Alicia BACK to Haiti

Alicia BACK to Haiti

Hello everyone!

It’s been a WHILE since I’ve written on here! It feels so surreal to peruse through my old blog posts from a year ago at this time. So many things have changed; my place of residence (living in good old Merrimac, Massachusetts!), my job (back to my preschool teaching life…as if I could have stayed away…while volunteering with the WNCC youth group), my relationship status (I’m a future Mrs. Smith!!!), but my heart for Haiti has not and will never change. I know that the passion I have for that country, it’s people, and Mission of Hope International will never fade because it was placed there by the Lord Himself.

That being said, I’m EXCITED to share that I will be returning to Haiti for one week in February of 2018! I will be co-leading a group consisting of people from West Newbury Congregational Church and Pilgrim Church, as well as some awesome repeat participants from our community! We have been in the planning stages of our trip, and here is our current blueprint for our week in Grand Goâve:

Project ideas:

  • support the L14 ministry that MOHI & I  began this past year (raising money for food, supplies, visiting the homes of the people we built a relationship with to possibly assist families from an OT/PT/nursing perspective)
  • build a home
  • do handyman/fix up work around MOHI properties
  • work in the school/look at a curriculum for higher grades, lego project, after school activities/classes
  • teaching first aid as an after school program and/or for mothers in the community (this would include researching the common needs, bringing appropriate first aid kits for people in the class.
  • sending a couple barrels down soon that we could retrieve and unpack while we are there.

I am so excited to be continuing my relationship with MOHI alongside people from home who I love and wished I could share Haiti with while I was away for ten months. I’m especially excited to get back and see/hold/snuggle/love on my girl Djanicka, in addition to all the other individuals from the L14 Ministry. (See the blog from this past April for more information on this portion of MOHI that holds a special place in my heart!)

The funds I need to raise in order to go on this trip is $650. I am looking to achieve this by December 1, and would ask all of you to please consider partnering with me in this endeavor, especially as the holidays come up. You can donate to my trip online via GoFundMe OR you can mail a check to:

West Newbury Congregational Church

Attn: Alicia D’Olimpio

308 Main Street

West Newbury, Massachusetts, 01985

Just be sure to write ‘Haiti’ on the memo line; also, with this option, your donation is tax deductible!

Even if you can’t contribute financially, please join me in praying for this time in Haiti, spent by myself and the team of 23 others who are joining me! You can also keep an eye out for more information to come about some other fundraising options the team will be putting on (We are bringing back the CHRISTMAS WREATH fundraiser this November and December!); also, you can contact me about potentially donating some supplies and/or items that could help us with our intended projects once we are down in Haiti. Anything helps!

The awesome thing about community is that it goes way back to Biblical times. I’ve been reading through Paul’s letters in the New Testament, and I can’t help but draw parallels to Paul’s joy when he talks of the places that have helped him through his missionary journey. He thanks them, he prays for them, and he loves them even when he cannot physically be with them in their cities, by sending them letters of encouragement. I feel a strong connection to Paul in all of this: that I am so blessed to be supported physically, emotionally, and spiritually by all of you time and time again. It’s been a couple years since my first experience with international missions, and you all have continued to be on this road with me. I thank you for that. God’s mission would not be possible without His hands and feet, which are, without a doubt, you.

Thank you all for tuning in once again. It feels good to be writing on here; the change that took place over this past year both inside and out has been enormous and God driven. I’m so in awe by the work of His hands in and around my life.

I look forward to connecting with you all soon! So much love!

“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.” Philippians 1:1-11


Quick Update/Video Recap

Quick Update/Video Recap

Hi everyone!

I am planning on writing a better update in the next few days, but there are just a few things I wanted to shoot out there quick.

First, my new Stateside number is: 9782284524 -Please get in touch with me if you’d like to meet up!

Second, I mentioned in the last blog that I’d be creating a ‘video recap’ of sorts, using things I recorded while I was in Haiti. I’ve since finished it, and uploaded it to YouTube, so click here to watch a quick five minute video, showing life through my eyes over the past ten months 🙂

I have seen so many of you over the past few days, and I hope to see those who I haven’t had a chance to yet! Call/text or send me an email if I haven’t already made plans with you.

I know I usually write more/in more detail, but, like I said, this is just a quick update to let you all know I’ve adjusted well so far, to give you my new number, and to post the video that I worked hard on 🙂

Happy to be home. Miss my Ayiti Cherie ❤


Ayiti Cherie

Ayiti Cherie

Sitting in the Port-au-Prince airport, waiting for my flight to the States, I’m in a bit of a fog. It’s hard for me to comprehend that this part of my story is over, and another one is about to begin.

