The Family

The Family
Justice, Logan, Jacy Klaire, Joy, Josie Kate, Luke, Megan, Judah, Kerry, Jaxon


Welcome to our blog and to our family. We are excited about the opportunity to serve God full time as missionaries in Haiti. If you are a new friend or unfamiliar with where God has brought us from up to this point, take a minute to read through some of the earlier posts on the blog and it will tell you more about our family and our calling to Haiti. You can even join us a financial partner by clicking on the donation button to the right. Thank you for your prayers and we look forward to getting to know all of you better.

Be sure to check out our latest photos of the ministry and family by clicking here!

Friday, July 26, 2013

New Vision Ministries is still making a difference in Haiti.  I spent the last hour on the phone with the kids at the orphanage and Madame Raymonde and Dago and the other workers there.  It is such a bitter sweet conversation to hear their voices and realize how much we miss them.  Jacy Klaire just cried as she talked to JP and Wilna and the other kids.  She misses being there but is also very happy to know she will be in school in a couple of weeks here in America.  Joy also cried as the kids begged her to come and visit.  We plan to make a quick trip down for a weekend in October to see everyone.  Dr. Dennis and Sara as well as the Hattens are working hard to make sure the kids are taken care of.  They are preparing to start the English school there at the mission for the kids in the orphanage as well as some of the other children associated with the ministry.  It has been a tough adjustment for them over the last year too but they are amazing and continue to help the ministry improve as we work towards long term sustainability.

After a full year of confusion and frustration, we have finally settled into what we believe is our family's lot for the foreseeable future.  We are living in Leesburg, GA and trying to get adjusted as the kids will start school in two weeks.  I am doing optometry and speaking in churches etc. whenever opportunities arise to continue to share the vision of making a difference in Haiti through New Vision.  I spoke at TCBC and my dad's church in NC this past weekend and it was a great blessing getting to see friends and family.  I hate we were only there a couple of days and did not get to do much visiting.  Joy has become a rep for a company that lets her give 10% of all sales to the mission.  We pray that becomes a way to help build the new orphanage we so badly need.  The kids all start school soon and we continue to search for resources to help us take care of their special needs and fulfill their potential.

It seems at times we are able to emotionally shut out Haiti and all that it entails as we become enthralled in all that life throws at us here.  It is a blessing from God that he continually draws us back into awareness of the world's needs through us praying for the missionaries and friends in Montrouis, or by an unexpected phone call or email, or just seeing something that sends a rush of memories of the people and friends we don't get to see everyday now.  I just pray we are able to continue to be used by God to impact His kingdom by ministering to the people of Haiti.  Please continue to pray and support the ministry as we serve together.

(You can see Joy's product lines by visiting )

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Only Constant is Change

Have you ever felt like you just knew you had God's plan for your life all figured out and you were pretty happy with it and proud of yourself for figuring it out?  It turns out that many times when we get to that place we are blindsided by a new revelation that God is not so easy to figure out!  That is what happened to us. 

We were in Haiti serving full time as missionaries and even though it was the toughest thing we had ever imagined, we loved the people and loved the ministry and thought we would be there for a long, long time.  Then last summer we came home for a few weeks and to get Megan married off, when we discovered one of our other children had a significant learning disability to go along with some other issues.  As we looked into it, we really began to feel that we could not take care of that in Haiti.  Then our youngest son who we were also having tested due to some suspected problems was diagnosed with autism.  Through all of that and other issues we were working through in our family, we felt God was closing the door on us continuing to serve as full time missionaries in Haiti right now.  But we had no idea what that meant.  Joy and I both had to battle being depressed and discouraged.  I felt I was letting everyone down.  I thought about all the fishermen and people we love in Haiti and how they had not yet come to know the love of Jesus as a reality in their lives.  I thought about all of the people here that supported us in Haiti and helped make it possible for us to go.  I really thought about the 2 missionary families that God had sent to serve with us in Haiti.  How could I let all of them down?  How could I disappoint everyone and give up?

I spent several months battling all of those feelings in South Florida where we put our kids into school and programs to start to address their issues.  I tried to figure out why it had to work out this way and what I would do now.  I had no backup plan.  We did not go to Haiti with a plan B.  I tried to find where I could get a job in ministry in Florida.  I thought for sure that had to be God's plan.  I could be a missions pastor.  I could serve for an association as  a missions coordinator.  Anything God!  Just open a door.  Nothing.  For 6 months we had no job and no direction.  God was doing other things.  He was refreshing the relationships in my family.  He was causing us to depend on Him even more.  It was not fun though.  It was confusing, disappointing, frustrating, and scary.  I could not do optometry in FL because of their licensing laws.  I did not think I wanted to do optometry anyway.  I never felt as alive and fulfilled as when I walked through the fishing village in Haiti.  When we fed the kids in schools, and held the ones at the children's home.  How could I go back to optometry and feel that way.  All of these thoughts and emotions tormented me and all the while Joy was trying to figure out how to take care of the kids in a new state.

