Thursday, February 28, 2013

Update on Meeting with A Child's Hope

I am finally getting around to posting the much-anticipated update on my meeting with the board members of “A Child’s Hope” down in Houston! I had intended to post about it several weeks ago, but my intentions were put on hold following the death of my paternal Grandmother. Thank you all for being patient with me!

I was able to meet more than half of the board members of ACH, and I have never felt more welcomed into a group before. When people are united for the cause of God’s Kingdom, it brings about a camaraderie that can’t be matched anywhere else.

We discussed in detail our respective efforts/organizations and our visions for La Montagne and what a partnership would look like. The vision of ACH includes and also goes above and beyond the vision I had. I could write until my fingers cramp up, but rather than describe their organization in-depth here, I would encourage you to go over to their website and have a look for yourself:

As of yesterday afternoon, I became an official partner with “A Child’s Hope.” Our visions work together so well, and together we can do far more much sooner.

There are a couple things you should know about this partnership:

1.) All funds towards the project in Haiti can and should continue to be sent to our church in Michigan. We are keeping that account open so that funds can continue to go through there, so that I can keep a record of the donations that I have raised. I am keeping my original goal of $70,000, so this helps me keep a better record of my progress. Eventually that money will be transferred over to ACH.

2.) This website will remain up and running. I will probably redo some of the pages to reflect the partnership, so you may be seeing some updates to the pages. I will continue to post regular updates on what’s going on in Haiti. We don’t consider Hope Hill to have dissolved, but rather partnered with ACH.

My personal involvement in the project has also shifted a bit due to the partnership. In a lot of ways, it has been a good shift! While I am still one of the visionaries of the project, the responsibility of executing that vision doesn’t fall only on my shoulders anymore. I am now part of a team of people that is working together to accomplish this goal. While a lot has been accomplished so far, I believe that far more can be accomplished with more people on board!

There are lots of opportunities for me to come alongside ACH now and in the future to serve the people of Haiti. I am currently helping with a fundraising gala in April down in Houston. I may also become the missions liaison/trip coordinator for ACH. I may actually be helping host teams sent by ACH in Haiti this summer while Ben and I are there for a month. One of my immediate assignments is to determine the cost of the trips, so please be in prayer as I take on that task!

I am so very excited about this partnership and where God is leading! His fingerprints have truly been all over this connection, and I believe He is going to bless our efforts!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Fundraising Milestone

If you keep your eye on the fundraising widget to the right, you may have already noticed the big jump in donations, but I had to blog about it too. This past month, I received a $5,000 donation towards the project! This brings the total amount raised to over $12,000!!! God is so good! Beni swa Letènèl!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Faces of Haiti: Fedline

Please be in prayer for precious little “Fedline.” When we were in Haiti this summer, we met Fedline and her grandmother. Fedline was born with hydrocephalus. In a Third
World country, that spells death for a child. But a member of our team who had lost a child to hydrocephalus was incredibly burdened to help her.

Through our team member’s efforts, Fedline had a shunt put in several months ago to drain the fluid off her brain. Unfortunately her skull was deformed and she needed a helmet. Last week she developed an infection and the doctor removed her shunt and only gave her a few more days to live.

Today, we received an update that they took her back to the hospital and the doctor was able to drain a lot of the fluid from her body and drastically reduce the swelling. She is still in critical shape.

Please pray that--if it be God’s will--that He would spare this precious baby’s life. In her short 10 months of life, she has already touched so many lives. Please pray that God will heal her however He sees fit. If that means providing adequate medical care for her here on earth, then we will praise Him. If that means taking precious Fedline to be with Him in heaven, then we will praise Him.

Also pray that God would continue to work and move in the country of Haiti. It breaks my heart that a disease that can be so easily treated here in the States kills children in countries like Haiti. Pray that God would raise up more laborers in the medical field who will go to Haiti!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Haitian Proverb

This is another Haitian Proverb that really stood out to me when I read it:

Timoun ki kriye nan kay ak sa kriye nan pòt se menm.

“The child who cries in the house and the one who cries at the door are the same.” Treat other people’s children as you treat your own.

