All posts by Brian

Life with Margins

Life has been crazy since we have returned from Haiti. The Lord has been so faithful to provide. When we made the decision to return to America we had almost nothing planned out. Now Six months later i feel caught up in the daily routine  of my American life. I mostly wanted to take the opportunity to update everyone on the events of our life.

Upon returning i applied to work at one of the only residential care facilities in Colorado Springs called Griffith Center for Children. I initially applied for the a part time, nights and weekend position working for the residential program. While i was in training the supervisor of the school program made an announcement that they were looking to hire two full time teachers assistants. The pay was the same but the hours where much better (7-2 or 7-4, instead of 2PM-10PM). Now i was hesitant to take even the part time position because we also committed a year living in Joel Home which is a transitional living program for young men who have aged out of foster care. This would mean that i would work full time during the day with troubled kids only to go home and then live with them too. But I took the position when it was offered because i felt i would be able to engage in the Joel Home better with the TA’s schedule than working nights and weekends. About 2 months into the TA job my supervisor calls me into her office and asks me if i would ever be interested in getting trained as a supervisor for the Griffith centers. I told her that i would consider it but i would most likely want to wait until my commitment at Joel home was fulfilled ( in December). Then about 2 weeks ago (3 months into this position) my supervisor calls me into her office again and says that there is a teaching position available and that if i want it the job is basically mine… Oh yeah and attached to that position is the wilderness directors position (which is always held by a teacher). I walked out of the office in glee and disbelief, i even remember driving home and asking myself can this be real? Did i just get offered my dream job? Once the excitement wore off the inevitable onslaught of my logistical brain kicked in, and i began to find holes in this plan. Pretty huge holes. Like hey Brian you have  BA in psychology and NOT teaching. The only way for you start teaching is enrolling in a certificate program that meets every Saturday for 5 hours for the next 2 YEARS (NOT GOING TO HAPPEN) or going to graduate school for a masters in teaching. Furthermore i would have to start all of this in august. I walk myself through the options, plan A) say no and keep my job as a TA (Which i see myself being able to maintain for…not much longer) or B) say yes, Start teaching (which i have never done), start managing a wilderness program (which i have never done), go to graduate school full time…while working. So basically after teaching in the morning and going to school in the evenings i would come home and live at Joel home, oh yeah and don’t forget to be a good husband. I ponder…and then i ponder some more. I Naively want to tell myself that it could work, i could find time to do all that, it would be worth the sacrifice. Then i think of the times i have gotten burned out because i was trying to do too much. Somewhere in the midst of the the mental torment that this decision making process was i remembered a talk that the youth pastor i worked with in college gave about how our lives need to have margins. Yes there are seasons that the Lord calls us to be busy and complete work for his name, or so that we can get to the next level or whatever. But in the midst of all of that we need to have margins. Space, time that we don’t have things planed, because if we feel the need, or have to schedule every hour of our life (even with good things) we generally a) don’t leave room for the holy spirit to work in our lives, b) usually aren’t making enough time for the people in our lives c) are totally miserable. I really wanted this position for so many reasons but i had to remember that every time we say yes to something we are saying no to something else. If saying yes to the job meant neglecting my responsibilities to my wife and to the young men that i am responsible for mentoring at Joel Home then it wasn’t worth it.

Turning down this position was a very difficult choice, and i wish i could say that i have just moved on, but i haven’t. It still lingers in my mind, taunting me, telling me that i will never get another opportunity  like this again. So i have to have faith, i have to believe that God cares more about relationships and priorities than he does about job titles and resumes. That our God is a God who inhabits both the praises and the margins of his people.

I don’t belong here… This is not my home

I want to start by saying that I love Haitian culture, I love the Haitian people and I am very grateful to be having this experience. With that said it has been made very clear to me that this is NOT my home. I don’t fit in here. I’m a goofy 6’3″ tall white guy with curly hair and bright clothing. I don’t speak the language very well, and Haitian living and culture continues to baffle and amaze me. Haiti food and “purified” water is delicious but it often upsets my stomach. There seems to a constant and nauseating smell of burning trash. It is not safe for me to leave the compound we live in alone. I can’t just go for a jog or a mountain bike ride whenever I please because I look different. Despite the fact that we have almost all the comforts of home they are still just not quite the same. They are for the most part cheap imitations/ smaller/ less powerful/ less reliable versions of what I am used to in the States. For example, we have a refrigerator that keeps things cold, it is less than half the size of what we enjoy in America and is dependent on an undependable source of power. The contents of the fridge are the remnants, the leftovers of whatever the teams leave behind; we eat the forgotten scraps of our American comrades but hey no snack left behind right? We will do our part for the American people : ). We also occasionally are blessed by a care package from our family or a random trip-goer who intentionally brought us stuff. And yes we can and do buy some food ourselves but we only go shopping once a week and we need a driver and body guard to escort us through the chaos to the safe haven of Caribbean Market, or the oasis of Belmart where we can shop for overpriced food alongside our fellow ex-patriots, UN, and American embassy staff with American pop music softly playing in the background. $30 for a few days worth of crappy snacks… Supply and demand thou art a heartless fellow. The bed is large enough for me and Courtney (just barely) and whatever insects decide to grace us with their presence any given night. To be honest I’m not sure what size it is, it’s not a twin and it’s not a queen so I guess I’ll call it a Haitian tween mattress. While the mattress is inscribed with the words “Orthopedic” I think the adjacent Caduceus symbol (pole with the snakes and wings) is a better description of the comfort because I feel like I need to take medicine for my back each morning.  We have bug screens and a door sweep yet I still find myself able to swat an average of 2-3 mosquitoes every time I use the toilet. We have running water but it’s not clean to drink. The list goes on. I don’t say this to complain, I desire no pity, I only share this because God used all this to speak very clearly to me. One day I was in the bathroom listening to the song “The beautiful letdown” by Switchfoot as I endeavored to swat one of the 3 mosquitoes buzzing around me trying not to wonder if this would be the one to give me malaria. Jon Foreman sang to me:

“It was a beautiful let down
When I crashed and burned
When I found myself alone unknown and hurt
It was a beautiful let down
The day I knew
That all the riches this world had to offer me
Would never do

In a world full of bitter pain and bitter doubt
I was trying so hard to fit in, fit in,
Until I found out
I don’t belong here
I don’t belong here
I will carry a cross and a song where I don’t belong
But I don’t belong”

