Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Life Altering Changes

I look back on the last blog post that I made on May 21 and all I can say is that I am so thankful to be a child of the King! Our world was turned upside down on May 24 and I feel like I am just now catching my breath.

I have written this blog over and over in my head and each time it doesn’t seem to come out right or adequately explain the situation I find myself in. So I have resolved to write it, post it, and let it go.

On May 24 the Lord made it very clear that I was no longer supposed to be on staff at Respire Haiti. Clear as mud. A huge step of faith was required to leave my life in the United States and start a life in Haiti but it was an even bigger step of faith to pack every material possession that I owned, take my child (who cannot leave the country), and go to the capital city of Haiti to see what our next step would be. I have never felt such a heavy burden of not knowing. The emotions that I battled on May 24 and many days after cannot even be put into words. The only thing that I could cling to is that our God is so faithful. He is faithful when I am not and He is faithful even when my world seemed as though it was falling apart.

I came to Haiti in March assuming I would work with Respire Haiti for 5 + years to open the Medical Clinic and Birth Center for the community of Gressier. At first I begged and pleaded with God to help me understand how I could misunderstand Him so badly. How could I have misunderstood?? It had to be a misunderstanding, right? I mean I left my whole life to come to Haiti to devote my life to do this… and then 2 months later I am no longer even on staff at Respire? I blamed myself for misunderstanding.

I’m not sure at what point I stopped believing that lie but eventually I did allow the Father to give me some divine perspective. I still don’t understand why this happened. Why I came to Haiti prepared to do one thing and not even 2 months after my arrival that I would be in a place where I literally had no idea what I was supposed to do anymore. But one thing that I have felt the Father speak to my heart is that His ways are not mine nor are His thoughts my thoughts. I no longer believe the lie that the enemy wants me to… that I did not hear God correctly and that I made a huge mistake moving to Haiti. I choose to believe that God works ALL things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose and for those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His son so that He might be the first born among many brethren (Romans 8:28). I can’t see the bigger picture right now but from the very center of my being I believe that God is using this situation to bring Phoebe and I exactly to where we need to be in Haiti, He is working everything thing out for our good, and He is making us more like Jesus.

The entire way through this valley I have seen God’s faithfulness, provision, and His unfailing love. I could have never planned for Mary Kate to be with me in Haiti during that time, but He knew that I would need her and she was there with me during some of the hardest days of my life. The encouragement and support that I have received from family, friends, co-workers, and even total strangers has been overwhelming in a beautiful way. The kindness of the Barlow’s for allowing Phoebe and I to stay with them during this time of transition is a direct result of God’s provision for our lives.  Christin flew into Haiti and immediately took over caring for Phoebe so that I could recover from an awful virus. He is so faithful, my friends!

Over the last month I have spent time praying and seeking God to provide an opportunity for me to serve and use my gifts. After many gracious offers I have decided to take a short term internship with World Orphans. ( This means that Phoebe and I will be staying with Ted & Rebecca Barlow and the rest of their crew and that I will be joining them in caring for orphans here in Port-au-Prince and the surrounding cities. World Orphans works first and foremost through the local church here in Haiti and partners with them to provide training, education, and empowerment to live out the Gospel of Jesus. World Orphans believes in partnering in a holistic manner and is moving towards sustainability with every project they begin. This is a model that I feel aligns with my personal convictions and … well… it works. Starting in July I will be partnering with them to do some research and possibly implement the idea of adding midwifery care to this holistic approach. I don’t know of a better tool to add to World Orphans armory than to train Haitian women to provide midwifery care in their communities so that the numbers of maternal deaths decrease.

Starting in August I will also be volunteering with Project Medishare. ( Project Medishare is Haiti’s only critical care and trauma hospital in the entire country. It’s located centrally in PauP and is not far from where we live. I met with their Chief Nursing Officer mid June and I will be volunteering 2-3 shifts a week and will work with their Emergency Room staff. Some of the main things I will focus on is helping improve their triage process as well as training some of their ER nurses in emergency midwifery skills. Right up my alley!

Also I will be trying to start and complete the adoption process for my daughter, Phoebe. I have spent the last month trying to get all of her paperwork in order, meeting with government officials, and seeking guidance as to what my next step will be. It is clear that the adoption process must start but our situation is different because Phoebe is not living in an orphanage and I already have legal guardianship of her. We are praying for God to make a roadway in the wilderness as we continue on this journey.

My heart is here in Haiti. I see airplanes fly overhead everyday and I have no desire to be on them. I feel honored to be given the opportunity to serve the Haitian people and to be their neighbor. So it is here in Haiti that I will stay and serve until the Lord leads somewhere else :) I need your love, support, and encouragement more now than ever. And I am totally excited about where the Lord is guiding us every day. His Kingdom come, His will be done… on earth as it is in Heaven.

I know many of you have supported me financially and if you have any questions about your contribution you can email me at I would be happy to answer any questions and direct you to where finances can be donated at this time if you feel lead to give again.

Now for a little bit of an update on Phoebe:

Mommy and Phoebe on her 3rd birthday

Phoebe turned 3 on June 20!!!! She is continuing to grow and is thriving in our new environment. My love for her grows every day as does my patience :) She is becoming more and more like a child and less and less self-sufficient. We praise the Lord daily for small and large victories and are excited about this new journey! 


  1. I thank God for His perfect care and protection of you and Phoebe (when so many of us who love you felt helpless!). And I praise Him for filling you with His Spirit -- enabling you to respond with such grace -- amazing grace! -- in the midst of this season! Love you!

  2. Hi Jessica!

    Sorry to hear about this bump in the road but it sounds like you are well on the way to smoothing it out. You are such a strong woman, so it doesn't surprise me at all that you are taking it in stride. I know that things aren't going according to your original plan, but I know that you will be a valuable asset to any organization that you work with. I also know your beautiful spirit and that the love you share with others will be returned to you many times over. I just wanted to check in with you and send you some words of encouragement. Keep your head up and know that you are making a difference in so many peoples lives. You can do this!

    Lots of Love!
    Andrea Beckler - Your "favorite" artist

  3. Jess, I'm praying for you. I continue to be impressed and encouraged at your following the Holy Spirit's leading in such huge ways. Thank you for encouraging me... I love you and I can't wait to meet your sweet Phoebe.

    I can imagine the last few months have been tough with such huge changes. So thankful we have a God that cares about every detail. He knew how to get you down to Haiti and he knows where you should be as you are there. Thank you for being a light. Give that sweet girl a big hug from me.

    Love, Aly