Tag Archive: Trust


Answered Prayer…

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.”  Matthew 7:7-8

When I wrote my last blog I told you about an opportunity Respire Haiti has for purchasing more land to help us build a better school for Respire Haiti and the community of Gressier.

The total cost of the land is $55,000…and here is some AMAZING news…we have been offered a matching grant for at least half of the total cost…meaning if we raise $27,500…they will donate $27,500.  Also meaning if you donate $50…that turns into $100…or if you donate $100…that turns into $200.

Boldly asking for money is one of the most difficult and humbling things that I have had to do since starting Respire Haiti….so here I am humbly saying…Every dollar counts and we are SO blessed by amazing supporters, encouragers and prayer warriors.  But we need you now…So we are asking…we are seeking….and we are knocking (Matthew 7:7)…if you can give, please give.  If you can’t give…please share this and pray for us!

Thanks so much!

Respire Haiti Christian School (1st-6th grade in left building; Kindergarten in right building)

Heartache and Hope.

There are days when I float around from problem to solution, from Bellevue Mountain to my house and all around in between…going in constant motion trusting, talking, listening, working, solving, planning, playing and everything in between…the days here are busy, long and beautiful…but then sometimes there are days that stop me right in my tracks…these are the moments where even the busyness and chaos of Haiti comes to a complete halt…these days STUN me and God uses them to reel me into a child’s life and situation so closely and deeply.

With over 350 children in Respire Haiti Christian School we desire to know the living situations, past and present of each child.  This is a slow but steady process that is both extremely beneficial but many times extremely emotionally taxing…

Often days after school I am invited to a child’s home to come and meet their parent or caregiver, it is encouraging and a moment to both learn about the family and to speak truth over the child and the family.

One afternoon, one of our 6th grade girls asked me to come to her home.  Her beautiful smile and outgoing personality are truly one of a kind.  At 16 years old, she had an extremely striking grace and presence about her.  She just started our school in October and her disposition is so pleasant.

We discussed me coming to visit and I asked who she lived with, as she proceeded to tell me that her mother and father had both passed away, my heart dropped hoping that she was not in an even more troubling situation…as she went on to explain that she lived with her Godmother who she said was a gentle and loving lady, a sigh of relief came as I felt somewhat comfortable with her living situation.

As we set out to walk to her house, we made the usual pass through small trails, ravines and peoples backyards…then we arrived.  She invited us in…I stepped in to her plywood house and just as I entered my heart stopped.  An elderly man lay on a small pallet on the ground, skin and bones, hardly breathing.  Trying to keep from showing surprise or panic, I calmly asked who he was.  As she looked lovingly in his direction she said it was her grandfather who is sick, he won’t eat, he can’t walk…my mind raced as to how I could help, how could I fix it, how could he get better.   As I saw him struggling to breathe I looked over at my friend Rita who was with me, as I begged her with my eyes and quietly voiced my desire to help…Rita swallowed hard, looked down at him and looked back up at me.  She said so gently, “I don’t think there’s anything we can do, he’s dying.”

Even with her words, my mind continued to race, I couldn’t believe that this joyful little girl came home every day after school to her grandfather slowly dying in their one room house.  As I asked her questions about him, she openly shared his story with tears in her eyes and tenderness in her voice.

Leaving there without a way to help this man was so incredibly difficult, but yet there was Peace as to why I was brought here…

As this precious little girl walked us out of her home, she grabbed my arm and pulled me back…she looked up at me with fear and sadness in her eyes saying that she couldn’t pay the fee to take the national exam (since we follow the national curriculum students have to pay for each national test they take)…I smiled and said that she needs not to worry, Respire Haiti takes care of the fee.  Her beautiful smile lit up and she hugged me tightly, thanking me over and over again….I thought of how, without God and HIS perfect plan, I never would have met this precious girl, I stood in awe for a moment with this girl, thinking of how ONLY God knows the specific needs of EACH of His people…ONLY God so omnipotent, leads us to EXACTLY where we need to be.

I pulled her away slowly and said, Don’t thank me, God is the one who brought me here, He has you in His hands and is making all of this happen.  She smiled again and said she knew that and said, “Mesi Bondye.”

I KNOW the situations of each of my students at my school are challenging.  I KNOW that even after seeing their situations with my own eyes that I can hardly relate.  But, what I also KNOW is that God has given me a voice to fight for them.  To SHARE THEIR STORY and to ask YOU to Share their stories as well.

As we continue building Respire Haiti Christian School I am CONSTANTLY reminded that we are NOT just building some buildings.  We are building a FUTURE.  We are building OPPORTUNITY.  We are building…HE is building… HOPE for these children.

 

Sponsoring a child at Respire Haiti Christian School is sponsoring a child who has most likely lost at least one parent if not both…and who is living in a difficult situation…and who has NEVER been given this opportunity before.  We desire to continue to support, love and encourage children like this 16 year old girl through college.  If you are interested in sponsoring a child, please click here!

There is no way I can even begin to put into words what God has done in my life in 2011…but I will try with few words, and many pictures :)

After starting Respire Haiti in November 2010 and meeting Michaelle in December of 2010, God guided my path to Bellevue Mountain in Gressier.  Moving to Gressier, Haiti on January 9, 2011 I had no idea what I would be doing…

The only tree on Bellevue Mountain

Over the past 8 months, Respire Haiti has purchased over 3 acres of land to build a school, library, pavilion, medical clinic and more…

Our recently acquired land, the top of Bellevue Mountain.

Respire Haiti Christian School started in a one room church in January 2011 with 97 children…with no uniforms, books, school supplies or even desks…

Students in March 2011

Ricardo using a chair as a desk, March 2011.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now we have over 350 students…with uniforms, books, school supplies, breakfast every morning and more!  For the first half of the year we continued to meet in the one room church, outside of the church and in another nearby location.  Respire Haiti Christian School will start 1st-6th grade in a new building on Wednesday January 4th, 2012!

