When we have the opportunity to help anyone, we should do it. -Galatians 6:10a (NCV)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Job update

Update on Job-Peredo school boy whose house burnt down a few weeks before school. Money was sent by an American couple to buy him 2 new uniforms, shoes, bookbag and books. We had enough to buy him the little cooler pictured too! He walks about 25 minutes to school so having water with him will be so nice!

Who knows what little Job is going to grow up to be! Maybe a worker for the Kingdom! We never know what plans God may have for him. But he is now attending church with his mother most Sundays!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Wednesday was a regular day in Haiti. Got up, fed Odessa, let the house boy in, waited on Odessa's nanny to get here and then headed out to Peredo to work. I have been listening to Podcasts on my iPod on the hour drive to the village and back. There is not radio in the truck so this passes the time. Plus it is in English! I speak and hear so little English these days. The podcast I was listening to was about new movies coming out this week, the new Apple TV, and cool apps for the iPod. Homesickness hit me hard. I haven't seen a new movie in months. As a matter of fact, I have only watched kid movies with Odessa and Seasons 8 and 9 of Friends over and over for the past 5 months. I was thinking how I would kill to walk up to Redbox or Blockbuster and rent movies, grab a PIZZA and squeal with joy!

As I drove across the river and bounced all over the truck, holding the steering wheel white knuckled praying I didn't get stuck like last week, I suddenly missed bridges. Blacktop. Ditches. Pavement. Culverts. Cement. Yellow and white lines on the road. You get the picture.

I passed a mother and daughter walking down the road carrying their laundry on their heads and missed my mom. How we stand in the kitchen and fold laundry together. How she folds the towels all wrong and I redo them before I put them in the linen closet.

When I got to the mission property school was already started and I started looking at all the school kids teeth to choose the kids who need to see the American dentist coming next week. (Thanks Dr Adie!)

One of the guys who works for the mission came and said there was a lady here asking for me. Word spread in about 10 minutes that I have arrived in the village and people start coming. I said I would be there when I was done with the teeth and he gave me a look and said I needed to come now. So I went outside and found a young lady, maybe 19 or 20 yrs old sitting in the shade holding a sleeping baby.

She explained that she didn't come begging or asking for anything for herself. She told me how 2 months ago her sister died and left this baby behind. Now she's trying to raise her niece but has no work and of course no money.

What a rough start to life. Born in Haiti to a single mother. Mom dies 6 months later. Young, poor aunt struggling to do the right thing.

Unfortunately, not rare.

The aunt said she heard I am adopting a Haitian child and asked if I wanted to adopt this little girl too. She said it's just too hard to do on her own.

Suddenly movies and pizza were the furthest thing from my mind. Rivers and terrible "roads" were not too big of an obstacle. I realized how while I am here missing my family, others are struggling to keep theirs together.

I saw how clean this Haitian orphan was.
The hat someone had placed on her head to protect from the sun.
Her fingernails and toenails that were neatly trimmed.
Perfect skin-free of infection and odor.
A young aunt's love.

I made her up a goodie bag of baby supplies from the depot including formula. Most of you know I am against giving out baby formula. But this 8 month old was already on regular powdered milk b/c her aunt couldn't buy formula. I told her the mission would supply her with formula every week as long as we had supply until the baby was a year old. I demonstrated how to mix the formula right with clean, boiled water.

She started to say thanks and I explained to her how I did not purchase these things, how Americans sent them to help out their Christian brothers and sisters around the world and they did it with the love of God. I told her to thank God for providing and talked to her how she is not alone. We talked about being single moms. I sat with this girl and talked about being a single mom! I really needed that. Someone else who understood. We are more alike than different and I really felt a bond to her. I told her I would be praying for her and invited her to church on Sunday.

She stood up, readjusted the sleeping baby's hat and started on her way with a bag full of baby supplies.

I stood up, put my sunglasses on and started my way back to the school.

Monday, October 11, 2010

School Days!

School started today in Peredo! What a site to see all the kids clean, in new uniforms and excited to be there! I love it. But of course forgot my camera! So unfortunately, you don't get to see it. But that's the perk of living here! I get to see the happenings of the mission first hand. You can too-just become a missionary and move to Haiti.

Anyways-wanted to post of pic of the 1st batch of food bought for the kids at the school. Right now they eat the same thing for lunch everyday and don't have a breakfast program. This school year, thanks to VBS donations, extra church support and even a high school fundraiser with cookies (Go Panthers!), they will have breakfast 2 days a week and a different lunch 1-2 times a week.

More pics to come of the kids enjoying the food! This will help their nutrition status tremendously! And make their bellies very happy.

