Wednesday, July 2, 2008

TRUST AND FAITH - The first test

The first Midland team has returned from Haiti with news of Johane. It was not what I had hoped to hear though. She looked good. They got to spend time with Johane and her sister Johana. Johane had a fever, was tired and was limping. She wasn't quite her sweet energetic self. The following morning defined the issue. She had a severely infected knee that had formed a boil. It was red, hot painful and swollen. One of the Doctors opened and drained it to get the pus out. They put her on antibiotics so that it would clear the infection.
I am worried since she had a severe infection when she first came to me in February.
Needless to say, I am concerned and will recheck her when I go on the August trip.
God used this information and time of worry to speak to me as the tears were rolling down my face.

The conversation went something like this:
Lord, I should have been on that trip.
Why Cynthia? You didn't need to be there because........ I was.

She could have gotten a severe septic infection and died!
Yes....I know...that's why I sent the team to her when I did.

But Lord, I love that little girl, what if something happens to her? Maybe I should have kept her in Michigan.
I love her more, it was time for her to return to her family in Haiti, she is mine, and IF something happens to her, she will come home to live with me.

Lord...are you telling me I need to trust that you'll take care of her...even in Haiti?
Yes, Cynthia, even in Haiti. Haven't I done just that for 9 years? Don't I do that for you when you're there?

Yes Lord, you do. I need to trust that you'll take care of her when I'm there and even when I'm not, don't I? Lord, I will try. Please accept this prayer.
Lord God, take care of my Johane, even in Haiti. Lord, I place her in your divine, capable hands, in Jesus's name. Amen.

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us--whatever we ask---we know that we have what we asked of him. 1 John 5: vs. 14-15

God is faithful. God Bless your week. Please keep Johane and her family in your prayers

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A Dream Quickly Fading

I've been asked what it's like to be "single" again. I will admit that the sweet questioning sound of definately missed.
All in all, the whole visit doesn't seem quite real. It wasn't easy...mind you.....but it had so many joys attached to it. Learning a new language, learning to communicate, establishing a pattern, relieving natural curiousity without incurring harm. So many new things for her to do and see and taste and try.
She had so many first experiences that we were a part of. Taking Johane to the zoo was a treat. Watching her face as she saw a live tiger and a giraffe were priceless. Seeing her ride a bicycle was wonderful. She enjoyed almost every thing she did.
We got the Joy of watching her see herself in a mirror with two brown eyes. I still get tears thinking of her reaction. We saw her face light up every time she saw Dr. Houser. He was her Hero.
We witnessed her bravery as she went away from her country with a stranger and fly to America and a strange place called Michigan. We saw her first experience with an escalator, an elevator and a people mover. It was enchanting. I watched her splash water all over herself because the electric eye on the sink wouldn't shut off because her hands were still there. Seeing her nearly leap out of her skin when the electric eye flushed the toilet was priceless. Reassuring her that in America these things were normal.
Watching her face as she encountered SNOW for the first time was entertaining...she was so surprised that it was 'fret" cold. Seeing the beauty on her face as she held a Monarch butterfly on her finger and said "My baby.....look, it's black, like me" (and beautiful like you too sweetheart).
Seeing her light up when she saw the Godly men in her life at church. Their smiles and hers as they encountered each other. The smile on her face as she teased them into playing basketball. Her growing strength as she mastered the ball and finally the hoop. Her dribbling the ball under her leg to show her sister in haiti after returning home.

Was it real? Was it a dream? Maybe it was both....a little bit of walking with God on earth as He showered us with the Joy of his creation seen through the eye of a small Haitian girl. To be so blessed beyond measure is priceless beyond please don't pinch me, I'm not sure I want to wake up fully. May you be blessed by your memories and your time through the looking glass of my little Haitian princess Johane. God bless you all. Thank-you to each of you who shared in this adventure. I am hoping that she will be able to visit us once or twice a year in the future. God willing. Please keep her and her family in your prayers. Haiti is a hard land, and they need the Lord to watch over their household.
May The Lord Bless and Keep You Always. Cynthia

