Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Little Resurrections

The last two days has been reflection, some fun in the sun, and a motto ride through the city, a maybe soccer match tomorrow. Today I was sitting with a woman at breakfast and we were talking about the strength of the Haitian people. What she said seemed so profound and simple and beautiful all in one. She said Haitians make little resurrections every day. As I got to thinking about it more and more, I truly could see the strength in that comment. Every morning they get up for another hard day, but they resurrection and prepare for another hard day. In the night their strength has been depleted to the point that they feel like they have no more, but in the morning they have a "little resurrection." They are exhausted, some have not eaten, some have children that don't get fed, but they go to sleep and resurrect the following day.

I continue to be amazed at the strength of a Haitian. If you could just get a little glimpse of it I think I could promise that you would be absolutely amazed. Today at the hotel a 13-year-old girl was here with her parents that had adopted her after the earthquake. She lost a leg in the quake and they were in Port-au-Prince to get the next fitting for her prosthetic leg. I later heard her story of how she lost her leg and it brought goose bumps as the woman unfolded this young girls strength. When the earthquake hit this young girl would have been 12 years old. When the earthquake hit this girl and her family got out of the house. Once they got outside they heard the baby crying inside. Without hesitation she went back in and saved the baby, but on the way back out the house collapsed on her leg. The baby lived, but with that she lost her leg. AS I looked at the girl in the hotel she was all smiles. In her I see a little resurrection. Her life has completely changed. What she saw, what she had to live through, death of family members, loosing a leg, never being able to just run, the fear that I am sure she still faces at night, but somehow she gets up each morning.

As the woman unfolded the story I thought back to when I was 12 years old. Would I have had enough courage, strength, could I have been that little resurrection? They are some of the strongest people I know. Mentally, physically, and emotionally. If you asked me what beauty was I might have to say the spirits and hearts of the Haitian people.

Feeling blessed to be here and part of this story. One day left. Packing up, saying goodbyes tomorrow and maybe attending a soccer game. I have one dollar left..hahah. God truly has provided JUST ENOUGH. Thinking I am going to buy me a spirit with it..who knows, still tomorrow. Could I live off a dollar tomorrow..ahha. Love you all, couldn't have done it with God's strength and all of your support.

Monday, August 29, 2011

More photos...

Some recent pictures of our time in Cite Soleil.

Painting, time with the children, and more to come. Thanks for all your support and prayers!

Last Day in Cite Soleil

Last day of camp. Last day of painting, what a day. In the hot Haitian sun for five hours without water, I thought I was crossing the desert and I had not drunken water for four days. The camp was great. Could not have asked for a better first year. The staff was amazing support. The children were a delight, obedient.

Probably my favorite moment was watching the graffiti artist today. We paid a guy to come in today and throw up some graffiti on the painted walls that we did this year. So fun to watch him work. Such talent in Cite Soleil. Makes me sad and happy all at once. Beautiful talent, but some of the talent that will never be seen or reach its fullest potential because it has no chance to grow outside the walls of Cite Soleil. Today as I watched Adou work I just had to smile at his art and the community coming together to watch, support, and pick words and verses to put on the wall. At one point he had to paint the outside of a bridge that was going over the open, sewer canal. They dropped the ladder down into the open sewer and Adou climbing over the ledge of the bridge and started ROCKING it out. So fun to watch him work. He wrote, “Kenbe’m, si’w kapab.” Hold me if you can. Thought that was so neat and powerful all at once. Hold me if you can. Cite Soleil is tough, but we are asking as a community to come together and work together, hold me it you can. Pretty neat place. We had about thirty people out today watching and taking it in. Just neat to see the community come together and watch it unfold.

The afternoon we took off to watch a karate lesson, which was a highlight of the day. A friend of mine runs karate for some of the boys in the community, twice a week. SO fun to watch him work with the boys. Fun to watch the boys engage, smile, and embrace karate, respect the leadership, and love it. Left with a smile today. This place continues to captivate me and draw me in. Looked out over Cite Soleil today and just had to smile at how God is moving in the midst of struggles. So neat to see him move in the community, in the hearts of the people, in the hearts of the leaders. This part of Cite Soleil is truly unique in that as you watch the people engage it looks like family. It is a community of people that HOLD EACH OTHER IF THEY CAN.

Tired, but happy. Grateful for this opportunity and thankful to all of you for supporting us with prayers, donations, and love.