I found a strange comfort in those words “I DON’T BELONG HERE”. Not in an “it was a mistake to come here” kind of way. Just a realization of this is not my home. This is a foreign land; they speak a different language and do life very different than what I am used to. I will not able to be fulfilled here. But with that came a comfort because I knew that one day I will return home. With that understanding suddenly things didn’t seem to bother me as much. I didn’t matter that I was uncomfortable, inconvenienced, and unsafe. Because it was only for a short time. In December I get to go home and enjoy all the pleasures and treasures I have stored up there. Then it hit me this is how my attitude should be about this life, not just this time in Haiti. Because the truth is we don’t belong here on this earth. Philippians 3:20 says, “Our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ”. While the Lord has placed us on this planet for a short time we ultimately belong with him. We long for a day that there is no more sin or suffering but will never experience it until Christ returns, but we have that desire because Ecclesiastes 3:11 says that “he has set eternity in our hearts”. In the same way that I don’t mind to be uncomfortable in my time in Haiti I shouldn’t mind to be uncomfortable during my time on earth because I know that it is only temporary. I don’t need to feel complete or fulfilled in Haiti and I don’t need to feel complete or fulfilled on this earth because a day is coming soon that I will have all that I need and more in Heaven. Furthermore, with the exception of a suitcase, I took nothing to Haiti and I can take nothing back. I could buy all sorts of nice things in Haiti but I can’t really take them back to America with me. “For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it” (1 Timothy 6:7). So what shall I do while I am in Haiti? Just sit around and be content with mediocre standard of living and take solace in knowing that soon I will be comfortable? To quote Paul, by no means! We have work to do. Just because this is not our home doesn’t mean that we don’t have responsibilities. 2 Corinthians 5:20 gives us the mandate that “We are …Christ’s ambassadors” and we are to be about the work of reconciling the world to him. That is difficult work and is often uncomfortable, inconvenient and unsafe, but take heart because we have a King who cares and a kingdom that is coming, that kingdom is full of the Glory of the Lord and it is comfortable, it is very convenient and it is very safe, and there we have treasure that cannot be lost. Don’t settle for a cheap imitation of living. We are not supposed to find contentment in this life, and any comfort we find is a cheap imitation of what the Lord has waiting. Just wait, have hope, believe in the kingdom of God; it is near.

Haiti blog 2

Friends and family,

Round two has arrived. Due to busy schedules and technological difficulties it has taken some time to post this. We both have a section again. Courtney will go first again. Enjoy.

Today, I live in Haiti. I say these words not to repeat old news to you, but to remind myself that “we’re not in Kansas anymore”. This morning we dropped a team off at the airport. They are now in the air and making their way back to the States. It isn’t until the bus ride back to Jumecourt Inn that I’m finally able to have a true moment alone and retreat into my thoughts. I’m currently reading “Ruined for the Average: Finding God’s Riches in Haiti”. To read a book about the plight of orphans or the brokenness of a country from the comfort of your own home could perhaps allow an emotional response, maybe even create a desire to become engaged and “do something”. But to read a book about the realities my eyes encounter daily is a completely different experience.

And something has changed.

We drive through downtown Port-au-Prince and I forget to notice the trash encompassing life in Haiti. We pass mountainsides and I miss the over-populated, crumbling houses. I see passing faces and am blind to a deformity or missing limb. This is Haiti. From the world’s eye this is ash. This place is described with words such as dirty, poor, God-forsaken, messy, and dangerous. But really, isn’t this description synonymous with our condition before Christ chose to enter into our reality, our depravity? Without Christ we are messy, poor and dirty. We can’t possibly lift ourselves from our own wantonness. In the same way the Haitian people walk around in the trash-cluttered streets, we walk around in our trash-cluttered lives covering our garbage with comforts, materials, and distractions, pretending to be ok, to be good enough, to not need anyone, especially a Savior. Oh, but if only you could hear these people when they sing and audibly pray the words “Merci Seigneur” (thank you Savior). I need to correct that previous sentence…they don’t just sing or pray, they cry out! They shout their thanks and their need. In the midst of physical filth they lift their hands and are eternally cleansed, anticipating the day they’ll live in their home eternal in the heavens (2 Corinthians 5:1). I place my face in my hands and tears meet them. I am envious of the love these people have for their Savior, their King. Their inability to change their circumstances make them all the more hopeful of the day they meet this King who traded their place on the cross and loves and knows each of them dearly and intimately.

We are missing it.

Do you know that the same Christ that these people cry out to is the same Christ that we can experience? Do you know that, despite some church or cultural traditions, you can raise your hands toward Him, you can shout praise to Him, you cry out in anguish to Him, you can sing “halleluiah” to Him, you can share your excitement with Him, you can vent your frustrations to Him, you can give it ALL to Him? Why, oh why, do we hold back? Why have we adopted this “too cool for school” mentality? Instead of filling our lush sanctuaries with awe and praise, we come before the Holy of Holies with our hands in our pockets, eyes glazed with a lack of zeal, and believe He accepts this “gift” of worship. Friends, who are we to claim the name of Christ on Sunday yet claim the names of Me, Myself, and I the other six days?

We need a change.

And no, not an Obama-care kind of change. In fact, change is too timid a word. What we need is a collision. We need to collide with the Creator of the Universe and walk away radically altered – for His holiness and His purposes. We need to be stripped of our entitlements and recognize that, before God, we hold nothing in our hands. Now, I am not claiming that we are nothing and of no value. On the contrary, we know from Genesis that God created us in His image and values us enough to trade His Son for us. What I am claiming is that we can bring nothing to God that He hasn’t already created or given to us in the first place. So why not come before Him, empty hands uplifted, and offer Him our lives? As Jim Elliot said, “he is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose” (1949). But what does a collision with the Savior look like? If you will, allow me to share my collision experience…

About 5 months ago, I was given the opportunity to come to Haiti for the first time. Assuming what most Americans assume when they come, I thought I would be helping and blessing people, working in the name of Jesus, etc. And yes I was doing all those things, but not in the way I imagined. But the paradox occurred when these things (blessings) I was “doing” for others was reciprocated to me 10 fold. Our second day we drove 3 hours up into the mountains to a village called Hinche. This village is not visited as often as the other Global Orphan villages due to its location. When our group pulled in the children surrounded our bus, shouting and jumping with excitement that we had come to play with them and love them. Still unsure of my role, but excited to be there, I stepped off the bus and began to wander around the chaotic jubilation. I stopped when I saw a small girl, braids covering her head, looking up at me timidly. I could see she was slightly overwhelmed by the large group we had brought. I bent down to her level and smiled at her. She returned that with an even bigger smile and a laugh, and then reached up for me to hold her. We were bound together for the rest of the day, playing, laughing, and eventually, her falling asleep in my arms.


