Amazing Life

Well I leave for Florida in less than two weeks, and I am very excited to branch off on this new adventure. I can’t believe how God has worked in my life and given me this opportunity to go back to school and reach my goals I thought I would never accomplish. Also, last weekend I was able to spend some time with my sister and her husband and fellowship with them. It was so amazing to see how God is working in there lives and being able to see my sisters faith grow along side of mine is awesome! SHE is my true sister in Christ and I am so lucky to have her as a big sis! And this week Im spending it with my magical little brother  and being able to grow even closer to him. His child like faith is something I long to have more of. It is wonderful to see how God restores all things!  Sometimes I have to take a step back and say “ Wow this is my amazing life.”

I must confess though the devil has been throwing me some curve balls that I have had to dodge. Many of them have been distractions, trying to get me to focus on things my flesh enjoy but in the long run will turn me away from my great purpose and that is serving Him and others. I would find myself getting caught up in worldly things such as the way I look, money, and men. I think these are very typical things that other 23 year olds think about but I know in my heart that where my true focus should be is on my Savior. He still has so much more to do in my life and he will bring me the things I desire in my heart when the time is right. But when I lay in bed and think about what my heart desires my mind veers off to this beautiful place called Haiti and the beautiful people of that nation. I think about what God taught me during that time and I realize that the things I worry about are nothing compared to the suffering people go through in our world.  I am blessed and highly favored and I think I tend to forget that, I get so caught up with ideas of does make me look fat or does he like me? When I should be asking am I serving my King as best as I possibly can, and the answer is no I’m not. And no that does not make me a bad person but it makes me realize I am a work in progress and I should not settle for mediocre service but to serve with all of my heart! Instead of being caught up with worldly things I need to focus on what God has intended for my life. Being under his righteous wing I now know that I will not settle for less than what God has intended for me. He has great things for my life and I know that the devil will throw more curve balls but, THE BATTLE IS THE LORDS! I am beyond excited to see where He leads me when I move to West Palm Beach and finish school and I know my time in Haiti is not done yet. He is so good and I am so blessed to be where I am right now in this amazing life.

I Am Sailfish See ya soon Florida!

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Not all those who wander are Lost

I have not written a blog in a while and I kind off feel bad about abandoning it for so long, but God has been working in my life in so many ways its hard to jot them all down in one sitting. I just recently returned from Nicaragua on a surf trip with my dad. We were there for one week and it just so happened to be during my 23rd birthday, not a bad birthday if I say so myself! Before going on the trip I told my dad that it was very important to me that we find mission opportunities while we were there. So we decided to get soccer balls for street kids and share love with the Nicaraguan children that way. Once we got to the camp there were so many children and not enough soccer balls, but we did the best we could with what we had. But there was something else missing from this mission minus not enough soccer balls, the testimony of JESUS! Which is how I came to find out that the most need for Jesus was not from the children, but from the surfers at our camp. Each day me and my father would begin making conversation with them and I even told my testimony to a few guys, needless to say they were in awe. The surfer lifestyle is partyyyy, and trust me I know all about it. When I shared with them that I don’t drink or use they gave me a look like “Are you for real?”, but then I shared why I don’t do those things and I think that was an even bigger shock, they pretty  much thought I was party girl turned nun. It was hard for them to grasp the fact that I was a follower of Jesus Christ and that He had saved me from my brokenness, until I told the story of Ken Ken. After sharing Gods awesome works in my life some of them started to share what their struggles were, one was a man with a serious cocaine addiction and that he had struggled 20 years with it. He asked me How I was able to heal and move on from my troubles and I told him over and over that Jesus was my only way out. So during this time we noticed that day by day the guys at the surf camp would gravitate towards us asking questions sitting our table where before every meal My father and I would pray, we were almost like aliens from another planet to them, but they hungry for things other than food. On my birthday a couple of us decided to go into the city Leon and do some site seeing and the man I described earlier with the cocaine addiction drove us there with 3 other guys. It was beautiful there with a huge cathedral and little shops I loved it but the best part was lunch. As we all sat down  I ordered my usual water with lemon and others awkwardly ordered non alcoholic drinks. And a couple of minutes later my friend who drove said “Never have I come to Leon and not order whiskey and beer, and here I sit drinking water and melon juice.” When he said it I saw tears welling up in his eyes. It was the most priceless moment of my trip.

