04
December
| 2018 |

Thanksgiving Week at Mission of Hope 2018

written by: Angela Bigard, Mission of Hope staff

Thanksgiving week in Haiti is one of the best weeks of the year around here. The Mission of Hope staff and all the mission trip team members participated in lots of different projects. From meal packing to painting, from VBS to cutting grass, and lots more—it was a full week of great ministry opportunities.

Highlights from Thanksgiving Week:

  • 336,000 nutritious meals were packed.
  • The guesthouse and hope.market store received a refresh coat of paint.
  • Worship services on the guesthouse roof were so special.
  • There were countless moments of laughter, joy, and dancing.
  • We got a taste of home as our amazing kitchen ladies prepared a delicious Thanksgiving meal.
  • Watching a Christmas movie together on the basketball court with all the Village of Hope kids got us all in the Christmas spirit!

I am so thankful for the Mission of Hope staff and intern family and how everyone chose joy as they served and chose flexibility as needs arose and plans changed. Something I’ve realized again and again here in Haiti is that God’s plan is always—always—better than our own.

I’m also so thankful for all the amazing team members who poured themselves out as they found ways to serve each other and everyone on campus.

Thanksgiving week of 2018 was one I will not forget, and it really brought together the true meaning of family in the body of Christ. Endless memories were made, and I am so thankful!

29
November
| 2018 |

Child Sponsorship

Coming Face to Face with the Impact of Our Giving

My family was asked why we participate in the child sponsorship program through Mission of Hope. The short answer is that our family has been blessed beyond measure, and we want to give a small portion of what God has given us to those who are in need. We wholeheartedly believe in the vision of Mission of Hope to bring life transformation to every man, woman, and child in Haiti. I can’t think of a better way of educating the next generation of leaders than by providing the children with a Christ-centered education.

We first visited Mission of Hope in June 2015. That first year, we began sponsoring three children. In the years since, we have traveled to Haiti on numerous occasions and each time felt called by God to sponsor additional children. Currently, we are blessed to be able to support ten children through Mission of Hope.

This past summer, our daughter, Claire, was an intern at Mission of Hope. On the first Sunday after her arrival, she was in church waiting for the service to begin when she was approached by a Haitian woman and was asked “Are you Claire?” Perplexed, she answered, “Yes.” She pointed to another woman across the church and said that she wanted to talk to her.

When Claire walked over, the woman pulled out a piece of paper and handed it to her. As soon as Claire opened up the paper, she had tears in her eyes. She was looking at a letter and a picture of our family. We had sent a letter to our sponsored children about two months prior. The letter noted that Claire was going to be an intern during the summer. Through a translator, the woman said that she came to church to find Claire and thank our family for supporting her son. She hugged and kissed Claire many times.

I knew immediately that I needed to meet our other sponsored children. Just a couple weeks ago, I traveled to Mission of Hope and was able to visit all ten of the children at the schools where they attend. Words cannot express the joy that I experienced getting to know Rico, John, Keny, Anderson, Widlord, Lovensky, Bedjina, Benchaina, Macianne, and Auguste.

The $35 it costs to sponsor a child is less than what my family pays to eat dinner out one night a month. Why wouldn’t everyone sponsor at least one child?

26
November
| 2018 |

JJ's Story

Pursuing the vision of life transformation

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14,16 ESV

Meet Jean Jacques, more commonly known as JJ around Mission of Hope. He’s been involved at Mission of Hope for almost two decades. JJ lives in the village of Source Matelas and serves as the Church Advancement Director at Mission of Hope, leading the team of Village Champions and fostering relationships with local pastors as they serve their communities. Before having the role of Church Advancement Director, JJ served in the HaitiOne nutrition program for many years, faithfully delivering nutritious meals to schools and orphanages across Haiti and pursuing the vision of life transformation for every man, woman, and child in Haiti.

JJ photos

JJ understands the biblical call of loving and serving his neighbors—near and far. Recently, JJ had the opportunity to go on a mission trip to Turks and Caicos (TCI), meeting with the local pastors and serving the kids in the area. Reflecting on his time in TCI, JJ said,

“We went out to meet with local pastors in TCI and explain to them the vision of working through the local church—like we do in Haiti. My favorite part was meeting with the pastors. They asked questions and wanted to know more about Mission of Hope and the philosophy of how we work through the local church. I also loved the Kids’ Club. It was a great opportunity to encourage the kids and tell them about Jesus!” – JJ

JJ knows Jesus’ call in Acts 1:8b (ESV) “…you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” In a very real and tangible way, JJ knows his Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria—the local villages, the nation of Haiti, and the world. He knows the same Gospel that has transformed his life, his family, and his community is the very same Gospel that has the power to transform the nation of Haiti and every other nation.

JJ’s understanding of knowing, loving, and being the Church is an incredible example of how a personal relationship and love for God leads to a love for His Church and ultimately—a love for the world.

22
November
| 2018 |

Help Others Achieve Their Dreams in Your Sleep

Our Partnership with Bolster Sleep Company

Over the past 20 years, God has provided incredible church, individual, and corporate partnerships with a common desire to see the nation of Haiti transformed.

One of our newest partnerships, with Bolster Sleep Company, is truly exciting! A manufacturer of quality hybrid mattresses and bedding, Bolster is providing scholarships for students in our Technical School so we can provide valuable vocational training to men and women looking to acquire skills and join the workforce. Bolster is using profits from its mattress sales to provide permanent, tangible skills to men and women in Haiti so they can support themselves, their families, and their communities. Through programs in welding, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, and diesel mechanics, our students are learning valuable trades for sustainable industries across Haiti that are seeking skilled employees.

When classes started this fall, there were 268 young men and women enrolled across the five disciplines, and another 68 are already enrolled in the new IT training program starting in February. These are incredible numbers considering the reality that less than five out of 100 children in Haiti receive post-secondary education. Bolster Sleep Company is helping provide life-changing education for students in our Technical School. We desire to see Christian men and women in places of influence throughout the workforce in Haiti who are employees with integrity and who invest in their local churches and lead in their villages.

Our students are not only enthusiastic, but dedicated. Already, we are seeing a 90% pass rate on exams! This would not be possible without those who have invested in Mission of Hope to see the dreams of a Technical School become a reality. We look forward to sharing the many successes of our Technical School students with you and we know this will continue to be an incredible place where lives, families, and communities are transformed.


If you’re looking for a new mattress, be sure to check out Bolster Sleep Company. Your purchase will help students in our Technical School accomplish their dreams…while you dream!

For more information on the Technical School, check out this page.

19
November
| 2018 |

Hope For Her 2018 Recap

Restoration + Redemption

Hope For Her 2018 was an incredible weekend. The weekend consisted of fellowship with other women who share a passion for Haiti, worship, devotions, discussion, hiking, village service projects, and a beautiful women’s conference with over 165 Haitian women.

Watch our recap video to learn more about the weekend and click here for more information about Women’s Empowerment initiatives.

14
November
| 2018 |

Electronic medical records

Exciting advancements for mobile clinics

November 12, 2018 was the first day of using Electronic Medical Record on mobile clinics! This is an incredible advancement and something that will allow us to better serve each patient we get to see.

Learn more about mobile clinics and how you can be part of a medical missions trip.

13
November
| 2018 |

Giving Tuesday is two weeks away and we wanted to let everyone know that this year we will be participating in this incredible initiative to raise money to bring life transformation to Haiti.

By donating via Facebook on 11/27, you can double your impact so more people in Haiti can receive life-giving healthcare, nutrition, education, and the love of Jesus.

Helpful details:

  • What: Double your impact in Haiti with Facebook’s Giving Tuesday matching grant
  • When: November 27th, 8:00am EST / 7:00am CST. Please donate as close to 8am EST / 7am CST as possible, but not before.
  • How: Log on to facebook.com/mohhaiti
    • Click the blue Donate button

    • Or donate via the fundraiser that will be live on the Mission of Hope Facebook page on 11/27, tracking our goal

100% of your donation made via facebook.com/mohhaiti will go to Mission of Hope—every dollar helps!

We would be honored if you would share about this opportunity before and on Giving Tuesday so your friends and family can get involved too.

Check back for more information about over the next two weeks and learn more about the impact your donations have on the people in Haiti.

08
November
| 2018 |

From Brothel to Believer

A Story of Women’s Empowerment in Haiti. Written by: Salem Hicks

I still remember the first time I stepped across the threshold of a brothel in Haiti. The heaviness almost felt tangible, and the heartbreak was overwhelming. The women slowly came out of their rooms and joined us under a little gazebo, and we began painting their nails and starting classes on sanitation and health.

My mind could not get past what their day to day looked like. The thought of what they had to do in order to feed their babies made my stomach drop. As I began to learn their names and hear bits and pieces of their stories, my healthy heartbreak deepened. These were no longer numbers, prostitutes, or hurting women—they became real.

