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Sweet Shades

In this issue:

Capitol Craze Registration Now Open

Capitol Craze will be running its participants through the trenches on Saturday, September 15th. Plan ahead, invite your friends and register now for the best prices. Hey, even if you end up not being able to make it, you can consider your registration a gift to Lifeline, and you’ll still get a cool shirt.

Congrats to Shela!

Shela Senior Picture

Congratulations to Lifeline's own Shela Noel! She graduated from Bishop Seabury High School yesterday.You have been brave and shown determination to finish this phase of your education. Can't wait to see what God has in store for your future. Words cannot express how grateful we are for Shela's host family, Jason & Jenny Lichte. They have truly made her a part of their family. --HLM Facebook Post, May 23, 2015

Hello, all! I’ve just finished high school at Bishop Seabury Academy in Lawrence, Kansas. My first year there was very hard, partly because I didn’t know very much English. I didn’t talk much, and didn’t understand very much either. In fact, people thought I was shy! But the people there loved me and I had help from my family and many friends at church as well. My second year was great because I understood much better. I didn’t get as much help on homework so that I was able to become more independent. I got much better at algebra and science, made many good friends, and did NOT play basketball.

The plan for next year is to go to Johnson County Community College for a couple of years. My family suggested that it would be a good place to start. After that, depending on God’s plan, I may transfer to a university. I hope to study nursing or nutrition, but will see what might be a good fit for me after taking some classes. I am thankful that God has provided me with a nice family who is not yet tired of me, but are ready to push me forward to the next stage of my education. I give thanks to God that the door is open for me still, and to Haiti Lifeline and my many other sponsors who continue to help support my studies and other needs here. And I hope to see some of you in Kansas or in Crois-des-Bouquets!

Yours truly,

Library Update

Kimbel In LibraryThe library has proven to be a place the children seek out on a daily basis. We hope it is inspiring a love for learning and fostering greater literacy and academic success. The library has been staffed for the entire school year and will continue to remain open during the school break.

Besides managing the daily bustle of activity, Berry, the librarian and Simone, the assistant librarian, spend time reading aloud both individually and in groups and facilitate activities that use the small but growing selection of educational resources. 

Berry described a usual day in the library:

A normal day in the library is when I see all the programs [classes] that I have to see during the day. I spend 6 hours each day in the library, from 8 am to 2 pm. The school children come during the second break  to read. Those who can not read, I read for them. During the school days, the creche children [those living at Lifeline]  come to the library in the first break and they come back when the school is done. When they do not have class they come [first thing in the morning]. They come to read, to play, to draw, to learn English and look at some picture books.

Girls working Math in LibraryEveryday I am learning new ways about how to keep doing a good job in the library. I love the kids and I love working with them. I am really proud to be the librarian at Lifeline. I am doing all my best to take the children to a high level in education because in the future one of them might replace me in the library.

In the last year, along with being able to raise funds to support the operating costs, we have continued to stock the library shelves. We have added almost 100 Creole books, along with resources to reinforce reading, language, and math skills. The April team delivered homemade tracing notebooks, personalized with each of the children’s names, along with several art books, math games, and language flashcards.  

Please continue to spread the word about the library. We now have postcard-sized flyers with information that can be shared with church groups and friends. Contact the Lifeline office if you would like to pass some along. We would love to find sponsors who can give to the library fund on a regular basis. Let's spread the word personally and through social media so we can continue to share literacy, learning, and love with the children at Lifeline. 