Tuesday night came and my 23rd birthday was staring me in the face and so was my past, and being my age in a different country with 20 surfer boys was prime time to get messed up like I use to and the devil kept reminding me of hard it was, Just let loose be free it will be fun. But you know what life is hard, not hard enough. Not hard enough for me to sway and fall down dark routed paths. This world wants me to fail and to bring me back to painful places, but I refuse! My Savior reached down and picked me up of my face and I don’t ever plan on being there again. So with that In mind my birthday was the best birthday I have ever had. Still 20 surfers singing happy birthday to me and all of them from different countries, some young some old but all proud of me for how far I have come in my walk of life. But there was one there that was the most proud, my dad. To see him here with me in this milestone of life and be proud of me and the woman I have become in Christ was the best birthday gift a girl could ask for. So again I say BEST BIRTHDAY EVERRRRRR!

It soon came where we had to depart and say our goodbyes and every single person came to us and said that we had something special, and we knew exactly what it was, and so did they, Jesus. These guys where so hungry for hope and it was very obvious. It was such a blessing to see what God’s purpose was for my father and I in Nicaragua. Each one of them made an impact on my life and I know that I will continue to pray for them daily. I hope that the seeds we planted grow and prosper and that they find what they are looking for. Which is what brings me to one of my favorite quotes by J.R.R. Tolkien with my own little twist.

“Not all those who wander are lost………

  Just searching”

So blessed by this trip and by my father, this is dedicated to him, Love you dad.

A Child Will Come and Save Them

I never thought in a million years a little boy would help save my life. A little boy dying of aids that God used to restore me. Thursday night I had a gathering of all my sponsors who donated to me for Haiti and I shared my testimony. I was able to share to my loved ones family and friends what the Lord had done in my through this little boy. The amazing work or restoration though the healing of this child helped me realize that God is possible of anything, even healing me of my past. The lord knew that I needed Ken Ken during my time in Haiti to heal and learn unconditional love. Leaving him and his mother was one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life. The morning after I shared my testimony with my loved ones Ken Ken passed away. When I got the news I was in shock I did not know how to feel he was almost like my own child. Then the Lord started speaking to me. The night before I had shared how this little boy had changed my life and all the wonderful work God had done through out my time in Haiti. Its almost as if I had fulfilled that season of my life by sharing to all the ones that care about me the most what Jesus had done to restore me through Ken Ken. Ken Ken was in pain and was suffering and the Lord knew that so once Ken Ken had fulfilled his purpose in my life the Lord took him, took him to eternal healing.It is hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that when ever I return to Haiti that I will not be able to hold him  and love on him. But I can rest in the fact that he is receiving the ultimate love from our Savior Jesus. God knew exactly what I needed during that time of my life and I never would have thought it would be a child dying of aids. Our Lord has perfect timing and I am astonished at how he works. I will forever think of that boy in each day of my life, because I saw Jesus and redemption in his face. I thank God and my Savior for that little boy and I am overwhelmed for His love for me. I love you Ken Ken you changed my life and I will never forget you, I now have an angel looking over me at all times sitting right beside our powerful God.

This is a video that a team made for me during my last days in Haiti, thank you Ordinary Heros love you guys.

