3. July 2012 21:58
By Brooke Smalley, NVM Nurse
"We have no right to decide where we should be placed, or to have preconceived ideas as to what God is preparing us to do. God engineers everything; and wherever He places us, our one supreme goal should be to pour out our lives in wholehearted devotion to Him in that particular work. "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might.." (Ecclesiastes 9:10)."
Around 10 months ago I left for Haiti on what I thought was going to be a year long journey of stepping out in my faith to serve where God was calling me. Little did I know that this "journey" was just the start of something so much more. In the beginning I struggled with leaving behind everything "normal" and the reality of having so very many new things to learn. Adjusting to life in a new country while learning a new language and having everything that was the "comfort of home" removed was quite interesting. Once I got over the hump of being overwhelmed at the reality of my new life I found that each and every day I started to fall more and more in love with life here. The things I missed from home started to dwindle (ok, everything but family and friends..that part is still difficult) and instead I realized that I actually couldn't imagine life away from Haiti.
Life here is hard and yet it has so much purpose. Most days are emotionally overwhelming when I list out the facts of each situation in my head and yet when I step back and let God take over and truly place my trust in Him I am amazed at just how possible each and everything is. I love that God has put me in a position to meet countless women who are pregnant and others who have a line of children already. I love that I have the ability to tease and rub on the pregnant tummies and that I get to see that mother month after month in the IDP (internally displaced persons) camp. After she has had that little baby she comes searching for me, at the next camp, to show him or her off and to also let me know if my prediction of a boy or girl was right. I feel blessed that God has given me the boldness to look a mother in the eye and say that I know this pregnancy wasn't planned, but that God has a plan for this child, this child is a gift, He will provide, and that I will pray for her and her family.
My favorite moment of each day is when I walk into the village and hear the children yelling my name while they race to see who gets the first hugs and kisses. My little friends have a way of making me feel like I am the most cherished and special person they have ever met and it melts my heart each and every time. The women greet me with kisses and are always quick to pull out a stool or chair so I can sit and visit at their homes while the children jump on and off my lap. I cherish each afternoon I have in the village simply "being" with my friends. Most importantly, I feel blessed because God has given me a heart for each person He has placed in my path.
For all these stories and so many more I've decided after much prayer that my time in Haiti won't be up in September as originally planned. I have committed to serving here with Nehemiah Vision Ministries for another year (ending September 2013) or until I am called to serve elsewhere. As overwhelmed as I am with the reality of living in Haiti longer, I am completely confident that this is where God has called me for now. In order for me to live and serve here I need your support through prayer and financial assistance. Below are specific areas where you can help.
*Prayer: I truly believe God has called me to serve here and that the prayers from you are what not only keep me safe and encouraged but are also making a huge impact on the people I serve. Please pray for wisdom that through each situation I will step back and allow God's plan to reign.
*Financial support: I need your financial support in order to live and serve here.
-One-time gift. Please write all checks to: Nehemiah Vision Ministries (tax deductible). In the memo line write Intern 3 (my name can NOT be anywhere on the check) and mail to: Debra Smalley 7014 W. Yant St, Silver Lake, IN. 46982. To make a one time gift online, please read below (monthly support) and follow the directions but instead of selecting monthly you will have the option of selecting one time gift.
*Monthly support: I am committed to serving here with NVM for the next year, but also know that I will remain wherever God calls me until he redirects my path. If you are interested in supporting me financially on a monthly basis please go to the following website http://www.nehemiahvisionministries.org/donationtype.aspx?t=missionaries and follow the steps. Or you can go to http://www.nehemiahvisionministries.org and click (top left of screen) "donate now" and then select "missionary support" from here you will be able to select my name and fill in the remainder of the information. If you have any questions please let me know.
*How to stay involved:
-Stories and pictures: Through my blog brookesmalley.blogspot.com or Facebook (Brooke Smalley).
-I am also planning to send a newsletter with updates every 3-4 months to keep those of you who aren't able to follow the blog up to date and involved in the work that God is doing through your prayer and financial support.
-In order to personally remain spiritually and emotionally fueled I plan to come home to Indiana every 3 months for a short break. Serving here is hard on different levels and I feel that taking time to step back and be refueled myself will hopefully help me be better able to serve in the long run..and I have some amazing family and friends that I miss like crazy! This all being said, I will have time to come and speak with your small group, church, women's group etc. if you are interested. Please contact me at (email@example.com) for more information.
I cannot thank you enough for joining me on this journey. Your support through prayer and finances is what makes it possible for me to serve. I love that God is using you to further His kingdom here in Haiti!