Monday, December 24, 2012

Friday, December 21, 2012

Merry Christmas

 From Haiti to wherever you may be, Merry Christmas!

Christmas Card 2012

May The God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15:13

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I Choose Love

Tonight I poured water from a bucket over my tired body while tears coursed down my cheeks. Some nights a shower and tears go hand in hand.

Today, to everyone's surprise and despite the best efforts from amazing nurses and an incredible doctor, Sweet Wadagans died. His broken heart was all done fighting, God scooped him up and took him home.

I loved that boy. I loved his smile and the way his eyes lit up when I came in the room. I loved his silly faces and his incredible laugh. I loved his quiet snuggles and the slow way he would chose exactly which toy he wanted to play with. I loved the fact that just days after open heart surgery, he was smiling and playing and showering us with his contagious joy. I loved his hugs and his fist bumps. I loved something about him that spoke to me. Something that called to my soul and captured my heart.


Tonight while I watched the clean water turn brown as it ran off my legs I cried, a deep, ache in your head and gasping for breath kind of cry. I watched as the dirt swirled down the drain and I desperately wanted to stop it from escaping my grasp. My heart longed to hold on to it because the dirt and muck of this broken day remind me of exactly why I am here. Not to save anyone, I sure didn't do that! It was because that brown water, full of sweat and tears was also full of hope and love. Not the kind of love I have for every child, though I do love them all, it's a love reserved for a special few. The love that is poured into someone, that for one reason or another captures my heart. Wadagans did, and I will never for a second regret it! I was blessed, honored and completely unworthy of being allowed to know the joy that was Wadagans. Not joy in an obvious, smiles and laughter kind of way but joy in a quiet, wise beyond his years and kindred spirit of hope kind of way.

Wadagans was a little boy that I knew and adored and who, once again, changed "my Haiti". He gave another face and another name to the love that I am called to live. To see one of God's most precious creations, to give myself to them, to put hopes and dreams and worth upon them, that is what I am here for. I can find it in an old man who needs someone to sit with him while he tries desperately to have just a few words heard or I can find it in a malnourished little girl who needs to hear someone whisper that she is precious and treasured. It comes at the most unexpected time and in the most surprising place, it crashes over me like a wave when I am unable to stop its force and it comes to me softly, in a whisper of grace, in a moment of fear.

Love her, hold him...open your heart, let Me in.

Love is beautiful but sometimes, a lot of times, it hurts. It hurts because it's so real and so raw that it makes us vulnerable to the brokenness of this world. At the same time, it also makes us available to see Him more clearly. Because God loves us, with that kind of reckless, no matter what, capture His heart kind of love. The kind that we here on earth can only hope to see. It's the kind of love that is willing to send His Son as a tiny baby to rescue His lost. It's the kind of love that let that same Son die to break the chains of sin that kept us apart. It's the kind of love that looked down and saw him, a little orphaned boy and said "bring me my child" and it's the kind of love that said "yes, even though she is broken and weak, I'll let her be a part of this".


If left to my own design, I would never have chosen a life where my heart is broken, over and over again. If it were up to me, I would have escaped this place a long time ago. But, much like the love for Wadagans, that without my understanding captured me, so has His call. I have to believe that this plan is for something more than I can see on this dark night. That somehow, someday it will all be worth it. Until then I pray and I beg, with every ounce of my faith, to be captured again. For as long as it takes and until I go to Him, to allow me to love His people and through it, learn to be loved by Him.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Up On The Mountain–Part 3

