I love this picture. It's just a reminder of how we're attempting to use the game of soccer to do life with our friends in Haiti. We're really not trying to fix anything, or save anyone. The truth is, we realize we need as much fixing and saving as the Haitians! We're simply trying to enter into life with them, and in the process trust that Love is saving all of us.
Trent, Kalyn, Kendriana, Rose, Kara, Marcel, Llamar, Chris, and Cara just got back from the most recent LQVE trip to Haiti! They were there with Shay Foster for a week playing soccer, hacky sack, hanging out with kids, painting, teaching, playing more hacky sack, in the ocean, driving all over S/E Haiti, seeing old friends, making new friends, playing more soccer, teaching nursing skills and more! So much work, and yet they look so happy! Funny how that works.
For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord, Jesus, when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed you are our glory, and joy." A verse Paul wrote to his Thessalonian friends, and a verse every parent could write to their children. 23 years ago today, Johnna and I officially became parents. It's been quite the life. I give a thought about parenting, and Jesus, HERE. Our son, Shay, is in Haiti now. That's a pretty good way to spend his sister's birthday. He'll be joined by 8 others next week doing work there. Blessings to all of you who've been leaning into LQVE with us. Graves aren't dead ends, they're corridors to heaven.
Haiti is a couple of thousand miles from my home. I started going there to be good news, but the truth is, there are many things within the Haiti way of life that wind up being good news for me.
If you watch and listen, Haiti makes clear the things that are wrong with our social body. If we want to be converted as a society we have to be with people who are marginalized. It's how we find out what's wrong with our body.
If the rich are truly with the poor,
If the powerful are truly with the marginalized,
If those who are full are truly with the hungry,
Then everyone experiences Good News.
Our next trip to S/E Haiti happens July 18 this summer! Pray or donate if you feel led. So many good things are happening!
The shortest distance between two humans is a smile.
Our friend, Dylan, took this shot (and several others in this post). It's water, and life, and future.
It's hard to put into words the beauty of these people, and the beatify of the land in Haiti.
Taking a break while working on the school in Cascade Pichon.
Soccer. Always soccer.
One of our projects on this trip was helping to repaint a Cholera Treatment Unit.
Two girls in Gran Gossier.
Some of the Cascades of Cascade Pichon.
We head back to Haiti tomorrow. It's LQVE's 8th trip in less than two years.
It's incredibly unnatural. Expensive. Uncomfortable. Time-consuming. Draining. The hardest thing I do.
It's also super natural. Priceless. Comforting. An investment of time. Rewarding. The best thing I do.
(photo cred: Vulgamores/LQVE HAITI INSTAGRAM)
The long gestation period from idea to actual book happened this week. "DEATH HOPE & THE LAUGHTER OF GOD' is finally out and in online stores everywhere. It's not about LQVE, per se, but Haiti is mentioned. Check it out on Amazon!
Meanwhile, we're getting ready for our next trip to Haiti. The week of March 13, a group is heading down from MidAmerica Nazarene University and a group from Mission Church. We'll be working on adding classroom space to the school in Cascade Pichon, and rebuilding a Cholera Treatment Unit in Gran Gosier. Your prayers are appreciated. Hey, you should go with us when we go back in July! We're taking deposits now. It's July 17-24. The emphasis will be on soccer, but even if you're not a soccer player, there will be plenty to do. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
This summer, July 17-24, we're taking a trip to Haiti to host soccer camps for young ladies. We cannot tell you how excited we are to be facilitating something to specifically empower females in Haiti. We believe this will have a huge impact in an area of the world where girls are often overlooked. Hey, you should go with us! (video cred: rhythm)
This is Nurse Maryse. Born, raised, educated in Haiti. LQVE is honored to be partnering with the federation of Cascade Pichon, Haiti, in helping Maryse work full time in S/E Haiti. LQVE started by working on soccer fields, but it didn't take long before we became aware of other needs. After several trips where we served, met with leaders asking questions, and listening, we were presented with the opportunity to play a part in helping solve local healthcare needs. In Sept, 2016, Maryse became the first nurse to work full-time in this remote area of the world. How great is that?
Five nurses from Mission Church (and Shay Foster) spent a week in S/E Haiti last week. Here they are with some Haitian friends, including Nurse Maryse (front row to the right). Your LQVE dollars goes to support Maryse. Don't stop. We're all helping make a difference in this remote part of the world. (Added bonus: Taylor and Arianna are rocking the LQVE FUTBOL shirts. You should get one.)
We shipped off a group of nurses to Haiti this morning! We're honored to be playing a role in helping serve the people of S/E Haiti. It's been a tumultuous few months within this country that always seems be dealing with turmoil. Your prayers are appreciated for Shay, Lenzie, McKenzie, Taylor, Charlee and Arianna.
