Monday, September 19, 2011

Haiti UPDATE :-)

Hello everyone,

Sorry it has been so long since I have written an update about everything going in Haiti (which is A LOT). Things have been rather crazy the last month: coming home from Haiti, visiting family & friends, packing & moving down to Las Vegas where I took a new job, starting my new job and unpacking. Where to even start…
1st Here is the link to the Youtube video I made from my trip this summer. It is an 11 minute video showing pictures, videos, and explaining in words an overview of the therapy I did with the kids.

Since I left Haiti a little over a month ago a lot of changes have happened in the Miriam Center. Walls have come down, new walls have gone out, windows & doors have been busted out in the new school room & the play room. A nurses station is in the process of being built, desks have been built for the school…to just name a few.
I have had a really hard time adjusting to life not in Haiti. I miss my kids soooo much to the point my heart aches to be back in Haiti with them. I wish I could just live in Haiti full-time right now…drop everything & fly to Haiti BUT I know that is not what God is asking me to do right now. The past month has been harder than normal due the fact so many of our children have been sick & 2 of our outreach kids have passed away. The other night when I got news that 6 of the Miriam Home children had an allergic reaction to their scaves medicine I lost it. I begged God not to take them, I prayed for their healing…as I was praying God revealed to me that I hold these children too tight, that God has called me to hold them, love them, teach them, pray over/with them, & rejoice in what he is doing BUT most of all He has called me to surrender their lives into His hands, to trust Him, & to hold loosely to them and to realize that a time will come when He will ask me to let go. I then heard the song I Surrender All. God is currently teaching me a really hard lesson to surrender each of the Miriam Home & For Jonathan Sake Children into His hand & his perfect timing.

A Quote that I have treasured the last few weeks…
"Sometimes just surviving certain tasks without falling apart is our best and in those times God isn't ashamed of our performance. He's proud of us for fighting overwhelming human emotions to do His will. God isn't interested in our stellar performance but in our hearts. He loves our willingness and obedience despite our insecurities." - Beth Moore

A friend of mine sent me these encouraging words.
“Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. (Psalm 126:5) The blessings of watering the soil with your own tears while you sow the seeds of His love, His Word and the Truth are unfathomable. Keep up the good work you are doing right now, even if the pain seems unbearable...the songs of joy you'll reap at the end will be all worth your tears.”
There have been a lot of tears the last month…

The new Luke 2:52 special education school is up & running. This has been a dream for years. I was so excited when 6 months ago I learned that Stephanie Mosier a special education teacher had given a year to come serve in Haiti at the Miriam Center to start up the school. I had the wonderful privilege of serving beside her for 2 months this summer. She has such a heart for these kids & God has given her an amazing vision for the school. She has worked for months preparing for the first day of school. I am excited to announce school has started & is in its second week of running. I wanted to share a few stories written by Stephanie in her blog. To read more & see pictures you can check out her blog at

First Day of School
August 31, 2011, for 27 kids that was the first day ever of school for them. Keeping that in mind today did go very smoothly. The kids were so excited about school this morning. It took about 10 minutes to get them into the school room, and than our day started. We had about 30 minutes of Bible songs and a story, told by Grant one of the missionaries who is here from Le Bia. He told David and Goliath and acted it out, it was so funny because he was Goliath and little Mackenly was David and would not throw a stone at him. From there we went to centers that had coloring, puzzles and letter formation. And there to our interactive board we are teaching colors and shapes. Then the centers switched and we had a water break, worked on calendar and our day was over. Working tomorrow to kill dead time, there was just too much today. A shout out to Evelyn a kindergarten teacher who works at the Miriam Center and now the school. She had a Creole song for everything, from answering a question correct to ending the school day. Love that woman. Also a shout out to Nahum who had a chant for the calendar and helped me walk Lovensky home. I just could not let him walk home. Sad news though with him, I did not know that he had walked to school by himself and told him he had to wait for his mom to come and get him to go home, He burst into tears, because his mom is in tortuga and he thought he was going to be stuck at school, so than we really had to walk him hime. He is only six and seriously his not that far to his house was pretty far.
Than this afternoon, definitely a more animated crew. Bible time and songs went for almost an hour because this group loves to sing, and they are just too cute. So a kid that I was worried about Stevenson, because he never leaves his mom’s side had a cute start this afternoon. So we were all walking as a group to the school room door and he is crying and just not happy as his mom just drags him to school. Well we walked through the Miriam Center and there is a door his mom just pushed him out shut the door and left. He was standing there crying and one of our almost blind boys Olsen tells him something, and Stevenson stops crying grabs his hand and helps him to the school room. It was so cute. The kids just talk all the time in the afternoon and had such a good time. Son son was coloring a picture of a puppy and saying something Nahum was sitting over there just cracking up I asked what he was saying and Son son was saying, little doggy don’t bite me. So cute. Pretty much sums up the day. Got some work done to make tomorrow go smoother. Please pray this is a lot of work. But God is very good to us and our school.