A Look at Land..Crazy

Today we got to see a piece of land. As we drove down the road it opened up into a piece of land that had nothing on it. It was an open piece of land and in the middle of it was two big mango trees. Neat to see these huge trees in the middle of the lot. As we talked with the owner it became a bit more real that God is expanding borders. I don’t know what that looks like yet, but I believe that he is taking us to another level. Expanding myself, Making Roots, us in Haiti. The neatest part was that while we were looking at the land 9 boys all the sudden showed up behind us with a soccer ball. They stood there and were just checking out what we were doing. Some of you know that my sister and I have felt very called to starting a home for boys living on the streets in Cite Soleil. Our number was 8-10 boys. As those 9 boys stood there it was almost like a vision of what was to come. Made me smile. Felt like God was quietly speaking to me in the midst of a open, not yet known lot of land. Another day..thankful for new beginnings.

Slinging Paint

Another day in the Soleil. What a day. We had the older children today and they were amazing again. We hit up tye die today, which was a blast as they had never done it before and it was something new and fun for them. It is safe to say that I have never been this tired. Think I just ate enough for a family of five. So hungry and tired and it is only 6 and already thinking about bed tonight.

Precious moments today had to be the greeting smiles of the children as we rolled into Cite Soleil this morning. Painting with the guys this afternoon and enjoying color in Cite Soleil. On Monday we have a graffiti artist coming in to spray up a storm. Excited to collectively brainstorm what we want to write on the walls and bridges. We have painted three walls, three bridges, and three telephone poles..hahah. As my sister would say, “We are slinging paint.” So Monday Adou is coming in to spray up a storm. He told me he needs 18 cans of spray, so should be an adventure. I asked him how we were going to paint the outside of the bridge seeing as it is a bridge that is right over the sewer cancel. With no hesitation he said that we will stand the ladder in the sewer and paint. I think my expression threw him off, really man! Thoughts in my head…what if you fall in? What if you drop something? What if you fall in? What if you fall in..hahah. He assured me that it would be a.o.k. You got it brotha, lets roll!

The guys that have been working for us have been great. Today I got to go into a home in Cite Soleil and the little shanty opened up into a room that was full of tin artwork. So neat to look at….a thriving artist making it work in Cite Soleil. Beautiful work. Amazed me. Love getting to know more and more of the people. Been so blessed ot have the chance to be in this place and share friendship with them.

Camp has been good. My moment today was when I asked the children to write their names on their papers. The age group today was 12-15. I had a boy raise his hand and say that he could not write his name. He asked in this quiet voice and I could quickly read that he felt shame for this. Wanted to just hug the kiddo. So frustrating. A simple gift of education and this boy has not had the chance of even getting a glimpse of it. Leave here feeling blessed, but also this feeling of how did I get so lucky. Because of where I was born I have already a better chance than a Haitian girl. Just doesn’t seem far.

We are healthy and smiling. Just started to down pour. Between the rain and how tired I am, I might just fall asleep at 6 tonight. Want to continue to say thank you for all your support and prayers in this time.

Want to send out a prayer request. Have a friend that is suffering from bumps all over his body. Started on his arms and has slowly spread all over his body. He has been to the hospital and they can’t give him any explanation of what it is. They are extremely painful. This might seem like a small prayer, but it is causing him so much pain. I just ask that you pray for a healing of his body or also pray that we might be able to get help from doctors in the states to figure out what it is. He is such an amazing man that pours into the community and children. His spirit amazes me. He heart to support us, love on the children, and work with his fellow community members. I just ask that you pray for a healing of his body. Woke up this morning and just asked God to make them disappear. Thought how amazing that would be. For them to just disappear.

Love you all! I am home on Friday. Last day in Cite Soleil on Monday. Tuesday is quiet work day. Wednesday I am hitting the beach baby. Thursday work and visit friends. Friday home. Pray for strength in the team and pray that we would continue to grow together for the name of Jesus.

A Whole Notha Level

So tired that is seems like a whole nother level. My toes hurt and I think my eyelids might even need some Advil, but we are surviving. Been a crazy adventure and I tell you I have seen God’s power and strength in a whole notha level. It has been amazing how he has provided just enough or made it happen when there was no way. He keeps showing up. So powerful and neat to see.

Camp in Cite Soleil ..where to start First year that we have ever tried it out and it has been going with grace. Been surprised, but it has been awesome to see the strength in the workers and see the children smile and just embrace joy together. Made a friend with a smart alick and he has become my favorite. First day I asked him what his name was and he responded with, “Mesi.” So I started calling him that and now I guess we are best friends because he is right by my side. Painted with us today and each day he finds me. Played baseball with him today. Was fun to laugh and just be.

