Sunday, February 07, 2010

Thank you & Important Request

We made it to Texas late yesterday afternoon ... Thank you for your prayers for safe travel. Troy is starting to think about getting rid of "Quake Hair Twentyten" but we're encouraging him to really think that through.

Our kids seem to be dealing with things in their own ways. Isaac and Hope are doing the best by far. Noah is probably okay, he just needed to tell me that it really ticked him off when I put him on that airplane and did not come with him. I'm glad he feels safe enough to tell me that. I told him he had a right to be mad. I asked him to forgive me. The other four kids (the two oldest and the two youngest) all seem to have their own battles going on ... we'll need patience and unusual wisdom to help them each individually. We'll also very likely need help to help them.

Being on the receiving end of so much love and generosity is humbling. In truth, there is no way to describe to you how overwhelming your love has been. Our kids have winter clothes. I don't know who gave them to us. Our refrigerator is filled with food. I don't know exactly how that happened or who provided the gift cards that purchased all that food. Lydie and Phoebe have beautiful hand-made blankets. I don't know whose hands made them. Our old Suburban has brand new tires on it, making it safe to drive. The back seat had snacks and drinks in it for the drive. There were stacks of cards with words of love and encouragement. Lydie has a crib. Noah is wearing pajamas that match his personality - who knew that? We are in a beautiful three bedroom house with heat and hot water and space to move freely.Tracing all of these gifts back to the givers may take a team of detectives and a whole lot of time. We may never know you or be able to name you by name. We feel bad about that. We want to thank you in a more personal way than this. Please know that no gift given is taken for granted. Please receive our deeply-felt gratitude for all that you've done for our tribe - this is way too impersonal - but until the detectives show up, it is the only way we know to reach you in a timely manner.

It is so hard to explain any of this. I don't know that I can. In trying to I might offend someone. That is never my intent.

It is not that we don't feel loved - we do. It is not that we are unappreciative for all you've done to allow us this "break" - we are appreciative.

At the same time we feel thankful - we also feel very guilty. It is neither right or wrong - it is just how we feel. Having all of that food in the refrigerator feels unfair. It feels excessive. Why do we get to have it so easy? The guilt over sitting here - just sitting here - makes me feel nauseous. Today is day one of sitting still. I don't know how we can do this for very long. I don't want time to sit idle - I don't want to think or heal - I just want to go home where I belong and where we know how to live. I just want to be done with this.


now on to business items:

We feel bad about this confusion, but I do want to get things straightened out as soon as possible.

Troy and I work for and help two ministries in Haiti. You probably know that. One of the two has handled our money for us. Each month they give us our budgeted amount from the support we receive from our church, our family, our support base. They also help us save to pay our house rent each year. They have done that for us all along. They keep us organized.

The Paypal button on the left side of the blog has been there for a few years. In the past we would see maybe one or two gifts a month. It was simple enough to quickly email the donor and clarify the intent of the gift and be sure it was correctly used. Sometimes it was a gift to be passed on to a particular Haitian person that had touched them and sometimes it was meant for us to use. We did not typically provide a receipt for the gifts given by paypal on our blog because the gift never passed through the hands of World Wide Village.

Since the earthquake we have had quite a few people give using that paypal button. Those gifts have not yet been touched. If you gave to us using that paypal button we may need you to clarify something for us by emailing us directly. This is very important to us to get straightened out.

1.) If you want a receipt to be provided to you by our 501c3 and tell us that you desire a receipt and also note if you are designating the gift toward one of three things:
  • Disaster Relief only
  • General Fund 
  • Livesay Family Personal Support
Please let us know what date you gave your gift and what email address you would have used when signing into Paypal

2.) If you are not looking for a tax-deductible receipt and/or you do not wish to specifically designate the money to a specific use, there is no need to email us. The IRS allows smaller gifts to be claimed without a receipt. Check into that with your tax-person to be sure of the details and rules.


Thank you for the grace and love you've extended us these last few weeks. We're going to need a lot of it. This is totally uncharted and foreign territory.


Photos by our fabulous son-in-law, Chris Bernard