The week came to a close, and I was given the opportunity to share my story of restoration and redemption through Jesus. I stared deeply into eyes that were full of hurt and brokenness as I described my experience with sexual abuse at a young age and the way it changed me. I shared that healing was possible through Jesus and that He could heal us so completely that we would be able to talk about the past without feeling pain.

As we wrapped up our day by praying with these women, I heard a voice say to me, “This. This is what I made you for Salem.” An electric shock of fear bolted through my body, and I knew this voice was not my own. I returned to Mission of Hope, where I was interning, and I shared what I had heard with a fellow intern.

After that day, my mind would not rest. I could not move on and forget the faces of the women. They were imprinted in my mind and tattooed on my heart. It kept me up at night, and I just couldn’t let go. Soon I realized that I would no longer be able to go on without doing something about it. “Who will fight for them? Who will step out onto the battlefield and reach them?” Even as I type this I still hear the answer, “You.”

I have to be honest—to this day, I still do not know why God chose me. There was nothing special about me other than Who I belonged to and my choosing to surrender to whatever God had for me in the future. Despite all the doubts and insecurities, He still chose me. It still blows my mind. But nevertheless, He did.

Eight months after my four month internship with Mission of Hope, I found myself back in Haiti, sitting in front of the brothel with the same faces under the same gazebo. One specific woman, Laicia, held a baby who was only a few weeks old. I picked him up and thought of what his life would look like if he remained in the brothel while growing up. What experiences would he have that would shape his life? Would he go to school? Would he have a healthy view of sexuality and love? He became one more reason I continued to show up. I realized that fighting for his momma’s future meant fighting for him as well.

The first year following my return to Haiti, our team returned to the brothel and invited Laicia to our public classes every single week. She did her best to keep her hard exterior up and our team at bay until one day she decided it was time to leave that life behind.

At the time I was in the States fundraising for the ministry. That particular day I was feeling a bit discouraged, until I received a short video from our English teacher. There in our classroom was Laicia. She stood next to our chalkboard and repeated the alphabet with a soft smile on her face. I was overwhelmed with joy, and tears filled my eyes. God whispered to my heart, “See Salem, the ONE is worth it.”

A year and a half later, Laicia is one woman graduating out of six. She has begun a relationship with Jesus and has let God refine the rough areas of her heart. She is stepping into a full-time position as a cook and has dreams of becoming a plumber. She is working toward returning to the village where she used to live in hope of reaching others who are unsure if it is possible to be restored and renewed. She fully believes that God can use her to share the gospel and grace of Jesus with others. Her son is now three and is attending his first year of school. His life’s trajectory was changed the day his mother stepped into a new life.

When I first met Vanessa Johnson and the Women’s Empowerment team a few months ago, I recognized the same healthy heartbreak for the women of Haiti that I had experienced myself. When we decided to form a deeper partnership with Mission of Hope and their amazing team, God showed us that we can accomplish more together than we can alone.

He has continually shown us that not only is one woman worth it, but that He has a vision for many women to step into a new life with Him as well. We get to be a part of His vision for restoration, redemption, and new life in the women of Haiti.

As we round our third year of ministry, I personally stand in awe of all God has done in and through this much needed ministry. After three years of foundation building, we have the joy of joining hands with Mission of Hope, the organization that first drew me to Haiti and helped plant this vision in my heart.

My mother has always told me, “Salem, if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go deep, go together.” Both our ministries firmly believe that the hope of Jesus will transform lives in Haiti. And it is because of this belief that we are joining hands and running this race together. We ask you to continue to pray and support women’s empowerment as we fight for restoration and new life for women in Haiti.

05
November
| 2018 |

Dreams, Adidas Sandals, and Prayer

Written by: Bethany Rostampour (Team Member)

A college leader on our team, Melvin, had the same dream multiples times during the weeks leading up to our church’s mission trip to Haiti. It was him praying for someone in black, slip-on, Adidas sandals. He couldn’t see the person’s face, only their feet as he looked down pray for them.

One day after Strategic Village Time, Melvin’s team was about to head back to the bus for lunch when they walked by a young teenage boy who was wearing the sandals that Melvin saw in his dream. He started a conversation with him and connected with the boy. They both had the same favorite soccer team and had a similar story.

Melvin felt led to share his testimony with the boy. After hearing Melvin’s story, the boy said he wanted to accept Jesus as His personal Lord and Savior. Melvin was able to pray with him—just like he saw in his dream weeks before. After the prayer, the boy told Melvin that he felt “different and comfortable.” Melvin was able to tell Him about the peace of god. It was an incredible, God-ordained moment!


We love hearing stories like these at Mission of Hope. If you have a story you would like to share from your experience on a missions trip, please email stories@mohhaiti.org.

31
October
| 2018 |

Baptist Haiti Mission

Honoring the past & envisioning the future

One of the highlights from this year is the honor of Mission of Hope accepting stewardship of Baptist Haiti Mission.

Enjoy this video from a ceremony in Haiti held last month—it was a great time of honoring the past and envisioning the future with leadership from both Mission of Hope and Baptist Haiti Mission.

We’re excited and expectant to see even more people experience life transformation through the gospel of Jesus Christ.


30
October
| 2018 |

Two of Our Graduates Are Headed to College

Written by: Clare Marlow, Mission Trip Team Member

God continually moves in amazing ways throughout the Mission of Hope campuses and in the villages that we partner with to build strong and healthy families who know Jesus as their Savior. One of the most exciting things we’re celebrating this month is the news that two of our recent high school graduates have the opportunity to enter college in the fall.

Danielo just learned that he passed his national college entrance exam and has been accepted and enrolled at UNASMOH (Université Américaine des Sciences Modernes d’Haïti) where he’ll study informatics starting in November.

Classmate Wideline is headed this month to Notre Dame University’s nursing program in Hinche, Haiti to fulfil her dream of becoming an RN.

Danielo and Wideline were among 150 graduates who received their high school diplomas from Mission of Hope schools last spring. Like all our students, they are beating the odds. In Haiti, education is a great privilege. The enrollment rate for primary school in Haiti is only 57%, and fewer than 30% of students reach sixth grade. Mission of Hope is working to change these statistics.

One of the foundations of education in the Mission of Hope schools is our Mwen Kapab initiative. Mwen Kapab, which means “I can” in English, is a Christ-centered curriculum developed by American and Haitian educators that is available for use by every school in Haiti. Our students not only are personally benefiting from a good education, but they are also positively impacting their families, villages, and country.

Generous student sponsors, the Mwen Kapab curriculum, the amazing Haitian teachers in our schools, the students’ hard work, and the grace of God are the reasons Danielo and Wideline—and Mission of Hope students who have gone before them—can pursue a college degree and their dream careers.

We’re so excited to see how God is going to work through them at college and beyond.


Sources (include citations in blog)

www.schoolsforhaiti.com/facts-about-haiti/

www.hopeforhaiti.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/The-Power-of-Education.pdf

24
October
| 2018 |

Lessons Learned Over 20 Years

Lesson #3: How Haiti Has Changed the United States for Christ

As part of our 20-year anniversary celebration this month, Brad Johnson, president of Mission of Hope, reflected on some of the most surprising things God has taught him.

When God called him and Vanessa to change the nation of Haiti for Christ, he fully expected God to do it, even though he didn’t know how. But what he didn’t expect was how God was going to change the United States for Christ through Haiti.

He’s been amazed not only by the number of people who have come down to work with Mission of Hope and to help reach Haiti for Christ but also by the impact that Haiti has had in the hearts of the people who have served and then gone home.

“The impact that small island of Haiti has been to change this culture, the American culture, at the church and personal level has been incredible.”

Brad also reflects on Baptist Haiti Mission and their desire for Mission of Hope to steward the ministry and continue their legacy. “I don’t think we could have ever imagined the ministry of Baptist Haiti Mission being given to Mission of Hope to steward. That’s still fresh, and the responsibility is still very much weighty,” he says. “It’s something we could have never imagined, because that was considered the model, the gold standard of ministry in Haiti. For them to ask us to take it over and steward it is huge.”

For more surprising moments and lessons learned over the past 20 years, check our blog often and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


About the Author: Brad Johnson

Brad is the President of Mission of Hope. He attended Huntington University as a student athlete and graduated in 1993 with a B.S. in Educational Ministries with a Business Emphasis. While at Huntington, he broke school records in Track and Field, won the National Championship, and was awarded the prestigious Wheeler Award, given to the National Track and Field Male Athlete of the Year for outstanding character, athletic achievement, and campus leadership by the NCCAA. Upon graduation, Brad joined Youth for Christ as the Director of Campus Life at Carroll High School in Fort Wayne, IN, where he developed his passion for coaching and mentoring young leaders.

