Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Janelle

I'm sure you are all sick of me posting only links to other blogs. I promise that by the end of the day I will share some of my own words with you again but right now I need to direct you to the letters of a dear friend of mine.

In reading this blog Haiti just became even more real to me, how it is possible? These are places I have been as well, they are experiences that I have shared but in the moment when I read they way she described them I was taken back again. Despite my stubbornness to keep it together I was powerless to stop the tears. Thank you Janelle, for reminding me again of why I love Ayiti.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Colorado Bound

I have been so awful about keeping you all updated these last few weeks! After vacationing in Red Lodge and enjoying some of the best skiing of my life, I had a very special visitor that made sitting at the computer difficult! Kerdjerns came to spend a few days at my house while my dad went to come business meetings in the area! Of course I LOVED having that little guys around but he sure made getting any work done difficult! He and dad left yesterday to go back to Minnesota.

Now, I would love to say this means that life is returning to "normal" but that never seems to be the case for me these days! Tomorrow I will get on yet another airplane, this one taking me to Colorado Springs. I am going to help out in the offices of God's Littlest Angels, the orphanage that I have worked with in Haiti.

Since the earthquake they have been overwhelmed with amazing support! Along with incredible blessings comes a lot of work! I will be helping them get organized after the last few months of chaos. I will be helping by adding thousands of new address to their databases and preparing more containers to send to Haiti. I will spend about a month in Colorado and I know it will be a great time of learning and serving for me!

I always strive to be honest with you all and so I ask that you would pray for me in some of the reservations I have about the next few weeks. I am so excited to be able to help but I am also apprehensive! I have so much going on with Espwa Berlancia right now, it takes up so much of my time that I am a bit worried about being able to keep up while I am helping GLA too. Pray for my energy to be multiplied and that I would be able to keep up with everything. I am also trying to psyche myself up for being gone from home for so long. I know, it must sound silly, if I were getting on a plane to Haiti I would be crying over how little time I had. I guess it because when I go to Haiti I know what to expect. I know that my days will be so busy and full that I wont have time to think about anything else. I am sure that I will find the same thing true in Colorado but I am a girl who loves my routine! I don't like the idea of leaving it for so long! Pray that I will have peace and fall easily into my new schedule and truly love the work that I will do. Pray that I will be a blessing!

There is also the matter of finances. God has been so good to me. All of my needs are being met before I even have a chance to worry about them! I am so blessed! In the last few weeks, however, I have been seeing a large depletion in my financial support. I am 100% convinced that I am doing the work that I am called to but I know I can not do it without help! If any of you feel led to support me financially in my work for Haiti and most specifically, my month in Colorado, donations can be send to

Rhyan Buettner
307 N 18th Ave
Bozeman, MT 59715

I am excited to be working hands on, for the mission that introduced me to my love for Haiti and to learn a lot about how non-profit organization work in the process. I pray I will be everything they need while I am there!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

10 Weeks and My Wish

Why can't I shake this?

It's like 1 step forward and 2 steps back.

Again, tonight I cry.

It's another Tuesday, 10 weeks now...

I made the mistake of going back and reading my last blog from before the earthquake... I literally sob over that post. I was so joyful, so enthralled, so blissfully unaware. I had no idea. Oh, how badly I ache to go back to that day. To the day before. It was the day everything in my life was entirely perfect, the day that I was completely fulfilled. It was the day that was all I could ever ask it to be. It was the very last day that all I ever knew and loved, was exactly as I had always known.

I read back and my heart aches over and over again. When Ti Raje left and I said goodbye I wish I would have held him longer. I wish I would have let him sleep in my arms until the last second that I could, rather than putting him in his crib to answer those emails that were waiting. Had it fully sunk in that it would be the last time I would ever hold him, I promise I would have done things different. I wish, that as I drove through the streets of Port Au Prince that day, I would have treasured every second. I wish that I would have spent my breath on prayers over the city I love rather than on mindless chit-chat of the others in the car. I wish I would have known that I was leaving and not coming back. I wish I would have said goodbye to the nannies in the way that they deserved. When I left we joked about me being back the next day, they didn't know...I didn't know either. I wish I would have known. I wish I would have said goodbye, to them and to the Haiti I was leaving behind. I wish, that I would have been there to dress Patrick in the perfect outfit to meet his mama in. I wish I would never have have gotten on that plane.

