What it's like to actually meet your sponsored child in person

What it's like to actually meet your sponsored child in person

One of the top 5 most memorable experiences I’ve had in my life was meeting our sponsored child in person. I mean, look at him! Isn’t he cute?

His name is Dawensley and he’s 11 years old. He lives in Figuier, Haiti. His favorite color is red. He lives with his grandmother, while his parents are working in Port-au-Prince. He has 7 siblings. In his spare time he likes to play soccer and help his grandmother with dishes (yep, that’s what he told me! Chores are part of what he enjoys doing in his free time.) He’s in the second grade and he wants to be a doctor.

Perhaps these are all things I could have learned through The 410 Bridge or by writing letters back and forth, but I actually got to ask him questions in person! I got to see his reactions, mannerisms, and facial expressions. I got to hear his soft voice.

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La Beyi Community Update

La Beyi Community Update

Last June, we visited La Beyi, Haiti for the first time! There’s so much engrained in my mind about the experience, and their final parting words still haven’t left me: “Tell your family we love them. Don’t forget we can’t stop thinking about you in this community. We won’t forget you and we will miss you. You are in our hearts. We won’t forget you. I ask you that you won’t forget us. This community needs lots of prayers.” In the same way, I remember the immense respect and belief I had in their ability to lead their community’s own defined development initiatives. Because of this belief, I remember deciding I’d like to walk this journey alongside them, and my final parting words were, “I’ll be back to see you”.

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Letters of Love to our Friends in Haiti

Letters of Love to our Friends in Haiti

“Letters of Love” are one of the ways we encourage and share stories at Lovelight stories! It’s a storytelling technique that helps to convey more than just words on paper, but to invoke feeling, understanding, and meaning through the style of letter writing! These letters are a way to encourage those whom the letters are intended for, while also telling a story through the unique perspective of the writer’s experience.

Our team had such an impactful experience that we’ve already found ourselves describing our trip as being so much more than what can be seen or heard. Alas, I hope these “Letters of Love” help you to feel and better understand what’s happening in La Beyi, written by each member of our team.

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Food Ideas for Mission Travel

Food Ideas for Mission Travel

We leave for Haiti in a few days! Last year, I shared packing tips for a mission trip, and realized I didn’t share much about what food to bring. It turns out, my team had a lot of questions about food and I remember asking the same my first trip, so I thought I’d share a quick story about what food I’m bringing this year. Hope it’s helpful to anyone traveling on a short-term mission trip!

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Safety & Security Tips for Mission Travel

Safety & Security Tips for Mission Travel

In less than 2 weeks, our team will be leaving for Haiti! A while back, each of us attended a security training at NorthPoint Church, presented by Brian Webb. I also just finished his book, ”Open My Eyes”, which elaborates on the information he shared at the training through the lens of mission travel. As I’ve been reflecting upon the material, I couldn’t help but share it with you. It’s simply too important not to pass along, and easy to share, with the possible reward of a life saved. Therefore, this month’s story is a little different from those past. It’s a bit serious and maybe even a bit frightening to learn about the realities of security around the world, but as Brian mentions often throughout his book, “With proper training and awareness of the dangers you will not only be safer but it will be possible to live life nearly free of fear!”

Brian’s bio is extensive, (and can be seen at the end of the story), but here are a few highlights: He served for nearly a decade as the National Program Manager for a government special operations program, he’s managed covert operations throughout the US and numerous foreign countries for 20+ years, he was certified as a Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) Instructor, being the primary instructor for government law enforcement special operations since the mid 90’s, and is considered one of the world's leading experts in international narcotics smuggling and airborne counter terrorism operations. In short, he’s the guy I want to learn from when it comes to travel safety and security! Likewise, I’m so thankful he’s found a way to share his experience in training others how to prepare and equip themselves for dangerous situations.

