Monday, March 1, 2010

returning to Haiti

Five days ago, I booked my flight; I will be leading a medical team down to Three Angels on Saturday. I am very thankful for this opportunity to travel to Haiti. I look forward to the work that God has planned for this team. This team was formed prior to January 12. It seems this team of 10 are doctors, nurses, lab technicians, and other volunteers who have never been to Haiti. I have been to Haiti 8 times, but this will be a different Haiti. Haiti can be an emotionally hard place to visit; I'm sure I will feel the depth of pain even deeper. I do pray that God breaks my heart for this country and that I never become immune to their pain. I also look forward to spending time with Nicky. Mike took this photo of Nicky in January.
A photo Mike took of the devastation. I do not know where this building is located; somewhere on Delmas judging from the letters on the wall. I can only imagine what my eyes will see.
These are some of the cracks in the structure of the orphanage. Behind this crack is where the older children slept and played. Praise God that it didn't collapse.

Behind this wall is where the guest staff room is located. It where Kaitlyn slept for the three months she was in Haiti. The specific cracks are attached to the newly installed bathroom.
Mike and Nicky. Sometimes I cannot believe how brave Mike was to travel to Haiti with not much of a plan. I am looking forward to giving Nicky a HUG when I see him on Saturday.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

missing haiti

Today it's been one month and two days since the earthquake devestated Haiti. My heart grieves for this country. I am missing this country; my friends that live there and call this country their home. I miss the resilience that my friends have. I miss their joy; I miss hearing about their faith in God. I miss the smells; the sights; the sounds.
I long to spend time there again. I captured these photos just over two months ago. I suspect that this wall is no longer standing.
This is a photo I took at the Baptist Mission. It is in the mountains that are above Petion Ville.
This is the gift that Haiti has given to me. Guerwens, my first grandchild. My first grandson. He is love. He is Haiti.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Be Still and Know that I am God

Update: just heard from a missionary friend of mine, Megan, that Nicky is alive and his family are all okay. I am so thankful! Thanks for your prayers!
Here is a photo of Nickenson Pierre (Nicky). This was taken just 5 weeks ago in Petion Ville at at the Methodist Guest House. Nicky cried so hard when I left as he was so worried he would never see me again. He was literally sobbing big time tears! The poor guy; I tried to reassure him that I would be back. A Haitian man, John Bellefleour, who is an English translator, was there and tried to help Nicky understand that it was in God's control. If God desired it, we would meet again. Thank you, Mr. Bellefleour.
(Nicky with his mom and little brother)

Dear Lord: I pray that I will see Nicky again on earth, but if it's Your will, please comfort Nicky. Let him know that we love him and that we are praying for him. Please comfort his Mom and brothers and his grandmother who lived with them.

What is happening in Haiti is so tragic that no words can rightly be expressed. This small island nation has nothing. When they talk on CNN about it being dark and now they have no electricity... well, most Haitians do not have electricity at all, and the ones that do, well, it is only operating a few hours in the night. My big concern is also the water. Clean water is not readily available for many this is made worse. There are so few hospitals on a good day that do not efficiently operate to help the sick. Now, this is compounded by the injured and then the collapse of some of the hospitals.

But, I know that God is in control. There are stories from our friends down there that in the early morning hours, the only sounds that you could hear were Haitians singing and praying to God.

Please consider coming with me to Haiti sometime. It is a country that will never leave your heart.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Fall Fun

What a fun weekend.

It all began when Emma arrived on Thursday afternoon. She drove all the way from Pisgah Forest, North Carolina. It was so nice to have her here. On Friday, Emma and I had a field trip to Jungle Jim's, which is an international grocery store and it's considered a tourist destination. We even saw many groups on tours. It was a cool store, but honestly, I was very disappointed in their Russian foods....two measly shelves.!

So, Friday at 5pm, Nick decided to make the drive down to Cincinnati. It's a five hour drive, so I totally understood his tough decision. I had been planting seeds all week about K&N coming down. So, little after 6pm, Kaitlyn decided to join him.
Nick picked up Kaitlyn and they kept driving.

I decided to make this a surprise for Mike! At 11pm, Mike and I were sitting in the family room and in they walked. The look on Mike's face was priceless! He was so surprised. And, he is not easy to surprise (or is that I have HARD time keeping a surprise from him??).

