Sunday, February 3, 2013

I have missed you Haiti!

I am back in Haiti and it has been such a long time!  I cannot believe it was a year ago that I met these wonderful children for the first time.  It was definitely different when I came!  The children are so big and there are a lot of new staff.  Healing Haiti has built so many additions on to this place and things look AMAZING!  

I arrived to port-au-prince and got to experience the new airport!  It is so pretty, clean, and efficient.  I stopped by at the guest house before heading to Grace Village.  For any of you traveling to Healing Haiti's guest house you are in for a big treat because the new guest house is beautiful!

I was greeted by the children and spent the night talking with the long term missionaries and getting to know the new guardians a little better.  

I am not sure if it is a good thing or not, but when the kids saw me tonight they started impersonating me!  The kept saying "kids be quiet", "why children why", and "sit and silence"........not something you want to be known for!  These were my famous lines I used over and over again to get them behaving!  : )

I have for sure lost some of my creole and am rusty, but I think it is slowly coming back to me when the children remind me of things.  They talk to me so fast, and I am reminding them that I do not speak creole at home so I am not as good as I was. 

There is a new long term missionary house up at Grace Village and it is super nice.  I feel spoiled and lucky to be here in Haiti.

God has blessed me and made my day smooth and safe.  Thank you to all of you praying for me and all the support!

No pics tonight!  I am off to shower and then bed so I can rise early and tackle the day!

Love, Gretchen 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Day 2

Day number two!  It is already day number two and I am sad to be leaving.  We have been so busy today and the time just flew by.  Today we had Church with the children and the placed was over packed!  I could not believe how many children are coming it is amazing!

We then spent time getting all the mattresses and sheets back to normal and we are praying the scabies will not come back!  Missy arrived today and we tried to look over all the children and see if any additional medications were needed for them.  Overall our children look really good with all that has happened/spread here.  I did a scabies treatment on myself as well the other night and so far cannot see anything.

Through out the day issues arise and things constantly need attending to!  We tackled as many problems as we could and by the end of the day were wiped!

I spent time dancing and worshiping with the children tonight which was so much fun.  The community children came back to GV at night and it was a good time. Fanfan did such a good job with them.

My sister in law Laura is here and I could not be more happy!  She has been a huge help and she is so good with all the children, especially the little ones.  I wish I was taking more pictures, but it is just so busy!  Maybe I will do that tomorrow!

We continue to try to make this place cleaner and are working on rules with the children!  Hopefully soon things will start clicking with everyone!


Friday, June 8, 2012

Back to my home away from home!

So I am back in Haiti for one week!  I am staying up at Grace Village to assist wherever needed!  Jewel is currently here and doing a fabulous job with everything that has come her way!  She has been working hard with all the new children here and doing well.

It was a long travel day and we did not arrive till 6pm.  I was greeted by the most wonderful smiling children!  I was so happy to see all the children I love so very much.  I came during dinner time and so spent some time talking with the children and introducing them to Laura.

Laura is my sister in law and decided to spend this week with me here.  So far she has jumped right in loving the kids and doing whatever is needed.

This week I will be helping as much as I can with the health care needs and keep enforcing the rules!

Please pray for all the children, especially the ones who are sick.  We have scabies up here which is hard to get rid of.  Treatment is done so pray for it to go away!   Also if you could pray for all the workers here who are working so hard!

Sorry for the short update.  Laura and I are very tired and looking forward to going to bed.  More later and hopefully with some pictures!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Yolencia, Baptisim, and my departure!

WOW!  What a crazy last two days!  I do not even know where to begin!  I am sitting at the guest house this morning knowing that I am actually leaving Haiti without a return date and my stomach is just upset. I cannot put into words how much the children have impacted me and what a life changing experience this has been for me!  I wish I could tell you when I am coming back or what my role will be, but sadly this is not the case.  I know that I will never have this same position or do what I did ever again!

Saturday the American worship team came up to Grace Village for a worship and baptism day! I am proud to say that 39 children got baptized and announced in front of everyone that they accept Jesus as their savior and will live each day for him!  AMAZING and emotional!  I also was baptized which I have been wanting to do for sometime.  I was sad my family and husband could not be there for it, but I also was extremely happy to have proclaimed my faith in Haiti.  In 2008 I came to Haiti for the first time, and I cannot tell you how much God has reveled himself to me through Haiti and this is why being baptized here was so important to me.

We had a time of worship and praise for the kids after and it was such a blast!  It was the perfect way to spend one of my last days in Haiti!

Also on Saturday we welcomed a new little girl Yolencia into our home.  She has no mother or father and has been living in City Solie with her aunt and uncle.  We were thrilled to have her come.  She is such and incredibly beautiful 12 year old girl.  Laikia has done a fantastic job taking her in and loving her.  She has been nervous about things and is just trying to figure things out so I ask that you really pray for her in these next couple of weeks that she will adjust and have peace.

Sunday just flew by!  I was packing like crazy, talking to Mickey and Jewel about everything and trying to say goodbye my Haitian family that I have become so close to.

As I write this post tears are welling up inside of my eyes.  I remember arriving to Haiti in Febuary thinking I have so much time here and now today I am leaving!  Please pray my transition back to the states will go well and pray that God will reveal where he wants to use me next!

Thanks to all of you who have followed me and supported me in My time in Haiti!

Love you so much, Gretchen

Baptism girls! they look like angels!

Waiting to get baptized....

Being baptized

So happy!

