Summer in Haiti

We’ve had A LOT of plates spinning this summer. Communication has been hard for me with so much going on. I try to post on Facebook when I can – but I’m afraid I’ve dropped the ball when it comes to blogging.  I can’t believe it’s already July. It’s going by fast….. though the days & nights themselves feel so long.

The last few weeks have been very difficult for my family as we’ve been dealing with some serious health concerns for Rosie & Asher. After 2 summers of medical emergencies for myself – FINALLY –  this summer I’m able to last the whole way through! However –  my kids seem to be dropping like flies.

Since I realize not everyone is on Facebook… I simply wanted to take the time now and share some of our posts in effort to keep everyone in the loop! I’ll try to make more of an effort to write more when the summer slows down.

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June 17 at 12:35pm ·
Urgent prayer request for Rosie. For the past two days she has become zombie-like. She stares out into space. Sometimes she doesn’t even know her name. She cries a lot but can’t really speak about why.
We told her to wash her hands and she just stood at the sink as if she didn’t know what to do. We got out her book that she’s been reading and she just cried. I asked her if she recognized the words and she shook her head no. She can’t walk straight or engage very well.
I don’t know what’s going on but it’s very scary to see her this way. Please pray for wisdom and discernment about how to help her and that whatever is happening will stop.

 

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June 19 at 2:13pm ·
I sat down a few times yesterday trying to write an update on Rosie and couldn’t put my thoughts or words together. Yesterday we saw pockets of Rosie where she was talking & engaging. Those moments didn’t last long but they certainly gave us hope.
But there were also moments where we asked her for a high-five and she didn’t know how to do it, we told her to brush her teeth and she just held the toothbrush, we asked her to spell her name and she couldn’t, we asked her how old she was and she didn’t know, she had a fork in her hand full of food for 2 minutes and we had to tell her to put it in her mouth.

I’ve spent a lot of time talking with various doctors, Haitian social services, researching online and most of it just scared me more. So I unplugged from the internet for most of yesterday & simply spent time on my knees praying about what to do.

We sat on the floor with Rosie & began engaging her with computer games like mine craft. Then we went from that to a few learning games. That’s when we felt like the “light” came on. The more we stimulated her – the more alive she became. She had been sleeping about 17 hours a day. Last night after dinner she was ready for bed. Jose took her to the pool to swim instead. At first she didn’t move much. But the more he splashed her – again the more she became alert & she even started talking up a storm.

We’re not sure what all that means – but we’ve started pushing her to interact more instead of allowing her to just sleepwalk through her day. It has certainly given us hope that she’s beginning to find herself again….slowly but surely. I know it’s all the prayers, love, & support from everyone that’s changing her. Please keep praying.

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June 20 at 9:45pm · 
We’ve been having trouble with social services letting Rosie come to the states. Even though she has a VISA – the new law since the earthquake says that Haitian Social Services must sign off on it. It’s a complicated endeavor because we’re wanting her to come out as medical emergency.
I’m happy to report that I’m seeing more and more of our little Rosie. There’s still moments throughout the day where she seems distant but I feel like overall she’s coming back to us. She’s ultimately in the hands of God – and I’m trusting Him to help us through this & to bring our girl back to us.
We had an interesting conversation with the boys. They’ve had lots of questions about Rosie’s behavior and they’ve really tried to rally around her.
Gabe: Today I took Rosie swimming because I knew when dad took her she started acting like herself. If you want I’ll swim with her a couple times a day so she can be Rosie again.
Levi: You know today I worked with Rosie so she could spell her name. We wrote on lots of papers and I helped her. She can spell her name really well now.
Asher: Daddy made ice cream and Rosie just stared at the bowl. But I put the spoon in her mouth first and then she started doing it herself. Aren’t I a great helper?
It’s a beautiful thing to see the children rally around her – trying to understand – sometimes a little nervous – but never hesitating to pray & help her.

I believe through this all it will bring our family closer together and increase our faith in God. We are learning what it’s like to put our full trust in God just like the Haitians have to do every day. May God get the glory for everything we do – for everything we learn – for every advancement Rosie makes – and for bringing our precious Rosie back to the family who loves her with all we have.
Thanks for the continued prayers! It’s working!

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June 21 at 10:46pm
Happy Father’s Day to the 2 most important men in my life. They have kept our family from harm, put our needs above their own, loved us unconditionally, prayed so fervently, sacrificed so freely, served so full-heartedly, walked so humbly with their God, never gave up, never stopped advancing the Kingdom, never stopped helping the least of these….and so brilliantly taught us the power of a Father’s Love. — with Diana Owen and Jose Alexander Castillo.

