Tuesday, April 10, 2018

"They keep coming"

When I asked almost 4 year old Mits what he thought of our new month old twin girls, his response was, "They just keep coming, every year!".  His eyes were wide with astonishment.  For the first few years of his life, he was the only long-term baby we had.  Now, as he says -- they keep coming!  
Here he is enjoying a look with Linda:
 We are so thankful for the arrival of baby supplies and 
baby clothes from friends in South Florida.  
Talk about Perfect Timing!
Nothing quite like holding twins!
As always, we appreciate your prayers and support in so many ways that allows us to bring hope to the many in our care.  We'd ask you to please pray for Jenny as she will be traveling over the next 3 weeks to visit supporters, make new contacts and do some fund raising for the HOH.

She will be driving through the states of:  North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan and Indiana.  She has contacted many of you throughout these states, but if you were missed and would like to try and see her please feel free to get in touch with her at:  houseofhopehaiti1@gmail.com. Because she will be traveling, it is likely that the blog will not be updated very much over the next few weeks.  We will catch up with you afterwards though!  Thanks for your prayers.

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Lots of surprises!

We hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend.  We did at the House of Hope and it was a busy with with lots of things happening that we wanted to share with you.

The surprises started off with the arrival of 1 month old orphaned twins Lovena and Lovenide:
 
This brings our baby count up to 5!  
There are times we go without any babies, so 5 brings a whole lot of life to the HOH.

Later in the week, malnourished 8 month Lovensky arrived with his mom. 
 
 They will be with a couple of weeks until Lovensky gets healthy again.

An extra surprise was a box of goodies from a friend in Miami -- 
shoes, milk & candy just in time for Easter!!
Another surprise was some mosquito netting from another friend in Miami
 
 On Good Friday Linda planned some crafts for the kids to do:
Coloring Mosaic Crosses:
 
 
And making Cross Necklaces
 
Then some boys from our local community showed up Linda asked them to join in
Later that evening, everyone watched a movie about the life of Jesus
Sunday was a great time remembering the Resurrection of Jesus
 and the life all of those who believe on Him now have.

The start of the week brought more surprises...
Clothes and supplies from friends in Quebec, Canada
 
And an even better surprise from them...
A special chair for Widson -- Look how happy he is!  
We know this chair will help him a lot and enable him to enjoy more activities with us.

Another Friend in Miami sent clothes for the younger kids and Babies:
 
 
 

Then, a Colleague from the Far-West of Haiti brought us a wonderful surprise:
 A new type of stove to cook food on.
It is specially designed to use very little wood, maximize the heat and really cut down cooking times.  Finding fuel to cook food is always a struggle for us, but we do have an abundance of small twigs and branches that fall off our trees daily.  To be able to cook food with these bits of wood is an incredible gift!

So, you can see we've had a lot of Good News this weekend.  We are so blessed by the many people who put their gifts and abilities together to help us give hope to the children and youth in our care.  Thank you so much for your part!  We wish you all a wonderful week full of your own surprises!

Monday, March 26, 2018

Vacation!

Spring break has begun!  Our kids are busy getting back into their Rubber Band game.  They have made up this game, kinda like marbles -- only rubber bands are easier to come by in our corner of the world.  The end goal is to collect as many rubber bands as you can -- taking them back and forth from each other as you win or lose the game. 
Here you can see the boys playing -- the rubber bands are on the ground on the lower right hand side of the picture, but they aren't easy to see.  

Here Ivinsky, Mits and Mike show off their collection!
 The sign of a good Rubber Band player!

It's nice they get such joy out of something so small and easy to get to them. They have the week off of school and will be enjoying some down time with their friends. 

We do have a few new faces once again.  The first is a family group:
Nineteen year old Manouchka and her 2 children were a family in crisis.  Manouchka was burned by hot water in her home.  Her family then dropped her off at the hospital with her 2 children and left her without anyone to care for her or the children.  

Touched by her need for some time to heal and someone to help her care for the children, Linda opened our home to her in order to give her a chance to get back on her feet.  It is an unusual story for us, but it is a proactive move on our part.  Without proper care this young mother would not be able to heal properly to care for her children.  The children would have become more and more malnourished and eventually brought to the HOH in worse condition.  This way we can help them all get back on their feet and also share the love of Jesus with them.  Pray for them as they have this time of healing at the House of Hope.

