Redeemer Goes to Haiti 2014 | myGO Project

It’s 2014 now.

In 2013, God gave me a heart that has fallen madly, completely, and utterly in love with Haiti. There is no other way to explain it except that God has open every door for me to go to Haiti, love the people of Haiti, and want to be a part of the re-building of His people there.

It’s 2014 and I’m now asking for your help. Redeemer Fellowship has two trips scheduled for going to Haiti. I will be leading/helping lead at least one (but hopefully both) of those trips. In order to do that, I need your prayers. Please pray and ask God to make it abundantly clear which trip(s) I should be going on, for Him to provide other people to go with me, that we would be His hands, feet, and heart for the people of Haiti, and that He would provide the financial support required for all who want to go to be able to go.

Finacial support is the second way you can help me. Please prayfully consider helping sponsor our trips to Haiti. You can use the link below to make a tax-deductible donation. All the funds will be used to fund these two trips to Haiti in 2014.

Trip Dates: June 18-23 and October 22-27

If you would like to go on the trip, please go to www.redeemerkansascity.org/haiti for more information or contact me on here.

Redeemer Goes to Haiti 2014 | myGO Project.

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Re-entry into society

I’m struggling today (10/22) with re-entering into the American society that I was raised in and only left a week ago.

It’s interesting what will set you off. For me, it was the new toilet paper holders in the bathroom at work.

They are all shiny and chrome and exactly the same as the grey plastic ones they replace (except for the material of construction). It’s probably the shiny-ness that made me realize they are different.

The world is not shiny in Haiti. It is colorful. It is beautiful. It is painted. but mostly it’s grey and well loved. How can my company justify replacing the toilet paper holder when the others are perfectally useable when there are people, children, that are not receiving an opportunity to have an education or worse, are starving to death? How do I sit in my desk at my office, cold from the air conditioning, when there are people in Haiti that need help? When my heart is pulling me back to the monetarially poorest country in the world?

God puts people exactly where He wants them. He has placed me in Kansas City. He has blessed me with a comfy chair and a cubical all to myself. Lord, I am thankful. I am thankful for my job. I am thankful for the heartarche. I am thankful for Haiti.

It helps that the people I went on the trip with have started posting in social media. I get the notifications on my phone. My thoughts turn to when they will be done posting and my life with be completely consumed by my to-do list and work obligations. When they have drifted back into their American-paced existence.

I pray that Haiti would be on my mind everyday for the rest of my life. I pray that I cannot do anything with my life that doesn’t consider God and Haiti. I know that I do not have the ability to remember them as much as I want to. I need God’s help. I am a sinner. because of that fact, yes fact, I will fall short of my desire to focus on the Lord and His will. Lord please help me.

Update 10/25:

I’ve blogged a tremendous amount since I’ve been in Haiti and will hopefully share some more of those posts in the coming days with you. I am back into the office pace now. I am thankful that it is Friday. and I am thankful for having a hard time adjusting. That sounds silly but as I apologize for being tired, itchy, or slightly-out-of-it to my co-workers, bosses, and vendors, I get to talk about Haiti.

Last time I went, my grandmother passed away while I was in Haiti so homecoming brough black dresses, funeral arrangements, and a 5-day marathon weekend in Georgia that culminated in surgery for my brother. My life swept Haiti under the rug. God has brought it out and hung it above the mantel this time. I don’t have anywhere to hide. and I like it.

 

“I was wrecked. Since returning home, my whole center of gravity is off – God is recreating who I am. It is clear there’s no going back on this deal. God just keeps pulling you forward and pulling you in.” – “Ruined for the Average” a book by the Global Orphan Project

Money.

I wrote a post awhile back about going to Haiti again. I want to go. God has started growing a love in my heart for the children of that country that can only be explained thru His existence and control. I signed up to go on the trip and didn’t have a way to pay. I figured that if God wants me to go, he’ll give me the means to pay for it so I opened up a credit card and charged my plane tickets. (Nothing like a little pressure and timeline for God to respond).

God is the ultimate provider. I went on a float trip two weekends ago and admittedly didn’t want to go when I got in the car Friday afternoon to drive the three hours there. It was a mixed group of people from work and church so I was nervous about everyone having a good time and getting along. I prayed that God would bless my time at the river for His glory because I was having a really bad attitude about it.

