Monday, January 10, 2011

Trip to PDP & Last 2 days in PC

The last 1/3rd of our trip… Well almost …. Haha.

I guess the whole being good at blogging thing is seasonal… and this is drought season for us…. Thanks for hanging with us though! Not only have we not had much time but I think it has been hard for us to process the last few days… most of the days have been full of traveling… which means our eyes have seen some new things… some disturbing things.

We left off on Tuesday afternoon. Most of the team went to the soccer field… which was a daily thing for Dustin and Jacob. They were so faithful with having soccer games with the kids each day. Haitians love to play soccer… and they LOVED Dustin and Jacob J Soccer is a big event in Haiti… it’s not just for those who play… watching is part of the fun! The younger girls ran out cheering at times… too cute. Jello was a HUGE hit for our team and others this past August… we tried some for desert this time and EPIC FAIL. NASTY. WEIRD CONSISTENCY. That’s all I will say about that.

Side note----- Mary Kate has been doing a FABULOUS job with writing these blogs from a team perspective over the last few days. I, Jessica, however… I am not so good at that J So I will story tell from my point of view. Hope that’s okay with you all!

Wednesday was the day that I was anticipating since arriving in Haiti the week before… It was the day I was going to go to Port-de-Paix (PDP) to bring Summer, a friend, and 2 special little girls to Passe Catabois. One of the special little girls being Sandra… most of you know her story. But I was so stoked to be able to spend time with Sandra, now Phoebe. I even had the whole group about as excited as I was J Anyways… Wednesday came and went quickly. I went into PDP with Chrisnet and Wilfet on Wilfet’s motorcycle to get the girls while Kate, Christin, Dustin, Rachel, & Jacob stayed in Passe Catabois to hold down the fort. It was hard for me to leave them there… it almost felt wrong. But they assured me they would be fine.

The plan was to leave at 9 am to arrive in PDP around 11, make hotel reservations and be back at the airport to pick the girls up at 12. But you know… we were in Haiti. I’m not sure what came over me to make me think that would actually happen. Wilfet showed up pretty close to 9 but I told him to come at 8 am because I knew he would be late… we waited until like 9 45 for Chrisnet… I must admit I was becoming impatient because I had things to do and people to see J All to find out that he was in our guesthouse the ENTIRE TIME… reading the Bible with Jacques. Haha… hard to be mad at that… right?? We planned to take a tap tap in but Wilfet changed his mind around 10 30 and decided that we would take his motorcycle. That was the best idea I had heard yet so we went with it!

I can’t quite describe the joy that that my spirit felt riding on a motorcycle in Haiti with 2 of my favorite boys…. Seeing more of the country and seeing things from their perspective was priceless. The sun beating down and the wind against my face was a beautiful combination J Wilfet took a different way to PDP than I have ever traveled before, he says the path is easier on his moto… on the way there were fields and fields of corn with workers scattered throughout. Some of the land was green and jungle like/mountainous and then 2 minutes later you would be in dessert like conditions. Haiti’s terrain is so diverse!

Summer actually ended up texting me on the way into the city that they were running behind… gave me a sigh of relief to know that we weren’t the only ones! We pulled up at Tortug’ Air and since Summer the rest of her gang had not arrived yet we ran some errands for Jacques (changed money & purchased milk) and set out to find a hotel for us to stay in Thursday night. Tortug directed us to Hotel Kaf. An employee for Tortug, Martin, put us in his truck and drove us over the hotel. I’m not sure if he was the owner of the hotel as well… but he seemed like he ran the joint. My first impression of Hotel Kaf was sketchy sketch. I have never seen a brothel… but walking into this hotel was what I have always imagined a brothel in a third world country would look like. As far as I could tell we had no other option so I went with it. Paid a deposit of $40 USD… literally just prayed that the Lord would work the rest out. When I asked for a receipt Martin asked me for pen and paper and he wrote down his information and what I had paid. Ha. Legit?? I dunno… but I was hoping so. After we got finished at Hotel Kaf, Chrisnet told me he would like it if one of our guy friends would come and stay with us in the hotel. Haha… talk about make you feel good about where you are staying. I told him I would work on it.