Brad grew up going to Haiti each year to serve on week-long mission trips. After experiencing the tragic loss of a baby girl in a village due to malnutrition, in 1998, he and his wife Vanessa moved to Haiti to participate in God’s vision of bringing life transformation to every man, woman, and child. For 15 years, Brad directly oversaw all strategic and operational aspects of Mission of Hope, while mentoring and grooming young Haitian leaders to step into key leadership roles. In 2008, the Huntington University Alumni Association awarded him the Distinguished Alumni Citation in recognition of mission work and commitment to impacting the world for Christ. Today, Brad and his wife Vanessa live in Lago Vista, TX and have four children: JD, Georgie, Beau, and Jaima.

20
October
| 2018 |

Introducing hope.market

Creating jobs. Changing lives.

Do you ever wish you could tie your daily routine to a larger purpose? As you shop for clothes or gifts, would you like your purchasing power to change the lives of women, men, and children in need?

We’d like to introduce you to our retail ministry, hope.market.

hope.market exists to create jobs and change lives. Your purchases at hope.market provide meaningful employment to women and men in Haiti and enable training programs that promote hope and freedom in Jesus Christ.

We partner with artisans throughout Haiti who hand craft a wide variety of ethically-made products. Our desire is to allow individuals to obtain employment and skills training regardless of their status or education level. Through training programs, we work to educate and inspire women and men into personal and spiritual growth to become leaders and to contribute to community development and sustainability.

You can have a direct impact on the people of Haiti. All proceeds from hope.market are directly invested back into the ministries and programs of Mission of Hope.

Each purchase gives back again and again by:

1) employing the artisans who crafted the goods

2) providing jobs and valuable training for individuals working in our shops

3) funding the ministries of Mission of Hope, including healthcare, education, nutrition, and our Women’s Empowerment ministry

Get a head start on your Christmas shopping, and change a life in the process. Visit hope.market today, and be sure to sign up for our email list to be the first to know about new products and the lives being changed because of you!


About the Author: Stephanie Cantrell

Stephanie Cantrell is the Director of hope.market, Mission of Hope’s retail ministry. Stephanie is passionate about creatively inspiring and motivating people into personal and spiritual growth. Her love of art, beauty, and design enhances her work within hope.market for the nation of Haiti. Stephanie and her husband have three daughters, and live in Austin, Texas.

19
October
| 2018 |

In a Mother’s Eyes

Written by: Vanessa Johnson, Director of Women's Empowerment

On my first trip to Haiti, I remember being told to find a set of eyes. Look deep into those eyes, imagine what his or her life is like, and pray for that person. I knew that I may never know the people behind those eyes, but the Lord reminded me that He sees them, and He knows them. All I was asked to do was go to Him on their behalf and ask Him to break my heart for what breaks His.

Every time I would find a set of eyes, I noticed that I was always drawn to the women of Haiti. They all had different stories, and although I often only saw that at a glance, I began to connect with them. I began to have compassion for what they felt, and I prayed that the Lord would show me more.

As a newlywed traveling to Haiti with a small group of young people, the goal was to be open and willing to love, serve, and be poured out daily. Little did we know what that meant as we prayed that the Lord would bring people to us that needed to be cared for and loved.

On one of our last days in Haiti, Brad and I were asked to visit a sick child in a nearby village. When we arrived at their house, I saw the eyes of a desperate mom who could not settle as her little girl labored to breath. There was a heaviness in their home that is hard to describe. It was like they knew too much time had passed, that they had missed God in all the mess of their decision making. It felt heavy and hopeless!

I remember picking up that little girl and feeling her limp, hot body. I refused to believe it was going to end. I cried out to God to have mercy on this little one in spite of her parents’ choices—in spite of them having a lapse in judgment and clinging to a voodoo priest’s empty promises that he was the only hope for their family.

I remember thinking “this isn’t going to happen on this trip. That would be cruel, and it’s not how this story can end.” But God in His sovereignty and infinite wisdom took baby Guerline home to be with Him in heaven that day. It was surreal and daunting as we had to face the reality of what happened.

All different kinds of eyes were staring at me that day, but the eyes that I remember the most are Guerline’s mom as she looked at me in desperation to save her daughter—as she looked at me with a glimmer of hope when I prayed with her, believing that God would restore life—as she looked at me with panic in the urgent moment when she saw her daughter’s life slipping away—as she looked at me with agony when see realized she would never hold her little girl again.

That day marked me forever. It was the turning point in my life where I started to realized that the enemy was out to kill, steal, and destroy any view of the hope that God offers us. I began to read Jeremiah 29:11 in a more profound way and began to claim that same hope and future for every single woman in Haiti. I claimed it not just for them in that moment but for their children, and their children’s children, that they would walk in the truth and choose God’s blessings rather than curses.

In 1998 Brad and I moved to Haiti and committed to be faithful to whatever God called us to do. Guerline’s death was the catalyst to everything that was started at Mission of Hope. The circumstances that surrounded her death and her mother’s eyes of hopelessness burned a desire in my heart to fight for women and to make an impactful, lasting change in their lives through a Christ-centered education, a nutrition program, and a church with children’s ministry that was focused on welcoming people to come as they are. All these things can help a larger, general population, but they have specific and profound impact on the life of a mom and her children.

The outreach has been broad and has helped many over the past 20 years, but now as we launch our new Women’s Empowerment program and enter into a partnership with New Life Campaign, we have a strategic plan to directly impact the broken, abused, and hurting women who, at the end of the day will do whatever it takes to provide for their children.

Our heart has always been to bring true hope to the nation of Haiti, and our desire is that there will be thousands of women whose eyes show restoration, redemption, hope, and new life!


About the Author: Vanessa Johnson

Born and raised in Ontario, Canada Vanessa grew up with a desire to be involved in missions.

She attended Huntington university and during her junior year went on her first mission trip with a team Brad Johnson led to Haiti.

Vanessa graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in music education in 1994.

Brad and Vanessa were married in 1996 and moved to Haiti in 1998 where they lived full time for ten years. They have four children, JD, Georgie, Beau and Jaima who where all born in Haiti and are all proud to call Haiti their home.

Vanessa is passionate about education and the issues that mothers in Haiti face when trying to provide for the needs of their family.

15
October
| 2018 |

Lessons Learned over 20 Years

Lesson #2: The intersection of compassion and the gospel is the power of ministry

Over the past 20 years, Vanessa and I have seen God move in amazing ways. As October marks the 20th anniversary of Mission of Hope, we are taking some time to reflect on a few of the many lessons we have learned.

From the first time we went to Haiti, we were moved by the physical needs we saw in Haiti. Daily we saw many that lacked proper medical care, clean drinking water, and the nutrition needed to survive. This was a big part of the reason we decided to move to Haiti and help bring hope to that nation.

We soon realized, however, that in order to break the cycle of poverty, education was key. In a country where less than 5% graduate high school, it was not surprising that God opened the door to educate children through the US military building us a school. But we also knew that even education can’t give lasting hope. It’s only when people find the hope of the gospel that true hope is found. Education by itself can’t transform someone, but a Christ-centered education can.

Throughout the Gospels, we see Jesus moved by compassion to meet a person’s physical need and He would then meet their spiritual need. His love for His people compelled him to give them hope for today and for eternity.

Jesus feeding the 5,000 is the only miracle recorded in all four Gospels. It is a great example of how meeting the physical needs of people can lead to meeting their spiritual needs. After everyone had eaten and had their full, Jesus slipped away. The next day, however, the crowds tracked Him down. Jesus found the intersection of compassion and the gospel in this opportunity, as recorded in John 6:26-29.

Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”

Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”

Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

Jesus’s ministry was comprehensive. The gospel without love doesn’t impact deeply. And love without the gospel doesn’t transform fully. But at the intersection of these two, there is power.

Many times we either focus on the physical OR the spiritual, but Jesus shows us that BOTH really matter and incredible transformation happens when both are realized.

Our vision at Mission of Hope is to meet the physical and spiritual needs of every man, woman, and child in Haiti. That’s what we mean when we say “life transformation.” The greatest moments of joy in my life have been when I get to see someone come alive in Christ while also having the tools to start a better physical life as well—a home or food or a job or an education.

Do you tend to focus more on helping people physically or spiritually? If you lean toward the physical, see if you can let the person you’re helping know the “why” that compels you. Or if you lean toward the spiritual, see if you can find a tangible way to be a helpful friend, no strings attached.

God has allowed us to live in a broken world. We are surrounded by those that are hurting physically and spiritually. He has equipped us with all we need to meet their needs. The question is: Are we willing to follow His example and meet them at their place of need?


