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Give Up To Give In

“First day of a new month. The beginning of lent. And the perfect time to take some time to become a better Krystle. Taking time to make sure I can grow and maintain in certain areas. One area at a time. Some won’t understand and others may. Some will judge, and some will wish me well. But at the end of the day, sometimes you have to do what’s best for you. You can consider people your whole life, and miss the mark in areas that concern you.”

These words are directly from my personal Facebook status that was posted the first day of Lent. As we approach a new month, new season , and season of sacrifice; I have personally decided to take some time off in certain areas to ensure that I’m in a certain place in my life. I’m not taking a break from writing and from investing into the business, but there are some areas that need less time. Rather, less of me. Less of me, so that I can put more time and energy into Krystle, and the things that concern Krystle. There are times where we invest so much time and energy into other people and into things, which causes us to lack in the areas of our own  being. I’ve come to the place where I realize that I haven’t invested enough time into Krystle. I’ve done things for Krystle, but things that weren’t always healthy or place me on the correct path. All of the energy that I’ve invested wasn’t always positive energy.

When I initially decided to take a step back, I had one area specifically in mind. But as I began to think within this month, along with the events that had taken places between the last few months, I realized there were other areas as well. I began to notice that a break from certain relationships was best as well. No romantic relationships, for those who had any ideas lol. Back to the point, I realized communication between myself and others just hadn’t been great. Misunderstanding after misunderstanding.  It’s so important to understand that when issues constantly arise, chances are it’s isn’t always the other party. And that should cause you to take a deeper look within yourself, to really get to the root of it.Why is there so much conflict? What am I doing, what’s my approach, what am I afraid of? All questions that rang in my head as I began to think about this situation. We all think we are pretty decent people. I think I am. But I know for a fact that I have qualities that I don’t even enjoy having. Qualities that aren’t always so positive. On the other hand, I’ve noticed there’s built up frustration because in more cases than one, I feel as if I consider others within the bounds of friendships and I don’t always get the same in return. Or am I really just expecting too much? Also, questions that popped into my minds as I realized I needed to take time for Krystle.

There are times when life won’t always be smooth. As much as we would like for it to be, some times we come up against different bumps. It’s just a part of life. However, we have to be wise enough to know when we need some time to reflect. Time to really search and look deep within to find the unanswered questions in order to become a better person. I for one, want to become a better person so badly. I don’t desire to stay on the same level that I’m on now, in all areas of my life. Therefore, I have to take action and do what it takes to become a better me. So as I intend to take time to pinpoint those areas I need to grow in, take time to pour into myself, and take time to grow; I encourage you to do the same. No one is perfect. We all have areas we need t improve in. Let’s not deny them any longer, rather take action to becoming better! Let’s give up some things, so that we can give in to ourselves to grow.

Faith That Takes, Not Waits

When I heard these word spoken by an evangelist in church this past Friday night, it spoke directly to me and my spirit. As she talked about the woman with the issue of blood from the bible, she said how she was the only one who received a miracle without permission. Most stories from the bible, you hear people asking Jesus to heal them. In the woman’s desperation and faith, she reached out and touched Jesus’ garments and was made whole. She was healed. She took a leap a faith, without anyone’s permission and got exactly what she was seeking.

Now, let’s take this story and apply it to our everyday lives. How often do we have things that we desire, our goals, our dreams; and just wait for it to happen. Just sit and wait as if we’re waiting on permission. We’re waiting for the approval of others. Or maybe waiting to be recognized for all of our desires to come to pass. The more we wait, the less possibility we have at actually getting those desires. This woman knew she couldn’t wait any longer. Her life literally depended on it. So she went out and took what she needed to live.

Our purpose and our destiny is what we need to live. Living out our calling is what we need to live. Instead of sitting and waiting, we have to get up and go get what belongs to us. We have to go out and get what we need to survive. I don’t know about any of you, but I want that kind of faith. That kind of faith that just takes it. That faith that doesn’t depend on the thoughts, opinion, words, and recognition of others. That faith of desperation. Knowing that my life and the lives of others depend on me fulfilling my purpose. Some things we just can’t wait for, we have to just have enough faith to take it! Whatever your “it”is, go out and get it!

