Tuesday, November 29, 2011

IV HOPE for Haiti Nov. 29th

It was a wonderful day – no injuries and lots accomplished.   The building team is separated – the one at the Lifeline/IV HOPE property continued assembling panels for the buildings and began the foundation for an 1800 sq. ft. guest house that will include two Agriboard buildings next to each other with an expansion in the middle for a common area.  This means that many of you can come down here in the future and stay right on our property next to the orphanage and experience it for yourself. 

Ryan’s quote for the day, “I love backhoes.”  They got so much done on the property with the backhoe it was amazing – they are going to rent it for 2 more days.  The kids were jumping in the powder the backhoe left behind thinking it was so great – they had never seen in – only hard dirt with rocks.  There are sooooo many rocks here.

The team at Pastor Louissainte’s orphanage down the road finished the 2ndfoundation for them.  We are giving them a building to house the girls and a building to house the boys.  I wish you could see their living conditions and then the heart of this pastor to know what a blessing this is.

John Ming is building a pulpit for Pastor Benis so he’s been busy in the woodshop at Lifeline.

Monday, November 28, 2011

IV HOPE for Haiti Nov. 28th

Today Ryan went into the city to pick up Joe and Sally from the airport, work on paperwork, purchase the property, rent a trencher and a backhoe – he was there all day and for a while tonight, we were getting worried because Joe and Sally got a ride back to the mission but then we never heard from Ryan.  We went out on the porch to make phone calls to find out where he could be and low and behold, a backhoe comes driving through the front gate and there is Ryan – some people were surprised, but to me, that was just Ryan – ha!

This morning, the girls sorted through some love bundles (gift bags prepared by people back home for specific ages and genders of kids) and took some to Pastor Louissainte’s orphanage to pass out to the kids.  This is the orphanage that they came across last year where the pastor has such a good heart, but no money, and the kids were starving and living in horrible conditions.  Since then, Lifeline has been giving them food and the kids are doing much better.  While we were there we ran into Pastor Moore and John Hawk who were teaching about 12 Haitians how to lay form boards for a foundation for a building they are going to build for the orphanage – this one is right down the road from our orphanage property.  The rest of the men were up at our site working away with another crew of Haitians, who basically get on waiting lists in hope of work with us – it’s a blessing to be able to bless them.

Now that we are buying the property, we are working on re-designing some of our plans.  They are going to lay the foundation for the guest house we are building for future teams that come in as well as for a small building to house our generator that was donated by a Valley farmer that will power the whole compound.

In the afternoon, Sally, Aly and Kerstin sorted through a whole bunch of donated shoes in the Lifeline storage room and labeled them for specific kids at another orphanage based on a list Candice had with names and sizes.  I think they will take those tomorrow.

The dinner the Haitian ladies made tonight was really good!  This team is just wonderful.  The men are such hard workers, have huge hearts, are great with the people and children here – the community loves them.  It makes my heart proud of our Valley boys.  J  God has really blessed this ministry with wonderful people and I can hardly wait to see the fruits of their labors when this orphanage opens – but even in the process, God is doing wonderful things.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Imperial Valley's HOPE for Haiti

There is a team of 14 in Haiti and this time, I’m reporting live instead of via Ryan on his satellite phone!  The 7 with Pastor Moore arrived yesterday and went to Haitian church this morning next to Lifeline and then worked all afternoon getting our building supplies out of storage and sorting them – that was a big job.  They believe there are enough parts for 10 or 12 more small houses (I think that’s what he said).  Today Ryan, Ernie, Kerstin, Aly and I arrived.  Tomorrow Sally and Joe Colace arrive.

We got a tour of Port-au-Prince by Candice and Michelle (and Jack, the driver) and even got to go to a small market where they had beautiful hand-carve souvenirs.  This is Ryan’s 7th trip and he didn’t even think they had souvenirs to buy here, so we were thankful for the girls to give us the tour, they knew the shopping spots, ha ha.  In front of the Presidential palace we stopped to buy some paintings by Haitians for $5 and I almost caused a big fight because the artists were all coming around me shoving paintings in my hand to buy and I gave the wrong ones back to the wrong guys.  Ryan banished me back to the bus at both stops, lol.  Ryan noticed that they have come a long way in cleaning up the rubble in the city, so that’s a good thing.

