Beautiful Are The Feet…

Just another WordPress.com site

Avek Jezi June 14, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — haitilove23 @ 2:29 am

3 ½ years has come down to 2 short weeks.

 

2 weeks.

 

That’s the amount of time I spent in Haiti the first time I ever came.

 

2 weeks left in this beautiful country. 2 weeks left with some of the most beautiful people I have ever met.

 

I just sent a bag full of some of my belongings home with a Lexington group.

 

My shelves are getting barer.

 

My checklist is getting shorter.

 

Yet it still has yet to hit me that this chapter of my life is coming to a close.

 

I’ve sat down to write this blog multiple times and I just couldn’t. I’m already crying and it’s only the first few sentences. Writing these words just make it more real and I’m not sure if I’m ready for that yet.

 

So if it’s so hard for me to leave Haiti, then why am I? It’s not because I want to be home to experience the greatness that this season of UK basketball will bring…even though that does make for a pretty good argument. I’m not getting married nor is there a boy I’m going home for… no matter how many Haitians think/hope that’s the reason. You would’ve thought I had escaped all the people trying to marry me off once I left Kentucky, apparently that wasn’t the case. There are several reasons that play into why I’m heading back to the states in a couple of weeks, but the only one that truly matters is that God has given me complete peace that this season in my life is ending as he is preparing me for something new… and that is enough for me.

 

However, I didn’t know it was going to be this difficult.

 

I was listening to Taylor Swift while I was riding on the back of a moto to a friend’s house last Friday. State of Grace came on, even though it’s a song about a new relationship and at one time when I listened to it there was probably some boy I was thinking about, this time it made me think of Haiti. She sings, “And I never saw you coming and I’ll never be the same. This is a state of grace, this is the worthwhile fight.”

 

I was riding on the dirt road right next to the ocean as the dust from all the passing vehicles was making me look like I had an awesome tan and as I listened to those words my heart felt so full of joy yet so incredibly empty as the same time.

 

Right after State of Grace Taylor’s “Today Was A Fairytale Came On”. Another song about a boy and once again I’m sure at one time in my life I listened to that song and thought about another boy, but not today.

 

This time I just laughed inside as I continued to ride down this road that had become so familiar to me.

 

I was the little girl that loved fairytales and loved watching the prince fall in love with the princess. To me a fairytale ending was when the girl found her soul mate. As cliché as it sounds my “fairytale” (which in my mind is something that feels too good to be true) wasn’t me falling in love with a boy, but instead I fell in love with a whole country. I laughed inside, because as I listened to that song it was as if God whispered, “see, I told you to just trust me.”

 

Haiti has been a complete state of grace. I’ve learned more about myself during my time in Haiti then I did in the 22 years before. It was certainly a fight. There were SO many days I wanted to go back to the states, because it was just too hard. However, God continued to give me the strength to persevere and the fight was completely worthwhile. I never imagined that this is where I would be after college, but I am so thankful for the lessons I’ve been taught, the painful refinement of my heart, the friends I’ve made, and the things God has allowed my eyes to be open too. “I’ll never be the same” are perfect words to describe my time here.

 

Wow. How incredibly blessed I am. I have thought that so many times as I walked from one friends house to another’s in the fresh mud.

 

I use to think that I was blessed, because I never grew up having to walk through mud in the rain. I was blessed, because I never had to truck down a mountain to get water and then turn around and truck back up the same mountain so that I could bathe. I use to think about how thankful I was that I got to have a break from the difficulties of living in a third world country and that for two months out of the year I got to experience the comforts of the states. However, over time I’ve realized that those things aren’t why I have been blessed.

 

We have this saying at my home church, I guess it’s more of a mission statement, either way what it states has always stuck with me. It’s “helping people fully become who God has created them to be.” I LOVE that. What a beautiful way to explain what missions should look like. Instead of trying to Americanize a country/culture, walk alongside it’s people as you both grow to understand one another and as you become friends helping each other grow and use the gifts and passions he’s given you to become who he created you to be. As you come to understand those gifts and passion you can then allow Him to use you to impact a place.

