Wednesday, January 31, 2007

We will do all we can to help...

It has been a busy and eventful week so far in Haiti. Vanessa and I have visited with many families and children. Word spreads quickly!

First the good news: Skyline received approval for her visa on Tuesday and should be able to leave for the states with Vanessa on Sunday. She will be going to Virginia and staying with Heather while she has her cleft lip surgery. Please be praying that Bernard (our medical visa program director) will be able to pick up her passport and visa from the embassy on Thursday and that she and Vanessa have a safe flight home.

We have visited Food for the Poor and confirmed arrangements for Bernard to pick up food distributions for the several orphanages we are supporting. We have also delivered the donations that we both brought with us to the various organizations and children that need them.

Most of our time, however, we have spent meeting new patients. A friend, Pastor Samuel has brought us two teenagers both with facial tumors. These young women are having a terrible time with these tumors which are not just disfiguring, but also starting to block vision and are painful at times. As this is a condition we have not yet worked with, please be in prayer that we are able to find doctors in the states that can help these two.

This afternoon, we saw two little girls that need immediate medical attention. The first was a beautiful 4 month old baby girl with hydrocephaly. Her parents are doing all they can here to care for her, but she needs surgery immediately. This little one is so bright and happy in her mother's arms, but it is obvious that the pressure on her brain is causing problems with her vision. We will need to raise funds to pay for airfare for someone to fly to Haiti and escort her back to the US.

The last little one we saw has a heart defect called a VSD and it seems to be causing her heart to enlarge. She is easily out of breath and you can see her little heart beating quickly under her thin shirt. Her father is so devoted to his daughter and treasures her as he lost her mother shortly after birth. We are hoping to find a cardiologist quickly so that we can bring this little one for surgery as soon as possible.

We have told her father and all the other parents that we will do all we can to help their children, but sometimes it takes us awhile to find doctors and raise the funds to bring the little ones here. We need help to make this happen...will you join us???

Come and see!

I often ask myself, "Why Haiti?" Before my first trip to Haiti in February of 2005 I had been to other places to do missions work. I had seen poverty. I had seen the void that comes with not knowing the Lord. I always left each place grateful for what I had learned and that I could be used in some small way. But Haiti was different. To try to explain it to someone who has never been is much like trying to explain Santa Claus to a Martian. There is no point of reference. Every time I fly into Haiti I smile knowing God has something to teach me. And every time I fly out of Haiti I cry. I cry because I don't want to leave, and I cry because I GET to leave. I know I will miss the faces of the people. I know that as I look back on my encounters with them I will be stretched and inspired in new and beautiful ways. Haiti is a hard country, and many of her people are hardened as well. But if you scratch down a little you find a hopefulness and even a cheerfulness which defies all circumstance. Seeing that has changed me, and it will change you. If you would like to join us on a trip please check out our mission trip schedule on the right and get in touch with us.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

A Mother's Love

I wanted to post this picture of Berny being reunited with his mother in my first post, but it took me a while to find it. It says so much. In her face is all the love and concern of a mother. I imagine her on the day he left Haiti praying over him, so grateful he was getting help, but so scared to let go of her tiny firstborn child. Away he flew to a foregin land for six whole months. In that time he went from a tiny three month old to a nine month old who was sitting up, crawling, babbling and laughing. She missed lots of firsts. But in this picture all the longing and uncertainty melt off her face as she sees him, healthy and healed. It is beautiful!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Did you know?

  • Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere.
  • One half of Haiti's population is under 18 years of age.
  • One out of every three children in Haiti dies before their first birthday.
  • The average life expectany in Haiti is only 45 years old.
  • Almost two-thirds of the population in Haiti do not have access to healthcare or medications.
  • Angel Missions is run by all volunteers. Contributions go directly to help the children and see that they have a chance at a better life.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


Anderson is a intelligent & thoughtful 15 year old from Port-au-Prince. He lives with his aunt there and attends school where he studies history, math & French. School was sometimes difficult for Anderson as he suffered from a severe VSD. The hole in his heart was very large and it often made him weak. Over the years, so many people have promised to help Anderson with his heart condition, but unfortunately, they all left Haiti and never returned to help him. In June 2006, Anderson and his aunt came to ask for our help. After hearing their story, Vanessa told them we would do what we could. Angel Missions Haiti takes each case that we can, but our success depends on whichever wonderful doctors and hospitals come forward to help us.

