My husband couldn’t be here this morning, but for those of you who know him, you know that he prefers not to be up here anyway, and for those who don’t know him, just keep that in mind. I could probably take up the entire service talking about everything God is doing in Haiti, but I said I wouldn’t so I just want to tell you a little bit about my experiences of God’s goodness and powerful love for Haiti.
I returned to Heartland Vineyard about 4 years ago, and I still remember the first time I saw the pictures of those little Haitian babies on the projectors; the Lord turned something on inside me after that. And I just knew, I knew that I was being called there, and that I would go. The first time I went to Haiti was in December of 2012. It was the week before my finals at UNI, so I thought there was no way my professors would allow me to miss that whole week. One by one, they granted me permission to be gone. As a poor college student, I did my best to scrounge up the money to go. It’s never easy to ask for money, but through fundraising, and open donations, I was able to raise the funds. It was quite amazing, actually, because each of the donations I received was at least $100; never expected that generosity. God is so good.
I was blessed to be able to go back in March with my husband. Once again, I was able to work out my school schedule, take a full week away from my student teaching obligation, and financially, the trip was not an issue, besides the fact that we would miss work for those two weeks. My husband Josh and I co-lead a large combined team from Heartland Vineyard and Purdue Campus Ministries; this was our first trip together. We were able to build large raised beds for the garden (the perfect project for my husband), built new desks for some of the classrooms, and put in a drop ceiling in the cafeteria to keep the pigeons from joining meal time. We spent two weeks in the orphanage, loving on, and serving the kids in Jesus’ name.
After the trip, we continued to see God’s hand. During those two weeks, we forfeited an entire pay check. When going through the mail afterward, we opened an envelope with a check for $500: a donation that was more than we would have made together working part-time during those two weeks. All the time, He is good.
Perhaps even more miraculous was the transformation I saw in my husband through the trip. Not being very adventurous, remember, he is the home-body, introvert type; he was pretty nervous about the trip, and not sure he would enjoy it at all. At one point, if given the chance, he would have said, “I’m not going to go.” Maybe it was selfishness, but I wanted nothing more than for him to love serving the Lord in Haiti with me. Ya know in pre-marital counseling they say you shouldn’t pray to change something about your spouse, well I might have broken the rules a little bit. I continued to pray that the Lord would break his heart for Haiti. Well, I ended up getting him on the plane for Haiti, and that is exactly what ended up happening. Josh didn’t think it was a very powerful sentence at the time, but it brought tears to my eyes when he said, “I can see us leading teams together in the future.” The Lord is doing a work in us, even though the process may be slow. My husband said, “When you are back in the states, the same fears come back,” but when you step out in faith, the Lord is blessed, and so are you. You don’t have to look or act a certain way to serve the Lord. He can use anyone to further his kingdom, and He is so faithful.
Sarah: Haiti Missions
Josh Paxton | May 6, 2014