Note: This is an update on Sahar's original story from 2017 found here.
Sahar* has faced unthinkable challenges in the 6 years since 2014. She had to flee her home city and say goodbye to family members for what she thought could be forever. Three years ago, her sister Nawal* moved over two thousand miles away to begin a new life in England. Her parents moved to the United States. Meanwhile, Sahar, her husband, and their young son had to stay behind as they were not yet approved to emigrate from Jordan.
Her son had experienced trauma and medical problems that caused early learning difficulties. One of our team members was able to raise funds for a surgery he needed and monthly medications he was taking to help prevent seizures. Through a very close friend of one of our Jordan team members, he was able to receive one-on-one tutoring and saw tremendous progress! He is now in good health and able to speak, remember, and attend regular classes in school.
A few months ago, Sahar's family received wonderful news! They have been approved to move to a nation in Europe. Soon, Sahar will live hundreds, and not thousands of miles from her sister and her family. Their children will be able to see their cousins again in the very near future! We rejoice with Sahar's family and keep them in our prayers as they embark on an exciting new season of life.
*Names changed for protection.
When Laurie first traveled to Haiti years ago, her eyes were opened to the idea that anyone could spread God’s love, even her! She immediately...
When Laurie first traveled to Haiti years ago, her eyes were opened to the idea that anyone could spread God’s love, even her! She immediately gained a passion and a heart for Haiti. Laurie and her husband began to sponsor a Haitian child through Compassion International. She was excited about the possibility of meeting her child face to face. When Laurie decided to take a trip to Haiti with GPPD in 2017, she asked our team and it ultimately worked out that they could meet.
When Laurie went to Haiti in 2017, meeting her Compassion Child did not serve as her sole purpose on the trip. As the team was organized, the trip leader asked each team member what their gifts and talents were, so everyone could serve in their area of gifting. Laurie shared that she loved to cook, clean, craft and sew. She soon found out that Amber (our Rev Home Director) had just purchased a new sewing machine, and the girls needed guidance on how to operate it. She was excited to guide these girls and use her gifts to teach them.
As soon as Laurie entered the Rev Home on her trip, she was immediately drawn to Desline, a young girl living in the Rev Home. Desline was shy and quiet, but Laurie was still able to talk to her and ask her questions about her interests and her future. Desline immediately responded, “Haiti is not like America, it’s not like girls can choose what we want to do with their future.”
When Laurie started teaching the girls how to operate their new sewing machine, another girl was so proud of herself when she completed sewing a small lavender pouch. She shared that a previous school teacher had criticized her sewing skills and told her that she could never make a living by sewing. At that moment, Laurie felt connected to all of the young women in the Rev Home and wanted to continue to teach these girls and help give them confidence in themselves and their futures. She felt a strong connection to Desline, and decided to begin sponsoring her after returning to the states.
The next year, Laurie returned to Haiti and led a Bible study and worship with the Rev Home girls. She wanted them to realize that their worth was in God’s eyes, not just through their gifts and abilities. Laurie saw a huge difference in confidence in the young women when she returned that year. “Each year the girls get older, and Amber’s influence on the girls continues to change their attitude and feelings of empowerment to chase their dreams,” Laurie says. “Having women my age on these teams, help the girls know that they are cared for, empowers them to be self-supportive and gets them excited about their futures.”
*This blog post is from our archive.
When Ian went to India this year*, God showed him amazing things that he never expected. It was his first time traveling this far from home without...
When Ian went to India this year*, God showed him amazing things that he never expected. It was his first time traveling this far from home without his family. From the moment he left Central Pennsylvania, God made it known that Ian and his team were not in control, but He was. Even though they had a set itinerary and a plan in place, God decided to lead them in a different direction and determined their steps. Their flights were delayed several times, they missed flights and their host in India’s father passed away, which interrupted a lot of their team’s plans.
The highlight of Ian’s trip, though, was getting to see the water well his relay team ran for in the Harrisburg Marathon that past fall.
“We traveled for a while on this rural dirt road and I have to admit I was a bit car sick,” Ian said. “All of a sudden, there was a group of people in the middle of the road. We came to a stop and I realized they were there to celebrate with us! We were received with laughter, shouts of praise, smiles, hugs, and handshakes. It was truly overwhelming and I had tears flowing down my cheeks as we walked across the field to the water well. There were about 100 people at the water well dedication to celebrate.”
The way that God worked through Ian in the unexpected experiences, the people he met, and the emotions that he had, were what made this trip to India one of the most amazing experiences he ever had. This trip was a reminder to Ian to not hold on too tightly to his plans, because God always has something better planned.
*This blog post is from our archive.
After Haiti’s 7.0 magnitude earthquake in 2010, God put a heavy burden on Scott and his family's hearts. The precious people there were hurting...
After Haiti’s 7.0 magnitude earthquake in 2010, God put a heavy burden on Scott and his family's hearts. The precious people there were hurting, and Scott was determined to help in some way. When Scott’s church took a trip to Haiti soon after the earthquake, Scott was struck with compassion for the children he met there. A few years later these same children became a part of our Haiti Rev Home.
After meeting many of the children in 2010, Scott decided that his family should sponsor a child. They started sponsoring Jovenel, and it was like he instantly became a part of their family in Alabama. In 2012, Scott’s whole family went to meet Jovenel for the first time, and they fell in love with him even more. Every year since, Scott’s wife Lindsey makes sure to visit him every summer for his birthday, and the whole Middleton family visits him every year for Christmas.
Scott, of course, loves traveling to Haiti to visit Jovenel, but he also has been to Jordan two times to partner with what God is doing among refugees. The first time he went in 2018, he was a little overwhelmed by the major influx of refugees in the Middle East. He also felt humbled and overwhelmed with love for them. He returned to Jordan again this year to care for more refugees.
When Scott isn’t traveling or visiting Jovenel, one of his passions is cycling. He’s been cycling for 10 years and sets up rides with his friends often. Last year, he had a great idea to combine his two passions: raising money for the Rev Home and the refugee crisis while he cycles. He set a goal to cycle in every county in Alabama and fundraise while doing so. Although he has had a few setbacks, and continuing his journey longer than expected, he’s still motivated to reach his goal.
“There are people in Haiti and Jordan that don’t have options that I do,” Scott said. “In Haiti, there is so much poverty and not many opportunities. If I can raise money to help provide education...I know they’ll begin to have more opportunities in the future.”