Last week I was on vacation with my family. I came home on Saturday only to learn that my Haiti had be struck once again. This one, a 6.0... How long after an earthquake can they still be called "aftershocks"?

Since Saturday I have been searching my heart for how it is that I feel, I still don't know. I am empty. I go from moving on to entirely overwhelmed. I forget just long enough to feel the gut wrenching pain of remembering. I try to push it away, but I can't avoid it forever. The ones that I love are still trapped in this hell... I wish I was there. I wish that I was huddled outside in the cold with them when their fears force them out of their beds. I wish that I could sit and listen to them talk about their dreams for their families. I wish that my tears would fall mingled with theirs, instead of alone on my cheeks. I wish I was with my friends. I wish I could do more. I wish that I could give them above and beyond, everything that is within me . I wish that I was selfless and that the reasons I wanted to be there was all for them. I know I never will be. I want to be there to ease my ache for the country I fell in love with. It's possible that I could bless them in that, but I want to be there for ME. I wish it was still the same. I wish this was a dream. I wish it would all go away. I wish I could go back to the day before. I wish I was still there.

Why can't I be there? Why isn't this just an awful nightmare? Why does this have to be real?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

An Inspiration

Today I was blessed to come across this blog! This family inspires me! Even though, financially I can not help them much, I want to introduce them to all of you! What a story!


Thursday, March 18, 2010

For Anna

Anna is my sweet friend who loves Haiti too! Anna was Kerdjerns volunteer when he was at GLA and she is well known for instilling some crazy faces in her lil ones! Anna, these are for you!











Put your hands in the air if you're a Haitian Sensation!



Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St. 'Patrick's' Day

I realized I've already posted, but it is a very special day.

Today is St. Patrick's Day.
Of course, because I've heard his name all day, Patrick is on my mind.
And when I hear his name my arms and my heart ache.

I miss him.
I miss him more than any words I have.

I miss him like something in the very core of me is missing.


I miss my sweet Patrick.

But then I see this...


And the tears that fall dissolve into tears of joy.

Because this is who he belongs to, this is who he is now and this is who he loves,


THIS is the perfect place for him.

Yes I cry, but the tears are for me.
For my baby, I am happy because he is exactly where God chose for him to be!
And the place he is, is the best I could have ever imagined and all I have ever prayed for!

Red Lodge

Red Lodge is great! It's great every year but this year is extra great!
This year we have a beautiful house!

With amazing views!

And the best company I could ask for!


I sure have missed this kid!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

From Haiti, With Love

No, I am not in Haiti! The title of this post refers to my newest project!

Today, I have something very exciting to share with you! I have written a book and it will be available for purchase by all of you wonderful readers! I have heard encouragement from so many people to take my writing to the next level, I finally did it!

It's nothing too fancy, you'll have to wait a little longer for the novel. ;)

From Haiti, With Love is a children's book about being adopted from Haiti. It follows the story of a child as they are born in Haiti and go through the adoption process. And...it gets even better! I have made it possible to have each story personalized for a specific child. The book will essentially tell "their story" of being adopted from Haiti! I know this will be a beautiful keepsake for these children!

Not only am I super pumped to be able to share this story with all of you but this is also the first official fundraiser for Espwa Berlancia! The cost of the book with be $35.00. All proceeded from the sales will go toward my work for Espwa Berlancia! It will be a gorgeous hardcover book with full color pictures that tell a beautiful story of being born in Haiti and in love, being adopted to their new families! I am working with a few friends in The Netherlands and in France to translate the book into Dutch and French as well so that every family can enjoy this story!

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of, From Haiti With Love, please send me an email and I will send you the personalization form to fill out!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

MIA

No, not Miami International Airport...

Missing In Action...


