Wednesday, May 30, 2012


This week we have a medical team serving with us here at Baptist Haiti Mission.  The team is composed of 5 members associated with ABWE (Association of Baptists for World Evangelism).  We have served along ABWE in the past and always enjoy having them.

Today, I was able to travel out with the team to their medical clinic.  I LOVE heading out with teams any chance I can.  I was able to take some pictures, love on the kiddos, and help out a bit.  I plan to post pictures from today, but first wanted to share with you about my time with little Miss Spunk...

As I walked throughout the clinic this morning and took pictures I noticed throughout my journey that I had caught the attention of 10 year old "Spunky", this is the name I give you for her because I know I would not do her name justice if I tried to spell it out for you.

After several "Bonjou's" with this precious girl, I decided it was time to sit and chat for a little bit.  I asked her about school and if she went to church.  We talked about her brothers and sisters, and then we began to sing together.

This drew the attention of several of the other kiddo's as well, who of course joined in with us.  I am so glad I have gone to "Children's Church" on occassions on Sunday mornings, so I could keep up with the songs "Spunky" and her friends knew.

I could not help but smile as I sat on the floor of the church where the clinic was held, and sang songs with the kids.  After several songs, I asked "Spunky" why she came to see the Dr.  She told me she was sick.  After a few minutes of discussing why she was "sick," I concluded that it's always fun to be where the people are and get a little bit of Children's Tylenol never hurt anyone :)

After taking a few pictures of the kids and showing them to the group, "Spunky" was gone for a little bit.  She returned with her hair fixed and asked for another picture :)

I love all the many personalities the Lord has given his people!  We are a unique breed, and life is just fun :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Just Because

This morning I sat at church with 5 precious women as they worked tirelessly on their jewelry.  We meet on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 9-12.  Each meeting the women come eager to cut multiple cereal boxes for their jewelry, as well as to turn in completed pieces to be sold.

Today one of our newest members came with several bracelets and necklaces completed.  She has been working with Kouri Deye for a few weeks now, and this was her first time to bring in completed pieces she had done at her house.  The other women were very interested in her work and instantly began picking up her pieces and talking quite quickly with one another about each piece.

I did my best to catch the majority of the conversation.  I heard several, "Pa bon," not good.  I also heard several conversations about the colors chosen and how things could have been done.  As I watched, the expression on the woman's face who came with the jewelry remained calm and complacent as she listened to the discussion taking place around her.

I felt myself become slightly frustrated with the ladies for their many comments.  My perspective changed drastically as I watched the events unfold at the end of the conversation.  I looked around the table and discovered each woman who had commented about one of the pieces of jewelry, was now sitting at the table helping their friend fix her mistakes.

I was BLOWN AWAY.  These ladies were quick to provide guidance for their friend as she embarks on this new direction, yet they were also quick to not leave her alone.  There was no personal gain for these women as they spent the first hour of their morning helping their friend.  The women would have been fine to examine the other woman's jewelry and then move on and work on their own pieces.  Instead, they gave of their time and their skill to help her.

I am so thankful for the opportunity to get to know these ladies.  Oh the blessings that come from doing something for someone...just because.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Birthday Maggie!!!

 My precious sister Maggie turned 17 today.  I have been so blessed with quite a spunky sister that has been the cause of many wonderful memories.  From putting her in the dryer to watching her dominate on the soccer field it is safe to say I am proud of my sister! 

Hope it has been a fantastic day for you Magnus!  I'm glad we can all show our squinty eyes in the picture above :)  Love you girlie!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Weekend Happenings

Greetings from the Salter Household!  We have had quite an enjoyable weekend and hope the same for you.  If you are reading this from the U.S., I am slightly jealous of your 3 DAY weekend, enjoy your Monday "off."

Here is a snapshot from our weekend.  Friday evening is Pizza night for teams and missionary staff here at BHM.  We enjoyed our pizza and concluded the evening with some games with friends here.  

