Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tabitha

Tabitha is a five month old baby that I met in Haiti last week.  Tabitha's mom and grandparents are members of the church that our church visits every year.  Tabitha's mom brought her to the church so we could pray for her.

When she was 15 days old, Tabitha began to develop hemangiomas on her face.  A hemangioma is a red, raised birthmark.  (I'm sure there is a more detailed explanation, but I don't know what that would be.)  The hemangiomas spread across her chin, cheeks, throat and down her back.  Her voice was raspy and she seemed to be laboring to breathe, as well.  Her mom had taken her to doctors, but was told there was nothing they could do for her.

I sent a text to Todd to ask him about hemangiomas and what could be done about them.  He responded with a few questions about where it was and asked if I could send him a picture.  I asked her mom if I could take a picture of Tabitha and she said yes.  I sent the picture to Todd and waited for a reply.  While we waited, her mom let me hold her and we prayed for her...it is a moment that will forever be etched in my mind.

When Todd replied, it was not with good news.  Hemangiomas like Tabitha's are known as a "bearded hemangioma".  Babies with this are at an increased risk for airway involvement.  This means they can grow in her throat and block her airway.  He suggested that she see an ear, nose and throat specialist if one was available. 

The next morning, we asked Benson, our leader in Haiti, if there was an ENT in Les Cayes, which is the largest town closest to Picot.  He said there was and we did what was needed to make sure that Tabitha would be able to see him.  Benson said that if there was any way possible, he would make sure that she saw the doctor the next day.  The team left Picot that day and we waited to hear a report about the doctor appointment.

Today I got an email that was forwarded from Benson.  Tabitha and her mom did indeed go to see the ENT the day after we left Picot.  The doctors told Tabitha's mom that if they had come even one day later, she may not have survived.  She will have to be in the hospital for a long time, but there is hope.

When I read that email, I was amazed at what God had done.  The way He orchestrated the chain of events that lead to Tabitha being at the church, our team being there when she came, Benson knowing which doctor for her to see and all that it took for her to get to the doctor, is awe-inspiring...I can't believe that I got to play a part in this story.

Everyday there are people that are homeless, that go to bed hungry and little ones that don't have parents or die from preventable causes.  It can be easy to get overwhelmed with the magnitude of the needs around us, and we can begin to get discouraged and think that what we do doesn't make a difference.  But, everyday God makes a way for us to make a difference.  I will always be grateful that He allowed me to be in the right place to make a difference in the life of this family and I pray that I never forget that.

I can't do EVERYthing, but I can do SOMEthing...we all can.



























Friday, August 3, 2012

Agent of Change

I made a new friend last week. His name is Eric Wowoh. He is from Liberia, West Africa, but he lives and works about half the year in Lafayette. He came to Lafayette through a sponsorship program for refuges. Eric survived the civil wars that have swept over West Africa for the last few decades and now he is dedicated to helping the people of Liberia. He does this through the love of Jesus and his organization, Change Agent Network.

Todd and I had dinner with Eric and another couple from our church and he told us of his journey. It is a remarkable story that I cannot hope to tell as well as Eric. You can read it for yourself on his website. But, one thing he said that has stayed with me is this: " It is not my story, it is His story. This is the part I am to play."

And, isn't that the beautiful thing about all of our stories? They really aren't ours; they are His...a story of grace, mercy, redemption, repentance, hope, and love. In the weaving together of all our stories, we get His.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

It Is What It Is

I have found myself saying that often lately..."it is what it is."

The blog has taken a backseat to life in general. Over the last few months we have had some highs and lows and days in the middle. We've made big decisions and small ones. Just like everyone else, I suppose.

I have considered deleting this blog, but I do enjoy it when I can get to it, so I'm going to keep it around for a little longer. I have a few ideas for posts rolling around in my head, so we'll see what happens.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Welcome to Picot


I am back home from Haiti and I have so many stories to tell and things to share!  I will start with this video. 

