Tag Archives: Haiti

Mondays.

Every Monday for the last four Mondays an email assignment has popped up in my email. Those assignments have allowed me to not only share about some pretty amazing people but to become part of an amazing group. There were incentives to participating in Compassion International‘s Blog Month but that is not why I contributed. I wrote because of the challenge. I write still because I cannot stop.

We sponsor a child, from Haiti. 

Without writing for Compassion International over the last month I wouldn’t have the knowledge and understanding I do now. I also wouldn’t have taken the steps to get to know other bloggers who do what I do. There are bloggers out there who I may have very little in common with, save two things:

We all love Jesus.

We all sponsor a child, some more than one.

Sponsor.

That is a fun word. My boys thought it meant they were getting a brother, something akin to adoption. And, they did. Although, our sponsored child is not coming to live with us he is still very much a part of our family. Every day we pray for each other and for our kiddo and if by chance I forget {we are still pretty new at this} the boys will stop me and say, “Mommy don’t forget the boy we’re helping raise and teach about Jesus! You know, the one who lives in Haiti!”  {Typically they call him by name but I am still uncertain how much, if any, information I am at liberty to divulge via the internet.}

Our goal for blog month {September} was to get 3,108 children sponsored. When it was all said and done our total was 3,159 children sponsored. We not only met but exceeded our goal. What an amazing opportunity! We have this chance to speak life, love, and Jesus to these little people!

For the last month, I have greeted Mondays with expectancy, awaiting the newest challenge each week. Now that those assignments are complete, and our goal has been met, I am not finished. I have found a new way to begin my week by taking some time to think about, pray for, and write about my sponsored child.

Mondays have a new meaning.


The Words of a Child.

As we are finishing up blog month for Compassion International, our final assignment to to write from the perspective of our sponsored children. We (the boys and I) only just picked our child and have yet to sit down and write him even once. He is from Haiti, the poorest nation in the western hemisphere. Haiti is a place I long to visit but for now can only imagine. I can only speculate what he’s thinking but I do know he has a birthday soon and the fact he now has a sponsor surely adds to the excitement. So, keeping this in mind, here is my attempt to write from the perspective of our recently sponsored child. (Just a side note, I am aware our sponsored child has a sibling but I have no other information.)

 

I am very excited to be having a birthday soon.

I am big!

The best part is that I have a sponsor!

Having a sponsor means I can  learn everything.

I also live with my mom and a sibling.

I can teach them everything.

I do chores at home. I carry water for my family.

There are many people around us.

Some live in tents because of the big earthquake.

I want to make things better for my family.

I want to bring them away from the smells of trash and sewer.

I want my mother to have a home, with real walls. 

I want my sibling to have toys he/she can play with.

I want to take care of everyone I love.

 

As I stated before, I cannot even begin to know the thoughts of this child. I have no real knowledge of what poverty is like. I do know when I was 16 and spent three weeks in Mexico we touched areas of poverty. There was one village we ministered in that in order to take a shower we would step into a 3-walled shell outside, someone would hold a towel or sheet acting as the door, and another person would pour the ice cold water over our heads. We were there only two days but that was 15 years ago and I can no longer recall the smells of true poverty. Poverty is an issue everywhere and no child deserves to live in relative squander, regardless of birth and/circumstances.

If you feel the need to save even one child from a life of poverty please click here. If you have the desire to see even one child successful in learning to break the cycle of poverty please click here.


Compassion.

I made an executive decision.

Instead of showering my children with presents for Christmas we are going to step outside the box. Don’t get me wrong. We will still celebrate Christmas but this year I’m striving to make the meaning of Christmas hit home for my boys, something more than presents under a tree.

We are adding to our family.

This is a HUGE deal.

Many of you may not know that I am a blogger for Compassion International. Now, I will fess up and say I have not blogged consistently over the last year. There are many reasons and excuses I could come up with, all true, but none more true than I just didn’t take the time. I am hoping to change that this month.

