Saturday, March 27, 2010

so what is happening in Haiti at HCH???

So much has happened and is happening....

1. The biggest thing perhaps is that the house has been deemed unfit for the kids due to structural instability (engineers reports). So, until a few weekends ago, the kids were staying in tents outside in the yard(The UN had provided a large tent for them, as well as many tents that were brought in). The HCAS (Haiti Children's Aid Society) board and Melinda are working on figuring out when/where/how to move on . We are so blessed to have the Branson's on board with Paul's experience and willingness ability to help!

2. Melinda's new husband Massenat and Amanda, were given humanitarian visa's from the states right after the earthquake. This was an answer to prayer! However, it means that Pat and Melinda are in the states for a couple of years with their families. Melinda had been planning to go in and out of Haiti, but has recently been held up with complications of a new pregnancy. They are staying at a mission compound in Florida, but would like another place to stay over the next while.

3. All of the kids who were in the adoption process were united with their forever families on or before February 3rd/2010. There were a few weeks of incredible stress levels as people waited to hear what was happening with their children. I was cleaning out my inbox the other day after seeing that there were over 1000 emails in there. As I was cleaning it out, I realized that over 3/4 of them were from the 5 weeks after the earthquake! Crazy!

4. Minnie has stayed on in Haiti (though she will be leaving soon for a much needed and deserved break as more volunteers are coming in) and was joined by Hannah and her brother James. They have all been such a blessing, and we were actually really lucky to have James around to help out with his shed-building experience!

5. We put out a plea a few weeks ago to some volunteers who had spent a lot of time at HCH who we felt would be able to be effective and handle the new circumstances at HCH. God was already working in their hearts, and within a few weeks the calendar was full, and we have now have at least 4 people there throughout the summer months and into the early fall. God is so good! We didnt know what would happen as we are only taking expereinced volunteers, but God knew all along!

6. Shae Hellman, a longtime friend of the Smith's, and fellow Haiti lover/addict, will be heading down in June for a more long term stint. This is something God has been preparing her for for a while and has really worked out the timing with Pat and Melinda being in the states, and Shae's job being able to let her go earlier than initially thought! She was also able to go in for about 2 weeks after the earthquake and was of great value!

7. We are slowly hearing little bits about adoptions perhaps starting up again. So many "stories" and such to muddle through, but it seems that IBESR (social services) is up and running again, and so hopefully in short order we will be able to connect our kids with many great families who have had adoption on their minds long before the earthquake slowed things up! Pray that we would get all of the correct details and that God would really work through all the UNICEF hoops that seem to entangle so much of the process!

8. We have only had one child join HCH since the earthquake, due to the instability of the situation and many unknowns. Currently, due to housing and other factors, we are not taking in any children for permanent care.

9.Food prices have been driven up drastically in Haiti since the EQ, and at times it has been difficult to locate necessities due to the dramatic increase in population Mirebalais has seen since the EQ. People fleeing Port-au-Prince have gone to the larger rural areas, Mirebalais being among the many now grossly overpoplulated areas. We have been blessed with many supplies from two groups of friends across the border in the Dominican, the Yoder's and the Branson's. They also helped bring in and take out volunteers shortly after the earthquake when the airport in Haiti was not running.

10. The kids have been quite healthy. Some typical sores and such that we expereince on a regular basis with the heat and dust in Haiti, but God has been so good. He has really kept them in the palm of His hand!

11. Melinda is hoping to get a computer up and running in her house soon, and will be able to communicate via email and the blog and such more easily. Right now they only have a few minutes here and there at the mission office, and Melinda has actually been on bed rest. Please keep her in your prayers.

12. Pat fell a few days ago and hurt her arm. There was some concern for a while, but she seems to be healing well and as of Thursday was getting back into doing what she usually does! Can't keep her down for long!

what else?? please ask me about things you are wondering about. I will try and address them here as I have been realizing how many questions people have.

The finished product

Please read the Branson's blog. The experience was a blessing to many!


So, I was recently chastised ;) for not keeping this up, because not everyone uses facebook when I post updates about what is happening in Haiti. So, I will try and start again and catch you up.

I also realized I need a place to hash out life a bit again. So, here we go!!!

The first weekend of March, a Canadian missionary from the Dominican named Paul Branson, along with some Domincan friends and Canadian volunteers came to HCH and put up a temporary building for the kids.

Our connection with the Branson's (Paul and his wife Sharyn) came because they adopted kids from HCH a few years ago, are friends with people connected to HCH in Canada, and well...God saw fit to draw us all together, and it has really been a blessing!! Funds had been provided from the mission that the Branson's work with, as money was designated for HAiti, but they have no ministry in Haiti. So, God led them to support HCH and get out kids out of the rain! They have also come in previously to deliver food and milk, propane and dogfood( as crazy as that may seem with all that is happening in Haiti, it's really important to keep our guard dogs fed!!) and other necessities.

Here are some pics from the last trip. More from the previous trips to follow.

You can also read about their blog from the trip on their blog (just click on the weblink)

I'll post the next few in the next post. Pretty sweet HUH!