Category Archives: friends

Haiti: Making Sense of suffering?

A powerful aftershock today resulted in the final determination that the buildings of the HIS Home Orphanage are no longer safe even to be around. The buildings had to be abandoned. The children have been moved to a local Church down the road.

This afternoon I found this article about a young 22 year old woman who was working with Orphans in Haiti; she was killed when the 7 story building she was staying in collapsed in a “blink of an eye”. Our hearts go out to her friends and family; this story hits very close to home.

I’m sure in the days and weeks to come there will be numerous tragedies like this discovered and reported on. There really is no answer to the question of “why” even when our entire lifespan is just a breath on a cold winters morning. I have to lean heavily on the trust that there is a reason; and all the senselessness of the destruction and death and chaos will someday make sense.

As you probably are; I have been really struggling over the last couple days in trying to make sense in my heart out of all the pain and suffering and destruction that is going on in Haiti right now. I can’t make any sense of it, no matter how I try.

I’m not really sure if there is any way to make sense of it, as we are looking through a small telescope at the vastness of the universe of time, we can only see one small moment in one small area of space.

I was reminded today, in the midst of this agony of heart something I read by C.S. (Jack) Lewis, regarding the problem of pain and suffering in his book, The Great Divorce. I thought I would share.

It really brings no consolation for a broken heart: but it at least can remind us, that there is a God-view that we cannot see – and we must remember to trust and have faith.

“‘That is what mortals misunderstand. They say of some temporal suffering, ‘No future bliss can make up for it,’ not knowing that Heaven, once attained, will work backwards and turn even that agony into a glory. And of some sinful pleasure they say ‘Let me have but this and I’ll take the consequences’: little dreaming how damnation will spread back and back into their past and contaminate the pleasure of sin. Both processes begin even before death. The good man’s past begins to change so that his forgiven sins and remembered sorrows take on the quality of Heaven: the bad man’s past already conforms to his badness and is filled only with dreariness. And that is why, at the end of all things, when the sun rises here and the twilight turns to blackness down there, the Blessed will say ‘We have never lived anywhere except Heaven,’ and the Lost, ‘We were always in Hell.’ And both will speak truly.’ – C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34864920/ns/world_news-haiti_earthquake/

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34879803/ns/world_news-haiti_earthquake/

http://mollyinhaiti.blogspot.com/

Update on our Children & Haiti

From what we have heard so far, both David and Christella are ok.  The orphanage is ‘ok’, the buildings did not collapse, but they are unstable and everyone has been sleeping out on the ground.  Adoptions are at a standstill (obviously), and it’s likely that our paperwork has been destroyed as it was just delivered to the IBESR right before the earthquake.  At a time when the need couldn’t be greater to have these children safe & home, unless God will intervene on all of our behalves, things are looking very bleak. 

We have written letters to Senator Snowe and Senator Collins and the Office of International Children’s Issues to ask for the possibility of Emergency Humanitarian or Refugee Visa’s – but we are not sure if that is even an option.

We know of so many buildings that have collapsed, and some of the people we know and have met are among the casualties – but we do not have much more information than that right now. 

Due to the decrease in food, water, no electricity, likely no working sewage system, and the issues that will come with so much of the death and destruction – the worst is yet to come.

We are working on pulling together donations from local stores of non perishables and money, and we will be bringing them to Boston to fly out with the formula on Tuesday – Pray that we will be able to help make a difference in this endeavor.

Little and Big Miracles…

 

What Faith Can Do – Kutless

If you close your eyes when you walk the road of life; you may miss a lot of little miracles, sometimes overshadowed by the big ones!

 

From: HIShomeforchildren@yahoogroups.com [mailto:HIShomeforchildren@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of ******@comcast.net
Sent: Sunday, December 27, 2009 2:52 PM
To: HIShomeforchildren@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [HIShomeforchildren] double praises

I just wanted to share with everyone how GREAT our God is. I am sure as you watch the news you have seen the bomb attack on the airplane in Detriot?  My cousin and his wife were on that plane. They were on their way home from Ethiopa with their new daughter they adopted! So God stopped the bomb and brought a new little girl into our family on CHRISTmas day. What a Blessing.

