Last year for our anniversary Andrew and I headed to the Bahamas for an all- inclusive retreat. We felt fortunate to have been able to step out of our norm and vacation in this beautiful place. We lived it up; enjoying the white sand beaches, crystal clear water, endless food and beverages, and daily excursions adventuring around the islands. It was wonderful!
Let’s be honest, we all can use a little R & R every now and again. Hard working men and women striving to successfully keep up with the balancing act: marriage, parenthood, work. It gets busy. It gets stressful. It gets overwhelming. Livin’ the dream.
And honestly…we ARE livin’ the dream. Andrew and I lose sight of that far too often. We have great jobs, supportive families, amazing friends, good healthcare, thriving children, and countless resources. Many would say we’re “lucky”. If you’ve read our blog, you know we don’t believe in luck…
Here it comes… everything happens for a reason!
Sitting on the beaches of the Bahamas was no different. We were there for a reason. Part of that reason was to enjoy our time investing in one another. As the week went by another reason unfolded before us: we needed to not just invest in each other, but in others.
It was then that we decided we’d spend our next anniversary differently. We didn’t know where we’d go, who we’d be serving, or what to do to prepare, but that, too, would be revealed to us.
And it has. Since last September, God has been preparing our hearts for the mission field. This fall, in lieu of a romantic 5th anniversary getaway, Andrew and I will spend our time in Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, serving the people of the village of Cabaret. The Haitians in this village are largely displaced as a result of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that shattered their nation back in 2010, living in too much fear to return to the city after losing their homes and loved ones. They need hope, they need prayer, they need education and empowerment to create sustainability, and eventually stimulation.
This November, we’ll be heading to Cabaret with a small team of 7 from our church. Please include us, the Haitian people, and the work to come in your prayers. We’re both on fire about this calling on our lives and fully expectant of God’s work in this place, in these people…and in us. We pray that this mission breaks our hearts, strengthens our faith, builds lasting and impactful relationships, and opens our eyes in a way that shifts our beings to act with selflessness.
Some facts about Haiti:
- 80% of the population lives below the poverty line where the average household income in Haiti is $350 annually.
- Haiti is very densely populated with 747 people per square mile…the US has a population density of 79 people per square mile.
- Haiti has the highest percentage of orphans in the Western Hemisphere and more than 10% of Haitian children die before age 5.
- The Haitian people speak Creole (which we are starting to learn conversationally)
- “Haiti” is an aboriginal word meaning “land of the mountains” and is the most mountainous nation in the Caribbean.
- On average, there is only one hospital bed for every 10,000 inhabitants; and only about 8 doctors per every 100,000 citizens.
- Life expectancy is currently 50 for men and 53 for women.
- Catholicism is the primary religion in Haiti, recognized as broadly as Voodoo.
- Haitian people, like all people, were created in God’s image. FACT.