Monday, May 19, 2014


Here in Haiti the current exchange compared to the US dollar is 45:1. This means that 45 Haitian Goudes equals 1 dollar. But does it really?
If a person made 500 goudes PER DAY here, it would be considered a decent wage. That comes to $11.11 at today's exchange rate. That's it for the day!
Now lets compare that to someone who makes $10.00 per hour from Indiana. This means that they will make gross $80.00 per day. (yes, yes, before Uncle Sam.)
In Haiti you can buy a 500ml (16.9 oz) bottle of Coke for 25 goudes or rather $0.56 cents.
That $0.56 cents divided over the average daily wage in Haiti is the equivalent of someone making $10 per hour, paying $4.00 for the same bottle of Coke in Indiana.
...and that's only if you are one of the lucky 10-15% of the population who has a job. Next time you go to Culver's or McDonald's or Starbucks stop and be thankful for the MANY blessings in your life. Don't squander your blessings.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Don't have the words.

I know not all of you who read this blog follow us on facebook...which I would recommend if you'd like a more regular update on our life!  It's just easier for me to post a picture here and there and a short blurb explaining it. It's hard to sit down and pour out my heart...which is more of what I think a blog is for.

We are learning so many things living here in Haiti. I have so many blog posts running through my head, but for a number of reasons, fear of offending, thinking I can't get the words out right, etc, I just can't write them down. So many others have already blogged some of my same thoughts, so I'll just let you read it from them. Here's one...and before you read, I want to admit that we WERE THAT FAMILY. Every time someone would ask for money for something, I would roll my eyes and think, really? Again? But man, God has changed our families heart. We have woken up to how INCREDIBLY blessed we are and how much we have. Living here, with SO much less than what we had before, sometimes it's still awkward and embarrassing living among others who have SO much less.
"Become wildly generous. Give your life away. It’s easy to give when we have a lot. But when we give and it costs us something–that is true generosity. I’ll say it again: There is nothing more gratifying than giving someone something they need instead of buying something we want."

Just something to think about...are you sleeping through your American dream life? Do you even realize that we are NOT the norm?

Please read this blog from Kristen and try to keep an open heart.

And, on a lighter note...I've started a YouTube account to post little videos about our life here in Haiti...make sure to check it out once in a while...if you want ;)

YouTube Channel

Friday, May 9, 2014

A Call to Encourage

Since this is my personal page, I'm going to be honest. Yesterday, I posted this (below) on the Okipe facebook page. Over 1400 people saw this. 4 people gave. I don't want to guilt you into giving. But it made me really think. I know $100 is a lot of money. I know $35 is a lot. But we are so blessed financially. That is one thing that I have seen over and over living in Haiti. Even those times when we think that things are tight, I encourage you to look around and see the things in your house that you could live without. Jesus calls us to a different life. Even living here in Haiti, our Western culture and habits are sneaking in. Our house is somehow mysteriously filling up with "stuff." It breaks my heart when I see people holding on to things so tightly and who are miserable. Then, I look around at my neighbors and friends here, who have next to nothing, and are just filled with joy, love and generosity for others. If there is ever a need, or even a want, they are there to give. The other day, Craig said, "I stink...I need a shower!" They instantly stood up and said you can shower here! Then they headed to get some water until Craig stopped them. That may not seem like a big deal, and it's just an example. But they don't just have water at their house. They have to walk to one of the public wells every day, sometimes multiple times a day, and then carry water back to do basic things like wash and cook.

Craig and I have always hated asking for money. But I have no guilt in campaigning for these children who have no hope otherwise. I challenge you to pray. If you feel like God is asking you to give, even though you don't know how you might get through the next week, do it. Our God is so much bigger than I tended to think when I lived in the States. He is just waiting to show us some of His blessings. We just have to give up some control and give Him the opportunity.  The people living around me a lot of times are unable to control their circumstances and therefor MUST rely on God to  provide for them. AND HE DOES. Not always in the ways that they might have wanted or thought originally. But God's ways are higher than ours. 

And, if while you're praying and seeking God's will for your family, you feel that He is asking something more of you; something more long term, please email me. I will talk with you about how you can help give these kiddos food, education, medical care and so much more with just $10 a month. 

"You will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God." Ephesians 3:19


Guess What?! We have an opportunity to be a part of something BIG! Everyone has their own ways in which they are helping the children at the Jesus Home for Children of La Gonave.
Doug Barden, a New Director from California, decided a year ago that he was going to participate in an IRONMAN to raise money for the children! Talk about HARD WORK! His goal is to get people to sponsor all 140 miles that he is biking, swimming and running!! Over the past year, he has trained and told the story, but guess what? He is discouraged. Not many people are responding to his plea for help. I LOVE when people dream big. Originally, Doug was asking people to sponsor a mile for $100. He would be able to raise $14,000 for the Children's Village!! After seeing the lack of response, he has cut his goal by more than half and lowered the donation to $35 per mile. I would LOVE to see people jump on board, if you're able, at his original goal! Let's blow Doug away with our generosity and get behind him as he trains for these next 7 weeks!!

Please take a few minutes to click on the YouTube link below and watch the video that he made. He explains everything VERY simply and it's very well done. 

Then, if you are able, go to his fundraising page and choose a mile to sponsor by clicking the green DONATE button at the top of the page!