Friday, March 30, 2012

Trying to Show the BIG Picture

One of my responsibilities while working alongside Baptist Haiti Mission is to gather information for BHM blogs and newsletters.  I love seeing the many aspects of the ministry of BHM and then communicating the details to others.  However, because I write for BHM during "work hours", I find my personal blogs are lacking in stories about the amazing ministry we are involved with.  I think I can improve in this area by sharing with you the BHM blog posts I try to do once a week.  I posted the one below, today, check it out:

Thinking Outside the Box
The work of Baptist Haiti Mission is a group effort.  It is a gift to see the unique and oh so creative way God has designed the body of believers.  He has given each of us different gifts, passions, talents, etc.  Every facet of our life has been orchestrated by our creator.  The missionary staff of BHM are encouraged on a regular basis by the variety of people the Lord connects with BHM.  Last week BHM was privileged to work alongside a team from The Peoples Church, in Toronto Canada.

Mark, Geoffrey, Warwick, Brian, Ted, Tony, Christine, Uli and Kai arrived in Haiti with the task of building two houses.  While their days would be full of physical labor, their hearts were open to engaging and discovering the culture of Haiti.  The team was able to interact with the people in the area around their building projects each day.  They were able to share the love of Christ in a practical way by meeting the physical needs of two families.

Some of the team members had served alongside BHM before, and for others this was their first time in Haiti.  At the end of the week the team had successfully completed the two houses.

Each team held a "House Dedication" service for the family and community when the house was completed.  They sang a few songs together and spent some time in the Word.  The impact of the physical labor of this ordinary team from Toronto will remain.  However, there is more to the story...

The hearts of many of the team members were greatly impacted by their days spent in Haiti.  They were exposed to many aspects of a culture quite different than their own.  Throughout the week while building the houses the team began brainstorming about how they were going to stay connected with the Lord's work in Haiti once they returned to Canada.  What had the Lord given them a passion for that they could use to continue to assist the people of Haiti.

Mark Tenaglia, team leader, has traveled to Haiti a number of times and worked alongside us here at BHM.  He is a gifted photographer.  He has captured a variety of amazing pictures during his visits to Haiti.  Mark has been able to sell some of these pictures and donate the money to BHM!  He has also designed several graphics and brochures for BHM, absolutely free.

Ted, owns several restaurants in Toronto.  One of his restaurants is home to the "Haiti Burger."  When someone orders one of these burgers in his restaurant, some of the money is donated to Haiti.  Many people know about the "Haiti Burger," some people give money to Haiti at his restaurant even when they do not order the burger.

From this team of 9, this is only two specific stories of those who are taking the impact of Haiti back home.  There are many more stories where this came from.  Rumor has it, the team is brainstorming about a variety of ways they can raise the funds to return to Haiti and build a school in the North.  This is no small task.  The team is definitely going to be doing a lot of "thinking outside the box," to develop ways to raise the funds for this endeavor.  We are excited to see where the Lord takes this desire. 

What about you?  Have you served alongside BHM and are now using something your passionate about to share about God's work in Haiti?  Are you currently communicating the impact Haiti made on you with those in your hometown?  If so, we would love to hear what you are doing.  Tell us about it on Facebook, "Baptist Haiti Mission."

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Looking & Learning

I was listening to a message by one of my all time favorite Bible study leaders a few days ago while cleaning up our house.  One of the primary points in the message was; when we are in the midst of a struggle, we are to take hope that after the struggle the Lord will then provide abundant blessing.

This point has remained on my mind throughout this week.  I will never say God is not in the business of blessing us abundantly after a time of struggle.  By all means, we serve a gracious Lord who cares deeply about His children and can do far more than we can ever ask or imagine.  However, I cannot help but wonder if, in the midst of our struggles, the abundant blessings are present as well.  Is the blessing simply overshadowed by the struggle?

 In the course of a struggle, when we reach the point of desperately searching for the Lord, we begin to see His blessings.  At times these blessings may not have been present throughout the struggle.  However, more often than not, I believe the blessings were always there while the Lord patiently waited on us to change our gaze and acknowledge Him.
 Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

Last Thursday I was laying out on a boardwalk in Santa Domingo reading the day away.  Today I have been chasing around little one's (whom I absolutely adore), speaking Creole, sending multiple e-mails, and handling many logistics as several of our BHM co-laborers are off of the property today.

It is in this moment my head says, "Okay, Chelsea last week was a great week, you were living in the midst of so many blessings.  This week is a struggle." My heart quickly intercepts that thought with the word's of my Creator, "My child, although you may be in a different location with different tasks, my desire to make myself known to you and give you an abundant life remains the same, would you please embrace it today."

