Filed under Missions

Haiti Update: Giving Matters!

How many times have you learned of a need through a sermon series like Crazy Love or Wrecked, felt moved and then dropped your gift in the basket only to lose track of the project altogether? Our desire it so keep you informed through the Love A Lot blog. By checking in with the blog on a regular basis you can see your dollars in action, respond to needs and keep up with Long Hollow mission teams as they serve around the world.

Here is an exciting update from Jeremie, Haiti where we are not only involved in orphan care but also church planting, discipleship and higher education. The following pictures of the new School of Joy and Administrative building are tangible representations of how God has blessed the partnership between Long Hollow and our ministry partners, ESMI, in Jeremie Haiti. As we are faithful to give, God is faithful to bless our efforts!



Christmas in Haiti: Part 1

By Tami Heim

Love and grace are the warp and weave of leading a team to serve in Haiti. This December is no different. Dale and I review how blessed we are by the individuals God calls to join our team and we depart knowing God is with us.

Twenty strong, each one arrives early Saturday morning. We take our first team photo on the other side of security. Leaving to serve and ready to love, is written all over their faces. Nine go for the first time. Their anticipation brings an added layer of excitement and the remaining members work hard to NOT share ‘too much’ about the adventure they are about to encounter.

Earlier, to help the team connect, we ask each member to write a bio and answer the questions: Who you are?  Why are you going? What do you expect? I tucked their responses in my trip folder. I read through each one again on the plane. I smile wondering how God will show up and show off His love this week.

Lewilson, my six-year old zanmi, becomes my photographer for the week. We walk the orphanage property corner to corner looking to catch love in motion. And that is exactly what we find when we see each team member in action.

As so this series of blogs begin. You’ll find in Haiti, compelled by love to go and wrecked by the God Who determines to reshape our hearts – to be more like His.

Carl Brewer: “I really feel God is calling me to break that routine and open up more in my spiritual life.”

Carl Brewer: “I really feel God is calling me to break that routine and open up more in my spiritual life.”

Shonda Brewer: “My hope is that God will reveal himself to me on this trip like never before and use me to touch the lives of these sweet children.”

Shonda Brewer: “My hope is that God will reveal himself to me on this trip like never before and use me to touch the lives of these sweet children.”

  Jennifer Deshler: “About a year ago, I reached a point in life where I was no longer comfortable being comfortable.” Jordie Deshler: “I can't wait to meet the kids, play with them, and do crafts together!”

Jennifer Deshler: “About a year ago, I reached a point in life where I was no longer comfortable being comfortable.”
Jordie Deshler: “I can’t wait to meet the kids, play with them, and do crafts together!”

Pamela Ferguson: “I'm a Haiti fanatic! I am a grateful believer in Jesus Christ and feel blessed that He keeps calling me back to Haiti.”

Pamela Ferguson: “I’m a Haiti fanatic! I am a grateful believer in Jesus Christ and feel blessed that He keeps calling me back to Haiti.”

Seth Huber: “I remember listening to the song "Hosanna" and after hearing the words ‘break my heart for what breaks yours.’ I prayed God would do that to me.”

Seth Huber: “I remember listening to the song “Hosanna” and after hearing the words ‘break my heart for what breaks yours.’ I prayed God would do that to me.”

The Fruit Found in Haiti

By Tami Heim with photography by Carrie Hayes

We behold another sunrise and bid bonjou to new mercies and the privilege to give our best again. Today is special. We go to love on the women who care for the children in Lundy. Jill Olund leads devotions and encourages us to lean into the extra strength God promises to provide, ” Let’s choose this day to love each other well.” And that is exactly what we do.

We sense the Holy Spirit empowering us to go the distance. We gather to pray and open our hearts to receive the mind and heart of Christ.

As we prepare to minister, I know there is one true thing about this day. It will be impossible to distinguish the glorious exchange between what we give and what we receive. We go to hear their heartbreaks, pray for their needs, wash their feet and lavishly bless them with the gifts only we can bring them.

The fruit of the Spirit begins to flow as soon as we arrive. The feast is so grand; it nourishes every one of us.


Love soaks and consumes us. It doesn’t discriminate or judge where it lands, but simply covers everything within its reach.


Kindness shows generosity and pushes good works beyond expected boundaries. Utterly inclusive, it forbids anyone to ever be pushed aside.


Goodness blesses others with unearthly holiness. Bringing rightness to all situations, it lifts others higher.


Joy explodes with expressions of gladness. Delightfully infectious, the volume of it can be heard in both doubled-over laughter and a quiet smile.