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Empowering Nations with The 410 Bridge

Empowering Nations with The 410 Bridge

Ever wonder how exactly your donation is being used when you give to a cause that stirs your heart? Curious to know whether the approach you’re supporting truly makes a long-term, sustainable impact? Me too. I often struggle with the complexity of how to give in a healthy way, while truly knowing my support is doing the good I hope for. It’s this ever-present question that has led me to dig deeper with the intention of trying to understand how to truly help the poor. You see, by learning about different approaches of poverty alleviation, we can begin to build conclusions about our own personal giving strategies. Read on, as I share how an organization is giving in a healthy way and ways we can get involved in driving large impact!

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Haiti: Stories of Real People We Met

Haiti: Stories of Real People We Met

This is Joubert. (I’m calling him by his middle name, so as to be respectful to his privacy.) He’s 2 years old and I know his family wants us to share his story, because his short life has already served as a testimony within his community. His parents are willingly sharing this story, hoping that everyone who hears it can come to believe in the Lord.

Two years ago when Hurricane Matthew hit La Beyi, Haiti, their entire community was wiped away. Water flooded the plain on which their community was built and rose halfway up the mountain leaving their homes, livestock, and land completely destroyed.

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Haiti: Admiration for Your Way of Life

Haiti: Admiration for Your Way of Life

To the people of La Beyi, Haiti:

I admire your way of life. A life that’s simple, yet so complex. It’s your daily struggle to live that makes life so tough, yet at the same time, it makes life so beautifully simple. I see you. I see you working hard in the fields with basic hand tools, sewing fishing nets by hand on the beach, and pouring concrete cinder blocks one-by-one. I see the tiny sardines you’ve caught carefully laid out to dry in the sun on the side of the road. I see the marvelous fresh fish you’ve just pulled from the Caribbean Sea. I see the milk you’ve received from your family cow, cooking over hot coals. 

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Haiti: Finding Joy & Hope

Haiti: Finding Joy & Hope

On October 4, 2016 Haiti was hit by Hurricane Matthew, leaving their homes, livestock, and land completely destroyed. In fact, water flooded halfway up the mountain, completely covering everything they knew. Despite the relief and recovery efforts over the past 2 years, little improvement has been made for those living on the south coast of Haiti. The locals described their community as being beautiful with coconut trees and pristine white sand, but the hurricane took that all away leaving them struggling to survive. My husband, Sam, was talking to a women who described their shelters of sticks and tarps as not being acceptable living standards. They used to have homes and now, in her words, they “live like goats”.

This breaks my heart. 

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Mission Trip Packing List

Mission Trip Packing List

We leave for Haiti in 4 days!

My mind is swirling with thoughts of anticipation and excitement! Our team has been preparing for Haiti the last 5 months, growing together in our understanding of poverty, the community we’ll be working in and each other. If I were to narrow down all those swirling thoughts, my hope is this trip will be highly impactful for those we are serving and equally transformative within ourselves. Bringing the right essentials should help us keep focused on our work, by staying healthy and safe!

So, what are we bringing to Haiti?

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Four Alarming Facts about Haiti and Why I’m Eager To Go

Four Alarming Facts about Haiti and Why I’m Eager To Go

My dream is coming true! My husband, Sam, and I are traveling with 410 Bridge on a mission trip to Haiti this summer. For those who know me, you won’t be surprised to know I’ve been learning all I can about Haiti and the people we’ll be working alongside. I like to study, read-up and be prepared as a way to create the most meaningful experience possible. As I’ve started to learn about the intricate details contributing to poverty in Haiti and around the world, I’ve begun to realize just how small and interconnected our world truly is. We say it all the time, but do we mean it? This time, I mean it. From a distance, poverty looks the same in many places. That’s because it is. Many of the same factors that plague Haiti’s development, plague other areas of the world, yet each of these factors manifest in different ways, making it actually appear quite different in each country or community. My hope is to share with you what I’m learning about Haiti’s specific situation before we go, so I can bring you with me on the journey to Haiti and back. Want to join? Here we go!



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