Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
October 2010 - Visiting Orphans partnered with Sweet Sleep to provide 45 beds to the kids at Children Household of Tomorrow Orphanage in Port au Prince. This is a video of the girls seeing their bedroom with their brand new beds. They were so excited. Even the workers were jumping up and down for joy! And most of the kids didn't even have a bed at all prior to getting these. We are so thankful to Sweet Sleep for providing these beds! What a joy for our team to be able to assemble them and present them to these precious kids!
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Today was long but awesome. God is working in Haiti on this trip. It's been so awesome to see how He has provided in so many ways! We went to the Children Household of Tomorrow orphanage in Port au Prince today. On the way there, we stopped and got some soccer balls from a roadside vendor and stopped at a supermarket and got some waters and snacks for the day. We were hoping the beds would be there for us to start putting together when we got there but they weren't. Ron, who works with Sweet Sleep in Haiti had come by that morning to deliver bibles for all the kids and workers that were age appropriate and mosquito nets for all the beds. While we were waiting for the beds to arrive - there was a neighborhood boy who hangs out at the orphanage and wants to go to the school they have there but he doesn't have any books. So we decided to take his book list and go get him some books and a bookbag. There was a list of about 15 books and we found all but 3 of them and a pretty cool bookbag all from street vendors near the orphanage. When we got back - the first set of bed frames had been dropped off by Sweet Sleep. A guy named Collins whose been in Haiti for a few weeks helping out Heartline Ministries - which is the same ministry as the guest house where we are staying - went with us to help us today. He was a Godsend! The first set of beds didn't seem to fit together so we waited for the guy to come back with the rest of the beds so he could show us. The rest of the beds arrived in the afternoon and they were not easy to put together. Turns out - they don't just snap together -they are metal beds with a piece on each end that has slots for all three levels of bunks to go into. They didn't fit quite right and it took a really, really long time and a lot of pounding with hammers to get them together. Thank the Lord Collins was there because he did the brunt of the work. We didn't finish until 6pm. And it was hot today. I don't think any of us has ever felt so sweaty or disgusting in our lives. If I had my camera cable - I would have to post the video I took of the girls when we got all the beds put together upstairs for them - 5 sets of triple bunks barely fit in this one room but they did fit and so 15 girls will be sleeping in there. And I got a video of when they all walked in there and they were so excited - they were jumping up and down for joy. I will for sure post that video when I get home. Even the staff ladies were excited and the smile on the directors wives face and all the kids faces were priceless and worth a million more days of hard work. We put the mattresses with fresh brand new sheets from Sweet Sleep on each bed and we put a stuffed animal donated while we were here from Heartline Ministries on each bed and a toiletry kit we made for every single kid that was in a little shoe box size plastic bin with a lid. We also brought more of the dresses that Amy and her friends made out of pillowcases and sheets and they are super cute - we got to put some really adorable little girls in those dresses. And although we took some shoes the other day - they were open toe shoes and they had said they need closed toe shoes. Heartline also gave us a huge box of those which was perfect. We paid for the orphanage to get their toilet outhouse building cleaned out. And while we were there, the stove that we bought on Tuesday was delivered. It was like Christmas at the orphanage. It was awesome. I wish I could fully describe it but I will just say it was worth the hard work and the sweat! Those kids are all sleeping on a bed tonight - a comfy, clean bed! I wish I could be a fly on the wall when they all got to pick out their very own bunk and go to bed tonight - I can picture joy and giggling and excitement as they went through their toiletry kits. So awesome! The kids there are so adorable. Wish I could take them all home with me.
Two of the little boys looks kind of sickly so Amy and Susan went in the bus while we stayed at the orphanage and took those 2 kids to the doctor that Beverly at Heartline has used before for the babies here. They took some blood and will get the results in a few days. It'll be good to find out what's going on with these kids. A medical team just arrived at Heartline tonight and some of the team members were talking to them and they said they could go by the orphanage in PAP and the Well Being one to check on the kids - I hope they can cause that would be awesome. There are several kids at Well Being who looked like they could use a doctor visit.