-XO Miss Jones

LMJ Second Annual Scholarship Benefit Recap

On Tuesday, December 27, 2016, we successfully hosted our second annual scholarship benefit! LMJ is a strong believer of sharing ones experience in order to connect and help further the growth of someone else. And this is how the scholarship benefit was created. Going through the process of college, I know firsthand what it’s like to not be able to pay tuition. College is very expensive. Period. Knowing what it felt like, it was my intent to create opportunities to help others in areas that I could’ve used assistance. I wanted to be able to be a blessing financially to a few college students, to help alleviate the financial strain they may experience.

December 19, 2015 was our first. Seeing its effect, it was only right that we continue and make it an annual affair. It’s not easy putting any type of event together, but knowing that this was bigger than us, pushed me to do it anyway. The purpose of the event was to celebrate these college students for their accomplishments. The first step being, making the decision to further their education in order to pursue their dreams. It was intended to be a night of sharing, educating, honoring, educating, and connecting with others. And I must say, it was a success.


The event was hosted by author, poet, and content creator Church Johnson. Which is a product of networking and making connections. Intentional connections.

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There were two speakers; Asha Boston, Director of The Dinner Table Documentary (a documentary geared towards changing the perception of black women in media. Also offering high school and college workshops centered around self esteem) and Schoquilla Coleman, Founder and CEO of Golden Life Resource Center (an organization that encourages and promotes educational growth, financial stability and positive mentor ship in youth). Both of these ladies have succeeded after going through the college process. They are an inspiration to many, and needed to share their experiences. In order to let the candidates know that they too can make it, and also to show others how they can contribute to the lives of our young people.


There were two incredible performances by amazing artists, ART Music and Lynette Rhett-McNeil. Both blessed us with their amazing gifts.

We honored Ska-Keya Flenory, who tirelessly dedicates her time and service to NYC Public Schools, along with Sheneya Wilson, who recently graduated with her masters degree in accounting and is on her way towards obtaining her phd at the age of 22. Their hard work is inspiration to others.

Raffle prize sponsors; award winning author, Nigeria Lockley, Michelle Dwight Designs, and Elle and Johns body products.

Other sponsors include; Jennifer Johnson, CEO of Campus Essentials (donating care packages to our winners. Innovative Music Inc (silver sponsor). And BCAN2SOC (Brooklyn Community Acition Network To Save Our Community) our double platinum sponsor!

Excellent food provided by SWB Catering.
Lastly, we acknowledge our 2016 LMJ Scholarship recipients! First place, Sherqwanna Laws. Second place, Niesha Georgeon. Third place, Candace Rose. Fourth place, Naomi Georgeon. We are extremely proud of these young ladies. And because of your help, we are collectively able to make an impact in their lives. They all have their own stories, their own struggles; but we were able to make a positive impact. We thank you all for your support.

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To view photos from LMJ’s Second Annual Scholarship Benefit (captured by PhotosByCeeJay) click here.

2016: Letters From The Heart, Pain And Gain

I can honestly say, this has been one of the hardest years I’ve had to endure. There was so much I experienced. From lost, to pain, to unnecessary situations that I’ve placed myself in. It was almost as if this year threw darts consistently at me and those around me. Never ending cycles of pain or struggle came up against us. Things and situation that felt unfamiliar.

 

Towards the end of last year, coming into this year my grandmother was constantly in and out of the hospital. My grandmother suffered from many different medical issues, but this time was different. It began to look bleak and she was slowly slipping away. Being rushed to the hospital, being released, and going right back.

 
During this process, my father had a heartache. If he wasn’t taken to the hospital at the moment he was driven, it could’ve been much worst. He could’ve possibly been gone. my family and I spent Easter Sunday in the emergency room. He had to get a procedures done and was admitted. The next day I had a job interview. For position I never sought out at my job. The position I wanted at the time wasn’t available, so this was a great opportunity. Even with my anxiety considering my fathers condition, I went to the interview and went back to the hospital after. Everyday that week after work, we found ourselves right in the hospital. My mother was dealing with what she was dealing with with her mother, but stood my fathers side. And upon his release we made sure they got away to get some rest.