In the 20 seconds it took for that first interaction to take place, this little girl showed me what my posture toward Christ should look like. With arms reaching high, hands fully open, awaiting my bigger arms to wrap around her, God used this little messenger to tell me, “this is what I want from you, child”. That’s it. God wants me. God wants you. God desires you. And God desires that you would long for Him in the same way that little girl yearned for my love and affection. On the other side of that, God also revealed that He delights in Me, in my time, in my affection, in my adoration, in my attention, in the same way that little girl does. Our heavenly Father JOYS in us when we JOY in Him. The Creator of All doesn’t need us for Him to be glorified, but He DELIGHTS to have us delight in Him and He DESIRES His children to desire Him.

Having the love of Christ taught to you in 20 seconds by a tiny Haitian orphan who can’t speak English – that, my friends, is a cataclysmic collision.

We need a collision. We need to collide with the unfathomable Creator, Father, and Savior, and walk away radically altered, shouting “Merci Seignuer! Thank you Savior!” My prayer for you as you are reading this is that you would experience collision. I pray God provides that opportunity for you; whether that occurs in Haiti, in another country, in your church or your community group, at your kitchen table, over your cup of coffee, standing in the grocery line, in a conversation with a friend, watching your child play and need you, or however He chooses to do it. May God collide so fiercely with you that you can’t stand anymore the idea of being average, of being complacent, of claiming Christianity for the sake of wearing the badge. I pray you meet God and that His reality explodes to life for you, that you fall in love with Him and fall in love with pursuing Him, as He will pursue you. Friend, and fellow Child of God, I implore you to stop settling. You are called to a greater life. Everything you’ve longed for cannot satisfy your thirst, but Christ can. And all you have to do to start shedding the lies of the Enemy you’ve believed for so long is this…cry out to Jesus and say “Thank you Savior”. Amen.


Brians blog


The other week we had a church from Wichita, Kansas, come stay at Jumecourt as a reservation (when they use Jumecourt just as a hotel, they pay per night/meal). This group was in Haiti to work with a village they sponsor called Balan, it is just 30-40 minutes down the road from us close to the Dominican border. On one of our days off this group invited us to join them.


The issue. There were about two hundred people that came to the village and a lot of them were malnourished. Every couple of minutes a child would come up to you and rub their belly and ask “manje” which means “food” in Creole. The dilemma is that I do indeed have food but all my experience has taught me that feeding children in large groups causes problems, BIG problems. I think back to a story a team member told me from her first trip to Haiti (a year ago). She was over at Source de la Grace (one of Global Orphan’s villages), which was connected to Jumecourt before a wall was built to divided the two compounds. There is a small window in a shipping container turned store (a part of the clinic that is on the other side of the wall) that had chips for sale. This well-intentioned woman wanted to bless the children by giving them all a small bag of Doritos and, if it only cost $10 to feed all 80 of them, why would you not? Well, needless to say, she got a lot more than she bargained for and in her own words “It was the scariest thing I have ever seen in my life”. The people in the store could not hand her the bags of chips through the tiny hole fast enough and thus the term feeding frenzy was exhibited. The kids started fighting over the chips and the well-intentioned blessing became a curse. The security guards had to come and pull the kids off each other. Lesson learned. This is a perfect example of when helping hurts, which is also the title of a book that is full of story’s with equally tragic consequences of well-intentioned givers. That is, in a lot of ways, the reality of Haiti and how it has gotten to where it is now. Haiti sustained 3 hurricanes and then a 7.0 earthquake. Hundreds of thousands died, those who weren’t crushed in the rubble began to starve. There was and still is great need. The watching world rushed in to help and came bringing gifts of free rice, free clothes and chicken for pennies on the dollar. Initially this was a great help to feed the starving that lost their homes and livelihoods. But a long-term consequence emerged as the donations continued after the immediate need. I’m not a business major but it doesn’t take a genius to know that you can’t compete with free. And all the people who supported their families by growing rice, by making or selling clothes, or by raising and selling chicken suddenly found themselves completely out of business. Whoops. This is all a very simplified version of a complex problem in Haiti, but I use it to give an example, or more of an admonishment of the dangers that our good intentions can have.


Ok now back to my first story, dozens of malnourished kids are coming up to me asking for food. What is my responsibility as a human, or more importantly a Christian? Mathew 25 issues a biblical mandate to feed the hungry and give water to the thirsty. It scares me that Jesus says, “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat” (Math 25: 41-42). And James would also condemn the inactive, “Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead” (James 2:15-17). But how can these two realities coexist? What are we to do? Are we damned if we don’t and damned if we do? Should I look into the eyes of the starving and say “Sorry kid, I read in a book that I shouldn’t give you food because it will teach you that you don’t have to provide for yourself? Or “Sorry kid I had a bad experience once, not doing that again”. I truly ask myself and wonder what would Jesus do in that situation? He can feed thousands with a loaf of bread and a fish. But for some reason I can’t multiply my Nature Valley bar to feed 5. So what do I do? I can feed one or two my meager snacks and they will be hungry again in a couple of hours. Or I can watch their confused faces as they watch me eat the snacks that I said I didn’t have.


I tell this story only to help capture the helplessness I felt on that day. I don’t think that my salvation was in question in those moments. But it really challenged me having this very pressing need and not knowing what to do about it.  




God has been challenging me a lot during my time in Haiti. I want to share two stories.


We are driving in the mountains on the way to visit a village in Hinche, which is about 3 hours away from Jumecourt. As we drive I begin to watch the people and I notice people spending a lot of time doing things that we can do instantly in America. For instance, getting water. This is a 30 second chore in America. I bet if you’re in your house right now you could get up and have access to clean drinking water within 30 seconds from one of the maybe 10-30 sources of clean drinking water available to you within your house. Then I think of the people who live on the mountain tops an hour away from Jumecourt. Odines, one of our translators, told me that they have no sources of running water on the mountain so someone has to hike 2.5 hours down the mountain then 2.5 hours back up everyday just to get water. When we arrive at Hinche I see one of the mommas doing laundry and she works and doesn’t even finish her load in the 3 hours we are there. Then we get back on the bus and I see people walking their livestock to the market, which is probably a few hours away. I think about how much free time we have in America. How much we are able to accomplish in a day. I mean we could throw a load of clothes in the laundry, fill up a water bottle and then take our cows to market in half the time it took someone in Haiti to do one of those tasks. And then with the rest of our day we could listen to a sermon, volunteer for a charity, tell that homeless guy about Jesus and still have time to watch like 5 episodes of Lost. But does it matter? It was hitting me that so many people in the world spend the majority of their lives doing the things that need to be done so they can survive just to do them again tomorrow. Find food, find water, find shelter. And is my life any more valuable than theirs? Is God so pleased by MY striving, by MY accomplishments, by MY résumé? Am I any more valuable to the Kingdom than the man that spends half his day just procuring clean drinking water? Am I any closer to God, made any more in His image? I swallow hard… Forgive me Lord for thinking otherwise.


