Unexpected

The day I left for Haiti was rough.

I left my phone at the Houston airport, I had an 10 hour layover in MIA, once in Haiti I didn’t have any cash to pay the new tourist fee, and then had to be interrogated by the customs people because I didn’t know the address of where I was staying. By the time I walked out of the airport and under the blazing Haitian sun I was done. I was ready to walk back into the airport and catch the next plane home. I was sleep deprived, near tears, and had the worst attitude.

However, all the crazy stuff that happened wasn’t a surprise to God.

There was a reason I left my phone. The whole week leading up to Haiti I knew I needed to rest. I was running around everywhere. I was constantly on my phone, but then I realized that not having my phone forced me to rest. My whole time in Haiti I wasn’t distracted by my phone and I was able to use the down time I had to rest and actually read a book! I have no profound revelation truth for spending the night in the airport except that I had no money to spend on a hotel. But I learned my lesson, and I will avoid sleeping in the airport in the future. I pulled an all-nighter, and spent most of my time laying on the floor eating cheez-its and watched movies I had on my computer. Never again. By the time I got on the plane to Port-Au-Prince I was exhausted. I don’t even remember the plane ride. When we unloaded at the airport I saw they were separating Haitians from non-Haitians. I read the signs and saw that I had to pay $10 to enter the country. That was when I realized I had traveled to a foreign country without any cash! I was silently freaking out, practically begging God to work a miracle. As always, He did and a woman who was standing in front of me paid for me without any prompting from me. I was in shock, and thought that it would be smooth sailing after that incident. But my bubble was popped when I realized the fake address I put on the immigration wasn’t going to fly. I didn’t have my phone so I didn’t have the real address to the I’mMe house. They made me sit in a room and asked me all sorts of questions. Where is my mom? Does your mom know you are here? What about your dad? Why did you travel alone? Why don’t you have an address? For thirty minutes I had to answer questions. I was on the brink of tears. I was tired, thirsty, and hot. Finally, at my wit’s end I realized I had my laptop! The address was in one of the documents in my computer. I gave then the address and basically ran out of the stifling room. The whole walk to baggage claim I forced myself to keep the tears at bay. It was not the time to break down. I was in Haiti after all, and I knew in a few minutes I would be reunited with my I’mMe family.

I made it to the house, and was greeted with the biggest hugs and smiling faces. I got to meet all the newest additions to the family, and fell in love with them. I was so happy to be at the house that I forgot that I had an almost melt down. After settling in I got to meet the team who was already there. They were the sweetest and welcomed me into their group with ease. It wasn’t until later that night after connecting some info together that I realized that the team I thought I would be with all week would actually be leaving the next day, and I was staying at the house with no team. I remember going into the room and throwing myself on the bed asking God what is He doing aka having a tantrum. I also  felt bad because I didn’t want to be a burden to Lauren and Patrick, who were  living at the house and taking care of all the kids.

Nothing was going how I expected it to go. I didn’t understand why God had me there and why was I back so soon. I still don’t understand all the why’s, but I know that my time in Haiti was blessed.

Most of the week I stayed at the house helping out with the children. I got to learn the story of each child, and my heart broke for each one. There was never a dull moment. Smiles and laughter were abundant. I was flooded with joy just holding a tiny hand, and running around the house chasing squealing children. I have never seen so many melted crayons on the driveway, or played an intense game of musical chairs until I was in Haiti. I had my fill of pomegranates off the pomegranate tree. My soul was at peace, and I was rested physically and emotionally. I got to take naps when the kids had nap time. I had quiet time with the Lord in my favorite place in the house (the porch, the rain, and the rocking chair). I got to hear Lauren’s and Patrick’s hearts, and watch them fight and love for the children they were taking care of. It was definitely a privilege to be able to see how things run when there isn’t a team there, and at the end of the week I was more than grateful that I ended up being there without a team for a few days.

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Leaving Haiti always leaves me in tears. It’s hard to leave the place where your soul finds peace. The plane ride home I was blessed to sit by a man who was talkative. He was Haitian, and white. He was born and raised in Haiti, and owned a shipping company. He met his wife in Haiti, and raised his family there. After the earthquake he moved his family to Miami and he now flies from Haiti to Miami every 3 days. He told me, “My business is in Haiti, but my heart is Miami.” The conversation was such a blessing because I was a little emotional leaving Haiti. He playfully asked me about the boy I was leaving behind, after I assured him is wasn’t a boy he got really serious. He looked me in the eye and said, “you have a spiritual connection with my country.” In that moment I was like, yeah you could call it that, but as he kept explaining I knew the Lord had me sit next to this man for a reason. Somehow, I needed the reassurance that I wasn’t feeling how I was feeling for nothing. My heart wasn’t breaking for the children and this country “just because”, and that Haiti wasn’t just another stop in long list of countries I wanted to visit.

