Archive for 06-2012The many blessings
Posted by Kathi on Monday, June 25, 2012 | 0
Sometimes all you need to do is to step away to realize the many blessings that have come your way.
It has been 3 weeks since I left Haiti, and while it feels like I have been back at home much longer than that – I am amazed by the progress in the past few weeks. The tile work is complete; all the rooms have been cleaned and are ready for the children!! We plan to start moving this week!
The place looks amazing, thanks to the help of 2 volunteer teams in June. One group worked on cleaning and organizing the home and also ran a medical clinic for all of our children. The second team landscaped and prepared the playground and finished up all the touch up painting. Both groups spent every afternoon with the children in prayer, bible study activities and fun.
Our plan is to move the children from the crèche this week. Then in August we will start admitting children from the Kenscoff orphanage. Thank you to everyone who donated funds and time especially our partner Alliance for Children.
I sometimes have a hard time asking for help. But at this point, we are so close to being done, that I need to ask for your assistance. If you saw how the kids in Kenscoff were living, you would understand the urgency. We still need some additional financial help to finish. We have a few more projects that need funding:
- We need a commercial washer and dryer (due to the volume of clothes and the humidity)
- Outdoor bathrooms are needed to help minimize the use on the indoor facilities
- Completion of the driveway and side walkways
- A second septic needs to be built
- Hot water heaters, generators, invertors and other systems to generate power and hot water.
- We need funding to admit the Kenscoff children (medical screens, legal paperwork, court appointments, attorney fees, blood work, medications) approximately $150-$200 per child.
Please consider making a financial donation to help us.
The life lessons I learned from my 3 months in Haiti are still etched in my heart and soul. My brain, still plays tricks on me and I wake up thinking “Oh, I hope we have power this morning”, but then I realize I am back at home and am appreciative for the little luxuries I used to take for granted.
Some days the work in Haiti is discouraging, but this month I am extremely encouraged. I am touched by the support of friends and our church communities. Lakewood Church (CO) donated a water filtration system for the kids & the community. Highlands Church (AZ) has helped fund many church renovations and sent over 40 volunteers to serve with us. Highlands has partnered with us to provide both VBS programs to the children and mentoring and enrichment classes to church leaders. We have already started using the unfinished community center for these programs.
The past few weeks brought some setbacks in our adoption program, as the Haitian Parliament ratified the Hague (which is NOT a good thing for international adoptions). But we also had good news - four families were approved by IBESR, one step closer to completing their adoptions. We now have 24 children in our adoption program.
We have also had great success with the Micro-Credit / Artisan Craft program – 3 months with jewelry sales of over $1,000. These funds go directly to the artisans in the program - allowing them to care for their children, continue education and become financially secure. We would love to have you support us with this program by donating your old cereal, cracker boxes, scrapbook papers, etc. We would love to ask our adoptive families across the country to host jewelry parties to help us empower women in Kenscoff.
I look forward to the continued progress in our programs, the impact we are making in the community, the hope we are providing to the orphaned children, and to the gift of continuing to serve God. As always, thank you for your continued love, support and prayers.
Lessons I have learned
Posted by Kathi on Friday, June 01, 2012 | 3
At my advancing age, one would think I have had enough years to really have things figured out. Well, God certainly had other plans in store for me when He called me to Haiti. Because the lessons I have learned in the last 3 months will forever impact the way I live my life! For this I am most grateful.
I am also grateful to my husband and children who allowed me the opportunity to come spend 3 months in Haiti – without their support none of this would have happened. I had the support of an amazing team in Haiti – especially Pastor Maxime, who helped me through the cultural maze with patience, kindness and humor (well, most of the time). I am incredibly sad knowing that I will be leaving in a few days, the people in this community have become my family. They look out for me, they genuinely care about me and they take time to whisper words of encouragement and appreciation. I am deeply moved by their hearts.
As you know in a matter of 3 short months (although sometimes it felt like years) – we got a lot accomplished. Rome Ventura and her team from Lake Union were incredible to partner with and we all worked long days to get the community center completed. We also made great strides on our new Children’s Home, thanks to the support of Alliance for Children and friends/donors who continue to support our work in Haiti. We should be able to move the children who have been living in plywood shelters into their new home within the next 30-45 days. They come every day to gaze with pride at their new home – it makes my heart melt to see their joy at finally having a real home to call their own. To finally have a bathroom with running water and showers and toilets. To have a dining room that is bright and cheery. A bedroom to hang artwork and space for their own things. And the new playground has been a big hit!!
But the real accomplishments were of a personal nature. I learned that in a place of absolute despair and hopelessness, there is light. That joy can always be found. That just because you have no material possessions – you can still be joyous and grateful. That even if you haven’t eaten in days, you can always find a way to share a little with your brother. The deep faith in God resonates strong in this community and I marvel at the strength of the Haitian people. Of course, there are many, many challenges and behaviors that years of hopelessness bring, but the people of Kenscoff genuinely care about each other. Relationships are the cornerstone to the community. I learned about throwing away my task list some days to take time to get to know the people I was working with. The value of a smile and a kind word far outweighs any Nintendo or DS that a child thinks they need. I learned about respect, patience, and gratefulness. I pray that these gifts stay with me for a very long time. But mostly I truly learned the beauty of Haiti – the flow of life here, the pure pleasure when I make one of our children smile, the happiness that helping women earn an income through hard work brings, that humility and dignity are key traits of the poor, and I have learned that respect is a great gift, regardless of a person’s net worth. I will have a difficult time with my “re-entry” but with the love and support of my family and friends and God’s grace – the transition will happen – step by step.
As I write this, my eyes fill with tears. I will truly miss my Haitian friends, family and community. But it won’t be goodbye, simply au revoir.
Page 1 of 1 pages