Sunday, January 31, 2010

I need some help

NEW: I REALIZE I WASN'T QUITE CLEAR ON THIS POST. I DON'T WANT ANYONE TO WORRY...I AM IN NEED OF AN ACCOUNTANT TO HELP ME WITH SOME PERSONAL FINANCIAL DECISIONS REGARDING MY CONTINUED VOLUNTEER WORK WITH HAITI AND SOME RELIEF EFFORTS I AM WORKING WITH. I NEED AN IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY TO GIVE ME SOME ADVICE ABOUT A PERSONAL MATTER, NOTHING IN RELATION TO THE ADOPTION OF THE KIDS FROM GLA! SORRY IF I WORRIED ANYONE, I'LL TRY TO BE MORE CLEAR IN THE FUTURE!

This week I really need to be in contact with an accountant and an attorney with some expertise in immigration laws. I am in the Fergus Falls area. If there is anyone in the area willing to sit down and meet with me I would be forever grateful. Please let me know. If there is anyone else who can help me via a phone conversation please call me. (218) 731-5060. Up until 19 days ago I was just a girl living my life and going to Haiti when I could. In just a few short weeks I have been faced with new responsibilities I have never even thought about. It has come to my attention that I am in need of the advice of a few people right now. If there is anyone out there who is reading and feels like they can help me please let me know!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Go Blizz!

For anyone in the Alexandria area, I will be at the Blizzard hockey game tonight! I'll have a few minuets at halftime to speak and all proceeds from tonight's tickets will go to Haiti relief. If you are able, come out and support this great cause! 7pm!

Rumor has it a little Haitian Sensation will be joining me! :)






Friday, January 29, 2010

Camping

"They are desperate for tents right now" - Heard on Larry King Live tonight.

Don't you love camping. You pack up your "grub" clothes. You get to eat only food you can cook over a fire. You get to sleep outside. How can you not embrace the adventure of camping?

But what about when "camping" becomes your entire life? What about when you have no choice but to sleep outside. What about where there is a fire but no food to cook on it? What about then. Where is the fun and adventure when camping is no longer a choice, but every day for as far as you can see.

That is the reality of Haitians again tonight. Their "tents" are bed-linens, plywood and sheets of metal. Tonight the skies are dry. But is just a few short weeks the rain will come. Rain in Haiti is like none I have ever felt. Sometimes it rains so hard it is painful when the drops hit your skin. I have seen roads turned to raging rivers in a matter of seconds. Dry riverbeds heave with torrential waves after only a few minutes of downpour.

Have you ever woken up after a rainy night of camping and experienced the miserableness of everything being damp? How many times have you just packed up and headed home at that point? Soon the Haitian will face even more hell. Pain on top of pain. Uncomfortable circumstances that would break any one of us down in a matter of seconds. I am in awe of their strength. I honestly do not know how much they can take. They seem unbreakable. Resilient to everything that could possibly be thrown their way.

And here I sit. With my running water, cable TV and space heater at my feet. Dreaming about the camping trips of my youth. The tents we used once or twice a year are better than the living conditions of the people I love. Oh, how it hurts.

What can you do? Can you buy a tent? More than one? I HATE feeling SO helpless. It seems so small but the truth is is could become the home of a family that needs shelter from the storm. I am sending some, will you?

If you would like to donate a tent to house a family in Haiti please send them to
God's Littlest Angels
2085 Crystal River Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80915

*Photos taken by James Dindin, of what is left of his family home.

Tonight they are not camping, they are just living...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Haiti Night

Tonight at 6pm at Andes Tower Hills we will be hosting a Haiti relief night. I will be there speaking about my time in Haiti and raising money for GLA and Haiti relief funds. Dinner will be served at 7pm. I have put together several videos from the last few weeks and I've even heard rumors of some of the Haiti 80 (the group of 80 babies we brought out last week) showing up. If you are in the area and can come and join us we would love to have you. Lets get together and show our ongoing support for the beautiful people of Haiti!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Jesus Is The Answer

4 days ago I drove through the streets of Petionville. Streets I once knew as well as those of Fergus Falls or Bozeman were now completely foreign. The places I once recognized were gone. I have no words to describe to you the utter devastation I saw. The homes and buildings reduced to rubble. The bodies still buried inside. Entire street blocks wiped away. Places that once towered tall, landmarks on my way home, now are gone. I drove through the streets and I held back tears. I made small talk with the others in the car to keep me from really seeing what was outside my window. I closed my eyes and felt my heart break in half. I looked out the window and saw people going about their business, but where there was always an air of celebrating, amidst all the pain, I now only saw despair. Could it be that the people of Haiti had finally been pushed to the point of breaking. I stared out the window and let the memories wash over me. Could it really have only been 10 days since I drove that same path, through a bubbling city where vendors sold goods in their outdoor market? How could a lifetime fit into only 10 days? As we drove on, and the pain overwhelmed, I stared out my window. I saw shells of buildings and streets lined with people crying for help. We drove past a hospital with patients spilling out onto the sidewalk. As we drove I searched out anything that could give me hope. Finally, out of the corner of my eye, He spoke, I glanced out to the right of the car, up a small hill and saw a portion of a wall standing. All the buildings around were gone. The entire structure that the wall had once made up was destroyed, except this portion. In Haiti, the buildings, trucks and taptaps are often decorated with bible verses or encouraging phrases. This building had been painted well before the quake but the fact that only this small section remained pierced right to my soul. It read "Jesus is the answer". What clearer message could I have asked for. What other message could heal my heart. I want to do so much and yet I can do so little. I am discouraged but then I am reminded, Jesus is the answer. The answer to the pain in Haiti, the answer to the hurt we feel, the answer to where we will now place our hope. Jesus is the answer, for the country broken and those who cry for her. "Jesus is the answer" rising above the blocks and slabs that now stand in a pile, a remainder of what once was, but more importantly a message of what still is. Jesus is the answer.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