Prayer Requests

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. I Thessalonians  5:16-18

Please join us in prayer for:

  • Wisdom, health, and strength for Daniel & Nicole as they make decisions and lead the church and orphanage.
  • Wisdom and effectiveness in planning and preparation for the Capitol Craze 2015, the largest single fundraiser for HLM.
  • Direction and discernment for the HLM board.
  • Travel mercies and for the summer VBS teams traveling in June and July.
  • Progress in the adoptions currently in process at Lifeline.
  • Continued protection and provision for the children at Lifeline.
  • Peace and cooperation within the Haitian government.
  • Protection and provision for those caught in the border conflict between Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Spring and Early Summer Teams

April Medical Team Report

by Emily Congdon

On the April 2015 team, our primary focus was to demonstrate the love of Christ by offering medical care to the Lifeline children and the Mamas, as well as to the surrounding community and the community at Mirebalais. During our community clinic, we were able to triage, treat, and pray with nearly 600 people. Our medical staff consisted of two physicians, two St. Francis nurse practitioners, four nurses, and four medical students from Washburn University. All four of our clinic days went smoothly although, as usual, the mobile clinic at Mirebalais was more intense than the others. One of the most amazing aspects of the trip was when Dr. Brian Boyd removed a large growth (estimated at 1 kg in weight) on a man’s leg that he had since birth. After this was removed, the man burst into prayer and kept saying “Hallelujah! Hallelujah!”.

An associated goal was to administer anti­parasitics to all children up to 18 years old. We met this goal and gave the anti­parasitics to the Lifeline children, school children at Mirebalais, Lifeline school children as well as the community children at large. We performed a full pharmacy inventory at the end of our trip. We held devotions at night led by Chris & Carol Mammoliti. The girls devotions focused on 1 Peter 1:15 while the boys focused on the holiness of God. A member of Topeka Bible Church sent down several boxes of new clothing for the Lifeline children. After we distributed them, we realized that there was still a great need for older boys clothing and shoes. Carol’s sister crocheted dozens of blankets for the babies/toddlers at Lifeline. The little ones loved them!

We performed a food distribution while at Mirebalais for the mobile clinic. As noted above, this is always an intense but rewarding experience. We had hoped to also do a Bible distribution but could not get this done while we were in Haiti. Pastor Daniel agreed to buy the Bibles and distribute them later.

An exciting part of our trip in April was the addition of the film crew. They did a wonderful job and were able to perform interviews with team members, children, Lifeline staff, and Nicole. Nicole even took them to the mango tree where she started her ministry. I am very excited to see what the final product will be!

June Vocational Team Cooks Up Fun

Girls cookingThe June team focused on vocational skills, holding five classes for 36 students. The classes were nutrition, first aid, mechanics, construction, and English. Lisa Barker gave us a description of her nutrition class. Stay tuned to future newsletters to hear more from other team members.

I was thrilled to have the opportunity to travel to the Haiti Lifeline orphanage for a second trip and to have my daughter be able to come along for her first. When I was asked to prepare a lesson to teach some of the older kids about nutrition and then set about to research,, I realized what a wall this team was up against. Not only a language barrier, but a cultural and situational one as well. Being a person who likes to put together puzzles when all the pieces are there waiting, this was a huge challenge for me. Being a Christian, this was an opportunity to see what God would do in our weakness.

The class I helped lead listened sometimes, through an interpreter. They seemed to enjoy the hands on activities we provided. It was hard to gauge what impact we were having. they seemed to most enjoy being part of the group and receiving individual attention. By the end of the camp, they helped prepare supper for about 60 people--our team plus all the kids in the camp. This turned into a very fun event for all, with a live band on the porch, dancing, balloons, streamers, and my favorite - serving the older kids of Lifeline as they went through the food line. I hope to see God supply more good ideas for teams like this. I heartily agree with trying to do something to benefit young adults who will soon face life outside the walls of Lifeline. I trust that God will take our latest efforts toward that goal and multiply them, for His glory and the kids' good.

Perspectives on Adoption

Ron and Sherry Wasserstein adopted Abner and Peterson from Lifeline last year. Those who met the boys at Lifeline know Abner with his constant, mile-wide smile and Peterson with his zest for life as he literally dances through each day. Below, they share what they have learned in their first year together as a family.

About a year ago, we received the message we were waiting for. At 5:15pm on April 29, 2014, we received these words,“We have Abner’s visa in hand.  You are all set to travel.” Peterson’s visa had been received months before, but an inexplicable delay in Abner’s had held up the proceedings. Twelve hours later, we were on the way to DCA for a flight to Haiti via Miami. Forty eight hours later, we were through immigration in Miami and en route back to DCA with our two boys.

