Wednesday, April 24, 2013


The staff and leadership of Children of the Promise have been great about really wanting our family to get settled and acclimated before taking babies into our home.  I (Holly) have felt ready for a while in regards to the babies but knew it was best to wait on the rest of the family, especially Zion Hope, who will no longer be the baby of the family.

 I have been struggling more with the addition of Haitian staff to our home.  We have been interviewing and talking with two women over the past two weeks about working in our home as the "aunts" of the home.  They will help with child care, cooking, cleaning and anything else that gets done in our home.  They also have helped select a few others who will work here.  While I have been excited about talking with these women and hearing their thoughts, we have always had a translator.  Soon these women will be in our house all day, every day and we have very limited Creole and they have even more limited English.  While I knew this would be the case when we came, the reality has been settling in.  How do we communicate?  I can say a few things, but nothing beyond light conversation.  How do I hear their hearts when I can't even understand their words?   I want to really know these women. It is so important to me that we have a great relationship and that we learn from one another. 

 Can you imagine even having someone who speaks your language in your house all day.  Seeing your ugliness, your faults, your sin struggles.  Witnessing how you interact with your husband and children at every moment?  Now throw in the fact that you can barely communicate with them.  That you have to struggle for every word.  That you don't even know how to ask them what their favorite food is? (I am going to learn that one before next week!)  This has been producing anxiety in me. 

However, God has been speaking to me about this.  He is instructing me about peace.  About not wanting to plan every moment, but to wait on Him and His plan.  To depend on Him from moment to moment for His peace, and not to have my peace based on the circumstances in my life. To lean on Him and to trust Him every time we have a difficult moment or we just don't understand one another.  To know that His plan is good and He called us here and everything will work out according to His will.

Will you pray with me?  That the transitions will go smoothly.  That our relationships with our nannies will be deep and that we will grow to love one another.  That as babies come into our home they will be loved well, and that we will function together as a family growing in grace.  That is the name of our home:  The Grace House.  May it be filled with grace each day!

Beach Day!

There are some days that we think we might have been crazy for agreeing to live in a climate that is so different than the one we are used to. Our families back home are still experiencing cold and snow.....and we are still adjusting to being hot a lot of the time.  Last week Friday was a day that we were not regretting moving here.  It was beach day!  We joined the Vande Lune family and drove about an hour with most of us riding in the back of a truck.  We then climbed in to a small wooden boat and took a ride around the bend to a small, beautiful beach.  While relaxing on the beach, a man came up from a fishing expedition and offered us some of his catch.  Fresh lobster, cooked to perfection!  Our day was filled with swimming, sand, laughter, ocean creatures, and sun. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Pictures and Prayer requests

 Getting ready for our first outing "into town".  This is on our front porch.
 We love riding in the back of the vehicles.  No seat belts here!
 Easter morning.  They stayed this clean for a very short time!
 Some of our new friends.
 Look at that handsome face! 
 Can I have all this cake, mom?
 Jadyn has been teaching our friend John some English grammar.
 Sweeping sisters!  With no window panes, the house gets dusty quickly!!
What we see out of our front door every day.  The next child home!

Prayer requests for this week.
We will be talking to the nannies that will possibly be working in our house this week.  Pray that everyone making this decision will have wisdom and that God would make it clear.
Pray for our relationships with one another, with our fellow staff, and with our new Haitian friends and neighbors.
Pray that we will have wisdom meeting needs in the community and knowing our limitations.
Pray for the children that will soon be transitioning into our home, the Grace House.
Pray for continued improvement in speaking and learning Creole.
Pray for us as we face spiritual warfare.
Pray for continued health and safety.

We so appreciate our prayer warriors!!!


I think moving to a new country is an adventure in itself, but I thought tonight I would share with you a couple of the adventures we have experienced lately. 

