Mark and Melissa Kauk are in Haiti for 5 weeks to assist with the work of MH4H. Mark recently transitioned out of teaching and coaching at Unity Christian in Orange City. Melissa recently transitioned out of 5th grade teaching in Murrieta, California. They married in 2019 and with their blended families have 5 children and 9 grandchildren. They currently live in Orange City, Iowa.
Joy overflows in situations that are usually not expected. Most people, me included, think ‘what joy is here?’, especially if you look at the big picture of Haiti. Individual snapshots occur often when intentionally seeking to see God’s presence in every situation. James 1:5 states ‘to count it all JOY when facing troubles’, yet I can’t say that I have chosen that emotion during difficult trials. Here in Haiti, hope runs high, consequently joy does overflow.
Here are a few snap shots of God’s GOODNESS and JOY overflowing…
Baby Bethany and Mom Nora
After the second time I taught, I offered to pray with any mama whose heart was heavy. I assured them that God does not hear my prayers better than theirs but that in God’s Holy word He states that “if two or three are gathered in His name He is there”. After the lesson, only this beautiful mama brought her baby Bethany over for prayer. Nora shared with us that her baby is 10 months (dis mwa) old and is not crawling. We prayed. These pictures above are from the following week, baby Bethany started crawling…JOY!
Tifi and Timoun Jwe (Little Girl and Children Playing)
One of my responsibilities while visiting here for 5 weeks was to open up the playroom and interact with the babies while their mothers had their class. Most Haiti children do not have toys or books at home. The children explored puzzles, looked at books, shared toys (or not!), rolled trucks, held baby dolls, all with curiosity and delight in their eyes…JOY!
PMJ Ladies/ Teaching
My joy continued each of the 6 times I had the opportunity and privilege to teach at the First 1,000 Days Program (Premye Mil Jou). Conveying the concepts of brain and cognitive growth, speech and language progression, and healthy social and emotional development was only achieved by my sweet young translator, Gainslande Previlus. (She speaks four languages at age 19!) Between the two us, we stated facts and practical applications while keeping them engaged with laughter and many questions…JOY!
House Dedication/Pastor Jean Missol
We had the privilege to be a part of a House dedication for one of the security goat herders, Makison, along with his wife, who is pregnant and due in two weeks, and their little girl. Jean Rene heads up the MH4H House Building and Safe Home program. Jean Rene started by having us sing a worship song to acknowledge God’s goodness and presence. He continued blessing the family with scripture and prayer. Tears of thankfulness flowed from Makison, the family was filled with joy as they accepted keys to their new cement house!
Pastor Jean Missol showed us the house he has been building for two years since being hired by MH. He thanks God for all that has been completed and was very grateful that we took the time to not only see his church but to see his house also…JOY!
Church starts at 6:30p.m. At 6:30, three of us from MH4H are ready with an eleven member MH4H team from Pella and about ten local children under the age of 11! By 7:30, more people show up and more worship team members show up and the heartfelt cry of worship begins. The few churches we have been blessed to participate in all have powerful worship, time to gather as a church body and lay trials and triumphs before the Lord. Some churches are more reserved, leading songs vocally in powerful worship. Some are like this Sunday Night church we visited. Sitting down or standing still is usually not an option. Worship is a full body contact experience with our Heavenly Father! It is a joy to see the children imitate their elders in worship. Seeing and hearing this I can’t help but think God’s heart overflows also…JOY!
There is severe poverty and tragic situations daily. I’m thankful to see simple but powerful JOYS that occur because of God’s love.