The Day I was UNPREPARED for…

11 07 2010

“just a note, this entry is long, detailed, and a mind-cleansing…it’s for my detox of the day and for you to read.  Hope you enjoy it.

Today was a day I was completely unprepared for.  It began simple enough; in fact, it began like most days in Haiti do…early.  I was up early, met with the team, and then went to my worksite.  I worked building benches for the school at the top of the hill that meets at Conservative Baptist Church.

Naika the Princess

Shortly after our lunch break the day took a rapid unexpected change.  Today would only go to prove how unprepared I was for the unexpected.  How prepared are you for that out of the blue moment?  Do you roll with the punches?  Do you cringe at the changes that fire at you?  I do both believe it or not, but regardless; today was unlike anything I could have dreamed up.

While working with our incredible bench building team I got a phone call from Katie.  I could tell by her first words the phone call wasn’t going to be pleasant.  You know what I mean, when you speak to someone you know well…someone you love…you can tell almost instantly what the tone of the phone call will be after hearing the first word out of their mouth.

Katie’s first words were quick, to the point, and troubled.  I sensed a twinge of fear even in her voice.  She said, “Where are you?  Can you come back NOW?”  My reply was quick, “I’m at the church up the hill.  No, I can’t come back…I don’t have a vehicle here.”  Thinking back on it, I’m quite sure my tone wasn’t too inviting.  I probably had more than a hint of frustration in my own voice at this point.  She KNEW where I was…she knew I didn’t have a car, a translator, or a way down the mountain to the guesthouse.  She knew the trip was more than a few miles and walking was out of the question.  Why was she so adamant about me getting back?

Naika's Birth Mother

The next statement out of Katie’s mouth stopped me dead in the moment.  I froze when I heard her words.  “Naika’s birth mother is here to meet you,” Katie said with a mixture of fear and panic.  “Missy isn’t here, you’re up the hill, and I’m here all alone with her, Naika’s grandmother, and aunt.  Mike, what am I supposed to do?”  I was speechless.  Words couldn’t even begin to start from my lips…my brain was in instant overload from the words I just heard…HER BIRTH MOTHER!!!

What would this mean?  Why was she here?  Was she coming to meet the Americans who took her daughter to a new country and a new LIFE?  I had only questions and NO answers.  My only words to Katie were, “I don’t know.  Do you know why she’s there?”  Katie’s reply at least began the wheels in my head turning toward coherent speech again, “She’s here to see Rose Michelle…Naika’s half-sister.”  “Wow, what does that mean?” I wondered out loud.

“Go talk to her and see if you can find out what she wants to know about Naika,” was my only offering to Katie.  Truth be told, I was actually glad Katie was there…and I wasn’t.  I never wanted to meet Naika’s birth mother or ANY family for that matter.  Katie works with Rose Michelle at the Crèche and has been here in Haiti for a couple of months.  She hasn’t been around the house lately to hear Missy and I wonder aloud if Naika will EVER be officially our child…will our adoption go through as smoothly with her as it has with Tia???  Funny how even when you KNOW what God has prompted you to do, being completely at peace with it is a difficult and different story.

Katie could do this much better than I could.  I was sure of it.

I went to the team, told my project manager I was going out for a while, and went outside.  I have no clue what I actually did at that moment.  I remember thinking how crazy it was for me to feel so much fear, I remember asking God if this was for real, and I remember the look on Naika’s face when I picked her up in Orlando in January.  I knew God had prepared her and us for our lives together but I also knew in the back of my mind her birth mother was still alive…and that she had given up her parental rights years ago.

I received a few text messages from Katie that helped me relax and then a phone call that actually put me at ease.  “Are they asking about Naika?  What are they saying?  Do they want her back?” were my instant questions.  I immediately (as usual) went for the worst possible (a horrific trait I have carried with me for years).

“No, they aren’t wanting her back at all,” Katie said with a smile in her voice.  “Her grandmother is one of the most awesome women ever; I wish you could come here and meet her.”  I sighed THE sigh of relief and thanked God it was going to be over quickly when I heard, “They’re getting ready to leave now.”  It was only 3:00 and I knew I wouldn’t be leaving for the guesthouse until at least 4:00.  I had avoided the chaos of the unexpected!  VICTORY!!!

our desks!!

