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16 May 2012

You Will Restore My Life Again

Posted by Molly Little. 12 Comments

 

Oh Lord, our Father, break us, break us as the world has broken Yours.

As a new pair of eyes blink open each morning to great the day among us my heart yearns to understand his voiceless plea.

 

His eyes speak of pain. 

His eyes speak of sadness.

His eyes speak of fear.

His eyes speak of distrust.

His eyes speak of desperation.

In his eyes there is no shimmer of hope.  

 

Oh Lord, let us be to him that which you would use to show Your love,

Your security,

Your comfort,

Your peace.

 

He fights us. 

He hurts.

He fights us some more.

He fights our warm meals, our cool glasses of water. He fights our care. 

 

He fights our affection.

 

He fights those ways in which we show him the love that has captured him to us. 

 

He wants not, he needs not, he has closed the door to the living.  His pain is so deep, emotion is too hard to bear, he chooses to remain indifferent.

 

He breaks our hearts, as he should. 

 

May we never become too tired, too calloused, too jaded, too weary, too busy, too accustomed, too accepting of, too comfortable with, the pains of this world, the crushing hurt of a little life carried through suffering until there is not enough for one more day and they are brought from their world and left in ours. 

 

But Gethro cannot fight our prayers. Nor yours.  We will persist.  By His grace we will break down his barriers.  By His peace we will open the door to the wounds on his heart.  By His mercy he will begin to heal.  By His strength he will desire to fight for a life among the living.  For His glory we press on.    The giver of life has chosen us for this great honor and we will rise to His calling with humble hearts, we are broken and it is there and there only that we can reach through the barrier and truly touch with healing the scars of another.  

 

Psalm 71:20 (NIV)

20 Though you have made me see troubles,
many and bitter,
you will restore my life again;
from the depths of the earth
you will again bring me up.

3 May 2012

Up on Two Feet!

Posted by Molly Little. 6 Comments

 

Up-on-Two-Feet-Blog-Post-1-682x1024_As the weeks have rolled on we are now well into spring and edging into summer, we approach 1 year since Sebastien had his first surgery, that day marking the last moment he was permitted to bear weight on his feet and support himself entirely on his own. The last 7 weeks he has gotten up before dawn, and headed through the yard in the cool damp blackness as he hears Wadson honk the truck horn. He is helped onto the seat next to Miss Vikki for their weekly trek down to the clinic. Miss Vikki packs a folding chair with her to take down to the hallway referred to as a “waiting room” in order to assure that she will have a seat among those who wait with Sebastien to be seen and hoping for a positive progress report. They spend 4 or often more hours with 40 others to see the kind Dr and his assistant for a quick 20 minute cast change, then back up through traffic arriving home mid afternoon lunch. Up-on-Two-Feet-Blog-Post-2-684x1024_It’s a long day, Sebastien always seems weary when he arrives home, nervous each time at what the Dr will say, hopeful, but insecure. He’s had a variety of plaster and fiberglass casts, the cutting removal saw freaks him out, the new casts constrict him. No matter how hesitantly, he presses forward, week after week, month after month no control over what is going to happen, relying on us, Miss Vikki, the Dr’s to tell him appointment by appointment what will happen next. No calendar to check off the days until he is free again. What patience! What faith! What a lesson he teachers us all by example! Today Marielle, one of his favorite nannies (all of ours actuallySmile) went with him to learn the ropes and fill in for future appointments while Miss Vikki is in the states for a well deserved break this month. When she arrived home with him he was sporting colorful rainbow fiberglass casts and a HUGE GRIN! He was granted permission to WALK! He proudly pushed himself up from his wheelchair and “wobble walked” on the hard soles of of his casted feet. He steadied himself with the bed pole and let go walking through the midst of the room to Joyce’s open arms, while the whole house cheered him on!! Way to go Sebastien! His journey to healing is not over, in some ways it will never be, Up-on-Two-Feet-Blog-Post-3-1024x796_but today he got back a portion of his mobility! Just the boost of encouragement he needed! Jean Bell got him a blue walker to help keep him upright in the busy yard when scooters, basketballs, and fast flying “tag” players might likely capsize him. We like the new look? How about you?

