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Showing posts from 2012

This World

What is happening?
What is going on?
Innocent people are dying every day.
Everyday-for various reasons.
Massacres, drunk driving, stupid mistakes, murders, and who knows what else.
Many people think the world will end on December 21st
Sometimes, I wish it would.
Can this tragedy just end?
But, these people, these beautiful creations don’t know our God.
These people do not know how to show their beauty because they are afraid of the God who created them.
These people who do all these things—they need to be loved.
They need to be shown Jesus in ways they have never been.
Too often we turn away because it’s a “helpless cause”, but we know the one who can help
Can we fall to our knees and pray?
Can we ask God to show us how to be Jesus in this dark and fallen world?
Can we fight for justice and peace by showing love?
Can we accept everyone because of who they are?
Innocent lives are taken all over the world—
Some unexplainable, some on purpose, some on accident
Some alone silently where only a few grieve a…

Malachai

I don’t know if you remember or not, but I wrote a post about our newest little admit the day after Thanksgiving. This is a follow up of that. If you want, read that first here http://torirayle.blogspot.com/2012/11/our-newest-little-arrival-and-how-hes.html.
Well, he stayed with me the rest of that week. For seven days I bathed, fed, changed, and loved him at all hours of the day and night (except when I was teaching preschool). He was such an easy going baby (besides waking up a lot in the night). He would be content sitting in the Bumbo or laying on the floor if other things needed to get done. He loved being tickled—especially under his chin.
I could tell from the first time I met him he was a special baby—I couldn’t see why his mom would have left such a cute little bundle alone at the hospital. He had big handsome eyes and looked cute in just about any outfit I would put him in (of course I picked out all the cute ones).He ate well and seemed very happy. The next Friday one of our…

Going "Home"--The Constant Struggle and Some Other Thoughts on Christmas

Today is December 6th. Not a spectacular day by any means, but it means Christmas is approaching. Its hard to be in shorts and t-shirts and knowing Christmas is so close. It doesn’t make sense. When we were little we had to bundle up by this time putting on many layers of clothes and we may of even had a snow day or two. We would see Christmas displays in stores and when driving at night my siblings and I would have contests to see who could count the houses with the most Christmas lights (I’m still convinced my one older brother would count each porch light because he always seemed to win).
Some volunteers that where here last week found some Christmas lights and put those up and I’ve been talking about Christmas a lot in preschool. How do you explain Christmas to kids who have no concept of what it is? They aren’t anticipating Santa coming down the chimney (nor am I encouraging that), they don’t see the lights as they travel, they don’t know what “marvels” stores hold, they don’t kn…

Every Little Girl Dreams of Being a Princess... Reflections of Playtime in Preschool

Every little girl dreams of being a princess. Whether it is because they want that night in shinning armor, to ride horseback to their castle, to have someone to do all the work for them, so they can be in charge, or just to “be beautiful”, it’s the dream of them all, right? What if there are girls who don’t know what being a princess means? There are ones who cannot even imagine what that is like because they have so few things. There are girls who have never seen a movie with a princess in it or read a book about a princess. There are little girls who do not have these dreams because their dreams are too filled with good food and just one beautiful dress to wear to church.
Today in preschool, for various reasons, we only had the girls in class.One of the girls is a missionary family’s daughter and when I told her mom what the class would be made up of she suggested bringing dress up to class. I (of course) loved that idea and had already been planning to bring out the babies (I mean …

Our newest little arrival and how he's already blessed my life

I sit here at my desk—my messy desk and wonder how to put my thoughts into words. Scraps of paper left over from a preschool craft I made up, coloring pages and 20 markers lye in a pile waiting to be finished for a song prop, 12 baskets from when I taught the story of the 5 loaves and 2 fish, a cookbook I used when making my portion of Thanksgiving dinner, a cup of water, Kreyol notes, a couple of baby toys, lesson idea books, a few CDs, and my computer all clutter my desk. This array of items pretty much sums up my typical life here but doesn’t even break the surface of the things that go on here.
Since I’ve been here we’ve admitted six new babies. The youngest are six month old twins and the oldest is 13 months. They all came from different circumstances and are here for different reason. Our hope and the plan right now is for four of them to be reunited with a family member after three months of our care, one of them was reunited in August and is now back to stay until he is adopted…