I dream

I write to you from Minnesota. Some consider it my home, but right now I am gone from the home that was placed in my heart. I hate being away. I hate that I am not there for those ladies during each and every aftershock that stops their hearts for those seconds. I hate that I am not there to comfort them. But in the last 2 days I was a part of the most amazing I could ever dream, sometimes it still feels like a dream. Then I look upstairs at the little piece of Haiti I brought home with me. The only thing that heals my broken heart. I can not wait to tell you all about the last 4 days. It feels like a lifetime. Tonight though, I will sleep. and I will dream of those I love and left behind. In my dreams is when I can go back there, to the Haiti I once knew and loved. The Haiti that I fear I will never see rise again. I pray it's not true. I pray these people, those strongest people I have ever known, will grow and heal. I pray for Haiti and I dream of the streets I once knew rebuilt again, lined with the faces of vendors I came to love. Tonight in my dreams I am there again.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Miami

THANK YOU MATT FOR SETTING UP HOTEL ROOMS FOR TONIGHT!

UPDATE: OUR DIAPER AND FORMULA SUPPLY IS HOLDING UP WELL AND WE HAVE MORE COMING IN TODAY. WE NEED BABY AND CHILDREN'S CLOTHES FOR OUR KIDS TO WEAR HOME! A LOT OF 9-12 MONTHS SIZES. WE ARE ALSO IN NEED OF SHOES FOR OUR KIDS FOR THE JOURNEY HOME. ANYTHING IN GOOD CONDITION WILL BE VERY HELPFUL! WE ARE BRINGING OUT EMPTY DUFFEL BAGS THAT WE HOPE TO FILL WHILE IN MIAMI AND BRING BACK WITH US. WE WILL ALSO GO SHOPPING, IF ANYONE WANTS TO MAKE A FINANCIAL DONATION TOWARDS SUPPLIES YOU MAY DO SO THROUGH MY PAY-PAL ACCOUNT ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE PAGE.

We just found out that BRESMA orphanage is sending 50 kids to The States today. They need escorts so Brandon, Moriah and I will be flying with them, spending the night in Miami and then returning to Haiti tomorrow. I probably will not have access to a computer until I get back. I will have my American cell phone with me (218) 731-5060. Right now we are hoping to find a hotel close to the Miami airport that will give us 2 rooms for the night. Though nothing compared to what is happening around us, I have not had a shower since the day before I flew into Haiti, to be able to clean up a little would be nice for all of us.If anyone knows of anything please call my phone, I will answer or get back to you as soon as I land in Miami. Also, we are in need of a few things that we can carry back to GLA with us, diapers and baby formula are most needed! If anyone can meet me in Miami with any of these items please call me tonight and set up a place where we can meet! PRAY that we will have no trouble getting back into Haiti tomorrow. I will be heartbroken if I get stuck and unable to get back to these babies.

Goodbye

23 minutes ago I found out that my Ti Raje will leave.

He will go today.

I promise you I am so happy for him, and yet at the same time, my heart is breaking. His mama is waiting with open arms, but I am not ready to open mine and release him. I didn't know this was going to happen already.

When I found out, I was in the nursery and beyond my control the tears began to fall. The nannies, who I have hugged and loved through their own tears this past week took me in their arms and held me. Tears were shed all around. We are happy but it's never easy to say goodbye. There is never "enough" time. It never gets easier. I have held this sweet baby while he discovered the world and I discovered it again, through his eyes. I kissed him when he cried and fed him his first bites of food in days. I rocked him and sang songs that were saved only for his ears. When I came back and he was so unsure, I sang him those same songs. It was in that second that he looked into my eyes with recognition. He knew who I was, it was back to those months. Again, I was "mama". The nannies used to call me "mama Patrick" He is the baby who taught me everything I know about love. Today I let him go, in that love and in the assurance that the One who held him while his world rocked beneath his feet, will hold him on a flight to his new life. I am so happy and yet I cry, I can not lie and say they are tears of joy for they are not. They are tears of a heart that is lost and aching. I don't know how to even start to say goodbye to him...

How do I say goodbye?

