This is a special post from Alana:
Bon jou from Haiti! As we wind down June and enter July, we have had a very relaxing and fun week here at the mission. Our teams left last weekend, which gave all of us opportunity to rest and rejuvenate, do laundry, read, nap, spend time with friends and have fun. We had some cool planned activities with the staff too – Bingo night, a trip to a ‘Secret Beach’, dinner out at a restaurant and a time of worship. I think just about everyone enjoyed a nap or two (maybe more.) Along with physical rest, each of us spent time getting spiritually rejuvenated, too.
My main role here this summer is to mentor the female interns. I just love spending time with them! We have an awesome group of interns and it is a joy to be with them. I was able to connect with many of them. There is a lot of them and only one of me so I am still trying to meet with each of the girls before it gets too busy. I am continually impressed with their passion for Haiti, for the Lord and for people. Each of them brings something special to the ministry this summer!
I actually got to mark of TWO items off of my Haiti Bucket List on Thursday!!! I went to visit the prison in Port du Paix AND rode on a moto (aka motorcycle)! I had been told lots of stuff about the prison ministry, but I had conjured up some scary imagery in my mind. Yet, when I was there it was a HUGE blessing to see their happy faces, excited to see us. Many of the inmates were friendly and listened to our Bible lesson with interest. They asked for prayer and even asked some very good questions. The facility is pretty rough, especially for the men, however the joy of the Lord was present with us. At one point, I looked up and saw two different interns sharing at cell doors and my eyes welled with tears. Who would have thought that we would be able to love and encourage people in a place like this? These inmates look forward to this day every week and experience light and love! The moto ride – well, I don’t know what I was worried about! Piece of cake!
Zach, Kimberly and I leave July 11th to return home and our hearts are already aching. It is always a tug-o-war of emotions as we approach leaving. We want to be in two places at once. We have so many wonderful friends in Haiti that we know we won’t see for another year. Of course, we have extra incentive to be home and reunite with Emily this year. Please keep us in your prayers as we travel, return to our lives and prepare for two kids heading to college and my new job! Pray for John as he finishes his summer ministry too.
Hello from Haiti! It has been an incredibly busy week, but God has done some amazing things at Northwest Haiti Christian Mission and I wanted to share with you about some of what we are involved in this week.
As I shared last week, we have a surgery team in that is doing a ton of surgeries and helping a lot of our Haitian friends. It has been really fun to work alongside this team and to see how God can use the medical world as a tool to share the gospel.
The pastor of our mission church, Pastor St. Verty, has been in the pre-op room all week praying with families and patients. It is such a joy to see Haitians ministering to others Haitians. We love how God uses
this humble man to pour into the lives of those who live in our community.
Zach has had a unique chance this week to help an anesthesiologist. He has helped with getting supplies, monitoring patients, and moving patients in and out of the OR. I asked him how it was and he said, “It’s cool, but I don’t think I would want to do it for a career.”
Alana and Kimberly have focused on working alongside our interns as they serve on campus. They are able to go to each program every morning and share the devotion for the day. They have also spent some time helping one of our full-time staff get settled in after some time in the States.
I have been working closely with the doctors this week. It makes it fun because some of the patients who come in are people I know from the church or the community. My buddy Samy, pictured above, was one of my friends who came in this week. He was smiling ear to ear as he went into surgery and ear to ear when he woke up. He is the coolest little kid I know.
Not all of our surgeries end in big smiles. Just this morning the surgeons began a surgery on a woman and found she was filled with cancer. They removed one ovary, but there was nothing else they could do. I went with one of the doctors as he talked with the family and the patient. As he spoke to them, I noticed his hands literally shaking. It feels so helpless to know there is nothing we can do to help this woman.
This next week is exciting for us as Emily comes in for the next ten days with our church team. We are excited to see her and to get to do ministry with our church family. Please continue to pray for us as we continue to journey through this summer. We are so excited to see all that God has planned.
Hi Friends!! We have been in Haiti for a week and it has already been a great adventure! We wanted to give you an update on all that is happening at Northwest Haiti Christian Mission and in the life of the Harvey Family.
The picture is from our flight from Port Au Prince up to the mission. We normally bus up and it takes seven or more hours. This trip we were blessed to be able to fly with Mission Aviation Fellowship. It allowed us to actually make it up to the mission at lunchtime. It is so fun to fly with an organization we have known about for years.
After a day to get settled in, re-connect with the interns and say hello to our Haitian friends, we had groups begin to arrive for their Haitian adventure. We had two church groups arrive to go serve in some of our other communities.
On Sunday, a surgical team arrived to serve for two weeks. It has been a great experience to watch people who have needed surgeries for years be able to receive them. One man had a very painful condition and had needed surgery for years. (Because this is a family post, I will spare you details.) As he entered the OR, he paused and said, “Thank you all so much. I have suffered for years. Now I can go to church, the market and work to support my family.” It made me think of the woman who touched Jesus cloak and was healed of her bleeding.
Our role is facilitating the teams working on our campus. It has been great to work with this medical team. They even let all of the interns go in and observe surgery. Zach and I have watched surgeries, and Alana and Kimberly are working their way up to it!
