Saturday, November 28, 2009
Kenderson and Courtney
McKinely and Steven- looks to me like McKinely is fitting in just fine :) I am afraid by the time I return to Haiti my 3 Amigos will have turned into 5 or 6 :)
Both Kenderson and McKinely graduated from the baby orphange into the Miriam Centers arms.
The Miriam Center is growing in leaps and bounds. The Miriam Home is up to 24 children and For Jonathan Sake is up to around 25 children. It is amazing to see these progams grow since this summer. When I was there in June there were 18 children in the Miriam Home and For Jonathan Sake had just been opened and had 7 children. God is blessing this ministry so abundantly!
I received the following email from Courtney:
I am letting you know that yesterday early morning Thomas our little guy that have been in lots of prayer the last couple months passed away from the pain of this world into the arms of our Maker. He got spend about 7 months on this earth and a good portion of that time in the arms of the Miriam Center in Rou's Corner. He got to for the last 3 months spend them in love, when his eyesight started to slip and things became black he got to see another world of touch. When his body started to shut down he got to spend that time in the arms of patience while the one's around him fed him by eye droppers, soothed his cries of pain and sang songs of peace. For the last 3 months I don't think there was much time that was not spent over his small body in touch in some way. Yesterday there were many tears shed for little boy here in Haiti and in the states. There was a beautiful small funeral for him yesterday, where the Mission staff and workers got to say good bye. He will missed always but is now able to actually see the face of Jesus in detail, feel with out pain and rock out in that Hammock with my name on it with Jude, Sarah Rou, and Naomi. Thank you for all that loved on this child through touch and prayer. Thank you for dancing with me this Haiti Dance.
A few days before Thomas passed Beth posted:
Had a special time with Thomas yesterday that I am praisng Jesus for. As I sang to him everytime I sang Jesus' name he smiled and no it wasn't a coincidence...not for 2hrs and even not for 15 min. God's timing is so perfect and today I can rest in that and in Him. Thank you Jesus for blessing me in such a precious way. Mwen remen ou!!!
The Day Thomas passed Beth Posted:
Early this morning little Thomas went home to be with Jesus. Into the Fathers loving arms with no tears or pain. His last few days were so peaceful and the moments I had with him were such a blessing. He grabbed hold of my heart and taught me how to love even more. Mesi Jezi for Thomas, I am a life that is changed.
This little boy touched so many lives. Many might ask the question WHY? BUT WHY NOT?Thomas showed that in a few months he could change hearts for Christ :)
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
I was talking to Courtney the other day and found out that they found property in Bono to build a new, bigger
a lot of time and prayer has been spent in prayer and concentration over trying to figure out the best set up of the new campus and we think we might have came up with an idea that could be a possible foundation.
We were trying to figure out how to battle
Each H shape building would be a family unit, set up for a type of disability. We came up with the need for 5 Family Units on the first floor; independent, autistic, behavioral (low functioning but walking), baby/ toddler and low functioning. Instead of setting up one bathing unit for all kids we thought about placing that in the family unit along with a laundry room so that clothes and such can stay in the family unit and not get lost in the shuffle of having a 100 kids. Having family units allow for us to focus on certain needs that come with specific disabilities such as the autistic housing would be one child per room, where as we could place 2 kids in each of the independent family unit and 3 kid in each room in the baby/ toddler unit. We would assign workers to family unit that would build consistently and form parent childlike bonding.
Basic design would be the same for each family unit with some adjustment such as the possibility of windows connecting all the rooms in the baby/toddler housing, behavior and low functioning so that one can stand at the end on the hall and see all the way through and more protective measure such as child gates With the independent rooms we would focus on making life for them as normal as possible with constant routine, accessibility to bathrooms and even their share in household choirs, along with having a roommate and a space in the bedroom to call their own.
We also looked into how the campus is set up with specific positioning of family units such as placing on one side of where I will be living the independent kids and the other the babies/ toddlers. We thought that the non disability orphanage should be set up the same way as the other family units but directly on top the independent unit so that they can be part of each others world. Also what came to our attention this week in fact was a possible housing for the deaf school we have, they would love to have a boarding school for the deaf and that might be something we want to look into in the future in allowing them to be placed on the second story and eventually make that ministry part of Miriam Center.