*** We picked up another straggler in PDP. Anne-Marie invited a guy to stay with our group for a day to learn English. His name is Shervans. He joined us at Tortug Air and came with us to the hotel and then to Passe Catabois.

When we finished with the errands and hotel reservation making Summer had arrived at the airport. It was so great to finally meet her and her friend Sam. Phoebe was asleep in her arms and Chellda was in Sam’s lap scared to death being out of her comfort zone of the orphanage walls. Summer let me hold Phoebe practically the moment I got there… I am so grateful that she allows me to love her! Wilfet sent us a taptap to the airport and he headed back to PC with Shervans on his moto. I sat in the front of the tap tap with Phoebe in my lap sleeping and Sam sat with Chellda. Summer and Chrisnet took a seat in the rear… Summer’s first tap tap ride J Pheobe slowly woke up and gave me the biggest smile when she saw me…. Made my heart melt J She has such a beautiful little spirit! Beautiful, feisty, spoiled, and a toddler…. Makes for a great combination! She cooed, spoke in her little toddler Kreyol phrases, sang, and explored my face the whole way there. I was in HEAVEN!--- This tap tap ride went a lot smoother than the last one I had been on… no break downs.. no flats… we made it to PC within an hour and a half. My toosh still hurt though. Ha.

The ride was uneventful but I should have known that was too good to be true. When I tried to pay the driver he told me I owed him more money because he had made a deal with Wilfet. Well since Wilfet didn’t relay that message I didn’t know whether or not to believe the man. He wanted to charge us almost double of what everyone else paid. I refused and explained to him that his price was unfair. He didn’t care. He was relentless. Most Haitians are. After 10 minutes of trying to bargain with him I just had to walk away. Anne Marie had walked up so I explained the situation to her. She went and delt with it in a very Haitian way…. He finally got over his anger and explained to her that he came to the airport for us and left without his tap tap being full. So he just expected us to pay for the rest because I’m a white foreigner. Dumb decision on his part to leave without his tap tap full and for assuming I would pick up the slack and dumb on my part for assuming that I would be treated like everyone else on the tap tap. We made a deal and called it a day for the tap taps.

Chrisnet, Summer, Sam, Phoebe, Chellda, and I walked up to find that Wilfet and Shervans had beat us to town and the rest of our group at the soccer field. Everyone stopped in the middle of the game to check out the new visitors and when they found out that Phoebe (Sandra to them) was back for a visit they had to see her! So cute to see their responses. Phoebe went right to Rachel… which was pretty impressive because if Summer is around Phoebe usually wants nothing to do with anyone else.

My buddies gave me an update on how their day was… they said they were able to do some crafts with the kiddos, did some coloring sheets, put puzzles together with the hospital patients, and just hang out.

Dance parties were usually always involved. Dustin and Rosmanette have been in MANY dance off’s this week....

We spent the evening chatting about our time in Haiti… struggles… triumphs…passions…desires…callings. It is indeed a beautiful thing to talk about with our partners in the ministry. Pizza was on the menu.,… I’m almost certain the Lord multiplied the pizza that we brought. We were able to feed our group of 6, Summer, Sam, Phoebe, Chellda, Shervans, Chrisnet, Jacques and Isabel! Phoebe was HUGE FAN of pizza sauce and pepperoni… I’m not sure why but it shocked me.

We actually had a bat fly in the kitchen during supper… haha. Christin and Kate came UNCORKED. Funny to watch! Jacques said in his VERY THICK FRENCH ACCENT, “Christin, no worry. Bat eat fruit, Not human.” Haha, She was not convinced. All it took was turning the lights off for 5 seconds and POOF… the bat was GONE! Jacques is a LIFE SAVER and an expert in the wilderness. You would want him on your team… TRUST ME!

