Monday, November 28, 2011

I'm Hooked!

I have a confession to make.  I have officially fallen hook, line, and sinker for the children of Haiti.  One of my main tasks in Haiti is to take pictures and write stories for Baptist Haiti Mission.  This means I get to travel quite a bit throughout Haiti which means meeting new children!  Yesterday we traveled to a church for their "Bon Fet".  Every year the churches celebrate the birthday of the church.  Pastor Baker (Field Director of BHM) was asked to attend this particular churches Bon Fet.  He asked us if we would like to come with him and of course we accepted.  We left the mission at 5:30 on Sunday morning to make a 3 hour car ride to support the Pastor and his church for their birthday!

To say that we were noticed by the church and the children especially would be an understatement.  The church is currently in the process of receiving a new building so the service was held outside sitting underneath several tarps tied to surrounding trees.  There were a variety of groups who traveled from different churches to sing, a competition in the offering between the men and women, and pastors from surrounding churches who traveled in support of this church.  The service began at 10 a.m. and ended at 1:30!

We were given seats behind the pulpit.  We sat among the other pastors who had come to show their support.  My chair was on the end with several empty ones beside me.  I noticed half way through the service one little girl had her eye on the chair sitting beside me.  She finally snuck over and sat down next to me.  It wasn't long after that several of the other children came over and sat in the other chairs around or they simply stood.  I slowly began to feel pokes on my skin as they would dare one another to touch me.  Tiny fingers began to play with the back of my hair.  Then the chatter began.

As I said we were sitting right behind where the pastor was preaching so we were in clear vision of all the people.  I kept whispering to the children and telling them not to talk.  Of course they would giggle, be quite for a minute, and then the chatter would resume.  Trey informed me later that I look too sweet and even though I told them to be quiet and sit still they were not scared of me.  At one point they were all shooed away by one of the other pastors sitting in the area.  They left...for a few minutes, and then one by one returned when the pastor was not looking.

I hate to say it but I was so ready for the service to end in eager expectation of getting to talk and play with the kids!  Trey and I had so much fun getting to chat with the groups of kids.  They were amazed when they found out we were married.  One little boy spoke up from the crowd and told us to kiss.  When we did all the kids cheered and laughed.
We definitely had a great Sunday.  I am so thankful for the precious smiles and spunky personalities in the children of Haiti!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Haitian Thanksgiving!

We had a great first Thanksgiving in Haiti.  Work at the mission was still in full-swing, since Thanksgiving is not quite a Haitian holiday.  However, the missionaries took the afternoon hours off in order to have a Thanksgiving meal.  We enjoyed all the staple items, turkey, dressing, green bean casserole, etc.  It all tasted sooo good!  We had several desserts, I made a pumpkin roll and it actually worked!  We definitely had a good day, but missed our family and friends from the states as well.  Here we are after lunch with vant plen (full stomachs) for a Thanksgiving picture:
I was asked by a good friend back in the states to share some thoughts about what it was like to spend Thanksgiving in a country like Haiti that lives in so much poverty.  I have thought about this quite a bit over the past few weeks.  As we spend more and more time here I am beginning to realize what I am truly thankful for.

Do not get me wrong, there are times I miss many "things."  I find I miss the guarantee of a warm shower.  I miss wearing blue jeans.  I miss the anticipation of having a "White Christmas." I miss the idea of having a night out to the movies.  However, if I never experienced any of these things again it would be no real loss.

As I see the poverty here in Haiti and seek to understand my brothers and sisters here, I am vividly reminded of the things that truly matter in life.  The typical Haitian family struggles to provide a meal for their family each day.  The majority do not have running water in their homes.  There are a variety of physical struggles they constantly experience.  In the midst of these circumstances an incredibly high value is placed on both faith and family.  The close family ties and devotion to Christ seen in the Christian families here in Haiti is truly a blessing.