On Saturday at noon, we all went to Julia's basketball game. Unfortunately, they lost, but we all had fun watching our little defensive star. Glad she doesn't have to guard me! Whew! She's tough. Kobe absolutely loves Emma!!! Emma is a dog lover, too. Check out Kobe's tongue!
Then, we went to Wilson Elementary. They are celebrating 50 years of education. The chorus sand some fun songs through the decades. Julia loves chorus! (do you see her?)
These are three of her best friends, Camryn, Emma and Lemya.
Kaitlyn and Julia!
Tim joined the Drama Club at the Middle school this year. They had their Dinner Theatre performance last night. It was a Broadway review. He had a couple solos and got to dance! It was a lot of fun. (maybe I'll try to upload the video)
The kids! We all enjoyed Graeter's Ice Cream afterwards to celebrate the two performances!
Today we went to church and out to lunch at Panera. Emma left around 2pm and K&N around 2:20pm. Thank you so much for coming to visit! My heart was overfilling with love for my family! Thank you, Jesus! We had many laughs....many at my expense. I don't care. Laughing does my heart good...
This afternoon, Mike and Julia raked leaves! They had a blast. It was a beautiful day and Julia loved jumping in the leaves, too!
Where's Julia?????
In the leaves....with Kobe!!!
Mike brought the ladder out for her to jump from! Lots of fun!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Carvin' Pumpkins

It's been a tradition for Mike and I to take the kids to pick out pumpkins at a farm type place, rather than just getting them at a grocery store. When we lived in Michigan, we used to go to a fabulous place called Uncle Johns Cider Mill. As the name suggests, they also had a apple orchard and they made their own apple cider. To this day, it's the best apple cider ever! We could all watch as the big machine pressed the apples to make the cider. They also made delicious donuts, pies and other fall treats. The past two years, we've managed to find a local farm that opens a modest fall fest. I didn't get to go this year, but Mike said it was disappointing. They did get pumpkins....and here are the results of the carvings... Mike, Tim, Julia and Kassity!
Tim cleaning out the "insides." beautiful!
The finished product!
(except the pumpkin seeds...yummy)

Monday, August 31, 2009


On Tim's first day of school, he wore this shirt.....well, so did other 8th graders. He is a WEB Leader. That stands for "Where Everyone Belongs." He is a mentor to a group of 7th graders and helps them this school year. Julia started school with her left arm in a sling due to her broken collar bone. She is healing and will soon be able to start soccer. She had a great first day!
The kids at the neighborhood bus stop.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Three Years Ago

Three years ago today, Julia had open heart surgery at Motts Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan. This is her, with her typical BIG smile, being wheeled (or "wagoned") to the OR. She kept saying "I Ready!" About 8-10 hours later, we were finally allowed to see her in the PICU. What a sight. She wasn't awake yet and didn't know we were there. It felt very scary but the nurses assured us that she was doing just great. I spent the night just outside PICU in a large waiting room. I tried to sleep on a vinyl fold out chair with many other people in the room. It felt very uncomfortable. Sometime during the night, I buzzed my way into the PICU to check on her. I think she had been awake but was sleeping when I got in there. Around 7am the next day, she was awake and talking. She was very thirsty, as I remember. Aunt Linda arrived during the early morning hours and they "tried" to play cards.
Julia spent six nights at the hospital. I finally was allowed to sleep in the room with her. She moved very slow, but otherwise did very well. Kaitlyn stayed with me one night; Mike visited when he could. Nick moved into the dorms while I was in Ann Arbor. Tim started football. She started second grade a week later than her friends.

The great news is that she recently had a follow-up visit at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. She sees a Pulmonary Hypertension Specialist every 9 months. They do an echo cardiogram each visit. On this last visit, Julia was put on the treadmill and hooked up to various machines that measured her oxygen outflow, her blood pressure and her heart rate. They took her to the point where she could not go any longer. SHE DID FANTASTIC! They are thrilled with her progress. Her "numbers" (meaning her blood pressure in her pulmonary artery) has been the same or stable for the last three years. Dr. Hirsch feels this is an indicator that we can expect it to remain the same. Hurray for you, Julia!
All the prayers from family and friends were answered.