Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Plea

Well these last two weeks have been eventful to say the least. Two of my kids moved up to Kay B (the toddler house) I am really excited for them. It will be so good for J-Man to have more space to play and to practice his walking. He will love having all those big kids to play with and entertain him too. I am expecting that F will do great as well. She really needs to work on talking and with all of those older friends around she has great examples to follow. It is amazing to me that neither of these children could walk when I got here and now both of them are doing so well that they are able to move to the big kid house. I love seeing the results of the work that I do.
With F and J-Man moving on I got two new kids from the main house to work with. G-Bebe is a 20 month old little girl. She is HIV positive and so one of my main concerns working with her is keeping her healthy, as of right now I am happy to say that she does not seem to be affected by her disease. My other new love is L. L is a fantastic little baby who just turned one on January 1st. He loves the jonny jumper and any toy that makes noises. He is also wonderfully cuddly and I love to just sit and rock him. It’s so neat to be starting over right now with so many new little ones to encourage and love. I can’t wait to watch and see how they improve.

I do have one rather serious matter to share with you. When I left for GLA my finances were in order for my 9 months here. Over the course of my time the money I had expected has not all come in. At this point I have funds to cover my stay through the end of February. If I do not get my finances in order by then I will start making plans to return to The States. This isn’t something that I have anticipated but if I have learned anything over the past year it is that I am not in control. From my finances to where I serve, God has planned this time in my life. If he chooses for me to remain in Haiti He will provide the needs I have. Should He choose that I return home then it is because He has something wonderful for me to do there. I praise Him regardless and trust him always. At this point however I don’t feel like He has given me to ok to leave so I am asking all of you to consider making another donation to me in my work here. I will need $600.00 a month for each remaining month here (March, April, and May) and $200.00 for the month of June. If you would like to make a donation you can either send a check to Cornerstone Church or follow my pay-pal link. Either way, I am always grateful for all each of you has done for me. I promise to let all of you know as soon as I have any more information.

Thank You All,

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Boy

I would like to introduce you to my new baby! With S going home this week I was given a new little boy to fill his place on my list. Baby P had perfect timing. He arrived at GLA last Friday in a dramatic way that made him seem perfect for me from the start. P is now, the first ever baby in history to have been left outside the gates of our orphanage. Abandoned. His age is estimated to be between 12 and 18 months and when we weighed him yesterday he came in at just over 13 pounds! As soon as he was found Dixie took P to the police station to report him abandoned. There she was told to pick and name for him and so Baby "P" came into our lives.

When I first laid eyes on this little guy I knew my heart had met it’s match! He is adorable! He has these HUGE eyes. I’m sure they seem even bigger on his tiny little body. He is always smiling. The only times I have ever seen him cry are when I put him down on the floor after holding him. But when I remind myself that this sweet little boy was found sitting on a blanket all alone, having just watched his Mama walk away from him, I don’t blame him one bit. You can tell that someone in P's life loved him a lot. When you talk to him his eyes never leave your face and he loves to “talk” back to you. He grins every time he catches you looking at him and he loves to look you right in the eye. He was taken care of to the best of someone’s ability for as long as possible. The day she woke up are realized that she couldn’t keep him anymore must have been one of the most terrible moments of her life. I have had him only a week and I can’t even start to think about ever letting him go. When I hold him I never want to put him down. I would do everything in my power to take away all the hurt and pain in his life. I know that right now all I can do it give him the love that he needs to feel secure. Seeing his personality, it's a love I know he has been used to getting. It won’t be hard. He’s pretty lovable! I have a feeling the next few months with him are going to be a complete joy, and like all the other babies who I have come to know here in this place, I am afraid that he now and forever holds another big piece of my heart, never to be returned. I am so looking forward to really getting to know this sweet little boy and sharing all I find with all of you.

Please be praying for "P" this week. Pray for his physical health. Right now, other than being underweight he seems very healthy. He is eating well and enjoying his food! He hasn’t had any diarrhea or vomiting. So far his body seems to be strong. Please pray that this continues! Pray for his emotional health. I can’t believe how well he has adjusted to life at GLA and I just pray with all of my heart that that stays true. He is a sweet, happy baby and I hope he will continue to grow and develop in that way. Please also pray for his future. Because of the choice of his mother to give him a chance at another life P now has hope. He has a family, perfectly chosen by God to fit his needs. Please pray that even now He would be preparing them for each other. Pray that when the time comes his paperwork for his adoption would go though easily and that he wouldn’t come across any complications. One of my biggest prayers for P right now is that his mother would somehow return to GLA. I pray that she would come to us with his birth certificate and help us fill in the blanks on his life. We don’t know his birthday, or even his given name. Dixie’s job in finding P a new home will go so much easier if she has all of this information.