While they took those 2 boys to the doctor, the rest of us hung out there with the kids. We got in a circle and did the hokey pokey and then head, shoulders, knees and toes. And while I had them in a circle, I asked if they wanted to hear a story and they all said yes so they sat down in a circle and so did I and I pulled out a book about the story of David and Goliath. My goodness, they listened so attentively - much moreso than my Sunday school class ever does:) The book I had bought a few months back on clearance at Lifeway was actually pretty detailed about the story and it was really good and they were really listening. After I finished, I told them that even though David was a small boy - God had big plans for him and even though they are small - God has big plans for them too. Then I told them that the beds that we are putting together for them - that we are doing this because God sent us because He loves every single one of them. I asked if they knew how much God loved them and they all said yes. And I said that God hears them and even though they can't hear his voice - He is always listening and when they lay down at night in their new comfy beds - they can pray to God and he will hear them. I told them how we all came on an airplane from the USA and that we did that because we wanted to tell them that God loves them and that we love them too. It was so awesome to see them listening so attentively and being able to share God's love with them. Sylvestre was translating the story and all that I said as I talked. And then as we were finishing up - the beds came.
It was a great day - my favorite day so far. I love those kids and it brought me such joy to see them so excited and to know that they will be sleeping in a clean comfy bed tonight. Thank you Sweet Sleep for providing those beds. And thank you to our team of gals here who raised money to come but also money above and beyond that to be able to provide so much for these orphanages - including the stove and lots of food. I'm tired, we all are, but it was a great day and it's been a great week!
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Friday, October 15, 2010
I'm the type of person who likes to meet needs and when we went in June - it was a hard trip for me because we didn't get to meet as many needs as I would have liked. It was a scouting trip in a lot of ways so we were someplace different every day but it was certainly beneficial to go - otherwise, we wouldn't have identified the places we'll visit this time. But still - it was hard seeing all that we saw and not feeling personally that I had really helped much. But now - I get to go back and lead a team and bring help. We have a small team but I fully trust it'll be big impact! There are 6 of us total and the team has raised extra funds to be able to help the orphanage with things like a new stove. We are bringing a plastic bin for each kid that will have their own personal toiletries in it - deodorant, shay butter, toothbrush, toothpaste, wash cloth, comb and bar soap. I am pretty sure these kids have probably never each had their own set of those things. We are also bringing stuff to decorate those toiletry kits so each kid can make it their own. And the team came up with some great ideas for arts & crafts - we'll be helping the kids made these really cool suncatcher necklaces and one of the girls on the team is bringing journals for every kid. Someone else on the team is printing out some bible verses on stickers so the kids can pick one and put it on the inside of their journal that they will also decorate. Our awesome translator and friend, Daniel Vallon, translated them for us so we are printing them out in Creole. The 2nd orphanage we are visiting sent me an email saying they needed some sheets and backpacks and some other items - and we are bringing a backpack for all 44 kids, and all the things they need. On top of all that exciting stuff - Sweet Sleep is providing beds for 44 kids at Children Household of Tomorrow orphanage where most of the kids are currently sleeping on the floor. We get to tell them how much God loves them and that every night when they go to sleep in their new bed (with sheets), to remember that God loves them so much that He sent us to give them these beds. I am so thrilled and thankful to Sweet Sleep for providing for these kids in such a tangible way!
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Originally I was supposed to lead a team to Costa Rica Oct 2 - 9. I went back in March and fell in love with the kids there and wanted to go back. But as the months were approaching - I really felt like the Lord was telling me to let someone else lead that trip and that I was supposed to lead the Haiti trip.