Saturday we enjoyed working around our house together.  I focused on a lot of inside clean-up while Trey completed our fence in the backyard for Creole!  I am quite proud of my carpenter husband, and  I am excited to give our little buddy a comfortable place to be outside when we both have to be gone.

I enjoy a good cheesy picture.  I talked Trey into posing with me on Friday afternoon for a good "family photo"
We also celebrated a friends birthday on Saturday night.  I made my first ever pie crust, from SCRATCH!  Yes, it's okay, you can praise me :)  I used Pinterest to find out how to do this task and then held my breath the whole time I was "cubing" my Crisco, and "pulsing" my flour.  Still not too sure what these terms mean, but the pie crust worked!  I made Derby Pie (special request of Trey's).  We drove ALL OVER the place Saturday afternoon looking for pecans, definitely not a common nut to Haiti.

Today is Mother's Day in Haiti (not sure why it is not the same as in the U.S.)  But, I guess our mom's should feel very special and know they were celebrated twice by us.  This morning was Family Day at our church.  The church held special services focusing on the role of the man, and the woman in the family throughout the week.  They concluded today by celebrating mothers, as well as the family as a whole.

There was even a wedding ceremony performed at the end of the service!  Welcome to Haiti folks.  I must say it was the first ceremony I had been to on a Sunday morning.  It was a beautiful picture of truly committing our families to the Lord.  I have always enjoyed a good 'ol wedding!

Gen yon bon wikenn!  Have a good weekend.
Every good picture takes a little bit of work :)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Tomato Red Faces

1 Corinthians 10:31 - So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

The fat kid in me has always found a bit of humor in this verse.  I smile as I think, shew yea, I can eat me some chocolate and do it for the glory of God!  At risk of sounding completely heretical, I am aware that this passage is enforcing the necessity of glorifying God with ALL of who we are.  Not just at the times when I'm chowing down on a Little Debbie cake.

Along with my intense love for food, I also have quite an extreme love for exercise.  I credit a large amount of this to my mom who has always taught us the importance of taking care of our bodies.  Since moving to Haiti, I have really missed having a gym to attend for Aerobics classes or a park to go to.  Although the "luxuries" of most exercise opportunities are not available to me, the need to exercise still remains.

Daily work on the mission, as well as travel in Haiti, can be quite physically demanding.  Today, I walked up and down 50+ stairs a variety of times carrying large kivets (BIG dishpans) full of sheets.  Take my word for it, sheets get heavy quick!   My body experienced a lot of tension as I tried not to trip and was enveloped by the warm Haiti sun.

Each day here is full of its own twists and turns.  As I made my third trip up the steps this afternoon, I became vividly reminded once again of how important it is to honor God with my body; so, that I may be prepared for the plans He has for me each and everyday.

I returned from the States with a new Jillian Michaels' DVD, 30 Day Shred.  Jillian is an INTENSE work out instructor, but she definitely knows her stuff.  This afternoon I put on my exercise clothes and tennis shoes as if I was heading to the gym.

For the next several minutes I pushed myself and turned into a hot, sweaty mess.  Trey entertained Creole so I could fully participate in the workout.  Creole has difficulty understanding that when I lay on the floor for crunches, this is not the time for him to pounce on me.  Throughout the course of my work out I was blown away by how much our bodies are capable of.

We have a wonderful Creator.  As the work out concluded, and my face had reached a  beautiful tomato red, I felt so good.  Perhaps as I glorify God through the daily tasks of eating and drinking...He also delights when I acknowledge Him during the difficult times of sweating and stretching.

I plan to push through Jillians 30 Day Shred.  It will be a big task and accountability will be necessary (one reason I am sharing this with you, just knowing you know that I am trying to do better with my exercise...makes me do better.)  I look forward to being "Shred", whatever that is supposed to mean.


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Bon Dimanch

Happy Sunday!

Psalm 38:9, "O Lord, all my longing is before you; my sighing is not hidden from you."