The playground in the center of the campus and having the cafeteria being on the first floor shared by all, forming such a great bond. In the construction of all this we could start with the basic needs such as just one family unit at a time, dining hall and a room for Physical therapy/occupational therapy and Education and build from there in God’s timing. I believe the overall finished product is one that will change this culture through the simple movement of love.
Today I got a call from Fayette County Board of Education and they told me they had stuff in storage they were going to throw away . I went there today and was soooo excited!!! They have walker strollers, they have standers for children of all ages and heights, bolsters to prop the kids up, etc. I told them , "I will take ALL of it"!!! I am so excited to get this stuff to the mission . When the kids are moved to a larger area, you will literally have adaptive equipment for all the kids. We would also be able to give some of the equipment to families who are caring for a child with special needs in their home.
This is so exciting. God has been blessing the Miriam Center so much this year. We have been in great need of therapy equiptment and God came through as always and filled that need.
I also got news that a bolster swing has been donated, a great therapy swing that many of the children will benefit from as well as money to buy a washer and dryer for the center :)
Thursday, August 13, 2009
My deepest prayer is that while I'm waiting I will serve God with all I have, That while I'm waiting I will worship Him. These lyrics are so powerful and they truly are the prayer of my heart while I'm waiting for God's call to return to Haiti.
Friday, July 10, 2009
God has blessed me with the most amazing summer of my life serving in Haiti and this song has a deeper meaning to me now that I have returned from Haiti than when I left. I feel God's leading to return...to go be a blessing to his precious children in Haiti, to continue to allow him to pour out of me to touch the weary, the weak, the broken, and the meak. I am in deep prayer about my future. Where God is calling me, I don't want what I want to get in the way of God's calling and plan on my life. Please continue to pray for me as I discern the possibility of returning to Haiti next summer for 3 months after taking my boards and continuing the work God has started through me in the Miriam center. I am then discerning about becoming a traveling therapist which would allow me to go all around the country doing occupational therapy. This job pays really well and has a lot of good benefits. IT would also allow me to pay off all my loans in about 2 years. This would give me time to discern God's calling on my life in the mission feild whether it is a STM based calling or a LTM based calling. I know whatever God's plans are they are good and I am excited to see where he leads me and takes me.
I have been so blessed the last 3 years to get to know so many of my Hatian brothers and sisters as well as many of the missionaries and group members that have joined me in Haiti.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
I will post more stories from Haiti I did not post while I was there due to time restraints later on this week. Please pray for my health as I got sick on my trip home and have sinus infection and my jaw is acting up pretty bad. Please pray for me as I start my internships tomorrow and I have no clue what to expect. Also please pray as I go Thursday to see a specialist in Clevland about my Jaw.
Thank you all for all your prayers and support while I was in Haiti. I had the most amazing month of my life and my heart hurt that I had to leave what the children I love so much and the place where I feel I can make such a difference and my talents are best used. Every time I come to Haiti I fall more in love with these kids and see more potential for these children. I am leaving Haiti with a broken Heart and part was left in Haiti and I will be going back God willing to meet back up with it. Until then, I know God has great plans for me in the states with internships and teaching me more things spiritually and occupational therapy wise that will be helpful in the future in Haiti.
SIT BACK AND ENJOY MY ADVENTUROUS 58 HOUR TRIP HOME!
I fed Job for the last time and then carried him upstairs to hold him while I ate dinner (well, I did not eat dinner because it was something I didn’t like), I finished packing and then sent a quick email home and posted a quick blog letting you all know I was leaving early. I then went back downstairs to take a few pictures and say goodbye to the kids and then came back upstairs to pack. We ended up leaving the mission closer to 6 which was probably better because it gave me less time to say goodbye and cry.
I said a lot of goodbye’s and shed a lot of tears as I made my way to the buses. I was showered with love by my mission family and going away gifts. Miriam and Courtney stocked me up with snackfood (which came in Handy on the long trip)and the kids made me the most amazing pictures. When I finally got to the bus I realized I forgot my journal and had to run upstairs and grab it. It was funny because all month I was constantly losing something and looking for it. In fact one of my going away gifts from Miriam was her shoes since I lost mine 5 days before and I did not think they would let me through the airport with no shoes.
