Category Archives: missions

To Express Anger for Ignorance

In regards to HR5283, just so we understand the expectations here:  These children WILL become citizens whether or not the law passes.  The law on the floor will just make it so they don’t have to wait the 2 years to become a citizen, due to the way they came into the country to complete their adoption. 

It means that if their parents were to die, they would be treated like their siblings in guardianship transferring to those named in a will, rather than immediately becoming wards of the state.  It just means that they can travel freely in and out of the country without fear of harassment, and that they will be treated with the same respect and value and dignity that we, as American citizens, often give to no others, unless they are "Americans".  I’m all for becoming a citizen legally, and if we have to wait, we have to wait.

However, as a family that adopted children from another country, I can’t tell you how surprising it is when we hear people express anger or consternation at us or towards us for helping people in another country instead of helping people here at home.

Little do they know that our family is very active in doing both, as are most every family that has opened up to a foreign adoption.  And, more than that, I guarantee, GUARANTEE, that probably 90% of the people that make statements in anger over people helping people in other countries, first, live such sheltered lives, that they truly speak only out of ignorance, and second, are likely to be doing nothing to help anybody, but themselves. 

When people start to become in tune with the destitution of their own community and country, it’s a natural progression of maturity to begin to see past borders, past gender, past race and color.

The sting of bitter-sweet moments…

Below are pictures of the Hotel Villa Therese that we stayed at twice last year in Haiti, before and after pictures posted by our friend (and Hotel Manager, Alix). 

It took me a few minutes to even be sure that I was looking at the same structure – unbelievable.  And then, when searching to try and understand how the guests of the Hotel fared, I found this article

 

I have heard people, perhaps carelessly, talk about how much “beauty” they see in the ruins of Haiti, but can we really forget so quickly what happened to the lives of the people there, and how this destruction impacted people around the world, once we are home, and comfortable in the safety of our lives?

I have to warn you, that it is absolutely heart-breaking; and only one single story, in a country full of devastation.

While I’m usually someone with a lot of words – there really isn’t anything that I can think to say – just numb silence…

It will always be with bitter-sweet memories that I recall the month that the Lord brought our children home to us.

 

VT_Before

 

VT_After

HIS Home December 2009 Newsletter

 

 

 

 

Newsletter for December, 2009

 

We have lots of exciting things to share this month in follow-up to the many prayer requests of our last newsletter. What an awesome God we serve who meets our every need! A major concern that we shared was the need for funds to pay the past-due rent of our boy’s home. The day after I sent the last newsletter the landlord showed up. He asked Hal for a check for $8500, which could be post-dated for 2 weeks to allow us time to collect the money. That weekend I was at a women’s retreat where I was challenged with the question, “Do you really believe what you really believe?” Having just written that God is our provider, when I returned from the retreat and Hal told me that he had written the check, I realized that God was allowing my faith in Him to be tested. It was with a spirit of excited anticipation that Hal and I watched the hand of God move, as over the next 10 days the rent funds arrived. During the following four days, enough extra came in to catch up the wages of our staff and to pay the overdue electricity bill. There was also enough to cover the $4000 quarterly rent payment on the girl’s house which was due Dec. 1. What a blessing to be able to watch God provide!!! We are still living week to week for food and other expenses, but are blessed to have our rent paid!

 

