A Dance in the Haitian Moonlight

The May Haiti team led by Derek Hazelet is kicking off a Summer on mission. We will be with our Haitian friends for a total of seven weeks over the course of the Summer. Please pray with us as we invest in the children and the community in which they live. Check out the latest update from the team below!


May 27, 2012 – Day 1

By Tami Heim

Sometimes an image gets stuck to your heart and you know as soon you see it the memory of it will never leave you.

The 4:30 AM appointment to gather at Nashville International Airport arrives and so does the team of 18, each one a little groggy, but ready to serve. There’s a long day of travel ahead and I sense the team is up for the challenge. Derek Hazelet has masterfully planned the trip and it looks as though everyone has followed through on his or her delegated pre-trip assignment.

Baggage is carefully taped in orange and yellow duck tape. Many place the tape over the remnants of colored tape from trips gone by, but Casey Ball, Syndey Conquest, Bronte Deno, and Jaycee Polk adhere theirs with all the intentionality that comes from a person’s very first trip to Haiti. I smile. I know what will happen when they get there. I’m certain this trip will be the first of many.

All things go as planned, but one change brings us very good news. It turns out flights are altered and the whole team can now look forward to spending our first night in Jeremie – together. We thank God for the news and this blessing.

Dou Dou meets us at baggage claim in Port-au-Prince and works us through the crowd. Forever our hero, Dou Dou ushers us to our next flight, waves goodbye, and promises to see us around midnight. Once again he single-handedly drives our luggage 110 miles on roads and terrain that will take him at least 8-10 hours to conquer.

The guesthouse is a welcome sight. We unload and I hurry to distribute letters from my husband, Dale, to the local children who cling by the fence around our complex. They are thrilled and each one reads his or her letter out loud. The whole team finally settles in, prepares for dinner, and is happy to attend Sunday evening services with the children of Jeremie.

It’s almost dark when the bus makes it up the steep hill. The kids know the sound and many leave the service to come and greet us. There’s nothing like the expressions of children when they see it’s you and their uninhibited sounds of utter delight. Kids crowd the entrance to the bus. Next comes lot’s of hugs, lots of kisses, and lots of little arms reaching up eager to be scooped up for a big face-to-face cuddle. No one resists them.

Beatrice finds me. She is growing into a stunning young girl. I can’t believe how quickly she’s changed in just two years. She takes my breath away and in an instant, she perfectly fills my wide-open arms.

I give her a twirl and kiss both cheeks. I look into her big brown eyes and tell her softly and intently her Momma Cindy and Poppa Trey love and long to see her. I explain slowly how they think of her every minute of every day and ache to have her with them. In this sacred moment, I am the messenger. I experience this young girl’s joy made absolutely complete as soon as I let her know, Momma Cindy is coming soon. July. Momma Cindy is coming to be with you in July.

Beatrice squeezes me as tightly as she possibly can and then bursts into dance. She sings and dances off into the night.  I watch her image cast against a Haitian moonlit sky and I weep.

I think about the words of a book I read on the flight to Miami earlier this day.


The motive of a righteous heart is not to get away with anything.

The motive of a righteous heart is to be loved and to love.

~ Brian McNicol, The Cure


This is God’s gift to me on our first day and it’s one I’ll hold forever. Before I go to sleep, I give thanks to my loving Father. I praise Him for Cindy and Trey Emerson and their decision to obey God and make Beatrice their own. I ask Him to remove the obstacles that keep them apart and to bring her safely to them in His good and perfect time. I ask Him to do the same for every adoptive parent waiting. And finally, I thank Him for the privilege of being here and allowing me to share the moment Beatrice danced her dance of being loved and loving in the moonlight.

8 thoughts on “A Dance in the Haitian Moonlight

  1. thankful for people who paint pictures with words… i can see the dance.

  2. Gidget Stewart says:

    Let’s all join hands and dance the dance! I can hardly wait for Beatrice to dance her dance in Tennessee.

  3. Rose Niemann says:

    What a beautiful scene you have painted for me.
    Thank you and Praise God for his Blessings.

  4. Annemarie says:

    Wow Tami…you hv just painted “why we go”. Thx for answering the call so many times and living so well. And letting us share in the journey when we aren’t there. Lov u tons!

  5. Jerry Duncan says:

    Hi Cindy & Trey,

    First I want to thank God for all he does for us and give him all the Praise for the great love to fill our Hearts!!!! Next I want to Thank Tami for writing back and sharing the Love with all of us here in the States about their trip and Beatrice. What a joy it is to read and to have a tear of JOY in my eyes….. Tami thank you and your team for all you do and are doing to help the children. Cindy and Trey I thank you both for Loving on all your children!!!! I feel what you are giving and all of what I have missed. Thank you for filling my void. I Love you!
    Uncle Jerry

  6. Melinda Ysaguirre says:

    Oh Tami, Beautiful as I close my eyes, imagining the look of love on your faces and Beatrice’s sweet song to the beat of her happy feet dancing down the street.
    Missing Haiti so much…can’t wait to go back in October, embrace more love with kids in Northern Haiti.
    Eagerly awaiting the day we’ll travel and serve at your village in Jeremie…belts fastened and hearts linked together – {{15a 15b}}
    I hope you dance my friend…
    God bless you, the children, and every adoptive parent.


    • tami heim says:

      I love you Melinda. I am praying and believing for the day we ride the bus up the hill together. Thanks for coming with me in my heart and for all the prayers that brought us there and home again. LYI.

  7. […] This week our team uses social media to tell the stories of Haiti. We share our individual impressions on Twitter and Facebook. We pin on our Pinterest boards images reflecting what we feel when the words are too hard to come by. We take turns documenting the activities of the day and then feed them into the Long Hollow Baptist Church – Lot Of Love blog. […]

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