Worshiping after

Guyvenson and I

Yolencia and I.  She is so beautiful!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Two Days Left! : (

I only have two days left at GV.  What an amazing time I have had here!  It seems like I should be leaving and everything should be in place and have order, but that is not the case.  The children continue need to be reminded about rules, thing continue to break and uncontrollable situations still arise.  Surprising huh?  

I am leaving feeling so confident in the two wonderful ladies that will remain here for a year.  Jewel and Mickey have a heart to serve these children and people at Grace Village.  They have been a huge support for me these last couple of weeks and we have worked extremely well together.  I know they will continue to work on the things I have put into place as well as build a strong foundation for these children to grow on.  I am so excited to see what they do here and the impact they will have on everyone who meets them.

The worship team is here this week and I am so excited for them to come!  They have a few pastors with them and are going to be baptizing the children tomorrow!  I am also going to be baptized tomorrow.  I am super excited and having been waiting to be baptized in Haiti.  I am very sad that my husband and family will not be here with me, but hoping I can share with them and show them all the pictures.

Sunday will be my last day here since I am going to stay overnight in Port-au-Prine on Sunday night.  I am trying so hard to wrap my head around the idea of not seeing these children all the time!  I am so sad to leave Haiti, but am so excited to see my husband and family!  Please pray for my transition back to the United States and really pray for these children!  They are truly wonderful kids and I just want to see them  flourish and become amazing children of God.

Thanks again for all the support!  I will try to post some pics of the baptism tomorrow since it should be AWESOME!

Much love, Gretchen

Mickey and Jewel have started blogging!  So please continue to follow this journey at GV through them at.......

Joseph with cute!!!

Look at her amazing smile!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

We are all doing well at GV!  Have been doing my best to enjoy every last minute of my time here.

This weekend was very good.  The American team came and did a community health fair down in Titayen.  I was so excited to have them impact our surrounding community in such a positive way.  They also saw some elderly and made sure they were getting everything that they needed.  They did such a good job and I was so happy to have them here!

We had a great service on Sunday.  I finally remembered that the tables in the cafeteria can be changed into pew like seats!  It looked so good today in church.  We are really getting full and having a ton of children come.

We also took some scenic routes to see some family's in need and it was so much fun to see such beautiful parts of Haiti.  We also learned more about Mission of Hope today which is just down the road from us.  It is nice to see what God is doing all over in Haiti and nice to have people working together to help Haiti develop!

Looking forward to seeing what God has in store for me this week!

Blessings to all of you and see you soon in the States!

Front row in church, a lot of children from the community!

Our shy beautiful girls.

Meme and I in the kitchen before church.

Taking in the service

Hard to tell but doesn't the tables look good changed to pews?  We loved it.  Fanfn to right starting to sing and Guyvenson and Ally at the door greeting all the kids that are still coming in!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Time Flying By!

I only have 10 days left here in Haiti!  I am not sure what happened to the time!  Yesterday during worship with the kids I just broke down crying.  I am going to miss this place so much and especially the children.  This has been my home for the last three months and I have poured everything I have into this place.  I am so excited to see my husband, family, and friends, but I am not sure how I am going to handle being away from this place.  I am not sure what God has in store for me next, but I just pray that He knows the plans he has for my husband and I.

Wednesday we delivered food to 27 elderly.  Going to the elderly’s homes still is one of my favorite things here at GV.  They are so incredibly grateful for what you give them and they are always smiling, kissing, and hugging.  They have true joy in them and you can tell the have such genuine hearts.  This took up most of the afternoon since we had to get it ready and then drive all over to see them. 

Today we worked on getting everything situated for Joseph’s school and then cleaned and organized things at GV.  We are working hard to get things more in order/clean and we are still continuing to work on having the children follow the rules here!

I found out yesterday that Joseph’s real first name is Sadrac and his last name is Joseph.  Woops!! : ) I still find myself calling him Joseph and that is what everyone continues to call him here.  When you ask him his name he will tell you Joseph, and occasionally Sadrac.  He is such a funny kid, and everyone absolutely adores him here.

As I reflect on Joseph’s current situation I am amazed.  He is doing so well and just excelling here!  He does not gorge in his food like he use to, and I think he is beginning to see that food will keep coming and he no longer has to worry about his next meal or when it will be.   I have not seen him cry since he has been here, and he is constantly wearing a smile.  We looked for the grandmother today to see if she was home.  When we did not get an answer the principal told us she was at the market.  We asked if this was common and he said yes because she tries to sell some things.  He said she goes almost everyday and when Joseph lived with her, she would leave him home alone all day by himself!  No wonder why he is so independent!  A five year old taking care of him self and fending for him self just boggles my mind.  I am so thankful he is here with us and pray for him to continue to see God working in his life.

Just want to again thank everyone who is working so hard for Healing Haiti!  I also want to thank all the people that keep giving to these children.  We are going to continue to hear stories like Joseph’s, as this orphanage fills up all the open beds we have here.   Thank you for donating and giving!  Without you we could not keep taking in these children who so desperately need our support and love. 

Julie, Jeff, Missy, Susan, Linda, and Heather (and so many others) have been so incredibly wonderful to work with and have blessed me beyond belief while I have been here in Haiti.  Please know how grateful I am to you and how powerful your ministry is here in Haiti.  I love you all so very much and wish I could say or do more to thank you for your efforts here!

I am off to school with the children.  I am excited to see Jovany’s big smile this morning, hear Meme sing to himself, watch the older boys take such great care of the little ones, smell the spaghetti being cooked, and feel the love of God’s presence through these children! 

Having fun with Sabrina and Rose!

Jovany and I getting ready for church.

Not a empty seat at Church!

Joseph enjoying pretzels after his doctors appointment.
Boys before Church. They look so good!