The crazy part? God not only blessed my time there, provided everyone with a great time, but He also paved my way to Haiti and strengthened my faith in Him!! O how I question and God answers. I wonder if Jesus ever rolled his eyes at his disciples because God had every reason to roll His eyes at my doubts and questions from that weekend!

One of the girls (I say girls because ladies or women sound too old for all of us 23-35 year olds) from church was talking to me while floating down the river. We started talking about Haiti, which I don’t remember how we even got on that topic in the first place but God interjects that topic in my life on a regular basis, and she volunteered to pay for $500 worth of my trip. I literally sat there and couldn’t even respond. I remember thinking “say thank you!!” But I had no words. When my brain started processing, I stammered thank you and asked her if she really wanted to do that since that was a lot of money. (Why was I questioning this? She was going to pay for close to half of my trip and I was giving her an out?!?). She told me she was going to do it if she could get a tax write off. Thanks be to God!

I cried on Monday evening when she text me a copy of her donation confirmation. There were no words but gratefullness! Praise be to God for people like Ashleigh!! She also told me that her company was going to do a partial match for another $250. Again, I sat in complete disbelief at how generous people I know are and how much God provides, even when I doubt, maybe even especially when I doubt.

My total cost to go to Haiti is $1386 for plane tickets and my trip fees. Right now, I’ve received $760 which means I still need some help ($616 worth). If you need a tax deduction, please donate thru the Haiti orphan project website – make sure you out my name in the description line. I have to pay my credit card so I would prefer (at this point) for you to send me a check. You can mail them to me at my work (9400 Ward Parkway, Kansas City, MO 64114) or let me know when we can meet up.

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Jesus Loves Me (in Creole)

If you would prefer to change a child’s life instead of sponsoring me, please read my tuition for transformation post and my how-to help Haiti post and go to this website to donate. $20 per month is such a small amount to make such a huge difference!

How To Help Haiti

I’ve been a little overwhelmed today by the stats on this blog! I’m used to writing to about 20 or so “faithful” readers that put up with my crossfit progress, re-blogs of articles, sermon responses, and general ramblings. Today – 500+ views. I can only pray that God has moved the hearts of people reading my tuition for transformation post to help because 500+ views has moved my heart.

Several questions and emails have come up that I’d like to address real quick:

If you want to financially help send me to Haiti in October, please donate here. You need to put my name (Stacey Gibson) in the description/comment line and all amounts are more than appreciated! You’ll have to use the single donation option (unless you want to contribute monthly).

If my trip costs get fully funded (because God is that good to provide!) than I will be able to transfer the extra donations to someone else who is trying to go on the trip. I know of a couple people who will not be able to go on the trip if they do not receive enough sponsorships. If you would rather donate to a general cause, please put “Redeemer October 2013 Trip” in the description line so the funds get applied to our trip.

The Haiti Orphan Project is a tax deductible group – please see their donations FAQ page for more information.

If you would rather donate airplane miles – we are flying American Airlines and my AAdvantage number is 63LKB80 and you can transfer miles on the American Airlines website. If I receive too many miles, I’ll transfer them to cover travel costs within the group traveling in October.

If you’re more of a physical gift person, I’m collecting toys, arts and crafts supplies, balls of all varieties, legos, bubbles, dress up outfits, etc. to take to Haiti. There is another group from Redeemer leaving at the end of July that will also be taking toys. You can message me for an address to mail them to or contact me to figure out a time and place I can pick them up from you (in the Kansas City Missouri area).

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I ask that you pray for me, Haiti, and God’s will in this world regardless of your ability or desire to help out financially.

 

It’s been humbling today to feel the outpouring of help, God’s working hand, and eyeballs reading all my thoughts on here but I thank you (and God) for the opportunity. You always hear about 6 degrees of separation and spheres of influence but I never dreamed that mine reached any kind of this far. Thank you for spreading the word of Haiti. Thank you for your support, even if that is simply reading these two blog posts. Thank you for praying for Haiti.