The next day we lead our team to the nearby village that is run by pastor Calix. I have been conducting a little experiment with the group that we are leading this week seeing the difference in how well behaved the kids are based on whether or not we bring toys. My hypothesis is that generally the kids will be better behaved if we get off the bus, bringing nothing and just spend the entire time building relationships and playing, hugging, tickling, chasing and carrying them. Conversely, that if we get off the bus and begin to just hand out toys, not only will certain chaos ensue, but our team will not be able to build good relationships with the kids because they will be more interested in the toys than in the team. And thus far my hypothesis was being proven correct. (This is not to say that that toys are in anyway forbidden, but just more of a strong de-emphasis on giving vs. being with the kids). Anyway back to Calix. I am sitting outside of the village with my back leaned up again the massive sliding metal door, by butt sitting on hard pavement with Wendy (pronounced “Wenday”) sitting on my lap coloring. As one of the other children flip through the color book pages she discovers a hidden page of stickers. At that same moment one the team members standing above her also witnesses her discovery and quickly reaches down and takes the book from her hand and pulls the stickers out of the book (before coming to the village we ask that no one give out anything to the kids because it will pretty much always lead to fights). The girl becomes quite upset and starts to speak in Creole and conveys to all the other kids in the area that there are stickers. Instead of sitting quietly on laps coloring, all 5 of the kids sitting outside only care about getting stickers. The one girl who initially discovered the stickers spends the next 40 minutes just standing by the front of the bus asking every team member that passed by for the stickers (in Creole) to no avail. The girl eventually figured out that I was telling every passing team member to not let the kids on the bus or to let them have anything off of the bus and she directed her frustration at me in the form of a good old fashioned Creole tongue lashing that was punctuated by a surprisingly painful hair pull. Even Wendy (who I had hung out with the last 3 times I have been to Calix) was upset and wouldn’t play with me anymore. So I just sat there by myself thinking “Well that’s the last time we bring coloring books to Calix”. I was upset and even a little embarrassed. I’m supposed to be leading this group and now I have a small child rebellion on my hands. And then I also remembered that the trip leader’s church sponsored this village and I thought “man it’s embarrassing how these kids are acting right now, they have come so far and worked so hard to just hang out with them and just because they didn’t get one thing they wanted they throw a fit and don’t want to hang out at all”. As I sat there brooding in my frustration I felt the Lord whisper to me “Really? You have never acted this way? How many times have you asked for something that I didn’t give you and you acted this same way?”

First Haiti Blog!

We are finally here!! Both me and Courtney wrote a section for this blog. Courtney’s is more interesting so i will put her’s first. Mine just talks a little more about what we are doing here.


Courtney’s blog…

Winner and Losers


Today is the 2 week mark for us living in Haiti. It has been 14 days of adjustment with many days of adjusting ahead of us. There have been good days, there have been hard days, and there have been days that have held a mixture of both. Today was physically difficult for me due to some “stomach adjustments”, but nothing too rough. I’m not sure at this point that I’m able to fully articulate what this process and experience has been so far so I’ll write what I can and pray it conveys logic and understanding, but most of all, Christ’s transformative work through our human frailty.

I’ve titled this short blog “winners and losers” because of a Twitter hashtag I’ve recently learned about. Let me preface this by saying, despite being 24 years young, I do not use Twitter, nor would I know how to use it if I had Twitter. With that said, I’m going to write as though all who read this are as Twitter illiterate as I am so to avoid any confusion, and hopefully without offending anyone’s intelligence. Twitter users often use hashtags to further express whatever it is they are Tweeting about. A hashtag is marked by the (#) symbol. For example, if I wanted to Tweet about a sunset I may say “what a beautiful sunset” #beauty. Once you hashtag something that hashtag becomes a link that can be clicked on and others can see how you and other people may have used this hashtag. Get the idea? I’m sure you do, my apologies for being so elementary in my explanation. Anyway, a few days ago a previous GO Fellow, who still lives in Haiti, came to Jumecourt because she was going to give a team we were hosting a tour of the organization she now works for. A group of us were sitting around talking and she was allowing people to ask her questions about life in Haiti, Haitian culture, etc. Amidst the conversation she told us about the Twitter hashtag called #haitiwins. It’s become a joke in the Twitter world and a way for people to share funny (or not-so-funny) stories of how Haiti “beat” them that day. This previous GO Fellow joked that everyday Haiti wins in some way. This is a catchy phrase and the trip team members loved the idea of using it, especially to express funny or hard situations. For example, this particular team was riding in their open taxi truck, which is called a tap-tap, when someone from off the street walked up to their truck and stole a young girl’s iPhone directly out of her hands – tough situation that you can’t really do anything about. Haiti wins. I started thinking about this phrase and Brian and I even found ourselves jokingly using it (the internet is out, we can’t correspond with incoming teams, Haiti wins, etc., etc.). Now allow me to backtrack for a moment.

We had our first team that we led come in this weekend. They were a youth group from Florida so they were a lot of fun and brought great energy. It’s amazing the energy that teams bring and how it completely changes the mood of our compound. The teams generally arrive on Thursday and depart sometime on Monday, so it’s 5 days of going hard. Friday went really well. I loved getting to explain so many things and answer all the team’s questions. I particularly loved getting to play at Laogone with a group of 4 girls who never left my side. We were all exhausted but we returned to the hotel with full hearts. Saturday we got to visit the village that this particular church sponsors and that went well, too. Sunday we took the team back to attend church with the village they sponsor. Pastor Kesnel, who is a wonderful man with a heart for kids and an incredible story, pastors the church. His church shares a compound with the orphanage he oversees so the children who live there are free to roam wherever they please during the service. I was excited for this service because we actually had a translator and could be engaged with the service, which isn’t always the case. As I’m listening to Pastor Kesnel I notice kids appearing around me. One sat with a team member behind me. Then another one came in and sat with another team member behind me. Then one came and sat between Brian and me. Before I knew it, a little boy came and crawled into my lap. I’m usually excited to have the kids approach me, but this day they were being particularly disruptive and kept fighting over trying to steal our pens (this is after a kid had already stolen our pack of gum I had sat on top of my Bible). The little boy in my lap was even more so disruptive for me because he was still being potty trained, which means that he doesn’t wear any pants or underwear so as not to soil what few clothes he has. This pantsless wiggleworm picked already annoyed me out of the crowd and turned monkey as he endeavored to climb on me anyway he could. After numerous attempts to have him sit on the wooden bench beside me I finally gave up after realizing that his determination to be held and loved by me was greater than my determination to cease my discomfort. Even more annoyed and now no longer able to focus on anything besides not having him urinate on me, I began to pray. Want to know what I prayed? Did I pray for this sweet boy’s salvation or that he would fall in love with Christ? Nope. Did I pray that he would find family in the other children he lived with and within the church in his village? Nope. Surely I prayed for God to bless him and allow him to grow beyond the age of 5 (more than 10% of Haitian children die before age 5). Nope. Instead, I prayed for myself. I was hot, annoyed, hungry, uncomfortable, and ready for the 3-hour service to be over. I recognized how uncomfortable I was and had to ask for forgiveness. I didn’t want to be there. I wanted to be in air conditioning and eating a delicious home-cooked meal after the service. Sunday, I was tired and just not “feeling it”.

