The US Wedding...
Wedding planning has many rewarding experiences involved, but overall, it doesn't make it very far on my "favorite things" list. The wedding ceremony itself, however, rockets straight to the top.
In some ways, this ceremony was very typical of Alexis' life - she's never been alone. There's always others watching out for her. Even in the ceremony there were five different ministries directly involved in blessing, advising, directing, and celebrating with her and Alain, and many others who laid hands on them and prayed for their marriage.
Wedding guests came from Haiti, Germany, Canada, and the USA - beyond New England friends and family flew in from Oklahoma, North Carolina, Florida, Virginia, Indiana, and Missouri. International and inter-state relationships have always been a part of Alexis' life. The fact that they would take the time and make the necessary expenses to be with us all for this special occasion really touched my heart. I'm so grateful for the wonderful people the Lord has brought into our lives.
Hurricane Maria kept some friends and relatives in Florida away. Several still were able to make it, though, and it was so wonderful to have them with us.
The sermon was entitled "Team Work Makes the Dream Work." I can't even tell you how many times I've personally heard Alain talking to or about Alexis and how they are a team and will work together in every aspect of their lives. Obviously, God was no stranger to their story.
Alain wrote a song to sing to Alexis during the ceremony. It was amazing. We all know Alain can sing and he did so beautifully, but the song itself was just amazing. The words were deeply inspirational and oozed his love for and commitment to Jesus and Alexis both. It spoke volumes to all of us.
Alain's pastor and Alexis' pastor both brought forth scriptures that spoke, not only to the couple, but to everyone in the church building. Paul and Cheryl, who have been host family to both AJay and Alexis in years past, coordinated everything having to do with the ceremony.
Pastor Lex somehow managed to bring light-heartedness to the ceremony. He spoke of marking one another as rings were exchanged. Alain and Alexis wrote such beautiful vows for one another.
For me, the mother of the bride, this was absolutely the most beautiful wedding ceremony I've ever attended. Yes, I'm certainly partial, but really - there was no doubt as to the presence of the Lord in that place.
I'll be sure to share some more pictures when the "real" ones arrive. These few are just a sneak peak.
It took a few days after the wedding for all of the festivities to end and to finally start getting some much needed rest. Now, it's back to work for me.
Meanwhile Back at the Ranch...
In Haiti, Hurricane Maria passed north of our coast and we were able to avoid the brunt of the terror. There were a few deaths reported, relative to flooding a lightening strike. Unfortunately, it doesn't take a full blown hurricane to wreak havoc on this underdeveloped land. I'm so grateful we were spared.
Between weather concerns and political turmoil, many schools in Haiti were closed this week. School was open at both campuses of MOHI.
There was a nationwide strike called, to protest the passing of legislation to start collecting some taxes in the country.
If there's one thing I've learned over the past 17 years in Haiti, it's that there are two sides to every story - and life is full of varying shades of gray.
All developed countries have systems of collecting taxes. The money to develop and maintain has to come from somewhere. Right? So, yes, it makes sense to enact tax laws in Haiti. On the other hand, Haiti (unfortunately) has a long history of corrupt leadership and it's common knowledge that money that goes to the government fills a lot of private pockets prior to accomplishing anything for its public citizens. Consequently, there is a substantial lack of confidence in the citizens for their political leaders. Trust takes time to establish. People have good reason to be concerned about what will happen to tax monies. There's also the fact that the price of goods will increase as a result and that will keep some people from being able to feed their children.
Would you join us in praying for the Haitian people and their leaders? What seems utterly impossible with people is possible with God.
The Hunger Challenge...
Lex and I are excited for MOHI to be a part of Mission USA's Hunger Challenge next week. We will be packaging food along with our friends in Akron, OH to help those in need of food in areas affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Maria, as well as shipping some to Haiti. If you are in the area, contact Mission USA to get involved, too! If you're not in the area, but would like to be a part, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to Mission USA to ship the bus, filled with food and supplies, to Haiti. Thank you!