Friday, April 22, 2011

To Be A Mom

For some reason today, I started thinking about what it means to be a mom. And how for so long, I’ve been saying “I can’t wait to be a mom someday”. And all of a sudden on this Good Friday afternoon, I just had a revelation that I am a mom! Firstly, I’m an adoptive mom to a 1 year old dog named Auty. On top of that, last week I got to be a mom to several kids in Haiti who fell asleep in my arms not to mention countless others that I got to hug, kiss, play with and tell about how much Father God loves them. I got to be a mom when I had the honor of serving lunch to 30 kids. I get to be in a mom-like role when I teach Sunday school, babysit or even just lend a shoulder to a hurting friend. Those are all mom-like roles. So while I don’t have a biological or adopted human child YET - I am still a mom in many ways. And that revelation makes me smile!!! The truth is - I was made to be a mom and I find the most joy in that kind of a role. I always have. I like to take care of other people. And I kept waiting and waiting until I got to be a mom someday and truth be told - the more trips I go on, the more I want to have a child but until then - what a cool perspective the Lord gave me today when lo and behold - He just showed me that I already am a mom in so many ways!!!! How cool is that? And not only that, but people are actually using that title now because of Auty. I had to take Auty to the vet today cause she has this gross eye gunk and I wanted to make sure it was nothing wrong. They said they thought it was probably allergies which makes sense cause I have major allergies right now too. As I was waiting in the lobby with her for the appointment though, the lady at the desk called me mom several times. It made me smile cause I had started writing this blog about being a mom before I left the house. When they told me to bring Auty back, she said “ok, mom - you can bring her back now”. I love being called mom even more than I thought I would!! I always knew I wanted to be a mom and how awesome that not only am I a mom in a sense to orphans and other people I get to care for in a mom-like role from time to time - but people are officially, actually calling me mom. Many people will likely not get why but I think that is totally awesome!!! I was telling my chiropractor today that I got a dog and he said “dogs are a lot of work huh?” and I had to stop and think about it because honestly, it doesn’t feel like it is work at all. I think part of that is because I was blessed with the most awesome sweet natured dog in the universe. And part of it is because of how God made me. I thrive in the mom role! That’s the best way to describe it. What a divine discovery to have a new point of view - I’m not missing out on motherhood - although I do VERY much want to be a mom to a child someday - I can embrace it now! It’s interesting to have that ah ha moment today, on Good Friday - when we recognize Jesus ultimate sacrifice for us. Father God sent His only son to die for me! How deep the Father’s love for us! And how sweet of the Father to remind me of that love today and to not only remind me of His parent love toward me but to show me a new view into how He made me to love as a parent and beyond that - how He has already been using that mothering gift in more ways than I even realized. Thanks Lord for showing me that today and thanks for giving me the honor of getting to be a mom - whether it’s for a day or a lifetime - I am blessed by that honor!