I am thankful for the beautiful reminder to place high importance on my family and more importantly my relationship with Christ.  I am so blessed by the family the Lord has given me.  I conclude this time of public thanksgiving by sharing a picture I took outside after our Thanksgiving meal.  I am so thankful that the Lord's glory shines here in Haiti and He is truly in the business of making Himself known among the nations!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Day 15 & 16 ish?

Today I am thankful for eye opening experiences.  The past two days we traveled out North in Haiti to a town called Atrel.  It took us 6 hours to travel roughly 160 miles.  We were bumped and jarred and shook more than words can express.  When I ate dinner last night I noticed my jaw was so soar and it was difficult to fully open my mouth to take a bite.  I realized throughout the entire drive I had been so tense trying to hold myself in place that I was definitely gritting my teeth.  However, I am so thankful we made the trip.

We were exposed to a whole new side of Haiti.  We live in such a DYNAMIC place.  I was never bored during our drive because there was so much to see.  We drove through salt flats, we drove up mountain sides with beautiful ocean views, we drove past little girls riding their donkey's to the market, we drove past ladies gathering water at spring wells, and the many many more eye catching sites!  There are so many people in Haiti and so many amazing things to see!

I am in awe of our God who knows my name and the number of hairs on my head.  In the midst of such a densely populated country I can quickly become overwhelmed by the masses of people.  It is overwhelming to think of all the individual needs that plague this country.  It is in these overwhelming moments that I become insanely excited at the reality that my God knows and cares for each one of these people as well!  He does not look at the chaos and gawk with eyes wide open like I do.  I am thankful for the eye opening experiences that the Lord gives me to remind me that He is God and I am not. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Day 14!

Today I am thankful for weddings.  Today I wrote a blog for Baptist Haiti Mission about an upcoming wedding ceremony in Haiti.  While I wrote the blog I reflected on how thankful I am for the gift of marriage.  I wanted to share our wedding vows with you.  I began reading through them today and was so encouraged as I reflected on the gift of marriage.

I, Trey, take you, Chelsea, to be my wife.
I commit to love you as Christ loves the church (Eph. 5:25).
I will lead you by serving you (Mk. 10:45).
I will encourage you to treasure Christ...
above everything else in this world (Phil. 3:1-10).
I will forgive you as Christ has forgiven me (Matthew 6:9-15).
I will care for you with humility,...
kindness, gentleness, and patience (Col. 3:12-17).
I will please you...
by putting your interests above my own (Phil. 2:1-11).
I will honor you with my purity (Hebrews 13:4).
I will join with you...
in the global mission God has entrusted to us (Ps. 67; Matt. 28:18-20).
I will sacrifice my life for your sake (1 John 3:16-18).
I will cherish you as a child of God (Gal. 4:4-8).
And by the grace of God,
I will be faithful to this covenant
as long as we both shall live (Gen. 2:22-24).

I, Chelsea, take you, Trey, to be my husband.
I commit to love you as the church loves Christ (Eph. 5:23).
I will trust you by submitting to you (Eph. 5:24).
I will encourage you to treasure Christ...above everything else in this world (Phil. 3:1-10).
I will forgive you as Christ has forgiven me (Matthew 6:9-15).
I will care for you with humility, / kindness, gentleness, and patience (Col. 3:12-17).
I will please you / by putting your interests above my own (Phil. 2:1-11).
I will honor you with my purity (Hebrews 13:4).
I will join with you / in the global mission God has entrusted to us (Ps. 67; Matt. 28:18-20).
I will sacrifice my life for your sake (1 John 3:16-18).
I will cherish you as a child of God (Gal. 4:4-8).
And by the grace of God, / I will be faithful to this covenant / as long as we both shall live (Gen. 2:22-24).

Here's the address for the Baptist Haiti Mission Blog:

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Day 13

Today I am thankful for cute items that make doing daily tasks just a little bit better!  I am thankful for crafty day planners.  I am thankful for purple post-it notes.  I am thankful for bright colors in the kitchen.  I'm thankful for fun laundry totes!

Thank you Susanne White for the great laundry bag!  Add some cuteness, some color, some fun, some WOW to your daily routine today!

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Today I am thankful for baby steps!

