We have some exciting news to report! The kitchen has been successfully running on it’s own, with our five Haitian staff members doing an amazing job, for over three months now. Our commitment with Outside the Bowl is complete. The time for Brandon and me to leave Port de Paix has come. We feel confident leaving the kitchen in the hands of God and our wonderful Haitian staff.
Since we knew our time with OTB was coming to an end, we spent the last few months praying and asking the Lord for direction. We won’t be continuing on with OTB, since they will not be doing any more projects in Haiti and we do not particularly want to leave Haiti. We feel we are just beginning to know the culture, language and people. God has continued to give us a passion for Haitian people, serving Him in poor communities, and He continues to break our hearts for what breaks His right here in Haiti.
Haiti has often been referred to as the “land of ngo’s” (non-government organizations). That means when we went searching for other organizations to work for, there were plenty to choose from. But abundance isn’t always good, and we asked the Lord to give us wisdom to sift through them. This last year has been full of new, exciting, crazy, and very difficult experiences. Our goal was to learn from this last year, to take those experiences and apply them somewhere else. We have learned that you can be standing in the very center of God’s will, and still everything around you can be difficult, rocky, and rough. Even though we came to Haiti to set up a kitchen for hungry and malnourished children, He has also been working on our character, wanting us to learn how to walk and abide in Him, trust Him, and live completely for Him. And through it, He has remained faithful, walking with us every step.
As we drew together an idea of what kind of organization we were looking for, what criteria we wanted, what things we weren’t willing to compromise on, the list became long. We prayed that God would show us such an organization, but also that we would also have grace, knowing each organization is going to have its nuances. So instead of looking for the non-existent perfect ngo, we searched for one that focused on telling people about Jesus, along with helping others in a way that dignifies and lifts them up. And we found Living Water International. You can check them out online, at www.water.cc
Living Water International has been around for over twenty years. “They exist to demonstrate the love of God by helping communities acquire desperately needed clean water, and to experience ‘Living Water’-the gospel of Jesus Christ-which alone satisfies the deepest thirst.” After living in Haiti for about a year now, whenever we asked any Haitian what their number one need was, the reply was always ‘clean water’. And, after working for six weeks in a cholera clinic, we saw the complete devastation that can occur simply when people don’t have access to clean water. When we agreed to help in the clinic last November and December, we didn’t understand why God wanted us there. Now, it seems those difficult six weeks of our lives were another way to prepare our hearts for what He had in store for us. The crux of the matter in this whole situation is that as desperately as Haitians need clean water, they also need Jesus. And we love that Living Water has found a way to bring them both. Living Water has been working in Haiti for a little over five years, with three different locations, and we will be moving to oversee the Cap Haitian projects. These projects include fixing and repairing existing hand pumps, drilling new wells, and providing sanitation and hygiene education.
Just like Outside the Bowl, Living Water is a not for profit organization that relies on donations to carry out their mission. The position that we are accepting is actually a salaried position. Meaning we will have a stable income, and don’t have to raise our own support. This means we won’t be spending a significant amount of time in the States, fundraising, and will able to spend more time in country. We are sharing this with you because we would like you to think about your current donation, or donations you might make in the future. Under this new model, we no longer solely rely on support raised each month to decide if we can stay or need to come back home. However, that doesn’t mean we don’t want your financial support. It simply means that if you choose to move your support to Living Water International, your donations would go towards a cause we whole-heartedly support and believe in. And in reality, the more money we can help bring to LWI, the more clean water Living Water can bring to people around the world. If however, your passion still lies with Outside the Bowl and the amazing work that they continue to do, you can certainly continue to support them. Our good friends the Huxleys, have just moved to Tijuana to start the next kitchen, and we know they could use further assistance in their support raising.
The time has come to make this transition, and our hearts are full with thanksgiving. We wanted to particularly take this time to thank each and every one of you for your support. Your faithful financial support this last year meant that we could continue to work and serve each month here in Haiti-without worrying we might have to come home. You have supported us in so many other important ways too, all very needed for our survival here in Haiti. We have cherished everything you have done for us-from writing us emails, faithfully praying for us, supporting us financially, sending care packages, to sharing about Haiti with your friends and family, and much more. Thank you. Thank you for showing us what it means to be the body of Christ, as we have felt the extension of His body even this far away.
Of course we’ll continue to update you as we move forward with Living Water International. We have set a tentative date for moving up to Cap Haitian for March 1st, and have made a two-year commitment to them. As we work out the details, the best way to continue to stay updated and informed is through our website, at brandonandjessica.org. You can also continue to email us, we still have our personal email address or you can contact us both at: firstname.lastname@example.org. We always love hearing from you, so don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions, comments, and thoughts.