Thursday, March 24, 2011


 I got my hands on a few new photos today.  Thank goodness for being "tagged" on facebook.  I rarely had my camera on me in the villages, so I'm very thankful to my teammates for snapping some shots of us!  I want to remember these faces!

 Outreach in Titanyen Village
Wislee and I in Leveque

This little boy ran up to Dallas and hugged him like he had known him all his life.  Holly just happened to capture the moment. I got one too...

Simon saaaays...
Another Random thought...Don't you just LOVE Dallas' curly head?!  Love it!!
He's looking a bit like a wolf-man, but I like it!  Our children are destined to have some THICK unruly hair.
This beach looked out onto La Ganove Island where Gut's Church has done so much to reach, feed, provide water for and educate the people there.  It was very cool to see!  We used to go to church at Guts and hear about La Ganove, so to see it in person was a blessing! Click here to read more about what Guts Church is doing in Haiti.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

"It is not US and is WE"

 Kids in the village of Sourcematles

I had planned to post yesterday right when I got back, but there were no words, only tears.  I can't quite explain what I have been feeling since we returned. I first experienced it on the plane when I would just burst into quiet tears.  I called both of my parents when we arrived safely in FT. Lauderdale, and I could barely talk to either one of them.  The crying was too strong, my face completely covered in tears and it was hard to breath.  It feels almost like a depression that I'm feeling, a heaviness on my heart for the people of Haiti, grief, sadness....I can't explain it.  I was so excited to see my kids, but at the same time I was sad to be home when there is SO much to be done in Haiti.  It's the strangest feeling, but I honestly think that my heart has been broken for the people of Haiti.  All day yesterday I was in and out of crying.  Thoughts about people and faces would come to my mind and I would just sob.

My prayer before I left for this trip was that God would break my heart for what breaks His and that I would see the Haitian people the way that He sees them.  I can only guess that I am feeling a tiny bit of the grief and pain that God feels for the people of this Country.  It's amazing to think that God loves each and every one of us so much that He hurts when we hurt.  He cries for us, He grieves over our situations.  I don't know that I really grasped this concept before this trip.

An Intern at Mission of Hope said to us one night that, "it is not US and THEM, it is WE".  This really struck me.  I feel like here in the states we live in a bubble.  We worry about trivial things and focus our time on the unimportant.  In Haiti it is a daily struggle just to live.  They live one day at a time because they have no other option.  They fight for their lives and for each meal in most situations.  When you sit back and think that to Jesus we are all one in the same.  Why don't we look at the situation in Haiti and treat those people as if it were our own neighbor struggling?  I tried every chance I got to love the kids I came in contact with.  I hugged them, held their hands, sang songs to them and started giving them names like I give my kids (this helped because I couldn't pronounce their name in Creole no matter how hard I tried:).  Most of them were bubba and bubbie to me.  I read a shirt that one of the missionaries had on one day and it touched me.  It said, 'there is no such thing as a lesser person'.  That hit me hard.  If everyone took on that view-point, this world would be changed!

Some things I learned...

1. Haiti is in MUCH worse shape than I anticipated.  There are tent cities all over the place.  As many as   12 people live in one tent.  The temporary structures that Samaritan's Purse set up (over 15,000) are still being used as houses for families even though they were made to last only one year.  I anticipate they will be used until they deteriorate.
Samaritan's Purse temporary houses

2. There was a misconception with the funds donated to Haiti by the US Government.
A number of people, including myself, thought that Haiti took the funds donated and squandered them away.  We learned while we were there that is not the case.  The US Government has not yet released those relief funds to Haiti.  We are supposedly waiting for the new Haitian president to take office (in just a few weeks) before releasing the money from the US.

3. The mass grave is overwhelming.  We passed by what just looked like another mountain, but learned it is the sight where they piled over 250,000 bodies after the earthquake.
Mass Grave

4. The kids in haiti have no 'stranger danger' fear.  They LOVED us.  They ran up to us and would hang from our legs.  They wanted to be held and get piggy back rides.  They would follow us wherever we were headed in the village with no parent chasing behind them wondering where they were going.  They wanted to help us dig trenches and pick up trash.  They would play with my hair and touch my face.

5. It is no wonder that disease is rampant in Haiti.  We saw children swimming with pigs, they ran around the villages with no shoes, no underwear and no clothes at all in some cases.  Most of the kids, especially in one village, had sores all over them, on their heads.  I was told most of them had ringworm and staff infection, and they just live with it.  We loved them and hugged on them. A kid is a kid is a kid...

dallas giving the kids rides on his arms
6. Mission of Hope is probably the BEST example of what God calls us to be.  They are loving the people of Haiti, feeding the hungry, caring for the poor and taking care of the orphans.  I just can't even explain the love exhibited through this organization.  They may live in an impoverished place where there are no luxuries, but they will have many riches in heaven!

7. God has a bigger plan for my life than what I am living.  I can't wait to find out what it is!

8. Haiti needs help, prayer and support. The mission of Hope is doing a wonderful job, but 2 needs they have are for prayer and support.

