sábado, 18 de febrero de 2012

Some E-mail Excerpts

Here's part of an e-mail I wrote to Crystal the other day:


Jireste's aunt is awesome. I really respect her. She's been making awesome food and cleaning and washing clothes wonderfully. I had been hoping to get someone to help with those things because the other boys get weekly food stipends and make their own food, but they're much older and that wouldn't work for the two new 12 year olds. Same with washing their own clothes. I think you know we only get tap water once a week at most here, so washing dishes and things is a lot more complicated and work. But the main motivation to take the step and get someone to help was Elisenia and I told her that. But although she did everything else, she did not want to care for her and just left me to do it. So through a series of conversations and me saying I would put other people to work (because I had talked to two women to do the day in two shifts and then Mari just did a surprise visit and I realized she would be perfect for it also and needed money, so I talked to her about it but just for a temporary solution because she can't leave her family forever)..anyway, she now is caring for her well, thankfully. It really did take a lot of discussion though and that made me really uncomfortable but was probably good for me as far as managing people goes. But anyway, the original plan I had in my mind was to rent a house nearby here.. just down the street..3,000 pesos a month and bigger than where we live now but less yard... but rent that to have women come in two shifts throughout the day and then one in the night. Here they would cook for the younger boys and babies, take care of babies, wash clothes, and keep that house clean. The younger boys (12 year olds) would go there at meal times but not really hang out there unless they were helping out with something. Well, until that happens, our house is that place and I am the night time employee. It's definitely good to start out that way because we feel just like family and I am really getting to know and observe and work with the two new boys and of course have a lot of hands on caring for Ebo and Elisenia... but it's not so practical and efficient for me for the long run being responsible over so many things and being so tied down here. So I am doing it joyfully for now but do look forward to a time when a separate place can be rented and I can oversee it like I do other things but not be the one immersed in it and doing it.


Here is an e-mail I wrote to Cindy this morning:


Hi Cindy! So I went to Ceprosh yesterday without Elisenia. They didn't do the PSR test like I suspected (I wrote to you about that, I thought they had sent to do it but just sent us to the other clinic to do Hepatitis, etc.) but just the CD4. But the psychologist said that the CD4 test came out perfect, like someone who does not have HIV! They told me to come Monday with her to draw blood for the PSR. Pretty awesome, huh? 

If you would like to financially support my family and I, the way I prefer you do that is to register as a customer here and apply for this VISA credit card. I am told that the founder of Campus Crusades for Christ raised support for himself through this same method so it has had proven success. If you're in Canada, you register here. If enough people do this, it will generate an income for us. You'll see there are many ways to support as a customer, but for the purpose of focus, I ask that people at least get the VISA card. This is also a great gift option I suggest you try out. Lastly, if you or someone you know is raising support for missions/humanitarian work, you can help yourself and help me by registering as an IBO here and requesting that your supporters become your customers. Please e-mail me with any questions about this. Thank you & God bless.  

jueves, 16 de febrero de 2012

Answered Prayer & Another Request

Hello,


I don't have much time to write again, but I do have to say that my prayer in my last post was immediately answered. The morning that I finished it, everyone then miraculously slept for a few more hours and I worked on the computer. Since then, I haven't felt frustrated but have pretty much had the time to do what I have needed to do, although I have a lot of financial recording stuff to do still but don't really have any other big things that will keep me from getting it done I don't think. So MESI BONDYE for answering that! Please give me wisdom to know when to work on the computer, when to stop myself and sleep so I don't burn out, what tasks I should do in what order, etc.


Another thing, the law school thing... well I spoke with an admissions person at Concord Law School (online) awhile back when I first got interested in the idea. If I don't talk to her for awhile then she calls me and checks up on me and is really encouraging me to move along and apply, sending me links about financial aid, etc. If she wasn't, then I probably would've left that alone at least for now. But she called me the other day and checked in. She said she was sending me the admissions test and for me to try to get it done by Sunday. I was only able to do one of the parts but after I did, she called me and said I scored a 97.something %! It seemed pretty easy to me.. was about contract law, the conditions that enter into a contract and serve as a contract and many things along that line. I had already thought about a lot of it because I have made lots of verbal and written contracts here with landlords and employees and had lots of disagreements, negotiations, etc. She said if you do exceptionally well on the admissions test then they send you a request to apply for certain scholarships. So I'm hoping and praying I do well on the rest. But I don't plan on actually starting law school until I have all of the computer tasks done that I need to get done and have some sort of financial solution to secure paying for it. But I have been moving ahead with the admissions, just not spending any money yet. :) I think I need to write to the UN also to introduce myself and see if they would perhaps have a paid position for me somehow either now or with a law degree, etc.


