Monday, March 24, 2014

Lee University Women's Basketball Gift to the Haitians

I packed a bag several months ago and it recently arrived.  I opened it to find Lee University uniforms and shoes that Coach Marty Rowe and his team had donated.  I remember my last day of work in the Admissions Office when I turned around and the seniors and captains of the Lady Flames basketball team were standing in my office.  One held a jersey, one held a pair of uniform shorts, and another a pair of shoes.  I had no idea what was going to happen but then Coach Rowe began explaining to me that they wanted to donate them to a Haitian team.  I was blown away at such a generous gift.  Being a part of a Coach Rowe team was not just about wins and losses.  It was about a family and learning life lessons, about learning to care about those around you more than yourself, learning to find a need in others and help them out, learning to work together as one body rather than trying to work as a bunch of individuals.

The uniforms went to a youth church group.  It was such a blessing and boy did they enjoy them.  As I handed them out and saw the smiles on their faces, I thought back to my childhood teams, middle school, high school, and college days when we would get new gear.  It was always so exciting.  It's like that first day of school and picking out the perfect new outfit.

However, these students were in their late teens and early 20's and probably have never received a new uniform.  I was so happy for them and wished the women's basketball team could have been here to share in this opportunity and even play against these guys.  Two things that have played such an important role in my life meeting together (the Haitian people and Lee University Basketball).  I was so blessed to have been a part of the women's basketball family for so many years and to server here in Haiti.

We didn't have all the right sizes so the shoes have been going out to some of our sponsorship kids.  These three brothers came and two needed a pair of shoes for school but just image when they all 3 got brand new athletic shoes.  SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO EXCITED!!!!!  Thanks Lee University Lady Flames and congrats on an incredible season!!!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A Day in Kindergarten

Visiting our sponsorship kids is always exciting.  However, a day at Kindergarten will quickly make you forget about anything else going on.  I've been over there several times but this time was different.  The kids are getting to know me and it brings such joy when they yell out my name.  I actually have two names that they yell, the usual "Casey" and then I also have several call me "Ayisyen" which is "Haitian" in Creole.  I have convinced them all that I am a Haitian that fell in Clorox.  I even have several parents calling me "Ayisyen."     
A team from KY was down and there was a lady named Joy Anderson.  Joy and her husband Todd were both on the team and it was a huge blessing to have them here.  They are great supporters but also like family to me.  I have known them for years and it was so refreshing to have people I know visiting.  Joy and I were doing some prep work before my mom, Becky Ivy arrived to do the paperwork on all the children in the sponsorship program.  Joy and I did the craft with the kids.  

This special heart I give to you,
Because you love me and I love you.
The heart is you, the hand is me.
I'm thankful for your family.

We had a great time.  The kids were so cute and seemed to have a good time.

I asked each child if they wanted a mask after we did their hand print.  Surprisingly, no one wanted one but they would politely smile and decline the offer.  Finally, with the very last child, I asked her and when she declined I took her hand and planted it on my face.  I think it terrified her, but when we went to the lunchroom and showed the entire kindergarten, they loved it.  They are convinced that I'm a little trouble maker and maybe they are right.  :)


Monday, March 10, 2014

A Spirit filled weekend!!!

From a baptism to a church dedication, God's presence was evident.  Saturday, March 1st we had a team that was about to leave and return to KY when a member of the team felt led to be baptized. He had accepted Christ previously but never follower in believers baptism. He had prayed about it Friday night and then decided to take that next step in obedience.

We were able to get our group of missionaries, the KY team, and some Haitian employees together and had an incredible time of worship.  Pap (David) was able to baptize him after some individuals shared what their baptism meant to them and Joy Anderson (KY team member) and a few Haitians sang Amazing Grace. It was beautiful hearing both languages simultaneously praising The Lord.

Sunday,  March 2nd was a day of dedication.  We dedicated a church in one of the spiritually darkest places in the world.  A team from Louisville, KY raised funds to build a church in memory of a young man that was killed in an accident. His parents, brother, son, and sister-in-law were all able to be on the team.  Many others, that experienced the faith he lived every day he walked this earth, were also able to be a part of the team.  I have no doubt that God has been glorified in the work that was done and will be done in that church.  As the prayer of dedication was closed out, sun light streamed in and across the faces of his family members. There is now light in the darkness!!!!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Same Story Different Faces

I praise God for ultimate healing. However, it's an outcome so preventable. I pray my heart never hardens or I never become numb to the loss of a precious child. I pray it always hurts this bad and that God always lays a burden on my heart for these helpless children.  Each one brings a different joy and happiness, a different story, and different families needing to be ministered to.  The first one for me was Donlove, now Lukeson, I pray there isn't another, but God only knows.

Please pray for Lukeson's family and that God reveals himself in a powerful way!!!!!!