Friday, December 27, 2013

If not us who will be like Jesus To the least of these

It's been 6 days since leaving Haiti and today was the first day that I actually allowed myself to feel the emotions I have been bottling up inside. This has been my third trip to Haiti, all equally important but this time, it was different. My eyes saw things you would only see on t.v. My ears heard things you may not believe and my heart and head were filled with so much more. I wish I had the time to write it all out but reading it you probably wouldn't understand the emotion I am feeling.

In no way I am writing this to make anyone feel guilty, but after seeing and experiences what I did the week I was in Haiti how can I not share it with everyone. It's part of my ministry to share with others so they too can be involved or how their involvement is having an impact in the lives of others.

There were many different moments on my trip that I could sit here and write about, but there is only one that I will share right now. The others I would LOVE to share and maybe you want to hear about them, let me know, I would love to sit and share with you.

On Wednesday December 18th, I went back to the place that I continued to tell myself and others around me I would never return to. I tried my hardest to think of excuses not to go, but nothing seemed reasonable, so off I went with my team. I felt ill as we drove and wondered why of all places it had to be this orphanage that we returned to.

I was not prepared for it, but can you really be prepared for something that you have no idea what to expect? During our visit there we learned that this orphanage no longer has sponsorship, which means they have no money to buy food or supplies for the children or the staff. This did not sit well with many of us on the team and many of us felt afterwards that something had to be done. We had gone to Haiti knowing we would buy food for one village but never knew that we would add an orphanage. That night we put it out on facebook that we wanted to raise $1000 to buy food for both places. We had people step up and give and what an amazing blessing it was. It was incredible to go back to these places and deliver food and know that God will provide.

As we dropped off food to the orphanage we went into the room where they stored their food and on their shelves sat 12 cans of beans. 12 cans of beans to feed 100 children. Is that even enough for one meal? But with the love of Lord he provided these children with 2 weeks worth of food. Usually I try to control my tears but this was a miracle, a miracle I just witnessed with my own two eyes. It was a beautiful sight and I allowed myself to cry with tears of happiness.

Today though I sit, I sit and think that one week is almost over since delivering this food which means there is only one week left of food. I am having a hard time looking around at all this stuff in my house. These children don't want or need all this stuff, what they want is food in their bellies. They need diapers, baby wipes, soap to keep their clothes clean.

I may be crazy but I believe that God is asking me along with others to raise $2000 so that when next week ends the food is not gone. Will you be a part of this ministry and consider giving? This orphanage will be a part of our ministry in Haiti and I am so excited see what God has planned for us, them and you!!!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Lord himself will fight for you.Just stay calm. - Exodus 14:14

As our first day of seven foods comes to an end I would like to say how frustrated I was most of the day until about 30 minutes when it really started for me. Today was a busy day which made it really easy to stick to the food plan, but at times made it very frustrating as I tried to remember why I was doing this again. I had cookies in face all morning, then I sat in Tim Horton's for over an hour and drank water, and then it was Costco that nearly did me in with those samples. It wasn't until I sat in my bed and was reminded of why I am doing this.
You see those three children and that husband? That's why you're doing this.

Jo-Anne pick up that journal you wrote in Haiti! That's why you're doing this.

Do you hear me Jo-Anne? I am why you are doing this!

I know when there is serious business going on, it's when I can drop to my knees and in that moment literally cry out to God to help me. Help us. Help them.

I have read my Haiti journal plenty of times, my tonight I see words and questions that are sticking out to me and I would love to be able to share some of them with you.

The scripture in the title was read by an 8 year old boy the first night we were in Haiti. He read it with so much truth and so power. He believes, even if with everything he has gone through he can stand tall and believe it. So I just found it fitting and encouraging to make it my title. This is something I must believe more than ever right now.

March 5th- Maybe God has a bigger plan for me but my patience needs some work.-This was our first full day in Haiti where we visited a school/orphanage. *Note* My patience still needs work.