9. Mission of Hope is A-Mazing!  They have 61 orphans living there full time.  These kids are thriving!  They started a school several years ago and have 2600 students this year.  They educate these kids and teach them to love their country.  Their hope and prayer is that these kids will have a passion for their country and will change the Country for Christ.  They are building a planned community in a village called Leveque (we worked there one day) with over 500 homes to be given away.  They feed over 50,000 Hatians a day partnering with Convoy of Hope.  They have a medical clinic for the community and are opening a full-service hospital soon.  So much is going on there and it's amazing to see what God is doing through them to touch this nation.

10. Mission trips are life changing!  Even though our trip was short, I will never be the same.  God showed me so much on this trip.  I have been on several mission trips in the past, but this was different.  I don't know what all will come from it, but I know that I will never be the same.

Check out Mission of Hope if you want to help the effort to change Haiti for Christ.

MOH's Mission Statement: As an organization following Jesus Christ, Mission of Hope exists to bring life transformation to every man, woman, and child in Haiti. We desire to serve the nation of Haiti, and see lives changed.
Kids in Simonette
My buddy
Painting a house in Titanyen

Friday, March 11, 2011 we come!

In just a few days Dallas and I, along with a team of 20 other adults will travel to the most impoverished nation in the Western Hemisphere.  I find myself getting more and more emotional the closer the trip gets.  I watch this video from last years trip and tears just fill my eyes...

Last year Dallas traveled to  Port Au Prince Haiti just weeks after the most devastating earthquake Haiti had encountered. 250,000 people were killed and over 30,000 buildings collapsed.  I can't even imagine.  Dallas came home a different person, a changed man.  So many people from the trip last year have said that their life has been forever changed by the experience.  I cannot wait.

I cannot wait to wrap my arms around the orphans.  Every one of the kids from the video is an orphan, no parent to care for them, nobody to hug them, to love them, to look them in the eyes....nobody.   There are over 400,000 children in Haiti without parents.  I know that I will only be there a short time, but it's my mission to hug on as many of these little ones that I can. To give them attention and affection, to hold their hands, play with them and treat them like they are my kids.  There are so many abandoned kids and orphanages, please pray for them!

I am so excited and expectant for what God is going to do through our team and in my life.  I know that I know that we are supposed to be on this trip.  God has confirmed it over and over again.  Even when the financial aspect of the trip became a question, God took care of one of our trips almost instantly!  Then when the blizzard hit and there were repairs and deductibles to be met, God took care of the other trip, that very week.  Thank you so much to all of you who contributed to our trip!  I cannot express how blessed we feel by each and every one of you.  We have been SO blessed that we have been able to bless others to be able to go as well.  I pray for each and every one of you....that God will bless you and that He will take the seed you have planted in us and will multiply it's fruit 1000 times over!  Some people are called to go, some to give and some to do both.  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for answering the call to give.  By giving you are going with us!

Dallas says that Haiti is one of the most beautiful places he's ever been. 

Prayer Requests...
Please pray for our team.  We will be at the Mission of Hope, part of Convoy of Hope... They run a wonderful organization that helps feed over 50,000 meals a day to children in schools and orphanages throughout Haiti.  They are making a difference.  Please pray for our safety and for the safety of our kids while we are away.  Please pray for Rhett as he has been dehydrated.  Last night our Dr. wanted to admit him the the Children's hospital.  He ended up letting us take him home for the night where we forced pedialyte down him.  He has had over 15 ounces of pedialyte since we have been home and woke up with a wet diaper this morning!  Praise God for His faithfulness to heal!  Please pray that Rhett will continue to stay hydrated and will be healthy while we are away.  Many of the adults on our trip have children at home, please pray that they all remain safe and well taken care of in the absence of their mom or dad or both.  

Stayed tuned for our return!  

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Dear Grandpa...

Thanks for the fedora!  I find that I like to wear it everywhere, and it goes perfectly with my hiking boots, skeleton socks, shorts and a fleece pull-over.  It's very versatile!  My mom likes it too!

Love, Jude

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Rhett aka: Bubbie, Brother, Brother Bear, Stinkeroo, Bubba, Little Bit, Rhett-a-tet-tet, Rhett-er-roo

I sure do love this little guy.  He's quite the dare-devil and he keeps me on my toes, but look at him, he's just so darn sweet!  This is the smile he gives me when I tell him "no", mostly when he's risking his life to turn the light switch on and off, or when he gets caught scaling the contractor's ladder in our bedroom, or when I find in at the top of the stairs...

His favorite past time....on, off, on, off...

Rhett is definitely a toughie.  He's got a hard head (literally) and really no remorse for pain administered to others by him.  Just today he whipped Jude in the side of the head with a bob the builder tool belt.   RenderingJude limp and in the fetal position with a shiner in the corner of his eye, Rhett just ran around the room and laughed his little heart out!  It was really sad when he picked up a toy drill and threatened Jude with it.  He was faking him out and chasing him around the room.  Poor Jude.  I of course discipline Rhett, but there's not much you can do to teach a one year old a lesson.