Well, we started down the road and I began talking to the man next to me. I found out he had been to Haiti 4 times, He had a daughter going to PT school and had 3 other kids, we talked about the work he did that week and I shared my passion for the Miriam center. It really made the first hour go by fairly fast. The next thing I new we were past Port a Pey. Well I knew it was going to be a very long night and if I was going to make the trip it was going to be by God’s grace. So I put in my headphones with worship music blasting and held on to the seat in front on me (for safety reasons ;) The next two hours I worshiped God and was overwhelmed with gratitude for the past month God had allowed me to be a vessel he used to touch these kids lives. I was overwhelmed by His presence and His perfect plans and perfect timing and most of all His love. The verses that kept running through my head were your strength is made perfect in weaknesses and God never gives us more than we can handle. I felt so weak and exhausted and I did not know how I was going to make it through the trip. This made me think about Christ long and exhausting journey to calvary and the suffering he went through for me. After about 4 hours every time we hit a bump I thought my back and head were going to fall off. Around 2 AM I remember praying to God and telling him I can’t take this bus ride anymore I am so tired and every muscle in body hurts and about 5 minutes later we stopped at a mission outside of Port-A-Price to sleep for 2 hours. It was the most amazing 2 hours of sleep ever. I was laying there and in the morning I realized one reason I took that bus ride. I did not want to leave the mission I was not ready to go home but after that bus ride I JUST WANTED TO GO HOME! Lol got to love God’s sense of humor.
I took a flight from Pourt-A-Prince to Miami at 8:00AM landing in Miami at around 12 in the afternoon.
Just as I sat down they announced our flight to NY was cancelled all together. I began to cry and went and found a place to plug in my phone and tell mom and dad. Poor mom and dad had to deal with my emotional phone calls that whole night. They are such troopers. Doug and Dad had a back up plan already together and gave me flight numbers and what route I wanted to take home. My plan was to catch a flight in the morning from Miami to Chicage and then to fly Chicago to Clevland.
I proceeded to pull myself together and go wait in line at the customer service desk to try and get new tickets. While I was waiting in line I decided to look at the paper I wrote the flight information on. I opened it up to find a Bible Study I did 2 years ago with my small group at school on Satan’s attacks. How appropriate in a time when I was so underattack by Satan. Satan was trying everything possible to get me while I was down. It was such a blessing to open that paper and read verses to help me in that time. One verse to popped off the page was the verse that came to me the night before on the bus “God’s strength is made perfect in our weaknesses”
When I finally got up to the desk. The women asked how old I was, I told her and she said I looked really young and she wanted to make sure I was old enough to go to a hotel. She asked where I was coming from and I told her Haiti. I then learned she was from Haiti. I told her about my extremely long day and my crazy bus ride. She was funny. She looked at me and told me I was crazy for riding a bus in Haiti she lives there and has never done that and that I was even more crazy to ride one at night. She told me I was lucky to be alive. J I smiled and thanked God for his provision and safety he provided. It was nice to talk to someone who understood what a busride in Haiti is like. I told her how rumor has it that we hit a donkey last night but I did not even know I just thought it was a bump in the road. She laughed and said she could not wait to tell her mom and sister that story. I told her I would never want her job, there were so many angry and mean people that night and I am sure many nights. She said yeah you would not believe how rude some people are. I felt really blessed to have met her and I know it was a God thing that she was my customer service person. She hooked me up with a hotel for the night and gave me 2 food vouchers for Saturday.
I went to the curb to wait for my shuttle to my hotel. I waited a about 15 minutes and saw about 15 different shuttles but none were for my hotel. So I called the hotel and they said they had a shuttle on the way but it was only for American Airline passengers who’s flight was cancelled (that was me). So about 15 minutes later the shuttle arrived and I got on with 7 other people. 4 of them were from Brazil and 3 were from Portagual. When we arrived at the hotel around midnight we were checking in and acquiring about when the shuttle would take us back to the airport. They informed us the shuttle did not start running till 7 in the morning. The problem was our flight left at 7AM. We asked what we were suppose to do since our hotel was 20-30 minutes from the airport. They told us we would have to get a taxi. My heart dropped I only had 14 dollars and when I asked how much a taxi was they said $35 dollars a person. I began to panick I was like God what do I do I don’t have a credit card or my debit card. I looked at the 2 people behind me and said I only have 14 dollars. They calmly said don’t worry about it we will cover the rest. So we all decided we would leave the hotel at 5AM and all ride together because they would give us a discount that way.