 

God has allowed me to be a part of a community where I have gotten to see people shine as the embraced who God created them to be. I got to see them gain confidence in who He said they were. I got to pour into others and those same people poured into me. They taught me so many valuable lessons just from how they did day-to-day life.

 

I began to realize this is why I have been blessed.

 

I’m blessed, because of the people that I’ve gotten to do life with here in Haiti for the past 3 ½ years.

 

Whenever you are getting ready to leave a place your eyes seem to be opened in a different way, or at least mine have. I started seeing just how beautifully these people that I encountered on a daily basis shined.

 

I sat in one of my mom’s houses the other day and watched what an incredible mother she was. We sat in her one bedroom house that is the size of my small bedroom in the states as her children sang praises and recited bible verses. She watched them so proudly with one of the biggest smiles on her face. I told her what an incredible mother she was and how I hoped to be half the mom she is someday. I just know her children are going to do great things in Haiti, because of the way she has poured into them and loved on them.

 

I sat in another mom’s house as her daughter read the verses for our study that day, because the mom couldn’t read. As I asked questions about the verses her 16-year-old daughter blew me away in the way she answered. I explained to their family that just because I wasn’t here anymore didn’t mean a thing. That God was here before I came and that He would remain after I leave. That he wanted to use them to be a light in their community. That he was already using them as a light. So many families in Haiti don’t have a good father figure and this family does. The way the mom has taught her children who Christ is shines through the way they live. I’ve learned so much by watching them live life so full of joy as a family of 8 in a room made for 2.

 

I sat in a funeral for one of my mom’s that lost her father last week and I cried as I watched the other moms from the sewing program show up and be there for her. I guess I had felt like I was letting them down for so long by leaving. I would think who is going to fight for them. That day I realized that they will still fight for each other and they will still be there for one another.

 

God revealed several verses to me at the beginning of this year in Isaiah and I have clung to them constantly as I knew change was coming.

 

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, the will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames with not set you ablaze…

 

Since you are precious and honored in MY sight, and because I LOVE YOU.

 

Forget the former things; DO NOT dwell on the past. See, I am doing a NEW thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I AM making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”

 

– Isaiah 43:1-2, 4, 18-19

 

I’ve shared these verses with my moms and have prayed them over them. I pray that they realize that anything good that they saw in me was Christ. I pray that they continue to cling to Him and shine Him through all that they are. I pray that they know how loved they are and how precious they are to him and to so many.

 

I learned a long time ago to be thankful for the time that God gives us with certain people; because there are so many times in life it’s only for a season. How awesome is it that God shares those people with us though. Just think we could have never had a chance to experience all that we did if he had never “loaned” them to us.

 

One of the ways I have been so blown away by the Haitians is in the words that they sing when they are praising Jesus.

 

I finally got them to translate one of the songs they always sing and I love the meaning behind it.

 

Mwen gen rezon pa mwen

Ou gen rezon pa ou

Nou tout gen rezon pa nou,

Pou nou di Bondye mesi,

Si Jodia mwen la tou jou se paske Bondye gran

Mwen pa ka gade sou moun poum pa di Bondye mesi

 

I have a reason for me

You have a reason for you

Everyone has a reason to tell God thank you

If today I’m still here, because God is big

I can’t see why people can’t tell God thank you.

 

Thank you Lord for broken hearts.

Thank you Lord for changed plans.

Thank you Lord for new perspectives.

Thank you Lord for new friends.

Thank you Lord for difficulties.

Thank you Lord for lessons.

 

Thank you Lord for Haiti.

 

I hope this isn’t goodbye forever. It’s going to be a difficult transition, but I’m excited to see what is next.

