Hands and house

Hands and house

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Because we ALL need to know....

I am posting this from this blog of some amazing people working in Haiti. This is more important than anything else I am doing today. It is life and death for real people, real children. What is going on in your day? I know for me what is going on is spending less on my gluttonous self so these babies can have the chance at life....

Where there is a need, fill it

"Some wish to live within the sound of church or chapel bell. I wish to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell." -C.T. Studd

My mom, Lori, and I started taking in kids in 1999. From our early years of family ministry (late 1980′s), our motto was always, “Where there is a need, fill it.” We saw kids that were burned, sick, and malnourished and thought maybe, with a little help, they could get better. Many did. At that time, we were living in Port and driving 2.5 hours one way twice a day to work in the Cazale area. We would transport all of us, medication, supplies and 10 kids back and forth. We did this for years and in 2002 we moved out to the village of Cazale. We were excited to be living in an area that we loved. We began hiring staff/nannies to work in what would be called the Rescue Center. When we started, we never thought that we would get above 30 children. That was in 2002. Today, we are near 100 kids.

We are overwhelmed and we are needing help. Donations have been down in 2011. We are to the point that we are going to have to begin shutting down parts of our ministry. I do not want to do that. I want to continue I want to help as many children as we can. Each child has a story. Each child is a person. Each child has found their way here. Each one we love and each one we want to live. I want to share one story of just one of these precious children with you.


Doluckson came to the clinic last week. His papa brought him. The nurse seeing him called me into the room and said I needed to talk to the dad because he was in a bad way. She said she could not listen to him anymore or she would cry. I need to hear these stories. I need to feel them so that I can keep fighting for these families and these kids. I asked the papa if I could share his story with you. I want you to feel and I want you to know. I want you to care and I want you to know why we work so hard for these families. I want you to know that it is easy for some from far away to say “pull back” or “take a break;” but, when they are in front of you, it is different. I want you to know what I know and hear what I hear.

Doluckson’s mom became sick several months ago. She went to a doctor by her house in the mountains. The hospital told the family that there was nothing they could do to save her. Doluckson’s father, Jonel, took her home. Many people in his village told him it was not a sickness for the doctor. They wanted him to take her to the local vodou house to get treatment. He had a lot of pressure from many people, but he and his wife believed in God and went to their church. The little mountain church, with a few members, welcomed them in. She stayed inside the church and the members took turns with her husband praying for her each day. She lived a few weeks and then died. Jonel was very sad. He has 5 kids (ages 19 months to 16 years old) at home. He had no money and no hope for help, but he believed in God.

His church gave him $375.oo to help with the cost of the casket and the burial cost. He was able to pay for 1/2 of the casket and used the rest of the money for the wake. He had a small herd of goats, but sold many to pay for doctor’s visits and buy food for the kids. He only had two goats left. He tied his two goats to a tree by his house. He planned to sell them the next day to finish paying for the casket. He got his kids dressed and himself dressed and went to bury the woman he loved. They went to the church for the service and then to the grave yard for the burial. After this, the church family returned with him to his house to pray for him. When they arrived back home, the house had been ransacked and what little he had was gone. The goats were gone. He cried. The church members cried. The kids cried. Everyone was shocked. He did not know what to do. He walked around and picked up what little items were left. He found an old pot that was beat up that they didn’t take. The church members brought him some food to cook. He cooked the food in his little mashed up pot. They did not have spoons. They had been stolen. So, they waited for it to cool down and ate with their fingers. He cried. He went to bed that night not knowing what to do, he was broken and so very lonely. When he woke up the next morning, a few members from the church came to pray with him again. They told him he needed to go down to the clinic in Cazale and talk to the staff. They told him God is there in that yard and God is all you have left now. So, he came and told us his story and broke this heart, that has been broken so many times, once again.

Jonel believes that God sent him here for us to help him. But, what if God sent Jonel and Doluckson here for me and for you. To remember the poor. To grieve with the broken. To act as the hands and feet of our Lord.

The team that was here gathered extra dishes and clothes that we had around to give to him that day. They put their extra money together to help finish paying for the rest of the casket. We admitted Jonel to the Rescue Center. He brought the total to 92 children, but he isn’t number 92 to us. He is our chance to love and care and support this family.

All of this happened last week. The next day, RHFH leaders discussed our funding problems. We have to make some decisions in the next few weeks as to what we are going to do. The funds that we need to keep this place going are overwhelming. The rescue center cannot be shut down with in days or even weeks. It would take months to find all the parents of these kids. Could we just take fewer kids? Over the past few weeks, we have sent several back home. They were not near death, but still sick and malnourished. I am giving them appointments to return every two weeks. We are giving them food & protein powder to try help.

For example:

In the past two days we have admitted 5 kids….