This is Living

This week has been the most powerful week of my life. God has done so many things in my heart and soul I don’t even know where to begin. This week the Lord has reminded me of how far I have come. This week in our tent camp classes I was able to teach the story of John 8, the story of Mary Magdalene. This is a very powerful story that touches my heart in so many ways, a story of a broken woman lifted up by our Savior has my name written all over it. I told my class that women who act as Mary did are filled with pain and hurt and that being thrown out into the street by men ready to stone her was probably the ultimate feeling of shame. The same shame that many women feel today that is rooted from the devil himself. He tells women like Mary and myself that we are unworthy and unclean and the Lord says NO, You are beautiful you are worthy and you are pure. I my self have gone through pain and shame because I have had a part of my heart stolen from me leaving me feeling broken and alone in this world. While teaching the Holy Spirit began to speak to me and tell me that there was brokenness on that bus sitting right in front of me. I then asked if anyone would like to come up and have a prayer of restoration over there life and restore the hearts. Young women slowly began raising there hands and coming forward and tears starting flowing from eyes. Right then the lord began to restore each and everyone of them. He made each one hole and mended together there broken hearts, just as He did mine. The power of restoration of life is like no other feeling and those women are reminders each day that the Lord has healed me and everything that has been stolen from me is restored and I am one again. Our GOD IS SO amazing!!!!

Today was one of the hardest days of my life. I went to see my beloved Ken Ken for maybe the last time. Walking up to his tent I felt anxious, as I walked up I see his mother giving him a bath and she sees me and runs and hugs me! I see Ken ken and he looks at me with those wide eyes and I saw Jesus looking right back at me through that little boy. As we spent time together I tell his mother that I am leaving tuesday and Im not sure when I will be back and as I say the words tears begin falling down my face. When I look up I see tears falling down her face as well. She then says that her hope began when I entered into her life, and then it hit me. The Lord brought us together for both me and her son to be healed. He knew what I needed as well as her and the love I had for her son gave her hope that the her son gave me. Jesus told me through this little boys healing that I can also be healed and restored. It is amazing to see that the Lord shines his light through the most unexpected places and people, like Ken Ken. A little boy dying of AIDS now living because God healed him and knew that I needed Ken Ken to be healed. Leaving him and his mother was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do but I no that his story has already impacted nations and most importantly impacted me. I serve such a WONDERFUL GOD full of healing and love and I am astonished in the wonders he has done in my life. This nation and these people have forever stamped my heart with hope and have showed me what true faith is. I leave in one day and I can leave knowing that I AM RESTORED, I AM HEALED, AND I AM HIS! Thank you Father, Son, and Holy Spirit for working in me in these past 5 months, my heart is overwhelmed with your love for me. I am a child of God and there is no greater feeling.

This is love, Im going to miss them so much

The Fall

11 more days left in this beautiful place, its kind of hard to wrap my mind around that idea. I have been here so long that I have grown to know this place like my home. The fact that I am here today blows my mind in it’s self. Tomorrow 3 years ago I had the fall of my life, literally. I was in a place in my life full of darkness and pain that I covered up with false comforts. I do not remember much from that night but I do know that it was a reality check I chose not to cash. I remember stumbling my way back to my apartment with no keys planning to climb through a window of my 3rd story building, but not making it in. I fell that night 3 stories onto concrete where I shattered my heel and split my upper leg open to where all my flesh was exposed in my upper thigh. I could have and and probably should have died. I have heard many stories where people have fallen from lesser heights and died, but I lived. At that time I did not know why I was alive but I took for granted the fact that I was braced not only by the concrete when fell but by the grace of God. The Lord knew it was not my time yet He chose for me to live even though He knew that I would continue down a path of destruction.  He did it because He also knew that I would fall to my knees 3 years later and thank Him for it. I could be paralyzed but Im not, I could be crippled and not be able to walk, but Im not. I walk everyday now knowing that I was saved by the hand of my Heavenly Father. He has saved me so many times and most of those times I never even realized it. I now know who to thank. He has made me realized that without that fall I would not be here today. I would not be here standing proud to be His daughter and being used for His purpose in Haiti. He had a plan for me and part of that plan was allowing me to go through some tuff trials, but He knew that my story would not end as a victim, I would be a VICTORY! That I can now shout from any roof top or 3 story building that I AM SAVED BY GRACE! Its so crazy so see how far I have come and how He has used me here in this nation. I am so lucky to be alive and to be living this amazing life and knowing I would not be here if it were not for the one who truly catches you when you fall.