Please continue to pray for Sebastien’s physical and emotional healing. Specifically as he is traumatized every week by the cast removal saw, and has difficulty staying relaxed as they put the next set on.

2 May 2012

Programs Needed

Posted by Molly Little. 1 Comment

 

Programs Needed Blog  (1) (600x800)The computer program at Toddler House has been a hit!  The kids look forward to it each morning and are advancing through educational games and programs at a consistent rate.  Unfortunately most of our older programs will not run on these beautiful PC’s and we are looking for newer programs to keep them moving along.Programs Needed Blog  (2) (800x600)  We are in need of educational games and programs with the following requirements:

  • 64 Bit
  • Windows 7 or Vista compatible
  • suitable for Grade 1 up through Grade 5.

If you have old programs in the file that you’d like to dust off and send us, or if you’d like to purchase a newer program for the kids email me at: molly@glahaiti.org, for info on the quickest way to get them down to us and in use at GLA.  Often times programs can only run when the CD is in the machine, so don’t worry about doubling up with someone else’s donation, duplicates are needed for those types of programs.  THANKS!

25 Apr 2012

A Morning in the Outback

Posted by Molly Little. 2 Comments

 

A Day in the Outback  (133) (768x1024)Snags on the barbie…. snags on the barbie…. snags on the barbie… were the words on everyone’s lips all weekend long as Dave told the kids it was a clue to what was to come the following Monday morning. 

 

Dingo, Joey, G’day, Heaps, Ankle Biters, Sticky Beak, Oz, Dunny, Snags, Rippa….

 

Monday many more strange words were heard coming out of the basement classroom… 

 

Dave Williams, our residential expert on Australia (being a native Australian may give him a bit of an advantage) spent the morning sharing a different world with the kids of Joyce’s English class.  A Day in the Outback  (38) (768x1024)

 

The kids began by studying a map of the continent and examining pictures of plants and animals native to the land.  Dave gave an informative presentation, highlighting the aborigines and their culture, and sharing footage of slowpoke Koala’s and noisy laughing Kookaburras. The kids were enthralled!  Rilinxe sat with his mouth hanging opening taking it all in.  Moments later…

 

Dave propped open the back door and declared, “Lets head to the outback!!” 

 

That they did.  The group of 11 students, Joyce, and their guest teacher for the day, headed “out back” to the garden, where Dave had prepared a rustic fire in the background of which the flag, of red, white, and blue with its Union Jack and Commonwealth Stars, hung proudly. 

 

A Day in the Outback  (91) (768x1024)Dave explained the background of the boomerang and its use as hunting tool the the aborigine people, and then presented each of the kids with a rough boomerang cut out that they sanded and then finished in the “dot” fashion of the people’s native art.  They were thrilled.  Between coats of color they propped them up on the stones around the fire to help speed up the drying time, more than one getting singed in the process.  Montesquieu finished quickly and was puttering around the fire when he saw the bottom strut to an old rocker, shaped in the perfect curve, he declared it to be a boomerang and began sanding it down. 

 

Making boomerangs is hard work, and the kids had a powerful appetite in the end… fortunately for them Dave had a savory “down under” surprise for them, “snags on the barbie”.  Dave grilled sausages for them over the fire, slapping them in a bit of bread with “tomato sauce” and and wilted onions.  Hearty and full of flavor it left just a bit of room in their bellys’ for another Ozzie treat, “lamingtons”.  A tall spongy cake, with raspberry jam in the middle coated in chocolate all around, and sprinkled with coconut.  Delicious… and delicate!  The kids handled the preassembled layers and took on the task of chocolate coating and coconut, our crumbly recipe might need a little work, but it all tasted the same in the end. 