Thankfully, we were blessed and Anderson was quickly accepted by a team from Hershey Pennsylvania. We still needed a host family close to the hospital and also to raise the funds for his plane ticket. All these arrangements came together for Anderson and he arrived in the United States on December 21st. The latest update we had on January 10th was that he has had his surgery and is well on his way to recovery. His heart has been repaired and he is gaining strength each day. Soon, Anderson will return to his aunt in Haiti. In the picture below, you can see Anderson holding a photo and a quarter. The photo shows just how large the hole was in his heart! We know that God has great plans for this young man.
Anderson's family and Angel Missions is thankful to the members of Pleasant Valley Church of the Brethren in Virginia for helping to raise the money for all of his plane ticket and the many others who helped with fundraising to cover the costs of the paperwork, medical tests, visa and other expenses. We pray that God would bless each of you as you have blessed this wonderful young man.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Benado in car

Benado in car, originally uploaded by Basketmom.

Little Benado needs our help. His birthmom brought him to us a short time ago and said she could no longer care for him. Benado has 5 siblings at home and with his significant medical condition, this little guy needs more help than she felt she could offer. Benado is currently in the US with a temporary visa which allowed us to have him evaluated and medical tests run. He is with a host family who is enjoying caring for him and will soon have an MRI to confirm his diagnosis. We are praying that the doctors now evaluating will be able to address his medical concerns and perform any needed procedures. Please keep Benado in your prayers!

The Price Family

I titled my entry "The Price Family" because although I (Heather) am the one who is mainly involved with AMH, it is impossible to do so without the support and encouragement of those around me. I have been married to my amazing husband Jason for 12 1/2 years. He is my best friend and I praise God that HE gave us both the same dreams for our lives. Number one: Grow closer to God every day. Number two: provide whatever children He sends our way with all the love, encouragement, and snuggling they need! Our daughters, Madeline age 9 and Sydney age 8, came to us "au naturale". They are both horse crazy and would spend all day out riding if we let them! Our son Gabriel, age 5, came home to us at 5 1/2 months of age from Guatemala. He is a whiz at karate, and is basically incredibly talented at any sport he tries. Daniel is our Haitian born son. He is 2 1/2 and came to us through the adoption program set up by Answered Prayers .( He has been home for a year now and is such a joy in our lives. He loves music and dancing more than anything. He is also quite a ham and loves to be the center of atttention. It was during our adoption of Daniel that I met Vanessa. She was, at the time, working with Three Angels Orphanage in PAP. She blessed us with our first foster baby in April of 2005. Berny was 3.5 months old when he came to us for cleft lip and palate surgery, and because of the severity of his cleft he ended up staying with us for about 6 months. Taking him back to Haiti in October of 2005 was simultaneously one of the most joyful, and one of the most gut wrenching things I have ever done. I will never forget the look of joy and relief on his mothers face as I placed him back in her arms. It is moments like those that make all the fundraising, paperwork, and travel time worthwhile! We now anxiously await our foster daughter, Skytine, who should be in the country in early February. We know it will be so hard to fall in love and say goodbye again, and yet how can we say no. If my child had to leave me for months at a time for painful operations and procedures I would be praying desperately for a family to love them as I would. Do unto others...
Berny before surgery, and Berny after surgery with his crew!
I hope you will prayerfully consider how you can help a child in need. The blessings you will receive in return will humble you and lift you up in ways you cannot imagine!

Friday, January 19, 2007

There is always room for one more in the Johnson Family...