The workday ended with a flurry of activity.  We finished over 20 desks, cleaned up, and headed home with excitement in everyone’s faces and exhaustion in their steps.  When I got to the house the group of guys who built shelves were in the sitting area waiting to show me their work.  A group of 18 year olds who busted their tails to get the work done while being  responsible, mature, and GOOD made me completely forget about the fears I had only hours earlier.

While talking to the guys I had the chance to talk to Dr. Bernard about his day.  He hasn’t been feeling well so it was good to see him in good spirits.  He was excited about all the things happening and the excitement that wafted through the air in the house.

While planning tomorrow’s activities, Dr. Bernard asked if I had been able to meet Naika’s mother.  I explained that I had been away and wasn’t able to get back.  He then spoke the words that brought fear to my heart…IMMEDIATELY…”Oh, you’ll get to meet her.  She’s spending the night here.”  WHAT??? How could that happen?  They were supposed to leave!!!

While he and I were talking, his wife, Mrs. Claudette, came into the room.  She stated that Naika’s mother was outside and wanted to meet me.  She was getting ready to leave and had stayed much later than she had anticipated…all because she wanted to meet me.

If I could have run away and hidden I would have done just that.  If I could have sprouted wings or become invisible I would have been ecstatic.  Instead of being able to run away I got up out of my chair and followed Mrs. Claudette to the sitting area where I immediately noticed her.  Naika’s mother was standing right in front of me.

There was no denying this was Naika’s birth mother…she looks just like my little girl.  Here was my 7-year-old princess standing in front of me all grown up.  I’m sure my eyes told the story…fear, bewilderment, and more than a little apprehension.  Before I could think of anything else, I stuck my hand out and greeter her with, “Bonswa Madame (Good Afternoon).”  She replied in an almost whisper, “Bonswa.”  Then we exchanged pleasantries through the aid of Mrs. Claudette as our translator.

I asked the only thing I could think of that would get me out of the room at that very moment, “Would you like to see pictures of Naika?”  “Yes, Yes, Yes…most definitely,” she replied.

I told her to wait and I would be right back and turned and ran up the staircase to my room.  I wanted to sit on the bed and pray the day would go away, I wanted to grab my computer and get it over with, and I wanted to cry…all at once.

I grabbed my computer, turned it on, and told my friend, “Pray for me, Naika’s birth mother is downstairs right now.  I’m going to go meet with her.  I have no clue where this is going to end up.”  And with that, I walked back downstairs…much slower than I went up.

I met her downstairs and Mrs. Claudette joined us as we sat in the living room.  I opened my computer and began showing her the pictures of Naika.  The humor of having just taken a ton of pictures recently of Naika was huge.  I had to smile as I looked at the pictures again.  I explained that Naika had gone upstairs just last week and put on her princess dress and asked me to take pictures…something I was more than happy to oblige here in.  I commented on the pictures we just took of her and Tia (her new sister to be) for the upcoming fundraiser, the pictures of her when she first came to our house, the pictures of her in the snow, of her with her new brothers, and of her at her birthday party.  It was then that I realized what a HUGE sacrifice this woman had made and how it had affected my LIFE.  How she wasn’t able to celebrate Naika’s 7th birthday with her because she was with us.  Instantly my fear was gone and I knew our time together wouldn’t be enough

.

Shortly Naika’s grandmother and aunt joined us in the room.  I tried to be as polite as possible but I knew what was happening by their looks.  They were looking at me just as I looked at them.  They were wondering who I was and was I loving their little girl like she deserved…just like I looked at them and wondered how they felt about me being there.  We greeted each other and then Naika’s birth mother had them sit down and pointed out the pictures.  They smiled and grandma’s face lit up as she looked at her granddaughter.  Mrs. Claudette translated for us and I realized how difficult this had to be for them also.  They asked for copies of the pictures.  Naika’s birth mother asked for a picture of our family, for a picture of Naika for grandma and for Naika’s aunt, and then she asked if she could have a BIG picture of Naika for herself.

