Posted: March 14, 2016 in Uncategorized

One of life’s biggest challenges, especially if you are in leadership or involved in helping others is being able to see what someone or something can be and not just what he or it is at that moment.

The other day, I took a break from the office and took a little stroll on the Heartline property where we have a number of animals: goats, sheep, chickens, ducks, turkeys, rabbits and a newly added birthday gift for me, a donkey. I was sitting watching some of the animals when I saw something that in my 27 years in Haiti, I had never seen before, at least in the same way I was seeing it then.

Looking at it excited me as I began to realize the potential it had, if put together with a few other things that I was seeing for the fist time, at least like I was seeing them then.

I want you to see what I saw.  Here it is:


It’s a washbasin and in Haiti it has a lot of uses. including being used for bathing, washing clothes, putting produce or other items in it that are for sale.  Often vendors carry it filled with their products on their heads and walk the streets selling their wares; and they also place them on tables for passersby to see and hopefully purchase what they are selling. Honestly, I see washbasins everyday and have probably purchased a couple dozen throughout the years.  But this time I saw it with new eyes or new understanding.  I saw its potential.

Then I saw something else that excited me.  Ready?

Yes these are pieces of wood and screws.  But now I was seeing more than that.  I was seeing what these pieces could become and not just what they were at that time. Get ready to be excited.

Next I saw in the yard…


A table made out of pieces of wood and screws.  Now, in the three mile ride from the Heartline property to my house, I can see perhaps 200 similar tables.  But this was the first time that I saw the potential of the several pieces of wood, that this table once was, and when I looked at the table my excitement increased.

Then I took the washbasin and put it on the table.



And then I got some bread from our bakery and put it in the washbasin

Bread in kevet

And then…


I went outside the gate and there on the side of the street was a former Heartline discipleship student that was selling  bread out of a washbasin that was on a table.

I no longer saw just a table and washbasin. I saw hope, I saw a reason to get up in the morning, I saw food on the table, I saw kids being sent to school. I saw a man that could care for his family.  I saw a man that didn’t have to beg or steal. I saw what a few pieces of wood, a washbasin and a table could become.

Our theme for the  year 2016 is Strengthening Families and one of the most effective ways to do that is to help men and women provide for themselves and for their families.  I encourage you wherever you are, to see not only what is, but to see what can be with persistence, patience and God’s help.

We have made 10 tables and with 10 washbasins and with a credit for 140 pieces of bread for each vendor, we are seeing what can be as we endeavor to strengthen families.


Lets not see just what is, but lets see WHAT CAN BE!

John McHoul




  1. jessica says:

    Great message you shared with us at school! Such a good reminder! Thank you!

    • johnmchoul says:

      Thank you so much. I’m thankful to God for those that saw something in me that clearly wasn’t evident to most people that knew me. Thankful for those that see what can be and not just what is!

  2. Greg says:

    I love your comments here, John.

    In our “broken-ness”, God shows us simple ways of making us whole. and It’s wonderful to hear the “pre-story” to the work we did together in building those tables, and to imagine how it will bless those who use them for their livelihood.

    I was blessed to be able to put some of the pieces together with you guys there at the OK Corral…

    • johnmchoul says:

      Hey Greg,
      Good hearing from you and your help in building those tables was so very much needed and appreciated. I will e-mail you a photo of a couple that just yesterday took two tables and are now selling bread. Praise God!!!

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