In Haiti, a little girl died today, it happens every day, all around the world, and it leaves a feeling of sadness and emptiness and hurt, and pain, and often even anger. Why should children die, why should anyone die? This isn’t the way God began his creation, so why?
Rom 8:20-21 NIV
(20) For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope
(21) that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
But Jesus overcame death, and with His final triumph on the cross that began with a journey some 2000 years ago, with the incarnation of our God, comes the hope of victory.
1Co 15:55-57 NIV
(55) "Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?"
(56) The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
(57) But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
So let my weeping heart be comforted, let me find rejoicing in the Lord, let me celebrate his great love, celebrate his birth.
For while this little girl has been separated from God’s creation, from her body, from those who love her, yet only for a little while, and with Jesus, she now has the hope and expectation that she shall come again to be reunited to all the things she was intended to enjoy from the beginning of creation.
The day in which she returns in the company of her Lord, she will be made new – all things will be made new, and this was all made possible by the gift from God that we celebrate every December 25th.
Isn’t that the greatest Christmas gift of all… Thank you Lord Jesus!
“Today was her second birthday, so I am sure that she is celebrating that as well! Just so you know, Schella’s real name is also Gaelle, and Baby Gaelle was her assigned little sister. Schella loved her SO much and spent a lot of her time rocking her on the balcony, helping her eat, and spoiling her. Baby Gaelle loved her! Baby Gaelle woke me up at 2AM, and I sat up with her. As sick as she was, I couldn’t understand why she would not give up, until Schella came up to say goodbye this morning. With Schella stroking her hands and tears running down Schella’s cheeks, Baby Gaelle finally was ready to go. What a touching scene! Such compassion and love! Please be praying for Schella, as she will miss Gaelle…
Gaelle went to Heaven to spend CHRISTmas with Jesus this morning around 7 A.M.”
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!
Here is an example of what Haiti is up against in the 2010 elections.
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.
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.
(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.
Too tired to say much else; exhausted and excited all at the same time…
Sometimes it seems (more often than not) it seems like all the time & money & energy is for nothing… We have consistently gone over and beyond getting every single piece of the process done that we had control over as soon as possible; finding the best lawyer there was to offer, making trip after trip out of state, for single pieces of paper, throwing every resource that God has given to us into the battle for our children’s lives & safety…
When I sit back and think about it, I’m really depressed thinking about how I haven’t spent more than a day or so with my family here in Maine on vacation since we started our adoption… every time I take vacation it’s to run to another state to do paperwork, or fly to Haiti… I keep telling myself (because I know it’s true) that when the children come home, it’ll all be worth it.
But we’re going on 9 months into the process… and we’ve been done what we needed to get done (except a couple small papers) since month 3… and I just found out today that there is a possibility that my upcoming trip to Haiti has a high probability of accomplishing nothing (even though it is taking my final full week of vacation I have available, and going to cost a large sum of money, I don’t technically have).
Sometimes it seems like the harder we try the more that gets put in our way… I can say that so far God has overcome all of our obstacles… and the simple little faith that I have tells me He will continue to do so; for His glory… but why am I still having such a hard time letting go and giving it to Him.
Today i stepped in a tar-pit and I’m sinking fast…
I’ve been procrastinating… I finally did it… I purchased my ticket’s to Haiti… a whole week all by myself in a country far, far from home. And who says I’m not adventurous… and nervous…
Ok: I’m not much of a sappy tell the world about my problems kind of blogger… but hey, every once in a while might not be that bad…
Sadness crept in unexpected and somewhat overwhelming when I realized yesterday that this coming week is the family visit as H.I.S. Home for Children.
So far this year, we have gone on every visit (Feb. and May) – but it just wasn’t financially feasible to make the international trip again in August. I’m going to have to go back down sometime soon for paperwork; the plane trip is usually only about 400-500$ a person; but then there is the cost of staying in a hotel for a week and a half – and eating out for a week and a half… overall our trips have been averaging about $3500.
You’d think that hotels and food in a third world country would be cheaper – but they aren’t… that’s wicked sad when you think about it – because the average income for the small percentage of people (and we’re talking like %50) that actually have jobs is like $5 a day, and for us to eat in Haiti at it’s cheapest was probably $25 dollars a day per person, of course, we were eating like American’s not like Haitians.
The sadness comes from the realization of how long it’s been since we have held our children; and the sadness is mixed with loving jealousy of the other families that are going to get to spend a week and a half with their children.
So far this year; the time has flown by so fast; it’s hard to believe that it’s been over 8 months since we’ve started our adoption process; but it’s been over three months since we have gotten to see our children in person; and it’s heartbreaking.