Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Update on Sky

Skyline is doing really well and has officially "woo"ed the entire Price family! She is a cheerful and content baby who only cries when she is hungry. She loves lots of action and noise (thank goodness!) and chimes right in with her sweet little babbling. She is a blessing and a joy and we feel honored to have her in our lives for this short time. Her surgery has been scheduled for April 11th, which is a little farther away than we had hoped. Please pray for her parents as they wait and miss her! If all goes well she should be ready to travel home in May.

The story behind this picture goes like this: Gabriel, who has fallen madly in love with "peanut" as he calls her, came to me one day and asked if he could take her on a baby date. I asked if he needed to borrow the car. Turns out, it merely consisted of them sitting on the couch watching "Cars". But he DID comb his hair - which was so adorable! They do have a special bond, and she grins every time he walks in the room. Hosting kids has turned out to be a huge blessing for the entire family. It's also quite an education, and our kids would be happy to explain all about cleft lip and palate surgery if you're curious.

Monday, February 26, 2007

A Few Updates on Children

We wanted to give you all an update on some of the children who are in our program:

We are excited to report today that we have found medical care for little Achemine, the 5 month old little girl with hydrocephaly. We have been so concerned for her and are relieved to know that we will be able to get her this life-saving surgery soon. You may remember that her parents brought her to us on our last trip to Haiti. Achemine was born with a normal size head, but around the time that she turned 3 months old, her head began to swell. She was bright and alert when I spent some time with her, but we are concerned about her vision as she wasn't focusing or tracking objects well. This little girl will be going to the Roanoke area in Virginia to have a shunt put in place. We know it will be difficult for her parents to let her go, but from talking with them, I know they are so anxious for their young baby to get the help she needs. Her father has done most of the paperwork himself and came to us with almost everything ready to go. We will be applying for her visa in the next week so please keep this little one and her family in your prayers.

We also received word that Nelson, a 14 yr old boy who has a serious heart condition has been accepted at the Hershey Medical Center in Pennsylvannia. This is the same facility that took care of Anderson shortly after Christmas last year. Nelson's father came to see us while we were in PAP and he told us that Nelson was very weak. We assured him that we were doing all we could to find a doctor to care for his son and we are so excited to be able to tell him now that Nelson will be getting his surgery! Nelson needs to have several valves replaced and has been waiting since last summer. His doctor in Haiti believes it is a miracle that he has lived this long as he was expected to die many months ago. Hopefully, we will be able to raise the funds for his plane ticket quickly so that he can fly to Pennsylvania very soon.
Along those same lines, we are happy to say that Anderson, who had that very large hole in his heart, is ready to return to his family in Haiti. He did very well with his VSD surgery and we want to thank his host family in Pennsylvania, along with the doctors and staff at Hershey Medical Center. We hope to have him fly back to Haiti sometime in the next few weeks.

Berny will also be returning to Haiti soon. He has been cleared to return to his family and I know they are anxious to get him back! His last visit here lasted almost 6 months, so we are excited that the surgery went so well this time. He is a handsome little man and we will look forward to watching him grow. It will be easy to keep track of Berny because his father, Bernard is our medical visa coordinator in Haiti. Bernard is invaluable to us and to the families we are helping. He is such a blessing to our mission.

We still have a number of children waiting for care and are asking if anyone knows of any medical professionals that might be willing to help us:

The most urgent situation is Yole Christy. She is a two year old little girl with a ventricular septal defect (VSD) and an enlarged heart. Her father brought her to us and we have a very detailed echocardiogram tape and report to share with the doctors here. We have tried several leads to find cardiologists and have a few more to go. However, we found out today that Yole Christy is very sick and her doctor in Haiti is calling us every day to find out if we have found her care. Please be in prayer for this little girl and her father. It is a heart breaking situation anytime a little one is so sick, but for this father, it is especially tragic. He lost Yole Christy's mother soon after her birth due to complications from the c-section. While a c-section is often routine in this country, no medical procedure is routine in Haiti and so many die from treatable complications. This little girl is truly his life and this young father is doing an amazing job raising her all by himself. You could see just how much he loves her and could feel his pain as he cried when hearing about the surgery she would need to save her life.

In addition to Yole Christy, we have several new cardiology patients as well and we will share more information as we receive it. Heart surgery is very expensive and it has been difficult to find doctors and facilities in a position to donate the care. If anyone knows of any pediatric cardiology programs that might be interested in working with our program, please email me as soon as possible.
We also met three young boys last month that all have similar problems. Each of these little guys have some type of defect in their urinary system. They are all different, but all are going to require the care of a pediatric urologist. Vanessa and I talked with all the families and took pictures of these guys to share with the doctors. None of the boys were very happy with the whole situation until I pulled out tennis balls and granola bars! That made the whole thing much more enjoyable for them.

The first little guy is named Georgy. Georgy is a 9 year old orphan who lives with his elderly grandfather. He was pretty quiet when we met him, but warmed up as we walked out of the guesthouse and up the street together. He has a beautiful smile and a sweet voice when he gets chatty! I don't believe Georgy is able to go to school as the cost is too high for his grandfather to pay. He doesn't live in Port au Prince, but had to travel quite a ways to see us that day.

