Friday, November 30, 2012

Heard Around the House: November 2012

Noah, to Mylie:  "Mylie put that rusty nail down... do you want to get tetris????"  (tetanus)

Presley:  "Hear ribbit ribbit.  Frog probably."

Mylie:  I haven't watched Elmo in like seven years.
Me:  How is that even possible?  You're five.
Mylie:  (shrugging shoulders)  Magic.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Seven Things

Here's a rundown of seven things from the last seven days...

1. We found this guy in our yard.
After consulting our tarantula expert friend, we found out that this is a Haitian Brown Tarantula, probably about 10 years old.  

2. We washed clothes by hand
A lot of clothes.  A lot.  I have a healthy respect for people who do this every day, for all the days of their lives.  This is a full time job ya'll.

3. We found a lot of these loud little suckers
Some were only the size of my thumbnail.  They are so very cute, and obnoxiously loud.

4. We celebrated Thanksgiving with about 60 other missionaries and expats from around the world all living in Haiti.
 Turns out if you get a bunch of Americans and put them in a third world country, they will still be able to scrounge up enough turkey and pie and potato dishes to make you feel like breaking out the fat pants when you're done eating.  

5. We waited patiently for our shipping crate.
Still not here.  

6. I made about eleventy million dozen homemade tortillas.
 You can't get tortillas in Haiti.  Oh the travesty!  Thanks be to Pinterest for saving the day.  They were so very tasty.

7. These guys arrived in Haiti from Arizona yesterday and are helping us buy a car and get our crate out of customs.  
They also served as mules, bringing lots and lots of treats from friends and Grammy.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Wanted- One Very Important Box

October 24th

This was the last time we saw this important cargo.  This 4'x'4x'8' packs a hefty punch.  Packed tightly within the walls is nearly all of our earthly possessions;  pots and pans, towels, sheets, home school curriculum, toys, artwork, chairs, futons, odds and ends.  We are doing our best waiting patiently for it to be released from customs here in Haiti.  Looking outside of our high concrete walls makes it easier to wait.  Well... maybe not easier, but certainly offers a different perspective.  Our neighbor's home, which collapsed nearly three years ago in the earthquakes, still buzzes with activity.  We're not sure where they sleep, or how they go about living.  On the other side of us sits an unfinished house, one we thought was vacant for the first three days we were here.  It's not.  A family lives there, lives within barren walls.  Their children can still be seen playing in the yard, their life goes on.  

So here we are, 26 days later, still waiting.  Waiting on God to provide, waiting to start to get settled.  Waiting on transportation so we can buy groceries and drinking water.  Transportation so we can begin the work that God called us to Haiti to do.  It is very hard sitting in a nearly empty house, with no where to go.  We are wondering why God is having us wait so long.

We are not only praying for our crate to be released from customs and a vehicle to purchase, we're praying for God to reveal His plan to us.  We are praying for God to give us some direction so we know just what He wants us to do.  

This continues to be hard.

Friday, November 16, 2012

2012 Gift Guide with a Purpose

I'll be the first to admit that the lure of the glittering aisles of Target are almost too luxurious to resist.  Walking the aisles and stumbling upon deals so good that when you get compliments on that cute pair of shoes, you can't help but also offer up that they only cost $4.98.  But more and more I can't ignore the story behind each item we purchase and bring into our home.  Where was it made?  Did the person who made it make enough money to feed his children?  Did the woman who works at this factory give her child to an orphanage because she felt that she could not provide for her?  I cannot separate trying to be more like Jesus with what I purchase.  Will my purchase take advantage of someone living in poverty, or contribute towards modern day slavery of any sort?  It is a heavy burden, to be sure. 

To read more about fair trade and the truth behind the barcode, 
click {HERE}, or {HERE}, or {HERE}

Christmas gifts are a great way to provide for a family AND buy a unique item with a great story behind it.  Here are some of my favorite sources for buying a gift with a purpose for 2012...

{Click on the names of each shop for a link directly to their websites}

3 Cords is a social enterprise founded in September 2010 to train, employ, and empower Haitian women and their families.  Our mission is to provide opportunities for physically handicapped women, and to show them that they are both beautiful and valuable.  We do this by training the women as artisans in a loving, community oriented environment. 

Wallets for Water
Buy a wallet made from upcycled ties, help bring fresh water to communities
without clean drinking water.

The ApParent Project
Amazing accessories handmade by gifted artisans in Haiti.  Buying from ApParent Project helps keep families together by employing parents to earn an income to care for their families instead of giving their children to an orphanage.  Jewelry parties are available to host in your own home.

Noonday Collection
Buy stylish accessories and provide jobs that create a pathway out of poverty for families. A stable income means a family is less likely to abandon their child.  Noonday Collection also offers opportunities for trunk sales you can host in your own home.  

 Punjammies, by the International Princess Project, are created in after-care facilities for women who have been rescued, released or escaped from a life of forced prostitution. Their lives have been marked by a message – you are a commodity – to be used for others' gain. 

