Monday, August 27, 2012

Daddy Daughter Date Night

I'm so thankful for a husband who is in tune with our daughter!  Now that Morgan is in school, she really only see's Craig about 2 1/2 hours a day.  About a half hour in the mornings and two hours in the evenings. Such a short amount of time. He could tell that she was craving some daddy time - as this girl's love language is quality time.  So...he made some time. Saturday night, the two of them dressed up and headed out for some quality daddy-daughter time. I so wish I could have been a fly on the wall for their date. She sure loves her daddy!

She's in heaven.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Would you Consider?

Do you already sponsor a child? If so, this post may not be for you. And yet, it still might be. I'm writing because some children are heavy on my heart and they need our help.

One of the main responsibilities that Craig and I were hoping to accomplish during our time in Haiti was to establish a better understanding and tracking of all the income and expenses of the orphanage in Anse a Galets, Haiti.  After getting a better understanding of what it takes to run this orphanage on a day to day, week to week and month to month basis, we then had the task of training the orphanage director and some of her staff to keep better track of the records. We did this for many reasons, one of which so that we can see visually online from the States where she is at with her cash flow and send her more money when needed.  (As available.)

What we found was that Mme. Soliette is constantly running low on funds and borrowing money from locals and going without food, paying rent, paying her workers, etc.  It is not ideal to be borrowing money from the locals.  We unfortunately experienced the bad side of borrowing money while we were in Haiti.  Two little twin 4 year old boys came to the orphanage because their mother was doused in gasoline and severely burned and died two days later for not being able to pay her full loan back on time. She owed an equivalent of $150 US and was only able to pay back $100.  She lost her life over $50.  Borrowing money is just not the ideal situation for Mme. Soliette.

Okipe has chosen to use a model different that the traditional child sponsorship model.  What happens when certain children are sponsored and others are not? Do some eat and go to school and get medical attention while others watch from the sidelines? We don't feel that this is the best model and have adapted a "Join the Village" model.  We are asking people to team up with Orphanage by Joining the Village.

What does this mean?

By making a monthly pledge of any amount to the fund established by Okipe for the Jesus Home for Children of La Ganove, you can participate with other sponsors to cover daily, weekly and monthly operating expenses which provide these children with:

  • Life saving vaccines and basic medical care
  • Shelter and loving adult supervision by Haitian staff
  • Food, clean water & clothes
  • Primary and Secondary Education
  • And much more...
The children are currently living in a two story building where the only "play area" is a small hallway where they also eat their meals.  The boys live on the bottom floor which also doubles as the school during the day.  The boys will sleep on the floor or benches while the girls have a few beds to share upstairs. (Not nearly enough for the over 30 girls)


Thankfully, Okipe is also in the process of building a new Children's Village!! The land has been purchased and the pods that will house about 8 children and a house mom are coming along! This is a really exciting time, and we are still looking for people to get involved to help complete the funding of this project as well.  We are over half way there and are making good progress.  Our goal at this point is to have the children moving in this spring!! Each child will have their own bed and a family unit will be the model instead of an orphanage feel.  

I encourage you to take a look around the Okipe website. The blog is updated regularly with pictures of the latest progress.  

One really neat thing is that it is actually pretty easy and inexpensive to visit La Ganove.  Haiti shares our same time zone and flights aren't too much more than what you would pay to fly to Florida.  All this to say that wouldn't it be amazing to invest into the lives of 75 young children and follow their journey and one day make a trip to meet them in person and play with them and hug them?  Totally doable.  And encouraged.

This is obviously something that Craig and I are passionate about and that is near to and heavy on our hearts.  If you would prayerfully consider getting involved in this project, we would be so very grateful.  Also, if you'd like to talk more about this project and this orphanage, we would love to talk with you!!

What is one thing that you and your family could go without each month that would allow you to give $10, $15, $30 to these children?  Pray about it. If God is nudging your heart, I would encourage you to give. And I can guarantee that this money will go directly to these children.

Thanks so much for taking the time to really means a lot to us!

"And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased."
Hebrews 13:16 NIV

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Check it Out!

While we were in Haiti, Juli, a Compassion sponsor, came to meet the child that she has sponsored for many years. She was also able to visit many other places on the island and even made it up to the orphanage during one of our English classes.  She writes about it on her blog here.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Today was an emotional roller coaster. The past six and a half years, I have spent investing into my two precious gifts from God. This morning, we dropped them both off at school.

Morgan started first grade this morning and Jaron is attending three mornings at a local preschool.  They were both super excited and that definitely helped. Last year, we had a very rough start and Morgan was in tears every day for the first five weeks of school.  That was rough on all of us and I'm so thankful that we're one day in and have no tears.  (Except from mama!)

One thing that I'm SO thankful for is the Open House/Orientation that the schools do here the night before school starts. I never remember having that growing up. I really feel like this just helps to calm the nerves for everyone. We can take all the school supplies in the night before, find the classroom and desk and meet the teacher all before the first day. 

I really could not have asked for today to go any better. The kids were excited, we were all up and ready on time and our routine was smooth. Craig took Morgan to the bus stop and I took Jaron to preschool.

 Hope you enjoyed the photos - please excuse the crazy spacing...blogger is NOT my friend :)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

4 weeks

It's been a month.

I've opened up this blog more times than I can count to write an update.

I stared at the screen...started to type...erased it...closed the screen.

It's so hard to close up our journey for you. Mostly because it's not done. It's hard to put into words what the past three months have been for our family.  They were fabulous, terrible, amazing, awful. Everything in one.

People will ask us how our trip was. Who would have thought that would be such a hard question to answer. We have found that most people are just being polite in asking but really don't care to hear the response.  What we have become so passionate about doesn't resonate with all of our family and friends. They know they are supposed to ask, but do they really want to take time to listen to what has changed our hearts and lives? It's hard.

So...I don't know what to say. We are definitely changed. We will talk for hours to anyone who cares to listen, but I also won't pretend to think that everyone really desires to hear the details :)

If you would like to hear about our trip, we'd love to talk with you. If not, please don't's really ok. We all have different passions.

God is still doing some amazing things in our hearts.  Our family will never be the same. I'm so thankful and blessed for the opportunity that we had to spend this time together as a family. What an awesome thing to experience together.

We're still figuring out our new "normal." It's crazy to come back to what we were thinking would be normal and have that not feel normal at all.  We are still missing our Haitian friends like crazy. We are missing the slow paced, no rush days. We are adjusting to Craig being thrust back into the wild rush of his job that comes at this time of year after having him to ourselves for two months. We miss him.

I'm thankful. For so many things. My eyes have been opened. Haiti will forever be a part of our lives. We will be back.