As I said before, I don’t know why Haiti has invaded my life and settled in my soul. The way this trip played out was completely unexpected, but it was everything that I needed.

 My story about Haiti has only just begun.

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*A special thanks to my supporters to making all of this possible. May the Lord continue to bless each and every one of you.

Soon, Haiti

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These last few weeks have been absolutely amazing. From getting a new job, to running around Houston, to just sitting here writing this blog. God has been so prevalent and patient in this life of mine.

Last week,  I knew my confirmation had come. I was able to talk to one of the little boys in the I’mMe house. He shared with me all that he has been doing, but quickly the conversation turned into him asking me when I was coming back. I honestly didn’t have an answer for him in that moment. I said soon, and waited for the moment to pass. I kept thinking I couldn’t possibly go, my car just broke down, I get paid well but I’m only working part-time, and I just went! But as our conversation ended I felt something stir in me. I knew I was going soon, real soon. I continued to pray and asked God for another confirmation. So, the next day I asked my job would I be able to have that week off, and they approved it in a heartbeat. They were even supportive and told me to take a lot of sunscreen!

Here I am now, in almost the same situation I was in a few months ago. I am still not the biggest fan of fundraising, but I know God will provide in miraculous ways like He did before!

This trip is a few days longer than the last. I will be in Haiti from July 25-31. The cost of the trip is $1600 and will cover my flights, accommodations, and meals. I can’t wait to be back there and continue to build relationships with all the amazing people who I met on my last trip. If you would like to give you can click on the “donate” tab in the menu bar or click  this link:

http://www.youcaring.com/mission-trip-fundraiser/bayli-to-haiti/197689

If you are moved to give I cannot thank you enough! Your support encourages me and makes me realize that I am not in this process alone. If I can do anything like babysit, wash a car, or any odd job let me know! I am more than willing to work. Even if you want to talk about Haiti and all that’s been going on, let me know. I would love to connect and tell you my heart. Also, please pray for I’mMe as God continues to expand the organization and that I continue to have peace as I continue my journey to Haiti. I am amazed at what God is doing in my life and in Haiti. I can’t wait to be there and just soak up all the love and joy!

If you would like to read my earlier posts about Haiti, click here.

To learn more about I’mMe visit their website: imme.org

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Kingdom Kids

God is doing amazing things in Haiti!

Currently, I’mMe, the organization I went to Haiti with, is raising support for an after school program in Meyotte, Haiti. The program is set up to cultivate “the identity, creativity, and passion of kids in Meyotte.” During my time in Haiti the program was a weekly educational session, but as I’mMe has grown in favor with the community they are ready to plant a permanent after school program.

If you would like to help click the link below! No amount is too small. Also, keep I’mMe in your prayers are they go from glory to glory!

http://www.grouprev.com/kingdom-kids

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Haiti

The past 24 hours have been a complete whirlwind.

I am sitting here typing this still in shock.

So what all went down? Ha! I still trying to process the huge turn of events. I’ll just start from the beginning.

It is known from an earlier post that I planned on going to Haiti in the summer(you can click here to read that).  I was all set and ready too. Well, until God had other plans. I have been researching/ stalking an organization called i’mMe since I began my search of organizations in Haiti. I didn’t realize they had trips until a little later, and I remember thinking about how much I would love to go with them. I looked at the dates and realized that I probably wouldn’t be able to swing it, and resigned myself to just planning to go in the summer.

A few weeks ago I was on Instagram stalking some of my new friends, and I was clicking on random names, just putting names to faces of people in my church. I came across one Instagram account and I saw the i’mMe logo and freaked out. I realized that this person was somehow involved in i’mMe and I needed to talk to her ASAP. I remember I wrote down her name, Trina, and proceeded to text and hassle all of our mutual friends to try to get in contact with her. Finally, I got in touch with her and I realized how much God had orchestrated it. Her Instagram is usually set on private, and for some reason that day she made her Instagram public. That was the day that I saw her Instagram. That has Jesus stamped all over it! Anyway, she told me more about the organization and how it began. Talking to her I knew I wanted to go on a trip with i’mMe, and I was more than willing to wait for a more convenient time for me and avoid fundraising all together.

Fast forward to yesterday, I was waiting for confirmation from God if I should go through with trying for i’mMe’s trip in April or wait for a more convenient time. On Tuesday I had set up a fundraising page, but couldn’t follow through and publish it. I was desperate for a sign or something. I wasn’t going to go through the fundraising process and realize it’s not what God wanted me to do. That morning at work I got a text from Trina telling me that God is waiting to do a miracle. That was all the confirmation I needed. I knew I had to get myself together and get ready to have my faith stretched again. Last night I went to church and that was just more confirmation of what God wanted me to do. I stayed up way past midnight to make a donation page, and just surrender this whole fundraising process to Him. It’s pretty obvious that I have no way of paying for this trip myself. I am jumping into this with complete faith and total dependence on the One who as called me.