You see, this month is being deemed as BLOG MONTH for those at Compassion International. It is a month where I, along with my fellow bloggers, will be encouraging our readers to sponsor a child. Each week will have a new topic related to sponsoring, an act that is life changing. I have noticed, however, it has become increasingly difficult to encourage something I do not participate in myself. We do not currently sponsor a child. 

That is changing.

We will be sitting down over the next couple of weeks, as a family, in order to choose a child we can sponsor and watch grow as my own children grow. As soon as we have chosen a child to sponsor I will post about him or her here – as much as I can anyway. Hopefully one day we will get to meet this, as of yet, unknown child. I wish we could help them all.

This is where YOU come in.

With all of the natural disasters that have hit around the world there is a much greater need than ever before. If you have the desire to help a region but are not sure how please consider being a sponsor. Sponsoring is easy. It only takes a few minutes to get set up and I can promise you it is one of the most meaningful decisions you will ever make.

I’ve heard it said many times over:

You may not be able to change the world

but you can change the world for one person.

That is exactly what sponsoring is; changing a child’s world.

FOREVER.

Like I said, it’s a HUGE deal.


Haiti. One year later.

230,000 people dead.

http://www.haitinews.net/

http://www.cdc.gov/haiticholera/

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=cholera-outbreak-haiti

http://progressinhaiti.org/

http://tri-statedefenderonline.com/articlelive/articles/5660/1/Haiti–One-year-later/Page1.html

I know the one year anniversary of this tragedy was nearly 2 months ago. I’m flabbergasted at the amount of destruction.

Between Haiti and Japan and Egypt I wonder if we’ve stretched ourselves too thin but then I remember some things the Bible says:

* Go into ALL the world and lo I am with you ALWAYS (No go, no lo!!)

* Whatever you do unto the least of these you do unto Me.


Shallow. Hollow. Empty.

Those words describe how I’m feeling at the moment. There are lots and lots and lots of thoughts running around in my head at the moment. Most of them asking, in some form or another, “What have I done with my life?!” And it’s not in a good way necessarily. Maybe the thoughts are more accurately asking, “How has my life influenced other people?”

Does my life influence others to live for God?

Does my life and my actions encourage others in a Godly and uplifting way?

Am I edifying?

I read a blog tonight written by a woman I consider a good friend, minus the fact we’re a bazillion miles apart and only had a few months of hanging out to get to  know each other. She is amazing. And her post tonight was incredibly thought-provoking, as it usually is.

It made me wonder what kind of person I have allowed myself to become. I sit here at the moment ready to have a blank slate and start over completely in order to allow God to mold me into the person I’m supposed to be. Because I truly don’t believe I’m there.

I’ve spent the last few minutes going through my twitter account and looking at who I’m following – all 2000 of them – and trying to remember why I chose to follow that person. I noticed there are quite a few baseball or other sports related people and teams I follow and I’m truly not a huge sports fan unless it’s football, or a team my own children are on. There’s no reason for me to follow most of them. I will be doing some revamping to my twitter account in the near future.

And don’t get me started on Facebook. In recent weeks I have gone through my friends list to remove people I don’t want influencing me any longer – there are still quite a few to go. But, that doesn’t mean I’m on Facebook any less. This has got to change. If I had a dollar for every minute I’ve spent on Facebook this year alone I’d probably have several hundred thousand dollars to my name. How sad is that?!

I’ve noticed recently how often I’ve said, “I can’t” or “We can’t”. That is so NOT how I believe but I’ve let it in and now that’s what’s coming out. It’s never been more true that what you allow into your life, heart, and soul is what comes out. I am incredibly picky of what i allow my children to watch because I know this. As a mom and as a Christian I know that my children will repeat whatever they hear. And, they repeat things I don’t always hear so that I end up questioning them on where they heard it. But, if I know how important it is for my children to have their games, movies, books, etc filtered why don’t I filter my own life anymore? When did if become okay that the world is so screwed up and to not actually do anything to try and change it? When has it ever been okay to look the other way when things go wrong? To write things off as, “that’s just how the world functions”?

