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

Monday, July 18, 2011

Meet Nadine.

11 years old.
Like this since she was a toddler.
Taken out of school b/c mom said she doesn't want to waste her money on a kid who will die.

Over the past 2 years I have taken this girl to multiple hospitals, medical clinics and followed her closely. And over the past 2 years prayed and prayed (and prayed) for her.

The new job I took is to get Medical Visas to go to the states to get care. (Coincidence?)

Hoping to get a CT scan for Nadine in the next few weeks. Then when we have a diagnosis-start looking for care in the US.

This is what Angel Missions Haiti does.

I hope to help them help you all meet the kids.

Like Nadine.

My prayer is these kids become something other than a photo to you. Something other than a another story about Haiti.

Become involved. Become a prayer warrior. Become a donor. Become a host parent.
Just become involved.

If interested in donating directly to Nadine's testing costs and costs towards her medical visa, go to Angel Missions website. www.angelmissionshaiti.org

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

To Facebook or not to Facebook?

So like most people, I love Facebook. I mean I love it. I love keeping in touch with friends from high school and college. I love to see the pictures of their kids, see what the ended up doing for a living and seeing what high school and college sweethearts stayed together and got married.

I also have several friends who post the funniest things and others who post very thoughtful quotes.

Bottom line...Facebook make me feel like I am still in the loop. Facebook reminds me I am an American. Reminds me of the friends and family have I back home. Reminds me of Birthdays!

What did missionaries do before the internet?

At the same time...I hate Facebook.

How can I love something and hate it at the same time? I had a boyfriend I felt that way about once too...but back to the blog ;)

At the click of a mouse I can see everything that is going on back home. Everything. Everything that is going on without me.

Right now the hardest pictures to look at are of family vacations. I would love, love, love to go on a family vacation with my parents and brother and Odessa. I see the family pool pictures and playgrounds and King's Island and ice cream and kid's outdoor birthday parties and Vacation Bible school and Church camp.

And then I look at Odessa. We have no yard. Literally none. Not even a cement one. The street in front of our house is covered in earthquake rubble piled higher than my head. We take walks most evenings down the road in front of our house that passes a tent city full of homeless since the earthquake. Odessa straddles the path of waste water going down the middle of the road. That is her game. To not step in the whatever the heck is in the liquid. And thankfully, she is good at her created game.

When we get home the first thing I want to do is check Facebook. Every evening.

So tonight instead of signing on Facebook, I wrote down the blessings I now have because I obeyed God's call to work in Haiti. Here it is:

  • A very energetic 2 yr old who I would walk through fire for.
  • A boyfriend who would walk through fire and back for me.
  • An appreciation for a culture totally different than my own.
  • Mastering a second language.
  • Appreciation for running water in my bathroom.
  • Being given to chance to know who my real friends are.
  • Learning the difference, the hard way, between a want and a need.
  • Setting my sights on the next life, not this one.
So in the "sarcastic Ginny" summary-My boyfriend, who doesn't speak English, helps me a ton with my 2 yr old who is literally bouncing off the walls. I barely speak English...ever. My wonderful dad got running water into my bathroom here in the shoebox I live in-there is a sink in the kitchen but ironically it does not have running water or plumbing...so...we take water from the bathroom sink to wash dishes and then the water literally falls out of the bottom of the sink into a 5 gallon bucket that we then empty into the toilet every night. A few people who I called my close friends in the states have made very little, effort to keep in touch, while other not so close friends, have been sweeter and more encouraging than I ever would have guessed. I do not need the internet-although I nearly went insane without it for a few weeks. Literally.

God never told me it would be easy. (I say this a lot-actually chant it silently in my head on a daily basis)

But He gave me a daughter with a very good imagination, the best boyfriend who is here for me night and day, a job that provides me with a house, running water in my bathroom, a kitchen to cook in, encouragers who haven't forgotten, and the internet to blog about it all on.

He is preparing a real home for us. All who accept. That is the most important lesson I have learned in Haiti. I can't wait to see it! Really see it. Can you imagine what it is going to be like? No family vacation pics ever posted on Facebook will compare!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

In the Eye of the Beholder

My Fridays this summer are a smack in the face to this country girl. Living in Port au Prince is not easy for Haitians but there is a ravine downtown (see pic below) that is filled with trash, goats, and sewage water. I don't like it when missionaries or others come to Haiti and exploit Haitians who are living literally on top of this filth. I am showing you these pictures so you can pray for this slum area of Port Au Prince and to tell you about a mission working in the middle of it.

Go check out Christian Light Ministries website. Christian Light Ministries

The missionary, Miss Sherry, has started an English school in this community. She starts them off in preschool and their entire school day is in English. With in months they are speaking English! She does something else I have never seen done so well in a Haitian school-they have awesome art projects and sewing classes and painting and a HUGE library full of English children's books.

Sherry is one busy lady! There is also an orphanage, nutrition program and this medical program all under her. She has Haitian staff but is the only American living here running the program. And to top it off-they are so short on space, her bedroom is her school office. She takes the term studio apartment to a whole new level. She has made a difference in this community with her sacrifices and love for the Lord.

I thank the Lord for missionary examples like her.

I am filing in this summer for another missionary nurse who is on furlough in the states. Every Friday morning she walks the ravine with a Haitian nurse named Myrland (pictured with me above).

We do medical evaluations as we walk through the crowded living conditions. Some are referred to the hospital and some are given the medications they need. The good part is that we check on them on our rounds the next week and they are getting continuity of care.

The most common conditions are colds, ring worm and scabies. Not surprising.

I can't help but be thankful I am not raising my daughter in these conditions. But it breaks my heart that others are. The first week I went they were just poor people living in a Haiti slum...

but now I look forward to my Friday workdays partnering with another mission who has a vision for this area and a hope for it's children.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Sandra is still staying with us and is starting to fit in well around here. Odessa is adjusting well to have a temporary bid sister-although Sandra is annoyed sometimes with Odessa! But I tell her that's b/c Odessa looks up to her and wants to be like her. The first time I told this former slave child that Odessa looks up to her, you could see the wheels turning inside her head trying to grasp that concept. We have had our ups and downs but I can't tell you how exciting it has been to see her get to be a kid and see how she is starting to trust us and learing how far she can push me!

We've got to take her out for ice cream!

Her adoptive family in the states are praying she gets to go to the states to complete the rest of her medical treatment. They have paperwork to get in order. David and I are trying to help them on the Haiti side of things-which is not always easy. So pray for us as we have a deadline.

On a sad note-my dad left yesterday...

He came down for 10 days and played Mr Fix-it around our new house-which has been named "The Shoebox". Chuck Diehl is also here and together they got the water running in the bathroom-well the shower and sink. We don't have other running water in the house but to have a real shower-it's heaven! They also moved a huge battery/inverter system so I could have a wonderful bedroom all to myself! So thankful for my own bedroom.

We got to hang out in the evenings, take the girls out for ice cream and wade through the frustrations of Haiti for 10 days together. We had a great time with PawPaw and Odessa is still walking around looking for him. I think she wore him out! He kept commenting on how much energy she has. Of course here in Port au Prince she is cooped up in a shoebox. We don't have courtyard, parking lot, nothing for a 2 yr old to burn off energy.

That's the 2nd week I've spent with my dad in 13 months. The 2nd week he has got to be with his only grand-child.

Now we have lots of memories to hold us over til the next time!