Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tonight

Tonight, for the first time since January 11th a group of 38 children will sleep indoors.

The thought gives me chills and fills my heart. Today, the song Jehovah Jireh has been playing through my mind...

"The Lord shall provide all my needs
According to His riches in Glory "

I can hear the little Haitian voices singing the words...

"Jehovah Jireh my provider
His grace is sufficient for me
For me, for me"

Their precious accents and the stories behind their chocolate eyes making the meaning all that much sweeter.

Our provider, who cares for us. He has provided the need for these children. Tonight they will sleep under the roof of their new home.

In 2 weeks he will entrust me to carry suitcases full of much needed supplies to their door. He will fill those bags to overflowing and He will fill our pockets with the money we will need to purchase what we can not carry. He will provide, through many of you, the things these babies so desperately need.

Tonight they will sleep in their new home. Tomorrow they will wake up and they will begin their day, things will seem brighter. I ache to be there to see the joy that they will celebrate. I remember so clearly the party that erupted when we arrived and set up their new generator, bringing power for the first time in almost 6 months. The cheering and dancing that ensued plays like a film in my head. I wonder what song they sang tonight. I wonder how long Rose MiLove, Richelande and Ericka danced before their feet grew tired. I wonder how big Luckson's eyes grew as he took in all of the new sights.

Soon enough I will be there, to see their faces again. I will hold them in my arms and I will present them with the things they need to live the carefree lives that little children deserve. It's the honor of my life to be allowed to love and care for them. The honor is open to you too, if you want it. If you want to bring moments of joy to Jeankencia, Dorlens, Karlane and other children who so desperately need to smile, please, click here...

Friday, July 23, 2010

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I guess I’ve been a little quiet lately, let me get you caught up on why…

June 22nd I flew back into Bozeman. I spent an incredible few days back in the city that I just love, and said goodbye! On July 6th I moved back to Minnesota! After deciding to pursue living in Haiti full time again, I realized that I really need to be near my amazing support system, here in Minnesota. I moved to a small condo in Kensington and I will spend the next few months visiting local churches and hosting fundraisers to make it possible for me to return to Haiti to be among the ones that I am aching for. It is so nice to be near my family. April 2010 Baptism (10) April 2010 Baptism (18)April 2010 Baptism (11)

This little face. 

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Of course I miss Bozeman but as I settle here I find my longing for a “home” so strong. I am sick of this moving around, sick of always packing and unpacking, I just want to be where I am supposed to be! Hopefully the next few months will prepare me for the road ahead and make it possible for me to truly move forward to the life I can’t wait to live!

If you are from the Minnesota/North Dakota area and would allow me to visit I would love to come share about the work of my heart with your group.

Contact

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Sweet Kerline

Precious little baby.

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When I think of the life this baby girl has known it breaks my heart. Taken from  the arms of her mother as a revenge. Neglected by her father and his new girlfriend. Starved to the point of almost unconsciousness. By the time she was brought to us her tiny limbs were stiff to the touch, her big eyes staring and terrified.

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Before our eyes she cocooned  from a timid, scared baby to a smiling, laughing little girl. When she meets your eyes she immediately breaks into a smile, one that can light up my entire day. Oh, how I love that sweet baby girl.

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Isn’t she beautiful?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

An American Child

Dear Little One,

I guess, now you have been home for 163 days. I still think about you. I can only imagine all the new things you have learned and experienced in the last 5 months. I wonder if I would even recognize you as the same child today. I still see you in my dreams, how you were then. I see you as tiny and fragile back when you still needed me.

I think about where you live now. How you have learned to love and need someone new. I think about those incredibly lucky people who get to hold you every single day. I think about each and every one of you often but today, July 4th I think specifically about those of you in your American homes. I imagine how proud you were to ride your red tricycle in your local parade and charm the crowd with your precious face. I wonder if you loved the fireworks, or if you were scared. I wonder if you struggled to stay awake long enough to watch the “grand finale” I wonder when you will realize the importance this day represents, when you will realize what “American” means.

Baby, I remember January 30th of this year. I was still so upset that I was not in Haiti, I didn’t want to do anything in the outside world. I hated facing the questions everyone bombarded me with when I left the house. I had been invited to  speak at a local hockey game and reluctantly I agreed to go. I didn’t realize the meaning I would find in that night. I stood holding my new little brother as he experienced the national anthem for the very first time. I got goosebumps.

