Category Archives: Uncategorized

HIS home for children

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Even though we’re back home in Chicago, I wanted to write about our experience at the orphanage where we spent our last two days. (on a side note, what a privilege it is to type on a computer and not an iphone!)

 

We were at a wonderful orphanage and creche (which means they also do adoptions) called HIS home for children.  They have babies, special needs children, toddlers, school kids and a transition home for girls ages 13-20.  This place was amazing.  It definitely rounded out our time there and we left this particular place with more answers than questions. You can check out their website for more detailed info on all that they do.

 

http://www.hishomeforchildren.com/

 

 

What impressed me most were the director’s answers to many of our questions and how she pointed to God’s sovereignty and goodness in providing for them.  We were in awe at her stories and testimonies of all that has happened there.  When asked, how?  Her answer was that it all started by stepping out in faith.  This was such an encouragement to me and I know to our entire team as we think about orphan care moving forward.  It will look differently for each of us, and even in different seasons of our lives.  But one thing was clear, we will defend the fatherless, and we will step out in faith to do it!

 

 

I also wanted to add an update for those who read my earlier posts on this trip and our boy Luke from Tuesday.  We are working with the resources here and through other contacts to see about transferring him from his current location to a safe place that will be able to care for him and meet his needs.  It was a great vision for our team to realize we can continue to defend these dear ones, even though we are back home, especially with the help of our new friends in Haiti, who have devoted their lives to caring for the orphan. While we were at HIS home, we also had the privilege of leading their chapel service.  Here are a few pics!

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little hands and feet

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Little hands and feet is the name of the orphanage we visited today. What a blessing .. in so many ways! This is a small orphanage that takes amazing care of 17 orphans, most of which are currently in the adoption process.

I think what encouraged me most was having the opportunity to hear the stories of the staff.

A young married couple and their 9 month old who have just relocated to Haiti from the US to care for orphans there in multifaceted ways. They have already begun medical clinics, partnering with this orphanage and are working on a retreat center for orphans.

Then there was the dear college student with an amazing testimony of how God literally saved her life by getting her attention through an HIV baby who is alive and well today. You can read her powerful story here.

In addition to American staff are dear Haitian women who love these babies! These kids way preferred their Haitian mamas to any one of us.

I was reminded as I heard their stories of God’s sovereign plan in all our lives. He fulfills His purpose for our good and His glory.

Here are some moments of our day I was able to capture on my phone.

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this is our Karis holding their Karis

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Our team leader, Emily

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Elizabeth working her artistic magic in the boys’ room

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this little guy was happiest if we didn’t look at him.. 😉 I wasn’t following his rules by snapping this pic

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I definitely took more from this place than I gave.

not pictured

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I did not take one picture today, with my camera. I did however have many images etched, and even burned in my mind.

Nothing could have prepared me for what I saw today.

We visited another orphanage today outside of Port au Prince. Pretty much everything good about yesterdays orphanage did not exist where we were today.

I’ll resist listing all the horrible realities I witnessed today. I will share one moment though. Well, it ended up being more than a moment, but a decision that was made in a moment.

Many of our team members were out on the ‘balcony’ playing with about 30+ kids, waiting for the remaining 40+ kids to be finished with their schooling for the day.

Looking into a ‘bedroom’, the doorway loosely covered with a hanging sheet, I see a naked 3 year old wandering about. No caregivers in sight, I take the opportunity to approach her. Big smiles.. I look around for diapers.. none. Ok, how about a dress? No luck. My eye catches a large pile of clothing on another ‘balcony’ out the other side of this room. Are these clean? Yep, I think so, and find something that’ll do.

Heading back into the room, my eyes glance right and lying flat, in a shaded corner, on a thin mat, is a little boy, unclothed, shaking in the corner.

Wait.. this cannot be. It is. I go grab a teammate, because emotionally I’m about to lose it and I need help with this one. We get him dressed and grabbed one of the older boys who speaks English to give us some answers.