I thought a good place for the group to start would be to take a quick minute to introduce ourselves and how we came to work with Angel Missions Haiti (AMH).
I am Fran Johnson, a short Irish 40-something gal who loves to travel, make baskets, meet new friends, rock babies to sleep, engage in deep discussions on politics and world religions & my faith, read all types of books, play basketball & other games with my kids and spend time with my incredible husband of 22 years, Jay. Together, Jay and I have 6 wonderful children who make us smile each and every day. We have chosen to raise our family in rural Virginia. This motley crew keeps us running to youth groups, soccer games, art exhibits, basketball practice, the mall, various friends' houses and across the mountain to the University of Virginia. Our children range in age from 20 years old to 5 years old. They are a mix of personalities, dreams, temperments and talents. Of course, if you add the little ten month old boy from Haiti that we are currently hosting that makes 7 children and lowers that range a bit further. Our birth daughters are teenagers and have grown into independent, determined and intelligent young women. They make us so very proud with their generous hearts and their willingness to open their lives to help others.
Our journey to AMH began as we ventured into the field of adoption. Jay and I had known since we first married that adoption was something we wanted to do. Over the years and in the midst of having three girls, God nudged us a number of times to let us know that he hadn't forgotten and to make sure we hadn't forgotten! So, with the desire to have another child in our family and the belief that we could try and make a difference in some small way, we began searching for a little boy with Down syndrome. Why we were being so specific is a story for another post maybe. Anway, twelve years ago, with the enthusiastic support of our young daughters, we adopted a little baby boy from Venezuela. Gabe came to us at 9 months of age and brought with him a grab bag of labels, assumptions and challenges. But, he also brought love, laughter, hugs and silly grins. Today he is a funny, headstrong and mischevious pre-teen. Our second son, Ethan joined us as a small infant and is proud to say that he was born in Tennessee. Ethan is easily the most athletic child I have ever seen and it is now easy to understand why his first word was "ball". He is a shy, cautious fellow who is sensitive and all boy at the same time. A few years later, I saw an adoption listing of children from Haiti. After a mission trip down to work at an orphanage, we decided to adopt a little boy named Pierre who at that time was only 3 months old. Ten months and 4 trips later, Pierre joined the Johnson clan and quickly made himself known. Now at five years old, he is curious, forthright, and fearless. His smile is incredible and he can't seem to help but smile most of the time. Although, he was only in Haiti for the first 13 months of his life, it is easy to see that he has absorbed the culture and influence of the nannies who loved him. We are thankful that they cared so much for him and helped to shape the unique boy that he is today.

When we adopted Pierre, we met a woman by the name of Vanessa Carpenter. Vanessa was currently running an orphanage, medical visa & school program called 3 Angels Children's Relief based in Port-au-Prince. We kept in touch over the next few years and Vanessa called twice to ask if we would host a child from her medical visa program. Although we weren't able to say yes to the first request, we were able to help raise some money for the little guys' plane ticket. Last year, we were definitely happy to say yes to hosting a 20 month old who was here for her cleft palate surgery. Little Anna Noah stayed with us for almost 2 months and we really enjoyed her energy and love of life. My children had so much fun and still miss her and talk about her now that she is back in Haiti with her family. This year, we are hosting little Ched who is here for surgery as well, though he came through a partner organization, Children's Medical Missions, who we often collaborate with to find medical care for our Haitian Children. CMM is a wonderful program that works to help children from all over the world. Ched is a beautiful baby with a sweet disposition. He has grown and changed so much in the last two months and I am trying to remember to take pictures that I can give to his family so they can see what he did during his time with us. We will definitely miss him when he leaves us later this spring.
Early last fall, Vanessa called and said that she wanted to concentrate on medical missions and to do this she decided to start another non-profit organization, Angel Missions Haiti. She had asked a group of friends to help her and wanted to me to join them. I had been praying for God to show me a way to be actively involved in missions in Haiti and this was exactly what I had envisioned. So, here I am. The group is excited to expand on the program that Vanessa has successfully built and we know that if we are committed to seeking and following God's Will, we cannot fail. That's about it for my story at this point.
I'll ask one of the others to go next and she can tell you more about how the Lord has used her to help the children in Haiti.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Wecome to Angel Missions

My name is Fran Johnson and I am a member of the Angel Missions Haiti workgroup. This small organization is run by 5 women from Virginia who are commited to helping children in Haiti obtain much needed medical care so that they might have the opportunity to live the lives God has planned for them. We are all volunteers and the program runs strictly on the generosity of those who have a heart for these children and their desperate families. As the designated secretary of of Angel Missions, I have been assigned the momentous task of keeping this blog updated. However, as a busy mom of 6 children (three biological daughters and 3 adopted sons), I am not sure I can do this blog justice all by my lonesome, I have asked all the women of Angel Missions Haiti to share their information, thoughts and requests whenever they feel led.

We have started this blog as a forum to provide information to our supporters and those that may wish to join us in this mission. Our posts will tell you all about the children we are trying to help, provide updates on the children who are in the United States for medical care and also the reunion stories of those that are back with their families. As often as we can, we will share pictures of these beautiful children as they travel down their sometimes long road to recovery. We will also share opportunities for you all to get involved with our efforts through traveling with us on mission trips, assisting us in identifying resources for medical care, serving as host families and fundraising to help bring children here for care. AND, most importantly, we will ask for prayers for our efforts, for the children and their families, for the wonderful doctors and nurses in our network, for the families here that are loving & caring for these little ones and for God's Will to be done as we serve Him by serving others.

Please don't hesitate to tell us what you think or to volunteer to join us! We also have a website under construction at - please check it out!