And That’s A Wrap

It is the morning after: I am sipping iced coffee as I lay in bed with a euphoria that can only be described as Bouje hangover. As I endeavor to unhinge my writer’s block and curtail the last 3 days into a single blog post, the sounds of Young life in Haiti are unyielding: the pitter patter of little feet, the banter of little voices, the clang of dishes being washed by hand, a rooster—they echo in unison “the show must go on”. It is just after 8am
and the floors are already swept and mopped. Two little babies with abounding energy, already dressed and undressed, playing happily outside in their pool. It is a glimpse into my sister’s life: A wife, a mother, a leader. A Her work is never done, her heart exceedingly patient and strong. My awe is renewed once

And so… Like a wave that sweeps through the ocean, peaking,
and then dissolving onto shore, Bouje Ko Pou Gen Bon Sante swept over me. My belief is that its message has drowned the hearts of its attendees, and my fervent hope is that it will spill over into the lives of their families and friends. As I watched Bouje unfold it was difficult, at times, to ignore the language barrier—my desire to connect with the women so strong, my Creole entirely weak. In the end it didn’t matter, the telltale signs of basic human emotion—joy, excitement, understanding—clearly universal, and so much bigger
than me. I witnessed the enthusiasm of participants grow increasingly more candid by the third day, the comradery cultivated, the questions asked in earnest.

Day 2 and 3 covered a lot of information. Of the interactive
portions, we preformed basic physical exams recording blood pressure, blood sugar, height, and weight. Lauren led exercises targeting various parts of the body and why they are important. Educational components included spiritual devotion and covered nutrition information, capitalizing on simple alternatives to cut down on trans fats, sodium, and sugar intake. Lauren also shared the
recipes for the food she prepared: potato salad that used avocado in place of mayonnaise, “sauce militon” (similar to applesauce), and 3 types of muffins.

Concluding seminar, the women were given an opportunity to
ask any lingering questions, invited to attend Saturday morning Zumba (an exercise group Lauren started almost year ago that has grown leaps and bounds, and I anticipate will multiple tenfold in light of Bouje) and presented with a certificate of completion. In a heartfelt gesture Lauren and I were presented a thank you note signed by each of the women. Mine reads, “Thank you…from a heart
that was touched by your thoughtfulness.” Ah, no, Bouje ladies, it is my heart that is touched. It is my heart that is touched indeed. Mesi, mesi, mesi

Do you know the muffin man?

Greetings from Ayiti! This blog entry is from Meg, se Lauren (sister of Lauren). J

Today marked the kick off for Bouje Ko Pou Gen Bon Sante—the highly anticipated, thoughtfully crafted seminar that affectionately got its name during my last visit to Haiti in April of this year. Today I witnessed the months of planning and preparation my sister has committed herself to for this special event come together. Women coming from surrounding areas, perhaps some skeptical but most seemingly eager, to take in the message. Bouje Ko Pou Gen Bon Sante: Moving your body for a better health.


Greeted by a gang of pink-t-shirt-clad women, complete with “Bouje” logo affixed, the attendees completed sign in and were given materials to take notes on the information shared as well as a ticket for a raffle drawing. The 3 hours of day 1 included a lesson on common health problems (ie-high blood pressure, excess weight, diabetes) and ways to combat them; diet alternatives and healthy food prep; a devotional connecting physical health to spiritual health; blood pressure checks; some zumba; healthy snacks—including close to 200 zucchini muffins made the night before (no AC included); an interactive time to ask questions; and a raffle drawing.



One third of the seminar down and another round of muffins today (this time banana for day 2), I can say with unwavering certainty that my sister never ceases to amaze me; that hot pink is really not my color; and that Bouje Ko Pou Gen Bon Sante is the start of something beautiful…and big!

We’re Back!!

Sorry for the lack of posts in the past few months.

I shall try to recap a few highlights.

August 31st we made it to the states. Emotions were mixed by all. We were thrilled to see family and friends we hadn’t seen in months/year but we had just said goodbye to our friends, home and for James his toys and everything familiar for four months. It took a week or so of adjusting to the weather, time difference and a new lifestyle.

ATL to PDX our last flight

During our months there we traveled to Kansas city, Dallas, Seattle and the beach. We had crazy amounts of lunches, dinners and coffee dates with friends, supporters and family. And we made many special times with those dear to us!

It was fun to watch our kids play with their cousins, experience preschool, play in the snow, enjoy Sunday school, go the pumpkin patch, ride on the max, go to the dentist and pick out a Christmas tree.




Endless memories were made that we won’t forget.

But we’re back! Back to our home! Back to our dog! Back to our toys! Back to our friends! Back to the heat :?. And most of all back to the work God has called us to be apart of here in Haiti!


