Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Jadyn Grace

Our daughter is 13 years old.  I know it sounds so cliche, but it really does not seem possible.  I remember the first time I laid eyes on her.  And now, entering her teen Haiti.

 I actually love that she is entering her teen years in Haiti.  We have a lot of time together as a family.  She plays with little children, does crafts with them, feeds them, and does endless "photo shoots" with them.  And she loves it.  She has made friends in the village of Lagossette and has learned more about their culture and way of life.  She interacts with people of all ages....other international kids, our aunts, nannies all over COTP, international staff, and volunteers.  Over the past two weeks she has helped our volunteer nurse hand out meds almost every night because she does not know Creole or the children very well.  She appreciated Jade's help and it gave Jade a chance to serve in a different way.  The week before that she was able to help a volunteer make videos of our special needs kids on campus.  Jadyn loves making cakes and decorating them and she has done so on many different occasions.  She now has our aunts and girls in the village asking her to make cakes for them.  She still loves to read, draw and paint, and write.  She is a busy girl.

 Obviously I am not saying that Jadyn does not have any struggles.  She misses friends and family in America.  She gets lonely without girls her age.  She doesn't obey her parents perfectly and she argues with her brothers.  We are praying that God will use Jadyn as He sees fit here in Haiti and also wherever she goes from here.  That she will stay close to Him through each stage of life and will glorify Him in her thoughts, words, and actions.

I am going to share a few photos of Jadyn that our friend Emily took recently here, and then she is going to put out a blog post of some of her recent photo shoots of the children soon.  These are shots of her with her horse, Noel.  Happy Birthday, Jadyn!!  We love you!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Reminder to pray and Beach Day

Update for those praying with us about adoption.  
I just really wanted to remind people to continue to pray.  We have talked to a few people this week and without miracles taking place it looks like it will still be a long time for the children in our home and across this campus to be joined with their adoptive families.  Pray for the children, pray for the families, and pray for miracles to take place in the offices and governments involved!

I also wanted to share some photos from our Grace House beach day.  We took all of the aunts that work in our home and all of the children to the beach last week.  We have been wanting to do this for quite a while and finally worked it out so we could all go.  We loaded up in the van, which is a rarity for most of the children, and headed out.

It was a fairly quiet ride to the beach.  The children were busy watching out the windows and enjoying the scenery.  The aunts chatted quite a bit, and we all laughed at Paco's "wow!" when Dan took us a little fast over a speed bump.  

When we arrived at the beach the aunts went straight for the water.  They ran and laughed and put sand on each other and raced with the Willis kids and just had a great time.  The children were not as sure.  We played in the sand for a little while, and then tried to coax them into the water.  Fritzlin, Loudena, and Jacob were all afraid and held on very tightly to whoever was holding them.  They never really grew to like the water, but tolerated it a few times when we took them in.  Paco and Ezechiel loved sitting on the shore with someone and letting the waves wash over their feet.  They even smiled when the tide came in a little and the water came to their chest a few times.  

Everyone played in the sand together and a few of us took a walk to the hammocks.  We ate lunch together and the aunts were very grateful and thanked us several times.  The children ate great and I don't think there was a morsel left on the table when we finished.  

One of my favorite memories of the day was the ride home.  Dan suggested we do our evening worship on the way so we began singing and continued for the entire ride.  Such a privelege to worship alongside these ladies!  

Notice in the shot above....Fritzlin and Loudena couldn't smile for me because they were too concerned about the waves coming!

 Children of the Promise has given permission for the posting of the photos on this site.  Photos taken of  the children in the care of Children of the Promise are not to be posted publicly without explicit permission given by Children of the Promise.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

A Post from Jadyn: Sweeter than Honey

Psalm 19:10
More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold, sweeter also than honey,
and drippings of the honeycomb

A few weeks ago, my dad called the "bee man" (we can never remember his real name because we always call him the bee man) to come take the bee boxes and do whatever he wanted to do with them. The bees were supposedly gone, so what good was a bunch of empty bee boxes? Anyway, the bee guy came, walked out to the boxes and came back to tell my dad that we had "anpil siwo" (alot of honey)!
So my dad gave him a large pan to collect the honey into. "Non, non, bezwen anko vesso" (No, no, i need another container) So he went out to collect the sweet honey, returning with at least a gallon of honey! We all gathered around the big containers of honey to watch as they squeezed the honeycomb to get all of the thick, sweet honey out. We ended up with alot of honey, and everyone got some honeycomb to chew on! Here are a few pictures! 

Sweet and sticky!

                                                            Proverbs 16:24
      Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.
We all got a turn to help
The "Bee man"

One of the large bowls of honeycomb

Proverbs 27:7
One who is full loathes honey, but to one who is hungry everything bitter is sweet.

Will You Pray With Me?

My heart has been burdened lately.  

We think often about the children in the Grace House and their future.  It is always on our minds.  We have prayed for it so many times.  We had a volunteer group that came recently paint Jeremiah 29:11 on the wall of Fritzlin and Loudena's bedroom.  "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."  We pray for the other children at COTP that are waiting on their adoptive families also: the children of the Joy House, the special needs children, and the other children in the baby house that will not be returning to their biological families.  Many of you know that the first goal here is to keep families together.  That is not always possible and then the children begin their wait.  The wait always seems too long.

I long for the children that I have grown to love and even the ones I hardly know to be placed in their families.  Their parents should be experiencing the giggles, the new words, the singing, the jumping, and even the mischief.  Their siblings should be running and playing and fighting and laughing with them.  We know and we believe that God has a plan for these children.  He knows what their future holds.  We trust him.

What I would like to propose is a month of prayer.  31 days of intentional prayer for these children to be matched with their families.  For the adoption process to move quickly in Haiti.  For the people who are in charge of the process both in the North America and in Haiti.  For paperwork to process without difficulty.  For people to feel God's tug on their heart to adopt.  For peace for the children while they wait and also for those of us who wait with them.  

These children are so precious!  Will you pray with me?