I couldn’t think of anything other than, “GET HER THOSE PICTURES.”  I knew she needed them as much as I needed to get them to her.

Naika’s grandmother was so amazing.  She said, “It is so good to see these pictures.  She looks so happy.”

When they saw the picture of Naika and Missy from Naika’s birthday party, they remarked about how Naika always loved to braid other people’s hair.  I laughed and said, “She does that to my wife ALL THE TIME!”  They smiled.  They also remembered out loud, “She loved to do the dishes and be busy.”  I couldn’t believe what I was hearing…these people KNEW her.  They knew and described my little girl.  They hadn’t forgotten her and they never would.  They didn’t know until just a couple of weeks ago their little girls (Naika and Rose Michelle) were still alive after the earthquake!  They were completely out of communication after the earthquake.  They were too poor to have a cell phone and could only think about what had happened to their little girls in that building in Carrefour on that fateful day.

As we wound up our time together I walked them outside and asked if I could take a picture of them.  They instantly agreed with only one condition…Naika MUST get one.  I smiled and gladly agreed but wondered to myself how she would react…in fact, I’m STILL wondering how she will react to seeing these people she knew so well.  I understand her grandmother and aunt took care of her.  How would she react to seeing their faces again?  The uncertainty and fear are immense.  I try to cover it with, “I’ll do what’s right for Naika,” but I know whether it happens the moment we get home, a week from now, or years from now; Naika will NEVER forget these incredible ladies.

We talked a few more minutes and then the fear crept back in…this time though because they were leaving.  Grandma told me through Mrs. Claudette, “I will probably die before she ever comes back here to visit.  It was good to see the pictures of her.”  This moment was full of emotion…EVERY emotion.  I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

Before too long Dr. Bernard came out to tell the family goodbye and to pay for their tap tap ride back to town.  They would be staying in Port au Prince tonight…only a couple of blocks from where our team had been that very day putting on a Vacation Bible School at a church…only a few hundred yards from where Missy was that very day!  As Naika’s birth mother and aunt walked away, Dr. Bernard chatted with Naika’s grandmother.  He shared with me a little of her story.

Grandma

It seems Naika’s grandmother is an incredible woman of faith and prayer.  She knew Naika’s mother couldn’t take care of Naika on her own for quite a few reasons.  She had been the one to help her daughter find a safe place for Naika.  I finally mustered the courage to have Dr. Bernard ask Grandma a question for me.  “Is she ok (or even happy) Naika is with us?”  There it was…my fear-loaded question was finally out.  Grandma’s answer could provide closure or open up a wound I could never close.  How she answered this question was paramount for me.  I HAD to know how she felt…how the family felt about us—this white American family—adopting Naika.

Grandma’s reply brought tears and joy to my eyes immediately.  “Oh very VERY happy she is there,” were Grandma’s words.   She continued, “You rescued her from here.  She has a chance now to grow up and do whatever God wants her to do.  She will be a great woman.  I go away often and fast and pray for you, your family, and for her.  I want you to raise her to be a Godly woman…a woman of prayer and of faith.”

“Yes ma’am.  That’s exactly what we want,” I assured her.

Somewhere in my heart I know this moment is a defining one.  I know one day I will be able to share this moment and this conversation with my princess.  She will know her family loves her still…regardless of where she lives.  She will know God allowed her to be a part of our family in order to help her bigger family…her Haitian family and her global family!

Naika...my little girl

Thank you God for sabotaging this day.  I would NEVER have chosen to do it this way but I wouldn’t change it at all.  I hate Missy didn’t get to be here, but I know You had this planned.  If you would have let me have my way, I wouldn’t be prepared to share this with Naika and this portion of her LIFE would NEVER have closure.  THANK YOU for knowing what’s best and keeping me safe from myself in moments like this.





Watching Haitians Stand Up For Those In Need

17 01 2010

When I packed my bag on Tuesday night, I really didn’t have a clue what I was getting in to.  I grabbed some clean socks, underwear, a couple of pairs of pants, some shorts, and shirts.  I remember thinking, deodorant is nice too…oh yeah, don’t forget the toothbrush and toothpaste!

