Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Thank You?

It is a crisp Fall day.  Boy and Girl go for a walk in the park and enjoy the changing of the leaves as they walk hand in hand.  Boy stops and asks Girl to sit and talk for a bit.  While talking, Boy looks deep into Girls eyes.  Very intentionally, Boy says the three most relationship changing words to Girl, "I love you."  Girl is overwhelmed, estatic, head over heals for Boy and responds..."Thank you."

Wait, what?!  Thank you?  What type of a response is this when someone tells you for they first time EVER they love you?  I wish I could say say I do not know the Girl in the story.  Instead, I have to confess...I am the Girl.  During a walk in one of our favorite parks in Louisville, KY Trey told me for the first time he loved me...and I said Thank You.  Who does that?!

Today, as we celebrate our 3 year anniversary, I cannot help but laugh as I think about our beginning.  We have indeed come a LONG way!

I waited to say "I love you" to Trey, not because I was uncertain, but because I did not want to say it for the first time to him simply as a response.  Oh the many mind games when it comes to matters of the heart...seesh!

As confusing as the dating years may have been, the Lord taught me so much about His character as He drew Trey and I together.  We know that we Love the Lord because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).  Our response to the Love of our Lord is to love Him in return.

My "Thank You," to Trey was not enough when he told me he loved me.  He was not searching for a word of affirmation from me, he was searching for my love in return.  The same is true with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Of course my heart is overwhelmed with thankfulness for the love of my Savior.  But, my entire life is changed as well.  The Lord desires for me to express my love back towards Him.  This is done through my words, my attitude, my daily choices, my life!  3 years into marriage and I am still learning how to communicate my love to Trey.

50 years from now I am sure we will still be laughing about the story of how I simply said "Thank You," when he first told me he loved me.  I am thankful for the lessons learned from our early years, and I look forward to many more!

I Love You Trey Salter, Thank You for loving me too!

Time for our First Kiss EVER!

One of the GREATEST moments.

Monday, March 25, 2013


You know those days that just make your heart feel good deep down inside?  Today was one of those days for me...

We spent the day showing some visitors a variety of churches connected with Baptist Haiti Mission. One of the locations we traveled to was the home of Pastor Ellison. Upon arriving in Haiti we stayed with the Ellison family to begin "grunting" our way through Haitian Creole and be exposed to the in's and out's of our new home. 

Today was the first time in over a year we were able to return to the town of our sweet Haitian beginnings and see this family.  And, this time we could speak!

Although our visit today was quick, the reunion was wonderful, and hopefully the first of many.  Of course, as we sat and chatted I could not help but snap a photo or two of some of the precious kids we enjoyed playing with for many long and sweaty hours when we first arrived in Haiti.

Oh how sweet it is to reunite with families who are passionate about the gospel and making an impact in their community.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

You Think You Know...

Life 1

The rooster crows and the sun begins to reach out through the darkness.  A worn down metal pot is placed above the fire and a breakfast of sauce and noodles is prepared.  She wakes her children and begins to put them into their school uniform, and gently wipes the dirt and mud off their shoes from the previous day.  The eldest has just returned to the house after gathering water for the family.  Now it is time to wash hands and faces before making the 2 hour journey down the dirt path to the school house and market.

Later, after the sun is high and hot, the children return from school.  The aroma of seasoned rice and beans fills the air and stomachs groan as they anticipate the satisfaction that awaits.  The day continues as it did the day before...sweeping, hand washing clothes, and strengthening relationships.  This is life, the day the Lord has made.

Life 2

The alarm clock sounds, how can she already be behind?  She rushes into the kitchen and cereal is poured for the hungry mouths that will soon awake.  Tennis shoes, back packs, and lunch boxes flood the kitchen as the morning routine is in full swing.  She kisses each cheek, says her "I love you's" and everyone is out the door.

3 p.m., waiting in the school pick up line for the children.  Ballet lessons, basket ball practice, and a quick drive through the pharmacy.  Household chores, home cooked meals, after school play dates.  This is life, the day the Lord has made.

