Thursday, April 24, 2008

A Lesson in Faith

When God seems silent, when you have a hard time seeing Him, hearing Him, feeling Him, this is the time for faith. When you don't understand the whys of what is happening, when you don't understand why God hasn't intervened, why He doesn't DO something, anything....this is a turning point in your walk with Him. Will you choose to believe that He is still good, that He does really care, and He does hear your prayers, even though you cannot even sense His presence? When it seems that He has stepped away, will you choose to believe that He hasn't moved? When the heavens are filled with an ominous silence, what will you do? Will you say, I believe He hears me anyway? Faith is hardest when you can't hear or sense Him, when you can't understand why things are happening. When it seems like you pray, and nothing happens, and you ask yourself, "Why bother? What good does it do to pray? Does it really matter? Does it really change anything? Are you there, God?..." Tough questions. No simple answers.
Life is hard - sometimes God intervenes, sometimes He does not. When He does not, will you choose to believe in Him anyway? That is faith. It is not simply a matter of believing He will (or will not) act a certain way or do a certain thing in response to our prayers. It is a matter of believing He is still who He says He is. His character has not changed simply because bad things have happened.
It is good to remind ourselves that God is not a genie in a lamp - if you rub it just right, than God has to do what you ask of Him, when you ask Him to do it. Many Christians, I fear, have this view of God. "If I do this, than God will/must do this for me.." Often even those of us in ministry have said/thought, "But God! I am doing your will! I am doing what You called me to do!! The road should be smoother because I am following Your will for my life!" Then, when things don't go the way we want them to, we pitch a fit. Like a spoiled child who doesn't get his way. "It's not fair!!"
So you don't understand. That's okay. You don't have to. God hasn't changed. He still holds You in His hands, even if You can't feel them. He still listens to your prayers, even if He seems silent. He still sees you, even if you can't see Him, even if you can't see His plan. So keep believing. Keep praying. Keep the faith.
"Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Heb. 12:1

This was an encouragement and a challenge to me. I hope it made you stop and think. Remember that God is Who He is, no matter where we are or what we are going through. The above lesson was written by
Lance & Amy Auterson. Missionaries in Paris, France.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

No Passport Yet

We heard from the orphanage that one of the problems with getting Michael's passport is that the Haitian immigration office is currently out of passport booklets to print the passports on. They are waiting on a shipment. Please pray that this shipment arrives soon and that they print our passport right away. We appreciate all of you that are praying for us.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Hard Waiting Day

We've had some hard waiting days around here lately. We haven't heard anything in several weeks and that makes it very difficult. We continue to hope that Michael will have a passport soon, but we have no idea when it will happen.
We tried to talk to Michael yesterday but neither side could hear the other. They said that they would try again in a few weeks. : ( The kids were not too happy.
We have enjoyed the beautiful weather the past few days and spent a lot of time outside. I really expected Michael to be here with us as we started getting outside to play in the sand and on the swings and planting the garden, etc. It really hit me hard as we spent time outside enjoying the weather and the kids that he was missing from the fun. It just really doesn't make sense. Yet I am trying to focus on praising God in this storm and remembering that He is who He is no matter where we are. And God knows where we are and where Michael is and He loves us all. Please remember to take time to pray for us and for Michael to be able to come home.
Praise the Lord that a friend of ours was able to bring her daughter home from Romania this week. It took her many years, but praise God they are home together now.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Haiti Update

Well, we have heard that things have been back to "normal" in Haiti this week. Please continue to pray that we will soon receive word that Michael's passport has been printed.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Today's Update from Haiti