I packed my fairly new REI backpack (thank God for a great purchase!) and headed for work Wednesday morning, determined to find Katie and Tia alive and even more determined to get to them.  Long story short, I wasn’t prepared for sleeping on the airport tarmac Wednesday night; I never thought I would wear the same clothes for 2 full days and never think about changing; I never thought a backpack could serve so well as a pillow; I never thought I would actually sleep through an earthquake-sized aftershock…but man did I ever; and finally, I never expected to get so focused on the task at hand–helping others!

After getting Katie and Tia to safety, the next concern was getting a plan to bring Tia home safely and then getting food to the orphans now safe at the guest house.  I never knew that I would be in the middle of a media frenzy.  I have been on Fox News, CNN, CBS, and NBC.  I have heard from many of you and words can’t express how much I thank you for holding me up and staying at my back, sides, and front during this.  I’m truly grateful that God continues to move things when I have all but given up at times.

I woke up on the conveyor belt at luggage claim (outside) Saturday morning.  I though, man, my throat really hurts, it must be from sweating and then being cool during the night.  Normally, I would take meds, get some liquids, and rest.  No chance here though.  Meds??? I’m in Haiti where people die from a fever.  Liquids??? I have probably drank about 30 bags of water (If you’ve ever had Bon Dlo you know what I’m talking about!!).  Rest??? Not until my body shut down last night.  Then I got some rest and a new look at Haiti.

This morning we were supposed to have a shipment of food, water, baby food, and supplies flown to an airport in Jacmel.  It’s about a 2 hour drive (at least) away from the guest house, if a road exists.  Yep, that’s right…the road no longer exists. As we made the drive, I noticed we didn’t meet a lot of traffic coming DOWN the mountain on our side as we went up.  The reality was, there WAS NO TRAFFIC.  The road was completely gone.  Moved.  It doesn’t exist as it once did.

Instead of giving up, my AMAZING team and Ministry at BGM went into overdrive to try to get a helicopter (yes, a helicopter) to drop the supplies at the New Missions complex.  We have had such a great relationship with New Missions, it was the only safe place we could think of, AND it gave me a chance to check on so many dear friends we have there.  We knew the missionaries and the team there got out safely a couple of days ago (check out Jeremie Detellis’ Blog for pix of their Blackhawk helicopter rides), so it only made sense to try to get the supplies helicoptered there.

Here is where the story changes, and quite honestly, where my own heart changes.  When I pulled into the village of Neply, I stopped to talk to a few of my friends.  One friend in particular has become extremely close to my family.  She has taught us some creole, has prayed for us, has saved us seats on the truck, and has become family.  When I saw her, I was more than excited.

I explained to her why we were going to the mission.  What I didn’t know, was what was going on back at the guest house.  Dr. and Mrs. Bernard had decided to go to the store to try to get some food for the kids.  The beans and rice we have here now aren’t going to last forever, unless God gives us some of that magnificent Widow’s oil (1 Kings 17).  What they discovered when they got to the store was sad…and a little frightening.  No food was at the store.  You could buy soap or shampoo, but no food.  It reminds me of Nashville when they call for snow and the bread and milk disappear.  The reality is…we are going to run out of food and water here in the near future.  We know however that God WILL provide.  It might be in a way we have never thought of before, but one thing is true, we KNOW He is going to take care of things.

I explained to my friend I was trying to get a food and supply shipment for the orphans at the guest house.  In Haiti, mentioning food always brings the people out of the woodwork and this was no exception.  Even in good times, Leogane struggles with survival.  Food is always at a premium there, so when I saw people gathering I knew I was going to have a difficult time explaining how I was going to drive right past their house with a truck full of food and not give them any.  I was at a real quandary.  Then my friend said something in Creole and I watched the men surrounding me all stop and stare and hang on her every word.  They looked at me then back at her.  One even looked at me and said, “Are you really going to help babies?”  I confirmed and he said, “wait here I will be back.”

I didn’t know what to expect.  Maybe he was going to bring some kind of toy back to help with the effort.  Maybe he had a child at home and was going to show me what a hungry child looked like to him, or maybe he was just going to get more guys and cause a riot.  I have seen it all here and know and love the Haitian people.  I know they don’t mean anything by their in your face shouting or wild exaggerations while they talk.  I know they are emotional people.  What I wasn’t prepared for though was what this man DID bring back.

