Tuesday, March 30, 2010


it is said that the Lord works in mysterious ways.

we (my dad, our friend steve, and i) were in haiti for six days. we spent our first night in carrefour fueilles and then moved out to the land in gressier.
on our second day working in gressier, pastor josue called me from the city to say he had picked up a "missionary" and was bringing him out to gressier. this guy wanted to help us out and was looking for a place to stay.
communication has never been haiti's strong point.

so i informed the others that along with our water, some more plywood and some door hinges, joshua would be coming to help us.

it did not take long for it to become apparent to us all that joshua was not a Christian missionary. he may have been on a mission, but he was surely not working for Christ.

joshua showed up wearing a pair of cammo shorts, a newsie cap and a blue button-up shirt which was only buttoned in one place. he wore hiking boots, wool socks, a number of tattoos and necklaces and the tell-tales slashes of a cutter.

his most recent cut, we later learned, was inflicted on Christmas eve.

introduced, joshua started out working as soon as we picked our tools back up. with knowledge in construction, he was a great asset to our team and our work. he had an extremely positive attitude and only took about 2 smoke breaks an hour. being english, he spoke with an accent that caused my already taxed brain to strain to understand him. i was already translating for everyone on the property and felt like i would need to translate his english for my dad and steve too. clearly, i was a bit sleep deprived.

quickly his story started to form:
recently split up from his girlfriend (nearly two decades older), he went "home" for Christmas and was interned by his family into an institution. diagnosed as "manic", he was prescribed some medication. not wanting to take said drugs, joshua bailed. he worked a bit to pay off his debt and upon hearing about the earthquake, escaped to haiti. he figured people there could use help and he could forget about things for awhile.
when we met him he was going on seven weeks in haiti and had been kicked off the UN base where he had been staying for the past three.
he remembered meeting don (our friend from hollister) at the airport one day and called josue to see if he could come work with us for awhile.

all this he shared with us freely which is why i do not feel i should keep it from you.

joshua worked hard each day. he was not mean spirited and not condescending. he worked well with our team and with the haitians.

but at night he had us to deal with.

as soon as he had arrived my dad explained that we were Christians and in haiti to serve the Lord by serving our brothers.
my dad told him that we would be having a bible study that night and that he was more than welcome (read: strongly encouraged) to join us. kindly, lovingly, straightforwardly, my dad laid out the gospel of Jesus Christ.
joshua, admitting to be confused and seeking, listened and asked many questions.
we all had answers.

because to us, Jesus is everything.

joshua had ideas of who he wants to believe God is.
don't we all?
we said, however, that while we might want to believe any number of things about God, there is absolute truth and we cannot change that.
God is Who He says He is in the bible.
in the same way, you can believe whatever you want about me, but if it isn't true, it simply isn't true.

we talked about heaven and hell.
we discussed re-incarnation.
good vs. evil.
how can a good God allow this to happen?

those were some great talks.
some really sweet times.
he heard what we had to say. he was questioning, seeking, lost.
we talked every day. he was receptive. never did he ask us to stop "pushing" our beliefs because it was clear to him that we truly love Jesus. and when you love someone you cannot help but talk about them.
all the time.

on saturday night we told him we would be going to church the next morning and that he was welcome to join us. steve preached from james, ephesians, psalms, and romans. josue translated. the congregation worshipped. joshua cried.
at the end of the service my dad surreptitiously presented joshua with a bible.
he was grateful.

joshua was informed that he could not stay at mama's house after we left. he met up with another friend on sunday afternoon. we parted ways but he asked that we call him when the next team arrives. he wants to help.

i know i have asked you to pray for the people of haiti. now i am asking you to pray for joshua. he is so lost, so hurt. he has had a long, painful past. he wants truth. he wants security. pray that he finds Jesus.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


i have a subscription to
(a free subscription, mind you.)

bet you didn't see that one coming.

if i had a television, i'd watch home makeover shows all day long.

aesthetically, i just love stores like anthropolgie and urban outfitters.

i say this because i'm not sure you'll ever know it about me. i mean, even if the Lord is gracious to give me my own home someday, i don't expect to decorate it like the grand schemes i dream up in my head. i never intend to have the wardrobe i'm trying to avoid coveting from stores like the ones i've mentioned above. i simply could not justify that.
so i'm just not sure if you'll ever know that i have great taste! :)

i feel torn quite often.
i like design. i like layout. i like color schemes and high end paper. i love photography and i enjoy coordinating events. especially themed events.

i think in pictures.
i think in scenes.
i've directed a couple of children's plays and i really like seeing a script come to life.

i suppose i'm simply trying to say that creativity draws me.

and yet, i simply cannot put my time and effort into those things and i'll tell you why.

because i have seen this:
(photo taken 5 months pre-quake)

and this doesn't leave room for aesthetics.

the people of haiti are her beauty. the land has been pillaged. what once was nearly a rain- forrest, now is so barren the rain simply rolls off its surface.

my two worlds never interface. the pleasing sights, sounds, and smells of my clean and comfortable california home contrast vastly with the land i love. the arid, trash-ridden, pile of rubble that is haiti.

if i were to try to describe last week honestly i think i would use words such as hot, dirty, bug infested, gritty, anxious, sad, devastating, tough, frustrating, and scary.
it seems nonsensical to also use the words amazing, surprising, encouraging, beautiful, peaceful, satisfactory, humorous, and cold.
but this is what haiti can do to you. and really it's the Lord. no other way to explain that while your body is crying "oh please take me home!" your heart is asking you to stay.

so while my eyes tell me this is absolutely adorable:

my heart tells me she is far far more beautiful, more worthy of all my time, energy and funding:
that teaching him about carpentry was a wonderful way to spend my week:
that building shelters to keep people out of the tent cities where women and children are in real danger of not only disease, hunger, and flooding, but also rape is far more virtuous than registering once again for the hgtv dream home:
i know that watching her worship in the midst of extreme loss and poverty was worth the cost of my ticket three times over:

it was an extremely worthwhile week and i'm excited for my return in a few weeks!

thank you, Jesus, for this opportunity. thank you for giving me ears to hear and eyes to see.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

fresh cut

no, i did not go through a major break-up.

no crisis here.

i simply cut my hair.

i was growing it because i agreed to grow it out with my mom so we could both donate our hair. she's gonna cut hers in the next two weeks. her hair grows faster and is longer than mine. she is donating to locks of love while i am giving my hair to pantene beautiful lengths.

thankfully, the charity i'm donating to accepts 8" as opposed to the usual 10" most other organizations require.

i am leaving for haiti on monday and i don't know how long i'll be there. i also don't know where i'll be staying. if we're staying out at the construction site, i imagine there will be a water shortage. not knowing how long i'll be going between showers etc., i figured it would be best to donate my hair
i go. otherwise, its just plain rude. you should never give away cast off items, right? i mean, not as a gift. unless we're talking about some weird gift exchange at Hallmark-mas in which people try to give each other the worst present possible. and that's not the point here.
as much as i dislike hair, there is someone out there who loves it. someone who feels naked without it. someone who is simply looking for a piece of normalcy.

someone with cancer.

i tried, while growing out my hair, to do what my mom does and pray for the person who would receive my hair. i hope it is a blessing. i hope they find true hope which can only be found in the person of Jesus Christ.

i know i didn't always have the best attitude about my hair. i really don't like long hair at all. but i tried to be positive and not complain. i tried to treat it like a blessing. but i have to say i'm thrilled to have it off. i'm happy to have made the goal (just barely) and happy to be through.

and i think it will be exceptionally easy while i'm in haiti which is just one more bonus!

i hope you like it.