After the service when we returned to the hotel I went and hid in my room. I was done. Cooked. And this was just week 2. In my quiet and alone moments I got real honest with God and told Him what was really bothering me. I missed comfort. I missed being able to eat 3 meals a day. I missed cereal (yes, cereal). I missed my family. I missed reliable electricity. I missed hot showers (ok, I REALLY miss hot showers). I missed being clean. I missed not smelling burning trash all day. And the list keeps going. Lying on my bed with my eyes burning hot from tears I was trying to fight back, I thought it…Haiti wins. “Today”, I thought, “Haiti wins.” Brian recognized that something was bothering me and came to see if I was ok (thank goodness God asked me to do this as a wife to Brian and not as a single American girl!). As I was processing all my thoughts with Brian I could hear God whisper, “Haiti doesn’t win. I win. And I’ll win everyday if you choose to let Me.”  After Brian and I prayed together we rejoined the team and the rest of the day was really enjoyable, but I didn’t forget what God had said.

The next morning we dropped the team off early at the airport and made our way back to Jumecourt. Since it was so early, the few people left on the bus slept on the way back, which gave me time to be alone with God as we drove through Port-au-Prince and Croix des Bouquets. I looked out our bus window and watched Haiti pass me by. From crippled-looking cinder block buildings to tin sheds to tents, I took in all the homes we passed and considered the people who lived in them. I considered the trip goers we had just dropped off and all the future trip goers we will encounter. Then I considered some scripture God had given me over the weekend. I’m in the process of reading through 2 Corinthians and I can’t believe how good God is to give me such an encouraging book on what genuine ministry should look like.

Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart…For             what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as             your bondservants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of             darkness,” has shown in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory             of God in the face of Jesus Christ…So we do not lost heart. Though our outer self             is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.

(2 Corinthians 4:1, 5-6, 16)

“Having this ministry by the mercy of God…” Paul recognized that he was able to live out ministry only by the grace of God. He recognized the gift, though at times tiring, that is ministry. I’ve read and re-read those first few chapters of 2 Corinthians several times now. Letting God’s Word pour over me and spending time talking with God has provided more comfort than any of those other comforts I was missing so much. Granted, I still miss my family and am daily frustrated with not being able to frequently talk with them because of our internet. But what God is teaching me in these first few weeks is that, if we allow it, Haiti (aka circumstances and situations) will beat us, which producers losers. When we allow things outside of our control to disrupt our day and sideline us, we lose. Whether we’re wearing the jersey or not, we lose by riding the bench. God asks us to be in the game. He asks us to surrender all – not some, not half, not most, not even 99%  – all . All of our selves, all of our circumstances, all of our problems, all of our victories, all of our worries…everything. “And He died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for Him who for their sake died and was raised” (2 Cor. 5:15).

My prayer for this next season (and I earnestly ask that you would join me in this prayer) is that my life would be poured out for those coming to Haiti. While it is the beautiful orphan children who brought me here, I am learning that it is the trip goers who will be my ministry. I pray that when they see Brian and me they wouldn’t praise us for our “radical obedience and faith” (which has already happened), but that they would see our hearts and see that our hearts are after a God who radically transforms everyone who meets Him. I pray that we would continue to remember that Haiti doesn’t have to win, but that everyday we get to choose to allow God to enter into our circumstances and claim the victory for us. I pray that we would have an eternal perspective and that we would be about helping trip goers navigate the soul stripping and pride breaking that happens when you come here. I pray that each person who comes here would meet God and would encounter His transformative power. I pray that revival would begin in the local church and that trip goers would be a catalyst for this revival. Mostly, I pray that “we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, [would be] transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:18). Amen.

Brians Section…

I realized that some of you might not really know what we do in Haiti. Courtney and I are the “Go fellow’s”. I know it’s a strange name. We live at Jumecourt Inn which is a hotel that serves as the base of operations for Global orphan project. Our primary responsibility is to lead private “vision” trips that come to Haiti (this is what we took our Shelterwood kids on). A vision trip is generally five days. The team will land sometime on Thursday and then they will leave sometime on Monday. On Friday and Saturday the team will travel by bus to visit the various villages (place where the orphans live) that Global Orphan partners with. Then on Sunday we take them to a Haitian church service in the morning and then a village in the afternoon. They don’t build anything, they just get a chance to experience Haiti in all of its beauty and all of its brokenness. The motto of Global Orphan is “Transforming lives through orphan care” and this really is the purpose of these trips. It was difficult to understand before I went on my first trip back in 2011. I remember someone explaining the trip to me and I think in my head I said “Wow that’s kind of stupid, and so we don’t DO anything? We just play with kids?”. And more or less the answers is yes. As you have already heard God used the two trips to Haiti to do incredible things in the lives of our students at Shelterwood. Anyway back to what we do. We help to lead these vision trips. We communicate with the teams before they come down, figuring out which villages they would like to visit and what other things they would like to do. Then once we get a schedule lined up we type it into a document that says where we are going on each day. Then we have a trips meeting with our Haiti field director Mike Rounbehler and Bertrand the hotel manager and Charmelle who also is responsible for making room assignments and knowing how much food to have ready etc. We work out all of the logistics for the trips, for example “Ok Friday we are going to Laogone, so we will take the 28 passenger bus, Jonny will be the driver, Odines will be the translator, and Kenson will be body guard. And we work out which Haitian staff goes where on what day and make sure we have enough room in the vehicles. We also work out a cash request form for any cash money we might need which for the vision trips in Port au Prince are pretty easy. All we use is 500 gourde(about $11.5) for airport parking and then keep emergency cash on us. Finally we call or email all of the villages and the church that we will be visiting to let them know we are coming on that day (unless the pastor does not speak English in which case we ask the translators to call). Quick side note there are three different regions that vision trips can visit. Vision trips that want to see Port Au Prince stay at Jumecourt Inn which is the hotel owned by Global orphan, and they visit any of the 5 villages in the port au prince region (Laogone, Hinch, Ebenezer, Calix, Source de la Grace). There is also a northern tour where the team will drive to Gonaives and stay in the hotel and visit villages that global sponsors in the northern region of Haiti. And then same idea in the southern region with teams basing out of Les Cayes. I have only done the port Au Prince tour.


