God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.
Ok, I have to admit that growing up in Haiti has left me a bit geographically challenged. I now live in Ft. Myers, FL. I have no problem with Florida, the southern states of the US and even Chicago. But when I was invited to spend a week in the Seattle area I confess I had to figure out where it was. I found out that it was the farthest point, clear across the US, from Florida and I was shocked that it'd take me more than 8 hours just to fly there!
However, despite my initial challenges and surprises, I'm ready for a great adventure and a lot of fun! Harper Evangelical Free Church (of Port Orchard) has been a part of RMI's C3 Partnership Program for many years. They've supported my parents for a good bit of that time. And they wanted me to come present my ministry and get to know me (many of them met me as a little kid in Haiti but that was years ago). They're familiar with Dawn 1.0 (me as a kid) and now I get to introduce them to Dawn 2.0 (me as an adult).
I'll also be meeting with leaders from Trinity Presbyterian Church (Seattle area). They contacted RMI a couple of weeks ago to express their interest in becoming an associate C3 Partner church and were excited to be able to talk with me about RMI and my ministry. The timing worked out great since I was already going to be in the area. God's timing is always perfect.
Another really cool part of my visit is going to be spending time with former RMI missionaries, Gary and Marilyn McLaughlin, who live in Packwood - I'm told it is on the back side of Mt. Rainier, up in the mountains. They were good friends when we were both in Haiti a few years ago. I haven't seen them since 2006 when we returned to the states to live. They are going to host 2 open houses for me to get to know folks from 2 churches that they've been involved with (both have been to Haiti with RMI in the past).
I'm looking forward to seeing mountains and forests...quite a change from the palm trees and sand that I'm used to. But most of all, I'm looking forward to sharing with as many people as possible about my passion to serve in Haiti and about my ministry. Pray with me that as I speak, God would lay it on people's hearts to be involved as supporters. I want to get to Haiti so badly, but I can't without those funding needs met!
P.S. I have to give a shout out to CrossLife Church in Tampa, one of my home churches when I was living there as a Bible college student. Last weekend the pastor graciously gave me the whole service to share in! It was an amazing opportunity to have so much time to share. You all know me...I can talk and share for an hour - it's getting it all squished into those 10 minute slots that I'm sometimes given. Don't get me wrong. Any opportunity to share is a gift! Being given a 5-10 time frame is just more challenging because I have so much I want to say! Thanks so much CrossLife!
Yes, I'm actually in Haiti...but it is for this week only. I am shadowing a videography/photography team from Hank Pro Studios and getting some fantastic on-the-job training. I was able to rent and use the exact equipment that I'm hoping to buy before I go permanently and it's been invaluable to learn the nuances of it and be able to assess it.
This week has had it's ups and downs. We've been working at getting good shots and footage of RMI's many ministries, doing interviews with staff members and getting shots of life in Haiti. Unfortunately it has been raining much of the time. In fact, 35+" has fallen since last Wedneday. In Cayes, the town where I'm staying, there is massive flooding. [Where I'm staying, on the mission center, is on 2 hilltops, so I'm in no danger from the floods.] All along the southern coast I'm hearing reports of bridges out, a lot of flooding, many crops lost (which would have been the first harvest since the hurricane) but only 2 reported deaths. The humidity and wet conditions have played havoc with our equipment and resulted in some lost footage, which of course is discouraging. But this is Haiti and we have to be flexible with both our expectations and our schedules.
Yesterday we were able to go up in the mountains to a well-known waterfall to get footage to show the beauty of Haiti. Then we stopped at a Sister Church to do some interviews. The last time I visited that church was the summer of 2010 when I was an RMI intern. There's so many reasons why this is such a key trip...the learning and gaining experience but also reconnecting with old friends, some of which only knew me as a kids when I was growing up here and some I haven't seen since I was here in 2010.
There is an RMI team in-country right now and we are going to try to get past the mudslide on the main road and make it all the way to the outback where the team is in the village with their partner church. We hear that it is not raining in that area of the country. That's not to say that it's going to be on some rough roads, though, because it's in a very remote area. Hopefully we'll be able to film and men's meeting and a women's meeting, among other things.
Keep praying for me. It's been an intense time and there are still several more days to go. Pray for the rain to stop and that the rest of the time here will go smoothly so we can put together some great videos for RMI. In the meantime, here are a couple of shots of me working.