 

As one of the kitchen ladies always says when I ask her how she is, “avek Jezi.” Which translates to “with Jesus” and basically means she is good because Jesus is with her.

 

So how am I doing with all this?!?

 

“Avek Jezi”

Advertisements
 

Fridays and Maeka March 1, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — haitilove23 @ 5:57 am

Fridays are my favorite. Friday means it’s a fun day in the pre-school. It means its pizza night. It means I will allow myself to drink a Coke. Fridays bring so many great things, but the thing that makes Friday so great is it’s the day I get to visit my friend Maeka.

Usually when I wake up on Fridays I’m feeling so excited, because it means it’s almost the weekend. However, I woke up this morning with tears. I didn’t want to be in Haiti this Friday. I wanted more then anything to be home. A friend I grew up with passed away at the beginning of the week and they are celebrating his life tomorrow. My stomach has been sick all week and my heart has physically hurt for all his friends and family.

Sometimes pain is so thick we can’t see past it. Our eyes are swollen from tears. We are so confused or angry or numb. Words never seem like enough and time seems to stand still. What do you say or do in these moments when you know nothing you could say or could do will take away the pain.

Last year I asked God so many times where He was. I pleaded for Him to show me the good, because I was convinced there no longer was any. I questioned if telling someone that God was good and that I was praying for him or her was enough. How dare I tell them that God will bring good from this when they are so deep in pain?

God was patient with me during that time (and always). He reveled so many truths to me.

He reminded me that He is good…

that He does understand more then anyone ever will…

and that He is in the business of redeeming.

“For we DO NOT have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with CONFIDENCE, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

 

– Hebrew 4:15-16

 

If anyone knows what we’re feeling it’s Him. He walked on this earth and knows the struggles, the tears, the joys, and the pain that come from it. I believe with all my heart that he rejoices with us, but I also believe that when we hurt he does too.

Most of the time it’s not an immediate thing, healing. It’s a process, but we have to allow Him to help us. He knows it will be a struggle at times. He knows at times that we’ll take one step forward and two back. He wants us to come as we are, broken before Him, and trust in His strength to sustain us.

The good isn’t always what we think it will be or should be, but He does bring it from the worst of situations. And with the good He brings peace…a peace that is beyond understanding.

So how does Maeka fit into all of this?

 

Maeka is one of the beautiful examples of how God brings beauty from pain.

 

There was a long period of time when Maeka’s pain was so thick that she couldn’t see past the tears. Hopelessness weighed her heart down.

When my friend Melonnie first met Maeka she was 19 and working in a brothel. Melonnie immediately fell in love with her sweet spirit and contagious laugh. If you knew Melonnie she had probably told you about Maeka.

I had gone to the brothel several times with Melonnie and met Maeka, but little did I know that eventually she would become such a dear friend.

A few Novembers ago, two weeks before I was headed to the states, I walked down to the brothel to tell the girls bye. When I got there Maeka was lying on a bed and looked deathly ill. Since it was late in the afternoon the clinic was closed. The next morning I went down and got Maeka and we walked to the mission to get her checked out. What the doctor said wasn’t exactly what I had been expecting. He explained to me that she was pregnant and had taken bad medicine on the street to have an abortion that instead made her really sick. Usually I would’ve gone to get Melonnie during a time like this, because she always knows the right thing to say. However, she had already headed back to the states.

I was so scared that I would say the wrong thing. I felt this great pressure that my words had the power to change her mind about aborting the baby. So I went and got one of the other missionaries and we prayed over the situation and then talked with Maeka about how God loved them both and didn’t want either of them to be harmed. Prayer is such a powerful thing. Prayer gets me through. When I don’t have the words, which is often, I turn to prayer. It connects me with the One who does know what to say and who does know how to comfort.

I’ve felt like that way this week, so helpless. I have no idea what to pray for with all the pain that is so heavy in so many hearts back home, but the Lord knows.

 

 

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weaknesses. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.”

