Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Our kids

As Bud shared we are now working with an orphanage and I can see how all of our skills and our connections here in Haiti is part of the plan for this.  I have to admit it is overwelming and the needs and the work it is going to take to get this orphanage on its feet is zapping our strength and finanaces but We feel this is God's plan for us here.
We had planned to work with an orphanage but God closed that door and opened this one.  We were not working for another orphanage to work with.  God showed this work to us in a way that only He could.  The flood caused a wall to fall down between us and them and that is how we found them. There are 17 children presently in the house.and they range from 2-12.  We also have a baby with us who was brought into the clinic.  The family was looking for someone to care for the child because the father had died and the mother is suffering from mental illness. Sammy is a year old but has the body and abilities of a new born.  He weighs 8lbs and was in such bad shape he had forgotten how to eat.  After us having him for 2 weeks he is growing and alert and eating well.  He started smiling and laughing a few days ago.  Tonight he is cranky because he got a shot today.
Please pray for another child we took in today.  While we were at the clinic today a 6 year old came in. He had fallen and injured his neck and is now paralysed on his left side.  Because he is related to someone who helps with the orphanage we took him in. His mom is not able to care for him.  Unless he gets help in the states he will never get better.
Let me share with you some of the challenges we face.  It takes between $800 and $1000 a month to feed these kids and the orphanage has been operating on donations.  The donations have dropped so much that the children are all suffering from malnutrition. Bud and I right now are buying the food but our support is not sufficient to continue to do this.  We are going to try to find people who will sponsor the kids so we can give them a full healthy diet. We also need beds.  Some of the kids are on mattresses and some on the floor. We are praying for God's leading in all this.  If you would like to work with us on in this ministry please contact us.  Any amount a month would help.

  Please forgive me for any errors in this because the baby wants me and I want to get this posted. Thank you for your prayers.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Another Busy Week

Finally on Sunday the sun returned and started a week of Cap-Haitien digging out, cleaning up and trying to return to life before the approx. 18 inches of rain that fell in 24 hrs and  two additional days of soaking rain.
The torrent down the mountain causing flooding, houses to collapse and wash away many people.

Monday I spent the day with Les Babcock and Ernie Peters out at the new Empower Global compound staring to drill a new well. The ground was so wet that we had water at 12". It sounds good but really slowed the process the first day.

Tuesday was off to the airport for MFI, while unloading the plane I received a phone call from Jane that she had taken two of the girls from the orphanage next door to the Clinic for check-ups because of their obvious signs of malnutrition. While at the clinic Catlee a friend of ours asked Jane if she could help with the care of a baby boy that was was being seen at the clinic and was nutritionally in very bad shape. Jane accepted along with the help of the orphanage and asked that I pick up some formula on my way home from the airport. Well when I got home we received "Sammy" supposedly 1 yr old weighing 8 lbs. "Blondie", supposedly 6 yrs old weighing 23 lbs and her older sister "Judelene" 8 yrs old weighing 46 lbs.
Blondie is a direct copy of the photos of children from Bangladesh, thin legs & arms and the large belly.
Her little body is being ravaged by intestinal parasites consuming 70% of what she eats.
Her older sister is thin but in much better shape. She is very good at taking her medication whereas Blondie won't take anything. We continue to try to mix meds in with her food but she has a keen nose and tongue and has caught us a few times.
Sammy has finally learned to accept formula from a syringe but still won't have anything to do with a bottle.
He is getting started much the same as a new born wanting to be fed and held constantly, we are trying to get him on a schedule of every three hours and sitting by himself. We are trying to get him up to 2oz of formula and Wed. evening we celebrated a dirty diaper knowing that his little system is finally passing food as it should.

Wed. Jane & I spent the morning gathering information and needed baby items from fellow missionaries.

Thursday Jane once again spent all day at the clinic with Blondie & Sammy along with four other children from the orphanage for health work-ups. Judelene returned to the orphanage for the day while I worked at the airport.

Friday, I spent the day baby sitting the girls and washing children's laundry while Jane took baby Sammy  to English classes in "Cap" all day.

Today the gang is "up" & going, after breakfast I watched the kids while Jane started the first neighborhood Bible study. Sammy is getting a hair trim. Blondie is camped out with me in the recliner helping me with a few unwanted key strokes. Judelene is all dressed up and ready to go. She is a great helper and helps translate what her little sister is trying to say. All of this has been stretching my limited Creole. Everyone says if you want to learn, talk with kids. We are also learning once again how to function without sleep with a "newborn".

Hopefully by Monday things will settle, God continues to stretch us each day as we strive to be His hands & feet to everyone He puts in our path.


Saturday, November 10, 2012

How much can happen in 10 days?

It seems hard to believe it has been 10 days since I last blogged.  Our days have been filled with so many things.  A few days ago I had a meeting with the director of an organization asking permission to visit the children in prison. 

Yes children. Age 14 and up are placed in the local prison because there is no place else to put these kids.  I was asking this agency because they are the child advocates under the Haiti government and you need their permission to see the kids.

 I met these people because one of their caseworkers is in my English Class.  Now because of this meeting two more have joined.

The meeting went well and I have been given permission to visit after I write up a plan explaining exactly what I plan to do.  I made it clear that I would be reading the Bible with the kids and talking about God and his plan for them.  They did not object to this.  We also talked about what it would take or the kind of place it would take to find a better place to put these kids.  These discussions will continue.  Pastor Jean Alix will be a part of all of this and I depend on his advise in all of this.

