Recalling the Miracles of 2019 and Looking Ahead with 2020 Vision
This is long, because there is so much to share! I hope you will read until the end, for the best is yet to come.
As 2019 draws to a close, I am reminded of all the blessings brought forth throughout this past year. Though 2018 ended in sorrow for me personally, with the sudden and unexpected death of my dad, 2019 began with joy and confirmation of the direction of Real Bread Outreach. And as I reflect back over the year, I stand in awe of all that God has done.
When God first called us to go to Haiti, the vision of a bakery was expressed. The goal to provide, not just bread, but also a means of income for the Haitian ministries and jobs for the people of Haiti, remained in our minds throughout our work there. But the timing and placement of the bakery just never seemed right.
I left for Haiti on January 9, 2019 just a few days after my dad’s funeral. Tired and weary from all I had been through the past month, I fought discouragement and the questions of “are we really making a difference” or “are we just wasting our time, energy and finances”. Interesting how the enemy tries to get you when you are the most vulnerable. But God in His great mercy, heard the weak cries of my heart.
From the moment I arrived and walked in the door of the CARHA orphanage in Gonaives, Haiti, and met with the board of directors, God began to confirm our vision and lay out His plans. Through much prayer and discussion with the board, we determined, this was the year to build the bakery in Gonaives. A piece of land already owned by the ministry, just outside the gates of the orphanage, right next to the Mango Tree Church was to be the location. Now all we needed were the funds.
I returned home, rejuvenated and excited. But then reality hit! We had $10,000 set aside for a bakery from previous years’ donations from the Hammill Family Foundation. But the building project alone would cost $40,000 and another $10,000 would be needed to buy and ship a container of wheat and supplies. Equipment would still need to be purchased. Real Bread Outreach had never taken on such a major project and I certainly did not want to begin something we could not complete. This happens all too often in Haiti.
Jehovah Jireh – Our Provider
But the God who supplies all our needs showed up indeed. Within weeks of my return from Haiti, a long-time customer of Bread Beckers, donated a warehouse full of bakery equipment and all the furnishings and everything needed for a small café. It took until June to coordinate schedules to host a fund raiser dinner, rent and load a truck with the donated bakery equipment, and ship the container to Haiti. But God’s timing is always perfect and He provided.
Again, through the generous donations of the Hammill Family Foundation and all others at the dinner, $17,000 was raised, which gave us $27,000 to begin the project. Construction began the very next day. (June 28, 2019) We received pictures and updates almost daily from Haiti and watched with excitement the progress being made.
August 2019 – Trip to Haiti
In August 2019, Brad and I were able to travel to Gonaives, and see first hand the vision being realized. Again, in God’s perfect timing, the container of equipment and supplies arrived while we were there. Of all my 12 trips to Haiti over the past 3 years, I would have to say this trip was one of the most fruitful. A couple of the young men from our bread baking team in Mirebalais came to help.
Brad built benches and desk for the new vocational school. I taught the older girls and some of the ladies how to make jam from the abundant local produce, mango, pineapple, banana and limes. The girls loved making it as much as the kids loved eating it. But the girls have now learned a new skill and will sell the jam in the bakery. We found a local source of sorghum, which we used to make pancakes for the kids instead of using up the bread making wheat. And of course, the pizza party is always a hit. The kids love our homemade pizza. We spoiled them just a little with oatmeal raisin cookies made from freshly milled flour and ice cream.
I taught several bread and nutrition classes for some of the people of the community. They are anxiously awaiting the opening of the bakery. Several declared that they never want to eat white bread again!
For me, perhaps my favorite moment was taking the girls shopping to pick out a dress for themselves. They had never been shopping and had never had the opportunity to choose a dress of their own liking. Wow! A true privilege to experience and bring such joy from such a small gift.
On a spiritual note, God worked mightily while there. I was able to teach the word to the children most nights. Each morning in my personal quiet times, God gave me more revelation of the kingdom of darkness and how to pray for Haiti. I was awakened during one of the nights and given a vision and clear instructions how to pray for victory in the lives of the Haitian people. I was given a very specific and powerful word to share during the Sunday morning service. I see God’s hand moving to “set the captives free” and look forward to being a part of His continued deliverance in the lives of the Haitian people. We returned home filled with joy.
Unfortunately, the civil and political unrest in Haiti escalated shortly after we left. Roads were blocked due to riots. Travel to Haiti even within the country were prevented. Schools were closed and food supplies were cut off. Construction of the bakery came to a halt.
But in God’s economy, nothing is ever wasted. The unfinished bakery was used as a school for the kids in the community. Teachers who lived locally came to teach. The desks that Brad built were put to good use. The stores of wheat and baking supplies kept the children fed and some days real bread was the only food available. In Gonaives, food supplies were so scarce they began to make bread for the community as well. About 150 families were provided with “real bread”. God is good.
The unrest settled for the most part by the end of October. It was time to begin construction again. But our funds were depleted. We needed $13,000 to complete the bakery. I knew a fund raiser campaign was not going to happen before the end of the year. Brad and I were leaving for Israel November 4. We would return November 16 facing our busiest time of the year. Just before leaving we received $3000 in donations. I left for Israel with some anxious thoughts of how we could raise the remaining funds.
