Sunday, March 28, 2010

Lord Bless Me So That I Can Be A Blessing!

As many of you know this blog is named after the song “Overflow” written by Brian Lusky the worship Leader at Grace Baptist. This morning during worship this song was played

As you draw me near, I come
Drawn with holy fear and awe
Into heaven’s doors to see u as you are
You who formed the earth with your hands
Sun and moon shine at your command
Who can know the vastness of the Lord most high

Bridge 1
As I draw near I offer my life to my Jesus
Who fills me with mercy and grace
As I go out I will open my eyes and awaken
You will be a blessing through me

You’re the overflow
The sustainer of my soul
Pouring out of me
Living water for the weary
Bless me so I might be a blessingHeal me so I might bring healing
Cover me, so that I might be a covering
For you

Its because of you, I must go
Sent to tell the world and to show
Friend or enemy, the love I com to know
Where confusion reigns I will be peace
Where there are bondaged chains bring release
Where there are tears and pain, may I be the joy of the morning

Bridge 2
Heal me with your love o Lord, pour out till I overflow (4x)
layed and fits perfect with all I have been meaning to share.

The Song says “Lord bless me so that I might be a blessing.” This is exactly what the Lord has been doing the past few months he has been blessing my socks off so that I can be a blessing to my brothers and sisters in Haiti. The only reason I have been able to accomplish all that I have been able to accomplish for Haiti plus get all my schoolwork done and sleep ;) was God’s strength, mercy, wisdom, and encouragement threw it all.
God has a tendency to speak to me while I am laying in bed trying to go to sleep. He knows it is the only time I slow down long enough to hear from him (an area I need to work on). Back in January God really laid upon my heart an email I received a few months before about the need for peanut butter in Haiti. This need and idea for the peanut butter drive was given to me long before the earthquake hit. It took me a while to be obedient and write a blogpost about it, because I did not know where to start or what to do. God laid it upon Maryann Workman’s heart to and gave her the idea for the “Spread the Love Campaign” This campaign is spreading and it is not over after already collecting over 1,000 jars of peanut butter. The word is spreading and I believe this campaign has a long way to go and many more families and children to feed in Haiti. We can feed Haiti one jar at a time. It has been amazing to watch God’s hand in the development and process of this project.

God also laid upon my heart to do more speaking. Ok, so I was a little reluctant at first but I was obedient and put that I was looking to do more speaking in my support letters. Who knew God would call me to speak to over 8 groups of people in a 3 month period ranging from middle school students to Adults and even being the sermon at 2 churches. God has taught me a lot about when He calls us to something He will prepare to do whatever the task is….even speak a sermon :) I feel so humbled and blessed that God has allowed me to be a vessel he can use to share what he is doing in Haiti!

It is very hard for me to be back in school and in Erie when my heart is in Erie. It has taken me time to remember that God has me here for a reason and purpose and I need to make the most of where God has me and be open to him using me. All these speaking engagements have helped me realize this. God has been using me to accomplish big things threw his power that I would not have been able to do if I were in Haiti right now. Hundreds of people would not have got to hear about Haiti and the work that is being done for the kingdom of God. What a privilege to open peoples eyes to see that they have brothers and sisters in Haiti who are on fire for Christ and working to change a nation and turn it back to God.

God laid upon my heart about a week ago to email some therapy companies and see if they would be willing to donate some much needed equiptment for Haiti. I got up early Monday morning and sent out 2 emails requesting donations. I am not going to lie I was a little doubtful. Much to my surprise (nothing should surprise me anymore because God has been so faithful when he has asked me to do something) I got emails back the same day. Sydney the owner of Sydspeak emailed me back and said she would love to donate not 1 but 2 Sydspeak machines  Praise God! I found her website while looking for pictures for the sign language DVDs I have been working on. It is a battery operated communication boards that has 100 of the most commonly used words needed to interact. Check out the website Immediately when I saw it I though of Walden and Kem and how much this would open up there world for interaction then I realized how much steven, Den-Den, John, Ju-Ju, McKinely, Tamara, etc. would benefit from them. I super-excited to get these to Haiti and implement them into therapy and educational play time. Ok, so it could end here and you could see how amazing God has been but I then had the opportunity to talk to Sydney on the phone and she told me that a friend of hers just translated the brochure for this piece of equiptment into Creole and that she was going to have an overlay template with the creole made for the board  Coincidence…I don’t think so! God-incidence! I emailed 3 more therapy companies today and am praying that God will open doors if it is His will to get much needed therapy equipment and toys donated.

God also laid upon my heart the idea of making American-Sign Language, English, and Creole Learning CD’s all combined into 1. I came up with around 700 words with the help of many books and around 35 sentences that will be included in these videos. Rolgard who is from Haiti but here in the states studying to become a physical therapist with the hopes of returning to Haiti and opening up his own clinic translated all the words into Creole. He is also going to video tape himself saying each word in Creole. Each word will have the English, Creole, Sign, and a picture of each formatted into a DVD. There will be Categories and themes that these words will fall into. The American Sign Language classes at Gannon University are going to sign all the words and I am taping on April 7th. This project has turned into a much bigger project than I though but I know that God will make a way for it to be completed and I am excited to see how many people it can help. A PT from Gannon thinks I will be able to get them published when I am done and they will be able to help so many other people around the world and especially in Haiti  Please Pray for this project as there are many pieces that need to fall into place.