John 10:10 "The thief does not come except to steal, to kill, and to destroy.  I have come that they may have life, and have it more abundantly."

My perspective then changes.  My heart warms while watching the excitement and carefree play of two precious children.  I find myself wondering what our children will be like one day!  I walk away from another conversation feeling accomplished, "Yes, I just spoke a very complete thought without stuttering or inserting any English!"  I return to my e-mails with excitement because I love to talk and connect with others, especially about the work the Lord is doing in Haiti.  I write down another detail on yet another post-it note, I thank God that He knows all and I don't have to.  My gaze is shifting...

It is unbelievable how searching for blessings is truly a 24/7 deliberate act!  In Phillipians 4, Paul talks about how he has learned the secret to being content in every circumstance.  It is a practice, an effort, a struggle, a quest.  May we not settle by assuming the Lord has us in a period of waiting on His blessings because it is a little difficult to see them in the fog of our circumstances.  May we learn this discipline and daily search for the blessings of our Lord! 

Turn Your Eye's Upon Jesus
O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There's light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
O'er us sin no more hath dominion--
For more than conqu'rors we are!

His Word shall not fail you--He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell! .

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Two Year Anniversary!

Play this video while looking through the pictures.  I know not everyone likes country, but I love love love this song!  Hope you enjoy :)
 March 27, 2010 was by far one of the best days of my life!  I have enjoyed today because it has given me an excuse to look back through several of our wedding pictures.  I wanted to share some with you this evening.

It was a BEAUTIFUL spring afternoon.  We loved seeing each other before the ceremony and taking pictures.  It truly allowed us to enjoy the entire day.  I was a nervous wreck before seeing Trey for the first time!

Lifelong friends and family made up our wedding party.  We were so thankful for everyone who was a part of our special day.  We still talk about how much it meant to us to have all the people we care for so much come together and celebrate with us.  Truly a once in a lifetime experience.

The ceremony was perfect (I admit I may be a little biased, however my mom and mother-in-love feel the same.) 
Our first kiss was in front of more than 100 people, no pressure!  After the ceremony the party only continued.
We surprised everyone with a fun first dance.  It was great seeing the shock on all the faces!
Our commitment for LIFE had officially begun and we could not have been happier.  It is crazy to think of how much things have changed in a simple two years.  The Lord has blessed us and challenged us in ways we would never imagine.  This is only the beginning :)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Dominican Republic

Monday morning we left our Haitian home at 6:30 a.m. to catch a bus to the Dominican Republic for a quick get away, relaxation, and fast food!

Shortly after arriving at the bus stop, about a 30 minute drive from our house, we were informed that we needed our Permanent Visa's in order to travel.  We did not have them, they were in an office on the mission property!  We had our passports, which were supposed to have a special stamp that shows you have a visa; however, this little detail got looked over.  After a few very frantic minutes of making phone calls and beginning to come to grips with the fact that the bus was going to have to leave us, the lady taking the tickets called us over to talk with her again.

In broken English she asked us if she could trust us.  "Yes, of course you can!"  we said.  She told us she would go ahead and stamp our papers for us, but next time we must have our Visa's.  I was BLOWN AWAY by her grace!  We quickly boarded the bus and were eager for all the next for days had in store!

We traveled on a charter bus which went pretty slow maneuvering threw all the mountain roads of Haiti.  About 2 hours into the drive we reached the border to the DR.  After a "forever" period of time we were escorted off the bus to provide our passports and other papers to the customs office.  People were EVERYWHERE!  Large trucks loaded down with items were waiting to re-enter Haiti after their time in the DR.  I have not seen crowds quite like what was at the border before.

It took 3 HOURS to get across the border.  Half of this time was just us sitting on the bus watching the masses all around us.  We were slowly but surely making our way into another country.  We arrived a few hours later to the bus station in the DR.  We were picked up by a missionary to the DR and stayed at their guest house.

Our first stop was the grocery store, Carrefour.  To say we were overwhelmed by the variety of foods and the reasonable prices would be an understatement!  We were like kids in a candy store.  They even had a food court in the grocery store.  We had Burger King for dinner, mmmmboy!

Our first full-day we spent exploring the area.  We had a taxi take us to the mall first.  We shopped at a store called, La Sirena, basically the Wal-Mart of the DR.  It did not take us too long before we remembered we did not even enjoy shopping in the U.S.  We enjoyed another food court meal, I had WENDY'S and Trey had another amazing cheeseburger.  We bought a couple of miscellaneous items, but then decided it was time to walk outside and explore.

