Thursday, July 29, 2010

Finally getting there...

Finally getting there...

Caught up that is,  it's been 2 weeks since we've returned and I'm finally close to getting all the pictures sorted through from the trip.

Did I ever tell you how many I took? 

I honestly can't remember if I did or not. 

The grand total was....drum roll please.....

4,185 pictures!!!!!

Crazy right?!!  That's what I thought when I got the final total.

I'm still not finished sorting through all of them.  I've got a folder and a half (I put them together by memory card) left to sort through.  I'm not sure when I'll get to editing some of them but hey I've got plenty of time for that later on.

It's strange though, we've only been back 2 weeks.  Yet it seems like the trip was months ago not only a matter of days. 

I miss it.  As hard and challenging the trip was I wish I was still there. 
Which this time honestly seems strange to me.
Because it was SUCH A HARD TRIP.
But there were SO MANY good times in the bad.
Finding what we were all capable of in the extreme heat, tons of mosquitos, long days, serving in construction, medical clinics, orphanages...and many other ways.

But I miss being with other believers all day.
I miss serving with them,
for a common goal,
a common purpose,
serving God.

Sigh "normal life" is just so normal. 

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Orphanage

For me the orphanage is pretty much almost always my favorite part of any trip.

There is just something about going and loving a child. 

No matter what their age is, what their health is, what their past is.

To bring just a moment of joy, a smile to their face even if for only a moment always gets right to my heart.

Yes, I always have a hard time when it's time to leave.

Yes, I always cry.  Sometimes before we leave, just seeing small ones, who were injured, neglected or lost their parents for no reason that I can now nor ever will understand.

This is where the TRUST in God really comes in for me. 

Trusting in His plan, His reason for this path for them. 

That He does know what is best in all of this. 

We were able to spend 2 days at the Orphanage this trip.  2 days in Haiti.  We didn't get to go to Port-Au-Price, which I would have loved but we did see many children from that area that were sent to Danita's Orphanage.
(BTW- here's the link to see just where we were: )

Danita's Orphanage is an amazing place.  Yes there are children there that have faced unimaginable circumstances but there is also HOPE there.  Hope for the children that live there, that go to school there, that are fed there.  Hope for Haiti it's self.  Danita doesn't adopt out her orphans instead she gets sponsors for them, teaches them- not just regular school things but English and the Bible. 
Her goal and the goal of the other workers is to raise up leaders who will influence Haiti for Good and for God! Something that the country of Haiti needs desperately. 

While we were there we had the opportunity to play with the kids, preform some dramas and skits for them, love on them, and pass out some toys and candy. In comparison to most kids here in the states, it really isn't much but you could see in their eyes, that the simplest joke, game, toy or hug meant the world to them.
And how can you not love spending time with kids like that?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Dominican Republic- Part ONE

This trip was PACKED with many things in it's 16 days.  Here is the first update on what happened...which is really only part of the first week.  There is still Haiti to write about and all of week 2 among things. But for better or worse here we are 

Where do I even start? This trip was beyond challenging for me and through a lot of those challenges I was beyond blessed in all of it. Even in the times that I didn’t feel blessed.

Looking back it’s odd for me to think that there was a point in the trip that, had I had the opportunity I would have left and come home. But around 3 days into it, when I was bitten all over by mosquitoes, swollen from those bites- there were about 100 of them- hot beyond belief and not feeling well in general I would have left (if we hadn’t been 5hrs away from the airport). However I am so glad I didn’t leave, because I would have missed out on seeing and experiencing God do some amazing things in the course of the 2 week trip. And to be honest I NEEDED to be there. Not just to work or lead but I needed to be there to reconnect with God, to hear his voice and feel his presence. Yes it was a hard trip. One of the hardest I’ve ever been on (I’ve never wanted to leave before) but it was worth it. I feel reconnected and refreshed in my walk with God. And the bites have almost all healed and I’m finally catching up on my missed sleep as well as enjoying, probably for the first time ever the summer heat in Arkansas with the 101° temperatures not feeling quite so warm to me. :o) Now let’s get to the amazing things that God did in & through us on this trip.