Monday, January 18, 2010

For My Friends

I am amazed, humbled and so incredibly thankful for the number of people all over the world who have found this site. What started as a place for me to keep a few close friends and family members informed on my Haiti missions, grew into a place for me to write about the most precious moments of my life so that I will always remember, now it is a refuge for thousands who's hearts have been broken for the beautiful people of a country that holds my heart. I am in awe. To watch the numbers shoot up every time I log in, it takes my breath away. I feel like I need to have these beautiful, eloquent words for you all but all I know is how to write like I always have, from my heart with the words my God gives. It's all I can do.
Today I have a request for all of you. A gift I would like to give to my dear Haitian friends. I would like to make a list for them, of all the people, all over the world who are holding them in their thoughts and prayers. Today the nannies are more discouraged than ever. There is no end in sight for them. Today I would love to be able to write a list to hang on the wall where they all pass by for them to see how many people are out there thinking of them. I know that just seeing that list will lift their spirits a little. I am asking you to please leave a comment on this post with your first name and where you are reading from so that I can put together this list. Just to see the numbers and names will give them a glimmer of hope, perhaps the only hope they will feel today.
Thank you everyone from the bottom of my heart, for your prayers for me and on behalf of my friends here in Haiti.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Today...

Today, I fed babies rice and beans. Today we had food for their bellies. Today, I held cups to little mouths as they took in as much juice as they could hold. Today we had water to make that juice. Tonight I am not hungry. Tonight I am not thirsty. Thank you Jesus.

I realize that I write often about how I feel about the things going on here. I write about current news received and I write about the awful things this country is going through. But I realize that I do not write about daily life. Let me tell you what we did today. Since the quake this is what a "typical" day is like.

7:30am - Volunteers go to the big nursery to help the 6 nannies who have been working nonstop since Tuesday. Breakfast cereal is shoveled into open mouths. Babies are wiped down, diapers are changed and clothes are put on.

8 or 8:30am - Volunteers (there are 11 of us here) each take 2 babies up to the balcony for the day. We give them cups of water or juice and play games all morning.

10am - Snack is served. Sometimes it is cookies. The last 2 days it has been Goldfish Crackers from the Costco box I brought with me.

11am - a 4.5 aftershock hits. Nannies are terrified again. Even though the house is thoroughly checked by John and Brad they will not stay inside. All babies in Urge B and Big Nursery are moved back into the driveway. Blankets are spread out.

Noon- Lunch is served. Each volunteer feeds "their" babies. Today was rice and beans. I fed "C" my "earthquake baby" I feel such a bond to him. "C" is the baby I held when the quake hit. He was the one I carried as we ran from the house. He ate perfectly. I also fed "M", a little boy who is HIV positive and loved by all here. He was dezoid (naughty) spitting all his rice out into his hands to look at it before trying to shove it back in his mouth. Most of "M's" rice lands on floor. Diapers are changed and babies are taken down for naps.

2pm - At a time when babies would usually be sleeping they are all up. It is almost impossible to get them to nap on the blankets spread out on the concrete.

3pm Volunteers take 1 or 2 babies for the afternoon. Most stay downstairs around the dining table with quiet toys. The rest remain outside with nannies.

5pm - Supper is served. Rice and beans again. We feed outside. Volunteers find random little ones and spoon food for them. Faces are washed.

5:30pm - Dixie tells the nannies that it is impossible for them to keep the children out any longer. It is too cold for them to sleep outdoors. And the house is safe. Babies are brought back in.

6pm - All babies are in pajamas and in bed. Volunteers head downstairs for supper. Our supplies are still good, tonight we ate taco salad. For the first time since the quake I ate supper.

7pm - All gather to watch Dixie live on CNN.

The rest of our evenings are filled with email, waiting in line for the international phone, CNN and occasionally something more lighthearted to take our minds off things. This is our new normal. We don't know for how long but we are making it work. Today it actually felt somewhat organized. How quickly we become accustomed. How quickly the children have adjusted. I think they all think it is great fun going up and down the stairs. Getting extra time on the balcony and new, exciting snacks. I pray they will continue to respond well the their new world. We are doing well.

Heaven Sings

He is still...
The God of this city


He is still....
The King of these people



He is still...
The Lord of this nation


He is still...



He is still...
The Light in this darkness

He is still...
The Hope to the hopeless

He is still...
The Peace to the restless

He is still...
There is no one like our God
For greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done
In this city
And greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done here


I have heard people say that God is bringing his judgement upon Haiti. I will NOT believe that is true! God did not strike this country down. I believe that what happened this week was a natural disaster. I believe that God aches with us over the things that occur as the result of sin in our world, but I do NOT believe that the God I love and serve sent this terrible thing to punish his people. I do believe that God will use this horrible time for His glory. I do believe that as the Haitians go to sleep again tonight, under the open sky, their hymns and songs to Him are heard. I do believe that the God I know and love cries with us because of the awful pain that we have. I also believe that although many will soon forget, our God will not. He remembers His people here always. He will calm their fears. Only He can heal their broken hearts. My God did not cause this disaster! I will not blame Him like the world wants. We live in an imperfect world where bad things happen. Bad things will always happen because we have fallen, but bad things do not happen as a result of the sins of select people, bad things happen as a result of the sin of ALL people. My Haiti may be filled with darkness but there are lights everywhere. They are small but they are growing. Last week they exploded. People are crying out to Jesus. People in Haiti and people everywhere. My God did not send this earthquake but my God will rise from it. Our God will be praised. Heaven is crying with our pain tonight but they are also singing praise. This week heaven gained the souls of many faithful servants and the living vessels of the bodies of so many left behind. Our God gives, our God takes away. Blessed be the name of The Lord.