March 6th- As I was showering, I thought to myself, could I do this? Could I wake up everyday to the simplicity of life and appreciate all good things God has blessed me with? I like to think I could.

March 10th- God has forever changed my life!

God made me go through "7" to prepare me but now He is saying it is really time to let less be more. - That was one of the last things I wrote in the journal and here I sit again doing "7" and praying God will remind of why less is more.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Feeding my Soul...

Tomorrow, yes tomorrow The Orlesky's will start 7 week journey/challenge of "7". I have been feeling it in my soul lately that God has been trying to tell me something, tell our family something. And I believe He is trying to tell us to stay close to Him.

In the book 7 Jen Hatmaker says "7 will be an exercise in simplicity with one goal: to create space for God's kingdom to break through."

And that folks is what we are aiming for, that is what we need as individuals and as a family. For myself the control I think I have over our move to Haiti as to when we will get on the field, how to raise all the money, what we need to get there has taken over the need of me leaning on God and knowing that He is control. He has it, He knows when it will all happen. I just need to lean on Him and know He is with us.

To start our 7 as family our first week will be our food intake. We as a family will only eat seven foods for one week. Chris and I will stick to the plan, the kids we will be more easy on them and they will get more options than what we have. They actually seem a bit excited for it, Ethan is convinced I am doing it to him cause he hates vegetables. No sweet boy, I just want you to know how much more Jesus can fill you up than food. That is exactly what I feel like I need, is a good feeding in my soul. I want to be filled with His word and truth.

So here we go again, pray for us, this time around I'm sure we are going to need it.

I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
                                                                 Philippians 4:12-13

Friday, October 11, 2013

Let It Out!

It's been awhile but I thought I would write a piece about my recent trip to Haiti. It took awhile to get the words out but I think I got it.

It's our last day in Haiti and we head out to buy water and oranges to give out. We wait for the time to come to go back to the place that changed it all for me. I have been waiting for this day since the day I left it, but I have been waiting even more impatiently since returning to Haiti. I forgot to mention that in the middle of the night I am awoken with pains in my stomach, and know I am in for a long day of sickness. But I refuse to let anything stop me from going. As we start driving there, I know we are in for a bumpy ride off the path so all I can do is pray. I pray "Lord, please just get me through my time here. Let me be here for the children and for you. Amen." We arrive and I feel this instant relief in my stomach where I feel comfortable enough to get out of the van. We head into a one bedroom house where there squeezed in are at least 130 children and teens. I see familiar faces, faces that changed me. They welcome us and we give thanks for them allowing us to come visit. The man in charge asks if we would like to go outside and play with them. In my head I am jumping and screaming "YES,YES, YES."

We head outside to spend time with the children, and all I hear are kids yelling to get our attention. I no longer see Chris's legs at this point, all I see are children hugging him. I pick up one little girl and a smile spreads across her face and she snuggles in. We walk over to watch the other kids play soccer. I bend down to be at the children's level. I ask each child that comes to me what their name is. Some answer others just smile and hold my hand. I smile and thank God for these beautiful children He has put in front of me. I see the sweet twin boys who stole my heart the first time and I hold one tight in my arms and there he falls asleep. I ask myself if I can hold him forever, can I hold them all forever?

It's time to hand out the water and oranges. The children line up and one by one they come and receive. I hear faint Thank-you's and once again am blessed with those little smiles. We finish and it's time for goodbyes. Once again we are thanked and I with sincere intention reply "I'll see you soon."

Back at where we are staying, I sit and let my time there sink in and once again the Lord has broken me and has put it deep within my heart where it has always been that that's where I am suppose to be. There I know is where it will begin and I pray that the Lord shows me the way because I know it's not I that can do it but Him.

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released,
that the blind will see,
that the oppressed will be set free, - Luke 4:18

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Double Digits

99 Days till The Orlesky's begin a chapter!!!

We are excited, we are nervous, we are feeling a little bit of everything.  I think most importantly we feel at peace with where our lives are heading. Changes have already happened from last week but that's okay. We are still moving forward and preparing ourselves at the best that we can.

