A year of big changes. It is hard to believe how much has happened in the last year. We laugh because it sounds like the typical end of year response, but it holds true for us. The first half of the year rocked our organization in ways we did not even know or think were possible. As a team when we made the decision to break our school partnership, we started processing through many questions. What was the future of Sant Espwa going to look like without one specific school partnership? Where would our office space be? Will our families hear us out regarding our decision? What happens if they don't? Do we throw our hands up and quit? How can we move forward with trust and love for those we work with? Through all of those changes and questions, day by day we kept putting one foot in front of the other, leaning into God's promises for each team member, family, student and Sant Espwa. After gathering ourselves, we began talking and praying about what the next steps would be for Sant Espwa. God had placed the vision of a building on our hearts for many different reasons. After a couple of months of looking, we stumbled upon "the one". To give you some background, this specific building we are trying to fully rent, was one of the exact buildings we looked at 2.5 years ago. Why didn't we rent it then? It was our vision and not God's at that time. We all know forcing our plans into action never goes well. I could list you all of the reasons why we were not in a positon to move forward but none of that matters because we knew that God was closing that door for that moment. Here we are 2.5 years later, and you guys, God has been so faithful in HIS plans. Not only was this property available again, but before we even had the finances, the landlord agreed to let us have the keys to the building with only HALF of the full years rent! She believes in the mission of CEPRAS and Sant Espwa. This is NOT common in Haiti. You typically have to pay the full amount before you get keys. The landlord is also letting us use all of the chairs/tables that are currently there.
"How great is our Lord! His power is absolute! His understanding is beyond comprehension!" -Psalms 147:5
When we look back on the harder days that brought frustration and anger, we can see growth & strength being formed. No, not in us, but in Him. In trusting Him, that He had a far better plan than anything we could imagine. That when the words of doubt crept up, we would see His grace reminding us that we can't do the work of God, without God. His streams never run dry. It is hard, it is selfless, it is being vulnerable and uncomfortable and it is getting to be part of one of the greatest stories of all time, for HIS glory. HE is our strength and will always be - even when we don't see things ending the way we imagined.
I would usually give you more stats from the year, but instead I want to share with you what has happened in the last 4 weeks since the landlord agreed to the deposit, because it is nothing short of a miracle. 4 weeks ago, as a team we walked the property and prayed. 3 weeks ago we posted on social media and contacted everyone who would listen to us about this building. SILENCE. Waiting and trusting, while knowing CEPRAS was holding our annual Christmas party Dec. 25th and this new building was the only place to host it. 2 weeks ago, multiple generous donors gave to our building fund and CEPRAS added their funds to complete the deposit. 1 week ago, we received the keys to the building. MONDAY - the vision become a reality when our new building was FILLED with CEPRAS members, families from our program, and community members! Smiles, full bellies, worshipping and praising. ONLY GOD!
We still need to raise the other half of rent and there is still time for YOU to make a tax-deductible donation to Sant Espwa - Click here.
It wasn't the easiest year, but it was another chapter in our book. We are looking forward to 2018 and are excited about the growth that will be happening in Haiti and in the US. In January, we will be introducing our two new board members, Luke & Trevor.
We fully believe the best is yet to come!