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

Monday, March 26, 2012

Introducing Invest Hope!

We are almost done with our non-profit/5013c status with Invest Hope! We are one step 3/3. The first 2 steps went rather quickly so we are hoping this one does too.

Check out our website to see a general overview of Invest Hope.

When I was looking for a job opening here in Haiti last May, I prayed about several different options. But honestly none of them seemed like the right fit for me or what God wanted me to do in Haiti. I am a nurse, but the longer I live in Haiti, the more I see that the problem is lack of jobs.

Think about it.

If you had a job, then you could pay for well check up visits to the doctor and hopefully not be sick as often.

If you had a job, you could buy food for your family in the market and your kids would be well-nourished.

If you had a job, you could pay for your children's education.

If you had a job, you could provide housing for your family.

In my opinion there is WAY too much giving handouts being done in Haiti. What if we took that money instead and "invested" it? That's how I came up with the idea of Invest Hope. To help break the cycle of poverty by helping people find the means to provide for their own families.

The first way we started was giving microloans to women in the village of Peredo. I can not tell you how fun this has been. I can see how much happier I am working on this project than I am working in the medical field here.We have 19 participants in the program and they are doing so well in their businesses and in loan repayments.

Our dream one day is to build a vocational training center outside of Jacmel. But do some "off the beaten path" types of training. Not the conventional plumbing, care repair, electricians. We already have a couple irons in the fire to help Haitians earn a living to care care of their families. Stay tuned for more info!

Please pray for this mission. I really believe this is what God wants me to do in Haiti. I also know providing people with the tools to take care of their own families is harder than giving handouts. Pray that we make the right decisions, follow the plans God has for this project and that we stay on course.Satan is already on alert and has begun to try and block our path.

We are looking for partners for Invest Hope also. Please contact me if you're interested in hearing ways you can be involved.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Many "firsts" for a 14th Birthday

Saturday we celebrated Nadine's 14th Birthday! 

But it was also a birthday of a lot of firsts.

 First party.

 First cake. 

First wearing of corny birthday hat.

First presents ever received for birthday. (apparently it was very well taped)

Nadine has a great birthday party and then got her hair did in braids and then yesterday morning she boarded a plane for the Buckeye State! Finally! 

I met Nadine 4 years ago out in a small village in Haiti. We have looked for care for her for 4 years. Prayed for 4 years. Watched her suffer pain and ridicule. Helped her mother feed her nutritious food and milk. 

Now to watch her board a plane to OHIO, heading to my old hospital, Nationwide Children's, to be treated for free by doctors, NP's, nurses and nurses aides I personally know...gives me hope. Gives me hope in a God who tells me to cast my cares on Him, to trust him in all circumstances, and to always remember who really is in control.

Please continue to pray for Nadine. Give God the Glory for her medical visa that she found through Angel Missions Haiti. Thank Him for providing a hospital who will be giving her state of the art care for free. Thank Him for the host family who is taking care of daily needs and expenses. Pray for her family back here in Haiti as they miss her until she returns.

I thank Him for those of you who have come to Haiti and had the chance to meet Nadine and everything you have offered, done and are still willing to do for this child of His. I am amazed at how many emails and FB messages I have gotten asking how they can help Nadine. Nadine is a part of His family and I think the Lord is proud of how His family is taking care of her.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Items needed

Invest Hope (the mission we are starting in Haiti) is in need if some items. These are more high ticket items than the donations I usually ask for. If you have any of the following items and would be willing to donate them, please email me at ginnyandrews@hotmail.com.

Used is great as long as it works and the batteries still can charge. It is nearly impossible to fix electronic stuff here, so it has to be in working condition.

-Digital Camera-mine finally died. But Haiti is rough on cameras so it's 2.5 year life span what pretty good. Preferably one that has at least 10 MP.

-cell phones -Blackberry phones that have a place for a Sim card in the back. To check, just take the back cover off and sometimes to have to remove the battery to see it but there will be a little "pocket" to slide a Sim card into. iPhones-same thing, with a place for SIM card. And the old Razor phones work really really well down here. So if you happen to have one of those still laying around and don't need it anymore, please send it!

-Portable Projector- to show health/hygiene videos, have Children and teen outreach movie nights (this is hugely popular in a village with very little electricity).

-Old iPod with docking station/speaker. This is for the special needs room at the orphanage where we are dong therapy. I think the kids would benefit so much from listening to music during physical therapy. We would put classical and children's music on it.

-children's ceiling projector- again, for the special needs room. These children spend A Lot of time laying in bed staring at a white ceiling. If anyone has a projector that puts colorful stars or images onto the ceiling, we would love to be able to use it for the special needs kids. I think they would love it!

Well it's 330am so I'm going to try to get back to sleep. Pass along our wish list and if you have something To donate other than the items on this list, email me and I can let you kniw if we or another mission here in Haiti could use it.

Thanks so much!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Group of Physical Therapists from North Carolina have been here the past 2 weeks doing training with parents, orphanage workers and Haitian lay trained therapists. 

It has been very fun but very time consuming, hence the lack of blog posts.

