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Long Term Missionaries Archives

Long Term Missionaries Blog

Follow along with the journey and experiences of our Haiti ARISE long term missionaries. Click on any of the links below to check out their personal blogs during their stay in Haiti. Or follow along below for current long term missionary posts. You can also subscribe to this page to receive the updates by email.

Five Mangoes

Keith & Andrea Collins will be serving in Haiti from January- June 2015

Arise, Shine... Isaiah 60:1

Wade and Marilyn Fitzpatrick serve in Haiti as team hosts, Jan-June 2014 & Oct 2014-June 2015

One Day at a Time

Wade and Marilyn Fitzpatrick served in Haiti as team hosts, January- June 2013

Chris & Cathy's Haitian Adventure

Chris and Cathy Bergquist, served in Haiti as team hosts and assistant project manager, Jan- March 2012

:.Go... matthew 28:19

Wade and Marilyn Fitzpatrick, served in Haiti as team hosts, pastor and facilities manager, Oct- Dec 2011

 In His Service

Chris and Rebecca Girvan, served in Haiti as ESL teachers, pastor and team hosts, August 2010- June 2011

Run the Race

Beth Barrett and Davide Dale (married), served in Haiti as team hosts and project manager, March- May 2010 & January- April 2011

Gord In Haiti

Gord Houghton, after the Jan 2010 earthquake, served in Haiti as project manager, March- April 2010, and then returned as team leader in August 2010.

Tuesday
Nov262013

hear my heart 

I am not going to lie and tell you that these last 8 weeks have been easy. They have been filled with challenges and difficulties, tears, and lots of moments of surrendering to God. But maybe that is what our entire walk with Christ is supposed to come to. Surrender. I also can’t lie and say that the first weeks I spent here, I didn't spend distracted and caught up in what was happening within my old life back in North America. It’s not easy being away from your friends, your family, your boyfriend, and having to sit out the outside and watch their lives go on without you while all you can do is wish to be apart of whats happening. But you can’t. Not more then a couple messages exchanged every couple of days or a skype call once every few weeks.  I thought that’s how I was sharing in the lives of the people around me, but that’s not true. I spent so much of my time longing to be apart of lives of those back home; the community bible studies, the young adults group, the worship nights, the sunday morning church services filled with new faces in a new community that I had such desire to experience-that I was completely looking right past all of those things that were happening right where I was.

It was a big slap in the face when I realized this, and when I realized that if God wanted those things, in that place for me right now, He wouldn’t have sent me here And there is no doubt in my mind that me being back in Haiti was ordained by the Lord. The way things fell back into place so perfectly; I knew I was coming home, in His timing. It is so unfortunate that it took me the first 4 weeks to realize this.  

  Now that I have realized that, my heart longs to stay here. To flood into the lives of these students, to laugh with them, to cry with them, to celebrate the work of Jesus with them. To be back here in January standing at the front of the class welcoming them with hugs and laughter, tears of joy and the promise that I am not going anywhere, that I can continue to provide these things for them and partner with them in success that they may never have experienced before. But God said no to me. Now, what I didn't understand, was why God would say no to that. How could he say no to something that was in the center of his heart, and where His will was actively being worked out? But He said thats what I’ve wanted for you these last 9 week, you know my plan for January. It is also no consciedence the way that life fell together for me to be back at school in January. My date of acceptance, my living arrangements, the way money has been provided, it was clear to me that yes, that was where I was supposed to be. But why now, is that not where I want to be? Why couldn’t these feelings have been reveresed? Why couldn’t I have been longing for Haiti, for these students, my heart, my ministry the first month? and why now.. can’t I be looking forward to what Jesus has prepared for me these coming months? Why is is so so hard to just allow Him to do the work and for me to just follow? Why do I always need to lead? When I think about leaving here, I feel sick to my stomache. A feeling I have never had quite like this before. I feel like I am abandoning my students right when they need me. Abandonding Undeino as I just begin life with him.  A feeling I had towards my family as I packed up my life and flew across the ocean two months ago. 

  The difference though, is that when I left them back in October, I also left them with a promise that I would be back, that life would go on without me and that they would be fine. Can I make that same promise to the people I love here? Can I promise them that money will be provided so that they can go to school next month? That I am sure someone else can find their son a new pair of shoes or a backpack for school? Can I promise that I will be back visiting their homes and loving them like I have never loved before? The answer is no, I can’t make those promises. But I can surrender them to the Lord and trust that His promises are far superior to mine. 

         Although I am beyond hesitant to go home and leave my students in the hands of new teachers, missionaries, and visitors who don’t know their stories, their hearts,  or the hurt they have lived through, I am confident that I am leaving them in the hands of the Almighty God, who knows far more then I could ever comprehend or understand, for these are His children, and He loves them with a love so great that I long to be humbled so that I may to experience His love and mercy in the same kind of gratefulness that they have. So who am I to fear their future when their lives lay in the hands of the High Priest, the Author and Perfector of our faith. Being chosen to share in life in Haiti hasn't taught me how to love more deeply, it's taught me how to hurt like Christ did, to join right in with the people Jesus loves and suffer with them. To long for the hope of Christ to be revealed in this place. Through that hurt, love pours out more freely, deeply and unconditionally then ever before. This is my heart. 

"Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed." 1 Peter 4:12-13 

Cass


Tuesday
Oct292013

Flood this place

Bonswa mwen zanmi yo! 

It has been awhile since I have updated you on life here in Haiti. It is going on week four for me already! Time seems to go by so fast when you are in love with what you are doing, who you are doing it with, and who you are doing it for. 

Life here is busy, but I continously remind myself and others back home,  that I am not living some crazy, adventerous, packed life. I am just living life- in Haiti. I have spent the last couple weeks teaching English in the Technical School. There are no words to express how incredible it is to see that building in action. The original school took SEVEN years to build, was completed in Decemeber of 2009, and was destroyed in the earthquake the following January. Both teams that I have served with in Haiti with through Briercrest have had the opportunity to be apart of building the school at different stages. Everyday the classrooms are filled with students from surronding towns - Grand Goave (where I live), Petit Goave and other small villages along the way. Classes run 8-12 and 1-5 Monday- Friday and 8-5 on Saturdays. We offer classes much similar to what Siast would provide back in Saskatchewan- welding, tiling, carpentry, construction, plumbing, electrical.. We currently have almost 300 students registered and taking classes right now. How exciting is that? The Lord is building up this generation. That is 300 more students that will be provided with a certificate and job opportunities, and it is only the first month! There is an incredible need for education here. The Lord has given us vison to recognize that need and is continously providing us with the supplies and people in order to meet that need. 

  When I first arrived in Haiti, and watched the Lord completely transformed my heart for this place, it was day by day encounters with the people that really captured my heart. It was the joy that each child brought, the love that elderly woman poured all over me, the hospitality of the family living in poverty just outside my gate, the warm greetings of the same two men I walked by every morning. It was because of the church, the body of Christ, and the presence of the Spirit that was so evidently alive in that small wood building.  Throughout my time here, the Lord has been revealing more and more where He is placing my heart. Last April- May, I felt that the Lord was teaching me what it meant to love those living in poverty. Not just care for them, not just provide for all of their needs- give them a clean drink of water, a full meal to eat, provide their family with power for a month. No, the Lord was teaching me what it mean to love them. How to help them withstand the challenges of this world on their own, without them holding onto my hand. That all begins with Jesus. He gave me vision for the longterm goals for this small community. More clean drinking wells, more schools, more sponsorship programs, more food distribution- fruits and vegtables they can grow on their own. Instead of just taking garbage bags and cleaning the streets as a way of serving, doing it with them as a way of teaching them how to make their home a cleaner and more safe enviroment. No, these things don't just happen all at once. and there are moments of dissapointment, failure, and exhaustion, but that all comes with entering right into their suffering and loving them right there. This time however, the Lord is revealing to me the desperate need for education in Haiti. There are days when I wake up and want nothing more than to crawl back into bed, fall back asleep, skip class for the day and hang out in the villages, but the second I walk into my class, or see the face of one of my students I am reminded immediately that I gave been given the most incredible, important job, and I have the opportunity to provide students with something that may never recieve again. Education. Thank you Jesus for choosing me to be apart of your vision. 

       As a part of my own journey, I have been challenging myself to seek Jesus in something or someone new everday. What an incredibly joyful thing it has been! Sunday I saw Jesus radiating out of the elderly woman at the front of the church. Singing, dancing, shouting praises to the Lord, and after the service covering me in hugs and kisses and prayers, and I just thought - yes Jesus you are there. I have seen Jesus in the two elderly sisters who sit on their porch all day waving and smiling at all who pass by. In the woman just outside my house who brings her granddaughter out for me to hold everytime I walk by, in the small boys who so willingly grab my hand and lead me across a busy road, in the face of my sponsorchild's mother as she told me about her son affording to attend public school, in the laughter and the singing of the ladies who work long hours in the kitchen for us day after day. Yes, Jesus is alive here.

      Now, here me out for this next part. I do think that the Holy Spirit is alive and active in our western churches, however, I do feel that we are missing a lot of the work that He is doing.  I do feel though, that the Spirit is more obviously active in places where people are desperate for Him, humbled before Him, and not distracted by their pursuit of wealths and comforts. This is what I am experiencing. The Holy Spirit is absoloutely vital to our lives. We need to realize that if the Holy Spirit moves, nothing can stop Him; and if He doesn't, we will not produce genuine fruit- no matter how much effort or money we spend. The church becomes irrelevant when we become dependant on the work of humans. Without the work of the Spirit, people operate in their own strength, and only accomplish human size results. The world is not moved by love or actions that are of human creation. We need to understand that. We also need to understand that the church is not empowered to live differently from any other gathering of people without the Holy Spirit.  But when believers live in the power of the Spirit, the evidence in their lives is supernatural- the church cannot belp but be different, and the world cannot help but notice. May our lives by empowered by the Spirit and forever changed by the work of His hand. 

