LOTS of STUFF

Posted: December 19, 2008 in Uncategorized

 

We have been busy, busy, busy and so it has been several days since I have contributed to this blog. I am glad that you are taking time to read it. My goal is to effectively communicate about our lives and what we are doing in Haiti. Sometimes it is comical, other times sad, and other times seemingly routine.

 

ADOPTIONS 

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We for a couple of years have been having struggles with our adoption program. This is primarily due to:

 

1, The length of time it is taking to do adoptions. It used to take just several months and now it can take two or more years. And because it takes so long the amount of money that we receive from the adoptive parents is insufficient to cover the cost of caring for the children.

 

2, The cost of doing adoptions has risen due in a large part to additional requirements here in Haiti, and additional requirements means more steps and each little step means more money. Haiti is a typical third world country where sub steps are created to create jobs and income. So for example instead of Step 1 and then Step 2 and Step 3 and so on, it is Step 1 and the Steps 1A, 1B,1C with each in between step being a place of delay where additional funds must be given.

 

3, Haiti has again been recognized as the most corrupt country in the world and we have to work in a system that is largely broken.

 

4, An uncertainty of what is meant when the government agency in charge of adoptions communicates that at a certain date changes will be in effect for those that want to adopt. Right now as on January 7th, 2009 the law of 1974 will be enforced; we call this the 35/10/0 law. It says that those wanting to adopt must be 35 years old, married for at least 10 years and have no biological children. This would seem clear but without going into detail as with most things here there are many nuances. Citing the phrase coined by a former ambassador, diplomats here routinely counsel new arrivals that in Haiti it is best to believe "nothing you hear and only half of what you see."

 

The uncertainty has caused us to consider scaling back on our adoption program by closing one of the houses. This along with the financial struggles of continuing adoptions caused eight of us here in Haiti with Heartline to meet and consider the options. The group overwhelming decided that we have a unique program where the children are well cared for and where we prepare them well for their new adoptive homes. If we in fact do press on, we will have to find funds outside the adoption program and we are prayerfully considering the options.

 

BON VOYAGE

 

                                                     

Jenny and Jeffry

 

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Jenny and Jeffry left us on December 18th for their new home in California.  They pictured left with Beth and me have been great kids to have in Maranatha Children’s Home and we will miss then BIG TIME.  Their family has been to Haiti several time to visit them and they have been  prayerfully waiting for this day to come.

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                            

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It was Wednesday at Jenny  and Jeffry’s going away party that it really occurred to me that they were leaving.  While the other kids were playing and running around Jeffry was just kind of standing there with his backpack on.  It was then that it sank in.

 

I this morning wrote an e-mail to their adoptive parents, some of which I want to share with you:

 

Dear_________ 

We had a going away party for J&J yesterday.  Beth mentioned that there were so many of us there that we could have had church.
It didn’t really hit me that the kids were leaving until I saw Jeffry standing there with a pensive face and with his backpack on.  And, of course, I’m not sure we could have served the cake without Jenny who was  personally handing the plates out.  She made sure all the kids got theirs. Thank you for staying the course and believing God over the past couple of years.
Tuesday afternoon eight of us in our mission met to pray and talk about closing one of the houses due to the struggles we are having with finances due to the length of time  that adoptions are taking.  I was the only one in favor of turning the Boys’ House into a guest house, all the others were strongly in favor of continuing on with adoptions and not closing one of the houses.   I appreciated their conviction and we are now looking for ways to do just that.
So back to Jeffry.  As I looked at him standing there, ready to go but not quite certain about it all, it became clear that we can not stop our two house adoption program and MUST not only maintain but move forward.  Beth and I are  thankful and blessed to be surrounded by a group of people who have as well taken ownership of what we do here and so they saw it as me closing their house or the house that God has asked them to oversee and they wanted to share their feeling and thoughts.
So back to Jeffry: Looking at him settled it for me.  We will press on and not go backwards.  Perhaps, now and then, you can remind him how God used a little boy with a backpack to make a difference in the lives of other children and families that we do not yet even know
In Christ in Haiti,
John

 

 

BETH IS BACK after having spent several days in Arkansas.  She as usual brought back lots of supplies for the ministry and some other great stuff like two whoppers, from Joseph in Missouri, candy, beef jerky and several books and a couple of cds.  She brought back a Christmas cd by Faith Hill.  Man can she ever sing.   She also brought a Michael W. Smith cd: A NEW HALLELUJAH.  I have I have it playing in my computer as I type this blog. 

 

 

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She also brought me a very special gift from Donna Chouinard in Arkansas and so now I have my own stuffed sista who graces my office.   The Haitian have never seen such a thing and do think that it is a tad strange as do some of the non Haitian; but I think that she is cute and she seems to like the office.

 

She doesn’t yet have a name.  Perhaps you can help name her!

 

 

 

WHERE IS MY BONUS?

 

In Haiti the month of December is the BONUS MONTH for workers.  It is called the 13th month as workers get a one month bonus, so they actually get two months pay in December.  Many people count on this bonus and plan for it to help with their needs.  There is a man that I give to regularly who hangs out not too far from our house.  Some would call him a beggar.  Yesterday I saw him on the street and gave him some money.  He looking at the money and then at me asked if I would be giving him his DECEMBER BONUS this year.  I told him next time I will give him double and he happy shook my hand and sauntered away.

 

O HOLY NIGHT

 

Last night as I stepped out of the house where I was teaching Bible study, the area was dark due to no electricity and looking up at the sky, the stars were just brilliant.  The Christmas song O HOLY NIGHT began to go through my head.   It was a holy moment.

 

John

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Comments
  1. Kristen says:

    I am thrilled to hear that Jenny and Jeffry are going home! I bet that was an emotional day for you guys. They are such special kids. I hope we can get these California kids together some day.We are so thankful for all you and Beth do, and I will be praying that God paves a way to allow you to continue with the orphanage ministry. Kristen

  2. Victor Shamanovsky says:

    Thought of you as I watched this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIEt3vsUHgY

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