Many prayed over us before we went, and have held us up in prayer ever since. We feel we owe you a report on how things are going.

The first word that comes to mind is “humbling.” We are humbled by our lack of wisdom and our own selfishness. We see that the things we ask the boys to do – to trust us, though we are not their natural parents, to obey us, even when it is hard to do, and to love us, knowing the sacrifices we make for them – are the very things the Lord asks of us.  He seeks our trust as His adopted children. We have strived never to give Peterson and Abner reason to distrust us, yet they struggle to trust.  Our Father has never been anything but trustworthy, yet new challenges sometimes lead us to doubt.  When we ask the boys to obey us, we ask it because we know that it is for their best. With pure motives and in perfect righteousness God seeks our obedience, yet how often like children we say “I don’t have to obey you.” Most of all, our Father deserves our love, because He sacrificed His only Son on our behalf. Does anything say “I love you” more clearly?  Yet how often our love is tentative or tepid, so it is not surprising that our boys are still trying to sort out what it means to love Mom and Dad.

There is another important word that describes year one: “wonderful.” We are so happy with our boys, with the progress they’ve made, with their desire to make the best of things.  We have a kind of life in our home that we’ve never experienced–-including dance moves not seen in a thousand generations of Wassersteins! Because of the boys, we have contacts in our community we would not otherwise have.  Please pray we will be able to be ambassadors for Christ in these many new relationships we have.

Our goal in raising these boys is to follow the example of how He loves and raises His children. Their special needs are requiring new ways of thinking for us, and your prayers that we would seek our Lord’s wisdom and follow Him in obedience are eagerly sought.

Abner and Peterson have taught us much about faith. Many nights we have had tears running down our cheeks as we listen to them pray and hear their sincere conversations with their mighty Savior. 

A couple of practical things: We learned it is true what everyone said..."Don't worry about the language...they will pick it up!" That is so true and we are amazed at how quickly that happened.

Our therapist in the DC area was from a Haitian family, so was able to communicate for us ideas we were struggling to say. She encouraged us to live naturally. Certainly, we didn't have to invite every person we met into our home....but we didn't have to artificially cocoon the kids, either. Her words were basically, "Why should they have to adjust twice...once now and later when real life happens?"

But Ron did make a major adjustment in his traveling for work. He basically spent the entire year trying to do as much locally as possible. When he did travel, he tried very hard to make it a one-day trip.

Discovering their love language has been interesting. The boys are so different from each other. We knew we hit upon something when we were traveling to Kansas and stopped at a rest area to eat a picnic and stretch our legs. When we pulled out the soccer ball and BOTH mom and dad played with the boys, something happened. We got back in the car and Peterson said, "Now, I trust you."

Sherry lost 15 pounds the first three weeks. We did everything together: biking and swimming and playing soccer and walking and biking and biking and biking. It was a good activity that required little language skills and we grew closer.

The honeymoon is good, I guess. But it is exhausting. Some day people will get mad and things will be said and you will feel like a failure and that is good. We can't live artificially and survive. The tough times are needed to build trust and love and helps everyone see that this love we have chosen is lasting and can endure sin and selfishness and pride and anger and disappointment and fear...and I'm mainly talking about the parents' attitudes here.

There is such a struggle and temptation to fear. The boys did. We did. But the best weapon we have found is gratitude. Remembering how long we waited and cried and hoped for them to be with us is a good thing.

You helped us start this journey in prayer. We implore you to continue to hold us up before the throne of grace. We cannot succeed in our own strength.  Thank you all, and please join us in praising God for His goodness.

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Editor's Note:

Our desire in printing the newsletter is to keep you updated on the many happenings at Lifeline. Several of these include updates and announcements of ongoing fundraising efforts as many people have taken up the call to meet the diverse areas of need within Lifeline. It is not our intention for the newsletter to be a plea for funds, but instead a means to keep you informed and encouraged by the ongoing work. Gal 6:10
Copyright © 2015 Haiti Lifeline Ministries, All rights reserved.

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