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

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Please excuse the lack of blogging.

Between the holidays, work and JW being here in Haiti for the first time we are so busy living life that I don't have time to write about it! But that's a good thing.

It's awesome watching my brother be an uncle. Odessa is enjoying it too.


You can follow JW's blog's he is writing while he is here. Click here.

Monday, December 26, 2011

I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas! We certainly did here in Haiti! My brother and Mark Fraizer, two of the board members of Invest Hope, have been here since the 17th. Mark left Friday but JW is still here.

We had a Carribean Christmas here on the island. But I think we would have had it in Antartica to have seen Odessa open her presents. It was so fun with her this year. 3 years old is a great age for Christmas!

Christmas pics coming soon but now going to get back to hanging out with the brother. He is a great uncle by the way ;)

He has his own blog and has been posting nearly everyday how his Haiti trip is going. It's really good and he has some awesome pics.

Check out JW's blog here.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Evenson update

Here are new pictures of Evenson. He is the toddler with a Wilms tumor who is currently receiving free treatment at LA Children's Hospital.



You can totally see how his personality is coming out! His parents here in Haiti are amazed to see him smiling and playing again! They had not seen him like this in months.

Prays are need for Evenson this Monday. The doctors in LA feel it is time to remove the tumor. They will operate this coming Monday. Please pray that all goes well, for a quick recovery and for his host parents in the states who will stay by his side night and day.

I can not tell you how exciting it is to see what the Lord is doing for this child-a child we were arranging hospice for here in Haiti!

The other night while watching a movie with David and Odessa we got a big suprise. All of a sudden all the light bulbs in the house and a strand of Christmas lights got super bright and then blew out. It was kinda like a fireworks show inside! Immediately we smelled smoke and I was convinced the Christmas tree was on fire. David jumped up and shut off the breaker for electricity coming into the house.

He knew what happened right away. I guess growing up around electricity mishaps taught him some things I missed growing up with stable electricity all the time. Two lines outside on the street got crossed and instead of sending in the normail 110 volts of electricity, it sent in 220!

Among the victims was the router to my wireless interest, a fan and every lightbulb except 2 in the house. Now the inverter/battery system is not charging in the house so I am hoping that didn't get zapped too. We had less causulties here than my next door neighbors. They lost TV, fridge, cell phones that were plugged in charging, fans, lights.

Electricity is one of those things I battle here in Haiti a lot. Especially in Port au Prince. But I have learned a lot about it also. The government has control of the electricity and turns it on and off when they want. They fixed the lines on our street last night and we have had electricity ever since. That is rare! Normally they turn electricity off around 3-4am and back on in the afternoon.

One example of this that I love is this past spring when the new president was being sworn in. I was here in Port au Prince at David's house and they have a TV. There were about 10 people who came over to watch the swearing in on Television. I had never seen this in Haiti before so I was excited to get to see it too. The atmosphere was great that day as most Haitians were excited at the change this president was to bring to their country.


As soon as the president stood up to be sworn in, they turned the electricity off. We couldn't help but wonder is this was intentional as the old president wanted the opponent (his son-in-law!) to be the next president. A few weeks into the new presidency, the people responsible for electricity were brought into court before a judge and questioned about the incident.

***Please be in prayer that the inverter/battery system is not damaged and can be up and running soon.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

School days

Now that I am a mom I have experienced "the other side" of a few things.

I have been a Pediatric Nurse since 2003, but since becoming a mom I have experienced being on the other side of the exam table. The one where the patient is clinging to me and where the child with the fever is my child.

I worked out in the village school here in Haiti for 3 years working with school kids on hygiene and check-ups and other school nurse activities. Now I am sending my child to school. Odessa goes to Haitian preschool everyday for 5 1/2 hours. I am on the other side of the school gate now. I am leaving my child with strangers for the better part of her day. Odessa absolutely loves school and the rare occasion when i ask her if she wants to stay home with mommy or go to school, she always picks school. Her school is in French so my kid is learning to speak a language I don't speak (teenage years should be a blast!) and they have rules that seem really weird to this American mom...but then again we're not in America.