Special thanks to the Licking Valley Church of Christ and all the ladies who baked their hearts out for a bake sale fundraiser (and Summer Conley for spurring them on!), to Licking Valley High School for the fundraiser (behind the scenes of this was Ms Barboza and Tricia Phelps and the LV school cooks), Heath Church of Christ.

Thanks Thanks Thanks!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Picture update-Peredo clinic

New pics taken on Monday of the construction progress of the clinic in Peredo. Super excited and wanted to share!

Front view of clinic-with new wall

Back view of front of clinic from inside the building

Surgical lights installed in the Operating Room!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Aren't you glad you used Dial?

So this is the 2nd time this has happened to me -gave me a laugh today.

I went to the open market in Jacmel today to buy food for the school kids. Open market is always a fun adventure. Kinda like Wal-mart-not in the fact you can find anything you would ever need at the everyday low price. But in the fact that whenever you go it is an experience :)
So I walked past this booth of nice used kids shoes and have been looking for some for some school kids whose parents can't afford. Anyways-I stopped and was looking and asking prices when the l lady vendor looks at me very seriously and tells me I smell like a "blan." Like a white person! You would think since this is the 2nd time someone has told me this I would have a whitty answer. But nope-that one stops me in my tracks everytime. Maybe I am blending in more than I think.

Glad I used Dial and man oh man do I wish everyone else here did!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

It is finished! (almost)

Monday was the last day of the Mother/Child class in Peredo. Pictured here are the mothers who were accepted into the class. And behind the person taking the picture are the mothers who came just to listen to the material (and for the free entertainment the American nurse provided).

I have to say I am kinda sad to see this 1st class go. From talking to the 17 yr old mother of a 4 month old the importance of abstinence from now on until marriage, to trying to convince the mother of 7 there are still things she can learn to better help her children. I really hope and pray they take the task of raising happy, healthy children seriously and understand how much God trusts them to do this. Not all of the women in the program attend church, but this offered a great opportunity to show them God's love for themselves and their entire families.

This week the topic was worms. Nice huh? I would guess nearly all the children in this village have intestinal worms. We talked about different kinds of worms and how they are transmitted. They even used some acting skills in class to show how worms can be transmitted. We treat so many kids in the clinic for worms but the problem is they go right back home-to their normal routine and get them again. I am hoping the education in this community breaks cycles like this. It is the mentality of the people here that if you can just take a pill to make you better, then just take the pill. But with education and understanding they can learn how to prevent sicknesses and how to prevent them from reoccurring.

I have learned a ton with this class too. This is the first time I have taught in another language. It took a lot of studying and practicing the classes before the actual class. Here I was nervous to stand in front of women -most of whom have never been to a day of school in their lives! But I wanted them to believe what I was telling them and I knew if I stood up there like a blubbering idiot, they wouldn't. I also wanted them to realize I really do care about them and spent time to prepare a class for them. But I am telling you this was no easy task for me. I prayed and prayed that I wouldn't say the wring thing or something offensive. I am thankful for the time I took last year to meet people in the community and learn some of the culture.

Most importantly I learned that the women in this community are hungry to learn. And they learn fast. I really was impressed. We didn't have a fancy powerpoint show or handouts (they can't even read) or even a chalkboard-and they picked up the material fast. I would quiz them the follwoing week on what we talked about the week before and they were so excited and talking so fast at time I had to tell them to slow down! They all showed up to every single class (after the 1st week!) on time except one mother. She missed a class and sent her 7 yr old son in her place to listen and then come home and tell her what we talked about. Now I am not for sure if she sent him to listen or to see if I was handing out anything to them that week, but, nevertheless I was impressed.

They brought oranges and bananas as a gift of appreciation for me. One of the women told me to make sure I ate them to get some Vitamin C so I would get a cold. SCORE! She listened! She remembered! She applied the material to real life! I literally almost cried at that comment. All my hard work-hopefully will pay off!

They told me they wanted to do something else for me but didn't have the money. I thanked them and then thought of a way they can help the mission and other women in Peredo. I asked them if they would be willing to come to the mobile clinic in Peredo the week a team from the States are coming. They are going to come and "teach" the classes to the women waiting in line to be seen at the clinic. People literally wait in line all day long to be seen. Some of them don't get seen as we run out of time.The women in the group paired off and each took a topic we discussed and they are getting together this week on their own time to practice. I am going back this coming Monday to meet with them and they are going to practice in front of each other. They are really excited about helping the other women in the community. Please pray this is successful and an encouragement to the women completing the class.

I had someone say to me that I needed to take more than 7 women into the class b/c this class could help more than 7 at once. But I really wanted to do this 1st class right and I am still learning myself. But I agreed that the class could have helped more. And hopefully it will...

Thanks for all the prayer warriors for this project-I know a lot of you were praying-keep praying! The women know the information-now time to see if the practice it. But as they say...you can lead a horse to water...