 

A few weeks later, my brother in law was taken to the hospital, and it was said he had a heartache. This came at one of the moments where my grandmother had another bout and was in the hospital yet again. At this point, I immediately felt like too much was happening with the people around me. It was scary to say the least.

 

During this struggle, I managed to get that new position at work. I accepted, and the very same day I was offered the position I always wanted. It took me for a loop. And it frustrated me that the position came once I accepted another. Although the position I wanted had perks that the one I accepted didn’t, I ultimately feel like I made the right decision. But didn’t realize it in this moment.

 

The end of April, we were called to the hospital for my grandmother. The doctors said it wasn’t looking good. She was slowly slipping. That day in the hospital was sort of traumatizing. A day I’d never forget. It almost feels like that was the moment we lost her. It was almost as if I watched my grandmother lose life right in front of me. And as I write this, I find myself back in that moment fighting back tears. That’s a pain I wish on no one. This is something I very rarely talk about. The emotions I felt in that very moment, are emotions that never leave. She became unresponsive and it was like something out of a movie. The events after are unspeakable. But she was in a non-responsive state after that. And we didn’t know when she would go. Going to visit her almost everyday, not knowing if she knew who I was. Wishing in those moments that I did more, that I made sure I was around more. But what hurt the most, was knowing I wouldn’t get the opportunity to do more from that moment on. So being there was all I could do. After work, making sure I went as much as possible. About a week and a half after that Sunday, in the wee hours of the morning, we got the call that she transitioned. It was a few days before Mother’s Day, and a few days before her birthday. We all thought she’d make it at least until her birthday. Well we were hoping. So we had a week to prepare for the celebration of her life, which my family decided should be on the day of her birth. That was a process, I never experienced. Going to the funeral home to look at caskets. Just something I wasn’t all the way prepared for. It was a huge blow for my family. To see my mother, the strongest woman I know, in this state of pain of also hard. But all I had were memories. I talked to my mother about the past with her. Still wishing I created more memories. I loved my grandmother with all my heart, and hoped she was still here to make us laugh in an instant.

 

Through this process, I experienced the most difficult months at work. I seriously contemplated quitting and inquiring about the position I originally wanted. I felt like this just wasn’t for me, because of things that came up against me. It caused me to question myself, but also question God. Because I felt that He’d place me there. I now realize it was a moment that only made me stronger.

 

After these moments, I experienced something that I’ve always wanted to. I was given the opportunity to leave the country on a missions trip in August. To have been able to spend my birthday in Haiti, meeting amazing young girls, and learning new things was beyond amazing. I felt like this was the catalyst for the shift of the rest of the year. Knocking things off of my bucket list and experiencing something like this. I can honestly say, it’s been one of the best birthdays I’ve had so far. It wasn’t about me, but what I had to offer on this trip. Something God gave me. And I’m forever grateful for being able to be exposed to this.

 

After celebrating my birthday and two official years of blogging, two media outlets reached out to me for an interview. May not seem like much to others, but being recognized without having to necessarily seek out the opportunity, is amazing to me. It shows that someone saw the work I was doing, and recognized it. Women Cultivators and Lady Boss Blogger were the outlets, and I’m grateful for those opportunities that showcased what I’m about and allowed a new audience to see it as well.
Looking back, I’m also grateful to have been able to speak and facilitate a workshop at a school about Black Culture and The Media. I told myself I wanted to travel more, I didn’t do as much as I’d like, but I went to Philly twice, went to Atlanta, and went out the country to Haiti. For people who travel often, that’s not much. But it was a step for me. This year, I also celebrated both of my parents 60th birthday. A huge milestone. Many don’t reach that age, and my father could’ve legit been gone after his heartache. And my mother could’ve been broken to pieces and unable to come back after she lost her mother. I decided to do a photo shoot, as a sign of freedom and greater to come. And that was a great experience in itself. Not just for great pictures, but for the encouragement I received that day. In August, had a successful youth conference. This was big. God showed Himself amazing.