 

– Romans 8:26

All the while I was thinking who was I to tell her to keep this baby, when I have no idea what she’s been through. However, that’s where I get into trouble. There sure are a lot of “I’s” in these sentences; maybe that was the issue to begin with. I think way too much about what I’m going to say or do or how someone is feeling instead of trusting in God’s Spirit to lead me in my words and actions.

A few days later we found out the baby was fine. I left for the states and Maeka left for Port-au-Prince. I honestly didn’t expect to see her again and I never knew what happened with the baby.

I got back to Haiti in January and the week before I was headed back to the states again that summer someone came to get me and said one of the brothel girls was waiting on me downstairs. I had no idea who it was and never expected that it would be Maeka. It was. There she sat holding her beautiful baby girl.

Image

There’s that beauty I was talking about.

I ran to grab Melonnie and we just sat in awe of the miracle before our eyes. Maeka told us that she was no longer working in the brothel and was now living with the baby’s dad’s parents about 20 minutes from the mission.

Image

Things were looking up for sweet Maeka.

One step forward, two steps back.

We learned that she was having problems with her boyfriend’s parents and wanted to move out on her own with the baby. She was weekly coming to the mission, because she didn’t know where else to get help. She had nothing and she had no one besides Kiwana (her little girl).

We eventually found her a room to rent with a sweet couple who love her and take care of her as if she’s part of their family. Melonnie also sent in money to get Maeka started in a business of selling things in the market for an income. One of the ladies from the mission traveled to the market with Maeka, Caitlin, and I to help her know where to buy things for her booth. Things were looking up and God was surrounding Maeka with so many people that wanted to love her and pour into her.

Maeka and Kiwana with Janette after they bought the stuff for her to sale in the market.

Maeka and Kiwana with Janette after they bought the stuff for her to sale in the market.

One step forward, two steps back.

 

Then Maeka showed up to my classroom one day. She’s one of those people that you can tell when something’s wrong, because it’s written all over their face. She explained to me that she was pregnant again and didn’t want the baby. Of course she didn’t and honestly I understood. She had just gotten to the point where she felt like she could take care of Kiwana and now she was back to square one.

We sat down with one of the Haitian women, Magdola, from our church. She poured into Maeka and assured her that she wasn’t alone and that we wanted to help however we could. She explained to her that God had given her a gift in her new baby. Maeka left that day smiling and feeling encouraged. When I got back to Haiti in January Maeka explained that she wanted to start coming to church.

She has been coming every Sunday. Her first Sunday at church she made the decision to accept Christ. On Fridays I visit her at her house and we sing and do a Bible study together. It’s been such a blessing watching her with Kiwana. Knowing that through fear she almost made a decision to not have Kiwana and now seeing how happy she is to be a mommy is only something God can do.

Last Sunday Maeka walked out of church crying so I followed. When asking her what was wrong she explained to me that she didn’t think God forgave her for what she did in the past. Wow. She was truly broken by her sin, to the point of tears. We talked about how Christ covered all her sins and that He doesn’t see those things when he looks at her. He sees his child.

Today Maeka’s story came full circle. We traveled to Port-au-Paix so that she could get a sonograph. We found out she’s having another girl. She’s due this month around the 23rd. Maeka is so excited.

Image

IMG_8385

Hang in there. The progress might be imperfect and you might have set backs, but it’s still progress. God’s perfect peace will hold you and little by little make the pain easier to endure and he will bring beauty from the most painful situations.

Last Sunday, the same Sunday she walked out crying, she also explained to me that she felt like she had no one. We talked about all the people that God has continued to surround her with. We talked about how even when we feel the loneliest he says he is there. We talked about how lonely I feel here sometimes.

I reminded her of that conversation today. I told her about my friend. I told her that I wanted so badly to be home. I told her that I wasn’t excited about Friday until I remembered she was coming.

