On the evening of January 12, 2011, Mackenzie was surfing the channels on our TV, and a show on Nickelodeon caught her attention. The program documented art therapy for children in Haiti whose lives were changed the day a catastrophic earthquake brought death and destruction to their homes.
While the kid-friendly documentary featured a popular Nickelodeon character as the show’s host, it was God’s Words who spoke the most clearly that evening. In His omnipotent voice, He spoke to my five year old’s heart and blessed her with an unquenching thirst to share His love with kids who in her words “had lost their moms, their dads, their homes, and their schools.”
In the last four years, our family has participated in coin drives, bake sales, lemonade stands, created art supplies to sell at the mall, written a children’s book (https://www.etsy.com/listing/158879836/leilas-big-difference-a-childrens-book?ref=&sref= ), spoken at churches, and even gone on the news to support Mackenzie in her calling. Many people have told us that they are so proud and impressed of all that Mackenzie has accomplished and the thousands of dollars that have been sent to Haiti as a result of her efforts.
Of course I am proud of my daughter too, who wouldn’t be. But it isn’t about her.
I don’t know why God chose to place our family in America, where what we consider basic needs is unattainable luxury to most people across the world. Or why He allowed us the opportunity to give out of our abundance and in return, be rewarded a thousand fold.
On Sunday, God will bless our family again as He allows me the opportunity to spend eight days in the Haitian community where funding from our projects helped to build and furnish a school and purchase Bibles and school supplies for children who may not have attended without God’s provisions.
The purpose of my trip is to experience Haiti and the people God has called my family to help at a new level. I hope to bring back a renewed passion for obeying God’s calling and gain a knowledge and understanding of the country that will help me to prepare Mackenzie to travel there as soon as God tells us she is ready.
She still has an intense desire to be a part of what God is doing in Haiti. I have seen her respond to His calling and step out of her comfort zone in ways that I know she could only do in His strength. I want her to feel connected to Haiti through my trip until that time that she can go herself.
So I plan to write her letters each day I am there.
Because you have shared somehow in our journey, either by praying for us, giving us the opportunity to speak, purchasing a book, or some other way, I thought you also might want to share in this experience. Please pray for me as I travel to Haiti and join us in praising God for moving in a way that only He can.
Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts. Isaiah 26:8