Yes, I realize I've been missing in action for the last few days. I have had a lot on my mind, and a LOT on my plate! In the past few days I have gotten a ton of much needed work and planning done!


Last week I wrote the bylaws for Espwa Berlancia. The idea in itself was almost enough to overwhelm me! I had no idea where to start! Thankfully God has brought some incredible people into my life. One family in particular who have been the most beautiful blessing I could imagine at a time like this! Scott and Maggie have let me email, call and bug them about a million and one things! I feel like they must cringe whenever they see my name in their inbox but they have never acted like it! They greet me cheerfully, answer all my questions, no matter how ridiculous or off the wall, and even let me fall apart or break down whenever I need. Maggie has been an emotional support like no other. I don't know what I would do without them! I do, however know, that none of this would be possible without their hard work and dedication! Thank you so much Scott and Maggie!


For several days I put off even thinking about the bylaws because it was so overwhelming but Scott sent me a great outline to follow and on Thursday and Friday I tackled the task and I am happy to report that they are done! What a huge relief and a huge step towards this becoming official!


I have also been working on putting together a board for Espwa Berlancia. I am so excited to have been blessed with close friends who have supported me in all of my work in Haiti and are now coming alongside me in this new adventure. I am beyond thrilled to be working with these amazing people! I am in the process, right now, of putting together a trip to Haiti with these friends to introduce them fully to the place that has captured my passion and that they now work for! I know it will be life changing for everyone involved!


A lot of the work I am doing these days involved "housekeeping". Printing off hard copies of everything for files, paperwork galore, fundraising ideas and so much more. I am finding myself constantly busy but never overwhelmed or tired! I am renewed everyday by my work! What an amazing joy it is to be living everyday doing what I love! I am so blessed!


With as much as I have had going on, it hasn't been all work and no play! Some fun friends came to Bozeman on Friday and we have had a great time showing them around and exploring! Saturday, we went to a beautiful waterfall up in the mountains and after a little delay to get the truck unstuck, hiked up to the frozen falls! It was gorgeous! I great time for me to get out of the house and enjoy this lovely part of the country I live in!




Today we will all leave for Red Lodge, a ski area about 3 hours away, where we will meet lots of other great friends for the week! My parents will be there with Kerdjerns and I can not wait to see him! It's only been 3 weeks but I miss him like crazy! It will be so fun to get to spend a few days with him again!Haitians, hot tubs and heavenly slopes...sounds like a whole lot of my favorite things all in one place for 4 fun filled days! I am excited!

Aside for everything else, I have one more huge project I have been working on. I think a lot of you will be as excited as I am! I can't wait to tell you all about it but I'm going to have to make you wonder a little bit longer...Take a peek back here tomorrow to find out what I have up my sleeve!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Carry You To Jesus

Sometimes I feel like my entire life consists of counting days. Of anniversaries. 709 days since I first set foot on Haitian soil, 27 days since I last have. 338, the total number of days I have spent in Haiti. Yesterday was 56 days, 8 weeks...since my world changed. Since the end, and the beginning of everything I have ever known. I hate counting, I hate the number that sticks in my head. I hate that every Tuesday morning when I wake up, the first thing I do is calculate how many weeks it has been. I want to focus, not on where we have been but where we are going. Sometimes I am able and sometimes a number pops into my brain, 56...and then I take 2 steps back. How could I have gone to sleep and woken up 55 times since that first night. How could the world still be spinning so fast when I feel like everything I knew stopped in those seconds? How could it be 56 days when it feels like just hours?

And yet 56 days is a lifetime. How could 56 days pass with nothing getting better? How can families still be sleeping in the streets 56 days later? How could people still be dying of injuries they received 56 days ago? How could a little boy be missing his mama and still, 56 days later, not know where she is? How could my own life be changed so dramatically in only 56 days. It feels like I have been this person so much longer than 8 weeks. It feels like I never knew life before earthquakes.

