The Difference of One

locked doors

2-18-15 ….I love how God weaves His will through the lives of many…connecting our stories together for His glory. What a gracious God we serve to allow us to experience His goodness, taste His grace, and see His glory. What an absolute joy to witness this in the day to day events of

God used the death of One man to begin a rippling effect in Mercy international. I know that so many stories could come from Dr. Leininger and his family on how God has moved and worked in the lives of those living in Haiti for decades. I am blown away every time I hear a story about God working in Haiti and through Haiti. I’ve heard countless stories of His goodness in this forgotten nation since my little sister and my dad took their first mission trip in 1995. Proof that the Lord goes before us preparing our hearts for His way.

 On September 23, 2013 we received the heartbreaking news that my Grandpa Axtell passed away. In his passing, he left my dad an allotted amount of money to be given to a charity or a cause of my dad’s liking. My dad talked with his good friend, founder of Mercy International, Dr. John Leininger and through their conversation felt lead to donate his father’s givings to Mercy International. The donation was used to pull a widow and her children from a wretched tent city and bring them to live in Village Merci’ De Dieu in Gressier, Haiti. It is here that Mary Marth and her children received the keys to their very own 3 room house. A house that, to the American eye, doesn’t look like much of a home at all…but to her, is everything!

It is in this home that she is able to rest under the wings of God’s protection and she is grateful. She gives thanks to God because she has a shelter, although empty, that she can call her very own. It brings her protection from the wind and rain. It brings her a night filled with peace rather than robbery and rape. She sleeps easy on the concrete floors of her new home because she knows her innocence is left untouched for the evening. When you ask the women in the village what they are most thankful for they simply answer, “a door that locks.”

One man’s gift allowed for the peace and comfort of one widow and her children.


We might ask…

Is my money being used wisely if I give?

Does it really make a difference?

Can it really change a nation?

I don’t know if it will change a nation, but I know it changes the life of ONE….and isn’t that enough sometimes? God used One man to change a world, He can certainly use your dollar to change a life.

When my grandfather felt lead to give money to my dad he was answering a call, answering a tugging in his heart. God allows for such healing to occur in the grief stricken because He is good. He is merciful and gracious. And when my dad felt lead to donate his father’s gift to Mercy International he was answering a tugging of the heart where God opened the mightiest of doors to weave His will. Here began my family’s heart for Mercy International Village, Merci de Dieu. Thanks be to God.

Thanks be to God for his abundance of love, mercy, grace and goodness. He has done more than I could have ever imagined. I wanted Joey to get a new perspective- to give back that which God has given us and blessed us with; and in return He did abundantly more than I could have ever imagined… not just in my husband, his life, and in his heart, but in the hearts of those surrounding us. I have seen others answer a calling, a tugging of the heart, by opening their pockets and giving to a charity they know very little about. We are beyond thankful for your dollars, and the people of the village are grateful. They are grateful every time they…

-lock a front door

-fill a bottle with water

-make a 2 mile walk to school

-turn on a solar light during the evening hours rather than sit in complete darkness

-open a Bible to read to their children

-grab a bowl of rice and beans instead of going hungry for yet another day

-take their child to the village doctor rather than suffering at the hands of a voo doo doctor

-pick up a thread and needle to weave a pattern onto a piece of cloth so that they can provide for their family

-lay their head on a bunk bed rather than the concrete they walk on

They are thankful….We are thankful.

And it’s from here, your giving, that begins a beautiful story of God weaving His will through the lives and circumstances of others. When you listen to the Lord’s calling and moving- He works beautifully displaying His power. He does it in such a way that you have no choice but to believe! Believe in His goodness, faithfulness, and power. You fall to your knees knowing He has moved and He Is Real. He is who He says He is. Those looking on the outside can make accusations and predictions to what has happened or why they think it has occurred. Those who don’t believe will turn their noses up and try to discourage God’s doing –diminishing Him in the presence of themselves equating it to


“wasted money”

“meaningless in the grand scheme of things.”

However, those who walk in the light, those who have walked through the rows of houses lining this village know every story written, every circumstance unfolding, every prayer that was prayed, every sweat that fell from the work put into each visit, every hope, every surrendering of selfishness and pride that God used for his glory to shed light on who He is. He does abundantly more so that we might know it is Him-all Him. Nothing left to our pettiness or anything we did. He controls all, is all and does all for His glory. I assure you that the money we have given has not changed the comfort of which we live daily but it has surely changed our hearts. It broke open a sea of gratitude for the things we have, for the people who are so willing to donate to the needs of this sweet village. Thank you for being that ONE who has given so generously and has impacted the life of a village who is forever grateful to you!



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