This precious one cannot move his arms or legs, (or any part of his body) they are rigidly bent in position. He cannot hear or speak, but appears to respond visually. The older boy tells us this is where he stays. Not today! Today we will hold him. His name is Luke.

We took turns holding him till he fell asleep and then placed him on a new ‘clean’ mat indoors.

At our team meeting tonight there was much discussion about Luke. We plan to investigate getting him into another facility, that can care for him. We may get no where, but we will work every connection and resource we have here.

Bonjour

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Welcome to Haiti!

I so wish I could capture all the sights and sounds and smells. My attempts to do that here will be lame at best.

It feels like we’ve been here a week already. Perhaps that has something to do with the fact that of the over 48 hours that we’ve been gone, I’ve clearly been awake for over 40 of them.

This morning we rose much before the sun to travel to the church where we’d be worshipping and serving today, a World Orphans partner church. Don’t ask me the name, I couldn’t pronounce it or spell it correctly, so we’ll just leave it out.

Here’s a peek into the service from the side

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We arrived quite late, but when the services are over three hours, it’s not a big deal.

The singing was beautiful. And even though I don’t understand French, the heart felt worship was undeniable!

After church we visited several homes where orphans were living, something like foster homes as we no them here. (without DCFS of course). Getting to these homes was no simple task. We easily climbed over a mile up rocky terrain, around corners, up steep hill, through narrow passage ways, into home after home to meet these precious ones. These were indeed their homes, but many of us would hardly consider them a tent. A canvas ‘roof’ was the main feature and many of them housed upwards of 10-12 people.

A few photos here…

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This is steeper than it looks, don’t tell my pt.

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Back Online

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I’ve taken a long break from writing here … I’ve been busy with other things.

This weekend I travel to Haiti with our oldest daughter and a team of 15 from our church!  We’ll be there for one week.  I plan to write a bit each night and post here, updating those interested about our journey.

I’ve been enjoying the artist Audrey Assad as of late.

One of my favorite songs of hers is Known.

 

As the dew falls on the blade
You have touched all this fragile frame
And as a mother knows her baby’s face
You know me, You know me

As the summer air within my chest
I have breathed You deep down into my breast
And as You know the hairs upon my head
Every thought and every word I’ve said
Every thought and every word I’ve said

Savior, You have known me as I am
Healer, You have known me as I was
As I will be in the morning, in the evening
You have known me, yeah, You know me

Oh, and as the exhilaration of autumn’s bite
Oh, You have brought these tired bones to brilliant life
And as the swallow knows, she knows the sky
This is how it is with You and I
Oh, this is how it is with You and I

Savior, You have known me as I am
Healer, You have known me as I was
As I will be in the morning, in the evening
You have known me, yeah, You know me

From the fall of my heart to the resurrection of my soul
You know me, God, and You know my ways
In my rising and my sitting down
You see me as I am, oh, see me as I am

And as a lover knows his beloved’s heart
All the shapes and curves of her even in the dark
Oh, You have formed one in my inward parts
And You know me, You know me, yes

Savior, You, You have known me as I am
Oh, healer, You have known me as I was
As I will be in the morning, in the evening
You have known

You have known me, in the morning, in the evening
You’ve known me, God
In the morning, in the evening You have known me
Yeah, You’ve know me

You have always known me
You know me, God, You have known me
You have always known my heart

good mornings

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To begin the day with prayer is but a formality unless it go on in prayer, unless for the rest of it we pray in deed what we began in word.  one has said that while prayer is the day’s best beginning it must not be like the handsome title-page of a worthless book.

~P.T. Forsyth

Our pastor challenged us a few weeks ago not to waste our summer, but instead to make some changes in our lives … do something new … develop a new habit that we can carry on beyond the summer.

I had previously been thinking, even before this challenge came out, about using my summer to establish a new pattern of getting up early … not just to exercise, which I was doing here and there, but consistently to spend time in God’s word, even before my morning workout.

So, I’ve been doing it for a little over a week now … it has not always been easy, but it has always been good.  And I do believe that it will not only change my mornings this summer, but my days and my life as well … and for that I am excited!