God created us for relationships. There is power in just being there for someone without having to mutter a single word.

Melonnie with Maeka and Kiwana in November.

Melonnie with Maeka and Kiwana in November.

IMG_8023

 

Oh My Heart December 21, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — haitilove23 @ 2:48 am

These babies are just too precious not to share with you. Thanks again to my friend Amber Bea for taking pictures of the kids for me. It might be easy to get them to sit still but it sure isn’t easy to get them to smile, so thankful that she was willing to use her talents to capture these cuties! Let me introduce you to the little blessings that steal my heart on a daily basis. 

WISKEN

 

Image

 

 

STEEVENS

Image

 

 

WIDLANDE (LANDE-LANDE)

Image

 

 

MARCO

Image

 

 

RALPH (DAWENS)

Image

 

 

JEFF-FRIDSON

Image

 

 

JULMARD

Image

 

 

 

YOUSELINE

Image

 

 

SAMITHE

Image

 

 

DACHENA

Image

 

 

ALEXANDRA

Image

 

 

ANASTASIA

Image

 

 

ERICA

Image

 

 

CHICHNAIDER

Image

 

 

WENDOLFKY

Image

 

 

STORLY

Image

 

 

JENNIE

Image

 

GETRO

Image

 

 

LEDZENSKA (ANNE)

Image

 

LOUDJINA

Image

 

 

Image

 

Day 18: Meet Louloune December 2, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — haitilove23 @ 9:02 pm

Meet Louloune:

Image

(Photo taken by: Amber Bea)

There are not words to describe the beautiful personality of this woman, but I will try. Louloune is 23 and is the most loving, hard-working, and joyful people I have ever met. She is currently the “head mom” of the nutrition program which means she leads devotions for the other moms and cleans up the area that they eat in. 

Image

When I first started the sewing program I really had no idea what I was doing and it changed several times. At first I let any of the moms in the nutrition program that were interested to come to the meeting for the program. Then I decided that I only wanted it to be the moms that currently had kids in the pre-school. Since I had already explained the program and several of the moms didn’t have kids in the pre-school I gave them the option of staying and learning without pay and then getting paid the next year or getting paid this year and not being a part of the program the next year. Louloune decided that she wanted to stay and learn this year without pay and then be a part of the next year. It’s not common that someone wants to do work in Haiti without expecting you to pay them something and if they do decide to work the work they do isn’t their best. Louloune blew me away. From the very first day she was never late, she always did her very best work, and she stayed after everyone else left to help me clean up. When I explained to her that she didn’t have to help me clean up because I couldn’t pay her she just smiled and said “I like to work”. She went above and beyond when she had no reason to. I couldn’t let her help me clean up without giving her something so I bought her a coke and she was beyond appreciative. Until that moment I had never experienced someone helping me with anything more then what I had asked of them and on that of that she wanted nothing in return. 

After several months of doing the program I decided to invest a lot in the small group of 15 women I was already working with instead of a little in a new group of women every year. So I started paying Louloune and also let her do extra work to make up for the time she wasn’t paid even though I know she wouldn’t have ever asked me for that. 

Image

Louloune has two daughters, Cassandra Melissa who is 6 and Widlande (Lande-Lande) who is 3. She is the best mommy to these two sweet girls. She had Cassandra Melissa when she was young and living with her mom so when she got married to her current husband, Alex, Cassandra ended up staying with her older sister. Alex didn’t want Cassandra living with them since she wasn’t his child, however Cassandra is at their house a lot. Louloune and Alex have been married for 2 years and he also works at the mission.

 

Seeing Louloune with her children is the sweetest thing. When I visited her house the second time she would join them in playing. They would sing and dance with each other and hearing the joy in that moment was incredible. The smiles on their faces showed how much they all adored one another.  