It has been a great beginning to our summer. We have already seen God move in great ways and we are excited to see all that happens the next few weeks. Thank you so much for your continued prayers and support. God uses you to bless our lives and allows us to partner with others to bring the hope of Jesus to Haiti. Please feel free to e-mail, message us on FaceBook or send a chat on Voxer; we would love to hear from you!!
Well, it is June 3 and the Harvey family is on the move. We will be leaving our home tonight to begin our travels into Haiti for the next eight weeks. We are so excited about all God has in store for us and we can’t wait to work alongside our staff, interns, and short-term teams.
This has been a crazy busy and fast paced month. Emily finished school in Tennessee and came home for the summer, Zach turned 18 and graduated high school, and Kimberly turned 14 and finished middle school. In the midst of all those events, we hosted NWHCM Summer Intern Training in Florida for four days.
The photo above shows our amazing group of interns. These are college students who have raised money to come and serve the mission and the Haitian people this summer. Alana and I have the privilege of serving as their mentors and helping them adjust to life on the field as well as helping them see how God wants to move and work in their lives at an even deeper level. This is one of the most exciting parts of my job!
Please be praying for our family this summer. It will be a different summer of new challenges, new responsibilities and new opportunities. I am praying God will use this time to shape and refine our hearts to look more like his.
I will be traveling to many different communities this summer to do partnership evaluations and community research. I will also be working closely with our Haitian pastors to help them develop some new systems of operations and to train them in developing the people in their churches to be disciples of Christ.
Thank you so much for your prayers, your support and your encouragement. We love that we can partner with you to reach the “least of these” with the message of Jesus.
So, as busy as last week was in Haiti, this week has been even more chaotic. Last Friday, my mom had a heart attack in the morning. I talked with her and she was in good spirits and the doctors felt like she would be in the hospital a couple of days and then go home. About noon that day, she had another heart attack and actually coded. The doctors revived her and had to put six stints in the right side of her heart.
Once I heard of that event, I made plans to leave Haiti three weeks early and get back to the States. I returned home on Saturday. On Monday the doctors put a pacemaker in my mom. I was able to drive up and am spending this week with her at the hospital. She is still very weak and they are planning for her to go into cardiac rehab in the next few days. So many of you have contacted me and sent encouraging notes and prayers. I want to thank all of you for your support. We are also so thankful for our church family and some great friends who supported us financially for me to be able to come and see my mom.
It has been a busy and hectic week, but we are so thankful we are not walking through it alone. Your prayers and support have been so encouraging. We could never thank you enough. I will keep people posted through FaceBook as much as possible.
This has been an incredibly busy week around NWHCM. We have a surgery team in that has been seeing dozens of patients and preforming surgeries every day. It is so great to see this team of professionals use their time, talents and resources to serve the people we love. I know that some of you on this e-mail are medical professionals. If you would like to join a team and come in, there is plenty of room, especially for nurses. I know there is a surgery team scheduled for June and another for October of this year.
The last time the surgery team was in back in October, a young boy named Woodsy showed up with an infection in his leg that was eating away the bone. We had an orthopedic doctor in on that trip who was able to remove the bone and clean out the infection. This week Woodsy and his family came in from eight hours away to have a check-up. The doctors said he is doing great. The above picture is of my friend, Dave Wickstrom and Woodsy and his family. Dave comes in with the surgery teams and serves as a scrub tech in the O.R.
Dave fell in love with Woodsy and his family in October. He spent a lot of time talking with and playing with Woodsy. They were excited to see each other this week.
As Dave talked with Woodsy’s mom, he asked her if she had a job. She replied no and Dave asked her how she was going to survive. Her response was simply, “God will provide.” Dave talked to me about it later and said, “I can’t imagine waking up with no idea of how I would feed my kid. It would make me insane.”
The truth is, that is not an uncommon story where we serve. So many people are in extreme poverty, meaning they live on less than $1.00 U.S. per day. But God is faithful and he does provide.
One aspect that Dave could not understand is the joy with which Woodsy and his family experience life. We see it daily in the people of Haiti. They are joyful in the midst of suffering and strong in the face of adversity. It makes me ashamed at how often I doubt God and trust in my own strength to provide.
I want to thank you so much for allowing God to use you to provide for my family and our ministry. Without your support, we would not be able to be part of serving families and the people of Haiti. You are a vital part of our ministry. May God give you joy and blessing as you daily remember his provision for your life.
One of my favorite bible verses is the encouragement God gives to Joshua as he is about to take over from Moses as leader of the nation of Israel:
“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” Joshua 1:7-8
I love this passage because you can only imagine what Joshua was thinking, “God, you want me to do what? Did you see how these people rebelled against Moses? Did you see the stress he lived with?” But God was already answering Joshua’s questions before he ever asked.
The secret to strength and courage is not a secret; it is a deep dependence on God and his word. It is a faith that walks daily in foreign lands because our God is the God of the universe. It is not our strength, our power, or our word that changes the conversation. It is the power of God.
When you begin to doubt, when you begin to lose heart, and you begin to sink, get back to the source of our courage. Get back to the word and be obedient to commands of God. Then, we will be successful.