The Family

The Family
Justice, Logan, Jacy Klaire, Joy, Josie Kate, Luke, Megan, Judah, Kerry, Jaxon

Friday, January 7, 2011

Beyond 2010

What a year 2010 turned out to be for our family.  I can't believe it has been almost a year since the January 12th earthquake.  It seems like just yesterday when I think of the experiences of the weeks following the disaster but yet in a way it seems like years have passed.  It seems strange that everything we have seen happen here has all taken place in just one year.  It was a year that we got to really see people at their darkest moments and most desperate.  But at the same time I feel that I personally grew more in 2010 than in any other year of my life.  I have learned so much about myself and about the things in life that really matter.  I don't have time to share all of those lessons here and much of it is too personal to publish.  I know that the things I have learned are just part of God continueing to prepare us to be used to meet people's needs as we invest ourselves in others.

Here's a breif update of what's been going on lately:

 "I'll NEVER go to Haiti...I can tell you that right now"- Logan commented through tear filled eyes days before we moved here in 2009.  He felt he was losing his mom and his family.  He did not see how it could be part of a 'good' plan from God.  In December he made his first trip back since he was here the day of the earthquake.  He spent 3 weeks helping with projects and getting to know his little Haitian sister Justice.  It was a sweet time and a gift to Joy through the holidays.

Cool Hand Luke-  "What we have a communicate..."  I love that movie...and Luke has proven that is not a problem for him.  He is already learning the language well and loves helping the guys in the fishing ministry and working at the mission.  He is home schooling with Jacy Klaire and doing well.  He is truly a missionary in every sense of the word.

 Escaline - or Callie as we call her- lost her mom to an infection 2 months after her birth.  She was left with a father along with 7 other children. The father was unable to care for her and brought her down the mountain for us to take.  She is doing great and is one of the sweetest little angels you have ever seen.

 For Christmas we took the family and our guys to Saut d'eau falls.  A sacred site to catholics and voodooists.  It is a huge cascading water fall that makes you forget you are in the desolate country of Haiti.  Here you see Luke and Wesner at the foot of one of the falls.

 Street services with our bus have become one of our primary ways of interacting with the community.  We pull the bus up to a spot beside the road and hang a sheet of plywood on the back rack.  We open the handicap ramp and roll out 2- 400 watt speakers and set up a projector and show videos and worship songs and have services.  This picture is of us showing the Jesus Film in Creole at a refugee camp of people displaced from the quake.  It was a fun time with a team from Joy's home town of Maiden, NC.  Thanks pastor Jonathan for all the help you guys were to us. 

 We have been working at The Mission to make a parking lot.  Here is Luke and the guys spreading gravel.

 Fidelo showed up at the mission in very serious condition.  He had gone to a hospital 8 days earlier with an eye infection but the hospital just gave him a drop and sent him away.  By the time he came to us he could not talk or see and could barely stand up.  He had a very high fever with neurological symptoms.  And as you see a more than slightly swollen right eye.  I took him immediately to a little mission hospital where we could start I.V. antibiotics.   After a couple of days the neurological symptoms began to subside and his fever was down.  This picture is after a week.  The eye is still an issue but we were able to save his life.

 Michelet is one of our fisherman and Dedette helps us in processessing the fish.  Their mom is very sick and near death so Joy and I were going to visit her with a group visiting from Operation Hope out of Lubbock, TX.  As we were going through the village by the river, Joy came upon a naked baby covered in sores and flies and gnats.  Open wounds and scabies covered most of her body.  The mother was near by but she was not in much better condition and could not open her eyes due to a horrible eye infection.  Joy picked up the baby and took her to the mission to clean and medicate her.  We also took the mother to the eye clinic and started her on medication as well.  As we were returning, the mother begged us to take the baby and let her live with us.  We tried to tell the mom we could not take it and so we returned them home.  In the trip back home as I talked to the mom, I learned she was not mentally able to understand.  We found family members and discovered the girl was first pregnant at 13 and this is her third child and she is 18 years old.  She is not mentally competant and does not know who the father is for 2 of the children.  No family is able to take the children in so they live in a shack on the dirt floor with a mother that is mentally unable to care for them.  After having the entire family and practically everyone in the village tell us that the mother truly can't care for them and wants to give them up, we took little Jefnica and her 4 year old sister Gatina to live at the mission.  That was just 3 days ago and they are doing great.  I went to visit the mom today and her family and they are so thankful for us being able to help them.  If we ever move back to the states, someone needs to give Joy an honorary social workers license.  She spends much of her day in that role!