We got this update today from a lady in Haiti. Please pray that this is true and that things will be better there. Pray for relief for the people of Haiti. We take so much for granted. Most of us can walk into our kitchens at any time and have more food available than we could eat in a week. I can't imagine what it is like to not have enough money to buy food and not have enough food to feed my family.
On the adoption front: please pray that the offices will reopen and that we will hear soon that Michael's passport is ready to be picked up. Pray that once we have the passport that the US will issue his visa quickly.
Also please pray for a friend of mine that is adopting a little girl from Romania. She has been in the process for 7 years and had to move to Romania to complete the process. Lord willing, she will be bringing her daughter home in the next couple of weeks. Please pray that things will happen quickly for Sara.
Here is the Haiti update:
Sorry you didn't hear from me. The reason was that I was not been able to connect to my server for the past several days. Just wanted you to know, that the country is pretty much back to normal. There are no blocked streets and the people are resuming their normal daily activities.
The Prime Minister Jacquet Alexis is no longer the Prime Minister and now the President will select another person to fill the position. The people are satisfied with this action and are no longer demonstrating; HOWEVER, they are waiting to see if things will be better. The president has asked the reduction of certain foods (spaghetti, ketchup, meat, etc); however, the people would like to see the price of primary foods like rice, oil, beans reduced. There is talk (haven't verified) that Brazil has given Haitian ??? tons of food and that they are talking about having canteens.
About travel to Haiti: I see no reason to cancel any trips that any of you may have already arranged.
While there was lots of stores with windows broken and there was lots of looting, especially on the Delmas streets, it is fair to say, on behalf of the demonstrators, that this was not done by them but was an offshoot of those that always profit the occasion to steal and loot. It is something that happens throughout the world when there is chaos..... Always those that will capitalize on the movements of others who want to have peaceful problems solved.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Haiti Update

Praise God things seem to be calming down in Haiti. The first part of last week was extremely scary for us. The orphanage let us know that the older kids had just BARELY made it home safely from school and they double locked the gate behind them. They could see tire fire barricades from their balcony. They informed us that they had provisions to last at least a week or two without problem. By later in the week things started to calm after the president had spoke. Much damage was caused by the demonstrators and public transportation has been non existent. Friday things seemed relatively calm and the orphanage director was able to go out to get more provisions and she was able to find several gallons of diesel to keep the generators going when needed. They also got a new water pump and were hoping it would work so they wouldn't have to carry all of the water to the roof. We are praying that things remain calm and that the government offices would get back to business on Monday so that Michael's passport could be printed and we could move onto getting his visa so he can come home. Continue to pray for safety and for the adoption. Also keep us in your prayers as the stress is continuing to wear on us emotionally and physically.
Here are some updates we received from Haiti this week:
Dear Adopting Parents and Friends
BACKGROUND: In my opinion, the Haitian people have been trying to avoid any kinds of manifestations; My daily observations of the rapid and rising cost of Haitian life made it clear that it was just a matter of time before there would be an cry out for a better life. In all my 27 years of living in Haiti, I have never seen the cost of life this high. Gasoline is almost $5o gallon which has caused rising costs in the amount people pay for their transportation, a sack of rice $420, gallon of cooking oil $64.00 and this is just an example of food costs. The Haitian people do not have that kind of money. What I am hearing is that the people feel they don’t have a president because, quoting from the voices of the people on the radio, they are saying “We don’t hear him say anything”, life is too expensive (la vie est cher), we will not be hungry anymore (nous fini ak grangou). The scenario is the same, has always been the same …..People are hungry, there are few jobs, and the people are again saying “No More”. While this outburst has been in the air for a few months, it has only been since Monday pass that the people began to physically demonstrate. The people have been patient in waiting for change for almost two years.
Monday: Demonstration activities began early in the morning in Port-au-Prince. There were rumors that activites had begun in the providences of Haiti several days ago. When my daughter set out for school, there were very few TapTaps (public transportation). The streets were empty (La rue a blanche). There were demonstrations in process but they were not violent; however, they burned tires and if a TapTap was on the street, not respecting the call for STRIKE!, the demonstrators would either break their windows or flatten their tires.
Tuesday: Demonstrations continue and worse (pi red) than yesterday. The demonstrators said they were told by the President that if they demonstrated to come to the White House and he would demonstrate with them. They went to the White House but could not get any communications from him. Frustrated, they agressively took to the streets where they made attempts to break into a Bank (we don’t know if they succeded), some stores were broken into and looted, many stores quickly closed their doors. From the voice of a demonstrator: “it is clothing that should costs more and not food but in Haiti, which is an underdeveloped country, the food is higher than the clothes . He also said that Aristide must return to Haiti but before he returns, the government must lower the prices. The demonstrations are effective because people can’t go where they have to and children can’t go to school. The country is paralyzed.
Wednesday: The President still has not said anything and the people continue to insist that he speak to them. At Canape Verte where the President resides the entire area around his home is completely blocked from public and private cars. You can only enter the area by foot.
In front of the White House the president is now protected by the MINUSTAH (United Nations) only and not by the country’s police the PNA, nor the SWAT team nor the recently formed protection group called BIMs.
Where things stand now…In response to appeals of authority, demonstrators have agreeded to wait for the President to speak to the people! Will he speak?..we hope today that he will. The demonstrators have calmed down for the moment in hopes that he will speak. A demonstration leader said that if the President speaks they will not take to the streets again. For the Haitian people in general, they are respecting the strikes and demonstrations. La rue a blanche.
Where do My Daughter and I stand on this. We believe the Haitian people have suffered enough. We believe that their demonstrations are inevitable. We do not agree with the violence or the breaking and destruction of property ; however, we understand the aggressiveness as we to have tasted well La Vie Econonmie and is it not good. We struggle each day to make ends meet and with our responsibilities of caring for the children, we can attest to the hardships of the Haitian life. We pay $200 consultation fee each time we take one of the children to the doctor (private) and between $300 and $400 for medications. We only have eight (8) children. We were blessed with a donation just two weeks ago and honestly, I don't know where we would be if had not come in a timely manner. We are so very blessed. We pray for others and we ask you for your prayers for Haiti.