 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:11-13

Freak

So its coming down to my last weeks here an Im not quite sure how to feel. I am so overwhelmed with so many feelings I don’t really know where to rest my mind at which one. I am so blessed to have been here for this time I guess I just need to basque in His presence while I live in this beautiful place called Haiti. Yesterday we went out to the tent camp Carridu where we teach english 3 times a week. The women’s class is studying John and we are currently on chapter 5. I was driven by the Holy spirit as I taught and especially on this verse John 5:17 “But He answered them, My father is working until now, and I Myself am working.” I am thinking wow there it is He laid it down, He is the Messiah. Shortly after this is when He first began to be persecuted. He new the trials to come but professed the truth! I think that is something that a lot of believers including myself are afraid of. I know that I am scared to share to people in my life that I am changed for good no what if this or that, I am a daughter and I will follow the will He has for my life and that means the commandments of the bible. Im a Jesus freak, but should I be scared the world will look at me like I am a freak? Which I need to realize that they will but that I must continue to profess my beliefs because like Jesus I will be persecuted for loving Him and His father. I am ready, I am ready to stand for what I believe in and this is YOUR GREAT NAME JESUS!

After reading this I was lead to Isaiah 35:4 “Say to those with anxious heart, “Take courage, fear not. Behold, your God will come with vengeance; The recompense of God will come, But He will save you.” I love that verse, especially the last words, He will come and save you. After I read the verse I began chanting out loud to the class and before I knew it the whole class was chanting “He will come and save me! I cant even describe how powerful it was to hear and see these women with closed eyes lifting their hand yelling these words with all their might. To know that I felt the words and that they were feeling them with me was amazing. The cool thing about all of this is that it is true, He will come and save us either in life or in death we are saved. I can honestly say that teaching that class will be one of the biggest things I will miss the most, because of those women’s passion and eagerness to learn the truth. God has allowed those sweet women to speak volumes to me. I am excited to stand with with my brothers and sisters in Christ and share that truth and no longer be afraid because I am a freak, a freak for Him.

Image

For me? Yes for me.

As I sat tonight watching Passion of the Christ I felt I was prepared. As the scene of the whipping an scourging of Christ comes on the screen I feel a hand squeeze mine and sounds of weeping. To the left of me is my friend Martine, who is a young Haitian woman who works with us here at Chadasha. Martine barley speaks any english but she was fully aware of what was being shown. As they scourged Jesus the hold on my hand grew tighter and the sounds of weeping grew stronger. I was not prepared for this. We sat there together crying, watching Him being beaten, watching Him be spit on, watching Him get nailed to a cross, and watch Him die a horrible death. I have watched this movie before but never in these circumstances. This year is different. As my hand grew numb I began to realize that He not only died for everyone, He also died for me. Every lash of the cat of nine tales was by my hand, every thorn in his head was from my placing it on, and every nail in his body was from my hammer. All of my sin was cast upon Him and he died so that I may live, and while He was beaten by the sinner like me, I was the one He was thinking of. He thought of each and everyone of us, even the ones who don’t believe. I do not deserve everything He did for me, but He did it. He has given me this new life that I never thought I would have. He saved me from nights I should have died, He saved me from nights I could have killed others, He saved me from nights where I deserved to die, but He knew…that it was not my time. He has a plan for me, and He has a plan for Martine, and He has a plan for you. As the movie ended Martine turns to me and gives me a look I will never forget. I then realize I am not the only one who was blown away by His grace. When I stepped outside and looked at the stars I felt His embrace and the Holy Spirit come over me. I am so blessed to be serving our amazing God who loves us so much He sent His Son to die for me, and for you. But the thing this year He wants me to remember is that He rose! That He was not a victim, He was a victory! And that there is pain in His death, but there is rejoice in His rising! Thank you Jesus for dying for me and rising for me because there is no bad ending when your faith resides in the One who saves.