About the Author: Brad Johnson

Brad is the President of Mission of Hope. He attended Huntington University as a student athlete and graduated in 1993 with a B.S. in Educational Ministries with a Business Emphasis. While at Huntington, he broke school records in Track and Field, won the National Championship, and was awarded the prestigious Wheeler Award, given to the National Track and Field Male Athlete of the Year for outstanding character, athletic achievement, and campus leadership by the NCCAA. Upon graduation, Brad joined Youth for Christ as the Director of Campus Life at Carroll High School in Fort Wayne, IN, where he developed his passion for coaching and mentoring young leaders.

Brad grew up going to Haiti each year to serve on week-long mission trips. After experiencing the tragic loss of a baby girl in a village due to malnutrition, in 1998, he and his wife Vanessa moved to Haiti to participate in God’s vision of bringing life transformation to every man, woman, and child. For 15 years, Brad directly oversaw all strategic and operational aspects of Mission of Hope, while mentoring and grooming young Haitian leaders to step into key leadership roles. In 2008, the Huntington University Alumni Association awarded him the Distinguished Alumni Citation in recognition of mission work and commitment to impacting the world for Christ. Today, Brad and his wife Vanessa live in Lago Vista, TX and have four children: JD, Georgie, Beau, and Jaima.

10
October
| 2018 |

Healthy Churches: Pastor Emmanuel & Marie's Story

Written by: Jean Jacques, Church Advancement Director

I am Jean Jacques, Mission of Hope’s Church Advancement Director. Recently I received from one of my Village Champions an incredible story from our partner pastor in Mesaye. There was a house that was going to be given and the pastor was in the first position to receive the house for himself because he was in a very bad living situation. But he didn’t take it for himself. He went around his village looking for someone really in need.

The lady’s name is Marie. She lives in our area. She was not coming to my church yet, she was just in the neighborhood. When I heard of the house project, I visited her and asked questions—I saw her house was very bad. When it rained, the rain would get in her home and she would get sick. I knew she needed the house more than me.



The way she was living was terrible. She couldn’t even sleep inside. All the times we came, we saw her outside because the house was not in good health.

“I was sick, and the foundation of my old home was very bad. But God gave grace to me.”

The house she received, that’s a blessing and that has changed her situation—changed her life. And with three children sleeping in a bad house, when there is rain coming, that is a very very tough situation for her. But now you can see there is joy—there is happiness.

As a leader, we have to see others before we see ourselves. That’s how a church is healthy; we help others who are in need. And that is why Christ came to do it: to help others and heal people, for His glory, for His kingdom.

Pastor Emmanuel is a very strong leader to me by the way her cares for his people. That’s what we are looking for in Church Advancement. We are looking for a healthy pastor and healthy churches. We can see that in Mesaye. There is life transformation.

Want to help local pastors meet the physical and spiritual needs of the people in their villages? Come serve with Mission of Hope and play your part in a story much bigger than yourself.

05
October
| 2018 |

6 Reasons I Loved Being a Mission of Hope Intern

Written by: Alec Hayes, Summer 2018 Intern

Interning with Mission of Hope this summer was one of the greatest experiences of my life. The three months I interned were Jesus-centered and joy-filled—full of adventure and an experience unlike any other. I gained a new perspective on life, saw the love and hope of Jesus in ways I never had before, and I learned how to share that hope with others.


1. You’ll meet believers who work tirelessly for the Lord. They have the greatest faith you will have ever witnessed, and you’ll get to work with them and share Jesus with people—Every. Single. Day!

2. You get to be part of the most supportive community of all time. I was pointed back to the Lord time and time again. I felt genuinely loved and cared for in every moment. Bonus: it’s a support system that doesn’t fade away when the internship is over—these friendships keep going.

3. You’ll meet the greatest people that this world has to offer. People like fellow interns, translators, families, and team members.

4. You’ll gain skills that you will carry with you for the rest of your life. A lot of growth happens during the internship as you learn more about the Lord, life, and yourself!

5. You’ll learn how to walk in love. You’ll learn how to lean on Jesus and to give it all you’ve got every day.

6. And, you’ll have fun—like so much fun you won’t even be able to count the laughs. The memories will last a lifetime.

Mission of Hope exists to bring life transformation to every man, woman, and child in Haiti. You won’t just witness it, you’ll get to be a part of it.

I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to serve with Mission of Hope—I hope you’ll do it too.

02
October
| 2018 |

Lessons Learned over 20 Years

Lesson #1: Be faithful with today, and let God take care of tomorrow.

This month marks the 20th anniversary of Mission of Hope. It was in October 1998 that Vanessa and I packed our bags and moved to Haiti to join the work that God was already doing there. Recently the team asked us what we had learned over the past 20 years, and that really got me thinking. Ephesians 3:20-21 is the verse that I keep going back to as I reflect on all that God has done.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
– Ephesians 3:20-21

Over the past 20 years we have been blessed to watch God do “immeasurably more” than we could have ever fathomed. There are many things Vanessa and I have learned over the past 20 years, but I’d like to start with this:

Be faithful with today, and let God take care of tomorrow.

If you had told me 20 years ago all the things that would happen in the coming years, I wouldn’t have believed you. When Vanessa and I first went to Haiti, we weren’t thinking about providing medical care to 71,500 patients—we were thinking about Baby Guerline who had died in her father’s arms from malnutrition. We weren’t thinking about educating 11,700 kids in 41 schools—we were thinking about one small schoolhouse with 230 kids. We weren’t thinking about providing 91,000 meals to students each day or a 35,000 square foot warehouse stacked with meals—we were trying to figure out how to keep our students from fainting from hunger during class.

In each case God asked us to simply be faithful with that day, that need that was in front of us. Naturally we wanted to try and figure out the how and the who. “How would we pay for this?” “How would we find the time?” “Who would God send to help?” In every instance, God simply asked us to be faithful with that day and allow Him to take care of the how and the who of tomorrow.

What is God asking you to be faithful with today? Who has He put in your life that He has shown you has a need? How has God resourced you to meet that need? With a surrendered heart and a willingness to be faithful with today, God will move through us to do “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.”


About the Author: Brad Johnson

Brad is the President of Mission of Hope. He attended Huntington University as a student athlete and graduated in 1993 with a B.S. in Educational Ministries with a Business Emphasis. While at Huntington, he broke school records in Track and Field, won the National Championship, and was awarded the prestigious Wheeler Award, given to the National Track and Field Male Athlete of the Year for outstanding character, athletic achievement, and campus leadership by the NCCAA. Upon graduation, Brad joined Youth for Christ as the Director of Campus Life at Carroll High School in Fort Wayne, IN, where he developed his passion for coaching and mentoring young leaders.

Brad grew up going to Haiti each year to serve on week-long mission trips. After experiencing the tragic loss of a baby girl in a village due to malnutrition, in 1998, he and his wife Vanessa moved to Haiti to participate in God’s vision of bringing life transformation to every man, woman, and child. For 15 years, Brad directly oversaw all strategic and operational aspects of Mission of Hope, while mentoring and grooming young Haitian leaders to step into key leadership roles. In 2008, the Huntington University Alumni Association awarded him the Distinguished Alumni Citation in recognition of mission work and commitment to impacting the world for Christ. Today, Brad and his wife Vanessa live in Lago Vista, TX and have four children: JD, Georgie, Beau, and Jaima.

19
September
| 2018 |

Tips on How to Engage with Locals

Written by: Clare Marlow, Mission Trip Team Member

One of the most rewarding experiences you will have on a mission trip to Haiti (and quite possibly the most rewarding) is the opportunity to spend time in the villages with the incredible Haitian people, extending to them the love and grace of Jesus face-to-face.
Haitian Student in School
Each one of these men, women, and children matter to God and to Mission of Hope. Your personal contact with them is a chance to provide them not only with practical things like water filters and goats, but also meet their health and spiritual needs. As Mission of Hope team members talk to moms and dads and play with children in their own neighborhoods, they are reaffirming to these people that they are worthy of kindness, dignity, and care.

It can be intimidating or awkward for team members the first few times they try to start conversations with Haitians. But it doesn’t have to be! For those of you nervous about approaching someone you don’t know, here are a few tips to help you engage. If you practice these, you’ll soon find it as natural as striking up a conversation with your own neighbors back home:

  • Remember that God does the connecting and the work. You aren’t going to be judged or graded on your conversation with someone in a village. You are a tangible representative of Christ, demonstrating His unconditional and kind love to the people you meet. Your interest in them affirms their value.
  • Pray before you step foot in the village. Ask God to direct you to those who need Jesus and connection to their local church. Pray that the Gospel would spread through your conversations, the painting of houses, and the providing of goats and trees and water filters. Pray that Haitians would find the hope they need in Jesus.
  • Make your motive to bless, not be blessed. Trust us, you will be incredibly blessed by the Haitians you meet! But if you make your focus their comfort rather than your own, your conversation will flow more naturally out of your heart rather than your head.
  • Recognize how alike you are. You love to talk about your family, right? About your friends, activities, challenges and joys? So, too, do Haitians. Ask questions about their families and children. Ask them what their day is like. Ask about their hopes and dreams and struggles—we’re all in this together.
  • Take breaks. During work days—like painting houses or planting trees—take breaks to have short, casual conversations with the people you are helping or the many neighbors who typically gather to watch. Don’t be surprised if these “unplanned” breaks turn into some of your favorite memories.
  • Simply ask. If you are an introvert, rather than feel the pressure to launch a conversation, you can simply ask how you can pray for someone. It’s best if you can do it as part of your visit, but if you aren’t comfortable praying out loud over someone, find a member of your group who is.

