Saturday, June 30

Things from days past ...

"Mama Cass" as Troy has taken to calling her, is 19 and a half pounds now. Her thighs and buns prevent her from wearing a 12 month size anymore. Here she is eating some tags off of a shirt.

I (tara) left Haiti for a few days to attend my Gran's funeral. Below, a random sampling of photos from the family gathering in Nebraska. Out of 19 grandchildren, 14 of us made it to Omaha to celebrate her life. (Cousins- I am emailing you the photo of your family, I have more than what I am posting.) Thank you Aunt Jan and Karen for all you're doing to help get Gran's house organized. We're thinking of you and praying for you during this weird time of adjustment. We were all amused to learn that Gran not only drove herself and had her hair done just hours before going to Heaven, she also had a manicure - something the beauty salon told us she never did.

Cousins from Texas
More cousins (the crazy ones)
My sister, Dad, Mom (and me)

Uncle Rick at the graveside service


In addition to having an opportunity to say goodbye to my Gran for now, I also scheduled a few Dr. appts. I ended up having a little skin cancer spot frozen off of my arm and a biopsy done on a different troubling mystery spot that I have had since March. I will admit that I was thoroughly freaked out for the day before the appointment and the 26 hours we waited for the results. The pathology result showed no cancer. The night of rest after I knew I was fine, I slept 14 hours straight. The prior two days of wondering really messed with me. The Dr. started to give me instructions for taking out the stitches, but I stopped her and assured her that I know of a cute gal in Haiti who can do it. We're all so thankful that the little lump was nothing at all to worry about. Thank you Lord. And 'Seven' is doing great, I've gained 22 lbs and everything is on track in the pregnancy department.

Mission Notes-
  • The trade school appears to be about two or three weeks from completion of the construction phase
  • Paige reports all babies in the program are steadily gaining weight. One more baby might be added soon, for now we are encouraging the Mom to keep trying to breastfeed
  • Britt has a new 15 month old baby that was burned by boiling water, he has dressing changes every day and screams in pain
  • Britt drained one new abscess and continues to pack a second abscess that Lori drained as well
  • One guy with a bad cut on his hand refused stitches and chose the road of slower healing - kids seem to be tougher than adults when it comes to cuts and stitches
  • Jean is starting to look a little better, he seems used to the routine of coming up for lotion, vitamins and a bath (Jean is pronounced more like John here)
  • There are no teams coming in the month of July. Our next group arrives August 4th.

Family Notes-

  • Isaac and Noah created an elaborate spider web with four rolls of floss across their bedroom. They are Spiderman obsessed right now.
  • Noah has been running a fever and having other on and off Malaria symptoms for about 30 hours, we're watching him closely.
  • Troy's hair is growing wilder by the day (this is for you Jamie Steen)
  • We're freaked out that in 8 weeks the kids and I will be back in MN and in 13 weeks Seven is coming - ready or not. (Not.)
  • Britt anxiously awaits the results of her June ACT test, once she has those scores her applications can all be sent in.
  • The Mission approved a three month furlough for Troy. He will get to be in MN (with the whole family) for three months. He arrives a month after us. We'll use that time to 1.) have a baby 2.) figure out some house stuff and get rid of some things 3.) visit the colleges Britt ends up wanting to attend 4.) have a graduation party for Britt 5.) move Britt to school 6.) do "normal" American type things, like showering only once a day, wearing a sweater in the fall, enjoying Thanksgiving, Christmas and eating - maybe even a piano lesson or swim team for B & P 7.) fund raise and prepare for 2008 in Haiti 8.) remain as sane as can be while totally overwhelmed with the trajectory of life
  • While in MN last week, a friend walked in, I said "Hi Brad! How are you?" The first words out of his mouth "Boy, the blog really has gone to pot." It was nice to see you too Brad.
  • There is a rat in the laundry room. Laundry strike.

We recognize that you are entering into a Holiday week, we hope your 4th of July celebrations are fantastic. That is it from here for now.

-tara

Got It

I just got the comment on the previous post. (Tina???) I have turned my computer on and am uploading photos and getting the last ten days down in a brief review format ... we will update you on the unimportant and the interesting before the day is out.

