Friday, October 31, 2008

"Concrete"

This is a little girl that my aunt watches everyday of the week. My aunt has had her since she was a baby and she knows all of my family, so she is basically just like another little cousin. She was telling me in great detail about how she got the scrape on her knee and it was so cute how serious that she was and how many times she used the word "concrete" (note: she's 3 lol) that I grabbed my camera. Obviously it wasn't as funny the second time around, but it's still cute!


video

Little kids with southern accents are adorable hehe :)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

North Carolina Welcomes You!

So I made it! I'm here! It doesn't seem possible that it's really the end of October and I'm in North Carolina already. My Aunt and I started planning this trip before I was even done with school last spring! Oh how the time flies! hehe.

Both of my flights went really well. I flew from Grand Rapids to Cincinnati...where I had a 3 hour lay over, and then from Cincinnati to Greensboro, NC. Both of my flights were the little regional jets and I had to actually walk out onto the tarmac to get on the plane! The ONLY time I've ever done that was in Haiti, it was kind of funny! The second flight was really empty. My flying companion was very quiet and hardly made a sound. He was also the size of a dime haha :) There was a fly on the wall when I got on the plane next to me and he didn't hardly move the entire time. It was funny to me to think that the poor thing got on in Ohio and is going to get off in North Carolina and not know where he's at (yeah yeah I know flies don't actually have thought processes like that, lol but it was a fun thought to entertain lol).

This was the first time I had flown over the Appalachian Mountains and have actually been able to see them. Wow. They were breath-taking. They surely reminded me of how small we really are, and how silly it is to me that we, as tiny little humans, think that we "own" or can "dominate" this great big world. How can you see something like that, something so beautiful, and claim it as evolution? How can you see something so beautiful and not have it scream beautiful creator at you? Argh! I just don't get it. But I'm so thankful for the reminders that God has given us. The view was amazing, and kept me occupied throughout the entire flight!

I don't have any pictures of them, although I wish I did! My camera was in my checked bag (of course lol) oh well! Thank you for all of the prayers for safety and everything. I definitely felt them! I hope you are all having a great week!


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Cool Dude

This little guy is Jerry! He lives at Bercy Orphanage in Haiti, which we visit just about every time that we are down there. Jerry is my favorite kid there, mostly because he stole my heart the first time we came to Bercy.

Jerry was found in an abandon hut by a passerby as an infant. They brought him to Bercy, and the staff wasn't even sure that he would make it he was so malnourished. They had no idea how long he was in the hut by himself, but it appeared to be quite a little while. Jerry's story will forever be ingrained in my mind. I couldn't wrap my mind around it when I heard it. I hated leaving him when it came time for us to leave the orphanage. Thankfully our ammmmaaazing group leader (brownie points bossman?? ;) haha) lets us make visits while we are there. This video is from when we were down there in July, but we taught him "cool dude" and "peace" when we were there over a year ago :) He still remembers it and us, which I love! Please pray for Jerry. Him and so many other boys and girls like him suffer everyday.

video

I love him!!! Have a blessed day!!

Never Alone

This morning on my way to church I heard this song by Barlow Girl. I've heard it lots of times and I'm sure that a lot of you have probably heard it too. But this morning while I was listening to it a part really stuck out to me. "So I'll hold tight to what I know, You're Here and I'm never alone". In the song she's talking about how we may not always feel like we can feel God's presence and that sometimes we may feel like He's deserted us. But it's so so so not true! That's why she's relying on what she knows, that He is there/here and we are so NOT alone! So often I forget this. He's constantly next to me, beside me and He's not going anywhere. No matter what happens in my life, the situations that change I'm NEVER ALONE!! What an awesome thing. I take great comfort in that. And I hope that you do too! I hope that you enjoy this song as much as I do!



