Friday, June 26, 2015

It's Why I Keep Going

I have 27 beautiful kids between the age of 5-16 who I work with every day and sometimes I find it hard to think of working with them as my job. It's hard for me to take the weekends "off" and get in some rest and family time even though I know I need it and my family needs it.

But it's because of these 30 kids that I do what I do and keep going even when I want to stop. You may have noticed I changed my number of kids, but the fact is I have three children of my own that also keep reminding me of why I am here and why I do what I do.

Here are some reasons I keep going:

1) I want these three little mini-me's to grow up in a world full of love and not hatred. I want them to know that though we may look different, act different and live different, we are all still God's children and He loves us equally which means we too need to love and care for those who we may or may not know.

2) When you meet a shy little 5 year old girl, who will not make eye contact with you until you just be there and let her know you love and care and then one day you hear the word "Blanc" as she calls you and even though that word drives you crazy, you realize barriers have been broken and change is happening.

3) That child you once thought was so full of hatred is actually full of so much love and can never give you enough hugs in one day.

4) The boy you use to have to chase down every time he had tutoring because he didn't want to be there is now the first one to arrive and the last one to leave. And by leave I mean, we have to tell to get off our truck and go home because he has way passed his drop off spot for home.

5) That for even those brief times when we have opportunities for kids to be kids they can put aside their worries of the day and have fun, and if they can't put their problems aside they know they have loving people who they are comfortable enough to share their troubles with.

I could go on about the reasons I keep going but in the process of it all I am learning that my keep on going is in constant change. How I am going today will not be how I keep going in a few months and it most certainly not be how I keep going on in a few years. But I know that I can put my trust in God to guide me along they way and be in full confidence that these kids will always be taken care of. I love that I get to be here in the right now and reflect each day as it comes. These are the moments that keep me going and help show me the path to take.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

His Visions- Part 2

I love that anytime during the day I can go lay in my bed. I can stretch out and roll around and know that when I am tired I can close my eyes and be comfortable. So naturally when I saw beds as part of God's Vision I couldn't fully grasp it I just knew that kids having beds would be a part of it.

When we first started out in the community we wouldn't go any further than the area where the Saturday feeding program was being held. I mean that was far enough out of our comfort zone already, we couldn't imagine going in the actual community and meeting families. But as time went on we were taught to effectively help these kids we had to go to their homes and meet their families and know where they came from.

It was very overwhelming walking around the community for the first time. There were so many types of houses, ones made of cement, some made from sticks and tarps and others made from sticks and mud. I remember visiting one house and touching the wall only to see the dirt crumble off of it. As we entered these houses we also noticed the lack of bedding these families had. Some had leaves on the floor of their house with clothing and others had bed frames but very few with an actual mattress to sleep on.

Then we started to notice that some of these kids had marks on the their legs and I couldn't figure out what they were from. We learned that many of these marks were due to them sleeping on the ground.

Initially our reaction was these kids need beds, but we knew this couldn't be the right way to go about doing things. First we can't just go and buy beds for every child that needs one and second am I really helping? Of course they could benefit from a bed but is there a way we can make sure that these beds will last for quite possible a few if not more than a few years. I mean a lot of these beds will placed in dirt or on placed on top of items that may not be very secure.

So again we are left at a spot of having to help the parents know how to care for the beds so they don't get infested with bugs or eaten by rodents or being protected from rain that may seep through their house. Maybe there isn't a way but what if there is? What if there is way to show these parents that may not know how to help care for these gifts from God where they, along with their children can be a little more comfortable while they sleep.

Connections. This vision of beds was just a little glimpse of what He was preparing for me to do. Connect with those we are working with and knowing that it isn't just as simple as giving them beds. And maybe in the long run it's not about me being the one giving them beds, but them being able to get the beds themselves.

Monday, June 1, 2015

His Visions Pt 1

For most of you reading this you are already know I along with  my husband and 3 kids are missionaries in Haiti. I came here with a very clear vision of where God wanted me to work and what it was He wanted to see in this specific place. I could barely contain my excitement to know that this season of my life was going to be in Haiti. What I failed to realize was that during this time while we worked on His vision was how much pain, suffering and frustration I would also be apart of.

Yes I saw a vision and yes I see the start of it, but the longer the I am here the more I realize the longer it may take for it to unfold.

Tonight I would like to start by sharing one of those visions He gave me with others being also talked about in the next few days.

I remember very clearly sitting on the plane waiting to head back to Canada after a week in Haiti when the Lord showed me where and what it was that I was suppose to do. The first thing he showed me was kids in the community we visited going to school. Ok, easy enough we can help send these kids to school. We can proudly say we have 24 kids in the sponsorship program who now attend school.

What I didn't know about part of this plan was the parent/school aspect of it. Yes great these kids are enrolled in school but that does that mean they get to go to school everyday? No! I have never heard of more ridiculous reasons why some of our kids were not allowed to attend school. Some reasons are:
- You're hair is too long
- You're backpack is ripped
- You're shoes aren't in good enough shape
- You don't have ribbon for your hair
- You lost a school book

Those are just to name a few. Then we have the parent part of it. So many parents just do not get how important an education is. And it now has become our job to press into these parents are much as we do the kids the importance of the kids going to school. We are trying to make sure these parents understand how important it is that the kids go to school EVERYDAY, that they do their homework they are sent home, that they attend their regular tutoring class each week and what we really want them to know is how we have people who have never met their children and are investing in them because they believe that just like any other child in this world they should have the opportunity to learn. We want this to be an equal relationship. We want them to invest in their child's education just as equally and if not more than the organization and the people investing in their child.

What I also have been learning through this is that we cannot measure a child's success by their education level. We know that some of our children will probably not finish school because of their age and the level they are at now.

For example: We have a 14 year old who is in grade 1. This is his first year of attending school and if he does really well on his final exams he may pass the grade but if not he will return to grade 1 in the fall. He has improved significantly since he started the year even to the point that I saw his report card and quite possibly scared him when I expressed my excitement and joy of how proud of him I was. But he's the reality if decides he wants to graduates from school he will be 26 years old. If he goes this route we will be behind him along the way, but if he decides to go another route we also want him to know that we will help him in whatever we can.

He has a love for farming and it is quite possible that he may decide in time that he wants to make a career out of it. So yes right now we want to stress how important him attending school is and learning. Those math skills will come in handy. But there will come a time where maybe our focus with him is not him attending school but him learning to run a business in farming.

What I have learned from this is that yes it is so easy to put kids in school but God wants so much more from us than just that. He is asking us to go deeper and the more deeper I become the more I realize how much more of God I need.