"What do I have if I don’t have you Jesus?
What in this life could mean anything more?
You are my Rock, You are my Glory
You are the Lifter Of My Head"
2 weeks now since my last update and I have much news to share. Life in Haiti goes on and with each passing day it becomes more and more obvious that my calling here is a privilege to me. Until I sat down to write this I couldn’t think of much of anything to write that I feel like I haven’t written before. As usual, now that I have started the words won’t stop.
In 2 weeks we have gotten 3 more new babies. S is here with her mother because she is sick. She was about 6 weeks old and weighed less than 4 lbs when they came to us last Sunday! She is here for medical care to get healthy enough to go home with her mother. Until then her Mama will stay with her and help in the nurseries. A few hours before S we had a little boy dropped off. He had no name and so a name was given to him. The name that was chosen he shares with my brother and so of course I am drawn to this sweet boy, he is tiny but very healthy and of course adorable! When I am holding him I can’t help but think that his blankets weigh more than he himself does! Also brought to us was another much needed baby girl! Since I got here we have had only one other little girl brought in and so B is a welcome addition and I must say we are all enjoying having a bit more sugar and spice in our world here. She is adorable just around 5 months old, she has a TON of hair and big huge captivating eyes. She has me wrapped around her little finger.
Amidst all the joys that new babies bring I have sad news to share. On Thursday night at about 8pm DJ went to be with Jesus. DJ had been very sick since he got to GLA and it didn’t come as a surprise but it was a sad day when he left us. Seeing him in his last few days, filled with so much pain, made me extremely grateful for the assurance that we have for eternity. I can know that he is free of any pain and struggle now!
Joel and Yvonne, who are missionaries in our area and hosts of our church services every Sunday are finally back from The States! They have been out since I got here and I have thoroughly enjoyed having them home! They host our church services in their home every Sunday and come to us every Tuesday night for a bible study. I missed having a regular Sunday service while they were gone and the Tuesdays add even more. They really help keep me excited about God in the role that He has put me in here. The encouragement and teaching they share with us here plays such a huge role in my attitude towards my work! We are so blessed to have them back and I praise God for returning them safely to us!
The last few weeks all of my kids have been doing really well! M, my little tiny guy who turned one last month has gotten 2 teeth! A wonderful milestone because he has been so malnourished but I think that I will really miss his beautiful, toothless little grin. I have also been working particularly hard with one of my little guys since I got here and I have seen some wonderful growth in him. S is here at GLA with a twin sister. They were 2 last August. While his sister has done very well and it right where she is supposed to be in her development, S is falling more and more behind. He has a weak eye which makes it very difficult for him to focus on objects, his vision also makes it really hard for him to have any sense of balance and so he isn’t walking yet. He is a big boy and working with him can get exhausting but I know that he has so much potential and so I feel so much more urgency to give him 100%. When I got here he didn’t do much of anything other than lie in his crib all day. He could sit up but he didn’t really show much interest in what was going on around him. While I have started working physically with him I have started praying constantly over this child. God is hearing my prayers I know it! S has started responding in so many ways. I found a big bouncing ball that Molly and Joyce were kind enough to share with me and we are using that help with his balance. He sits up tall on it and thinks that it is just so much fun! Little does he know how much good it is doing him too! He has also started following simple instructions from me, when I tell him to come to me he scoots on his butt all the way across the floor to wherever I am. If I hold on his hands he will stand up and sit if I ask him to. Just last week he has started walking while holding onto my hands!!! Best of all S sees me now! When I go to the nursery to get him he smiles up at me. He used to hit me in the face when I would try to work with him, now he gives me big grins and huge kisses all the time. His love and hugs are the most rewarding moments of my day because I know how far he has come. A lot of times when I am working with him I have to take a break and wipe tears from my eyes because I am so amazed by this child. He is the only reward I will ever need for this work that I do These are remarkable improvements from where he was at when I got here and I know it is because I am covering this little boy in prayer.