In 56 days my life has changed and yet, everything is essentially the same. I have not lost in a great way. Yes, I have lost the idea of the Haiti I once knew. I have lost the way I once thought about life, I have lost the ability to comfortably slip into a pattern of nonexistence and indifference. But it is the things that I have not lost that have cut me to my soul. I have not lost my family, in fact my family has grown! I have not lost my home. I have not lost all of my worldly possessions. I have not lost a limb. I can hurt for Haiti but the truth is, I have no idea how they truly feel. I love Haiti in a way that was woven into my inmost being, but I do not know Haiti like her people do. As much as it feels like my home, it is not. I do not have to stay in Haiti if I don't want to. I have people I love and a life outside. Though my passions and my heart is there, Haiti is a choice I have made. For those born into that country, Haiti is a much different picture. If Haiti gets too difficult for me I can chose to leave. If the ground won't stop shaking beneath my feet, to the point where I can't stand it anymore, I can get on a plane and land in a new place.

I do not and I probably will not ever, understand the pain that the Haitian people feel. I can not make myself understand. All I can do is all I can do and right now all I can do is lift them up in prayer. All I can do is give them to Jesus and let Him heal their broken hearts. Right now I am a world away. I can not hold them in my arms. I can not sit with them in their grief. I can not be there. But He can, He always is. It was the privilege of my life to be in Haiti during her greatest time of need. It was a calling that humbles me daily and that I still feel undeserving of, but it was an appointed call. I have been chosen, I have been prepared and I have sent. Now that I have seen I am responsible. That is why I chose to trust that the work I do everyday matters. That is why I am confident to let God take care of my physical needs while I work for His glory. That is why I get up every morning, excited for what the day ahead holds! That is why I breath in and out! Because I am doing everything I can for the people and country that I love, I am fulfilled. Yes, some most days I long to be there, I want to be among them. I want to be next to them as we work. I want to listen to creole words fly around me and smell the sweet smell of garlic and rice as it curls up from the stove. I want to hold their babies in my arms. I want to fall asleep to the sounds of roosters and tree frogs! I want to be in Haiti! But more than that I want to love Haiti. I know to love her, truly love her, I need to give up what I want. I need to do what is best for them! Right now I can do more from here than I can there. I can be more effective working for Haiti outside Haiti. I don't like it but if that's what it takes, I will do it!

I heard this song for the first time yesterday, it was exactly what I needed to hear. It gives me assurance that, though I feel small and inadequate sometimes, I can do what Haiti needs more than anything else. I can carry her to Jesus!


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


Carry You To Jesus
Steven Curtis Chapman

I will not pretend to feel the pain you're going through
I know I cannot comprehend the hurt you've known
And I used to think it mattered if I understood
But now I just don't know

Well I'll admit sometimes I still wish I knew what to say
And I keep looking for a way to fix it all
But we know we're at the mercy of God's higher ways
And our ways are so small

But I will carry you to Jesus
He is everything you need
I will carry you to Jesus on my knees

It's such a privilege for me to give this gift to you
All I'd ever hope you'd give me in return
Is to know that you'll be there to do the same for me
When the tables turn

So I will carry you to Jesus
He is everything you need
I will carry you to Jesus on my knees

And if you need to cry go on and I
I will cry along with you
I've given you what I have but still I know
The best thing I can do is just pray for you

So I will carry you to Jesus
He is everything you need
I, I will carry you to Jesus on my knees

I will carry you to Jesus
'cause He is everything we need
I, I will carry you to Jesus on my knees

I'll carry you
I'll take you to Jesus on my knees

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

To Build A House

I have introduced your all to some friends of mine here, here and here...

I have put together what I believe is a GREAT way for people to help me provide this family with a new house. If any of you are interested and willing to help me with this project please e-mail me, rhyanbuettner@yahoo.com. In order to protect the privacy of this family and to honor their dignity I will not be posting specific details on the project here but I will be keeping you all updated on the general progress and I would be more than happy to let you know what is going on through email if you are interested! I know that together we can make a difference to these friends of mine and provide them with the home they need!

Monday, March 8, 2010

In The Eyes Of A Haitian Child

In The Eyes Of A Haitian Child



In the eyes of a Haitian child there is glory,
and the kind of love that words not explain.
The eyes of a Haitian child tell a story,
a story filled with beauty and with pain.


