I want you to meet Anelson.

He lives in Mapou, a small village on the island of La Gonave, Haiti. Anelson was one of the first of the children we met last year on our week-long trip to Mapou. He is a curious boy, always hovering around, hoping to catch a word or two of English he might know.

Cholera in Haiti

Anelson, July 2011

A few days into our trip, our team took a walk around the village to see the “garden” of corn they had planted. The terrain in Mapou is so rocky, that they find whatever patch of soil they can find, and plug something in it to grow whatever source of food they can. Along the way we spotted a fruit tree. Anelson climbed up the tree with ease and shook the branches for us. We all attempted to catch the ripe fruit as it fell from the sky.

Cholera in Haiti

Many of the villagers do not smile when you take their pictures. I guess they have not been taught to “say cheese” whenever they see a camera. Though, Anelson would smile.

Last week we prayed for Mapou, and God brought the rain! Thank you! Yet, they still need more rain to fall, as what they received is not enough to last them through the dry season, but their immediate need for water has been met. Praise Him!

However, last week amidst the drought, they found out that cholera has been passing through the villagers.

Anelson is among the worst of them affected by cholera. He is in the nearest “hospital” three hours away being treated for this bacterial infection. Here is the latest update:

Please pray for Anelson, a young boy in the village who has been in the hospital for a week with cholera. He is not doing well. I was told this morning that his body is badly swollen up and tingling as if he is having an allergic reaction. There are no nurses like we have in the US. His family has to make the three hour journey down the mountain to care for him at the hospital. They are also the poorest family in the village and will struggle greatly with paying the hospital bills. Please pray for wisdom for the doctors and healing for Anelson.

Cholera in Haiti

Photo taken by Craig Lovely, during this summer’s 2012 church trip to Mapou

My heart is so heavy. It is hard enough to hear of all the suffering and pain around the world. But when you know their name, you’ve looked into their youthful eyes, and now you envision them lying in a bed—weak, severely dehydrated, and possibly dying . . . well, it is hard.

Will you pray for Anelson? Will you consider giving to International Ministries of Hope—the ministry who has truly brought both physical and spiritual hope to this little village—and designate your gift for Anelson’s family to afford the hospital bills?

I would love for you to leave a prayer in the comments for Anelson and his family.
UPDATE 8-18-2012: “Happy to share that he is now well and strengthened enough to attend a soccer game.” Yay! Thank you for your prayers!
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World Vision in Haiti

Every where we turned, both on the journey to Mapou Village as well as on our trip back to Port au Prince, we saw evidences of the work and ministry of World Vision. Mile after mile there were schools, wells, homes and other aid provided by World Vision.

world vision in haiti

world vision in haiti

world vision in haiti

Our family has loved being a part of the work of World Vision, through our family world vision nights and in our gift-giving. We’ve given aid like chickens, ducks, building supplies, a share of a well, seeds and agricultural training. It is exciting to have a specific need to fill, and I love the way it helps my children understand how to “be Jesus” to the world.

The village of Mapou, where we stayed for eight days, is extremely primitive. Before World Vision came to the village the villagers lived in homes like this.

world vision in haiti

And this.

world vision in haiti

And this.

world vision in haiti

Four years ago World Vision came to the village and built each family a vision in haiti

world vision in haiti

The villagers of Mapou now use their old homes as kitchens.

world vision in haiti

It is thrilling to get to see the work of World Vision while I was in Haiti.

It could not be missed.

Here are a few ways you can get involved in the ministry work of World Vision in Haiti:

Are you a part of the ministry of World Vision? What life-changing gifts have you been able to give?


Pray for Rain

I need a new pair of black shoes. My Kia needs new tires. Mac Mini is on its last leg.

My heart can run wild with a list of endless “needs”. Yet, just a few short weeks ago I witnessed true need and received needed perspective on wants versus needs.

The people of Mapou are not concerned with coordinating shoes for their outfits. Living in the rocky village is a family who can‘t afford to buy their five children each a pair of shoes. Without shoes, they cannot attend school.

The villagers do not have cars to buy tires for or computers to repair. They don’t even have electricity.

Their needs are much more simple. Food. Clothing. Shelter. Water.

Click here to join me over at My Heart’s Desire today to read the rest of the story…


Hunger and Thirst

Would I walk for 6 hours to hear the Word of God preached?

Would I sleep on this stone floor for days so that I could hear as much possible before I had to head back home?

Would I sit in the dark listening intently to the teaching of His Word, by the light of a flashlight?

And would I prolong the study by asking question after question about the scriptures?

Would I bother walking to an open-air, half-built church where I knew there would be bugs, no air conditioning and not enough seating?

Do I thirst for the presence of God? Do I hunger for God’s word?