So often, we are only looking out for ourselves and our immediate family. We may say that we care about suffering children in other countries, but most of the time we don’t really mean that. We don’t treat orphaned children like our own when they are out of sight and out of mind.

I read this analogy one time about children. If you woke up one morning, opened your front door, and found a child curled up there that was dying, you would drop everything, rush that child to the hospital, and pray fervently that he/she would pull through.

The thing is, thousands of children die EVERY DAY. But because they’re not dying on our front doorsteps, we often ignore them. Now I’m just as guilty of that as the next person. My actions don’t always match my words. But they NEED to. I am a hypocrite to say I love the children of Haiti and then not do anything about their suffering.

It’s amazing how much one simple proverb can make you think!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Kings and Queens

I recently heard this song on the radio and made myself a note to look up the lyrics. I loved it even more when I finally read the lyrics! The authors of this song—Audio Adrenaline—have started an orphanage in Jacmel, Haiti and actually filmed the music video for this song there. That definitely put this song closer to my heart. J

Little hands, shoeless feet, lonely eyes looking back at me
Will we leave behind the innocent to grieve?

On their own, on the run when their lives have only begun
These could be our daughters and our sons

And just like a drum I can hear their hearts beating
I know my God won’t let them be defeated
Every child has a dream to belong and be loved

Boys become kings, girls will be queens
Wrapped in Your majesty
When we love, when we love the least of these
Then they will be brave and free
Shout Your Name in victory
When we love when we love the least of these
When we love the least of these

Break our hearts once again
Help us to remember when
We were only children hoping for a friend

Won’t you look around these are the lives that the world has forgotten
Waiting for doors of our hearts and our homes to open

If not us who will be like Jesus
To the least of these
If not us tell me who will be like Jesus
Like Jesus to the least of these

Boys become kings, girls will be queens
Wrapped in your majesty
When we love, when we love the least of these
Then they will be brave and free shout your name in victory
We will love we will love the least of these

We will love the least of these
We will love the least of these
We will love the least of these
We will love the least of these
We will love the least of these

--"Kings and Queens" by Audio Adrenaline

Monday, February 4, 2013

Faces of Haiti: David

One little boy that was almost a constant companion during my trip to Haiti was little “David.” He came with us on most of our mountain hikes, and he always wanted to be carried. Towards the end of the week, the soreness of carrying children around all day was getting to me, so I told him to hold my hand instead. The whole walk, he kept muttering and whining away in Creole. J In the end, I carried him for a little bit just to stop his complaining! I’m sure he was getting tired, but so was I! J He was a sweet little boy that I miss a lot.
*I know many of you are waiting to hear an update on my trip to Houston and meeting with “A Child’s Hope.” I still need time to process everything that was discussed at the meeting and do a lot of praying about the decisions that need to be made following the meeting. But I promise that an update will come! In the meanwhile, please continue to pray for the project and that God would bring hope to the people of La Montagne!*

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Big Day

Today is the day when my Dad and I meet with the board from “A Child’s Hope” down in Houston, TX. Please keep us in your prayers as it’s going to be a big day for the Hope Hill Orphanage Project. Pray that the meeting will go well and that God would make it clear what our next steps are to be following the meeting. Thanks!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Haitian Proverb

As I was reading through my Haitian proverbs book last night, this one really stood out to me:
Sa je pa wè; pa fè kè tounen.
“What the eyes don’t see doesn’t sour the heart.” What you don’t see doesn’t bother you.
I had to pause and think about this one for a minute. It reminded me of a post I did awhile back called “Disturbed.” This proverb sums up one of the reasons that I believe everyone should go on a missions trip to a third-world country at some point in their life. Looking at pictures and seeing news clips just doesn’t have the same effect as SEEING a person’s suffering with your own eyes.
As a culture, we have gotten very good at ignoring the news. We teach our children to turn their eyes away from certain things. But sometimes we need to LOOK. If we never truly SEE the suffering of others, SEE their need for the gospel, it will never bother us. We will never be pushed to DO something.