Another little boy could use your prayers as well.  8-year old DestinĂ© just arrived at the HOH.  I think his picture speaks  volumes...
  Such sadness, it just rips at your heart. 

Please pray for Linda and the other kids and staff at the HOH as we seek to help DestinĂ© in every way possible.  He is in such need of love, care and healing.  Pray for wisdom in dealing with him, figuring out his medical needs and helping with the emotional and spiritual ones as well.

Many thanks for each of you and your various ways of supporting this special ministry.  We hope you have a wonderful week.  We look forward to celebrating Easter this coming weekend.  We have an evening community event planned at the HOH on Good Friday.   Then we will have a special Easter service on Sunday celebrating the resurrection of our wonderful Savior.  May you all have a great time remembering Jesus and all He did for us at this special time of the year as well.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

New Faces and Places

Movement would be a word to aptly describe the HOH on any given day.  With 80 resident children and youth to care for, as well as countless neighborhood kids constantly coming and going; there is always something happening at our home.   These past couple of weeks have been no exception...

Since our last update, Judson, the little baby who arrived in our home is coming along splendidly.  
You can see here,
 pictured with one of his many "mom's" - Jessika,
 that he is looking much healthier
We have also added 2 more malnourished children 
to our number over the past weeks:
Lancina is just a year old
and
Djivensky is 2 years old.
These two are both here with a family member who will stay as well to help care for them.  We find it an important part of the healing process of these malnourished children to have a parent or family member stay with them.  The child remains in the care of someone they know, love and trust.  And the family member has a chance to be educated on proper food nutrition and care of the child so they don't fall back into malnutrition when they return to their homes.  Children like Lancine and Djivensky generally remain 3 to 4 weeks at the HOH before returning to their homes with their family.

Of course caring for so many children in need requires a lot of help and supplies and this past week we were blessed to receive both from a large group of our supporters.  There were those who provided financial gifts to help us purchase the things we needed.  There were those who graciously purchased, received and shipped the items to us.  And there were those who helped with all the transition parts in between.  We are very grateful for each person and each part of the process that allowed us to receive much needed.....
Food
 
  Clothing & other supplies
 
 And New Chairs!!!
 
Thank you to everyone who had a part in getting these items to us!

We were able to get some work done on our vehicle these past weeks as well.  We are thankful that it is still limping along, it is such a valuable tool for us to use in this work.  We are trying to start to raise funds in order to be able to get a new (or at least new to us) vehicle at some point in the future.  If you would like to help us pray for this that would be great.  If anyone also wants to help us out financially in that way, gifts can be sent to Extreme Response marked for the House of Hope.  You can find information on how to do this on their website.

Another item we'd love for you to pray with us about is a change of place that has happened over the past couple of weeks for some of our young adults.  Our goal for our young adults has always been to give them the hope of a future through education.  As a result, it is our desire to help them get enough education so that they are able to get a job and take care of themselves.  In Haiti, this means helping them get either a vocational or university training in a subject.  One thing that is helpful in Haiti is that there are lots of higher education schools and they aren't much more expensive than paying for High School for our kids.  So, as long as God provides the means, we want to help our youth with this hope for their futures.  

This year we have several young men who are stepping out into University.  We attempted to allow them to attend a university near our village, which allowed them to also still live at the HOH, but that has proved not a very good choice.  The school is poorly directed and they have not had good results there -- teachers not showing up and classes have been canceled more often than they are held.  

Enter Basketball.  Our boys love to play basketball and over the Christmas break one of them was asked to try out for a university team in the capital city of Port-au-Prince.  Reginald succeeded and was accepted to the university team with a full scholarship for his University education!  The coaches have since asked him if there were any more young men like him from the HOH who also would be interested in scholarships!  This week some more of our young men have gone down and have started classes there as well.  They will be going through some try outs over the next few weeks to see if they can also play on the team and receive scholarships -- please pray for Stevenson, Herby and Dieujuste. Pray also for Linda and our young leaders Junior and Jn Daniel as they work through all the logistics in having the boys in PAP and what will be best for their futures. 

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Comings and Goings

One thing that is often misunderstood about the House of Hope is that not all the kids who come here stay indefinitely.  A big part of our work is providing temporary care for kids who are in rough shape physically, mentally or emotionally.  Most of these children and youth need a few weeks to a few months of concentrated care until they are ready to return to their homes.  