I am thankful for my preschoolers... and so many other things

Thanksgiving… It happened this week (in America at least). I feel like there is an unsaid rule about writing what you are thankful for or talking about what you are thankful for sometime around this Holiday. That isn’t too hard though, we all have so much to be thankful for. I’ll list some of mine later.
Sitting here at 12:37 in the afternoon on the Friday after Thanksgiving and I sit with a thankful heart. I loved preschool this morning. The last week and a half there has been construction going on right next door to the preschool room and having only half walls, the kids easily get distracted by all the action. I’ve been frustrated by repeating myself over and over recently. I’ve been frustrated feeling like the kids are not absorbing anything. I’ve been frustrated at the fact that I was feeling like a failure as a teacher.
We started out the year with actions similar to this, but with corrective discipline and daily structure we moved out of it. I didn’t want to go through all of tha…

What do I do? Where am I at? What do they do?

I am now living in Lagosette, Haiti (about six miles south of Cap Haitien) at Children of the Promise (COTP). COTP is not an orphanage but a creche because they do not keep the children long term. They take in sick and/or abandoned babies and love them back to health. Their main goal is to eventually reconnect the child with family but when this is not possible they adopt them out.
We have 16-20 babies 0-1, 8 special needs kids (1-5), and 30-40 kids 1-5. Our numbers are always changing. Since I’ve been here I have seen two kids be reunited with their Haitian families, two children go home to their adoptive families, and five children be admitted. This means that there is always something to do around here. There are always babies to help feed, diapers to change, hugs to give, boo-boos to kiss, kids to chase, kids to push in a swing, songs to be sung, loving to give, and attention to give. Luckily for us there is a great staff of Haitian nannies that work here and love these kids. My ro…

5 months of Updates

Its been a while since I’ve posted a blog, I’m sorry. What has happened in the last five months? Well, a lot. I’ll try to sum it up, but if there is anything you want me to go more in depth about let me know and if I can I will.
To start with, the very end of May an orphanage that I spent a lot of time at when I wasn’t working gained an additional 16 very sick, malnourished, and desperate for love children after their orphanage was closed by the government. They came from very bad conditions—they were fed very little, infants where being eaten alive by rats, they had many different diseases/sicknesses, and were all very hungry and dehydrated. Horrible. I was able to be at the orphanage when the UN escorted these children to us. They came in unsure, scarred, hungry, lonely, and sick. They were not loved where they were before. I’ve cried many times for these kids. How could anyone treat anyone (let alone children) the way these kids where treated? How could any child not know what it w…

Experience

Today I finally had a chance to go to the Wound Clinic here in Haiti and help with the redressing of wounds. I had been there once before but only did the pharmacy side of things (which was a good experience too, but not as good). I saw things I never thought I would see and helped give care to wounds bigger than I could describe. I saw some tendons, blood, burns, and absesses. I had to scrub the dead skin off a burn and pick out dried on something or other. It was disgusting! I can't wait to go back and learn more medical skills-hands on.

Anyway, this got me thinking about the experiences I've had since I've been in Haiti. Some are ones I had before, but many are ones I would never have dreamed I would have had. Here's a list of everything I can think of (I'm sure I'm forgetting some).

Nurse
Pharmacist
Nanny
Mother
Disciplinarian
Seamstress
Employee
Employer
Employee Hire-er (I don't know what this is called)
Supervisor
Friend
Confidant
Tour Guide
Payroll…

Thoughtful ramblings

Broken, stretched, challenged, hungry for God, thirsty for his quenching love, loved, intimidated, strong, courageous, lost, overwhelmed, blessed, guilty, and open.
These are just a few of the feelings I have had since moving to Haiti. Being here has opened me up to a whole new world of life—a new way of living. It has made the pictures come alive. The statistics I have read are no longer just numbers but faces, houses, hungry pesticide filled pot bellies. Rain used to be something I enjoyed. I loved sitting on a porch and watching, smelling, and hearing the rain come down. But now, each time that rain comes, I cannot help but think of the beautiful faces in Cite Soliel or the children that shout “Hey You” as we drive or walk by the tent city nearby. I cannot imagine what it would be like for your dirt floor to be turned to mud, to not be able to go to sleep because you have to stand up so your head stays above water, to not have protection at all from this rain. Yes, cisterns are fill…