As always I thank all of you, from the bottom of my heart for making this journey possible for me. When I think on where I would be if I were not here, it breaks my heart. This place and these babies are my calling, my purpose. And because of the generosity of all of you, I am able to fulfill it. I would be empty inside if I were not touched by these little lives and I thank you for helping make that happen.

Loving a sweet new angel,

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Broken Road

Several posts ago I told you that the letter I was writing was the most exciting one I had written. Well, this news trumps that one tenfold! God has finally answered the prayers of thousands of his followers. Today visas were finally granted, after 10 LONG MONTHS for S and his twin sister! We have been working on trying to get American visas for these kids since they were denied last April and today they were finally issued. If you had been in our home today… Everyone, the nannies, and kitchen staff, volunteers and even Dixie were shouting and dancing! Never before have I fallen facedown on the floor in praise! When I heard the news that is exactly what I did. I literally could not have stood up if I had wanted to. I cried sobbing tears of joy. Even now, over 4 hours later my hands are shaking so much that I can’t find the correct keys. Spell check hates me Have you ever witnessed a true, real miracle? This is truly something that will NEVER be able to be “excused” away from God. He will always get the glory for what happened today!

I have been praying for this moment since I got here! Even before, I remember when I shared in Cornerstone Church right after I got home in April about these kids and asked people to pray for them. How impossible it seemed. Over the last few months it seemed like it got even more unlikely. Every appointment that ended in disappointment made me lose a little more hope, some days I really did wonder if it would ever really happen. But through it all we prayed, the followers of Jesus were faithful in our pleas and now He has answered us! There are so many people who have heard the story of Sonia and Sonel, and so many people who needed a different from these kids. As difficult as the last months have been I understand that God sees a much bigger picture than any human ever can. Through something that seemed like a hopeless, God has reached hundreds of people. Though the wait was painful God is working everything out for good. He is so faithful to us!

Of course this is a wonderful start to my new year! I got back here on Tuesday afternoon after almost 24 hours of travels. Sleeping in the airport is never fun but in the end I finally made it, refreshed, renewed and ready for 6 more months of beautiful babies! My time at home was great but it left me even more excited about my work here. I loved skiing and seeing a lot of people who I have been missing and even though the cold was quite a shock, I enjoyed my “white Christmas” By the 7th day home I was missing my kids so badly that I know without a doubt that this is the perfect place for me. Holding them when I got back was such a sweet feeling! I’m not sure I will ever be able to leave them again now!

All of my kids are doing very well, M is finally getting fat! He is still testing positive for HIV but now that we are able to keep some good food in him I am optimistic for his health! F has found the joy of dress up! I for one am a fan and may have encouraged it a little bit. I think every little girl should get lots of “tutu time”. K is getting more and more silly every day! He is so smiley and loving, every time I come into his nursery I am greeted with the sweetest smile! Ed just keeps getting sweeter and sweeter! He loves to dance and thinks that the johnny jumper must have been created for his personal entertainment! J-Man seems to be the one who was most effected by my leaving for 10 days. He will come upstairs with me willingly, but once he uses me to get out of the room he wants nothing to do with this person who “abandoned” him. I know he will come around soon. My littlest N has been sick the last few days, she has moved back to the high care room from Urge A. There has been a rotten cold bug going around and she caught it worse than most of the kids and was pretty sick. Luckily she is recovering quickly and I’m sure she will be back to her old self in no time!

I am so happy to be home again and I am so thankful that God has answered our prayers in sending S & S home! Please pray for their family as they prepare to travel to Haiti, pray that their time waiting would fly and that they would be able to bond as a family incredibly! Please join me in praising God in the wonderful answer to all of our prayers! Thank you for being faithful in your support to me and all of the babies here.

Amazed by our faithful Lord!

