It was on May 30, 2013 that Dan and I left for our very first trip to Haiti....little did we know at that time how God would change our lives on that trip.....he broke us down, he showed us that we didn't have it all together, that our priorities were not in the place they should be, that there is another world out there beyond our comfort zone!
We struggled greatly when we came home....what was God calling us to do, were we supposed to move to Haiti? We were so torn inside not knowing where he was leading us.....but as God always does he shows the way if you only open your eyes, ears and mostly your hearts! After much prayer and much discussion we made the decision that God was calling us to make others aware of what we ourselves had experienced....we became board members with OH4F, Inc. and we speak at small groups, large groups, congregations and tell them about the work that OH4F, Inc. and Coreluv are doing in Haiti.
OH4F, Inc raises money to support the Myan School, where we pay the monthly salaries for the teachers and staff. We helped to raise the money to complete the building of the school and we pray that God will give us the courage, strength and resources to help Coreluv add a second level to the school so we can accommodate more children and expand our grade levels. We work closely with Coreluv to ensure that the school is taken care of and pray that God will continue to bless this partnership!
I was asked by someone when we went on that first trip what we were going to do? My answer was simply to go and love on God's children...it was then stated to me that "you can stay right here and love on your grandchildren". At the time that did not sit well with me and I couldn't quite put my finger on the reason. God showed me that reason in Haiti! My grandchildren know that they have my love, even when I am not there they know that I will always be there for them no matter what! The children in Haiti don't have that security...don't get me wrong, they are loved and cared for by Coreluv and nannies with a great love that God has provided....but they have seen great sorrow and poverty and abandonment and things that we can only imagine.....God gave me a love that can cover that....I feel like I have 70+ more grandchildren in Haiti.....there are always a few that tug at your heart more than others....you see God showed me that I have a heart for these children and a love that expands way beyond the borders of my family to HIS family!
I pray that someday you may find yourself at a crossroads as Dan & I did, where we let God take the lead. We have a desire to go back to Haiti time and time again just so we can be grounded in that love that God showed us in a little third world country.....I encourage you to talk to one of us....Dan is just as passionate about OH4F, Inc and the work that we do!
Who would have thought that we would have to travel to a little third world country to hear God?
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you. Psalm 32:8
#oh4f #defendtheorphan #educatetheforgotten #coreluv
I think the word I’ve used most to describe my time in Haiti is RICH. It was a rich experience of God and the body of Christ in action. It was a rich experience of an endlessly fascinating country. It was a rich time as a father with my eleven-year-old daughter. OH4F is doing great work in Haiti. They also do a great job of bringing you right into the heart of life and ministry in Haiti. It’s transformation all-around.
When I got back I said something like this to my congregation:
Myself…I tend to hone in on my “to do” list and Google calendar…all of the pressing details of life. Being in Haiti has opened my eyes again to the bigger picture. God used that time to open my eyes and my heart just a little more to his big vision, his plan for our world.
In a sense, it was a sacramental experience. And here’s what I mean by that…
Taking in the Lord’s Supper only involves a little nibble of bread and a sip of juice. It’s not the full feast that God is preparing…that’s yet to come. But it’s a taste of what’s to come. And God uses it to touch our hearts. That’s what sacraments do. God is active through the sacraments to activate something in our hearts and minds. It’s an experience of God’s kingdom.
My experience of life and ministry in Haiti was kind of like that. It, too, was an experience of God’s kingdom, a taste of what’s to come.
I got to meet a woman who just weeks ago was a voodoo witch-doctor and a real leader in her village. Now she’s cleared all of the voodoo stuff out of her house and she’s passionately following Christ. She’s still a leader in her village but now she’s leading people out of darkness rather than into darkness.
I got to see the neat work that Haitian Christians and American Christians are doing together in caring for 63 orphans…and I got to be a part of it for just a little while. Working alongside fellow believers who speak a different language and look very different than me…that, too, was an experience of God’s kingdom.
As a group we got to worship with a Haitian congregation on Sunday morning. We heard a girl sing in creole “Heaven came down and glory filled my soul when at the cross my Savior made me whole.” We heard their Haitian Pastor preach in Creole. They even gave this white guy a chance to share a bit using an interpreter. We prayed together. We praised our Lord together… again, an experience of God’s kingdom.
I’m very grateful to OH4F and the staff and children in Haiti for ministering to my daughter and me. I pray that God will continue to build his kingdom in Mayan and beyond.
Although my name is Craig Van Hill I am often referred to as PC since I’m also known as Pastor Craig. I am a husband and father of 3 energetic boys. In thinking about them I’m amazed at the amount of love that God gives us to share. This thought struck me so hard when I first went to Haiti. My heart went out to these children and I always look forward to seeing them again. After loving on the children in Haiti on that first vision trip I have become so attached to them that I can’t imagine my life without them. It has moved beyond love to passion and I am so amazed at how God has worked through us. If you don’t know what I’m talking about then join us on a trip, and if you do know then share that passion with others!