In November, more prayers were answered… The week of Nov. 16-23 our adoptive parents arrived to visit their children. They were very gracious to entertain themselves, as we were otherwise occupied… That week God sent lots of medical help for HIS kids. Baby Sender was admitted to the Italian sponsored pediatric hospital here in Haiti to receive surgery for his spina bifida and hydrocephalus. A pediatric neurosurgeon specializing in spina bifida cases spent 7 hours operating to correct Sender’s birth defects. The 3 ½ month old baby is still hospitalized, recovering from this complicated surgery. He is doing very well, and should be home in a week. The amazing thing is that this surgery and hospitalization were provided at no cost to us. Our only expense is the $600. cost of providing a nanny to stay with the baby full-time. This baby’s whole life has been filled with miracles! A couple days after Sender was admitted to the hosp., Baby Joey was admitted to another hospital to receive shunt surgery for his hydrocephalus. Neurosurgeons from Miami Children’s Hospital arrived with their medical team to donate surgeries for children with hydrocephalus. Joey did extremely well with his surgery! He has been feeling so much better with the pressure relieved from his brain! The day Joey was discharged, his bed was immediately filled with our little 4 year old Sendy. Sendy received a less invasive type of surgery for her hydrocephalus because of her medical complications. Unfortunately, that surgery was unsuccessful and we are now trying to locate services to bring her to the US for shunt placement. Please pray for Sendy, as she suffers from severe headaches and other complications. During the same week that these 3 children were receiving surgeries, we hospitalized another child, 2 year old Gaelle, in another hospital for dehydration and renal failure. Gaelle’s condition continues to decline, and we expect that she will spend Christmas celebrating with Jesus in heaven. As we care for her at home now, the children have displayed great compassion in helping meet her needs. Although she has suffered greatly, she is very peaceful! Please keep Gaelle in your prayers, as well as those of us who love and care for her. Just as we expected, in the midst of the hospitalizations and surgeries, Kevena began having labor pains. Kevena is a 21 year old Down’s Syndrome girl who came to stay with us during her pregnancy. After two unsuccessful trips to the hospital, she finally delivered a healthy baby boy by C-section. She and the baby are back with her family. Another recent arrival is Baby Marcos. A tiny preemie, he was abandoned in General Hospital with a cleft lip and a colostomy surgery performed when he was 2 days old. Baby Marcos is still very small for his age, but eating well and up to 7 pounds at age 2 ½ months. During the week of surgeries and family visits, the social services office made a special delivery to us. Justin was found abandoned on a sidewalk downtown, and brought by the police to the social services office. They were unable to locate anyone to care for him, so they dropped him off at HIS Home. At an estimated age of 5 years, he weighed in at 18 pounds! Justin has Cerebral Palsy, was extremely malnourished, and desperately needed a bath. However, under the layers of dirt was a young boy with the most beautiful smile! Justin is unable to do anything for himself, but rewards everyone around him with bright eyes and a dynamic smile! He has settled into the home, sharing the boy’s Spiderman room. When I go in to check on him during the night, I find 4 little boys sleeping on the floor next to Justin’s bed to make sure that he doesn’t get scared. How God reveals His love for and through HIS children!

 

After celebrating a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, the kids immediately began asking when we would put up the Christmas trees. Some things are the same around the world! However, of the children living at HIS Home, I don’t think that any of them ever had a Christmas tree in their home before arriving at HIS Home. Many traditions have been established in their lives since joining HIS family! The trees in both houses are up, lights decorate balcony railings, and we have been busy preparing the Christmas gifts for the children. A great big thanks to everyone who sponsored children, and especially to those who sent extra gifts for those who were not sponsored! Hal and I will be visiting family and friends in Ohio over the holidays, then completing some business in Pennsylvania before returning to Haiti Jan. 10th. While flying to Ohio, we will be escorting 2 little ones coming to the States for surgery. Three year old Ritchy will be having orthopedic surgery in Ohio and Medjina (7 years old) will be going on to St. Louis for heart surgery. They are both children from our community in Haiti, and after surgeries are completed, they will return to their Haitian families. What wonderful opportunities for children to receive medical care, but also scary for the children to leave families and everything familiar to travel to unknown places to be cared for by unknown people. Please keep these little ones in your prayers.

 

As I began typing this newsletter with Gaelle laying across my lap, I was listening to the Christmas song, Mary, Did You Know? As Mary gazed in to the face of Jesus, I am sure that she pondered many things. As I looked into the face of this sleeping, dying baby, I was thinking about what I would like to have Gaelle tell Jesus for me when she meets him face to face. Many things crossed my mind, but the most significant thought is that we don’t have to send messages to our Savior. We have direct access to Him 24/7 through prayer. As we celebrate His birth, may we all spend time developing a closer relationship with Him!

 

All of the children join Hal and I, as well as the HIS Home Board of Directors, in wishing you a Very Merry and Blessed Christmas!

Haiti in Feb 2010

Here is an example of what Haiti is up against in the 2010 elections.

http://open.salon.com/blog/chantal_laurent/2009/12/03/outrage_over_rigged_feb_2010_elections_in_haiti

They are facing a very tumultuous election in Feb 2010. The government, economy and society of Haiti hangs on such a thin thread that any type of instability has the potential of having vast negative impacts for millions of people.

Please pray for the leaders of Haiti that their democracy will only become stronger, that they will listen and serve the people of Haiti. Please pray for the people of Haiti in their poverty stricken country, that they will not lose hope, that they will feel empowered to work along side of the rest of the world for the good of their country; please pray that God will continue to raise up people with a heart and compassion for the men, women and children of Haiti, to not only show them the love of Christ in spiritual redemption, but to find ways to offer them food and clothes and medical care and other human necessities, so our light as Christians will shine in what was once known as the Pearl of the Antilles. Please pray for the children being adopted and the adopting families; pray that the laws and processes and people that take part in the adoptions will not be hindered, rather that perhaps new laws will be effective in stopping some of the horrible things like Child Slavery, but allowing the families who are working so hard to bring life and health to the Children of Haiti an end to their wait.