Your eyes are not deceiving you.  This is indeed my VERY handsome husband holding a plate of homemade chocolate chip cookies!  Made by me!  If you remember from one of my blogs when we first arrived here in Haiti I attempted to make chocolate chip cookies.  It took an entire afternoon to borrow the ingredients from a variety of people, use the oven in a neighbors house, and after all that the cookies were terrible!  

Quite a few weeks later Trey actually requested that I bake cookies!  They fluffed when I cooked them and, I only had to borrow one egg today!  This my friends, is an accomplishment.  While I was baking the cookies today I was reminded of how important it is to thank God for the baby steps He enables us to make.

Living in a new place can be quite frustrating when I cannot speak the language, I am learning a new schedule and simple tasks become quite difficult.  It is in these moments that I must remember how far the Lord has brought me.  2 months ago I didn't even know how to say "What is your name?" or "How old are you?"  Today, I am quite the pro at these phrases and more!  2 months ago I could not even bake cookies in my own house.  Today, our house is feeling like home and cookie dough is in the refrigerator ready for the next baking session.  I am not only thankful for baby steps in my daily life here in Haiti but I am thankful for the baby steps in my spiritual life as well.

In Beth Moore's bible study "Stepping Up" she describes the joy she receives watching her grandson grow up.  She said she truly celebrates every step he takes.  The same is true with our heavenly Father.  It delights my heart to think that God relishes every hint of maturity He see's in me, even at those times when I feel like I am not making any progress at all.  I can often be my own worst enemy and wish that I knew more about the Bible, I wish that I was able to spend more time in prayer, or even I wish that I could be a better wife.  I am thankful for the Lord's grace that I am making baby steps each and everyday.  I am thankful that it is okay to be patient with myself and celebrate the little victories, the baby steps.  I am His child and that is NOTHING I can do to make Him love me more.  Through His guidance and direction I'll be running before I know it!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Day 11

Today I am thankful for Friday means I get to sleep in on Saturday mornings! (For the most part.)  To bed I go, thank you God for Friday night.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Today I am so thankful for my first birthday in Haiti!!  I turned 23 today!  The Lord was so gracious to me and I have been deeply encouraged by my friends and family on this special day.  For starters I was awoken at 5:30 a.m. by a team that had been serving with us this week from West Virginia.  They decided they would give me a good 'ol wake up call and sang Happy Birthday in our front yard!  I was so surprised, it definitely made the day begin well.  Trey made scrambled eggs for breakfast and my morning e-mail contained picture e-mails from my mom with encouraging b-day messages and e-cards of birthday goodness from the in-laws :)  

Deborah and her oldest daughter, Naomi and I had a girls day out today!  We went shopping and enjoyed being "out on the town."  I was introduced to "Epi Dor" today, a Haitian McDonalds (ish)  IT WAS SO GOOD!  I made Deborah act like a tourist with me and stand in front of the duck holding the ice-cream cone.  I guess after living here 12 years you just don't do stuff like that anymore.

Trey surprised me with flowers and a confetti cake when I got home!  He is so good to me and I am so blessed to be his bride.  I love doing birthdays with him.  It was then down to the dinning hall for a birthday dinner!  I am blessed by the new family we have been given here at BHM.  They truly went out of their way to make me feel loved and welcome here on my first Haiti birthday and for that I am oh so thankful!


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Day Nine

Today I am thankful for women who eagerly study the Word of God.  Some of the ladies here at Baptist Haiti Mission are currently doing "Stepping Up," a Bible study by Beth Moore.  We meet on Wednesday afternoons to watch a DVD of Beth Moore and discuss the work from the previous week.  I absolutely love this time!

It is so encouraging to hear Beth Moore and others like her speak and to read their writing.  I LOVE her transparency.  Her desire to love the Lord more everyday is contagious!  Her speaking and writing cause me to laugh at times, cry at others, but more than anything I leave with a heart that has been challenged and redirected toward our great God.