 

After the shift, my other brother in law was sent to the hospital for a very serious heartache. After my nephew (his son) had to endure surgery for scoliosis. My nephews surgery was a success, thank God. My brother and law had to get open heart surgery. And that was a lot on my sister and family.

 

And weeks later, my brother was tragically gunned down and killed. If this year hadn’t brought on enough, this happening in October added to the pain. This was the most unexpected thing to have happened. I was supposed to call him that week, and to know that I’d never get to hear or see him again, hurt. Still to this day, I’m not able to listen to any videos of his voice. It’s too much for me. And despite our back and forth relationship, this was my brother for real. Always looked out. Always there.  

 

After this, I was so ready for this year to be completely over. I was over it. There was too much lost. Too many blows. I just couldn’t handle anything else going wrong. So many deaths in one year. Even those who weren’t family or as close, it hurt me. Because I know I should’ve done more to be connected. This year I decided to go to therapy because of what I experienced last year. But this year, that very think just kept being thrown at me. I got myself in extremely crazy situations. Things that aren’t even like me. I was pushed to give up relationships, when I didn’t want to. It was just lost and pain.

 
However, I can honestly say, these moments showed me how important it is to truly cherish every moment. It showed me that it’s imperative to be present and express and show love to those around you. All of the blows this year pushed me to end this year on a good note. It pushed me to want to be great. Because I know what those I lost would’ve wanted for me. I couldn’t stay down. The pain is still there, but it pushed me.

 

One thing I set in my mind to do, something I was honestly going to cancel, was the LMJ Scholarship Benefit. I knew this was something I needed to do. Not just for Krystle, but for others. For the young ladies that were awarded the scholarship, for those who have gone through and think they have to become stagnant, for those who need guidance and inspiration. I had to push beyond my limits to create a way for someone else. To create platforms for other people. To allow people to connect that wouldn’t normally connect. It wasn’t until after the event that I realized just how necessary this was. How powerful it was. When you go beyond yourself, It’s still possible to gain. Even through your pain. This has been an incredibly tough year, but I was able to see the handiwork of God. There are areas of life that wouldn’t be the way they are if we didn’t experience these tough moments. And although sometimes it felt like it, all wasn’t necessarily lost. There was still a bit of hope left. God was right there in every moment, and working on our behalf as well.

 

And although I placed myself in some of the worst situations, God also placed me where I needed to be. I attended a few events, where I know God orchestrated it. He placed me around business women that showed and taught me that I don’t have to compromise my faith to be successful. This was huge for me. Because I found myself compromising in too many areas. And I’m now at a place where I know for sure that I don’t have to. I can’t afford to. And through this, my faith is increased. Being pushed by my pain and being exposed to certain things has given me faith. Faith to make moves. My theme for 2017 is faith moves. I can do nothing aside of God, and my faith and trust is completely in Him. I’m pushed to take the barriers that I’ve placed on myself off. Going beyond the limits. Regardless of what’s in place, now’s the time to give the world what it needs.

 

This is an extremely long post, but this is straight from the heart. My thoughts. I just want to encourage you to allow your pain to push you. Allow God to show you His handiwork in the midst of struggle and hurt. Get to the place where you can be stripped, but still see God. See that it’s possible to come back after lost, pain, and struggle. See that through all that you experience, God is developing something in you. Something that someone else needs. Something that causes you to increase your faith enough to move. This post may not be in the best order, but I need you to see something raw. Feel where I’m coming from, so you can relate. So we can come up, grow, and move together! Even through your pain, you can gain.

Wishing you all a safe, prosperous, and healthy year New Year. Full of faith moves!

-xo Miss Jones

The World Needs You

Four very simple words, that carry so much weight. So much power. These past few months I’ve been reminded by a friend, that the world needs what we have. There are times when we are aware of what we have, but we don’t always know how powerful it is. And how much someone else needs it. We’ve all been gifted with something. We all have a talent, or something that we are skilled at. These particular things aren’t given to us, just to say, “hey, I can do this…” or “I have this idea…” And leave it there. There are people literally waiting for what we have. Our gifts, talents, and abilities are far beyond us.

