Updated: Aug 25, 2021
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away: may the name of the LORD be praised.” Job 1:21
These past several weeks have been a string of emotional experiences for Mike and I, along with our family, yet through it all we continue to see God’s Provision!
We expected Mike would be coming to the US on June 5th in order to be with his mom (Sherry) as she underwent valve replacement surgery on her heart. On Friday, June 4th, due to insecurities and rioting in Haiti, we came to the realization Mike would not be able to travel safely to the airport and he had to cancel his trip to the US. This was a difficult decision but one we knew was all in God’s Timing and plan. On Sunday, June 6th, myLIFEspeaks held our first ever Zoom Tour of Neply. This was a special moment for many reasons, but especially for Sherry. She had dreamed of the day she would be able to visit Neply and see everything we had described to her. She had only been able to picture in her mind what our passion was about. This day, she was able to be a part of the Zoom tour and the excitement we heard on the other end of the phone while talking with her that night was exhilarating. She was thrilled to be able to see so much of what she had prayed for daily. She was able to experience seeing with her own eyes something she never thought she would be able to and this filled her heart with so much JOY!
Monday morning, Sherry went into surgery with a full heart and confidence knowing her future was in the hand of her Creator. There was no fear, no doubts, just faith and trust that “Thy Will Be Done”. This day, HIS will was exactly what occurred. Sherry did not make it through the surgery and is now living in Eternity with Jesus. No more pain, no more suffering, with a full heart. I believe if given the opportunity to return, she would decline, because she is now experiencing with her own eyes her FOREVER! We grieve for her presence here but our hearts will continue to rejoice the fact that her LIFE was a reflection of her Savior and her last moments were filled with such JOY! God provided, not in the way we might have hoped but He provided none the less.
A few weeks later, Mike and I were able to exchange this grief and loss with a tremendous blessing, that engulfed our hearts like we never imagined. We experienced the birth of our first granddaughter, Noah Ivy Wilson. Oh, the emotions which carried us the next several days. Looking into the eyes of a precious LIFE perfectly formed by God and delivered by our incredible daughter in-law and son was captivating. Her beauty was breathtaking, that of a perfect angel who God had given at a time filled with grief to fill a void and give newness of LIFE! I would find myself holding her and looking deep into her soul wondering what she was thinking, what she was feeling. Did she have any idea the JOY she had brought to us? Did she have any idea that God had destined her with such a great purpose? Did she know her parents were hand chosen just for her, to guide her, nurture her and lead her into a LIFE of her creator? I don’t know if I will ever know the answers to these questions but I do know since the day I laid eyes on her I have experienced a level of love, I never knew existed. God provided; He filled our broken hearts with exactly what they needed to mend and heal.
As we began to prepare to return with our family to Haiti, The Holy Spirit began to stir in my heart. This was a feeling I had never experienced before, a feeling of discomfort in having all our “family” in Haiti at this moment.
You see, Haiti is HOME! It is where God has called us and even when it doesn’t make sense, even when others don’t understand, even when it seems scary, full of fear and doubts, even when it goes against the world, it’s where we are supposed to be! It isn’t something we question, it isn’t something we debate, it is something we KNOW and we live this out with FAITH and CONFIDENCE in HIM!
But this feeling on this day was unsettling. It was a vivid voice from the Spirit saying “now is not the time for the kids to return”. It wasn’t something I could shake; it was something I knew I had to follow. Mike and I together talked to several people we consider mentors, people who help guide us, and those who walk beside us in Godly Wisdom. We were able to confirm together that for whatever reason, only Eli and I would return to Haiti at this time. Haiti was battling continued insecurity, rioting, and a rise in COVID cases. We knew in our hearts God was protecting our children from something beyond what we could see. Eli and I had plans to return to Haiti on Friday, July 9th, 2021. We were to fly into the main airport in Port Au Prince and transfer to the smaller airport to take a small four-seat plan to Jacmel, where we would be picked up by our friends. It wouldn’t be safe to take the usual route from the main airport to Neply due to roads being blocked by gangs battling for territory. This was the time Hurricane Elsa had arrived on scene and we were elated we would be arriving before having to intersect with her force. All day during travel we were in constant prayer for peace, protection, and for God to go before us. As we landed in Port Au Prince, we noticed the winds were stronger than normal and we felt this was unusual since Elsa wasn’t due to arrive for over 24 hours.
As we landed, I received a message from our small airplane contact saying we would be unable to fly to Jacmel on this day due to the pilot not being comfortable flying with the wind sheers over the mountains. I quickly called our friends to keep them from driving all the way to Jacmel and they informed me they had already spoken to our contact and knew we would not be able to fly. They were driving to PAP in order to try to pick us up at the big airport. We didn’t know how this would ever be possible but after completing customs and immigration, we were met outside by our friends. They (very literally) risked their lives to come and get us. An overwhelming sense of gratitude washed over Eli and I both to know these people loved us so much they wo