Monday, April 18, 2011

I left my heart in Haiti with these kids

John Wesley showing me his shaker


I got home from Haiti very late last night after an almost 11 hour layover in Miami. Travel time to Haiti is usually pretty short but with such a long layover in the MIA airport - it felt more like a trip to Africa. But one of the other team members, Jen, was with me for 8 of those hours and it went by surprisingly fast. We had internet so we uploaded all our pictures and got to just hang out, call family, eat lunch, etc. Lynelle had a few hours so she had lunch with us and we all got to talking about family, upbringing and we were surprised how similar our stories are. It's neat to see the redeeming work God does and how He always works things together for the good of those who love Him. He turned some of our childhood hurts into a passion to help other kids and wala - all these years later, here we are together serving on the mission fields - loving on these precious little ones in Haiti. God is so good!
I picked up my sweet dog this morning and she was so excited to see me - she couldn't contain herself and she was jumping wildly. I'm covered in scratches but I don't even care. I was equally as excited to see her. I love that fur-child so much! I missed her like crazy and because of that, I was more excited than usual to come home. With past trips, I didn't really even think much about home and it was definitely not difficult to leave to go. But as I mentioned in my blog post before I left, I think it's supposed to be hard to leave, it's supposed to be a sacrifice to go. I kept thinking about Auty on this trip. And everytime I missed her, I kept thinking about all these sweet kids who don't have what my dog has - a forever home. They don't have a mom to love on them every day. My dog is more fortunate than millions of children around the world. And so, Auty and I made a 10 day sacrifice so I could go love on some sweet kiddos and remind them that God loves them and so do I! I had a great opportunity to share this with the kids at Well Being on our last day there. The team was sitting around the circle holding several kids on there laps as I told them God had a plan for them. The team was crying. The kids were nodding. And I was smiling because I was happy to be able to tell them this. But not happy to say goodbye a few hours later. It's hard saying goodbye and leaving them not knowing exactly what will happen to them, or when their next meal will be. Although with Well Being, we knew they would have many next meals because we bought them enough food to last for at least several weeks, if not more. We got them a tarp for the tent where these 30 kids rest their heads and left there knowing they wouldn't have to get up in the middle of the night next time it rained to bail water out. At least for a little while - until that tarp wears out in the heat of the sun and that supply of food runs out. It gives me great peace knowing this church in NJ is going to be helping them longterm and I am so excited to have been able to be there when they told the woman who cares for the kids about their plans to help. I look forward to seeing the positive change that will come. And as I continue reading When Helping Hurts - I look forward to seeing a plan come together that doesn't hurt Well Being but empowers them to help themselves, to learn, to change their communities and their country. I love Compassions model for holistic development and I pray this orphanage model will be very much like that.  We want to help but we don't want to hurt in trying to do so. And there's a very delicate balance in doing so. You have to understand that people will feel worthless if they are always getting a handout. But if they get to take part in the change that's happening - they feel valued and hopeful. And that's what we want for Louizanne and all the children and helpers at Well Being. We went and we met some temporary needs but we didn't fix the longterm problems. But with the Lord's help, we can come alongside Well Being and build something amazing that has a lasting impact far into the future. 
Our last day in Haiti, we traveled to Thomazeau to an amazing orphanage called Children of Hope. A guy name Bobby and his lovely wife do a beautiful job loving and caring for 45 children there. Bobby is a hard worker with a huge heart - not just for kids but for people in general. He took us on a little hike behind the orphanage into the village and showed us several homes he built for people in need. Why? Because they needed a home and he had the means to help. He said he doesn't ask for anything in return, there are no stipulations - it's a gift for them to do with as they wish. One was a family of 13 that was living in a very, very tiny rundown place. He built a home next to it so now they have a nice home to sleep in and they still have the other home to use too. Another is for a 80+ year old widow who was living in a little shack. He built her a nice but smaller home than the others - because he didn't want it to be more than she could manage. A friend of hers lives there too and helps her. There's another family of 8 who are sleeping in a rented one room shack that he wants to help next. They own a small piece of land nearby but have no money to build so they rent this tiny room. The two twin beds are up on bricks because several of them have to sleep underneath on the floor. I can see why he wants to help them. He presents the need to various ministries and whoever wants to take hold of the project helps raise $5000 and he builds them a home. I would love to be able to do something like that for a Visiting Orphans team in the future. We could have a team raise the money and then come down and do the manual labor to help Bobby build it. I will definitely be thinking about this option. 

The kids at a Children of Hope are joyful, well cared for and you can just see a different light in their eyes. Bobby and his wife are lovely people inside and out! They have staff that help care for the kids, cook, etc. And the kids each have their own bed. A new dorm for the boys was built last fall, as well as several school buildings where all the kids go to school and many of the neighborhood kids do as well. Anytime they have more than they need, Bobby takes the extra to families up in the mountains. He helps several families and has built some homes up there too. Surely, some of the clothes and school supplies we've brought on past trips have gone to families in the mountains. I wish all orphanage directors were like Bobby. He doesn't take the credit - he says it's all the Lord. After years of living in the states, he said the Lord called him back to Haiti to help. It was a great way for our team to end our trip - to be encouraged to see what an orphanage can be with the right model, resources and caring individuals who love the Lord and are daily seeking Him and doing exactly what Jesus called us to do - to care for his little ones. I pray the other orphanages we work with will get to the state of Children of Hope. The name says it all - that's what we see that's different there - there's hope. The kids there see a future and they have hope for what God has in store for them. And I love going there and seeing that. I don't leave sad - I leave happy knowing those kids are well cared for. And I leave with hope that we can somehow be used by the Lord to bring that same hope into the other 2 orphanages in Haiti and all the ones we work with in other countries too. We don't just want children to have a place to sleep and food to eat. We want them to have a HOME. And I think we all know there's a big difference between the two. Children who have a home, have a security in knowing that's their home and that they don't have to worry about it. They can be kids. They can play. And they can smile and laugh and not be afraid they won't have another meal or they will lose their home. It's a cruel world we live in. A fallen world. And when we go to places like Haiti, our hearts are broken, our eyes are opened and the bubble of our little world back in the US bursts. And it hurts but it's that hurt that propels us to do something more. To not just go back to life as usual. To not get discouraged but to hold onto the hope that things can be changed with the Lord's help. Lord - give me wisdom to take the steps you tell me to take and to wait when you tell me to wait and to always trust that you have a plan and no matter how bleak this world can seem, our hope is always in You! Lord bless the kids in Haiti and guide Visiting Orphans as we continue to send teams to go and be your hands and feet. - Amen

