Friday, February 25, 2011

House hunting in Haiti!

Today it was back to reality after returning home from Haiti last night. Freezing cold temps and snow was here to greet me, oh, how I didn't miss this for a week! Haiti was hot days and cooler nights with the odd little mouse or huge spider to accomany us in our room at night - also these little mice had a feast in my suitcase eating through the instant mashed potatoes packets, tuna fish and the odd packets of food and treats to keep us going. I don't like Haiti for these little beasts, they always seem to make an apperance on my visits to Haiti..........but they don't stop me from going back!!!

This was such an enjoyable trip to visit Lucy, some other Orphanages, a few medical clinics and a beautiful ministry. that I support. I had the privilege of helping my sweet friend, Rhyan find a home for her new ministry that she is starting here this month. This ministry is to create a loving home environment for Children living with HIV in Leogane, Haiti. I believe she has found the perfect home! After looking at over 8 + homes and being driven around on the back of a Haitian motorcycle (which is an experience in itself! ) and after much prayers, considerations and processing Rhyan then came to a decision that this was the house if the price could be negotiated?................the following morning and after more phones calls a price was set and it was a done deal! I believe that this beautiful home will be the perfect location for the Children, Rhyan and people who come to visit or volunteer. It is in close walking distance to the main street, Clinics are close too, Orphanage's run by people she is familiar with and the friendships that have already been made will become closer due to the proximity of the home - all this is good! There is work to be done with the home to get it up and running but nothing that Rhyan and her contacts/friends can't do! The house will be secure with a large gate and wall that is being built before she moves in. Please consider helping and or partnering to help make this dream a reality for 6 -7 little Children living in Haiti. I was asked by Rhyan in January if I would consider being a board member for "Espwa Berlancia" to this I said "yes", I am excited to see this ministry grow and become all that it can be, to bring Hope to these Children that God will bring forth.

The "Welcome Mat" is out and the celebration is about to begin! ''Home is the nicest word there is,'' wrote Laura Ingalls Wilder. Home is where our favorite memories are. It's where we start from. So let's help fill these 7 rooms with life, love and laughter. Please consider a financial gift to bless this ministry and the Children that will live in this lovely home.

It all began with a dream. Somewhere in your mind's eye you begin to picture the perfect home, and that starts the magic.  From there many hands, hearts and minds will combine to help make the dream a reality. Someone helps you find a home. Different people help you finance it. Someone welcomes you to the neighborhood. And lots of friends will stop by to take the tour and share in the housewarming! This home is more than just walls and doors and screens on the windows - it's a place where you'll build dreams, plan futures and create many happy and loving memories for these blessed Children. "It's not the size of the house, but the love the dwells within." I know for sure that this home is a home where children will thrive.

Thank you Rhyan for the wonderful opportunity to be part of this ministry and journey that God has laid on your heart. It was a fun visit filled with happy memories that I hold dear to my heart ~ Thanks for showing me more of Haiti x

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Under the stars

The days are busy in Haiti, noise is everywhere you go, some sounds are sweet sounds, like the sweet voices of nannies singing early morning prayers to God when I'm still in slumber. Beeping of car and motorcycle horns, the loud animal sounds day and night, people shopping and bartering on the streets, radios/music playing loudly, kids playing late when I think they should be sleeping!, religious ceremonies into the early morning hours. Haitians like their horns and use them at every moment they can. People here talk and communicate with deep passion, it always looks like a argument to me! When the day is done, for me that is, the stars are so beautiful, clear and peaceful. The stars shine so bright here in Haiti, I am amazed at God's creation and the beauty that He has given us to enjoy.........I always wonder if other Haitians see the same when I look up at night sky, it's breathtaking.

People who know me well, know that I don't like loud noises or bright lights! There is something about the evenings that I love, all is quiet the house is sometimes clean, my girls are bathed and sleeping and I feel peace, it's "my time". I wonder at times if I could possibly live in Haiti if I had too? Where would one go if they needed that "peace" that I so crave? This past Sunday while in Port au Prince I was thinking about the people living in the tents with the heat, dust, noises and thinking, where would a Mama go if she just wanted to sit quietly with her babies? I have a luxury in the States to sit in any of the rooms in my house and choose a "quiet" place to hold one of my girls, talk with them or just hold them and listen to their loud horns beeping, dirt flying around, neighbors watching me, or wearing dirty clothes that have not seen a washing machine ever! This week I have very aware of my surroundings, the places that God has stretched me, my weaknesses and my heart. I have had wonderful moments that I wouldn't trade and moments that my heart has been so heavy that I've cried. I wish that I could pack up all the Children that I have held, loved and cried over and bring them home on Thursday with me........Lucy is one of them! It's so hard to say goodbye to my child that I know has to wait, wait and not know the next time she will see me, her Mama. I want to tell her that she will one day be home in a peaceful home, have quiet times where I can sit with her in her bedroom on a rocking chair and listen to her heart, just like I do with Lilly, Catherine and Grace. At night she will have routine, cuddle times, and security of a Mommy and Daddy that will love her forever and kiss her goodnight. Even as I write this blog I am sat in a internet "cafe" AKA: some guys garage, it's so loud with a generator to keep our internet going, but this I am thankful.

I am grateful for this amazing week even with the sweat, dirt, dust and noise, I am thankful for my dear husband that has allowed me to be here while he is in charge back home - one day we will be here together to collect our little girl and bring her home.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Trading Haiti's ashes for Beauty!

You are Invited to a Haitian Jewelry and Metal Arts Open House


FRIDAY, February 11th, 2011 from 7pm to 10pm.
SATURDAY, February 12th, 2011 from 10am to 3pm

Stephanie McCallum’s House
10317 41st Place NE
St. Michael, MN 55376
Cell: (612) 205-1780

I am hosting and Open House party to help eradicate poverty and child relinquishment in Haiti.
I will be selling Haitian made Jewelry and other items created by the artisans at the Apparent
Project in Port Au Prince. 100% of the profit goes to the Apparent Project.


Please join me as I show you some of the beautiful, one of a kind and eco-friendly, Jewelry
created in Haiti. .
• Necklaces and Bracelets, prices range from $5 to $20.
• “Metal Art Crosses” and “Haitian Children Plaques” that are made from recycled Oil
 drums. Different size pieces range in price from $6 to $25.
• Another popular item from Haiti is their one of a kind, “Coconut Shell Nativities” which
are so sweet! They have all been hand-made and each figure is also hand-painted.
These are $25 and ready to give as a gift in a little bag!


I hope that you can stop by and see for yourself the beauty and creativity that the Haitian men
and women have. There is no pressure to buy or donate….just come, relax and stop by for
coffee and something sweet to eat! I would love to see you!
If you are unable to join us this weekend but are interested in buying something, call me. I can
gift wrap, mail to you, or someone else for a small cost.

                                                  Let’s trade Haiti’s ashes for Beauty!

*** This is an Open House event but I would appreciate an RSVP if possible so I can know
numbers. Also, invite a friend and you both receive a small gift! ***

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Sweet Grace

Life is precious........."Grace" (not my Grace) is a reminder today that our Children are gifts from God. Today, I hold this little Grace up in prayer to our Father in Heaven. Please join me in praying for this precious little girl. Grace goes to the same School as my Catherine and Grace, Hand In Hand Christian Montessori in St. Paul. Please take a moment to read Grace's story and pray for the family of Grace Alpers.

                                                Jesus, we give thanks for our children.
                                                May we continue to be blessed by their
                                                simple wonder so that we may not take for
                                                granted one single moment of this miracle
                                                to which we've been given.  Amen ~