Life, it is happening all around us.  Every day babies are born, funerals are held, marriages begin, sickness arrives, and obstacles occur.  Wherever the Lord has placed us, geographically & spiritually, He is teaching us.  The longer we live, the more we think we know.  In a lunch conversation today with Trey and 2 new friends of ours, a familiar phrase kept playing over and over in my head, "you think you know, but you have no idea."

As we talked we discussed a variety of things the Lord was teaching us.  Personal lessons, as well as just discoveries from life overseas.  The conversation led me to think about my sisters in the U.S. as well as those in Haiti.  We are all working so hard in this thing called life, just trying to figure it out, and often simply doing one day at a time. 

1 Corinthians 2:9- "...'What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived,' the things God has prepared for those who love Him..."

I think I know so much, but the Word of the Lord teaches me...there is more to be made known!  I am pleased to say, by the Lord's grace, I know more today than I did yesterday.  But, there is so much more!  Life is more than what we see and experience day in and day out.  Our lunch conversation could have left me overwhelmed and anxious, but gently and quietly in my spirit as the conversation continued I was comforted by my Lord...

My sweet daughter, keep learning, keep searching, keep asking questions, I have such big things in store for you!

My friends, would you join me in the task of learning, searching, and asking, as we see what God has prepared for us as we love Him?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


You can cross the ocean, change cultures, study a new language, and in the midst of so much change some things will always remain the same.  Every girl, young or old, wants to be beautiful.  We desire to be accepted, pursued, and loved.  Although our "styles" of beauty may differ, the heartbeat for beauty remains constant.

Tuesday morning I watched as 3 of our new artisans were being trained to make earrings.  Their was extreme focus and consentration as the steps were explained.  With steady hands the women worked to make the earrings just right.

 A few moments later, the scene changed as one of the artisans discretly put on one of the earrings.  I sat down next to her and told her she looked beautiful.  At first, Denise was embarrassed I had noticed her wearing one of the earrings.  But after complementing her, she looked around the room with a new confidence and the other ladies asked if it would be okay if they too tried out a pair of earrings.

As the ladies laughed and admired the new beauty they were modeling I was reminded of the lyrics to the Bethany Dillon song, Beautiful
I want to be beautiful
Make you stand in awe
Look inside my heart,
and be amazed
I want to hear you say
Who I am is quite enough
Just want to be worthy of love
And beautiful
The song continues by mentioning a variety of ways and places we search for beauty.  I love wearing earrings and having cute clothes, but our beauty is not found in our outward adornment.  May we never forget the source of our true beauty, Christ alone...
You make me beautiful
You make me stand in awe
You step inside my heart, and I am amazed
I love to hear You say
Who I am is quite enough
You make me worthy of love and beautiful

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Weekend Review

It's been a great weekend here in our little corner of the world.

Friday night consisted of a fun filled evening of laughter and Catch Phrase with some of the missionary staff here at BHM.

Saturday was Trey's 25th Birthday!  I am so thankful the Lord brought this man into the world, I'm convinced he is the best thing since sliced bread.  We began the morning with french toast and presents.

For lunch we ventured down to Petionville and ate at a cute restaurant called "The Lunch Box."  It had a boardwalk feel, I enjoyed a Chicken Salad wrap & Trey had sushi!  We will definitely be going there again.  It's amazing the places you can find.

The day concluded with a homemade Buttermilk Chocolate birthday cake and an episode or two of NCIS.  The cake was delicious, I was so relieved when the recipe worked flawlessly at our high altitude.  If you've read any of my other blogs about food, you know the first time trying a recipe here can be pretty scary.

Birthday picture after having our second helping of cake an ice-cream!
For church this morning we attended the closing ceremony of the Annual Church Conference BHM has been hosting. Over this past week 250+ pastors from all over the country have been on our property for the annual conference. They have participated in meetings and sessions given by pastors and other guest speakers as a time of encouragement. 

It was a joy to worship with so many men of God who are faithfully serving in the church throughout Haiti.  I hope to post a video and some pictures from this time in the days to come.  Join us as we continue to pray for the church and look for ways to come alongside our brothers and sisters here in Haiti.

Thankful for a weekend of celebrating and refreshment.  Come on Monday, we are ready for you!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Jesus Loves Me...

