PS 34:3

Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together! ~Psalm 34:3

Monday, February 13, 2012

Crazy Week Update!

Bonswa Friends and Family!
            I want to apologize to you all!  I have been meaning to update you guys on what has been happening here in GG lately, but it has been the craziest week of our entire lives!  To give you the relatively quick version:
            Our other HAF orphanage in Jacmel got broken into last Friday night.  There had been several break-in's in Jacmel over the past month, so they had three guys from the States who were bringing in some security cameras, electric razor wire and some additional motion lights.  These guys came in on Friday and were going to install it on Saturday.  Unfortunately, it was a day too late- because they got robbed on Friday night.  PRAISE the LORD that no body was hurt!  There were seven armed guys who broke into the girls house first looking for money.  The staff lead them around the campus giving them their money.  They took money, laptops, a wedding band and cell phones.  The only kids that were awake at all during the whole incident were the older girls!  Praise the Lord that none of the other kids woke up and as a result now have to deal with the post-traumatic stress.  We are so thankful that no one was hurt! 
So we got a call from the Mulligans (the new staff there in Jacmel) at about 2am saying that they got robbed.  The decision was then made by our directors at around 5am to move all of the kids out of Jacmel and move them to the GG site!!  Number 1, they didn't feel like it was still safe for them to stay there with all of the kids.  Number 2, they also wanted to put pressure on the local police to do something about it- by not supporting the Jacmel economy for the next few weeks.   When I found out that all 55 Jacmel kids (along with some of their staff) would be moving over here- I was a little overwhelmed!!  We don't have a whole lot of room for our 31 kids- let alone 55 more plus staff!!! 
            This next part is my favorite part of the story so far.  Saturday morning we had about 50 local workers show up at our site to help us build a house for these kids, most of whom were from our church!  They all worked Saturday and Sunday for free- we just fed them lunch.  It was also really neat to see Pastor Lex, Len- an American contractor who is starting another orphanage in GG, working alongside HAF to help us give a safe home to these kids.  Another big thanks to Mark & Will who were down here on Sunday to help out with whatever- and believe me: whatever is a big help in a situation like this :-0.  It took about 3 van trips to get the kids over here and about 3 big truck loads of food, supplies, mattresses and chairs.  (We didn't know the Deuce would come in so handy!! :-)  For the next 3 nights, the kids were a little crowded but shared beds, slept in the guest house and slept in tents under the dining area.  We finally finished with the house on Wednesday- so we were able to move some of the kids over and spread them out a little. 
            The next big question: how long are they staying here?!  We're not sure, only God knows that answer :-).  We were thinking about 2 weeks.  They would love to move back as soon as they catch who's responsible for all the robberies, but it will be an even harder decision to make if they don't find them soon.  The Jacmel kids are going to school with our kids, so they aren't getting too behind in their school work. 
I do want to take a minute to brag on my kids for just a minute.  The first night, our girls made the Jacmel girls feel so welcome!  They wanted them to share beds with them, so they wouldn't have to sleep alone (especially being the first night after the break in).  Then our girls gave up their second uniform to the Jacmel girls, so they wouldn't feel as left out at school.  The Jacmel girls were just going to have to wear their blue and white uniforms- but our girls gave them their only other green uniform to make them feel like they fit in a little better!  HOW SWEET IS THAT?!?!?  No one asked them to do it- we just found a bunch of Jacmel girls in our GG uniforms the next morning with huge smiles.  What a sweet moment :-).  
A few days later, I heard the older girls in their room right before bed singing praises to the Lord.  They sang for about 30 minutes, reciting Scripture and praying out loud.  What an amazing testimony and encouragement to me.  It hit me like a brick wall: this past week- when was the last time I spent 30 minutes just singing, praying and reading His Word?!?  I was really convicted, and God chose to use our girls to show that to me- how humbling!  I had been so wrapped up in building this house for them and making sure everyone had everything they needed that I had not spent time sitting at the feet of Jesus.  It reminded me of Mary and Martha- and I was wrapped up in my Martha world again- when all Jesus wanted was for me to have a Mary spirit and sit with Him.
So we've been adjusting to life with 80 something kids around here- including toddlers!  It's been crazy to say the least but fun at the same time (if I'm honest, probably more crazy days than fun at this point.)  But we're learning a lot and I know God's using this to stretch us and form us into who He wants us to be.   I'm not sure what He's preparing us for- but I'm not sure I want to know at this point :-).   So thank you for your prayers for us as we try to gel together as one HAF family. 
After this week- I have a whole new perspective on the verse John 10:10 "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life and have it abundantly."

-       Praise the Lord no one was injured in the robbery!
-       Praise Him for the amazing support we received from our neighbors here in GG- what a beautiful picture of the church coming together!
-    Praise the Lord for allowing the house to come together so quickly- 48'x16' house built in 5 days in Haiti is unheard of!!!
-       Please pray for those directly involved in the robbery.  Pray for the older Jacmel girls who witnessed them breaking into their house.  Pray for the Mulligans and the other staff that experienced those terrifying 45 minutes with the robbers.  Pray for their healing and that they would experience God's peace that passes all understanding!!
-       Pray that God would work out details (manpower, time and supplies) of getting the Jacmel site fixed up so the kids can return.
-       Please pray that they would find out who is responsible for all these robberies.
-       For our family: pray for patience, rest, Godly wisdom, perseverance and flexibility (we were supposed to leave today for our vacation to the DR for the week.)
-       Pray for all of our kids that are feeling the stress of living in such a small area with not a lot of room to play and run around.  Pray that they would get along and that they would be able to play together.
-       Above all, that we would continue to show Christ to these kids despite the craziness of the situation!
Thanks again and much love, 
      ~The Suttons

but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faintIsaiah 40:31
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

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