They Will Go!

This afternoon 5 children sit on an airplane on the runway in Port Au Prince. They are Haitians being adopted to families in The Netherlands. 4 of them are finished with the Haitian side of the process. 1 is not. Today they let all 5 children on the plane. When they arrive their country will welcome them. The Netherlands has announced that they will accept ALL children in the adoption process in Haiti into their country. Tuesday a plane is supposed to arrive to take these children home. The Netherlands has done what is so desperately needed. PLEASE let the other countries follow!

A Legacy

In light of so many comments I have recieved I would like to repost something I wrote a few months agao...


While driving in my car recently I have heard a certain song over and over. Usually this annoys me. I hate when they overplay songs, when you can't turn around without being bombarded by the same melody. Most of the time it's enough to make me want to pull my hair out. But this particular song has touched me. Every time I hear those familiar chords of the beginning I have to just crank it up and sing along!

(don't forget to pause the blog music at the bottom of this page!)


This song is the prayer of my heart.

It feels strange to approach this topic. I almost feel like bringing attention to it disregards everything I am trying to say, but it's come up so often lately that I just need to share.

I am not a good person. I do not go to Haiti and do the work I do because I am so giving and kind and "christian". In fact the reasons for the work I do are 100% selfish. I work in Haiti because I love it. I love every single bit of it. I love the smells, the people, the food, the country as a whole. I love Haiti. That is why I work for her! I was given a passion and equipped to live it out. I didn't chose this path, but I can't deny it. I go to Haiti because I literally can not live without it! I do not go there because I want to do good things, I go there because I want to feel alive! I go there because that's the only time that my chest doesn't ache when I breath in and breath out. I go there because that is where the constant pain in my arms is soothed by the weight of a tiny child. I go there because it's the only thing I really truly love to do.

I know that God uses me in my time there. I know that the things that come about because of the work of His missionaries in Haiti are good. I know that lives are being saved and battles won for our God, but not because of my human body. No, the works I do are not good, but the God that I serve is.

I will never claim to be a good person and it makes me cringe when people think that I am. The truth of it is that not one of us really is a good person. Mother Theresa was not a good person. She was a person who gave fully to God, her sinful self and chose to let him lead. But that didn't take away any of the sins in her life. In the same way, though I am a changed soul, my mind and body still fail. Countless times a day I disgust myself with the things I let take over. The lying, envy and pride that creeps it's way into my heart. The anger and selfishness that overtake me. I want to be different, and in some ways I am, but mostly, I am still the same girl I was, waking up every day in desperate need of a savior. I will never make it on my own.

Does this mean that I think I am an awful person, not at all. Just to get out into the open that I am just like anyone else. Thankfully I have been called and forgiven by a gracious Savior. When He looks into my soul He sees the purity that He has given. But as long as I am in this world I will never be able to live completely in that purity. I can try my best but when it comes down to it, I am completely reliant on the Grace of my Father. How thankful I am for that grace! Because of it I don't have to spend my time focusing on the ways I fail, but can live every day striving to point to the One who has saved my life!

I have heard many times from people what a good thing I do by working in Haiti and of course, everyone needs to be encouraged. But I want to make sure that rather than see me in the work that is being done they can look past and see the One who called me, who prepared me, who created me, who gives me the strength to make sure that not my will, but His be done. The One who truly deserves the credit. I want to live every day to leave a legacy, not of my name but of His grace!

Hit Again

Yes it's true, we were hit with a pretty big aftershock about 2 hours ago but again, we are fine. The nannies are outside with the kids because they are scared to be in the house. Haitian radio is telling everyone to stay outside because the houses can still fall down in aftershocks but please be assured there is nothing to worry about! Our building is solid!

Friday, January 15, 2010

"Hell Just Got Worse"

