Back to Africa!!!! : )

Dearest Friends and Beloved Family-
Oh how I wish to be having a cup of tea with each and everyone of you, talking about the things that the Lord is doing in each of our lives, but a simple update/email will have to do.
First of all I want to thank everyone who has stood behind me in the last year as I ventured to Africa in May 2009 and then as I went to Haiti earlier this year. The prayer and finances has been a gift from God. Through these times God has continued to grip my heart for orphans, widows, the poor and the ones who so easily fall through the cracks unnoticed.
Shortly after arriving back from Haiti I felt the Lord prompting me that it was time to go again. (I am in a constant state of feeling like a little girl…What’s next Daddy? Where are we going next? What do You want to do?) He said Africa.
I applied and was accepted as staff for the Iris Harvest School in Pemba, Mozambique. This is the missions’ school that I took last year. The missions’ school and experience in Pemba impacted me for life; I can’t explain the excitement I have about leading others through something that impacted me so much.
I will be staffing for the Iris Harvest School of Missions from October-December. This will again be a 3 to 3 ½ month position.
What does being staff look like? Hehe…I’m not 100% sure yet! What I do know is that I will be a house leader. (There are several houses for students to stay in. Each of the girl’s houses hold about six girls and a house leader. I’ll be leader of a house.
I will also be a “color group leader.” Each student is assigned to a color group. I will be the leader of a color group…which I’ll be doing lots of outreach with. I’ll be leading my group out to the “bush-bush” for evangelism.
Along with these things I’ll be heading up two or more areas that help make the school run smoothly or that are mercy ministries. For example, heading up putting on new roofs for widow’s homes, tending to the gardens at the Iris base, doing morning announcements at class, etc etc. the list goes on.
I will be leaving the 23rd or 25th of September and am unsure of what my return date is. Though uncertain of what the details will look like, I know the Lord is sending me and so I’m excited to go. The Lord has given me a great love for Africa and the African people. I have so much desire to see the nation of Africa prosper and for the people to be saved and set free.
I want to invite each and every one of you to come along with me. What does that look like? I would love to pack everyone up and put you all in my suitcase, but I know that’s not practical. Although I know that if it’s God’s plan you will go…(see you there!)
But you can come with me in other ways and reap the fruit of this mission’s opportunity. I want to invite everyone to come along with me in finances and/or prayer. Getting to Africa to do mission work is quite expensive. I want to invite anyone who wants to be part of this trip to do so in two ways.
1. Finances: You can give either one-time donations or monthly support for the extent of time that I am gone.
2. Prayer: If you want to be part of this trip, but don’t feel led to do so financially, I am also asking you to consider becoming a prayer partner. When I am in different countries doing missions, I feel and know when people are praying for me. I desire to have as many people as possible praying for me while I am gone! : )
These are exciting times to be part of the kingdom of God. I pray blessing over each of you as we bring in His harvest together.
Blessing to each of you!
Carissa
My mom will be handling my finances while I am away so…
If you want to be part of my trip in a financial way please send checks to:

Carissa Marsh
c/o Janet Marsh
11100 Walrond Ave
Kansas City, MO 64137
*make checks payable to: Carissa Marsh*

For donations that need a tax deduction
Send checks to:

Siren Assembly of God
P.O. BOX 21
Siren, WI 54872

*IMPORTANT!
Make Check payable to Siren Assembly of God.
In the MEMO put: Carissa Marsh
Also, I’ll be keeping people updated on my trip when I’m gone. If you want to be part of that mailing list please message me back! : ) Much love to you all!
*Also, if you desire to come along with me in either finance or prayer please email back with your mailing address and also note your intentions so I can plan accordingly. : ) Thanks!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

My life in Wisconsin!