Friday, April 15, 2011

Saying Goodbye to Well Being

Today was a good day but a hard day. Good because we had the whole day at Well Being loving on those precious, amazing children. Hard because it was our last day there. This was our 3rd time there during this week and each time, the kids were more and more warmed up to us. They were hugging us all day long. They just so desperately want to be held. Even the older kids. There is a 12 year old precious girl that was with me a lot. She told Lynelle in a sweet and shy way the other day that I'm the one she loves the most. Even at 12 years old, she just wanted to stand next to me with my arm around her and her head resting on my chest. She is a beautiful sweet girl! I made sure to have our translator tell her that for me. 
For the first few hours, we just held kids and took pictures and showed them to them and just hung out. Then we told them the Noah's ark story. I got to tell the story both days and it's the same story book from my church back home so I incorporated a lot of the stuff we do with our lessons at church where we ask them questions back at the end to see how well they were listening. We ended on me telling them whenever they see a rainbow to remember God keeps his promises. And then I told them how glad we are that we got to come see them and how much we love them and how much God loves them. We gave them these little heart shaped pillows that Sweet Sleep donated and I told them they could hold it or rest their head on it at night. I told them that even when we are far away, they are always in our hearts. Just like those pillows are shaped like hearts - whenever they go to bed, they can think of us hugging them and how they are in our hearts. Then I told them that we love each one of them and that God has a plan for every single one of them. And I asked if they knew Jeremiah 29:11 and they said no so I told it to them. It was really precious to be able to tell them that verse and remind them that God cares about each one and has plans for them. 
Some of the kids played soccer, some played with bubbles and some just hugged on us and vice versa. Our friend and translator, Daniel Vallon, came and met us mid-afternoon and was able to talk with the woman who cares for the kids about the church that I came down with in February who also joined us for these last few days. They want to help Well Being longterm and I am so excited about it. They did a profile of each kid today with a photo, age, birthdate, how long they've been at the orphanage, size shoes and clothes, if they have any parents, etc. While they were doing that - Louizanne asked me if I would serve the kids lunch and I loved that idea! So one of the ladies showed me how much to give them and I served them all their plates full. It was a few big heaping scoops of corn meal, with some pinto beans and juice on top and then a little scoop of this veggie and meat mix they made. Then we got all the kids around the tables and they prayed and then ate. They brought some fried goat meat and fried plantains over to offer us. I tried both - pretty good. Most of the team wasn't up for it but a few of us were. 
We were so busy playing and loving on kids today and it was so hot - we all forgot about lunch. Around 2:30 after the kids ate, someone said something and I felt bad that I hadn't remembered to go out to the tap tap and whip up our usual peanut butter sandwiches. But it turned out, the rest of the team had forgotten too and with the heat, none of us were really even that hungry. We did drink plenty of water so I'm sure that was good. 
Right before we left, the kids gathered in a circle and sang us songs. Then we asked them to all join hands in a circle with us and the pastor from the church that's going to be helping them led us in a prayer. It was a sweet prayer about how just as our hands are joined in an endless circle, our love is never ending. Lots of tears from the team at this point. Goodbyes are hard. It was hard for me saying goodbye to the 12 year old girl. She was holding on to me so tight and just looked like she was going to cry and I was trying my hardest not to start balling too. I told Jonas, one of our translators, to tell her that she is beautiful inside and out and that I will miss her and will always be thinking of her. She said she would miss me too. I told her I loved her and she said she loved me too. And everyone else said goodbye too with many wet eyes and we hopped in our tap tap and drove away. 
We are... trusting God with these children that we love but that we know God loves even more. Hopeful about this church that is partnering with Well Being to bring help and hope. And praying for all those children that they know their father in heaven who will never leave or forsake them. And remembering that they are loved by Him and by all of us. We left a peace of our hearts at Well Being today. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Last day at Children's Household of Tomorrow