Faithfulness adheres firmly and demonstrates devotion and loyalty.  It’s evident a faithful God is alive and His presence is strong.


Gentleness assumes a considerate disposition, amiable and tender in all things.


Self-control works to replace ‘me’ with the Almighty ‘Thee.” It surrenders what’s easy for what is right.


Peace calmly synchronizes and brings harmony between what is soft and strong. It provides oxygen for the soul to breathe and soul to rest.


Long suffering presents beautiful transparency refined by the pain and suffering it has endured. Resting in the wrinkles of time it reflects inner beauty.

Oh, and the one thing I knew to be true – it was.

God’s Accomplishment

By Tami Heim


It’s not something you did that you can be proud of. Instead, we are God’s accomplishment, created in Christ Jesus to do good things. God planned for these good things to be the way that we live our lives.                           ~Ephesians 2:9-10, NIV


Everything about Haiti plays like a continuous loop from my head to heart. I memorize moments until everything about them is secure and I’m able to access them on demand. Bridging the gaps between trips, these memories sustain me and ease the ache of separation. On this day, I rejoice because right now, I am wholly here, filled up and ready to pour out.

I’m part of the team that doesn’t make it to Jeremie on our first day in country. Staying behind at New Life Children’s home in Port Au Prince, I see God has accomplished much in Haiti since my first visit in 2010. Significant progress is all around. Open spaces create gaps where endless rows of tents once lined the littered landscape. The difference is recognizable; the movement forward is visible to those who have been here in the past.

God’s handiwork surrounds us. What God is doing in Haiti is another one of His mighty works-in-progress. I give thanks He promises to complete whatever He starts and I am a witness to it in this country – right now.

We drive along the streets to the airport and I’m wrecked by the wonder of God’s massive plan to restore His people. Oh how rich is the mercy of our Father’s vision, the unwavering intentionality of Jesus’ mission, and the power of the Holy Spirit that equips us to do even greater things than He did.

Things continue to not work out as we had planned for the day, but we choose to not be discouraged by it. We know we are in on THE plan and each of us here has a role in it.  He is at work through us, advancing what He has already determined to do. Our mission team represents 27 willing hearts, in this place, on assignment, and everything we do right now – matters in God’s holy scheme.


Because of His deliberate purpose, I sense the indescribable measure of love and grace that covers me.


We finally make it to the guesthouse and connect with the rest of our team. We give thanks for safety, provision, and beds without bugs.

Sometimes days in this life are hard. The events and news they hold test us. But no matter how difficult, it’s impossible for them to exist beyond the reach of God’s grace. I’m emotionally tender and eager to go and be with the children in Lundy.

The truck makes it up and hill and I immediately see my little Sania in a pink and white dress, which is slightly torn, and a tad too big. I lift her into my arms as soon as I step off the bus. She softly sings Jesus Loves Me in her sweet and broken English. I sing along and the power of the words and the smile on her face break me to the core. Is it even possible to experience more love and grace than this?

Cheek to cheek I point to the features of the ocean and sky. Sania points to them, too and giggles. A perfectly timed breeze surprises and cools us. We breathe in and out.

I whisper in her ear that Dale is here, too. She lights up and quickly looks around the crowd. I point him out to her. She excitedly wiggles free and I watch her run towards him. Both arms sky high, she shouts his name and leaps into his arms. He positions her in the rightful spot on top of his shoulders. Now that she’s on top of the world, I watch Sania carefully position Dale’s sunglasses on her tiny face.  It’s lovely, precious, and as it should be.

I am aware how sacred this moment is to me. There’s no claim, boasting, or warranted behavior that’s earned the right for me to experience it. It’s the gift of God’s beloved Son that claims absolute credit for making everything about it possible.

I recognize I’m not designed to fully comprehend, solve or judge the mystery of God’s timing and what He chooses to do or not do. His ways are not mine – they are higher. They are best. I trust in Him with all that is within me. Perfect, holy, and true, I ask Him to keep me synchronized with Him – whatever it means, whatever the cost.

And so here I am in Jeremie, Haiti. I share this trip with my beloved husband, daughter, Zoe, and the remarkable mission team He assembled for this week. My arms are full and my heart is fuller.


God planned for these good things to be the way I live my life.

Thank you Lord for everything You are accomplishing, right now.

Uganda Medical Update

We have been doing clinic in Mbira Uganda for two days now. We have been able to care for many elderly villagers, 32 of our orphan children and 100 church and community members who wouldn’t have access to medical care without the team. We begin wide-scale village clinic tomorrow and expect to see about 400 more people over the next three days. We have been blessed with good health and energy, keep praying!


