The Family

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

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.