It is dark and one of our vehicles just arrived home. The engine stopped and that is when I saw them. Our dearly loved nanny, whom Dixie had sent home earlier because she was still unable to find out about her infant son at home, had arrived back. She was to return with her family, the number was far too small. 2 adults and 3 small children. As she approached the door sh stumbled and almost fell under the weight of the sleeping child she carried. As I grabbed him from her arms I saw his face and I knew immediately it was her baby. Just 6 days ago when I came into the nursery after being gone for 7 months she proudly showed off his photo to me. I agreed, he was beautiful. Tonight I held that beautiful miracle in my arms.
They had walked for hours. Their faces showed their exhaustion, physically and mentally. They barely pulled themselves to the dining room before collapsing in tears. I held him. They told their story to Dixie and I kissed his little head. They ate while I looked at the child I held and knew that without a doubt I am exactly where I need to be.
Before I left for Haiti I prayed that God would teach me to trust. He started small. I was almost not able to purchase my plane tickets, I called off the trip. The next morning I had all the money I needed for the flight! Within 2 hours someone had contacted me and told me she would pay my room and board fees. How I wish I could have counted that enough. How I wish that would have been all I needed to learn that lesson. But no, I am stubborn. I am headstrong. "I CAN DO IT BY MYSELF!" It took an earthquake to break me down. For me to learn to rely on Him, God had to rattle the ground beneath my feet. Well God, it worked. I'm listening. What do you want me to do? I will trust unwaveringly.
A missionary who has lived in Haiti for over 30 years sent out a letter tonight, in it I found something that jumped out at me. "On a good day Haiti is hell for nine million illiterate, unemployed peasants. Tuesday, January 12 was a really bad day, hell just got worse." "Hell just got worse." How can a place be both heaven and hell at the same time. Haiti is heaven on earth to me. It is the place that I was created by my Father to love. It makes since that it would be the only place I feel truly alive. It is heaven. And then I drive the streets and I see dirty, barefoot children's sorrow filled eyes and I see hell. A life of living in Haiti, not by choice, is hell. How is it that a place can be both heaven and hell?
As for today...well, every day gets better and every day gets worse. We are still short staffed but slowly and one by one the nannies are coming back. Today there were more than yesterday and tomorrow there will be more than today. We are still working in the nurseries helping them. My Creole has expanded more in the last few days than my entire 9 months before. We keep busy and it helps. We are getting into a routine that works for us and we are all starting to fell like we have things under control. This afternoon we saw smoke start to rise over the hills. My evening our throats were scratchy and our eyes were watering. The smoke comes from the piles of bodies they are burning in Port. I never imagined... But we don't think about it. We can't think about it. We just go on...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Photos

Many of you have had questions about photos. I have none. I understand completely that the media NEEDS photos right now. We need to break people's hearts for Haiti. However, right now I am with Haitians who have just learned their families have been killed. I am among people who's lives have fallen apart. I will NOT photograph that. I respect and love them too much. This is not something anyone will ever want to remember. I see pictures on the news (we have American sat. TV tuned to CNN) and I am sickened that there are people down there zooming in on tears rolling down a mothers face and the body of her dead child behind her. Believe me, I know they are necessary. I know that people need to see the devastation here. I also know that a photo can't even show a fraction of that which is very real in our world. The photos are nothing compared to what is burned into the memories of those who have actually seen. I chose to spend my time sitting with women as they cry, holding babies and playing and dancing with toddler but I will not take pictures of their worst nightmares coming true. There are photos out there if you want to see them but you wont find them here.

Kervens

His name is Kervens. He is Haitian. He is 14 years old. Tonight I spoke with him at our gate. This is his direct quote...
"last year my father became dead and now, my heart is dead too. It is dead because my [Father-in-law] he went down to the city and my sister, she is dead too because a building that was a school collapsed on her. My mother, she was in hospital. All the hospital, they fall down. I know my mother must be dead to."
Kervens is my friend. We met last year while I was here. He used to walk up and down the mountain with me, he speaks beautiful English. This little boy is my friend, and as with any of my friends I wish so badly that by taking him in my arms I could take his pain away, again, I am helpless. I would give anything to help Kervens...

I Will Not Go

Tonight they evacuated all Americans who wanted to leave... I write you this from Haiti. I will not go! I can not go! The babies need us. To be perfectly honest I am scared to go... I am not brave. Just so you know. I am not strong. I am crying, I am shaking. Even when the earth is still I can feel it swaying beneath my feet. If I am telling the truth I am scared because I know I can not go downtown right now. I can not see, smell and hear what is there. To get to the airport I would have to do it. I am not strong enough for that.
We have only a fraction of the staff members we need to care for all the children. Today we fed, changed diapers and cared for all the little ones alongside the nannies who are here. We worked beside them as they received long awaited calls about family members. They were safe. Praise Jesus. Tonight, we worked along side of them as one received the call everyone dreaded. Her brother. We cried with her. We held her, and then she wiped her eyes and went back to changing the diaper in front of her. What words do we have to comfort them? A language barrier is broken, in crying there is no barrier. We all cry the same. Haitian staff members who have been out are in shock. The strongest men I have ever seen are breaking down in tears after seeing their own people wiped out. The destruction and devastation is indescribable. No one can understand it. Piles of bodies are faces they know and love. The pain of losing just one person is often unbearable. How do you deal with the grief when it is over and over again? I don't know. I don't think anyone does. I heard these words "I'm not ok, I'm not ok, I will never be ok". They came from the mouth of someone I love. How can my heart break for them and at the same time not be able to feel their grief. I hurt for them but I will never understand.
Tonight I am in Haiti. I'm sorry if some of you don't understand that. Tonight, and every night until the day my God tells me to go, I will remain. Is it because I am brave or because I am scared...Honestly I don't know. But I am here and I will do what I can do.

We Go On

Please everyone understand how much your emails mean at this time. I am SO sorry I am unable to respond to everyone personally. However, know I read each and every one of them! One question I have been asked often is about content on my blog being copied to other places. Please, feel free to use ANYTHING here to get the word out to others. We need to use this time, before the media moves on, to reach as many people as possible. Unfortunately this will be forgotten by many all too soon. Haiti will not recover in just a week...we need people to continue to remember Haiti! Again thank you all for your words of encouragement, they are so needed today. We are staying strong for these babies. They keep us going! When we want to break down we go on, for them, for our staff and for the people broken in the country that we love.

