Then on Sunday, January 31, our missions head Haitian director, Osmy Bozor graduated from his Civil Engineering College Class! It is so difficult in Haiti to even get an elementary education because many do not have the money it takes, as well as the other things they need to attend school. Many times Osmy has told us the youthful stories about how his father, that is now deceased, encouraged him to continue to study and to go to school. He says if he was playing and his father came home when he was supposed to be studying his father would give him a spanking and tell him that he did not want him to have to spend all night in the garden working so hard like he did. Osmy tells about how much that he loves his father for the work ethic that he taught him. He also tells about when he did very well in school how his father would take him all the way to Port Au Prince on a taptap to get him a small gift to encourage him to keep going. One can sense the sincere spirit in his voice. Yesterday all of his father's efforts paid off when Osmy graduated from his college Civil Engineering Class that he has been attending for the past five years.
Monday, January 31, 2011
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
We had the back of Lifeline’s mule full and were able to fertilize almost all of the plants and new trees. This was the second dose of fertilizer and I anticipate the plants by March to have a large growth spurt that they would not have had.
In addition to fertilizer we have also been shredding dried banana leaves for mulch. One of our burn patients needed a little bit of money to go home on a taptap one day so we told him we would give him the money if he would collect the banana leaves. He happily obliged and came back with two huge bundles. He has now done that twice for us. We’ve also had a few young girls who told us they were in need of shirts. In an effort to teach work ethics that you work to receive, we had them come to help shred the leaves that the young man had brought us.
We’ve had a great time working right along side the young teens as they learn work ethics and at the same time we build lasting relationships with them. This evening there were some more teens who wanted some things so for the price of one coke, they shredded leaves. We had fellowship and kids who had never talked to me before practiced English with me, and we ended with one of the kids praying. He prayed to bless Haiti and to bless the plants to make them grow and thanked the Lord for this little bit of money. Who would have thought that we could develop such a bond with these kids over banana leaves and poop!
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Later in the day, Lifeline was able to hand out love bundles to a new school that we will begin feeding. The area that the school is located in is way out in the middle of farm land but is full of children who need to be fed. Many of the children in the area have hair that has tuned red/orange from protein malnourishment. They will greatly benefit from being fed with Lifeline’s feeding program and from the peanut butter they received in their love bundles.
When we returned back, we were told that there was a man whose hemoglobin levels were almost to the point of death and needed to be rushed to the hospital in St. Marc, which is 40 miles away. Donald and I went along with a member of the man’s family to the hospital where prior to his admission his family had to scrape together the money before he would even be seen. This was one of the first times that one of Lifeline’s workers didn’t pay for the fees out of their own pocket. Lifeline is in desperate need of an emergency fund for situations such as this. Regularly emergency situations arise where Lifeline would like to help and most of those situations are not planned for in the operational budget but need to be taken care of immediately. Please keep this man in your prayers as cancer is suspected and Haiti does not have good cancer treatment programs like we do in the States.
The night was ended by Lifeline blessing two families with kitchen boxes and buckets full of towels, food, pots, silverware, storage containers, matches, candles, wash cloths, dish washing detergent, strainers, potato mashers, a stainless steel cooking pot and much, much more! The two families were so appreciative.
They were both really impoverished. We are so grateful for the kind donors from Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama and Operation Ukraine who sent down these much needed gifts to the people of Haiti. Your kind gifts just made these families’ entire year!!
Monday, January 24, 2011
The notebook in this picture was shipped down on a container from October. You could see that she had been using it.
It was a blessing to see that previous school supplies and book bags that had been shipped down to Lifeline had been passed out to the children. Even though we had seen these items being used, there is still a continual need for spiral notebooks and notebook paper, pens, pencils, and other school supplies. Remember that there is no local Walmart to get the supplies at. The school that we gave the school supplies to was also blessed with all kinds of hair accessories for the little girls. When three little boys from the kindergarten class cried because they didn’t get hair ribbons, I gave them each hair bands for their arms and their tears instantly quit. It may have been a small gift but they loved it!
Later on in the day we saw many more tears; this time from injuries. We saw a child who had fallen in the rocks, we changed the dressing on our precious burned child, Jiggens, and finished off with a little boy with mysterious puss filled scabs.
We treated him and told his friend to bring him back to the doctor in the morning. Unfortunately, we see many mysterious funguses that you normally wouldn’t see in the States. Praise the Lord that we have a doctor here that can treat their illnesses.
If you are interested in giving backpacks, school supplies, or really any other item to Haiti, there are containers shipped monthly from Operation Ukraine in Columbus Mississippi. Email Donna Web at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how you can be part of blessing these precious children!
-Kathy Cadden from Operation Ukraine
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Thanks to The Donut Factory from Columbus Mississippi, they now have three nice new buckets to go get water with! The mom of the family was very happy to receiver her buckets. Something so simple like buckets makes a huge difference and makes her morning ritual so much easier. Thank you Donut Factory!
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Monday, January 17, 2011
Friday, January 14, 2011
I was impressed to see how polite and obedient the children were in the school we visited. I also had the opportunity to talk to the parents of the children who couldn’t go to school, because they couldn’t afford the uniforms.
Today was a blessing. This is our last day in Haiti before we leave tomorrow morning. I will never forget this journey!
By Marie Josee Gallman
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Yesterday we discovered our flight was canceled. The pastor on our team said, “Seize the day, we have three days in Haiti that we did not expect so we are going to expect the unexpected.” I thought to myself, “God must not be done with us yet” and after today I know that to be true.
As a nurse I saw more patients today than I saw in the previous five days. Unexpectedly, the pastor with us spent most of the day in church and even did an impromptu sermon.
One of the youth pastors took some of the Haitian youth he had been getting to know and they repaired a woman’s home. Other team members organized clothes, repaired broken things, and we ended our day at the cross in prayer during the time of last years’ earthquake.