With our map in hand we took off toward the ocean!  One of the things we love to do is go on walks together.  Almost our entire dating relationship consisted of taking walks.  It is the perfect time for great conversation, and also just enjoyable to be together.  We do not get the opportunity to do this in Haiti due to the crazy roads and our full schedules.  It was a great afternoon.  2 1/2 hours later our walk concluded and we were at the boardwalk!
We sat and "people watched."  There was an outdoor gym located on the boardwalk.  It was quite comical to watch everyone use the different machinery.  Of course, just like normal people we enjoyed adding thought bubbles for the people in the scene we were watching.  They even had an aerobics class that started!  If I had on tennis shoes I would have joined the class in a heartbeat!  As the evening came we went to the movies.  We saw the new Sherlock Holmes movie, with Spanish subtitles and only payed 50 peso's a piece, a little more than $1.25.

No trip with Trey Salter would be complete without a little History.  The missionary couple who hosted us took us to the colonial zone on Wednesday afternoon.  We saw beautiful cathedrals and enjoyed walking the cobblestone roads.  We went to China Town as well, and enjoyed some fried rice and sesame chicken, to all our Louisville friends it was the closest thing we have had to the Oriental House for quite some time!
Thursday afternoon was beach day.  But, as you can see in the picture below, it was a tad "overcast."  We traveled to Boca Chica (sounds fun doesn't it!) Trey had Sushi and I enjoyed some Chicken Cordon Bleu.  We sat outside all afternoon reading and looking out at the ocean.  It was a 'hoity toity" place and I don't believe we fit in too well, but nevertheless we enjoyed our time.
Throughout our stay we could not get over the fact that the DR and Haiti are on the same island!  The lifestyle, language, people, buildings, EVERYTHING just felt so different.  These past 6 months have been very emotionally draining.  Shortly after arriving in the DR we both were hit with extreme amazement at how big and great our God is.

Our heads are spinning with all the different people and needs that are in this world.  To think that the Lord knows EVERYONE, our thoughts, our needs, and cares for us so intimately is mind blowing.  We understand so little.  The longer we spend in Haiti and the more we travel to different cultures, the more glad I become that He is God and I am not.  I praise Him for His greatness and His care for His children!
As we sat on the boardwalk, I took a picture of the rainbow in the clouds.  It was our reminder that in a world that feels so big, the Lord is with us and constantly reminding us to rest in Him, and trust in His promises!

We had a wonderful stay in the DR.  From fast food to simply having time together without any plans or responsibilities was very special.  We are glad to be back home and preparing for the week ahead.  We are eager and excited to live each day, tasting and seeing that the Lord is good!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Celebrate the Little Victories!

Many of you may know by now, shortly after coming to Haiti myself and Deborah Baker (BHM Missionary) began to work on a jewelry project for ladies in the churches of Haiti.  We have spent days, weeks, and months working through MANY details.  While we still have a lot to work out and will always things to improve, today is a cause for celebration!

Tuesday and Thursday mornings we meet with 3 ladies from the church I attend.  For WEEKS we have been meeting and yet to see a single piece of jewelry completed.  This is not anyone's fault, it is just the amount of time it takes to not simply make a bead, but to have good quality.  We hope to have the 3 ladies we are working with train other ladies in the churches of Haiti.  With this being said, it is critical that from the beginning they learn to see what is good quality and what is not.

This past Thursday we once again returned to church hoping to see some finished products, but honestly not expecting to.  I am pleased to say we were blown away!
Each lady came in with SEVERAL beads completed.  They were eager and excited to string their jewelry and create necklaces and bracelets.  Deborah and I are so proud of these precious ladies.  It is teaching ALL of us about patience, knowing that the slow start will only mean better results in the end.
 Our excitement over having some finished products inspired us to have a photo shoot today!
We hope the ladies are as excited about their accomplishments as we are!
 We enjoyed getting to "model" these pieces this afternoon.  
I think it's safe to say we celebrated this afternoon!
 The picture above is a necklace with a matching bracelet that was completed Thursday, made from Mac-N-Cheese boxes.  Each piece has a card attached to it explaining the purpose of Kouri Deye (to come alongside the ladies in the church), and a picture with a description of the lady who made the piece.

Pray for us as we continue to meet with the ladies each week.  Pray for continued progress.  Pray that this project will honestly be an encouragement and a help to many families within the churches of Haiti.  We are excited to see where things go from here!