2 babies that have had mothers that have died-one mother died of cholera, one died of postnatal cardiomyopathy

2 kids that were abandoned (one left on a porch & the other left at home all day to be found when dad returned from work) by their mothers-one bought in by a father and one by an aunt

1 child from an orphanage on the other side of the island. Both parents are dead and the orphanage is struggling to care for him.

Over the weekend we had 2 babies die. One was born with a hole in the back of its head. The other had a hole in its throat that was rotting and tunneling up through it nose. We do what we can here, listening to parents and make decisions with them for their child’s care. Many times, there is not much medically that can be done. We are thankful for the opportunity to sit with them, pray with them, and love them through these difficult times. These losses are hard for us, the staff, and the families, but so many more make it and live. We work..long..hard..days. We are available to our community 24/7 for any medical emergencies that happen. We love them and they love us. We respect them and they respect us. There is a need and we are doing our best to fill it.

What I am looking for today is first some serious people that love us, the people, the kids and Haiti. I want you to pray. Pray for God direction and the future of RHFH. Pray for the kids. Pray for the staff. Pray for us and our families. Pray that the Lord will move on the hearts of many to give for this need. Pray for those that are sick today. Pray for Cazale. Pray for the Cazale community that lives abroad that they will help as well. Go before the Lord for us.

Matthew 7:7

7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”

Second, We are looking for families, individuals, churches, small groups, sunday school classes, school classes, bands, anyone that is willing to sponsor kids in the RC. We are asking for faithful monthly donors to give each month to this need. I know this is difficult with other financial pressures. It is hard for some to make this commitment, but I believe it can happen. I tell the story over and over and over again. I have been in Haiti for 16.5 years. God has been with us each and every month. He has always, always, always provided for the needs of RHFH. We are extremely humbled by this. We stand in awe of how awesome our God is. Every single month for 16.5 years HE has provided. I will never forget one time – many, many years ago – we were out of diapers. It wasn’t the fancy disposable kind. We were out of the cloth ones. We were using blue rags for the kids. Someone pulled up to our gate that I had never met before. They asked to have a tour of the place. I gave them a tour and then they said, “I do not know if you need them or not, but we have several hundred cloth diapers outside in our car.” They were hand sewn and had cords tied on them so that we did not even have to have diaper pens. I cried and thanked them. I thanked God once again for providing each and every need for the kids. Oh, how I love Him! I do not believe the RC needs to close down. I believe we are doing the will of God. Keeping families together. Helping kids get over a difficult time in their development. In the middle of it all is Jesus. Sweet Jesus.

We took this picture today. It is all the kids in the RC.

This picture is of the kids in the ICU tent and those that are staying here for an extended peroid of time for care.

before and after pics of two special boys (Emmanuel)


There are two parts of the RC -

1. Kids 18 months and up. These kids stay an average of 5 to 6 months.

2. Babies 0-17 months. These babies stay for about 18 months – until they are walking and off of infant formula.

I would love to have as many as we can sponsored on a monthly basis. It cost RHFH about $125US per month to care for a child. This is 24/7 care. This includes medications, food, medical testing, clothing, supplies, paying staff, transportation. We hope within the next year to begin and aftercare program for those kids that are at high risk, but for right now we need to focus on properly caring for them during this critical stage. As sponsors give, we will match them up with a child. We will give updates for these kids as we can so that the sponsors can see their progress in healing.

You can email me with any questions at licia@realhopeforhaiti.org. Donations can be made through the paypal link on the upper right or sent into our home office at Real Hope For Haiti, P.O. Box 23, Elwood, IN 46036 include a note or memo stating it is for RC sponsorship. Please prayerfully consider making this monthly commitment of support to ensure that these children continue receiving life-saving care and nutritional support.

No hands, no feet, on earth but yours.

You are the eyes through which He looks

Compassion on this world

Yours are the feet

With which He walks to do good.

Your are the hands

With which He blesses all the world

Yours are the hands, yours are the feet.

Yours are the eyes, you are His body.

Christ has no body now but yours,

No hands, no feet on earth but yours

Yours are the eyes, through which He Looks

compassion on the world.

Christ has no body now on earth but yours.

prayer of St.Teresa of Avila

***** This is Shannon again....
    I have to tell you how much this post has affected me over the last few days....it has ripped my heart out. I am so incredibly apathetic and self absorbed as I go about my day mainly doing things just to please myself and my family....how in the world did that become the norm?
   Yesterday as I drove around running errands I saw Christmas advertising popping up everywhere. How did Christmas become so much about pleasing ourselves and those who already have enough and already know that we love them by spending gobs of money?
    I just can't take it anymore and have found myself begging God to rip away my self absorption and apathy. To make a change in my heart NOW.
    ...and I find myself trying to figure out how to make it different. Why not have the birth of Christ, the greatest gift that gave us life be about literally giving life to others? Why couldn't it become about serving those who have so little rather than giving more to ourselves who already have too much? Why can't it be about loving and serving and giving ALOT...not just taking a tag from an angel tree, no just some pocket change in the Salvation Army bucket.....what if it became about giving of time and money and our very hearts???
    What if that came first?
Last year was the most amazing and meaningful Christmas I have EVER had. We spent the week before Christmas serving at an orphanage in Mexico, our whole family trying it out. As we got ready to go and started packing the car I came across all of the Christmas gift we had brought for our children, all boxed up, wrapped and ready in true American style....

