Saturday, March 24, 2012

It's been a long time...

It’s been a long month, ladies and gentlemen!  Please forgive our absence in the virtual world.  Circumstances here have been, well, Haiti-like :-)  Crazy, busy, unpredictable, and outright roller-coasterish on a regular basis. To catch everyone up will take a bit, but here goes…

In February, we were blessed with the presence of a team from a mix of Buffalo, NY and Lynchburg, VA.  Dan Uttley, from Lynchburg, had lived here in Haiti as a child, so learning from him and his time here was a real privilege.  He speaks fluent Creole, so also having an extra translator on hand was a tremendous blessing.  Dan also happens to be a wonderful, flexible, Godly man.  He brought with him 5 teenagers and a pediatrician named Lucy.  Lucy saw all of our children’s home kids, held multiple mobile clinics, and helped us get records in order for two friends’ NGOs, including Rebuild Globally and an orphanage out in Montrouis .  The best part of this team, though, was the sheer determination to serve all week.  They poured themselves out as an offering and we are truly grateful!
Hanging out at Rebuild Globally - Willow is making lots of friends!

Meanwhile, all of our heart kids traveled to the Dominican Republic to prepare for and undergo critical heart surgery.  As of now, all have returned home, and are safe and sound thus far with their faimilies.  Haiti and the Dominican Republic have been fighting at the border over God only knows what, so it took a while to get them back across.  Please pray for their continued healing and also that Roosevelt specifically will trust God to perform a miracle in his body.  He has been given a poor prognosis even after his surgery, and it’s hard to think about.  Even now as I type, I have glassy eyes thinking about what he must be feeling.  May the power and truth of the gospel be what he has seen in his time with us so that we will see him in the presence of the Lord one day.

Roosvelt with his smiling face before surgery.

I am truly enjoying leading the interns here at Chadasha . Johana Martinez and Carley Aman are here with us now and it is a joy to see them growing in the Lord.  They have such different personalities that it has been a wonderful picture of the body of Christ working together.  In the past month, they have been helping with teams, preparing lessons to begin English classes at the children’s home, weekly teaching English classes and bible study at Karade tent  camp, and  recently entertaining friends and family members who came in to visit.  It's amazing to see what God is doing in their hearts' and how he is building a servant's heart a little more each day in them.  Just 2 nights ago, we had just finished dinner, and to my surprise, I look over and they are laughing and joking with the ladies in the kitchen while voluntarily jumping in and helping with the massive amount of dishes from dinner.  I am humbled by what the Lord is doing in their lives and so thankful to walk alongside them.  I am blessed by them every day and pray that I would continue to be a good example as they walk through this time of change and growth in Haiti.

Carley on the right helping out at the Pernier Baptist Church Building Fundraiser with Ashton.

Johana, telling the story of Adam and Eve with World Orphans at our Children's Home

As many of you know, we also experienced a 4.6 magnitude earthquake on March 8th.  I had never felt an earthquake in my life before, so it definitely gave me a little perspective.  Ironically, Matt and I had only the day before, been contacting the owner of the house because the tile in our bedroom was buckling unusually.  We weren’t really sure what was happening, but had an idea it was the ground shifting undetectably beneath us.  So, in our beds that evening around 10pm or so, when the floor beneath us starting moving and a rumbling akin to a loud washing machine sounded, we naturally jumped out of the bed thinking we might end up in the kitchen below us.  We ran out in the hallway, and sure enough, within 30 seconds facebook was lit up with “did you feel that,” “earthquake!” and all the other exclamatory comments you could think of.  We were up for a while checking around the house and, though no one wanted to admit it, weary of a second, more intense quake to come.  I even packed an emergency bag, just in case.  I know I sound like a lunatic, but I AM a nurse after all.  Even if our house didn’t hit the ground with a real one, many other buildings would, so my services would probably be needed.  My husband got a laugh at my packing the bag and then we slowly settled in for the night after assuring the rest of the house that all was well and that if we did have another, well, the Lord knows when it’s time to go home and we are all ready to do so. 

What did keep me awake for a while, though, was the thought of all of the Haitians sleeping in the yards and driveways after feeling a reminder of the horrors they experienced in 2010.  I fell asleep praying for peace in their hearts and for safety as hundreds slept outside for the night.  Even the ladies at our children’s home took the kids outside to sleep and Kessy had to go help them get back inside, insisting that they not sleep outside for fear the little ones would get sick.  All I could think was – what if an earthquake happened right now?  Is this country ready to lose more souls because they cannot find their way home – to their eternal home? And what am I doing to convey that message?  It set my heart ablaze again to pray for those who are unreached; to pray for those who are over-evangelized and under-discipled, who may not really have an understanding of the Gospel; to pray that God would give me, even in my primary responsibilities as a mom, the ability to reach out to someone and help sew the seed that the Lord will ignite in them to change their communities and their people.

Thank you all for praying for us, for your encouragement, for visiting and plans to visit, and for walking this journey with us from far away.  I plan to update more often, for I know everyone really wants to see Willow – at least that’s what the grandparents tell us.  ;-)  Till next time…I will leave you with a cute baby pic, as is our tradition...or two...:-)
Willow loving her first outside bath in the wash basin!
Willow's second time on the beach, first time in the water.