When did my life become about me? It’s not about me. It’s never supposed to have been about me. Okay, don’t get me wrong on this. It is about me in the sense I have a family to raise and to provide for but aside from that it’s about Jesus. Why have I not seen this before now? Why haven’t I allowed myself to step out of my life long enough to see someone else’s life?

When did I become such a shallow, cynical person? I do know that in my chosen career field I need to be able to weed out the ‘seekers’ from those who truly need the help offered to them or the resources available. And I do remember an instance where a patient turned out to be an old ‘friend’ from high school. A good guy, who also turned out to be a ‘seeker’ and was just there to get something rather than being truly hurt/injured, etc. I can pretty much pinpoint that incident as my “going cynical” moment but I was headed that way before then.

How do I change this? How do I get back to being that person I once knew? The person who knew how to love deeply and passionately, who didn’t take, “no” for an answer?

When did I start believing that my reality is my reality? Did that make sense? I’m a single mom. So what?! So are 60-75% of single women out there. When did I start letting that influence God’s ability in my life?

For the last year, since I started a blog over here on WordPress really, I’ve been trying to document living a life of passion. That’s been my theme. My mantra. Even the name of my photography studio. A Life of Passion. Somewhere along the way I lost that. Or maybe I never had it to begin with and it’s just wishful thinking on my part. But, as of this moment, I am determined to take over my life again and get things back where they should be. Starting with Jesus.


Ten Day Challenge. Day 4.

So, way over on my facebook page a friend challenged me to a 10 day challenge. Normally I won’t do these things but this one piqued my interest. It’s a quite a bit different than your normal “challenges”. At least what’s considered normal for Facebook these day! :)

Here’s the rules:

Day One: Ten things you want to say to ten different people right now.

Day Two: Nine things about yourself.

Day Three: Eight ways to win your heart.

Day Four: Seven things that cross your mind a lot.

Day Five: Six things you wish you’d never done.

Day Six: Five people who mean a lot (in no order whatsoever)

Day Seven: Four turn offs.

Day Eight: Three turn ons.

Day Nine: Two smileys that describe your life right now.

Day Ten: One confession.

Here’s my Day  4 –

Seven things that cross my mind:

1. Children. Mine. Other peoples. Orphans. How I can be a better mom and how to instill a love and passion in my own children for the children of the world? For those who don’t have Mommy’s and Daddy’s, Sister’s and Brothers, Aunts and Uncles. Those who don’t have Jesus and don’t have anyone to tell them how much He loves them.

2. Worship music. There is nothing greater than being in complete abandon to the One, our Saviour, who gave His all so we wouldn’t have to. I almost always have worship music playing and if it’s not playing I’m singing.

3. Prayer. I need to be doing more of this – especially in these days. In English and in the Holy Spirit. More for my kids and my family and friends. More for my church and other Christians in the world who are being persecuted. More for the US and our government – especially because I don’t agree with the majority of things happening right now politically. For direction and wisdom. For strength. I also need to keep encouraging my boys in prayer and making sure they know how to pray. I’ve not been great at this lately.

4. Photography. My thoughts run more to how I can improve this exponentially because it is something I so enjoy doing. Even more than that, how can I use this to tell the story of other people’s lives? To bring to attention those who’ve been forgotten, and those who people choose to ignore.

5. Writing. That dream I’ve had for ages and want to do something about. November is NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and I very much wanted to participate but knowing I couldn’t give it my full attention – not like I would want to anyway – I didn’t write one word. I fully believe that the dreams and desires we have are from God and so it’s hard for me sometimes when I think how God gave me a gift and a desire that I’m not using.

6. Focus. I’m not focused. I’m constantly multi-tasking a million things at once. Things at work. Things at home. Things with the boys. Even now, as I’m typing this I’m also editing pictures and carrying on several conversations. I would love to be able to focus on just one thing at a time so I can make sure it’s done with the quality it deserves. I enjoy getting things done quickly and multi-tasking allows that but there are so many times when I need just a little bit more time to get things done. I’m not a fan of short deadlines.