He brought himself and friends back.  My thoughts naturally went to, “oh well, this isn’t going to be pretty,” but God had other plans.  This man introduced himself as Michael and then said he and his friends wanted to make sure no one gave me or the guys with me any problems.  He said if a helicopter was landing so close, many people would want to watch and see and many would see the supplies and begin screaming and begging.  He told me he knows Haitians have a reputation as being beggars, but in this situation he knew where the REAL need was.  He was going to make sure the food and supplies got where they were going.  He said he knew we wouldn’t forget about them…we never had.

I could do nothing more than realize my Haitian family had stepped up.  They saw me there not as a savior for their problems, but rather as a person trying to help children in need.  They could do that too.  They didn’t need to do it, they won’t get recognition for doing it, nor will they get a gold star from God for it, but they did it because it was the right thing to do.

I was (and truly still am) overwhelmed by their actions.  I saw God’s hand motivating them.  I saw their genuine concern for someone other than themselves and I was humbled to be among such greatness.

The hard part of the story was walking to that group of giants and telling them we needed to leave.  No helicopter would come on this day.  No food was arriving.  I know I was hungry since I hadn’t eaten today, but somehow that hunger served as a small way to bring us together, because I know most of them hadn’t eaten yet either.  I felt more Haitian today than I ever have and I was proud.  I have stood up for those in need before, but this time I saw my Haitian family doing it.  They GOT it today.

Now, maybe I need to think about standing up for others right where I live. Now THAT hurts.  :o)

Blessings and Bon Huit (Good Night)

–mike ><>





What about these kids???

16 01 2010

Here in Haiti the orphan crisis is very real. I have been here since Wednesday evening and beginning at dawn on Thursday, the number one priority of my visit was to rescue the orphans we knew were without a building in Carrefour. What began as my simple attempt to rescue my daughters became a realization…Haiti is in dire need of help, and it will not be easy.

Thursday we were fortunate. We were able to locate all of the children from our orphanage, secure transportation for them all, and move them to a safe location outside of Port au Prince. They were all alive, safe, and (with the exception of one of the workers who was at the hospital at the time of the quake and received a broken leg) unharmed

The problems grow quickly. The building where the children once lived is unfit for them to return to. The bottom two floors have compressed to the point where no one even entertains the thought of re-entering the building. When we left the building on Thursday with the children, one of the guards ran back inside ignoring the shouts to stop. When he came back down he was carrying Katie’s clothes that had been hanging in her room. HE RISKED HIS LIFE FOR HER CLOTHES!! The children got out with the basics…clothes for that day, a few mats, and the food and water they bravely went back into the building to get. The children are alive and doing well, but for how long.

Check out the NBC News story on the orphanage as well as our story HERE.

I spoke tonight with the director of the orphanage, and his plea was simple, “Help me get these kids out of here. They will starve here in Haiti in the days to come. The situation is quickly growing more intense.”

What are we to do then? We have given the exact GPS locations of the house where the children are to the Red Cross, US Aid, and Food for the Poor. The only problem–food isn’t here yet. We reached the same answer for every try…they don’t have food yet. The UN is dropping food at certain locations but they are over-run the minute the truck stops. The helicopters you see are getting things to certain areas, but what about the outlying areas away from Port au Prince? What about the kids we moved to “safety” who are now going to have to ration their beans, rice, and water?

We have had people in the US speak up and volunteer to get items into the country, but how will they get here? Even if we had a truck, meeting a helicopter would be a little conspicuous.

It speaks volumes when a man of integrity, who is Haitian and knows the people better than I ever could imagine, is scared to get food to his facilities because of the fear of riots from his own neighbors.

The adults can deal with things. The children are on their own. Most of the violence I have seen first hand comes from those who have lost loved ones, those who have been turned away from getting help for their sick or injured family and friends, criminals, and parents fighting for their children’s lives.

So who fights for those without parents? It’s truly up to us. We MUST take care of these children…because the sad reality is this: over the next few weeks more children will be forced to live in orphanages and creches because they unfortunately are now “orphans.”

