Corinne embodies pure freedom. She is someone that I have admired and looked up to since we were roommates in college. She prays fervently, dreams passionately, and loves faithfully. Her joy is illuminating and her heart overflows with generosity and love. Her story is inspiring and humbling. The world needs more people like Corinne Carver. She ushers in hope to the helpless. Read her story below, and you’ll see why.
Hi. I’m Corinne Carver.
I am a 22 year old from Portland, Oregon, attended Oregon State University and I have the pleasure of sharing my heart on this incredible blog that one of my dearest friends from college invited me to guest write on. Audrey is an old roommate of mine and to this day I continue to see the promises that the Lord spoke over her the year we lived together come to pass, and I truly believe through the testimonies in her life and in my own that there truly is ALWAYS MORE.
But right now, I have the pleasure of telling you a story…. A story that is so near and dear to my heart… A story from my life. One that continues to unfold, to build upon itself, to develop and change, move and advance. But I have to give you some background before letting you into the heart of what is currently unfolding in my story…
During my sophomore year of college, I finally realized one aspect, characteristic, innate part of me that I began to let grow and flourish and take root.
I am a dreamer.
I have so much swirling around in my heart, my mind, my spirit… Ideas, cravings, goals, and visions that have yet to come to life.
I want to create, experience, grow, see, and develop the passions that I have been given into something beautiful.
There is something so special I have found in dreaming with God. That as I look to Him as my father and believe Him for the great things that He has promised He will do in and through those who love them… Prayers become limitless and there is so much freedom to ask and receive.
Part of the reason the freedom to dream out loud came about and was further cultivated in my life was because of my three roommates that year (one of which was Audrey Roloff herself). We made up a house of determined, driven, goal-oriented and ambitious women who together we were always challenging one another, casting vision for our own lives and also each other’s, and were given a space for creativity, worship, relationship and movement to flourish. We all went through various troubles, hardships, and things we really wish the other didn’t have to go through but in the end I knew we had all grown in various ways and had been launched further into the heart that God had for us and the dreams He was beginning to make a reality in our lives.
And during that year was also the first time I went to the Dominican Republic.
Many individuals had told me, I think starting in High School, that I was fit to be a missionary. They would compare me to individuals they had known or women they had read about in the mission field and felt like I could be among them someday but for some reason I didn’t assume the title. I wasn’t convinced because, in my eyes, I had never gone on a “mission trip” before… Only state-side short term missions with my church a few times throughout high school. But, through all the encouragement and prophetic words that I now recognize as seeds that were planted deep within heart, during that year I wanted to see what this “missionary” life was all about.
After my freshman year of college I began entertaining the idea of going on a trip… I wasn’t necessarily calling it a “mission trip”… I wasn’t going with an organization, being sent by a church, or even going with a group. I had had a teacher in second and third grade that was now living in the Dominican Republic, working in a “barrio” which is essentially a slum in the country, helping rescue girls and providing a safe house for those who had suffered or have the potential to be victims of human trafficking. And these weren’t just women that they were working with… They are girls. Young girls. Some just starting school, others trying to make their way through puberty while still learning to receive and claim freedom other their horrific pasts. Still every time I explain it to someone I see their eyes grow wide and their heart break in two because of their realities I have hinted at as I have explained the realities that these young girls are up against.
So as I started dreaming of making a trip to stay in this safe house called New Hope Girls Academy. I began praying, believing, and getting more and more excited. We set a date, I bought a ticket, the Lord provided and I went in the Spring of 2014 for almost three weeks and entered into the girls lives. (If you want to read a reflection on my first visit there here is a link three articles down it is titled “My weeks in the barrio: http://www.corinnecarver.co/past-ramblings/)
After my time there I was changed, undone, and ready for more. I was finally beginning to “own” this potential calling that individuals had spoken over me for some time. I was eager to step into the “mission field” as long as it meant being with these girls again for a much longer stay.
