In our very busy week I experienced the awesome spirit of Haitians. We went to church services on Sunday and Tuesday night. Each was so beautiful and respectful. I felt God’s presence there. The language spoken in Creole is beautiful. Even though I do not understand it, my hear and mind understood.
After working in two villages, I realized the truth of what my team leader said regarding my gifts. I wanted to help them all. I wanted to bring all the hungry kids, with no education, back home with me. I wanted to help so much that I became overwhelmed with sadness and hopelessness.
During the Tuesday night service, while everyone was singing in Creole, I prayed.
“God, what is happening to me? I am so homesick. I feel despair. I can’t do anything. What is the purpose of me coming here? If you have answers, please tell me.”
The next morning on of the team members commented on how we can’t do it all. We were there to plant a seed in their lives. One at a time. I realized he was right and felt peace. I knew I needed to shift my attitude to doing one thing at a time.
Working with my team in the Village of Simonette was incredible. We planted trees, built a latrine, and shared the gospel. I met one deaf lady and was able to sign with her. She wanted me to meet more deaf people but due to time restrictions, I couldn’t. Plus, the intern with us wasn’t sure there were more deaf people there, but they agreed to look into it.
For two days, I and a friend who knows how to sign went to Leveque, a deaf community in Haiti. I fell in love with the people there immediately. We connected when they saw that I was deaf, signed and knew how to speak as well. They welcomed me warmly.
Through this journey I learned that to love and share. I learned we are family. I also learned about some of the bad things. A little boy almost pick pocketed me. I know he was not trying to hurt me and that he just needed help to buy food or whatever. I have seen the hunger among the children, the need for hugs and love, the men seeking employment, and the women asking for protection, health and food for their family.
All I could do then was pray and love them. I learned to sign prayers and loved it. I tried to tell them that God loves them and there is hope in placing their faith in Him.
Haitians have the most incredible smiles and joy on their face despite the hardships of their life. In America it is funny how little things like time, traffic, and work set people off. I am blessed to have my home, jobs, family, and friends. In Haiti they are blessed to have God, family, and home. In that order. We Americans should always put God first!
Despite the arguments of excuses with God of why I cannot do more, He always wins. My family was protective of me growing up due to my deafness. They always told me I was smart and could do anything. But. This word is part of my vocabulary when it comes to dreams and goals. During I kept telling God but, he told me there was no but.
I have reconnected with God. I didn’t lose my faith or hope, but I was caught up in the world we live in. With paying bills, working, my family, and going to church. Somewhere along the way I lost my connection with Him. During my week in Haiti, I had no home or work connectsions. I had to focus on the work I was supposed to do and focus on God. My relationship and connection with God has grown so much. I want to keep it that way. It is such a joy and there is such peace in knowing that with God all is good!
I’ve failed in getting my plans to work out, but I keep trying. I found God’s plans are bigger and better than my dreams. I’ve learned to rely more on His plan, where there are no failures.
I thought my purpose was to be a good Christian man, love my family, work, be an artist and follow the rules. It wasn’t enough. God had more for me in serving, sharing, and loving people. Especially, the deaf who don’t speak. I am their voice when I speak and I can use my spiritual gifts.
We all have excuses, things which keeps us so busy that we don’t even take time to focus on God or our relationship with Him. Our focus on the world got shifted in a way that hinders us from what we are supposed to do. God taught me there are no excuses for not honoring Him. We have to shift our priorities and find time to serve.
We all complain. We need more beauty, less fat, we’re tired and we need a better car. Haitians have much less and they are filled with love and happiness! What is their secret? It is about God, family, friends and sharing!
My time in Haiti provided answers to many questions I had. I called my life during this week a spiritual journey. Transformation. I am so thankful for he opportunity to serve and honor God!
RETURNING TO HAITI
I felt God call me to a start a new mission to help the deaf community. There are many organizations out there, but many do not work with the deaf. I returned to Haiti in June of 2015 with my wife. She hates flying and didn’t want to go but I asked her to just go one time to see why I want to do this. We enjoyed the experience of connecting, sharing the gospel of Jesus and delivering supplies. The community accepted my wife and friend. God worked on my wife’s heart as well and we prayed for His will to start a new mission.