The Lord has blessed me by placing a variety of women in my life who are devoted students to the Word of God.  I am thankful for the legacy of these women that ignite in me the passion to study and grow as well.  It is my prayer that my desire to read and understand the Word of God would increase throughout the years as I continue to be challenged and encouraged by those who have gone before me.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


This palm tree stands in the corner of our front yard.  It is absolutely HUGE!  It is so tall in fact, that we had been living here for a few days before I realized I had walked past the tree several times and never taken the time to look up and and find the top of the tree!  Each day when I walk past the tree I try to remind myself to stop and look up to see the entire tree.  I literally have to lean my head all the way back when standing beside it to find the top.  As I stopped and did the big lean of the head this morning (yes, I am sure I may have looked a little strange) I realized what I am thankful for today...

I am so thankful for moments when I feel small.  As I gaze at the mountains of Haiti or tilt my head wayyyy back to see the top of the palm tree I feel small.  When I see the smoke from a plane that has just flown overhead I feel small.  When I wrap up in a large blanket or lay in the arms of my husband I feel small.  It is in these moments that I am quickly reminded that I am such a small small piece of God's GIGANTIC puzzle.  Although small...

I am loved, I am cared for, I am protected.  As soon as I typed this phrase I thought about the movie The Help, "You is kind, you is smart, you is important."  If you have not seen this you should, great movie!  Back to the point...

I am so thankful that my identity is in Christ.  I know I am wrapped in His overwhelming grace.  Psalm 139:14, "I will praise YOU, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are YOUR works, and that my soul knows very well."  I hope you feel small today.

Monday, November 14, 2011


Today I am thankful for DARK CHOCOLATE!
I love the secret messages inside each wrapper.  I love the smooth chocolate goodness!  I love that you can eat 5 individually wrapped pieces for only 200 calories.  5 pieces can be spread out over quite some time, trust me :)  I love that someone somewhere said there was something about dark chocolate that was good for you...BRILLIANT!  I always thought something that tasted so good had to have some good health benefits to it, just took someone a little smarter than me to say it to be believed.

P.S. I put up a new blog on BHM page today, check it out: 

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Brisk walks, leaves changing, cool evenings wearing jeans and a sweatshirt.  These are three of my favorite things of about fall.  The fall season is slightly different here in Haiti.  I am learning to be thankful for the differences in our life here in Haiti while still keeping some of my favorite things from Kentucky.

Today, I am thankful for my Kentucky meets Haiti fall decor!
This is a picture of our kitchen table.  The leaves on the table came all the way from Corbin!  One of my favorite things to do when spending time with my mom is to go on "powerwalks."  Throughout this season she has been collecting leaves on her walks and lamenating them for me.  Just last week I received a package in the mail of fall leaves :)  I have loved scattering the leaves all over our house.

The card is designed by my mother-in-law.  She sends 4 homemade scripture cards to the family every month.  This particular card has Psalm 100 written on it.  We love all the unique ways she creates the cards to display and reflect on the Word.  I particularly love this one because it just screams fall!

Finally, the roses and other flower were all cut right here on the mission.  We have so many beautiful plants!  I am amazed each day even as I simply walk through our yard.  There are so many bright colors here year round.
In closing, I am thankful for our first Kentaiti Fall.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Day Five

Today I am thankful for CALM evenings and board games!

When you work on the same property of which you live it seems like there is never a dull moment.  There is always a job to be done or some work to be caught up.  This evening we went over to Pastor Baker & Ms. Patti's house and played Mexican Train.  It was so nice to not have to worry about a thing!  We laughed, chatted, and simply enjoyed a relaxing evening.  I'm thankful for the ability to work hard, but to rest hard as well!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Day Four!

A few weeks ago we traveled with one of the food trucks as they delivered food to a school far up in the mountains.  I took this picture of some of the kids as they ran to the school to see the food truck arrive.  The sheer excitement and happiness displayed by the little girl in the blue dress makes this one of my favorite pictures I have taken in Haiti so far.  Click on the picture to make it larger if you are not quite catching her excitement.  It is this image that reminds me of what I am thankful for today...