That is all of the pre trip work that we do. Then there is work that we do while the team is here. That starts with picking the team up from the airport. Jumecourt Inn is in Croix Des Bouquetes only 15 miles east of the international airport and you take national highway 2 (Route de Malpas) pretty much the whole way. In America this would be a 10-15 min drive going highway speeds but it can take anwhere from 45 mins to 2 hours.

Haiti Support letter


Following is a copy of our support letter for our “Go Fellowship” position starting july 9th for 6 months. If you would like to receive a hard copy of the letter please respond with your address and we can send one within the next week or two before we embark on this great adventure.


Dear friends and family,

Have you ever had a moment where you thought, “This is it. This is what I was made for”? Have you ever found yourself so passionate about something that you knew you would go to great lengths to pursue it? What if this is the life Christ envisioned for all of us? I know that God created us to experience this in ways unique to each other, but for me this happened looking into the big brown eyes of a little Haitian girl curled up in my arms. Jon Foreman’s lyrics to “Your Love Is Strong” suddenly made sense.

The kingdom of the heavens is buried treasure

Will you sell yourself to buy the one you’ve found?

The kingdom of heaven is worth selling ourselves for and trading in our lives of comfort and self-seeking. So with LOTS of prayerful consideration and thought, we decided to trade in the life we know for a life in which we’re trusting God to cut the path for us.

The Ferguson’s are excited to share with you our new and upcoming adventures! As you may remember, we were given the wonderful opportunity to lead the Shelterwood mission trip to Haiti this past March. We have considered doing overseas work since we’ve known each other, but getting to lead that trip as a married couple and learn more of what life outside our comfort could look like confirmed this dream that we wanted to go and serve. After returning back to the States we contacted Global Orphan Project with our interest in their organization and last month we received a call from them asking us to join their Haiti field team for 6 months starting in July!

We can’t believe how good God is to give us this opportunity! Here’s a quick overview of our role with GO (Global Orphan) in Haiti: our position is called “GO Fellows”. We will be responsible for leading and coordinating Vision Trips (5 day mission trips that occur nearly every week of the year). The main purpose of the Vision Trip is to raise awareness of the orphan situation. Raising awareness creates a larger platform for GO to create sustainable programs in Haiti. We have a lot of training to do because it is essential that the GO Fellow be knowledgeable of the culture and understand how these trips impact the children in the villages, both short term and long term. We are also excited because Shelterwood will be going on another trip in November and we will get to see familiar faces and watch God go to work within that group!

We are sending you this letter for this primary purpose: we need prayer warriors! It has been a difficult transition leaving what we know for something we’ll have to learn as we go. During the past month we have stepped down from our jobs, moved out of our cozy apartment, sold a lot of belongings, and left friends and family. We know this is the season God is calling us to, but there’s still that part of us that desires the comforts of family, friends, and American living (hot showers will be very missed!). Will you partner with us in this next season? Will you pray for us as we will be adjusting to life in Haiti? Will you pray that the love of Christ will become so evident to these orphans that they can’t ignore Him? Our desire is that they will find their Heavenly Father sufficient despite not having an earthly father. Will you also pray for God’s provision for us, physically, spiritually, emotionally, and financially? Thank you for being in our corner. We wish we could adequately express how much it means knowing we have incredible people who are thoughtful toward us.

It is very important to us that you know how much your recent support has meant to us. From our wedding last September to our trip in March to this new season we’re entering into, it has all been possible because of your loving encouragement and support. We acknowledge that we are able to do the things we have because you’re willing to love us so well and join us in our service. We thank you for that! We want to keep an open door for you if you desired to give monetarily to GO or us. While it doesn’t cost us anything to go to Haiti, it will cost GO around $6,000. Our position will be voluntary so while GO considers that amount to be part of the cost of staffing they also ask that we raise support to help offset that cost. We have been very diligent in our budgeting, however, we will still have bills back home plus personal expenses for trip preparation (immunizations, travel/medical insurance, school loans, supplies, approximately $1600) that we will need to focus on. If you feel led to give to GO for our trip you can make your check payable to Global Orphan Project (tax deductible). If you feel led to help support us while we have taken this voluntary position you can make the check out to either Brian or Courtney Ferguson. We ask that all forms of support be mailed to Brian’s parents (Jim and Pam Ferguson). The purpose in this is so they can gather all the support and ensure that it is properly deposited, whether to Global Orphan’s office or to us individually. Their mailing address is:

Jim and Pam Ferguson

C/O Brian and Courtney Ferguson

7514 27th Ave NE

Seattle, WA 98115


We thank you for prayerfully considering this, but mostly we are thankful for you. It’s so fun for us to know that we have such supportive friends and family with whom we can share life. We are currently working on an online way of keeping everyone back home updated. We will be sending more information soon on how to keep up with us, if you choose. Thank you again. We love you and are so grateful for you!


God bless,

Brian and Courtney Ferguson

Haiti 2.0

So going back to Haiti has been on me and Courtney’s heart for while. We have been in touch with the global orphan staff. We have interviewed and thought we where going to have wait till the end of summer to be able to go. Then thirsday night we got a call from mike (director of haiti) who is the contact guy in Haiti and he said they really wants us to come ASAP. So he offered to fly us out a few days after my brothers wedding around June 10th and then we would be there two weeks then I would fly back June 22nd for a camp I’m working at this summer and would then meet Courtney in Alabama for her friends wedding July 6th. We would spend a few days in Alabama and then fly back to Haiti till sometime in December. Nothing for sure as of this point. I have spent a lot of time praying this weekend and asking for wisdom and guidance because it would be a quick transition from shelterwood to Haiti, and there are a lot of financial and logistical hoops to jump through. All this to say please pray for us, it is a very exciting, and a little overwhelming time. But God is good.

