Saturday, September 27, 2008

Guess Who

Can you guess who this is? This precious little person came to us a few months ago and has changed so much. You can see who it is and see more new pics at Grandma Pat's Babies.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

As I am preparing to go

This is a picture I pulled off a newsletter I was sent from a humanitarian group working in Haiti. This was taken just shortly after Hurricane Hanna hit Haiti, and it really hit me when I saw pun intended. And this is just a glimpse of what people are facing, and these homes are still standing...
I've been thinking about what I am going to be seeing when I arrive in Haiti, and the many things that I won't see but will hear about. Please pray for me as I am realizing more and more how the lives of the people in this country that I love so much have been completely overturned once again. Please pray for a divine measure of strength and grace and love that I will need to show to these people, and that in doing so I can show them Jesus.

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

And back I go

So it's official. I am flying back to Haiti on the 7th(well, arriving on the 8th) of October! I am so happy! It has been so great being home, though I had a really hard time not flying back a couple weeks ago during all of the Ike craziness!! The weather has been so beautiful and it's been great for spending time with friends and HCH kids and may other great Alberta things. I even kayaked 16km one weekend. I know you are all now wishing you could be as outdoorsy as me! The next three weeks will be busy getting ready for Laura's wedding and organizing all the stuff I am going to be bringing to Haiti, and the other stuff I need to have ready for whoever comes next from this area. I am really going to try and do things AHEAD of time, and avoid the stressful crunch I seem to get myself into as I plan and prioritize the heaps of stuff people have provided!
Things continue to carry on at HCH. I got an email from Melinda yesterday regarding a little girl named Jeana that had been admitted who was 14 months and weighed 8lbs. Then this morning, I was informed that she did not make it...she was simply too far gone. We are slowly but surely beginning to see the effects of the nearly 50% rise in food costs in Haiti, and now the devastation that Ike caused has made so many people absolutely desperate for help. Please continue to keep Haiti and its peoplem as well as HCH in your prayers as more children are brought to our door.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Update on what's Happening in Haiti

The bridge leading to town:No, you're right,there is no bridge!

Canoeing across

Night at the hospital

Water Line high above this toddler bed at a nearby house

Preparing things to distribute in the community

Most of you have heard by now that Hurricane Ike has passed Haiti, but in its wake left many parts of the country devastated. All over this island nation, countless families have lost loved ones, their homes, belongings and livelihoods.
God has been faithful and merciful to Haiti Children’s Home and though the flood waters passed the orphanage, water did not even TOUCH its walls. The staff and children were forced to evacuate early Sunday morning(Sept 7th) and were safely brought to the hospital where they spent the night in very cramped quarters. Early Monday morning it was obvious that the water was not going to effect the compound, and so they packed all of the supplies and returned everyone home. During this time they discovered that upstream in the Artibonite River, two trucks that had been washed downstream had jammed on the bridge in Mirebalais, and after effectively damning the river, the force of the water and rain from Hurricane Ike caused the bridge to collapse. The water that had built up then flooded the area downriver from the bridge, adding to the destruction it had already been caused upriver by the damn the trucks had made. The same type of incident occurred west of the orphanage, and thus HCH has been left on a sort of island. This means that they are unable to get a vehicle across the river to go to the city to obtain supplies and if necessary, emergency medical aide. There are makeshift boats carrying people across the river, so it is possible to get across, but then there is the very expensive need to find and hire a driver, and with gas at $5/gallon it is very important to make sure trips are planned effectively. The pastor from the church HCH attends has been very gracious and has offered the use of his vehicle when possible.
At this time, the staff at HCH has had to tighten the belt a bit, as they do not know how dependable the food supply is going to be. Many farmers have lost their land and produce, and so already they are finding it harder to obtain staples and then there is the chore of getting it across the river. Milk is not available in Mirebalais at this time, and so they have had to cut back to giving milk only to those under 2 years, though they continue to use milk in the preparation of all the children’s food. There is milk available in the city, but the funds are not yet in place to make it a worthwhile trip (it costs approx. $40-50/day to provide milk to 40 children and babies). A psychologist was sent to debrief the children, and he was amazed at the behaviour and education shown during his visit. He said he had never seen anything like it and was very happy with how the children were coping with their experience.
However, God continues to care for HCH and they have been given food from the World Food Program which has helped them and also neighbour’s close-bye. There are 30 families near the home who have lost everything, including their homes. The staff at Haiti Children’s Home is seeing that they have been spared from the damaging effects of the flood so that they can help those around them. The last few days have been spent helping one neighbour a day remove mud and debris from their homes, and sorting and finding extra clothes and supplies to help neighbour’s and other people in Mirebalais who have nothing. Every afternoon they open the gate and allow people to come and take water from the well, filling a huge need in the community. The mayor from Mirebalais has been very helpful, and through his efforts the hospital and orphanage were able to obtain power yesterday morning. This has allowed Melinda and Pat and other HCH staff to share their thoughts and pictures with their friends and family, and we have attached some of that information to this letter. Please prayerfully consider financially supporting Haiti Children’s Home during this difficult time. There are many needs to be filled both within and outside the compound walls, and your involvement will make a significant impact on the lives of many.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

