Monday, April 2, 2012

Tears are words from the heart that cannot be spoken

Returning to Haiti, a place that shredded my heart, I cannot help but shed tears. My heart has continued to broken for this place and all of God's children that are placed here for their purpose in His big plan.  The stories of people thinking I was never coming back and they wept asking God, Where is my sister Rachelle, did she forget about Haiti?; Maria's story, Guiliaume's wife... counting the days that "my sister" was gone and nobody love's me like you do; the children of Cite Soleil, "their angel" forgot about us and they were angry at me; the children at Grace Village, that they also thought that Kira and I were never coming again, that they thought that we forgot about them and didn't love them.

These stories have broken my heart more than I could imagine.  After, conversing with them, explaining to all my story and how I we need to trust God for He has a plan for all our lives, that His love is enough and that I would and will never forget them, in fact Kira and I pray for them all at least twice a day, then understood but just hung their head and cried and begged me to never forget and to not stay afar too long again.  I prayed with Maria and Guiliaume, the children in Cite Soleil, oh was that a site, 40 children in a bunch hands upon thee other, give praise to God and grace to others seeking understanding, and the children at Grace Village in a big circle. Prayer is powerful. God answers our prayers in His timing, for His plan.  He knows what is best for us and there will always be a lesson in every day, every situation, every trial, and every love we have.  We have to just listen and allow His Spirit to reveal it to us.

When we were together, it was so hard to find the words whether it was them or I trying to speak.  We embraced one another and just wept for awhile.  With our hearts together and our tears meeting somewhere down our face or neck...we understood and loved one another. Words will never explain. So we all cried, shedding tears of forgiveness, affliction, mercy, love, and joy; embracing one another as God called us all to do with our brothers and sisters, in time of joy, in time of love, in time of sadness, in time of conflict, in time of pain, and in time of peace. 

Love one another as I have loved you, Jesus said

I do not my words yet, but I do know this has broken my heart in piece again. I will be shedding some tears today as we depart. Praying to God for our return and that the love we shared will be enough until next time. I know God has His hand on all of us and He knows all of what we need.  His Love IS ENOUGH. He gives us all that we need.  May we never forgot nor lose hope, for when love is shared and shown...Hope is always present.


My tears are words from my heart that cannot be spoken...I often time think of the sounds that we send out when we is a language I believe that only God can understand...When there is a time in need...cry out!  CRY OUT!...God understands and He will love you perfectly and far more than anyone on Earth can.

Mwen renmen-w
Mwen Manke-w
Mwen p'ap janm bliye...

Friday, March 30, 2012

I can only pray that one will read this and it will touch their heart to listen to the words from a broken heart for the impoverish, less fortunate, the afflicted and the lost and do something.  My hope is that one may possibly be open to hearing the nudge on a heart to serve God’s people and His people of Haiti. In America, we are the wealthiest country in the world materially. I believe this because I see so many put their trust in material things, in their jobs, in their money, in the activities that they do in order to surpass the time, to suppress the pain of the emptiness they feel from seeking material things. What we so often do not comprehend is that we will be supplied with everything we need through our Heavenly Father….I know this because I was deeply there and periodically fall back to that empty place. 

 It is America’s addiction…STUFF.  If you think about’s a temporary fix to an eternal situation.  Your new house, new car, new outfit, new hair color and cut, new shoes, new purse, trip to a luxurious resort, etc. will never be able to fill the hole in your heart.  It is only through Christ that one will be able to become whole hearted once and for all.  Again, I know this because I have been there. Often I say…I have been through so much and many different and difficult experiences that I can only be here to hopefully help others learn what NOT to do because I know where it leads and if I can help someone steer clear of trial and learn from my mistakes…so be it. We are here to be used for His Glory not to sit on the sidelines.