The past few weeks have truly been a blur. From school ending to time spent with other missionaries who have become family to soaking in every last bit of Haiti that I possibly can, I feel as though I have prepared myself for my departure as much as I possibly can. I spent a lot of time with the Lord, more so than usual, the past few weeks. I am relying fully on Him through this transitional period.

My students, their families, and I had a wonderful end-of-the-year party on Monday; we had lots of yummy treats, spent quality time together, and the kids read their very own ‘End of the Year Books’ which we had been working on over the past few weeks. Each page was devoted to their ‘favorite thing’ in each subject that we focused on. The families ended the afternoon by thanking me and praying for me; I feel as though it should have been the other way around. The parents of my students truly are beautiful examples of what it means to live by faith, to love the Lord, and to serve His people. The missionary families were examples for me on what it is to be a family in the Lord. The ‘see you later’ (it’s not goodbye, so why say it is?) to them was hard; but I know that there is now a bond between us that won’t be severed, no matter the distance.

I was able to do one last food distribution to the individuals and families of the L14 Ministry. I spent yesterday morning going around Grand Goâve with Bobby, Sylene, and our other friend Fadja, bringing food and talking with each family. I am happy and comforted to know that L14’s work will continue while I am away; it made the ‘see you later’ a little bit easier.

I also spent some time with my love Djanicka. She has grown so much, and her physical and mental capabilities have come so far over the past several months. I can’t wait to see the progress when I see her next.

Thank you all for your love and support these past ten months. I look forward to being in fellowship with you all once again; I will update everyone with my new Stateside number here within the next few days, as well as upload a ‘movie’ that I am currently putting together with video clips that I have taken over the past ten months. So, stay tuned for that.

I am planning to blog a few more times, partially for my own processing, but also to keep you all updated to my transition. I know that I will be with you all soon, but knowing who I am and how I deal with things, I most likely will not be able to vocalize everything that is going on in my head and heart on command. I do better with writing; hence why I started this blog, and why I am leaving Haiti with five journals that have writings on every single page. When we do spend time together, please know that asking me direct questions helps me talk about everything! It helps me stay focused and to the point 🙂

I am so thankful for each and every one of you in my life. Your active role in it has made this past year the beautiful thing that it has been; so, I am forever indebted to you. Love to you all.

Some words from the Lord that accurately and concisely summarize this past year for me:

“Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love.” 1 Corinthians 16:13-14

Fight the Good Fight; Finish the Race; Keep the Faith

Fight the Good Fight; Finish the Race; Keep the Faith

Hi everyone!

It’s been a bit longer than usual between blog posts, and for that I apologize. A lot of different things have taken place since then, so I had to get my world to slow down before I could even hope to sit down and write about it!

First order of business, as some of you know, I will be returning home to the States a few weeks earlier than planned! We were able to get our school work done in a timely fashion, and, as a result, I am able to finish up the year a tad earlier. My flight home is now May 31, only two weeks away!

Even though our school work will be done by May 29th, it is STILL the ‘end of a school year’, which, let me tell you, is the same whether you’re in the States or in a country like Haiti. End of the school year madness exists no matter what kind of classroom you’re in. We are getting down to the wire, wrapping up learning material and reviewing everything we’ve learned this year. These students have come so far; I have been utterly blown away and amazed by the progress they have made since our very first month together in September.

This teaching experience has been unlike any other I have experienced; it also, quite honestly, was one that I don’t think any amount of college courses could have prepared me for either. Both of those experiences, my prior classroom work and my numerous education-focused college courses, helped lay a foundation for what it takes to be a teacher, how to run a classroom, and provided ways of learning that every learner learns differently (lots of ‘learns’ in there, sorry). All of those things came in handy in our Education Cooperative classroom. Things like teaching outside under a choukoun, cancelling class for a Category 5 hurricane, doing food distributions to the neighboring villages on my day off, and my students and their families turning into my own family…you just can’t learn about that anywhere else. You experience those things by getting your feet wet, sometimes literally.