It was really fun to see Jacques and Isabel react to seeing Phoebe …. You can see the love in their eyes for the children they have cared for in the past. They are the ones that cared for Phoebe and Chellda when they became orphaned and eventually went to LFM in PDP. They sing to the children they care for each night in a sweet French lullaby. We asked them to sing to the girls…. And they did. Words cannot describe the peace that fell over the room. I could tell the girls remembered them singing to them. I am confident that those songs at night were a HUGE part of Phoebe’s healing process. Thankfulness cannot begin to describe the way I feel about Phoebe having Jacques and Isabel raise her during a very difficult time in her life. They are a beautiful picture of God’s love.

Phoebe fell asleep in my arms after supper and Summer asked if I wanted her to sleep with me tonight…I didn’t hesitate a bit. I was in hog heaven. As soon as I laid down with her in the bed memories of nights with her as a newborn came flooding back. I got a little nervous and began praying that she would sleep all night… I laughed as I prayed thinking “that’s a shot in the dark”… and plus it would not make for any good stories. But to my surprise… she slept most of the night. I didn’t sleep good because I was worried I wouldn’t hear her if she woke up and didn’t want to disturb the rest of my roommates. She sat up in the bed around 4 am… no crying. Just up. I got up with her.. fed her a bottle and she was ready to go for a bit J Haha… Kate and Christin were up with us and we were playing in the room like it was 4 pm. Rachel rolled over and asked “what time is it and what in the world are ya’ll doing??” Phoebe and I went to the kitchen so that we wouldn’t disturb the others anymore. More memories came flooding back. Many nights in the kitchen with her… but this time it was different. She was a secure and happy little girl. I held her and rocked her in the kitchen until she fell back asleep around 6am. I carried her back to the bedroom and we both slept hard for 2 more hours.

We had discussed spending half of the day in PC before leaving to go to PDP but ended up deciding that to drag out good bye’s would be harder than necessary. Dustin and Jacob made a special trip to tell their sweet friend Duff “Na we” --- in english it means “see you later”. They have really come to love him… precious. When I asked them something they wanted to share about their time with Duff there were so many special things mentioned that I have to share with you :) Most of the time they spent with him was around the soccer field because it is so close to his house. Every time they got up off of the ground, Duff would dust their booties off :) Dustin and Jacob said they would dust his off too. Can you imagine a little 5 year old doing that?? Also, one day Dustin had a bandaid on his ankle because of a small cut. Duff wanted to see it so he took the bandaid off. It started bleeding a little bit again... Duff looked around... found some old styrofoam on the ground, wiped it off, and helped Dustin with his wound :) How precious is that?? --- here is a picture of the boys and their little buddy :)

I handed out some marbles and some small things to the faithful kiddos, we packed up, and said our goodbyes and headed to try to catch a tap tap. A large number of the kids live right by the tap tap stop…so we spent some time with them while trying to get a ride.

Ever since July 2010 Kate has had a heart for a little girl in PC named Lushka. Christin and Kate had a dress especially picked out for Lushka (it was hand-made by Christin’s Mawmaw Marion). Lushka is a little girl that is no longer being cared for by her parents… and is living with Madame Jal almost as a slave. In Kreyol the word is “restavek”. Madame Jal is good to her and loves on her but she still has more responsibility than any 5 year old should ever have. Lushka always had the dirtiest clothes… they never fit… you know I can remember being 5 and feeling like a princess when my mom dressed me. It’s heart breaking when children don’t know that love and that empowerment just from being told you are beautiful and feeling you are beautiful. We are all princesses… daughters of the King. We thought it was time she felt like one.

I wish you could have seen her face when she saw the dress…. It was the most precious thing I have ever seen. The dress is turquoise with a little bow at the top with lace at the bottom. She immediately went inside, changed her clothes and put on the new dress, came out immediately and showed it off. A part of me wondered if she had ever had anything that really belonged to her. She posed for a few second for a picture then sat down with us and let us love on her before taking off. It was so special to her that she went inside, took it off and put it away as though it were worth all the money in the world. My heart melted as I began to realize that we all have so much…. And to whom much is given much is required.