Now my prayer request to God is MONEY!!! I love God and not money. I trust God with money and he always provides. He gives us our daily bread. So I'm sure he will again this time. But this month... well today I should hopefully receive a transfer that has the funds for a volunteer group coming the first week of March. I need to pay the landlady of the hostel two months rent, I need to buy mattresses and sheets for them because with our new additions here, we have brought all of the mattresses from the hostel to our facilities here.. and they weren't really in the best condition anyway. I need to have the money for transportation for them and food for them and a cook. Then there are some other odds and ends - drinking water, truck loads of water to fill up in the tinaco so they can bathe, etc. because city water only fills it up once a week and it's not enough... anyway, I need all of this money for their trip and their stay. But I have teachers coming at me in every direction who need their pay. I have two landlords coming after me. And quite honestly Elisenia gave both Ilayas and Maraya conjunctivis and Ilayas' eye is so swollen.. and I haven't had the 500 pesos to get the antibiotic drops for them. So personally and for Project Esperanza, we need money. Because..when you have a certain amount of responsibilities and the pool of funds to cover them isn't enough, every month it's tough to manage. Teachers tell me, "I can't do anything with this part of a payment. I have to do x,y,z and if you just give me part, I can't do anything with it." I say, "I know, I have to manage x,y,z with a part of what is needed as well. That's why I am obligated to transfer that on to you." They say things like, "Can you explain to people in Project Esperanza that we have x,y,z needs...." It's a frustrating thing that has continued and it's frustrating having the same conversations over and over again. 


And I am sick of feeling pathetic and having to ask people. I don't actually feel pathetic but there are certain people who like to make you feel pathetic. I don't feel... unorganized or... whatever someone may think of someone who has kids in a developing country without health insurance or even any savings or assets or the ability to have any savings (because I have too many responsibilities - they would have to be tended to before I could "save"). I don't feel.. I guess people would think that I failed to plan and am irresponsible or something? I failed to plan based on money and a service to money, I planned based on God and a service to God. (With that being said I don't "plan" on having kids for a good chunk of time, but can't help but to do my best to care for already born children who are suffering in my presence like Ebo and Elisenia.) I am unable to restrain myself...to kill a part of myself.. and plan a life based on money. I am not saying this just based on having kids but in all of life's choices. Lord, please come through. I know you will but I need to see it.


Elisenia is whining and I think I need to hold her. Ilayas woke up maybe an hour and a half ago. Well, I woke up and found him sitting up. He was talking to himself, not audibly, but waving his hand around and moving his hand like he was talking. I wonder what he was imagining. He cracks me up and breaks my heart with his swollen eye. The worst part about the kids ever having any physical imperfection like that is that the neighbors jump all over it. We can't go outside for anyone to see us, but with Ilayas and his love to play outside, it's very hard. Last night I don't know how many people gasped at me when they saw Ilayas' swollen eye, as though I am failing them to properly care for him and asked me what he had, only then to tell me what they think he has and how to care for it. It's hard for me to reply patiently all of the time but I have gotten the hang of it. Do any of them think that they could care for Ilayas better than me? Well, they seem to think they could but sometimes I want to tell people to mind their own business. Ilayas has many neighbor friends and they do love him and I guess this is them showing concern for him but there are many kids around in need and I don't see neighbors showing concern for them. But things always turn out lopsided like that. Before Elisenia arrived, when I asked a neighbor if she would be willing to help care for her some, she replied that she could care for Maraya... but Maraya is well cared for by her mother... why would you offer to care for her and not the one who needs help. 

