Sunday, March 28, 2010

Grunting and gasping for air...

I realize it's been awhile since we posted. As I sit here typing there is a small Haitian princess currently in the ending stages of processing last nights dinner under my chair....oh yes, that is where the time has gone- a blur of diapers and doctors appointments and laundry....and tremendous blessings.
The girls hit the nursery at church for the first time this morning- Gracie lasted 5 minutes, Daphna did a little better. We are feeling pretty good about the bonding thing if we can't leave them for more than a couple minutes. Gracie heads for her third set of casts tomorrow- approximately 6 weeks until surgery for her feet. The specialists are conferring on her hips, and seem somewhat unsure as to what to do with them right now. Having grown apart for 18 months they are a little unsure if everything will ever fit right. We know God has held this little one in His hand for her whole life thus far- so we aren't so worried about this, His plan is best for her.
A significant praise to pass along- the HIS HOME 300 MICHIGAN ROUTE is set. All of our churches and business partners from Rockford to Harrod are lined up and ready to go- 21 different organizations who are joining together to support us as we raise much needed funds for HIS Home. Follow the link to the 300 blog page for information. We are capping the ride at 25, so sign up soon if you want to join us!
Today is my Samuel's 11th birthday. We are feeling blessed to have a son who has such a good and tender heart. He has become a friend and hero to his two newest sisters. Happy Birthday Sam!

Monday, March 15, 2010

March newsletter from HIS Home

Newsletter for March, 2010

Jan 12, 2010: Many thought it was the end of time. Many thought that the Lord was coming. Many thought that they were witnessing hell on earth. A day no one in Haiti will ever forget!

O God, thou hast cast us off, thou has scattered us, thou hast been displeased; O turn thyself to us again. Thou hast made the earth to tremble; thou hast broken it: heal the breaches thereof; for it shaketh. Thou hast shewed thy people hard things… Psalm 60: 1-3a

Feb. 12, 2010: A country called to put aside everything for 3 days of prayer and fasting. Carnival cancelled. Satanic worship and voodou drums silenced. The Prime Minister of Haiti declared his testimony of accepting Jesus Christ as his personal Savior on national television. A country called to turn to God Almighty… 3 days no one in Haiti will ever forget!
< BR>If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

In the years of living in Haiti, the question I have been asked the most is: “Is there any hope for Haiti?” My response has always been to quote 2 Chronicles 7:14. God clearly gave the conditions to be met for any country in need of healing. We see rebellious people practicing sin in every country, not just Haiti. However, God will not be mocked. Just as a parent will warn a disobedient child that he loves, there comes a time when the child must face consequences for misbehavior. We accept this in the family structure as a way of teaching our children appropriate behavior. We accept this in the schools when a child doesn’t conform to established rules, or in the w! or kplace when an employee is not meeting expectations. Is Haiti being punished or is Haiti just suffering the effects of a natural disaster? Each of us has an opinion, however, the important thing to focus on is not what we think, but what God is doing. He is using this time in Haiti to wake up a country that has been deceived by the spiritual enemy. Lives are being changed because of the earthquake. As financial resources are being poured into Haiti, we pray that Christians everywhere will not only be praying for the physical needs in this country, but more importantly, that those lives being touched will find spiritual cleansing and healing.
It seems that much of our conversation is now identified as BTE, DTE, and STE. Before the earthquake, during the earthquake, and since the earthquake. Details of DTE will fade as time passes, but I will share a few things that have been significant to us in the past several weeks.

