So one of our small(er) projects for the boys is a week that we like to call, "Beauti-fy HCO."
This is a week full of making changes that help to clean up the property and just make everything more beautiful overall.
One of our "post-it goals" that stay up on our refrigerator just reads PICTURES! There aren't many decorations that have stayed up for very long...this due to the 40 wanna-be professional futbol players/gymnasts/rock-stars/wrestlers/models and well... the 40 rambunctious boys who play their hearts out everyday and couldn't care less about decorations. But, we are girls...
So we made it our goal to get some color and decorations up on some of the walls for them. After much deliberation and scaling down the outlandish ideas we had (pottery-day, poster size photos and chalkboard walls..) we decided on this:
A clothes-line picture wall!
You can imagine the boys' surprise as Marlo began hanging the line in the hall.. "You have that many clothes?" "You need a new clothes-line?" etc. But after the project was finished they loved it! And we do too.
Now we have lots of beautiful faces to look at down that long hallway!
I hope this post finds you happy and well! Love from Haiti!
P.S. Can you imagine 40 young boys and a pottery-day? We are definitely not mother-material! Haha!
It had been TOO long...since I had been with my boys!
Marlo and I started back our "normal" routine at HCO on Sunday and wow, was it awesome! Driving up in the car, Marlo, our friend Rachou and I were nearly jumping out of our seats with excitement. For me, it had been nearly 2 weeks since I had seen them! And as soon as we began driving up, the boys began running to the car, waving, smiling and yelling our names. Wow. Is this how a mother feels? When seeing a child run to YOU because YOU are what they are excited about, brings you to tears? Well gosh, everything brings you to tears? Maybe that's why my mom always cried so much.... ;)
(And I'm not even their real mother!)
It of course, reminds me of the love of our Father. How desperately He craves and delights in our love! When we spend long periods of time apart from His presence, all He wants is us to return to Him! He is the God of all, He doesn't need our love. And yet, He wants it! He wants us to desire and crave Him and RUN to him with all we have! Drop what we are doing and delight in His presence. What an incredible God.
Have you been apart from the Lord for too long? Go to Him now! Run to Him! Allow the one who created you to delight in your love!
Plus, if He's anything like me... He'll probably cry.. a lot. ;)
Well if you've been keeping up, you know that my husband Eric was in country for 2 weeks! I wanted to take some time and update on our time together. I'll try to keep the mushiness to a minimum. :)
He arrived late on Friday, pasty and overwhelmed and cute as can be! I was so excited to see him I ran halfway down the breezeway (which is against the rules) but thankfully, the security was understanding and just smiled at my emotional self.
Right after arrival!
After meeting and loading up we went straight for the good stuff... Passionfruit Juice. Yum!
We spent the next week leading a team in Grambouchi, Les Cayes, Haiti. It was an incredible week! (I have other posts about this week if you would like to read further.)
This is us before church.. a little more tan. ;)
After that trip I took the week off and we spent time doing our favorite thing, talking. The Lord is opening up so many doors for us and we are so excited to see where He takes us! Our future is wide open!
Talk about making my heart happy! My two favorite people in one picture! Marlo and Eric were destined to be friends.. the sheer amount of corny sayings that are spoken when in a vehicle with the two of them is absolutely unbelievable! I love them! This is at The Lookout... in the background is all of Port-Au-Prince with the sea on the left and the mountains on the right. Beautiful!
Eric at the Lookout.
Us at the lookout being totally photobombed by Marlo... see, I told you they are the same person!
Us at Life is Hope Orphanage.. excuse the precious Haitian baby arm.
And our final picture on the way to the airport. We had an excellent two weeks serving and connecting! I am so thankful that the Lord gave me a man like Eric. I'm forever thankful that he understands my heart and my calling to be here in Haiti. And I'm amazed by his support and continual encouragement. He's my rock and my best friend. He's just awesome.
Hello friends! I have so much to update you all on! This will be long, so read at your own risk! ;)
Like I mentioned in my previous post, Eric and I served in Grambouchi this last week. Our team was incredible and we made amazing progress!
Every day we had school ministry, construction ministry, community outreach, kids ministry on the beach and then movie nights with the community. It was a busy week!
I just wanted to give a re-cap of our progress on Admise's home. I posted a while ago about this project and how near it was to my heart. In case you missed it, here is the before picture of her home.The team sent funds down in advance to have the land cleared and the foundation prepared and laid.
This was the first day of ministry with our whole team.
After 3 days of working hard, our team completed their work for the week.
This is the whole team on our last day. You can see one corner of the house to the front porch area. The wooden framing is for the front porch area. We estimate that a total of 6 of Admise's old homes could fit into her new one. How exciting!
Throughout the week I connected with about a million kids (surprise, I know) but these two stole my heart. The girl on the left is one of Admise's little girls named Kateline. She was shy and scared but slowly came out of her shell as the week progressed. And she also has the most beautiful eyelashes I've ever seen.
The boy on the right is just a special kid all around. There wasn't a day during the week that our team wasn't talking about him. His name is Papi. He is mentally disabled and one of the greatest blessings to be around. He is twenty two. He helped us all week at the work site, moving blocks, sifting and sand and pretty much anything you can think of. I can't wait to see my friends again when I return!
Highlight of the week?