Praying for great adoption news for all of us this up coming year.

Happy new year,

Natalie

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.

The good news and the not so good…

The great news is that I received a brief note saying that the interviews went “well” – no more details yet – but praise God – that’s got to be good news!

The bad news is that our lawyer was unable to make his November trip to Haiti because other clients papers were not completed; and when he went to rebook his plane tickets, the prices had almost tripled for the end of the year – so now he is unsure if he is going to be going to Haiti before the new year. 🙁

We have still have so many hurdles to overcome – first, the fact that we need a legal waiver to even adopt in Haiti because we have biological kids and our under 35 (we have been married almost 12 years though – so we at least have 1 of the three requirements met); second, if we receive that waiver, we also have to get a presidential waiver; third is that next year is an election year in Haiti, and historically it seems that during election time the country has the ability to become very unstable, and legal processes seem to stop in their tracks.

So, my new prayer is that:

  • first and foremost we will be able to get into the legal system as quickly as possible,
  • second that God will use our amazing lawyer to overcome all the problems that are put in our way and our children will come home quickly,
  • third that for the sake of the people in Haiti that their country will remain stable and the elections of 2010 will show a turning point in the history of the democracy of Haiti,
  • and fourth that our legal process will not be held up because of the elections.

Help needed for HIS Home for Children Orphanage

I typically do not like to do anything like this; but I realized that when we don’t know of needs, then there is no way we can help if we are able, and if we aren’t able to help financially, prayers are always sought on behalf of the Children and directors and staff of HIS Home.

As you all know, our family is in the process of adopting two children from an Orphanage in Haiti.  This Orphanage – HIS Home For Children – has been down significantly in their financial giving this year, and as a result, they are currently at risk of losing one of their two children’s homes. 

The result of losing their boys home will cause them to combine approximately 130 children (teenage boys and teenage girls and all the toddlers and babies) into one house which is barely big enough for the just the girls toddlers and babies.  While there are some natural potential adverse reactions to combining teenage boys and teenage girls into a single home, there are also concerns for the health and stability of having so many children under one roof. 

Additionally, the boys house which is in jeopardy of closing is where the school for the orphanage is too – so that will be a significant loss to the children as well.

In response to a final notice for rent, HIS Home has written a post-dated check for 8600$ (the remaining balance of this year’s rent) for next Wednesday, and have placed their trust in the Lord that if it is His will that he will provide for this great need.  However, good Stewarts know that prayer is only one piece of the arsenal that God has given us to accomplish His will on this earth; God works through the hands and hearts of His people.

A couple donators have offered to match dollar for dollar up to $2,000 for donations that are received prior to next Wednesday November 4th.  This means that if you are able to donate $25, then it will become $50 towards the necessary goal. 

Donations are tax deductible, and as you all know me, I can attest that I have seen firsthand this money being used in service to God and the families and children of Haiti. 

For information on Donations, you can visit the His Home Website – http://www.hishomeforchildren.com/ – under the Donations link.  Donations can be sent through PayPal from that site, or you can send donations to the Lima OH address listed under the Contact Us page.  However, donations must be received by Nov 4th to take advantage of the generosity of the matching fund.

Above all please take a few moments in prayer, routine prayer, that God will continue to bless the work that Chris and Hal are doing to help the families and children of Haiti, and that His name will be honored in everything that they do.

Jediah Logiodice

(Jas 1:27)  Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

The thing that I detest

I think everyone has something that they absolutely detest; something they find ugly, dirty, disgusting and abhorrent.  For me – it’s door-to-door salesmen.  I mean; I have low respect for salesmen to begin with; they prey, they con, they connive, the lie, they deceive; but to do it in MY home, I will not tolerate it.

That being said; I am usually just a few steps away from being out-right rude to people that show up on my door step and want to sell me something, however, the other day, a young man, whom I have known since he was born, and who has been struggling to get a job for a long, long time, called me to tell me that he was going to start selling Areus air sanitizer equipment, and asked if he could come to my house and show it to me.