To us the life he lives is unfulfilling,
food is not a standard guarantee.
To us he may be poor yet he is willing,
to go without and have no misery.

Oh the life he lives is one that we all need to try and emulate for our own good.
Oh the life he lives is just a simple kid's but his character is stronger than the world

The kindness he possesses is outrageous,
he loves the Lord with all his heart and soul.


I'll testify his laughter is contagious,
his innocence is worth far more than gold.



In the eyes of a Haitian child there is anguish,
when his tears fall down I cannot help but weep.
We both cry out a universal language
that the essence of the world is not skin deep.

Every time I see him,
he makes me smile.
Cause he's got Jesus in him,
all the while.




His eyes are full of life and he makes me see,
life can be wonderful with human dignity.


The eyes of a Haitian child spoke right to me,
with compassion and with goodness from above.
The eyes of a Haitian child force me to see,
the epitome of living must be love.

"The eyes of a Haitian child tell a story"...If the eyes of a Haitian child were to tell a story tonight what would it be. The story of the death, destruction and pain they have witnessed in their short years? The story of a kind of hunger that you and I could never imagine? The things the children of Haiti have seen in their few days are unimaginable. I could never be strong enought to witness what they have and still go on. But a Haitian child can tell another story too. The story of love, of compassion, of joy. The eyes of a Haitian child can tell a story of God's faithfullness. To rescue and raise up his children!

Since being back in the States I have been blessed to spend some time with several of the children who have come home from Haiti. At every gathering I find myself thinking and sometimes even saying outloud. "he is so Haitian" I am often met with questions over that, what does it even mean "Haitian"? I don't know, I can't describe it. It's just "Haitian". Perhaps it is the glory, anguish and kindness or perhaps it is just the story, held in their eyes.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

From Dust To Dust

A few weeks ago, while I was in Haiti I flew from Cap-Haitien to Port Au Prince. I sat in a plane with 4 seats. In it was surely the most precious cargo these pilots had ever carried.... I glanced down at my lap, across the aisle and into the seat next to me. They stared back. Their dark eyes wide. Those eyes shifted everywhere. They looked at me, they looked at the buttons along the wall. They looked out the windows, my eyes followed.

It was a view of Haiti I have never seen before. I could see out both windows of the plane at once. I could see every part of the city as we passed over it. I could see the pain in a new way. From the air it looked as if the entire city must surely be gone. And then we would fly over a new neighborhood and you couldn't even tell anything was different. Sometimes you couldn't tell what was earthquake and what was Haiti. I had driven the streets and now I have see it from the air. At that second I couldn't tear my eyes away. We flew over places I recognized. It was like every time I fly into Haiti. I pressed up against the window. Trying to take it all in.

As we began to descend for our landing I glanced out the window of a place I have been several times before. It was an area called Titanyen, and as I looked out over this area that led the way to one of the most beautiful areas of Haiti I had ever seen, I noticed something out of place. The ground looked strangely dark. There were huge patches of land that looked different from the others. I was confused, until I realized. What I was seeing literally knocked the wind out of me. Those huge patches of ground were the mass graves where they had been bringing bodies by the truckload to bury. Those holes were filled with some one's mother, father, sister, brother. The body of some one's only child lie beneath that dirt, someones best friend. After years of being disrespected and humiliated because of the place they were born or the color of their skin, they were dumped inhumanely in a place no one will even know to visit. I know those bodies are only shells but they are the shells that represent the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. Once upon a time they were somebody. They were the most important person in some person's world, and now that person doesn't even know where they were put to rest. My stomach lurched and then I looked again into those chocolate eyes. I had a choice to make right then and there, to focus on what was lost or to hope in what was to come. I made my choice and as our plane touched down on the runway with those 3 little ones inside their little voices rose with mine in song. "This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it"

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Bon Fet Caroline!

