Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Day 4 - April 3, 2010 - Saturday

Saturday: Day 4: April 3

This morning, Wensley was doing much better. Fever down. Smiling. Yay. I wish I could bring him home. This country can really break my heart into a million pieces. It does it every time.

Devotions this evening were led by the Wiebe's, the Canadian family, and were very inspiring to me. We sang a bunch of old hymns and then spent time focusing on the cross and remembering all Jesus did for us. This being the day before Easter, it was a perfect time to do just that! I'd done the morning devotion, which is a much shorter affair, and based it on my quiet time in Malachi the day before.

The team is going to Beauchamp orphanage and church tomorrow. It's about 27 miles I hear, but a 3 hour hot and bumpy truck ride. I guess I'll stay behind as Hannah is pretty sick with an upper respiratory something. Don't think she'd be up to a ride like that. I feel so sorry for her ~ can't believe she got sick on her 1st day here! Wish she'd get well soon.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Day 3 ~ April 2

Day 3: April 2, Friday

Woke up to multiple roosters crowing ~ I love that sound! It's a beautiful, beautiful day! Scattered clouds (more clouds than not), lush green, palm tree covered hills, cement or clay houses scattered on a hill ~ patches of blue peeking out from the clouds.

Read Malachi this morning. The Lord was quite angry with His people for basically totally blowing Him off. He said His name would be great among all the nations from one end of the globe to another, from the rising to the setting of the sun. But His people didn't want to bother to spread His word or do His work or eat His food. They wanted their OWN stuff, their OWN way. They thought serving Him was a burden and contemptible. They cheated Him with what they gave ~ instead of giving their best to God, they gave their leftovers, or what they couldn't use anyway, or what was broken or injured. They pretended it was their best, but it wasn't at all.

How often do I put you first these days, God? Many days I don't. Many times I don't give You any of my day at all. I think my agenda is so important, I fail to stop and look for Your agenda. I fail to put You first, the only place You belong.

"I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before Me." ~ Exodus 20:2b

I pray I'll seek His agenda at least while I'm here in Haiti and that I'll do His will, putting Him first.

We had our new group orientation with Melonnie, the group coordinator and heard all the mission rules and guidelines, etc. After breakfast, we went on a tour of the campus, saw the orphanage, Gran Mon (nursing home), Miriam Center (special needs orphanage), operating room, birthing center and maternity ward. Later, our luggage arrived and we unloaded all our supplies and distributed them where they belonged. The piles of "stuff" were a bit overwhelming, yet so gratifying to see! Toilet paper pile over here, diaper pile over there, Easter candy against that wall, banquet night dinner food on this table, medicines on this stack, baby formula, clothing, etc. etc. etc. Wow, 40 people times 2 large suitcases each = a lot of stuff! Amazing to think this much stuff comes in week in and week out, all year long, and really hardly makes a dent! Well, I hope it makes a dent, but the intense need never goes away. Like trying to fill a hole the size of Texas with a kids' beach sand shovel. Definitely would take a lot of time.

After lunch, we took a walk around the village, and were gone about 2 hours. Saw many, many homes built about 30 feet from the ocean. Trash, mountains of it, everywhere ~ with random pigs, goats and chickens eating stuff in the trash. Pretty spartan situation, yet all the children and adults we met while there seemed so carefree and happy.

In the evening, I visited the orphanage again and saw Wensley. He was burning up with fever! The nurses seem to be very good over here ~ they hadn't yet realized he was sick, but that's normal, as they have lots of kids to be caring for, and his fever/illness came on rather suddenly. He was fine just a few hours ago! They sponged him down a lot and gave him tylenol. I laid down with him and rubbed his forehead. The poor little guy. He finally fell asleep and I snuck back to my dorm. How I wish I could really take care of him.

Day 2 ~ April 1

Arrived at Port Au Prince airport, shuttled in truck to a smaller airport to fly Tortuga Airlines to St. Luis du Norde. Haven't seen any of the problems from earthquake yet. Not too hot, but getting hotter all the time. Gave all but Sam Dramamine in anticipation of a bumpy flight on that little plane! Ruth is very tired ~ wish I could help her. Boarding soon.



Rode a little 19 seater airplane and it was actually quite nice. I was expecting it to be bumpy and hot, but it wasn't at all. What a treat to look out and get such a beautiful view of the mountains and ocean. Hard to wrap my mind around the concept that this same land of unspeakable beauty is also a land of incomprehensible suffering.