I am so thankful for those little moments that happen in life that no matter how hard I try I cannot keep the happiness and excitement from showing all over my body!  It's those times when if I could do a backflip I would do 1,000! Sometimes it comes from the anticipation of seeing a good friend or loved one I haven't seen in a while.  Other times it may comes when simply receiving good news.  I felt this way when Trey proposed!  I felt this way when I found out Dempsey and Selena were expecting their first little one!  I feel this excitement on Friday afternoon when our mail is delivered!  

It comes in big moments and in little everyday moments.  The explosive happiness arrives when I think about the pilgrimage we are on as Christians and how AMAZING it will be to be face to face with my King!  It is the moments of intense expectation of what is to come and the confidence in knowing it's going to be oh so good!  Treasure those moments.  May we never become too grown up to experience and eagerly welcome EXPLOSIVE happiness and excitement!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Twazyem Jou (Third Day)

Today I am thankful for the gift of Girlfriends!  There is just something special about being able to share secrets, laugh over crazy things, and simply be yourself with your close girlfriends.  I love seeing the friendships in Haiti.  Although the culture is different, the love is still the same.  I'm so thankful for the encouragement, accountability, and laughter that comes from my girlfriends!
Note: This picture was taken from a crazy scavenger hunt for a Boyce College ladies night.  Yes, I do know my shorts are on inside out :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Day 2!

Today I am so thankful for heating pads!  As I write this afternoon I am cuddled up on the couch under two heating pads.  Last night was a very sleepless night and I was very sick to my stomach.  I have never been more happy to see the morning!  Throughout the day I have remained in the house with saltine crackers and 7-up.  With a soar and worn down body from a rough night nothing quite hits the spot like some good 'ol heating pads.  I pray this is just a 24 hr. bug and that I can hit the ground running tomorrow.  I must say I'm pretty thankful for my amazing nurse Trey!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Will You Join Me?

THANKSGIVING - A public acknowledgement or celebration of divine goodness!  A day set apart to acknowledge the goodness of God, either in remarkable deliverance from calamities or danger, or in the ordinary dispensation of his bounties. -Webster Dictionary

Throughout the past couple of weeks I have become quite consumed with wanting to know the definition of words.  This may be a result of learning a new language, writing more, or simply being a nosey person :)  Nevertheless, when I looked up the definition of Thanksgiving I have to say, I LOVE IT!

Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays.  I LOVE food, maybe a little bit too much.  I LOVE spending time with family.  I LOVE the fall!  Combine the three and you cannot get much better.  I have noticed on Facebook the extreme interest in posting daily during the month of November about different things you are thankful for.  To be quite honest, when I first saw some people doing this I thought it was quite cheesy...

But, as the days have progressed I have found myself searching through all of the craziness on facebook to see what people are thankful for each day!  (My nosiness again?)  I then thought about my blog I wrote a while back about developing a heart of thankfulness.  Upon reading the definition of Thanksgiving, a PUBLIC acknowledgement or celebration of divine goodness, I had an idea!

Throughout the remainder of November I am going to post daily about different things for which I am thankful for on this blog.  Some days may be about remarkable deliveries or some just ordinary bounties.  I do not know about you but I thrive with ACCOUNTABILITY!  I am much more likely to stick to something if I have someone walking alongside me.  Which is where you come in...

I want to hear from you as well!  There may be 1 of you or there may be 20 of you who do this.  Under each post would you leave a comment about what you are thankful for?  If you miss a day, no big deal.  But, let's take the time to PUBLICLY celebrate divine goodness.  What better time to get in the habit of practicing a heart of THANKFULNESS than in the month of THANKSGIVING?!

Day 1:  Today I am thankful for photo's!  It is great to be away from friends and family and still have their memories captured in images.  It is a joy to be able to remember times of celebration or vacations through photo's.  I love being able to take photo's of God's creation to help me remember his faithfulness and creativity!
I took this picture from our front porch about a week ago.  I was actually trying to get a picture of Trey and some of the guys working but captured this instead.  Love the beauty of our LORD!

