Bringing Forth The Sometimes Forgotten
A country changed by the act of two people.
“Dream Big” they always say, “Find your calling.” We hear these sayings constantly throughout our lives, but do we really understand what they truly mean? Are we really going to drop everything to follow what we are called to do? Matt and Jessica Bush did, and no matter how scary or unrealistic this calling was, they were willing to drop everything and follow it. They were both lovers of the Lord and would continue to follow him wherever they felt he was telling them to go.
Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. Luke 12:33
Matt Bush grew up in my small town, LaGrange, Georgia. He was very religious and traveled to various mission trips around the world. On one particular mission trip in December, he traveled to Haiti, where he met his wife Jessica. It was the beginning of a story that would lead right back to where it began.
“Our lives were no longer our own. We still do dumb things and have to fight against pride and idolatry and many other sins. But God changed us, and we were ready for whatever he would call us to.”
Matt felt called to start a mission’s ministry at Rivertown Church. After months nothing really seemed to be working outwardly, and Matt told his team, “Until we know what we are doing we will do nothing but pray.” After months of praying all of a sudden God worked.
Matt met a man by the name of Edsel Redding who talked to the mission’s team about a potential partnership with his ministry in Gressier, Haiti. Right then, Matt and Jessica clearly knew what God was calling them to do. On December of 2012 they took an exploratory trip and met a man who, after the earthquake, began taking in kids that had no other place to go. They lived in places that were falling apart and had 16 beds in 2 small huts for the kids. It was not a typical American home by any means, but the kids were getting shelter and food. After seeing the 27 kids in the orphanage Matt and Jessica fell absolutely in love. The children were beautifully and creatively made. They were soldiers and complete lovers of life.
After going back in March, Jessica had a wonderful idea to start a sponsorship program for the kids there. Their church raised money for the kids so that they would each have $40 a month.
After going to Haiti more than six times Jessica started praying about moving there. Matt at first felt it didn’t make sense and wasn’t sure exactly how it would even work, but without a shadow of a doubt he knew this was where they were meant to be.
After months of prayer and trust it was official. They were going to live in Gressier, Haiti, and own the orphanage with the help of many sponsors. Gressier, Haiti, was on sort of the nicer side of town. There was by no means any nicer buildings, but more nicer people and a better area. Gressier was where you found people that were willing to talk about the Lord with you. Since Matt and Jessica have moved there, their orphanage has really taken off. They recently built a new building for the kids and hired many workers to work around the house and entertain the kids. One of the main things they want to do around the community is provide jobs. They hope to eventually create a job market for their community.
This spring I had the amazing opportunity to actually travel to Gressier, Haiti, and help out with the All Things New Orphanage. Matt’s mom and dad live in my town so our church helps sponsor Matt and Jessica’s organization. As I landed in Haiti, it hit me that not every country was as lucky as ours. Not every country has fresh water, and a place to throw away their trash, other than the streets. Meeting Matt, Jessica, and the kids was very nerve racking at first, but as we got to the orphanage the kids immediately ran out to greet us, even if they had just met us for the first time. Matt and Jessica were also absolutely incredible and so inspiring.They were fun to be around, never stopped smiling, and treated their kids like they were their own.
Traveling to Haiti was such an eye opening experience for me. It is so unique in the sense that the country has absolutely nothing but still seem to have everything they need. The people in the town are so happy, so welcoming, and seem to know the true meaning of life. They have no social media so they have nothing to compare each other too. They all dress the same, live the same, and have access to the same things. The people in the town make the most of every day and look forward to talking to people like us, that come into their country. They also love God and are not afraid to show it. I actually got to be apart of the bible study that the kids in the orphanage had every night. I believe if they can make time for one every single night we can, no matter how busy.
A hero by definition is someone who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements or noble qualities. Dropping everything and following God’s calling to live in another country and serve took an outstanding amount of courage. They have achieved so much and have maintained noble qualities while doing so. They dreamed big. They followed their calling. Will you?