Charleston, Savannah, Wilmington, possibly even Myrtle Beach or St. Simons Island. That was our shortlist of places we would move to where I had a license to practice optometry and we could find what God had in store for us as we transitioned out of Haiti and back to the U.S. for as long as God has planned. Somewhere near the coast with schools to meet our special needs and optometry jobs enough to provide for our family as we found where we could serve ministry wise.
Southwest GA- aka Gnatville- was not on our list of choices. If you are unfamiliar with gnats, they are the third plague God sent on Egypt and their descendants found their way to SW Georgia. You know if God used them as a plague AFTER turning a river to blood and a frog infestation, they can't be enjoyable. They are little bitty demonic flies that get in your eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and anywhere else by the hundreds from June until God sends cold enough weather to mercifully murder them all in the fall. When we received the call about a clinic wanting me to come and talk to them about a job in Albany, GA I told Joy there was NO WAY!
"Do you think they will let us adopt this little foster baby?"....No Way
"Can you take this child with issues and raise him as your own?"...No Way
"Can you become full time missionaries and get rid of your every possession to live in Haiti?" ...No Way
"Can you take a one day old baby addicted to cocaine right before you move to Haiti?"... No Way
"You have to raise them somewhere they can get the help they need or they will never be able to function in a normal classroom." ...No Way
You would think I would learn my lesson and never say No Way. But, not yet so here we are...in Gnatville.
It is great. We have our kids in a great school system and they are doing better than we would have ever imagined. Jacy is completely caught up and excelling. Josie is doing great as is Judah, Jaxon, and little Justice. Luke is still at Hillsong Austrailia school of Ministry and will probably finish there in December. Logan and Megan are in NC and doing well.
For a long time I could not figure out why we had to move to here though. I did not feel it was just for work. It turns out I was right. God has opened a door for me to get to preach each Sunday in a church while they search for their new pastor. It is a huge blessing for me and Joy as we get to minister to a congregation with our family. If you get really bored you can listen to a sermon or if you just want to see me in a bowtie and boots click here: Byne Memorial Baptist, Albany, GA.
We have learned so much from circumstances in the months that have passed. From the fear of an autism diagnosis. From the frustration of a learning disorder. From letting Luke go to pursue the ministry. From the joy of an unexpected pregnancy to the pain of losing the baby. From unemployment and disappointment in searching for a position, to the joy of getting to use our gifts in a church. The thing we have been reminded of is the theme of one of our favorite songs to sing loudly around the house..."MY God's not dead, He's surely alive and He's living on the inside roaring like a lion"...Praise God for restoration!
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
It has taken years of applying but Dago finally got a visitation visa to come to the U.S. I picked him up at the airport in Atlanta on Saturday as he flew in by himself. It has been a bit overwhelming as you can imagine, but it is great. He preached at our church Sunday night and we have a few other opportunities for him to share. We are going to Birmingham, AL for a men's conference this weekend and then to Florida to meet with some of the young men he has discipled through the years that now are in FL.
Dago helped in clinics for me and Dr. Dennis for years but I did an exam on him yesterday and found he has an aggressive form of Glaucoma that was previously undetected. Pray for him that we can get him the medicine that he will need to control it or a surgery in the future.
Having Dago here has really helped Joy and I too. Things have really changed in New Vision Ministries. Dr. Dennis and Dr. Tom both came to New Vision with the plan to work with me and Joy and support us in what we were doing. When we felt God was keeping us from going back it changed everything. Dennis and Tom were thrown into positions they had not prepared for. I spent the year dealing with my own sense of failure and didn't know exactly how I was supposed to be a part of the ministry. Going back on trips would have made it hard for the other missionaries to be seen as the ones making the decisions instead of me.
Now all that has changed. Dr. Tom and Dr. Dennis have both moved on to other areas of ministry and New Vision does not have a full time missionary on the ground in Haiti. We do still have work being done there though. The kids from the orphanage have been taken in by Stephen and Autumn Byxbe at Agape House, http://togetherwecaninc.org/twc-haiti-the-agape-house/ . They worked with us before we left and are taking care of the 15 kids from Celebration Children's Home. Dago is the director of the orphanage.
We also continue to support pastor Cesar and the other pastors we have worked with in the past and their schools. There is still much work to be done in that area of finishing pastor Lucien's church and helping pastor Remy rebuild on the top of the mountain.
Many of you have continued to take trips. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! Some have already connected with the Byxbe's and others have continued to work with pastor Cesar. That is awesome! Thank you for picking up the slack and continuing the work during our down time. Tracy Robinson, NVM board member from NC, is headed down next week to work with Pastor Cesar and just visit to see what can be done.
Now that there are no NVM missionaries there, I plan to resume taking trips as well. I have a group from the church where I am preaching that wants to go in the fall to see what needs there are and how we can help. I know others have trips planned as well.
Julie, Sandy, Pastor Jonathan, Dr. Thomas, Brad, Stan, Pastor Bill, and others are still integrally plugged in and working to reach the Haitian people. Dago, Pastor Cesar, Simeon, Wesner, Carrenard, Roger, and others are still in Haiti ready to continue working as we support them. Stephen and Autumn are diligently striving to provide for the kids in the orphanage on a daily basis.
Monthly help for Agape House expenses
Resume support for Pastor Cesar's Pastors and churches
Teacher support for the schools
Support for Dago and his family as he serves as a local missionary to his people
Donations to pay for Dago's travel expenses on this trip
There are so many ways for us to impact the people. If you want to give just let me know or send a check to:
New Vision Ministries
PO Box 2009
Hickory, NC 28603
Hickory, NC 28603
If you want to be on a team to go let me know and we will let you know what is planned.
Thank you for your patience during these huge changes as God directs. The board of New Vision has been working diligently with all the changes to try to know God's will even when I was sulking on the sidelines. Thank you guys for never giving up.
Thanks for your support,
Kerry and Joy Reeves