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To the Ends of the Earth


2 Corinthians 4:5-6: For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.


I write to you from a moving train headed to our next destination. Sitting directly in front of me and behind me are ladies wearing veils. A little boy is roaming the isles laughing and smiling as his dad just gave him a bag of snacks. Outside my window I see farmlands with clusters of homes sitting on them. There are rows of train tracks following alongside of us that will allow many others to get to their desired destination. My husband sits next to me busy working on some paper work. Life is in action. The sun shines bright and the clouds are placed beautifully in the sky. My ears are covered with headphones as worship music resounds in them. My heart is at peace… but, the lady that sits behind me and in front of me, the little boy roaming the isles, and the dad playing with him… they can’t fathom this peace, they do not understand the love and grace that is bestowed on us. My heart is overwhelmed.


2 Corinthians 3:16-17: But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom.


Our journey to the ends of the earth continues. We spent the last 10 days traveling to and from a small people group in North Africa. It took a long, hot, and uncomfortable train ride to arrive at the destination where we would take a long, hot, and uncomfortable bus ride to get to this people. It was a journey… but, a journey well worth it all. The arrival is always sweet. We are welcomed by beautifully placed mountains, rays of sunshine, and date trees strategically placed amidst the gardens. It is a dessert location. It was dry and hot. The streets were full of women completely covered in white and men and kids riding around on bicycles.  The kids were getting out of school so as the bus rolled into their little town and they saw Americans on the bus, the grinned, laughed, and pointed at us. After a small, gentle wave, their faces glowed as they waved back. The maison (hotel) that we stayed at was full of their culture and comforts. It was a joy to continue relationships with the sweet women and kids that would cook for us. Behind the veil is a woman. A woman of kindness, one who cooks and cleans, one who has emotions as we do, who is broken, who feels unwanted and desired, and yet shows hospitality and loves us as if we were her own. Cooking and eating with these women is such a joy. The walls and veils begin to break as they begin trusting us more. They laugh at how I try to speak their language and the innocence of not knowing how to cut potatoes as well as they do! At one point we got one of the younger girls to show us her gymnastics skills, the little boy laughed as he told us his favorite Mr. Bean episode. These people are real. They laugh and cry, they watch television and play on facebook, they fight with their school piers, and they have strengths and weaknesses. They have real hearts and souls.

Now continue your imagination with me and think of a people group made up of thousands of people in whom no one has EVER cared to pray for. No one has EVER cared to go to them and share with them this grace that we are able to FREELY embrace every single day. So, we went. We went to the ends of the earth. I can’t tell you that we saw life change. I can’t tell you that we built them a church or orphanage; I can’t even tell you that we shared the Gospel. BUT, what I can tell you is that we… for the very first time as a team, prayed for these people. My body just filled with goose bumps. Let me say that again… for the very first time, a corporate group prayed for these people! Let me tell you, there is power in HIS name and in HIS name alone. We begged the Lord would grant these people favor and bestow the same grace that He has given to us… to them.  Apart from Him, the Gospel will not go out amidst these people. So, for 4 days we walked the streets, we walked where they walk, we sat where they sit, we touched the walls that they touch, we heard the call to prayer that they hear 5 times a day, we rode bikes as they rode bikes, we cooked with them when their was a opportunity, we held and played with the children, we touched this place. Amidst the sitting, the eating, the walking, the biking, and hearing what they hear… we prayed. We prayed over their feet tracks and over their dinner tables, we prayed that the call to prayer would one day be replaced with worship music. We prayed for the very first time as a unit for these things for these people. And that is what I share with you today… the power of prayer. I believe in it. I have faith in it. I claim it.


These people have names. They have faces. Pray with me. Pray with me in faith knowing that apart from Him, this mission WILL BE impossible.


We do not DO missions… we are ON mission.

Nehemiah 1:11- O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayers of your servant, and to the prayer of your servants who delight to hear your name, and give success to your servant today, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man.”


Continue to Pray for us as we continue our journey here in North Africa. We will return soon.


Rescued by God

Blog Post by: Jenni Bolton

Declare his glory among the nations,
    his marvelous deeds among all peoples. Psalm 96:3

It was an honor to get to live Psalm 96:3 out during my time in Uganda, Africa. We set out
on July 4th. As I thought about the Freedom that was brought to America so long ago, and
the trip that lay before me, I couldn’t help but think about the freedom that God brought to
the World through Christ. This freedom is what compelled me to GO and “declare his Glory”
to the people of Uganda.