Most of all, have fun! Celebrate the joy of meeting new people and blessing them with a smile and a hug and the promise of a new life in Christ.

If you aren’t heading to Haiti on a trip but you support Mission of Hope financially, recognize that you are a vital part of all the friendship and hope that team members extend in our 12 partner villages. Your support and prayers are the foundation that equips our teams to pursue the vision of life transformation to the people of Haiti, and create healthy people, healthy schools, healthy churches, and a healthy economy in this beautiful nation.

30
August
| 2018 |

holding hands of medical patient
THE HEART AND HANDS OF THE SAVIOR

Despite some unexpected events in Haiti this summer, the peace of Christ has been evident over Mission of Hope’s Medical Outreach Program which has continued to reach and bless patients through the Haitian medical staff. This past month, the MOPs staff has been able to:

  • Witness multiple surgical patients take next steps to lifelong healing and treatment plans
  • Implement innovative new healthcare practices
  • Celebrate as one of the patients, Edith, gave her life to Jesus Christ!

Life transformation—this is why this program exists. As the staff serving with MOPs follows the example of Christ, the desire is to do as He does and go after the one. The Medical Outreach Program is a tangible representation of serving “the one.”

We exist to share the Hope of Jesus Christ.

Medical care, and specifically the Medical Outreach Program, continues to be an incredible avenue of illustrating the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are expectant for God to continue to grow this program for His glory. Thank you for your role in serving these patients and being the hands and feet of Christ.

“If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them wanders away, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others on the hills and go out to search for the one that is lost?” Matthew 18:12

PRAYER REQUESTS:

  • Pray for healing for each patient and for God to be glorified as the Great Physician, especially as one of our patients, Michele, recovers from a long-awaited surgery at Baptist Haiti Mission.
  • Pray for Haiti. Ask God to continue doing His good work and that MOPs would be an extension of His heart and hands.
  • Pray for wisdom and continued unity for the Haitian staff so they would be well equipped to do God’s work.
  • Pray for the families of the patients—that they would have peace in the midst of many trials.

If you’d like to be part of the team of supporters for MOPs—we’d be honored! You can connect here.

Thank you,
The Mission of Hope: Haiti Medical Team

20
August
| 2018 |

How to Live Missionally...Right Where You Are

Written by: Clare Marlow, Mission Trip Team Member

Mission trip holding hands The first time I went on a mission trip to serve vulnerable people in another country, I came away with two profound experiences. One was how incredible it was to worship Christ very far from home with total strangers who spoke a different language. The knowledge that God is everywhere truly became real to me in an open-air Brazilian church where familiar worship music was sung in Portuguese.

The second was the awareness of how easily I could love strangers and share God’s love for them when I’m far from home. I came back from that trip pondering why it’s so difficult in my own culture, around the people I know and am comfortable around.

I realized that the difference was my own mindset. Going on a mission trip across the globe is intentional: it’s prayed over, talked about, and meticulously planned. I generally didn’t think of my day-to-day life as an intentional mission field. Second, I had no concern about how people would respond. I knew that everyone I met would welcome kindness and compassion.

The key to missional living, then, is keeping our hearts focused outward—toward Jesus first, and the people in our neighborhoods, cities, workplaces, and schools. It’s not about us or how we’ll be received. Missional living doesn’t require hours of planning, just a heightened awareness of the people around us.

If you aren’t sure how to live missionally day to day, here are a few simple ways to love and serve others right where you are:

Pray: The first (and best) step toward being intentional about missional living is asking God to open your eyes to the people and needs around you. It’s that simple. Ask Him to use you as you go about your daily life. Ask Him for opportunities, and pray in advance for the people He will put in your path.

Be kind: Kindness often can seem a sparse commodity in our busy, self-centered culture. It’s not that people aren’t actually kind, it’s that they don’t take the time to be kind. Asking how someone’s day is going when you’re busy at work or rushing through the grocery store is easy and quick. Express compassion when you hear someone say they’re hurting or fearful. You don’t have to fix their problem; simply say “I’m sorry” or offer to pray for them. Be generous with praise, and be a good listener.

Give: Give what you have. Is it an extra $10…or $10 a month? Pick a local or international charity you love and commit that money. Do you have on extra hour a week? Offer to be on a ministry team at church, volunteer for a local charity, or help a busy mom. Take 15 minutes to chat with someone who seems alone while you’re wandering a store or waiting for an oil change. Bestow simple blessings—mow a yard for a single mom or bake brownies for a neighbor. Your smallest acts of caring mimic those of Jesus and can make a big difference to others.

Invite: Loneliness is rampant in our culture and invitations are non-existent to many people these days. Even if you cringe at the idea of cooking for a crowd, you can ask someone to do something simple with you. Invite a coworker to ride along on an afternoon coffee run or take a short walk at lunchtime. Call a friend you haven’t seen in a while, or a new friend you’ve recently made, and set a date for breakfast or lunch. Ask a neighbor for their input on decorating or gardening (it doesn’t matter what). Invitations make people feel valued.

Serve: If you’re already helping your neighbors and your church but are looking for ways to reach people you don’t know, volunteer for a local charity you care about. You’re likely to work alongside—and provide support to—many who do not follow Jesus. There’s no better way to share Christ’s love than to lavish it on people who don’t know or don’t believe that it’s available to them.

07
August
| 2018 |

Mission of Hope School Starting

Written by: Clare Marlow, Mission Trip Team Member

There are two dramatically opposing photos I immediately think of whenever I reflect on my first visit to Haiti more than five years ago. One is of the laughing faces of four 9-year-old girls at the School of Hope. They were teasing each other playfully when I stopped them for a photo and they were more than happy to pose for me with their biggest smiles.
Haitian students
The other photo is one I took a day earlier of a boy around 10 who was leaning on a broken wall in a dirt lot next to a school in Simonette, one of the 12 partner villages Mission of Hope works with to build healthy economies, schools, and churches, and people. We were in the courtyard with several dozen children during recess. The boy, one of thousands in Haiti who do not have the privilege of attending school, was watching without moving a muscle. I could see and sense the longing in his eyes and heart to be one of the students playing around my legs.
Haitian student
Right now, American families are flocking to stores to stock up on school supplies for their children. I see them every time I shop and I can’t help but think about these Haitian children. We see education as a right for every child, but in Haiti education is a great privilege. The enrollment rate for primary school in Haiti is only 57%, and fewer than 30% of students reach sixth grade. But…these statistics are not true for children educated in the schools run by Mission of Hope!

If you support Mission of Hope, either through child sponsorship or generally, you are helping to make a classroom seat available for lonely and uneducated children like the little boy I saw watching his peers in Simonette. I’d challenge you not to take this lightly; children in Haiti are severely disadvantaged from birth and a Christ-centered education is a tremendous gift to their daily life and their future. Their opportunity to attend school also blesses parents who might never have attended school themselves as they learn to value and support their children’s education.

Mission of Hope always has a list of children who long to attend school and need a sponsor. Pray about helping. Just $35 per month helps a family with registration and tuition, a daily nutritious meal, teacher training, and a Christ-centered curriculum. Your support provides the way to a future filled with hope for a child. I wouldn’t want any of you to be surrounded by happy school children and look to your left or right and see a child longing to join in as I did. Instead, you might one day attend a high school graduation of 150 Haitian teenagers who are beating the odds—a celebration just like the one Mission of Hope held this spring.

02
August
| 2018 |

A Marina Guard and a Baptism

Life Transformation in TCI

Last night, pastors from our team baptized Elton, who works security at the marina where True North is docked. baptism Elton has been reading the Bible over the last two years but has lacked the community and fellowship with other believers to talk through the hope of the Gospel. baptism Over the past two weeks he has gotten to know different team members who have come to serve in TCI, and he decided he wanted to be baptized and proclaim his faith! Life transformation can happen anywhere at anytime! baptism Praise the Lord for the faithfulness of His people to share His love everywhere they go, from the child in VBS to the security guard at a marina! TCI sunset

01
August
| 2018 |

Medical Outreach Program This summer has been an incredible season of God’s provision and protection over both the patients and the team members in Mission of Hope’s Medical Outreach Program (MOPs). We have been given the opportunity to serve over 27 patients and their families by providing assistance with medical, nutritional, and basic physical needs.