So as I am here in Haiti again, it is amazing to see what God is trying to reveal to me…but only here where I am away from all my stuff relying solely on God and completely centering my focus on Him.  I cannot imagine how many people here in Haiti would take my life over theirs. But I wish I could take their life over mine in America.  I would take walking 15+ miles over a $30,000 car, I would take a tin shanty over a $500,000 let a lone a $100,000 house any day.  It keeps me living the life God intended. It keeps me focused, centered, and saturated in Him.  And in the end…it doesn’t matter what you have or had…it’s the condition of your heart and what you have done with the gifts you have been given.

Throughout my time in Haiti, God has shown me the many blessings I have here at my American home. I am a single mother who lives paycheck to paycheck. I struggle to put food on my daughter’s plate yet somehow God ALWAYS provides.  I may not have a home I own nor a big house to host others or to look like I live better than everyone else but I have a house that I "get to" call home.  I am privileged enough to have a roof over mine and my daughter's heads, the luxury of a car-nothing big or fancy, that I "get to" drive to my blessed job that I may live under the American standard but I am blessed to live a very abundant life compared to the rest of the world. I make over $20,000 a year so I am in the TOP 5% of the WORLD'S WEALTH.  I have a job where I serve people who want to make the "outside look good” and the “inside feel good TEMPORARILY”.  With what I have experienced in Haiti, I struggle with people spending money on "STUFF" that one really does not NEED to SURVIVE everyday.   Yet I realize that God has placed me in this world to be "THE VOICE OF THE POOR" to some of the world's wealthiest people that sit in my chair at work or cross my path everyday yet some of the most lost people in the world. I say"lost" in means of searching for the significance in life, our God given purpose.  I am sent by God to be the light in the darkness and I have been abundantly blessed by the God given opportunities to travel to Haiti and being able to bring my 13 yrs old daughter 3 times in one year.  I may not have much but I have this calling on my heart from God and am choosing obedience.  I have sacrificed my own personal pleasures to serve “the least of these” in Haiti.  It is not about me or the things that God has given me…it is about serving others and loving others as Christ does and living out our purpose for Him.

I know that we all do not have this calling of "Haiti" but ask yourself throughout your life and everyday...What does God want from me today? What can I do in order to fulfill all His desires for me today? Each person has been called to a purpose in life. Be still and allow the Lord to do His work in you and guide you where He has planned. You may not be equipped but God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called. Trust me, I never thought that I could be here but I am with my daughter in Haiti. I think she is more at home here than I am. Which is unimaginable to me. She sure lets the Spirit move her.  Kira has this way of picking out the ones that no one else sees. I thank God for her faith.  She keeps me moving on days that I seem to slow down.  Praising God for her today as always. I think she has found her purpose with even knowing it. Step out in faith and find will not regret it.

Kira and I were called to serve in Haiti, for one reason or another. I believe our journey does not stop when we return home, it only continues. America is OUR NEW MISSION FIELD.  God gave us some of His children’s stories in Haiti to cherish and to share with others. I cannot help but ask myself…What have I done with the gifts that God have given me? The revelations, the stories, the pictures, the love? Have I shared them? I have met these people that God so perfectly placed in my path for a reason, He has given me a new lens, a new voice, a new opportunity to serve, and the many blessings I have received through going to Haiti. I come back home and have this firestorm in my hearts…now to figure out what to do with it, to keep it burning and from not burning out.  I do not know where this week is going to lead me but I am praying that God will give me some revelations and to reveal the path that He has chosen for me...I pray these things for all of His children.

All this I pray...Be Still and the Lord will fight for You...Let Him lead you, guide you and protect you.  May we live in His name, in His ways, with His love...all for His Glory.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

This is love...

Overwhelmed with love and emotion...that is all I can say about today. Kira and I went to Grace Village today.  As we approached the gate, I couldn't help but feel overwhelmed with so much emotion.  I wasn't sure if I was ready to go through that door but I knew as we drove through and the next few hours, I would be/am so thankful that I did go through that door because what I found on the other side, was something out of this world.  