Monday, June 2, 2008

Double Your Pleasure

I got to have the time of my life. On Friday we took a trip into the mountains to the Baptist mission. Papa Joel brought both girls to me to stay the night and spend the day with me. I never laughed so much. The girls are no longer the same size. Johana is wearing size 4-6T and my Johane is wearing size 12. Johane is now taller as well. Seeing the twins together was a delight. They had hand clap games they did. They played well in the pool. They had childrens rhymes they said. It was wonderful to have them both. They giggled and played and laughed. I taught them how to swim under water. We played motor-boat, motor boat go so slow...etc in the pool. They played chuckie-chuckie-chuckie...a rhyme in creole. They got on well with all of that. We did puzzles. Played Barbies. Johane showed Johana her albums and pictures.
Johana whipped Matt at dominos twice. Very competitive. He did something wrong and got cussed out in creole also. That little woman runs a very tight domino game. They slept well and were a delight to have. Johane taking her contact out was a bit of a shock to the family. (tee-hee). Johana said she was glad to have her twin sister back...but that she spoke funny now and she didn't understand her so well, most of the time.
Both twins are very good eaters, but Johana gets car-sick very, very easily and so food does not stay put, long enough to do her any good.
Johane had a good time in the mountains. Johana did not (poor thing). We went to a little zoo. Ate lunch at the cafe. The pizza was Pah-Bon (Not good). Johane wanted American pizza and this kind tasted more like parmesean or artifical mozzarella. Johanas car-sickness stuck with her all day. Neither twin ate what they ordered. Johanna tossed-her-cookies in the zip-lock barf bag we brought along both up and down the mountain and later that evening. Poor baby. She was whipped out.
It was late when we got through for the evening so I kept them a second night. Johane enjoyed it. Johana did not. She was weak and dehydrated and not looking forward to the car ride to the orphanage or in the tap-tap for the way home. She layed around for a good part of the morning until Mama and Papa picked her up. I got a weak hug and kiss from Johana...a big kiss and long hug from Johane.
I found out that it cost them a small fortune to come to see me. ($8.00 American dollars each x 4 people). I told them that I'd say goodbye now. They were going to bring Johane again to say good-bye to me and I told them to save their money...don't waste it on me.
As they drove off in the tap-tap with their luggage full of fun things for the family, again I felt good that God used us all in this special adventure of His. I hope you have had fun shaing this special time with us all. It has been a real adventure for my family. Johane has been a blessing to us, to Messiah, to HDI, and to so many people through the sharing of our hearts and our goods.
Thank-you to everyone who sent clothes and games, toys and spent time with Johane. You have been a blessing to both her and to me. Her experiences will last a life time. As they$XXX.00, plane ticket...$XXX.00, baby sitter...XXX.00, sharing your life with a little Haitian princess...PRICELESS.

Hebrews13:10 And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

Some things are indeed Priceless.
Thank-you and God Bless you always.
Cynthia Kreil and Johane Dort

The Trip Home

We headed to Detroit Monday the 19th and stayed at a hotel near the airport. Johane got to see the phanes flying overhead. She liked that. We also got to spend some one-on-one time in the pool. She really enjoyed that. She has learned to hold her breath under water. Can't quite float or swim yet but she is learning.
We wore us all out swimming, so we slept really well. That 4:30 AM wakeup call was still hard on us. "Mama it's not morning yet". She said her good-byes to a tear-filled Papa Dennis and off we went to the line.

She's a trooper now for shoes off, shoes on, march through the line. Lets wait around for them to call our plane. We met up with two team members in Detroit. The flight was uneventful with only a few "Are we there yet?"s. I never should have let her see Schreck II.
We had some lunch in Miami and met up with two more members of the team. So there we were a total of 6 en route to Port-au-Prince.

She was so happy to be home. It this Haiti? Yes's Haiti. We're here now! Look it's a tap-tap. Look Mama no buckles! Look it's fresco!! (Snow-cones).'s haiti. Look at that man. Look at that girl. Look a market. Sit down Johane. Look a tap-tap. And it would start again.

We saw her Papa as we were coming down the hill to the Orhanage. Look! It's Papa! If she could have climbed out the window I think she would have. She was so happy to see him. He was very pleased with the way she looked. "Fat and Happy" or at least well fed and smiling. He loved her contact.

Papa was so pleased with the way she looked that He offered to let me keep her and raise her as my own in America. I thanked him for the honor and the compliment but made it very clear that she belongs with her family and her twin. It is such a blessing to have a family like hers...I would not consider breaking her heart by taking her from them. A loving family is a precious, priceless gift. He seemed pleased with my answer, but asked if she could come and visit sometime. I said, "we'd see what we could do".

He asked if I would buy English language lessons for her since her school doesn't offer them. I said that we could check into that too. Speaking English well, opens many doors for someone in Haiti.
So now I need to figure out who might want to contribute towards English lessons. They say its about $380.00 per year. (American) I guess thats cheaper than a visa and plane ticket, though I think we might find some who might want to help with that too. I'm hoping to be able to bring her back once a year for 4-6 weeks in the summer to have her eye re-evaluated, practice her english and have some fun with all of her friends.

She went off with Papa, waved a sweet good-bye and walked up the street towards the tap-taps. She was grinning from ear-to -ear. She was so happy to be home. It was a bitter-sweet moment. I was so happy for her, sad for me, and yet happy to be used to fullfill the journey.
God is good. ALL the time. Cynthia

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Singing the Blues

It seems that we're all feeling "the blues" this week. Dennis and I are more tired than normal. Things are harder to remember and find. We seem to be a little more emotional about issues. Johane is showing signs of stress. She's hollering out in her sleep again. She holds me very, very tight every morning and every night before bed. She has never been a clinger, but I think she's filling up before going home. She has spontaneously told me that "I love you". Her little ti bo's (kisses) are now on the mouth instead of the cheek.