But God is always faithful.  He is always good.  He led me to a place where I could work part time at an eye care practice in a position other than an optometrist.  It let me get back into the practice and God used that to rekindle the desire to minister to people in that capacity.  I got my optometry license in GA and tried to get a job in places that I decided I wanted to live.  But God never opened a door.  Then a couple of months ago I got a call from a doctor about 2 hours from my home town in GA to come and visit his practice.  He invited the whole family to come and stay at his house for the weekend.  We went and really felt it was the leading of God.  Joy was sold before I was.  I decided long ago I never wanted to live in southwest GA.  All I remembered was football camp and it was HOT and gnats.  But then again we were living in Haiti.  It was definitely not HAITI!  

So right now I am sitting in my office in Albany, GA where I have joined an amazing practice where I can serve.  The kids and Joy are in south Florida.  I drive up every Monday night and back home after work on Thursday night until the kids finish school.  In June we will all move to Albany full time to begin the next phase of our family's journey.  We are still active in Haiti.  New Vision is still serving under the leadership of our board and the missionaries on the field in Haiti.  We have more needs than ever to take care of the kids and people there.  I hope to get chances to share about the ministry and help people get involved here in the U.S.  I will also be leading trips down and helping in any way I can.  We have Justice here with us and are meeting with immigration attorneys to get her status secure.  We are still believing God for JP to be able to come here with us.  He is living with Dago at the moment and doing great. 

Keep us in your prayers and pray for Haiti.  I can't say that I have reached the place where I am fully accepting of our new plight but I am fully accepting of the goodness of my God and His total love for me and my family.  I am so happy to see our kids getting the care they need.  Thank you to everyone who has continued to support the ministry through this transition.  We believe that New Vision is going to be more impacting than ever in 2013 and beyond with the help of friends.  Keep in touch and let us know how you are doing in your journey as well. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Busy Waiting

My devotion this morning was on Proverbs 3:5-6.  The whole trusting in the Lord and leaning not on MY understanding is hard medicine to swallow at times.  I am all for trusting in the Lord as long as I can intellectually connect with what God wants me to trust Him for.  That is not where we are right now.  We are in a place of trusting God for what He is doing in our family. 

We are in Florida where the kids are in school.  They are all doing well.  The issues that we discovered are being addressed and all the kids are really working hard to get caught up.  Justice is at home with Joy and we have extended her visa until June.  By then, we hope to have her status changed to a more permanant designation.

Luke left this past weekend for Australia.  He arrived safely and is trying to get settled in to the new culture and not having mom around.  He is living in college housing with 3 room mates and starts classes at Hillsong Leadership College in two weeks.  Joy is handling the transition fairly well but misses her baby Luke.

I am working part time and trying to find a job.  We thought we would be doing something ministry oriented by now but God has not opened that door.  I am continuing to search for a position with an optometry practice somewhere that I have a license to practice...which is not in FL.

Joy is doing better too.  She has had issues with a herniated nerve in her back but she is getting around better. 

New Vision Ministries is being handled in Haiti by two missionary families.  Dr. Dennis and Sara Cowley are back in Haiti and working with the eye clinics and the daily operations of the ministry.  Dr. Tom and Carolyn Hatten are handling all the medical clinics as well as the orphanage.  It is amazing how God has sent those families to take over the operations in Haiti.  We feel that the future of the ministry is bright but it is definitely not easy times.  There are always obstacles that come up and the finances are never enough.  I hope to get the chance to help raise awareness for needs on this side while the missionaries there handle things on the Haiti side. 

We are trying to make things more efficient and effective too.  We have a team coordinator, Pastor Will Hatten, that is working to get all trips organized and effective.   The board of New Vision had the chance to meet with Dr. Tom and Carolyn at our annual board meeting and feel that they will be able to help Dr. Dennis and Sara advance the ministry with the type of Godly leadership the ministry needs. 

We want to thank you all for  your prayers and support of our family and the ministry.  We continue to need your prayers and Haiti continues to need your support as we try to continue to impact the people there and advance God's kingdom. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Shiftin' and settlin'

Things have been crazy for us the last few months.  I don't think I have ever been so sure about what needed to be done yet so unsure how it needed to be done.  When we got to the U.S. this summer, Joy and I knew we had some things we needed to do this summer in our family but we did not realize how much help was needed.