 The day we discharged Fidelo from the hospital we were going to visit some women in a village that had tried to get us to take their 4 children.  We wanted to see how they were living and if the mothers were able to care for the babies if we helped them with food and supplies.  As we drove up we saw that an accident had occured.  A far too frequent event since the new road has been finished.  As we were parking the bus we saw one of the girls we were going to visit running up the road with a pillow.  She ran to me and told me that her mom had just been ran over.  We rushed to the scene and found the mother conscious but with injuries to her head and lower body.  We loaded her into the bus and took her to the mission hospital.  We assisted in getting her calf sown up and her other injuries 'briefly' checked and then took her to The Mission to take care of her for a few days.  She is doing better now and the picture above is from Tuesday this week when we took her back to her house.  We also decided not to take the babies fom that village but we are going to help teach the girls to be mothers and care for their babies without having more.

 Kitleen went into hidding after she refused to give her babies to the man that had tried to bribe her.  We originally heard she had given in and let him have them.  Later we discovered she could not do it at the last minute but was afraid of what he might do.  Her twins were Joy's first babies that Joy helped to rescue.  Today I went to visit them in their new house.  The little boy is still struggling.  He is 14 months old and still has no teeth, can't sit or talk, and weighs barely 10 pounds.  We are going to start him on a program available for malnourished children and see if we can't get him on track.  The mom is pregnant again and lives with her 18 year old sister who has a 3 month old baby too. 

Whenever I get to feeling like things are overwhelming or too tough God sends me a reminder that things could be worse.  We came by after this bus ran off of the road in a bad place on the way from St. Marc.  God is always there and we are grateful to be used to touch so many lives.  It seems lately that God is just putting us in the right place at the right time to be a tool to rescue people from dire situations.  We are grateful.  Although we have seen some lost, we rejoice for the ones we get to have a part in their deliverance.  We look forward to 2011.  Earthquakes, colera, riots, hurricanes, and dead friends were not on our radar as we entered 2010.  But neither were-

Kristi and Krista- Colleen's twins that Joy found dying of malnutrition

Kitreen's Twins that Joy also rescued

Niaca and Kimberly- sisters we found in a tent village and now live in the mission

Jean Moi- orphan living on the beach

Jean Patrick- orphan who's parents were murdered

Justice- our baby we are adopting that was abandoned at 3 weeks

Kobe- handicapped teenage orphan that was a street kid

Adelson- street kid orphan

Wilna- nearly blind orphan that had never been to school and now is top of her class

Kevin- Cerebral palsey 3 year old orphan that was going to be thrown into the sea

Michelet- handicapped 3 year old orphan with megalocephally that is finally being taught to sit up and speak

Jefnica and Gatina- sisters found in the fishing village

Callie- 2 month old baby from the mountains whose mother died of complications from birth

All of the ones we have been able to help with dire medical needs

The fisherman in our group that now have an income and are changing the economic landscape of Montrouis

The one's like Nabal, and Charles, and Louis, and Mireille that have accepted Christ and received the hope He offers.

You see the circumstances were only used to teach us that the only things that really matter are people.  Our highlights from 2010 are the people that we got to invest our lives into.  In return, they have enriched our lives in ways we never would have dreamed.  God has shown us that people are our inheritance in the promised land and we are grateful for such revelation. 


Anonymous said...

Beautiful! Thank you for allowing me to experience your life 1st hand and for the opportunity for the Lord to guide me in your paths for a short moment in time. I look forward to sharing more time, experiences, and the love of Christ as we move forward.
Jamey Little
Newton, NC

Heather Elyse said...

This was so beautifully written... thank you for sharing!! I cried through most of it!! :) I love you guys and am so proud of you both.