Thursday, April 10, 2008: The situation is still fragile; however, things are, in general, relatively calm.
This morning 6:00 AM, the situation of Haiti, principally in Port-au-Prince (PAP) is as follows:
1. It is still early; however, there are a few merchants (street sellers) taking a chance to set up their small businesses but it seems that the majority of people are staying home.
2. Plenty of people on the streets attempting to go about their daily activities but there are is no public transportation available. PAP continues to be paralyzed. At the intersection of Delmas 33, there are a group of aggressive young people that have rocks and continue to block this area so there is no traffic circulation.
3. At this moment there are no groups of people participating in demonstrations.
Important points from President Preval’s Speech Yesterday. He asked…..
1. senators to take a 10% salary reduction to help the people.
2. deputies to stop wasting money on things they don’t need.
3. people to pay their taxes
4. people to stop the disorder and destruction of businesses, etc.
A Positive Action Taken Yesterday Afternoon:
After the President spoke, the assembly of ministers had a meeting and came to the decision that the Prime Minister Jacquet Edouard Alexis should step down. The majority of the assembly, i.e. 16 of the 27 members agreed and wrote a letter to Alexis asking him to voluntarily resign his post in 24 hours (which would be at 4pm April 10, 2008) or they would submit a letter to the President for further action for his dismission. The assembly came to this decision because the country has a serious economic problem that needs immediate resolution. It is noted that the Haitian people have been asking for Alexis to step down for many months. If Prime Minister Alexis steps down, this would be seen as a positive action in the eyes of the people and an action that would calm them and cause them to listen attentively to the suggestions recommended for stabilizing the country.

Also, please see the below message that was emailed out to all U.S. citizens who live in PAP:

Copy of U.S. Embassy Warden's Message April 8, 2008 AM WARDEN MESSAGE NO. 50 Tuesday, April 8, 2008 AM

This Warden Message is being issued to alert American Citizens traveling to or living in Haiti that sporadic protests have escalated in Port-au-Prince and its environs.

The protestors are blocking main routeswith burning tires and barricades in Carrefour, Martissant, La Saline, Canape Vert, Delmas and downtown Port-au-Prince. The Embassy received reportsfrom MINUSTAH and the Haitian National Police (HNP)that protestors are scuffling with the police,throwing rocks and committing acts of vandalism hroughout Port-au-Prince.

The HNP also reported that several businesses and gas stations have been damaged in Port-au-Prince. The HNP stopped protestors from breaking into the National Palace. Tear gas and rubber bullets are being used to disperse crowds ofprotestors. Random gunfire has been heard in the capital.

Many schools, stores and businesses have closed because of the tension and violence. The airport remains open and commercial flights continueon a normal schedule, though traffic on the road tothe airport has been disrupted at times by some of theprotests.

As reported in Warden Message No. 49, protests continue in the city of Les Cayes, located in the South Department of Haiti. The Embassy urges all U.S. citizens to maintain a high level of vigilance and to take appropriate steps to increase their security/safety awareness. Americans are encouraged to remain indoors if demonstrations are taking place in their vicinity. Monitor the local news and maintain contact with the U.S. Embassy inPort-au-Prince. Also be sure to keep friends and family updated on your welfare and whereabouts. The Embassy reminds all citizens to avoid crowds and demonstrations as even those intended to be peaceful may suddenly turn violent. The Embassy will continueto evaluate the situation and notify U.S. citizens of any potential security threats.

Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitorthe U.S. Department of State's travel website at , where the current World wide Caution, Travel Warnings, and Travel Alerts can befound. The U.S. Embassy also encourages U.S. citizensto review to "A Safe Trip Abroad," found at, which includes valuable security information forthose both living and traveling abroad. In addition toinformation on the Internet, travelers may obtainup-to-date information on security conditions bycalling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the U.S. andCanada, or outside the U.S. and Canada on a regulartoll line at 1-202-501-4444.

Citizens living andresiding in Haiti are advised to register their presence in the country through the U.S. Department ofState's automated online registration system,

In case of emergency, please contact the American Citizen Services Unit in the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy. The Consular Section is located at 104, rue Oswald Durand, Port-au-Prince.

The telephonenumbers are: (509) 223-7011, 223-6440, 223-6443,223-6421, 223-6426, 223-6424, 223-6407, and 223-7008.

The fax number is: (509) 223-9665.
Our e-mail addressis
If you have an emergency when weare closed, please call the Duty Officer at (509)417-2399 or (509) 558-9099, or you may call Post One (U.S. Marine Guard) at the Chancery at 222-0200.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Much Prayer is Needed

If you didn't read the article in the last post, then check that out. From what we are hearing there are some concerns for Michael's safety and the safety of all at the orphanage. The orphanage is keeping everyone in at this point to try to stay safe. Some of the statistics we are hearing from Haiti are alarming. Gas is running around $7-8 US per gallon. One family that recently brought their children home paid nearly $4 for a can of tomato paste while they were there. Food has gone up about 40% since mid 2007. Please pray that things would calm down and that the people would get some help. While all of this is going on, it seems that all or most of the government offices are shut down. That has not been confirmed, but the US consulate shut down at least one day and usually it seems the Haitian offices are forced to shut down as well for safety reasons. Please pray for us as we have hit yet another roadblock to bringing Michael home and PLEASE pray for the people of Haiti. People are starving to death and they don't know what to do to change things.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Living by faith

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
We truly have to live by faith, because no common sense or worldly ideal would keep us going as we approach 26 months of waiting for our baby to come home. We did receive word this weekend that his passport has been approved by the director of the printing office (if that makes sense) so now it moves downstairs to continue through. Hopefully, they will actually print it sometime soon. Please continue to pray for us.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Who are you living for?

“For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.” (2 Corinthians 5:14-15)

It is a choice we make every day. Who are you going to decide to live for today, self or God?

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Still Waiting

I know some of you check this for adoption updates. So, the update is that there is NO update. We still haven't heard from the orphanage. I honestly thought that we would have had Michael's passport by now. I am SOOOO frustrated. My chest hurts and I can't sleep well at night. Then I go to work in a school where there is NO discipline. We have had about 8 firedrills in the past three weeks because the kids are pulling the fire alarms. A teacher got punched yesterday during a fight. I honestly don't feel real safe there anymore. I have to try not to think about it when I am there. So the stress is really getting to me. Please pray for me to be able to get enough sleep to keep me going. Please pray as often as you think of us for Michael's adoption. I never in a million years would have imagined that we would still be waiting. It is just ridiculous.
My friend always rights a list of things she is thankful for after she vents on her blog, so I am going to steal her idea. I am thankful for my husband who helps with so many things around the house, for Matthew's smile when he is explaining the "race" he wants us to participate in outside, for Alisha's giggle when Aaron and I were spinning her around in the yard, for Kevin's slobbery kisses and for him reaching out his arms to me when I get home from work, for God's love and care over Michael while I can't be near him to love him. Well, I feel a little better. Please pray!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Tricia is getting new lungs!

Praise God! Tricia is undergoing a double lung transplant. The surgery will take about 7-9 hours. Please pray for Tricia, the doctors, Nate, all of their family (some are traveling to the hospital now) and for the donor's family. As I have watched Nate and Tricia's story unfold, I have been really convicted that we need to make sure that we are signed up to be organ donors. God could use our organs and tissues after we are gone to allow someone else the chance to live longer. Check out Nate's blog for updates.