She's spending some special time with Deb this weekend, getting filled up with her love. Deb and I shared a few tears talking about Johanes return to Haiti. Deb has the priveledge of going to see her in June. That is helping her with her sadness.

Tomorrow is her last Sunday at Church. She'll have the chance to say good-by to all of her friends. Tomorrow we'll pack up most of her least those we can fit into our cases.
On Monday we'll say some last good-byes to special friends and then head down to Detroit and stay overnight for a bright and early flight in the AM on tuesday.

Keep us in your prayers. We need all the help we can get to complete this journey.
Thank-you for sharing with us with your prayers, your heart, your time and your love.
We are well aware that we have never been alone on this journey but have been held in the palm of the Lord's hand. We also know that we have been held there by the prayers of the
May God Bless you. Cynthia and Johane

Monday, May 12, 2008

May 13, 2008

Seven days and counting
Johane is getting excited and so are we. Please continue to pray that God will prepare the way to return her to her family.
She is asking if certain things can go to Haiti with her. Her beloved basketball from Russ will be deflated and reinflated when we get to Haiti. The bicycle will have to stay in america. Her dolls, jump ropes and books will go along. We will do our best to send as much as we can.
Can't you just picture American airlines with an "OU HAUL" attached to the back? (OU is creole for you)
I can...and it starts a fit of giggles every time I do. It is a week of sorting and getting things together. It is also a time of making choices. Its tough to be nine.
Her english has sky-rocketed this past month. It's getting quite good. If you speak to her in creole...she will answer in english. We have to remind her to speak creole to her family on the phone. (silly goose). She gets frustrated that they don't seem to understand her.
She floored us all by stating very clearly this sunday, "I AM coming back.....I AM COMING BACK TO papa Joel says so."
She's a determined little thing...she probably will.
She came to visit me at work and took off my stethescope and placed it around her neck and declared...."me, Doktor are you today?" God bless her dreams and ambitions.
The travel warnings are still quite severe, the embassy employees have a dark to dawn curfew, but things are better than they were in April. We will continue to pray and monitor the situation.
Please pray for our safe travel and a peaceful reintegration for Johane and her family.
God bless your week. Cynthia and Johane

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

More Journey's of Johane

The Response of God's People
Thank-you to everyone who remembered to send a birthday card or note of encouragement to Johane. She has been thrilled with the mail. Two classes from Holy Cross Lutheran school sent her home made cards and blessed her socks off.
Please feel free to continue to drop her a note of encouragement. It means so much to her to find mail in the mailbox with her name on it. There is NO Mail system in haiti that has any reliability. She will not be able to send me letters or receive mail from me once she returns home except through mission trips.

A Busy Week
It's been a busy week for her. She got to attend 3rd grade with a friend, attend lessons, ate lunch at school and rode home on an American school bus.
She got to play a steel drum and a harp. Thank-you to Norine.
She spent the weekend up north near MIO and got to ride a four wheeler, fish from a canoe and learn how to play pool.
She marched in a parade, and threw candy to children. She attended another Loons game and filled up on popcorn. She got to play at Chuck e cheese with friends.

A Bike of My Own
Thank the Lord for garage sales. I was able to find a child's bike and helmet for less than $15.00. She has had a wonderful time riding up and down the street. She is so proud of herself. She couldn't ride a bike before she came to America. She can now. She knows that this is her bike for in America and that it cannot be shipped to Haiti. She seems very content with that. What a blessing she is.

A Lost Tooth
Her right lower canine has been loose for over two months. It finally got loose enough for her to pull out. She took her pink dental gloves along with her when she went out of town with Deb, just in case.
She felt it was loose enough so went into the bathroom and just gave it a good pull. Happy was out!
In throw the tooth on your roof and the rats come and take it away and you get a brand new tooth in your mouth. In put it under your pillow or in the bookcase headboard (if you are skittish) and in the morning the tooth is gone and surprise!!! There in it's place is a $5.00 bill! (But only if you happen to be with Deb).

Prayers are needed
Please ask God to prepare the way for our return to Haiti on May 20th. We hope to return Johane to her family. I will be caring for the children in the orphanage, school and families of the workers. I will be leading a small parents team, so please pray for our safety and God's will to be done.
Johane is aware of the trip. She isn't showing the excitement of the first go-around, but that is understandable since we had to postpone because of the unrest and rioting. I remind her that we have to pray that God will make it safe and OK for us to return this time. So please pray with us that she may return safely to her family. Thank-you for your prayers on our behalf. God bless your week. Cynthia