Wednesday, October 31, 2012

My Heart is Full

I don't know what it is about Haiti...well, maybe I do...these people love well. They love the Lord. They love each other, and they love strangers. How can you not love to be in a place where love is so abundant?  Mom and I were welcomed so warmly. Every time we saw another person, they dropped what they were doing, came to us and greeted us with a HUGE hug. It is so nice to be loved. To feel appreciated. And to feel that the love and appreciation is genuine. And it definitely goes both ways. My heart has been captured by Haiti and by the people here. We have made eternal friendships!!

Our trip has been great! We have had fantastic weather since coming to the island. It is much cooler than this summer. (About 15-20*) We're sitting in the upper 80's and it is wonderful! (Especially when I hear that it's in the 30's back home!)  I have taken mom to see the new hospital, the new children's village and the market. And we have definitely spent time at the orphanage.

Our first day up at the orphanage, Mme. Soliette let me give Asemidade a picture that Morgan really wanted her to have. The kids don't have a lot of personal property and this was something that meant a lot to Morgan and to Asemidade!!

A beautiful start to our Sunday - a day full of blessing and worship!

 The joy that simple gifts bring is priceless!!

Our interpreter, Mr. Bee and his kids. Bee loves the Lord and cares deeply for all the people he meets. He and his wife Juliana have done a fantastic job raising their children to love the Lord and respect others. Jaron gave Elbenson a football this summer and Elbenson played with it so much that the stitching had come open. He tried to restitch it the best he could, but was SO excited when he got a new one!! 

We have spent a lot of time at the orphanage loving on the kiddos. This little guy was too cute - don't you love his rolls?! He literally was falling asleep sitting up ;-)

I always think I have a lot of laundry to keep up with. (And usually complain about doing it) This was a good way for me to keep perspective. Laundry for 70+ kids is a never ending, thankless job! So, we decided to lend a hand with the folding :)

We are hoping to move the children to the new Children's Village by March 1st! We went out to the site to see the progress. I love how this man is smiling while he is sifting the rocky sand to get the finer sand for concrete mix. These men are so thankful to have a job and they are hard workers! Reminds me a bit of my dad when I watch them work :)

This is a view out the back of one of the housing pods. BEAUTIFUL!! Eventually, there will be some gardens and a soccer field out there.

 Here you can see the first phase of housing pods. There are 10 total. There will be 8-10 children in each pod with a house parent as well. Then they will have indoor and an outdoor living space. They will also have loads of area to RUN and PLAY!! In the center of the picture, you can see the beginning of the dining hall, kitchen and temporary school. (until the school is built in phase 3)

 This is a little restaurant next to the Children's Village. Every day, the Extollo team (construction workers) eat lunch at this restaurant.  This summer, this restaurant consisted of a few tarps creating an awning with an outdoor "kitchen" to serve the guys. Extollo has created enough revenue to allow these people to build an actual building for their restaurant!! So exciting :) 

Mom and buddy taking a walk by the village.

 The new hospital on the Wesleyan compound is really coming along! After all the rain, the foundation shifted a bit and they are fixing some cracks and rebuilding a few walls and learning from some mistakes.  It was neat to see grass growing between the two wards. Our friend, Julien - the supervisor of the hospital build, hand transplanted each blade of grass to start the grass here! Talk about tedious work!

Pouring the basement of the hospital, wheelbarrow by wheelbarrow.

We took a walk through the market. LOVE all the people and activity at the market.

Here's the parking lot :-)

Mom and I are really enjoying our time and are so sad that we only have a few more days. Days never seem long enough. Last night, I took the computer up to the orphanage for my skype date with the kids. Morgan and Jaron were so surprised and happy to see all of their friends!! It was so cute to see them all at first - they just kept waving at each other. There were so many of them that it was hard to hear. Then, the girls all started singing - it's a universal language! All the tunes sound the same, even if you don't know the words.

I've got the JOY JOY JOY JOY down in my heart, down in my heart, down in my heart!
I've got the JOY JOY JOY JOY down in my heart, down in my heart to stay!
And I'm so happy, so very happy! I've got the love of Jesus in my heart!
And I'm so happy so very happy I've got the love of Jesus in my heart!!

And their lives show it!! It's true. And it made me smile. And tear up just a bit. Happy tears of course! Two more days. But we'll be back. Haiti is part of us now.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Hurry up and Wait

The last day and a half has been full of hurry up and wait.  We flew into Miami Wednesday night, left the hotel at 3:45 to get to the airport by 4:00 for our 6:00 flight.  We got boarded onto our flight and sat on the run way for another two hours due to mechanical issues. We anticipated a possible delay or cancellation due to Hurricane Sandy but that wasn't the reason for our delay.  They had us all get off the plane and then moved us to another terminal and we got on another plane a few hours after our original departure time. The pilot told us that he was going to fly to Port au Prince, assess the conditions and try to land. He said if he couldn't, we'd head back to Miami.

Thankfully we were able to land and just had a bit of bumps. Then we headed to the wharf where we were hoping to catch our boat over to the island. Our normally hour and a half drive turned into about three hours. After three detours due to many bridges that were collapsed from the flooding, we made it to the guest house. The Port Authorities had not yet opened the sea for crossing, so we stayed for the night.

This morning, we were hoping that the rains would stop and the winds would die down so that we could cross over to the island. Unfortunately the sea is still rough and the authorities haven't opened them for crossing. Apparently, you can be arrested if you risk crossing when it's "closed." we're waiting for tomorrow. Hoping that things will clear up enough to cross.  There is a team on the island now who have a 2:00 flight today in PaP that they will be missing since they are stuck there. So be praying for them as well that they'll be able to get all 20 of them onto a different flight hopefully tomorrow so that they can get home.

It is so hard being so close but not being able to get the rest of the way. We are just sitting here waiting. There's not much I can do from here, so we wait. It is nice that my mom is here with me! We've also met some new friends, Eddie and Bethany. Their company has been such a blessing! They are going through an adoption and it hasn't been easy but their faith is admirable and encouraging!

So please just continue to pray, as I'm sure you are :) We appreciate it!!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

These Days...

These days my mind and heart are split between two places. In just a little over two weeks, I will be heading back to Haiti. I am so incredibly excited to be making this trip with my mom. My heart and my stomach are literally sick with anticipation. I can not WAIT to see friends and to hug on all the little kiddos.

17 days and counting!!