Sunday, July 26, 2009

Time to collect school supplies! (Video included!!!)

Hi everyone,

Feel free to donate actual supplies (which are very cheap around this time of year) or money (and we will buy the supplies for you--you can go to the blog-site and donate online). These items ship very easily, they are fun to give, and the kids and teachers are excited to receive them!

What is cost-prohibitive for them is very inexpensive for us. And it means a lot.

There is no deadline to this kind of giving. I will likely be bringing the items down in November (the revised date for my next trip).

We're collecting things like pencils, erasers, colored pencils, chalk, solar-powered calculators, rulers, etc. And if you find something good that the teachers might like, that would be really great. It would be great to be able to give them some small gifts as well.

Fun fun fun!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Update on heart patient

Hi all

Sadly, the other girl from Haiti will not receive surgery either.  I spoke with the surgeon this morning and he indicated that this girl had multi-valve disease, probably caused by a Strep infection.  

The strep infection was likely a common strep throat which, due to finances, went untreated.

Thanks to all who were praying and thinking about these two children.  This is disappointing for all involved.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

This is a 5 minute clip on the issue of slavery in Haiti.
"A restavec (or restavek; from the French reste avec, "one who stays with") refers to a social system in Haiti in which parents unable to care for their children send them to relatives or strangers living in more urban areas where they receive food and housing (and sometimes an education) in exchange for "light" housework. In reality restavecs often live in grinding poverty, enslaved to their "hosts" and seldom receiving an education. Sometimes, the child is even raped. The restavec system is considered a form of slavery." (

Working in rural Haiti I can see why parents might think they are doing what is best for their child because they are sold a lie ("We will care for your child, provide education and food, and in return they will help us around the house"). It is also important to help the rural families so that they do not fall into this trap.

Monday, July 20, 2009

QUITE exciting news!

Ok--I know you must be wearing of my 'exciting news', but this is pretty cool:

Long-story-short:  I was in a conference call today with two individuals who had learned about my work in Haiti.  Without getting into details (because nothing is firm) they represent an organization that is basically looking for a global health opportunity related to children's health.  They wanted to know if I had any "ready to go" ideas related to Haiti....

Do I ever!

So basically, I will put some proposals together very quickly with Fidelis.  The board will meet next week, I believe, and we'll see if they like any of our ideas.  If so, they may fund a project or two in Pestel that benefits the health of children.  And if they are pleased with the outcome of the project, they may well be interested in providing more funding.


Ok--so tell me that isn't just cool!!

So please pray for wisdom, honesty & integrity as we put proposals together.  
I am telling you--God is VERY good and He wants us to know it, realize it, accept it, and rely on it.

Flyin' high,

Friday, July 17, 2009

Update on heart patients

Hi all,

As I mentioned there are two girls whose records are undergoing evaluation at Hershey for surgery.  I am sorry to say that the one child was determined to be inoperable.  The other child will be evaluated next week.  

Thank you for praying for these kids.  I will let you know next week once I find out the results.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Exciting Updates

I hope you are having a nice summer so far!  Here are a few notes I want to pass along:

1.  I've posted new "goals for 2009-10" on the website.  My 'year' runs from July through June (school year).  This chart will update as we receive donations.   Which brings me to some more good news...

2.  I just learned of two forthcoming donations this week:  a $700 donation that will help support a classroom!  And a $1000 donation to go toward another cistern ("chateau-deau").  Beyond this, I am aware of pledges for another $2000 for classrooms for the upcoming school year!  

3.  Our church is having a rummage sale on August 1st.  All the proceeds will be going to the Haiti Fund to purchase the plastic cisterns.  

4.  We had pleasure of enjoying a very nice dinner with a wonderful couple this evening who are very interested in supporting our work in Haiti!!!  And they've invited us back to their house to meet another couple to talk more about Haiti.  We're so very thrilled to have met them!

All of this adds up to an incredible encouragement to us and to the people of Pestel, Haiti!!  

My next trip to Haiti will be in mid-October.  I am hoping to bring down a lot of school supplies at that point, so as you start to see school sales please consider picking up lots of extra pencils/pens etc etc.

Tomorrow two girls' records (from Haiti) will be reviewed by the cardiology team at Hershey.  Please consider praying about this.  It's not clear whether either of the girls will be accepted for surgery.

This entire experience is both joy-filled and immensely humbling.  Thank you as always for your interest and your encouragement!
God is being praised through all of this!  He is being shown for His goodness, His compassion, and His ability to move mountains in some very challenging places.
And it is exciting to see and to be a part of it.

My Blog

Friday, July 10, 2009

Video from Hearts with Haiti

Hi all,

I just came upon these two videos from Hearts with Haiti.  

The St. Joseph's Home for Boys is usually one of the places I stay when I'm in Port-au-Prince.

Enjoy!  Quite inspirational!!


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Some very good news for Haiti!!

This just in!!   The money the Haitians were sending to pay off interest (and principal) on overseas loans can now be used instead for in-country expenses (build roads, schools, fund healthcare etc). About 50% of the debt was accrued during the brutal dictatorship of the Duvalier family (Papa Doc and Baby Doc) who swindled it.  That was from over 40 years ago.

Obviously this debt relief is not going to lift them out of poverty, but in my mind, this step makes all the sense in the world, and is very good for Haiti.  It's also a sign of confidence that Haiti is attempting to make good steps politically and economically.  

The World Bank and IMF have set up a process whereby they consider debt relief for certain countries that meet certain benchmarks.  Haiti has been going through that process for the past couple of years, and despite the 4 devastating hurricanes of last year, they've been able to maintain some political stability.

$1.2 billion in debt relief approved for Haiti


The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have approved $1.2 billion in debt relief for Haiti.

The bank announced the relief Tuesday after its board met in Washington.

The relief cancels Haiti's debts to the two multilateral organizations and the Inter-American Development Bank and amounts to nearly two-thirds of the Caribbean country's total debt.

As of April, Haiti's debt was more than $1.9 billion, according to the Washington-based Center for Economic and Policy Research.

The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund added Haiti in 2006 to their heavily indebted poor countries debt cancellation program. The Inter-American Development Bank previously approved debt relief for Haiti, pending its completion of that program.

For more on Haiti's debt, you can visit this wikipedia site.
My Blog