How to Help Haiti

As Suzanne noted yesterday, we’ve both been to Haiti before and have seen for ourselves the poverty before this week’s devastating earthquake.  As we’re all seeing now, the people of Haiti are now faced with unimaginable conditions and many people, thankfully, are eager to help.  Since so many organizations–both good and bad–will make use of our contributions, how can you help?  Here are three responsible and credible organizations we’d feel confident giving our money.

Red Cross – The American Red Cross is well-established in the disaster relief community.  If you own a cell phone (and who doesn’t?), you can easily donate $10 by texting haiti to 90999.  As of 6:00 AM today, the Red Cross reported via twitter that nearly $3M had been raised through the texting campaign.

World VisionWorld Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization in locations around the globe, including Haiti.  Suzanne and I have supported the work of World Vision for over 13 years and have complete confidence in its leadership and mission. They’ve provided a quick link on their home page for donations to help the people in Haiti.

IDES – Founded in 1973, International Disaster Emergency Services is another well-respected Christian organization that brings desperately-needed food, water, and services to hurting people around the world.  Our local church has partnered with IDES for two decades and we highly recommend them.

Please support and continue to pray for the wounded and dying in Haiti.  This impoverished country faced many challenges before the disaster; it is difficult to imagine how they will recover.

Sent papers to USCIS, bittersweet

Don’t get me wrong, I’m SO excited that we have taken the next step! I wanted to shout it to the lady at the post office desk and wondered why she didn’t ask me about the huge smile I had on my face when I mailed our papers to immigration!

But today is a sad day–the day after the huge earthquake in Haiti, the country that could least afford the devastation and loss that occurred last night. Michael and I have both been to Haiti twice, once before we met and once soon after we were married, and it is near to our hearts. Haiti makes Ethiopia’s economy look middle class. They barely have hospitals and medical personnel, barely even roads and reliable transportation, and now there is no way for the help to even get to the hurting. Please pray. I’m sure you are. Please give. Find an agency you trust and give so that they can help in whatever way possible. We are all in this together and we need to help each other out.

Story about Jane

When I visited Ethiopia last April, I was especially moved by the babies. I spent a lot of my time holding, feeding, and praying for them. I wanted to lay my hand on them and pray over them out loud, but most of the time I could only get Jesus’ Name out of my mouth amidst the tears. Several of them were so tiny and some even had tubes out of their nose and taped to their faces so they could get medicine or formula straight to their tummies. I think it hit me so hard because my oldest Erin was 2# 14oz. at birth and had those same tubes. I thought about how fortunate she was to have born into a family that loved her and had the best medical care possible for her. These babies at the orphanage have the best care and love they could have in Ethiopia by the nannies, but they don’t have a mom and dad and they aren’t in a hospital. Here is a picture of me and one baby (I don’t recall the name) and then another picture of Erin in her incubator–the scenes of her emergency birth flashed through my mind each time I held those babies.

Of all the babies, there was one face that I will never forget. Her skin and her eyes were yellowed from obvious liver problems, but her smile was infectious. Later I read about a family from AWAA adopting a little girl with liver problems, and through some email and picture exchanges, I realized that she was the same little girl I had held and prayed over! I have been able to be in touch with the family and am so excited to report that they are in Ethiopia right now as I type, picking up their Jane! I am so blessed to have been able to play a small part in their story and even more blessed to be able to witness her adoption! You can see their blog here. God is so gracious and faithful!! Thank God every day for His blessings!

IL approved!

We received an email today that the state of IL has approved our home study! This time it only took a couple weeks, including the holidays! We will be out of town this week, and our copy of the home study will arrive in the mail while we are gone. But when we return, we will send our paperwork on to USCIS in TX (immigration). That may take a couple months, and after that our dossier (all of our recent paperwork plus some more we have already collected) goes to DC for about a week and then off to Ethiopia! We are on our way and so excited!! Also excited to see how God is going to provide the funds for all this…… 🙂 He has a plan!