My response to him was that I wasn’t interested in the product, but I would be willing for him to show up and give me a demo so that he would get credit for it and have a little practice.  He didn’t give me an exact date and time, but said he would be calling.

On Thursday evening, he called, we were going to go out, but decided to stay around and let him come over and give his demo.  My wife had changed into her pajamas, and we were expecting him to show up around 8:00, like we agreed.

When he showed up on my doorstep though, he had brought some other salesmen with him.  Needless to say I was very angry – I wouldn’t let these sleazy people in my house to sell me something, ever.  Don’t get me wrong, as a person, I’m sure this guy is great, he probably has a family that he wants to support, he probably is a great father, a son, a friend, but I would have more respect for him as a professional if he was a crack dealer.  And here he was, standing at my door step, expecting to be let in.

I had to let him in, I already agreed to the demo; but I was quite cold, probably quite rude at that, and I calmly told this young man that I was going to have a talk with him after, because he knew that I stressed that I would never let anyone else in my house, he knew that I stressed that I was doing it only for HIS benefit, so he could practice, and yet, he failed to mention that he was going to be bringing a salesmen for the company with him.

So, this salesmen proceeded to (like most house-to-house salesmen) insult my intelligence, insult my home, insult my family, and just act like a regular all around prick.  He informed me that the central circulation system I paid to have designed and installed into my brand new home was broken and he wouldn’t live in my house breathing the air in my house, “but if I didn’t care about what we breath, then that’s up to me”.

In the end, I was ready to throw him out, and throw this young man out too, as he proceeded to tell me that this 2-bit salesmen obviously new more than I did about the quality of my home and air, and knew more about the health and safety of my family then I did, and he proceeded to tell me that he felt so sure that it was all true because someone else had already bought one (great for someone else!) [here is where I roll my eyes]. 

Incidentally, my wife ran a few tests in between the regurgitation of made up and slanted statistics, and our system made a 200 point difference on my entire house in about 10 minutes, and his system made a 500 point difference in a small 9×12 room in about a half an hour – clearly, my system is designed well for my entire home.  Additionally, he pointed out that he has seen houses that are 200 times ‘worse’ than mine, and my house was only a couple hundred points higher than outside, and yet he continued to proclaim that we were breathing in poisons that were going to KILL US – but that’s not the point; obviously these door-to-door salesmen hoc products that are cheap to make, and appear like great deals, but the audacity and priggish stupidity just amazes me.

And of course, the whole time he was running his mouth about how dangerous house hold air is; alls I kept thinking was that I wanted to send this guy to Haiti for just a few minutes.  How vain and stuck on himself, as he is running around and trying to get people to spend 500$-1500$ on these air purifiers because there is tons of ‘dust mites’ in the air in people’s homes, when there are places in the world where breathing the air is like smoking 4 packs of cigarettes a day.

I will not, ever, allow one of these people into my house again.

Driving in Haiti

 

On this rainy Saturday afternoon, I decided to blog something from our Haiti trip.  This is just a quick video snippet – not much here – but plenty more where this one came from. 

 

Like so many other things in Haiti, when you get in a vehicle it is obvious that you are putting your life in God’s hands.  No real speed limits; hardly any traffic signs, road signs; the only real law seems to be “honk before you hit someone or something, or it is your fault”. 

Driving in Haiti, you cram 2-3 times as many people in the vehicles as the vehicle was intended to hold; no seat belts of course; no emissions regulations either – so you’re breathing thick black air poisonous air, your hair and skin is covered in dust and powdery black substances (soot?) when you get to your destination.

The roads are very adventurous though; huge potholes, stream beds, etc. 

 

So… why could we only fit 25 people in a 14 seat van?  See below for the answer!

Maine – the way life should(nt) be…

So we drove into Portland last night, from Miami, and Haiti the day before (around 95 degrees and 90% humidity).  We were in shorts and t-Shirts, and we jumped out of the car to get a bite to eat. 

As we were sitting in the restaurant Donovan said to me:  “Papa, when we came back to Maine, there was a sign that said ‘Maine, the way life should be’; but let me tell you, Life shouldn’t be like this, unless you live in Antarctica!”.

Amanda and I couldn’t stop laughing….!