On Thursday morning our team was supposed to head out super early for our recreation. Our teams became so wrapped up in our school ministry and an impromptu medical clinic that we were incredibly late getting started on our day. But it was this hour and 30 minute clinic that made my week.
Our team from GA was full of paramedics, nurses and medical professionals specializing in many different areas. They used up almost all of their resources on those children. Although they did not come to Haiti on a medical trip, they were always bandaging scrapes, tending to fevers and much more. So much so, that we cut quite a bit of our recreation out for the day and turned to ministry instead.
As many of you know, I'm very time oriented. I like to plan and stick with it... to an extent. So as I realized we were almost 2 hours or more behind schedule I began to worry the rest of the team would be getting upset. I walked out of the house and there they all were, sweaty and smiling. They had continued school and kids ministry the entire time! I doubt any of them were even aware of the schedule!
The Lord blessed us with not only and incredible trip and ministry progress.. but He also blessed me with a team that came with an attitude of serving. They were incredible and I was so blessed to be able to serve alongside them this week. If any of you are reading this, know I love you! Thank you!
The week wrapped up with: 13 salvations, great progress on Admise's home, Admise's home became fully-funded, many children treated and evaluated medically and the love of Christ was spread to a community in need of the gospel!
So tonight as I was standing over a huge pot of boiling
spaghetti, pondering life and other things.. it happened yet again... I felt the intense desire to blog! About what you ask? Well...
Every so often (like, atleast once a week) it seems as
though God orchestrates these beautiful and incredible moments... Moments where every
barrier is broken down, plans fall into place, visions are brought to reality
and our hearts are made full! After brainstorming, planning and connecting with
teams and leadership… it is sometimes like a surge of pure energy that can take over a room. Like making the winning shot at the buzzer, hitting every note in a solo or even finding out you got the job! Marlo and I normally run around in circles, sing really loud or something to
that affect to get it out of our system. ;)
This happened today while I was cooking and some of my
friends were setting up a trip in the next room. I knew
exactly what was happening and that "the moment" was coming... every few minutes their
voices would get louder, energy was slowly filling the apartment and it was
like the Spirit was in the room! Then it happened. The phone call ended and it
was an eruption of joy! Passionate praises to the Lord! Excitement, passion, love!
This "moment" is something that I’ve been trying to
describe in my journal for about a month.It was so neat to be a “fly on
the wall” and experience it in third person.
I believe fully that the Lord has a hand in every
conversation and blessing that comes to us here in Haiti. It is incredible to
watch how these moments are totally planned by Christ.
Blessings are truly being poured out here in Haiti! Our
minds are being blown by the compassion and financial support for this country
and the needs of its people! Praise the Lord and thank you all!
Be in prayer for Eric and I (yes, Eric is going to be here
in 2 days! 2 days!) as we spend this next week leading a mission team in Grambouchi,
Les Cayes. This is the team that will be helping Admise and her family that I
mentioned in a previous post. Be in prayer for the community of Grambouchi and
the work we will be doing there. This is our first team to ever be serving in
this area, so we are excited to watch how the Lord will work through us!
Well friends, as you probably have heard by now, Marlo's birthday was on Monday!! She turned 24! So in honor of her 24th year of life, we decided to throw her a party. Yep, all 50 of us!
We started the evening off by coming into our normal "hang out" room and seeing that the boys had cleaned, decorated and made a dance floor in the middle! It was so adorable to see how excited they were to be a part of the preparations.
One of the older boys brought his piano and Almando brought his guitar and they serenaded us all night. It was so funny to watch the boys cut loose and dance like fools. No rhythm required, the worse you were at dancing, the more everyone loved you! It was hilarious!
We then circled up and had a time of prayer over Marlo and her life. That the Lord would bless her here at HCO, give her health and happiness, and ultimately allow her to serve Him to the best of her ability in the next year. It was an incredibly precious moment with all of the boys surrounding her, interceding upon her behalf.
After prayer, we ATE! Hotdogs, mandarins and bananas! And of course, Tampico to drink. I'm pretty sure Cassie and I filled cups with Tampico all night long! These boys can put the food away!
Cassie with yet another empty Tampico gallon.. :)
Then after a little time of eating and fellowship, we got together again for a talk about God's creation. Jeanty spoke to the boys about how there is creation all around us, but we are God's beautiful creation. We are his masterpiece. It was awesome to listen to him tie the lesson into Marlo's birthday and how we should celebrate the fact that God has allowed a beautiful creation (Marlo) to be a part of our lives and live another year. The boys even said a quick prayer of thanksgiving to God for having her in their life and upon this earth. So beautiful!
Then lastly, we brought her the "cake."
I had been telling her for-EVER that she would have a cake on her birthday. Sadly, this of course did not happen (mainly because of lack of planning on my part) since we ran out of time. Thankfully Cassie and Almando came to the rescue and presented a beautiful cake-of-sorts.
You probably can't tell all that well, but it is a mandarin with a sparkler in it, on a frying pan with peanuts spelling out "24." Her face was priceless!
We closed the night with more singing, smiles and laughter and I think its safe to say that Marlo had a great birthday.
Marlo, Jeanty (Wally) and I
I love you Marlo! I am so thankful that you are a part of my life and I am sharing this experience here in Haiti with you. You have become my confidant, my truth-giver, my laughter machine and my best friend. I love you so much! Thank you for being exactly who you are!