I will write more about our journey to PDP as a team, the night in our hotel and the days to follow SOON. Just wanted to give you this portion of the book before it got any longer :)

BTW… we are home now. Safe. Wishing we were with our family in Haiti. But we hope that our family in US will surround us with love and patience as we walk through adjusting to this world. We love you.. stay tuned for more!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Bon Anne "Happy New Year"

Bon Ane! Or Happy New Year…

So sorry but updating the blog has been an almost impossible task. Where to start? We got all of our bags just after we updated!!! Such a blessing!!! We celebrated New Year’s Eve eating one of the most delicious meals…sos pwa (rice with bean sauce) and crawling into our beds at 9 pm. I know you are thinking…what party animals!!! We woke up around 10am on New Year’s day and Jessica, Kate, and Christin went for a hike with Jacques and Isabel to Toutoon’s House. We were on a business trip. Toutoon’s daughter, Roselanie, wants to attend nursing school. We discussed options including a program that Canada is offering. She speaks fluent French…so that would be the simplest option. They were so welcoming! Bread and ginger jam was served on their finest china. We were also blessed to get to try Haitian hot chocolate…yikes! Just imagine a hot mud shake…that was the consistency…so gritty! We could only stomach a few sips. Overall, it was a great experience. Jacque, the botanist, gave us a grand tour of Passé Catabois. Meanwhile, Jacob, Rachel, and Dustin had a great morning of coloring with the kids near the hospital. It is so sweet to see how these kids respond to a little extra TLC and compassion. The afternoon was spent on the soccer field! What an event to watch small children out run and play the “blanc’s”…or white foreigners! After the game…We spent some time with the smaller kids. We played “donkey”…which consisted of carrying a kid on your shoulders and them slapping your back while yelling “Ale!!!” It was precious…to watch Jacob and Dustin love on these small children! The evening was spent with three sweet Haitian girls…Anna-Rose, Miriam, and Lisa!! They have been with Rob for several months in the Netherlands, and just returned to Passé Catabois on Dec. 24th. We made Mac-n-Cheese casserole for dinner…what a hit! We made friendship bracelets with the girls and spoiled them rotten! After the torturously cold showers…we crawled into bed. We (7 girls) fought for bed space between the four twin beds pushed together! Oh well…definitely worth it! PANCAKES where a huge hit on Sunday morning. We got dressed and ready for church. Ah yes…Haitian church…well we walked in at 10am and they had cleared an entire row for us! We listened to the beautiful music and watched the sweet church members praise God. About an hour and a half into the service a woman stood up to step outside. She became weak and fainted to the ground. Jessica, Kate, and Christin were the closest and offered assistance. What a mess…I mean we couldn’t feel a pulse…she was cold, clammy, and unresponsive. I don’t think I can describe the situation well enough. Several of the men came over to carry her to the hospital. About half way to the hospital and Haitian nurse met us with a stretcher and blood pressure cuff. The woman came to a little when we got her on the stretcher. When we got her to the hospital the family explained that she had been crying all day yesterday and not eating. She had been grieving the death of her child…eight months ago. In Haiti, a person is allowed to grieve until the funeral…and then they must stop. Ann-Marie explained that she is just overwhelmed with grief and was possibly dehydrated. The other half of the team remained in church…Jessica, Kate, and Christin decided to not interrupt church and wait outside for the group. Well…they didn’t leave until 12:30!!! Church in Haiti is an all day experience. They start at 8am and go until 5 or 6pm…with only a break for lunch! We were exhausted…I don’t know if it was from the three girls or the church service, but a nap was definitely necessary. After our nap, we conquered the crowd of children outside our house with bubbles and balloons. Rachel silenced the kids with her soothing voice and music. I have never seen 20 Haitian kids sit quietly for 30minutes…PTL! We spent our evening in the kitchen doing “team time” and making tacky bag lanyards!!! And yes they will be for display on our arrival to the Monroe airport. Oh the laughs we have had together has been unreal!!! It rained and the night air was quite chilly! I can’t explain how great it is to crawl into bed every night at 9pm completely exhausted!!
We went on a team hike yesterday morning (January 3)…which turned into lets go to every kid’s house and cross all of Passé Catabois…with every house we visited, we picked up more children!! It is amazing to see how far the children walk to visit us everyday…kind of gave us all a little more prospective! We spent the first part of our afternoon painting fingernails and toenails around the hospital. It was so sweet to watch the women’s faces when we finished. Even a few of the boys got the nails painted!!! Our team has taken on the mission of helping "Jada", a patient at the hospital, walk. She has been in a wheelchair for months... She says she is paralyzed and cannot walk... Doctor Anne-Marie seems to have a different opinion :) So we resolved to get her moving and out of the chair. It was a task at first... Jessica and Kate on her sides and Dustin moving her feet to help her walk for the first time in months. She has a different look about her now... maybe she has gained some confidence that with a little work she may walk again... who knows?? Say a prayer for Jada.... that she would know that she is loved and that she will have the confidence to keep pushing herself to walk once we are gone. While Jessica, Kate, and Christin organized the hospital supplies, Dustin, Jacob, and Rachel dominated the soccer field with the children! We concluded our day with rice and wolf chili…the boys were so pumped for this meal!!! We are all a little burnt today…guess we will be better tomorrow about applying sunscreen.

