Small Things that Make a Big Impact// by Chelsea Vaughan

People who believe in us are vital in life. I know personally it is important that I have that one or few people that believe that I can do whatever I put my mind to, and that I will be able to live my dream to the fullest.  I need those who will encourage and keep pushing me so that I do not give up.
I have two people, Chris and Cassandra Baker, who have stayed consistent with in these particular areas since I met them. Chris and Cassandra first came into my life right before I decided to go on a missions trip to Haiti for Thanksgiving in 2012. They were the directors of operation of the ministry.
My friend best friend Tabitha had brought me to Victory Christian Center for a missions conference where they were attending. She let them know that my dream was to be a full-time missionary overseas. My heart was to be more involved in missions.
I will never forget the words that they spoke to me the first moment I met them. They replied with “So you want to be a missionary? Well we are very excited that you are coming to Haiti!” Those few words just seemed to jump out at me over any other words that were spoken that night.  It suddenly gave me a drive to pursue it even more.
Spending the week with this ministry, the team and in the nation of Haiti, I felt a sense of peace being there and a brokenness for this particular country. During this time, Chris and Cassandra spent a lot of time connecting with me. About two days into the trip I felt like God was calling me to move there.
At first, I wasn’t quite sure if it was my emotions or if it was God, Himself speaking to me. I just gotten over my fear of missions. On my first missions trip to Mexico I was in a car wreck and got extremely ill with a parasite.  After that, I was terrified for about four months before I let God show me that it was going to be okay. It was then I realized I was more scared of never going back on the field than I was of getting sick again.
Two months before this short- term trip, I was in an almost fatal car accident that almost killed me, but God hand His hand on me. I spent the rest of the week on this trip praying for a visual confirmation that I was expecting to see before I left. The last day came and that confirmation never happened. I began to get discouraged, but I brushed it off.
The very last evening of my trip Chris and Cassandra asked to speak with me one on one and spoke the most uplifting words that I have always kept close to my heart.  They shared with me that they were watching me the entire week. They also said that I had something special that was needed on the team. They took the time to pray and seek God about asking me to move to Haiti and to be a part of the team. They received a confirmation from the Lord to invite me and they offered me the invitation.
I was blown away and I didn’t have very many words to reply back with, other than that I shared with them what God had spoken to me at the exact time as them, but my confirmation came to pass and it was with the two people I was asking God for it to come from! I had really grown to admire them during my time spent there.  Knowing that they were missionaries for about three years at that point I wanted to learn as much as I could from them. Who knew that about three months later they would be my mentors in the nation of Haiti?
Throughout the year and a half that I lived in Haiti with them I had really grown into the person I knew I needed to become to live out the calling God had placed over me.  I’m the kind of person that needs mentors in my life as a pillar of protection and guidance. I think that no matter how much you sprout in growth and wisdom there is always something you can learn.
Chris and Cassandra always showed me that speaking into my life was just as important to them as it was to me and that pouring out was effective to the process of my personal growth. They spent time learning my love language and knowing who I am as an individual. It’s the little things that make the difference, and they took the time for the little things. They are the kind of people who correct with love, who guide with wisdom and who are real. They are filled with compassion, mercy and an anointing.
November of 2013 our team of missionaries had to come home for a longer time than usual.  After this happened I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do. My whole direction was pointed to living in Haiti long-term, and I didn’t see anything else. It was that season where God called me to attend Victory Bible College as a missions student to gain more preparation for the future.
Chris and Cassandra were right there encouraging me to pursue this decision.  I had always had a desire to go to the school but never knew when I would. Knowing I wouldn’t have to give up Haiti that season and wanting to obey God, I went. I still had a rough time because I was drastically homesick. I lost sense of direction. God knew what He was doing and in that moment and it really helped me get through that season.
Cassandra stayed back in the States where I lived as well for a few months.  She took time each week to mentor me, to hang out with me and to just be there for me. I cannot describe how much everything that she did meant to me. Without her I think it would have been a little harder to accept things.  It is God we look for strength and comfort from, but God also puts people in our lives to help us through dark moments in our lives where we may not understand what is happening.
Cassandra helped me move in to my new apartment. She picked me up from school every Friday.  She brought me to church with her and helped me get settled. By the time she had to fly back to Haiti, I was more adjusted. A couple of months later I flew back to Haiti for the summer of 2014.
They pulled out gifts and talents that I never saw in myself. They taught me to always rely on God and that He has my best interest when I had forgotten that. Coming back after the summer was not easy. I can honestly say that I went back into a confused state until I recently received a new perspective of what God was and still is orchestrating in my life. I have learned to enjoy the ride here in the States until the time God brings me back to the beautiful nation of Haiti.
Chris and Cassandra are in Haiti right now leading the ministry God has called them to and I am here in the States until I finish school, but the close relationship that has been built between us has never faded. From there they connect with me on a weekly basis.  They check up on me, encourage me, talk with me, give me wise advice and pray for me. One of the most inspiring words have come from them. They believe in me and that one thing can change everything in a young person’s life.  It is those mentors and leaders that you want to keep closely to you because sometimes those are the ones that are hard to come by.
It’s not always who you have known the longest period of time, but the ones that have stayed close to you and have stayed in your life.

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