What a bizarre ride out to NWHCM! We rode in the back of a small Toyota truck - in US, would consider 6 people back there maxed out, we had at least 11 people, plus tons of luggage. Then, we drove fast and crazy (at least it felt fast), 3rd world style, through deep mud puddles, past pigs in the road, very skinny dogs and garbage and chickens and roosters and baby chicks, a goat or two, many people riding donkeys and ladies balancing tons of stuff on their heads.

After at least a 2 hour drive - so bumpy it felt like the insides of my head were knocking together - we arrived at NWHCM. We drove through a large, black gate with the NWHCM written on the outside, and entered into a huge compound. This place amazes me ~ a clinic, birthing center, schools, a baby orphanage, a special needs orphanage, a nursing home and who knows what else. Short termers sleep in either the girls or guys dorms, each containing about 50 cots, or they can sleep on the roof in tents or just under the stars. The compound sports a large water tower, and has its own water purification system, so all water on campus is good for drinking. Two large, camp style bathrooms provide quite clean showers, sinks and toilets. We eat in a large common area with about 15 picnic tables and space for hanging out and visiting with one another. Meals are served in a buffet style, and there is even a little "snack bar", open in the afternoons, where we can buy popcorn, cokes, chips, candy bars and other luxuries.

We all need to go to sleep soon ~ I'm exhausted from the traveling and know the girls are, too. Wonder what tomorrow will bring.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Day 1 of our first family trip to Haiti

So, it's been a long, long while since I've posted anything to this blog. Then again, the blog is supposed to be about our times in Haiti, and we hadn't been to Haiti since '07 ~ so I guess that explains the long silence!

The entire family got to go to Northwest Haiti March 31 - April 12. What a trip. Internet was quite limited for our time there, so I kept a paper journal. [Paper is that smooth, cotton stuff that comes in sheets. Normally, people use those little rounded sticks with points at the end to make markings on the paper. These markings can be read, just like typing on a computer screen. It's all rather amazing, I know.] The following posts will be transcriptions from that journal.




March 31 - Wednesday

We made it to the airport in plenty of time, even though we left a whole hour after we'd planned. The dogs went to the Kubica's house ~ they're living in the lap of luxury there! It's so nice to know they'll be well cared for while we're gone. The Platts are taking care of the cats and taking the dogs for walks each day. So glad that's all taken care of!

When loading our bags into the truck, Tim realized we had [er, that means I had] somehow packed two more bags than allowed by the airline. I have no idea how that happened, except perhaps I was just groggier than we realized last night. Quick like a bunny, I had to quickly unload two bags worth of stuff ~ yikes! Trying to decide which donated items were most important (it was ALL good stuff and ALL could have been used) was sort of gut wrenching. Still, unpacking was definitely easier than packing, and I had it done in a jiffy.

I'm excited again to be going now, but was really doubting this whole trip all day yesterday. I was trying to finish packing ~ had been packing for 4 days straight ~ and totally losing all perspective. I was pretty much freaking out and being so grumpy with everybody unlucky enough to cross my path! It was one of those days, I'm sure, when Tim wondered who this woman was to whom he was married.

Monday night at Boy Scouts, Stephen badly sprained his ankle. It was hugely swollen - HUGE - people heard about it and tons of folks started praying for him. By Tuesday afternoon it was getting better, much to my surprise. This morning he woke up and didn't even remember that he'd sprained it at first. He came walking down the hall to the kitchen and we all asked, "How's your ankle?"

"My ankle? Huh?......(*long pause*) Oh yeah! My ankle! Wow, it's all better! Cool! It doesn't hurt at all. Guess I don't need to take those crutches to Haiti after all."

On the plane, just a minute ago, I asked Stephen, "So, does your ankle really feel better?"

"Yeah, mom, it really does. Pretty amazing, huh?"

Yep, I'd say that's pretty amazing. But God is just cool like that. Somehow, this whole ankle deal reassures me of all my doubts about the trip being a mistake. I can't believe just 12 hours ago I was so full of doubts and questions ~ now that we're on the plane, I can't imagine NOT going - I'm so excited for the younger 3 to see Haiti for the first time, and to see what God will do with our time there, and to see how much He loves the people there, and how sweet they are. I can hardly wait to get there. Thank you, Father, for getting me through my Sea of Doubt and getting us all on our way!