Please continue to spread the word about what BGM and Joel are doing in Haiti. You can contact Joel personally right here.
Also, don't forget about the Amateur BBQ Competition at FFM in Centreville on August 20th from 2-8. All proceeds are going directly to Haiti. Joel will be there and you can talk to him about how you can get involved in making a difference in the lives of the Haitians!
Haiti - June 10, 2011
by Joel Troyer
Today was my last day in Haiti. I will fly out tomorrow. I guess I could go on and on about what I learned on this trip. I am sure I will be learning from this trip for many months to come.
I will come back again very soon so I can have the opportunity to learn again as well as teach. That, after all is what it is all about. God has opened doors for me personally this week that I never knew could be opened. The prayer is something that really stood out. My Mother was a prayer warrior. I never really had that side of her, or so I thought. On this trip though I was thrust into some battles that I wasn't really expecting and I love the fact that the first reaction was to turn it over to God and the way to do that is to pray.
When I was happy, I prayed. When I was sad, I prayed. When someone was sick and hurting, I laid hands on them and prayed. When a house was built, we laid hands on it and prayed. It is the single biggest weapon to empower you that there is.
I began praying with more power and authority. As Greg Drewery said about me praying in the tap-tap after the suicide attempt, I broke out in my “preacher voice”. I didn't intend for that to happen, God just started moving. It was a knee jerk reaction and that is something that I have never had before. It all happened so fast. God became an instinct this week instead of a plan I could put together carefully and with some caution.
God was right there with me this week and His presence was felt in a way that I have never experienced before. I am so proud to be called His son. To be called a worker in His kingdom. I love the new depth of our relationship. We are closer friends now. He protected me from sickness, disease, death, attack, and who knows what else. He is my fortress and my strength, my love and my comforter. And that is what He wants us to be for those that can't help themselves. Especially those children.
|Mrs. Eleanor Turnbull|
Little Franz and his brother and sister
were just adopted by a family in Franklin, TN
|One of the many beautiful children of Kanez|
Brent Gambrell and I in Calabesse
Oh, the crèche kids. The most precious little orphans. The little girl, Stefania, who I had played with all week and had developed a connection with saw me coming tonight and grabbed the ball and went to her spot on the sidewalk and sat down, ready to roll the ball back and forth with her new friend. We played for a time and then we got crowded out by all the other kids. I stood up and so did she and she walked up to me and put her little arms to the sky and said “papa blan” meaning white daddy. I couldn't be her real daddy, but I could be her Father for a while. I could at least try. I picked her up and she buried her little head in my chest. We walked around together and she just cuddled with me, never moving. I walked away from the others for a while to be alone with her. I started singing Jesus loves me to her.
|Joel & Stephania|
Jesus loves me this I know,
for the Bible tells me so...
She was asleep. I prayed over this little girl as I held her as tight as I could without hurting her. I prayed for God to keep His mighty hand of protection on her. I prayed for Him to give her a wonderful family and home no matter where in this world it may be. I asked him to keep her from sickness, and then I told Him that no matter what happens in this child's life. No matter what she has already been through, and no matter that her parents were gone in the blink of an eye in an earthquake, that she will always keep You in the center of her life. That she would always hold on to the fact that You love her so much (Jesus loves me this I know) that she would always hold on to Your word (for the Bible tells me so) that no matter her family is gone she is Yours (little ones to Him belong) and that she would always know that You are bigger than all of the pain and that You can make it all better, because that is what Daddy's are supposed to do (they are weak but He is strong). Yes, Jesus loves me, yes, Jesus loves me.
I put her down inside and kissed her tiny head. I looked at her beautiful little face sleeping there. I walked away from the crèche and went inside to hide away in the shower where I finally broke down for the first time. I wept for a long time tonight. My heart hurts for this nation, for these people, for these children, and for little Stephania. I want every one of them to know that Christ loves them so much that He died for them also. It was the ultimate sacrifice and suffering for them too. I want them to know that they are included. So many of them don't know.
I will come back to these people as soon as I can. I want to be a voice for the people that don't have one. I want to love them as Jezi does. I want them to be able to sing from the heart that yes, Jesus loves me, too. ---
I leave in the morning. I will miss this place terribly and no matter all the pain that I have seen in this place, I have also seen the mighty hand of God moving in this place. I have seen His face this week. I can't wait to come back here.
Til next time.
This is a short history of BGM. I have been a friend of this ministry for the last 17 years. Even during the times when I wasn't living right. It's about 15 minutes long and you will see the ministry up to the earthquake and how it changed after that. This will show Mike Wilson, Brent Gambrell, Dr. Bernard and others and is just a sample of the story of what happened in the days following the earthquake.
To see this story for me personally, rips my heart out as I have such a close personal connection to them, but this is what God wanted and I believe these are the right people for the task at hand in not only rebuilding Haiti from a physical standpoint.....but from a spiritual one as well. Please watch this link and you will better understand my passion for this place and these children and people. I invite you to continue helping Joel spread this message and telling the story of how God really IS moving in this place and that a difference really IS being made.
UPDATE FROM JOEL:
Upon arriving home, I, of course, stayed in prayer for the people of Haiti, but I also specifically prayed for little Stephania and that God would somehow bless her with a family.
I ended up posting the picture my friend took of her sleeping on my shoulder on my FB page. Over the course of the next few weeks, my friend list kept jumping up as the popularity of the pictures among folks involved in Haiti grew as there are people from all over the U.S. going on BGM Mission trips. Late one night, I got a message from a total stranger in South Carolina who told me that the little girl in my picture had been approved for adoption. She would be coming to the states and living with a woman named Martha and her family in Oklahoma.
I immediately jumped online and looked up Martha on FB and sent her the picture of Stephania and me. I then told her who I was and about my trip to Haiti and staying at the Crèche with BGM. I had laid down for bed and even before my eyes closed I received a response from her. She sent me a lengthy, but wonderful email about her husband and 5 children in Oklahoma and how they graduated from Oklahoma State, they love football, riding horses and roping steers, and about how most of all they love Jesus. She was so excited about getting the approval for adoption for Stephania and her two siblings.
She then sent me a very short email immediately after that one that simply said, "Joel, I only got to spend two days in Haiti. Could you please tell me about my daughter?"
I broke down.
What an honor to have this woman ask me this question. What an honor to serve this LIVING GOD of ours! He answers our prayers and He heals the broken. He makes things all better because He is our Father and that is what daddy's are supposed to do. I am honored to add that Martha wants those lives that were a part of Stephania's in Haiti to remain a part of her life in the years to come. She wants there to be contact and letters and pictures. I thought I could write this without tears, but right now they are flowing.
To those who have read my journal and heard this story I thank you for taking the time to do so. Thank you for caring for the people of Haiti and thank you for praying for them. I don't know where you are in your life or how God has been moving with you personally, but I will say you MUST get involved. I don't care if it's in China, India, or Sturgis, MI. You must get involved in helping build the Kingdom and making it presentable for our Father. There is a battle raging and we are called to fight it.
A song my sister Mary Jo wrote many years ago while working with Brent comes to mind. The chorus reads:
"Children of God, open your eyes
You have a purpose in life
There's more to this road than just heavenly castles
More to what's wrong than what's right
There's more to the battle, than celebrating victories
You still have to take up the fight"
Let those words sink in for a moment and then ask God what His will is. Be a part of it! You CAN make a difference! How He loves.
Brent Gambrell is flying in from Nashville to attend this event as well. I'm so excited he took time out of an extremely busy schedule to come visit us in Michigan. Hope everyone can make it!
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