Let Your Children Go

URGENT!!!! Please spread this word..Put it in your Facebook status, send emails to anyone you can think of! Tell the person in line behind you at the grocery store! I know you are all at home feeling helpless, wondering what you can do. You CAN help right now! There are talks of humanitarian visas for all children in adoption process at this point!! We need EVERYONE to call whoever you can...senators, red cross, everyone. We need to pressure them to push this issue! Demand that the children be released! Please people, start calling! The space we have will be DESPERATELY needed for new orphans soon! Jesus please, let some good come out of this...let your children go!

When Will It Stop

The earth is swaying again! God, how much more can we take. Please just make it stop! At least it is light now, the nights seem to last forever. Last night I finally slept, lulled by the Psalms...the only thing that can calm my heart each time we start to shake again. These aftershocks are small, compared to The Big One, but some are still registering in the 4's. On their own a quake. The nannies are terrified. The report from our staff and friends who traveled to Port yesterday is bad. Buildings in heaps, bodies too. In some places the blood runs like water out of buildings and down the sides of the road. People are in a daze. Everyone is just wandering, or frantically clawing with their hands at huge slabs of concrete. We need help! It's pouring in but we need more! We need food and water up at our houses and we are running out of fuel to run our generator. The company where we get our water is further up the mountain than Petionville so we have hope they weren't hit too hard, it is possible they will be able to bring us a truck today but no one knows. At the time we are ok, we have enough supplies but soon we will join the rest of Haiti. The waiting is enough to make someone go crazy. Today will be another long day, followed by a long night I'm sure. It seem like weeks have passed... Last night we were talking about something that happened before the quake and we were all shocked to realize that it had been less than 24 hours. Time crawls, but for those still trapped every second is precious. Please God, send help fast.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Peace I Give To You

Jesus, give me peace... teach me to be brave

Video Last Night

Waiting

My knees went weak when I heard the scream, the wailing of one of our nannies who had finally had contact from her family. Her agonized cries found our ears, "toutmoun, toutmoun" is what she said, "everyone, everyone" I was frozen on the spot. And then I heard, "Mesi Jezi!" over and over again. "Thank you Jesus" She had been told that her entire neighborhood has collapsed. Her house where her children had been was gone, but somehow, a miracle from God, everyone in her house is alive. Most of her friends and neighbors are not. It makes no sense, but today we cry with her, tears of joy for a family saved, tears of grief for the ones lost and we sit in wait for those who still don't know.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/34838342#34838342

Dixie on NBC this morning

I will praise You with the morning light

I still feel like I have no words. It is 10am in Haiti. Last night was long. We kept all the babies outside in the driveway. None slept much. It is winter in Haiti and although warm compared to what any of us are used to, the nights are cold. Little bodies huddled together on plastic crib mattresses. Praise the Lord the we had enough blankets. It seems that just when we ran out, a few more appeared until every little one was covered. We laid on the ground and felt it sway beneath us. Never in my life have I felt so powerless.
When the big quake hit I was on the second floor of the orphanage, in the biggest nursery. No one had any idea what was happening. Babies and nannies were falling on the ground. For a second I thought the entire house was going to tip over sideways. I couldn't believe how violently it moved! There were not enough doorways for people, everyone was screaming, it felt like it would never end. It stopped for a fraction of a second and then the 5.9 hit. At that point most of us were on the stairs running outside. By the time we got there it has stopped. The earth was still... it was eerily quiet. And then the cries. From all around we heard them echo as the realization set in that this was BAD. Rumors began from all around. The buildings that once stood tall are now gone. A friend described it as this, "in downtown Port Au Prince, the Presidential Palace, the Parliament Building, the Justice Building, the UN Headquarters and the US Embassy have all either collapsed or experienced substantial damage. That’s like the White House, the Capital Building, the Supreme Court Building, The Senate Office Building and the Smithsonian all getting wiped out in Washington DC."
Chaos, confusion, fear, all are running rampant in hearts today. We are still feeling small aftershocks. When I close my eyes everything sways. I, along with many others here feel physically sick, unimaginably heartbroken and totally helpless. I am looking at photos that have been posted of the country that I love torn to pieces. I hate myself for being so cliche, for not being able to just praise God that He saved us and trust him today, for asking why. But I can't help it. WHY!? Why a country with so much hurt. A place with so many orphans, now has more. A place that at times seems to be the very pit of hell, now worse. I hate feeling helpless, I have that I am scared when I should be brave for these babies. I hate that the people I love face more heartache. I hate that one of our nannies had a little baby at home, in the area that was hit hardest, and still has not been able to get work from there! I hate what has happened, but I love too... I love that last night as we huddled in the driveway the nannies sang Great Is Thy Faithfulness. I love that the people of the neighborhood, when scared gathered at the gate of God's Littlest Angels. I love that God is alive and working in this tragedy and that He gives his people a beacon of hope, held in a green building that is still standing this morning.
I can not yet allow myself to sit here and realize what a miracle it is that we are all here today. I can not think about what could have been. When I do, I shake as violently as the earth beneath our feet did. Instead I do what we are are doing. I hold tiny bodies close to my heart. I whisper prayers and I keep busy. It's all we can do.
If you are wondering how to help right now I want to direct you to a GLA blog that has set up a fund for relief. I'm sure there will be other ways later but for now this is what we have in place! More than anything we need you on your knees! We need prayer for this time. We rely heavily on supplies that are brought to us from Port Au Prince by trucks and obviously that will not be possible. I don't know how much we have but I know how fast we go through it. Pray for miracles in our pantry, water cisterns and diesel tanks. God is hearing. He weeps with us and he upholds us. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

