Friday, January 29, 2010

Mi Viaje a Haiti

It has been almost a week since we got back from Haiti, and I have not told anyone how my trip has been...sorry about that. I just needed some time to process everything. With that said...

We left last Friday early in the morning and got to Dajabon where you cross the border. As smart as we are, we did not remember that Friday is market day at the border, and so there were thousands of people going back and forth between the DR and Haiti. Cara and Rachel got all the passport and car stuff figured out (paying the DR entrance fee of $25 and the Haitian fee of (drumroll) 1 measly dollar), and after a total of four hours at the border, we were on the road to Cap Haitien to help Chris and Johanne. To sum up Cap Haitien, it is dusty and crowded, full of friendly Haitian men and women who are constantly on the go. Not once did I feel unsafe or feel like anything was chaotic.

Saturday. At this point, we had already found out from Johanne about her trip to Port au Prince, that they would not release the kids she wanted because of security reasons and just in case family members were still alive. As you may have already seen from the media, people started stealing kids for trafficking; therefore, unless you have Haitian papers, you are not allowed to take any kid for any reason. Johanne took us to an orphanage her and Chris use to work at. Of course we fell in love with all the kids, and the sweet thing was all the kids were leaving within the next few weeks to be adopted. When you are at an orphanage, you end up leaving wanting to take every kid with you, but it was nice to be able to play with them and know they are going to some loving parents. After this, we visited the church Chris is building then went to the hospital in Milot. The school across the street was turned into another area to bring refugees into...this is where the hardest part of the weekend was for me. I saw a man who had had his arm amputated and a room full of kids who were hurt during the earthquake. I walked into the room full of kids, and immediately tears started to come. I knew I needed to hold them back, but it was so hard when this little girl smiled and started playing with Ashley despite her circumstance. What a sweet moment.

Sunday. We took all of the supplies to the house Chris and Johanne bought for the orphans. The supplies consisted of 50 foam mattresses, sheet sets, cups, plates, bowls, silverware, shoes, towels, 50 bags we made before we left, toothbrushes/paste, and so on. We set up the house, doing all the dirty details, so that it would be ready whenever kids would come.

Monday. We ran some errands and went to the Haitian market in town. We needed to find more sheet sets for the beds, and Ashley took pictures we had to get developed of the house set up so Chris and Johanne would look legitimate.

Tuesday. We headed out early morning to come back home, feeling like what we needed to accomplish was done, and that when they receive orphans, we could possibly come help them get everything situated and meet the precious kids. Crossing the border was no problem at all...once again we paid nothing on the Haitian side and $10 on the Dominican side.

Sorry if this was a very abrupt description of my trip, or maybe too long, but if you have any other questions or are curious about something, feel free to ask me! Overall, the Lord completely had His hand over the whole trip. Everything went perfect, and the cars made it there and back despite the horrible roads in Haiti. Gracias a Dios :) As for the Makarios team, we are waiting for the right timing to help as a team. Makarios is doing what it can to get supplies to different areas still, so feel free to continue donating if you can.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Road to Haiti

Tomorrow I will be headed to Cap Haitien, Haiti with my two roommates Cara and Ashley, our friend Rachel, and Rachel's boyfriend Gideon. I would love to explain to you all the details myself, but since I am short on time and found out yesterday I am for sure going, I will let you read Cara's blog to found out what we are going to do. We would love your prayers for safe travels, and that the Lord will provide ways that we can be useful when we get there, instead of an added burden of more people. Love you all, and I will update you when I get back.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


"He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end... I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him." Ecclesiastes 3: 11, 14