Imm! ed iately BTE, 39 of our toddlers were eating at tables on our back patio. They had just completed their food and moved to the far end of the table to line up for their water when the quake caused the side wall surrounding the compound to fall. The top 8 foot section of a 16 foot concrete wall fell over the table where the children had been sitting minutes before. Not a child was touched. Visitors helped evacuate special needs children from the third floor. 122 children were safe! Over the next few days with continuing tremors, it became necessary to move the children from the compound because of the risk of the house collapsing. Safety was found in the church yard, and having a ‘church home’ took on a new meaning. Babies and children were put to sleep on mattresses scattered under the stars. During one particularly cold and damp night, as I wandered through the maze of children trying to stay warm, in desperation I cried out to God for wisdom in caring for the c! hi ldren. Many were developing coughs and beginning to suffer dehydration from diarrhea from unstable water conditions. I had run out of dry blankets, and I had run out of ideas of what to do. As I prayed, God spoke to my heart and clearly said, “Take them home!” I was confused, knowing that we had no where to go. Again, God repeated the message. I spent a sleepless night, pondering where God was leading. In the morning, I discussed this with Hal and 2 pastors and we all agreed to begin praying that God would show us the way to accomplish His will. Over the next week, I spent 6 days at the US Embassy processing paperwork. Four of those days were with groups of 22-56 children. We lived at the Embassy for part of that time, and waited.

Embassy staff cared for us by supplying food, formula, diapers, and treating our sick babies in their infirmary. US military soldiers held and comforted our babies, adopting parents who had come to bring emergency suppl! ie s for us helped, and our staff continued caring for those children in the camp. Plans were made for an evacuation flight for Jan. 25, but as documents at the Embassy were being finalized on the night of the 24th, we were advised to leave Haiti immediately with the children because new laws requiring more paperwork would prohibit our exit in the morning. More prayers, and 57 babies and children in the camp were whisked into a truck, and the children still at the Embassy were loaded into an Embassy bus. There was no time to gather anything. By the early morning hours, 70 children were relocated to the US and within 2 days, 8 more went to Canada on Humanitarian Parole. These children will complete their adoptions while living with their adoptive parents Truly a miracle compared to the crossing of the Red sea! Just as God moved the Isrealites, He moved these Haitian children. The story doesn’t end there. More adoptive children are still being released and find! in g their new parents waiting for them at the end of the air flights. It would take a book to share all of the details, but the important thing is that God receive Glory for the miracles that we have witnessed!!!

Now what? What comes next? We currently have 43 children at HIS Home, and are trying to get several of those medical children to the US for ongoing care. Additional adoption children will soon be released to join their families in the US, and we are preparing HIS Home for approximately 100 new children who will make HIS Home their home. These are children who have been orphaned as a result of the earthquake. The social service system has already visited to check on availability of beds for children who will need care. Our houses have been declared safe by structural engineers, and teams are arriving to repair the wall and cosmetic damage to the houses. We have teams coming to provide medical care for new children, and expect to begin accepting children ! ve ry soon. Please continue to pray for Haiti, and particularly HIS children .

Hal and Chris would like to thank each and every one who has prayed for safety for the children, as well as ourselves. A special thanks to everyone who has supported the ministry financially, enabling us to continue caring for the children, while preparing to care for the new children who will be joining us soon. We would also like to extend a very special thanks to the folks at HIS HOUSE Children’s Home in Miami who welcomed all of our evacuees and cared for us during in-processing to the United States.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Jedi Knight or Darth Daphna?

Apparently peas and carrots belong to the "Dark Side"
May the force be with us.....

Gracie's first casts

Here they are, the first of many sets of casts for Gracie. She is sporting an attractive full length hard plaster cast on each foot. They even glow in the dark! She has really not seemed bothered by them at all, which is a huge blessing. They add about 10 pounds to her, so I think it is harder on us carrying her around. It sounds like new casts every two weeks then surgery once everything is pointing in the right direction.
By the way- the grumpy look on Daphna's face? The two year old "I will not eat my vegetables" battle has begun. She is not impressed.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Monday, March 1, 2010

Wall Street Journal pics

Here are some pictures from HIS Home that made it to the Wall Street Journal. Feel free to ignore the headlines, apparently the Wall Street Journal sides with UNICEF that the poor orphan kids should stay where they "belong". Follow the link to the right. We also received the video of the kids coming out of the Miami airport- most being carried by Red Cross workers- watch for Gracie- she is being carried by a hero!