Tomorrow is July. That is craziness to me.

Thanks E-Mom for the blogging award. Thanks California Gallaghers for the note and CD. Thanks K. Kangas and G. Gray for the treats - sorry I missed seeing you.

tara

Friday, June 29

Intercessory Prayer

From 'My Utmost for His Highest' -

The plaintive, self-centred, morbid kind of prayer, a dead-set that I want to be right, is never found in the New Testament. The fact that I am trying to be right with God is a sign that I am rebelling against the Atonement. "Lord, I will purify my heart if You will answer my prayer; I will walk rightly if You will help me." I cannot make myself right with God, I cannot make my life perfect; I can only be right with God if I accept the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ as an absolute gift. Am I humble enough to accept it? I have to resign every kind of claim and cease from every effort, and leave myself entirely alone in His hands, and then begin to pour out in the priestly work of intercession. There is much prayer that arises from real disbelief in the Atonement. Jesus is not beginning to save us, He has saved us, the thing is done, and it is an insult to ask Him to do it.

If you are not getting the hundredfold more, not getting insight into God's word, then start praying for your friends, enter into the ministry of the interior. "The Lord turned the captivity of Job when he prayed for his friends." The real business of your life as a saved soul is intercessory prayer. Wherever God puts you in circumstances, pray immediately, pray that His Atonement may be realized in other lives as it has been in yours. Pray for your friends now; pray for those with whom you come in contact now.

-Oswald Chambers
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Wednesday, June 27

Artsy Fartsy at Moulin Sur Mer




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Hello ...

We really are going to write something again soon. The combination of things going on made it clear to me (tara) that I needed to focus less on blogging and more on other things.

When I realized that more energy was being spent on updating the blog than was being spent on talking to God --- I decided a break was in order. The break has been good. We hope you have been good too!

Updates on new and old news coming soon.

Tuesday, June 19

Getting Off the Merry-Go-Round


We are going to be taking a blogging-break for the next week or so. If time allows we will toss some photos up, but we'll be spending time on other things and won't be writing until late next week.
Thanks for all of your prayers and love.
We are blessed by your support and care.
In His Grip-
T-T-B-P-I-H-N-P

When being obedient means being uncomfortable...

I can only guess that any time you do something you really don't want to do --- it will make you uncomfortable.

Sometimes we do things we don't want to do because we HAVE TO (to keep our job, or make a living or whatever.) But other times we do it because we know it is right and what God is asking of us. In those situations it is less about HAVE TO and more about obedience.

I can remember being a kid and knowing that I should share Jesus with a friend. I can remember having a tummy ache while I worked up the nerve to bring up the subject.
I recall vividly times where I knew I was supposed to do something, but I ignored the prompting and ignored God. Those times were MORE uncomfortable than the times where I listened and followed through.

While "7" (the current baby name) and I were on the treadmill today, (the location where all honest introspection seems to take place) it occurred to me that I have absolutely no desire to see Jean every day. No desire to look at his sad little skinny frame, no desire to rub lotion all over that scaly skin. I don't want to do it. While I was on the treadmill I was dreading my 4pm appointment with him.

Awful. . Yes.
Selfish. . Yes.

I recently wrote about how annoyed I was with a lady who came here to Haiti to the cruise port and said "I don't want to think they are hungry, I don't want to see it." It is now apparent that I do this on some level, even living here in the midst of it. I don't want to see how pathetic Jean is. It is hard and I don't like what it makes me feel.

Having said all of that, I know that for weeks God has been bringing Jean to my mind and bringing that family into our day to day stuff much more often than in the past. I know that in the past I ignored it and on some level was glad when he did not show up. I know that *I* (not Britt, not Troy, not anyone else) am supposed to take on the long-term "project" (for lack of a better term) of Jean. I know that I am not to ignore it anymore, I am not to be ticked at the Mom, and I am not to make excuses. I need to do this one thing no matter how uncomfortable, how out of my element, it makes me feel.

At this point, it has more to do with me doing what is required of me to be obedient, and less about Jean and his sad situation. It's some little test of how I will obey and do something that kind of grosses me out and makes me feel inadequate all at once. I know this. I had a heart-to-heart with the Lord on the treadmill and I know what is required.