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June 23 at 2:23am ·
“REMEMBER ME ON YOUR BED; THINK OF ME through the watches of the night. When you are wakeful during the night, thoughts can fly at you from all directions. Unless you take charge of them, you are likely to become anxious.
Your best strategy is to think about Me during your night watches. Start communicating with Me about whatever is on your mind. Cast all your anxiety on Me because I care for you. I am taking care of you! This makes it possible for you to relax and rejoice in the shadow of My wings.
When you remember Me during the night, think about who I really am. Ponder My perfections: My Love, Joy, and Peace. Rejoice in My majesty, wisdom, grace, and mercy. Find comfort in My names: Shepherd, Savior, Immanuel, Prince of Peace. Be awed by My Power and Glory, for I am King of kings and Lord of lords. Thus you worship Me and enjoy My Presence. These thoughts of Me will clear your mind—helping you see things from My perspective—and refresh your entire being.
Excerpt From: Young, Sarah. “Jesus Today.”

“By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me—a prayer to the God of my life. —Psalm 42:8
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. —1 Peter 5:8–9
“On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. —Psalm 63:6
Cast all your anxiety on [God] because he cares for you. —1 Peter 5:7
Because You have been my help, therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice. My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me —Psalm 63:7 NKJV”

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June 25 at 11:50pm 
June 25th, 2009 – 6 years ago today…..Michael Jackson died. But most importantly – Asher & Levi were born! Most of the world only remembers the first statement but those of you who have met my boys or had the pleasure of reading my nightmare pregnancy blogs….you will ALWAYS remember the latter.
Happy Birthday Asher & Levi! You are one of a kind!

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June 28 at 1:30pm ·
Pierre’s family is in the Mole! It’s their first time here! We sent the parents away for the day and we get to keep the kids!! ‪#‎theydontmakethemanycuter‬ ‪#‎yourfamilyismyfamily‬

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June 28 at 8:42pm ·
We may or may not be dancing on our church foundation where we will host the wedding Tuesday night! ‪#‎girlsjustwanttohavefun‬ ‪#‎haiti‬ ‪#‎dancingforjesus‬ ‪#‎everythinglooksbetterwithlights‬ — with Kathy Mercer Hopper and 4 others.

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June 29 at 12:33pm ·
Asher started having seizures when he was just a baby. They seem to be aggravated & sensitive to the heat. Once diagnosed – he and Levi would spend the summers with my sister because of how hot it was in Haiti. Last summer was our first try in keeping him since we finally had our home built & we were able to plug in an AC to cool him down as needed. He did great.
Since Saturday Asher has had 5 seizures. It’s possible he’s had more this summer and we just didn’t see them as he’s such an active little boy always running everywhere outside. I appreciate your prayers for him – that we can get them under control and won’t need to send him out.

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June 30 at 4:12pm ·
Everything is ready for our 6 couples who are getting married tonight at 7pm.
I really wanted to do an evening wedding since we always do them in the daylight. So the foundation of the church is set for the wedding which will then double later as the dance floor.
We decorated the cafeteria in red, white, and blue. They work for the Haitian flag and the American one…..which makes it nice since our children’s church party is July 4th. Can’t wait until tonight!! — with Diane Mercer Cornelius.

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June 30 at 7:10pm ·
Six beautiful brides – check
Pastor Fritho Agenor – check
Friends & Family – check
Marching in to Celine Deon – check
‪#‎BecauseILoveThemIllPlayBecauseYouLovedMe‬ ‪#‎haiti‬ ‪#‎raisetheveil‬ @nwhcm — with Diane Mercer Cornelius.

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Jody Owen Castillo Granny and Malaya hanging out on the side of the stage!! It’s windy and cool and so beautiful. The sun is setting and the lights are beginning to twinkle!!

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July 1 at 7:55pm ·
It’s Family Bingo Night in the Mole! — with Emma Fowler and 5 others.

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Since these posts I’m happy to report that Rosie is almost 100% back to normal. She still has her moments where her mind disappears but overall she’s back! Asher’s seizures have calmed down a lot and are manageable! Both of them will be seeing the doctor when we fly out at the end of the month. Thanks for your prayers – and please continue them!

Tomorrow we are throwing a Children’s Church 4th of July Party with fireworks, bonfire, cookout, & sparklers! There will be 30 little ones here tomorrow night at 6pm! 

Then on July 8th – Asher, Levi, & Gabe will be celebrating their birthdays all together with a Mario & Luigi Party!

Next week is ALSO our largest group of the year and we have A LOT planned! We will be doing minor surgeries, opening up our lab, dance camps, women’s ministries, evening celebrations, sports camps, community service projects, etc! You’ll definitely want to read the Mole Blogs next week to keep up on everything that’s happening!

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