Beautiful Little People Who Will Make You Smile

Here are some of the beautiful little people I met last week while on a mission trip in Haiti.  These children live in a little village called Babaco on the edge of a dried up river bed.  We were told that after a hurricane the river just went away.  We actually drove down the middle of the river bed to get to their church/school. The smiling faces and laughter of these children brought so much joy to my heart and I know that these pictures will make you smile too 🙂

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He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Mark 10:14

Have a wonderful day!

Haiti Revisited Day 2

I will be returning to Haiti in 9 days and  I have decided that I will be sharing my blog posts from when my husband and I went to Haiti in 2013 with Compassion International.

Today’s post is from our second day in Haiti 2013

It’s title is Hope is Here 

Yesterday I woke up in my nice warm bed in the United states, today I woke up in Haiti. I came to this place not really knowing what God had planned for me in this Country but did I think I he was sending me here to to be of some sort of help.
I also had an idea in my head as to what I thought life here would be like. When I arrived here yesterday I saw things were as I thought they would be but I could never have prepared myself for how it would really look and how it would make me feel. I saw so many people living what appeared to me to be a harder life than I could have ever imagined could be possible. I could not get the the looks on the faces of people we passed out of my mind, the look that seemed to say “please help me”.  I so desperately wanted to help but there were hundreds of people lining the streets and I could not help them.  I went to bed last night with my heart feeling as if it had been ripped out of my chest wondering how can this be happening and do these people have hope?

Today was a different sort of day. Finish the story by clicking here,

You can also follow along on our trip by following my new blog Hearts 4 Haiti

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day!

T

 

 

 

 

Heading to Haiti Again

Hi All! Whew it seems like time has been flying lately! My life has been crazy busy and with so much going on I seem to have forgotten all about my blog.  I realized today that I have not posted anything for a long,  loooooong time!  As I mentioned in an earlier post I will be heading for Haiti on a mission trip with my church in April and that trip is just 10 days away! Wow am I excited and also a little bit nervous!

Sunday our Team was commissioned during church.

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Our Haiti Team – Cathy, Judy, Steven, Tiffany, Angie, Michael, Monica, Jason, Ellie, Terri, Linnie, Rachael

IMG_1929 IMG_1928 and after church we had a team meeting.  We have a lot of cool things planned for the people in Haiti and things seem to be coming together really well.  The commissioning service was really great and very moving for me, there is just something very emotional about being on your knees at the alter with your church family all standing around you with their hands on you praying. The feeling of God’s power in the room and also a feeling of peace all at the same time is just too hard to explain .  After the commissioning service was over there all the sudden was a sense of finality and  a wow we are really going to do this feeling! Not that I ever doubted we would do it, but it just seemed so far away and it was like suddenly this just got really really real!

Haiti… wow, I can’t believe God is calling me back there again.  A long time ago a friend said something to me about going to Haiti and I replied, ” you don’t want to go there,  its dangerous there!”  Looking back I laugh at that because never ever in my wildest dreams did I ever envision myself going to Haiti, or even on a mission trip for that matter,  but now here I am getting ready for my second visit there!

A minute ago I was thinking about how it’s really cool the places that God will take you if you let Him.  He will take you out of your comfort zone and yet when you get out of your comfort zone that is when you realize that you are where you belonged all along.

In celebration of my return to Haiti for the rest of this week  I have decided that I am going to share my blog posts from when I went to Haiti in 2013 with Compassion International.  Today I will start with our first day in Haiti, that day I was shocked by what I saw and honestly I have to say that day rocked my faith a bit and I really was unsure if I would be able to make it through the rest of the trip.  That day we got off of our airplane and drove through Port au Prince, where the people lined the street,  the rubble from the earthquake was still there. To me the whole city seemed chaotic and hopeless.  That night I was sad and posted a short blog post of mostly pictures but what I did not know was that the next day God had big plans for our group and he had much more in store for me to see.  The next day I would learn that hope was alive and well in Haiti and that He was right there in the midst of the mess.

So here is my first in the Haiti series ~ The Eyes

As I travel through this place so far from the life that I live, I see a way of life so different than I could have ever imagined existed -> read the rest here.

Thank you so much for reading today and God Bless.

T

The Hope In Haiti

Hi and Happy Friday!

I am excited to share with you that I am blogging over at Compassion International‘s blog today. Check it out here – The Hope in Haiti .

Have a great day!

Terri

 

Haiti 5 Years After the Earthquake and Change

Hi Everyone and Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and that you are off to a good start on this brand new year.  I know many of you may have made new years resolutions and should be well into them by now.  I myself am really not much of a new years resolution kinda girl the reason being I usually break them pretty quickly and besides it seems like the past few years  I seem to have some sort of year round changes going on anyway so I just try my best to go with the flow and enjoy the ride 🙂

Since I am talking about changes today I was thinking this might be a good time to talk about another change that has taken place over the past 5 years.

Change in Haiti.