No one wanted the morning to end.  I am certain that the kids would have stayed in the outback all day and through the night should they have been permitted.  They took turns wearing Dave’s “cork hat” (though corkless for lack of the accessory), and waving their artist boomerangs though the air.  It was a morning full of laughs, and learning, and a lot of new lingo.    A Day in the Outback  (48) (1024x768)Too many new words to keep track of, as the kids left the outback and headed upstairs Montesquieu suddenly remembered, “Where are the snags on the barbie!?!”  To which Joyce replied, “We ate them.”  Not satisfied with her response he quizzically scanned the wasteland when his eyes stopped on to rocker rung, “THERE IT IS! The snags on the barbie.”  When he realized he had gotten the Ozzie slag mixed up he had a good chuckle at himself and slung that big ole boomerang on his shoulder to head up to the snow, with a belly full of snags, to go hunting for kookaburra, while watching not to step on the wombats, or come cross the path of a strong Flyer and its Joey.  There couldn’t be a funner way to learn!    

 

8 Apr 2012

Happy Easter!

Posted by Molly Little. 1 Comment

 

IMG_0442

5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
   he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
   and by his wounds we are healed.

Isaiah 53:5 NIV

7 Apr 2012

Good Friday Egg Dying Fun…

Posted by Tom Vanderwell. 2 Comments

DSC_0047

We had the joy of spending several hours today with an Easter tradition foreign to Haiti, egg dying!  9 pots of colored dye, and 10 dozen eggs!  The kids had an amazing time and really let their creative abilities shine! Only a few eggs bit the floor and smashed, most were carefully dipped in color, dried, and stickered.  The kids cradled their eggs in both hands, gently turning them around inspecting the smoothness of the brilliantly colored shells.  Emelyne freed me up to man the drying station and took some amazing photos… enjoy!!!

 

And though we will celebrate Easter this weekend with the kids in fun and joyful ways, with humble hearts, and heavy emotion, we reverently remember the pain, the suffering, the betrayal, and the obedient sacrifice of Jesus’ death.  Urgently this morning little Leika rushed to question Joyce, “Joyce, is Jesus going to die today?”  A small gathering of children was behind here, eyes focused awaiting her answer, “Darling, Jesus gave his life long ago” before she could finish Leika turned to the crowd in anguish, “He’s dead, Jesus already died!!”  And then began again the telling of the beautiful truth of our precious Savior’s gift to us, of the sinless life He willingly gave, and His glorious triumph over death, that through His blood we might all be freed from our sins and have life everlasting.  An immeasurable gift to receive… and an immeasurable privilege to share this truth with His children here. 

 

18 No one takes it [my life] from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”    John 10:18 (NIV)

4 Apr 2012

Better than before…

Posted by Tom Vanderwell. 2 Comments

Since the influx of kids coming to Toddler House last year we’ve filled up all the rooms in the house.  There was a small hallway porch area off the kids’ dining room without windows that we moved all the computer lab laptops into and tried to as best as possible to use this as the computer class.  But one by one the used laptops fell into a state of tired disrepair… till we were down to 3 or 4 that would function on a daily basis.  We had to shut down the program for lack of equipment and space, putting the computers, headphones, programs, and idea into storage hoping to pull it back out again when we had the resources, but not sure just when that could be. 

 

 

 

This February a faithful donor to GLA and uncle to a former GLA angel came to volunteer of his time and talents, spending two weeks with us here at GLA.   He spent a good deal of his time up at Fort Jacques constructing the new orphanage buildings, but also checked in at Toddler House, toured the facility, and visited the kids.  While Joyce was showing him around she walked him through the “old” computer room, sharing with him how the program had worked in the past and her dream of getting it back up and running.  Walter Cain listened with an understanding of the value of an early introduction to to use and comprehension of computers.  He walked away from the house that day with a desire to get the program back up and running, but not as it was, to better improve upon it. 

 

 

  The program started 6 years ago as Joyce and her mother purchased 4 refurbished laptops that the kids could set up in class, take turns using, then fold back up to store away when their allotted time was up.  As the years progressed gracious individuals sent, carried, and passed along to us their older laptops (or even newer in some cases) and we eventually were able to set up 10 computers.  With anything electronic it can get “tired” and this was often the case, to which visiting volunteers with computer skills would spend a day or two (or many) wiping, cleaning, and reinstalling operating systems and programs to the computers as they broke down.  In waiting for that skilled person to arrive we might be a month or two without that laptop and would end up with 2 kids sharing a mouse and keyboard, partnering up to complete, typing tutor, or math wizard.  The kids always enjoyed  their time,  however limited it might be, and we felt learned something from it, no matter how frequent or how long we had the equipment and supervision to allow them to use it.  Though the inconsistency I am sure proved frustrating to their developing minds. 