This transitory part of our ministry is what has allowed us to care for and bring hope to thousands of children and youth in Haiti since our founding in 1956.   The more permanent placement for some of the children at the HOH started back in the year 2000.  Cultural shifts in Haiti meant that some of the children who came to us came from unsafe environments and were unable to return to their home situations.  The majority of kids who come to the HOH though return to their homes as soon as they are able to so.

This past week was a special home going of little Madeline.  

She came to the HOH in March of 2017.  A three year old little girl swollen with malnutrition...
This week, she was able to return to her home with her father.  She responded well to the treatment and care here at the HOH and looks much healthier...
While it is always a little bittersweet to see these children we have come to love leave us, we are always thankful that they have a family that loves them and is waiting for them. 

As is often the case, we don't have a lot of time to think of the children who leave us.  There is always another one waiting for our love, attention and affection.  This past week we were blessed by the addition of a new baby to our family.
Judson is 5 months old and is also swollen with malnutrition.  His mother passed away and he has not been able to receive the care he needs.  

He has come to the right place!  He is presently being showered with about as much love, care and attention that anyone could handle.  His arrival brought out the normal jockeying for who gets to be the "mom", "dad", "sister", "brother", "godmother", "godfather".... every social position one could ever need filled.   He seems to be adjusting well so far and we look forward to watching him thrive over the months ahead.

A quick update on Jamesley.  He is doing a lot better.  He was able to go to school today, and his bleeding seems to have stopped, so that is a definite improvement! 

We appreciate all the different ways you are a part of the things that go on in our big family.  Thank you for your part!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Look At Me Now!

One of the most exciting things to do at the House of Hope is to look at before and after photos of the kids who come in so very sick.  There are always some dramatic changes and we often don't realize it because it happens so slowly and we see them every day.  This week we did a few comparisons of some of the kids you've prayed for and supported over this past year.  The changes are incredible and we wanted to share them with you.

The first of these is Dorothy.  I know I haven't written about her for a while, but she is doing really well physically.  She still has a tough time mentally, but has such a bubbling joy pouring out of her for the simple everyday things of life -- like food!  Here she is...
Another one who really struck us this week was Moise.  You'll remember he came to us as an newborn baby back in late October.  He was tiny, malnourished and extremely fragile...
He started to do really well.  Growing.  Healthy.  Then in January he got sick and we really thought were were going to lose him...
Thankfully, he pulled through.  We were so grateful for all of your prayers for his precious life.  When we looked at his picture taken this last week, we were all taken aback.  Moise is doing incredibly well...
It's always amazing for us to see the difference some time in the House of Hope can make in the lives of the kids who come to us.  We recognize that all of this is possible because of the incredible team we have standing with us in this special work.  And most of all recognize that we are very blessed by God to be able to be part of His work at the HOH.

Thank you so much for your part in supporting us, standing with us and helping us out in the many ways that you do.  Please continue to pray for Jamesley.  A doctor from our partnering hospital is traveling in the US and has the special Factor for Jamesley, he will take it back to Haiti this weekend.   Hopefully, by this time next week we will have his bleeding under control.  In the meantime, pray for wisdom for the doctors this week and for patience and comfort for Jamesley as he has some tough days ahead of him yet.

This week is a week of holiday in Haiti, so that means the House of Hope is a busy beehive of activity.  You might want to keep Linda and her sanity in your prayers as well!  We appreciate you all and hope you have a great week as well.

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

An Update

We are so thankful for your prayers over this past week, and want to update you a bit on what's been going on at the HOH.  

Linda had a successful trip to Port-Au-Prince and the eye doctor.  The doctor was able to give her some medicine that has already started to clear up her problem.  The trip down and back was quite stressful as they had multiple break downs on the vehicle both going down and coming back.  It is becoming very evident that we need to start looking at getting a better vehicle for situations such as there. That's certainly something to pray about!

Now, on to Jamesley.  He had to go back into the Operating Room once again this past week.  We were not able to find the exact blood product that we needed to help him be able clot better, but we were able to get him some that we hoped would help.  Unfortunately, he is still bleeding, so it didn't work out so well.  That's the bad news.... now for the good!