the Fergusons

Haiti through Courtneys eyes

Sorry for the delay in posting, we have been back for about a week and it has taken us some time to process and recover. I decided that since my wife is much more gifted at writing then me, she would probably be better at describing our trip, and how we are processing the experience. And a HUGE thank you to all who prayed and helped support us on this trip, God did some amazing things and i am so thankful that YOU all helped us make that a reality. Any now without and further adieu i give you my wife’s first blog entry…

Well we made it back to the States. I think I should be happy to be home and sleeping in Thank you 2my comfortable bed in my heated apartment (it’s been in the 30s here – brrr!). I think I should be happy to be back to hot showers and consistent electricity. I think I should be excited to drive my car again on a highway system that actually has rules (in Haiti the rule is don’t get ran over and use your horn often). I think I should be happy to be back in my home church, with full roofing over our heads as our expensive sound system cranks out the praise music. And honestly, I am. I am grateful for all of these things. But in all of these things I have discovered something I didn’t expect to find: distraction. Shouldn’t we have a better capacity for prayer if we aren’t concerned with freezing or starving (or heatstroke if you’re in the Haitian heat)? Shouldn’t our comforts free us up to focus more on God and draw closer to Him? Shouldn’t the privileges of a hot shower, running water, sleep without a mosquito net, or even privacy – shouldn’t all of these things enable us to move closer to God?  I’m frustrated by how easily my attention is shifted away from Christ and to my comforts, my rights, and my entertainments. The thing is I don’t think anything is wrong with any of these comforts – the issue is when we use these comforts as an excuse to drop God a notch down on our priority totem pole. The truth is any of us could have been born into any other circumstance than the one we were born into. So why do we take these blessings and use them to curse God?

Distractions. We have allowed gifts of comfort to transform into distractions. It seems illogical to envy an impoverished, barefoot orphan living in the slums of third world Haiti. DSC_0032But their joy was impossible to ignore. And their joy was not sourced from the old adage “ignorance is bliss”. These kids knew how to use our iPhones and cameras, they knew that the clothing we wore was nicer than theirs as they worked feverishly to wipe us down every time we stood up from sitting in the Haitian dirt, they knew the world we came from as we tried to understand theirs. These children were neither unintelligent nor unaware of our “privileged” backgrounds. But maybe we have gotten things backwards. Maybe they are the privileged ones. Maybe, their simple smiles hold more joy than we have ever experienced because, maybe, they have experienced God in ways we haven’t allowed ourselves to. What if we have gotten it all wrong? What if the American Way simply isn’t the Way?

In chapter 8 of the gospel of Luke Jesus introduces us to different types of soil that seed (the Word of God) can fall on. In verse 7 we see that some seed fell among thorns, “and the thorns grew up with it and choked it”. Verse 14 explains that the thorns represent “the cares and riches and pleasures of life”. I don’t think Jesus is bashing a heated home, running water, or a fully roofed church building. But I do think Jesus is hitting a hard point for our American Dream chasing society. Jesus recognized that these comforts, if chased after only for self-consumption, would create enough white noise to drown out His sweet voice.

The joy of the Haitian people I met who knew Christ reminded me of another story Jesus told. In the gospel of Matthew we are introduced to one verse, but in this verse is described the abandonment and love we as Christians should have toward our Savior.

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”

(Matthew 13:44)

How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter into the kingdom of heaven (Mark 10:23)! The truth is there are far too many American Christians who would not be willing to sell all they own to gain the kingdom of heaven. But look at that scripture again: in his JOY he sold all he had. This man, probably thought as foolish by those around him, was overjoyed to part with all of his belongings because he knew the reward for being able to purchase the field that contained his treasure. I think back to all the yard sells my family had when I was younger. I can remember having to go through my toy chest and pick out items to sell.Thank you 1 I can remember specifically a teddy bear my mom wanted me to include in the yard sell. Do you know that I had not even touched that toy in a year, at least? Yet as I was asked to give it away there was a strange clinging that occurred at the thought of having to part with this cute and cuddly toy. Everyone has experienced this odd and sudden connection to that item we don’t want to rid of. Why does this happen? Why do we place so much value in our items and our belongings when Christ says, “Look! In this field is buried treasure! But you must come see for yourself!” Sorry Jesus, but I’m too busy mourning the loss of my teddy bear to come look at your field (or flat screen TV, dream home, or whatever it may be). Alas, we are too quick to choose complacency and mediocrity over the greatest thing there is!

Sure, we’re ok with choosing to become a Christian, attend church on Sunday, give our 10%, write checks to those who travel for missions, applaud those who do “crazy” things for their faith, but that sold-out, taking-the-bible-too-literally Christian culture just isn’t for us. Or is it? What if that crazy, sold-out, taking-the-bible-too-literally is exactly how Christ tells us we should be living? Scary? It should be to those who don’t want their comforts tampered with. Now all of this isn’t to say that I am the fiercely obedient Christian that Jesus says we should all look like. Far from it. But I am saying that the reality of Christ has been exposed to me and it hit me directly in the face. It kind of hurt, actually. Jesus stepped up and started pointing to all of these areas in my life where I choose comfort, security, anything else over Him. God is a loving and gracious God certainly, but He is also a jealous God. He does not want me choosing His gifts over Him. That brings me to my next point.

What are we pursuing? When we say “yes” to Jesus are we choosing Him or His blessings? When we pray do we pray to get closer to Him or to get an answer from Him? When we give do we do so out of obligation or to be able to pat ourselves on the back, or do we give in hopes of blessing God? These are questions I have to ask myself. What am I ultimately after? The benefits and blessings of God, or God Himself? I pray this question catches in your throat the way it did for me. Because I think we do have it wrong, have it backwards. If the way is Jesus and not comforts, rights, etc., then shouldn’t I be after Jesus, not comforts, rights, etc.? Shouldn’t I be after the One who is able to justify, not His justification? Shouldn’t I be after the One who knew me before I was born, not His answers to my future-seeking questions? Shouldn’t I be after the One who is able to pardon all sin, not His sin insurance? Do you see what I’m getting at? It’s not that the offspring blessings of Christ are wrong, but when we are ultimately seeking those to bless ourselves instead of seeking Christ Himself, we are missing it! Christ is THE greatest thing there is. He and His Father are the buried treasure!!  We have to see this. We have to be willing to sell everything to gain the kingdom of heaven! O that God would remove the American Dream haze and untint our vision so we could see what we’re truly pursuing verses what God tells us to pursue.