Most importantly, the patients are continually reached with the love and message of Jesus Christ. Our goal is to aid in bringing about the mental, physical, social, and spiritual destiny for every man, woman, and child in the program.

In the past month, we have witnessed the body of Christ at work as North American team members have partnered up with Haitian staff and patients. We have seen a young amputee receive physical therapy sessions, a mentally handicapped boy receive memory counseling, a malnourished baby receive nutritional support, and countless other stories of God using this program to provide for His people in Haiti. None of this would be possible without your prayers and support. Thank you.

PRAYER REQUESTS:

-For patients to experience the love of Christ through the work of the MOPS program

-For protection and healing of each patient and their family

-For wisdom on how MOPS can continue growing in line with God’s will

-For continued support needed to keep the program running

The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.” Psalm 91:14-16

30
July
| 2018 |

It's the Small Things

Written by: Alec Hayes, Summer Intern

ROUTINE. I LOVE ROUTINE.

I love schedules. I love order. Those things offer a sense of comfort for me. Two weeks ago I was living in Haiti, and I had been there for two months, so I had gotten used to the way things worked. The newness had worn off, and routine had set in.

Amidst this, I began to lose sight of the way God was moving. I painted a lot of homes (like seriously, I wish I would have kept count), visited with a lot of families and asked them a lot of similar questions, ate a lot of Monday cornmeal mash, and attended many long Sunday morning church services (in Creole), followed by long walks up the hill, occasionally accompanied by one of my Village of Hope friends. Those things didn’t feel “special” anymore, they just felt like life.

I was witnessing and hearing a lot of really cool God stories from team members and other interns. Like such cool stories—people healed, fruitful conversations with voodoo priests, huge heart-changing moments. I started to feel kind of like “what in the world, why don’t I have these stories to tell?!”

Fast forward a little bit, I started a prayer devotional with some of the girls in my room. Every morning at 6:00am we would wake up and read a devotion. Then I would go to the same spot, a slab of concrete next to a tree, with a clear view of Port-au-Prince, and pray. I began to practically beg God to use me in big ways. I would literally be on my knees begging, “God, please reveal Yourself to me, use me in big ways so that I would have big stories to share with the world!”

What happened? God answered. He began to reveal Himself to me in the smallest moments—in those “just life” moments.

SMALL, “JUST LIFE” MOMENTS LIKE:

– Singing with 9 y/o Frisline who I met on a Sunday afternoon tour

– Ice cream dates with Matthew, who lives in the Village of Hope

– Sitting peacefully, holding hands with a little girl in Mesaye while everyone else played in the water

– The view from the guesthouse rooftop during Sunday morning staff church

– Intentional conversations with translators who became some of my favorite friends

– Sitting with Soudline while she watches the same video (literally) countless times

– Walking up the hill to my home

– Playing uno with the Village of Hope kids

– Watching Karen eat a sandwich out of her purse

– Belly laughing with Soudline about nothing at all Faces with friends

God planned each of those moments, and if they seem less than thrilling, that’s because they were. But after I asked and was willing to open my eyes to His wonder, He began to use those “less than thrilling” moments to fill my heart with the most genuine joy! I began to pray fervently that He would never stop revealing Himself to me in that way!

God is written all over day to day activities, just as He is present in all big, crazy, miracle stories. And because of that prayer, my favorite moments in Haiti aren’t big stories, but rather the parts of the day that are just life—plain but beautiful, typical but wondrous, normal but extraordinary moments.

I am so thankful for the time I took to pause and store these moments up in my heart. If I hadn’t paused in these moments I would have missed out on a lot of God’s glory. He is in every moment, big and small. He orchestrates everything, from salvation to casual high fives.

God showed up big time when I asked Him, “God, please reveal Yourself to me, use me in big ways so that I would have big stories to share with the world!” He revealed Himself to me and now I have this story to tell.

Those things that are “just life,” are my favorite part of being alive. Those small moments that feel so big, so joyous, so wondrous—those are my favorite parts of knowing Jesus.

“Great are the works of the Lord; they are pondered by all who delight in them. Glorious and majestic are his deeds, and his righteousness endures forever.” Psalm 111:2-3 photos from time in Haiti

02
July
| 2018 |

San Jezi Mwen Pa Anyen — Without Jesus I am Nothing

written by: Haley Messer, Summer Intern

intern girls Every single morning my alarm clock goes off at 5:50 am, except on Fridays, because on Fridays I get to sleep in until 7:30 am. After I get out of bed, I wash my face, put on a skirt or basketball shorts depending on the day’s activities, put on a little mascara, and then head to the Pastoral Training Center for my quiet time before my 6:45 meeting with the rest of the interns and staff. After the meeting, I head on over to breakfast where I eat sugary cereal and a piece of peanut butter bread. I then go to get coffee, expectant of hopefully seeing flavored coffee creamer, but then realizing there is still only original. So I make my coffee and then go sit on the ledge with other interns as the sun begins to beat down on us.

Once I am done eating breakfast, I make my way to the water jugs to get water on my bus so that my team members and I don’t pass out from dehydration during the day in the hot, Haitian sun. I feel like I am equipped to handle many things, but passed out people is not one of them, so water is a big deal for everyone to be drinking, ya know? On my way back, I look out for my favorite translators and try to greet them with a “Bonjou! Komo ou ye?” (“hello! how are you?”) They usually reply that they are good while giving me a high-five and then typically comment on whether or not I look well rested. For some reason my Haitian friends love to let me know when I am looking tired. I then go greet my favorite security guard, who speaks with me in Creole, even though I can only make out bits and pieces of what he says. He is a nice guy and I wish I could actually have a good conversation with him. Maybe one day!

After all of that, I go to gather my team and translators up and we head out for whatever activity we are doing. Typically throughout the week we do Strategic Village Time, paint a home, Kid’s Club, plant trees, distribute goats, water filters, or solar lights, and now we will be doing VBS and Sports Camps, too. Every day is so different but at the same time, so similar.

Every day I wake up bright-eyed and full of wonder. Every day I set out to take Kingdom ground…whether that is building intentional relationships and asking questions, or by painting a home and getting to know the people who live there and the team members and translators I am working with for the week. Every day I lead people out on my own into the villages, following the lead of the Village Champions, and I set out to love people well.

I am coming to realize that loving people well means a lot of different things because each person is so different from the person next to them. Sometimes loving someone well means asking hard questions and getting into people’s real, messy lives, even when it seems like I am intruding. Sometimes it looks like holding a 10-year-old girl who is too big to carry through the village, but I do it anyways because sometimes, don’t we all just need to be held? Sometimes it looks like sitting on the floor with the cooks at Kid’s Club and helping them pack up the hot meals for the kids while sweat drips down my face. And other times, it means carrying water jugs all over creation, or sweating like a fool in a steamy home as we paint the inside bright green. It can look so different in each and every moment.

But in each and every moment, I know God is at work. It is impossible to deny the hand of God here in this country. When I ride in the back of a canter through various villages and places here in Haiti, I am consistently awestruck at the life I am getting to live, the people I am getting to love, and the things I am getting to do. And it is all. because. of. Jesus.

I no longer see sad, hopeless faces as I pass them on the streets, but instead I see alive, vibrant, souls that are knocking on the doors of freedom. I no longer see decay and destruction as I look around me, but instead I see that life is springing up out of the ashes and redemption is singing a slow, but steady song. I no longer see people who I feel sorry for, but I see people that I love. I see people who I know. And it is absolutely incredible. I see people who are chasing passionately after the Lord, no matter the cost. My heart is bursting at the seams with the love I have for these people and this country.

I do not know what my life will look like when I step off the plane in Dallas when the internship is over. I do not know just how much this summer will have impacted the entire trajectory of my life by then, but I do know that I am different. I do know that I am no longer satisfied with lukewarm Christianity, or the safety of my American life, and my complacency to live like each and every person is going to spend eternity somewhere.

I know that I am called to be a laborer of His crop. I am called to invite people to the table with Jesus. I am called to get out of my own self admiration and chase His people down, no matter how silly I look. I am just dumbfounded at how much I love this country, this organization, and this life. I truly feel like for the first time in a long time, I am actually living and it is because I am in tune with what I was literally created to do. I was created to love the Lord and make disciples.

My heart is at peace and so is my soul. I have never been surrounded by such a phenomenal group of people all striving towards the same goal of seeing life transformation for every man, woman, and child in Haiti through Jesus Christ. The Lord is humbling me every day, and I know that I am nothing with Him, I can accomplish nothing without Him, and I can go nowhere without Him. My new favorite Creole saying is “San Jezi mwen pa anyen” and it means “Without Jesus I am nothing.”

So each day is different, and each day is crazy and wonderful and long and hard and beautiful. But each day is just good. I am hanging on to this last half of my internship so tightly, because I know that these days will be fiercely missed when I return home.

