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Addicted to Haiti

I have an addictive personality. In different seasons of my life this has been a disadvantage. Recently I found a new fix… one that has wiped me off my feet.

Hi my name is Danielle and I am addicted to Haiti.

For the last seven years our church has partnered with an organization in Ouanaminthe, Haiti called Danita’s Children. Their mission is to raise up orphaned children in the ways of the Lord and empower them to change their nation. Through the generosity of our church family, the Caleb Foundation has supplied them with buildings, where many young people are currently living. They have sincerely kept Caleb’s story and legacy alive.

Although there are some undeniable facts about the conditions of Haiti, it is absolutely a diamond in the rough. Every time I go there, I see less poverty and more diamond. Every nation has its own set of issues, but every nation also has things that make it beautiful. So let’s switch things up.

Today we are going to chat about what is right with Haiti.

One thing that Haiti does really well is community. I have learned how to love people better through watching how they love. As a youth leader I interact with students who often deal with depression and negative thoughts. Suicide is an epidemic in our nation. I was asking one of my Haitian friends if this is an issue they deal with and he said no. That sparked my interest. He began to explain that although high rates of sickness and disease lead to death in Haiti, suicide hardly exists because everyone feels like they belong. Community is a part of their culture. It is just simply how they do life…..

Community saves lives.  

My favorite thing to do there is to people watch. I sit back, relax and just observe. Haitians are a beautiful people. They are hard workers. They look after one another. It doesn’t matter if you are a stranger, you are family. You are accepted simply because you are breathing. Wouldn’t that be nice? To be known and loved just for being alive…. Like I said I have learned a lot. I am challenged to see things differently.

To fix my eyes not on what is seen but on what is unseen.

I want to challenge you to look deeper. There is beauty in everything. Take your blinders off and take a look around. Don’t miss out on what is right in front of you.

The unseen always has a way of transforming what you actually see.

-Danielle Koke

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Landscape - Legacy - Ladies - Love

He’s got the whole world in HIS hands.

This morning as I was walking my dog Mellow and praying – this song kept ringing in my mind: He’s got the whole world in his hands... he’s got the little bitty babies in his hands... he’s got you and me sister in his hands... he’s got Ounaminthe, Haiti in his hands... he’s got the whole world in his hands!

BY THE WAY THAT MEANS GOD’S GOT YOU IN HIS HANDS TOO! IT DOESN’T GET ANY BETTER THAN THAT!

LANDSCAPE

 I am in awe of this gorgeous nation. Breathtaking mountains and refreshing beaches are the panorama of Haiti. Such beautiful people. And a God who loves every single ONE!

LEGACY

It still sends a shock through my system to see my sons name on these buildings...

Then I look into the eyes of the boys and girls – the young men and women growing up at Danita’s Children... immediately peace and joy flood my soul. They are full of: Life.  Laughter. Wholeness. Learning about God’s ways and experiencing the depths of his love! Many feel motivated to continue their education so they can do their part to bring positive change to this impoverished yet lovely country! What more can a mom desire... Caleb’s legacy continues to be etched across the globe. For that I am eternally grateful.

LADIES

WHAT A FANTASTIC 2ND YEAR OF SHINE HAITI! CLOSE TO 900 WOMEN WALKED FOR MILES AND MILES JUST TO COME HEAR THE MESSAGE OF FREEDOM THAT ONLY JESUS CAN PROVIDE!

Two precious women traveled for 4 days even though they were robbed along the journey. My sweet daughter – in - love Katy gave them some of her clothes to wear to the conference! And she preached up a storm on Saturday!

Friday night Danita and I opened the conference. God alone knows the plowing that took place. For we walk by faith!

My girl Danielle, so bravely and eloquently shared her testimony of freedom with these women. I know the seeds planted will take root and blossom for eons of time!

My dear, dear friend Cheryl Luke – what in the world? Her testimony of a painful marriage brought courage for many to reach out and grab freedom! And it was a week filled with training Danita’s team with the Celebrate Recovery curriculum. Years of freedom are on the way!

As always, one of my favorite moments was giving each girl a gift to remember our time together. This year it was a key with the words ‘I AM FREE’ – in Creole ‘Mwen Lib’ May they never forget!

God loves his Haitian daughters! I can only imagine the radical change for good that will take place as they continue to embrace the FREEDOM Jesus brought at Shine Haiti 2017! 

LOVE

When God knits our hearts together with others, it is always because of his grande plan to woo this world into his loving embrace!

UNTIL NEXT YEAR...

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