How God had a plan--Almando

 If you take God out of my life story there would be nothing left. He has always been my Father, my Friend, my Teacher, my Comforter and my God. Not once has He let me down and I believe that He never will. Born in a small village in the far South East of Haiti, only He could make me the person I am today. I am second of a family of five children. I was 7 when one of my uncles offered to help my dad out with raising us. He took me into his house and cared for me as if I were his own child. He was not and still is not a Christian today, but God used him in ways that he will never understand to shape me into the person I needed to be, socially and spiritually. I have learned to rely on God for everything and in everything. I have learned to trust Him and pray to Him for my every need and He has always been faithful and gracious to me.

My uncle has never been to a church service--not even once in his life--but he would not allow that I get up on a Sunday morning and not go to church. In the year of 2000, at age 12, on a Sunday night, during an awakening service, I walked down the isle and confessed before a big crowd that Jesus Christ was my Lord as I asked Him to come into my heart and my life. My early involvement in the church activities started with music as I developed a passion for drums and went to a music school to learn how to play them. After my baptism in 2004, I got involved in a couple of choirs as a drummer and a vocalist. One of the things I loved doing the most with my church was going on mission trips, where I learned the real brotherhood in Christ and the joy of serving others.

I had a passion for languages and sciences (Physics mostly). After graduating high school, I desired to pursue my passion for electro-mechanics but due to the difficulty of getting into that career in Haiti, I chose to study Applied Linguistics as I also had a passion for languages. Even though I didn't really know what Linguistics was really about, I ventured in because it also had to do with languages. I was 20 years old when I entered college and that was the continuation of 14 previous years spent sitting in a classroom.

Three years into my studies, on January 12, 2010, a terrible earthquake happened and took the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. That would change the course of life of this generation--including mine. A few months after the earthquake, I attempted to go back to college to continue with my studies but the pressure and the devastation caused by the earthquake was still there and it was a tough spot for me. A wide open opportunity came my way when the Canadian embassy offered to facilitate three of the best English speakers from my school to continue their studies in Canada. I had never traveled at that point and I was one of those three chosen to benefit that scholarship. Unfortunately, I did not have a passport nor did I have time to get one, so I missed the opportunity. I could not have been more sad and broken. But God who opens and closes doors knew why Canada was not my place. Out of rubble and brokenness, He had something in store for me that was much better.

About three weeks later, I received a call from my pastor to be his translator in a partnership meeting with a mission called Praying Pelican Missions. Praying Pelican Missions (PPM) was already thinking of reaching out to Haiti but the earthquake accelerated the process as Haiti made the headlines in the world news. In February, I started volunteering to teach English at my church as there were a lot of people interested in learning the language because of all the Americans that were coming in with missions organizations. Because God laid in my heart to teach English at the church, my pastor got to know me better and that is how He would start a journey with me that I never dreamed of with Praying Praying Pelican Missions. I am and will always be in awe of who He is and how He works for me.

During my third week working with PPM, I met Cassandra Nash. I saw a friend in her the moment we met. I
innocently told her that she was going to be my angel for the weeks we were to serve together as assistant leaders but I had no idea that a seed was planted in her heart that later would grow and bear fruits, obviously. Cassie and I loved worshiping together and praying over  the teams before they went to work. Our common love for the Lord and for the ministry and for worship would tie us together. It kept us united in spirit even after she headed back to the States and stayed for 6 months. After receiving a clear call from the Lord, she came back to Haiti and there we both realized that a mutual feeling, more than a friendship started to sprout in our hearts for each other. We devotedly prayed about it and the Lord made it clear that we could pursue a relationship. Long story short, we dated for 6 months, were engaged for 3 months and got married.

Cassie is a wonderful wife, a great friend, an amazing mother and a my ministry partner. I would not have asked for a better woman in my life. She is all and beyond what I prayed for. We are blessed with two wonderful children which, of course, add on our busyness along with all the other things the Lord has entrusted to us.

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