What can YOU do?
http://godslittlestangelsinhaiti.org/2010/01/12/earthquake-update-what-do-we-do/

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

We are safe tonight. The aftershocks are still coming and some are very strong but so far we are all ok. I wish I had the words to describe the feeling of the core of the earth moving beneath my feet but I have none. I have no words at all...another small one just hit. Please, pray for my Haiti. More when I know...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

We Have Arrived

We got to GLA this afternoon! The streets were as bumpy as ever and even a little crazier because James took us on a “shortcut” due to road construction. Brandon’s flight had landed a few hours before ours and he spent that time with James touring Port Au Prince! I have to admit I was a little jealous, he saw places that I have never gotten a chance to go to, the Palace, James’ college and a few of his friends houses. He got a real taste of Haiti right away. However I know that there is no way I could have enjoyed those places today! After we were picked up I endured the longest hour of my life! Even the sight of familiar faces of vendors and landmarks did not make the time go faster. To say I was anxious is an understatement. By the time we pulled in the gates the tears had started, I missed out on my first glimpse of home because I couldn’t see beyond them. Lois, Kaeli and Betty were waiting just inside the gates and with them was My Patrick! They had him dressed up in adorable clean clothes and I fell in love all over again. At first he was very quiet. He took one look at me and put his head down on my chest. After that he wouldn’t look at me again and he would not make eye contact! It was so strange to know it was the same baby but to have him so much different that the little boy I knew.
I held him as we visited all the nurseries and I greeted the nannies. It was a loud exciting time, of course I recognized and knew all of the nannies and most of the babies. A few of my little ones, J and Ti Tootoo knew me right away! It was so much fun to see all of those little faces again! I can’t believe how much they have changed! My littlest baby N was just over 5 lbs when I first held her, now she is so grown up! She is in the big nursery and walking! M, my sweet little boy with HIV is also looking great, he has gained weight and is so smart! G-bebe, I believe remembers me too but she was much more reserved in her greeting. I have to think that maybe she has gotten used to people leaving and so she isn’t quite as easy for her to go running into my arms anymore.
When we first arrived Kerdjerns was sleeping and so I didn’t get to see him but after a few hours with Patrick I went upstairs and found him awake and so I was able to bring him down for some treats. He has gotten so tall I can hardly believe it! I brought him some clothes and I don’t even know if they will fit him! He talks to his nanny and she told me he says her name, “Mesi” “Gade” “Ale” and quite a few simple Creole words. He was a little shy with me and wouldn’t talk but I’m sure he will open up soon! As for us, those sleepless airport hours are catching up and we are ready for some sleep! Tomorrow will be a big day getting to know all of our little ones!

I do NOT <3 NY

Now where do they sell that version of the shirt? Last night consisted of getting ourselves, along with all of our luggage, from LaGuardia to JFK. Upon arrival we were found in a cold, dirty room with nothing but cement floors. Not an outlet to be seen…. It made me long for the dark, quiet, carpeted area under the computer desks at Ft Lauderdale where I usually spend my nights before a flight to Haiti. I spoke to Brandon (who is flying through FL and meeting up with us in Haiti) he had found “my spot”. Jealous! Mo and I spent several hours shivering on the floor outside the elevators finally able to get in line to check into our flight at 4am! Now we wait. 2 ½ hours before we can board. I look at what surrounds me. Starbucks, 10 Min Manicure, Dunkin Donuts. I feel like I should be jumping at the chance for these last minute “luxuries” but I don’t want any of it. I want Papitas and Tampico. I want Pate and Haitian coffee for breakfast. This world I’m in has nothing to offer. The things I used to count so important have dissolved. All I once loved has faded into a new passion, it’s made me a new person. All I need to be complete is the weight of a precious baby boy, who I miss more than words can describe, in my arms. I want to fall asleep to tropical thunderstorms outside my window. I want to wake up to the roosters crowing and the sound of soft voices speaking the language of my heart. Tomorrow I will. In just a few hours I will hold that baby boy. I will ride in a car over crazy roads, clutching my lime, which the Haitian’s have taught me is the greatest cure of motion sickness. I will be fulfilled. How could it be that I serve a Jesus who knows and loves me so much that He would grant me my deepest desires? I am so thankful! I feel like I’m floating, even with the world’s heaviest pack strapped to my back! Nothing can knock me off this cloud I am on!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

I'm going home...to the place where I belong

I'm going back! I can't believe it! Tonight as I sit here and write this, my bags wait. They are propped up next to the door, filled and weighed... Onsies, Crib Sheets, Benadryl and Ranch Dressing. Things you could go out this very second to a Wal-Mart and buy but packed in those bags, are more precious than gold. They await their journey to babies who need them desperately... well all except the ranch dressing, that will be enjoyed by staff members! We will hand deliver it all...