Today has been a good day :) Pancakes again for breakfast... just as big of a hit as they were last time. After breakfast we helped Jacques and Isabel move some of their belongings into another house they are preparing for themselves to live in once Rob & Anne-Marie move to the guest house with the girls. So we carted large and small items to and fro for most of the morning. As a treat Jacques made us Passion Fruit juice from his own personal tree!!! (that's right Norman... good things come to those who wait :) :) ) haha... it was tasty! Jessica went on an adventure with Wilfet to visit his family in "FWASION". They went on his motorcycle and she was able to see more of Haiti... her heart :) Meeting his family was fun too... they all wanted their pictures taken. Christin, Kate, Rachel, Dustin & Jacob were on mission to walk Jada again today. She is doing SO WELL! She has come farther even since yesterday :) ---- We have spent some of the day finalizing plans for the days to come. Tomorrow... Jessica, Wilfet, and Chrisnet will go to PDP to pick up Summer, her friend Sam, Phoebe and possibly some other sweet faces :) They will spend the day with us in Passe Catabois and then they will travel back to PDP with us on Thursday as we prepare to head to PAP. There will also be another guy joining us to learn some english..Shervans is his name. Anne-marie things it will be good for him to be around us. So we will see what that adventure holds :) Plans are still kind of up in the air as to where we will stay Thursday night before we fly out of PDP early Friday morning. We have a few options but are confident that the Lord will provide. He has so far :)

Thank you guys for reading and for staying up with us on our journey. we will probably not update until we arrive in PDP. So sorry the blogging has been splotchy.... TIH (this is Haiti.. for those of you who remember our stories from the summer)

Please pray for us... that we will continue to embrace the time we have left... that we would love unreservedly.... and that the King of the Universe would touch the hearts of the ones we spend our days with. We love them very much. And we want the best for them... the best means knowing the King of the Universe...the King of our hearts. Thankful for His promises today... I pray that you are too.

Just a side note...
There have been several occasions of doubt and uncertainty on this trip. We can see the struggle amongst the full time missionaries here in Passé Catabois and throughout Haiti. The frustration of it all is wearing on them. My plea tonight is that you pray for all the missionaries in Haiti. Pray that they find strength and passion to live out God’s will.

Our thought for the day…
The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet. –Fredrick Beuchner

We love you,
Jessica, Christin, Kate, Jacob, Rachel, and Dustin

Friday, December 31, 2010

nou isit--- we are here :)