We had a great day today. Got to tour the Heartline Ministries mid-wife program and women's center and then we went for our last visit to Children's Household of Tomorrow orphanage. We read them the Noah's ark story and then they made paper plate masks of their favorite animals. We got a group photo - I will post later. So fun! Got to love on the kids and little John Wesley fell asleep in my arms. He is so cute!!!! One of the little girls named Naomi cried when we were getting ready to leave - that is hard. I told her, with the translators help, that it's ok to cry and sometimes we cry too when we have to say goodbye because we'll miss them but she should always remember we love her and God loves her. 
We paid for the water reservoir to be filled up - they use that one for washing and stuff and 6 water jugs with drinking water. And they sent some bracelets home with me that they made and are hoping we could sell to help them raise money to hopefully purchase the building they live in. Apparently the landlady wants to sell it. In the meantime, we have now raised enough funds to pay for this year's rent and probably some of next year's. 

Tomorrow we head to Well Being for the last time. This will be our 3rd visit on this trip - we love those kids! I know it'll be hard to leave them. 

Excited to go to Thomazeau on Saturday - always a highlight of our trip to see an orphanage full of love and well used resources. They are the example of what we hope the other orphanage can be someday. Can't wait to see the folks who run it and the precious kiddos. I'm personally looking forward to seeing Big Mike - I think he's probably a little over 1 years old and super cute. He usually wants nothing to do with any of us but I just love him so much! 

Once I get home, I will add more pictures. The VO camera takes great pics but they aren't uploading very well here cause they are too big. Videos and pics to come later. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Shopping Day for Well Being

What a great and productive day! We spend the whole morning and went to several market vendors, a store like Home Depot, another store and a vendor who refills propane and all together - managed to get everything we needed to bless Well Being orphanage: 2 big storage containers, 6 huge bags of rice, 1 big bag of beans, 4 huge tubs of butter, 4 jugs of oil, 4 jars tomato sauce, 10 tubes of sausage, 4 huge packs of a bunch of smaller packs of pasta, 2 large bags of cornmeal, 3 propane tanks for cooking with a hose and attachment for it, 2 rat traps (yes, they have a rat problem) and a bunch of rope and a huge tarp big enough to cover the entire tent that houses 30 kids so they won't get wet every time it rains! And we went and delivered it all and got the tarp set up. Julian was a rockstar and him and our driver and translator got the tent fixed with new rope and then put the tarp over and it was the perfect size. Total God thing! So thankful to know these kids will not have water pouring in on their beds at night anymore. They still so desperately need a permanent structure but in the meantime, it was great to provide the tarp and some food to last for awhile. We will get to go back on Friday. Love those kids so much. They were hanging all over us today - just wanting love and affection. We got so many hugs and kids holding our hands and just wanting to be near us. I just wanna take them all home. We have all fallen in love with these kids. One of the older girls - absolutely beautiful sweet young lady - told Lynelle who speaks French to tell me that I am the one she loves. So sweet. I see so much intelligence and beauty in each one of these kids. I just want a bright future for them. Please keep praying for all of these children - they so desperately need our prayers. 

Tomorrow we go back for our 2nd and last visit to Children's Household of Tomorrow orphanage in Port au Prince where we went the first day. Excited to see those kids and I know we will be sad to say goodbye at the end of the day. Can't believe it's Wed already. 

Our dear friend Daniel will be with us the next 3 days. And our other friend Sylvestre was able to be with us half day today to help us shop and also on Tues and again on Fri. And our friend Stephen hooked us up with a precious tap tap driver and translator who have both been so great with the kids and our team. I am always blown away by how it all comes together. The Lord is so good!

We have a great team - what a blessing each one is - so neat to see how the Lord brings a group of people together with different giftings and talents and how he uses each one together on a mission trip. I love it!