 

 

Walter returned home from GLA with a promise to purchase for the kids 12 new, fully equipped, desktop PC’s. 

We were floored.

Not only was he going to provide this huge gift and investment into the kids’ education, the PC’s were not a dream that was far off…

…they were going to arrive in a matter of WEEKS! 

 

Where do we put them?  How to secure the location?  Tables?  Chairs?  Electricity to handle the load?  A task lay before us. 

 

And God sent ALL the right people at the right time to get it done. 

 

Individuals from three consecutive teams to GLA sweated through hours of hot hard  work as Dave led them through ripping out old cupboards, scrubbing, scraping, and painting walls and windows.  Adding their own artistic touch they created a cheerful bright look to a very small space with almost zero natural lighting.  Brandon custom made desks to utilize maximum space, also wiring in an inverter just for that room to prevent any power surges or other electrical damage to the equipment.  The door needed new hinges, the knob needed changed, a ceiling fan put in, curtains made and hung, chairs made and painted, and educational programs to be installed on all the PC’s.  Countless individuals sacrificed hours of time and energy into this project and though I cannot mention everyone by name (though I’d love to)  THANK YOU from the teachers, and all the kids current and future who will benefit from this perfect learning space.  And thank you to the Crossroads team for carrying in the precious, and very heavy, cargo. 

 

This week, yesterday in fact, was the first day.

 

A small intimidated face peered up into the glossy black monitor.  Straight backed, sitting at attention, hands folded in his lap, Dieudonne waited as Dave pushed a button and the inky black screen came to life.  He peered in wonder as the “loading” bar dotted across the screen, and a pallet of icons flashed into view.  He waited, and he waited.  To his right Rilinxe confidently cradled his mouse scrolling across the screen, clicking, moving, exploring the tasks on his display.  Dieudonne continued to wait.  Johanne peeked over at Eunise watching her movements and mimicking them as she fumbled along.  Dieudonne continued to wait, until Dave kneeling beside him explained that in order for the machine to do its work, Dieudonne must give it direction, somewhat hesitantly he lifted his hand to the mouse and fumbled his way through the first swipe of the arrow, the first clip, the first command… 60 minutes later a confident smile lighting his face a proud Dieudonne had mastered that mouse.  Now for some typing…:)

 

 

How does one say Thank You for such a gift? One that will hold immeasurable positive impact on these little lives and their futures?!   With great gratitude and humble hearts we try to say “THANK YOU, WALTER!”  For looking at what many would call an unnecessary expense or a waste of resources in a dry and hurting land, and making a dream come to pass, and a essential capability for their future begin to grow.   

2 Mar 2012

Cinema Friday

Posted by Molly Little. 7 Comments

For those of you who have been blog followers for years you have seen me write about Movie Night at the Toddler House before.  Movie Night is an event that happens every Friday night at the GLA Toddler House.  It is a reward available to the oldest 15 children who live here, earned by good behavior throughout the week.  Its a big deal, not just the movie, but the snacks, and the freedom to stay up “late”… something that is very much looked forward to not only by the kids who have earned it each week, but by those who are getting old enough that soon the privilege will be made open to them as well.   

