Have you ever given your all to something?
Ever had a dream so big and so bold, it overtook you to the point of being completely overwhelmed?
A vision that was larger than anything you had ever attempted before, one that seemed entirely illogical and perhaps somewhat crazy?
Yet, everything inside of you was screaming, "YES!"
You knew that this dream, albeit a feat of enormous proportions, was one that you were willing to risk it all for.
Risk the loss of friendships.
And even a little bit of sanity.
But you knew, in the deepest depths of your soul, you had to at least try.
It was as if you were created for this moment, this ultimate assignment. Every part of your life intwined to create a map which would lead you to this specific path, for this point in time.
The experiences of your life good, bad, beautiful, heartbreaking, were all in preparation for such a time as this.
And as you took that gigantic leap of faith, though slightly hesitant, once you let go, there was no turning back.
This past year has been one wild journey.
When I began to research, pray, dream and envision what a transitional, restoration program for women in Haiti could look like, I had never been fueled with a fire more furious.
Day and night the pages of my journals were filled questions and ideas of how to bring this all together.
I was living off of barely $300.00 a month, had no education in social work or psychology, and had only lived in Haiti for almost a year, but I knew, that I knew, that I knew, this was it.
In every practical sense, I had no business announcing the start of Jasper House Haiti in December of last year. I had no committed support or investors. I had no staff, no girls that I knew of, I didn't even have a place to live.
But there was the Voice inside of me, telling me to hold on, to keep going and not give up.
Little by little, the pieces began to fall into place. Not nearly as expediently as I would have liked or hoped, but surely and steadily we had what we needed, every step of the way.
It's been absolutely incredible to watch the pieces of this magnificent puzzle fall into place over the last ten months.
But it has not been without moments of intense doubt, fear and anxiety. Wondering if I am truly insane for thinking that this is even possible, if this program will begin to make the difference and impacts that I believed it could make.
There have been those moments where I have contemplated leaving on the next plane off the island and not looking back.
But every time, I hear the Voice, telling me it's going to be okay.
This past month was a whirlwind. As soon I returned from a short furlough in the States, it was go time. We hit the ground running, training staff and putting last minutes touches together to prepare for the grand opening of the Jasper House Haiti Women's Home.
I had anticipated to open by late August or early September, but I wasn't totally positive it would all be ready in time.
Then morning of September 4th came.
I woke up and began to prepare for the day. I went over the remaining preparations, and realized, for all intents and purposes, we could open that day.
I wanted one last confirmation to know that it was time.
Sitting down with coffee, for my morning devotionals, I opened my bible to a familiar passage, Isaiah 60.
Let's rewind a little bit.
Just over two years ago, I was volunteering in a women's shelter in Maseru, Lesotho with the Beautiful Dream Society. I knew I couldn't be that close to South Africa and not visit Cape Town, so a fellow volunteer and I hoped on a flight and spent several blissful days in one of the most beautiful places on earth.
One evening, we were sharing in a time of worship and bible study with a team working in Maisphumelele, an impoverished township in Cape Town. At the end of the meeting, a young man, native to the township came up to me. He told me God had given him Isaiah 60:1 to share with me. He kept repeating the word, "arise."
Little did I know, these words were a premonition into the future.
So, on this Friday morning, as I read those words, I knew the Lord was speaking to me.
It was time.
I gathered my staff and told them to prepare for our grand opening and benediction ceremony.
We called our two young women waiting to move in and told them it was time to come home.
The ceremony definitely goes in my top ten best Haiti moments queue.
Twenty people, American, Finnish, Korean, and Haitian, all gathered together to offer Jasper House Haiti, on it's very first day, as a place of healing, restoration and empowerment all for the glory of God.
Prayers in Kreyòl and English were offered up, but our heart were all united.
Our precious girls prayed as well. Tears flowed from their eyes as they gave thanks to God for remembering them. For not leaving them and abandoning them, but coming and offering them a second chance to begin again.
It was surreal.
They were arising, because their Light had come.
That night as one of our girls asked where she should sleep, I told her to pick any bed she liked because she was one of the first ones to enter the home. One of the house moms quickly corrected me.
"No, she chooses any where she would like because she's the first daughter."
Each day is walked out in faith. We have remaining needs that I truly have no idea how or when will be met, but I know there's a God who, barely a year ago, made something that seemed entirely impossible, possible.
A God who hears the cries of the brokenhearted, and He calls upon you and me to go and be His hands and feet.
We still need more committed monthly partnerships. If you would like to make a tax-deductible gift, or become a monthly partner to sponsor a girl or two in our program, please click the link below.