Last November Dave and I were in Haiti visiting Frankie. It was Dave’s first time to Haiti. On one of our last days we rode to a lookout of the city on a foggy day. We could not see much once we got up into the clouds. While up there we saw some paintings. I was looking for a picture to hang in Frankie’s room when he came home and I found this picture that now hangs on our wall downstairs. It’s a constant reminder to me of our last time in Haiti and the memories of that trip… before things changed.
Our lives changed a year ago. But more than our lives, the lives of so many Haitian people. I think John McHoul reflected best in a recent blog. John and Beth run Heartline Ministries. They have been on the front lines in Haiti for over 18 years. They are the people that gave Frankie such a wonderful start at life, “Here we are just a few days away from the first anniversary of the earthquake. So much is still terrible here. So many buildings are still in rubble, the country still suffers and the Haiti tragedies continue. But in our corner of Haiti hope lives. Healing took place, God moved, people worked together and much was accomplished.” To me, people like John and Beth, they are the hero’s of the story of what happened a year ago. They were the hands and feet and heart of Jesus to so many left physically and spiritually broken.
In reflecting I have just come to understand that each of us have a story to tell with our lives. Most of these stories that we have are formed out of a moment of Kairos (an event that leaves us no longer the same) Some of our stories are birthed out of tragedy, circumstances in our control or out of our control, accomplishments. I think it’s so important to continue to tell your story. To tell it is to share it and to share it means that there is hope that someone out there may hear it and be changed.
But stories can’t be all. Stories they come and go. Most don’t last forever. They have their window. This time last year we were in the midst of a media storm. And the year that followed has been interesting as we have had moments and opportunities to tell our story in regards to Haiti, Adoption and Frankie. I just took the box out of Frankie’s closet today and spent some time remembering. What a year for us personally.
Remembering – It’s so powerful. To acknowledge the journey and to remember the road that was walked. Sometimes remembering is sad and painful. Sometimes it’s joyful and inspiring. But it’s important to look back and remember because it’s in the moments that we most likely get to see it. “God’s hand and fingerprints.” So often in the midst of our stories we miss it. But He is always there gently leading, comforting, proving, encouraging. I love remembering. I love discovering His fingerprints where I never saw them before each time I look back.
And today for me personally, our story or remembering is not really enough. Making a monument will never do. I think through this year of struggles and joys I’ve really come to understand the necessity of being part of something that is bigger than myself. Dave just tweeted yesterday, “The world is awakened with success but changed with succession. One concentrates on what needs to be created, the other what needs to be carried on.” I WANT my life to be about succession. To being part of a movement and giving myself to something that will carry on for generations after I am gone. In ways I think I’ve always been part of those things and to be awakened to a movement even greater leaves me wanting to go after it even harder.
So I live, I have these amazing Kairos moments, I embrace all the running themes of the stories that are playing out in my life. I remember. I chose to give myself even more. So that one day no one will ever recall the stories or headlines that my life was part of but they will know the movement because hopefully they will find themselves a part of it as well long after I’m gone.
Haiti – You are beautiful and strong. My heart grieves for you today as we remember. Thank you for the gift of my son. He is one amazing and special little boy. As beautiful as that gift is I’m always broken remembering the circumstances in how he was able to come home. Thank you for changing my heart so many years ago on my first visit to see you. And thanks for being another part of my personal story in the movement God has called our family to. I will continue to pray and love you and your people and those who serve you so sacrificially.
Wanting to find ways to continue to help Haiti? There are so many. Jamie Ivey listed them out this morning on her blog and I’d love to share that same information with you here as well.
Real Hope for Haiti – these people have been in Haiti for years and are in the midst of finally building their own buildings to be able to help more people in the countryside. The families that run this are on my list of hero’s. They have a clinic and rescue center that serves the people in Cazale and many many many surrounding areas. I visted them in 2008 and Dave and I support them. I hope that you at least to go to their website and look around.
Compassion International – Compassion does sponsorships in Haiti and our family sponsors a child in Haiti named Angela. We write her letters and I have even been to see her. It’s such a joy to be part of what Compassion is doing. Compassion offers school, medical and Jesus!
Heartline Ministries – this is an organization that our friends Troy & Tara Livesay work for, and we love getting to help support them. Troy and Tara were the ones that pointed us towards Heartline when looking to adopt. They are now back in Haiti and Tara is running their teen mom program. This organization used to house orphans that were being adopted. Now that they all went home they are doing a lot of medical stuff in Haiti. They are in PAP and have some AMAZING programs set in place.
Tomorow Deidox releases a short documentary of the IveyFamily getting Amos home. Head over there and support them and see what they are up to.
If you want a t shirt that supports organizations in Haiti please head on over to the HELP HAITI SHIRTwebsite and get one for yourself and one for a friend! Over $30,000 was raised last year through these shirts and it all went to 3 different organizations in Haiti! AMAZING!
And last, Frankie’s Candle is now available. They retail for $20 through Bridgewater. Or you can purchase them on our blog Here. They make great gifts. For each Candle sold, all proffits go towards feeding one child for one week through rice bowls.