I got this email today from the pastor of the church where our church delivered the food bags bought with YOUR donations. Thank you again, amazing stuff!
Thank you so much for writing. I was going to send you a report about the food bags yesterday, but I had internet problems. We were able to hand out all the food bags. We gave bags to 210 needy persons. We still have some of the stuffs your team brought for our people, and we will give them out by next week. Unfortunately, we did not take any pictures. Sorry for that. On behalf of all the recipients, Hope Baptist Church and I are very grateful for you. May God richly bless you as you continue to serve Him and His people
Senior Pastor of Hope Baptist Church
Saturday, February 27, 2010
I got this email today from the pastor of the church where our church delivered the food bags bought with YOUR donations. Thank you again, amazing stuff!
Posted by Jessi at 12:48 PM
Friday, February 26, 2010
So our friends Jennie and Miguel just moved to the US and gave us their television. I've been with out a TV here for 3.5 years and, well, things have gone along fine. I know, some think it impossible, but I have my computer and watch movies and check news, so I still feel pretty in touch.
Well, we got cable last week as there were no channels at all, and it's only $9/month, and let me tell you, life is good. I stayed up until 1:30 last night watching the girls ice skate, and I'm currently watching Oprah and drinking tea. All of the sudden, I'm that much closer to the States. As the news is set up to be local to NY, I'm hearing about the winter storm, and even enjoying a cloudy cold day here.
My favorite part of the day was when the Cadbury egg commercial just came on. I smiled, I fully smiled. All alone in the apartment and here I am smiling. It's the one where the lion and other animals are dressed like a bunny, you know. It's just that I've seen that commercial so much growing up and here it is again, little unexpected pieces of America. I haven't had an Easter at home in ages so I forget the little things.
So I'm enjoying my TV. Even the commercial. No, especially the commercials.
Posted by Jessi at 1:38 PM
Another round of vaccines and I am proud to say we nearly have all our kids fully vaccinated!!! It has been a long time coming, but worth it all. This time we vaccinated against Tetanus, Polio, Diptheria, Measles, Rubella, and Hepatitis B. We still have a few to catch up on, and the new kids who just started will continue to catch up as well, but the majority of our kids are now at CDC standard for vaccines!
Vaccine days are strangely kind of funny. The kids get so worked up about their shots, some go running to hide, others arrive to me drenched in sweat from fear, and we even had one little guy escape from the school to his house! Don't worry, I'll get him eventually. I try and tell them it's because I love them so much I don't want them to get sick, but then again, they're young and that kind of reasoning doesn't work. So we hold them and give them stickers and Tylenol and continue vaccinating!
Posted by Jessi at 11:10 AM
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Posted by Jessi at 10:51 AM
Monday, February 22, 2010
The team made it home from Haiti Saturday night and had endless stories to tell. The group headed to Haiti at 3 am Sat morning, getting to the border town of Dajabon about 9 am. They ran into problems because immigration said they couldn't take the rental truck loaded with all the donations, into the country. That didn't stop them though. One of the guys hopped on a motorcycle taxi into Haiti and rented another truck. They quickly transferred the donation bags and headed out! It was incredible how it all came together so fast and they were soon on their way.
They made it to the church in Cap Haitien, where earthquake refugees are staying with families, but the families were already poor and hungry before accepting more family into their homes. The pastor was ecstatic to receive so much support and help and Ariel said he was forever smiling. They were shown the church, the construction to expand it, and the children who were in Bible classes at the time. The pastor was meant to hand out the bags to the earthquake victims yesterday after the church service, and we hope to hear about that soon.
Thank you for all your donations and support in this time. It has been such a great blessing to be able to be this link between you and the Haitian people. We don't have another trip planned at the moment, but if you are interested in continuing to donate, you can be in touch with me and we'll see if we can do another trip.
I'd just like to say that the whole trip was run off of donations. 225 food bags, 50 baby bags, items for women, and extra items to hand out along the way, along with van rental and gas...all because of YOU! Thank you. Thank you for caring about the Haitians, for donating from your hearts, and for trusting us to make it happen.
