I humbly ask each of my blog readers to please pray for Jason Krenzke. He is husband to Joslyn, a new friend whom I spent my first week with in Haiti. Jason underwent surgery today to biopsy a very large tumor in his brain.
Jason is 29, and he and Joslyn have two young children. They live in Midland Michigan. All the prayers and postitive thoughts are needed as they go through Jason's recovery and time of unknown!
Jason and Joslyn have high spirits about this situation which comes from their very strong faith. They know God has a plan and will take care of them! Please lift Jason and his family up to the Lord so that they may feel peace during this time!
Thursday, January 31, 2008
at 8:58 PM
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Saturday, January 26, 2008
The response turned out way better than I ever expected! We have 6 teams here in town ready to win. My own team is psyched and so ready for the challenge. They have a game plan and each one of them is determined to win ~ even me! Only thing is....
at 10:20 PM
Thursday, January 24, 2008
This is my first attempt at posting a video. It is also my first attempt at using my digital camera to take a video. I didn't realize I couldn't readjust the frame after downloading. So, you have to tilt your head to watch part of it. Sorry!
...Here's my little boy during my January visit. There was nothing I loved more than peeking my head into the nursery door waiting for Jonathan to notice me. The HUGE smile he would get on his face was so, so heart-warming. By the end of the week, not only did I get a big smile, but he was crawling over saying "Aye" and "Mama!"
Such fond memories while we are apart! Mommy misses you and thinks about you all the time! April cannot come soon enough, Ton Ton!!! xoxoxoxo
at 9:28 PM
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Monday, January 21, 2008
I was hoping to receive some sort of reassurance that it was all right for us to attend this trip. With all my worries and concerns, I wanted to be sure this trip wasn’t just for self-centeredness. Certainly, I love to travel ~ especially to the Caribbean. I am absolutely intrigued by the complexity and diversity among the islands. The history of each colony settling on a small space of land and developing it into its own country was fascinating to me. I love learning about the similarities and differences of each island in the North Pacific Ocean. In addition, signing up to be a part of the medical team was giving us the opportunity to meet our son. Finally, who wouldn’t enjoy the warm, sunshine throughout the region...? However, this was not at all why I was traveling to Haiti and I wanted God to know this. I was doing this to serve our Lord and was hoping for affirmation from God of my decision.
So many people mention the prevalence of God when in Haiti. I recall being told before leaving for the mission trip, “God is everywhere,” and “it is obvious God exists in Haiti.” Someone even said I would feel God’s presence while I was there. Although I truly did know in my heart the Lord did want me to do mission work; I hadn’t “FELT” it like others said I would. Certainly I had heard about serving God and doing missionary work at church. I knew we were supposed to help others and spread His word ~ this is what we are told to do. So, when Mike and I decided to go on this mission trip, I knew it was what we were supposed to do. However, once I arrived in Haiti; I also wanted to “FEEL” it was what God wanted me to do!
As our plane approached the island of Hispaniola, I peered out the window looking at the country of Haiti. I was told and read about the vast difference of this country compared to the Dominican Republic just the other side of the mountains. From the air, I saw an island of green and a sea of blue. It looked similar to so many islands I have seen. I did notice the lines of brown streaming down the mountains and the muddy rivers flowing into the ocean. We were traveling to Haiti within one week after Tropical Storm Noel hit and flooded a majority of the country. Here I was flying over Haiti, seeing the actual evidence of the flooding, destruction and devastation I read about back home. What was minutes ago in my mind a lush-looking tropical island was now the third world country I was going to be visiting. I felt anxious and concerned, and I prayed asking God to tell me He wanted me to be there!
When we stepped off the plane and onto the tarmac, I felt relief and security. Those mixed emotions I had for days and weeks prior had seemed to vanish. God's hands were rested on my shoulders and I could feel Him guiding and protecting me! I felt the sense I belonged getting off that plane and I was in a place I was supposed to be. I immediately began talking to God and thanking Him for this sense of peace He had given me. As we proceeded through customs, baggage claim and out on the street of Port au Prince, I was at ease. I was able to soak in the sites around me, see the people surrounding us and listen to the sounds in the air. Haiti was a beautiful place and I knew I was there for a reason ~ I could “FEEL” it! The Lord was allowing me to “FEEL” this experience and “FEEL” His presence.
In days to follow and during my second trip to Haiti, I felt God’s presence around me! It is so reassuring to feel God’s love and security as you carry out His work. This feeling of connection and peace is a special gift from God. It is because of this gift I have received, I wish to return to Haiti to sever Him and His people!
at 9:03 AM
Friday, January 18, 2008
at 8:48 AM
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
The need for quality schools in Haiti is endless as over half of the adult population is illiterate. It is an amazing blessing to see Three Angels strive to decrease this statistic in Haiti. Along with the orphanage and medical clinic is the Three Angels’ Christian Academy; a one-room school for over 355 Haitian children grades preschool through 6th grade. The school provides uniforms, textbooks and instruction for all the students. In addition, the children also receive a meal of bread and peanut butter, known as “mamba,” and fresh water each day they attend. For many of these Haitian children it is their only meal of the day.