I have to tell you about the parents meeting at the beginning of the school year. First of all we got 2 days notice of the required meeting. If you didn't come to the meeting then your child couldn't come to school. So the meeting covered the following topics:

  • If it is raining in the morning, school is canceled that day.  Now we have all heard of snow days but rain days??? In their defense when it rains here it is like a monsoon. But still... So I had to ask, "If it is raining when school lets out, you are going to hold the kids here until it stops?" Strike one for the only white mom in the school.
  • Don't pack greasy foods for snack time because it gets the kid's clothes dirty. 
  • When there is rioting on the streets during the school day, please come pick up your child as the staff is going home. Seriously that's what they said. I had to laugh at the "when there is rioting" not "if there is rioting". 
  • We will send outlines home of what your child will be learning in French each week. Please go over this each evening with your child. Riiiiight. My discussion with Odessa goes something like this, "Odessa this week you are learning some important stuff in French. Mommy wants to to pay real close attention in school to find out what it is. Then when you bring your pictures and projects home, mommy will have some sort of idea what the heck THIS paper says."
I am so glad Odessa loves this school and it is small enough to where all the teachers know all the students. She even wants to wear her uniform Saturdays and Sundays. She is in class with her buddy "GeeGee" who is David's nephew. They cause all kinds of problems together at home and at school. 

School is a privilege in Haiti. Every morning on our walk to school we pass kids who don't get to go to school on the street. May God provide me with the wisdom to teach my child how blessed she is and how to have compassion for those who have less. And for us not to start seeing these sights as common everyday things and become complacent.


Saturday, December 3, 2011

So I'm getting back into the chaos here in Haiti. I was in the states for 3 weeks and acutally got a lot of work done. I spoke 6 different times on behalf of the new mission we are starting here in Haiti. I haven't talked a lot about it here on my blog-but now that we have had our first official board meeting...I will :)

Instead of writing a summary of what I did here are a list of websites to go to for the highlights :)

Missionary Convention in Atlanta

Reunited with my fav fast food

Disappointed by the Scarlet and Grey

Flashback to my teenage years but walking down different school hallways

Lots of Mother/Daughter Retail Therapy


Someone in the audience at one of the churches I spoke at asked this question,

" What is the thing that shocked you the most since coming back home?"

I wished I would have said soemthing really insightful but instead I said the first thing that came to mind,

Skinny Jeans.

Seriously...I saw these jeans on every body type during my 3 weeks home. And they didn't look good on any of them. My brother even wears them! Guys in skinny jeans...America-what is going on?  I am really hoping the next time I come in this fad has passed. 

But that question got me thinking. I am more shocked now when coming to home for a visit in the states than I am when I get off the plane in a third world country. I have done some reading on culture shock and some of it says that reverse culture shock can be worse than culture shock. That means that when you live in another culture and then return to your original culture that can be a bigger shock than you had going the different culture.

For example-Americans eat out WAY too much. I know we all know this but seriously. It's like our day is planned around meals. When I come home I always eat a ton of the food I have missed while being in Haiti. I always overeat. It is so easy to do in the states. Fast food on every corner, grilled meat smells wafting out of every steakhouse you pass, opening my parent's fridge and seeing it stuffed full of every kind of food you can imagine. Now I am going through withdrawl! We decorated our Christmas tree a few nights ago and all I wanted was Taco Bell. I couldn't help but think how some Soft tacos would have completed our decorating evening.

Another bit of culture shock is TV. Not only how much Americans watch TV but how much stuff is on there. My parents have Netflicks on the TV through the internet so there are all these shows, old and new on there. I found the Cosby show and watched 9 episodes. Yep 9. Then I found a show I saw a few episodes of when it was on, "What About Brian?" (Don't judge-yes it is a total soap opera) and watched 14 of the 24 episodes. Ridiculous! But I loved every minute of every episode. Good thing I don't have TV here-I might never get anything done :) But the funny thing is I don't miss it.

I could go on and on but the overall thought is I think I experience more culture shock when coming back home to the states than I do when coming back home to Haiti.

I had a nice break at home and go to see so many people-some who traveled hours to see me :), my parents made my time at home non stressful and my brother even came over to visit more than I remember seeing him when I lived in the states.

But seeing a pink flash of a 3 year old little girl running towards me in the airport parking lot in Haiti was the best part of the whole trip.

It's good to be home...and I haven't seen a single pair of skinny jeans yet.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Missionary Hero

I love reading stories about people. Biographies and autobiographies can be found galore on my kindle. I got this email today and had no idea about this missonary's story or how close the places we are from are. And because I just got back to Haiti after being in the states for 3 weeks and I am trying to settle back in, I am cheating and posting this story on my blog instead of writing one myself. Some may call this lazy but I call it being resourceful ;)

This was written by Don Linn, a preacher in Mt Gilead, OH.

