Thursday, April 30, 2009

A new 'do!

Abbie got her first "big girl" haircut today (sniff, sniff). She's been asking and asking, and frankly not only am I sick of her begging, but I'm equally if not more sick of picking food out of her hair. She is seriously the messiest eater I have EVER known. Even if her hair's pulled back (and it usually is), it never fails that she will end up with a gob of peanut butter or a blob of jelly or a smear of ketchup or a filament-thin strand of stretched-out chewing gum in her pretty blond hair. Also, as it's gotten longer, it's strangely prone to breakage and split ends. SO...all that to say that she got about 6-8" hacked off today! I forgot to take my camera to the salon, but y'all remember what she looked like before, right? Here she is this afternoon:

And then, just because it looks hilariously gross, here is Micah, holding up the giant Tootsie Roll that he picked out on the special trip Jessica took downtown to the Stock-Aid with the kiddos:

He thinks it's decidedly un-funny, however, if you call it his "poo candy". Come on, that's COMEDY right there! (*insert eye roll*)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Our last day in Jacmel

We won't be flying out of Haiti until Sunday, but we are leaving Jacmel tomorrow (Saturday) to stay overnight in Port-au-Prince. The senate elections are on Sunday, so traffic may be bad getting there. We are staying at a guest house on Saturday night.
The work here has been going SO well. We accomplished more (I think) than we had planned. Gwenn's house is now painted, it's scrubbed, it has a new kitchen counter area, it's been powerwashed, and her stuff is in it. We are going over there again today with Pastor Placide to pray over the whole house. This afternoon, we are going back to the beach with Danny's kids (they're off today because of the elections this weekend). Before we swim, we're going to de-trash the beach as a service project to the community. Tonight, we're going to the English service at the church.
This trip has been exciting and exhausting on so many levels. I miss my family so much. Being here has made it harder, in some ways, to deal with Gwenn and Nick going away. But it's also been incredible to see their new home, to meet their new friends/family (Sandra and Nixon, the parents of the team housing, are AMAZING!), to get to know some of the kids in Danny's family, to go to their new church. Another great thing that's come out of this trip for me is getting to know Kristi, Gwenn's sister-in-law (Kristi's married to Nick's brother). I never really spent any time with her before, and she ROCKS! Seriously, she is the most hard-core lady I've met in a long time.
So I'm sure I'll be posting gobs of pictures when I get back. (Probably not until at least Tuesday, though.)
Pray for us as we travel; for safe flight and for no election-related unrest in the country this weekend. Thanks for your continued prayer and support (and for your *snort* "hedge of protection" around me. I've felt it this week, truly.).

Sunday, April 12, 2009

I am HERE!

We got into Port-au-Prince about 2:30 PM yesterday. After the lines through immigration and customs, we piled into 2 different vehicles (Gwenn and Nick's new pickup being one of them! Brand-new, with the plastic still on the seats) and made the 3+ hour journey through some of the windiest, steepest mountain roads I've ever been on. It was scary and exciting all at once. The road drops off on the side to INCREDIBLY steep cliffs. We got into team housing in Jacmel about 6:30 ish. After unloading and a wonderful dinner prepared by LeAnn and Sandra, I CRASHED. In a bed with mosquito netting!
It is hot here but not as hot as I thought it would be. So far, I've not gotten any mosquito bites.
This morning was one of my turns to help with breakfast. I prepared pancakes for 14 people and then washed dishes for said people (there is no hot running water in the house, and the water you do have needs to be conserved, so it was kind of like washing dishes when camping, complete with heating the water on the stove.
After breakfast and a short time of devotions, we went to church. What a great time! It's just up the street from team housing, so we walked. Church was crowded and hot, but FUN. We walked in just as the worship team was starting up. My mom and I got a chance to minister in music (I sang a song, which was meant to have a CD accompaniment, but the CD player didn't work! so I sang it a cappella.) Mom was signing the song for the deaf children who attend from a local deaf school. Interestingly, Haitians use American Sign Language for the deaf here, so although Mom can't speak Kreyol, she CAN communicate quite well with the deaf kids and the adults who sign.
Danny Pye (the house-father for the current HCH kids) was preaching this morning, so it was in English. The church leaders dedicated three babies to the Lord at the end of the service.
After that, it was back to team housing for lunch. I managed to sneak in a quick nap after lunch (I AM TIRED! and we haven't even worked yet!), and then we got to go see Gwenn's new house (where we'll be working for the rest of the week). This part was HARD. I was thrilled to be able to be with Gwenn when she toured her new digs, and with Nia when she picked HER new bedroom. But it just made it all that much more real for me, I think.
I have some pictures to post but may not be able to until I get home.
I miss my Jon. A lot. And my kids. A LOT. But I love this place.

Monday, April 6, 2009

A story about why I should take the time to put tags on my blogs.

If I did that, I could do a search of my own blog and see if I've posted before about how AWESOME my friend Neil is. I know I've told you about him when he re-did my floor. I like to cook with Neil because it's always an event and not just a meal. Also, he's ridiculously helpful.
Yesterday, we had a party for Jon (his birthday's tomorrow! so send him an e-mail to say hey We had...let's see...12 adults and 9 kids here. We grilled steak and Neil made an incredible dish that he calls "loaded baked-potato salad". It's like potato salad on steroids. Yum. Anyway, he came over about an hour before people got here, helped me finish cleaning up, made said salad, helped with the grilling, then proceeded to serve everyone who was here like I hired him to cater. He ALSO did the dishes and cleaned up my kitchen while I was outside saying good-bye to some folks.
I love this guy. Neil has one of the biggest servant's hearts that I've ever known. I am blessed to count him as one of my best friends.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Happy birthday to my Gwennie!

I do not remember my life before Gwenn was in it. (Literally!) I was 20 months old when she was born, so she's always been there, in my mind. When we were little, we fought like crazy (sorry, Gwennie), but we also made forts and made up languages and argued over who was going to be Paula/Carol when we played Magic Garden.
This will likely be the last birthday for a while that Gwenn and I will be in the same country. In 25 days, she's moving to Haiti to follow God's call on her and Nick's life to "feed the widows and the orphans". I am so proud of them, and so sad for me. But the proud is DEFINITELY bigger than the sad.
Thank You, Jesus, for my Gwennie.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A "hedge of protection"

I totally use this expression, too! I may change that.

In all seriousness, though, please do pray for me and for our team as we travel to Haiti next week. I keep coming back to the scripture "the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective". (So all you heathen, don't bother. KIDDING! KIDDING!)