Yesterday I got to sit in the back of a pick up truck for an hour and chat faith, God, government, and Haiti with a couple of guys. Those are some of my favorite moments in Haiti. Getting the chance to talk with them, hear their hearts, hear their struggles, hear their triumphs, share prayer, embrace friendships, laugh and joke together. Grateful for those moments. Sometimes I think we as people always need to be doing something, giving something, serving, and we miss the beauty of just being people together. Love being people with the people of Haiti.

Been painting in the afternoons and that has been another level. We have been covering ground with paint. So fun to see color in Cite Soleil. It is pretty gray, so it fun to bring some yellow, red, blue and orange to the place. Favorite moment today was painting with Mesi and another little boy that is my favorite. He is such a lover. Always wants to be held and quiet, but so helpful. One of his arms does not bend correctly and I think it is because it broke at one point in his life and did not heal properly. But somehow he always finds a way to hold a paintbrush and help us with a smile.

When you first look at Haiti it appears to be deep in poverty and while it is, they are some of the richest people I have ever met. The other night I got to hear a man retell his story of the night of the earthquake. As he told me about the day in such detail, it felt like it had to be yesterday. He accounted the sounds of screams after it hit, the movement of his car, walking home because he could not pass by car, praying that he would find his family. As he told me his story I wanted to weep for this place. A day that will be marked in their history and it will be too hard to explain. But what amazed me in his story was his strength and his continuing adoration for God. This country may be the “poorest county in the western hemisphere,” but in all my travels I have never met a richer people group than the Haitians. Their faith, their strength, their ability to smile through suffering, their love to serve, their strength in dreaming and visioning, their hope for their children, their adoration for our God is so rich, it humbles you and for me challenges my personal faith and perspective of life. Continue to be grateful to be immersed in Haiti, in the midst of God’s kingdom on earth.

Continue to pray for safety, the team, the camp, the afternoons of painting and time with the workers. Pray that we would have the opportunity to grow deeper into the heart of Cite Soleil. Love you all! Thank you for your support and love.

Cite Soleil...last week of Haiti

So our car ended up not working out. Who would have thought we would have rolled out in class? A pick up truck, a hired tap tap for the day, with some rocking tinwork on the back and plastered all on the truck was “Jesus loves me.” Yeah yeah. Roll out peeps. Into the soleil today. So it was the first day, first time we tried camp in Cite Soleil. My prayer last night was that it would be calmer than expected. We showed up and the children were already inside waiting for us. We usually take an hour to set up, prepare, and let workers know what is happening, but ok…lets do it was the game plan today. One, two, three and it was game on. Went great…children were absolutely precious and happy. Almost seems like another level. Some of you know, but we believe that that God is calling us to work more directly with the boys living on the street. Today as I was in there working with the children I had this moment of, “Lord I think you are drawing me closer and closer to that vision.” I have to believe that half those children in there today were or have lived on the streets. Being able to work alongside them today and just be joyful was a blessing from God. It was good to be back today…seeing all the familiar faces, catching up, rambling Creole, laughing, and playing.

Hardest part was when the rain hit hard today. The church building we were in (a cement building with a tin roof) began to leak so bad that I literally had to move the children three times. Within 20 minutes our floor was covered in water. Makes your heart sad, a simply thing such as a roof is even hard to have in Cite Soleil. I thought about schoolrooms, people sleeping at night, churches. Almost so frustrating because it is that simple, a roof, but it is not there.

The camp has surprisingly been going great. The children are happy, respectful, loving it. Thank you Jesus. The boys in the group today were supposed to be troublemakers, but they were great. Funny, happy, full of energy. Was neat to see their energy displayed like that. Hear their sarcasm, but also embrace their funniness and moments when they were just happy. Today we took pictures and tomorrow we make frames. Excited to give them pictures. For all these kids I am thinking that not one of them has a picture of themselves, so pretty excited to see their reactions. They truly are precious. My Lord, I want to pack them up and bring them home and just love them like a child should be loved. Hard to come and hard to go, always the case in Haiti.

Today got to chat Creole in the back for a truck for an hour with some of our workers. Those are some of my favorite times. Being with the people, knowing more about their hearts, their land, their struggles, and their triumphs. Been a humbling experience, but continue to be so grateful for it. Been so good to see everyone.

We get to look at land on Saturday..crazy…excited to see where the Lord is leading. Just hear him saying, “I will expand your borders.” We are healthy, tired, but healthy. Many mosquitoes bites, but grateful it is not cholera or malaria. God has been good in covering our bodies with safety. Another day tomorrow, continue to pray for safety and time with the community. Pray that they would see God in all of this.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


So it is 2 in the morning...and I was lying in bed trying not to be angry at the sounds of worship from a church in the distance. As I was trying not to be angry I realized if you keep beat them, join them. Woke up and decided to write. While it is 2 in the morning and I am so tired I am writing with a smile. Wish you could hear this. It is so loud. The have been going for over two hours. They have not even stopped for a breath. Literally since 12 I have been waiting for them to stop and hear prayer, something else...nothing. Just going, softer then so amazingly loud it sounds like it is right outside my window. I even put my earplugs in..nothing. They worship like there is no neat. Almost want to put clothes on and head out to find the sweet sound because the energy sounds contagious.