God is always moving to direct His children to where they need to be.  Through some routine appointments some questions were raised about our boys and some issues they need to deal with.  We had some more testing done and it was determined that we needed to get them into a school where they can get into classes to help them.  It turns out, those schools are unavailable in Haiti.  Once we learned of the results and took into account our previous concerns and reservations we already, we decided that at this point we need to take some time off the mission field and focus on our family.

We tried to go back to NC but felt God was calling us to settle in Ft. Pierce, FL.  We are closer to Haiti and able to send supplies and goods more easily.  We are also urrounded by 16,000 Haitians in our county here.

God in His providence had these things figured out in advance.  Dr. Dennis and Sara are there along with Dr. Tom and his family to continue the work of New Vision.  We still have everything going on that we had before.  Only the American school will be discontinued.  What a huge blessing how God worked that all out.

I want to thank everyone who has sent money in the last few months as we continue to work to reach the Haitians in Montrouis through serving their needs and being Jesus to them.  Joy and I will continue to send all donations to Haiti to maintain the work.  We are waiting on God to see what He has in store for us this year.  I hope to be able to find some speaking opportunities and in the mean time we are getting by on borrowed retirement.

The kids are enrolled in school and doing great.  Our biggest obstacle is Justice.  Her adoption is not finished and is here on a short term visa.  We have applied for an extension but we will see.  JP is still in Haiti and living with Dago.  Luke and I went down two weeks ago to get some things done and JP is loving living there.  We are working on papers for him too but things changed a lot with the new laws on Haitian adoptions.  Pray God works that out too.

I will keep you updated as things move forward and as things happen in Haiti.  School sponsorship is our big project for the moment as we try to get kids into school.  We are also still trying to figure out the details of the move next year as our lease ends.  We thought we had the perfect piece of land but the deal fell through last week due to me not moving on it quicker.  We will be keeping everyone updated on that in the weeks to come.  We still have a few teams going down over the next couple of months too so be praying for the team there. 

We are not disappointed with how things are turning out.  Instead we are excited to see God work and expand New Vision into much more than just me and Joy.  Now we have self supported missionaries living in Haiti continuing the work that God let us start and now we can work on this side of the water to support those missionaries as we get our lives figured out once again. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Dr. Tom and Carolyn Hatten are with us in Florida as they get ready to make the transition to full time service in Haiti.  Dr. Tom is a family practice doctor that will be taking over responsibilities of our medical clinics and Carolyn is an educator and will be helping to run Liberty Academy.  Their two youngest children that were adopted from Russia as babies will be moving with them to Montrouis on Friday.  They will be leaving three adult children here so we have lots in common with their family.

We hope you will join us in praying for them and their family as they make this huge transition into full time service in Haitian culture.  They were missionaries in Haiti over 20 years ago and now are returning for another tour of duty.  I look forward to many of you getting to know them as you come down and visit and serve with us over the next year. 

Ministry Update:

Joy and I have been in the U.S. with our kids for several weeks now doing family stuff and ministry work on this side of the water.  We had gotten to a place where we were really struggling with life in Haiti as it pertains to our family and needs that we felt we were doing a poor job of meeting concerning our kids.  We came to the states for the summer to try to get refreshed and renewed and ready to continue the work God lets us do in Haiti. 

We have had a great time with family and friends while we have been home getting ready for Megan's wedding next month.  We have been able to spend time with our kids individually and get some testing done for developemental issues along with doctor visits and everything and that has been needed.  We have also gotten to spend a little time with our parents and getting some things done for them.  But we are still struggling.  We feel torn between the need to effectively raise our kids and the opportunity to serve God and the Haitian people full time.  We will be heading back to Haiti on September 16th and greatly appreciate and covet your prayers for us as we deal with these internal issues. 

Even as I type this blog I feel like maybe I should not be sharing so much about our personal struggle.  But I think many times people think that the decision we made to go to Haiti in the beginning was this great act of valor and faith and that we don't deal with the same fears and doubts that everyone else deals with.  The fact of the matter is that we do struggle.  This is our first time feeling this torn but it is always a battle when you are trying to know God's plan and wanting to find that place that you know God wants you to be.

I will NEVER regret making the decision to go to Haiti and making the sacrifices that were necessary for us to be able to go in 2009.  I have grown more in my faith in the last 3 years than I did the first 20 years of being a Christian.  I have learned how many ways I viewed life through a skewed perspective because of the society in which we are raised.  I am SO thankful to God for that opportunity.  I love serving God in full time ministry.  I love the fact that we know people's lives are being changed because of the things that we are doing and will continue to do.  I just know that at times hard decisions have to be made to make sure that the long term effectiveness of our ministries is not jeapordized by frustration, fatigue, and discouragement. 