Bless The Broken Road
I set out on a narrow way many years ago
Hoping I
would find true love along the broken road But I got lost a time or two
Wiped my brow and kept pushing through
I couldn't see how every sign
pointed straight to you Every long lost dream led me to where you are Others who
broke my heart they were like northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your
loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you
I think about the years
I spent
just passing through
I'd like to have the time I lost and give it back to
But you just smile and take my hand
You've been there you understand
It's all part of a grander plan that is coming true
Every long lost
dream led me to where you are Others who broke my heart they were like northern
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms
This much I know is
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you
Now I'm just rollin' home into my lover's arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road that led me straight to you

Thursday, January 1, 2009

"I am not afraid of failure, I am afraid of succeeding at something that doesn't

January 1st...A day of new beginnings. This is a time of year where everyone can start fresh. Most of us have made a list, the things we will do this year, the goals that we will accomplish, the habits we will change. Perhaps some of us will be better at keeping these goals alive than others. If you are anything like me by February 1st that list will be long gone. Lost somewhere on the desk that you were sure would be spotless and organized this year. All too quickly the goals and resolutions that we made will fall to the side. Replaced by much more "important" things. Excused away by the reasons we give ourselves. " I don't really NEED to go to the gym today...I'm so busy, It's so COLD outside, besides....I think I already lost 3 pounds. I'll get to it tomorrow" and then tomorrow comes and a new excuse is on our lips. All of you who know me know that I am a perfectionist. There is nothing worse in my mind than failure. To me New Years is a bit of a torture. I have come to realize that it is much easier for me to just not make resolutions, because that is better than having to face the fact that I will break them. While thinking about this an idea came to my mind. Perhaps the reason I find these resolutions hard to keep is because they are not the purpose of my life here. The purpose God gives you is a big one, it takes up energy, a lot of it, and if you are working to fulfill that purpose there isn't much time left for the other "fillers". Did you know that God did not put you on this earth to look pretty? I'm not saying there is anything wrong with taking care of your body and being healthy, but if it is taking the time of something else you are to be doing, being in the gym is the wrong place for your heart! Did you know that God did now put you on this earth to create a perfectly clean and organized home for your family to live in. Yes perhaps you think you will be happier, more relaxed when all is done, but what will you have missed while you were doing it? No matter how hard you work there will always be something else to do and if we let them, those things will always come first.

Over the course of this year I have spent some time with a friend who has taught me a lot about finding your purpose. I have learned that God has created each person for a specific purpose. I know that this is not a new concept to most of you but it is one of those things we hear so many times that we stop listening to what it means. This year, I have started living that purpose and that fact has taken on a whole new meaning in this human heart. When you find your purpose and you start to fulfill it, your entire life changes. When you finally find that thing that you were created specifically to do you can't be happy doing anything else. It is something that overtakes everything you are, and for good reason. If God looked into the future of the world before you were born and created you for a specific place and time, doesn't it make sense that you would feel fulfilled doing that and only that? It's what you were made for, by the One who made every moment and situation happen. I know how blessed I am to be in a place, at only 23 years old, where I feel that fulfillment. My life in Haiti isn't always comfortable; it's not all holding babies and drinking lemonade in the sun. But it is a place where I feel more alive and useful than ever before. There are days where I feel overwhelmed by small things like people around me a cold showers and there are moments that the big picture of living in a place where people are dying all around me overtake me until I have to literally catch my breath. But there isn't a second where I feel restless. There isn't a moment in my day that I don't know that I am called to this place by a powerful boss. Even when I come home at the end of the day to a place that still does not feel like "home" I am more at peace than anywhere in the world. I was told once that God had given each of us a purpose and if we don't fulfill that purpose, people will die. Every one of us has a purpose as great as this. You may not be called to Haiti, you may not be called outside of the USA, or even outside of Fergus Falls, but you have a purpose where you are. When you find that purpose you will find a life that you ever though possible. A joy that you can't keep inside.

In the year 2009 I am confident that I will not fail at this assignment I have before me. But as scary as failing is to me, even worse in succeeding at something that doesn't matter. Thankfully, for the first New Years Day in my life I have confidence that this thing I am doing matters. It affects lives all over the world and the future of a country that is crying out for hope. I know that when I succeed. I will do so at an assignment that is the greatest one of my life!