A few days ago during my time in the Word I came across this verse.  It is a delight to my heart to know not only is the Lord aware of the number of hairs on my head, but He is present and alert to my every SIGH!

I don't know about you...but I sigh quite often.  I sigh at the reality of so many BIG issues that take place in this fallen world.  I sigh as I think about the future and what all it may hold.  Some sighing is full of burdens, however some sighs are sighs of contentment.  Today has been a day of content sighs:

I let out a sigh in church this morning as I held the hand of my husband, while singing to my Savior, alongside my Haitian brothers and sisters.

I smiled and sighed to myself as I watched one mother after the next working oh so hard to keep her oh very enthusiastic child next to her still and quiet as the sermon was preached.


I sighed as I walked through our yard this afternoon and noticed the amazing flowers my Father has created for me to enjoy.

After a wonderful lunch with a new friend volunteering with us at the mission, I sighed in contentment as I did the dishes and listened to Trey and Brad talk eagerly about how to continue to strengthen the work of Baptist Haiti Mission.  I am so thankful for my driven man.

I sigh, a sigh of anticipation as I wait for my chocolate chip cookies to finish baking.

I sigh a sigh of amusement as I trip over Creole for the 10,000th time because he loves being with us so much, I can definitely relate to our little buddy who loves his people interaction.

Thank you Lord for loving me in such a way that even my sighing is not hidden from you.  Change my heart and my perspective in such a way that only you can.  May the words of my mouth, and the sighs of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

What Happened to Our Calm Canine?

When we brought Creole home the first few days consisted of him trying to figure out who we were and what this new life of his was all about.  He would approach us calmly as we held out our hands.  After seeing we were simply wanting to pet him he would nestle in beside us and fall asleep.  What a beautiful scene of what it is like to have the perfect companion...

6 a.m. this morning, I woke up to an entirely NEW dog.  Trey took Creole out to the bathroom and then returned to the bedroom with hopes of getting a few more minutes of shut eye.  After about 15 minutes of laying in bed wide awake, trying to convince myself that our new little man wasn't destroying anything it became clear I could rest no longer.

I grabbed my Bible and devotional book and slipped quietly from the room with Creole hoping this would give Trey a few more minutes of shut-eye.  I pictured Creole snuggling next to me as I spent the morning hours in the Word and enjoyed the oh so picturesque scene of the "perfect" family.

45 minutes later I was sweating, the furniture had been rearranged in an attempt to build any barrier I could to "tame the animal", and my sink was stacked high with a kitchen rug and other misc. objects that Creole was determined to destroy.

What happened to my calm companion?!

It was not until 8 a.m. that I began to see signs of the Creole that I had introduced to our home return.  As I replayed each event to Trey this morning he simply smiled and said, "Well I suppose he's getting comfortable with us now..."

I have thought about this statement throughout the day and wonder if I too, have the tendency to seem "crazy" to my Master when I get comfortable?  I know Creole means well but sometimes he just can't help it, puppies will be puppies!

Oh what peace it brings to my heart that in the moments I may totally lose my footing, my Savior provides me with His oh so tender and heartfelt rebuke, and leads me on the path I should go.

As I write, I have a pretty intense leash burn on my leg due to a very excited pup on his afternoon walk.  The broom is on the kitchen cabinet because no matter where I hide it little Creole keeps finding it and chewing on it.  And, the foot rug from this morning, has returned to the sink.  

But, Creole is resting soundly under my feet and if you asked him, life is good!  Oh the many lessons I guarantee I will learn due to time spent with this crazy little canine.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Families, Dogs, and the Mountains of Haiti

So many things have happened within the past week.  I was able to spend some time with the precious folks in the picture below :)

I am so glad timing worked out for me to travel to Corbin.  It was wonderful to have several much needed chats with my precious family.  In the midst of some very beneficial times with the Ballou side of me...I missed Trey more than words could express.

I felt like a giddy 7th grade girl as I boarded the plane in GA on Saturday morning knowing I was returning to my man.  I was fortunate to be able to look out the window as I flew.  It was overwhelming to see the mountains of Haiti come into view knowing I was almost home!