The believers in La Gonave are hungry and thirsty for the Word and presence of God. I am encouraged and inspired by their dedication towards experiencing God through His Word.

They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights. Psalm 36:8

Lord, make my heart crave your Word; more than my comfort and my plans. Give me the determination and longing like these people had to be in your presence. Let me not be so easily distracted and discouraged from pursuing time in your Word.

Click here to read more about my trip to Mapou village in La Gonave, Haiti.

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Tour of Mapou Village, La Gonave, Haiti

Off of the west coast of mainland Haiti is a little island tucked inside the Gulf of Gonave. The island of La Gonave, Haiti is the home to Mapou Village, our own home away from home for eight days. Though only 15 miles away from where we arrived by boat, Mapou village is close to a 2 hour drive from the port city of Anse-a-galets.

la gonave haiti

Nestled in red clay mountains, most of the road is so rocky that we rarely can get out of second gear or go over 10 miles an hour, to keep the tires from popping or leaving part of the bumper embedded into the rocky ground. Only recently has the road been extended, rock by rock by the local villagers, to be able to accommodate trucks carrying missionary travelers to the village of Mapou.

la gonave haiti

A very mild stretch of the road!

la gonave haiti

Photo by Craig Lovely

In this mountainous, rocky village all their food is either grown through crops, fruit trees, or grains and animals at the local market. Each Wednesday, in the early morning hours, villagers from all over the island of La Gonave begin their trek by foot or by donkey to the “Marche”, the Market.

la gonave haiti

Photo by Craig Lovely

It is here they gather to barter for what they need. The coastal villages bring fish, conch and other finds from the sea, while the inlanders bring corn, watermelon, plantains, or whatever is in season at the time. Yet, there is much that they are still dependent on to come from the mainland, and it comes at a hefty price. When the winter months come, and the crops are gone there is very little to eat, and many go long periods of time without food.

la gonave haiti

There is no electricity in the villages. On the International Ministry of Hope “compound” where we stayed, we had a few hours of generated power in the evening so we could eat dinner and prepare for bed. Truly a luxury.

la gonave haiti

Our meals were prepared in a itty bitty hut, over home-made charcoal made from trees in the gonave haiti

Though almost every modern “convenience” is missing from this village we find a group of friendly, giving people. Children play and laugh. Parents work hard to serve their families. The island and its people are full of the glory of God.
la gonave haiti
He is found in the ocean breeze which brings refreshment in the heat of the day. He is in the lush green landscape with the corn and plantains growing, bringing provision. He is there in the early morning hours, where the sun begins to warm the earth with its beautiful rays across the clear blue ocean.
la gonave haiti
And in the sunset over the local bakery, His glory is seen as the sleepy sun shines through the rustling trees.
la gonave haiti

Going to Haiti

My husband Chris and I are going with a group from our church to Haiti in about three weeks. Honestly, it has crept up on me! I am really looking forward to this trip (and not just because my kids are staying behind!) I will miss them incredibly, yet I am looking forward to being able to do ministry with each of my hands free and without the constant pull of someone needing “mommy”.

Don’t get me wrong, this trip will not be a vacation. It is going to be full of long, hot days. We will be doing some construction as well as hosting a vacation Bible school for 250-400 children!

We have been talking to our kids about our trip and have used one of our Family World Vision Nights to focus on Haiti. Operation World has a great website, where you can look up information and prayer requests for each country. We watched this 2 minute prayer video as a family and spent some time praying for Haiti and our time there.

Then we hopped on over to World Vision’s Gift Catalog and picked out our giving for the month. There are many options where your gift is “multiplied”. So, for $25 we were able to provide $100 worth of food to help children and families still in need after the earthquake. I love that World Vision will send you a card for your gift. This is a fun visual for our kids. I wish I had started this earlier, but I have recently started to keep the cards and hang them up for the kids to see as a reminder of how we can be part of taking the good news of Jesus to the world, through our giving and our prayers.

I long for our kids to have a vision for the world. I want them to know that they are incredibly blessed. I want to give them opportunities to see the needs of the world and to serve the Lord through bringing aid to the needy. For now, their involvement is through a computer screen and their prayers, but I look forward to when they are old enough to go and serve alongside of us. I love the idea of taking a family vacation to go on a mission trip!

Would you join me in praying for Haiti, and our upcoming trip?

  • For open, receptive hearts.
  • For endurance through the hot days and good rest in the evenings.
  • Safety in flying, then on the boat to the island we will be serving on.
  • For the team in Haiti who are preparing everything for our arrival.
  • For many children to meet Jesus through the VBS we will be doing.
  • For the follow-up efforts after we leave, that many would be plugged in to the local church and into discipleship relationships.

How are you engaging your family in world missions? I would love to hear any ideas you have, as we continue to involve our children in “going” to the nations!