What does it even mean to be an American? To someone born into this world maybe not much. I’m sure we have moments of breakthrough where we really see how blessed we are but for the most part we don’t recognize the honor that it is. To you and to someone who hasn’t always known this life it means so much more.I have had situations when I walk down the streets in Haiti and a woman tries to give me her child. “Are you American?” She asks and when I respond she thrusts her infant into my arms. Sh begs me to take him to this place she has heard of, this place that had so much to offer. It’s a life that your parents wanted more than anything for you. It is the place they imagined on the nights they lie awake, missing the sounds of your quiet breathing and sighs. It is every reason they made the choices they did for you.

There is no question of “if” in your life now. It is not “if” you go to school but when. No “if” you eat but what. Not “if” you grow up but what you will be when you do. You can be anything you want to be, you can do whatever you can dream of. Whatever your can imagine can be your life. I pray you won’t ever take that for granted! I pray that you will take advantage of every opportunity that has been handed to you and make a life that would make them proud.

Tonight I watched a fireworks display that took away my breath, accompanied by songs with lyrics explaining a life I have always known. I wondered why and I fought not to allow the feelings of gilt that so often overwhelm me. I chose, instead to search my heart. To allow the question of why, and to answer it. The answer I have some up with is this…I was given the opportunities I have, to do something amazing. From those who have been given much, much is expected. I was not given this life to sit in a comfortable box and enjoy, I was given this life so that I would know how to give to others. I was given the opportunities of my childhood so that I could return those blessings to the children I have been entrusted with. It is not an assignment I take lightly and I pray you won’t either. I pray that you will recognize, as I have, the gift of the life of an American child. I pray you will embrace it and take advantage of every moment.

You are precious to me, to the parents who hold you in their arms, and the ones who hold you in their heart. You are my sweet American child.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Meant To Be

The last 4 days I was in Haiti I learned more about pain and suffering than ever before. I learned that yes, Haiti really is “that bad”. I learned that an entire world exists outside the gates that used to hold my Haiti.

Within hours I saw, for the first time with my own eyes, a living victim of January 12th and the pinned up denim where his leg used to be. Then, I saw 11 others.

Over the course of that trip I saw little children with hair that was completely orange from malnutrition. I watched naked babies sit in the dirt outside of their huts doing nothing to swat away the gnats and flies that plagued their infected eyes. I saw little boys run barefoot through streets filled with human waste to beg for “one dollar” from the truckload of foreigners. Tent City-81

I saw stories come to life in the eyes of real live human beings with names, hopes and dreams. I saw the Haiti that I have always heard of but never experienced. I saw the Haiti I craved, and hated. I saw the truth outside of the rock walls of my comfort zone.

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I prayed that God would put me in a world that would break my heart and force me out of the bubble I had created. When He did it rocked my world. I realized that I wasn’t nearly as prepared as I thought I would be. On Friday afternoon, for the first time in a long time, I cried tears in the dust of Haiti. I cried for the crippled beggars that were left in the streets. I cried for the man who has turned to a bottle of rum to ease his pain as he sits day after day outside the rubble of the home he had spent his entire life building, the place that is now the grave of his wife and children. I cried for the curse that is upon us.

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It took this kind of living among for me to realize that this life I hate so much is the very life we are meant to live. All those years ago, when man fell God announced our fate.

“To the woman he said, "I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you." To Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, 'You must not eat of it,' "Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return." - Genesis 3:16-19

In North America we have created countless things to diminish the pain of the curse that is upon us. We push it away with an array of things that make our lives comfortable and easy. We’ve found ways to outwit the day to day pain that we were meant to live. We have built our golden calves and “gods” but none has yet figured a way around the very worst of the punishment. “For dust you are and to dust you will return." We can push a lot away but we can’t save ourselves from death. We can slide around a lot of the physical pain that we deserve but when it comes down to it we are still under that curse from so long ago.

How many times have you listed in your head, all the things you want to do before Jesus comes back? How many of us have our “bucket list” all mapped out? All the plans we have and the things we find important make it hard to want to leave this place.

The mother standing in the dark for hours every night as rain waters pour into her tent and soaks her children, does not beg for “one more day”. The man who stands under the hot beating sun chipping away at massive slabs of cement with just a hammer doesn’t ask to be given “just a little more time here”. Someone who lives a life of hard work, endless pain and hunger, longs for something more. They realize that what is to come is so much better than what this world can offer.

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We are appalled by Haiti and we very well should be but I have to argue to hear someone say “it just isn’t right” I disagree. As much as I hate it it’s exactly right. It’s the life that our bodies are forced to live and our souls are meant to hate. It’s ugly and painful and it breaks our hearts but how would we know the healing of Heaven if we never experienced the true pain of Earth? When we live in a world where we don’t face pain how will we ever fully realized the glory that is waiting?

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Perhaps, instead of pitying those who face such pain we should learn to envy them. For as great as their trial is here on Earth, how sweeter the reward of Heaven will be.