“I’M HERE, LORD”

The invitation was offered at Camp Wakatomika near Mt. Vernon, Ohio, during

the summer of 1957 and a young lady by the name of Phyllis Rine answered that call

by saying “I’m here, Lord”. She was answering the call to Christian service wherever the

Lord would lead. The next month she arrived on the campus of the Cincinnati Bible

Seminary on Price Hill and the first words from her mouth were, “I’m here, Lord”. Five

years later she arrived in Stanleyville, (currently, Kisangani in the Republic of Zaire)

then known as the Congo in South Africa and again, she said, “I’m here, Lord”. Two

years later she was gunned down attempting to flee rebel soldiers and again we can

hear Phyllis say as she entered the portals of heaven, “I’m here, Lord.”

Phyllis was born August 15, 1939, to Arthur and Ava Rine who lived on a farm

near Martinsburg, Ohio. Two younger brothers, Larry and Tom were born from their

union. Unfortunately, Arthur died when Phyllis was only four. Then the family moved in

with the maternal grandparents. While living, Arthur worked as a tenant farmer, school

bus driver and milkman.

Her mother, Ava, greatly influenced Phyllis’ life. The saying on the living room

mantle spoke volumes, ‘Only one life ‘twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ

will last.” Ava read Bible stories to the family and faithfully served in the church at

Martinsburg as well as nursing at the hospital in Mt. Vernon. Even though her father

was not a Christian her mother did not let that deter her from teaching her children

about the Lord. In addition, her maternal grandparents, the Haugers, were strong

believers.

While growing up, Phyllis was known to be very shy and reserved but also quite

studious. She learned to play the piano and accompanied the congregation in singing

as well as her brothers. The violin was the next instrument she learned to play. One of

her school teachers was heard to say, “I wish we had more students like Phyllis.”

In the fall of 1957, Phyllis arrived at the Cincinnati Bible Seminary (now known

as the Cincinnati Christian University) to begin her preparation to serve the Lord in

whatever way she could and wherever He would send. She became involved with the

Laurel Homes Church of Christ where she played the piano and taught primary age

children. Visuals and pictures were used to tell the Bible stories to many dark-skinned

boys and girls. Work was necessary to pay her school bills so she cleaned dorms,

worked in the cafeteria and later took a job downtown Cincinnati at the Midland

Guardian Company. Her reputation of being steady and dependable made her a valued

employee. She was involved with the Whatsoever Girls Club on campus, Philothean

Literary Society and World Mission Volunteers.

June, 1961, she joined 54 others to receive their diplomas and enter the world

of service to use the training received to make an impact on our culture. It was during

one of the World Mission Volunteers meetings when Clifford Schaub from the African

Christian Mission spoke about the work being done in the Congo. Phyllis’ heart was

touched and she began communicating with Zola Brown who was a single missionary

serving in Africa. Under the guidance of Dr. Winter, who was Mission’s Professor, she

became acquainted with other missionaries serving in Africa such as the Ron Harshes,

Ronald Butlers, Larry Doggetts, Howard Crowls, and the African Mission Staff.

Seeing that the Lord was guiding her to be a teacher, she enrolled at the

University of Cincinnati to begin the Master’s Program. After being certified by the

Cincinnati Board of Education, she obtained a job at the Riverside Elementary School

teaching kindergarteners. During this time she continued to take classes in the

evening while making preparations to go the mission field. Four churches responded to

the call to financially support her mission endeavors. They were Martinsburg, Bell near

Utica, Bladensburg, and the Milford church near Centerburg.

On September 4, 1962, Phyllis departed to Africa to join in the work with

Schaubs. She worked hard to learn the Swahili language so she could communicate

with the native people. Loving children so much she was dismayed in seeing that many

girls did not see the need of an education and she would say repeatedly, “If we can get

to these girls while they are still young, maybe we can get part of the problem licked

for the future.” Often she would ride her bicycle to a village to gather the children

around to tell the Bible stories and the love of God. It was reported by her co-workers

that she never felt like she was doing enough. One of her co-workers, Zola Brown,

wrote a very insightful book called, “Only One Life” which covers the life and influence

of one dedicated servant who answered the call of Christ.

November 24, 1964, will not be forgotten. It was then that rebel forces came

into Stanleyville and rounded up the foreigners and then began shooting randomly.

The Schaub family was able to escape but Phyllis was hit and bled to death. Leaving the

cemetery following the burial, a comment was heard which said, “Perhaps Phyllis has

accomplished more by her death than by her life.” Rine Hall was built as a Girls’ Dorm

on campus in honor of one who answered, “I’m here, Lord.” Literature for children now

is printed in Swahili so the children and girls, especially, will know about the God Who

cares.