 

Often times we sit on what we’ve been given, for several reason. But now is the time to breakaway from those thoughts and get up and make things happen. As many of you know, I have my bouts with insecurities. So there are times where I know I’ve sat on what God has given me. I know I should be further along with my writing, and there are projects outside of my writing that I need to begin. But I’ve been sitting on it. There are times where I feel like, I’m not good enough to complete it. Or maybe I’m just not ready to put it into action. So instead of taking steps towards where I need to be, I just sit back and chill.

 

It’s been quite some time since I’ve actually written consistently. It’s often that I’ve used time as an excuse, since my new schedule with work. Or because of the many downfalls this year has brought on. But I’ve realized one is often moved by realizing what God has given them and the effect they have on others. Within these past few months, others have shown me just how much I need to get my head back in the game. Which has ultimately caused me to strive to take what I have to the next level. I’m reminded of the ways that I’ve heard how I’ve helped others using what I posses. The steps that people have planned to take after reading an article or bearing a piece of my story or someone else’s story I shared. But there has to be a greater level to that, so that others can be drawn and lives can be changed. Because I’ve seen the effect that I’m capable of having on others, I know how much the world needs what God has given me. And not on the current level I’m operating in. There’s a next level, because more people need what I have. More people need to see my words on paper, hear my experiences, and see how I’ve overcome.

 

There are so many of you that have hidden gifts and talents. Powerful gifts that the world needs. Something that will ignite and spark change in someone else’s life. It’s time for us to tap into our abilities, and operate in its full capacity. No, it’s not always easy. But trust, you’re not the only one. We all experience doubt and negativity, but just think about what you’ve been able to do on a level of mediocrity. If you’ve been able to touch just one person, imagine how much more you can do when you put your all in and go forth with no fear. We have to, there are way too many people waiting for us. And when we drop the ball, we fail them. Let’s get our heads back in the game and pull others up with us.

-xo Miss Jones

Believe In Your Gift

If you don’t believe in what you’ve been given, who will? The question that’s been floating around in my mind for quite some time now. Too often we have gifts and ideas that we just sit on. We sit on them, waiting for the right time to execute. Or we wait because we don’t feel like we’re not in the right position. Then there are those times where we doubt our gifts, and feel as if it’s not good enough. But is there ever a perfect time to pursue our dreams using what we’ve been given?

These past couple of weeks have pushed my thinking a little further. I’ve been put in situations where I literally had to question if I believed in myself and in my gift enough. The place I’m currently in is not the place I’m supposed to be in, and that has a lot to do with the way I use what I’ve been given. About two weeks ago, I was in conversation via email with someone about an opportunity that I wanted to be involved in for quite some time. The person I was conversing with, went really hard about whether I’m qualified for the opportunity. To be honest, my first thought was to just back down. I then had to tell myself to get it together. I’m not where I want to be, but I’m nowhere near the place that I started. I’ve worked hard to get to where I am, and I refuse to allow someone to think that I’m not good enough. After I checked Krystle, I finally replied to the email, not knowing or even worrying about the response I’d get. I then received an email letting me know that the opportunity was mine. 

The only reason I was able to get this opportunity is because I believed in my gift and my ability. I reminded myself of who I am, and what I have. And I stood firm in that, with confidence. Too often we doubt ourselves and possibly allow opportunities to showcase what we have to slip right out of our hands. 

This is one of the post important steps to fulfilling our purpose, believing in ourselves enough to show up. There’s room despite how you feel people perceive you, or despite the negative thoughts that often try to crowd your mind. It’s important that in those moments, you combat it immediately. Positive affirmation, confirming who you are will begin to shift your thinking. 

I wrote a post this week on Instagram that read, “you secure your seat at the table when you show up.” All we have to do is show up. Regardless of the questions, whether others think we have the qualifications or not, and despite the doubt. Allow your belief in your gift to overpower that, and just show up. And this is exactly how your passion will be fulfilled. You’ll go far beyond the place you thought you’d go. You’ll reach far more people you could’ve imagined. All because you dared to believe and show up.

