Saturday, August 28, 2010

Haiti, Heaven, Home, and Happiness

I have officially been living in Haiti for six months, and I just need someone to pinch me because I truly feel like I’m in Heaven. I wonder how something so different, could feel so right. Haiti feels like home, and I couldn’t be happier…

A Prayer of Gratitude

Dear Heavenly Father,

I pray this prayer tonight to give you thanks for everything you have and continue to do in my life. You planted and nourished the seed in me so long ago, but now you are allowing it to grow! Not a day passes where your presence does not surround my every step. I could not do any of this without you nor would I want to. I will never understand why you have chosen me to do such amazing and beautiful work for you, but I want you to know that I do it all with such a heart of gratitude.

I am reminded that about a year ago, you called me away from Haiti. I was devastated as I just longed to be there, but I was comforted by the fact that I knew you wouldn’t leave my side. You asked me to prepare myself because there was going to be something bigger waiting for me when I returned. Oh how your timing is so perfect, Lord!

I did return to something bigger. Not only were there more children at the orphanage, there were more needs. There was Jean, Denise, Marie Joy, Johnny, Katiana, and more. I immediately knew where you wanted me, and was quite content to jump in head first with these little lambs of yours. Their frail bodies, their sunken eyes, their sadness…their hearts were broken. You held them close to you, and carried them in their most difficult and terrifying moments of their lives. I am grateful that you tightly embraced them as they clung to you with all their might. They felt your love, comfort, and peace…you were their Papa.

I thank you for continuing to heal them every day, so that they will be ambassadors for your glory as they grow. I thank you for healing me too. A few years ago, none of this would be possible for me, so it is with great happiness that I thank you. You are using me to help these children, but you are also using these children to heal me! I look forward to the day when I can share my full testimony with everyone around me, and I pray that it will bring many closer to you. I love you with all my heart, all my soul, and all my might. Thank you for being one amazing Father! I love you.

With much gratitude,

"Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe" Hebrews 12:28

Lyrics in Nichole Nordeman’s song Gratitude

We’ll give thanks to You
With gratitude
For lessons learned in how to trust in You
That we are blessed beyond what we could dream
In abundance or in need
And if You never grant us peace

But Jesus, would You please…

Johnny Before (Photo by Brittany Hilker)

Johnny Now

Marie Joy Before (Photo by Brittany Hilker)

Marie Joy Now

Denise Before (Photo by Brittany Hilker)

Denise Now

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Complete Perfection

There are some things I understand, there are some things I will understand, and there are some things I will never understand…

Today, I write about something I will never fully understand. I often ask God, “Why do you let me care for your most precious jewels on Earth?” With this I mean, the special children that He has designed to complete perfection. Often people think these children are lacking, but I do not believe they are lacking anything…in fact, I believe they have something “extra.” They have something that sets them apart, they have something that makes them different, they have something that I wish everyone could see

A seed of love was planted in my heart when I was a young child for individuals with special needs, both children and adults. I have always loved helping people and making them smile. My life has been surrounded by opportunities to be with special needs children. At my elementary school, I helped with the special needs preschool. At dance, I assisted the Dance Abilities class which I later taught for seven years. In college, I took class notes for students with visual and hearing impairments, and I even danced at the Special Olympics. The list goes on and on, but I have never been more honored or blessed than I am in my life right now…

I no longer have to wait for once a year, once a month, or once a week to come along to be with these precious children. Every single day I am at Danita’s Children, I am in their world and this brings me much joy and happiness. Their sweet faces light up my life, and their innocence warms my heart. They have been hand crafted, individually made, and sculpted to a simple pureness like no other. These children have been placed in my hands, and I am undeserving of this honor. I take this great honor with a humbled heart, and I live my days with His grace alone. There are many moments during the day that I should not know what to do, but I find that Christ takes me by the hand and guides me along the way. I am simply amazed that I have been trusted with the most gentle, sweet, and loving spirits that exist here on Earth. These children are truly angels placed along my path…

I am encouraged daily by my little angels to keep doing what God has put in front of me. I pray for so many blessings for these children. My wish is that they will exceed all expectations put in front of them; I hope that they will become ambassadors of their great God, and above all, I pray that they will feel loved every day of their life!

Jean, Fitson, Denise, and Rose Mica…Mami Heather loves you more than words can express! You are truly my inspiration. I adore you with my whole heart, and I thank you for being such amazing, beautiful, and special children. You are complete perfection!