I went to Haiti this past June and to be honest, it was a really hard trip. It's a hard place to be. And I loved the children there and was glad that I went but I was also really ready to come home at the end of that week. I had no intention of personally going back. But about a month later, I felt the Lord telling me He wanted me to. I shared this with Amanda, my boss, and she said she thought it would be better to have a staff person lead this Haiti trip anyway cause it is such a hard trip. The person who was going to lead it had originally wanted to lead a Costa Rica trip anyway so I got in touch with her - and she was totally on board for switching. And then a month or so later, she had to back out from leading and a lady named Kim Woodside who just went for 2 weeks to Costa Rica with two back to back teams had contacted me about leading a trip there. So it's been neat to see how God has worked it all out. Kim is leading Costa Rica. I'm leading Haiti. And we leave for Haiti Oct 16th. We are taking so many supplies down, I'm not even quite sure how we will fit it all in our luggage. We have 6 of us going and we're taking toiletry kits for 100 kids, 45 or so backpacks, arts & crafts and 50 sheets that Sweet Sleep is providing are being sent down with us too.
A few months ago, I didn't want to go back to Haiti. But now, I absolutely can't wait! Especially because we are going to meet needs and provide things that they don't have finances for or access too. And that excites me. I love to be able to help - especially these precious children, many of whom have lost their parents. Haiti is a hard place but my prayer is that our October team, with the help of Sweet Sleep, will be able to share the Lord in a very tangible way! Please pray for our team, the 2 orphanages we'll visit and all the staff and children! Thank you!
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Our last day with children in Ghana was my favorite day in Ghana and is right up there on the list of all-time favorite days in general. We got dropped off at Pastor Christian's church on the beach in Aflao and our van went and picked up the kids at the orphanage to bring them there. We had told them we could shuttle them in several trips but they showed up and all 40 of the kids piled out of our little 12 seater van - it was quite impressive. They were sooooo excited and it was so awesome to see the joy on their faces! Tons of kids from the area who live near the church, many of whom go there, came down to play. I think there were at least 100 kids on the beach with us all day. I got some great pictures. I took so many photos on this trip that I filled up both my memory cards. So many great things and beautiful children! On the beach, some of the team played soccer with the kids, some just held hands and sat with kids on our laps (me included), some went in the water and played in the waves with the kids. It was such a fun day. I sat on the beach with a group of about 7 kids around me and taught a tiny little 4 year old boy how to do the hand clapping game where you do hand to hand across and then clap in between. It was so cute. Another little girl played with me too. And then other kids just wanted to hold my hand or sit next to me. Most of the kids who were around me where actually the neighborhood kids, not the kids from the orphanage. Although sometimes it was a mix. It was very evident that the kids in the area are desperate for love and affection. I spent most of the day with kids holding my hands, sitting on my lap or just standing all around me. But my all-time favorite part of the day was at the very end. The kids from the orphanage loaded up into the van and I was sad to see them go but while we sat and waiting at the church for the van to come back for us - we kept playing with the kids who lived nearby. I was inside the church and Caleb had been playing drums in there so me and some of the kids started dancing. We did that for awhile and then I started doing the hokey pokey to the music and though they didn't understand me - they mimicked everything I did and did it with me. It was so fun. Then I taught them head and shoulders, knees and toes and they followed right along on that too. Then I asked them to sing for me and one kid who kind of spoke english said the word hallelujah which told me that they probably all knew that word. So I spontaneously started singing it over and over and made up a melody. And the coolest thing ever - they totally started singing with me. We sang it quite a few times and then I led them outside to sit in the shade on a bench behind the church. There were 2 benches and I sat in the middle and all around me and the entire other bench in front of me filled up with beautiful African children, all looking at me to see what I had planned next. I hadn't planned any of this and yet it was just flowing and I was loving my time connecting with them and bridging the language barrier. One of them started singing the Hallelujah song I made up and I joined in and then all these cute kids joined in and we must have sat there and sang that for about an hour. So I added a bridge to it - Praise the Lord 4 times and then it would go back to Hallelujah. Jess came over and took a video of it. It was a truly wonderful blessing to just sit with these precious children singing to the Lord with them. It was the most beautiful sound in all the world! This one little girl who was smaller than the other kids and sometimes would almost get plowed over when they were swarming one of us - I picked her up and put her on my lap. Another kid was laying on my other leg and a sweet tiny boy sat in front of me facing me and he touched my hand the whole time - he seemed quite fascinated with my white hand. He was so adorable! All I can say is sitting there on that bench with them singing was one of my favorite things ever!!! I will upload the video when I get home for sure.