On the way from the city out through the countryside we stopped at the place where the largest mass gravesite is.  200,000 bodies were buried with backhoes and dump trucks here after the earthquake.  It was a sad place to be.  Among all the small rocks covering the site, we found a human femur bone. 

Next we went to the orphanage site in the village of Barbancourt.  This is where the cholera outbreak originated and 2000 people died.  Because it’s more rural and has trees, it’s a much lovelier area than in the crazy, polluted, congested city of PAP.  The orphanage site looks great and we are going to be able to purchase some more property right next door that wasn’t for sale last year.  It will double the size of our property and give us much more opportunity for expansion later on if necessary and for self-sufficient type projects such as raising rabbits, tilapia, a garden, etc – so that is exciting.  I got to meet the pastor from the church right across the street from the orphanage as well as the principal of the Lifeline school right next door – good contacts!
It was warm and muggy here today, but tonight, especially with the ceiling fan on in our room, it’s quite nice.  It’s 3 hours ahead.  The sounds here are quite vibrant.  All afternoon, everywhere we went around here we heard beautiful Haitian worship music - the guys even had it to listen to as they worked at the building site.  Tonight, as I sit on my bed in my room I hear a symphony of loud bugs, chickens and roosters, goats and sheep, a cow and Ryan snoring.  Ryan and I are blessed to have our own room with our own bathroom!  It's far from fancy, but it is really nice for Haiti and we are grateful.  Candice and Michelle are doing well and are wonderful hostesses.  They and the 18 year old girl from Ohio, Adrienne, who has been here since June, are taking care of a 2 year old boy named Jean Fritz whose parents died of cholera.  He is absolutely adorable.  

Saturday, November 19, 2011

In our short stay here with the Haitian people we have learned a lot about their culture, work ethic, and their love for God. How humbling to see a people that have so little, but yet live abundantly. One specific occasion comes to mind when handing out a love bundle early this week. A young boy of maybe 7 received his bundle and he continuously repeated saying, "Thank you Jesus, Thank you Jesus". For something that was so small, he was so thankful, and gave God the glory. Yet in our own lives we take so much for granted and feel so entitled to everything we have and even want. This little boy taught many of us a valuable lesson in gratitude.
Our Hawk Creek Love Loud Mission Team includes ten member ranging in ages 29 to 56. For the majority of us this was our first overseas mission trip. Our vision for our mission trip to Haiti was to Love Loud... to show the love of Christ to all those we come in contact with. We didn't have set task in mind to complete during our stay here, but rather wanted to be used how ever the Lord revealed. Our team is diverse in both age and talent.
No one would put the ten of us together, but God. Our group contains a jack of all trades, an artist, a nurse, two respiratory therapists, a pastor, an accountant, a realtor, a biologist, and a collection specialist.  

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Kathy Cadden and the Compost

At first the children were confused why the crazy “blan” wanted sacks of donkey poop but soon caught on that this was a job they could help with and get to spend some time at Lifeline and maybe get a pair of shoes and/or a hot meal.  Kathy worked with many of the kids until she found a group of dependable workers (about six young teenagers) and she taught them about composting and gardening. 

The groundskeepers at Lifeline became the overseers of the project and they learned alongside the kids what goes in a compost heap and how to turn it, etc.  They dug holes and made a three section cement bin for the donkey poop, leaves, and organic food waste to compost.  The soil here at Lifeline is not the best and our little seedlings seem to be growing at half speed.  Once we begin to produce our own fertilizer we can improve the quality of our soil, grow more, produce good vegetables in our garden and possibly begin to sell or donate bucket gardens with good soil to villagers. 