The people of Picot were so excited to see us and were so welcoming.  They sang this song for us soon after we arrived.  I hope you enjoy it!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Made It!

Well, I made it to Haiti.

We left Lafayette this morning at 2:00 and drove to New Orleans for our flight to Miami. From Miami, we boarded a plane for Port Au Prince. Once on the ground in Port Au Prince, we took a bus to Cayes. The total time in the air was shorter than the bus ride! The ride through Haiti was unlike anything I had experienced before. There is still quite a bit of rubble from the earthquake, although some rebuilding has been done. The people seem to be packed in to little "neighborhoods" filled with tiny houses. It is amazing to me that so many people can live in such a small area.

Our time in Cayes will be spent at the mission guest house. Here we have electricity (and wifi) and running water. We had a delicious meal prepared by the guest house staff and we are quite comfortable. Tomorrow we will drive another hour to the church where we will spend our time serving.

I am excited to be here, but must confess to a little homesickness. I miss Todd and the boys terribly! Please keep us in your prayers. One of our teammates is not feeling well and we are all tired from our long day. Good night!

Friday, February 24, 2012

It's Not About Me

Almost two years ago, Todd and I went to Orphan Summit in Minneapolis.  Summit is sponsored by the Christian Alliance for Orphans and is a place where people can learn about adoption, orphan ministry, and foster care.  We met tons of people from different organizations and were overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information.  It was an eye-opening few days and they solidified our desire to help the precious little ones that cannot help themselves.  We already had our three boys and were just a week away from adding another boy to our family through the foster care system.

 Sadly, our foster care experience did not turn out at all like we hoped.  We (especially me) were devastated with the situation we found ourselves in and did not feel like we could continue with foster care.  So, we took a break and had our family suspended in the foster care system.  For the next year, I read adoption blogs, looked at information on starting an orphan ministry, read about international adoption and talked several friends and acquaintances through the beginning steps of adoption.  Adoption was never far from my thoughts or my conversations. 

But, I was afraid.  Not afraid of the hard work of adoption (because it is HARD), but afraid that heartbreak would be our experience again and I did not want that.  I didn't want it for me, for Todd, for the boys, or the child that would be in our home.  The fact that our last experience did not turn out well haunts me and I wonder often what has happened to John and if he is OK. 

About 8 months ago, I decided that it was time to let go of fear and get back in to the foster care system.  I guess I haven't totally let go, because this time around we have some pretty set parameters in place for accepting a placement.  Because of this, I've only been called once for a placement, that we said no to because of the situation.  I have, however, initiated calls for about 5 other possible placements.  None of them have worked out.

The last one was this week and was for a little girl that seemed like a good fit for our family.  When it didn't work out, I started to question...why was this not working? what is God doing?  how many times will I get my hopes up, only to be disappointed?  am I missing something?  should I be doing something else?

Then, I heard Him say, "It's not about you."

And, I know that's true.  It's about being the voice for those who have no voice.  It's about giving food and water to people who hunger and thirst.  It's about children finding the family that He has for them.  It's about being His hands and feet...it's about Him and His glory. 

Apparently this is not a lesson I learn well.  Oh, but I want to learn it.  I want to be able to put myself aside and do what He wants me to do.  Not the easy thing, or the comfortable thing, but the thing that will make me more like Him.

 I know I'm going to have to remind myself often...it's not about me.




Sunday, February 19, 2012

Fun in the Sun

Since this is Mardi Gras weekend and there is no school or work, we decided to escape for a little beach get-away. Gulf Shores, Alabama is not far and we enjoy getting to relax away from home and chores and work. Our first day here was pretty stormy and rainy, but today the sun came out and we were able to enjoy the beach a little. It is still windy and cold, but the boys didn't mind!

PS I uploaded the pictures using a new connection thingy for the iPad. I got it so I could blog from Haiti, but I thought I should practice first!