Last Sunday, Mike and I went to Battle Creek, MI to give an update on Project 7 at Connect City Church. Nick and Jill Nelson are the pastors of this wonderful church. As worship started Nick shared from Matthew 11:28 - Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” My mind immediately thought back to the week prior when I was in Haiti…
This last trip to Haiti was unlike any I have been on. Of the last nine children that have come to the Children’s Village, seven of them were attempted trafficking victims. Thankfully, all of their parents have been cleared of wrong doing (they were not complicit in the attempted trafficking of their children, they just trusted the wrong person). This coupled with many of our current children coming from abusive and difficult situations, we decided it was time to get some outside help to train the staff on how to best care for our children.
Our president and founder, Laila Mickelwait, works full time for Exodus Cry, an anti-trafficking organization. One day, one of Laila's former co-workers (that had gone back to college to further her education) unexpectedly dropped by the office to visit. They were able to grab a bite to eat and talk. In the middle of the conversation, Laila told her that we need help with our Haiti mission. Laila shared that some of the kids are exhibiting behaviors that we have not dealt with before. Laila’s friend recommended that she call one of her professors, Dr. Rahill, at the University that she attends. Laila got the number and called. Not knowing what to expect, Laila shared with Dr. Rahill what had been happening and asked if she could do some training with our staff. Dr. Rahill was confident she could help, she asked what country we were working in. Laila told her our Children’s Village is in Haiti. With that information, Dr. Rahill said (I’m sure with a smile) that she was born and grew up in Haiti. Dr. Rahill is fluent in English and Haitian Creole! What a miracle! It took our breath away. We serve a God who came to rescue, redeem and restore!
I had the pleasure and privilege of traveling with Dr. Rahill to Haiti for over a week. She taught the staff on Trauma and Stress Related Disorders with a focus on children. As she taught the Haitian leadership and staff about behaviors that are a result of childhood trauma, the staff immediately engaged in the conversation and shared from their own experiences. Dr. Rahill spent the week teaching, counseling and listening to the leadership, staff and children. I watched in absolute wonder of God our Father, who never leaves us or forsakes us! He is faithful, kind and loving. He sees and knows what we need and tenderly leads.
Last night I went to church. Our worship leader opened up with the verse “Come to Me…” I looked up to heaven and smiled. Two different churches with the same message during worship. He does see and know! I felt like He was assuring me that if I come to Him with these burdens that are more than I can bear, that He will lift those from me and give me rest.
He will do the same for you. Chances are you are going thought something difficult too. His shoulders are big and strong. He is trustworthy and true to His Word. He sent His Son because He knew we needed a Savior for our souls, from our troubles and to walk this journey with.
I’m so grateful for Jesus!
Relna Mansfield is the Director of Project 7 Partnerships for New Reality International. She sends out regular prayer letters and would love to add you to the email list! Simply send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org with your request.