It feels unreal! Since my first trip to Haiti, this is the longest I have ever been away! Tomorrow I will go back. I have goosebumps. I let myself get excited and then I draw myself back. I can't allow my heart to believe it. In just 12 hours I will be sitting in an airport waiting for a flight that will take me to the one and only place I ever want to be. Me serving in Haiti is not me serving. No! It is my Jesus, the one who created my inmost being, the one who made me the person I am, allowing me the desires of my heart! Those sweet little babies serve me 100 times over what I will ever give to them. The way my spirit is healed when I step off that plane and into the hot, heavy air of the country that holds my heart... I can't describe it! What words could I possibly have for the feeling of KNOWING I am EXACTLY where I was created to be.

I don't even feel like I deserve to get on that plane. "They"' are going to know! Just as soon as my flight is called "they"will come out from all around, "they" will tell me I can't go. Someone who knows my deepest darkest self will find me out! "They" will tell me those little ones deserve so much more than I will ever be able to offer. "They" will see the depths of me, which are neither serving nor good. "They" will wake me up from this dream I am living. And yet I know, my God told me to go, and so I will go. Feeling like the luckiest girl in the world, because tomorrow I will go, once again journey to the land I love, the babies I treasure and the work I was created to do.

I can't wait!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

If we could see what she sees

Sabrina has been on my mind lately. I'm not sure why. Friday it will be 6 months since Sabrina was healed. 6 months, it seems in the blink of an eye, have passed and the world still goes on. In fact, since the few weeks after Sabrina's service I can count the times I have truly lost myself in memories of her. This week, for some reason she has come back to me. Perhaps it is because I am preparing to return to Haiti, the last place I held her in my arms. Perhaps it is because this past week I have heard of 7 sweet children dying in Haiti. 7 stories I know and countless I do not. 7 babies, fought and prayed for. 7 babies held and warm, 7 little ones who are now in the glory of heaven. We grieve and we hurt, they never will again. We cry tears over pain, they will never again experience sadness. If we could only see what they see today! My heart is broken for the lives so many children live, the pain they endure is just not fair! This week I heard the story of a 13 year old girl who died of a form of malnutrition. A young woman who starved to death! Can you imagine the feelings she felt in her last days? Have you ever been hungry, I mean, really truly hungry? Can you imagine that feeling in the pit of your stomach every day for your entire life? Can you imagine the despair of feeling that need and having no idea when, or if it will ever be satisfied? Can you think about being a mother and watching your beloved child die such a horrible death? I can not!

I look back on thing I have see and stories I have heard and it is easy to remember the pain. It is easy to see the hurt of Haiti, what isn't quite as easy to focus on and to remember are the promises of our Savior for these little ones. Yes, it is devastating the living conditions and deaths of so many but it would be more devastating to allow my focus to remain on that. Instead I look towards the promises of a Jesus who loves His people, One who understands and grieves along with us for their suffering. One who gently lifts them from the hurt of this world into His eternal glory. Never again to feel the pain this life brings. No more hunger no more tears. How sweet that day must be. How complete and whole they are today. The strength to run and play like children should. I can not wait to see for myself the things Sabrina and all those other babies are seeing today. To be in the presence of my Jesus forever! To be wrapped in His arms. To hold her again! The pain of Haiti is clearly visible, undeniable. I see it every time I close my eyes. But today, instead of remembering the pain I pray I will focus on the the promise. I want to see what she sees!


Monday, January 4, 2010

A Little Bit Of Haiti...At Home

Last Wednesday my mom and I met with Ti Daphnee and her family, it was amazing! I couldn't believe how much she had changed and how she was exactly the same! Her skin has gotten darker and her hair has grown so much. She's had a much needed surgery! She was just beautiful! I was able to sit with her Mom, Aunt and Grandma and just talk about what she was like when she was little and get to know her personality today! I even did her hair! When I held Daphnee in my arms an ache that I've felt for 8 months vanished! I work with children all day long but nothing fills the void, nothing except Haiti. I was fulfilled, I was happier than I have been since I left the land that I love. Today, again I am empty and the pain is back...but there is an end in sight! In 5 days I will get on a plane again, I will step off onto the ground that holds everything I love. I will pick up babies, I will rock them, I will kiss them goodnight. The seconds are crawling but I know the day is near!

Daphnee and I (notice that cute little head of hair!)

Daphnee's Mom and I with the girl!
My mom and I with Daphnee

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Goodnight Kisses

Every night while I was in Haiti I had a goodnight routine with the babies. Each evening I would make my rounds, starting in the big nursery I went from crib to crib giving goodnight kisses. The older babies all quicky became used to this, running to their beds as soon as I came in the room and tiping up their little faces for their kiss. This video was taken the night before I left Haiti, my last goodnight with them. I can't wait to get there and have the most amazing nights I have ever known! Oh how I miss these moments!