Here’s to the next month and a half, and may I give Jesus all the room to work, and all the glory when He does.

Find out more about the Mission of Hope Internship program.

02
July
| 2018 |

Eyes of Hope

Written by: Alivia Johnston (Student Sponsor and Mission Trip Participant)

Seven years ago, my mom and I were moved by the powerful thought that for only $35 a month, we could be a small part of allowing a kid to pursue one of the greatest blessings in Haiti: education. A blessing that less than 5% of the population receives. At the time, I was 13 years old so we chose a boy named Daved who was the same age as me with the thought that we would graduate high school the same year. To remind our own family of the commitment we made, we placed our Haitian brother’s picture in the kitchen next to mine and my two brothers. Throughout the years, we continued to financially contribute to his education and our family returned to Mission of Hope on various mission trip teams always making it a priority to meet and talk with Daved, reminding him of our continual love and support for him.

In June of 2018, we returned to Haiti once again. Our conversation with Daved was different than previous ones had been. He was more excited and he genuinely seemed happier. He quickly told us that he would be graduating from Mission of Hope High School in two weeks! As having just graduated high school myself, I knew that this was an extremely exciting time. Seeing his face light up as he talked about graduating moved me to tears because to him, graduation wasn’t just an “exciting time,” it was one of the most important moments of his life.

As an American, it was expected that I graduate from high school. But spending time in Haiti and talking with Daved helped me appreciate what a huge accomplishment it is for him and what an incredible blessing it was for me to never have to worry about receiving an education. Without hesitation, I looked at my mom and back at Daved and said, “We will be there!” I wanted to physically be present to cheer for my brother on his special day—to show him that we were so proud of him and all the hard work he had put in to make it to this point.

So, two shorts week later we packed our bags once again to be a part of the celebration of Daved. June 23, 2018 is a day that I will never forget. In Haitian style, the church was packed and the music was full of life and joy. Tears flowed once again as we saw him confidently walk up to receive his diploma. Watching Daved, my heart began to stir because I saw a kid who had experienced more devastation and hardship than most of us ever will, overflowing with pride and hope. Daved is proud that he faithfully worked towards his studies and he is hopeful of the Lord’s plan for his future. At the end of the three hour ceremony, we laughed as the whole class not only threw their caps but their robes too!


After the ceremony was over and lots of hugs were exchanged, he proudly introduced us to his mom and family. We continued the celebration with a meal together and of course cake! While sitting around the table, his mom locked eyes with my mom and through a translator said, “I don’t know how to thank you enough” and gave each of us the biggest and longest hug I have ever received. My mom smiled and said, “We did this together because we are family and we are one in the bond of Christ.”

Because of Daved’s mom’s love for him and our commitment to Mission of Hope, we were able to help provide the only thing that she could not provide her son—the opportunity to go to school. The gratitude that Daved’s mom had was incredibly genuine. Daved smiled as he pulled out a Christmas gift bag and handed it to me saying, “This is for you.” Inside the bag was a beautiful gold frame with the verse: Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Just like God would have it, that same verse was my theme verse on my graduation day.

An American given more than she deserves or a Haitian given very little, Daved and I both have the same hope for our future because of the promise God gives us in His Word. That day, I witnessed a better life for Daved unfolding. I pray the hope that I saw in his eyes will never be clouded by the trials he faces. While it hurts my heart to know that I may not see Daved again soon, and I definitely don’t know what his future holds, I do know that he will always be my Haitian brother and an almighty God holds his future—that is what gives me hope. Daved showed me the power that education holds in transforming a life and the incredible blessing it is to be a small part of walking through that journey with someone.

Through child sponsorship, we invested in the life transformation of a future leader of a country that we have grown to love. Throughout this experience I learned that education is not only a major blessing—education is freedom. We cannot dare to hope for a change in a broken nation if we don’t invest in the sole thing that will give them basic skills they need to succeed. The Lord has a perfect plan for this country, and we are called to be active agents in making that plan become a reality. Join me and find a Haitian student and commit to walk alongside them and their family. Together we can bring hope to everyone in Haiti.

07
June
| 2018 |

Meeting Rico, A "Chance" Meeting

written by: Claire Guertler, Summer Intern

I am blown away by the goodness of our God and the opportunity He creates to break down language and culture barriers in order to be relational with all those we meet!—Claire, Mission of Hope Intern

Over the past four or so years, my family and I have sponsored children through Mission of Hope. We’ve been able to write to them, encourage them, and help send to school through the sponsorship program. One of these children is named Rico.

This past Sunday morning at church, a young girl walked up to me and asked if I was Claire. When I said yes, she told me that a Haitian woman was looking for me. At this point, I was sure she had the wrong person because I don’t know many Haitians. She brought me over to the woman who had two children with her. She pulled out a piece of paper that had a letter from my dad and a picture of me and my parents.

To my surprise I learned that this was Rico’s mom—and Rico was there beside her. She was overjoyed and hugged and kissed me many times. Through a translator, I was able to talk to her a little and hear about more her family and tell her about mine. I am blown away by the goodness of our God and the opportunity He creates to break down language and culture barriers in order to be relational with all those we meet. God is so good!

Find out how you can sponsor a child just like Rico and open up a world of opportunity through education.

14
May
| 2018 |

And if Not, He is Still Good

Written by: Andrew Hicks, Spring Intern

The Medical Outreach Program (MOPs) allows people who are physically incapable of traveling to a clinic or have chronic illnesses or conditions to receive necessary medical care via teams of medical professionals who travel from village to village. Learn more about Mission of Hope’s healthcare programs.

I am often challenged by the joy seen in the Haitian communities. As a medical intern, there are moments where I can’t escape the reality of the living conditions and situations in Haiti. It is then that my soul is burdened because I cannot reconcile their joy in the midst of (what I consider to be) their suffering, and it is hard to describe the conflict. Our Medical Outreach Program shines a light on just how limited the resources are for healthcare—but despite their circumstances, the Haitian people are some of the happiest people I’ve ever encountered.

The story of Frankel is one that shows just what happens when limited resources meet incredible need.

Frankel and his wife Mary lived in the village of Minoterie in a beautifully colored house that was one many that dotted the hill that overlooked the Caribbean. It happened to be the last stop of the day for our MOP team. Amire, our nurse practitioner, had been here with teams many times before. When we arrived, Mary excitedly showed us around the home and made sure we saw the changes she had made since the last visit.

Their spirit of joy was inescapable.

As Amire performed the routine examination, we were reminded of what brought us here. Frankel was, unfortunately, a victim of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. A few years back, he had been in the crossfire of a conflict that didn’t even include him. The bullet paralyzed him from the torso down. He was blessed to receive life-saving care but was left with little access to long-term healthcare and therapy. Above his bed hung a crossbar and beside it sat a wheelchair. Outside of his own limited strength or his wife’s ability to get him out of bed into the chair, there was little activity for Frankel. Because of MOPs sponsors, Frankel was able to receive routine medical care, supplies, and medications. Despite these circumstances, every MOP team tells of Mary’s and Frankel’s consistent joy.

As we ended our visit, we gathered around the bed and prayed for Frankel and his family and reminded them that God loved them. As I think back on that time, I realize the life-changing impact this family has had on me. My encounter with Frankel has pushed me to work more consciously to be grateful in any and all situations.

Frankel passed away on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 due to complications caused by an aggressive liver cancer found only two weeks prior to his death. Though we prayed for recovery and healing, God had a different plan. Once again, despite his circumstances, Frankel was at peace when he received the news of the cancer. He was able to treasure the last weeks with his wife and family, and when the time came he passed away peacefully in his home.

I was able to visit Mary on MOPs just before my internship ended, and though she was grieving, the same joy I saw in her before Frankel’s passing was still there. Her trust in the Lord and knowing how much He loved her gave her the peace and joy to carry on and show others His love.

I hope to never forget that God is good. Period.

I am thankful that I got the honor of meeting Frankel and his family. The Lord used their joy to encourage and challenge me to rest fully in the arms of the Father, despite my circumstances.

Would you like to be used by God to bring hope to families like Frankel’s and experience the incredible joy of the Haitian people firsthand? Learn more about how you can volunteer for a medical mission trip or apply for an internship in Haiti.

25
March
| 2018 |

Saving Haiti

written by: Angela Bigard, Mission of Hope Staff

Haiti landscape
This evening, I had a conversation with a team member serving on a mission trip about his frustrations centered around not being able to ‘save Haiti.’ This is his second time here and he was expressing how challenging it is to look around and see the overwhelming need. The brokenness and poverty is unavoidable as you drive through the streets and walk through the villages.

The reality is that it’s hard to have hope some days.

He was wondering how the staff and interns here at Mission of Hope were able to reconcile the thought that we cannot save this country. His question was, “How are you okay with the fact that you cannot be the solution to fixing Haiti?”

