Thursday, August 26, 2010

Gramothe Here I Come!!!!

I just bought my plane ticket to leave for Haiti 
on Wednesday September 8th!!!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

I'm not the only one...

A couple of my friends are also taking a year off from teaching to experience something a little different, and they've been chronicling their experiences on their own blogs. I've thoroughly enjoyed reading about their experiences away from home, and I wanted to share some links with you.

Courtney and I started teaching at John Young the same year. She is outgoing, always up for a challenge, and more adventurous than I am. She's taking a year off to travel around the United States staying with friends and family. She started her travels by heading to Connecticut but has already moved on to Georgia. Recently she shared about an experience that can only be classified as MORTIFYING. I double dog dare you to read it without laughing.

My other friend Becca has taught at Goshen High School for the past 7 years. She decided to take a year off and travel the world. She started her adventure in July with climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa. She's currently volunteering at a school in Tanzania for a few weeks. One of her recent posts explained some differences between teaching in the States and teaching in Tanzania. Go ahead and try not to laugh at the ridiculousness of her current conditions.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


This week Beth Charles (missionary I'm working with) e-mailed me to explain that where I'll be living in Haiti has changed. This has changed my budget because it's cheaper for me to live in the new place than the house we originally planned on. Woohoo! And another e-mail this week came from Fremont United Methodist Church saying they are going to partner with me financially. Soooo, I revamped the budget and also plugged in the recent financial donations.

With my new budget and the additional financial support, I am at 71.6% of my funding. God is UH MAY ZING!!! The Charles family has given me the green light to buy my plane ticket to Haiti, and they write that they are eagerly awaiting my arrival. The only thing holding me back is not having renters lined up for my house. Please join me in praying for the Lord to provide renters. I'm confident he will provide all that I need to leave for Haiti soon. I'll definitely keep you posted.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Haiti Q & A: What language do they speak?

Q. What language do they speak in Haiti? Do you speak it?
A. There are two official languages of Haiti, French and Creole, and I speak neither. As I understand it French is the language of the educated and is used in government and business dealings, whereas Creole is spoken by virtually everyone in Haiti.

In Gramothe where I'll be teaching I assume few people speak French. The vast majority of the adults are illiterate and never attended school. I'm not even sure which language is used at the Gramothe school. They may be teaching and learning in Creole. At any rate, Creole will be the primary language spoken around me, so I've attempted to learn some basic Creole before I go to Haiti. I downloaded a program from that has enabled me to learn some phrases and words from native speakers. I also bought a book that is teaching me about the grammar and sentence structure of Creole. Both have been fantastic resources--and Byki has resources for more than 70 languages.

I'm also employing the use of labels around the house. I have about 40 post its around my house with Creole words marking different items.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Provision update

Yesterday I shared that a couple had committed to renting my house. They called me today to let me know that their job situation has changed and they won't have the income necessary to rent my house. They said they would call me if things changed, but that I should start looking for other renters. I'm sad that they won't be moving in because they were so excited about it. BUT I'm still confident God is going to provide all that I need.

In other news, Grandma Myers called me today to say that the church in her town wants me to share during their morning services later this month! Hopefully I'll be able to recruit some more partners for Team Gramothe. :)

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Why do I ever doubt God? He has never given me a reason to doubt him. On the contrary, he has consistently provided all that I need--and so much more! Earlier this week I was really struggling to trust that the finances I need to go to Haiti would ever show up. I was frantically brainstorming ways to raise more funds and obsessing about how much money I didn't have.

On Thursday I remembered, with a little help from the Big Guy upstairs, that it's not my job to find the needed money or think of ways to generate it. The Holy Spirit reminded me that the Lord owns cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10) and that he can do immeasurably more than I ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). I decided that I was going to trust God and his timing--even when it didn't look like what I had planned.

Later that night I got a call from the couple who looked at my house last week. They've agreed to rent it for the time I'm gone! Not 15 minutes later some very generous friends gave me a check for five thousand dollars. I still can't believe it! It is indeed an excellent reminder of God's provision.

So this morning as my heart overflows with thankfulness, the apostle Paul's words to the Philippians are forefront in my mind:

And my God will meet all your 
needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:19

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

You May Have What It Takes

I'm planning to give up the next year of my life serving orphans and disadvantaged youth in Haiti. There are still a few outstanding needs that need to be taken care of before I can leave. Would you consider partnering with me in this venture by covering one of the items listed below?

  • round trip airfare from Chicago to Port au Prince $600 
  • insurance for the entire year $600
  • a dry, secure location to store furniture and household items for 11 months OR $140/mo for a storage unit
  • electricity and propane tanks for the stove $70/mo
  • in country transportation costs $50/mo
  • 600 cell phone minutes $16 (can purchase more as needed)
Please e-mail me at britneyLsmith (at) gmail (dot) com if you are able to provide for one of these needs or if you're interested in learning more.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Support Update

Team Gramothe is still growing! Here are the numbers as of this morning:

Prayer Partners: 45
Financial Support: 41.3%

That's 20 more prayer partners and 6% more financial support since my last update. And, some potential renters are looking at my house today. They are a young couple looking to move back to the Michiana area. I'm praying they will agree to rent my house for the time that I am gone.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Treasure Hunting

Do you have household items you aren't using anymore? Would you like to get rid of some gently used furniture? Are you thinking "What am I going to do with all these toys my kids no longer use?" Have you recently cleaned out your closets to find clothes that no longer fit? (Because you've lost all that weight of course!) Well, I have a solution that will benefit us both!!

I'm having a garage sale Aug. 20 and 21 to help raise money for my year in Haiti. If you have "things" or "stuff" you no longer want, please consider donating to my "Team Gramothe" garage sale. I will even pick up your donations!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Counting My Blessings: An Overflowing Cup

I'm not sure I can handle much more of this.

It's like the heavens have opened up and the blessings are just raining down on me this week. Here are just some of them:

  • a sweet 24 hours with the Charles family, who I will be working with in Haiti; Willem and Beth were both  an encouragement, and their boys Stephen (14) and David (10) kept me entertained
  • the Mountain Top Ministries banquet where I met many friends of MTM and made new friends of my own
  • a major donation of furniture for my garage sale from the Shoemakers who are moving to Columbus
  • multiple new financial and prayer partners for Team Gramothe
  • time to chat with my mom
  • a long chat with my friend Christine who moved to Sweden three weeks ago
  • meeting some people who work with human trafficking survivors in China
And the end of these blessings is not in sight!

This week I'll go to North Carolina to visit my dear friend Christy and her family. On the way I'm stopping to see my best friend from high school, Didi, who lives in Lexington. When I return I will be able to enjoy a Sara Franklin hug, something I've missed quite a bit in the last year. And then there's the mini-reunion with my college roommate and our suitemates from Sophomore year.