Yesterday our house went up for sale and it finally felt real that change is happening. Now we wait and pray that someone finds our home and loves it. I've started to go through stuff in the house and deciding if it's worth keeping or just getting rid of, I'm pretty sure 90% of the stuff will end up going. I'm sure I'll make a few dollars to put away...

Tonight I worked on ways that we can raise money to help towards our new beginning. Last week I was completely overwhelmed with the idea of raising money tonight I feel excited. I'm ready to do this, I need to do this, I WANT to do this.

There are days I wonder what I did do deserve the love of God. I wonder why He chose my family to go where we are headed. I am just thankful for it all!!!

We have a quite the ride ahead of us, but we stand together as family with God and we know it will all work out for Him.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Ummm... Where is that?

So remember that post back in January where I said that the Orlesky's are going to have a big year? Well I wasn't kidding, and even I am surprised by the happenings.

Well I am happy to announce that this August my family will be calling Pohnpei, Micronesia home for 9 weeks. Where is that you ask? I have been asked that by almost everyone we have told thus far, and since the only explanation I can give you is it's above Australia. Here is a better description that Wikipedia gives:
Micronesia is a subregion of Oceania, comprising thousands of small islands in the western Pacific Ocean. It is distinct from Melanesia to the south, and Polynesia to the east. The Philippines lie to the west, and Indonesia to the southwest.

Now your next question might be Why? Chris and I applied to attend the Iris Ministries Harvest School and we have been accepted. Here is a link to check it out :)
We are also going because we know we have come to a place in our life where there is more, even if it means having less. We feel that God is leading us into becoming missionaries in a different country and attending this school we are going to have the opportunity to learn and grow. 

 With this being said we also know that we have obstacles and challenges ahead of us. Our first challenge we need overcome is to raise enough by this Friday April 19th to pay for our deposit. We had an unexpected blessing yesterday which is going to help with us with our deposit but we still need to raise more. 

Once we get past this, we are going to need to raise enough money to cover the cost of the remaining tuition, the flights to Micronesia and expenses that we will have to pay while we are there.We have a big goal to reach but with lots of prayer and support from people like you, we know we can reach it.

So here is my request from anyone reading this. My first request is for prayers. We know that our God is bigger than anything in this world and that if this is His plan for my family, He will provide.

Secondly, as much as we know our God will provide, we also know that God may use some of you to help us. Without financial help from family/friends/strangers we know that this will not be able to happen. 

We know that God has called our family to be missionaries and there is nothing more we want than to be able to glorify His name and build up His kingdom. 

So as I end this please pray for our family over this week as we work towards raising money for our deposit. 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

You Can't Just Wait!

Better to love God and die unknown than to love the world and be a hero; better to be content with poverty than to die a slave to wealth; better to have taken some risks and lost than to have done nothing and succeeded at it. -erwin lutzer

Please note the above quote is exactly how I feel. You either like it or you don't, but when it comes to mine and my families life, your opinion really doesn't count. That is my rant and now I will move on.

I would like to really talk about the last part of what Erwin Lutzer says "Better to have taken some risks and lost then to have done nothing and succeeded at it."
As the days go on the more that sentence makes sense to me. I'm at the point in my life where waiting is no longer an option!!! Why are we waiting for the world to fix itself? If we don't get out of our comfortable lil seats (oh yes you) and start making change, then change is never going to happen.

Failure you may say. Meh. Atleast you failed trying. Atleast you can say you took the risk, it's probably more than most people can say.

Maybe you don't know where to start. Well everyone had to start somewhere, it doesnt mean they knew where they were starting either, but God led the way. It's okay to follow someone else's lead. It's okay to partner with someone else. You never know where you might be led to.

You may think the problem is too big so why bother. How about instead of looking at the big problem we start with a small problem and go from there.

I could sit here all night and give you a list of things that can changed. While in Haiti, I saw many opportunities for change. In our own communities I see opportunities for change.  I see opportunities for HOPE!