It’s been a year this week that my life was turned upside down by a knock on my gate.
A year ago this week that I found out that the son that had been mine wouldn’t be able to stay. The dreams I had for him and our life together came crashing down with one small demand. I was devastated. Beyond devastated, I put on a brave face but inside I was broken. I had no idea how life would go on without that little boy. I had no idea how I would ever be content again, let alone happy. I had no idea how God would ever be able to pick up all of those broken pieces and turn them into something beautiful. But I am weak, and He is strong. My vision is clouded and my understanding, dim. His beautiful plan, set into motion before I ever took a breath, was not deterred by the pain that losing my son brought, if anything, it was made all the more beautiful because of it.
Because a year ago, even though I put on a happy face, there was no joy in my heart. I struggled to find good in a very bad situation. A year ago I couldn't see how anything I was doing in this country meant anything. I couldn't see what in the world God would possibly want with me.
But through this year of growing pains and giant mistakes, of fighting for control and embarrassing temper tantrums, He was working.
He blessed me more than I could ever imagine and much more than I will ever deserve. With friends who have become as dear as family, a daughter who brought laughter back into my home and a passion for His will to be done. He brought me back to the place where I found a longing for His people and He gave me that overwhelming passion once again.
I am still a mess, and I always will be but He looks at that mess and He sees potential. Somehow He sees something that He can not only use, but that He can control. That’s right, control. That great big, bad, scary to give up thing. Being broken hurts and even when all the pieces are put back together the memory of the pain is still there. That memory is enough to overtake the human inside of me that wants to be in charge and let Him be the boss.
Great big and beautiful things happen in Haiti every day and they would happen if I weren’t here but the beautiful things that happen in me, they happen because I am here.
There are moments in this life that literally take my breath way, when I think on how much God cares about the smallest details of my life.
In May I came back to GLA because I needed a quick place to stay for a while. 7 months later I could not be more grateful for how things have worked out. I was blessed to spend the last 7 months in a place that cares for sweet, sick and fragile babies. While the losses that I experienced were heartbreaking, the things that I learned were priceless. Being allowed into the NICU at GLA while they cared for children taught me more about medical care in Haiti and grew my hunger to learn as much as I could about how to best help the people here.
Last spring I met a woman named Jessica, a nurse who is living in Haiti while adopting her sweet daughter, Phoebe Kate. Jessica and I quickly became fast friends but I had no idea how God would bless our friendship. This summer Jessica introduced me to a program called Midwife To Be and I instantly felt a click, like this is what I had been waiting for. The course is incredible and right up my alley! I signed up right away and Jessica and I are now both enrolled in this incredible training program.
And, if that weren’t enough, at the same time that my position with GLA was coming to an end Jessica and Phoebe Kate were making a change in their lives too. This lead all 4 of us to start looking for a house that we could rent together. In almost no time (which is pretty much unheard of in Haiti) God provided the most beautiful home for us!
It is right here, next door to GLA. Still among my entire support system and best friends.
See that balcony just behind the house there? That's GLA!
It is open and bright and it even has enough room for our girls to have their very own play space!
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Jessica and Phoebe Kate moved into the house in November. This week Annabel and I joined them!
We are looking forward to spending Christmas as a family in our new home and pray that God would bless this space to our comfort and to the service of others in whatever way He sees fit.
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*Jessica and Phoebe Kate
As you know, in Haiti rent is paid in advance for the year. Our wonderful landlord (again, a blessing from God) has allowed us to move in after paying the first 6 months rent. Jessica was able to cover that cost and now it is up to me to pay the other half by the end of January. This will cover the rent on the house through next November. My half of the rent is $3,000usd our total rent for the year is $5,500 plus $500 addition cost for getting the house ready to move in (new paint etc…)
The blessing and the difficulties of my work come together right here. I hate having to ask others to take care of me, especially when it comes to finances. I hate, hate, HATE it. But I love that I have you all to turn to. You who have traveled through these highs and lows with me. You have “seen” me at my worst and thankfully, you love me anyways. Without your prayers I don’t know where I would be. Without your help now, I don’t know what I would do. While it is humbling and difficult to have to ask, I have no doubt in my heart that God will provide for me, as He always has, through you.
If you feel led to help with this need, I thank you. I thank you for believing in my life in Haiti. I thank you for believing that God can and will use me here, for something. I thank you for still walking this crazy road with me.
You can donate to our rental fund though our chip in button that is linked directly to paypal.

One year ago the family that I had was broken and I didn’t think it could ever feel any other way. Today, while there will always be a part of my heart missing, we have a family again. A family that, for now, is made up of two unbelievably blessed, and maybe a little crazy Mamas and 2 sweet Haitian girls, doing our best to serve our God recklessly.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Without Suffering There Would Be No Compassion

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Today he is well and I remember, just like I prayed I would, how far he has come. And I remember too, just like I prayed I would, the depths from which I myself have been recovered. Saved from the disease of indifference and the infection of selfishness that once filled my soul. He has come far in the care of his nannies and the grace of God. I too, in the care of the ones God has given to guide and restore my life, and in His grace, have come far.

Today, he is well and yet the cycle of complete need for His rescue continues.

It continues in her.

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She is between 7 and 8 months old with a story of survival that would wreck even the strongest of men.

9 days ago a woman packed all of her belongings and left her home in the slums of Cite Soleli, where she went, no one seems to know. What she left behind, the most precious of any treasure…

I can’t even begin to imagine what this baby’s eyes saw and searched for while she sat alone for 8 days. I can’t entertain what ideas must have plagued her little mind while she sat and wondered and waited. My body will never know the feeling that hers did, having nothing to eat or drink as the hours passed into days.

And then a rescue. A family member came along and found her. She scooped her up, in her sickness and filth and brought her to the closest clinic she could find. That clinic referred her to God’s Littlest Angels and through our gates she found rest. An IV started quickly, filling her dry body with life saving fluids. Clean clothes, a diaper and a bed were presented and she lay her heavy head down and slept, cared for and prayed over by women who believe in healing and hope.

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Her healing won’t be without pain, hard work, tears and sleepless nights of prayer. In the time it takes The Father to do His healing work in this little girl, I know that there is still work to be done in me. I can imagine it might be painful, difficult and exhausting, I can anticipate sleepless nights of prayer and probably some tears. But, just in the same way I can see the big picture, how the things that are happening now are leading her to a better future, and to hope, God’s plans of hope and future for me, the big picture, are so clear to Him.

I can’t get to a point in my heart where I see that their suffering was worth it, no matter how incredible the outcome. My human heart and small mind can not comprehend the idea that somehow, in someway, this is good. I don’t believe I ever will, I don’t believe I have to. I only have to believe that while this world is not good, my God is.

It is said that without suffering there would be no compassion… I can imagine that children like these, the ones who have suffered so unfairly, will grow to be people so full of compassion that it spills out into everyone around them, the kind of people who change the world.