Friday, March 16, 2012


Happy Birthday to my AMAZING Husband Trey!!!
One of the best things in my life has been to be pursued by Trey, to enter into a dating relationship, get engaged, and now be married.  I am beyond blessed to be married to the man of my dreams.

Within the first week of knowing Trey there was no doubt in my mind that I reallllly liked him.  I was SHOCKED when he told me he was interested in me.  Trey honestly makes me feel like the most important person in the world.  Shortly after we were engaged we were working at a conference together recruiting for our college.

A prospective student walked up to the booth we were standing behind and asked Trey to tell him in one sentence why he loved Jesus.  Trey did not even blink an eye before he responded, "He loved me first."

I was blown away by his speedy response and the TRUTH from God's word he was able to share so simply with the guy.  1 John 4:19 says, "We love Him because He first loved us."  It was at that moment and countless times since then I have had to stop right in the moment and thank God for Trey.  On this day, his 24th birthday, and many others I am oh so thankful to be "doing life" with Trey Salter :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The BIG 100!!!!

In honor of this being the 100th blog post for Salter Seasons, I composed a little list below to share with you about this past season...

  100 things I Have Learned Since Beginning to Blog
  1. The average reader enjoys short, sweet, and to the point posts.  For this reason how about we make this a top 20 list?  I just wanted to use a catchy title.
  2. Sharing what God is teaching us and showing us has proved to be a true encouragement to others and a wonderful reminder for us as well.
  3. I have developed some mad skill when it comes to speed typing.
  4. Our slloooww internet here is quite the patience tester.  This allows me to become a little more sanctified everytime I upload a picture for the blog.
  5. My Momaw Peggy is a dedicated blog follower, thank you for all your comments.
  6. Pictures make everything look better and are great reminders when skimming over older posts.
  7. I have found it to be quite "therapeutic" to blog.  Thanks for being such a good listener.
  8. I am AMAZED by the e-mails I have received that begin, "You don't know me, but I follow your blog..." (Note, this is not in a creepy way. It's people we know through other people, etc. Don't worry dad.)
  9. I wish on a regular basis that EVERY friend and family member of mine would enter the blogging world too! 
  10. I enjoy reading blogs just as much as I enjoy writing them.
  11. Sometimes, well quite often, I am much funnier in my head than I am when I try to write it out.
  12. I do not like to use commas!  Thank you, editor Trey, for keeping me on my toes ;)
  13. Throughout the past several months there have been many moments where I have caught myself thinking in terms of blog posts.
  14. It is truly a blessing to "network" and be able to make connections with others through the use of our blog.
  15. I am encouraged when I am able to share about what the Lord is doing in Haiti as well as in our personal lives knowing it is providing an upclose account for many of you to life in another country.
  16. CONSISTENCY is difficult!  Hints my miscellaneous posting days (sorry for all of you "scheduled" individuals.  I'm trying I promise.)
  17. When the urge to write hits, I better stop and just do it because it can be quite difficult to find good moments to write, I must simply TAKE moments to write.
  18. Posting for THE WORLD to see, definitely makes me think twice about my words.
  19. I sometimes worry about what will happen when the day hits that I have nothing to say.  Trey quickly reminds me of the fact that I ALWAYS have something to say.
  20. I am thankful for my family and friends who take the time to keep up with where we are.  Blogging would be pointless if it was not keeping me in touch with others.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Just Thinking Out Loud


It is a quiet, peaceful evening in the Salter home.  We were encouraged throughout the past week and weekend to talk with precious family and friends in the U.S.  We are currently adjusting to the time change and royally struggled to get out of bed this morning.  We are also eagerly anticipating hosting the Annual Church Conference starting tomorrow morning.

This is a time when over 300 pastors, lay pastors, and other church leaders will come together for a week of meetings and encouragement.  We are in prayer for many as SEVERAL of them have a good 2 day journey of walking and tap tap rides to arrive at the event.  Pray for edifying and God glorifying conversation and planning during this next week.  We love seeing the work of the Lord in the people of Haiti.

I received a great deal of feed back from my post about "What Is Next..."  I wanted to share this song with you as more encouragement.  Happy Monday night to you all.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

What Next...

In 5 days it will officially be our 6 month anniversary of being in Haiti!  We have learned so much and have been exposed to many things in such a short time.  One of my main tasks is working with teams who travel to serve with us at BHM.  I become "Tour Guide Barbie" and show them around the mission property after they arrive.