This coming Monday January 12 is the 5 year anniversary of the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti in 2010.  Over the past 5 years that country has been going through many many changes. I am not sure if in Haiti they do the new years resolution thing or not but today I was thinking about how we just really never know what the future holds.  The thought crossed my mind that if they do the New Years resolutions like we do in my country then about this time in 2010 they never knew that in just a few short days that their New Years resolutions would be forgotten and they would be in the middle of one of the most devastating disasters they had ever seen.

An Earthquake can demolish a whole city in a matter of seconds.

In only 30 seconds of time 250,000 people in Haiti died. Over 1/3 of their country was impacted by the earthquake and their entire government structure was collapsed to rubble. Parents lost children, children became orphans… whole families lost or uprooted.

I just can’t even begin to imagine how scary that must have been for them, it was a change that they never saw coming.

Thankfully People began pitching in to help, people donated money, supplies and many went to Haiti to try to help.

One of the organizations that helped following the earthquake  in Haiti was Compassion International.  Following the earthquake people from all around the world began giving with a totals of $31 million dollars donated to Compassion International’s disaster relief fund and Compassion immediately began disaster relief efforts.

The video below shows how they were able to use that money immediately following the earthquake and also how they were also able to set up long term recovery efforts.

As many of you know I visited Haiti a little over a year and a half ago, at that time there was still a lot of rubble and devastation. While there I was able to visit several  Compassion facilities and I was able to see first hand how well they were working and how lives were being changed and put back together.  They were able to help share the love of Jesus and give back hope to the Haitian people, helping to change things for the better.

I was happy to hear that now 5 years after the earthquake through the donors, sponsors, staff & volunteers they have accomplished everything they set out to accomplish in Haiti and so much more.  Pretty awesome huh? 🙂

Before I leave today I have one more thing I would like to share with you.. or shall I say… I have a person I would like to share with you?   Today I would like to introduce you to Jean Fritznel Demosthene.

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Jean is 5 years old and Jean lives in Haiti.  He lives with his mother and his father and he has 3 brothers and sisters.  Jean likes to play soccer, he is in pre-school and  He regularly attends church activities.  Jean has been praying and waiting for a sponsor for over 9 months and is in immediate need of a sponsor.  Today I am asking you to pray for Jean that he will receive a sponsor soon.  I would also like to ask you to consider being his sponsor.  For $1.25 a day… that’s less the the price of a cup of coffee you could help change his life.  If you would like to sponsor Jean or would like more information you can contact me via the contact tab on this blog or leave your emai in the comments. (all comments are moderated so nobody will see your email except me). You can also get more information about Compassion by clicking his picture.

For some the New year brings change… If you are considering a change this year…maybe that change could be to help change the life of someone else. You could help to change Jean’s life of maybe just the life of someone in your own neighborhood.  Help a sick friend, visit your neighbor, pay for the person behind you in the drive-thru.  Most of all just take the time and slow down, pay attention to whats going on and who God has placed around you.  Changing someone’s life might be just a simple smile at the cranky looking guy in the grocery store.  Be a blessing in someones life and I think you may just find out somehow you were blessed too.

Thank you so much for reading today, happy and best wishes for the coming year and thank you for praying for Jean,

God bless you and have a wonderful day,

T

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future ~  Jeremiah 29:11

Who am I???….Really???

DSCN0131Did you ever have something slap you in the face so hard it hurt for days?

I’m not talking about a physical slap, I’m talking about that slap of reality. A slap so hard that it knocks you down a notch or two, makes you think about your life and makes you wonder just who you really are.

I know you all keep hearing me talk about Haiti over and over again so forgive me but I am going to go to that subject one more time and I am not promising you that it will be the last time either 🙂

When I went to Haiti last March I felt like I was doing pretty good at the whole ‘new me’ thing that Jesus has been helping me with.  I knew I was very far from perfect and never will be perfect but I did feel like I was striving toward the correct direction for the first time in my life, but when I reached Haiti what I saw there knocked me down to my knees and made me rethink my whole perspective on who I really was.  The emotion I felt there was so much more than I ever expected or had ever felt in my life.  At times the emotion ran so raw I could feel every nerve ending in my body just want to scream out “stop!’  I felt so many things while there, things like frustration, sorrow and hopelessness but then as the week went on I felt things like hope and joy like I had never felt before.   I also saw God in Haiti like I had never seen or experienced Him before.   I won’t go into it all again today here on my blog but if you would ever like to read about that here are the links to the blog posts I wrote while there or soon after coming home.

The Eyes

Hope is Here

This Will Make You Smile

The Best Day Ever

Never the Same Again

Stepping Into The Boat

The Tail of Two Mothers

When I returned home from Haiti I began to question if I do enough, I mean really do I give enough?  Do I sacrifice my own personal comfort?  Am I bold enough to I give my whole self to what God has called me to do?  I am not speaking of just money I am speaking of things like speaking out, stepping up to do what he asks me to do.  Do I shrink back worrying what others may think of me?