It’s not the roosters crowing tonight, not the dogs barking, it’s the people showing complete joy and adoration for our God. Up North you will often hear the sounds of drums throughout the evening. The sounds of these drums are people coming together to practice voodoo. You often pray it stops, but somehow they continue throughout the evening. Not tonight...tonight it is the sound of a piano, guitar, and what sounds like a hundred voices that are worshiping. So while Leah is so tired, it is the sweet sound of people praising tonight in the midst of struggles that I can't even imagine. Complete adoration for a God that is bigger than our problems, bigger than our thoughts, bigger than we can imagine...rock it out is all I got to say on this Saturday night!

Love you all. Off to try and sleep with my one ear plug...but wanted to write and say thank you for being in this with us. We could not be here without you all!

And More Photos...

Life in Haiti

We took pictures at camp. Two of the best pictures. Says it all. Hanging in Haiti.

Some pictures of life in Haiti. My buddy JameLi. My home skillet hanging out with me on a Sunday afternoon. Me arm wrestling my Haitian brother. I lost..hahaha. Cooking corn in the woods with my little man Jean-Kelley. Best moment every! Boy in the yellow shirt was being a smarty pants with me. We became best friends, he always finds me now.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

More Pictures

O to Ryna and Shirley and a Good Ole Saturday Night

Burned the garbage….check. Hand washed clothes….check. Fending off the stink bugs…check. Another crazy night in Passe Cataboise. Day has come and gone so quick today. Last two days and then we are off.

The morning started at 4 o’clock as I said goodbye to Ryna. She is headed home today. Hard to see her go, she has been great strength and laughter on this trip. Neat image of her taking off. Night sky, a motto, Ryna, the driver, and a bag strapped to the back and they were off. Homeward bound. Kind of crazy to think how three weeks has come and gone so fast. She has been a breath of fresh air to have on this trip. Haven’t met too many people that love the Haitian people like Ryna does. She is a nurse, but on this trip she broke out her teacher skills. I told her that she should change professions. Her patience, love, and energy will be so missed on the rest of this trip. One day at camp we had a total break down, kids were crazy, the workers even seemed crazy and then I looked over at Ryna and she was calm and simply asked what can I do to help. She has been a great presence on this trip. Was just putting something in her crate she left behind and she is still encouraging me as I found a verse she wrote in her box.

Hebrews 12:12-13
So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your knees. Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.

Taking a new grip today and I have another 10 days in Haiti. Ryna, if you are reading me now, love you! Thanks for all that you have done on this trip. You have truly been a beautiful blessing to this adventure. I couldn’t have done it without you.

Said goodbye to Ryna and also my good friend Shirley this morning. I think Shirley sensed that Ryna was leaving. Woke up feeling hot and exhausted. Shirley my precious fan, who I treat like a stuff animal by cuddling her next to my head has past away. Her battery life is done and I have no more to carry me for the next two nights. She will be missed as I sweat myself to sleep tonight..ha. Miss my Ryna and Shirley already.

Three weeks of camp done. Crazy how is came and went so fast, but so grateful for another year with this community and children. The last day made me laugh and dance. We always try to keep the music piece under control. Have the children line up and run around in a circle as they sing. The children playing the drums usually sit on the side and bang those things like there is no tomorrow. But on the last day of camp they started singing, hollering, and dancing everywhere and it got to a point I thought, what the heck, mine as well join them. So fun to just laugh, shout, and dance in the name of the Lord. Chora one of workers took it to another level this year. Some of my favorite memories in camp was watching him with the instruments and getting the children involved with the music. I would be exhausted then I would look at Chora in the middle of the circle singing, sweating, and yelling for them to sing louder. Hahah, it was priceless. Rock it out brotha!

Tomorrow is the last day and then I am off to Port-au-Prince. Please pray for us as we have to get a motto at 4 am on Monday. If it rains the night before it is so hard for us to get out. River in high, road is too muddy. Just pray for no rain and a calm trip with no problems. Love you all! Thanks for all the support and prayers. Until next time….

Monday, August 22, 2011

NO RAIN! Thank you Jesus!