Today is Caroline's birthday! Caroline is an amazing girl with a heart for Haiti. I am probably the biggest creeper she's ever known! I've been reading her blog for a long time and even though we have never met I am inspired by her! Her photography gives me goosebumps and her joy in the work she does is so evident. Go visit Caroline's blog and give her some birthday love!




Bon Fet Zanmi Mwen!





Thursday, March 4, 2010

Strength, Beauty, Love

Those are the words I think of when I remember these women. They are some of my dearest friends in the world. They are the ones who work every day from sun up to sun down, taking care of those precious babies. They love those kids and those kids love them! Kerderns still says his nannies name often. When he gets excited about something, she is still the one he calls for. She was the only mother he has ever known.


I love those kids, there is no question about that. But I never was, and never have been, the most important person in their lives. I gave them everything I had but I left. Every volunteer leaves. These women were with them from the day they arrived! These are the most important people in their lives and I am honored to count them as my friends!


They are strong, they are beautiful and they are filled with love.









Oh and this one! Not a nanny but I sure do love Anna too!










Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Promise To Keep, Kept.

I hope you all took the time to go back and read my post about Berlancia because it has everything to do with what I am about to tell you. If you didn't stop right now and take a few minutes to catch up.

A year and a half ago I made a promise to a special little girl. A month and a half ago my life was turned upside down. A week and a half ago that promise got a name. Espwa Berlancia. In creole it means Berlancia's Hope. Hope is what I have, for Berlancia's Memory, for my future plans and for Haiti.


I can not possibly begin to count the number of times I have heard the dreaded question "what's next?" in the last few weeks. Every time someone asked I could feel myself tense up. I tried to keep "that" look off of my face. I forced myself to mumble something acceptable and then changed the subject as fast as I could. I couldn't face the future when I wasn't done letting go of the past. I was confused, I was lost, I was searching. I needed God to swoop in, pick me up and put me in the place He chose. I knew I was waiting but I didn't know what for. This past week He showed me.


It's a huge and scary place to be in, working for God. Not following in the worlds footsteps but instead walking in His way. Following the path He has lain for me. I don't want it to sound like this was something that was easy for me. In fact, it's the exact opposite. It is one of the hardest things I have ever done. It is not comfortable for me to just trust that if I do the work God is calling me to do I will be taken care of. I don't know why, I've done it before and I've never lacked for anything. But that was there, this is here. Can I really be a "missionary" in Montana? I have to believe that I can, because He told me to. That doesn't take away those moments of freak out, where I decided that I must go out and find a real job. But it does give me clarity in those moments. I just have to believe that if I do the work God wants me to do I will be taken care of. So, I give it to Him. "If it's God's will, it's God's bill" ;)


So what is my job?


I'm excited to tell you! Espwa Berlancia is a non-profit organization I have set up to help the people of Haiti. I don't know entirely what our mission will be yet but I do know that quite a bit of information has come my way in the last few days. These are things I believe are being put before me for a reason. One of my greatest passions in Haiti are the babies who are infected with HIV. I have learned a lot about those babies! I didn't know that with proper treatment and preventative care a woman who is HIV+ has only 2% chance of passing the virus on to her child. The problem is making that care available. I didn't know all the information behind this disease. Slowly I am learning and I am putting what I learn together to try and understand where I am supposed to focus that knowledge. I know that one of my main projects this year will be for the family that I have shared with all of you. I know they need a house and right now I will make phone calls, email and do whatever it takes to make sure that happens. Beyond that, God will show me. Today I am working harder than I ever have before. I don't leave "work" at the end of the day. I am always going and I've never been happier! I have never been more content in what I am doing and where I am putting my energy! I have come to realize that even though I am not in Haiti, Haiti is in me. I have known since April 2nd 2008 that Haiti is my life passion, it is what I was created for. It is everything I have ever loved. It is what captured me and brought the wholeness of my heart out! It is what consumes my every second. How is it that I am so blessed to be allowed to do what I love every day. God is so good to me!


I can't wait to see what Berlancia's Hope will bring!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

49 days later...

Do you want to see what Haiti looks like? This video was taken by the people at Real Hope For Haiti, this is what they live, 48 days later...