Since I returned home Haiti has still been close to my heart and also feel that it changed my life forever.  Yesterday I saw a blog post by Ann Voskamp, I have to admit it was very thought provoking and convicting.   I saw a lot of my own feelings that I had I felt in Haiti when I read it.  I am a little embarrassed and sad to say that when I came back here to my cushy life in Missouri I gradually let some of what I  had saw there go out of my mind.  After reading Ann’s blog I realize the feelings are still there but some I had tucked away where they sat quietly back waiting for a slap of reality to hit me again.

I can still feel it…

It’s still there roaring through my veins,

Give Him my all.

Boldly go where he says to go…even if it may be scary.

Say what he wants me to say…don’t back down for fear of what people may think.

It only matters what God thinks.

Give my all till it hurts,  isn’t a sacrifice supposed to hurt?

What Jesus did for me hurt…

In order to show Jesus I have to live Jesus

Today I want to share the blog post I read yesterday,  I feel what the blogger says is true.  I hope not to make anyone upset with me but this is where the “boldly go where he tells me to go comes in” 🙂

A Letter to the North American Church:  Because it’s Time  By, Ann Voskamp

Thank you for reading and have blessed day 🙂

The Tale of Two Mothers

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Photo by Leslie Ponder

Missouri, USA

I wake up to the sound of my baby crying in the middle of the night, hurrying down the hall to his room I find him burning up with fever and coughing and I know he is sick with another cold.  I give him a dose of Tylenol and I rock him until the medicine starts to work and he falls back asleep.  I lay him in his crib  touching his little face relieved because his fever has dropped and he is cool now.  In the morning I will take him to the doctor.

A few hours later my alarm buzzes letting me know it is time to get up and start the day.  I check on the baby he is still sleeping, I touch his forehead and feel he is warm again.  I plan to call the doctor as soon as I get the other kids off to school.  I stop by their rooms to wake them up and then head to the kitchen to cook breakfast.  As I prepare breakfast I feel a bit overwhelmed with the tasks of the day.  I have a list a mile long of laundry, grocery shopping, my daughter has girl scouts and then dance class after school and the baby now needs a trip to the doctor.  My girls come into the kitchen, I put their breakfast in front of them, and we begin to talk and laugh as they eat their pancakes.  After breakfast is finished we all pile into the car and I drop them off at school, my day has begun.

Les Cayes, Haiti

I wake to the sound of my baby crying. I reach over and touch him he is burning up with fever and coughing, I know he is sick, though I am not sure how to help him. I do not have the money for a doctor or any medicine to give him. I rock him back to sleep listening to the coughs hoping he will be better soon.

A few hours later I wake to the sound of my baby crying, I reach over and touch his forehead, he is still burning with fever.  I sigh as the other children begin to wake up, I know they are going to be hungry and I have nothing to feed them again today. I wish I had more to give my children.  I do the best I can and am thankful for our home made of scraps of tin.   We have no electricity or running water, I worry my children will get sick from Cholera or Typhoid, and at night I cover them with mosquito nets to keep them from getting bitten by mosquitos which could bring them sicknesses such as Dengue fever and Malaria. I don’t really know how to help my children get out of this life we live.  Our day has just begun, I feel so tired and overwhelmed…

It’s Compassion Blogger assignment time again and since this Sunday is Mother’s Day the assignment today was to write from the perspective of a mother living in extreme poverty.  Because I do not live in poverty I really do not know how that would feel but that was my feeble attempt to compare my life when my children were still small and living at home to a mother living in poverty.

This past March I went on a Compassion Sponsor Tour to Haiti.  While there, we visited a mother at her home, the mother I described to you was the lady pictured at the top of this blog and that is her home she is standing in front of.   She had a family of 7 people who lived in that tiny home and she was HIV positive. Her eyes were tired and told a story of a hard life.  I will never forget her for long as I live.  Haiti is a poverty stricken country where 1 in 11 children usually die before the age of 5  and sadly most die from preventable causes.

Now I want to tell you about Compassion International’s Child Survival Program.

Compassion’s Child Survival Program works with mothers and expectant mothers to help them physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.  The program teaches them how to take care of their babies and how to make a safe home for them.  The Child Survival Program is based through the local church where they present the mothers with the gospel and also encourage their spiritual development by teaching them how to apply Christian values and how to share God’s love with their children.

While on our visit one of the places we visited was the HA-303 Child Survival program, while there I had the privilege to meet the mothers and children who attend and see first hand how the program is working.  The mothers and babies who were in the program were happy, healthy and thriving.

This is not the end of today’s story, I want to show you how you can help mothers in poverty change their story.  By clicking here you will be taken to Compassion’s Child Survival Program website there you can get more information and also make a one time donation to help save mothers and babies in need.  Thank you so much for reading my blog and also for making a difference in a life today.  Enjoy the video below of the mothers we visited at CSP HA-303 as they sing to us.