I know there are people all over the world who are local and international that could give you opportunities.

We can't just wait anymore. Waiting can take a long time, and no one knows for sure how much time we have.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

A New Beginning

I have been home from Haiti for 4 days and I am already counting the days till I can go back. Though I don't know the dates I know I will be returning this year again. As much as I would love to sit here and write about my trip, I can't you. You would never see the emotions that I feel and the love that I have for that country. What I am here to do is ask for you help.

During my trip to Haiti it became very clear to me that I was called to be a missionary. I had thought about it before the trip and thought I could do that, but after being on a missions trip I KNOW I could that. Am I going to tell you that I am about to pack up my family and move to a different country, No not yet. But if that's where God leads us then, then so be it.

What I am about to tell you is I am becoming a Missionary with Boaz Ministries. (Check it out!)
As a missionary I will be serving locally and abroad, but it also means that I will be living by Faith. Which means unless I raise my salary, I do not get paid.

So here is where you can help. I am looking for people to donate financially every month to help me do what God is calling me to do. You could donate $20, $50, $100 or any amount that you can give. All amounts will be muchly appreciated.

If you cannot donate financially, that's okay to. Maybe you can commit to praying for me and that I receive the support I need.

Share this blog with everyone know, maybe someone I don't know would love to help me out.

Come Monday morning,my new journey begins and I would love all the support and love that I can get.

If you would like to get more information please leave a comment with your email address, or if you already know me, phone me, text me, facebook message me. You can also send me an email at

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Haiti 2013

Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2

In just two sleeps, I will be on my way to Haiti for my very first missions trip. At first as the days went on I felt no excitement whatsoever. I felt fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of the things I will see. Fear of how I am going to return home. Fear that my heart won't be able to bear what I will feel.

Now I feel excitement! I, YES, I am going to go and experience a new culture, a new way of life and a new understanding of what we as rich people (yes, you! Chances are you are reading this on your computer or phone that YOU own,which makes you rich) need to do to help this hurting world.

God has given me a passion to go and help people. First he started me off with something "simple" some people would say. He sent me to a street where I knew no one, not even the volunteers and had me help these families. He also taught me so many things in the process of going to this street. He taught me that I don't have to go to a different country to help, I literally can drive 20 minutes into the city and find people with all sorts of needs. He also taught me that I am not there just to help them, I am there to share their burdens with them, to become their friend, become their family. And that's exactly what we are now, we are a family.

Fast forward 6 months and I am preparing to head to Haiti. During these past 6 months, I felt alot of pain and anger towards this place I live in. I would look around and become frustrated with people. I would wonder why we have people in our community who need help and yet we go about our everyday lives like there is nothing wrong. There were days where I was ready to pack up my family, sell everything that we had and move to a country that needed help. I would think if people don't want to help, I'll go do it myself. I would read about things that people don't even want to know about because well it's easier to not know or ignore. Then I would become even angerier.Then I would cry. Cry to Lord.

Then one day, I was at a womens event. Did I want to go? No, I was angry, I didn't want to be anywhere except in my room at home reading more and more about this world and how it needs our help. But I felt a tug that morning telling me I had to go. So I went. I wouldn't say the message was for me, but it was definetly something I needed to hear. That day I went to the altar and I prayed "God please. I cannot do this on my own. I am angry, I am in pain. God something needs to be done. I am only one person. But maybe with a few more people we can do a lot more. I want change, I need change."

Well here we are today, a group of ten of us are preparing to head to Haiti to help change the lives of others that we don't even know yet. So here I go again, starting over. Going to place where I know no one,only a few of the team members. But Im going to place where lives will be change. I will make new friends. My heart will probably break into a million little pieces, but that's okay because it will only strengthen me and prepare me to do more in my return home. I believe Haiti is the beginning of something new. A new challenge maybe? I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Pray for our team. Pray for the people of Haiti. Pray for changed lives and new beginnings.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

"Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus."                                                                                     
                                                                               1 Thessalonians 5:18

The last few weeks have been a very personal struggle for me. I recently started a book study called the The Global Orphan Crisis, and it has sparks many emotions for me that it is a bit overwhelming and I must really learn to spend more and more time with the Lord and less time with the things that are making me feel angry.

