Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Thursday, May 6, 2010

My Journey to Haiti

A few weeks back i had the amazing privelege of going to Haiti to serve. It was an experience unlike any other.

I have to admit i wondered along the way if it was really what i was supposed to do. I mean i have 2 kids at home and it is far from easy to just up and leave for a whole week. But though i felt doubt along the way God took care of everything. He gave me amazing people who stepped up and took care of my children during the day while Eric was at work. And then there were people who cooked for my family while i was gone. And of course there were the people who prayed for my family and i the entire trip. Never doubt the power of prayer...I have seen it demonstrated too many times to push aside.

Haiti has a beauty to it unlike any other. The skies are almost always blue. The rains come hard in the evenings and they are warm and cool all at the same time. The people are amazingly beautiful despite their hardship and the sweltering heat on a daily basis. The children are happy and have so much love to give that at times it overwhelms you.

But then there is also the sadness. The first realization I had of the state of Haiti was when i looked out to the mountains. I did notice that they had no trees, but i just thought perhaps that was how they were. Until i was informed that they have over many years been completely deforrested. So much so that you could see the massive errosion from the hurricanes that beat them down yearly. This gave me a realization of their situation. They have almost no natural resources, they import just about everything including now wood from the Domincan Republic.

Then there was the tragedy of the earthquake. A people already struggling through their everyday now faced such intense devastation. Why must they suffer so.

The tent cities that we saw were a far cry from the state of the art tent cities we see on TV on the news channels. They are entire towns made of sticks and sheets sitting in massive pools of water, filling higher every day because it is the rainy season. In this water the people as well as sometimes their livestock live. Too sad for words really.

But in the midst of this sadness and tragedy i got to spend a week with a group of people that God has a shield of protection over. They are the people of Light and Peace Mission and My Father's House Orphanage. The people in these communities were fed, clothed, together, and praising God for how he cared for them as they worshipped under a tent in the heat of the day. Their praises were unending...literally. We attended a prayer service; one of many that last for 4 to 6 hours.

So my prayer today is with Haiti...for the people that suffer daily, living in pure desperation. But thanking God for the example of their faith. I learned so much from this trip. True faith is exemplified not through people of plenty, but through people of need. Those who live everyday completely dependent on God to carry them to the next.

I will post more pictures of my journey tomorrow.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Aimee Grace Koby, or baby Aimee as Juli calls her, was born October 3, 2008 in Guiyang City, China.
Guiyang City is nestled along the Nanming River in the south central part of China, in a province called Guizhou. It is from what i have read and heard from others who know China, a beautiful, more remote, and poor area (except for the capital) of China, consisting of mostly farmers.

We are so excited to travel there. Our Journey will take us to almost every corner of China too! We will begin by flying into Beijing, seeing the Great Wall, and the Forbidden City, etc. Then we will fly to Guiyang, where we will meet Aimee for the first time! We will also see some local history so that we can document Aimee's culture for her.

Our next flight will be to Guangzhou, a little further south, closer to the coast. Here we will visit the American Embassy to get Aimee's passport etc. And from here we will begin our journey back home with Aimee in tow.

I have to admit, i am a bit torn about it all. While i am excited to see China, and super excited to bring home Aimee, all that flying is a bit daunting. We have done it all so many times. It is starting to get old. Especially the way home. On the way there, I am always so excited, ready for our newest adventure. I say to myself that this time i am going to be a pro, ready for anything. But once it is all happening, the jet lag, the drastic difference in our surroundings, the constant watchfulness of everything Juli does from what she is eating, to who she is looking at etc. the energy needed, to just go constantly to keep up with all the details that need to be attended to with paperwork etc. And finally there is Aimee. The moment we have been waiting for for, well with this adoption, we have been waiting for 3 years!!!! What a great moment that will be. But everything will change once again in that moment. How will she like us? Will she be happy go lucky, or will she be terrified? Will she fit into any of the clothes we brought? Will she eat our food? Will she be ok with the fact that we speak so differently than anything she has ever heard before? And how long will it take for her to adjust? Better yet, how long will it take for me to adjust?!

When all the dust settles and we are home, i will be able to answer all these questions. Of course, that will take time, as i am just now answering some of these questions for Elias and it has been over a year. These questions that at the moment consume my thinking. Because our whole existence for the next year, rides on all these factors. Through it all however, i know that God is in control. He has composed every moment into a symphony that is our lives. I just hope i choose to play my instrument in a way that will glorify Him.

Catching Up

As i read a few emails of friends over the past few weeks and months, so many of them asked if i will be blogging on our next journey. At first i said to myself, "I really don't have time to do this with 2 kids." But then i came to the conclusion that it might be a bit selfish to say that. Aimee deserves a blog too. LOL So, today i will begin attempting to blog that last portion of our journey to China.