From an early age, I have been fascinated by the eyes and wanted to be an eye doctor. As I got older, that desire grew into a passion to provide eye care to those who are less fortunate by going on regular medical mission trips. When shown God's grace to become an optometrist, I felt "the Spirit of the Lord on me to recover sight for the blind" (Luke 4:18). I wanted to use the opportunity He'd given me to use my skills to the fullest. However, the Lord recovered my own sight during my mission trip with LiveBeyond (Oct. '16) and gave me a much-needed change in focus, even though I had been to Haiti with LiveBeyond before.
When someone asked me and my husband, Caleb, to consider going to Haiti, I wanted to go, but a part of my heart was still in Africa and Guatemala. I had seen many good works around the world but after our first trip in November '14, I had never seen anything like what the Lord is doing in Haiti.
He is truly changing a country by how and what is being done through LiveBeyond. LiveBeyond is striving to meet every single need of the Haitians on an ongoing basis. By having a Haitian and an American in charge of every program, it is empowering Haiti to eventually be a self-sustaining nation. By requiring a transaction for every resource, it is teaching the Haitians to be grateful for what they are given, rather than entitled or deserving of more.
This second trip hit me like a crash of waves all over again. The Lord increased my faith and gave me an indescribable peace and desire to look for Jesus deep in their eyes and pour out His compassion to them. It was an absolute joy to get to provide eye care to the Haitians.
Thanks to Drew and Duane Sommerville for bringing over 1,300 pairs of glass and the equipment that enabled us to check their prescriptions more accurately, we were able to distribute around 150 pairs of glasses. At first, I was disappointed that we weren't able to give out more, but my Spirit-filled husband helped me see that hopefully we distributed a lot more than 150 glasses last week.
I pray that the Lord uses the glasses as an invitation for salvation to those that have never seen Him or known Him. I pray they create an excitement among the surrounding villages because a story is told of how they can now see more clearly, some for the very first time. I pray this in turn creates a desire for others to come to clinic or church and hear the Good News of Jesus, who is the One and Only who can truly make the blind see!
The Lord also renewed my hope on this trip. With a space of two years between my first and second trip, I saw progress—lots and lots of progress. I had a newborn baby with a double chin sit down next to me at worship on Sunday—I saw healthier looking people! I heard that Dr. Vanderpool had not seen a cholera case in two and a half years because they have clean water! I saw five people added to the Kingdom of God through baptism. There have now been over 200 people baptized this year. Wow! I saw God's children rejoicing and worshiping Him with their whole body and soul, celebrating their freedom from Satan and his darkness. I saw people persecuted for their decision to follow Jesus, but standing firm in their faith and not afraid to live next door to a voodoo peristyle.
On my previous trip, I repeatedly heard the simple, foundational message that "God is Good. Voodoo is bad. God is good. Voodoo is bad." This time, I saw Pastor Sargesse and Markendy passionately leading a congregation in more deeply convicting messages about God's Truth.
I saw more people boldly proclaiming their faith in the Lord and asking us to join with them in prayer for complete healing for Lancy Belle, Daphne and others. How could I have ever been satisfied with just their ability to somewhat awkwardly walk with assistance? I now have courage to pray fervently for the Lord to show His power in every situation because anything is truly possible with Him.
I am now convicted to bring the stories back home and help unveil the curtain that Satan has put over our nation's eyes. Satan has us right where he wants us in the United States—arrogant in our self-sufficiency, overfed and wallowing in prosperous ease (Ezekiel 16:49)—and never acknowledging him for being the cause of every negative thought, complacent lifestyle or selfish desire.
I am tired of being complacent. Tired of being blinded by Satan's schemes. Tired of listening to Satan's lies. All I know is that I do not want to miss another opportunity to see Jesus or know God more deeply. I never want to miss an opportunity again to make sure we are ALL ready for the King's return! May He recover the sight of us all and give us the strength and zeal to serve Him wholeheartedly until He returns to take us home! Come quickly, Lord Jesus!