Though only 25 when her life on earth was taken, her legacy and example live

on in those who would answer the call of God by saying, “I’m here, Lord.”


Don Linn
don.linn@cccmv.com

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Evenson update

Evenson is the little boy we have been working with at Angel Missions. The mission found care for him at A Children's Hospital and I took him out there a month ago. I posted it on Facebook and a lot of people are asking how he is doing.

He has a Wilm's tumor. It is so large that it can't be surgically removed until it shrunk with Chemo. The plan is for Evenson to have 13 weeks of Chemo and evaluate the tumor again. The great news is it is already shrinking after a few treatments!

He is with a Christian couple who is hosting him in California. They are wonderful with him and taking great care of this medically fragile child.


Please pray for Evenson and his host family and his biological parents who are anxiously awaiting for him to return to Haiti.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Nadine's Story Part 2

For those of you who haven't heard...Nadine is coming to America! Well...we are working on getting her medical visa because Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus Ohio accepted her 100% free of charge!

I am so happy for their decision! One one hand I am proud b/c I am a former employee of Nationwide Children's Hospital. I am so excited that my former co-workers are going to be the ones providing care to Nadine! One the other hand I am so so so excited for Nadine, who has been suffering since she was a toddler and teased. I met her 3 years ago and had no idea God would use me as a link to help save her life.

Dana Noffsinger is a Pediatric NP at Children's and was the driving force behind getting Nadine accepted. I facebooked him and asked him to read my blog post about Nadine and see if he could ask around at Children's.

He did and started taking to a radiologist and surgeon and submitted the required paperwork. I can not say how grateful I am for what he has done for Nadine. I sat back and thought about when I met Dana and how we worked together with surgical patients at Chidren's for a few years. But now I see the how the Lord had another plan for us working together even before I ever stepped foot in Haiti. I hope he knows how much we at Angel Missions appreciate all he has done!

So now we are working on the paperwork for Nadine's Embassy appointment for her medical visa. They require a large amount of paperwork and it has to be PERFECT.

It started with getting Nadine and her mother to Port au Prince to get her passport and other paperwork signed. Here are some pictures of Nadine at her house.


Sendhie, The secretary at Angel Missions had a schooling session with her mother before they headed out for paperwork. Nadine's mother never went to school and can't sign her name.  Literally doesn't know her letters. Can't write a single one. So Sendhie was teaching her how to sign her name. It was so sweet...I took a picture of it :)

 We will continue to work on paperwork...almost finished! Keep praying! God is working...we are seeing the proof!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Grenadia (Passionfruit) Juice

There is a fruit here in Haiti called Grenadia in Creole. I googled it and couldn't find Grenadia anywhere. I looked through fruit pictures of the Carribean and found that it is a variety of Passionfruit. There is a purple passionfriut and a yellow passionfruit. These are the yellow variety.  Here is a descriptive link.


Passionfruit juice is my favorite here. Odessa and I made some yesterday. We add a couple fresh squeezed juice from limes to ours too cause we like the extra tartness.

First we wash all the fruit in bleach water. If you saw the open market here in Port au Prince where we buy our fruits and veggies you would definitely know why ;)


Odessa squeezed the limes in to get our sour/tangy taste.






Then we cut open the Passionfruit-smells SOOO good!
 
Then you scrape the inside part into a strainer and stir it and scape against the sides until the juice starts running down into the pitcher. Adding water helps get the juice off the seeds. 
 
 
And you stir and stir and stir...
 
It is finished when you don't have a lot of orange stuff left. Just basically seeds. Then you go onto the the next piece. Then add water and sugar to taste when you have used all your passionfruits.

 
Then you enjoy fresh, passionfruit with a kick of lime, juice. I have never had this in the states. I don't know if it is imported in to some grocery stores. If you can't find in your local grocery, come on over, we'll make you a fresh pitcher!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I usually don't post things that others wrote on my blog. I figure you come to my blog to read why I have to say :)

The director of Angel Missions, Vanessa, gave me a devotional book about 2 months ago. It is fabulous! It is a 365 day devotion book. They are really short, yet profound. Written from the perspective of God speaking to the reader. Then there are always 2-4 verses for you to look up at the end.

I don't know about you, but I find that I read so fast I don't always retain the information I read. I learned this about myself back in high school. So since then I write out the things that are important to help "write" them in my brain too. I write the verses out in my journal notebook. The time it takes me to write it forces be to really think about what the scripture says.

