Haiti–day 7–heading home

28 11 2009

Day 7—heading home.

As I sit in the Port au Prince airport, waiting on my flight home, I have some time to think.  No cell phone service here, so communication with the outside is non-existent.  That’s good though, I get to clearly put my thoughts down.

praying over one of our Haitian friends in Bord Mer during our rice feeding

As far as the week: we had an incredible time.  We saw Haitians come to know Christ through our village ministry, we fed them through our rice feedings, and we saw our relationships with our Haitian family…

I have had some time to think about things too…especially about Tia.  I can’t thank God enough for what He is doing for us with this little girl.  She is turning our family upside down and inside out!  It’s awesome.

Here’s what I have learned from spending a week with Tia:

She is a ball of energy.  Every time I call her, she knows my voice, but sometimes (actually many times) she chooses to keep walking.  She has a mind of her own.  She isn’t a big fan of someone else being in control.  I however, understand the roll of being the parent.  I’m going to parent her the best way I can…in English and in what little Creole I know. I’m praying she will hear my voice and obey.  I’m praying she will know I only want the best for her and I pray she will want to obey me and WANT to be near me.

God gave me these verses:

12 Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation–but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it.13 For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live,14 because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.15 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co‑heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.          –Romans 8:12-17

Voodoo celebrates the death...but we know the LIFE

smiling and learning to listen to Daddy

Here is what I know: I believe I’ve been adopted myself…adopted into God’s family.  He chose to bring me into His family.  He calls my name…and there are times I scream, “NO!” at the top of my lungs and there are times I run away.  I am just like my little Haitian girl.  I know He’s my “Papa” but there are still times I struggle to do what He says.

It might be a stretch for you but it’s crystal clear to me.  This week I know I called Tia’s name hundreds of times.  I sat her down a few times when she needed to be reminded who is REALLY in charge.  I wouldn’t let her pour her water into her spaghetti.  I chose to parent her the best way I see fit…something she must get used to.  I’m not going to let her go though, no matter what.  She’s MY BABY!  Regardless of what happens over the next few months, I’m going to love her because she is my child.  She will experience all the positives and negatives that come with the Wilson name.

I pray daily that Tia understands just how much I care about her.  I saw this week how I believe God truly looks at me.  When Tia cried in front of everyone else I calmly and lovingly tried to communicate with her in a new language.  I know what’s in store for her but she has no clue.  She can’t see her new LIFE any further than knowing one day she will get on an airplane with “Mama and Papa” and head to her new house.  She has no

sometimes we turn our backs

clue that she is leaving behind the land of goats and pigs in the middle of the capital city.  She has no clue that things are clean in her new home.  She doesn’t know air conditioning, the need for heat, or what a HD television is like…but one day she will.

I never knew what faith was until I had to experience it.  I never understood God’s hand and provision truly being enough…until I had to trust it alone.  This week I was reminded how God loves me more than I could ever imagine…and I’ve seen Him closer almost daily over the past few years.  I know Tia will be blown away to know how much we are going to love her…and I am completely IN SHOCK at how much God has shown me about who I am through a little brown-skinned girl who is one day going to be a WILSON!


sometimes we get mad

and sometimes God rocks our worlds!!



26 11 2009

This time last week, as many of you know, I was in Haiti. Normally once I return home I am ready to tell everyone all about my trip but not this time. It was different. My trip impacted me so much that I needed time to process all the thoughts in my head. I thought that today being Thanksgiving would be ye best time for me to share thoughts from my week by sharing what I am Thankful for & why!

1. I am THANKFUL for my LIFE! This is something that I so often have taken lightly but after being in Haiti I have learned it is a true gift! While there last week there was one who lost is life & another that began life! I don’t know either one of their stories but all I know is ones chance to make a difference in the world is over & one is just beginning! I want to make a difference in my LIFE everyway I can. Another thing I learned last wk was my Haitian friends & family live each day with true JOY & a smile because it’s one day closer to them spending eternity in heaven! That’s how I want to live & for my LIFE I am THANKFUL!