The results for Jean may be positive, they may not. That is God's area of expertise. I can leave that to Him. The results for me are yet to be determined, but I am guessing there is something I need to learn. If being uncomfortable will teach me something, then that is what I will be.

Honest introspection that digs up ugly things about yourself is not necessarily fun ... but in order to be truthful and be accountable, I decided to share the ishy side of myself.

-Tara

Thanks!



Troy and the Three M's went to the beach this afternoon. These kind folks treated them to lunch and also brought lots of goodies for the whole family. Wayne, Melissa, Dan, and Jake are staying here tonight and have an early flight back to the USA tomorrow.

Sights














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Monday, June 18

Gaining Vision

Sunday's message at church was about losing sight to gain vision ... or attempting to see things the way God sees them and not the way we've been used to seeing them due to our worldly thinking. What is important in the eyes of the world, is not what is important to the Lord. The potential we see is not the potential God sees.

Tuesday some nice people who served in Haiti for a couple of years and are back visiting have offered to take the whole gang to the beach up in Montrois. It sounds like about half of us will go and half will stay back and keep plugging away at the tasks that need doing, either way it is a kind offer and a sweet thing for them to do for us. Ike, Hope, and Noah will be there for sure, they managed to clear their calendars of all responsibility tomorrow. They're pretty psyched about that!
Below are a few random photos from recent days, a few of them qualify as "medical" but nothing too terribly gory.
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The girls at lunch after church with Casey Zachary - aka - the A/C delivery system. ;-) He is in town visiting his Dad and sisters. He taught Paige a bunch of slang - punky stuff to say in Creole. Hopefully she won't get beat up while she tries them out. :) She took notes - she was so happy to have some hip new lingo.
Paige and Phoebe at church Sunday ...
Mom/Grandma got here (Tara's Mom) Friday, we have been having fun catching up and she is getting to know Phoebe. She thought Noah and Paige grew the most since November. She is a little sad to be away from Dad when he learned about his mom going to Heaven but they'll be back together soon.
The twins came for a weigh-in today. They are up over 7lbs now and starting to have cheeks. We could not be more pleased with their progress and are so thankful to God for protecting them during those scary first few weeks, when you think about what sort of treatment a 3 or 4 lb baby would get in the USA and what these twins ended up getting, you're even MORE aware of God's Hand and the miracles that happen all the time here. Keep praying for growth and good health for these lovely little ladies.

Jean, the boy with HIV that I told you about last week came for his bath and lotion. It is not a pretty sight. He is so tiny for a kid in his late teens and his skin condition is shocking. Please pray that some of the things we will try will make a difference and result in less pain for him. Pray that his Mom would start caring about him in a nurturing way and that we would do a good job of being kind to her, too. Tonight we asked her to cut his hair so we could work on his head better tomorrow and try to keep him clean more easily. If she won't cut it, we will do that tomorrow before we work on his scalp. He has a few sores, at the wrist joint and in his armpits --- hopefully we can get those to close up quickly. This is EXACTLY one of the situations where I need to lose sight and gain vision ... try to see it all as God sees it and not give up hope or assume I know the end result.
Britt did stitches in another foot. Friday a little 9 year old girl came with a glass cut. Today this adult man came with a glass cut on the foot. Apparently the game of Dominoes he was playing got heated and someone tossed a bottle at him. It is such a highly intense and competitive game of skill... it makes perfect sense. I know we are apt to toss furniture around when we play a heated game of Dominoes here at home. Here is his foot after nine stitches.

Noah and Isaac caught a chicken. It is their new pet. They brought it water in a diet coke can today, that was after they offered the chicken a five gallon bucket of water and Troy suggested that was sort of a lot of water in a large container, for one little chicken. The chicken's name is Milo or Otis, depending on when and whom you ask.

Poor Noah has that rash back that he had last year. He got it in May last year, it started again this year in May. We never solved it or made it much better with a number of treatments, he must be allergic to something that Haiti has growing from May to September.

Licia and Lori report that Jackenson (the boy who is Jean's sister's son) is eating well and doing fine at the rescue center. And, Emmanuel does not have a feeding tube anymore and is up to 5 lbs 8 oz. Thanks for those prayers as well.