It didn’t take long before I fell in love with the precious people of Uganda. Our team
had the honor of staying at the orphanage in Mbira that Global Orphan Project and Long
Hollow supports.  One of my favorite parts of the trip was loving and building relationships
with the girls in the orphanage. They spoke great English, and loved just hanging out with us.
We met every night by candlelight for devotions. We laughed, danced, sang to the Lord, and
shared our stories of how God has saved us.  Every night different girls would pass me a
letter before I walked out. These letters were precious and heartfelt. They appreciated us
coming to show them love.  We came to love them, and in return they loved on us too. All of
these girls are orphans, but all of the these girls have been rescued by God.

We also had the honor of visiting the baby orphanage in Uganda. The precious babies there
stole my heart. When we rolled up, they came crawling, walking, and some running to our
van. One girl was crying, so I picked her up. She started to cry even harder at first, but
then she settled down, and wouldn’t leave my arms. Her name was Priscilla. Needless to say,
I fell in love. She was shy at first, but then I found the tickle spot, her feet. After that, she was
all smiles and giggles, I can still hear her contagious, sweet laugh.  All of these babies are
orphans, but all of these babies have been rescued by God.

We also had the honor of doing VBS at another orphanage down the road in a town called
Kyotera. There are lots of boys and girls here. Amongst all of them, the same two beautiful
girls kept hanging out with me, and holding onto me. They stole my heart. After many hugs,
laughs, and I love you’s, we had to say goodbye. This is where it broke me, one of the girls
that was clinching onto me, whispered in my ear, “Let me Pray for you”, and she bowed her
head and did just that. Wow, she was an orphan praying for me, but she was an orphan that
had been rescued by God.

I can’t help but be reminded when I have the honor to interact with orphans, that I am much
like them. I was once an orphan, far from God and living for myself, and He rescued me out
of darkness into His incredible Light. His rescue in our lives declares us orphaned no longer!

“ God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he
could adopt us as his very own children.” Galatians 4:5

We challenged the people of Uganda, those that have been rescued by God, to
be a light to their community, to share Jesus with all those around them. I want to
also take this challenge as I live life in my town of Tennessee. I love the words to
Brandon Heath’s song, “Give me Your Eyes”:

Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me your love for humanity
Give me your arms for the broken hearted
Ones that are far beyond my reach.
Give me your heart for the ones forgotten
Give me your eyes so I can see
Lord- Give us YOUR eyes for those around us, may you rescue all
those who are orphaned and bring them your freedom. 

Being Fluid

Photos and Blog Post by Jeff Armstrong

Excuse the hurried report, and poor sentence structure..the Wifi cuts in and out.. So I will try to type fast, and send quickly…
This trip has been a great experience. Every Day there has been a special blessing. Vivian Penuel celebrated  her birthday on this trip. What a special blessing she received to have the children in the orphanage sing her happy birthday. At Dinner Dou Dou surprised everyone with a birthday cake for Vivian, and then sang for her. His solo made a great video, a birthday she will never forget.
     Yesterday we went to see the 2 new churches that Long Hollow is building for the town of Bon Bon. What a privilege to see  how Long Hollow is making a difference in this community. Last night Pastor Dony, Pastor Nicolai, and Pastor Lionel spent the evening with us sharing the story of what God is doing here, and how we can pray and partner with them. We surrounded them last night and prayed for them.
    This is our last day here, and even though everyone is wearing down, and the heat is taking it’s toll, we all are excited and ready to work for the Lord. This team has been great. We learned the word “Fluid” this week. Being “Fluid” is better than being “flexible”, because flexible only bends so far. Where being fluid you can go with the flow. …

Jeremie: July 12th, 2012

We began our day with a tour of Jeremie – seeing the people along the streets selling and buying goods, all the way down to the dock.  There was a ship that had just come in with bags and bags of cement mix, so many of the men were eager to help unload and wheel the bags to their destinations.
Dou Dou pointed out some flat boats made out of what looked like large reeds that had docked to the side of the river leading into the Atlantic.  These boats are made in the mountains by villagers who pick plantain and float down the river to Jeremie to sell.  However, the flat boats never make it back up b/c they are too big.  The villagers go back up the mountain after they sell their goods and do it all over again!
After our tour of Jeremie, we enjoyed the rest of the morning at the beach.  Max went with us, so as we enjoyed the cool ocean water, we asked questions about Haiti’s government since they have a relatively new president, Michel Joseph Martelly, also known by his stage name “Sweet Micky.”  Along with being president, Martelly is a former musician and businessman.  Max shared with us the progress in Haiti she has seen and heard about since Martelly took office about a year ago.  Nevertheless, the progress is slow, but it made us feel good to know that she believes it’s a step in the right direction for Haiti.