Posted by Jessi at 3:56 AM
Friday, February 19, 2010
Last night we packed the bags for the Haiti trip on Saturday. It was amazing to see how much was actually in the bag by the end of it all. It was a fantastic group that came together to help pack each bag and we couldn't have done it without them. Each of the 225 food bag contains: 5 lbs rice, 2 lbs sugar, 1 carton milk, 1 salt, 2 powder seasonings, 2 liquid seasonings, 5 juices, 2 corn meals, 2 packs spaghetti, 1 can beans, 3 bouillons, 1 bottle oil, 2 packs of matches, 2 packs crackers, 2 packs cookies, 1 toilet paper, 1 tomato paste, 5 bottles of water, 1 salami, 1 can of tuna, and 2 packs of powdered milk.
We were also able to prepare 50 baby bags which contain 1 can of formula, 1 pack of diapers, and 1 bottle. We have sanitary pads that will be given separately to the women, which they're really asking for.
So we are officially ready for this trip now and they should be leaving about 3 am on Sat morning. Can't wait!!
Posted by Jessi at 3:19 AM
Thursday, February 18, 2010
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Wednesday, February 10, 2010
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I wish I had the words to describe what it was like to drive around town. The sights, smells, feels, it's hard to process all that I took in. There is such a contrast in Haiti, between the natrual beauty of the ocean and mountains to the mud/sewer filled streets and people packed alleys and houses. Although Cap Haitien was not harmed by the earthquake, the needs are just the same. They need food, water, adequate housing. All the needs that we see now were there before the earthquake. It is just that the earthquake amplified and brought greater attention to the poverty and needs of this country. It is poor. Poor like I have never seen before. Houses made of sticks, no water or electricity in the best of places, words do no justice to what it is.
Posted by Jessi at 5:49 AM
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With the tents in place, the group transitioned into full time bunk bed making! The day started with some welcomed sprinkles and rain, but the tents proved to be the perfect woodshops! By the end of the day, 25 bunkbeds were ready and in place! I'm still amazed at the speed these guys were able to work!
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The days went on and the construction was poured into! The tents arrived just in time as the platforms were being finished. It took some reading and planning and understanding to work out how to put the tents together, but they got it figured out and went to work!
Posted by Jessi at 4:57 AM
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As we pulled into Cap Haitien, the things we saw are indescribable. Things that still stand out in my mind are the huge amounts of trash along the road and in the fields and waterways. There were people everywhere and lots of dust due to the dirt roads and numerous vehicles. The UN has posts throughout the city and along the road driving in. It was interesting to see such a strong UN presence, knowing what it has taken to require a permanent UN intervention.
Posted by Jessi at 4:33 AM
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Sunday, February 07, 2010
We are in our final days here in Haiti and the momentum has not only continued, it has gotten stronger-if that is possible! These guys are working so heard and to see their hearts and souls into what they are doing is incredible. So far they have built platforms and raised 9 tents, almost finished bathroom plumbing and walls, dug the septic and walled it in, built cabinets for the kitchen, built an extension onto the building for more kids to be able to eat, and are now pouring the floor.
There are some projects that were hoped to be finished, but as the days have gone by, it seemed like they wouldn't be completely finished. Jeff, our director for Kids Alive, threw out the "opportunity" last night for those that were interested to stay on here in Haiti for a few more days. In the end, they decided to forgo their day of going out to lunch after church and then to the artisan market...so sorry to their wives and families, their gifts will probably come from the Atlanta airport. But that means we should have 25 bunkbeds ready to receive 50 kids!!! Dedication and heart, willingness to serve continually. It has been insipiring.
It is purely by the grace of God and my mom and Zeneida's teaching in the kitchen that I am able to keep this group fed. Somehow between loaves of bread for French toast and endless rice for lunch, they seem to be still be living. They are certainly encouraging and complimentary, although I still say a prayer each meal that it is well cooked and doesn't make anyone sick!
It has been interesing being surrounded by Creole, I feel so helpless in communication. I've certainly picked up words by need...but I am a long ways from communicating! The ladies that help around the house during the week are patient with me as I know it is hard for them too, to have this white girl trying to cook in what is normally their space! I'm going to try to be better now about studying Creole, as I'm sure this is the first of many trips across the border. As many of our kids in Caraballo are Haitian, my natural reaction is to just speak Spanish to them...but they look at me like I'm a crazy lady!
We are heading out on the one and only 8am bus to the Dominican Republic on Tuesday morning. I should be back in my home sweet home by the evening.
Posted by Jessi at 6:45 AM
Friday, February 05, 2010
Sorry for the lack of updates, I know people are thinking and praying for us, and I thank you for that!
