PS 34:3

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

Monday, September 10, 2012

May Update

May 2012 Update

Orphan Summit.
 The beginning of May started out with a 6 day trip to California for an Orphan Conference followed by some HAF board meetings.  We learned a lot at this conference and were able to get some new ideas about how to better care for our children here.  One of the big pushes at this conference was to create a "family style" environment for kids at an orphanage.  The orphan movement is trying to move away from "institutions" and giving every kid a loving family.  So we talked a lot that weekend about how that could look here in Haiti, where there is no Foster Care system and the adoption process is extremely difficult.  Another huge issue we brainstormed at the conference is what to do with our older kids and helping them transition out into the real world once they're done with school.  So we had lots of great conversations over the course of those few days together as a board and Haiti staff.

The Vision.
Through a lot of discussion with our directors and prayer, we feel like we've got not only a great vision, but God's vision, for our kids here in Grand Goave.  Since we have two sites here in Grand Goave (the current site we're at & the mountain property), we want to best utilize the space for our kids.  SO the plan is to keep our current site a place where we have kids from 0-15 years old in a family style home, which would include having 6-8 kids in a small home with a "house parent(s)" where they can eat meals together and see what a family looks like.  And the plan for the mountain property is to make it a "transitional home" for those over 16 as well as a guest house for teams.  This way our older teens can continue to go to school in the mornings but also have the opportunity to learn a trade and work in the afternoons.  This would be more or less like a college type environment for them- where they're getting ready to move out on their own while learning valuable skills to be able to use in the real world.  We would love to be able to teach them various skills like welding, masonry, carpentry, farming and cooking (some very common jobs in Haiti).  The other really neat thing about having teams up on this same property would be the potential to gear our teams towards teaching some of these skills to our teens for the week they're in Haiti.  For example, it would be really neat if a team of welders came in and taught our kids for a week some basic techniques or skills.  The plan is for Michelle to take care of the site where the younger kids are and we would be up on the mountain property with the older kids and teams.  Andrew and I are really excited about this vision and really feel like God has given us a heart to teach and work with these kids in getting them ready to transition out into their culture.  


Our last team was from California and was our first returning team here in Grand Goave.  It was really neat to see how excited the kids were to see some returning faces and how they remembered their names.  The team helped us with a lot of welding and painting projects as well as just loving on the kids.  One of the big projects for the week was to make a luggage rack for our big Deuce and a half.  We are going to need some more space for luggage when we pick up bigger teams from the airport.  So that was a huge help!    Our next team doesn't come in until June 2nd.  That's when the crazy summer begins :-).  We will have teams here back to back from June 2 all the way up until the end of August- so when one team leaves on Saturday we pick another one up that same day.  So you can definitely be praying for us as we look forward to a summer of craziness.

Baby Sutton

We're still anxiously awaiting the arrival of our little "Button Sutton."  We are due June 14th, but I'm ready any day now to meet our little one :-).  It is starting to warm up down here (low 90's- which feels like low 100's when you're pregnant with no A/C).  Thankfully only a few more weeks and we'll be able to meet our little Sutton.  Other than the heat, everything else looks great- mom and baby are healthy!  It always blows my mind to be able to see so much detail of Baby's face with the ultrasound machine.


Conference.  Praise the Lord for a great time in CA of rejuvenation and time to connect with other members of HAF.  Praise the Lord for the vision that he's given to us and our leadership on how to better raise these kids.  What a great time of refreshment with others who are working in the same ministry as we are- orphan care.
Devotion time with kids. Praise the Lord for our devotional times with the kids in the evenings.  They are really enjoying it and some of them even asked to be baptized several weeks ago :-).  We are so excited to be able to sit down one-on-one with some of them and talk through what it means to be baptized.  It was really encouraging to our hearts, because they were the ones who brought up the subject!!!
Wilson. Praise the Lord- we just got the biopsy results back!  The bad news is that it is Hodgkin's Lymphoma.  The good news is that it's one of the more treatable childhood cancers.  So NOW we're trying to find a doctor (or group of doctors) that will take Wilson on as their charity case.  We've got several avenues that people are pursuing for us- so please be praying that someone would be willing to take him on as their patient.  Please be praying that God would open doors and that the paperwork and all the other details would just fall right into place for him to get some treatment soon!  

Prayer Requests:

Baby. Please be praying for our upcoming delivery (and the wait up until that day).  We are a 2 1/2 hour drive (on a good day) away from Port Au Prince, so please be praying that God's timing would be perfect and that we wouldn't meet a lot of traffic or road blocks on the way.  Pray that God would give us discernment as to when to head in to PAP.  And also pray that the whole process would be as smooth as possible (delivering where they speak mostly Creole, in an unfamiliar place and different culture.)  

Upcoming summer. Please be praying for our upcoming crazy summer of back to back groups.  It's a little overwhelming to think about having a newborn as well as having to entertain teams for the next three months.  We do have three college age girls coming this summer to help us out- to help alleviate some of the stress.  Pray that we would be able to really connect as a team and work together in unity for the Glory of God.  (Two of them are coming June 2nd and the other one is coming later in June.)

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