7. School. This ties into #6 somewhat because the thing I would like to focus most on right now – aside from my boys obviously – is getting back into school and finishing my degree. There are so many factors and variables involved here that at the moment I’m praying for direction and waiting on God’s timing.


Six Months.

Today marks six months since the Haiti Earthquake. I don’t think we’re any closer to seeing a sense of normalcy return – in fact, we may be further from that than when this started.

Just to recap (for those of you who’ve forgotten about the people of Haiti):

January 12, 2010 – a 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti with the epicenter being roughly 16 miles outside of Port-au-Prince (the capital). It was so strong that it was felt in Cuba, Venezuela, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic.

January 16, 2010 – the US claims $48 million already raised to help with efforts in Haiti – not sure how that money has been delegated.

January 20, 2010 – the strongest aftershock recorded at 5.9 magnitude nearly directly beneath Petit-Goave.

January 23, 2010 – the Haitian Government calls off official search and rescue missions.

By January 24, 2010 – at least 52 aftershocks measuring 4.5 magnitude or greater had been recorded.

3 MILLION people affected.

1 MILLION people left homeless.

200,000+ were killed or died because of earthquake related circumstances – including some people who were very high government types.

250,000 homes and 30,000 businesses were severely damaged or completely destroyed.

$910.6 million raised/pledged in relief funds – between the US ($48m), the European Union ($474m), Brazil ($210m), France ($14.4m), the UK ($32.7m) and Canada ($131.5m) – so why are the Haitian people still living in tent cities?!

Matthew 25:45

45 “Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.

Something I’ve noticed with, not just Americans but, people in general is that we’re quick to help someone or a group of people as soon as the devastation occurs. And maybe we’ll stay on for a couple of weeks. But, eventually (sooner rather than later) we all head home, back to our own lives, and while we don’t necessarily forget about the devastation that happened we move it out of our immediate focus so that any thought that direction is more of a “fleeting moment” than a conscious thought. We’ve done this with Haiti.

I’m curious how many people know that today is the 6 month mark since the earthquake. If it weren’t for the news channels, the radio stations, the internet and newspapers, and all the other forms of media we have access to now, would you know what today represented? Even now, I’ve pulled up CNNCNN World, and Fox News but they have yet to report anything regarding the Haiti Earthquake.

What you have to understand is that Haiti is the forgotten country in the Western Hemisphere. To me, Haiti is one of our own. To others, Haiti is just another 3rd world country they can boost their resume’s on. To others still, Haiti is a place that induces compassion and self-awareness and self-ashamedness.

But, the facts are that Haiti, by definition, is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. There are 900+ million people in Haiti, all in a 27,750 square mile area. (That’s 32,000+ people in a square mile!) Eighty percent (80%) of the Haitian population lives below the poverty line.

The Haitian flag is very similar to those of France and Lichtenstein. There’s a blue stripe, a red stripe, and the country’s coat of arms on a white square in the middle. The red stripe represents mulatto Haitians while the blue stripe represents the union of mulatto and black Haitians. The coat of arms is a Palmette surrounded by the liberty cap with the French inscription “in union there is strength”.

Now, I don’t know what you know about Haitian people but, despite they’re lack of material goods, I consider them some of the richest people on Earth. Even in the midst of all this destruction the Haitian people are rallying themselves. I mean, let’s be honest, we (the outsiders) are no longer there to help boost morale. And while there’s probably still some assistance I know that it’s not anywhere the level it should be. Had this happened in the US, we would have already rebuilt our cities, homes, businesses, etc and they’d be twice as strong and able to withstand much more that a 7.0 magnitude earthquake. But, it’s not the US and the Haitian people continue living in tents still with no more access to resources than before.

I applaud the Haitian people for not losing faith in impossible circumstances and for continuing to run this race.

2 Timothy 4:6-8

6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.


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