I went up to my room and set 2 alarms for 4:45AM and got some well needed sleep. It was the best 4 hours of sleep ever. So in the morning we all piled into a van to head back to the airport. The driver said it would be $50 total. So that was $10 a person. NOT BAD…I can handle that. We arrived at the airport and the couple that said they would help me pay ran inside to get money out. They could not find a debit machine and came back out panicked. I pulled out my $14 and another couple with us threw in 16 dollars to cover the other 2 people. We were told don’t worry the airlines will reimburse you inside.
So we got inside and went through security to try to find the customer service desk to get reimbursed. They told us it did not open till 11 and we would have to go back out of security to the front desk. We went to the front desk and got sent to a side area that opened at 6AM (we had a 10 minute wait). So me and this other women waited and talked a little bit. When the desk opened he sent us back to the ticket counter who tried to send us back to him. After a while of waiting while the staff discusses our situation they informed us they did not get petty cash till 9AM and so if we wanted to reimbursed we would have to mail in our receipt. The problem is we only have one receipt and 3 people who needed reimbursed. So I said the couple that paid the most should get reimbursed. I was not in the mood to fight over 14 dollars.
On the flight from Miami to Chicago I sat next to a guy who about an hour into the flight we hit up a conversation about Haiti. I soon learned he knew a lot about Haiti and had a passion for helping Haitians and other underprivileged individuals. He told me all about the History of Haiti back to Christopher Columbus. He talked about the corrupt government and how He works with a group that tries to find ways to help Haitians that does not involve money directly since the government takes it. He said how they buy pigs, chickens, and donkeys to give out. How they teach them how to plant crops and how they try to help educate the people. He said he lives by the quote give a man a fish he eats for a day, teach a man to fish he eats for a lifetime. He later went on to tell me he was born and raised in Guatamala and came to the states to become a dentist. He ended up staying because of the fighting going on in Guatamala in the 80’s. He now on Saturdays has a clinic for underprivileged families and in his free time he fought for the rights of the poor immigrants. He was on his way to a meeting in Chicago to fight for a Bill for Congress. I am not real into political things but he sure knew his stuff and I know I did a horrible job explaining what He does and what he fights for but it was totally a God thing that I was sitting by him and I was inspired by how he helps people. I was reminded how God gifts each of us individually to help people in our own specific ways. I told him all about the Northwest Haiti Christian Mission and the different areas they have ministries in and how they are helping the Haitian people. He was very impressed with all the mission does.
Once I landed in Chicago I had a 3 hour layover till my last flight to Clevland. I took that opportunity to make some phone calls. I talked to a few friends from home and listen to some worship music. Finally we began loading the plane and I looked at my ticket and realized I did not have a seat number. My heart dropped NOOOO I have to make this flight, I just want to go home…lol…So I went up to the counter praying the whole way that I had a seat on this flight. The person behind the desk said we have someone here who needs to fly standby I was thinking oh no but they the women next to her goes no she has a seat look. I began thanking God. YES!!! I was going home. I boarded the plane and sat next to a woman who was from Brazil and was going to the Clevland clinic for a 4 rotation, she was going to school to be a doctor in Brazil. My last flight was awful I think part had to do with it being such a small plane but also me being so tired. I was nauseous the whole flight and felt like I was going to puke. I was praying the last 15 minutes while we were descending I would not puke on the plane.
When I landed I called mom and dad and asked if they wanted me to get them any food, because I had $10 left in food vouchers and I was too nauseous to eat. So I got them a fruit smoothy and milk shake. I went to claim my luggage and found out that not much luggage came on the plane at all and of course mine was not there. I went to the office to tell them mine was missing and well, THERE IT WAS sitting there inside the door. It must of came in on the flight last night.
Mom and Dad came and picked me up. It was so great to see them and to be in the truck heading to Camp where there is a bed. It feels great to have now gotten a good nights sleep had some fresh vegetables and fresh fruit and got to go to my church in Erie this morning.
Ps. Courtney I really tried to get my parents to send me back to Haiti. I belched really loud in the car when I got in…but it did not work. I would have had to tell them to give me a couple days to recover before they sent me back anyway J
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Sunday, June 21, 2009
The past few day have been full of Miriam Center Fun. We took them swimming yesterday in their new pool, they loved it. They shot lots of water guns, Den-Den loved kicking his feet, and lost of waterball were thrown. Later on we took them on a train ride and then after Devo's we brought all the kids upstairs and watched a cars and shared popcorn and juice with them.