For the last 6 nights it has down poured in Passe Cataboise. When it rains here you don't go anywhere on the roads the next morning because it takes some time to dry. A down pour here is like 12 inches of snow in the states. You don't go anywhere. Ryna left Saturday at 4 in the morning and the night before it did not rain. Saturday night it poured again. We left today and it did not rain Sunday night. Talk about an answered prayer. Rain every night this week, except the two nights that I need it NOT to RAIN! I had this moment this morning as we were on the bikes. Sometimes I think I, we, people, miss God's answered prayers or because we live in a country where we can almost orchestra anything we don't give God enough opportunities to answer those little prayers.

I love Haiti for that. You are completely dependent on him because you are so far from your comfort zone that you would have no way of knowing to make it work. If it rained last night, the river would have been too high, the roads would have been bad and we would have missed our flight. So grateful for the answered prayer last night. Woke up at 4 to a clear night sky full of beautiful starts. Insane morning. On my bike along it was the driver, me, and a bag that weighed 100 lbs. On Dad's bike it was the driver, him, and another 100 lbs. How these drivers do it, I don't know. Riding on that bike is liking skiing down a mountain of snow moogles. You dodge a rock, dodge a hole, dodge a puddle, dodge a donkey, dodge a herd of sheep, dodge a child. You wouldn't think anyone else would be up at 4 in the morning, I was proven wrong. Women, children walking to the market. Men walking to work. Children herding animals. Made me think about my commute to work. I will never complain again. That 30 minutes in traffic is a bit better than a 2 hour walk to work at 4 in the morning.

Beautiful morning. Love riding on the mottos. You feel like you are in another world and trying to take it all in. Safe and sound in Port-au-Prince and ready to roll tomorrow. Continue to pray for our time in Haiti. A hurricane is supposed to be coming our way, so pray that is doesn't:) Love you all! Will post more pictures tomorrow!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Everything You Can Do with a Blue Sheet

So before I left for Haiti my sister told me to bring this random blue sheet. I looked at her with a face like, “Really, WHY?” A random blue sheet, what would I need this for?

Well the blue sheet has been the joke of the weeks. The first day it was our sea for Jesus calming the storm. The second day of camp it was the net for Peter and Andre catching fish. The third day of camp it was our sea when Jesus and Peter walked on water. The fourth day it was the wrappings for the leper that Jesus healed in our skit. The firth day it was the blanket that we carried “dead” Lazarus away in. The fifth day of camp we also ripped it to make blindfolds for when the children were taking a swing at the piñata. Today it became my hankie as I am battling a cold. Without tissues and two hours left of camp I decided to cut a piece off and make it my hanky for the day. I don’t know what is worse, me carrying a hanky for the day or the fact that there was more dirt on it than there was on the floor. Ryna and I continue to joke, “If only our someday future husbands could see us now.” We have had some “pretty” moments..hahah. This would be one of them. Me blowing my nose into a piece of a dirty sheet. AWESOME. Make it work.

Last day of camp tomorrow…the older children are louder and harder, but we are holding fast. We had “school day photos” the other day. Ryna and I made a star backdrop and the each kid was able to take a picture and we are going to makes frames tomorrow. I feel like it was school or prom photos…was trying to hold back the laughter…too cute.

Ryna and I are holding up. She takes off this Saturday to go home and then I will head back to Port-au-Prince for 10 days. She has been a great part in crime on this trip. Great spirit, knows the language, the culture, loves Haiti, and is just fun to laugh with her. She just gave me the best gift ever. For about three years now I have seen this one family wear this shirt that I think is absolutely hilarious. The family has three boys and all three boys have worn the shirt and I have tried to trade a shirt for a shirt last year and never followed through with it. I don’t know how or when I told Ryna about this, but she just walked in with a plastic bag and a bow wrapped around it. It is the shirt. She traded a shirt for a shirt. A picture of the shirt and me is soon to come….the shirt is too good to write, you just need to see it. She has been an amazing sidekick in this adventure and ministry this summer.

Please continue to pray for travels for us. It has been raining cats and dogs here and both Ryna, Dad, and I need to get out of here on Saturday and Monday mornings at 4 in the morning. Rain in Haiti is equal to a foot of snow in the states. When it rains there is so much mud you can’t take a motto and the river is high. It could make for a nasty, hard morning. So please pray for NO RAIN on Friday night and Sunday night. Pray for Ryna’s travels home on Saturday. Pray for our travels out of here. Pray for our time in Cite Soleil. We will be working side by side with some of the locals to run a camp for the children. Excited, but it will be the first we try to do something like this in Cite Soleil. Pray for a covering of safety. Pray that the children would see Jesus in it. Pray that the children would feel the richness of Joy, laughter, and get to feel god’s love through us being there and working together to bring the camp to the city. Pray that the steps are already being aligned to make it work in his perfect plan.