Students in October 2011

We have seen children transformed by the opportunity to go to school…

Vanessa when I first met her in March of 2011

Vanessa now enrolled in Kindergarten at our school.

Taken out of situations of Restavek and other working environments…

Florencia during a school day last spring before she was enrolled in Respire Haiti Christian School.

And put into environments of learning…

2nd year Kindergarten painting with Water Color

 

 

 

We have seen how quickly things can happen in Haiti when it is GOD’s Plan…

August 2011

September 2011

October 2011

November 2011

December 2011

 

Hallway of first finished 6 classroom building, opening on Wednesday January 4, 2012 for 1st-6th grade.

 

Our first Community Activity was in January of 2011 with just over 70 children…

First Feeding on Bellevue Mountain

Now we have two community activities (feeding programs) every Saturday which feeds more than 700 children…

La Colline Feeding

 

We’ve also seen God’s hand move in amazing ways, through the closer of Son of God orphanage after 11 months of fighting for the freedom of these trafficked, abused and neglected orphans…

Son of God Orphanage

And though the fight for justice is not yet over for these children from Son of God Orphanage, the majority of them have been taken out of a situation where they were being abused, starved and neglected.  Praying that God continues to do BIG things in 2012 for these children and the justice they deserve.

 

 

 

And lastly, I have gone from not even thinking about being a MOM to being the Mommy to two beautiful girls who have changed my life forever.

Michaelle (8), Megan, and Jessica (4.5)

THANK YOU to everyone who has prayed, donated and believed in the vision that God has given me for Bellevue Mountain and the children of Gressier, Haiti.

A special thank you to our American builder, Kyle Fishburn, without him we might still be meeting outside under a tree ;) and to Bernard Joseph, our Haitian backbone/superman that helps us get things done fast and right!

Kyle (aka Kyle the Builder, KTB) pointing out his ideas for the ceiling of the school, and probably teaching me some building techniques and construction lingo as well!

Happy New Year to All and please continue to follow our next endeavor of our 4 classroom Kindergarten as well as our two-story Library and Computer Lab!

The Beauty of Opportunity.

A few days ago a young girl about my age knocked on my gate and began to explain to me how she couldn’t take care of her child anymore…she’s tried, she has two other children and this child is a year old and she said she just can’t do it anymore.

As she continued to tell me all the difficulties in her life and all of the problems that she has…my heart was beating so loud and fast I felt like I could almost hear it beating out of my chest…

I knew what was coming, it has happened before (and has happened here to other people I know) and has crushed me…she took a breath, looked up into my eyes and said, “I thought you could take him because you can do a better job.”

As I took a second to gather my words and thoughts, I looked at her and began to encourage…All while she had been talking I was pleading with God to give me the words to speak TRUTH into her life.  To speak CONFIDENCE into her parenting ability.  And most certainly, to speak OPPORTUNITY as we work together for the next step.

Marissia’s face lit up as I offered her a job carrying sand on the mountain to help build our school…as she went on to say she didn’t have anyone to take care of her baby…we decided she could take her baby with her to the mountain and we would work on a solution…

The next day as I was standing on the scaffolding painting the school (Yes, sometimes I work too!)…I heard beautiful singing from behind the building…as I peaked through the bars, tears filled my eyes as I told my friend Kat to look out of the window and see that one of the ladies was singing while carrying a 5 gallon bucket of dirt on her head…it was the young girl who was just hired, as she walked and worked, she sang, “Hallelujah, Hallelujah to the King of Kings.”

Women working on Bellevue Mountain to build Respire Haiti Christian School

 

To say that having someone GIVE you their child here in Haiti is unusual is not at all accurate…it has happened to me SO many times I could have a FULL house by now…it is the most heart-wrenching experience I’ve ever had and EVERY TIME brings me to my KNEES at the end of the day.  EVERY TIME I BEG God to keep these families together. Protected. Provided for.  And then, I am reminded WHY I am here in Gressier doing what I am doing.

Through Respire Haiti we are able to provide education for children at an extremely low cost (or free if needed)…we are able to ENCOURAGE these parents that they CAN keep their children AND put them in school.  We feed our children at school and feed hundreds of children every weekend.  And now, we are beginning to explore even more opportunities for jobs beyond our current group of nearly 200 people employed through our Feeding Programs, our School, our construction work amongst other things.

Women like Marissia make me FIGHT HARDER.  They make me WORK LONGER.  They bring me to my KNEES begging God to show me the steps to take to help these women provide for their families.

SO SO SO many women here in Haiti DO NOT want to give up their children.  They DESIRE to be parents, mothers to their children.  But they do not have the opportunity.  God has inundated my heart with the desire to not only fight for vulnerable children.  To fight for the Restaveks who have been sold or given away.  To fight for the “orphans” here who actually DO have parents.  But God also has my heart bleeding for their families too.  Their mothers, their fathers, their sisters and brothers.

As I BEG God again tonight to open more opportunities for myself and Respire Haiti to SERVE these women, to encourage them, to give them opportunity…He gently reminds me that not only does He have these women and their children in the palm of his hand…but He has my girls, myself, Respire Haiti in his hand.  We are merely tools for Him to use.  Blessed, Chosen Tools.  God does not NEED us (Acts 17:24) but we are BLESSED to be a part of His beauty.  The beauty I’ve seen when a mother realizes that she CAN keep her child with her.

The BEAUTY of HIS PLAN.

The BEAUTY of OPPORTUNITY.

 

Please pray for Marissia and her children as she has worked with us for this whole week and will hopefully continue to be a part of Respire Haiti’s School Building and provide for her family…

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