Our God is an awesome, loving and merciful God, and He hears his children when they pray, If you have a heart for Haiti please pray for them without ceasing.

Being thankful…

I live in the U.S. – we have LOTS of problems; however, reading things like this remind me to be thankful for the problems that we have.  I’ve never once thought of getting on a boat and casting out to sea to gamble with my life trying to find a job in another country so I can feed my family…

 

Sea search for 70 Haitians to resume at dawn
Search teams waited anxiously for daylight Wednesday to resume the hunt for nearly 70 Haitians missing after a sailboat splintered on a reef and spilled nearly 200 migrants into rough seas.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32198394/ns/world_news-americas//from/ET

H.I.S. Home for Children 2009

The 2009 H.I.S. Home 300 saw two ride groups (southern & northern routes) cover 300 miles in 6 days. The rides began in Joliet & Monticello, IL and ended in Harrod, OH. A combined total of 37 riders and 11 support personnel raised $38,000 and counting for H.I.S. Home for Children. H.I.S. Home is a ministry caring for orphaned and abandoned children in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

To learn more about H.I.S. Home for Children visit www.hishomeforchildren.com

Why Missions work is so enthralling to me…

In the past two months I have read 9 books; 8 of which have been books on missions:

  • Lords of the Earth
  • Peace Child
  • Eternity In their Hearts
  • Bruchko: The Astonishing True Story Of A Nineteen-Year-Old’s…
  • Mountains Beyond Mountains
  • Through Gates of Splendor
  • End of the Spear
  • Let the Nations Be Glad

I have been amazed at the dedication and willingness of the men and women discussed in these books to put their own comfort aside and subjugate their bodies into the harsh realities of Stone-Age tribal living, willingly and selflessly for the love of people they have never met, people that don’t understand that love and sacrifice, people who often only know hatred and fear and killing, people that in many cases kill those brining the gospel of the good news. 

Add to that the lack of want for revenge of deaths, how the families just get up and carry on, once again trying to reach the stone age tribes that have tried to kill them, or have successfully killed spouses or children – it’s humbling and convicting.  They truly understand Matt 10:39:

“If you don’t go all the way with me, through thick and thin, you don’t deserve me. If your first concern is to look after yourself, you’ll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you’ll find both yourself and me.”

But tonight, while talking with a friend, I realized there was even more to it that I found so enthralling.  I thought I would share some of my thoughts that I shared with him during our discussion on why missions work is so enthralling to me…

“I watched the EE TAOW video you referenced [on youtube]; it was pretty amazing.  Growing up in a Christian family (and in some ways, I’m sure not complaining), however, I missed out on the amazing experience of reading the gospel story as an unfolding book from start to finish.  As an adult, I have read many, many life-changing books, and I can appreciate the thrill of turning the next page to find out what happens next – but the bible is truly the most amazing story ever told. 

In my early life, and in so many children and teen lives, I see that they are or have been underwhelmed with the story due to the over-indulgence of the terse repetition in a mundane and monotonous way.  When the story is not a living and breathing story, but a bedtime story used to frighten people into moral submission.

It sadly seems that in a luke-warm “Christian based” society (Of course being most familiar with western Culture, I would say especially in the western culture), there is a lot of inoculation of the gospel that occurs in young lives by the way media, technology and advancements make passé the bible stories and take awe out of the unimaginable – that story that shows how the Creator would empty himself and take on our just penalty due to us in our own bodies for our own transgressions. 

I think that is one thing that inspires me deeply when reading these books of missionaries reaching tribes that have never been exposed to the gospel – these people haven’t had their “Christian vaccination” yet. 

I think the other thing is seeing people actually put their lives and actions in line with their convictions (something I think we all continue to try and struggle to do).”

Because of my experience with my “Christian vaccination” while growing up, where I turned the bible from the living and breathing word of God into a bunch of stories used to tell us the parameters of our moral imperatives.. I have always been afraid that I would inoculate my children against the Word as I was inoculated (innocently but detrimentally).  I found that I was not really in love with the stories of the bible, but only respecting them for the knowledge that can be found within. 

In the past I’ve read the bible to be smarter, but not to live better, I’ve read the bible so that I could teach others but I did not let it’s awe and wonder sink into my own flesh and bones, but I can feel that slowly changing…

In reading these stories of the missionaries that have died for Christ, but harder still, who also lived Christ – and hearing and seeing the joy and amazement being brought to the minds and hearts of people throughout the world by the revelation made known through the Word, I’ve realized, that within the right framework of a relationship with God, instead of a series of rules that must be followed – that through reading this book myself and to my children just the opposite is what will happen. 

If this book is so precious it’s worth dying over; how much more so is it worth living over!