HCH Evacuation

Good morning everyone.
I just got news that the orphanage had to evacuate this morning at about 7:30 their time(8:30 our time) due to flooding. They had lots of notice, and managed to get the necessary medical supplies(incubators, etc) to the hospital(no they do not have incubators at the hospital) along with all of the children. The flooding is of a slow nature at this point, so there are still people working to move things out of the danger of the water. The cooks were still down finishing preparing lunch for the kids as the work to secure the orphange was finished. Currently the road leading to the orphange is covered in water(there are other back ways to access the orphanage), and continues to creep higher, so they are prepared to stay the night up at the hospital. Please keep all of the staff and children in your prayers as they prepare to spend a day out of familiar surroundings. Pray that the peace of God wil reign in the hearts of all the children and adults, and that they would feel His hand of comfort and reassurance throughout the day. Pray that the water damage would be minimal and will not keep the orphange unaccessible for the children for an extended period of time. Pray for wisdom for Melinda and Pat as they care for sick and fragile children, and for Minnie and Hannah as they care for the other children along with some of our Haitian staff.
Please keep the Haitain families who are our neighors in your prayers as well, as many of their homes are currently being invaded by water, and they are losing what little they have. Please pray for the people of Haiti, as Hurricane Hanna hit the coast quite devastatingly, killing hundreds of people, and Huricane Ike is now ravaging the northwest coast. Pray that the people of Haiti will turn to God in this time of need, and that His presence will be felt in the lives of many.
Cuba is going to be hit hard by Hurricane Ike, and your prayers for this other island nation would be of great value.
There are a number of sites where you can go to glean information regarding the hurricane, including (here to track Hurricane Ike) (article about Haiti) (another article) (link to a whole bunch of info regarding Haiti)

Thanks so much for your prayers. Please feel free to call or email with questions!
Luv, Lori

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Associated Press: Hanna dumps more rain on flood-plagued Haiti

Please read The Associated Press: Hanna dumps more rain on flood-plagued Haiti. Many of you have been asking about how these storms are affecting HCH. We are located high in the mountains, though somewhat close to the L'Artibonite river which floods during hurricane season every year. The majority of the affects that HCH feels are wind and rain, though not the deverstating winds felt on the coast. There are many people in our area of Haiti affected by the swollen river, and I have not yet heard if we have lost any of the people living close to the river. Last year a family was devestated when a flash-flood tore away their home and one of their young children. Please keep us and the people in our area in your prayers, and well as the country of Haiti. As well, keep in mind the many organizations who are trying to help Haiti in this time of need.