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.

032 033 031 030 052046

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.

imme.org

*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

520

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

458

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

375 371 378 389

Image

On My Heart

At the beginning of the year I never would have thought I would be where I am today. All my plans got trashed, but God brought in plans that have flooded my life with so much light. I am learning about the beauty of the process, the goodness of friendships, the fruitfulness of listening, the simplicity of living in the moment, and the joys of being spontaneous. I still wonder why I haven’t felt the same since Haiti. My thoughts never stray too far from that beautiful country. I continuously pray and believe for the miracles that God will perform there. I just pray that I am there to bear witness to them. But for now, I am trusting God in my process. The process of learning the awesomeness of God and learning who God has made me to be. It’s not easy, and I have to work through some growing pains. However, as I grow, I am rooted in the knowledge that God sings a song of love and hope over me every day.

A Beautiful Awakening

My time in Haiti can’t be contained in a few words. These words will only scratch the surface of what I truly experienced and felt.

Going into this trip I was expectant. God provided like only He could, and Haiti couldn’t come fast enough.

Throughout the trip I was so full. I was walking the streets of Haiti feeling like I was on top of the world. I was living and breathing a dream that God had planted in my heart less than a year ago. I was ready for whatever God was going to teach me. For real, I was “jumping up and down clapping my hands eyes squinted closed” ready. No matter how many times I look back and try to convince myself how ready I was; I wasn’t.

I wasn’t ready to see a little girl pick up vitamins of the dirty ground and stuff them in her mouth. I wasn’t ready for a little boy to repeatedly ask me for my shoes. I wasn’t ready to hear the stories of how parents have abandoned their children.

I definitely wasn’t ready to have my heart shattered while holding a little baby boy in a mountain village. I saw him sitting alone in front of a little cottage. He had dirt caked on the side of his head, and I went to wipe it off. I sat next to him and eventually pulled him into my arms. The whole time he was giving me the side eye, not trusting me, but not resisting me either. I was walking with him in my arms and a woman on my team; Beth, prayed over him. As she prayed I felt something shift. I can’t explain it honestly, because what happened the few minutes after have changed life as I know it. I began crying and praying over the little one who thankfully fell asleep. I wanted to hold him as close to me as possible. I wanted to somehow memorize his face and I wanted him to leave an imprint of his little body in my arms so I would never forget this moment. Still crying I found a shady spot to just hold him and take it all in. I cried for this baby boy who I’m sure was malnourished. I cried because I felt like I had been snatched up in the air by my ankles, and shaken out. In those few minutes holding this sweet boy I realized that all the things I wanted in this life didn’t matter. Going back to a four-year university, getting married, and making all the money in the world paled in comparison to just staring, holding, and praying for this sleeping baby in my arms.

 It was in that tender moment that I knew why God had me go to Haiti.  I have found my purpose, I have felt my calling, and I have found my joy.

Everyday of this whole trip I saw brokenness, but in the midst of it all my eyes were opened to the beauty. The beauty of hills that seem to cascade over each other while the clouds settled among them. The beauty plastered on the children’s faces as we danced and laughed  to nothing in particular. The beauty in the quiet moments rocking a little girl to sleep on the patio. The beauty in just being completely free in worship and singing to my Savior. The beauty that shines from the eyes of those passionate about Haiti.  The beauty in watching the people I got to experience Haiti with take it all in and store each experience in their hearts. There is an undeniable beauty on this island that I want everyone I love to experience too. I am blessed.

I’mMe. Thank you. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to experience Haiti with you all. I have never seen or felt so much love and truth in one home. There is a sense of authenticity and transparency that sets I’mMe apart from the others. I pray that the Lord continues to bless you as He takes you higher and higher. He is enlarging your vision, and He is faithful to complete each and every one of His promises that He has laid on each of your hearts. I am “try not to pee my pants” excited to see where God is taking I’mMe!

Haiti. The place where I experienced Jesus like never before. I can’t wait to touch your soil again, to be among your people. I carry you in me, Haiti. Your land holds beauty uncommon to the human eye. I am glad I got to see a glimpse of that beauty. I will be back soon. I can’t stay away.

“They will be called the Holy People, the Redeemed of the Lord, and you will be called Sought After, the City No Longer Deserted.” – Isaiah 62:12

446

Journal Pages

April 27. 2014

Yesterday, my cup was overflowing. I was just so full of all things good. Things weren’t exactly going our way but we made the most of it. I want to swallow the ocean and dance on ten thousand more mountains. I was feeling Your presence and was so aware of your hand in this nation. I am absolutely, irrevocably in love with Haiti and I’mMe. I am so filled and full of joy and peace. I hope this feeling isn’t fleeting. You brought me here for a reason, and I know that these feelings are no just for here. They are to be spread every where I go.

To see what God is doing in Haiti and with I’mMe, check out their website Imme.org!

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