“Are you so glad to be home?”  This is been the question asked by many friends and family we’ve seen so far.

Because both Mason and I have grown up in the same city in Washington, gone to schools in the same town, attended the same church for most of our lives and both our immediate family live here as well, many would identify Washington as our home.  But for our family we would say otherwise.

Haiti has become our home.


Not only our physical home, where we have our beds, our dishes, our vehicle, our dog, etc, but also our home in where we feel God has led us too.  Our friends, our life, our ministry, and where our hearts reside.

And so while we are in Washington visiting friends and family are we super duper oober excited to spend time with them? ABSOLUTELY!  Do I love the convenience of life, the ease of driving, the temperatures, target, date nights with my hubby?  YOU BET!

But that’s just it, right now we’re visiting and in a few months we’ll return to our home in Haiti.   So when people ask us are we glad to be home, we often say home is in Haiti, but we’re excited to be visiting!


A Sweet Friendship Refreshes the Soul

A Sweet Friendship Refreshes the Soul. Proverbs 29:9

February 4th I found myself in a slump. This is what I wrote in my journal…

My Selfish Thoughts

Missing Home

Needing me time- A break from my kids

Longing for real friends to hangout with, share my heart with, cry with, have girl time with

Missing my church body

Feeling overwhelmed with our schedule for the next 5 months

Missing my sisters

Wanting to share my heart in my language

Needing a real date with my husband

Longing for some privacy in our home

Sad my kids don’t get to spend time with grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, family in general

Missing some ways of the American life style.


For weeks I struggled with some of these.   My prayers would be, “God if you’re still calling us to Haiti which I could say with my month, but not always believe with my heart, than please diminish these desires, help me to get out of this slump.”

In the following months God used different things to pull me out of the pit

A Beth Moore Bible study

Encouraging talks with Phyllis (my neighbor, dear friend & Crossworld co-worker)

A visit from a sweet friend

Worship songs


One of the sweetest gifts was a new friendship. I was longing for a real friend. Someone close to my age that I could do life with. I had known Christina for some time, but as we started to hang out more our relationship started to change. She began opening her heart, asking questions, and being transparent with me. She allowed me to ask questions about Haitian culture I didn’t understand and enabled me to just be me.


And so, as I reflect back on our first term on the mission field I’m thankful for the place God has brought me to. Even among the rough days, weeks, and months, God’s faithfulness abounded and He used those times to make me fully depend on Him. He brought me out of a time of loneliness and blessed me with a sweet friend!



A Farewell to my favorite “Adoptive Children”

Friday morning we bid Connor and Annalyse Au revoir!

My heart was experiencing a handful of emotions as we bid them goodbye.


Sadness as I thoroughly enjoyed having them part of lives for six weeks. My kids loved them and they became my late night buddies to hang with.  They really became just part of our family which is why I called them my adoptive children.  Excitement for them as they return to their families, friends, and lives and have the opportunity to share about their experience here in Haiti.  My heart overflowed with joy as I watched them leave changed.  Changed in every possible way.  Their students made a huge impact of their lives, the simplicity of life transformed them, the unique cultural experiences and overall Haitian people and lifestyle had a large influence for their transformation.  I believe God was at work in both their lives through this six week adventure.



As I watched their students bid them goodbye on Thursday night at our English party I found myself teary eyed listening to words of encouragement each student shared.  One said, “Miss Annalyse asked us in class one day, How can I pray for you?  Then, she didn’t just ask us she stopped right there and prayed for us.  No one has ever done that for me.”  Another student I talked with shared how Mr. Connor had them share their testimonies in English and it was such a great experience as they increase in their English.


James hasn’t stopped talking about Connor and Annalyse since they’ve left.  So glad we’ll see you again in two months!  Until then… Remember to do your dishes so the ants don’t overtake them, remember to never take for granted one of pastor Paul’s sermons, remember to always do your push-ups when you get an answer wrong on Jeopardy, but most of all I pray you remember the life- changing experience you had here in Haiti as you pursue God’s future plans for your lives.

We love you both Connalyse 😉


Second Round

We have finished our second week of English classes.  This week I have the pleasure of introducing two more of my students.

20150528_163040Meet Patricia Pierre.  She lives with her mom and cousins. Her father passed away when she was younger.  She became a Christian when she was 14 because her heart felt troubled and wanted to know Jesus. Like many others who come to STEP, her main desire is to study the Bible more in-depth.  She currently teaches Bible classes to children and youth at her church.    When she graduates she doesn’t know what God has for her, but trusts He will direct as this is also a prayer request for her.  Her favorite Bible verse is Isaiah 26:3.


