Cassidy (left) and Heather (right)
Today, two faithful followers take a step of faith onto a plane headed to Haiti. Today, Cassidy Mejia and Heather Brown say goodbye to their families, friends, and familiarities of America to follow God’s calling to Haiti. After months of preparation and praying, this day is finally here.
Heather (25) is a native of Spencer, Iowa and graduated from UNI in 2010 with a degree in Criminology. She first visited Haiti in 2006 and returned five more times since. Heather first felt called to go to Haiti in January 2012 and spent many months praying about the decision.
Cassidy (23) made her first trip to Haiti in November 2012 but felt the Lord’s calling to Haiti for many years. After seeing Haiti with her own eyes, she fell in love with the country. Cassidy was born in Southern California, raised in Pella, and graduated from Northwestern College in St. Paul in 2012 with a degree in Youth and Family Ministry and Intercultural Studies.
Here are some of their thoughts prior to leaving for Haiti:
1. Why did you choose to go to Haiti?
Heather: Haiti captured my heart on my first trip, but I never thought I’d want to live there. On my fourth trip I felt like God was really calling me to live there long term, but I had no idea when that would be. Little did I know He would continue to call me loud and clear after that trip was over, and I have just continued to walk through doors that He keeps opening.
Cassidy: I’ve always felt called to Haiti ever since I was younger. I went on many mission trips through Third Church growing up, and through that, I developed a love for service to others. My third year in college I went on a two month long mission trip to Portugal, London, Thailand, Israel, and Southeast Asia. I graduated with a minor in Intercultural Studies (missions), and then the Lord presented the opportunity to go to Haiti with Many Hands.
2. What are you most excited for in Haiti?
Heather: I am most excited about the relationships we will build. Not only with Haitians but also for my relationship with God to grow like it never has before. I am so excited to learn more about their culture and worship together with them too!
Cassidy: I’m really excited to minister to the women and their plight. I am excited to build relationships with them and through that, I hope they will see Jesus. I also hope to connect with the people by learning their native Creole in order to effectively communicate and build relationship.
3. What are you most nervous about in Haiti?
Heather: I am most nervous about continuing to learn the language. I haven’t gotten to devote as much time as I would have liked to, so that will be the hardest part to start when we get there.
Cassidy: I’m wondering how I’m going to feel when I see the brokenness in Haiti.
4. What do you think you’ll miss most from America?
Heather: I will miss my family, friends, and church. And diet pop & energy drinks!
Cassidy: I know I am going to miss the relationships that I have in America, but I am very excited to tell everyone about my time in Haiti when I get back!
5. What scripture has brought you the most comfort/encouragement in preparing to go to Haiti?
Heather: My favorite verse is Hebrews 11:1 which says, “Faith is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see.” That always reminds me that my hope is in the Lord and He has everything under control. I also think of Matthew 6:26 – “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” This verse reminds me that God will take care of us no matter what we go through, and He will always provide exactly what we need! I have no need to stress!
Cassidy: Philippians 1:6 has been especially encouraging for me. “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” The Lord has started a beautiful work in Haiti and has also been strengthening me for the work that is about to be done there. It is comforting to know that He goes before me on this mission, already knowing how it’s going to play out.
As you can tell, these girls love the Lord and the people and country of Haiti. They have spent months preparing for this day, and we would appreciate you keeping them in your prayers as they adjust to a new life and culture far from home. Many Hands for Haiti looks forward to having two Americans on the ground to improve communications and care for mission trips that go to Haiti. The girls will help launch the new Thrive for 5 program which will care for children ages one through five. Through this, they will monitor the children’s immunizations, provide meals five times a week, teach basic health skills to the mothers, and nurture spiritual growth. Heather and Cassidy will also run an after school program at Pella Christian once the school year resumes.
Heather and Cassidy, “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.” We are praying for you!