In the midst of so many things going on we have an exciting announcement...we have officially added a 3rd member to our family and his name is Creole.
Trey and I have been wanting a dog for quite some time.  For those of you who know me well you may find this hard to believe.  Yes, I am the girl who would make fun of someone when they would talk to their pets, as if they were waiting on a response.

However, people change.  The more Trey and I talked about getting a puppy the more and more excited I became.  We searched out a few different options to find a dog here in Haiti but were simply not having any luck.  Through a series of events, and an amazing father-in-law who can "Craigs List" with the best of them, we found our little man!

My in-laws traveled to Alabama and got this precious little guy as a gift for us!  He is a Great Dane.  He is currently 4 months old.  In case you are wondering, he is going to be huge!
On Saturday morning after saying my goodbyes to family in the U.S. I boarded the plane, knowing little Creole was underneath traveling with me.

I must confess I was VERY nervous about going through customs and getting this precious dog out of the airport with me.  Ty & Terri worked their tales off getting all of Creoles shots squared away and making sure he was ready to leave the country.

I was determined if I ran into any problems in the airport, I would simply cry.  Surely I would be able to get through the "red tape" with a few tears.  God was so good and we had no issues at all.  Creole literally came around on the baggage claim and several people were right there next to me willing to help me lift his crate and load him up for our walk out to the car.  The next thing I knew little Creole was meeting Trey for the first time and now he is sleeping next to us in the living room enjoying a peaceful Tuesday night.

There will be many more pictures of this little guy in the days to come.  For now I must bid you all a good night!

Check out the BHM blog I wrote today, it's on the side of this page under:  Baptist Haiti Mission Field Journal.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A Life Well Lived

My Granny passed away early Saturday morning.  Throughout the past 5 years she has put in a very long battle with a terrible disease.  Although we will miss her greatly, my heart is at peace knowing this very moment she is FREE from all her pain and suffering.

These past several days have been spent making funeral arrangements, and reflecting on the life of my Granny.  I have been incredibly blessed to be with my family during this time.  We have laughed to the point of tears as we have shared moments of my precious Granny.  She loved her daughters, and her grandchildren.  She has instilled in me so much of what it means to care for and look to the ways of your household.

Granny was a PROFESSIONAL homemaker.  I grew up right down the road from my grandparents.  I LOVED all the time we were able to spend together.  Granny's witty sense of humor and her diligent work ethic made her a joy to be around.

It is by no accident that the two of us are both wearing yellow shirts in the picture above, I wanted to be just like her.  Granny always loved working in her yard and being outside.  Her sunglasses made everything look orange, and she would wear them all the time.  I too now have a pair of orange sunglasses...they just make the world look better.

As we gather with extended family and friends over the next two days, my prayer is that our tears will be tears of joy.  My Granny lived a full life, and lived it well.  She embraced each day, and taught us to do the same.  May we celebrate her life, and thank God for the many memories we will never forget.


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Meeting Annabel Marie

Due to a variety of events and some quick scheduling I am spending the next few weeks in the U.S. visiting family.  My grandmother is not doing well at all, and scheduling worked out for me to come and spend some quality time in good 'ol KY.  I am pleased to announce that yesterday and today I was able to meet our first niece, Annabel Marie :)

I made sure I told Annabel all about Haiti, and how her Uncle Trey and I can't wait for her to come visit us.
 I had not seen my brother Dempsey and sister-in-law Selena for several months.  We were able to spend time together last night as well as this morning.  I enjoyed loving on precious Annabel.  Bath time is a very exciting time in the Ballou household.


 Daddy and Mommy love reading to Annabel and making sure she is already being exposed to the Word at such an early age.  They are wonderful parents.

There is a great amount of change going on in our family right now.  Pray for us during this time of transition.  Trey was not able to travel to the states with me and I must say I am already missing him.  It is crazy being apart from him, but I am incredibly thankful I was able to come in during this time.