So that is where we are today.  Deadlines are looming as school is getting ready to start in Haiti and here in the U.S.  If we were to stay in the U.S. it would have to be for a whole school year for the kids.  That would mean I would be going back and forth and Joy would be staying here with the kids in school.  I would be working on getting JP his papers so he could come here too.  God has been so good to send helpers that could take over and keep everything going on the times when I am here in the states with the family.  Dr. Dennis and Dr. Tom are already better missionaries that I am so they could handle the day to day operations and I would be working on getting the new orphanage built and coordinating teams and material shipments. 

But, that is if we get confirmation that we are supposed to stay.  I want to do what is best for my wife and kids as we serve as a family.  If a break is needed, I want to take it before we get too burned out.  If we are to keep our reservations on Sept. 16 and fight through the feelings of despair, then God is big enough to get us through.  We are His and He is ours.  His plan is perfect and His glory is deserved.  But we cherish the prayers and support of Godly there you go!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Remembering Natalie

22 year old Natalie was too proud to come ask me for help. Unlike most people in the village she did not want to ask for a handout. Although she was young, she had become a leader among the women living down by the river doing whatever it took to get food to feed her two kids. But then when her father, a fisherman and leader in the community, died unexpectedly, she sought help and we were there. We were able to help her rent a house with a couple of the other women in our program and she started working in the feeding program preparing food for the elderly. Her little frame betrayed the size of her spunk. Her big smile and forthright nature endeared her to all of the Americans who came to visit. She was ambitious and constantly wanting to meet to talk about possible ways for her to provide for her family. She became the spokes person for the ladies group and often confronted me when they felt there was a problem. I had much time with her to share the truth of the gospel and her need for Jesus. We had a good relationship. As other programs began to pull me away from spending everyday in the fish village, God sent Kelsea, an intern from Colorado, who took over much of the work with the women. She became close friends with Natalie and kept me updated on things in the program. We were eventually able to start a house for Natalie and her family. But then she began to be sick. She missed many days of working. Many trips to the local government hospital did nothing to help her ailing condition. Then she started refusing to go back to the hospital and started losing weight. Against the prodding of friends she refused to go for AIDS testing. By the time she finally did, she was down to a shocking 67 pounds and barely able to walk. The tests came back positive and treatment was started but it was too late. She was dying. As we were visiting her the last time before our trip to the US, Joy and I were heart broken. She was lying on a mat on her little concrete porch. As we shooed away the flies she just smiled up at me and held my hand as tight as she could as we prayed with her and talked. She smiled as we told her we would bring her back a treat from America, all the time knowing she would never hold out that long. Just a week after we arrived home in late June she passed away. I pray she truly understand the commitment she made to Jesus and repented and gave her life to him. We pray her death will soften the hard hearts of the other ladies in the group and they will receive the gift of life. Natalie's two orphans tested HIV positive as well and we are working to figure out their future. Can there be a more "least of these" than an AIDS orphan in a slum of Haiti?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Summer Fun

We all made it safely to FL where we will start a time of refreshing and stateside work that will last until September. We will be in FL until July 11th at which time we go to NC. Before we leave FL, we will be helping Dr. Dennis get their car loaded onto he boat in Miami and shipped to Haiti. He will be returning to Haiti with his wife Sara on July 12th and will be working with Stephen and Autumn to handle hints while we are gone. I will be going back to Haiti at the end of July and then returning in August and staying until my daughter's wedding in September. We are really enjoying sharing time together with just our family while here in FL. We are working on getting Luke into college here starting in the fall. What a tough thing for Joy but we know Luke is ready and plans to go to Bible college to pursue a degree in Biblical studies as he seeks God for direction in ministry full time. He is a great missionary! Jacy, Josie, and Judah are in Bible school this week which has been great. Me and Joy have had Jaxon and Justice. We are trying to get supplies as well as make contacts here in FL for shipping into St. Marc. It has already been a successful trip. We can't wait to get to NC to see friends and family. We hope to get to a few churches to share and in a few cottage prayer meetings in friends' homes to give updates on the progress of God's work through New Vision Ministries Haiti. As always too, we do not use any ministry money to support our family while stateside so that all donations go directly to Haiti, so I may be finding a few days of work to help cover our expenses. Joy still needs teachers for Liberty Academy in the fall and need a Ford diesel mechanic willing to take a trip to Haiti to help me fix our truck. Walike also in the process of getting ready to build a new orphanage starting in the fall and need to schedule teams for all phases of building. We just had someone donate the funds for the well and are looking to start building the security walls as soon as we start getting donations. Finally, school sponsorship is starting again. We want to send 200 kids to school this coming year in Montrouis. We are doing it differently this year and need $225 per child to cover the year's expenses. I hope to work on those websites too in the coming days. Thank you for our support and we look forward to seeing many of you soon.