I answered his question with, “Honestly, knowing that at the end of the day that I cannot actually save Haiti makes me trust God even more. Because I cannot do it, He has to.”

Here’s the deal—I cannot save Haiti and no one at Mission of Hope can save Haiti. If I walk out into the village and look at the situation—lack of food, limited clean water, difficult shelter, and the battle of education—it is overwhelming. No, I cannot change an entire country, and honestly I don’t think I am meant to.

I think there is a balance of looking at the ‘whole’ of the need here but not getting too caught up in the whole that you forget the one. I cannot look at the overwhelming need here in Haiti and change it. But what I can do is look at the one—the one boy, girl, father, or mother. I can see the one. That is how life transformation happens. It happens one by one.

What is so beautiful about the body of Christ is that each person here is seeing a different one and together the Gospel is going forth and God is changing Haiti. Would it be nice if all of it could be changed in an instant? Of course, but God’s timeline is not mine and I am learning to be content with that. I know He sees the people here. He sees every soul, knows them intimately, whether they have a relationship with Him or not. He is high above the brokenness and He is redeeming this country in His time and in His way.

I have the honor and blessing of being a part of that transformation. No, I cannot save anyone here. I cannot change the country. But, I can plant seeds. I can love others. I can see—really see—the people here. Through the simple act of obedience as so many people come to Haiti to serve, God moves. He restores, heals, redeems, and saves.

Do I want to save Haiti? No. I want to watch God do it.

Want to participate in the story God is writing here in Haiti? It’s a joy! Find out more about serving on a mission trip, sponsoring a student, orphan, graduate, or Grace House resident.

“For when one says, “I am Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not mere men? What then in Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one. I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.” 1 Corinthians 3:4-7

23
March
| 2018 |

God Knows the Needs of His Children, Monaville Mobile Clinic

written by: Andrew Hicks, Spring Intern

This week, we served in the mountain village of Monaville on a medical mobile clinic. On Tuesday, a father came to the clinic with his son who was unable to speak and he had very limited motor skills. This is most likely attributed to an underdeveloped brain, causing microcephaly. The father wanted medication to help make his son speak. The medial team quickly assessed and recognized that back in the States, this child would receive ongoing therapy. But unfortunately, this type of therapy is incredibly rare in Haiti.

D’Anna, one of the other medical interns, was heartbroken as she saw the reality this child faced and the difficult road ahead. While the father was being seen by one of the doctors, D’Anna pulled the mother and child aside and asked if she could pray for them. During his appointment with the doctor, the child would not sit still and was uncooperative the entire time. However, when D’Anna picked him up to hold him, as soon as she began praying the child was still in her arms through the whole prayer. Two things stood out to me from this:

First, D’Anna stepped out in faith to do hard things—to sit and pray even when the situation was difficult and heartbreaking. While we didn’t have all of the medical answers right then and there, D’Anna knew the power of prayer and the most important thing she could do in that moment was to approach our God with the needs of His children because He hears and He cares. D’Anna has admitted that she’s normally more reserved and quiet, and that boldness does not come easy for her. There have been many other instances where she has boldly stepped out, which as a fellow intern is awesome to see her faithfully obey God’s promptings!

Second, though we may not know the full story or the road ahead, the stillness of the child during the prayer gave a peaceful understanding that God is very present here and cares for the people of Haiti. He knows the needs of His children.

20
March
| 2018 |

A Sponsorship Story

Sponsor visits are the best

This photo of Mr. Frenel (Child Sponsorship staff) introducing students to their sponsors in Minoterie is just too good.

sponsor visit

We are so proud of the team God has provided and the way they love their country. Visit mohhaiti.org/sponsortoday to change a student’s life today!

15
February
| 2018 |

Valentine's Brunch

with the Village of Hope Mommies

Valentine’s Day brunch with the Village of Hope mommies was a great success! It was a special time celebrating and encouraging these incredible women who daily pour into the lives of our kids. They’re a gift and they are making an impact each and every day that is greater than themselves.

The True North mobile clinic trip this week in Picme, La Gonave was wonderful! We worked alongside Saint Francis Diocese and Dr. Etienne to see 285 patients and expand ministry into unreached places. The community leaders were extremely kind, receptive, and helpful. It was an incredible week!






10
February
| 2018 |

The first True North dental team is in the books and it was a joy working alongside Community of Hope Haiti in La Gonave! Thanks to both Hope Smiles and Central Baptist for serving with passion, excellence, and a love for the people of Haiti.

True North continues to allow us to serve and reach people like never before—it’s a gift!

09
February
| 2018 |

Baby Care and Nursing Class

A Class at the Clinic of Hope


We had a great Baby-Care/Nursing Class today at the Clinic of Hope, hosted and presented by our incredible Haitian staff! We love seeing these strong mamas and their healthy babies.

06
February
| 2018 |

Blind and Confident

written by: Paige Flemming, Spring Intern

blind man Being in Haiti, it often feels like we are actually living in Jesus’ time. The simplicity of life, the mission we serve every day, even going from house to house just sitting and sharing His story; it’s almost easy to understand and feel what it was like 2,000 years ago.

Yesterday, we met a man who recently became blind in 2014. We barely said hello when He shared that just that morning He was praying for God to send people to Him to encourage him. He continued sharing that He didn’t grow up a follower of Jesus.

After waking up one day completely blind, He began to question who Jesus was and if Jesus could help him. He began to be teachable and ask good questions. He’s been chasing after Jesus ever since. He came to a point where he needed to make a decision—He chose to accept that Jesus is who the Bible says He is. The man has been sharing his story with his community and his family ever since.

After hearing his story, I couldn’t help but think of the passage in John where Jesus talks about spiritual blindness. “For judgement I have come into this world, so that the blind will see, and those who see will become blind.” John 9:39.

Here was a man who was physically blind, but spiritually he could see clearer than ever. This man had no distractions and His ‘sight’ was solely on Jesus.

To this day he is still blind, but He is confident of the One who can give him sight, and that is something to be celebrated.

We went into this house, expecting to minister, when in fact we were the ones being ministered to.

Find out how you can serve in Haiti on a mission trip.

16
January
| 2018 |

Surgical Team

from Medical Volunteers International

We are praising God for the outpatient surgical team serving at the clinic this week from Medical Volunteers International. This is the first full surgical team here since the earthquake. What a blessing they are!
surgical team surgical team surgical team surgical team

13
January
| 2018 |

Welcome to the 2018 Spring Interns

It's going to be a great semester


Welcome to the 2018 Spring Intern Class! We’re expectant for an incredible semester as this team runs hard after the vision of bringing life transformation. What a crew!

Interested in knowing more about the Internship Program? Find out more info at mohhaiti.org/internships.

14
December
| 2017 |

Dream Team

This is what a classroom full of joy looks like

These young women are strong, intelligent, hilarious, and so many other amazing things. These classrooms are filled with future leaders and world-changers! They have a bright future ahead of them. school girls

17
August
| 2017 |

First True North Trip, Les Anglais Medical Clinic

Written by: Rachel Durban, Staff

The clinic we served in a few weeks ago was the same clinic we were in days after Hurricane Matthew.

When I walked into the clinic this time, I immediately remembered what it was like back in October; I remembered where the hospital beds were lining the hallways, the faces of the people, and the weary doctors and staff.

I looked into each of the rooms and reflected on who was in those rooms and beds last October:
-the babies with cholera and those literal life-giving IV bags.
-the mamas and daddies standing over the beds holding their little ones’ hands praying the medicines would work.
-the strength of each person as they had their wounds cleaned and bandaged.

This time, that very same clinic was vastly different. There is still a great need in the community, but there was order in the chaos. There were scars instead of wounds. There was a calm healing on faces of the clinic staff instead of a chaotic uncertainty of what to do.

I rounded one hallway where I vividly remember a beautiful little girl lying on a bed with an IV in her tiny arm, pumping life into her frail body. This time, there was no bed, but a waiting room full of parents and their little ones waiting to be seen by the Haitian malnutrition specialist to try to get their babes strong and healthy. What a gift!
clinic in Haiti This little girl marked me. We locked eyes, she pretended to be timid for about two seconds, and then she busted out giggling. I greeted her with a kiss on each cheek, which she returned again and again and again—giggling each time. A nurse next to me picked up my camera and snapped a few photos. I cherish these. This very same clinic hallway is where I was weary at the brokenness of this world and the incredible challenges that people go through, is the same hallway where I saw a tangible redemption and grace of God.
child in clinic in Haiti Redemption is evident. The Lord is making things new. It’s a promise and He’s faithful. And often, He gives us tangible glimpses of this holy work that He’s up to and that He’s invited us into. That week was a glimpse for me. He’s good and He’s doing good, always.
child in clinic in Haiti