Well, folks, my feet are wet, and I could not be any more overwhelmed at the success that this past year held. I am stepping back to look at this finished product, and I am in awe of it all. I am covered in dirt and sweat, my mind feels like it’s been stretched like putty, my heart has been beautifully wrecked, and yet my soul feels electrified. God has truly used Haiti, as I’ve been saying since 2015, to change my life in so many different ways. If you’d like to know about those different ways in detail, hit me up so we can make a time for coffee 🙂 (Or just keep reading because I ended up writing a mini-rant about God’s awesomeness at the end of this blog anyway)

I have also been able to continue the work of L14. A couple weekends ago, I, along with some other volunteers, made rounds to our friends that the ministry serves. We were able to bring food with us to distribute, which is a huge way funding to this ministry is used. I sat and talked with the individuals and their families for some time, and we were even able to meet other disabled individuals who we hope to add to our ministry. With your continued help and support to this specific focus of MOHI’s ministry, we will be able to provide food, medical care, and other immediate needs for the disabled individuals of Grand Goâve. If you’d like to learn more on how to do that, please visit or contact me for more details. This ministry is SO near and dear to my heart. I will continue to have a direct hand in the goings on of this portion of MOHI, even while being stateside.

This past weekend was spent with some of my newer friends here in Haiti; I got to visit the city of Jacmel, which is a couple hours and over the mountain from Grand Goave. Haiti is so diverse; its landscapes, its life styles, its people are all different depending on what part of the country you are in. One thing I love about Haiti’s coast, though, is that no matter where you go on it, you have ocean on one side and vast mountain ranges on the other. You get the best of both of those worlds. One thing that Jacmel DID offer me, though, that Grand Goâve hasn’t, was ICED LATTES. There was a cafe with my name on it (not literally, it is actually called Cafe Koze) and it not only played big band jazz music, but it had iced lattes and I TOTALLY splurged. Iced caffeinated drinks are one of my ‘first world’ pleasures that I appreciate when I go home, because I am without it while I am down here; but, on Saturday and Sunday, it was WITHIN reach and I enjoyed it in a way that only an iced-caffeinated-drink-deprived-girl can. It will wet my whistle until I can get my hands on one in two weeks 😉

I am starting to get that feeling that I always do when a chapter in my life is coming to a close. I felt it at the end of high school, when it was a new and scary feeling, I felt it at the end of college last year, when it was a relieved and well-deserved feeling, and I feel it now, and, oddly enough, it does not feel like the ending of anything at all. It is the end of the length of my stay here, but I feel as though the ripple effect of my year here in Haiti has only just begun. I told some of my closest friends and family this, and now I will share it with all of you; the girl that left for Haiti back in August isn’t here anymore. I know that has the potential to sound all creepy and horror story-esque, but hear me out:

I left for Haiti in August of 2016, ready for the unknown. I didn’t know much, I just knew that I was headed to Grand Goâve, Haiti to teach a group of missionary children, and that God was leading and guiding my every step. What I didn’t know as I boarded that plane with my actual baggage, was that I still held on to a lot of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual baggage. All of THAT was soon revealed to me, through consistent morning meetings with the Lord, with journal entry after journal entry (I am now about to finish my FIFTH journal since being here), and with precious advice, counsel, and shoulders to cry on provided by my beautiful friends here (you know who you are and that I love you dearly). Add the prior things to the new things being added on by life in Haiti, and my soul was absolutely stripped down. God and I were going back to basics; He was shattering the hardened walls around my heart that I didn’t even know existed, but His gentle and loving hands were holding me the whole time.

I am tired, I am out of breath, I am tear stained, I am raw; but I have been made new again, only by His grace. He saw what my life would be like before I gave it all over to him, He planned ahead for this moment, He knew what I would need. He knew I would need to be beautifully broken and He knew that He would be the one to restore and rebuild me. He has kept all His promises, and done so much more than I could ever have imagined. I have changed from the inside out over the past year, but I know that God isn’t done with His work. He is NEVER done with us; He is never content just restoring us. He wants us to be in relationship with Him, to love Him AND to exemplify His love to others, to mirror Him in every way because we ARE made in His image. It’s time we realize who we are; we are not defined by who others say we are, what the scale says we are, what the medicine that we take says we are, what our career says we are. We are defined by our Father alone, and He longs to show us just how precious we are to Him; He has a plan for every single one of us. He writes our story, and each chapter is more beautiful than the next. As you watch the story unfold before your very eyes, then, and only then, will you see His fingerprints in Your life. And that is THE single most amazing thing I have ever experienced in my entire life; I can’t wait for it to happen again, and again, and again.

1/4 Century Life

1/4 Century Life

Hi there!

