“It’s been so long.”

Those were the first words spoken to us as we stepped foot on the dusty grounds of Colladere, Haiti. Almost 1 1/2 years have gone by since last visiting our friends, and you could feel the weight of our absence within our first hug. It broke our hearts to feel that heaviness. The power of relationship superseded any gift we could have brought and our presence that day, was an answer to their prayers.

As a church, we have been learning to trust God with His plan for Haiti, not our own American dream. We spent time in the villages of Beganabe and Colladere and listened to the hearts of the leaders. Their everyday life, a struggle. The crops were wiped out and the chickens riddled with disease, but one thing remains… HOPE. They still have hope even in the worst of circumstances and truly believe God is bigger than anything they face.

In April of 2017, we said goodbye to our friends under a tree that was planted 15 years ago as Pastor Telius began his ministry. It was lifeless and wilted, and in our minds, hopeless. But as we returned a year and a half later, this tree was full of life and beautiful, a gathering place providing shade. It surprised us to see such growth and beauty from what once looked hopeless.

God has a way restoring hope, beauty from ashes. And He is doing just that in the lives of our friends in Beganabe and Colledere. Through the hardships and struggles, He is still making all things new and revealing Himself to all of us, drawing us closer to Him and each other. We are humbled by His grace and thankful for His undeniable faithfulness as we begin to dream alongside of our friends. Big, audacious, God-sized dreams that only He can get the credit for. Dreams of hope that only He can fulfill.