2. I am THANKFUL for my FAMILY! So many times I get frustrated over the tiniest things. Beds not made, clothes not put up, things not looking perfect. Haiti has taught me that each moment with my family is a precious moment that I can NEVER get back so let the little things go! Family is a special gift that I should protect, LOVE, grow, teach & respect! I should feel this way everyday & not just on Thanksgiving! All the STUFF in the world can vanish & fade away, but FAMILY is there forever! Being able to spend the whole week with Tia was yhe most AMAZING experience ever! She is everything i could have ever dreamed if & more! She is funny, she is smart, she loves to draw, she loves to see where her boundaries are, & she LOVES to eat! She is 100% a Wilson & it AMAZES me that almost five years ago (She eill be 5 Jan. 5th) that God knew he was forming her to be a part of our family! Today i am THANKFUL for her dad….thankful that he was willing to give up such a precious gift & give it to us that we may have our family complete! That is why I am THANKFUL for my family!

3. I am THANKFUL for my SALVATION! I don’t think I have ever thought about this aspect of my life until Haiti last week. While doing village ministry I had the AMAZING priviledge of praying with several people to accept Christ, but when I heard them pray it was different. It’s was a pray of a hope & a future! My best friend Kelly & I had the opportunity to pray with a mother & daughter who recieved Christ! It was one of the most AMAZING memories I have of Haiti. seeing a family rejoice together, knowing they will NEVER have yo worry another day about where their strenght comes from….THE LORD! I saw a JOY in them that took me back to my salvation & for that I am THANKFUL!

4. I am THANKFUL for the house I live in, the clothes I wear & the food I will eat today & everyday. In Haiti the word “house” would be a very loose term to most American’s. A house to them may be sticks with some tatch weaves together making walls, it could be cinderblocks piled up with some concreate stuck in between keeping it from falling & for the very fortunate it good be a solid concreate structure that would seem like no more than very small wareshouse to us here in America. The one thing I have noticed in Haiti though is no matter what kind of house they have, they take pride in the fact that they have it! I feel like so many times here I get so caught up in wanting more that I forget to stop & be THANKFUL for what I do have! I never think about all the clothes I have. Some of my Haitian friends today will put on the ONE nice thing they own. Some may only have a couple of pieces of clothing, some may only have the scraps people have given them. When I sit down to eat today I know there will be a spread of food….just like there is every year! I will be THANKFUL for that today because I know that in Haiti some people won’t get any food today! Some may get meal if they are lucky & some may have enough rice for the month because we were able to supply them with that while we were there last wk! As I think about how excited each person who came through that rice line was last week, I pray that image will be burnt in my mind FOREVER! For that I am THANKFUL!

5. I am THANKFUL for Haiti! This past week was my 7th trip to Haiti & by far the most impactful! I saw LIVES changed, I saw miracles right in front of me, I built lasting friendships, I felt things in my heart that I have NEVER felt, I bonded with my baby girl! I don’t want to lose what God showed me in Haiti last week! I want to SEE these things everyday here, I want to remember how much Haiti has impacted me & I want to share that with everyone who will listen (& maybe even those who won’t :). I am THANKFUL that God has parked my heart in Haiti because it has allowed me to seey LIFE with SO MUCH MORE MEANING!

These are the things I am THANKFUL for this holiday season & I intend on carrying them with me in my heart everyday for the rest of my LIFE!

Haiti with Tia…Day 1

22 11 2009

Day 1—Saturday

Today after arriving at the mission, our dear friend Martha Joseph, had Tia brought to me on a motorcycle. I can’t describe the feeling of knowing she was coming. What was even worse, was knowing she was in the village of Neply, staying at Martha’s house and we drove right by. I tried to look for her, but never saw her. The motorcycle however showed up just moments after we got to the mission. Soon Tia and I were reunited. The feelings of joy, fear, tension, and contentment were all racing through my head. Would she remember me? Would she want to see me? Would she call me Papa? And possibly most frightening, would she like staying with me?

All of those questions were answered almost instantly. She was frightened at first. She was glad to see me, but I don’t think she truly remembered me. I can only imagine her confusion of spending the previous week with her Mama—Missy and 30 other white people and then her Papa coming in with another group. I’m sure in her head we all look alike…

It took some getting used to, but we survived the first night. The language barrier definitely exists, but we will get through it. We will press through the tantrums, the pushing of the limits, and constantly looking over her shoulder to see if I’m still looking at her.

I have noticed she constantly wants me to see what she is doing. She wants to KNOW I am watching her. I guess spending the last 3 ½ years in an orphanage will do that to anybody, especially a 4-year-old girl who was dropped off at the orphanage when she was 2.