FanFan was leading prayer and worship time in the feeding center when we arrived with some of the children. (they have exams this week so alot of them were home) We snuck in and listened for awhile. The sweet sweet sound of the voices singing praises to God. Praises to God.  As they finished up FanFan looked up and saw Kira and I standing by the door and he smiled he just laughed, and said "Oh my goodness."  (if you know FanFan you know how he sounds) He told the children to look back and he said does anyone know who that is?  The children loudly said, "Rachelle and Kira"  they got up and literally ran to all crowd us, wanting to all give us hugs and kisses.  Telling us "Mwen manke-w"" and "Mwen renmen-w" which translates to "I missed you" and "I love you" in English. I never wanted to leave this moment. I tried but failed at holding back the tears.  The children wiped my tears.  All I could tell them is that they were happy tears, and tears of joy, because I was so excited to see them again, and how our faithful God has blessed them with so many wonderful things. I was so overwhelmed with joy and the love that I felt from the children.  Maria and Giliaume came and greeted us with Sherlenda (honored to also call her my Godchild) and just embraced us for a while. Maria started to cry, she was so excited to have us there.  This didn't help me and the tears that I was trying to fight back. The children were jumping up and down telling me on how thankful, so very very happy they were to see Kira and me.  All the children were wanting Sherlenda to come to me but she was scared, yet she started to warm up during the time we spent up there.  She did finally came to me later during the day on the swings and when I had food and drink to give her.  The children were so excited to show us their rooms and the bathrooms. Every child took us to their room to show us which bed was theirs.  They were so proud yet very grateful.  We then brought the children out to the playground.  They all wanted Kira and I to sit and let them push us on the swings. They were so persistent on this...they wanted to serve us.  These children have the gift of hospitality no doubt.  

I cannot help but think about the love these children have for me, and for all that come to visit them.  I think their love is the true example of how God loves us.  He wants us to see all the little blessings in life that He has given us.  He gets excited, continues to show you no matter how hesitant or cautious you are. He wants you to know, no matter how long you have been gone or haven't know God, He still loves you with all His power and greatness and as you get to know Him or return to Him, His arms are wide open waiting to share His love with you.  Like the children, I can only imagine that if one goes astray from their faith and yet returns, I can't help but think that God is jumping up and down, giving praises, telling one how much He missed them and How He loves us.   All of us!  The joy He has for us returning...These children I love as my own.  They have given me one of the greatest gifts of life....a new perspective on LOVE, God's love.

It may sound weird but on this day, the Lord has blessed me with a new gift and experience of love...Jesus' version...Unconditional, everlasting, that as long as I am living I will know...Forever and Always.  I say this only because I am one who has always needed to see and touch things, not just feel it in my heart.  Yet today...the Lord has shown me through these beautiful children, my sight, their touch and excitement and through my heart and emotions the Love He has for me, and for every one of us.  We just have to be willing to go through that fearless and surrender all to Him.  He will not fail me, leave me, nor forsake me. I give thanks to our Great God who revealed Himself to me yet again and was willing to change my lens once again; to reveal to my eyes and my heart the Love He has for me and that is waiting for all of us. 

Only in Haiti, a place that some may call hopeless, yet I found love here. Where love is given...Hope is present.

Monday, March 26, 2012



These are the words, I will pray during this next week.

RETURN...Lord, I am on my knees humbled for this opportunity for I have prayed to return to this paradise, if it was your will. You have answered my prayer in Your timing.  As I am returning, I ask you to be with me; for this place broke my heart wide open, it has forever been imprinted on my heart, the place that has shown me what Your love is. Yet, has shown me what true affliction feels like. It has shown me the richest of rich, poorest of poor. Lord, I praise you, please lead me, guide me, follow me on this journey and always.

REFLECT..I surrender myself and these days ahead as a time of solitude and reflection, please help me clear my mind, my heart and my soul. Please fill me up with your love, presence and wisdom.