Week one was full of Medical Clinics. We would start these around 9 am and usually register people all day ending around 4pm. Most days we had clinic we would see around 100 people. The people would range in age from days old (we saw 16 day old twins one day) to the very old (I remember seeing one slip with a person in their late 80s). They were treated for a number of things, though probably the most prevalent would be malnutrition or parasites. We could give them vitamins, or anti parasitic medicine knowing that once the vitamins other meds were gone they would more than likely be back at the same point they started in due to lack of nutrition and parasites in their food or water. There were some cases that were a bit more extreme, like the paralyzed teenager we saw in the first clinic, I believe she had had a stroke at one point and it left her unable to walk or move much at all. It’s hard to see them like that when you can’t really do anything to help them. Maybe you’re now thinking why do clinics at all then? If they will get what they had back or they are to extreme for a clinic to be able to help them, what’s the point? Well, besides the fact that they do finally get to see a doctor, and have someone to tell the problem to and help them figure out what’s going on PRAYER is a part of every clinic we do. Once a patient (or family) has seen the doctor they then take their prescription to the “pharmacy” and while they are waiting for it to be filled (everyone gets vitamins or a toothbrush at least in most cases) they are taken to the prayer station. This is when the spiritual portion of the ministry takes place. We make it a point to pray with everyone, for whatever they would like: their family, their health, finances and more often than not the conversation turns to knowing Christ. Many of the people who come to the clinics to get their physical needs met end up walking away knowing Christ; which means more than ever having a physical need met.

Joe my "little Brother" & I- ready for the Drama
Taking Pitcures - It's kinda what I do

Above: At the Pastor's House...Day One. Below: Lots of work = Very tired.

Working Regrestration at one of the Clinics
My buddy Brent & fellow leadership team member- I'm blessed to have worked with him the last 3 OTTOM trips.

Friday, July 23, 2010

the BIG reveal....

So last night was the night we all got to find out what we will get in December!

It's going to be....

Another GIRL!!!

I'm excited and looking forward to welcoming her.

No names yet, since they only found out yesterday.  I think they may have a hard time since they had a hard time deciding on Olivia's name.  But maybe not. 

Here are a few pictures from the evening :o)

Olivia & I

Yes I do think she is absolutly adorable

Playing bags....probably only you Northerner's will know what this is.

She sure enjoyed her pie!!!

Last but not least my baby, who is looking less & less like a baby everyday.  He grew SO much in the 2 weeks I was gone!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What do I want....?

Ok so I know I need to blog about my trip.

However I'll be getting some big news tomorrow.

I will find out what the sex of the baby is!!

I'm pretty excited! 

Now before I get you all confused, let me state this:

It's not my baby!!

It's my sister's baby.  They find out tomorrow afternoon and will do the big reveal tomorrow night.

understand that as long as it's healthy that's all that really matters.

But I've been thinking do I want another niece or a nephew?

I can't really decide.  I've really enjoyed having my niece and as a girl part of me would really like another one. 

Another little girl to buy dresses for, play dolls with, do mani/pedis with and all that fun girl stuff.

But at the same time a boy could be nice.  Different...very different I'm sure. 

But there are boy things that could be fun.  football, soccer, baseball, digging in the dirt, running around more....just different boy things. 

So I guess it really doesn't matter what it is this time.  I'll be happy with either. 

And unlike last time...when I really thought it was a girl (unlike everyone else) I have no real "feeling" on this one. 

I'll let you know Friday what I find out.  :o)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Where to Start????

So I wrote a very long post last night about the trip in a nutshell. 

It was full of a ton of things and then I accidently hit a button and it went bye, bye. 

Needless to say I'm disappointed in that. 

Even more so because I know that telling about the trip is going to take quite a few posts and that was a GREAT start.

Right now I don't have time to retype and tonight I NEED to work on catching up on sleep so I'm not so exausted. 

But here are just a few photos to get you through til I get something up.

Monday, July 19, 2010

I'm back

I'm back....

It was a GREAT trip and God did a TON of amazing things. 
I'm still pretty exausted since I didn't get home till about 4 yesterday but I  had to be at work at 7am today.
I went to be at 8 last night so I'm working on sleep catch up.
I'll have a report for you all soon as well as picture blogging in the next few weeks.

Thank you all who prayed while we were gone.  Your prays made a difference and we couldn't have survived with out them. 

More to come soon....very soon!