In the words of Rob, "Your journey started as a survival." And gracious he was right. None of our bags made it to Port de Paix yesterday...we did not realize what a blessing it was. Our tap tap ride was not over packed and we made it across the big river. PTL! However, our truck broke down about 30minutes into our drive. A MESS....between the language barrier and no cell phone service...we were not sure what to do. Half the team was helping the Haitian's push the truck to jump start the engine...after about 1.5 hrs...we gave up. The Tap Tap driver said he had contacted rob and we should wait for him. We knew though that we had to start walking as the sun started to go down. I can't explain the emotions we encountered. But I can say that our team exhibited great strength. We didn't realize quite how far we were from Passe Catabois. Just as we were reaching our breaking point, Rob showed up in the tractor and wagon. He was a blessing from God. He helped us climb into the wagon and drove us to the house. Madame Jal had made us Haitian speghatti...suprisingly delicious!!! We were so exhausted and ready to get to bed. We all enjoyed a nice frigid, freezing, cold shower!!! oh well...the beds were soft and welcoming. We all slept until ten this morning. We are enjoying the people and the beautiful children here. Ann-Marie, the doctor here, is still in Port de Paix. She was supposed to ride back with us yesterday, but there was a misunderstanding. It is working out though. She is gathering supplies and gas for the hospital/mission house. Hopefully our bags will make it to Port de Paix today. We are anxious for her arrival. Our team is going to take shifts at the hospital to help Ann-Marie and let her get some sleep. Many prayers are needed here. We are so needed here...

I want our parents to know that we are safe. And we can feel God's presence with every step we take. We have sweet people caring for us and teaching us.

love and many blessing...

Jessica, Mary Kate, Christin, Dustin, Rachel, and Jacob

Saturday, August 7, 2010

mache tabarre

we spent our last day here in PAP cleaning out medical/maternity supplies from the women's center and organizing them so that they can be put in the appropriate facility.... heartline is taking some steps to open up their own full time clinic and hospital from their field hospital that sprung up after the earthquake. God has opened up doors thus far and it has seemed as though the hospital has never been able to close... :) it is a beautiful thing! not that people are still sick but that the Lord has made it clear to them the direction they should go with their resources and passion in ministering to the haitian people.

after we finished cleaning we went down to mache tabarre to see what cool haitian artwork we could get our hands on... tashi and jenny came with us. we even rode a tap tap :) this tap tap was much better of an experience than our other tap tap ride on our way to passe catabois... for 2 reasons... #1 it wasn't 2 hours long... #2 we were not overcrowded. it made for a good day :)

jenny told me today that she was going to miss me very much... and that she would be sad when i left. she also said that she would always remember me and that kenny would too. blows my mind to think about where she will be the next time i am able to make my way down to haiti. praying that the Lord would keep her in His hands and that He would protect her little one. also praying for an opportunity to help out financially. still waiting on word from beth on how all of that will go..

we start our journey home tomorrow at 8 55 am. and we should be home by 9 10 pm at the monroe airport. lots of mixed emotions by all... as usual. we have been blessed to be here at the guesthouse as we transition....but we still need your love and your prayers to know how God has called us to respond after seeing what we have seen.

see you soon :)

Friday, August 6, 2010

family clinic

family clinic day at heartline.... pure awesomeness.

mary kate and i were sat up as "triage", marrah and kasey gave out water and protein shakes to everyone and helped out in the pharmacy, megan helped out wherever a baby needed to be held, sarah the MD was doing her thing, and beth was everywhere. the Lord blessed me with a new friend today as my translator... her name is Tashi :) beautiful woman with a beautiful heart! i loved getting to know her and all the kreyol she has taught me!

we saw over 50 patients today... we were supposed to see 25 but that information was lost in translation i guess :) instead of giving tickets to 25 patients the guy at the gate gave a ticket to each family... and well you can guess how that went. either way it was great... just serving in love :)