Please help. Let’s get them out of here and give them a CHANCE.





A Haiti report…from the front lines

15 01 2010

I’ve been to Haiti quite a few times.  In fact, it’s begun to get a little routine.  Except for the one time a guy reached in the front window of the bus I was riding in and tried to steal my phone, I haven’t been involved in anything out of the ordinary.

This trip is different.  I have seen things I never planned to see in Haiti.  I knew coming here 36 hours after the earthquake was going to have my in front of things that would push my personal “envelope”, but I wasn’t prepared for a lot of it.  To see one building standing next to a building in rubble is amazing.  To see what used to be a 5-story building turned into a one story building sitting on a pile of rubble is difficult to see.  To see the National Palace–the Haitian symbol of who they are–collapsed on top of itself was mind-boggling, but I have to say today what I saw was something I never even fathomed.

Today as we were getting Katie and Tia out of a vacant lot in Carrefour, we were told to quickly roll up our windows.  As we did, we saw 8 large dump trucks pass by.  We saw people staring, but it was the words, “those are full of dead bodies” I wasn’t ready for.  I know people have died during this tragedy.  I have personally seen the bodies being pulled from the rubble, lying covered on the street in a perfectly straight line, and even seen them piled on top of each other 7 high.  Regardless of what I THOUGHT I was prepared for, today shook me to my core.  Those 8 dump trucks were coming from a collapsed school where over 400 children died.  Those dump trucks were full of bodies–most of them children.

So as I write this to hopefully cleanse my mind, I ask you to pray for us.  Please pray that we would be able to get Tia out of here when we go to the airport.  We have been in contact with American officials who have told us we need to make sure we have certain requirements met, but we know getting Tia out of here now is a priority like never before.  If you’ve been around my family at all, you know how much we have a tendency to overprotect our kids.  (my kids are still required to wear helmets when they ride bicycles)…

Please pray for favor in America with the politicians there as well as praying for favor here in Haiti.  We know it’s time to go “ALL-IN” on this one.  We are going to do everything we can do to get Tia home.  I don’t want to think about the possibility of her having to remain 1ooo miles away if another disaster strikes.  I want her where I can reach down and kiss her on the forehead as she goes to sleep…just like I did tonight!

Sorry for the rambling, but it helps clear the head…pix will come soon. Also, please pray for the After-Shocks to stop. Every time a door slams a Haitian jumps. I can’t imagine what will go through their minds for the rest of their lives. Thank GOD Tia is probably too young to remember. Katie on the other hand, will have a difficult time forgetting.

Blessings!!

–mike





We are in Haiti

5 01 2010

Mike and I are in Haiti!  We arrived here yesterday afternoon with Katie.  Many of you know Katie will be living here for the next 6 months and working with the Creche’ (where Tia lives) and also in Dr. Bernard’s office.  We will miss her greatly but it is so exciting to see how God is working in her life and seeing the impact she is already making and she has been here less than 24 hours.  Please pray for her over the next 6 months that God will use her to shine HIS light all over Haiti!

Mike and I went before the judge this morning.  It was an interesting experience to say the least.  We went to this building (which looked like a run down warehouse) where there were thousands of people.  We were escorted through the crowd and made our way to a back room.  There were four desk all sitting in a row with men dressed in shirts and ties sitting behind them.  We were escorted to the second desk and our laywers assistant explained why we were there.  Mike and I didn’t understand much from that point on.  They talked back and forth for a few mintues and then he took our papers, placed them in this book he was holding and asked Mike and I to sign on the back page of the book.  There was no writing on the page, no formal system, just a fancy “notebook” where he filed his papers.  It took less than 10 mintues and we were back to our van.  Once we returned to our laywers office and we able to get more claification on what was next in the process here is what we got……

Tia’s biological dad will come there and sign under our signatures today, then we go to Parquet (this is where is goes across several desks to get a stamp of approval), then we go to MOI and they will issue her passport and visa.  Mike and I both knew we were coming here and would more than likely not get to bring her home, but deep down in our hearts I think we were both holding onto the hope that MAYBE, just MAYBE something would happen and that would change.  As of today Tia will not be coming home with us.  Our process is going much quicker than most so we know God’s plan is moving along!  We will go tomorrow or Thursday to file our I-600 here in Haiti.  This will allow us to have EVERYTHING done we need done and all we will do then is wait for the call to come bring her home!  Here are a few things we would ask for you to pray about:

