouring of support we’ve received. From clothes, to school books, transportation, high dollar tuition support, and prayers, every need has been met and as a result, he’ll be graduating from Transylvania University in May with a Bachelor’s in Accounting.
The decision to help him called for radical faith. The decision for him to trust a new friend to move the USA, in hopes the new friend would not abandon him, called for the same faith. It was scary, but we believed in the promise of the Lord and had faith it would change the trajectory of his life.
This type of faith wasn’t easy, but in moments of weakness I was drawn to the story of the mustard seed. In Matthew 13:31-32 it says, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed planted in a field. 32 It is the smallest of all seeds, but it becomes the largest of garden plants; it grows into a tree, and birds come and make nests in its branches.”
While this Kingdom minded act of faith seemed small at first, it unified two unlikely people in brotherly love for His glory and neither one of us will ever be the same.
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