Continued from Newsletter:
“I stepped into Neply on May 24, 2012 and it’s like the desert of my heart that was thirsting for something was quenched by river of living water. It happened. A bomb went off in my heart and wherever our emotions are stored, and God completely renovated me. Although my heart had softened, I had not completely understood the call on my life.”
Dre came back to the States forever impacted by her experience, meeting those who would eventually become some of her best friends and co-workers. “When I returned, everyone said ‘I can’t believe you came back’ or ‘you should just move there.’ I immediately shut those down because if I can’t watch Cowboy football, I am not going (laughs).”
Over the course of the next year and a half, she led several teams of friends, teachers, and student athletes from home on trips to myLIFEspeaks to experience what she had. “That was good enough. That was the limit I had for God. Only teams. Not moving."
In 2013, Mike and Missy shared with Dre that they believed God wanted her to live in Haiti over the next year. Dre doesn’t remember how she reacted but she decided to pray about it and “kinda sorta” give it a chance. “I shocked myself when I said ‘Yes.’”
In July of 2014, Dre moved to Haiti with the intention of staying for one year and is now approaching her five year anniversary. The most significant change she has seen in Neply is the ”Peace” that has taken over the entire atmosphere. Referred to as the 'Haitian Mayberry’ Neply is not just a relaxing and a happy place to be, but has a palpable peace that permeates one's heart and soul, a shift with the source springing from the Gospel being at the center of everything we do.
Dre has also witnessed several modern day miracles before her eyes in Neply.
“I love to stand in a room full of people who believe that miracles stopped when all the disciples were no more because I am here to tell you they 100% DID NOT. As you can probably guess, I was not a super ‘spiritual’ person when I moved here. I was not the ‘apostle’ or ‘Beth Moore’ type of person that every one thinks you have to be in order for God to use you. If you think that way, that is 1000% false.”
Dre has witnessed supernatural healings of seizures, tremors, extreme womanly bleeding and even the physically dead come back to life. During Hurricane Matthew which went directly across Neply, Dre "saw Neply ‘covered in the shadow of His Wings’ as not one house was destroyed nor flooded.
However the miracle that impacted Dre’s life and faith the most was when she saw the true power of the Name of Jesus in freeing a woman from a demon.
“The Holy Spirit took over in my body and from what I have been told, I made eye contact with the woman/demon and whispered the Name of Jesus. And I kid you not, that sucker took off running and screaming into the house! So of course, we ran after her declaring the Mighty and Powerful Name of Jesus over this Child of God. It’s exactly as you would expect - body flailing, convulsing, screaming, punching, but I kid you not that THE DEMON FLED AND LEFT HER BODY AT THE MENTION OF HIS NAME Y’ALL!! I am not making this up. This is the Gospel. This is what Jesus saw His Father doing so we get to do it too.”
Dre says there a "zillion" other miracles she could mention but doesn’t want to focus too much on the miracles rather than the “Miracle Maker.”
“Because of Him, lives has been completely transformed and His name is glorified even louder!”
Dre loves her life in Haiti and says she falls in love with God more and more everyday however, there are a few things she misses/would change. “I sweat ALL THE TIME. Even in cold showers. I am still sweating. And I do miss Whataburger.”
But there are so many memories with Haitians as well as her coworkers, especially Breanna, that she wouldn’t trade for anything. And the cultural experiences and skills she has learned are way beyond the ones back home in Texas.
“I have had several interesting experiences- some good, some not so good. I have developed a tolerance for a CONSTANT heat rash. It’s like the Haitian version of a tattoo. Just not as cute. I have definitely learned to be ok with using the bathroom in a variety of ways - sugar cane fields, banana fields, buckets. You know. Just normal stuff, right? I once saved a goat from drowning in a well. I have jumped a waterfall. I tried to honor the victims of the earthquake one day at school by lighting candles in their honor. Turns out those candles were the kind they use in the voodoo ceremonies so I immediately blew them out. I have learned to drive a motorcycle. My road rage has been healed. I know how to peel a mango with my teeth. The list goes on and on.”
Dre has also developed true, deep friendships with many of the Haitians in Neply.
“FiFi and Ava are just a few of the the many friendships I have formed here. I don’t know where to start or with who but I can truly tell you that the friendships I have here are the same kind of friendships I have in America- real and genuine and not based on expectations or performance. I don’t have to put on this ‘American facade’ or have to act like I am being their friend just to get cool points. I honestly want to go be with my friends the same way I want to go visit my friends in America. We just do different things.”
Dre has become fluent in Creole as well, something she never would have imagined. “First off, I never expected that I would ever become fluent in another language and if any thing, it would have been Spanish. #Texas. But, it’s been pretty easy I would say.”
She admits that her Creole is still broken and evokes laughs among Haitians. "I will legit speak in Creole to some one [outside Neply] and the fellow Neplian that is with me will translate what I am trying to say, in Creole, to another Creole speaker. Lolololol for days.”
Thank you Dre for all you do for myLIFEspeaks, for your selfless love, joy-radiating personality, and dedication to the empowerment and life-changing work of mLs in Neply. We are so grateful for you.