Tonight I held her during devotions as she went to sleep. She sleeps under a mosquito net, on a mattress on the floor (Missy learned quickly she can fall out of a bed), in my room. She is with ME! Thank you God.

Haiti with Tia–Day 2

21 11 2009

yep, she's all Wilson!!

Day 2—Sunday

Today has been a great day.  I have been able to spend the entire day with Tia.  She is spending the night again with me.

The day began a little rough with her not wanting to get a shower.  What 4-year-old really WANTS to get a shower though?  I’m sure I wouldn’t.   I know the language barrier, having some strange man try to coax her into the bathroom, and just the intensity of the change in her surroundings is difficult.  The bottom line:  I gave her a sponge bath as she screamed her lungs out.  Getting her teeth brushed will be a little more difficult, but tonight I got help from a dear friend—Martha.  Martha took her to her house and bathed her and got her ready for me.  I truly see the friendship with the local Haitians and the care they have for my new family and me.  I guess Hillary Clinton was right, “It does take a village to raise a child.”  Or at least a villager that speaks the same language!

Today Tia had a great day at church.  She played and ran around with me during the service.  I guess she’s going to be a great Preacher’s Kid after all!  We went to a beautiful church…Darbon Chateau…and it was packed.  The church had over 200 children and adults in the service.  I think our team had a great time worshipping there.

After church, we delivered a generator our ministry had bought for the last New Missions church…Darbon.  We have seen 22 churches receive generators through the generosity of our donors.  The look on the Pastor’s face and the faces of the congregation was outstanding.  They were thrilled.

The team went on a walk after lunch.  Tia and I stayed back.  At first, I was a little frustrated to know Tia wouldn’t be going on the walk and therefore I wasn’t going.  Brent said Tia had gone last week a couple of times and was more than a little rough as the time wore on…I thought it was a sign he didn’t want us, but man oh man was I wrong.  I found out that God had given Tia and I that time to bond.  She spent the entire afternoon with me.  We had a moment of struggle (she IS DEFINITELY A STRONG-WILLED child—much like Eli—in fact, she is EXACTLY like Eli—Mesi JEZI for preparing us in advance for this!).  Tia wants to get her way, but more than anything, she wants to know where the boundaries are.  After a few minutes of boundary pushing, we settled into the routine of her playing with the luggage tags from the bags we were going to sort later and me laughing at her.

I wouldn’t trade that time for ANYTHING I have done in Haiti.  She eventually got around to calling me Papa…on her own…unprovoked or without any prodding from me.  She even gave me some kisses on the cheek when I told her thank you for what she was doing.  I felt like the Daddy of a little girl for the first time in my LIFE.  I wasn’t just her adoptive father, but I was becoming her DADDY.  It was like the many moments I have shared with the boys, on the football field, at the piano, playing a video game, getting a high five, or just by simply exchanging a wink and smile; but this moment was the first for Tia and I.

I got to talk to Missy also this afternoon.  She was such an encouragement.  She lifted my spirits so much.  My wife has truly found a Haitian home.  I have wanted for years to have a place that was “ours” and we now have it.  It’s a little get-away out in the Caribbean…a little place we call Haiti.  I know she’s going to be great with Tia and I think she’s going to make me a better Dad…even to my boys and to Katie at home now!!

Tonight, she climbed on the picnic table and went to sleep.  She laid her head on a folder and crashed.  I brought her to bed, tucked her in, and said prayers over her.  It was the first night of having a DAUGHTER with me.  This week is going to be both joyful and difficult.  Thank you God for bringing me to this point.  I have to trust that YOU are in control, otherwise, I might never have the courage to leave her here or continue on the journey you have us on.

Bon Huit (Good Night) from Haiti.

Missy in Haiti

19 11 2009

I have had the chance to talk to Missy daily as she has been in Haiti with Tia this week.  It has been an incredible week for her to be able to spend some time with Tia…building the Mother/Daughter bond, and for me to be with the boys…eating like guys and playing like MEN!

Hopefully Missy will come back with a ton of stories, but more than anything, I hear it in her voice…the comfort that Tia is supposed to be with us.  Not that we ever doubted it, but we have spent many days praying for this very moment.  Missy is confident with Tia and Tia is opening up to “Mah-Mah.”

I am so excited to get to spend some time with Tia myself in the future.  Please continue to pray for us and for Missy as she gets ready to leave Haiti this Saturday.  I know it’s going to be a difficult time for her, but God is there guiding both she and Tia.

Thanks, –mike