Holy Spirit you are welcome here, Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere,

Your glory God is what our hearts long for, to be overcome by Your presence Lord. 

Cass

 

Friday
Oct112013

mwen tounnen!

Home. After four incredible months spent in Canada, I am back to the place that so easily captured my heart three years ago. I am where my heart has been rooted, I am home. I think that somewhere in the midst of the business of my last three months I lost sight of what the Lord was calling me to. I became content. I am not saying that it was wrong for me to be happy. I live an extrememly blessed life back in Canada; the Lord has surrounded me with the most wonderful and encouraging friends and family and I couldn't ask for better people in my life to walk beside me and support me wherever I am being called. I am saying however, that I kinda gave up. I became comfortable with where I was, I quit striving, I quit seeking, and I lost sight of my heart for Haiti, and worst of all, I lost sight of the Lords heart and the vision He had for His people here. Those things came flooding back quickly though, in my last days of preperation, as I was reminded that I had already said yes to God.  As I enter back into a new and unfamiliar enviorment I am tempted to look around and think,  Why? Why am I giving up all that I have in Canada? Why would I choose to leave family and friends and go to a land of strangers? Why would we live with less so we can give to others more?  Because He has called me and I answered, it didn't matter that I was comfortable or content, or enjoying my luxourious life back in Canada. He had called to much bigger and deeper things. This is what it means when I say I do it for Jesus. That He has loved me first; and I love Him back.

I arrived in Port Au Prince on Wednesday, and there was an overwhelming feeling of relief as I stepped out into the 36 degree chaos that was before me. I was home. I have an anxious impatient heart, and it was only an hour after I had arrived that I was out in the community visiting the faces of those that I loved so much. Being in the community is my absoloute favorite place. I love visiting people;being in their enviroment, seeing their homes, their children, their families.  It allows me to minister to them in a new way, it gives me new vision, a deeper perspective, a deeper love. 

I was driving through the town yesterday when I heard my name being shouted from the road. First of all, the road is filled with people, mostly children as school has ended and they are all walking home, secondly, I am one of very rare white females living in Grand Goave, and for a child or adult to know my name would not be uncommon, but I recoginized the voice. As I turned my head out the window I saw Marley, standing on the side of the road with the biggest, most beautiful smile I have ever seen, proudly holding up his backpack.I came to a quick realization-  Marley was going to school. Instantly my eyes filled with tears and I could not stop crying. I don't know that I have ever been filled with so much joy. If you followed my blog at all last May, then you may know Marley's story. He lives in extremely poor living conditions, and had never attended school. He is 10, and as of last May, could not even spell his name. Now, he has a brand new uniform, clean socks and a backpack and a sponsor. I am in love with the work that Jesus does. Marley is one example of a life that is changed, simply because one person said yes to the Lord. Yes I will give more. Yes I will love as You do. Yes I will follow You.

I've been reading a book by Katie Davis, and she says this,  "As we read through scripture and the miracles of Jesus, the story of Lazarus stands out. The Bible tells the story of Jesus miraculously raising Lazarus from the dead, healing numerous of dealthy ill people, and feeding thousands. What the Bible does not mention, but what must be true, is that years later, Lazarus still died. The people Jesus healed were inevitably sick again at some point in their lives. The people Jesus miraculously fed were hungry only a few days later. More important than the obvious might and power shown by Jesus' miracles is His love. He loved these pople enough to do everything in His power to "make it better". He entered into their suffering and loved them right there. "

 We aren't really called to save the world, not even one person, Jesus does that. We are just called to love the abandon. We are called to enter into our neighbours sufferings and love them right there. Maybe during my time here I will only have a small influence on a few people, maybe I will be accepted and loved, maybe I will be rejected, but I will love  anyways. I will pour Jesus' love on them and share in their sufferings with them. And if ONE life can be changed through me saying Yes to Jesus one more time; Saying yes and allowing Jesus' wild love that He so freely offers through us, that He has choosen me, considered me worthy to share in His suffering, then in that I will find pure joy. And in that I will remain confident, that I will see the goodness of the Lord. 

Pour in me to overflow. 

Cass

Thursday
Oct102013

Arriving Back on the Field

It is fall again and that means the arrival of the long term missionaries back on the field at Haiti ARISE. Today Cassie VanCamp flew in and will spend the first few days on her own with all the friends and staff at Haiti ARISE. This was not the original plan, of course. Wade and Marilyn Fitzpatrick were on their way to meet up with her when they missed their first flight out of Regina. Then Wade fell sick, causing them to miss their next rebooked flight. They will be on their way tomorrow though, hopefully with no more illness, and arrive in Haiti on Friday. Joe Park will be following next Wed and then Roy Ralph on next Saturday. We are looking forward to a great time again with these great volunteers. You can follow along this blog to hear about life in Haiti through the eyes of the long term missionaries. Experience with them cultural differences, friendships and amazing ministry opportunities. Also, we invite you to partner with them in prayer!