... and I have never felt so sick in my entire life.

We had given some of our hearts and our time but were reserving all of this for our own children. How could I look at the faces we had come to love, how could I explain it to our own children when they opened so much knowing their friends had so little? So...I chose one gift and some small things in their stocking for each of our children, and we gave the rest away, gave it to the office so that the children there could have something to open on Christmas morning....

...and I have never felt so free...

So how was Christmas? It was incredible! For Christmas dinner we went to a little Mexican grocery store and told the kids they could pick out 3 items each, they had so much fun! We had fresh fish, oreos, Mexican cheetos, mangoes and quinoa....and laughed and giggled the whole time! On Christmas morning we snuggled and played and they LOVED their one gift and little dollar store stocking stuffers. They were beaming, they were thankful....and I felt the truth of what Christmas was about like never before.

So, I know that is just our experience and that things may look different for you but I have to ask, are you willing to ask God to show you how He might want you to do it differently this year? How He might want to show you Himself in a deeper way? That at the end of the day, it would be about far more than cleaning up wrapping paper or driving back home....that at the end of the day you might know Him more?

         And maybe help change a life like his in the process......

To find out more about Real Hope for Haiti Click Here


Jamie said...

You can set up a monthly auto donation through your bank's internet banker bill pay using RHFH's address! If you can't do the entire $125, get 4 other friends to go in with you! These guys are the real deal, they have lived, worked, and had families in Haiti. They lost their mom in Haiti. And through it all they Praise Jesus and have hearts of gold. The blog is heart rending but it's also up lifting to me as well! Please give if you can!

TanyaLea said...

I feel your heart so much. I had a post on my blog that I shared from Carrie McKean that said, "Define NEED" and it had a photo of a very malnourished child (much like the photos on your blog today) and then another photo of the nicely decorated family room of a typical American home at Christmas time: fireplace lit, stockings hung with care, presents, toys, and gifts GALORE... and those 2 simple words: Define NEED.

...my mind cannot shake those images (and this is a good thing, I know) and my heart is troubled, as well. Yet we very much fall in that 'picture' of the nicely decorated home for the holidays. And the truth is, I look forward to that every year. Yet, when it comes to buying the gifts now, it is SO much harder. We have greatly cut back on what we give our children both in quantity and $$ amount. And have even pushed for smaller limits and less gifts in our extended family. Oh how I wish just once they'd all "get it" and just skip the exchanging of gifts and donate those funds (or presents) to those without. To orphans, or missions, or programs that support those causes for the least of these. I want everyone's heart to be burdened the way mine is. Yet, all too easily I get swept back into it. Like a vacuum with a swirling force...it sucks me up and pulls me in. I really don't want to live this way. I think it's okay to have things, but all too often we 'covet' those things. I want to always have a giving heart and I strive to do more. I regret so many stupid financial decisions we made in our past, and can't wait to be on the other side of this fence so we can give back even more than we do. Thanks for your heart and for advocating. I will see what we can do. We just gave the remaining of our charity funds to a friend traveling to Africa just last week. But as soon as we can, I would love to help out. I will talk to my hubby.

Love you and I love your heart!!


P.S.>> I told my daughter Breanna, who is a junior in HS about your missions trip, and she wanted to go SO bad. She asked if it could be her Christmas present, to fly to San Diego and meet up with you. SERIOUSLY! But then I looked at your dates, and she's still in school then. I just wish so bad we could give her that gift, as I know God would do great things in and through her. I would love to go, too. But she has a serious burden for missions right now, and a real gift with children. Oh my heart!!

Anonymous said...

I am right there with you Shannon.

Today I'm trying to tell my Mom who insists on spending $100!! on EACH of us (7 of us--that is $700!), PLEASE, Mom, we don't need anything.

But she won't listen. She insists on getting the kids' more S.T.U.F.F. and us too.

I do NOT give our parents gifts anymore except for heart surgery sponsorships, donations to Smile Train in their name and stuff like that ... and they all love it ... but they won't do the same for us. How do I convince her that is what I really want??? PLEASE don't give us anymore!

Thank you for helping to open our eyes to the hurt out there.


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