It’s been an eventful past few weeks.

First off, school has been going really well! The kids are doing really well, and are enjoying our studies. We spent a lot of our Bible time the past few weeks talking about the life and ministry of Jesus, and our Bible actually brought us to the story of his death and resurrection just as Easter rolled around. It’s like God watches over our classroom or something… 🙂 Our science studies have moved on to the much anticipated DINOSAUR subject; this will be a fun few weeks with that, I think. Reading and math have turned semi-intense for the older group, but they are handling that in stride and are very much rising to the challenge! The younger crew is solidifying their basic number and letter/phonics knowledge; by the time school ends in two months, they will be experts!

On the new L14 front, I have been making strides to learn more about the people that this ministry serves. Two weeks ago, I went out and met with families, brought them food, and learned their stories and what they needed from our ministry. Last week, I went to those families again, this time bringing Angie with me so that she could assess any pressing medical needs. From both visits, I have begun to create a ‘database’ of basic information, with names, ages, medical conditions, and living situations for each of the handicapped individuals. This will serve to help MOHI keep a continuous, detailed track of who we are serving, why, and what the basic needs are. It will also be a good way for MOHI and I to keep on the same page while I am working on this stateside!

I was honored to speak at MOHI’s annual Women’s Conference this past weekend. I spoke about Proverbs 31, and its description of a “woman of noble character”. This is one of my most FAVORITE scripture passages, and I felt as though God was telling me it was time to take my own personal lessons from previous study of it, and share it with other women who might benefit from it as well. I think even the guys took some things away from it, which was a plus!

On a not-so-official note, I had a WONDERFUL 25th birthday here in Haiti this past Sunday; I even got to share it with another missionary here, who is my birthday twin! Pastor Lex called us both up in front of the congregation on Sunday and we got sung ‘Happy Birthday’ in both English AND French. Many of our missionary friends came over later with their families for a party! It was so great. There was cake, there were decorations, there was music, and there was even RAIN which made it feel like a typical April birthday 🙂 Thank you to everyone who made my 25th birthday one that I will NEVER forget.

As I’m sitting here writing this, I have got one foot on the ground and the other one propped up on pillows in a chair. Yesterday, I had the unpleasant experience of spraining my right ankle; the first full day of being 25 was certainly eventful! Please pray for quick and lasting healing; all of you know how mobile/active I like to be 🙂

April is drawing to a close. It’s been an eventful month, which means the days have steadily raced by…and they don’t seem to be slowing down! I am looking forward to being in fellowship with you all again soon, less than two months to be exact, but I have begun to taste the bittersweetness that will come with my departure.

When You Give a Banquet…

When You Give a Banquet…

The last blog entry was not my typical update; for those of you that missed it, you can flip back to it, or just read on. This won’t be the ‘typical’ update either, so buckle your seat belts 🙂

God has led me to the decision that I will not be returning to Haiti after I go back to the States in June. That has been the ONLY thing He has given me insight to, in terms of post-summer 2017…after that is still a mystery, but I am confident that God will reveal His plans in His most perfect timing.

While I will not be returning to Haiti as a long term missionary, that does not mean I will be ending my time serving Mission of Hope International. In addition to working as camp director, and then in whatever career opportunity comes next, I will be working stateside with MOHI in a new role:

“But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind…” Luke 14:12

In Luke 14, Jesus tells several parables; two revolve around the setting of a banquet. In both ‘banquet’ parables, Jesus makes it a point to emphasize the importance of inviting the “poor, crippled, lame, and blind” to this extravagant banquet. Verses 12 through 14 describes our life on earth, and who we should be serving as followers of Christ. Rather than serving those who can easily pay us back, Jesus says to serve those who cannot pay us back; to care for those who don’t have anyone else to care for them.

This is the basic principle that Mission of Hope International’s “L14 Ministry” is founded on. This is  a specific, focused portion of MOHI’s ministry that aims to serve and care for the disabled population of Grand Goâve, Haiti. MOHI has been serving the disabled population of Grand Goâve for many years, and this is a restructured continuation of their work.

While I have been volunteering as a missionary teacher here for six months, the classroom has only been one area where God has challenged me to use the servant heart that He gave me. Another area that God led me to while I was here, as many of you know, was in the form of caring for and supporting a disabled girl named Djanicka down the road from our house in Grand Goâve. It was love at first sight when I met her back in October, and I knew I just had to help this beautiful girl in some way, shape, or form. After the experience of consistently providing for a disabled child in need, it seems only natural that I would expand the perimeters of this care to other disabled individuals in and around Grand Goâve. Of course, God knew what He was doing when He opened the door back in October with Djanicka. He knew that if I walked through that open door, that there would be more than just one individual in need that could be served.

