Saturday, October 17, 2009

God is up to some very EXCITING things for the Miriam Center

I was talking to Courtney the other day and found out that they found property in Bono to build a new, bigger Miriam Center that will hold 100 kids. This summer while I was in Haiti the executive director of the mission Janeil gave us the news that he did not think we should build the new building we were planning on building on the mission property because he felt God was leading us to go and find property and build a bigger facility that could help more children within the next few years. So he told us he would give us the old birthing center that we could knock down walls, build new walls, paint, and pretty much so do anything we wanted to make this a new temporary home for these kids. We got very excited about this news and started brainstorming for how to transform the miriam center and then dreaming of what this facility to hold 100 kids would look like, what we would want in it, ect. I never dreamed I would see consturciton of the center well underway when I left or hear last week that they found new property to buy already to start building the new 100 kids facility. God never ceases to blow me away with his timing and greatness!
Above is the new property they are looking at buying to build the Miriam Center that will hold 100 disability children. The runners of Kimmy's house are partnering with NWHCM to buy the property. The vision for the Miriam Center has grown by leaps and bounds this year. The following is the email I received. Please Keep the Miriam Center in your prayers and all the workers and all those involved in the care of these kids.

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 Haiti heat and we came up with the idea of H Shape buildings. So that the middle of the H would hold the main entrance and living room, on the top half of the H would hold 2 bathroom units gender assigned, a laundry room, a closet, and then each side of the H would be set up with 5 rooms, boys on one side, girls on the other. So a total of 10 bedrooms each with the idea of 20 kids total in each family unit. We would design the bedrooms in the same style we did the Miriam Center here with the hallway leading to the bedrooms being opened and screened allowing airflow.

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.

Exciting News

I received the following email from Courntey

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 :)


So, a few days ago courtney posted pictures of the kids walking. These pictures brought tears to my eyes, to see the progress the kids are making. Den-Den is not only walking with a gait belt but they took him for a walk outside of the gates out into the community. To see his smils and to see him walking brings so much joy to my heart. Then to see steven walking with new crutches, Ju-Ju showing off her skills :)