Again, believe in your gift enough to show up! Blessings, 
-xo Miss Jones

Release, Lay It Down

As you can see, it’s been a little while since I’ve written anything. I’ve been experiencing a lot of difficulty in this season. Sometimes I feel ashamed or a little embarrassed, or even frustrated when I find myself in this place. But I do however know, that I’m human. And we all experience difficulties. It’s not a one time thing. It comes and it goes. And comes and goes. It’s just the way life works…

So as I’ve previously stated, I’ve been experience great difficulty. Quite a bit of emotional things that I’ve yet to be fully healed from. And it seemed as if I’ve been trying everything to get to a place that I needed to get to, but it just wasn’t working. I constantly found myself repeating cycles again and again. Just when I think I’m good, here comes a familiar place. So over the last few months, I knew that I needed to take action to get my life back. I knew I wasn’t in a comfortable place, and it wasn’t beneficial for me to stay there. We all go through the process. But a process doesn’t mean we stay in that place of struggle, or that place of difficulty. So I knew, it was time for me to move. So, I sought out solutions to my season of issues. Some things I just refused to tell anyone about. Had a few friends I’d share with in hopes of getting advice. Had a sister I’d share with, in hopes of getting advice. Then as most of you know, I decided to go to therapy. Let me just put this out there, I’m a strong believer of therapy and counseling. My therapy sessions were going well. It helped me to see things from different perspectives, it helped to think about situations in my past that ultimately led me to where I currently was. It helped. I felt myself going in the right direction. Found myself in a good headspace. 

However, somehow I revisited a familiar place. I found myself in the same place. I began to feel uneasy. Felt myself in uncomfortable places I knew I shouldn’t be in. My attitude kept getting worse. I was snappy, moody, and constantly frustrated. I felt like my voice was being stifled once again. I was always misheard, misunderstood, or not given an opportunity to be heard at all. I felt as if people accused me of things that they did, and weren’t giving me a chance. I was hurting on the inside. In some cases, I felt like I was doing my very best, but many of those things were being overlooked. 

And I began to feel like everything I tried just wouldn’t work. After seeking advice, after finding a good Christian therapist, how could I feel what I’m trying to leave behind here with me again. I would pray, small prayers. I then started reading Christian books to help me. And as I started reading, I noticed the correlation to the messages at the time when I’d go to church. It was always about submitting, and giving God all of our issues. I’d read it, take notes, highlight, but I was still there. Yesterday’s church service was sort of unique. We had testimony service, which we don’t normally do on a Sunday morning. So many of the members shared their testimonies, and it really blessed me. It’s amazing to see the hand of God on the lives of other people. You just never know what someone has gone through. As I was blessed by the testimonies, I started to get chocked up. And felt as if I should’ve shared a little. But I couldn’t. Lately, I haven’t shown too much emotion. I don’t act as if I have it all together, but I haven’t shown that I’ve been broken. During the service, I kept hearing that too often we try to fix things on our own when we’re under attack. (When we have great purpose and destiny on our lives, the enemy will always attack us. We will always endure some sort of trouble.). We think we can handle it on our own. We come up with all of these potential solutions, and start with the trial and error phase. Exactly what I chose to do. I thought all of this would work, when I try put it in my own hand. (These methods can and will work, when we put it in the right hands.)

As the service and prayer went forth, I began to realize why I was really in the place that I was in. I wasn’t passing through, I was still there. It was because I hadn’t fully submitted to God. I hadn’t really laid every weight down. I hadn’t really given it to Him. I was still holding onto them, trying to figure it out on my own. Trying to seem like I was fine, when I really wasn’t. I couldn’t handle it on my own. We’ll never get the relief we need when we continue to hold onto the weights and the issues. We’ll continue to go around in circles. 

There’s no way we can do it on our own. We have to release it, lay it down, and trust God to do the healing. We also have to ensure that we don’t pick it back up. Often times we lay things down, and not too long after we’ve picked the very same thing back up. And we start to feel the same effects of the past. To be sure we keep moving without picking it back up, we have to have a prayer life. That’s what keeps us. Prayer and hearing from God. Whether that be through the bible, through people, or an audible voice. That connection is important. It’s keeps us grounded, and pushes us to propel. 

