A Drop in the Ocean

January 18, 2013 | 16 comments

You don’t have to be a grown-up to have your sense of social justice kick in pretty quickly in a place like Haiti. Within a few hours, you’re desperate to do whatever you can to make some smidgen of difference in your world.

Even if you’re four-feet-tall and shop at Children’s Place.

In a country like Haiti, there erupts a longing to do anything worthwhile for your fellow man, and it will happen in the first 12 hours.

And it doesn’t take much longer for your “anything” to seem puny, almost inconsequential, in comparison to the mountain before you.

Tonight, I am trying to snag a bit of a wireless connection on the front porch of the Haitian home where we are staying. I can hear the ocean waves drumming against the shore, drumbeats of nature’s praise. Above me, the inky pitch of sky rolls out into forever.

And I feel so small. The girls feel small. We all feel so small, like our anything might be rather pointless — a bit like siphoning a few drops of water out of the vast ocean, making drumbeats here in the darkness.

But it was Mother Teresa who said it —

“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.”

So we went about our day, making a drop of difference here and there, praying that the good Lord would multiply it, and watching with great delight over what is being done already — one beautiful drop at a time.

Sharing photos with you tonight….

Our day began with devotions at the ViBella workshop in Simonette village. At ViBella, the women “up-cycle” plastic bottles, turning them into beautiful beads, and eventually, gorgeous necklaces.

Meet Anoise, a dear friend and ViBella artist who I met on a previous visit. We can’t speak more than a few words to each other because of the language barrier. But love and laughter more than make up for it.

We are staying with Del and Renae Grooters, family friends who live part-time in Haiti. Their daughter, Kayla is a beautiful young woman who moved down here full-time after graduating from University of Northern Iowa. She is 23 years old, and is mama to two Haitian boys, Loveson and Jeffte. Kayla oversees operation of the ViBella workshop, and also helps operate the school where the the playground was installed.

(The girls are enjoying their sunset swims in the ocean with Loveson and Jeffte.)

Anna has been taking good notes. 🙂

We spent part of our afternoon at One Vision orphanage, where the children get good care and lots of love from the “mommies” who work hard there.

This is our special friend, Job, who we pray for often at our house. He lives at One Vision.

And tonight … a sweet, sweet surprise. Our Haitian “son,” whom we sponsor in his last two years of high school, dropped by for a visit! This is our first ever “family photograph.”

The local pastor has just now come by with a guitar, so I’m going to sign off. I have a feeling I won’t want to miss this. The oceans will beat out their praise on the shore, and we’ll join in the song for Jesus…

by | January 18, 2013 | 16 comments


  1. Ro elliott

    Beautiful…yes may we all be a drop where we are…like bob goff wrote….we need to leak Jesus. Blessings and prayers

  2. kelliwoodford

    What a humbling privilege. Oh, my. To look tenderly on the face of an orphan or into the eyes of one disadvantaged. You are giving Jesus flesh by these things.

    Your whole post reminds me of another of Mother Theresa’s gems:
    “We can do no great things, only small things with great love.”

    Love well, dear Jennifer, love well. Love never fails.

  3. Linda Worden

    So delightful to read of your adventures in Haiti. Seed is being sewn in your hearts and in the hearts of those you meet. God will add the drops of water to cause those seeds to burst forth in growth to bring him glory. Thanks for seeking the spots where connection is possible so that your friends and family can follow your days. Rest well and keep smiling and hugging.

  4. Ann Kroeker

    Swooning over these stories and pictures, Jennifer.

  5. Sandra Heska King


    Aching to be there. Loving that you are.

  6. Kathy Schwanke

    Love of Jesus shining brightly!!! Your girls are beautiful as are you Jennifer! 🙂

    I love the quote. Every brush stroke adds to the painting. <3

  7. Abby

    Thank you for sharing this experience with us. Your girls will never forget it. Anoise must have been thrilled to see you. I like your Mother Theresa quote. Prayers continue for your safe and productive trip. ~ Abby

  8. dougspurling

    As you said “making a drop of difference here and there” I could feel the refreshing breeze and hear one drop here and one drop there until the drumming of a mighty downpour drenched the dry ground. Be well. ipray4u

  9. Jillie

    Again Jennifer, a beautiful post of all that is happening there! What a difference you are making, simply by being there, enfolding in your arms and encouraging with your words and smiles. I just know y’all are loved there every bit as much as you are here. You are walking the path of Jesus there in Haiti.
    I’ve been gazing closely into the eyes of your girls in your photographs. I ‘see’ that Lydia Lee is the outgoing, cheerful one, while Anna seems more the quiet one. It strikes me that she has the face of an ‘old soul’. There’s a lot going on behind those eyes. They are such precious children, and I am thrilled right alongside them that they are ‘there’, seeing the fruit of their labours come to life! Praise the Lord for what He is doing through you and your family! Especially love the ‘family photo’ of you with your sponsored son. Wonderful!

  10. Nancy Franson

    Singing with you friend, you and your sweet girls, with Job, with ocean’s waves–joining the everlasting song!

    And, somehow, that picture of Anna taking notes just about has me undone. I can only imagine the work God is doing in her, in each of you.

    Much love.

  11. floyd

    God can water the world with your drop in the ocean. What an awesome legacy you’re building for you and your children. God bless, I’m praying for you guys.

  12. Melody VanDerVliet

    Jennifer ~
    Thank you for these beautiful posts. You are “preparing” me for my trip to Haiti next month. I will be visiting JeanJean & Kristie Mompremier at UCI.
    Love all the pics — praying for all of you!
    Love, Mel

  13. Lori Poppinga

    Love that quote by Mother Teresa! So very true, but we do what God calls us to, and not everything he calls us to is to benefit others~much is to make us fit for His Kingdom.
    Keep up the God work.

  14. Linda

    Praying for you precious “drops.” You’re making a difference.

  15. kendal

    so glad you’re writing. (ps – i bought several vibella pieces at christmas. love….)

  16. David Rupert

    Thinking and praying for your sweet family



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