Monday, November 26, 2012

a new adventure...

Below is letter we wrote a couple of months ago - explaining our process of making the decision to become full time global workers in Haiti.  We are excited to share with the world what God is allowing us to do in this season of our lives.  He has been orchestrating all the details as only He can -  and we stand amazed at His provision and look forward to this great adventure as a family.  We will be sharing much more in the very near future as some details come together.  In this time of excitement and a few butterflies in the stomach :) we appreciate you walking beside us in support and prayer.  We recall the blessings of God in all ways as He has born this mission in our hearts...

Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.

“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
The Lord will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.  Isaiah 58:6-12
Here is the letter :)
Titus Calvin Tugwell
December 20, 2006 to September 19, 2007

This is a photo that was taken of Titus when we visited him in Haiti for a week when he was 7 months old – weighing only 9 lbs. As you know, he died when he was 9 months old – and a task, a mission was born in our hearts to care for more children like him.  With each of our adoptions our hearts have been increasingly broken for children around the world.   We have been personally grieved and forever impacted by the effects of a preventable cause of death and we know your lives have been changed too.  When you hear the statistics of one child dying of malnutrition every few seconds in the world – one of them was OURS.  This is why we desire to seek Jesus’ justice for the hungry and oppressed in Haiti.  It is Titus’ Task…it is our task.    

Over the past 2 years we have wondered off and on if God would allow us the opportunity of loving His people in Haiti.  We are really excited to tell you – He has made that clear and we are planning to spend this next season of our lives in Port au Prince. 

As a family we are passionate about discipleship, the ministry of presence, prayer, and standing for FAMILY – as well as Kingdom adoption and orphan care through adoption.  We have big dreams about all God will teach us as a family and how He may work through us to love others and we believe in our BIG God to accomplish anything He sets forth.  We know He does not need US in Haiti – but we want to be part of what He is doing.  In 2007, after Titus died, we had the vision of Haiti being restored and leaned heavily into the promises of Isaiah 58 – for God to use Haiti’s neighbor – the USA to relate to the country – to love our neighbor, for God to restore the streets with dwellings, and for His people to rejoice as they worship our God that redeems! We have repeatedly asked God to DO THIS in our lifetime and believe He has started His NEW thing there! 

We have been in close contact with our friend, Wes Gardner, since the first of the year.  You may remember him as the one who was carrying the baby around at the welcome home party for Louis.  We hadn’t been in contact with him much in 2011.  In January this year, Noel and I spent a week praying about what God would have for our family as far as Haiti is concerned.  Just hours after we had decided to pursue living in Haiti, unless God showed us otherwise, Wes called us.  He has also continued to have the people of Haiti on his heart and had decided to pour his resources into the country.  We have been in close contact with him since then and have come to the conclusion that God was calling us all to work together with an organization called Outside the Bowl. 

In short, Outside the Bowl (OTB) was started in response to the hunger of children all around the world.  The mission of OTB is to combat hunger – first physical and then spiritual – knowing that the most important things are what happen outside the bowl.  The super kitchen in PAP will function as a ministry help and community development project.  We are already pursuing relationships with different schools, orphanages, and hospitals that feed kids every day.  The super kitchen will produce 8000 meals a day at maximum capacity.  The food will be delivered to other ministries for much less of a cost than they would incur to produce the same amount of food.  The kitchens use local food sources whenever possible – thus encouraging sustainable farming projects – vegetation, poultry, fish, etc.  The kitchens will employ all Haitian staff.  We will be the in country directors for OTB.  Our primary job will be to establish and maintain relationships with the organizations that have a need for large quantities of food as well as being the liaison for OTB with the Haitian government and overseeing/planning future kitchens.  There is a lot more to the job – and the possibilities of how God may use us Outside the Bowl are unlimited as the needs are so great.  We will be excited to share more with you as we proceed. J

The kids are all very excited!  We are tuned in to each of their feelings – what they think will be difficult and how they are processing what God has called our family to do.  It will be a time of great learning for all of us – it won’t be easy, but it will be an incredible gift – and we know there is NO safer place than to be than in the will of God.  This decision has come after years of prayer – Noel and I believe that we were born for this and we are thrilled to partner together to be the hands and feet of Jesus in Haiti and wherever else He calls us. 

We are actively working on all the details of this monumental adventure!  We will live in a part of PAP with other missionary families.  We have 2 young college grads with Masters in Education that have asked to go with us to help teach our children.  We will definitely have a community in Haiti and will likely have a steady stream of people coming to serve and visit – we pray that includes YOU all at sometime.  I know there are probably lots of ?’s in your minds – there are in ours tooJ

We are working closely with Wes to develop a strategy for wrapping up our business, etc  here.  Our plan right now is to have an initial commitment of 18 months with OTB.  We will sell most of our possessions – cars, home, etc.  We will keep some things in storage of some sort – and some business equipment for the possibility of having another PT business in the future.  There are a lot of unknowns, but we are putting one foot in front of the other – walking in step as the Holy Spirit directs us. 

Our timeline right now – which of course is subject to change – is to be in Haiti at the beginning of 2013. 

We sure wish we would have been able to tell each of you this in person – but really didn’t know many details until very recently.  Our whole family loves each of you so much – we will greatly miss you while we are gone!

We are on the adventure of a lifetime!  Please pray with us and for us!  

All our love,

Noel + Lori, Louis, Lily, Silas, + Esther Joy

We always thank God when we pray for you!  Colossians 1:3

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