Anyway, I am concerned that Ilayas has conjunctivitis and care for his body in general but I care even more for his heart and his spirit (Proverbs 4:23). I would be lying if I said that having Elisenia here hasn't been an act of faith because of the sicknesses she carries and potentially carries. However, there wasn't really a choice. After so many had fought for her life, I couldn't really let her slide back. And while some adults don't treat her as a beautiful creature of God when they see her cleft food and hear her coughing (she can't seem to stop being congested and the rain is not helping), Ilayas always treats her as a beautiful creature. I've started telling him not to kiss her because she's sick but he treats her with 100% love and I hope that he does that for others in similar situations for the rest of his life. 


There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18


Maraya is now able to sit up for pretty much as long as she wants to. We really have to block her in on the bed or put her on a mattress on the floor because she loooves to roll. Ilayas is speaking sooo much Creole now from having Ebo here who only understood Creole but now is understanding a little English. He came about a month ago saying mama and kaka only, and now knows almost all of our names among some other words.. and I taught him to not say kaka as there are nicer words to use instead. I need to take more pictures and videos, but here is one of Ilayas,




one of Maraya,






and one from Project Esperanza past.






If you would like to financially support my family and I, the way I prefer you do that is to register as a customer here and apply for this VISA credit card. I am told that the founder of Campus Crusades for Christ raised support for himself through this same method so it has had proven success. If you're in Canada, you register here. If enough people do this, it will generate an income for us. You'll see there are many ways to support as a customer, but for the purpose of focus, I ask that people at least get the VISA card. This is also a great gift option I suggest you try out. Lastly, if you or someone you know is raising support for missions/humanitarian work, you can help yourself and help me by registering as an IBO here and requesting that your supporters become your customers. Please e-mail me with any questions about this. Thank you & God bless. 
 

domingo, 5 de febrero de 2012

Midnight Ramblings from a Tired Mother & Caregiver

It's 3:19 am as I begin writing this and I am sitting here catching up on e-mails and recording today's expenses as I give Elisenia her bottle. We got her from Zette today and Zette was so thankful. I think it's really important that we did get her because she is quite a bit more congested than she was when we got her from Cindy and her crew last week, which is probably because Zette's house is drafty, wooden, with a tin roof, and oh so small, and it's been raining quite a bit.  Our house/apartment, while still small, is much bigger, lighter, and is made of cinder block complete with the roof. So it protects us more from such drafts and things. 


I have been wanting to write ever since we began this spur of taking in new kids a few weeks ago. It started with Ebo, almost 2, then Enelbi, 12, then Junior who is Elisenia's brother, 12, and now Elisenia, 1 year, 3 months. Also, Jireste's Aunt Mari came to stay yesterday. So Ebo and Elisenia stay in our house with us and Enelbi and Junior stay down the street with Emso and Bob, two of our older boys who have been involved with Project Esperanza since we very first got started in Puerto Plata in 2006. (Elisenia just finished drinking. She drank about 6 oz./ 1500mL.) But they spend the day at our house.


Okay, I wrote this a few days ago but got interrupted by babies. Now it's 8:30am and I'm finding time to write a little more. But I'm really just going to say that I have lots that I want to share but my computer time has been robbed by these babies. And it's frustrating because on top of e-mails to write and answer, work to be done on the website, blog posts to be written, and more, I have a ton, and I mean a ton of work to be done as far as recording finances. I need my time back. Oh Lord, please give me my computer time back. I love your babies and am so glad that they are being cared for. You know that I wouldn't let them suffer if I have the power to do anything about it, but you also know that it's not efficient for me to be the one changing daipers, wiping snot out of noses, making up bottles, when there is still so much administrative work to be done. I don't mind at all. If the administrative stuff was taken care of and I was free of that burden and responsibility then I wouldn't mind that role at all. But if the administrative stuff is neglected to do that, then we'll have problems with filing our 990 (taxes) and fundraising will die down. I feel ready to manage others to do so many things I do...but people would have to be employed to do them, which means we would need more money. I know you know all of this more than I do Lord and I'm sure you are working on the solution. I just feel frustrated here in the mean time.


Will write more soon.