Health Care in America and why I'm thankful for it

Friday night, after I had to do the hardest thing at work since I’ve gotten to Haiti (tell someone not to come back on Monday—not fire him, he was there for training and just didn’t make the cut) I got a Facebook message saying my grandpa (who has been fighting cancer for a while and has been off chemo since January) was admitted to Hospice in the hospital because he was barely eating anything.
I tried to act normal, eat dinner, and help out at a tent city tap tap wound clinic, but my mind was elsewhere. I keep picturing the last time I was home and saw my grandpa. I keep seeing the last time I saw him, the last time we sat and had a conversation, and the last time I hugged him. I then woke up Saturday morning to a Facebook status from my dad that said my seven month old nephew had to go to the ER in the middle of the night because he couldn’t breathe. Holy cow, I wanted to be with my family right then and there. After breakfast I called my mom and found out my nephew was okay he had t…

Seamstress Training Day 1

Today was day one of seamstress training. Something I've been excited for but extremely nervous for ever since I moved to Haiti. I've been excited to hire more people to give more Haitians jobs, but I was nervous to do the hiring and training part. I have never hired or trained anyone for a job--not to mention a job I only know very little about in a language I only know few words in. Really? God, what are you trying to teach me through this. My prayer has been a constant "Give me words, wisdom, guidence, strength, skills, and knowlege because I'm sure not equipped for this task."

Well, the day came. I didn't want to get out of bed because it was almost one before I finally fell asleep. From the time my feet hit the floor in the morning I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I had to make sure there were enough working machines set up, I swept the floor, and got supplies out. I had to come over to the guest house to write down information f…

"I Want to Live Like That"

One thing I miss most about being in Haiti is not having any Christian radio stations. Pandora doesn't work in Haiti, Klove won't stream at all, WAFJ will only work for 5-10 minutes and its not even worth it, and I lost all the songs on my ipod and my computer crashed so I have no songs (and on top of that I left all my cds at home this past time on accident--so thankful for the team's ipods that play all evening long at the guest house).

Anyway, as I was home I listened to Klove everytime I was in the car (unless I was playing a Creole CD) and I really really liked the song by Sidewalk Prophets song "I want to Live Like That". It is my life's prayer. Here it is. No actually, the words of the song will be in itallics and I will write my thoughts in regular print.

Sometimes I think
What will people say of me
When I'm only just a memory
When I'm home where my soul belongs


I think all the time what people think of me. Not so much becuase I'm worried …

Transitioning

The weeks and day coming up to my flight out of Haiti were emotionally filled. I did not want to leave. Yes, I was very excited to see friends and family, but I did not want to leave my home.

The night before I left I got advice from a wise woman telling me to think of it as my mission has changed for the next 12 days. People in America need ministered to more than the people of Haiti. That is so true. The people of Haiti may lack material things and money, but American's lack joy, contentment, and letting God be their whole life and not just a part of it.I needed that advice. When teams come down and are sad to go home I tell them God has placed them where He wants them at this exact moment in their lives and they should take this experience and use it to help with the mission where they are placed. I didn't take my advice because I know God has placed me in Haiti and not in America. But could a 12 day trip to the states be part of His mission for my life? Of course it can. T…

All in a Day

Today was one of those days where my emotions soared from really high to really low. Thursday night I recieved not so good news about my grandpa and have been feeling down since. This morning I had planned to finally get to go to the wound clinic and help there, but upon getting up, I knew I would not be effective there. I went with the majority of the team to Cite Soliel.

When we got out at our first stop I was not who I normally am when I tag along to Cite Soleil. As always, kids grabbed us the second we got off the tap tap. Rather than playing with the kids, I just stood there and held them. At that moment I was so thankful for the hugs and love even though I barely knew these kids. Eventually a jump rope was being used and a child looked at me and told me to jump. How could I say no to those eyes? I jumped a little and they laughed at me. I was loosening up and enjoying myself more. Later, a child looked at me and said "Kouri" (run). Agian, I can't say no, so I pulle…

Struggles and Other Ramblings

Each team that comes through has a time at night where they come up with a word that describes their day. Even if I don't participate in that sharing time I like to come up with a word to help me process my thoughts. Today, as I was coming up with my word I was struggling and decided that was my word.

Life has its own set of struggles for anyone and they are different for each and every person.

Here is what I'm struggling with right now.

I struggle with remembering that life here isn't "normal" (what does normal even mean?) because it is what I see every day.

I struggle with knowing if what I'm doing is really making a difference.

I struggle with being asked everytime I go anywhere for things as simple as food or a pair of shoes.

I struggle with wanting to give these items away because of the beautiful eyes staring at me asking for them, but knowing I can't.

I struggle with knowing the fine line between handing out and handing up.

I struggle with pinpo…