The LA Kelley Communications Foundation has gotten us clotting factor for Jamesley in the past through their Project SHARE.  Thankfully, they have agreed to send us some more for him.  A doctor from our hospital is in the US and will receive the factor to take back to Haiti in a week or so.  Hopefully, this factor will give Jamesley what he needs to stop bleeding and heal.  They have also put us in a waiting list to get more of this extremely expensive treatment in the future.  They have been such a blessing to us -- there is no way we could pay for this treatment on our own.  It has improved Jamesley's quality of life so much over these past 2 years, and we are thankful that we will be able to receive it again.  Please keep him in your prayers...

We are so grateful for all the many partners we have that make bringing hope to our kids possible.  That includes you and the part you play as well!  Thank you!

Monday, January 29, 2018

A New Week

Good Morning.  Thank you all so much for praying for the team at the HOH last week.  It took them a little bit to get Jamesley in for his surgery, but when they did everything went well.  He was doing much better and seemed to have stopped bleeding.  I waited a bit to write an update to make sure of what was going on with him, but just this morning he started to bleed again.  So, we are waiting for the doctor to come by and see what is up.  At least they were able to find blood for him last week, so we have that if it's needed.  We are so grateful for each one of you who prayed for us and send notes of encouragement.  Everyone appreciated it and we'd appreciate your continued prayers for Jamesley's health.

In spite of continued rainy and wet weather, the week seems to have started as a pretty typical week and the kids are off to school.  We do have a two other prayer requests to pass on:
  • Today a young lady from France is to arrive at the HOH.  She will be spending some time here helping Linda out in whatever way she can.  Pray for  good transition into life at the HOH for her.  Pray for her to be a help and a blessing, especially with some of our kids who need a bit of extra care.  
  • Linda is having some trouble with one of her eyes this past week.  The doctors have suggested she go see an eye doctor in Port-au-Prince, so she will be heading off there this weekend.  It is not easy for her to travel around Haiti, so pray for good travel, and for a solution to her eye issues.
Thank you so much for partnering with us in this special ministry. 

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

a little turn...

If you have a chance today, we'd appreciate prayer for Jamesley.  He was doing so good yesterday, but for those of you who maybe don't know, he is a hemophiliac and his status seems to change fairly quickly. 

This morning the doctors feel the need to go back into the surgery with him.  He has a pretty significant infection and started to bleed again in the night.  Please pray for wisdom for the doctors (Dr. Mozart particularly).  Pray that we are able to find blood for him at the Red Cross blood bank.  Pray for mental strength for Linda and the other staff and kids.  Pray for peace and comfort for Jamesley as these moments can be very scary for him. 

Thank you for standing with us!

Monday, January 22, 2018

So much better!

Greetings to you all!  We hope that you all had a very nice weekend.  We wanted to give you a small update today to let you know how things are going.

We appreciate your prayers very much for our sick ones these past few weeks. 

Moise is so much better -- look at his smile...
 Jamesley had his surgery and is doing much better as well...

We are so grateful for your words of encouragement, your prayers and support that enable us care for these precious lives.  Have a great week!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Thank you!

We appreciate your prayers for us so much.  Little Moise is doing better.  He came back to the House of Hope from the hospital, but is still in need of constant nursing care.  He is still having some trouble breathing, but overall is doing better and has not had seizures again.  
He slept most of the night...
School finally started today and life seems to be getting back to normal.  We appreciate your holding us up in prayer over this past tough week.   We wish you all joy and peace in the week ahead.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Prayer needed for Moise

Good Morning.  We are asking you to please pray for out little baby Moise.  (If you read a few posts back you'll find out how he came to be with us).  He has been sick all week and has now been admitted to our partner hospital.  He's having trouble breathing and they have put him on oxygen, but this morning he has started to have seizures.  Unfortunately, we are unable to locate the medicine needed to stop the seizures and we have sent our boys off to the next town over to try and find it there. 
He has been with us just a few months, but is a beloved member of our large family.  As you can imagine it is difficult for everyone to see him like this.  Please pray for wisdom for the doctors to know how to help him.  Pray that we can find the medicines and supplies needed to help him.  Pray for Linda and all the others giving him care.  It's complicated having him down at the hospital and not in our home as people have to go down to be with him 24/7.  

At the same time, we are very thankful that we have a hospital and doctors so close by who are able to help us with our medical needs.  We are thankful that Handy the other baby not doing well is doing much better.  We are thankful for God's provisions that allow us to care for this precious life.  And we are thankful for you all who support us in so many ways -- especially right now with your prayers at this difficult time.