Barbequed Corn, Sa Pi Bons, and Popcorn

What a day. Camp was surprisingly calm, cool and put together. Monday started off a bit crazy, but today was great. The older children have their moments, but it is always neat to engage with a different age group. This Friday we will be done with three weeks of camp and then I will head back in Port-au-Prince. The drums continue to be my favorite part of camp. The girls were so into singing and dancing today that it was hard not to get caught up in it. By the end of it all I was sweating out of my ankles, knees, and maybe my toes. We do camp in an old school room. It has the structure of a mud hut, but has a tin roof. By 12 o’clock the tin has attracted so much heat that one feels like you might be standing on the equator. Good day. Tomorrow we are going to take pictures of the children. Was able to get my hands on a small, portable, printer so we are going to take pictures and then we will make frames for the pictures. I think it would be safe to say that not one of our 47 children in camp has a picture of him/herself. We made a fun background and going to have the children take a pose and smile!

The day ended with a neat moment in the woods. Yesterday the guard’s son brought us some corn. The corn in Haiti is more like field corn, so you have to cook it over a fire to soften it enough that it is good. Today, Ryna, the guard’s son (10 years old), and me headed into the woods to make a fire and cook some corn. We watched as he took his machete and cut some pieces of wood and started a small fire. We chatted Creole, laughed a whole lot, and enjoy the essence of Haiti. He got his hands right in there, flipped the corn with his little fingers. His feet were but 3 inches from the fire and it didn’t even faze him. Peeled the corn and put it back on the fire and kept going. When it was done we enjoyed bbq corn together in the Haitian woods. Love those moments because they are so rich with the culture and the true essence of a Haitian. He chatted on and on, took care of us, talked about Haiti. It will go down as one of the best moments in Haiti.

Dad has found a friend in Haiti. A 6 year-old named James-Li. Got this picture today of them. Dad taking off for the hospital and James-Li right behind him holding some pipes. Dad can’t understand any Creole and James-Li can’t understand any English, but somehow they have found a sweet friendship in keeping each other company on the job. I asked James-Li what he did today. “We stopped water from flowing out a pipe.” Hahah, awesome! Dad said that at the end of the day he came up to wash up under the spicket and James-Li bent over and washed his feet for him. Might seem weird, but made me smile in the simplicity of service and friendship. Some might think what does a 6 year old have to offer to a 57 year old man? Washing his feet, I think that is a pretty amazing gift of service. Makes one stop and think about how am I serving my neighbor, family, or friend. Neat story of the day.

Rained so hard tonight. A bit scary. Hate rain like this in Haiti; don’t know how houses hold up in this. Think of a hut with a thatch roof, now think of a storm, hard rain that last for two hours, and wind that takes your laundry off the line. Brutal, you pray it stops. Been raining too much, but just in the nights. Ended the night with a hearty dinner of popcorn and a sa pi bon, which is juice frozen in a plastic wrap, Haitian style popsicle. Don’t think I got my vitamins today, but we are staying strong.

God has been so good to us. Pray for our trip going out. We leave Monday. Please pray that it does not rain on Sunday. If it does the roads will be awful and we might not be able to get out. Pray for the last three days of camp. Pray that God’s glory would radiate. Pray for my strength. Heading out of PC, but heading into Cite Soleil for a week. Will need more strength, as it is an area that is often full of more problems. Pray for a covering over our team.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Week Two Done

Week 2 is fini! Crazy how time is flying by. Soaking up Haiti. The children were great this week. Repeated a bit of the same activities that we had from last week, but it was neat to see it through the eyes of a different age group. We ended the week with a presentation of children singing, telling jokes, or dancing. It was hilarious. I had a couple of boys ask me to play some rap because they wanted to dance. So I threw down some rap for Jesus and the kids began to break dance. Probably the cutest, funniest thing I have ever seen. When I say break dancing, I mean break dancing. These kids were 11 years old. At one point he put a kid on his shoulders and the kid on his shoulders held the third kid with his feet, then all three children together began spinning around. I almost lost it. Precious!

Good week, week three next week and then we are done out in Passe Cataboise. My dad made it safely here and he is working away. Ryna is in good health, we have been so blessed. Still rocking it out and thanking God for everything he has provided. Still continue to enjoy this place and the people. Been great to play soccer because it is a moment to embrace the children and community. A lot happens on the soccer field. Opportunities to get to know people, teach lessons, make friendships, and grow in language. The children are killing me. I think I am getting old because I can’t keep up like I used to. I am dying in the heat. Sweating everyday. Today I told Ryna that I think I was sweating out of my big toe. So hot.

