Tuesday, July 14, 2009

first day back

my favorite quote of my first day back in the office:
"welcome home! i'm sorry..."

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Trip to Haiti and Visiting Harvery

On Thursday morning a friend dropped me off at the bus station. I bought my ticket and boarded the bus for the much-longer-than-I-thought bus ride from Santo Domingo to Port-au-Prince. I had planned to go with a friend who was not able to go at the last minute do to a death in the family. We had talked about trying to delay the trip, but logistically it was not possible and I felt strongly that I wanted to go ahead since my sponsored child knew I was coming and I could not stand the thought of disappointing her. Jeanot, the Compassion Tours and Visits Specialist in Haiti, agreed to pick me up at the bus station in Port-au-Prince and bring me to the guest house where I was staying. I was a little nervous to go by myself, I would not have planned the trip that way, but felt peace about doing it.

The bus ride was long! About 8 hours. Jeanot brought me to the guest house where I was pleasantly surprised by the wonderful accommodations – I had packed a mosquito net, towel and cocoon (light bedding) just in case. The guest house is managed by Christian missionaries who have lived in Haiti facilitating short-term missions teams for 13 years. I sat on the roof to watch the fireworks display from the American Embassy 4th of July party, which was really just two fireworks before the show blew-up and quickly halted. After that I sat on the hammock talking to God and thinking about the trip and how tomorrow would be. I think I need a hammock at my house! As a sat on the roof, thinking of the day’s activities, I was overjoyed to recount how good God is to me. How he always walks with me and provides for me. His word says “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him.” Thank you Lord!
Friday we went briefly to the Compassion office so that I could see it, drop off all the gifts I brought, and meet the LDP specialist there. Then we went off to HA-804. This is only my second time to meet a child for the first time, but I could not believe that Harvery was not very shy. She hugged me right away and I picked her up and she kept rubbing my face – partially I think because of my white skin and partially I think because she was realizing that I was real. She was so happy to see me and her mother was elated too. We saw all of the project and talked with the project workers and spent several hours sitting talking all together (me, Jeanot, the project director, Fritzon – my friend’s child, his mother, Harvery, her little sister, and her mother.) Harvery talked to me quite a bit and even sang a song for me. Fritzon asked me about five times when his sponsor was actually coming to see him, which broke my heart! My friend sponsored him because he is in the same project as my little girl so that we could visit together, but I see God’s handiwork in this situation and what a great match it is.
We ended the visit by going to Harvery’s house. The live simply, in a 1 room house that is about 15’ by 20’. I got to pray with the family and give them some groceries and presents that I brought. As we were getting to ready to leave the mother told me that father had called her to ask if I had really come. And Harvery’s little sister grabbed one of the presents off the table and refused to share it, saying “She’s my sponsor too!” I know this visit impacted me and my relationship with my sponsored child, but it also impacted the whole family. I am overwhelmed by God’s goodness and faithfulness.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Worshipping the Lord

(More to come on some of the last week’s activities soon, but I wanted to post some thoughts first…)

On Wednesday I went to see my beloved Eridania, the child I sponsor through Compassion International here in the Dominican Republic. And Thursday I took the long the bus ride from Santo Domingo to Port-au-Prince to see my sponsored child, Harvey, in Haiti for the first time. If you have not been to visit your sponsored-child I cannot express with words how amazing this experience is. You never know how the visit is going to go and how the family and child are going to react to you, but it is always a blessing to see them. Being able to see two in the span of two weeks was a double blessing for which that I am so grateful to the Lord.

There were a million reasons not to go to Haiti – my companions backed-out of the trip and I had to go alone, it was costly, it took a lot of time, I was nervous – there are always plenty of good reasons not to go. But I am so glad I went. I always get emotional on visits and I never want to leave… But these last two visits this week, I was even emotional at the very beginning and sensed that the Lord was very near in this experience. As I held Harvery in my arms, I felt like the Lord was saying, “Amanda, you are worshipping me.” If you do not sponsor a child with Compassion, I encourage you to do so… and if you do, I challenge you to find a way to visit. Let’s all worship the Lord together…