Here are the Lyrics if you'd like them...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Open and Closed Doors

“Do the best you can where you are, and when that is accomplished, God will open a door for you..."
~Henry Ward Beecher

Sunday, October 12, 2008

For Nate

This post won't make sense to everyone..and for that I'm sorry, but this is for my friend Nate. Nate, I heard this joke the other day and it immediately made me think of you...why??? lol you tell me...Here's the joke: Why does Snoop Dog carry an umbrella???????





No guess????? "Fodrizzle!!!"

hahaha :) Now I ask again...why did it make me think of you?? It's whack right?? ;) haha love ya! lol

More Birthday Pictures

This doll is Ally's sister Abigail, she
was much more cooperative with
the camera :) hehe

So Serious

Abby and My Aunt

Abby

Abby and Mommy


Ally

My Brother playing with Abby


Happy Birthday Ally Marie!

This little girl is my baby (ok...not so much baby :) lol) cousin Ally. She turned 3 on the 4th of October and we had a birthday party for her this past Saturday. I can't believe that she turned 3!! It kills me how fast she's growing up!


She had a Disney Princess birthday and is the epitemy of "girly girl" which if you know my aunt at all is hilarious. My aunt is definitely not a girly girl, don't misunderstand...she's not masculine or anything, but she'd rather be out playing softball then playing barbies. Ally loves pink, anything frilly and sparkly, and princesses! God has a great sense of humor :) haha.

Ally is so loved, and we thank God everyday for placing her in our lives! I can't imagine life without her little grin or silly giggle. I'm greatly looking forward to watching her grow up and seeing what God as planned for her life! Anyway...here are some pictures from the party!



Showing off some of her new loot!


Unwrapping a gift!

This is the cheezy Ally grin! We can't
get her to smile normal for a picture
anymore! haha :)

I call this the "uuh look at me aren't
I fabulous???" pose! Showing off
a new dress...

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Video

My friend Sara posted this really cool video on her blog. It's a very touching video, and her warning about crying is true :) Check it out!!

Remember that we do not run alone :) Thank goodness.

Hope you all are having a blessed Saturday!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Kid Quote

Here is my kid quote for the day. This is from the little girl that I tutor twice a week (we'll call her Suzy). She's in first grade and is always full of fun things to say :) hehe. Today we were talking about her family, when suddenly she says:

Suzy: OH! My mom said that I can vote in the principal election this time!!
Me: Oh really???! (having no idea what she's talking about)
Suzy: Oh Yeah!!
Me: Are you getting a new principal?
Suzy: No.
Me: Oh...ok...*silence*....well, do you know who you're voting for??
Suzy: Yeah! I'm voting for the dark skinned one!

All at once it was ding ding the light came on! Principal...President...easily confused! ;) I guess we know who her parents are voting for haha :) Ahh the things that kids say!

Hope you all had a blessed day!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Another Article

Here is another article link that she sent to me. This article is also touching, I would encourage you to read it as well!

I am a Son of Haiti By Tim McDaniel








signing off - a fellow daughter of Haiti :)

Heart to Heart




This article was sent to me by a very close friend of mine, who thought it would be of interest and importance to me. Ooh boy was she right! This article says so many things that I wish I had the words for so many times in the past. This story is so incredibly relevant to me and so many others I know. I feel that in a very big way it also tells my story. It's a story about this place I love called Haiti. Please take the time to read the article below, I will warn you it brought me to tears!

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A World of Contradictions
By Elora Ramirez

The summer after my senior year of high school, I had the privilege of going to Haiti on a mission trip. Even though that was over five years ago, I can still feel the captivating pull of the lush and beautiful jungle. To this day, I still am processing what happened to me in that small country most people only know through news reports. I have tried numerous times to sit down and let my mind wander back to the people who stole my heart. Each time is met with frustration or words that mean so little compared to my experiences. How can I write about a country I know very little about? How can I condense a lifetime of lessons into one cohesive blurb? What is left with these questions is just an overarching desire to try.