We're proud to be involved with helping get Sunshine boxes to Haiti. This particular box will be used to help raise money for a church congregation in the community of Bleck. And now for the name of our friend who's carrying the box... Agronomist Lafleur Petit Noel.
One of my favorite humans, Shanggo. Principal of the school in Cascade Pichon, Haiti. Photo cred: Dylan Aebersold, from Rhythm.
When asked about what is going on in with LQVE in Haiti, I always say, "Words fail me." But, then I use words anyhow! Here, at the end of 2016, on Christmas Eve, just a few days before the anniversary of Quincy's death, once again I'll try and use some words to convey my gratitude, but I know they'll fail me.
When I'm in Haiti, in particular, Cascade Pichon, I always sense Quincy is with us, as if in her short time there, she left her mark. It's probably my over worked imagination, or the mountains, or the ocean, or the sun, or the combination of all of the above, but whatever it is it just feels like it's all lit up with Quincy. I'm quick to add, though, that if her mark is all over Cascade Pichon, then its because Cascade Pichon first left it's mark on her. Haiti loved her and welcomed her with open arms. Her big, long SUV drive deep into the remoteness of its mountains was really just like one big, long hug. That embrace marked her.
When Quincy left Haiti, something like a hole was left in her heart. When Quincy left us, something like a hole was left in our heart. When we go back to Haiti it feels like we're bringing the two "holes" together... and in the union, they're being filled with something. And this is why I say words fail me. How do you describe this? Many would read this and say, "What are you even talking about? Hugs and holes and unions?" Oh well, it's a blog, and words are all I have. So, yes, it feels like the two "holes" coming together are being filled up in some way. I know what it is, I just can't explain it.
Not in the cheesy, overused, cliched way we use the word, love. Not as in, "Man, I love chalupas from Taco Bell." No, something much more substantive than that. Love, as in the fabric of the world. That thing that holds it all together, but more than that, 'cuz it's more than a thing! It's the essence of all things! It's with all of us. Yes, it's true, love is what makes you hurt so bad over that relationship, because love is what motivated you to invest so much into the relationship in the first place. But, love is also what mends the hurt. It turns out that it is much stronger, deeper and more expansive than you could have ever imagined. At the end of yourself, you find love. And I think at the end of everything; you'll find love. I doubt, at the end of all that we know, there will be a theological quiz or a request for us to explain the atonement. I guess, in the end, there will simply be an evaluation of love. I speculate, at that moment, you're going to be thinking to yourself, "Oh man, I'm so glad I followed love, and my greatest wish is that I had followed it more!" And when the Bible says that, "every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord," I don't think it'll be because one of the disciples in military garb will be standing over us with a sword demanding our allegiance. I think we will all just fall to our knees in complete and utter joy under the weight of God's love.
Love, like gravity, will flatten all of us.
So, yes, words fail me because we're talking about love. The stuff that's happening in Haiti, for us, is about love. I mean the fact that we get to resource people like Shanggo pictured above is amazing. And we got to hire a full-time nurse this year. Hey, that's what Quincy wanted to do! And building soccer fields? And sending nurses? And sending portable solar power? And partnering with them for a better future? C'mon. That's all just love. It's inexhaustible and indescribable.
What's happening with LQVE in Haiti? We're just swimming in the wake of love that Quinc left behind while she was swimming in the wake that Jesus left behind. Everyone should be so lucky. It is all one big, huge gift to us.
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year. Thank God for love and new beginnings and thank you to everyone who's prayed for us and joined in with us. May you be lost in love!
You know someone who plays or used to play soccer. You know they'd like to use their skills to help someone. You know Haitians love soccer and that LQVE wants to empower Haitian females through soccer. You know LQVE is making a trip July 17-24, 2017 to host soccer clinics with former coaches and players from MidAmerica Nazarene University. If you didn't know all of this, you do now! And so now you can give a Christmas gift that will NEVER be forgotten. $500 nonrefundable deposit is due on Feb 1, 2017. Email us at email@example.com for more info.
Hey, I am excited to announce that LQVE is benefiting from a new online shopping and entertainment platform put together by our friends at Inspire World. Access it HERE. It’s practical and simple. You get access to thousands of every day, competitively priced retail products that ship for FREE, and LQVE earns 15-20% of every purchase. This isn't about me. I'm not receiving anything from the partnership. It's about LQVE and Haiti. All money LQVE receives will support teachers and healthcare workers in Cascade Pichon, Haiti. Did you know we’re supporting the first full-time nurse in the history of this remote community? How great is that? Haitian families who in generations past have had access to health care only after a two-day hike now have a nurse living in their community and a monthly doctor visit! Thank you for considering this easy way to support LQVE and for sharing it with friends. And thank you Inspire World for helping us support the beautiful families of S/E Haiti!