RESTORE...Father God, I am asking for your all mighty power to restore all that is in need. I ask you to continue to grow me, and give me the strength to continue on this journey I am on.  Restore me to be wholeheartedly with you, for you, and in love with you. Saturate my heart with your everlasting love.

RENEW...Oh my God, I am here to ask you to renew my present and allow me to leave my past back there and to never look back.  Please renew my mind for the many lessons you have shown me will stick and make my fruits anew and abundantly grow. Renew the lens that I see with. Please help me be the best of me.

REVEAL...Father God, I ask you to reveal yourself to me during this time and always. Please show me the things you want me to see, speak the things you want to me speak, and hear the things you want to me to hear and act on the things you want me to do.  Lord, I believe there is going to be mighty works done this you have been so faithful down here for I ask you to reveal yourself to me, reveal the path that you have chosen for me.

Sunday, July 31, 2011


It's hard to believe that just 2 weeks ago I was packing my suitcase & preparing myself for my 1st missions trip. I heard the stories from others and had a preconceived idea of what a 3rd world country would be like but never in my wildest dream I thought I would have a hard time returning back to my home.

They call it Re-Entry. Friends who have gone before to Haiti mentioned to  us first timers that some people are very emotional while in Haiti, some will be a few days after returning home and for some people it might take a year. My special friends who were guiding us said to each of us that whatever process it might take for anyone ~ it's okay!

What great advice for me because I was wondering out loud; Why is it that I didn't shed as many tears as some others. What is wrong with me? Am I not compassionate enough?
But God was working on me in a different way. He had a plan for me. We are not designed to compare ourselves to others; we are only supposed to be hearing His voice & listening to what HE is showing me in my own journey.
So, for me 24 hours after coming home to America the flood gates opened up. I am not much of a cryer so it was so liberating to cry it out. I sat on my deck and marveled at my backyard. It was a quiet morning, the birds were singing softly, the green trees swaying lightly in the breeze, even capturing a butterfly was inspiring to me. I couldn't help but keep thinking of the word "blessed".

We are so graciously blessed - Words can't even explain it.

What do I do now? Should I be feeling guilty for living in America? Absolutely Not!
A friend said to me recently and it really stuck in my 50 year old brain, that we are NOT to block any of God's blessings but we are to acknowledge them, To Give HIM Thanks and to Pay it Forward.

So as I reflect after my 1st week of being back home and all of the milestones from my journey...I hope & pray for God to help me stay humbled and thankful for all of my blessings, to stay true to not only myself but to my family and friends and to serve others as Jesus has served all of us.

To all of my "12" disciples who embarked on this incredible journey with me I thank each of you from the bottom of my heart. I can't wait to return back to Haiti once again.


Barb Curtis
Healing Haiti Team Member

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


About 2am on Tuesday the 26th of July we landed back at home here in Minnesota. I was excited to see my mom and aunt... They have always been beautiful to me, but for some reason, they simply glowed, and they looked so... TALL. When I hugged them, I couldn't believe how good they smelled. Little things that I may have once taken for granted, or simply not noticed at all have become little treasures from above. How soft my sheets were that first night in my own bed, or how incredible a hot bath feels. I am definitely changed, I have a vast appreciation for things that once were simply ordinary. I have yet to shave my legs, or put on make-up, as it seems a bit trivial, and I know the day I go back to work will come soon enough, and with it the full arsenal of color cosmetics.

I seem to be more comfortable in my own skin than I was prior to Haiti, perhaps when there is a greater simplicity to life certain things are unimportant. For example, water is needed to live, the process of obtaining and rationing water takes hours where for us here in the U.S. it is a matter of seconds, we have a lot more time to think about one thing... ourselves. I think there is more self addiction here in the U.S. which results in some pretty major spiritual poverty. When you live in a place that requires more time to go towards survival, the appreciation one has for that survival i.e. life seems so much greater, and God is glorified in that living.