S and his sister have a unique situation here at GLA. Their adoption went through the Haitian court system last spring. They have the most amazingly patient Mom and Dad in The States who waited for them for 19 long months before that. At the end of the adoption process for children going to The United States an orphan investigation is performed. This is so that the US government is sure that the child has not been sold into child slavery or was forced to be given up for any other reason. Usually the step is a formality since all the parents of GLA children are required to sign the papers allowing their child to be adopted when they bring them to us. This was true in their case but now their birth mother is refusing to give her consent. I don’t know exactly why she is choosing to do this. I have heard so many different stories that I am not even going to try to share any of them with you. That isn’t important. What is important is that because of this the US visa for the m can not be issued. They are stuck waiting and no one knows for how long. According to Haiti the twins belong to their American parents but they are not allowed to enter the United States without their visa. This is a heartbreaking situation that has been going on for far too long. Their birthmother has no resources to take care of these children. If they were to live with her, surely Sonel would die. If Sonia lived she would grow up here in Haiti with no hope for a future beyond what her mother is living in. She would be hungry and weak and would be forced to grow up before she would ever have a chance to grow old. I am one who will always speak about the love that I see in birthparents here, I could never imagine the courage and heartbreak they must go through when making the decision to give their child to another person. But I am also realistic. There are some children here whose parents are not loving towards them. There are parents here, just like anywhere in the world that should not be allowed to raise their children and I believe that is the case in this situation. These chikdren belong with a family who can give them the life they deserve. S has done so amazing the last few months I can’t imagine what he would do if he had the proper therapy. They have parents who are not willing to give up on them no matter how hard it gets. I know that is very rare. How many of us could do the same. Waiting every day and not knowing if you will ever get to bring them home but living every moment believing that you will! It must be exhausting. It is the proof I need that they are the perfect people for these kids. During my prayers over S I pray for this situation. Every morning I take him at 8 to begin my day, and before we do anything else I pray over him. I place my hand on his head and I pray that his eye will be strengthened. That he will be able to see perfectly and with that his physical abilities will just explode. That he will walk and talk and run and jump like he should. I pray for his Mom and Dad who have spent so much time waiting! I pray for their strength and for their spirits. That they will not be discouraged but they will use this time to seek Jesus with all of their lives. That they will be so close to Him that nothing could diminish that joy and that waiting will just become one more way for them to serve Him. Mostly right now I pray for S's birth mother. I pray that her heart will grow with love for her babies and she will recognize that they only thing she can truly do well for them is to sign those papers. I pray that she will not find rest until she does just that. I pray that God would give her peace and that He would love her and that He would give me a love for her. That is a very difficult thing for me to do because I see what she is doing by holding out. These babies are being punished and it is so hard to watch because I witness what they could be and I don’t feel love towards her. Sometimes I think I might even hate her for this, but I know that hate will never win. I pray that God will grow a love for her so that I can pray sincerely for her. It is a work in progress but I feel it some days more than others. At the time being I am using my nights to pray for this specific part of the situation. The nights are not quiet here and I wake up often. Usually 3 or 4 times a night and when I do I immediately start to pray. I pray that wherever she is she would feel restlessness. I pray that God will put on her heart what she needs to do and that she will be woken at that time with that task in her mind. I know that our God is a God who answers our prayers and when I am lying in my bed I can picture her wherever she is being woken and touched by God. I would like to ask special prayers from all of you in this pursuit as well. Please join me in praying Sonia and Sonel home. When you are lying in bed at night and you find yourself awake please pray for this! Pray that she will be touched by God by so many of our prayers that she can’t think of anything else! Pray that these children can go home! I am praying every night and at 8 every morning. I know the scripture talks about the power we have in numbers so I urge all of you to join me. 8am here is 7 for any of you in Minnesota. Please make a point of saying a prayer for this situation at that time. I have confidence that we will all be amazed at what God is going to do in this!
Along with this you can always pray for the babies here. I think the chicken pox is almost over! We have only a few kids who still haven’t gotten them so we have an end in sight. Please pray that the ones who are still sick will be healed quickly. Pray also for Joel and Yvonne and all the work they do. Pray that God will give them the words and wisdom to share with us what we need. And as always pray for my spirit. That I would always be serving and growing in His word and that I would be a light. Pray that God would be lifting me into the paces He chooses!
Staying encouraged in His love,