The challenge has been made, will you join me?

Monday, November 7, 2011

BHM Field Notes

Check out the latest news of what is happening at Baptist Haiti Mission!

Written by yours truly :)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Can you guess what this is...?

Come on, think about it...

Maybe...Any other guesses?

This my friends is a pumpkin!  For the past few weeks I have been wanting to decorate for fall.  I thought it would be great to be able to carve a pumpkin.  I began to ask around to find out where I could get a pumpkin.  I was quickly informed that pumpkins in Haiti are a little DIFFERENT than pumpkins in the U.S.  They are green or white and well, not so round.

According to the definition of different is: not identical, separate or distinct.  It does not take much to realize there are quite a few things about life in Haiti that are different than life in the U.S.  To name a few; the language is DIFFERENT, the music is DIFFERENT, the holiday's are DIFFERENT, the food is DIFFERENT, the grocery stores are DIFFERENT, the transportation is DIFFERENT, the weather is DIFFERENT.

I am constantly reminded of the incredible CREATIVITY of my Lord and Savior while living in a country that is so different from what I have always known.  Although many aspects on the Haitian pumpkin look very different the inside is the SAME as other pumpkins.

SAME: being one or identical though having different names, aspects, etc.

You know, it's funny how simple things like an odd shape of a pumpkin can be used for moments of teaching.  1 Samuel 16:7, "But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him.  For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." Oh how quick I am to get hung up on the external, the outer appearance.

I was strangely perplexed by the shape and color of this pumpkin.  Oddly enough, I really enjoy the appearance of pumpkins in Haiti.  I am so thankful that as children of God we have many different appearances but are the SAME: one or identical IN CHRIST!

Spend some time thanking God for the differences around you today.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Best Blog Post...EVER!

Last night I was thinking about what to put up for a blog post and realized it had been more than a week since I had posted!  Pa bon (not good).  After this realization I felt pressure to make this THE BEST BLOG POST EVER to reward you for your patience and still checking in on us.  So without further delay, welcome to the best blog post ever!

There is a team of 15 college and young adults from New Jersey who are here building a house for a family who lost their home during the earthquake.  The team rented a bus on Sunday morning and the missionaries along with the team loaded up and we went down to camp to spend the day at the ocean!  Sunday morning began with a morning worship service.
There were more than 50 people sitting under this pavilion singing praise and worship songs on Sunday morning.  There are not many things I enjoy more than praise and worship, camp style!  The view was beautiful as we looked out over the ocean and sang songs proclaiming the majesty of God and how all creation points to Him!  Regional, one of the Haitian staff for the camp, preached the sermon for us.  He spoke about how God works all things together for our good.

After the message all the guys wanted to play football (soccer).  It was quite the intense game.  Needless to say the Haitian guys have just a little more skill than the those from the U.S.  It was entertaining to watch :)  After the game everyone went into the water.  There was snorkeling, kayaking, and simply swimming around.  We had a wonderful afternoon!
Yesterday I went out with the team to take pictures of the house they are building and meet the Britus family.  I will be posting a blog on the Baptist Haiti Mission Field Notes (see the right side of the screen for the information) later today.  However, I wanted to share with ya'll for a minute from a personal perspective.

The Britus family has 7 kids.  Since the earthquake they have been living in a one room home made with sheet metal and wood beams.  They are so excited to have a new house! They will have security and be able to rest well at night.  I became friends with 5 year old Naika.  We sat down by the fire pit with her mom while she cooked.  Naika would teach me songs in Creole and I would teach her simple songs in English.  She eagerly allowed me to hold her 5 month old brother, Ronald a majority of the day.  
We are sitting right outside the front door of their old house.  It is so exciting to know that Wednesday afternoon they will have a new house!  Please pray for the Britus family.  They are a sweet family and are working hard to get by.  Pray they grow in their love and understanding of the Lord.  I am so thankful I was able to meet them and spend time with them yesterday.

This concludes THE BEST BLOG POST EVER!  Have a blessed and wonderful Tuesday.