Breaking Thru The Silence was setup to provide water filters, solar lights, educational materials, health care and more. My wife is happy that she went and yes, she said she’ll go back with me. She loved it! God is so good!
We have much to learn about their culture and lives. I know God is not through with me, though I don’t know what the next steps are or what His purpose is yet for me and my wife. I have to put my faith in Him and He will take care of the rest.
I have questioned God about why He would want me to do this at my age. I think I should have done this 20 or 30 years ago. I may never understand why, but I have learned that sometimes we must be patient and wait for God to tell us. Patience is an area I’m still working on.
There are many opportunities out there, and many do not take the opportunity when it is given to them. God loves everyone and He wants what is best for His children. My life has been transformed and it is not finished. There will be many obstacles, but I must focus on Him and pray. Prayer is a powerful way of communicating with God. God will see that I overcome many obstacles.
Thank you God, our Father, for teaching me about faith, hope and love!
Thank you for the spiritual gifts: faith, pastoral, and mercy!
“Mesi Jezi pou change m” – Thank you Jesus for changing me.
JOIN MICHEAL ON HIS JOURNEY OF FAITH WITH BREAKING THRU THE SILENCE. What a blessing it would be to see this ministry thrive with your encouragement, prayers & support, friends.
Thank you for joining me in #31DaystoBelieve as we pursue what we believe and how it impacts our lives.
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May we learn to #livewell.
with love, Jolene
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1978. During my husband’s last conversation with me, he asked me to do three things for him. 1. Go to Bible college for him. 2. Go on a cruise as soon as possible when he died. 3. Get married again. As he made each request, I agreed with him except the last item. NO, I would not remarry. Britt was angry and pulled his hand out of my grip and turned away from me in anger.
June 1978. I went on a cruise and Haiti found me! Immediately I fell in love but alas, I had to get back on the ship but I felt I belonged in Haiti.
December 1978. I went to a week long team leaders conference at TEEN MISSIONS INTERNATIONAL in Florida.
May 1978 I received my TMI commission to be an assistant leader on a 36 person team, to build a church in rural North Haiti. The best summer of my life occurred when I connected with Christian teens and was able to minister to the Haitians who lived nearby.
August 1978 I left Haiti exhausted and sad because I felt I belonged there permanently.
December 1978 Missionary Conference with 19,000 people involved in missions around the world. While there I met an American surgeon, Dr. Fred Brown, who beseeched me to go to Haiti with him.
March 1979. I became Dr. Brown’s surgical assistant and I learned so many things about the Haiti patients. Before surgery Fred and I would sing hymns in English to the patients. What a massive feeling of love would grab my heart as these Haitians put their trust in our surgical abilities.
All in all, I flew to Haiti nine times as clinic and surgical nurse, mediator, public relations person and emotional support to missionaries.
My last trip was frightful! I was traveling with a deaf American, aged nurse and with Dr. Williams who was the Director of Medical Ambassadors Missionaries. As we drove north for four hours to a missionary clinic, we were accosted every mile or so by rampaging Haitians. In some areas they threatened us with machetes, screaming and yelling and trying to pull me out of the vehicle. We did not speak Kreole!! It was a very tense scene.
Finally a Haitian man told us follow him through a field to safety. He was an angel sent by God! Our vehicle was out of petrol and it was panic time. We limped to a gas station. One funny thing happened…..when the two of us crazed nurses located the restroom at the gas station, we opened the door to find a Haitian man standing IN THE TOILET bathing. Hilarious? You bet!
It was months later when I realized that God had sent us an angel to protect us.
Because of the unrest in the whole country I was not able to fly out on a commercial flight but was able to convince a missionary pilot to return the next day and fly me to Ft. Lauderdale. There was also a veterinarian on the plane and he told me he had heard about me (the American nurse) and how the plan had been to kill me. Oh, I was so thankful to have God as my Savior and to daily shine for Jesus.
I have a post script to my long narration regarding my Haiti experience.
Eventually I was able to follow Britt’s request:
I went on a cruise to the Caribbean including Haiti.
I went to North Eastern Bible College, Essex Fells, New Jersey for three years.