I was able to head into Port-de-Paix the other day and get my father, which I enjoy because I get to rid on the back of the motto and take Haiti in. Love observing the culture and people. Women on the donkeys heading to the market, children walking for water, tap-taps packed with 40 people, the chaotic transitions at the river. The motto ride in to Port-de-Paix is about 10-15 miles and it takes about 1-2 hours. My dad compared it to motto crossing races. Seems a bit like that. Dodging holes, rocks, cutting the gas when you go down hills, dodging the mud, one usually prays the whole time. Then you think about how if you were in the states you would have a helmet on and then you pray even harder. An adventure all the time.

Week three next week, until then two days of rest. Love you all, continue to be grateful for all of you that support us. Will post more pictures in a week. The Internet is very slow right now.

A Day of Mixed Emotions

Today has been a day of mixed emotions. Started the morning by attending a funeral. A friend of ours, her husband passed away. In Haiti, when someone passes away you often hear this deep wailing. It is often very loud, I could here it and I was about a 10-minute walk from the church. Ryna said, “Sometimes that is what I feel like doing here.” Resonated with my heart. Sometimes I just feel like wailing for this place, the children that die to the harsh reality of malnutrition, worst string of cholera hitting Haiti, the worst earthquake hitting Haiti. Just want to wail sometimes because some of it just doesn’t make sense. It is a wail that is so loud that it sounds like it has been bottles up for years. Seems like there is not one family here that hasn’t endured a deep suffering. It sounds like a deep cry to God, “Help.”

I bleed for this place. It is hard to not want to give it all away here. My troubles seem so insignificant here. Want to yell at my self, at our world, “wake up, HIS kingdom is hurting.” Port-de-Paix just had many people that came to be treated for cholera, 1,200. Two of the Americans here got it and said it was absolutely awful. They said that their bodies had never hurt so badly. So thirsty, body hurt because it could not retain water, could not walk. The worst strand f Cholera hit Haiti. Please continue to pray for the people of Haiti. Pray for the doctors, the patients, and pray that the cholera would subside.

Doesn’t make sense, but then I think…God, give me the faith that passing my own understanding. Give me a faith that leaps after your love and power. A faith that presents its self-daily to you in an offering of take my life.

The day started off with a funeral, a mother and baby dying in the hospital. As the day continued we got to embrace the laughter of camp. Week two almost done. Continued to be amazed at what God is doing. The day ended with quiet a surprise. Tonight we were having coffee and got a call that they were going to do a c-section in the hospital. I took off after the doctors because I wanted to watch and see how my lovely mother gave birth to me: )

I got there and they told me to suit up because they need as many hands as possible for a c-section….ummm, what???? Scrubs…check…hair back…check….face mask..check…change shoes..check…c-section…WHAT? It was quick, but so intense and amazing to watch. Me and Ryna were supposed to be in charge of the baby, but the baby came out not breathing so Anne-Marie and Ryna quickly took over to do heart pumps and give him oxygen. I got put in charge of watching the mother’s blood pressure, hitting some button (that helped with oxygen to mother), and chatting with the mother. Crazy to watch it unfold. After about 10 minutes they got the baby breathing on his own. Healthy, looks great. Mother is great. Leah now wants to be a doctor and will never have children because that was some crazy stuff.

Called home tonight to let my mother know that my dad was safe and sound in Haiti and also say thank you for having me and going through that pain. I too, was a c-section. Mixed emotions kind of day, started with death and ended with life. Continue to embrace God and what he is doing in Haiti. Feel blessed to be a part of Haiti’s story and people’s lives. Thank you all for your prayers, support, and joy. Please continue to pray for tomorrow. Got to go pick up my dad by motto, that is not fun anymore. Always a bit of work. Pray for the next two weeks of camp, that God may continue to use it as a tool to reach the children and work with the youth. Until next time….love you all!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Last Day of Camp...PRICELESS

Just getting done making dinner. Bought a block of cheese in Port-au-Prince. One can’t get cheese out this way, so we keep it for “special” days. Today is special because I am tired and I want cheese..ha! But just dropped a good chunk of it on the floor, in the states I would pick it up off the floor and eat it, in HAITI, NO WAY. Cholera has put everyone in a scare. While cheese is so precious here, I am not going to eat it..ha! Been a good week.