What miracle does God need to do?

i’mMe is taking a group to Haiti April 24-29, 2014. I plan on being with them.We will be the light that God has called us to be to the people of Haiti. We will be visiting orphanages, cleaning up around Port-au-Prince, helping out with feeding program, and much more.  The total cost of the trip is $1,200. The cost will cover my flight from Florida to Haiti, accommodations, and meals throughout the trip. The kicker is that I need $600 two weeks before we are the leave to reserve my spot (April 10) and I have until the day before we leave to have the rest (April 23). Also, I will somehow need to find a way to get a flight to Florida from Texas to meet up with the team. Now you can see why I need a miracle. I don’t even have a month! I could panic, but I don’t even have time! I have a little over 20 days to raise money for this trip to Haiti. I know that if it’s God’s will He will do what He has to do to make this trip possible. I’m just saying yes to the call and just expectantly waiting to see how He’s going to fulfill this promise.

To friends and family I am more than willing to babysit, mow lawns, house sit, watch a pet, wash some dishes, paint something! Just let me know! Text, call, or message me on Facebook and we can set something up.

If you would like to donate click here. Or you can click the link on the top of the page that says “DONATE.”  Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart to those who feel lead to give. Your support means the world to me. If you feel lead to share, please by all means, share! Also, please pray for me in this major fundraising task and for the team that is going to Haiti. Prayer is essential and I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for prayer. Even, though this is crazy and totally unplanned,  I know that in the end God will get the glory!

The facts and figures in front of me say that this is impossible, but I am trusting God with this. I am confident that He is still in the miracle working business, and if He has called me to Haiti at this time then He will provide in a way that I can’t even imagine. 

If you would like to know more about i’mMe check out their website here. You can also follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

#baylitohaiti

Where To Next?

The first time I ever considered Haiti was last year while I was in Africa. It was a fleeting thought that I quickly pushed into the back of my mind. Two days after I walked off the plane, with Africa still heavy on my heart; Haiti was in my mind again. August 3, 2013 was the day I knew I was going to Haiti.

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Throughout the semester at LSU, Haiti was not my first priority. I mean, I knew God had called me to go but I wasn’t all that willing to go through the whole fundraising process again. However, now that I’m back at home God has made it crystal clear where I will be this summer.

I am in the process of getting my CNA. Whoop Whoop! At first, I wasn’t too happy about this, but I can see how God is moving. As a CNA I will be able to gain some experience in the nursing field and make some money while I’m in school. (Hallelujah! I refuse to be a broke college student.)  Anyway, as I was wasting time on the internet I came across a website that said they accepted CNA’s in their Haiti mobile clinic. I probably stared at the screen for a hot minute before I was signing up and emailing the director.

Things aren’t exactly set in stone and I have a tentative date of when I will be going. The organization that I will be joining is called Mission of Hope: Haiti. I’m still indecisive about fundraising. I will be working soon so I’m thinking of saving and possibly taking care of things myself. But who knows at this point.

I always get this sense of overwhelming joy when I know I’m being called somewhere. I can’t really explain it, but I know God will have His way getting me to Haiti. I’m glad I get a front row seat in seeing what He will do in my life and others lives these next few months.

He is fulfilling a promise and bringing my dreams into fruition.

“It’s a safe thing to trust Him to fulfill the desires which He creates.”Amy Carmichael

#baylitohaiti

About Time!

It’s finally here!

Today is the last day I have to take my antibiotics for strep throat! Strep is no joke, and I am bad at remembering to take those pink horse pills.

My last day of school was yesterday. I can now sit down and actually write without worrying about Precal! That class has been a huge pain in my rear end this whole semester. Math and my brain just don’t mix. Now that all my finals are out of the way, I am more than ready to graduate! And I am walking out of high school with 9 hours of college credit (whoop)!

I’ve come a long way from this!

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My grad party is this Saturday. I’m ready to see all my family and friends. Not to mention eat all the good food! Sunday, I graduate! I’m saving all my tears for then. I don’t want to cry until I know for sure that I am completely done with high school. Which is really hard for me to wrap my mind around. I will never walk the halls of Mayde Creek High School as a student again, ever. It’s definitely bittersweet. Growing up is a daunting task. And I don’t know if I want to run back and yell “Take me back!” or strut off yelling “See ya, suckas.” This is a real issue in my mind. I guess this is the time I gotta put on my big girl panties and keep moving forward. See ya, high school. It’s been lovely.