The therapists jumped right in and learned quickly to do without this fancy equipment they have in the states and "degage", which translates to "make do". They helped earthquake victims who had lost limbs, children with brain injuries.

Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures of that week at all!

But this week one of the girls who was here, Liz, had a fancy smansy camera and got some good shots.

They have all kinds of kids and boy is this house busy! They have a "Special Care" room where there are hydrocephalic kids and handicapped children.

Here is the room:

 I have to admit I was pretty standoffish at first. These are pretty medically involved kids. But then I saw how badly these kids needed therapy and just regular stretching and sat down on the floor and started helping.

The lady below in the green scrub top is the caregiver for these children. I can not explain to you how her LOVE of these children radiates out of her.  The lady in the white shirt is a Haitian Nurse who is going to continue going to the orphanage with me twice a week to do therapy with the kids.

 I Might have a favorite....

 We also worked a little in the baby room (I definitely got my baby fix!). There are a couple of developmentally delayed kids in here but for the most part the are normal kids.

 Our Haitian nurse is doing a great job learning the physical therapy techniques. Please pray for blessings on her for this important work she is doing and that she doesn't get burnt out. There is soooo much to do you could literally work all day everyday. Speaking of that...any therapists interested ???

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

It's been a while with no post and I am getting emails asking if we are OK. Yes we are! Doing really well actually :)

Our adoption-police-court drama has settled down. I have yet another new lawyer doing Odessa's adoption now. The great news is that my previous lawyer returned the money I had paid her. She was pretty scared she was going to get hauled into court with me so she wanted rid of me as a client. Kinda funny when I think about it now, but at the time not so funny that your lawyer is afraid to stand in front of the court with you.

I have to admit though that this is getting discouraging. I have tried to do everything the right way but find myself on lawyer #3, still unable after 22 months to leave the country with Odessa. But God is in control. What a relief that is. Even though I don't understand the overall plan He has for this situation, He does...and wants me to give Him my worries, stress and needs.

In a good note, Nadine is scheduled to go to the states on Monday to meet her host family and start medical treatment! So many of you have met her and ask about her and are praying for her. She has been here at our house for several weeks now getting bulked up on cheese and peanut butter and eggs (not together of course!) and whatever else we can think of that will fatten her up. Nadine is soooo ready to go to Ohio. She keeps telling me how she is going to be good and that she will listen to her host family. She also has asked how many shots the doctor is going to give her too :)

I wish I was getting to go with her to see her when she sees everything in the states for the first time and to get her settled with her host family, but she will be traveling with another American lady who is flying back. So continue praying for Nadine as she is leaving everything
She has ever known and finally going to get the life saving medical care she needs. God is good!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

We are all home. Home here in Haiti of course (that caused some confusion on FB)

Thank you all for the prayers, encouraging emails and offers to help.

But most importantly thanks to God who has NEVER let me down, who cares about the things that are important to me, and who leads me down an unknown path but never lets go of my hand.

I tell you once again Lord, I'll follow...just lead the way.

And to Odessa, MY Odessa, I took your hand 22 months ago and I'm not letting go.
This week has given me more trial than I have ever had in Haiti.

I do not have time right now to explain fully, but in a few sentences here goes. After a routine traffic stop on Sunday night, questions were raised about Odessa being with me. I had the legal documents saying I have rights to have her and am in the process of an adoption, nevertheless, we were held at jail (David, Odessa and I) over night and went to court Monday morning. They were going to arrest David and I for child trafficking and take Odessa from my custody.

We got a lawyer and fortunately, they did not arrest or remove Odessa. But kept most of the original documents needed for her adoption.

We have another hearing this morning. We are leaving in a half an hour and I, in my nervousness, started cleaning my room. I found my devotional book under a bunch of stuff. I have neglected it this week b/c of all the legal meetings and running around and worry. I sat down on my bed and opened it. Here is today's devotion from "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young.

When something in your life or thoughts makes you anxious, come to Me and talk about it. Bring me your prayer and petition with thanksgiving saying, "Thank you Jesus for this opportunity to trust you more." Though the lessons of trust I send to you come wrapped in difficulties, the benefits far outweigh the costs.
Well developed trust will bring you many blessings, not the least of which is My Peace. I have promised to keep you in perfect Peace to the extent that you trust in Me. The world has it backwards, teaching that peace is the result of having enough money, possessions, insurance, and security systems. My Peace, however, is such an all encompassing gift that it is independent of all circumstances. Though you lose everything else, if you gain My Peace you are rich indeed.

Philippians 4:6
"Do not worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks."
Isaiah 26:3
"You, Lord, give true peace to those who depend on you, because they trust you."
 --end of devotion
I know God is in control and He has this situation in His Hands. Odessa was created by Him and is His child and He knows what is best for her.  This situation surely is wrapped in difficulties but I serve the One who is all-knowing, all powerful and always good.
Thanks to everyone for their support and prayers and encouragement.  It really does make being here easier knowing you support me and that we are partners in this mission in Haiti. 
Will post an update as soon as I can,