Partial Dream Come True
Well, yesterday was ok at school we still have so many detail to iron out and it seems like everything is trial and error. But something interesting happened yesterday. I had emailed Shannon that one of my dreams for the classroom was that it would become that safe place for these kids that they just love to come to, and well the kids do have fun we are not there yet. But after school yesterday I went down to the classroom to clean it and there was a man at the window just staring in. I recongnized him as a man that people have been talking about wondering why he is always hanging around the mission. He has cerebral palsy and is deaf. I found out his mom cooks for the meals on heels program and just brings him. Back to the story, well he had his hands cupped around his eyes looking in the classroom, so I went up to him and asked him to come in. I told him this room is a school for the kids who live here. He told me that the kids who live here are not smart. I told him they are they just need a little extra help. So he told me that he is not smart, so of course I had to tell him that he was and I pulled out a white board and he started to write the alphabet, by the letter d he needed help but in sign language we made it through the alphabet and than numbers to 20. He was so proud of himself he asked if we could nail the white board to the wall, told him we could not but did find a way to put it up for display. He asked if he could come back tomorrow. So today I waited for him and he did not show up but today at 5 I went down to clean the classroom and he had pulled out a coloring book and was coloring and asked if it was ok to be in there. I told him it was and he said good, I like it here. So the classroom is turning into that safe place for people with special needs, and it could not make me happier.

First Day of School Age 19
Today was the first day of school for a boy named Moline. And yes he is 19 years old. Mentally there seems to be nothing wrong with him. This culture wants to throw him at as an out cast for the mere fact that he has a hunchback and looks a little different and is not even 4 feet tall. But they do not know what they are missing. This man is a man of character, he is eager to learn and kind to those around him. So I am going to take this moment to say, this is crazy, why at the age of 19 was today the first day of school for a person who is absolutely perfect. I makes me mad with righteous indignation of course that I am starting at square one with a student who is 19. I feel like something here needs to change his story is not like that one who slipped through the cracks but one that is not given a chance. I feel like God has something very special for this young man who has been left behind please pray that we find a great place for him in our school. He enjoyed today and stayed for both session, he was not alone either, I had a 17 year old girl with down syndrome whose first day of school was yesterday and there is a 22 year old girl who showed up today. This whole situation boggles my mind. Ok that is my venting for the night, we will start fresh tomorrow and have fun at school, regardless of age or ability. I love that everyone is welcome and has a place here.

1) Gilbert- Gilbert is one of our outreach boys who is living in the Miriam Center temporarily. This summer as we were redoing how FJS was going to run we were contacting all the families who were apart of the program. We were unable to get a hold of Gilbert & Acerla due to not having a phone number. They live a few hours from the mission on top of a mountain. They were 2 of my favorite kids in the outreach program. Both have some type of genetic disorder that causes their bones to grow together & they are very short. Acerla could’nt walk but Gilbert could. I was sad that we could not make contact especially now that we were getting ready to get the school up & running which would have been perfect for them. I remember last summer sending them home with crayons, paper, beads, & anything I could because they were so eager to learn. Gilbert & his mother showed up at the mission a few weeks ago & we got word that Acerla had passed away a few months ago & Gilberts mom was really sick. Gilbert is staying in the Miriam Home for a month or so & attending school. Please pray for this little boys heart as he adjust to a new environment, missing his sister & grieves her loss (his best friend), as he is homesick & misses his mom. It has been amazing to hear & see pictures of the Miriam Home boys taking him in as if he were always there & including him 

2) I received new on September 6 that Lorvens Charles had passed away. He was one of my outreach children. I have known him for 3 years. He was such a joy but was living with a progressive muscle disease that caused him to over the years become weaker & weaker. He fought hard this race of life & finished that race! He is no longer trapped in his body, losing mobility & the ability to use his hands, unable to catch his breath, or losing weight…HE IS WHOLE, in the arms of His father. Though I will miss him dearly alongside many others…He is WHOLE…w/ his Savior…running, playing, dancing, clapping, singing! Please keep his family & all of those who loved him so dearly in your prayers.

3) Luke 2:52 School- For Stephanie as she continues to iron out the details, make lesson plans, train the Haitian helpers. The cool thing about this school is we have combined the younger kids from the deaf school & have the deaf teacher in the room. The kids are learning sing language, English, & in Creole. It is pretty amazing school dynamic. Pray for the kids as they learn & that this school would continue to be a place where children & adults with disability feel safe!

4) Deaf Church- Please continue to pray for this new ministry. As we reach out to the deaf community & provide them a safe place to worship & learn about God. Something they have never had before.

5) Courtney Peirce- as she continues to day in & day out serve and advocate for these children. Pray for strength, encouragement, & rest for her.

6) Me- please pray that I could surrender Haiti to God. That I could clearly see my role over the next 8 months stateside. I know God has called me to fight for these kids from the states, to raise awareness, & gather supplies & people to help. Pray that I could faithfully fulfill that calling. Also pray for my heart as it aches & misses the kids so much.

7) Possible trip into Haiti at Easter- I am praying about taking a trip into Haiti at Easter. It will just be a 1 week trip to tie up some therapy stuff. 1 big thing is wheelchairs we have been working for over a year to get into Haiti should be there & we will be able to introduce the kids to their new wheelchairs. EXCITING. I am also hoping my parents will be able to come down at this time & meet my kids & mission family & see first hand my heart.

Thank you for all your prayers for the sick children last week who had an allergic reaction to their scaves medicine. They are doing well, off IV & back to being kids :-) God sure is Good & answered all our prayers.

Thank you! Each and everyone one of you for your faithful support. May God Bless you!

Occupational Therapy at Miriam Center in Haiti 2011

This is the video I made about the all the Occupational Therapy work I did in Haiti this summer :-)