According to a report written by Christina Nuñez from the Global Citizen, “Eighty percent of people living with disability live in developing countries, and most of them have no access to healthcare.” (2015) Also in that report, she refers to a statistics and information given by World Bank, estimating that “20% of the world’s poorest people have some kind of disability…with little to no access to services, many people with a disability find it difficult to get around, they become isolated, dependent on others, and they experience discrimination, increased poverty, and often premature death.” (2015)

By creating a specific ministry which focuses on serving this population, these issues can be addressed, and change can begin to take place. We want to be able to provide food, physical aid and services, and familial support to those who suffer from physical disabilities. We not only seek to provide long-term, consistent care and support to the individuals and their families, but we also seek to invite them to the Great Banquet, which God has promised to His people; we want to meet their physical needs and their spiritual needs, bringing them the good news of the beautiful, healing, life changing love and grace that Jesus has to offer.

I am excited to be directing such a ministry under MOHI; it really is a gift from God that I will be able to continue to serve the people that I know and love through this organization, even while I am back in the States. I am honored to be in a leadership position such as this, and I look forward to what God will do in the future. If this aspect of MOHI’s ministry touches your heart, if you have a love and passion for this specific population that is in need as I do, please consider coming into a partnership with us, through prayer and/or through financial means. Contact me at for more information.

I want to end this blog with a special shoutout to three wonderful young ladies. My sister Alena and two of her friends, Julia Herin and Kaylie Gerry, came to Haiti a few weeks ago. I didn’t include this in my last blog, because that one was solely focused on my announcement for my future plans. Now, though, I want to take a moment to say how beautiful my time was here in Haiti with them, and how honored I was that they got to share this life with me.


Their time here was short, but every minute was filled with beauty. I am so proud of the work each of these ladies did, from helping in the MOHI clinic to distributing food and clothes. I saw their selfless hearts time and time again over the past four days: every time Kaylie got out of the car, she would look for the closest child so she could open her arms wide for hugs; Julia went right to work whenever and wherever she was needed with a servant heart; and my beautiful sister Alena did her best to learn the language quickly, so that she could interact and connect with as many people as she possibly could. All three girls used their specific God-given gifts and talents to serve, and I am certain that their Father in heaven is so proud of those three daughters. I could see that from the Sunday they arrived to the morning they left, that their hearts and minds had exponentially changed. God moved in each of their lives that week, as He always does with those who serve and love Him & His people.It was the first time in Haiti for the three of them, and I have been checking in with them since their departure. They, along with myself and so many others, will tell you that whether you come to Haiti for one week or one year, it grabs your heart & soul and doesn’t let go. God uses this place to change people’s lives; if anyone is interested in serving here in Haiti, I encourage you to do so. You will never be the same…in the best, most beautiful way possible. Contact Renee Edme at to learn more about serving short or long term here in Grand Goâve, Haiti.

Come to the Great Banquet that God has promised us, described in Luke 14. Come, and bring others who need love, peace, hope, restoration, healing, and forgiveness with you. We’ve already been invited; all we need to do is accept that invitation.

“Put out into deep water”

“Put out into deep water”

“He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore…he said to Simon, ‘Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.’

Simon answered, ‘Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.’

When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.

When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, ‘Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!’

Then Jesus said to Simon, ‘Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.’So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.”

Luke 5:2-8, 10-11

God loves to use the ocean to speak to me. It’s kind of cool; out of all of the analogies He could use, out of all the earthly elements He could put in front of me to describe life, He knows that the smell of salt water, the sound of the waves, and the feeling of the cool breeze are things that capture my attention. So, He uses my love for it to illustrate my walk of faith.

After years of running from Him and living selfishly for me, He called me back the night I returned from my first trip from Haiti in 2015 through the song ‘Oceans’. It came on over my speaker as I cried over my journal, trying to make sense of the change going on inside of my heart; I cried out to Him, asking Him to forgive me and help me out of this mess that I was in. The words in the bridge, ‘Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders, let me walk upon the waters wherever You would call me,’ resonated with my soul that night, and they became the words that defined my new walk of faith.