God opened another door in Lab a few weeks ago. Our lab was on Wheelchairs and we had learned about wheelchairs many times since I have been in OT school and lab is on a Friday night…so lets say I did not have the best attitude. Well, I ended up talking to the guy who brought in the wheelchairs at the end of lab and he had recently got back from taking 40 custom fit wheelchairs he made over to Honduras with his wife and handing them out. I am meeting with Him the Friday after Easter to show him a wheelchair evaluation form I created to use down in Haiti to get measurements on my kids that still need wheelchairs and he going to try to make custom made wheelchairs for them that we can have shipped over. God-incidence again! The company helping me is Presquile Rehab from Erie.
For one of my classes I have to write a business plan and I chose to write one for the program I will be running this summer in Haiti “For Jonathan Sake” the community outreach program running out of the Miriam Center. I am super-excited to see what God has in store for this program. I have enjoyed working on this project especially researching the history and view of disabilities in Haiti and what rehab services are currently available. I wrote a post on the view of disabilities in Haiti not too long ago. It is very interesting. I have also enjoyed working with Courtney and reorganizing this program so that every child will receive 20 minutes of 1 on 1 therapy, 2 hours of educational play, and 1 hour of vocational training for the mother a week as well as receive food for the entire week. I will be doing Bible Study with the women and educate them on home-programming to do with their children. The first thing I will do when I get to Haiti and start evaluations on all the children on in the program and also in the Miriam Home, develop treatment plans, and educate staff of Miriam Center. I recently posted a post with pictures of all the For Jonathan Sake children and their parents :) You shoudl check it out if you haven't yet.
This summer is going to be an amazing summer of potential and growth for the Miriam Center. I am flying into Haiti May10th and am staying till June 14th. An OT, 2 special education teachers, and 2 nurses from Oklahoma are flying in with me and staying for 2 weeks. Then right after I leave an American Sign-Language Teacher is coming in for the summer. There is another Special Education Teacher coming in for a few months, and possibly some more OT/PT’s coming in for 2 week Trips.
The OT that is going into Haiti with me Lori Basey, I have never met but feel like I know her and she is my role model. I met Lori 2 years ago when I had a Business Class that we had to find an article on someone who ran a community program and present it to the class. I thought this was the stupidest project ever and since I was the first to go I decided I would use whatever the first article posted was. Well, God has a sense of humor the first article was on occupational therapy in the homeless shelter. The topic I had recently picked for my Thesis  So I read the article and was amazed by this program Lori had created and ran. I presented it to the class and tried to find more information but couldn’t really (that was because I was googling the author of the Article and not Lori). The second project in the class was to split into group and pick an article that was presented previously and call and interview this person. I convinced my group we should try to contact this lady. So we ended up finding her number, calling her and setting up a conference call. The conference call was amazing. Hearing her passion for community OT and to learn she no longer works at that homeless shelter but now owns her own mission organization that travels to 5 different countries and a few big cities in USA mainly Oklahoma City. I was amazed and on fire. After we hung up I could not get her and the call off my mind so randomly one day at work when I had nothing else to do I called her. We talked for an hour and she filled my head with possibilites and dreams that I could do and I was so pumped when I got off the phone and in shock that I had actually picked up the phone and called her. We have sense kept in touch and talked every few months over the phone. She is so on fire for God it is amazing. She is the president of No Boundaries International (NBI) and last summer surprised me by going and visiting the Miriam Center in Haiti a few weeks after I left. Courtney IM me and told me my friend from Oklahoma was there….I was like I have a friend in Oklahoma.???? Lol….Well a long story short Lori is flying in with me May 10th I am super excited for the opportunity to work side by side with her and learn from her. She has recently gone threw multiple disaster relief trainings and has been over helping since the earthquakes in Haiti.
The game plan so far. I am graduating May 8th with my Masters in Occupational Therapy (WAHOOOO). Then I will fly out of Pittsburgh Monday afternoon and spend the night in Miami. I will then fly to PAP early morning and get to work with a Tent City (I have been blogging about) Teusday. I will spend the night in PAP and Wednesday morning spent it in the Tent City again and fly to Pourt-AU-Pay on the last flight and then arrive at the mission Wednesday night. While in Haiti I will study for my boards every morning for 2-3 hours following breakfast prior to starting work in For Jonathan’s Sake. I really need to be diligent in doing this since when I get back from Haiti I will be taking my big certification board examination. It will be hard to be diligent but I can do all things threw Christ who strengthens me….And Courtney is going to lock me in our room  that’s what good friends do…force them to study! Love you girl!
I could go on and on talking about how many doors God has opened…All the ways He is blessing me so that I can be a blessing to Others. Thank you to everyone who has played apart in helping me live out the journey God has me on. I could not have done any of this first of all without God and second of all without all your prayers and financial support. I pray that God blesses you 2 times as much as you have blessed me and all the Haitians we have been able to help. Please pray as this last month of school is going to be crazy busy studying for my boards, finishing up projects for school and for Haiti, packing, and enjoying the last month of college life and time with friends.

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