God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.
It is commonly thought you start your ministry when you get to the country you are going to, but really your ministry starts the moment you start fundraising. I’ve found this especially true for me. These past few months have been full of ministry, memories made, friends and family, and travel. I have loved every minute of it.
Fundraising events: I have had several fundraising events in Tampa. The first one was the largest one and it went very well. My dad and a Haitian pastor’s wife made a delicious Haitian dinner as myself and other volunteers set up tables at a gorgeous outdoor event center. About 50 people attended, and God blessed the event spiritually and financially. It was such an encouragement to me! The next Tampa fundraiser was thanks to my best friend, Kate. Before I leave for Haiti, I have to furnish and outfit my home. As a single who moved quite a bit since college, I found I actually had very little of what I needed. Kate saw this and hosted a beautiful Missionary Housewarming Shower for me. It was a fun time and I was humbled as people opened their hearts and helped me begin to outfit my home, especially my kitchen! Thank you to everyone that have come to support me through these fundraisers and many other ways. I appreciate all you have done for me.
I’ve hosted a few small fundraisers in Fort Myers as well. God used these to bring in a number of new ministry partners. When a dear friend, Asia, heard about the Tampa shower, she felt lead to host a similar housewarming shower here in Ft. Myers. God blew me away - it was an amazing time. So many of my new community and ministry family showed up and blessed me beyond measure. I receive so much support and encouragement from my Bible study. I can’t express how much it has meant to me. I love you guys to the moon and back.
About those T-shirts: A unique way to share in my ministry is the T-shirts that were custom designed for me. It’s a special way to raise awareness for Haiti, raise funds for my ministry and challenge people. The back says “You can be comfortable or courageous but not both.” I’m choosing “courageous”, how about you?! If you are interested in a shirt, let me know (include your size). Each shirt is $20, or $25 if I have to mail it to you.
Travel: What an awesome, fun, and loving trip I had to Washington state in August. I was able to visit Harper Evangelical Free Church (near Seattle) and Packwood Community Church (near Mt. Rainier). Blown away is a good description of how I felt while being there. Such beautiful people of all ages and backgrounds. A huge thank you to Dave and Kim Ness for hosting me as I visited the Seattle area. A great couple with beautiful hearts. They hosted an open house for me at their home and also at a restaurant. During those times I was able to meet the pastor of Harper and many past team members who have been to Haiti with RMI. I enjoyed talking with them about Haiti and their experiences. A huge thank you to RMI missionary alumni, Gary and Marilyn McLaughlin, for coming to pick me up and hosting me for the rest of my time at their home in Packwood. They also hosted a couple of open houses at their home. I was able to share my ministry with some of their church community and neighbors. My time in Washington was a blessing and I loved every moment. It’s a gorgeous state with heart, passion, and love. I can’t forget to thank the Rose sisters for reaching out to me, and blessing me with their quality time.
One significant trip I made was to Haiti in April. I accompanied a videographer and photographer as they took footage for RMI. I was able to rent and use the very camera that I will be using in my ministry in Haiti. It was valuable on-the-job training and made me even more “thirsty” to get there and get involved in what God has for me.
Speaking Engagements: I have been able to share in my Tampa area home churches, Cross Life Church and Tampa Covenant Church as well as many individuals in the Tampa Bay area. I’ve also had the opportunity to share at various Life Groups and Bible study groups at my Ft. Myers home churches, McGregor Baptist Church and Summit Church. I’m excited about being able to share my ministry with churches in Jacksonville and Bradenton in the coming months. I love all my ministry family so much.
Financial Update: This news is especially exciting!! God is so good! He is the one who is guiding me in this journey to Haiti. He is providing the funds through His people so I hopefully can go in MARCH 2018 – just a few months away! This is contingent on having 100% of my finances.
I have 97% of my monthly support needs raised. Would you be one of the final donors that I need?
My one-time costs need is now at 90% raised. This means that I need $3,000 to reach that 100% goal. Would you be able to help with that need?
I’m so close. If you have felt led to give monthly, please start as soon as possible. My organization can only count written or received financial commitments. I know we can do this. Enclosed is a support card for your convenience. Please consider what you can do. You can send in support via a letter or go online to www.RMIBridge.org/financial-donations.
I need your help - pray that God would provide opportunities to share about my ministry and support need. If you know of a church, Bible study or other group that would be interested in my ministry, please contact me.
Haiti is always on my mind and in my heart. Being a part of the team in Haiti is something that I think of often. I am beyond blessed to have this calling, and be a part of God’s plan to impact the Haitian and American community. I want to challenge my friends and family to find the community God has called them to. It might be your work place, or the places you play, maybe your neighborhood, or your carpool. Always be bold and know that it’s worse to not follow God’s leading than to be disliked by your coworkers.
In the meantime, please pray for me…
You can contact me directly by phone at 239-848-2478, or my email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Only by His Grace,
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.