after we finished our triage part... which 50 patients in 2.5 hours of triaging must be a record. along with full blown assessments... way to go frantic... you have taught me well :) hehe. but anyways.. we finished way before the doctor even put a dent in the patient numbers so we just got to hang out with the the girls that were working inside. jenny, the girl whose story i shared with you yesterday, and i had a moment today. just in case you didn't read... she is a 16 yr old motwho's responsibilities are quite overwhelming for her age and situation. at one point she just had a sink full of dishes that beth was reminding her that she needed to do, her baby had pooped everywhere and she had to clean him off, she popped the baby (Something she does frequently as a learned behavior) and was corrected by several well meaning people sitting in the room... so all of that at once just made her break down. tears were streaming down her face as she was just overwhelmed with life at that point. i followed her into the bathroom and just hugged her and asked if i could help her. she told me no... i didn't listen and tried to help anyways. she let me... which she wasn't supposed to let me but i think she really needed some encouragement at that point and just needed to know someone was there to back her up. after that we had some conversations throughout the day and developed a friendship. i thank the Lord so much for it. at one point she opened up to me and told me that life was too hard and that she wanted to take kenny to an orphanage when he stopped breastfeeding so that he could have food everyday and go to school and "have a good life". this broke my heart.. considering the place that she is in. her mom wants her back but not the baby and her late boyfriends mom wants the baby but not her.... she is panicking and does not know where to go. i am so thankful that beth is so vested in her situation and loves her so much. i spoke with her today about sponsoring jenny and kenny so that they could stay together and not have so much pressure to split up. more details on how we can help to come... this is something that i am seriously investigating and will be participating in whether alone or with help. if you want to help.. let me know :)

tomorrow is looking like we will be getting the remnants of the hospital supplies out of the women's center and then enjoying the rest of the day in PAP. hoping to spend some more time with tashi and jenny. last day in haiti... going to do my best to breathe it in.

love you guys... need your prayers more now than ever.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

the infamous update :)

here it is... what you have all been waiting for... our infamous update. duh duh dun :)

i left you at our last day in passe catabois... it was a doozy. marrah and kasey went to the clinic with anne marie and even sat in on some surgeries. from what a i heard it was a pretty typical day despite the hernia repair. as always it is good to see medical minds experience the clinical life of the developing world. mary kate and i spent the morning cleaning things up and spending some quiet time which was good for the soul. we headed down to the hospital to find some of the patients and children eager to interact... so we brought out the colors and coloring pages. ah the simplicity of coloring. adults and children alike were gathered on the roof. kate got peed on :) hehe. i told her she was now able to join the club "i got peed on in haiti". she didn't think it was very funny :)

the clinic wiped marrah and kasey out so i soon found them passed out on the ceramic floor in the bedroom. so while they slept i had to have a little heart to heart with louvnet. as beautiful of a kid as he is... and as haitian as he is... he still struggles with the difference between wants and needs. no one is immune. it was a hard conversation but i truly believe that he understood. and i feel as though he and i both look a little more like jesus after our conversation.

annaleise was called down to the clinic for an emergency and invited mary kate to go with her... which was a huge BONUS :) there was a tap tap roll-over accident and patients needed to be seen. as far as we could see there were no serious injuries, praise the Lord. it's in those moments that you thank the Lord that there were no serious traumas like we see at home in the ER... the patients would just die. many more realizations have been verbalized... like wondering how in the world they get by using 800 mg of ibuprofen for a high dosage of pain a wound with drinking alcohol that the neighbor made.. no electricity and headlamps for lighting.. nurses suturing and using whatever hands they can get to treat the people that find themselves standing in the clinics doorway. sometimes there are just no words.....

during all of the taptap hubub i was frolicking about passe catabois with some of my favorite children: rosmanette, jan kelly, weedlin, michellda, mickende, fedna.... visiting michellda's family and going to see gena and her 12 brothers and sisters. it was sweet time with the kids... and i think we all enjoyed some quality time before we headed out. the river looked too enticing so we couldn't keep from diving in and enjoying a swim! they were singing and dancing and just embracing the day. it's on my hard days that i will do my best to remember those moments... pure joy despite overwhelming circumstances surrounding me.

our last night was filled with reminders of why we had come... and very sad faces of children. we ran into anne marie who told us that she had just spent the whole evening pleading with the hospital in port de paix to take a patient who was severely anemic and needed to be transfused or would die. a medical emergency... she literally had to get on her hands and knees to beg the people to admit him and treat him. sweet Jesus... i have no ability to wrap my mind around that. #1 the stupidity of the hospital to not treat a medical emergency (which is a common occurance) #2 the fact that God has given anne marie a heart to be an advocate for these people, that is completely mind blowing. and beautiful. ------------ it broke my heart to see kate say goodbye to some of the children. mariejinette and yolta in particular. the relationships are what change you. haiti is not just a country... it is a beautiful place made of beautiful people with amazing stories and that is what you cannot shake.