Then after those scriptures I write out my prayer list. In detail. Not just a name or a need or a brief thank you. I write out my thoughts about it. More like a letter to God than a list. I should call it my prayer letter rather than my list.

Yes it takes me longer this way. But that's a good thing. I got the idea from the book, "The Help." If you haven't read it...do it! I haven't seen the movie yet but I have yet to watch a movie that is better than the book. So even if you've seen the movie, you should read the book.

Aibileen is the main maid in the book and she has a prayer list/journal that she writes in everyday. This gave me the idea and I have been doing it ever since. It helps my mind not to wander during prayer and focus on the conversation I am having. 


The following is the yesterday's devotion in the book, "Jesus Calling. A 365 Day Journaling Devotional" by Sarah Young. If you're looking for a good, quick, devotional everyday...this is the one. Here is a link to the app you can get for iPhone or iPad with the daily devotional. And here is the link where you can buy in on Amazon.com.  And here is the link to buy it for Kindle. Can you tell I really recommend it?

Go gently through this day, keeping your eyes on Me. I will open up the way before you go, as you take steps of trust along your path. Sometimes the way before you appears to be blocked. If you focus on the obstacle or search for a way around it, you will probably go off course. Instead, focus on Me, the Shepherd, who is leading  you along  your life-journey. Before you know it, the "obstacle" will be behind you and you will hardly know how you passed through it. 

That is the secret to success in My kingdom. Although you remain aware of the visible world around you, your primary awareness is of Me.  When the road before you looks rocky, you can trust Me to get you through that rough patch. My Presence enables you to face each day with confidence. 

Scriptures: 

John 10:14-15 
"I am the good shepherd. I know my sheep, and my sheep know me,  just as the Father knows me, and I know the Father. I give my life for the sheep.
Isaiah 26:7
The path of life is level for those who are right with God;
       Lord, you make the way of life smooth for those people.

I know there is controversy about this book. But after rereading the introduction, I see Ms Young is not trying to Speak from God to us. Or add to the Bible. But she is helping me stop and come into the presence of the Lord everyday in the midst of the chaos I live in.

There about 70 people a day looking at this blog. I realize it could be the same people over and over :)

I am always looking for great Christian reads. Especially ones on Kindle since I live in Haiti.

Beth is a follower of my blog and she sent me "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan some months back. FABULOUS BOOK! Here is the link to Beth's blog.

Take 3 seconds and leave a comment about your current favorite Christian read. (Note: I have to approve them for them to post so if it doesn't show up on the blog right away...no worries)

Monday, October 17, 2011

10 women from 10 different places. 10 different walks of life. 10 hearts for helping others.

One in Antarctica, one in Kentucky, one in Georgia.

Two nurses who are former co-workers.

A high school classmate I haven't seen in 13 years.

Her mother whom I have never met.

A friend I met in Haiti-who was here for only a week but holds Haiti in her heart.

Another whom I have never met.

And me.

10

When I asked for help with Oscar I never guessed this specific combination of people would respond. I am the only one who knows (almost) all of them. These people are different as day and night. NEVER would this group of women all go out for dinner or coffee.

But that's what makes it so exciting! God put us all together to help Oscar. God knew when I met each of these people that He was going to make us part of a group of 10 one day to help a poor little boy in green cordouroy pants.

He used nurses, photographers, stay at home moms, high school classmates and family friends to do something in His name! And He did it in 9 hours. 9 hours after I posted the request, 9 people had volunteered! 9 hours!

Once again I get to be here for the fun part. I get to tell Oscar and his family he is going to get surgery. Witness to them how God provided for Oscar's needs. I get see him post-op (hopefully with the green pants!) and finally see Oscar pain free.

Being a missionary really is cool.

Seeing how God used 10 people to come together to do something in His name is amazing.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Oscar and the green corduroy pants

Meet Oscar.

Cute huh? His serious attitude cracks me up. When he talks you would think an 80 yr old man was talking! And the 4 times I have seen him he always has these same clothes on. The wild Hawiaan shirt and (the best part!), green corduroy pants.

The first time I met him was downtown when the Comfort Ship came to Haiti. His dad brought hime to get his hernia repaired. But thousands of people showed up and a little over a hundred were chosen for surgery. Needless to say, Oscar's hernia wasn't high on the list.

So we referred him to a hospital here in Port au Prince where they can do the operation. He is not a canidate for a medical visa for a hernia. Medical Visas are given out for more severe cases. Plus this is a surgery offered in Haiti so the Embassy wants it done in Haiti.

