Friday, April 30, 2010

A Message From My Dad.....

I just got this e-mail forwarded from my mom and I wanted to share it with you! I couldn't say it any better myself!

This was the best of all days here in Jeramie. It was the completion of the circle that was started in August of last year. It is amazing to think that from that first little launch we had in August that the food we packed then would end up in a village 2o miles from Jeramie, Haiti. We left this morning for the one and a half hour trip to Carrefour Prince. (Prince's Crossing.) A health post was underway, run by one of the 55 Haitian Health Foundation community agents. Children were getting updated on their shots, pregnant moms were evaluated, and there were examinations for the sick. When all was complete, it was time for the distribution of the food. We had about 3 boxes of KAH food (almost 650 meals). Eight bags had been cooked up in advance and was ready to hand out. Bowls of all sizes came from nowhere. The top from a plastic thermos jug was handed to me and was filled with our chicken flavored meal. Green leaves from a local plant served as plates and were fine for a portion of the meal we prepared.

It was overwhelming for me to see the joy in their faces. When the cooked portion was gone, we handed out the remaining bagged meals to the families.  It is hard to believe that the same meals we blessed in a packing before Christmas would be the same ones here today. Now every day when a health agent goes out to a village, a box or two of KAH meals will go along with them. They will be given to all to enjoy.

You people that have been my support for the past 8 months have done a magnificent job. I want to ask Kathy Kooima to forward this to all of those people on the pack leaders list. We could not have done what we did today without their help.

The work continues here in Haiti and the other places at home that we send our food to. The best news of all is that the system works. We are feeding the hungry in our own neighborhoods as well as the starving here in Jeramie, Haiti. The Haitians say that "nobody listens to the poor or to the sound of a wooden bell". You have to really think about that one for awhile, but a wooden bell doesn't get anyone's attention.

You have heard the soft ring of a wooden bell and responded. Thanks to each and everyone of you. I wish you could have been with me today.

Blessings,
Darrel

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Haiti

So many of us were affected by the news of the earthquake in Haiti in January. Many of us reached out to give financially to support various causes because we feel helpless to do much else. Prayers were sent up for the Haitian people as they struggled to heal after the devastating losses.

But now almost 4 months later the work still continues. We don’t hear news stories every hour on the hour like we used to or have telethons on TV, but in the towns and villages of Haiti there are people working to make a difference.

One of those people is my dad. He was asked by the Haitian Health Foundation to come to help with medical clinics in Jeramie and also to see where some of the food they are shipping with Kids Against Hunger is being received.

We have only received a few short e-mails from dad since he got there because communication is unreliable but I wanted to share a couple of his messages. I want to warn you….they aren’t “pretty”. The reality of the situation still is heartbreaking. And so I again am asking for your prayer for the Haitian people and for the teams of people that continue to go and donate their time to making a difference.

Today was another day spent with the O.D. doing eye exams. The doctor can provide a very quick but good exam in a few minutes. So good in fact that we saw 98 pts. today. There are always things that break your heart and today was no exception. A little boy about 2 came in with his mother. He was one of the thousands that came from Port au Prince and he had an eye injury. He had something imbedded in his eye and it had festered to the point that will require removing his eye. I'm thinking that a sliver of wood was driven into his eye and being an organic material slowly dissolved and was surrounded by a cyst. It had had grown until the eye was about 3 times the normal size. The eye pushed way out and resembled something that you would see in a horror movie. It was so tender and the child screamed when we tried to examine it. I told the mom I would help with travel expenses to La Caye by bus and I guess they will leave tomorrow. It is so cruel to see something like this.

The ward beside the area I am working is the Kwashiorkor floor. About 15 children are being saved from starvation. It is a slow return to health. I was struck by a little boy the same age as Isabel and Elijah. He showed little if any emotion. In fact his mother would set him on the middle of small bed and leave him there. He would sit motionless for over an hour. He fell forward on his face when he became too tired to stay up. It again breaks your heart. I know that we would never leave a one year old sitting on a bed where he could fall and hurt himself and yet this little boy sat there in a daze.

We saw several people that are seen at the clinic here for follow-up to earthquake injuries. A 12 yr old girl came in on crutches. She had a fractured femur in Jan. and sent here. The bone was never aligned or set and now she has one leg that is at least 2 inches shorter that the other. People with amputations are common and infection is also common.

We saw an elderly women who was blinded by her husband because of infidelity. No time served. When you think you have seen or heard it all something like this comes along.

As you can see work still needs to be done and I thank you for your willingness to lift up Haiti and the people there.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Prayers for a dear friend

Dear bloggy friends,

Can I ask all of you a favor? I have a dear friend Suzanne who could use our prayers. I know that when 2 or more are gathered in His name, He is there also. I know that if as a group we lift up Suzanne together our prayers will be mighty and powerful!!

Suzanne and I “met” about 2 ½ years ago. I was invited to be a part of this “Prayer Circle” where several of us would e-mail prayer requests into my friend Sarah and she would send out a mass mailing once a month and we would pray for each other.