The process: we collect organic food waste in buckets from the kitchen at Lifeline, sacks of donkey poop from the village and dead leaves and plantain stalks from the fields and compost it in the bins (for later use as fertilize all over Lifeline) and in the garden trenches.  We’re excited to see if this catches on and waste no longer becomes wasteful! 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Hawk Creek & Love Bundles

A team of 10 from Hawk Creek Baptist Church from London, Kentucky arrived today! The main projects for this team will be distributing Love Bundles to schools and orphanages in the area.  A Love Bundle is a bag of necessities for children.  They are packed by churches, schools and individuals in the US.  Each bundle has a towel, hygiene supplies, school supplies, a jar of peanut butter and clothes.  Find out more: http://www.childrenslifeline.com/help-us/love-bundles/

Monday, November 14, 2011

One Child at a Time

Clayson on my lap last year

Last year, I met a boy named Clayson that stole my heart.  He was skinny and sickly but had such a cheerful smile on his face.  Clayson lived at Pastor Louisainte’s orphanage in Barbancourt.  His orphanage just began receiving food from Kid’s Against Hunger (KAH) through Lifeline.  This past year over multiple trips, I have watched the health get better and better for most of the orphans.  KAH food has the nutrients they need to be healthy and strong.  As the children gained weight, strength and a healthy glow, Clayson’s health deteriorated.  
The waiting extends outside the two waiting rooms at Arcahaie clinic
One of Clayson's few smiles after receiving a Love Bundle

When I moved to Haiti full time I was able to visit Clayson more often and learn that he has always been sick.  His caretakers have neither the money nor the time to figure out what is wrong with him.  They have tried giving him basic antibiotics, as recommended by a clinic but nothing seems to change. 

Last week Lifeline Director Osmy, Michelle, Adrian and I were visiting the Children of Hope orphanage under construction in Barbancourt.  We decided to stop by and check on Clayson.  He did not smile like the other kids and did not seem to have any energy at all.  We decided it was time we do something about it.  He has had many tests, but no records have been kept.  We brought him back to Lifeline and over the course of a few days, had him tested HIV, x-rayed for TB in his lungs, and tested for worms.  We made him drink water and insured he was eating regularly.  The HIV test was negative and the TB test inconclusive.  The doctor in Arcahaie recommended we take him to a specialist in Port au Prince where he can have more tests done, since their lab is limited.  He was given some medications which we were able to purchase with donation money.

Clayson trying to share his new shoes with Jean Fritz
We took Clayson back to the orphanage (he was excited to see his twin sister and friends again but sad to leave his new mamas).  We brought his vitamins, strong worm medicine, and bronchitis medicine and instructed his caretaker how often to administer them.   They seem to love Clayson but do not have the means to care for his needs, especially since we’ve yet to discover what they are.  Too often kids like this get left to deteriorate.  There are about thirty children at his orphanage and only a few mamas and no money for expensive tests for one little sickly boy they say is probably sick because he’s a twin.  We thank God that KAH is provided for the other children and they seem to be maintaining health.  Please pray for healing for Clayson, for wisdom for the doctors, and money for his next set of tests.  

Waiting for TB X-Rays
Clayson laying on the table at the TB Center

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Changing Lives...One Family at a Time

The Russells brought a team with them this week not only to bless Lifeline but to bless the community.  Here at Lifeline they had a hand in fixing pipes, water heaters and other odds-and-ends all over Lifeline, helping install a new generator, teaching daily English classes, continuing plans for the new orphanage, painting artistic scenes in the preschool, and so much more.  They brought shoes and clothes to bless those in need in the community and began construction on a house for a family up on the mountain.  This family lives on the side of the mountain, next to the glowing cross above Lifeline.  They are extremely poor with only tarps to shelter them from the heat and rain.  The Russells and their team decided to make a lasting difference and provide in a miraculous way for the Adil family. 
 Construction on the a new house for the Adil family of 8.  

Kids in front of their old house made of tarps.

The outdoor kitchen of the old house.

The VERY steep road up to the house after much work to make it more accessible for the construction. 

One of the youngest children with a belly swollen from worms.

All the kids in the clinic after getting new clothes and shoes and being treated for stomach worms.

*Keep checking for updates on the construction 

Powering Lifeline


The new generator is working great!  We've already saved a ton on diesel costs because its so fuel efficient.  We also got new batteries for the house so the generator only has to be on a few hours a day and the mission stays charged.  Praise GOD!