So the cost of the total hernia surgery here in Haiti is $312 US.

So....

Lots of so's huh?

So...anyone want to help Oscar? He is in school and hoping to have the surgery over Christmas break so he doesn't miss a lot of school. (told you he talks like an old man!)

If a few of us all contribute we can help this 7 year old be free of hernia pain. If we make a small sacrifice. Share what we have.

Hebrews 13:16 (NCV)

"Do not forget to do good to others, and share with them, because such sacrifices please God."

God sees our sacrifices. He takes pleasure in them.

I challenge 9 other people to consider donating $30 (tax-deductible) towards Oscar's surgery. With me that will make 10 people and $300. Every penny will go to his hernia surgery.

***Update***So...WE DID IT! 9 people responded to the request in less than 9 hours! The Lord provided for Oscar! I can't wait to tell his family!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Lakay nou (Our house)

Some people has asked me to post pics of our house aka "The Shoebox".  Angel Missions Haiti provides us with this house in return for my working with them.

Here you go...don't blink you'll miss it!

Front of house and porch



 Angel Missions office in  front of house


 Living room and 1st real couch I've ever had in Haiti!

Living room with the most comfy, outdated glider ever!

 My room-can you tell I don't have storage space???

Kitchen...who needs plumbing?

 Kitchen

 
 Odessa's room



There you go! Not quite home sweet home but it'll do for now!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Learning to Dance in the Rain!

Came across a quote that really hot home today.

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain. 

I had a big scare last week. I found out that the Haitian attorney I had to do Odessa's adoption, could not do it. Very bad news.

17 months we have been waiting!
But there is some good news-I got her legal paperwork and had all the paperwork done my previous attorney told me I needed for the adoption. 

But more bad news: He is not up to date and I need yet MORE paperwork.
But the good news is I had a met a missionary here in Haiti (who has adopted 10 children and is working on #11-as a SINGLE mom and she's younger than me!-I think she needs a psych evaluation!) who can help me with all of this and her mission is doing so free of charge! I meet our new attorney next week-she has already finalized 30 adoptions this year alone. I want Odessa to be number 31!

More bad news come yesterday as I learned I do not meet the US requirement for income. Can't exactly change how much money I made last year.
But the good news is I will be finalizing her adoption in Haiti so I am excluded from that requirement! (I am currently at home recovering from the heart attack I had yesterday after finding out I don't meet the requirements)


So this quote really hit home today.

So while I am going to work on this adoption and run after every document, take every psych test (that was fun!) and watch the rules change here in Haiti 947 times...

We're learning to dance in the storm of international adoption! Yesterday afternoon I danced holding in tears. Yesterday morning I danced b/c Odessa started school!  The week before I danced with a sucker-punch feeling in my gut. Today I'm dancing while making spaghetti!

We don't know what tomorrow may bring but it's just a storm. 

But we're dancing together.
 






Sunday, October 2, 2011

Once upon a time...




Once upon a time there was a nurse who never felt like her comfortable life in a land known as Ohio was what the Lord had planned for her. So she moved to Haiti and not a lot has been comfortable since but the nurse experienced more adventures than she ever did working at Level One Trauma Hospitals in the states.

Last week was one of these adventures. She took public transportation (which is always an adventure in Haiti) to a land full of sun and beaches called Jacmel. There is a little girl who lives about a 30 minute motorcycle ride up in the jungle outside the city. Most people would have went in the daylight, but this nurse likes to shake things up, so her and her prince took a motorcycle ride into the darkness. This land does not have electricity so it was really dark! The prince asked the nurse if she had a lot of money in her purse. The nurse, confused, said no. The prince said that was good just in case they got robbed.  They crossed 3 rivers, one being too deep to cross by moto, so the prince carried the nurse across the dark river on his back.

They finally arrived at Makensia's house.

Here's her story: When Makensia was just days old, she was sleeping on a bed next to a nightstand that had a candle on it. The sheet covering her caught fire and her R foot was severely burned. Her toes were burned off and her foot very deformed. After seeing where she lives-literally the middle of nowhere-it is amazing she didn't die of an infection.

Fast forward 6 years.

When the USNS Comfort ship was coming we called Makensia's family to have them bring her to Port au Prince in hopes of her getting surgery. She was chosen out of the HUNDREDS that showed up! Her foot was bent backwards up her shin by the contractures the burns left. She could not walk but hobbled around. A Plastic surgeon on the ship released the contracture and now her foot is flat and moves and she can walk on it with little difficulty!



