I’m going to continue posting about my daily life, my blessings, my workouts, favorite quotes, and of course – Haiti. I pray that I can use my new-found knowledge of how many people I impact in my daily life to be a positive influence. Please let me know if you have other questions or comments.

God Bless.

 

Tuition for Transformation

Tuition for Transformation

The children of Haiti (specifically Village de Vie) need YOUR help!

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In the United States, we take an education for granted – even those of us who had to work several jobs or take out debt to get our college educations. We all went to school when we were 6 years old. The lessons we learned have and will carry us for the rest of our lives (everything you need to know you learned in kindergarten :)).

The children I love in Haiti do not have this opportunity. There’s education, but it’s not free. It cost the same as one month’s worth of food for a family of 6. It’s cost $20. twenty bucks. My American response is “that’s is?!? $20?” I blow thru twenty bucks almost daily without much thought. I’m blessed by the professional career. and now I bless an Haitian child by giving them the first step in an opportunity that’s going to change a country. God is working in Haiti (He’s working everywhere) and I want to be a part of it. You can be too. for $20 a month. Follow the link at the top of this post for some more information and to help.

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Village de Vie has opportunities for 160 more children to go to school every month. Redeemer Fellowship wants to fill all of those spots by the time our kiddos go back to school in August. If you have a child, please prayerfully consider sponsoring one child. If you have a couple kids, please consider sponsoring a couple of kids. For me, it was about cutting out one meal at a restaurant a month. one. that’s it. If you’re reading this, you’re part of Redeemer because you’re part of my life. Please please please sponsor a child.

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The children in the village were literally climbing the walls to listen to us sing and teach the kids at Village de Vie. Climbing the walls! When was the last time you saw an American kid climbing the walls to go to school? When was the last time you saw one excited to talk about what they learned at school today?

Many orphans in Haiti are economic orphans which means their parent(s) live in the village but are unable to feed them so they give them up to the oraphanage so they don’t starve. Their parents do not have any education/means to make a living. Village de Vie teaches the children skills (English, French, Creole, how to cook, laundry, etc) so they can function outside of its walls when they turn 18. This $20 education is paving a way for children to be able to provide for themselves and their future children for generations. It stops the cycle of hunger and not-knowing. This will change a country. Please be a part of it with me!

When you sponsor a child, remember to put “Redeemer KC” in the comments/description line so the Haiti Orphan Project knows to send the money to Village de Vie. God Bless.

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

– James 1:27

To Haiti or Not to Haiti?

That is The Question.

I love the time I was able to spend in Haiti in May. Like love it enough that on my bad days in Kansas City I joke with my friends that I’m going to quit my job and move to Haiti. It wouldn’t be easy. It wouldn’t be glamerous. It would be terrifying. but that’s my fallback plan. (much to my mother’s dismay)

God blessed me with an engineering brain. it took me a long time to understand that’s what I am blessed (about 72 credit hours towards a bachelor’s of science degree in animal science to be exact) but I’m here. working as an engineering. on the road to being licensed. I don’t know what God wants me to do with my engineering degree and my love for Haiti.

But I love Haiti enough to walk away from my job (again) for five days and to go back in October. I’m not sure how my boss will respond so I’m probably going to wait to mention it until about two weeks before when it’s far to late to change it. I’m not sure how my parents are going to respond to spending all my vacation hugging strangers instead of hugging them.

None of that scares me.

what scares me is my desire for this to be God’s will in my life. I enjoyed the trip in May. I loved getting to know amazing people in my church and in Haiti. I spend time with all those people in the states now. I just want to make sure that God is the driving and motivating factor in my trip in October. it’s great (and necessary) to have community and to have communities that want to incorporate other people in the community but I want God to use this.

The funny part? God uses everything in my life and everything in your life for a reason. (aka this rambling post has a purpose which is why I’m still typing away at my desk at work).

So I filled out the online application last week sometime. I can still technically “get out” of going – there’s no money involved yet. Les, the director for the Haiti Orphan Project, called me this morning and left a voicemail during my project meeting asking if I was the same person that went on the trip in May and stating that he would love to talk to me about Haiti. Having that voicemail on my phone makes me smile. It gives me an unusual amount of joy.