God’s Beautiful Haiti

Grace

Sometimes I have to take a step back…. look around me, look in the mirror, and look at my life. I am overwhelmed. I cant believe that God has given me this life, a life I do not deserve at all. I used to say when all things were going wrong, “Why me God?”  Now I look around at this life and say, Why me God? Why have You chosen me to live this life full of fulfillment and joy that I don’t even come close to deserving. Im amazed at His love for me and for the people in my life. Today was one of those days where I was so filled with the Holy Spirit that I couldn’t help crying. Today we went and taught English and bible study at the tent camp called Carridu. We go out there 3 times a week and it is so amazing being able to pray and teach with other fellow sisters in Christ in this amazing country, but today was different. I taught the english and the bible study today and I was nervous. I usually have help from other members of my team, but they could not be there today. So I said God take control, I want my words to flow from your thoughts, and sure enough they did. We had two women from the visiting team that week share their testimonies and they so heavily placed onto the hearts of the haitian women. They talked about how before they found their love for jesus their lives lacked real love. Their husbands cheated on them abused them and and was in and out of there lives constantly. Until one day they gave up their broken hearts to the only One who can mend them. It was so powerful for the haitian women to hear because a lot of them struggle with this in their own lives. After their testimonies, I began to teach the bible study and we talked about the willingness to fall to our knees and accept the life God has planned for us, as I continued to share I fell to my knees right there in class. I was so filled with the the love of Jesus that the best place to speak from was my knees. I had never felt so filled with Him in my life and even our translator, Kessy could feel it. He was all around us and filling everyone on that bus. It was a wonderful feeling to see and embody the grace he has bestowed upon each and everyone of us. After this amazing class where I thought I couldn’t feel more grace, My saviour continued to pour it on me. I come home and check my email and see a message from a women who is in charge of my alcohol assessments where I had to take 40 hours of classes for past things in my life that would cost 700 dollars, and the email said

“ Carley, I would be satisfied with wiping the remainder of your hours out completely. You have gone above and beyond and I feel comfortable with where you are at right now. I also feel confident that you are making better choices and have supports in place that you could use if you needed to. So, finish out your mission in Haiti and continue to do good work. “

I sat there in shock starring at the screen and began to weep. God is this my LIFE? Are you really showing me this much grace after everything I have done?! Can this be real?!

And He says YES, this is real. I love you, and I am proud of you and you have changed. Everything you have done is forgotten and I will now bestow on you grace. I would not have this grace if it was not for his Son who was torn to pieces so that I might have grace for things like this. As I said before I am overwhelmed, with his love for me and his compassion and forgiveness and his grace. I love that word Grace, thank you Jesus for grace, because there would be no grace without you.

I WILL!

I cant believe I only have about a month and half left here in Haiti. Time really flies when your having a good time. Sometimes I think about my old life and what I used to think was fun and then God strikes me to a moment now where I look around and see all of His beautiful children running up to me. Its crazy that my worries about the future are not about stumbling and falling into the that old routine of darkness, but that I wont remember to thank Him enough during a day, or that I will settle for less that what He has intended for me. I want to live to my full potential of being the woman God created me to be and serving the ONE who saved me when no one or nothing else could. I look at the children around me and realize that this life I am living was specifically made for me and that He chose me to be in this beautiful place, and that all he requires me to do is love Him and his people and share the great news about His son who saves. One of the staff members at Chadasha is leaving on thursday and Im not gunna lie Im pretty sad. She is going to be with the love of her life and start a new life with him so I know that she is doing what God intended. Yesterday the ladies who we teach english and bible study to threw her a going away party were they got her gifts and sang songs for her. During the party some of them started to cry which is a rare thing in Haiti, and I think we were all a little taken back by it. Watching that made me realize the impact she had made on these women and that I desired to do the same. It was such a blessing to watch and see the love they had for her. We will miss her very much and I know that she has made a huge impact on my life as well. She is a true woman of God and that is what I am striving to be. Through all this He is teaching and showing me what he desires me to be and that I will do whatever it takes! During my time here I WILL SERVE THE LORD, and when I go home I WILL SERVE THE LORD! Just because my time in Haiti will end it does mean that my service stops. I am so excited for what is to come and I am putting all my faith and trust into my Mighty Creator who is always there and guides me through this amazing life.