I am grateful for my brief time in Haiti and pray for future moments there. I pray also for those reading this – that these words wouldn’t be read and brushed aside as something written in an emotional response to a “mission trip high”. I pray you hear the truth in what God is revealing to me and I pray that God begins to reveal those same areas to you. And maybe, God will turn things upside down for you. And maybe, we’ll see those comforts solely as gifts and not rights. And maybe, that will shift our focus from things to God and, in turn, from God to people. And maybe, we will begin to see the work that we were intended for all along. Just maybe. But we have to choose God. We have to choose Christ. And we have to stop choosing “me”.


This is another segment of a doctument that Courtney wrote for shelterwood… “Jesus really made himself known to one of our Shelterwood girls in Haiti. This beautiful girl struggles with food and weight issues and these had really intensified in the weeks leading up to the trip, so much so that leadership questioned if she should still be taken on the trip. The first morning we were there she confided in staff that during the trip she was going to remove herself from the center and not make the trip about her. This must have been just the remedy she needed to free her from the bondage she was in because during our time in Haiti our team got to see the lively and free


girl we all knew was hiding behind her chains. Praise God that the love of those beautiful orphans showed our Shelterwood girl that God is REAL and God is BIG – bigger than her problems, as she testified at the end of the week! The normally quiet and insecure girl has broken out of her shell and shared her story with the entire Shelterwood campus upon return and now volunteers to lead the girls house in prayer whenever she can. God is good! (pictures to the rights)



Finally here is a link to the slideshow i made for the trip. Please do not repost this publically. We do have confidentially rules at shelterwood so unfortunately i will probably have to make this link private in a week or two.

Haiti here we come

Thank you for all of your prayers, all of the money has come though, God is so faithful. And thank you for everyone who was able to support us financially, it is such a blessing.

It has been a lot of work getting everything ready but we are almost there. Please pray for safety, traveling graces, and for the ability to handle crisis as it almost inevitably arrises with our children. It has been snowing quite a bit so also prayer that our flight doesn’t get delayed/cancelled.

I really am overwhelmed by everyone’s amazing support/prayer for us. And I eagerly anticipate what God has planned for this trip. Can’t wait to share.

Love you all,

Brian f

Haiti and stuff

I don’t really know where to begin. Things have been hard recently. Not feeling at home in Missouri, missing my friends and family In Colorado, and work just seeming harder than ever. Everything kind of came to a head about a week and a half ago when I felt like we where on the verge of just quitting shelterwood and moving back to Colorado. Two weeks ago Courtney stepped down from her position as shift supervisor on the weekends and has been helping to coordinate all of the logistics for tr mission trip. This was a difficult but very necessary step. It has been a difficult position for her and things have just been building up over time. God was faithful, and we where able to have Courtney be kept on my shelterwood for the mission trip position. We are still trying to figure out what to do after the trip but we are taking things one step at a time.

We do still feel led to come back to Colorado, but I realized that my desire to do so a week ago was more out of fear(of being In Missouri forever) than because it was the right time. While I was at church the week I just had a very strong conviction that it wasn’t time to leave yet. I felt God saying, I know things have been rough but I have a plan. I also realized that a lot of my trouble has been brought upon myself. Like I complain and am frustrated that I don’t have a lot of friends or a strong community outside of shelterwood and its probably because I havnt really tried. So I signed up to join the worship team at our church and have been intentional in inviting people over from church to hang out, and I have been very suprised with how much of a difference it has made. Also felt convicted that I was really with drawing socially at shelterwood. I havnt been very relational recently which is not like me but everytime I try to be I just feel really uncomfortable. Granted I have had dozens of very unpleasant(to say the least) experiences with a lot of the kiddos over the last year and a half and I realized that thy had began to take a toll on me so I have been making a list of particular events that stood out from te last year and have been taking time to pray through them and forgive the people who wronged me. This could take awhile but I realized that if I keep holdin onto all this crap I won’t be able to love these kids let alone tolerate them much longer until I surrender these burdens.

Finally the long awaited mission trip is almost a week away. First of all I want to thank everyone who has been praying for us and this trip, we always covet yor prayers. Second a huge thank you to everyone who has blessed us with a financial contribution we have recieved $2900!!! We have just over a week to raise a couple hundred more, so please pray that God will show up and the money will come together in time.

Love brian

A new year

Things have a little challenging recently, today 3 people Courtney was close to left Shelterwood. One was a little who Courtney has been extremely close with for almost her entire time at shelterwood (she graduated). Another was a staff member who Courtney was close to (she also made our wedding programs). We have also just both been struggling with not feeling settled here in missouri.

We have been busy working to get the kids and ourselves ready for the upcoming mission trip. If you want a copy of the support letter we are sending out for the mission trip please reply to this post with your address, or you could also just send in a check addressed to shelterwood to 3205 N Twyman Rd Independence, MO 64058

Here is what our support letter reads… (it has pretty pictures to)

We have been in Kansas City for about a year and a half and have both been promoted to the position of shift supervisor at Shelterwood and we work weekends together. We have been married for just over three months now and are enjoying our life as newlyweds. We have been given the amazing opportunity to lead the Shelterwood mission trip to Haiti this year. We will be leading a group of about 30-40 kids and staff where we will work with kids orphaned by the 2010 earthquake. I, Brian, was able to attend this trip last year.  While our group was less than half of what we will be taking this year there was an incredible impact on the students who went and it was the therapeutic turning point for several of them.


The focus of our trip is simple – help these kids recover and rejoice again. Activities will include playing, singing, games and crafts. The simple act of loving these children, of becoming their family for five days is just like treating a physical wound. During our visit we will also have an opportunity to worship with the local church in Haiti, as well as be exposed to the sights and sounds of post-quake Haiti. We will also carry down clothing, shoes and other supplies that will be distributed to orphanages throughout Haiti.

I am so excited to see how this trip impacts the lives of these teens. While the students at Shelterwood are given various opportunities to serve throughout their stay, there is something special about traveling to a place where they have so little but love so much. It really makes you appreciate all of the things that are so easily taken for granted. I cannot wait to see how the Lord uses this trip in the lives of these teens.

One of the ways you can help us is to pray for the trip, the ministry we will perform, and the teens we will be taking. Only with prayer support will we be able to bless the children in the orphanage.

The other way to assist us is through your financial support.  The cost of the trip is $3200 for both of us ($1600 each), with airfare to/from Haiti. Your contribution will allow us the privilege of participating and is a tax deductible donation. If you feel led to make a financial contribution please make checks payable to “Shelterwood” and enclose in the pre addressed return envelope. (Please leave the memo/note section of the check blank)

God is transforming lives through the care provided to orphaned and abandoned children around the world. We are humbled to be joining Him in this work.

God bless,

Brian & Courtney Ferguson