wednesday morning started early with more goodbyes and a seemingly short ride into port de paix to find the Lashbrook's children's home where Sandra has been staying. the drive into port de paix was gut wrenching.. it is a broken city for sure. trash ridden, broken down buildings, over populated... and pulling into the orphanage was an uneasy task at first. thankful that the Lord was holding us during those moments... especially me. we were welcomed into a home by haitian people and they pointed me right to the reason i came.. to a little girl lying in a pack and play along with 7 other children in the same room. i don't remember much about the first few moments of reconnecting with her... but i do know that she is beautiful, and growing, and healthy, and loved. the interns that run the homes filled with over 100 children keep the babies along with the help of over 80 haitian staff members. the boys home was at the edge of the carribean which was completely breath taking... almost too good to be true. i got to hold the most beautiful little girl in one of the most beautiful spots in the world. we helped to make dinner for the boys..home made pizza... and just enjoyed spending time with the kids and getting to know the interns who are living out the Gospel daily. so encouraging to see God using them to make fathers from the fatherless. the night time is where our time in port de paix got challenging. but funny.... at least if you look at it from one perspective :)

showering consisted of a 5 gallon bucket and a measuring cup. best shower ever. no joke. the inside of the house was like an oven. i wish i could say i was exaggerating but even being from louisiana did us no good at this point. even with the generator going and fans blowing on us we were still all miserable and dripping sweat. as if i haven't learned to think things couldn't get much worse... they did. the generator cut off and there were no more fans. everyone and everything in the house including rats and roaches came out to visit. before we knew it... 17 people were crowded into the living room wondering what we were going to do about the situation. there was a lot of laughing... and whining... and screaming. the next thing we knew we were walking down the streets of port de paix at 1 am with all of our luggage, air mattresses, children, and in our PJ's :) we went to the boys home to sleep in the guest house that ended up being about 20 degrees cooler, praise the Lord. we got about 3 hours of sleep with 4 of us sharing 2 twin sized air mattresses with our new friends doing the same. mary kate got so carried away that she thought it was cool enough to snuggle.... i shot that idea down :)

this morning, thursday, our flight was scheduled to leave PDP @ 6 am... but this being haiti we didn't take off until 645 am. we pulled up at the guest house here in PAP @ 8 to find some very sweet people who will be our family for the next few days. what a blessing... and did i mention this place is like the hilton in haiti?!?!? :) praise the Lord (PTL) for cokes and fans. most of our day was spent at the birthing center doing pre natals for the women in heartlines program. the knowledge and resources that they are providing these women are empowering and life changing. this is how change is going to happen in haiti. i see God's hand in everything they do. we got to see the heartline field hospital with it's few remaining patients... such a sweet little community of people. at one point there were over 100 people and now they are down to 15 who are still remaining waiting on a medical visa or placement in a home due to most of their homes being destroyed.

one particular young woman caught most of our eyes today.. her name is jenny. she is 16 years old and has a 6 month old son named kenny. kenny was born at 7 months and weighed 3 lbs. it is a miracle that he is alive after his unassisted birth in the slum and hard beginning to life. she is still at heartline's hospital even after Kenny is a happy, thriving baby boy due to circumstances at home. she told me that the baby's father died and she has no one to help her. beth shared later today that her family in cite soleil no longer wants her and is not willing to help with the baby at all... she is at the hospital until the Lord provides a way for Jenny and Kenny. these encounters are daily... the needs are overwhelming. beth and john handle the challenges with grace and mercy and with a lot of love and a whole lot of faith. i have a whole lot to learn.

we will be staffing a medical clinic tomorrow.... WITH our friend Megan who made it in this evening! we are so excited that she joined us :)

looking forward to embracing another day in haiti... we still need your prayers and your love.

until tomorrow...