How time flies...believe it or not, I’ve been here over a year. I’m so thankful that God has surrounded me with a great national staff and experienced missionaries. These colleagues have taught me everything from how to live out my missionary calling in Haiti to how to cook rice and beans. They have encouraged me, challenged me, let me spread my wings, given me a safe place to share my heart, prayed with me, mentored me, laughed and cried with me, let me into their hearts and have become my friends and my Haiti family. I couldn’t ask for a better group of godly, dedicated people to work with.
I feel that I have been able to settle into my niche in the RMI ministry. I am responsible for communicating with visiting teams, helping them plan the details of their upcoming trip to Haiti. I also am involved in telling RMI’s story through photography and social media. And, as is common on the mission field, I have the opportunity to be involved in just about every other aspect of the ministry. In the past year I have transported teams, translated for them (to the best of my limited ability!), been the missionary host for several teams (this means I’ve gone out into the country with them while they visit their Sister Churches), shared a devotional at the daily staff meeting several times, plus much more.
God is at Work!
[Written for an RMI publication.] The elderly gentleman dressed in his best clothes that morning. He started walking early because he knew it’d take a while to get there. Once he arrived, he made sure to get a good seat near the front. They said that there was a group from the United States visiting the church that week and he really wanted to hear what they had to say. He listened carefully to what the guest speaker shared. He’d heard the pastor of the church say much the same thing, but that morning he felt God speaking to him, telling him that it was time to make the decision. After the service he pressed his way forward to speak to the pastor. Today was the day. God was calling him to accept Christ as his Savior. The visiting team from Bartlett, IL was thrilled to pray with him and to know that God had used their team to bring this man to salvation. This kind of ministry is what I’m excited to be a part of!
On another occasion while doing yard2yard evangelism with a team, we met a woman who knew the Lord. However, her 3 adult children who were there with her did not. After hearing the Gospel presented to them, they each accepted the Lord. Evangelism is something that can be carried out openly. And most people are open to hearing it but also just as open to say “no, they aren’t interested in it right now”.
I really enjoy being able to spend time with the ladies when a team holds ladies tea for the women of the church. They are the unsung heros of Haiti, yet are often neglected. Encouraging them with a time of Bible study, sharing, prayer, a craft and games is special. They respond so beautifully and seeing their smiles and their spirits lifted is heartwarming to experience.
Another aspect of my ministry that I enjoy doing is when I’m able to lead orientation with a team when they first arrive and then have a debriefing time at the end of their week right before they go home. I love to hear how God has worked in their lives and how the week impacted them. It’s great to hear how their fears and expectations were cared for by God. Many people say that they feel the Haitians ministered to them much more than they feel they ministered. It really is a reciprocal ministry! God uses their trip to Haiti to transform their lives.
On a Personal Note
Besides Ivory, my white German Shepherd guard dog (who has really grown!), I now have a guard cat. Phantom, Phany for short, joined my household when she was 7 weeks old. Packed in a petite body is a big personality. She’s an excellent hunter of bugs and lizards, but mice and rats scare her. The family of mice living in my couch finally succumbed to mouse traps instead of her hunting skills. Hopefully she’ll grow into the job soon.
Personal visitors have been a source of fun and encouragement to me as well! My parents came in December for the staff appreciation day and were able to spend several days with me. Joanna, a friend from my Tampa days, came for a week in March. Then Jessica, from my Ft. Myers home church, came for a week in April. I had a fantastic time showing them RMI’s ministries, how I live my life (introducing them to the open air market and local grocery store) and what I do for fun. We explored several beaches and historic forts that are nearby, and went on hikes.
Prayers and Praise
This summer, July and August, I will be in the US on furlough. I will be seeing as many friends and supporters as possible. I’ll be in Tampa, Ft. Myers, Chicago and Seattle, WA. I’ll also be speaking at all of my supporting churches. I hope I don’t miss anyone, but if I do, we can connect by email or phone! Pray that my travels are safe and my speaking engagements go well.
You can contact me via email, firstname.lastname@example.org or find me on Facebook (look me up using “Dawn Shoemaker – Impacting Haiti”).
I am planning to switch from a paper newsletter to digital e-newsletters. In order to do this I need your email address. I want to stay in touch with you, so if you haven’t done so, send me your email address so I can include you in those updates!
Thank you again for your faithful support. I couldn’t be here without it and I appreciate each of you so much!
Only by His Grace,