During the meeting the officer who picks up kids on the street for this agency walked in with a 10 year old girl.  She had gone to the police station and told them she was lost and could not find her family.  Later we found out she was a runaway because of abuse.

 The police officer shared with me how difficult it is here in Haiti when they have emergency situations and need to place kids somewhere for a day or two while an investigation is done and find permanent housing for the kids.  This little girl had been riding around in the car all day with the officer because he could not find a place that could accept her. 

Well you know me, and Bud was not surprised either when I called and told him we would be having a house guest for a few days.

It turned out the little girl had been abused and permanent placement would have to be found.  Bud and I know we cannot take a child on a permanent bases because we will eventually go home and that would leave the child behind.  Adoption is so difficult here.  The agency continued to search and found that the child's real father lived in Port and the two were reunited.  Bud and I have offered to be available again if an emergency home is needed.

That afternoon the rain began to fall. It started at 4:30 and heavy thunderstorms filled the entire night. By the next morning 12 inches of rain had fallen.  Bud and I awoke to a yard full of sand and gravel that had flowed down the mountain.  It took out the fence around our yard and downed a small tree.  We had a ditch in our yard but it is no longer there.  Our yard was 8 inches deep in mud. After digging out our chickens we walked down to assess other areas.  The water had continued down from us and took out part of the wall down by the road.

The village on the side of us lost the road to their homes.  The boulders and rocks that were brought down from the mountain fortunately did not damage the homes but the creators the water left made it impossible for the people to get their cars out of their yards.  The taxi driver who takes me to work is one of those people and until some large equipment comes to fix the road he is out of business.  This is his families livelihood.
One of my students stopped by to see if we were okay and 10 children died in his neighborhood.  The water came and was moving so fast it swept the kids away. They were found dead.  One home collapsed and killed a mother and 5 kids.  It was his neighbor.  His home is flooded and he cannot return yet.

I walked around my neighborhood seeing what I could do.  I heard a man call out to me in English so I turned to see a porch full of kids watching me.  The house is just down from mine. I had noticed it but did not notice who lived there.  The wall which was now washed away had covered my view. 
He explained to me that he had 21 kids living in the house.  Orphans that he can brought off the street.  He had been taking care of them for a while now.  He works and supports the kids with food. Another individual pays the rent but it seems that may not be possible after June because the friend lost his job.  He did not ask for money.  He asked me if I would have some time to visit the kids.  He had heard were living there.

 I found a way through the mud and water to the house and there were some of the most excited kids I had seen in a long time.  Company!  he told me they do not get to go many places except to school.  The house was clean and well organized.  The boys and girls slept in different rooms.  They had mattresses for most of the kids but some were sleeping on the concrete flood.  They also had bed nets.  The children sat smiling at me around the table which was covered with a lace table cloth and bug covers for the food to keep the flies out.  The children wanted to sing for me.

 I asked Joseph if the kids had enough to eat because some were so thin and one little girl looked ill. He explained yes the children eat each day.  Other people would help him by bringing food in because his pay is not enough.  Lately thou the price of food is so high that the donations have been mostly corn.  He makes sure they eat in the morning before school and at night.  Sometimes the portions are small because the food has to be stretched. The little girl who looked ill was new and he had not had money to take her to a doctor.  (I will have my friend Prudence Check her out).

 I asked if I could come and read Bible stories to them and do activities with them. The kids were so excited.

 One woman cares for the kids full time and another helps when she can.  I plan to return and help with some of the laundry.  He says there is not much because the kids only have one or two outfits to wear other than school uniforms.  I did see there were sheets on the beds as well. Not sure what roll God wants me to play here but I know when I go home I will be looking for some clothes for these kids.

After I left the house I shared with the man that a friend of mine and I wanted to start a English Bible Club for the kids in the neighborhood and we were looking for a place to have it.  He told me that we would have to find a big house and someone who would let us do it there like the one across the street.  He told me the man was home could we go see him.  I was not sure what I would say, but as we approached the owner came out hold a piece of paper in his hand.  He called to me.  Teacher Jane I saw you walking by. You need to sign my certificate.  Here he was one of my students last year in English.  God provides.  He is now going to help us find a place.  His is not possible but there are lots of empty homes there and he knows the owners.

Today once again I went out to visit my neighbors.  This time to pray for them and give some rice to some of the ones I know were hit really hard.  Guslin and I stopped by the orphanage too and dropped some rice.

One home I stopped by had 4 little kids, one being a new born.  I asked if I could pray with her and she asked if I would pray for her husband as well.  He is in prison. Then she told me he is in prison for armed robbery of a local missionary who happens to be who Bud works with.  I prayed for them all.  She is married to a very dangerous man but I wanted her to know Jesus loves her.

It is so hard to have so little to give these people when they are going through such terrible times.  I wish I had tarps to cover the holes in their roofs and so much more.  One home all their belongs were laying outside in the mud.  The rain had brought down part of their roof and everything was muddy and wet.  She told me when the sun comes she will try to wash everything but had no Fab.  Praise the Lord that I did have and some rice for a hot supper.  We are so limited yet we have the love of Jesus to share. These kind of days we can only do what God puts before us to do.

Tomorrow we will not be able to go to the church I help in because the roads are covered with mud and the Pastor said it was better not to try so we will visit another.  I will miss the kids but I am glad the other ladies will be there.

It is starting to rain hard again and my sister and brothers are wet and cold.  It breaks my heart.