Often people tell me that being a nurse makes it really easy to serve Jesus in a foreign country. While there is some truth to that statement the reality is that everyone has something to offer. Today showed just that. We all took the gifts that God has given us, big and small, formal and informal and we offered them to the Lord and we offered them to the Haitians.
In many ways I was so humbled to be here with them on this emotional day. What the world remembers occasionally they live with every moment of every day. Memories of the earthquake linger as they miss loved ones, live in tents, cook over fires, and walk miles for dirty water. However, our presence and your prayers remind them that they do not stand alone. Thank you for your prayers and please keep them coming. God is doing amazing things in Haiti!
Monday, January 10, 2011
They all sat down so obediently so that we could give them new shoes. They either did not already have shoes or the ones they were wearing were so tattered, their toes were poking through. You never saw children get so excited over a new pair of shoes! We prayed with them before leaving.
We then visited a boy who must walk on his hands because his legs are too deformed for him to walk.
We went to give food to a family whose father can not walk whose 10-year old son cares for him. The son also cares for his senile mother. Pastor Mays put his hands on the father and prayed for him and his household. When we left the house, an elderly woman was calling for help and Miss Pat Curtis noticed how hurt her feet are and how poor her condition is, asked where she lives and said that she will be back to help her. Miss Pat said to me: “that’s how we find them”.
We went to give a family food that has a child suffering from malnutrition. I have seen pictures of children suffering from malnutrition before, but seeing it first hand is completely different. How can I have so much food while these children suffer so? We prayed for the family and for Jesus’ healing power before we left.
We went to give food to elderly people in a homeless shelter. The shelter was made of concrete walls and dirt floors. The terrain is such that dirt floors are very hard and rocky and they have no beds to sleep on. The 2 women were grateful for the food and I gave one a crocheted shawl and a hug. I only had the one in my backpack and the other woman grabbed me in a hug and held on as if for dear life. It broke my heart and I just don’t think these words could describe what they live with every day. I ran back to the truck to get another shawl for the lady who was holding on to me and she held her hands together as in prayer while saying thank you.
We went to 2 more orphanages to give them clothes and shoes: one in the mountains and one towards Port Au Prince. The one in the mountains has 20 children who all sleep in a tent since the January 12, 2010 earthquake destroyed their building. The other one has children who sleep on a concrete floor. But at both places, the children were very obedient like the other one and extremely happy to get their new shoes and clothes! Before we left each place, we prayed with them for God’s mercy and grace.
I finally was able to meet the young lady who recently lost her young son to cholera. Her name is Josette and she has the most beautiful smile that you have ever seen! We wrapped arms around each other while I told her that I have been praying for her for days and that I wanted to give her a handmade blanket made by the ladies of Stitches to Share. She will use it for warmth and comfort in the absence of her son.
I can’t help but think of the moment when I was so overcome with emotion by all that I had seen that I looked over at Tim Wampler and said with something like exasperation: “what can we do when we get back home to help them more?!” Tim is the President of Shoes 2 Share whose ministry is also focused on helping the people of Haiti. We then had a lengthy discussion of plans on how to provide more shoes, clothing and clean water for those in need by uniting Shoes 2 Share with Children’s Lifeline in a partnership. This partnership will provide the hope and comfort that all people around the world deserve. I can’t wait to get started and I then had a feeling of hope that Jesus love will be shared to even more Haitians.
Sunday, January 9, 2011
We then traveled to Port au Prince and passed through Cite Soleil. It was unbelievable to witness the amount of devastation, ruin and trash. The city smelled so bad and the amount of poverty seemed so much worse than the other parts of Haiti we have visited.
(Photo courtesy of UNICEF)We saw the damage of the capitol building. We traveled to the marketplace to buy souvenirs and it was nice to see all of us look out for each other to make sure we stayed together and were safe as we walked around to bargain with the vendors.
There were two sad parts of the day….my mother looking for her family home (since she left Haiti 42 yrs ago) and the community being completely gone…homes torn down or destroyed and the neighborhood unrecognizable to her. This brought us to tears. Driving home through the city in the dark, was quite an experience and somewhat scary. It was also very difficult to witness a motorcycle accident in which 3 men were killed, laying in the street.
It was a full day, with many different emotions but it was a good day. I’m sorry the week is almost over.
Saturday, January 8, 2011
I was so touched by the orphan children we visited today. We played with them and gave them suckers, toothbrushes, and toothpaste.
A little boy about two years old took to me and never let go. He was so beautiful. Every fiber in me wanted to bring him home. All he wants is a mommy to hold him. Doesn’t every child deserve that? I held him until I had to go. Then I kissed him goodbye and a little girl asked me, do you love him? I answered yes and I love you too. She seemed surprised and smiled.
The Haitian meal we ate tonight was wonderful. I am in love with it and am going to try to make some when I get back to the states. I’m so looking forward to Sunday and all it brings.
Friday, January 7, 2011
The team then ventured out for a tour of the village. The kids all took a hold of their hands and walked proudly with their new friends. The team was impressed seeing even the littlest of kids working and carrying buckets of water to their families, some of them even trekking up a hill.
After that we all went to Barbancourt where Blueridge Ministry was working on a newly dug well. Seeing water spring out of the ground caused so much excitement. This well will not only provide clean drinking water for our school children and kids who eat at our feeding center in Barbancourt, but it will provide clean water for the entire village. In day where cholera is spreading rampantly, it’s such a blessing to know people from the village will be provided with clean, safe drinking water.
All in all, the team had a great first day working in Haiti. Lifeline is so grateful to have Shoes 2 Share working with us this week and we’re looking forward to seeing how God moves!
Wednesday, January 5, 2011