FROM OUR FOUNDERS.....
Juniper’s roots began in 1996 when friends of ours Cliff and Tammy, came to our church to share about child sponsorship. Our son, Georgie, wanted to sponsor a child to which I said, (as all good dads do) “Ask your mom.” He returned and said, “Mom said its ok, if you say its ok.” He followed this with, "Just look at his eyes dad." I agreed to sponsor the boy and, from that point forward,
God began transformational work
in our lives.
A year later, our friend Cliff was killed in a construction accident. While visiting with his wife Tammy, she shared that one spot was still available on an upcoming team to Haiti. Feeling God’s prompting, I decided to fill that seat. I tried to back out several times, but each time God held the door wide open. I even decided not to go on the trip because I figured I couldn't afford it. Telling no one, including my wife, I went to church the next week intending to back out only to find that the youth had raised more money for a mission trip than needed and the church (Cedar Grove BIC) wanted to pay for my trip. God had a plan. After an amazing life changing trip I continued to travel to Haiti for a few years, each time Georgie and Lori wanting to go along. We kept telling Georgie he was too young. Finally, at nine years old, Lori and I thought he was old enough to take part in a trip. For the first time, we would travelled to Haiti as a family. We continued to travel to Haiti leading teams for the next 8 years.
On January 12, 2010 our lives and ministry in Haiti were forever altered. A devastating earthquake hit Haiti while some of our team was there, including me. We were all spared and Lori and I felt God calling us to more. The church we were attending, Newport Assembly of God, and Pastor Gary Bellis were a great support as Juniper Community Missions was birthed by God. We applied for 501c3 status and were quickly approved. The name “Juniper” is representative of the two local counties - Juniata and Perry. Biblically, Junipers were seen as something of great value. It is our desire that we produce fruit that is of value to Him and that we always show signs of life.
Isaiah 55:12-13 (NIV)
You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the Lord's renown, for an everlasting sign, that will endure forever.
I will never forget what our Pastor and friend, Ken Letner, said when he took me aside before we left for our first trip as a family to Haiti. "I hope you know what you are doing. Hold on loosely." I now know what he meant, as missions in Haiti has become a part of who we are as a family. God is good!
Juniper Community Missions was founded by my husband and me after serving together in Haiti for many years. God laid it on our hearts to begin this non-profit ministry. The purpose is to enable local churches and individuals to partner with us in ministry projects and share Christ’s love while serving in Haiti. As a result, we are thankful God continues to provide direction as we are always seeking to serve more effectively.
Why Haiti? Many years ago we made our fist mission trip to Haiti. It was there Jesus gave us a love and compassion to serve Him. It truly is our passion. This is also how Juniper Community Missions was birthed.
We have had the opportunity to lead many teams from our community serving Christ together in missionary service. The names and faces continue to change on the teams, but the focus remains the same – ministering to the poor and the lost. Poverty is rampant, but hope is abundant. Developing relationships is an important part of our ministry as we serve in Haiti. As our relationships grow, Christ is enabling us to enmesh ourselves into the culture and blessing us with the ability to be a part of their lives. I know I’m amongst friends when I hear them call me by my Haitian nickname, “Madame Ti-Bab."
Why I go? It’s about relationships and sharing the love of Jesus Christ. It’s about making a difference by interacting, relating, caring, praying together, a hug, smile, seeing each other as equals, conversation, worship, holding a baby, playing with orphans, talking to teenage girls about abstinence, sharing God’s word together, providing for spiritual, emotional, and physical needs. Some of my most precious memories are of times of prayer. Praying over a malnourished baby, a prayer of blessing over a family, sharing prayer requests with believers, kneeling to pray with another for salvation, praying with a mom for salvation for her children, prayer for healing, safety, provision, that God would multiply food, for friends to be a light in their community as God is blessing them. Seeing first-hand significant, measurable, and lasting change in the lives of the Haitians through the ministries we are serving with is why I continue to go.
It is exciting to be a part of what God is doing in Haiti. I am blessed to be able to go, build relationships and share the love of Jesus Christ. Each trip is different and unique and I look forward to seeing how God will continue to use me as I serve Him in Haiti. Would you please pray for us as we continue to move forward in the ministry God has called us to? We are trusting in Him to provide direction, wisdom and discernment as we serve and share Christ’s love in Haiti.
“We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.
I Thessalonians 2:8
OUR VISION STATEMENT...
To share the gospel of Jesus Christ in Haiti while providing for their spiritual needs, as well as physical needs through sustainable programs. We achieve this by supporting existing ministries whenever possible; all the while encouraging and facilitating believers in Christ to go and serve.
James 2:15-17 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, "Go in peace; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
Matthew 28:19-20 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
JUNIPER COMMUNITY MISSIONS TENANTS OF FAITH
We believe the Bible to be the inspired, infallible, and authoritative Word of God.
II Tim. 3:16-17
We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Eph 4: 4-6
We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ and in His virgin birth.John 1:1-4, Matt 1:18
We believe that God created man in His image. Gen 1: 26-27
We believe that salvation is received through the repentance of sin and faith in Jesus Christ through the power of His blood, by His death upon the cross, and resurrection from the grave. John 14:6
We believe that the Holy Spirit currently works in the world and is present in the life of the Church and His people empowering them to live a Godly life. John 14:26
We believe in the resurrection of all mankind and that we will all stand in judgment before God. II Cor. 5:10, Matt 25:31-46
We believe the church is the body of Christ, denominational boundaries are from man and we are to be unified in serving Christ. I Cor. 12:12-30, Rom. 12:4-8
We believe in receiving baptism upon confession of faith in Jesus Christ. Acts 2:38
We believe that Jesus is coming again for His bride the Church. Mark 13:26
We believe in the Great Commission. Matt. 28:18-20