I want to write the check and make it official. I’m over my budget this month already – I went on a girls weekend to the lake of the ozarks (on my bucket list) to celebrate my friend turning 30 but it cost the same as my deposit for Haiti. There’s money in my savings account and I know God provides. I’ve been praying. Asking. Wanting. for weeks now.

I think it’s time to commit.

Please pray for me. pray that the funds work out. pray that God will be obvious in His use of this trip. pray for the leaders of Haiti and the children in the orphanages. pray for me to have a sense of peace about this decision.

pray.

Haiti

I promised to tell you about my membership interview at Redeemer Fellowship here in Kansas City. If you’re ever in the area and need some food for your soul, you should come in for service. (They also post the sermons each Sunday if you never find yourself in KC and need some spiritual healing too). This church has changed my life in ways only God can orchestrate and I am beyond thankful.

A year or so ago I was in a downward spiral of selfishness and bad habits. My friend (turned roommate) Rachel invited me to go to this church that she loves. I put her off for several months before I gave in and I’ve been there every Sunday I’m in KC since! I thank God daily for putting her in my life. I quickly signed up for the membership class, called Redeemer DNA, to figure out if I wanted to join a church again. I had struggled, and ultimately let myself blame God for actions of a church in Austin and had been using that as the perfect excuse to do whatever I wanted to…

Part of joining Redeemer is taking the class, another part is donating your time and talents so I began to read scripture during worship services. I love to speak to large groups of people, although I prefer to wing-it and not have anything rehearsed. I actually get nervous before reading when I have to say things correctly and even more nervous if the audience knows that I’m supposed to be saying. I find myself leaning on God to be able to make it to the front of the church without tripping and then pronouncing everything correctly without squeaking. It’s been a wonderful learning opportunity for me when I didn’t think it was really going to be.

The final part of the membership process is the membership interview with one of the pastors. “Membership interview” is really the wrong terminology but the english language (language in general) is inadequate to describe this situation. “Pastor meet-and-greet” gets closer to actuality but passes the cheesy line as well….This is not an interview because there is no judgement on if you get to be a member or not, no right or wrong answers. This is a conversation between you and pastor about what you believe in and where you stand in your life. They want to be able to call you by name on Sunday morning. They want to understand what you are struggling with so they can respond to it. They want to make connections and point you in directions of growth.

My growth came from a couple different directions during the course of this conversation. I was talking about how I’m feeling restless and how I’ve been praying for God to send me in his direction in regards to physically where I’m living, and not about living with Rachel or in an apartment or something else, but rather about what city and state and country I should be living in. We delved into the discussion about how I move around to avoid conflict and deep emotional connections with people – it’s easier to move than to tell someone why I don’t like what they are doing. I’ve been working on this but still have this sense of restlessness.

I then focused on trying to balance my work and my life and my faith. I compartmentalize events and escape them by going to work. If I don’t want to deal with something then I simply have to go to work and deal with something else. I have more control with work. I’m now balancing (most of the time) my work demands and creating space in my life for God to work.

All this space has left me with a restlessness on how to fill it. I’ve thought about joining another ministry team at church but just haven’t had one speak to me yet. Evan (my pastor) asked if I had ever thought about going to Haiti with the church for a mission trip. I quickly blurted two (ridiculous) responses: “I don’t like hugging babies, it’s not my thing” and “I question the effectiveness of doing short term mission trips because they tend to validate the goer and not the receivers.”

Evan smiled, got thoughtful, and told me to pray about it before explaining that this trip was to figure out how the church can me more productive in a long-term relationship with the Haiti Orphan Project. He suggested I consider going because of the leadership skills I have and that it was not all about hugging babies.

So I prayed.

And then I signed up to go on the trip. I leave April 30th and come back May 6th.

This is about glorifying God, loving children, and helping develop opportunities for other people in the church to do the same. This is not about me. This is not about my comfort zone. This is about hugging children because they do not have anyone else to hug. This is about learning how other people spend their lives. This is about listening to God work and move in my life and the world. If I pray for an answer and don’t like the one He gives me, I cannot keep praying for answers.

I ask that you pray for this trip. Please pray for safe travels, open hearts and minds, resilient stomachs, and for this to touch and move hundreds of people to action.