Thursday, December 30, 2010

Help Us Help the Children

It is so amazing to see God's hand at work, and the possibilities excite me greatly. Everyone who has heard anything at all about our November trip to Haiti knows that we came back with a burning desire to go back and help as many as we can.

Since our return, even more people have been placed in our path. People who love the children who are now orphans because of the Jan. 2010 earthquake. People who are willing to sacrifice and do whatever they can to be sure the children are taken care of. To hear the stories is amazing and heartbreaking at the same time.

We have been put in an amazing position to help at yet another orphanage whose needs are great. These 24 children (most from Cite Soleil, slum in Port au Prince) lost their parents in the earthquake - many witnessed their parents and/or siblings perish before their eyes. Right now they live a building that was recently flooded. The children were knee deep in water. At the current time, they are able to have two meals per day which consists of rice and beans and noodles. There is no fruit. No meat. No vegetables.

Imagine, if you will, day after day of rice, beans, and noodles. Look past the obvious that it is bland and dull. Look to the nutrition that is lacking in these precious children's bodies. Ask yourself how you can help. WILL you help? A summary of our current projects is at the bottom of this page.

Paul and I plan to get on the ground as soon as possible to help these children, as well as the beautful children at Children of Hope Orphanage and Hospice in Thomazeau, who captured our hearts in November. We pray that we are able to get back in January - and we need your help in order to do so.

There is so much to be done in Haiti, and these children are beautiful and full of love. They need to know they are loved, and they need to be fed physically as well as spiritually. We need to get healthy food in the bodies of these children.

Please help us help these children. All funds go directly towards meeting the nutritional and medical needs at the orphanages - NOT into some void where you wonder where your money went.

If you have to give up your daily coffee drink for a month, or eating out with the family once per week, please consider doing so. Your generosity will make a huge difference in the life of an innocent child.

Please click the "DONATE" button on this blog to make a donation, and please share this blog with your friends who could also help this mission be a success.


Thomazeau Water Mission - restore public water supply to approx. 20,000 residents, including the Children of Hope Orphanage and Hospice.

IV4Haiti - purchase and transport IV fluids to cholera victims in Haiti.

HaitianHelpingHaitian - provide healthy meals, hygeine and medical needs, and staff  for 24 orphaned children in Aquin, Haiti.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Meeting Calvin - coincidence or divine appointment?

I have always said that nothing happens by chance, and this morning was yet another example of our God at work. We were sceduled to be in Jackson for the Northridge Church Christmas service at 11:00. We planned to leave earlier than we did, but as usual, we were running behind...

On the way to Jackson on our nice country road, in the distance we saw a broken down truck and what appeared to be someone on crutches limping along towards Stronghope. We see 4 or 5 cars pass by, and as we get closer we see that it is indeed an older black gentleman hobbling along on crutches, trying to carry a gallon jug as he grips his crutches...

As we pull up to him, Paul says, "Honey, we are going to be late to church this morning." It turns out that the gentleman's name is Calvin, and he has indeed run out of gas on his way to church. He was heading a couple miles up the road to Stronghope store to get gas, only they do not open til after church on Sunday...So we load Calvin and his crutches in the backseat and proceed to drive to Hazlehurst to get him some gas....Funny thing is that we too were hoping to not run out of gas on our way to church, had said just that very thing, and here we come upon a man who has done just that...Coincidence? I think not!

We learned that Calvin had just gotten out of the hospital Monday, after having been there roughly a month. He started out getting an abcess taken care of, and when they went to cauterize it, they found cancer in his leg! What a blessing for him that it was discovered. The bigger blessing it seems is that Calvin had been really missing church while in the hospital, and was really desiring to go and give back to God after God had been so good to him through all this process. He NEEDED to be in church this morning, and thought he had enough gas to get him to Hazlehurst so he could get to worship. When he ran out, he thought Satan had won in keeping him away. Add to this that he had left his cell phone in his pocket  last night, and his wife had washed it, so he had no way to call for help.

Calvin kept expressing what a blessing it was that we stopped, meanwhile we are thinking what a blessing it was for us to meet Calvin and hear his life story of growing up in the projects of New Orleans, one of 10 children that his mother raised on her own while juggling several jobs. What a testimony of hope and faith and grace he shared with us this morning. We talked about God's goodness and faithfulness in the midst of our trials, of how we must be still and know that He is God, and how much smoother our lives would be if we actually LET God be in control of our lives, rather than trying to control them ourselves.

Yes, we were 30 minutes late for a very awesome worship service, but oh the blessing we received seeing the hand of God in motion by simply allowing Calvin to run out of gas on the backroads. Had we been on time getting out of the house this morning, we never would have met Calvin, and I dare say that our day would not have been the same.

Calvin said it best when he said, "Little did I know that I was going to have church before I even went to church!" Amen Calvin! :-)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Missing and praying for Haiti

So it has been less than a month since we returned from our first trip to Haiti. I find that as the days go by, I miss Haiti more and more - not less and less. I continue to think about and pray for the faces I saw on the streets, the children at CHOH, and of course little Marie.

The people there have been through so much, yet they are so strong. I wonder just how much they can take. First the devastating earthquake in Jan., then the beginnings of the cholera outbreak while we were there in Nov., the total craziness and continuing choas from the elections in early Dec., and now predictions that over 650,000 Haitians will be affected by cholera.

As the people of Haiti currently suffer and pray for relief, most Americans are preparing for Christmas. What that involves varies from person to person and from family to family, but it usually means tons of money is spent buying lots of material items for people who already have more than they need....It also means preparing lavish meals and seeing just how much food can be consumed....afterall - most of us ARE in danger of not having another meal anytime soon - so we best pack it in while we can.

I am having a serious struggle with this right now. I know that we are a giving people, but it seems we give as long as we can remain comfortable. As long as it does not interfere with us getting our stuff. Nevermind that children are dying of thirst and hunger and cholera just a short 3 hr. flight from here... Keep in mind that there are no social programs for families in Haiti. There is no unemployment to draw. No medicaid for the kid's medical care. There is only the love of strangers who are willing to sacrifice their time and their resources in order to save them.

Another thing I am struggling with is what happens when people stop us to ask about our trip. Funny when we start to tell them about it, many don't really want to hear about it at all. It feels like sometimes they ask out of a polite obligation, because when we start to tell them of all we saw, and how we are raising money and working with missionary pilots to get cases of IV fluids down to the cholera victims who are DYING from dehydration. They seem to glaze over and walk away muttering something we can't quite understand.

At first I was taken aback a little, but I have decided not to take any offense at this. I chuckle sadly, because this seems to be the norm these days. People just don't quite seem to "get it." Even within the church, there are those who will never understand what motivates us to action.  I think it goes to the very basic call to "love your neigbor as yourself," and as John Piper explains it, "Love your neighbor as yourself" is not a command to love yourself. It is a command to take your natural, already existing love of self and make it the measuring rod of your love for others. There is not a harder command in the Bible than this one. It means: Want to feed the hungry as much as you want to feed yourself when you get hungry...Care about what happens to others as much as you care about what happens to yourself."

This is the only explanation I know of how and why our hearts have been called to a people who are in desperate need of the light and love of Christ if they are to live.

"A heart which is acceptable to God is not one which depends on its works - but rather one which trusts so fully in God's grace that the result is a life of love." John Piper