For Well Being

Yesterday we had an amazing day with the kids at Well Being. We spent the whole day there. In the morning, there were about 12 kids and then at noon, the rest got home from school. We did the rain stick/music instrument shaker craft with them and made jewelry. They loved it and used up an entire case of beads. Even the momma who cares for all of them was into the jewelry making. It was so cute. The kids love having their picture and video taking and then looking at it. They had so much fun doing that. And then we brought out the soccer balls and they started playing. It was a great day. I love those kids. I would describe Well Being as an orphanage with much love but limited resources. We're going shopping at the market today to get lots of food to stock them up for awhile. We also need to refill or replace their propane tank for cooking and try to find something that Julian, one of our team members, can use to fix one side of their tent that has fallen down. It's in rough shape and all 30 kids live in this tent. It's falling apart, leaking and now a side has fallen in. Praying something can happen soon to get them a more sturdy structure that doesn't leak. We don't get to hang out with kids today but it's an equally important part of the trip cause there's so much need. Well Being was down to the last little bit of rice and are out of propane, dish soap, butter and so many other food items. Children Household of tomorrow now has power thanks to another ministry that's helping them and they requested fans cause it gets so hot for the kids at night in the hot months. We'll see if we can find some today. The only tricky part is fitting all of us, plus all the supplies in the tap tap. We may have to make several trips. Praying for a productive day where we find everything on the list to be able to bless these orphanages. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Haiti April 11th

Monday 4/11/2011
We had a productive evening last night - got all the supplies organized by which place we were going each day and separated into bags accordingly. Today - we just had to grab the right bag and we were good to go. That made it nice. We also had a great time of prayer before bed. And everyone had a great nights sleep last night. A few dogs barking but not near as much noise as previous trips. I'd have to say it was the quietest night in Haiti I've had. We are the first team at the guest house for this week so until tomorrow - we have the place pretty much to ourselves which is a nice way to start out. It was even kind of cool last night in the middle of the night - we even needed a sheet. I have to say I much prefer the Feb and April weather to the June and October trips I took last year. Very nice! It's hot but a nice cool breeze. 
We headed out this morning at 9am in Haitian style - a tap tap vehicle (see photo). We stopped at a store called DeliMart along the way to get bottled water. And then we were on our way to the orphanage - Children Household of Tomorrow. This time was a little bit different than previous trips in that all the kids were in school. The school is held on site at the orphanage so we got to observe them doing their lessons and we could hear their cute little voices repeating back the lessons to the teacher. Claujine, the house mom, let me give the team the tour to show them all the beds we put together last October (thanks to Sweet Sleep) and where all the kids rooms were. The kids had a little break at 10 am so that was good cause we got to interact with them a bit. They all ate some rice during the break and since it was a short one, we decided not to pull out any arts & crafts cause we wouldn't really have time. School got out at noon and we did a really fun art & craft with them that Lynelle came up with - rain sticks! It involved quite a few steps and lots of items - mailing tubes with plastic ends, pipe cleaners, tin foil pieces, 3 caps full of rice, masking tape, these little decorative ends that went on with rubber bands and made em look more like instruments and then all the stuff to decorate them - little pieces of material to wrap around the outside, stickers, marker, yarn, etc. The kids did awesome and it went smoother than I ever would have guessed. They really paid attention when she explained the steps and they picked it up with ease. Before long, they all had their very own rainstick/musical shaker in all different decorations and colors. It was so cute - they were grinning from ear to ear. When everyone was done, their pastor who teaches the kids Sunday school had stopped by for the afternoon and he led the kids in a whole bunch of songs and they all proudly shook their shakers, sang praise and worship, jumped up and down and sang their little hearts out with smiles on their faces. It was awesome. I got some great video - can't wait for you to see it. The joy on their faces was priceless. And we all got to dance and clap with them. I'm sure their voices were heard for a mile! Which means, the praises of the Lord were heard for a mile too! Awesome!!!! Then the pastor led them in a prayer for us and he said "we want to pray for you for safety and protection so you can come back because you see the joy you bring them whenever you come." And the joy they bring us - that cannot even be put into words. Love those precious kiddos. And it's so nice to know each one of their faces now. The team loved meeting them and interacting with them. We didn't have a ton of time with them because they had to study but after the songs, we went into the front yard and did "head, shoulders, knees and toes" and the "hokey pokey" and then we dig duck duck goose and they had such a blast with that. It was a great day. Even though our time with them was short it was well spent and we loved every second of it. We are going back there on Thursday and since they do have school, we will go back there in the afternoon this time and spend a few hours with them so we don't interrupt their studies or distract them:) 
I wanted to post all the pictures but the internet is really slow here to upload them so I will post a few here and there and the rest once I get home. 
Tomorrow we will spend the day at Well Being orphanage. Can't wait to see those kids. They are in school too but they go at different times so there will be kids there all day which will be fun. And I love seeing Louizanne, the momma who cares for all of those kids. She is precious. 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Welcome to Haiti