Hello all!
I realize that I have not updated oh what I am doing or on my life since being back from Haiti. So…hold on to your seats! I am not missing, have not fallen off the face of the earth and am not abducted my aliens. I have just been, well put bluntly, a little lazy.
In all honesty so much has been going on since I have returned from Haiti. There is so much simplicity when being in different countries. I don’t have to figure out work, I know my daily schedule, there are no worries for me about car issues, there isn’t as much daily stress with finances. All of that to say, it’s taken me a while to get my ducks in a row and get into a routine of my ‘missions in Wisconsin.’ : )
Well, upon returning from Haiti I spent over a month in Kansas City, Missouri. My original plan was to fly to Kansas City, spend a week, and then go to Wisconsin. Hehe. It wasn’t God’s plan. I kept on being detained, over and over again. Looking back I would have it no other way. Because of my extra time there I was able to spend so extended amounts of time in the prayer room. It brang much needed refreshment, the Lord spoke to me about ideas for the coming season, and I really enjoyed just searching Him out more.
I was also able to spend a week with my younger sisters while my parents went back to Haiti. At first I was frustrated that it messed up my schedule to go to Wisconsin, but I really took hold of the moment and made so many good memories with my sisters. I would have not changed that week for the world.
Again and again things kept on detaining me from my plans of going up North sooner…I finally realized that God isn’t into my schedual. : ) I relaxed and eased into the fact that I was just going to be down in Kansas City for a while, then was able to enjoy the plans He had for me while I was there. I enjoyed my family, was able to enjoy friends, took a ‘support raising class,’ has some work with my dad, then had an opportunity to go with two friends on a roadtrip.
Well…the word roadtrip raises excitement in anyone adventerous. I went with two friends of mine; Trisha and Johan. After four years of living in the states Johan’s visa was ending and he felt God’s blessing on him going to enjoy some of the beauty of the states. I was able to go with them and enjoyed it so. At first I felt bad going, there wasn’t any reason to go besides to enjoy God’s creation…no ministry purpose, no religious activity. But I really felt I was to go and that the Lord was just saying, “Carissa, I want you to just go and enjoy what I made…its ok to have fun too.”
So I went. The three of us took off from Kansas City. We saw fifteen states in eighteen days. We went to national parks, saw beautiful beaches in California, visited friends, pitched our tents, went hiking. We had warm days, we had cold days, we had sun, rain, snow and even hail…we had fun. At any given moment one of us would burst with squeals of delight, and have random, joyous statements of “Ya God! Look at what You did!” or “ God, it is beautiful.” Or just plain “WOW!” Time after time I saw God’s hand in the weather. I am still in amazement of the creation He has made. Through the trip God did so much in me. He drew me closer to His heart, taught me so much of Him, and healed places in my heart that I didn’t even know needed to be touched. In each in every one of us He did something special.
Upon returning to Kansas City my sister got married. There were many preparations, plans and jobs that needed to be done for her wedding on May 8th. I was very busy for that weekend helping her. She had a pretty little wedding outside and nice reception. Two days after that it was time for me to make my way up north.
And now I’m here, here in Wisconsin. I’m going where Jesus goes, it’s a daily laying myself down to live in His river, to live in His presence. I don’t know where I’m going for sure next, I don’t know how long I will be living here. What I do know is, God said this is my ‘walk by faith year.’ He also said it is a year of double portion. I am learning to listen to the Holy Spirit’s still, small voice. I’m learning to follow after His quiet lead, even when I don’t know where it ends up. His first step was for me to come home and to go through my possessions, getting rid of or selling things unnecessary to my life as a missionary. (of course I still have my ‘special box’ of things that I can’t part with. Sometimes being nostalgic is a pain. Hehe)
The things I do know is He keeps saying, don’t get Your roots too deep. You will be going again soon. I am learning to make a home wherever I am. Sometimes it is just having a little comfort with me (like my favorite orange blanket for my bed..or sleeping mat.) Through it all I’m walking in confidence that the Lord’s plans are good and I have so much joy being in them.
And so I continue in my pursuit after the Lord. I pray God’s abundance over all of you on this beautiful day!! Love you all!

Leave a comment

Filed under Haiti

Heading Back to Haiti

Well, it looks like we are heading back to Haiti.  We’re shooting for mid-June.

As you probably know, we have spent much of the past several months responding to the devastating January 12th earthquake in Haiti.  As part of this response, the Lord began to speak to Everett while at the Dezmon Fleury Orphanage in Leogane through the book of Nehemiah.  He spoke to him specifically about rebuilding the wall, both in the natural and in the spiritual.  He began to reveal His heart and vision for this community and the people of Haiti.

Through our experiences we have also begun to form many amazing relationships, one of them being with a church in CA called Cornerstone Fellowship.  We had opportunity to facilitate a team from Cornerstone getting them on the ground in Haiti to make connections and see how the Lord would have them respond.

As a result, Cornerstone identified 4 areas of ministry to respond to.  Their teams will be working in: construction, discipleship, medical and caring for orphans.  We have been asked to facilitate the rebuilding/construction project on the ground in Haiti for the summer, June-Aug.  This will involve transitioning Cornerstone teams, keeping the construction projects moving, ordering materials, building relationships in the community, training Haitians in safe building practices and caring for spiritual needs.

It seemed like the Lord was asking us to move forward in this, but we continued to pray and ask for confirmation.  Finally, we listened to Cornerstone present the Haiti projects to their church family via web stream.  When Chris, the Missions Director, introduced the construction portion as the “Nehemiah Project” we knew we were in.

