Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Is This What It Takes To Get My Attention

As I write this letter to you I hear the drums of a voodoo ceremony somewhere in the distance. They have been going strong for over 12 hours now. All night last night they played. I heard them for so long that they became a rhythm inside my chest. My heart pounding to their beat. I fell asleep and woke up to the sound. Over the course of the night I must have become accustomed to the sound because when I woke up this morning it took a few minutes to register what I was hearing. My greatest fear in Haiti is coming true. I am becoming used to the life here and I hate that idea. I don’t want to become used to the struggles of Haiti because when I become used to it I don’t feel urgent about it anymore. I don’t ever want to see a child on the street during the day because her family can’t afford the tuition to send her to school and find that acceptable. I don’t want to sit in my car downtown when a barefoot young boy with dull hopeless eyes hold out his hands for whatever pennies I will drop and not have my heart break at the sight. I don’t want to see a baby with every rib showing and skin so lose it sags and not be shocked by the sight. I can’t stand the thought of these things becoming normal to me and yet this is what I find happening.

I believe God has seen me struggling with this and so, is brining the true desperation that I am living among into full view this week. Reminding me why I am here and how much people need GLA. Last week ended on such a high note. Sending home those three girls was such an incredible answer to so many prayers. With those little girls we have now sent home 8 children since I got here! Over this last month first M and them DL came to us. Things were going well. Last week, over a six day period we had 5 little babies given into our care. J is 8 months old and the others are all under 12 weeks. No matter how many children we send home our numbers stay the same. God is showing me that the need for GLA in Haiti is still large. I stopped really seeing that. I was so caught up in how many children we are sending into their new homes that I almost forgot about the children left here in Haiti who still need us. The work here is far from finished.

One little guy, who was brought to us on Saturday, he is about 2 months old and very sick, he is malnourished and as a result has some sort of skin condition. His face looks like it is literally peeling away. The poor little baby must be in terrible pain and Dixie has said that she isn’t sure yet if he will survive. Even this doesn’t shock me like it should. I hate that. M and DL came so skinny and weak and already they have grown fat and strong. They are so healthy that I almost don’t remember how they were before. The fact that they could have died just doesn’t seem real. But in fact the reality it that many children here do. Even today while I sit here there are babies just miles away that I can not help. This is a very upsetting idea to me. When I came here I wanted to help everyone! Over the course of my time here, becoming discouraged, I have forgotten that although I can not help everyone I can help SOMEONE! Rather than become overwhelmed and eventually deal with it by accepting the way things are I need to be filled with a passion to do what I am able. I pray that God would fill me with that urgency again. I realize that I will be here for a long time (although already it seems not long enough) I can’t possibly live every day being overwhelmed by what is going on around me. But I pray that God would keep reminding me of the struggles in little ways. That I would find it impossible to slip back into the comfort of life, even here and ignore it. It should take a week like this to bring me back to the needs of the people I serve.

Along with the struggles of this week came fun and joy as always. My kids continue to grow and progress every day. F is walking more and more and one little guy J-Man started taking a few steps as well. Ed who is 17 months old got the chicken pox this week and K is still recovering although he looks much more comfortable in the last few days. He is still waiting on a family, please pray that one will come forward soon. I have been having a great time with my Ella. She was moved up into a bigger nursery this week and I am very excited to see how she will grow in her new room. Wednesday November 12th will be her first birthday. How blessed I am to get to share such a very special day with her.

This past week has been a very unique one for me for another reason. Molly and Joyce who run the toddler house and whom I live with have the opportunity to go to The States for a much needed vacation and a day to visit with many GLA kids who had a reunion in Michigan! They got to see many of the kids they cared for and the families of several kids who are still here. Before they left they got together those kids and made videos for their parents. I’m sure they were thrilled to see their children on film. Since Molly and Joyce are gone and I am here at the house they showed me how to run the generator and water pump. It seems like a lot of pressure and I was a little nervous but John Louis, our gate guard and all of the nannies have been so great and helpful! Everything has gone perfectly smooth so far. John Louis even helped me pull off “movie night” on Friday for the big kids. They know they can’t get away with anything with him there. I have had a great time with them but they ask every day when Joyce and Molly will be back. It is obvious the kids adore them and when you see them all together it is evident that Molly and Joyce feel the same way. I helped them make a paper chain to tell how many days until they are home and every morning we tear off one link. 4 more days! Please pray for them in their travels this week. Pray that everything would go smoothly. That they will be well rested and return even more in love with their kids than when they left.

As far as the school tragedy is concerned I don’t have much new news to report. Saturday I did hear that they uncovered 2 classrooms full of children that withstood the crumble. Praise the Lord these lives were spared! I also heard that the very youngest students escaped harm because they were outside for a recess during the accident.

This week I ask that you continue to pray for several things. Please keep on praying for those involved with the school disaster. Pray for the families who lost their precious children. Pray for people to search for answers and to find them in Jesus. Please pray for out new babies, especially for little DJ as he is very sick and in a lot of pain. Pray for our kids who still have the chicken pox, for a quick healing. Pray for Molly and Joyce in their travels and for the kids who are missing them. This week too I ask for your prayers for myself. Please pray that my passion would grow with each passing day, that it would be impossible for me to look past the things going on around me, and that I would really see them. Pray that instead of being discouraged I would feel energized for the work that I have been given! Pray for my love to grow.

Until next time, I will be faithfully carrying out to the best of my ability the greatest assignment of my life.
Rhyan

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