We are safe & sound in Haiti. We arrived without any problems at the airport and I tell ya - I am so glad we switched all our trips to Sunday to Sunday cause the airport is 150% better on a Sunday! The host from the guest house was there to pick us up and we just arrived at the guest house. We are excited because the teams all just left so we have the room to ourselves for a few days and got pick of the bottom bunks. It's the little things people! Ha  Upon arrival into Haiti, on our way to the guest house, we made a stop to some friends of the guest house owners and had a traditional Indian meal. Nothing says "welcome to Haiti" like Indian food. Oh wait...that's my trip to India in Sept. That's what I love about Haiti - you never know what to expect:) The Indian guys who made the dish told me I could call them when I go to India in Sept and they will call their parents and I can stay there. I told him that was sweet but I will have a big team of people with me. The lady who owned the house where we went for this yummy meal played Amazing Grace on the saxophone for us. Awesome. John (guest house owner) told us she plays with the band that travels with the president sometimes. Neato. 

Tonight, we chill at the guest house. And tomorrow the real journey begins - we get to visit kiddos!!! Can't wait to hug em all!

A Sacrifice To Go

I woke up this morning before my alarm. Partly because I'm super excited to go back to Haiti for the 4th time since last June. And partly because I woke up at precisely the time my sweet dog Auty usually wakes me up - 5:50 am. Yup, that's what time I woke up. I dropped her off yesterday at a place nearby where she had her first overnight stay last night. She's gone several times for doggy daycare and she loves getting to play with the other dogs all day. She is wiped out when she gets home and she always looks like she's smiling:) I love that girl! I'm a first time dog owner and I never thought I'd ever want a dog. My brother got bit in the face while I was standing next to him when we were kids so I was always kind of scared of them. But Auty has changed my mind forever. Through an interesting and God-ordained series of events, I adopted Auty (who was actually named Autumn by the foster family who rescued her from the local animal shelter). It was meant to be! I never knew how much I'd fall in love with an animal. She is truly my best friend - my little sidekick. We're the A-team:) hee hee Since I'm single and don't have any kids, she is my kid. My furr-child:) So I know it's probably silly to a lot of people that I would be having a hard time leaving her for this trip but it was really hard. But I know it's just 10 days out of our lives and we have forever. She has a forever home and as time goes on, she'll realize that. And let me not forget all the children around the world who don't have forever homes. This whole thing got me thinking about all the past team members I've traveled with on mission trips, many of whom have left children at home to go love on orphans. It has opened my eyes to a new appreciation for the sacrifice they've made to be away from their kids for 1-2 weeks. And you know, it's also got me thinking - it's supposed to be a sacrifice to go on a mission trip. It's different for everyone but often we sacrifice one thing to be obedient to God and in return, He returns that sacrifice into a blessing in so many ways. People's kids start to see beyond their own little world and start to also have a heart for the orphans who don't have a mom or dad. Who knows the impact that will have on that child for the future and in turn, what impact that child who becomes an adult can also have on the nations. It's a ripple effect. It might feel complicated sometimes with all our responsibilities and day to day busyness and limited finances but it's not - it's simple - we are ALL called to do what the bible says in James 1:27 to visit orphans in their distress. It doesn't specify women only or only people from the US or only a certain denominations. No - it's what we are all called to do. Is it a sacrifice financially? Yes. It is a sacrifice to leave family, pets, spouses, jobs behind? Yes. But is it worth it? Definitely. So worth it. You go to be a blessing to these kids and to remind them that there is a God in heaven who will never leave or forsake them, who is their heavenly father. These are kids that need to know Father God more than anything. So can I leave my dog at an awesome daycare place for 10 days to go and to love on some kids? Yes I can. I might miss her like crazy but I consider it an honor to go and serve and love on the "least of these" in God's kingdom. We need more people to go and do the same. 2012 trips are posted on our website. We already have 28 trips on the calendar for next year. Not to mention all the ones still to come this year. Sign up and go! Make the sacrifice! It's worth it. These kids are worth it.