Earlier this week Dan went to Cap Haitian with Nick, Jadyn, and Gabe.  They had a fun afternoon of picking out bikes and bargaining in the outdoor market.  They even stopped for lunch and were able to enjoy pizza together!  The children have enjoyed riding their bikes around on campus, but today I decided to take them for a ride down the road.
 It had rained A LOT last night so I knew there would be puddles, but I didn't think about how many animals couldn't be out to pasture.  As we rode we had to dodge puddles (I was probably the only one of us even attempting to dodge these), people, motos, and many, many goats.  We often see goats as we drive or walk along the road, but usually most of them are in the grass along side the road.  Today the road was full of them.  I don't think Isaiah has ever ridden his bike somewhere other than a drive way, so I tried to talk him through this obstacle course but sometimes there was no talking, just avoiding goats!
We also came upon a few cows on their way home for the evening.  As they walk home, their owners often leave the rope they use to tie them to something during the day dragging behind them on the road.  Do you know how tempting it is for a 5 year old boy to ride over that rope?  I could see the wheels turning in his brain.  He got close a few times, but eventually we passed the cows, also.
We came upon a part in the road that was completely flooded.  Someone had placed a piece of plywood as a bridge for the motos to pass, but I decided I wasn't up for that much of an adventure, and we turned around.
I know we were quite the spectacle as we rode....and several people tried to talk with us.  Jadyn and I answered when we could, but we are still quite limited in our Creole.   It was a fun afternoon activity, and I am sure many more bike rides are in our future.

At the risk of making this post too long, I will share another adventure we experienced last week.
Last Saturday Rob and Erin, staff here at COTP and great new friends, offered to take us to the Dominican Republic for a day trip to eat out and get groceries at a market they often use to stock up on some things they can't get in Cap Haitian.  They have four children, Lizz was still with us at the time, and the seven of us.  We rode in a little truck with seven in the cab and seven in the back.   The DR is a little over an hour for us so we enjoyed each others company and took in the scenery on the way.
We parked the truck on the Haiti side of the border, walked a bridge over, and Rob asked the guard what time they were closing the gate that day.  The guard told him 5pm. (Insert funniest thing I saw that day:  A man carrying at least 25 live chickens on a rope.  Two fell which meant he had to set the others down to pick the two up and it turned into utter chicken chaos.  I felt sorry for the guy, but it was quite hilarious.  I have been trying to be careful about what I photograph so as not to offend, and sometimes my camera just isn't available, but I wish I had a picture of that!)  Anyway, 5 pm worked for our schedule so we walked to the restaurant from there.  We enjoyed a great meal despite continuing to speak English or Creole when we were supposed to be speaking Spanish.  Get too many languages in the mix and nothing makes sense!  After lunch we were even able to take the kids to a little ice cream shop down the street.  Asking flavors in Spanish was also interesting.  (Side note of something that wouldn't happen in the States.  The girl that was helping us gave us a sample of a flavor, and then continued using that same spoon to let others sample different flavors.  No room for germaphobes here!)
Next we did our shopping. It was fun to see the different things that we could buy, and one thing we really stocked up on was yogurt.  We don't eat much dairy here, so yogurt is a treat and we bought it by the gallon.  Price comparison is even more difficult when you have to convert at times in Haiti and at times in the Dominican.
The fun part of the adventure is yet to come!  We packed all of our groceries into a cart pulled behind a moto and Rob, Dan, and the kids all piled on.

When we got to the border, we discovered that they had closed early that day because of Easter.  We had some choices.  We could get a hotel and have a bunch of our food spoil and not make it back to COTP, or we could walk the river.  So....nine children, five adults, and about $400 worth of groceries are going to have to get across the river.  We gave the older kids a few bags, we all grabbed a few bags and the younger children, hired a few Haitians to help, and we were off.  We walked through a little rock bed where many people lay their clothes out to dry after washing them in the river.  Then we walked through an area with a lot of garbage on the ground.  Next came the water.  It was probably about knee deep for me, so the little ones were carried and the others just waded through.  At the other side there was quite a steep bank we had to climb and it was not easy with groceries, children, and really wet shoes.  Thankfully there were kind people along the way to help us up.

We finally made it to the truck, paid our Haitian help, and headed out.  However, in order to get them to open the gate for our truck to leave, we had to pay the guard there.  He was looking to make some extra money and Rob ended up having to pay him triple what he had paid last time.  It was cheaper than a hotel stay, though.
We were relieved to be back on our way once we were out the gate.  We were able to return to COTP without any more difficulty, and were glad to make it home that evening.  And we had yogurt for dinner that night!