I have been doing “photo updates” lately because I feel like they capture, at least in part, what we are doing here in Hispaniola. It is always pretty difficult to put into words what happens here on a daily basis.
I have found that I am always thinking about what my pictures convey and how we share them, too.
We are pretty consistently sharing photos about the wonderful children at the orphanage we work with. Unfortunately, there is much heartache in our relationship with them. We work with a lot of people from many different backgrounds in Haiti and the Dominican Republic- but most of them want to be empowered. Most of the relationships (especially those that are lasting) are about us giving our friends a hand up and support as they stand on their own. Unfortunately, we have run into several problems with the people who help manage and run the orphanage. Mostly, we have continued to come to an end of our rope as to how to empower and motivate people who just want a hand out. With every project we have completed there with Justice Water, we have ended up having them not take ownership or care of it and it has been super frustrating trying to figure out what to do. Because, seriously, at the end of the day it is about a home for 40 children who don’t live with their parents. We keep making strides, and we are confident we are walking in the right direction, but no one said this stuff was going to be easy. It is actually really taxing on our staff and on my heart. How do I keep it from becoming closed in general?
Our staff are such blessings to us and we continue to figure out new ways to love and encourage them. They have taught us so much, its like a dream. As many of our friends in the states are posting their baby pictures, we are able to snap photos of our wonderful staff’s children. As difficult as it is to be a family sometimes in the states, it is also a challenge for those in Haiti and the DR. We are so proud of our staff who are setting an example for their communities in more ways than just clean drinking water- but a standard of parenting. In a place where electricity is scarce, food is always a challenge and clean water is a need most of the country has, it is a wonder that these guys are such amazing parents. I am inspired myself for our one day little ones ;)- and I am so motivated to continue to support and love on our staff and their children. Please keep praying for these men and women on staff with us in Justice Water and Konbit Haiti. They really need your prayers!
We have been busy running a campaign that is mostly awareness and a little fundraising for our Justice Water projects here in Hispaniola. People are really coming out to support us in this endeavor! Using the hashtag #cleanwaterblue, people are posting selfies and dying their hair blue for the cause! It’s bringing a lot of awareness to the clean water crisis and raising a bit of money for our cause. Not too late to get in on the fun! Post your selfie to facebook or instagram with the hashtag and you’ll be entered in for a prize, too! :)
We have been so fortunate to have so many visitors the past three weeks! We had some folks from Church of the Apostles come and see- what we are calling a “vision trip”- just to catch the vision of the seriously legit Haitian-led development that is happening here in Haiti. They were able to also bring some goodies from the states to help our community directors lead out children’s teachings in rural areas. Jesselyn’s sister, Abby, was also with us and worked SO hard to help us build a garden and more around the house!
My cousins also visited us in the Dominican Republic. It was neat to show them the Dominican side of the island, as most of our visitors come to Haiti. They saw a Justice Water worksite and were also able to do some fun non-tourist stuff with us. We loved having them with us :)
We have totally felt the support of our friends and family during this time of growth in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. It has certainly been a season unlike any other- and we are so thankful for those trying times because they make seasons like this one all the more sweet!
Speaking of transition, one huge one we have been making since December is the transition from a team doing projects to a team supporting locals doing projects. We have had so much FUN helping set these guys and girls up, answer questions, learn from their experiences…it’s all been such a blast. I will add another post with an update from these guys- its deserving of it’s own post!
What a time it has been so far- adjusting to our offices, working on Konbit’s development, working with our friends here with Justice Water. We are so privileged to be able to work with such amazing people. Thank you for your support!