Our trip to Israel was amazing and life changing. (more on that later). At Cana, we rededicated our lives to God. I relinquished my life to God to go where ever He wanted me to go. I placed the success of Bread Beckers, Real Bread Outreach, our ministry and the bakery in Haiti into God’s hands, declaring that my life and our business and ministry were His, not mine.
We returned from Israel on November 16. On November 17, we received an anonymous donation in the mail for $10,000 to complete the bakery. Exactly what we needed! Our God is an awesome God!
The bakery is in the finishing stages now, with the stucco work, tile and plumbing being completed as I write. Completion is set for the end of January. We will be headed to Haiti February 3 to make things ready for our Grand Opening on February 8. To God be all the glory and thank you all who contributed sacrificially to make the “Peace of Bread” bakery a reality. You were all part of this miracle for 2019.
Cast Your Bread on Many Waters
From the first moment God gave me the word from Ecclesiastes 11:1 “Cast your bread on many waters” and I wrote in my journal the question to God “what waters?”, I have been continually reminded, mostly by Brad ?, that God said “many waters”. With Haiti being the first of many waters, I have asked God what is our “next water”.
While in Israel, God gave us our answer.
Our tour group of about 300 people, with Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, was scheduled to visit a ministry in the area of Samaria, for a special lunch. As our buses climbed Mt. Gerazim, we noticed the hillside covered with vineyards. We soon learned that the ministry, HaYovel, fhat would be serving us lunch, was started by a Tennessee farmer and his family, the Wallers, 25 years ago. Their mission – to join the Jewish people and the farmers in fulfilling Biblical prophecy before Jesus’ return. (www.hayovel.com)
“You shall yet plant vines on the mountains of Samaria…” Jeremiah 31:5
While there we discovered that the Waller family were customers of ours from 20 years ago. They had heard we were coming through a mutual friend and customer and had been watching and waiting for our arrival. With the knowledge that wheat grows in Israel we asked if they were still milling their wheat to make their bread. (we were served homemade bread for lunch). They told us no, because their mill would not work in Israel. I jokingly said that we would have to fix that and declared that “though they had the wine part covered, we could not bring Jesus back with white bread”. Brad and I immediately commented to each other that this is our “next waters”. We left there full of excitement and our minds spinning with thoughts.
We do not know now what this ministry to Israel will look like but God has already confirmed our vision.
On December 21, before I began my Bible reading for the day, I prayed and asked God to please speak to me and give me a fresh word or revelation. I didn’t want my reading to simply be to check off my box in my yearly Bible reading program, as it had seemed to be for the past few days, as I was finishing up the minor prophets, which is a struggle for me.
And so I prayed as I began reading the book of Haggai. When I got to Haggai 2:19, the promise of God just leapt off the page at me.
“Is the seed still in the barn? As to the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree – they have not produced. Yet from this day forward, I will bless you (in the harvest of your crops) Haggai 2:19 AMP
I wrote the verse in my journal. Then realized that the date the word was given to Haggai was mentioned more than once. I follow the Hebrew calendar so was aware that the ninth month, Chislev, was the month we were in. I quickly grabbed my Hebrew calendar, to find that the 24th day of the ninth month (Chislev) was the very day I was reading this promise. I knew God was speaking.
Earlier in December, in our two Annual Bread Beckers Christmas classes, with 130 in attendance in each class, Brad had shared with the classes about our experience in Israel and that Israel would be our “next waters”.
On December 23, I received a call from a long-time customer and friend of Bread Beckers. She was in the class and really struck by our call to Israel. She and her husband wanted to make a donation to Real Bread Outreach as “seed money” for Israel. She assured me that we could use it however we needed but their heart for the gift was a “seed” for Israel. I told her how much every donation blesses us, whether large or small. Each time a donation comes in, it is not just money to accomplish the work we are doing but an encouragement and confirmation to me that we are on the right path. She did not tell me how much she wanted to donate. She simply dropped the check by Bread Beckers later that day. Even now as I write this my eyes fill with tears of joy. Her “seed” was for $15,000!
It took me about 24 hours to process what God was doing and to make the connection with the promise He had given to me just a few days prior to this call.
God was already fulfilling the promise He had given me in Haggai 2:19. I was reminded of her use of the word “seed”. You cannot harvest a crop without first having seed. We have set the money aside for Israel – so for now our seed may be in the barn but we believe from this day forward God will bless our harvest as we continue to seek him for “our waters”.
This past Sunday, at the close of our service, our pastor, Jamie Powell, challenged us to make 2020 a year of seeking God and reading His word in its entirety. As he said the words 2020, a thought came to me. 20/20 is the measurement of perfect vision. As we close this decade and year, may we go forth with 20/20 vision. The perfect vision of God for His word, His people and His purposes for our lives.
May the peace of God fill you and bless you as you have blessed others. Your gifts to Real Bread Outreach have made all these miracles possible.
Happy New Year
Sincerely, Sue Becker and Real Bread Outreach