First week of camp fini! Favorite moment today was watching the children watch our “theatre” play of Jesus raising Lararus from the dead. O did they laugh….we wrapped Wilfete in a sheet and carried him across the room and put him in a “cave.” They lost it in laughter. Precious. Great to engage them in a different way than they are used too. Another moment that made me laugh was watching the 6-8 year olds play a game of soccer, skins vs. shirts. Hilarious, they got a bit into it, but don’t blame them, soccer is more than a game here.

Continue to be so thankful for what the Lord has allowed and equipped us to do. The workers have been a blessing. Today we had a new attendance of a 3 year-old come to camp. Her older sister was babysitting her. The 3 yr old came all dressed up and with the cutest smile, didn’t have the heart to tell her she couldn’t come in. Sweetest moment was watching Wilfete help her color this morning. He almost took her under his wing and took care of her for the morning. He is so good with the children. Over the years working in Haiti I have not found too many 23 year olds that truly love working with children. Been neat to see that in Wilfete. They look up to him because he takes care of them. I could see Wilfete one day being a “father/caretaker” for our hopeful home. Neat to vision even more for the future.

This place is beautiful. If you look past the dirt, garbage, and poverty you see PURE BEAUTY. Hard to explain through a blog. But the energy of the people, their compassion, the culture, their ability to overcome and keep smiling, and their faith continue to captivate me and challenge me. Thankful that I get to be a part of Haiti’s story. Continue to ask you all for prayers. My father is coming in on Tuesday. Pray for his flight, people, meeting him, me getting to Port-de-Paix to pick him up, pray that he gets here safely. It is a bit exhausting to travel by yourself in Haiti and my father doesn’t know Creole, so pray for his travels and strength. Love you all! Until next time….

Another Day in Haiti

One of those days that goes down in the books. Camp was priceless, but more so a rainy afternoon in Passe Cataboise was nothing but fun in the mud. Brought the soccer ball down to the field to get in a good game with the kiddos. I arrived to find no one waiting to play ball. Within ten minutes we had two teams and it was a game. Within no time it started to rain, not a light rain, but a pour. When it rains here the mud is insane. Within minutes the ball had a couple layers of mud on it and my sneakers felt like high heels because there was so much mud on the bottoms of them. Thirty minutes later we are all soaked to the bone, laughing, covered in mud, and laughing that probably one of us will get cholera. I know we should not be laughing about that…but considering the way we looked, we were covered in MUD, head to toe. Please Jesus, no cholera!!!! Fun to just laugh with the children and forget about the problems in Haiti, United States, and just be people together.

Got a lot of rain tonight. In the states I would sit on the porch and love watching it fall. When it pours here you pray that it will stop. You think about the lost crops, the people that are on the street, people that live in huts without doors, and the cholera. Hoping it is done for the week.

Tomorrow is our last day of camp. We are having a party for Jesus. Meaning…just getting crazy for Jesus. The pastor tried to tell them to wear their best clothes, we said NO WAY we are getting dirty tomorrow.

Love this place more and more because of the people and children. The neatest moments this week have been enjoying conversation with the people. Makes me stop and think about how much fruitful conversation I miss at home as I get involved in my chaotic lifestyle of work. It has been a challenge this week. How am I making more time for relationships at home? Yesterday I was sitting on the soccer field and one of my favorite little girls came and plopped herself down in my lap. An hour later we were still sitting there and she was smiling away.

Week two starts next week. Here we go…continue to pray for the children, the team, our health, and Haiti. My dad comes next Tuesday. Pray for his travels, changing flights, and time in Haiti. Until next time….

Thursday, August 4, 2011

No Sign of a Tropical Storm

We heard there was a tropical storm coming….all we feel so far is a bit of wind, no rain. Don’t know if it is other parts of Haiti that are being hit, but we are ok. But continue to pray for the other parts of Haiti because tropical storms and hurricanes here never bring anything good. Cholera is still present and with more rain brings more cholera. Just pray.

Camp was good today. Favorite part was showing the children a National Geographic film. One could hear a pin drop. The only sound that was heard was their sweet laughter. So fun to watch them engage with the movie. They laughed so hard when the giraffe came on. We continued to feel blessed with the youth workers and the people in the town that support the camp, the children, and us. Ryna my side kick is amazing. Been so blessed to have her along. Her Creole, love for the children and Haiti radiates each day. She has been a blessing to have. Tomorrow we are having a party for Jesus, which means more fun crafts, a piñata, singing for Jesus, and some games. We like to go out with a boom!

Continue to pray for the Ryna and I, for strength.
Pray for the youth workers, Wilfete, LinLin, Lou, Ami, Chora, and Michelda.
Pray that in all the fun that the children continue to see Jesus.
Pray for the hospital patients. Cholera is still coming in, pray for the doctors and the patients.