I said all of this, just to encourage you to trust God enough to give Him everything. All of the constant issues that we face, we can’t handle alone. But God can. Sometimes we don’t understand it. Sometimes it’s just because of the purpose we have on our lives. And we can’t allow the attack of the enemy to take us out. We have to fight. Fight through prayer and through the word of God. Release, lay it down, and trust God to do the healing! Then what we thought wouldn’t work, God can use. 

Be blessed,

~Miss Jones xo

August, New Beginnings: Haiti Missions Trip Part I

Entry: August 2, 2016
We are officially in a new month. Aside from it being the best month out of the year, my birthday month (the 4th) 😊, it’s also the eighth month of the year. Eighth symbolizes new beginnings. And this month is just that. Yesterday, August 1st, I traveled for the first outside of the United States. Not for pleasure, but a missions trip. I am currently writing from Haiti. (Still seems so unreal that I’m actually here.). It was my intentions to write a post nightly, however, I didn’t get a chance to do so last night. Therefore, I’ve decided to do a recap for every two days. So this is part one…

Upon our arrival to Haiti yesterday afternoon, you could instantly see the difference when we traveled to our set place to stay. We landed in Port Au Prince, but stayed in Croix-Des-Bouquet. We had a van take us to our destination, we were met at the airport by a few men. One was a pastor and another works hard alongside him. He speaks English and is able to translate. 

On our way to camp, we drove on dusty bumpy roads. No traffic lights. On the busier streets, there were police officers directing traffic. It’s almost as if there are no rules when in comes to driving. You do what you can to get to your destination. Even if it means driving on the other side of the road, or even on the sidewalk. There were buses that Ebony (who has traveled here in missions before) compared to the dollar vans in NY. They are called the tap tap. As the busses passed, you could see how packed they were through the windows. The people were literally piled inside, just to get to where they needed to go. There were trucks that had the back open, filled with men. There were also motorcycles stopping and picking up people and were paid to ride them to their destination. This seems to be their form of transportation if they’re not in close proximity to their desired location or if they don’t have a vehicle. Unfortunately by looking out of the window, you could see that we were in a country that has struggles when it comes to poverty. As I sat and watched, and listened to stories by Pastor Pullings, (who is the missions department president of the first ecclesiastical jurisdiction of ENY, of the Church of God in Christ), I was able to get a glimpse of what they had to face in this area. 

On our drive to the compound, I thought about what I wanted to give, and what I wanted to gain. I knew that we were there for a specific purpose, and I wanted to be sure that I fulfilled that purpose. It’s a new experience for me, so I want to ensure that I give and get all that I can. How will I approach the people, what exactly will I do, will I be able to relate, etc. ? I just wanted this experience to be all that it could be. 
When we got to the compound, we settled in a little. Picked our room and put our stuff down. Our living conditions were petty good. We shared rooms, 2 to a room, but it was still good. Two bathrooms, kitchen, running hot water, and wifi access.  
 We then went to meet the girls in the orphanage. Not knowing who some of us were, the way they greeted us was so beautiful. All of the girls one by one came up to each of us with a kiss on the cheek. Although they were in grossed in their television show, they were so polite and spoke to each of us. While we were there the very first night, we took a look at what they were being served for dinner. We weren’t aware of what it was, but it was a big pot a woman had on the ground and she looked to be cleaning a piece of meat of some sort. It didn’t look appetizing to us, but this is what they’re used to eating. After seeing the girls, we went shopping. Not at the markets in town, but at a market that’s considered safe near the embassy. This shows the different areas and parts of Haiti. There’s such a difference, a separation. 
  

Later that evening, after shopping, cooking, and eating; we set up all of the items we brought for the girls in the orphanage and the clinic as well. We all brought at least one suitcase full of essentials, and when we laid it all out we were so happy to have been able to have so much to give. 