SERRV is a nonprofit organization with a mission to eradicate poverty wherever it resides by providing opportunity and support to artisans and farmers worldwide.

for more amazing fair trade companies!

To find a Bible study about why Christians should care about fair trade, click {HERE}

Sunday, November 4, 2012

First Haiti Date Night

I think it is a true talent, to be able to watch for ways you could go out of your way to bless someone, or even simply meet a need.  I can't say that I have this talent, but I want it.

Melissa and her husband Ryan run the Heartline guesthouse, where we have been staying the past 8 nights.  If you know our kids in person, you know that they came by the nickname "The Crazies" honestly.  They are crazy.  We have been living in communal spaces, so we have been on high alert trying to keep our kids:

1.  contained within the 4 walls of the guesthouse yard
2.  out of other people's bedrooms
3.  from complaining about being hot, hungry, bored
4.  respectful of others during mealtime
5.  from climbing on the roof via the ladder and outdoor balconies
6.  from chopping coconuts with the guards' machetes, unsupervised at least
7. fighting with each other about e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g

All while also teaching them about not using tap water to brush teeth,  bathing with cold water (this is only an issue for Presley), treating mosquito bite itchiness, sleeping in the same room together, allowing the little gal to nap, no access to a car, no access to a TV,  and parenting with an audience.

Thankfully, we're doing okay, but there are moments when I want to poke my eyes out.  

Ryan and Melissa planned a movie night on Friday night for the kids.  They were so excited!  Ryan invited some other families over, set up a projector and couches, and Melissa made cookies.  Plus, it was pizza night at the guesthouse, so everyone was pretty excited.

Hours before the main event, we were totally surprised with an official invitation for a date night out.  I really could not believe it!  Ryan and Melissa's apartment is next door to the guesthouse, where Melissa set up the most beautiful balcony date night.  Back at the guesthouse, they fed our kids, put Presley to bed, and entertained the two biggies at the movie night.

It was so nice to eat uninterrupted, to be able to talk and catch up.  What a gift!  We have been seeing God in the little things, and this was a pretty blatant reassurance from God that He's with us, and not only will he meet our needs, but help us to thrive here as well.  Thank you so much Ryan and Melissa for a wonderful date night, and a chance to feel normal!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Krulls Have Landed

I have wanted to post an update for several days now, but just couldn't find the words.  I'm going to be brutally honest here, but I don't want this to scare you away from obeying what you feel God is calling YOU to do.

October 26th came, and we loaded six trunks, four suitcases, one carseat, and our precious Crazies onto a plane headed for Port-au-Prince.

I was so sick with fear.  I could not sleep, I could not eat, I burst into tears in the middle of the Miami airport Chilli's (just to name one of the many places I burst into tears).  

We made it to Haiti and battled our way through customs and baggage claim, and fortunately, all of our luggage made it out with us.  Our kids were champs.  We were picked up by Ryan and Josh who work with Heartline in Haiti, and they took us to the guesthouse where we are still sleeping as of tonight.  That night I was in a daze.  I was pretty useless to poor Gary.  The next morning we went to our new church home, Port-au-Prince Fellowship, and I just cried through each worship song.  I missed my friends and family and church family.  The thought of being away for so long was too much to bear.  

I felt like I was in a really dark place.  I felt trapped and lonely.  The emotions were so overwhelming, I felt so weak and broken.  There was nothing left for me to do but pray.  I prayed for the strength to make it through one more hour, one more afternoon, one more night.  I prayed almost constantly, in between caring for our three.  I could not eat, yet I was hungry.

Gary and I prayed together a lot.  I prayed alone a lot.  Friends and family from all over lifted us up in prayer a lot.  Emails and facebook messages of prayers and encouragement poured in.

Two days ago, while sitting at the table in the common room at the guesthouse, I was fighting tears and praying through the moment.  An overwhelming peace just washed over me.  It was not gradual, but all of the sudden.  God graciously lifted me out of that place of discouragement.  I felt better, normal, full of hope.  I knew God was with me, here.  With us.

Honestly, I knew I was growing, being stretched, being molded.  I thought I would be in that place for longer, but am so glad I'm not!!!

It is very scary stepping out into a really uncomfortable place, whatever that place might be, that God has called you to be in.  I'm learning that I cannot let fear and discomfort hinder me from obeying God. Asking God to meet ALL of my needs is not a sign of weakness, but of surrender.  The prayers from many were real to me.  I am a real person in need of a Savior.  I do not take lightly when someone says they have prayed for me.  If you were one who joined in prayer for me, and my family, please know that your prayers were heard, they were important, they were needed.  I am thankful for you.  Please continue to remember us when you pray, this is only the beginning!

We're going into this next week hopeful that we will be able to move into our house, hopeful that we will find a car, hopeful we will have the money to purchase a generator so that we will have power to our home when the city power goes out (at least several times a day, if not more).

Tomorrow I hope to blog about our first date night in Haiti!  It was amazing!