A few months prior to starting this Prayer Circle I had a miscarriage. I was really struggling with all of the “whys” and trying to understand everything, and I saw that another woman on the Prayer Circle also had a prayer request about a similar situation.

So I sent an e-mail message to Sarah to forward onto this woman and our relationship has grown from there! Suzanne and I shared our stories with each other and when at times it seemed that no one else understood what my crazy head was saying….she did.

Suzanne knew the pain of miscarriage WAY too many times. Although we shared a similar hurt…she had experienced it 8 times over. And we each committed to praying for the other each month as we tried to continue to expand our families.

In August of 2008 my parents took our family to California and I had an opportunity – finally – to meet my new and precious friend in person!! It still amazes me to this day how God orchestrates the meeting of His people. I don’t believe it is “chance” that we met and have become fast friends and I have been so blessed time and time again by our continued friendship.

Not too long after our trip to CA I discovered that I was pregnant with Elijah. Suzanne had another miscarriage around that time and I was worried about telling her my news.

I know that after a loss, although we may be happy for another pregnant mom….we grieve for what we “can’t” have. And I didn’t want to hurt her in any way.

And one day she asked me if we had any “success” that particular month and I decided to tell her the news. If Suzanne was feeling any pain she didn’t show it to me. From the very first moment she supported me and checked in on me. She would e-mail me and ask how I was doing, how the baby was doing. She was an angel.

Within the last 6 months Suzanne had “come to terms” the best one can that their son Jackson was likely going to be an only child. She didn’t want to try any more “extra” measures. She wanted to focus her attention on being the best mom of 1 child that she could.

And then 7 weeks ago God had other plans. Without even trying, without any help or planning and without knowing it Suzanne became pregnant once again. At week 5 she got her first glimpse of the baby and at week 6 they were able to see a strong heartbeat!

Because of her history there are some concerns. So far everything is as it should be – PRAISE THE LORD!! But Suzanne is nervous, and the “what-ifs” can drown out the “what will be’s”.

So today friends I am asking that you help me pray for Suzanne and the miracle life that is growing inside of her. Pray that she will feel peace about this pregnancy. Pray that she will be able to trust God in all that comes. Pray that God would carry her worries and eliminate her fears.

We can’t know what God’s intentions are or what will happen, but we can lift up brothers and sisters in Christ so that they are blanketed in peace. So will you please get on your knees today and love Suzanne like I do, and honor God with your prayers on her behalf?!

Thank you dear friends for your faithfulness! Suzanne we are praying for you!!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

"There is Nothing Greater Than Grace"

So I have said it before but I will say it again….I LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. Singing. If I had the voice, and the time and the opportunity, I would love to sing professionally. One of those dreams I always had growing up….that and being a professional ice skater, which hasn’t happened either….so I am batting zero here…but anyway!

On the few mornings that Dominic and I don’t ride together I can usually be seen with the radio cranked up and in full blown “professional singer” mode. We are talking praising the Lord BIG TIME driving down the road! Doesn’t everyone use their cell phone as a pretend microphone??....oh me neither!! :)

Anywho….one of my super favorite groups is Point of Grace. And they have yet another song that continues to rock me to the core….so welcome to another edition of sharing song lyrics that touch my heart.

"There is Nothing Greater Than Grace"

What do you say to someone who feels like they lost it all

Over the edge – with no one there to break their fall.

And what do you say to someone who feels so unloved

Giving themselves away a little bit everyday just to be good enough.

And what do you say to a hopeless soul who can’t remember their way home

And everything is out of their control.

CHORUS:

There is no valley

There is no darkness

There is no sorrow

Greater than the grace of Jesus

There is no moment

There is no distance

There is no heartbreak

He can’t take you through

So before you think that you’re too lost to save

Remember there is nothing greater than grace.


What do you say to someone whose life is on the line

And they’re unsure what happens after their last breath in time

And what do you say to someone who’s built a wall you can’t break through

And it’s so hard for them to see the truth.

What do you say to a life of regret that’s trying so hard to forget

What do you say to dreams unmet?

CHORUS

Don’t lose heart

Don’t let go

Don’t give up

You are not alone

What a wonderful reminder….we are not alone. It doesn’t matter what we might be going through. God is with us. Hold to that this week and feel His peace in everything that you face!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I've been a bad blogger!!

Ok, I admit I have been a bad blogger lately!  With Easter, a trip out of town with Dominic...and our first overnight away from almost 11mo old Elijah, and a NASTY case of the stomach flu that has attacked everyone but Dominic...I haven't found time to blog one bit!

So tonight I don't have anything really inspirational to share but I wanted to share these 2 photos of our littlest man.

The photo on the left is blurry...but it was so cute with the hairnet I couldn't help but share!  And the photo on the right is what he does when he really gets to crawling.  He closes his eyes, wrinkles his nose and goes to town...smiling all the way!

I hope that you are all doing well, enjoy this spring weather and time with your families! 
The Smith's send their love!


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