(During initial trip in Spring of 2014)
When I returned to the states I realized I could fit my next two years of college into one in addition to taking classes in the summer and I was all for it. I found a Spanish program in Costa Rica that would finish my final degree requirements and was a huge need in order to return back to the DR and I bought another ticket, but this time, it was only one way.
Fast forward to today. I am HERE in the Dominican Republic, a year and a half later after my first visit. I am living with the girls in the safe house. I have little ones calling me their mama, giving and loving care and filling the impossible role of a parent in their lives.
I am in one of the most devastated neighborhoods you could ever imagine where the devil has had a hay-day wreaking havoc here for generations after generations… A place where I have heard individuals call “Sodom and Gomorrah” because of the perverse, sexual, and utterly sinful realities that take place within the families that inhabit this 15 street square in La Vega, Dominican Republic.
My days can be long and challenging. It can be difficult to love girls who constantly reject the love you want to give them because they haven’t yet learned to receive true love from their Perfect Father.
I am in a culture that just a few years ago was absolutely foreign to me and still have many barriers in understanding to overcome.
I am the only white girl for what feels like miles.
I am speaking a language that is not my own and I get worn out, defeated, and so tired at the end of each and every single day.
I see realities that I wouldn’t want anyone else to have to see, let alone experience. I walk down streets that give me chills because my spirit knows what my mind doesn’t have a grasp on.
I watch as individuals continue in the same cycle and pick up the same path that they have the opportunity to walk away from but for some reason they can’t wrap their mind or heart around that God would have something better for them.
But… There’s still this voice inside me… It continues to grow stronger and more every day… And He reminds me…
“It’s worth it.”
Because when you see a girl who has been hard for almost two weeks finally melt and crawl into your arms, asking that you would read her a book, you know there’s real love at work.
Because when one girl is taken out of the hands of danger and placed within a space that she can eat, sleep, receive schooling for the first time and there is someone to hug them and tell them they are worth it and you get to introduce them to their Savior King, you know God is winning.
Because when you have sleepless night after sleepless night, kept awake by the dark realities and called to pray and intercede for a group so in need of deliverance and breakthrough, you know that the Spirit of God is stirring in the atmosphere ready to release and break chains that have been surrounding for far too long.
I am in this place for a purpose, and I continue to ask God to release MORE because I know we are only scratching the surface of what the truly wants for these girls and their precious hearts and lives.
I find myself asking God what the heck He was thinking when He brought me here and placed me within these little girls lives for such a time as this… But I know that as He has invited me in and placed me within the chaos and rubble He is also calling me to invite others in and give them the chance to hear the stories, gain a greater understanding of the Father’s heart, and that we might all be inspired to give and receive out of the overflow of His abundance through the work that He is doing here in the New Hope Girls lives.
There are several ways that you can be involved in my journey if you so wish to hear more and learn more and step into this beautiful, messy adventure with me. I have a website: corinnecarver.co where I document all kinds of stories, images and calls to prayer that you are welcome to follow.
I also have an Etsy shop: Littleflockdesigns.etsy.com where I encourage you to visit and purchase with the knowledge that all of the proceeds go to my missions fund. I am believing the Lord for more and more funding as I am praying about extending my 9-month commitment here and believing that if that is what the Lord has I will know by His provision and financial providing. (I also made the signs for Audrey’s wedding that her groomsmen carried down the isle, you can view them >>here<<).
There is also a partner tab on my website: http://www.corinnecarver.co/partner/ where you can also give financially. My hope is that I will not only be able to continue paying for my living expenses here but that the Lord would give beyond measure so that I can bless my girls with the EXTRA blessings that I so enjoyed when I was growing up… Special outings, going out to eat, gifts here and there that they normally wouldn’t receive… etc. I am in financial need right now as I am finishing up the rest of my time here in the Dominican Republic with plans to live in June 2016 but believe that my calling to go to the nations will only continue and support will be a necessity as I continue to dream and plan for what’s next.