  1. The paperwork from this point forward would move at an unbelievable rate and by a GOD-size miracle Tia would come home with us on this visit.
  2. If we leave without her on Thursday it will be a SHORT seperation and she will be able to come home VERY VERY SOON!
  3. Dr. Bernard and his family will continue to be blessed and continue to be a shining light here in Haiti
  4. Katie`s safety over the next 6 months and she will allow God to use her in ways she never thougth possible.

Thank each of you for your prayers, support and friendships!  Without you all we would NEVER have been able to make it this far.  Look forward to filling you in on the rest of our trip once we return to the US!





GOD IS IN CONTROL: Unexpected trip to Haiti

1 01 2010

This week has been an AMAZING for seeing God’s hand at work in our lives as well as in the lives of others.  Tuesday was the start of the student conference our ministry puts on each New Years…..Terra Nova Student Conference!  We had over 500 people worshiping, praying for others, doing mission work around Nashville, and much more!  It was such a great way to ring in 2010….on our knees and praying for God to go before us in our adventures this year!

But let me back up just a bit…..On Tuesday night Mike and I received an email from our adoption agency stating there was a slight bump in the road of getting Tia home.  The judge in our adoption case in Haiti declared that we would need to show up in Haiti and sign our papers in front of him in order for him to proceed with the process.  So basically Mike and I had two options…..

  1. We could wait until March (which is our next scheduled ministry trip), this would mean the adoption process would be completely put on hold until we went there in March and could see the judge.
  2. We could pray for God to provide us the ability (cost of flights) to go to Haiti next week and take care of all the remaining paper work in front of the judge and believe this will speed up the final process greatly.  Once this part is taken care of we will just have to wait for her passport and visa to be processed and she will be coming HOME!!!!

As the title of this post already gives it away……we will be heading to Haiti Monday to meet with the judge on Tuesday.  While in Haiti we will be taking care of any other paperwork we may need and EXPECTING God has everything else already laid out of us in advance!  We KNOW God has allowed this trip for so many reason but I would like to share with you just a couple of the reason we see God’s hand at work……

  1. Katie (the 21 year old young lady who has lived with us for over 5 years) has had plans for over 5 months to leave Monday, fly out to Haiti and live/work there in the same orphanage Tia lives in for 7 months.  mike and I will be able to fly out with her on Monday now so she will not have to arrive in Haiti alone……GOD IS IN CONTROL!!!
  2. January 5, 2005 my sweet Tia was born…..so Tuesday of next week will be her birthday!  we will get to spend her first birthday as a “Wilson” with her, in her birth country, telling her that she will be coming home very soon!……..GOD IS IN CONTROL!!!!!
  3. God has placed people in our lives that have rallied around us during this entire process and it’s because of those people our flights for this “UNEXPECTED” trip are being taken care of……GOD IS IN CONTROL!!!!!

After this AMAZING week of seeing God’s hand at work I wanted you all to know that Mike and I go to Haiti next week with ONE thing and ONE thing only on our minds……..GOD IS IN CONTROL!!!!!!!

If you could please commit to pray for us over the next several days, we would greatly appreciate you lifting our entire family up in prayer!  We will update you as soon as we have any knew information!





HUGE NEWS!!

11 12 2009

Just got an email from our adoption agency.  It contained the following message…which means it won’t be much longer!!!  Please keep praying and if you haven’t gotten your shirt yet…pick one up today…and one for a friend while you’re at it please!!  Thanks…

that's my GIRL!!!

What could it be???

I'm COMING HOME SOOOOOOOON!

While we don’t know yet when she’s coming home, we know the bulk of things are over.  IBESR is like the Haitian version of the Department of Human Services here in the US.  She’s out of that now…which means we’re waiting on a Passport, Visa, and some final paperwork and then we’re heading to get her.  It’s going to be sooner than it has been.

PLEASE keep praying for us and for the family…it’s been a great adventure that God is teaching us so much through.

–mike