Our afternoon was devoted to the orphans, since we would leave the next morning.  Naturally, it was a tough day.  We witnessed several of the older kids already distance themselves from us, leading us to believe they were guarding their feelings.  A few of the older girls asked me about the next group of LHBC members to arrive.  Knowing there would be some more visitors seemed to make them feel better about our departure.  The younger kids seemed to be especially clingy to us, which was understandable, so we poured on some extra TLC. 😉  The most difficult part was that our time was suddenly cut short.  

One of the ESMI staff, “Jean-Claude” was in a motorcycle accident just down the road from the orphanage.  He had collided with a girl who was driving on the wrong side of the road, and he suffered head trauma and a broken arm.  Jean-Claude is a close friend to Pastor Dony & Dou Dou.  His head injuries were more serious than the Jeremie hospital could handle.  Dou Dou would have to transport Jean-Claude to Les Cayes where the medical help is more equipped to take care of Jean-Claude.

Our good-byes were sad, but it was still sweet to hear the orphans sing and pray over us before we left.  Once we were in the van, we prayed over Dou Dou for Jean-Claude’s healing.  We could tell Dou Dou was eager to get to the hospital.  Our team continued to pray over  Jean-Claude that evening on into the morning.  We enjoyed our last meal at Pastor Doni’s home and started packing, as we would leave the next morning.  Over the course of the evening, we shared with each other what was going through our hearts with what we had experienced that week.  Several of us vowed to come back soon – some of the youth even wanted to come back during their Spring break next year, thinking of friends and family that they might take with them!  We were all changed and look forward to how the Lord will speak to us in the wake of our experience in Jeremie, Haiti.

Final Update From July Team #3

Blog Post By Trevis Smith
Wednesday’s VBS at the orphanage was a special one as we have a former orphan (Delphine) on our trip who wanted to share her testimony.  She shared with the kids her story of how she grew up in an orphanage.  She spoke about how she knows the situation they are in and some of the same feelings they have.  She said that looking to be adopted was not the end all, but that finding out what God’s plan was for each of them in the situation they are in right now.  Our lesson was led by one of the teenage boys (Stephen) from the Refuge Church, and he shared the story of Joseph and how God put people in his path to help him in the right direction and allowed God to speak through others around him to help him on the right path.  Dou Dou translated and in his own God fearing special way, he connected to the kids with the right words that quickly raised an “Amen” from the crowd.
We grabbed a snack lunch and headed out to Bon Bon to see the other church that Long Hollow had helped build.  Once we arrived at the destination in Bon Bon, we walked up the hill and into the Church building.  It should be completed in about a month.  Once completed, the ESMI plan of Church/Clinic/School will take place.  The clinic will be the next building to be built, so the community of Bon Bon can be ministered to in a physically healing way.  The building after that will be the school.  ESMI will provide an education for the town of Bon Bon that their children would not otherwise have.  The team gathered in a prayer circle and we held hands and prayed for the church building and the land.  We prayed that God would use this land and the people to proclaim His kingdom come in this country.  We prayed that any evil would be shut out and that the community would be receptive to what ESMI was doing for that community.  We prayed that His glory be shown and His will be done.  I told them that like Moses being shown the promised land, but not allowed to enter (even though the Bible states that his eyesight was still good and his energy had not left him) so we are able to see God’s vision for Bon Bon even though we may not be direct participants in the following through of that vision. We prayed that God would bless the hands of the workers and bless the feet of the future church goers. We prayed that God would work on the hearts of those who were to eventually be ministered to in Bon Bon by ESMI’s ministry.
That afternoon we led another VBS in the local church for the community kids and we finished the evening off by going back to the orphanage and watching the first movie in the Chronicles of Narnia series. The kids had been asking for “Une Aslan film” ever since we arrived and we were able to provide that movie for them, albeit only about half the movie was able to be shown as we lost power from the generator during the movie.
Even though the day was long and trying, it was great for our team to teach two VBS’s to two different kid groups and pray over the land at Bon Bon and end the day holding and loving on some kiddos as we watched a movie.  God’s work had been done, our hearts had been softened, and experiences had been shared that would never be forgotten. We were all piling up stones of memories that will no doubt be with us until our last days on this earth.