In just a few short weeks it will be time to celebrate Easter!  Today, during ESL, I read a story to the students which explained why we celebrate Easter.  I was amazed to hear what these precious 4 and 5 year old kids already knew about Jesus.

In unison they were able to tell me Jesus died on the cross, He was placed in a tomb, and three days later He arose!  When asked, "Where is Jesus today?"  Everyone said, "In Heaven."  After talking a few minutes about Easter we then learned JESUS LOVES ME.

Here's a small glimpse into our singing today, just tune out my songbird voice.

As I watched the kids concentrate on each word, and try so hard to place their hands just right, I prayed that one day they would truly understand the meaning behind these words.  Oh what a gift it is to be loved by Jesus!

After some serious concentration and intense listening they deserved a break from their hard work.  It was time to sing an oldie but a goodie.  Since my camera was already out I decided I could share this treat with you as well...

 Happy Easter!  Jwaye Pak!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Green Fro

Today we traveled up in the mountains to visit Qui Croit (Key kwa) Legliz (Church).  The church is connected with Baptist Haiti Mission and they were celebrating the anniversary of the church this morning.  On this 45 minute (ish) drive, there were some amazing views through the valleys.

We arrived at the church a little more than an hour before the service began.  The church decided even though Haiti technically changed the time today, they would begin church on the "old time" schedule for those who may have missed the announcement.  We, the "foreigners" did not realize this and were extremely punctual!  The early arrival gave us time for one of my favorite activities, people watching.

As we stood outside the church waiting for the service to begin, we were able to watch mothers with children in tow cleaning faces and changing into fancy shoes for the service.  We watched venders set-up tables of crackers and other munchies to try to make a dollar or two from those on their way to church.  We had time to speak with the Pastor as well as other Christian leaders in the community.  And, we were able to catch favorite moment of the day...

No, this boy does not have a large green fro, instead he is carrying a large bundle of watercress.  I could not help but smile as he approached us in the front of the church and I asked him if it would be okay if I took his picture this morning.  He was more than willing and then asked if he could see it.

After looking at the picture we both laughed together, and I explained to him it looked like he had big green hair!  He laughed and laughed and asked me to take another picture...

After talking for a few minutes it occurred to me, this 12 year old boy had given no thought whatsoever to his physical appearance this morning.  He knew he had a job to do, threw the greens on his head, and took off down the dirt road.  I think I most definitely have a thing or two I could learn from the kids of Haiti.

An hour passed and it was time to bring our "people watching" to a close and enter the service.  At the close of the service Pastor Rob Baker (Field Director of Baptist Haiti Mission) was presented with a gift for preaching the sermon this morning. 

Do you want to know what it was?  He was given the Green Fro!  I do believe the missionaries of BHM will be seeing a lot of this plant over the next few weeks.

Here's to being okay with having a large green head if that is what the Lord has in store for the work of the day! Okay, perhaps I'll start with being okay with some weird frizzy hair...and work my way up to the large Green Fro.


Monday, March 4, 2013

Children of the Light

Yesterday, in the mountains of Haiti, it was cloudy and rainy...Today, in the mountains of Haiti, it was cloudy and rainy...Tomorrow, well...we shall see.

We are so thankful for the rain.  Our cisterns were running quite low and we are definitely in need of more rainfall.  Although a fan of the results of the rain, I am NOT a fan of dark and dreary days.

Our quiet little house is a bit more than 5,000 feet high in the mountains.  To say on rainy days we are "living in the clouds" would be an understatement.  The fog has been so heavy these past two days that it has been difficult to see past our front yard.  The darkness  around me put up a large fight for my emotions today.  

As I saw the darkness take over, I was reminded of how important it is to NOT allow my feelings to dictate my beliefs.  Instead, my beliefs are to drive my feelings.  In the midst of this "darkness" battle a song popped into my head...and remained ALL day...

Chorus: We are children of the light / Royal rulers of the day / Saints, no prisoners of the night / Trust and love will lead the way / We are free!
Galatians 5:8, "For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light."

What a joy it is to know as darkness seeks to prevail, I am living as a Child of Light!