The nurse and Makensia had a good visit. Makensia demonstrated her "runway walk" and everyone cheered. The nurse checked out her wound and took out her stitches by the glow of a cell phone for light b/c this entire village lives without electricity and the nurse likes the challenge.

Makensia's story is not over. She still needs a few more surgeries to fix her all up. The nurse promised Makensia she was going to look for more doctors and possibilities to help her. One of those ways of looking is to post a blog about her and see if any doctors coming to Haiti would be willing to help her.

They said their goodbyes and the nurse rode the moto back out into the darkness with her prince following behind with a camera. (and no mom...we didn't get robbed).
The nurse who loves the adventures the Lord gives her would like to say thanks to everyone who supports her in her work in Haiti. This far away land really isn't far away distance-wise but way far away technology wise. 

She would also like to thank to Lord for not letting her fall off a motorcycle in Haiti yet. She welcomes donations into the vehicle fund her home church back home has opened for her. 

Tax-deductible donations can be sent to:
Licking Valley Church of Christ
1578 Dayton Rd
Newark, OH 43055
please put "Ginny Andrews" in memo of check.






Tuesday, September 20, 2011

In the event of a plane crash...

I came across this while cleaning out my purse/bookbag/diaperbag combo thingy today. I forgot all about it and it made me laugh this time. The first time I read it, flying in the 4 seater toy tiny plane, I wasn't doing much laughing.

This was in the medical airplane I flew to Jeremie in to pick up Sandra, the slave child who experienced some trauma back in May. It was laminated and I copied it word for word. None of this was made up.

IN THE EVENT OF A PLANE CRASH
1.Stay away from the airplane until cooled.

2.Check injuries. Give first aid.

3.Get out of the wind/rain. Put up temporary shelter. Make hot drinks. (Hot drinks? #1-I'm in HAITI. #2-If my plane just crashed I seriously doubt I'm going to sit back and drink a glass of herbal tea!)
4.Get signaling equipment ready. Make sure the emergency transmitter locator is working. Set the plane's battery on it's right side. (Sure hope the pilot knows how to do this and is not injured/dead.)

5. Now relax and rest until you are over the shock of the crash. (Riiiiiiiiiiiiight.)

6. After resting, organize the camp. Put all food and equipment in charge of one person. Remember you can survive weeks with no food if you have water. (So glad I watched all those Lost episodes!)

7.Prepare signals, disturb your surroundings so you can be recognized from the air. Collect oil from plane to burn for smoke signals. 

8. Check out plane's radio. Determine position and include on radio messages. (This is #8?????)

9.Start a log book. Fill out accident and injury report forms. 



Thinking I better stick to missionary nursing not flight nursing...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Exactly What I need

What a great Sunday! David (AKA best menaj ever!) surprised me by borrowing a car so we could go to the English speaking church-where they have Children's worship for Odessa. I enjoyed on church service in ENGLISH with an empty lap (where Odessa usually sits).

But the best part of church was the end. There was a white lady sitting in front of us with 3 little girls. They were rotten in church-just like my little girl is. I felt better seeing someone else with a child who can't sit still. After church she started talking to David and I. She said she is from Canada and her husband is Haitian and they want to make friends with some other mixed couples who have kids. I about jumped into this stranger's arms and hugged her. She invited us to dinner on Wednesday! Like a real dinner with another couple like us. I tried to play it cool when I said yes but I was so excited I couldn't stand still. I must have really been wriggling with excitement b/c when she walked away David asked me if I had to pee.

Then we stopped by the grocery store on the way home and they had tortillas. Real ones from the states. Don't ask me how much I paid for them-that's not important. What is important is that we had chicken soft tacos for lunch! With real soft taco shells and real salsa. I haven't had tacos in over a year. And boy were they good. Odessa kept asking me where the rice was. I told her, "Don't worry sweetie-we'll have rice every other day this week." She said, "Not today?" "No not today. Today we're eating TACOS!" She said, "I want rice." Oh well-can't make everyone happy.

English church, dinner invitation and soft tacos make for one happy American in Haiti this evening.  I would say it's the little things in life that make life great. But these are not little things. These are things I talked to God about last week in my devotion time. God answered my requests with a taco, a dinner invitation and worship in my native language.



Why am I always surprised that He knows exactly what I need?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Meet Mithadeline. Look at this face! Don't you love it?  I met her a couple weeks ago when her mom brought her down to see the doctors aboard the USNS Comfort ship. Her mom was hoping they would do surgery on Mithadeline's legs.