Image

 

Image

One of the things I love about Louloune is her love for the Word. The first time I visited her house and brought her a new Bible she immediately opened it up and started reading. She pulled out a notebook she had and when she opened it up I saw verses written in it. She looked at a verse and then opened her Bible to it and told me that it was the verse I shared at Bible study one week. I almost cried, because I always wonder if they are actually listening or not. The picture above was taken one week after class when her and two of the other ladies stayed after class to sing praises. Several of us had asked her to come to church one Sunday and she always said she didn’t have clothes that were good enough. I explained to her that it didn’t matter that Jesus just cared about her heart not what she was wearing. So several Sundays ago she showed up with her youngest daughter and sat next to me. Watching her worship was so humbling. Though she only came to church once I can really tell God is working in her heart.

Image

 

 

Louloune has a way of making you feel so loved, so accepted, and so important. Whenever she sees you she always embraces you with the biggest smile and hug like she hasn’t seen you in months. I don’t know how she does it, but she can put a smile on your face on a rough day in minutes just by the way she loves unconditionally. 

I am so thankful for her friendship.

The lessons I learn from this woman are endless.

 

 

Day 17: Meet Berlande November 29, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — haitilove23 @ 3:06 am

Meet Berlande:

Image

 

(Photo taken by: Amber Bea)

 

Berlande is 16 going on 30, but only because she was forced to grow up quicker then she should of.  She is the youngest in the sewing program and when I first met her I thought she was just bringing her younger sister to the nutrition program every day because her mom had to work. I later found out that her mother had died and her father hadn’t ever been in the picture. She has two sisters, Rodachna who is 13 and Erica who is 3. Their mom died after giving birth to Erica so she has never known her mother. They all three live in a house with their two aunts, their mom’s sisters. However, both aunts have their own children so Berlande ends up being the caretaker of her two sisters. 

Image

 

 

Though there have been times when I can tell the responsibility of taking care of Erica takes its toll on Berlande, she comes out fighting strong for her most days. I can tell how much she loves her and wants to do the best she can in taking care of her. When I first met Berlande she was always asking me for something for Erica. I’ll never forgot one night she showed up after dark at the mission carrying Erica, because she had been vomiting. Berlande had no idea what to do she just immediately brought her to the mission. Since the clinic was closed for the night we gave her tylenol for her fever and then Berlande brought her back the next day. 

 

The house on the left below use to be the house that Berlande’s mom lived in. After she passed the girls could no longer live in the house and no one has since. They now live in the house on the right with their two aunts.

Image

 

 

Image

 

One of the things that broke my heart when I first met Berlande was when I asked her if she went to school. She told me that she did, but when her mom passed she had to quick school to take care of Erica. However, since being in the sewing program she has been able to start going back to school and I can tell how thankful she is to have another chance. This girl is a fighter. 

 

This girl was handed a huge responsibility that she never expected to have at such a young age and while she could have complained and left her sister with her aunts she didn’t. Instead she decided to try and it hasn’t been easy, but I know it has been worth it to her that her sister has a life surrounded by people who love her.

What an example she is. Life doesn’t always go how we think/hope it will. However, God is sovereign and we have a choice in how we deal with the changes that come our way. Berlande reminds me to try. She has taught me to make the best of life when we’re thrown a curve ball. 

I am so thankful for this sweet girl and her maturity.

 

Day 16: Meet Medilia November 28, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — haitilove23 @ 5:33 am

Meet Medilia:

Image

(Photo taken by: Amber Bea)

Medilia is 27 and has three children. Medilia is light hearted and laid back. She is so fun to have around and brings so much joy on Saturdays during the sewing program. She is such a good mommy. I love watching the way she relates to her kids and joins them in acting silly. 

Image

 

I can’t remember ever seeing twins in Haiti until I visited Medilia’s house and I met two sets! Medilia is a twin with her sister Odelia and she also has twin daughters, Fabiola and Fabiene who are 7. I was so excited when I met her daughters and sister that they all probably thought I was half crazy! Medilia and Odelia have 5 sisters and two brothers, but the twins are the only ones that live in this house together. Medilia also has another child, Marcnes, who is 4 and was in the pre-school last year. All of her children are so sweet and timid. However, I saw a completely different side of all of them when I went to their house and they were all in their element. They all were having so much fun together and had the biggest smiles on their faces.