 

 

When Dixie came back from the States on Wednesday she brought with her a projector for the Toddler House, something Joyce Good has been eyeing for awhile desiring to use more visual media in school with the kids.  Before she set it up in the classroom though she decided to give it a test run… DSC_0696

 

 

 

SOOOOO this afternoon we popped and popped and popped popcorn, bagging it individually, just like the theatre.   We set up ALL the chairs, and many of the benches outside in the yard.  We positioned the projector, plugged in our speakers, attached a couple boards to a flat sheet and hung it from the balcony, and prepared for a debut event.  The Toddler House Cinema.  The kids bathed early and were lined up on their balcony in pj’s ready to head down and take their seats the moment they DSC_0697 were beckoned, they gave encouragement and cheers as Joyce struggled to get the DVD she had selected to play, and then finally it was time.  Big ones carried the little ones, and all took their seats, the screen went form blue to previews and the sound boomed on.  Heads tilted and eyes glued to the screen “Alvin and the Chipmucks” came on and they bounced in their seats with excitement.  DSC_0689The volunteers quickly passed out bags of popcorn to each child as the nannies came out and filled the back row to join in the fun.  The youngest boys stayed on their balcony for an aeriel view and to make it easier to slip them into  their bunks when their eyes got to heavy.  As we sat below we could hear them cheering and chopping on their popcorn the light from the screen reflecting off them and illuminating the joy on their faces.  As the songs begin row 1 be-bopped in their seats, row 2 started, row 3 joined in, and before long every body was scooching back and forth to the songs.  

 

 

By this point, one hour past their usual bedtime we figured some of the littlest ones would be ready for sleep, DSC_0695but we were wrong, they are dancing to the music in the “mosh pit” front and center just under the screen. Everyone is enjoying this special time, and the chance to ALL enjoy a movie together this Friday night. 

 

 

  

 

 

photo credit: Emelyne Martin

 

 

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27 Feb 2012

Vitamins

Posted by Molly Little. 2 Comments

 

The kids love their gummy vitamins! They like any vitamins really, but with the regular “Flintstone multies” they hold them in their hand and lick the flavor off of them rather than putting them in their mouths and chopping down,

thus, much of the nutrients end up on their fingers and not in their systems.

But with gummy vitamins the kids can’t wait to be handed their morning

packed punch of sweet goodness before teeth brushing and bathing.
And, yes, they may suck on it, and savor it for awhile before chewing it up, but at least it all stays in their mouths and all gets into their little bodies to keep them growing healthy and strong.

 

 

 

 

We use 61 gummy vitamins a day, thus that large bottle that contains 365 and would last a normal child a year, lasts us just 6 days… this week the Beth-Balt team from Ontario, Canada brought us a full month’s supply, as well as full YEAR’s supply of children’s gummy Calcium and Omega-3 supplements that they and the Business Women Network of Ontario were donated by IronKids, of Canada.  With 16 members and 32 bags they divided up the immense weight and brought them all into Haiti, delivering them to a very happy GLA Toddler House and its inhabitants.  THANK YOU to IronKids, The Business Women Network of Ontario, and the Beth-Balt team!

 

 

 

DSCF2451

Two of our dedicated volunteers, spent the morning counting and dividing the vitamins into daily quantities in ziplock bags.

 

 

 

 

We are still collecting GUMMY MULTIVITAMINS to use when this month’s supply is up.  If you are traveling to GLA in the next few months and would like to bring a bottle or two in with you, we would certainly count it a blessing and be grateful for your contribution to our supply!

 

 

 

 

The kids showing off their healthy bodies and strong muscles.

23 Feb 2012

Adjustments

Posted by Molly Little. 3 Comments

 

For the last week Kim Patton visiting us with a team from Ontario, Canada, has been using her skills on the tiny folk of Toddler House.  We had over a dozen kids that we’ve taken particular note of having stiff upper bodies, or limited neck movement.  Kim set up covering one of our folding tables in the living room upstairs, and saw each one doing adjustments on multiple occasions.  We noticed an immediate difference in Widley’s shoulder movements.  And with one gentle motion she cracked Daniel’s spine from one end to other loud enough to be heard from several feet away, and bringing and immediate smile to his face.  Yvenson could have fallen asleep as Kim worked on him, he was completely relaxed, just allowing her to move him and twist him however she needed, his feet crossed, and eyes half closed, arms open and palms up, when the treatment was done he didn’t want to get off the table. Just wanting to stay put in this relaxed setting.  

Proverbs 14:30a NIV

30a “A heart at peace gives life to the body”…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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