At the beginning of the year I also read about how people were picking one word that will describe their year and I thought what a great idea, so I thought what will my word be... I thought about this for days waiting for the right word to come and at our first book study session the word came to me.


Literally there are days I will walk around after seeing,hearing or reading something and repeat grace to myself. I was warned before the end of our session that we may have feelings towards people that frustrate us. Well let me tell you,EVERYDAY I ask myself and the Lord so many questions.

Here are a few of the questions that I have been asking the Lord:

From what I hear and read caring for the orphans and the poor is the most talked about thing in the Bible. So Lord why are we as Christians and churches not doing what was clearly so important to you?

Lord, why can't we as people stop thinking about our own problems that really aren't that big of an issue and start thinking of the big issues in the world? Clearly I am just as guilty to this as I am sitting here venting.

Lord, will we ever be happy with what we have? Apparently living where you live with a roof over your head just isn't good enough.

Lord, does this person really belong in my life and is this place you want me to be?

Apparently even just rereading this, it's time for me to really limit my time with social media and clear my head and have some real time with the Lord. He is the only one that can help me, I need his help so desperately so I can help others.

Lord, as I sit here, I pray that you can fill me with your love, so I can share your love with others. Lord you are my leader and I am here to follow you, even if may be in places that make me uncomfortable. You are my protector and my saviour. Amen.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

New Year

Well it's 10 days into the New Year and I have been itching to write something, to let it all out but it just never seemed like the right time to do it, but this morning seems like the perfect time. Not sure exactly where I am heading on this post but I'm sure it will come along the day.

So I started the New Year thinking what does God want me to do this year??? At first I thought he wanted me to get in shape...don't judge, I really did think this. And maybe he does but I really don't think he wants that to be my main focus. Of course me becoming a healthier person will help him because he must know how tired I am from the exhaustion of eating chocolate bars, sour candy and chips everyday. YES EVERYDAY! So I came into the New Year telling myself I would work hard at not eating that stuff anymore. I didn't make it a goal because I read on another blog that I was just setting myself up for failure. Ain't that the truth! I shouldn't feel guilty for eating it once in a while and nor will I feel guilty,so YES last night I did eat two sour jolly rancher gummies and a Macaroon Madness from Second Cup. But I went into with full intentions of not feeling guilty and knowing that it was going to be ok, because I know I can do this. If I can go one whole month with eating the same 7 foods, you better believe I can learn to eat healthier. I'm 10 days into eating healthier and I am already feeling better and less tired.

Well this leads me back into what does God want me to do this year. Well I don't have the answer to that, but in the last two days God has been telling me in dfferent ways that he has me waiting, and it's part of his plan. He is working on my patience and teaching me to let him lead the way.

I feel like 2013 is going to be a big year for the Orlesky's. 2012 was a life changing year for Chris and I. We have come to a place in our lives where neither one of us imagined we would be. Last year we were getting plans ready to build a brand new house or buy an even bigger house because ours wasn't big enough. This was literally 6 months ago this was happening. Today we are slowly getting our house ready to sell in the spring so we can downsize.Less is more right?

We are slowly learning that we are different from alot of people. It's not to say that we don't get sucked into wanting all this new stuff cause we do.But we are slowly starting to think before doing. It's sad to think some people live off $2 a day and I sit here get a tinge of jealousy when I see someone go buy the latest I-pad.

God did however gave me some hope the other day that one day I may get to living a simplier life with more of Him and less of other stuff. To hear about a young women take a leap of faith and quit her job and let God take control her life is absolutely amazing. It's not often you hear of that happening in our society, but it did and God is about to amazing things her life.

So I leave with that and continue on with my journey with God. He'll take me where he needs.