Image

 

 

Medilia isn’t married and the father isn’t in the picture, but to see the way she fights to take care of these kids is amazing. Her and her sister have worked hard and together built the house they live in, which is so tiny for nine people but they seem to be so thankful to have a roof over their heads.

I love seeing how thankful and content Medilia is even during difficult circumstances.

I’m thankful for the example she is as mom in the way she relates to her kids and just has fun with them.

I’m thankful for Medilia.

 

Image

 

 

 

Day 15: Meet Iselia

Filed under: Uncategorized — haitilove23 @ 1:52 am

Meet Iselia:

Image

(Photo taken by: Amber Bea)

 

Iselia is 47 and the strong silent type the majority of the time. She is certainly the wise one of the group and a mother to all. The first time I met her she was hanging out with a 15 year girl. They were always together so I thought it was her daughter. Come to find out the girls mother had died and she lived close to Iselia so they made the long walk to the nutrition program every day together. Berlande, the 15 year old, is also in the sewing program. Berlande doesn’t live with Iselia, but Iselia fights for that girl like she’s her own daughter. She takes her under her wing and makes sure she is taken care of while she’s at the mission. 

Image

 

 

The reason Iselia was part of the nutrition program is because of the little boy pictured below, Salomon, who is 4. Salomon is her grandson, but he lives with her and she is his primary caretaker. Salomon’s mom died when he was just a baby and his dad, Iselia’s son, moved to Port-au-Prince with his new girlfriend. Salomon was in pre-school with me last year and he NEVER smiles or talks. The picture below is the only time I have ever seen him smile, which I think shows how much he adores his grandma. She missed class one week so she came one day by herself, I was so happy I caught this sweet moment between the two of them. Watching her play with Salomon and seeing how close they were was so beautiful to watch.

 

 

Image

 

Not only did Iselia take in Salomon, but several of her other grandchildren as well. Actually, all the children picture below are her grandchildren except the oldest girl who is her youngest daughter, Nadech. Nadech is 12 and adores her mom. Iselia had trouble seeing to sew the coin purses so Nadech comes with her mom most weeks and helps her thread the needle and sew the bottom of the purses. Salmon has two sisters that she takes care of as well, Jessica (standing next to Salomon) is 5 and Venese (the baby) is 9 months. The other little girl is her brothers daughter, Elda, who is 8. Iselia has been in a relationship with Francione for 4 years and his daughter and children also live in the house with them. Their house was SO far away, I am amazed that she walks back and forth to the mission daily from where she lives. She is one tough lady.

Image

 

While we were visiting her house she introduced me to a lady that had started a church close to her house. We got to walk to the church and see it, the view from that church was one of the most beautiful views I have ever seen in Haiti. She explained to me that they have church three times a week, Sunday, Tuesday, and Friday and that they had a pretty good group of people that came. They invited me to join them one day and it worked out that the next day, Friday, I didn’t have school. So my friend Amber and myself left around 6 that morning and walked back up the mountain to visit the church. What an experience and such a blessing. When we first got to Iselia’s house she looked so surprised, I don’t think she believed that we would actually come. To see what they went through just to have church was humbling. Little by little they would bring different things into the church to have a service. Most of them sat on burlap bags on the ground. Iselia wasn’t able to come that morning, because she had already planned to take her grandchildren into town to see a doctor. Since Iselia lives so far from town I’m so thankful that they are able to have a place to worship, I know how important that it is to her to go to church and I could tell she was so thankful for this place. 

Image

 

 

Image

 

 

So thankful for Iselia, her wisdom and her love that she extends to so many.