Upon meeting new people when they come to visit Haiti,
 it is only seconds into the conversation before I am asked, "How long have you been in Haiti?  How long do you plan to stay in Haiti?"  I was beginning to think this was just a question that the "New, Young Missionaries" received.  Until yesterday...

I was able to have a grand 'ol skype date with one of my best friends in the world!  She is newly married and "settling" into life as a Mrs.  Not long into our conversation she too began to share about the question she receives regularly from others, the "what next..."

I am very blessed to have married a planner.  Trey is very driven and daily seeks the Lord for direction.  I too do my fair share of planning (I have realized since being in Haiti, I am a much bigger "planner" than I ever thought.)  However, there is a fine balance in planning and having direction vs. missing the moment the Lord has placed us in.

Our response when asked how long we plan to stay in Haiti, is as long as the Lord wants us here, "we are just doing life."  We know today this is where we are supposed to be and we confidently trust we will know if we are to leave.  I wonder if you too are in the midst of experiencing the "what next" question.

All of our "what next..." questions may be quite different.  You may be in a serious dating relationship, "What next?"  Perhaps you have just lost your job, "What next?"  Maybe a dear loved one has just passed, "What next?"  You may be working your way through college, "What next?"  The list goes on and on...

Proverbs 16:9
The heart of man plans his way; but the Lord establishes his steps

Trey and I talk about this verse often.  In simple, we practice this by seeking to make our plans in pencil.  It is a true blessing to know we are not in control!  As you work through your day rather that be sitting in a classroom, working in an office, or holding things together in the home, take peace in the fact that you do not have to know what is next.  

The Creator of the Universe loves you far more than you can ever imagine and knows EXACTLY what is next for His children.  Take captive this truth today and walk confidently with your pencil in hand and eraser nearby.  One of our favorite quotes is found above at the top of our blog by Jim Elliot:

Wherever you are, be all there.  Live to the hilt every moment you believe to be the will of God.

Do not miss today wondering what the next hour, week, or month may hold.  Grab today by the shoulders and enjoy it!  


Friday, March 2, 2012


I am a blue jean and t-shirt type of girl.  Since moving to Haiti my daily attire now consists of skirts, skirts, and more skirts!  I do not necessarily mind this style of dress.  It is quite comfortable and I love all my fun colored skirts.  I will admit though there are certain days where nothing sounds better to me than getting to put on a pair of blue jeans and a T-SHIRT!  Over the past few months I have not been wearing many t-shirts because they simply make me feel sloppy.  Wearing a flowing cotton skirt with a lose fitted t-shirt makes me not feel "put together"

I was working through my need to say "Au-revoir" to my t-shirts when I discovered the most brilliant beyond brilliant solution!  I did not come up with this BRILLIANT idea, but I am more than willing to reap the benefits.  I was searching Pinterest one afternoon and discovered a post that said, "T-Shirt surgery:  How to make a shirt fit."  I was so excited at the discovery!

Thursday mornings from 9-12 I work with the ladies at church on the jewelry project.  I came home from our time together still in a "crafty" mood and decided my T-Shirt surgery was not going to be able to wait for the weekend.  So out popped the sewing machine and it was time to operate!  (Yes, you should be impressed, I have began to learn to sew since moving to Haiti.  Straight lines are my forte.)

 I began by choosing one of my favorite T-Shirts.  I was a huge fan of the band Relient K throughout middle school & high school.  I have worn this green t-shirt on a regular basis since my freshman year of high school.  I took a fitted tee that I wear today to use as my pattern.
 I placed my fitted tee on top of my t-shirt.  I turned both shirts inside out.  After making sure the shoulders were in line I used clothes pins to hold the two shirts together.  I then took a dry erase marker and simply traced the pattern of the fitted tee onto my t-shirt.  (Another reason why it's necessary to turn the t-shirts inside out.)  

After tracing the pattern of the shirt I took pins and placed them along the outline to hold the t-shirt together when sewing took place.
The next step is simple, sew your outline to receive the new shape of your t-shirt.  True confession:  I began by sewing the bottom of my shirt first.  Half way through sewing the bottom I realized, DUH, this part does NOT need to be stitched together :)
 I tried my shirt on while it was still inside out to see if I liked the fit.  I must say, i think the winged t-shirt look could catch on.  Now that the size was how I wanted it, I simply cut off the "wings" and turned the shirt right side out.
 Here's the finished product of my very own "fitted tee"  I was so excited to see that it actually worked!  I've got quite a few memorable t-shirts I want to give a little bit of shape to.  I left my sewing machine out so I can do some more renovations this weekend.