CWO’s first missionary, Karen Pasquariello, continues with this post from her journal writings from July 1980.
This month marks my first year in Haiti. When I reflect on this last year, I realize two of the major lessons I have learned are reliance on God and the importance of having a positive attitude.
During the last few months I have experienced physical tiredness as never before. Living in a rather primitive culture, it is impossible to accomplish much by phone or letter as in the states, therefore, my days are often spent going from place to place and person to person. Going alone may mean several hours a day in the Jeep, driving on rugged roads or hiking over the mountains to visit our Haitian youth in their primitive homes.
I have experienced the truth of Isaiah 40:31 “yet, they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They will mount up with wings of Eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” I am thankful to the Lord for His strength.
Living in a culture that is surrounded by disease, poverty, despair, it is easy to feel hopeless and to sink into a complaining trap. Then one day I realized the more I complained, the easier it was to find more to complain about, which led to a negative attitude. Luke 7:45b says, “whatever is in the heart overflows into speech.” That truth helped me to tackle one problem, one day at a time, changing my attitude.
I am grateful to the Lord for the life lessons He teaches me.
The Geremia family traveled to LaVictoire, Haiti in July to help with VBS at the local CWO church. Here Laura Geremia shares her thoughts about the trip that changed her family’s lives forever.
LaVictoire, Haiti: Summer 2017
What are you waiting for? Upon our return this past July from LaVictoire Haiti, that is the question I asked myself. One of my lifelong dreams came true this summer through Christian World Outreach as my husband and three teenage boys left from Orlando, Florida for LaVictoire, Haiti. A team of 5, plus a man name Greg Yoder, and his daughter Sarah, both of whom we had never met were embarking on a mission to lead and teach Vacation Bible School and feed over 500 children every day for a week. What would you guess was the theme for the week? FAITH! But, of course! In fact, Greg almost cancelled the trip a couple of times due to our inexperience and the size of our team. Aren’t we glad Jesus didn’t question HIS “team” of little size and little experience that he commissioned to preach the Gospel to the entire world. Thankfully, Greg exercised his Faith in his Heavenly Father to accomplish this feat with us.
I can still hear all of the children singing to the top of their lungs the “Hallelujah – Praise Ye the Lord” song as well as “The Lord’s Army”. Each day there was a memory verse that all 500 kids would memorize before we broke out into classrooms for the lesson on faith. Simply amazing was their love and appreciation for the scriptures! As the children rushed and crammed into the small, dirty little rooms, we wiped the sweat from our brow and began teaching the scriptures to kids who were like sponges soaking it all in and cherishing every word as if it were the disciples speaking to the crowds 2,000 years ago.
Feeding the children after the Bible lesson was both an invaluable and humbling experience for our family. As my sons served the plates of food and grabbed the little hands of those that were too small to carry their own; I held back the tears as my children were learning lessons on compassion, servanthood and love that are priceless. For most of the children, that was their only meal for the day. Did we leave the afternoon feeling defeated and sad? Absolutely not! Now, who was teaching who about faith? What is faith? Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” I thought I had faith. I thought I was going to teach the Haitian children what faith was and how to have it. They taught me. You see, as American Christians, we always want to be saved from trials, tribulations and turmoil and we treat our Heavenly Father like a cosmic fairy godfather waiting for HIM to wave his wand to get us out of trouble. The people of Haiti, who don’t even know what they are “missing out on” are not waiting to be saved FROM something but are confidently and patiently waiting to be saved TO someone! LaVictoire is a small, poor, forgotten mountain village full of hope, faith and confidence in what is YET TO COME!
Our lives are forever changed because of this trip over an ocean and into the mountains with a young pilot and a prop plane landing in a grass field to see eyes full of FAITH and HOPE.
So, I’ll ask again: What are you waiting for? Are you waiting to be saved from your life that isn’t what you want it to be or thought you deserved or are you waiting to be saved to Jesus?