As you all know, it started Tuesday. I was sitting in my living room typing an email when the futon I was sitting on started swaying side to side. I have never been in an earthquake so I had no idea what was going on until I looked up at Cara, who immediately said in her tranquilo Cara voice, "Um, I think it's an earthquake." (Not going to lie, I at first thought it was an animal under my futon, and then I thought maybe I am dizzy...don't make fun. An animal being in my living room is possible seeing that we have geese, chickens, dogs, and cows among other animals as neighbors.) It was either Saved by the Bell or Fresh Prince when there was an earthquake, and they were told to stand under the door frames. Leave it to me to follow a sitcom I was obsessed with when I was other words, I was immediately under the door frame along with Ashley who followed my role. Haha oh man, no one should ever follow my lead. Anyways, when it ended, we were all laughing and had an adrenaline rush, until, not even ten minutes later Cara saw the real news about the epicenter being in Haiti. After some time, we started to see the damage done and lives ended by the earthquake. I would be lying if I said this week has been fine since I am not directly in Haiti (by the way, if you did not already know, we are attached), but it has been very difficult. We know families who have family members living over there and do not know if they are okay. Secondly, since I am so close to Haiti, I feel the need to rush out of my door and go help. Now I obviously know that is not smart and is an emotional decision, but it has been something we all have felt. Our team along with other friends spent Wednesday praying for the people of Haiti. Schools were closed around the country, and our hearts were anxious so we knew we needed to stop and pray.."Be still and know that I am God" is what I have to keep telling myself. As of now, we have a few people taking supplies to the border today, but Makarios as a whole is trying to figure out the best way we can help and be smart about staying safe and prepared. I ask that you pray for patience for us because I know anxiety can get the best of me when I feel the need to just go do something without waiting on the Lord's timing. My heart has been very heavy this week for the Haitian people. I picture in my head the children who are now orphans and homeless, and my heart hurts. I sit not knowing where to even begin in praying but know ultimately God is in control. I know some of you reading this may have been affected by the earthquake, either knowing someone over there helping, someone who died, and so on, and I am sorry for the stress or sadness you may be feeling. Know that I am praying for you and continually for the people of Haiti and those helping over there as I also have friends who are helping. Love you all and am thankful I can even sit here and write this to you.

Si Dios quiere, I will keep you posted whenever we decide how/when we are going to go over and help. I, along with my team, will need your prayers for safety and wisdom. Also, you can go to the Makarios website and donate money for supplies. We have already sent a team of Dominicans we know from here, and today several from my team were chosen to deliver supplies to the border.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Ecclesiastes 3: A Time for Everything

"There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven...4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; A time to mourn, and a time to dance."

As I sit here writing this I think of the blog from my birthday, the blog where I found Weeson at the soccer game, and when I found out he lived with a voodoo witch doctor, when he had impetigo, and when I cried and prayed for the Lord to guide my steps because I knew He was calling me to do something, but I did not even know where to begin...and during my first week back from Christmas break, I finished my last step (well at least for now!).

I got back to the DR and went with Robin to visit Chichigua last Tuesday. While we were sitting there, we found out that Magi, Weeson's mom, had moved back to Chigs, so we went and sat in her house. I straight up asked her when she was going to bring Weeson and Marleini back to live with her, with the help of Robin translating, and said I wanted them to come back to school. She told me that once she had money for transportation, she would go get them. Of course I thought this would never happened so we told her we would come get her sometime during the week and go get them. I did not get excited at the thought because I know how flaky Magi can be and knew it was something I had to see to believe. It has been raining here constantly except for two days, which made it impossible for me to take Magi, so I continued to pray for peace and patience and to just wait for the Lord's timing. Friday rolled around, and an hour before school ended, I realized it had not rained all morning, and the Holy Spirit moved within me to say alright Kendall, it is time. I went to Chichigua with the Chigs' kids and Johan to grab Magi. We came back with her to Montellano, and Ashley drove us four to Caraballo to grab Weeson and Marleini. After many goodbye's and my last time to look at the voodoo shack with all its weird paintings, Magi, Weeson, Marleini, and I sat in the back seat together. For the first time in a long time, I felt a peace within me for my lil baby Weeson. Magi was smiling, the kids were laughing, and they were going home to be with their mama. Ashley put on a cd, and at one point, I was singing to Mariah Carey. I look over, and all three of them were smiling at me and started laughing (I always say that when I sing in front of people, it is a compliment, because that is when I feel most comfortable). We got to Chigs, dropped them off, and immediately kids were running up yelling their names and were so happy to see them. I gave Magi some clothes for the kids and a few apples...and well, there you go! "A time to weep, and a time to laugh; A time to mourn, and a time to dance."
Yesterday was Weeson and Marleini's first day back at school, and it was so great to see them in their lil uniforms back with their friends. Marleini was just as sassy as before, and Weeson hoped right back in to being as cute as possible...ok cheesy I know, but he really is sooo precious!

Side notes:
1) I went to the beach on Saturday, and while I was laying out, a monkey crawled on my chair and on my leg. say what...ok ok I won't pretend like it is that cool here that monkeys are all around. It was one of those tourist things where they let you take a pic with an animal, and the guy came behind me and placed the monkey on my leg.
2 ) I was sitting on my futon, when it started shaking back and forth. My first reaction was "there is an animal under it." I know, I am so weird. Then I looked over at Cara, and she goes, "Um, I think it's an earthquake." I looked at other objects around and noticed them moving also. My first earthquake! Crazy. As you have probably already read, it was a 7 or more in Haiti, so please pray for the Haitian men, women, and children who were probably affected by the earthquake.