First things first, this is not an attempt to prove to you that I am an expert on Haitian culture and the politics of a country in turmoil. This is an attempt to share, however briefly, the knowledge I gained while experiencing a culture so rich yet so different from my own.

What I know about Haiti is the rain that produces rivers down the dirt roads and feeds into the huts of the locals. What I know about Haiti is the enigmatic pull of beautiful wasteland of Jolli Gilbert. The bustling of school children, running down the sidewalk with matching pastel polo shirts and hand-me-down bottoms, captures my attention. Their laughter ricochets off the dilapidated tin-roof homes, and I smile. One of the children stops mid-stride and looks at the dirt. He begins exclaiming something in a language I can’t understand, but the other children turn in haste and run back towards him. Looking closely, you can see what has demanded their attention. A small butterfly sits quietly on a lone rock—the brilliant colors of its wings a stark contrast to the dirt surrounding it.

I will find that this is what Haiti is full of—contradictions.

I stare out the window of the rusty truck wondering about these children.
How long does it take them to walk the five miles home from school? What do they worry about? Do they have a family? When was the last time they were hugged?

Many of my questions are answered the next day as the children speak to me in their stilted mix of English and Creole about what they do for fun.

One of the girls who is particularly fond of my light skin and blonde hair just sits in my laps and stares. Feeling the intensity of her rich eyes, I look down, smile and she beams with an uncertain familiarity.

Grabbing my face with both of her hands, she whispers, “beyotiful” and wraps me in the tightest hug I’ve received in awhile; our portrait a black and white image of purity and innocence.

I soon find that these children are the most genuine people I have ever met. In their stained T-shirts that have holes from too much wear, the kids find covering—not style. In friendships they possess a solidarity and community that far outweighs Americans’ tendency of keeping each other at arms’ length. When these precious children sing, they sing with the joy of being alive.

They are just that—alive.

Haiti, in all its tragedy and deconstruction, is where I was transformed. When asked to pinpoint a significant turning point in my life, I always reference Haiti. It is here that I believe I lost my innocence. However, it is in this country with rich heritage and beautiful strength that I found myself.

What I remember about Haiti is not the men walking down the street with machine guns, but the women walking with their children—bright smiles echoing off the darkness around them. What I remember about Haiti is not the marketplace full of beggars, but the marketplace full of bright possibilities in the shape of tropical fruit, paintings and jewelry crafted with the hope of a new beginning.

Haiti is more than just the 30-second update the press feeds us. It is a land that has permeated my senses. I still smell the morning dew glistening on the banana leaves. I still feel the coarseness of rocks digging into my skin as I knelt down to talk to the children. I still taste the saltiness of goatskin, a delicacy that was given for our company. I still hear the sweet sounds of worship coming from the lips of believers that truly define faith in action. But most of all, I still see the eyes of those I came in contact with. Tired. Broken. Waiting. Hoping.

A world of contradictions bottled up into a tiny gaze.


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Ok, so go grab your Kleenex and start praying. We're not done with Haiti yet. :)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Haiti Friends

Here are a few more pictures from my last trip to Haiti this past July. These are a few of my friends from down there, all of which I miss a ton! Pray for all of them. They are all doing things for the Lord, and are under attack just like us.



Mickenson and Paige

Renald and Son

Tori and Mickenson

Me, Tipap, Paige, Tori, Mickenson, Esaie

Tori, Paige, Mickenson, Esaie
Mickenson, Esaie, Tipap

Tori is not from Haiti (although she wishes she was ;) hehe) she is a friend that has gone on quite a few of the trips with me. Paige is one of the daughters of Troy and Tara Livesay who are the missionaries that we know from down there. Tipap, Mickenson, and Esaie all worked at the mission compound that we stayed at down there. They are from the village of LaDigue and are a lot of fun to hang around with. Renald and Son (pronounced Soan) were two of our translators for VBS in July. We got to know them while we were down there and they are good friends too.
I miss them all!