In ‘my song’, as it has come to be known as in my family and friend circle, ‘No Longer Slaves’, the part that always speaks to me no matter how many times I put it on repeat is, ‘You split the sea so I could walk right through it, my fears are drowned in perfect love.’ Those words are my testimony; He truly has led me to where my trust is without borders, and split the sea so I could walk through it to where He wanted me to be.

It only seems fitting, then, that He would use yet another ocean illustration to show me what comes next in my life. A few weeks ago, as I was praying about my decision for the fall of 2017 and whether or not I would return to Haiti, a few things happened in quick succession, things that I knew had been orchestrated by God for my benefit.

One night almost two weeks ago, after doing a food & clothing distribution in the local villages, the current visiting team, myself, and a few others all returned to the house. There was a big commotion outside our gates, by the water. We all piled out to the shore to see what was going on; there were local fishermen with a boat load full of fish, so full that they were sinking. The fish were in such abundance that they were giving out portions to the locals who were on shore. I have never witnessed such joy in my entire life; those that we knew from the village were walking away with hands, bags, and buckets full of fish. One child was doing flips in the water, his fish in hand. The men finally pulled their boat on shore, and let people take even more fish from the floor of the boat.The overwhelming joy of the people that I have come to know and love filled my soul, and brought tears to my eyes. I couldn’t help but hear Jesus as if he were on the shore with us all, laughing along with everyone else.

Over the next couple of days Luke 5 (top) made an appearance a few times in different variations of Bible readings, sermons, and devotionals. I’m getting to know God well enough and how He speaks to me, and this was starting to look like His work. Sure enough, several days later, I felt that ‘Holy Spirit nudge’ that I’ve come to love, gently urging me to get up from the upstairs porch, and walk down to the water. It was dinner time, and the food was on the table. I felt the tear between my human desire for delicious food and my spiritual desire to find out what God was up to. Then I realized how silly of a choice that was, and literally ran down the stairs, through the yard, and out the gate to the water. There, again, were the fishermen, reeling in their full nets of fish. And then, simply, I heard a voice inside my heart that was not mine. I’ve heard it a couple of times of the past couple of years, and the more I hear it, the more easily I can assign it to it’s Owner. This time, He was saying five words in a gentle yet firm whisper, “Put out into deeper water,”. Over and over again, that phrase echoed through my heart, and as the tears fell down my face, I knew God was giving me the answer I had asked Him for. 

Fittingly, in the song ‘Oceans’, the first part of the bridge is ‘Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders, let me walk upon the waters, wherever you would call me,’. The second part of that bridge goes, ‘Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander, and my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior.’

It’s time to go out into deeper water.

Where that ‘deeper water’ is, I don’t know. I do know, though, that I am being called to not return to Haiti long term once my time here in June ends. God is faithful; He loves us too much to answer our prayers at any other time than the right time, so I trust that He will show me where the ‘deeper water’ is at the right time.

The second part of that particular scripture I provided has Simon Peter reminding Jesus that he is a sinful man; that he is not worthy of the life that Jesus has to offer him. Jesus then gently tells Simon Peter to not be afraid; He knows that Simon Peter is sinful, yet He plans on using him in His grand plan more than Simon could ever have known at that moment. He plans on having him and the other disciples “fish for people”, bringing them the good news that Jesus has to offer the broken world.

Like Simon Peter, I know that I am sinful. Boy, do I know it. But, Jesus has been patient with me these past several months, helping me extricate myself from the guilt and shame that comes from my sin, and showing me His unending love for me. The love, hope, peace, and light that Jesus has brought into my life are things that I can’t keep to myself; I have to share them, I WANT to share them. No matter where I end up in my life, I will always be “fishing for people”, doing my best to bring them that same love, hope, peace, and light that Jesus offered me, and that continues to change my life.

So, in June, I will be ending my time in Haiti; I will not, however, be ending my partnership with Mission of Hope International. They are an organization that I have come to love, and I plan on working with and supporting them in any capacity that I can. We are currently in the works of how we can put that plan into action, while I am in the States doing whatever else God has planned for me there, so stay tuned for more information on that. Upon my return to the States, God has me as camp director at the Koinonia Day & YAS Camp in West Newbury, Massachusetts through the end of August. From there on is my ‘deeper water’ where Jesus is asking me to push further out into. I hope that you will continue to join me in prayer about where God wants this boat to go next.

I am so thankful for all of you in your support of me and my mission these past several months. I am looking forward to these last three months here, as I know that they will be a beautiful end to, what I can confidently say, has been the most life-changing chapter of my life thus far.