It has been a busy few days, but all is going amazingly well. Helen and Tom, the directors for this site, had to head back to Canada suddenly for a family emergeny. It was amazing to see how things came together so perfectly in a way that only our God could have orchestrated. It "happened" that the mail plane was arriving in the late morning, and it had 2 seats open to take them back to Florida! After a failing internet to try and communicate the need for the home office to investigate a connecting flight to get them into Toronto, one of the team members offered the services of a private plane that he uses for work. Not only did it take them to Buffalo, NY, but he arranged for a car to then drive them to their daughter's house. We haven't heard from them yet this morning, but please keep the whole family in prayer, and little Leah who is fighting for her life.
God also brought all of us together to continue beautifully as a team. There are leaders who have taken over construction plans, I'm apparently head chef now, and all is going smoothly. The internet is up and running again and I was thankful for that to get a few of my favorite recipes for larger groups!!
The construction is going so quickly, we are excited, and these men are pouring their hearts and skills into their work. We are hoping to finish the 9 tents, bathrooms, and extending one building to make space for a cafeteria. They are also installing extra cabinets in the main house for all the additional supplies. We hope to be able to organize donations in one of the tents so that the house can return to being a home for the Froese family!!
Thank you for all the encouragement and prayers...we are doing well, thanks to your support and God's super-strength!
Posted by Jessi at 6:06 AM
Wednesday, February 03, 2010
Well I am safe and sound in Haiti. We had a driving day yesterday, crossing the border for over an hour, getting into the country...I'm still trying to process it all. There are UN vehicles everywhere, along with so many other organizations-World Vision, Feed the Poor, Red Cross, etc. We went through the town of Cap Hatian and were covered by dust and people, I have never seen so much of the two of those together in one place at the same time.
Today the team starts building. They will hopefully get 9 semi-permanent tents, a cafeteria, bathrooms, and organizing done in the week. It is a big task ahead, but they have energy and desire which is overflowing.
I'm off to help where I can, there is a lot to be done!
Posted by Jessi at 4:43 AM
Monday, February 01, 2010
Over the weekend it was decided that it'd be best if I was to go along with a Kids Alive group to Haiti. A team is coming in today from the States and I will meet up with them tomorrow in Santiago. A few Kids Alive DR staff will also be in on the trip to help lead and guide the team. We will head through Dajabon, the northern Haitian/DR border to go across to the city of Cap Hatian, in Haiti.
We will be there for a week and in that time be setting up semi-permanant tents, building a cafeteria, bathrooms, etc. to be able to receive "separated" kids. I say separated because it it still unclear the scope of actual orphans in the country. Kids are being registered and photographed still and put in the hands of creditable institutions to care for. The hope and prayer is that it is truly a separation and that their families will come and find them. If the kids are truly orphans, Kids Alive Haiti is preparing for that. They will in the following months, build permanant homes and find capable staff to be house parents and care for these children. It is a big process if you can imagine.
I, of course, will not be laying block and packing concrete...it's just not my thing! I'll be working alongside the one other missionary woman that is with Kids Alive there and we're going to work on organizing, preparing meals for all the hefty men, and if there's time, I'll fit in some medical checks for the kids that are already in their current program. No, it's not changing gauze and healing wounds at a clinic...but it is where I am needed.
I have learned so much in this about setting aside my desires in wait for our God's perfect timing. I could have rushed into Haiti and started changing dressings and helping medically, but it just wasn't ever right for me. Some may wonder why I didn't, with so much need and devastation, but I truly felt that I wasn't mean to ever go with the teams that went. I am working on listening to what God really wants me to do, and I feel that that involves just waiting for the path to be clear, to not doubt the steps that you are taking, to know and feel that He has prepared the way. I feel that now there is a clear path for me to head into Haiti and be used in the way He has for me, even though it is different that what I thought I would do in all this. I am thankful to go, to be doing something physically, to be used in another way by God.
The church trip to Haiti is still on! They are making final plans with the truck and van and people that will go, but it has been so amazing to see the donations come in. We started yesterday by buying 225 cans of tuna that we knew were on sale. The rest will be bought later today at the market, we went there yesterday to get prices and make an actual list...we're so organized! They will make the delivery to the church probably by tomorrow! If you are still interested in donating to send supplies on this trip, you can! I love seeing all those that have come together to make this a reality!
Posted by Jessi at 4:53 AM