Watching the school children enter the gates of Three Angels last week was such a delight. The smiles on their faces and laughter in their voices brought such joy to me each day. So many of them came up to many of us to greet us with a sweet smile, loving “Bonjour,” a giant hug and soft kiss on the cheek. They shared their love and they didn’t even know us! However, they knew because of missionary groups like ours they are able to go to school and even see a doctor if need be. They are so thankful for our help and outwardly display their gratitude. These children brought such happiness to me while in Haiti last week. It is because of these children, I long to return to Haiti time and time again. They are big reason why I truly understand the importance of helping Three Angels and supporting the organization any way I can!
Currently, Three Angels is looking for sponsorships for each student attending IMCP/TACA. As of today, there are only 20+ children with tuition covered by scholarships through sponsorship. There is an endless budget for the needs of the children, faculty and school. Without the help of donations, the school could not and would not exist. A monthly support of $27 is all that is needed to directly benefit the life of a student. These continual donations give the children the opportunity for not only a quality education, but also a meal and clean drinking water each day. Most of the children currently attending TACA would not have the opportunity to attend a school without the Academy and sponsorship help. It is quite disheartening, but so very true!
Three Angels’ Christian Academy would not exist without the help of monthly sponsors. The fact that there are 325+ children in need of help to pay their monthly tuition is troubling to me. These children need our help!!! Since returning home, I have decided to make it a personal goal of mine to find families, schools and organizations to sponsor many of the students at Three Angel’s Christian Academy. So, if any of you, my faithful blog readers, have any ideas how to pursue the help needed, please let me know! And, if YOU have found it in your heart to personally sponsor a student at the Academy for less than $1 a day, you can visit www.threeangelshaiti.org/sponsorship.htm to set up an account to begin making your monthly contribution.
This is such a worthy cause and these children need our help! I pray that my work will be successful and Three Angels Christian Academy will continue to be a success for all of the Haitian children and families!
at 9:01 AM
Monday, January 14, 2008
This all I can say right now….Wow!
I am back from Haiti trip #2. After another week spent helping over 400 patients at Halos Medical Clinic, loving on 39 orphans at Angel House and making 18 wonderful new friends, I am still in awe over that country. I am in awe just as I was after my first visit last November. Christ’s presence is abounding there and anyone who takes the time to discover it certainly will.
I had a fabulous time with both of the boys this week. God certainly blessed me with lots of free time so I could have quality time with each of them. This past week, I was able to play with both Daniel and Jonathan. I enjoyed every laugh, each cry and all the hugs and kisses we shared. I am so very grateful for all the time I was given enabling me to love on them.
Although we are waiting to tell Daniel we are adopting him until his 6-month wait has past, we had so much fun together. I told him over and over again I loved him. This made him smile so big, and I could tell it made him so happy knowing someone loved him. It tickled me to death when he would tell me he loved me, too. What a blessing it was to be able to add some sunshine to his life and happiness to his heart! Tim, Megan and Kate had me bring down a school backpack for him so he would have one like the other children. He was just so proud of his new possession; he wore it the entire time he was at school on Monday. I know how special it made him feel that he now had something of his own; and I am so glad we were able to be a part of that. God willing, I will be able to tell him we are adopting him in April when I am in Haiti again. What a joy it will be to be able to give him a family ~ a possession only he will be able to have!
Watching Jonathan grow and change as the week progressed was such a joy. At the beginning of the trip, he would get a huge smile on his face and crawl over to me as I entered the nursery. By the week’s end, not only did he do that, but also he was calling me “Mama” all the time. He also understood when I would enter the nursery; he was going to get to leave with me. He would begin telling all the children and nannies “bye-bye” as he would make his way to the entrance of the nursery. He also figured out he was going to leave Angel House and go with me to the guesthouse each evening. Knowing where the street gate was, he would make his way there telling everyone “bye-bye.”. These were such strides of growth for our little guy! In November, he was terrified to leave the orphanage and clung to Mike and me when we were at the guesthouse. This week, not only did he want to go there, but he wanted to be there to play, eat and crawl all over discovering his new surroundings. What a joy it was to see him change and begin to trust me!
There is just so much to share and so many stories to tell about my week in Haiti. As so many people who have visited there, it takes a few days to unwind, recharge and reflect. Stay tuned for many more blog postings about my adventures…
at 3:44 PM
Friday, January 4, 2008
I leave for the airport in less than twelve hours. By this time tomorrow, I will have boarded the plane headed to Haiti. Although the anxieties of the unknown are not with me as I prepare for my second trip, I still get the butterflies thinking about traveling to a third-world country by myself while leaving my entire family behind.
at 3:08 PM
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
Megan performed in the Holiday Just For Kix Show recently. She danced four routines this event ~ that's a lot of steps for an eight year old to learn. We were very proud of her hard work with dance this fall.
at 11:20 PM
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
at 1:29 PM