LSU. I have orientation on the 17th. I know what dorm I’ll be in and my roommate! I’ll be choosing my schedule while I’m there and I can’t wait to show my mom the campus. I hope we get to go to New Orleans. I have been craving some of Willie Mae’s fried chicken for about a year and 3 months and 16 days (well I don’t really know how many days…) But I want me some fried chicken!

Africa. 24 days 17 hours 57 minutes! Excuse me while I go freak out in a corner! I can’t wrap my mind around it all. I am about go to Africa. A whole other continent! I am so not ready. I just found out that we will be sleeping in a tent and that I need to go buy this so-called tent. Tents and I don’t have a good relationship. We don’t even have a relationship! I mean this is “step out of your comfort zone” to the max. I’m ready though. A little freaked out, but ready. I gotta leave my little prima donna attitude at home. So I’m gonna get all my complaining and whining out while I can. Oh, I have to tell y’all about my little excursion to the nature store. It was horrible. I walked in there wide eyed and concerned about all the animals that look too real. I stayed in there for about 1 minute and 14 seconds before I hightailed my behind out of there. I think I’ll stick to Academy and Amazon to buy all the things I need. I have all my things in order. I got my passport, international insurance, yellow fever vaccine and the little yellow book, my malaria pills, and my ticket to Atlanta. Fundraising has gone extremely well! I only need about $500. Looking back I never thought I would be here and it blows my mind at how awesome God is.

Things are moving forward whether I like it or not. I trying to put on a brave face and say I’m ready, but honestly I am a mess. I have to take it one day at a time, and save all my tears for days when I’m really going to need them.

So here’s to new beginnings!

From my journal: So here’s to starting a new journey! Goodbye high school, it’s been grand! College, please be good to me. I don’t need 15 more pounds, I would like to keep me virginity (let’s not be prude. Boys are hot at LSU!  Okay Bayli, mind on Jesus. I’m just letting you know the struggle is real) and I hope to make lifelong friends and live out amazing memories. Geaux Tigers!

No one ever said it would be easy.

These past few days have definitely been a whirlwind. I mean, my mind is still racing from all that has gone on. May 2 was when I had to have 75% ($3,000) of my funds in my account. I only had around $1,220 on April 30. I called Erin, the lady in charge of my trip, and she told me that I needed the funds or I wouldn’t be able to go. She also told me that God will provide if he wanted me to go, and she gave me a few days. I cried for hours. I considered backing out of the trip; I even had a rough draft of what I was going to write to explain I wasn’t going on the trip. I was a mess.

The night of April 30th I called my dad in tears. I told him everything and just cried and cried. At the end of the phone call he told me, “Don’t give up, Bayli. Just keep going.” We prayed and I hung up. But in that instant something clicked. I wasn’t going to give up. I worked too hard to get to this place, and I wasn’t ready to willingly give it up.

I came up with a proposition for my mom. If I could get a thousand then she could match my thousand. She agreed, but I don’t think she actually thought I could do it (don’t tell her I said that!)  I was a woman on a mission. I needed a thousand bucks, stat. I began making phone calls, sending emails, letting Facebook know, and meeting people from my dad’s church. Support started pouring in. I was so overwhelmed by it all. By May 2, I only need $125.56! A miracle!

I basically spent this whole time worrying and anxiously waiting for funds to come in, but God was dealing with my heart. I am not a patient person and I worry till I drive myself insane.

This is what I wrote in my journal May 2:

You never said it would be easy, and waiting anxiously is no fun! Give me peace in knowing that you are working in hearts and I will meet my deadline. I will trust you. You get all the glory in this because I could not do this without your constant encouragement, and the peace you give me when my mind seems to race. Guide me, in your grace and patience. I need you now more than ever and as I am going thought this journey reveal yourself to me. Show me what my heart should be like; change my perspective. Help me daily take up my cross and lay down my own desires. Glory to you and you alone! Hold me fast in your right hand and never let me go. Calm this anxious heart of mine. You have my heart! I want and crave your peace. Your will be done. Have your way!

Monday morning was when I could see how much I had in my account from the last week. I had the thousand I needed without all the money I had gotten from the weekend! I think I was in shock. They were still processing all the other donations, but the ones they did process already had me at way more than I needed! I think I had the goofiest grin when I told my mom that I got my half! So now as the other donations are being processed I am almost fully funded for my trip!

God is so faithful, and I am grateful that he has taken me through this journey. I feel that throughout this whole setting up process of getting to Africa he has really done a number on my heart. If just getting ready for Africa is this awesome; I can’t wait to see what he does when I actually reach Africa.

I want to give a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who donated and who has been praying for me! I could not have done this without your help and generosity! I love y’all. And I’m glad I get to share this journey.

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