What can I do in my own day to day life that will continually glorify God in my actions? How can I greater show my values and beliefs without speaking a word? How do I plan to keep the appreciation I've acquired fresh? What can I sacrifice in my daily life to better usher me into the changes I wish to make?

A good man once shared this phrase with me, "Preach the gospel as often as possible; if necessary, use words."
I believe something God let me see while in Haiti was how powerful actions are, language isn't a barrier unless we let it be. I want my actions to reflect Christ-like love, I want my life to be an example of grace to others. When I went to Haiti I thought of all the awesome things I was going to do for people, deliver water, love on orphans..... but in reality, Haiti did so much more for me than I could have ever done for Haiti. And for that I am eternally grateful.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Whole Lot of Emotions Going On...

July 20th was an emotional day for a lot of people including myself.
So many emotions running through my head & heart I totally felt numb. I kept thinking what an awesome experience I saw with my eyes, to be the hands and feet of Jesus. To actually be present with the kids at The Home for the Sick & Dying Children of Haiti. My heart was overwhelmed with sadness. Is this real? Am I really seeing this in this day & age?

The babies are lined up in their cribs waiting for someone to hold them while toddlers are running around wanting you to pick them up too.
The first baby whose name is Rolonza was precious. Her tiny limp body clung on to me and it made me cry. I hate sickness! This shouldn't be happening to God's children. I held her close to my body singing in her ear as I did with my own children & grandchildren. So many emotions to take in.
As I headed downstairs where the babies with more serious diseases were, I noticed a little boy who was just put back in his crib after seeing his mother who is allowed one hour a day to visit her sick child. As she walked away, the little one knew his mama was leaving him and he cried & cried.
He kept looking intensely for her to come back to him. I felt compelled to go over & relieve his pain of lonliness; so I did. I held, hugged & kissed this little guy. He was a year or two but looked like 6 months. He calmed himself down after I picked him up only to last for a moment. The nurse motioned for me to come over to a table outside to let me know it was his time for his shot. Oh My! To see this tiny baby flinch when he saw the needle coming his way. It amazed me that he knew from a distance that this needle was coming for him. He cried & cried and I just held him closer & closer to my chest. He eventually fell asleep in my arms. I tried setting him down in his crib so he could sleep but he wasn't going to allow me to do that. He sensed what I was about to do and cried to be held again. As most of my family knows, I am a softie when it comes to kids crying at bedtime. I just can't walk away and let a baby cry. I held him a little longer, fed him rice & beans and had to put him down and walk away when it was time to go. My heart was so sad!

Our next stop was Gertrudes Orphanage for Special Needs Children...

How would I be able to change my sad heart to a playful heart in 5 minutes?? Only by the Grace of God! He helped all of us get through these emotions one moment at a time.

Gertrude is an inspiring woman who has a heart of gold for all of her kids.
I am awstruck in what she does. She houses approximately 20-30 kids and they all seem to be happy.
As I looked around the compound I came upon a little girl who looked to be around 7 years old. She was laying on her bed singing away. I instantly fell in love with her. I jumped on her bed and played with her the entire time. It's frustrating for me with the communication barrier between the children and myself. I just wanted to tell her she is so beautiful and that I loved her eyes. But its funny how much we can communicate without any language at all. I was surprised she understood a little bit of English when I started singing the abc song. She loved to sing. But perhaps the most rewarding gift I received was a game I call "Hiding the String in the Belly Button". I can still see her reaction in my mind when she first layed eyes on my innie belly button. She couldn't stop playing with it. I just laughed and let her play with it. She tried to see how far down she could put her finger inside. It puts a smile on my face as I am writing this because she had such a giggle. She tore off a piece of string from my skirt and decided to play this game by sticking the string down in my belly button. She never got tired of this game. I kept that one piece of string to remind myself of how simple & joyous life can be just with something as plain as a piece of string.

Philemon 7: "Your love has given me great joy & encouragement because you, sister have refreshed the hearts of the saints."

Thank you Lord for this humbling experience!

Barb Curtis
Healing Haiti Team Member