Love taking pictures full of Life and Gods Love

 

 

Walk the Walk

So the past three days have been amazing! God is blessing me in so many ways I feel overwhelmed with his love for me. To start off, on Tuesday the other intern and myself  planned to teach english class to the older children at our children’s home, and at the end we would teach them a scripture. With the scripture, which was Genesis 1:1, I was able to create an art project for them to do after the lesson. We taught them basic greetings (hello, goodbye, and thank you) and it went very well with a little added humor to keep it fun. After the lesson ended we started on the art project. While watching them work on the projects I began to see huge smiles on their faces and joy from them bouncing of the walls, and I can honestly say seeing this gave me such a high I think I myself could have bounced right off the walls. When they all finished they stood proud holding their creations and posed for a picture, and they all looked so beautiful. I told myself before this that I would never want to be an art teacher but God has a way of changing our thinking, you never know what God has in store for your life.

Well with that spiritual high under belt the next day we went to an orphanage we had never been to before that had over 100 kids. When we arrived the children immediately rushed our car with smiling faces and open arms and man did that feel good. We stayed there all day and played games like duck duck goose and red rover it was a blast. When the day was over and we were packing up to leave one of the little boys who’s name was Ben told me “mwen renmen ou” which means I love you and asked if he would see me tomorrow. I had to tell him that no you would not see me tomorrow and his face sunk into a frown that just broke my heart. The only thing I felt compelled to say was that I loved him too and once I said that I saw a glimpse of a smile which in the long run probably touched me more than it did him. It was so hard to leave knowing that over 100 kids had no mothers or fathers and that I did not know if I would ever see them again. Which in my heart makes me think that when I leave Haiti it will not be a goodbye it will be a see you later so that maybe one day I can see those children again. Leaving places like that its hard not to be sad, and not just take all of them home with you, but I have to tell myself that all I can do is share the light of Jesus and that maybe one day the love that he has given me will also enter theirs hearts and fill them like no other human can. I have hope for the children of Haiti and that is what keeps me going and my heart beating for this nation.

To top of this spiritual journey, this morning we were asked to get up early and help the our women haitian staff cook and clean to prepare for the upcoming day. I woke up super tired from the long day of activity with kids, and to admit a little sour that I had to get up early and do chores. As we began to sweep mop and cook God started working in my heart and my sour attitude began to turn into okay this is not that bad.  After cleaning I was asked to go out back and help them carve the chickens and in my mind Im thinking SALMONILA SALMONILA SALMONILA! But I walk back there with a knife ready to go and they looked at me like I was crazy! Naomi one of ladies pulls up a cement block for me to sit and they demonstrate how the carve the chicken and peel the skin and then cut  the organs out, while Im thinking Im about to demonstrate how to projectile vomit. I pray for a eased stomach and begin to cut the chickens one by one and really start to get the hang of it. The ladies begin to notice that I was getting it and would complement me and say tre bein which means very good! It was such an awesome feeling being able to sit their and really indulge myself in the life of a true Haitian woman. Then it came to me, you do not have to playing with orphans and teaching art projects to be a missionary.That these women were missionaries just on a different field and that they had a true servants heart which is something we all should strive for. You can get on your knees and clean and sit on a cement block and cut up chickens with ladies who don’t understand what your saying but understand what your doing which is helping them with love and wanting to be in their lives. When going into it with a sour attitude and leaving with such a wonderful feeling I realize that God is teaching me so many things and humbling me everyday. He is teaching me to have a true servants heart. These past three days have been magical and I see God in every ounce of it. Sometimes its hard to believe that this is really my life and that I am so lucky to be experiencing the works of Gods hand throughout a nation. We have such a awesome God who is giving me an education I cannot find anywhere else. My mighty Creator is softening my heart and teaching me more about Haitian life so that not only can I talk the talk, but I can walk the walk.

The children from the orphanage, they are so beautiful

carley page photography

"Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16