  

  

Day 2: 8/2/16 Journal entry..
Woke up with a feeling of excitement to see the looks on the girls faces when they receive what was brought for them. However, a little more reserved than I’d like to be so far. I’ve been thinking of ways to be effective over here. How can I/we leave a lasting impact. Giving is one thing, but connecting is another. We have to be able to show them how much we care, in such a short amount of time. 
I want to give my time and service more than anything. I also want to learn as much as I can. And do it all over again. To be the most effective, you have to be a giver. Not only material things. In this case, it’s needed. But also in time. Making that connection is key. Forgetting about yourself. 
God uses us right where we are. Only when we allow ourselves to be used…
Before going to the orphanage and giving the girls the items, we took a trip to the clinic. There were supplies for them as well. Mostly over the counter medicine. According to the stories, the over the counter medicine from America heals the ailments that most of the patients have. Because it’s medication they aren’t used to using. Going to the clinic, you could see a few areas where they needed. It was a nice set up. They needed more medication in their pharmacy and a little more precautionary items. (Cleaning supplies, gloves, etc.). Just looking around and seeing the facility was a blessing. I was happy to see and hear that they’re able to serve the community with the facility and supplies that they do have. What concerned some of us most, was the medicine that they had to offer in the pharmacy area of the clinic. It didn’t look like much. But it may be because they don’t use as much traditional medication in Haiti as we here in America use. They did however, have a dentist area. And area with beds where patients get checked, etc. 

   
   

We then went over to the orphanage to set up the items and look around the orphanage. We used their dinning area to set up every item on the tab,e for display for the girls. We wanted them to be able to see and choose what it was that they wanted. After setting up, we took a look around the grounds of the orphanage, for the first time. We were able to see their rooms, etc. There are seventeen girls living in the orphanage at this time. There are four girls to each room. Two bunk beds. The rooms are s little small, but they fit the two bunk beds, along with dressers for the girls. There were about two in each room. But as we passed, we noticed that some of their beds were falling apart. They needed new mattresses. One of the needs that the caretaker expressed, was that they needed was sheets. Again, the facility was nice. And we’re so proud of the work that has been done so far, but there’s still more work that needs to be done. The the interaction began..

Nightly journal entry:

After visiting the orphanage today, I’m in awe of the way we were able to connect with the girls. Although they didn’t speak English, the connection was almost instant. They immediately gravitated towards us, the minute we initiated it. All it took was one small gesture. As we sat and waited, I had to initiate interaction with them. That was the reason we were there. So I sat and asked about the coloring sheet they were coloring, and it took off from there. We talked the best we could to each other, but the connection was so strong despite the language barrier. We laughed, we sang, and dance. Took pictures. And took more pictures. These girls absolutely loved taking pictures. I asked them to read, but it was an English book, so they wanted me to read it. As I read, they repeated every English word after me. We fooled around with snapchat. And they absolutely loved the filters. At that point, there were about three girls who clung to me. Their names were Daphnaika, Melissa, and Lisa. There were a few others that came and joined a little while after. After reading, some of the girls sang and danced. One song was, I love you I love you my love. They danced as they sang that song. Then they started to do the whip nae nae. Which was absolutely cute. We colored together. We sang When Jesus Says Yes. And we just genuinely enjoyed each other’s company. 

 After our lunch break, we came back to distribute all of the material for the girls. They’d already been peeking in while we set up, so we knew they were excited about it. As each girl came in and received the bags and they pointed to certain things they wanted, you could see the appreciation in their eyes and in their faces. Many of them smiled as they looked and received. There was one, Melissa, who had the biggest smile on her face. She danced around as she looked at all of her new clothes and just continued smiling. There was another, one who didn’t interact with me as often as others, came to me and taped me. I turned around, and she pointed to her shoes and gave me a big smile. Another girl looked through her bag, looked in my direction and gave me two thumbs up. That was their thank you. They were so excited to get new things. And you could tell they were grateful for it. It was an amazing feeling. Not only for them to receive things they needed, but also to interact with other people. To be able to socialize with others outside of those they see on a daily basis. Amazed by this new experience. The start of a new beginning. There’s more.