Next up is Nickson Edouarzin.  Nickson is married and just recently found out his wife is pregnant with their first child.  His parents led him to the Lord when he was a little boy.  He also came to STEP to study the Bible and grow in His knowledge of God.  He is already actively involved with His church as he preaches and teaches Bible classes.  Nickson loves the Bible verse John 3:16. He asks you to pray for a steady job to support his family and for his pregnant wife and baby-to-be.

Until next week…

Class Is In Session!

Tuesday began our 6 week adventure of teaching English to STEP (1st year seminary) students.  Connor Haggerty, Annalyse Stuart, Lois Beadle, and I will be spending the upcoming weeks with students as we teach them everything from properly pronouncing “th” words, to helping them structure their sentences and verb tenses correctly,  to sharing about the American culture.

As the weeks progress I’ll be sharing about each student in my class. Along with a short bio and picture each of them.   Hope you enjoy getting to know these awesome students!!


1st Week Accomplished Selfie!


Connor and Annalyse with some of their students.20150521_160246

How to take a picture with my class… Take a selfie of course!


Meet Golds Mithing Jean.  Aka Golds.  He has 7 brothers and 2 sisters.  He lives with his mom and dad and 6 of his brothers.  Golds’ grew up in the church and came to know the Lord when he was young, but didn’t make a life changing decision to follow Jesus until after the 2010 earthquake.  He realized he didn’t want to die without knowing God and following Him. He came to study at STEP to learn more about the Bible and God.  He hopes to become a pastor after he is finishes with his studies.  His favorite verse is Romans 8:28-30 and asks that you pray for him as he studies in seminary.  His desire his to know Jesus more and for Him to be his everything.  He also prays he finds a wife!


Meet Ilener, Dieujuste.  Ilener has 3 brothers and 2 sisters, but lives with two friends in Port-au-Prince since his family lives in the countryside.  He accepted Jesus into his heart when he was 9 years old.  His desire after he graduates STEP is to be an evangelist.  Illener’s favorite Bible passage is John 17.  His biggest prayer request is for him to know and serve Jesus like Paul did.



Cinco de Mayo

Who doesn’t love an excuse to have yummy Mexican food?!

Last night, James and I broke out the balloons and streamers.  We found corn husks for place cards and even made our own maracas with plastic spoons and egg, plastic ones that is!

We made a couple calls to our neighbors and invited them over for a celebration!

So here’s a few pictures from our lunch!  Just add nice salsa music in the background and you’ll be right here with us.



Shredded taco chicken, taco ground beef, homemade mango and regular salsa, authentic Mexican rice, homemade tortillas, beans, and all the fixings for tasty tacos!






We’ve Almost Made It

Last summer we started planning for teams that would come the start of the new year.  As our calendar started filling up, we tried to limit our teams to only 2-3 per month.  When we host teams Mason leads the work portion of it and I plan meals.  After our dinner meal together in our home, we love to debrief with teams as well.  We pour our hearts and efforts into praying and working to help the teams come away changed with new perspectives, new friends with nationals here, a life changing experience and ultimately excited to share what they’ve seen God is doing in Haiti.  Our communication with teams/visitors seemed to increase and before we knew it the end of January through March was going to be crazy.

The end of January we started our team season with a 9 person- crazy-loud-awesome-Crossfit team from Frisco, TX.  They were able to build and complete a home for a family in the local community. They were an absolute blast! (minus the scars John-o left on my children…totally kidding 😉WAMI2

We then hosted our home church from Washington, GCC. They helped start a home in the community and then transition to assist with construction for a new building in Merger.  Boy was it so great to see familiar faces and dear friends.  It was a fantastic week!


After GCC left, two guys from the team stayed, one being Mason’s good friend, who was in our wedding, and his ex-boss, Dave and also another family friend, John.  They were able to help out with projects around campus.


We said goodbye to John and Dave and the next morning we picked up Tim and Kayla from the airport.  Our time spent with them was such an encouragement.  I loved being able to hang out with Kayla, a sweet friend and mommy in the same stage of life!


Last week we had a group of 15 from Prestonwood Christian Academy in Plano, TX.  They helped STEP students with English and planned a VBS for 200 kids at a local school.  It was fun having a group of young bloods :)

WAMI3We have one more team for the month of March that arrives tomorrow.  After that we have two more teams in April to finish out our team season.  Although our main team season will be over we’ll still have a few teams before we head back to the states for home ministry in September.

The middle of May we welcome interns from the states to teach a 6 week English course to first year STEP students.

At the beginning of January I didn’t know if I’d make it through these crazy months of teams and visitors, but we’ve almost made it. They’ve been a blessing to us and STEP, an encouragement to the ministries here, and a time of growth for all involved.

Thank you to those who have invested in these teams!  We appreciate your partnership!