So, we are stepping out in faith one again, believing God will meet us.  Part of me doesn’t want to go and face the heat, the uncertainties, the stomach aches and the sunburn. You can’t get the taste of car exhaust out of your mouth-ever- no matter how many times you brush your teeth. And what about the kids?  Then there’s the leaving behind all of the things you want to do and see and be part of.  There’s what’s normal and comfortable…..but then I think about all that God is doing; the 1,000’s that are coming to salvation, getting set free, having their hearts open to Jesus maybe for the first time, and still need discipleship.  I think of those that are still wreaked with fear and need healing.  I think of God’s heart for this nation that has been held in bondage for so long and I believe that this is Haiti’s hour of freedom as a nation.  This is the chance of a life time to see a nation transformed for the glory of God.  Then somehow all those other things don’t matter so much and I look forward to seeing God move and release His plans into this nation and into all that say yes to the call.  I look forward to seeing His faithfulness yet another time.  I look forward to His work in my life and in those around me.  I look forward to seeing the kids at the orphanage, and Bob our translator, and Pierre the driver, and the many others we’ve come to call friends.  Soon I look forward with great anticipation to seeing these wonderful, grateful people once again.  Thank you Lord for working in so many marvelous ways.  Thank you friends for all of your prayers and support.  We can not go unless we are sent.  Thank you for being part of our team.

Leave a comment

Filed under Haiti, Uncategorized

Technology

I’m realizing more and more how technologically challenged I really am.  Take something simple like uploading a disk of Haiti pictures onto this blog.  Do you see the pictures?  My point exactly.  Then there’s the whole facebook thing.  I know everyone swears it’s the absolute best way to keep up with all your friends.  Just facebook them you say.  Well, for some of us it’s not quite that simple. There are so many things to click and places to put in information.  What if I put something in the wrong place and the whole world sees something totally dumb?  aaargh.  They really should have classes on how to communicate in the 21st century- a place where pretty stationary and pens are optional.  A place where your elementary age kids likely know more than you do when it comes to computers and phones too  for that matter.  One day I’ll figure it all out though and I’ll fill this site with pictures and tidbits of profound wisdom so look out.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

CDTI

While out one day our translator, Bob, did something very unusual. Even though we were on our way back to base for a meeting, he hopped out of the car and told us to follow him. We ended up at CDTI, a hospital we have helped send many teams to.  The guard let us in. The courtyard was filled with staff and patients that day. Heartfelt words were being shared with the crowd of wheelchair bound patients, amputees and those that were sporting casts, bandages and wounds of various types. The hospital was being closed for lack of funds.

As I looked around I couldn’t hold back the tears that quickly welled-up and spilled over. I was looking at the best the devil had to offer…destruction, homelessness, infirmity of every kind, broken bodies and broken lives.  But in the midst of it all, the best of the church came forth. I listened as stories were told of the miraculous ways God intervened in peoples’ lives.  Before we knew it the room burst out in songs of praise. The home made instruments came out- a pop bottle of rocks, a drain rack and stick, some shakers. What a beautiful sight to see peopleof different races and tongues rise above hopelessness and with one voice praise the Lord. How He must be smiling! It was how I imagined heaven. Soon there was dancing and a man came up to me and said, “Don’t cry. Be happy. God has done so much.”  Soon another man came up and in broken English said over and over, “When you get back to USA tell them, from the youngest to the oldest, THANK YOU. America was the first to help us. Please tell everyone from the youngest to the oldest, thank you so much for helping Haiti. Thank you for all you have done”.  It was a powerful time.  One that will always stay with me.  I have a new revelation of what the prophet Isaiah meant when he he said: is this not the fast I have chosen:  To loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke?  Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; When you see the naked, that you cover him, And not hide yourself from your own flesh?
Then your light shall break forth like the morning, Your healing shall spring forth speedily, And your righteousness shall go before you; The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’ “If you take away the yoke from your midst, The pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
If you extend your soul to the hungry And satisfy the afflicted soul, Then your light shall dawn in the darkness, And your darkness shall be as the noonday.
The Lord will guide you continually, And satisfy your soul in drought, And strengthen your bones; You shall be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
Those from among you Shall build the old waste places; You shall raise up the foundations of many generations; And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach, The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.

What a promise.  Rise and shine.

Leave a comment

Filed under Haiti, Uncategorized

Back to Leogane

Through a series of events we were asked to assist a team from a large church in California into Haiti and help them to establish connections and get them oriented on the ground. So, March 27th found us on our way back to Haiti. This time it was both Everett and I. We met up with the team of three in Port au Prince and spent the next several days meeting pastors, ministry leaders, visiting orphanages, churches and lumber yards.
We spent an entire day with Pastor Kelly at the orphanage in Leogane. The kids flocked all over Everett since he had already spent so much time there ministering the Fathers heart to these little ones that had lost so much. When the kids found out I was “Mama Carissa”(ie: Carissa’s mom)  they quickly showered me with hugs, kisses and smiles that transcended cultures and communication barriers.

Leave a comment

Filed under Haiti, Uncategorized

Baby Charlie

Baby “Emanuel” Charlie was brought to Pastor Kelly’s orphanage a short while before the quake. Because they had such little experience with babies that young, a nurse had come to the orphanage on January 12th to teach them how to better take care of this crying baby. It was a very hot day, so they all went outside (a very unusual event) to learn about feeding and burping and the like. Then disaster struck and every building on the property lay in a heap. Had it not been for little Emanuel all of the children would have been crushed. God was surely with them.

Leave a comment

Filed under Haiti