Unfortunately, she needs extensive surgery, maybe a series of surgeries. So she was not a canidate for surgery aboard the ship. I made an appointment to come into the the Angel Missions office.

She came in last week and brighted up our dark dreary office with her smile. She was a chatterbox and has tons of character! Mithadeline was born with major leg deformities. Her right leg doesn't bend at the knee at all and her R foot is turned inward. Her Left leg is bent at the knee and doesn't straighten at all.

She army crawls around her house and scoots using her arms and hands. Her parents carry her back and forth to school everyday. At age 5 they can do this but at age 15 this is not going to be possible.

Haiti is not handi-cap accessible to say the least! I have yet to see one sidewalk fit for a wheelchair. There is debris/trash blocking walkways everywhere. Cars park on the sidewalks where ever they want. Even if Mithadeline had a wheelchair, it would be useless in this country.

We sent her information to the states and there is an Orthopedic doctor interested in helping her! But the larger issue was how Angel Missions was going to pay for testing and paperwork here in Haiti to get a passport and medical visa.

So I started praying and thinking about who could help.

I sent out a couple emails to some Christian friends who are active in their church mission committees. Within hours, Teresa Mooney from Kokimo, Indiana, responded. She said her church, Main Street Christian Church in Russiaville, Indiana, was having a mission committee meeting that very evening and she would ask if they would help Mithadeline.

Talk about all in God's timing!

So I am happy to give a public "Thank You" to Main Street Christian Church in Indiana for sponsorship of a medical visa for Mithadeline! This church is helping change one Haitian child's life.

God is putting together the pieces of the puzzle to help this child. I feel blessed to have played my part. And blessed that there are other Christians like Teresa Mooney and Main Street Christian Church willing and ready to play theirs!
 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Carry Me

Sometimes I wonder if God gets tired of my whining. I specifically thought this today as Odessa and I walked home from David's house (about 3/4 mile) in the scortching afternoon sun. In the most pathetic, annoying whine Odessa said, "Mommy juice, Mommy juice, Mommy juice." Over and over. She drug her little feet behind her as she hung on my arm. She never looked up from the pavement.

I, being the mother-of-the-year I am, had no money on me. Not one gourde (the Haitian currency). It was hot-we live in Port au Prince, AKA "city of radiating heat off the pavement," and every 15 steps or so we would walk past someone selling ice cold drinks in a cooler.

After about 20 minutes of pulling the "mommy juice" 2 year old I snapped. I bent down to Odessa's level and said, "Honey- I have no juice, I have no money but we have ice in the freezer at home and we're almost there. Just keep walking. Please!"

She looked up at me with her big brown eyes and said, "Carry me."

What?!? Riiiight...my little girl has gotten way too big for me to carry her up and down the hills of Port au Prince in the last couple months.

But those eyes...

Already sweating, I shifted my bag and he bookbag to one arm and pulled my almost 3 year old up in my other arm.

This was somehow easier than hearing, "Mommy juice" one more time :)

And then I started. Not out loud but in my head.

I imagine it sounded something like this in the Lord's ear:

"God-I'm tired. Really tired. Not just today. But I don't know how much longer I can take this. i just want a break. I've been in the states for one week out of the last 17 months! This is ridiculous! I came to Haiti-wasn't that sacrafice enough? But here I am with a 2 1/2 year old child, no car, in a huge city.  Lord I used to have a life. A Nice life. I used to have friends, a vehicle, indoor plumbing throughout my house. But Lord I'm tired. Really tired."

We finally made it home. Both of us sweating like pigs. And we enjoyed some ice cold juice.

When I laid her in bed tonight I talked to her about patience. Ironic huh? After my whining fest with the Lord this afternoon? Like I said, Mother-of-the-year here.

I am getting ready for bed now and going to "redo" that chat I had with the Lord earlier.

How many times have I prayed hanging on the Lord's hand with my feet dragging behind me, eyes down on the pavement? Begging, whining for him just to make it better.

And sometimes He tells me to keep walking. But I have the assurance I am never walking alone.

And I know when I just can't take another step...I can look up and say, "Carry me."

Carry me through this adoption process because I am tired of the red-tape of governments.

Carry me through another day in the office because I am tired of the sickness and disease where there is not adequate medical care.

Carry me through another weekend without friends and family.

Carry me through handwashing our laundry in the bathtub-on second thought Lord, just knock me out for that one...

Carry me...


Deuteronomy 31:8
"The Lord himself will go before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forget you. Don't be afraid and don't worry."


Matthew 11:28
"Come to me, all of you who are tired and have heavy loads, and I will give you rest."