Sebastian is 8 years old and lives with his mother. His mom doesn't work and his father has left the family. Sebastian does go to school and was a busy guy. When we asked, Sebastian todl us that likes to run and play with his friends. He also likes to play ball, so I was very happy that Vanessa had stuffed all those tennis balls into her suitcases. Sebastian was very serious when we tried to take his picture and we could tell he was quite relieved when it was time for him to leave the strange blans behind.

Westily is the youngest of the three and is only 5 years old. He lives with his mother in a very small shack along with his 7 older siblings. There is no father to support this large family and they truly have few resources on which to survive. His condition seems to be the most severe of the group and I will be relieved once we find someone to help this little man. Westily is a shy boy and doesn't make much eye contact when he first meets you. After talking to him for a few minutes though, he began to relax and he loved the new ball I handed him. As he was getting ready to leave, I noticed that his shoes were way too small. I quickly went back to my room as Vanessa finished up the interview with his mother and found a pair of tennis shoes that my son Pierre had sent down so that another little Haitian might be able to use them. I was treated to such a beautiful smile when I handed those shoes to Wesily. He was so excited! I wish it was so easy to fix the other problems he has to deal with each day.

Please let us know if you have any resources you might be able to share to help Angel Missions bring these young fellows here to the US for medical care. While the surgery these three need may not be of the emergency nature, their lives with the malformations they have will be all the more difficult in Haiti. They cannot receive simple medications or procedures if problems arise as they grow and long term this may shorten their lives. Just as serious is the ill treatment they may receive if others find out about their conditions. Haitian culture, like so many others around the world, can be unkind to those who look different. Birth defects are often seen as a curse on the child and his family and the child can be shunned or harmed in some situations. Sadly, this isn't all that different than our own country several generations ago. Please keep these boys and their families in your prayers. We will keep trying until we find help for them and would love to hear from you if you can help too.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Sunday Love Fest

There are some great perks for host moms! My favorite is definitely the Chedner love fest. This is the most kissable, most affectionate and pretty close to the happiest boy I've ever met. Even with an ear infection & fever, Ched is full of hugs, neck squeezes and kisses for his current favorite!

So, anyone interested in volunteering to take care of one of these special little kiddos??? We have a few children who will be coming to the states soon and they need lots of love & care while they are away from their families. If you think you are up for sharing your heart & your home, please give us a call.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Everyone Can be Great...

....Because anyone can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love. ~Martin Luther King Jr.

We are often asked by people how they can help with such a huge problem as the ones that exist in a country like Haiti. It is true that when taken as a whole, the magnitude of the struggles in Haiti sometimes seem beyond our reach. Problems as big as starvation in Haiti or genocide in Africa confound our brains and can paralyze us making it difficult to see how we can make any difference with the large social issues that exists today. However, as individuals we always have the power to touch other lives. It can be an act as simple as a smile at the right moment, the willingness to reach out and hold someone's hand in a time of need or sharing our resources with someone we know or connected to in some way. While small, these acts are in no way insignificant as they have the power to touch hearts and can even change lives. These acts can make a difference regardless of where we are, but in a country full of desperation and despair, the acts are truly life-saving.

It isn't unusual for strangers who see us with our children or those who learn about our mission in Haiti to remark that we must be extraordinary people to do what we do. They proclaim that only saints or persons of great patience could possibly adopt a bunch of children, travel to a third world country to work or volunteer to care for sick children from Haiti. Well, I'm here to tell you that nothing could be further from the truth! It doesn't take any special skills, great abilities or an endless well of patience to do what we do each day. I guarantee you that no one who knows me would describe me as a saint and my children will quickly tell you that I absolutely do not have boundless amounts of patience. I have learned over the years that individuals who make the choices we have made in our lives have only one thing in common...the willingness to answer God's call.

Many of us feel secure in showing the acts of kindness that I mentioned earlier. However, when God whispers in our ear or nudges our thoughts towards helping those outside our comfort zone, I have been known to freeze. It is too scary to contemplate it or it requires more sacrifice than I am willing to make at that time. I have said "no" far more times than I have said "yes". I easily thought of a million reasons to justify not serving, but in reality I only needed one to accept the call...because God asked me to. He didn't ask me for a resume of my qualifications nor does he care if I have to put aside my agenda in order to do as he is asking. He wants me to stop dwelling on my fear and keep my eyes on Him.

I have come to believe that we shouldn't be scared of the great acts of service that live within all of us. These acts are the ones that cross our minds and we quickly dismiss them as inconceivable or requiring some special power that we surely lack. They are the acts that would require us to take a leap of faith and go beyond the borders of our comfort zones. But what we need to remember is that God knows what we are capable of better than we do ourselves. He calls us according to our gifts and if he says we are qualified, who are we to argue?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Frequent Flier Miles Needed

Angel Missions Haiti needs donations of frequent flier miles to help us bring the children to the US for their surgeries. This expense is one of the most costly and is often an obstacle to the children receiving their life-saving medical care. American Airlines flies in and out of Haiti several times each day. Once we arrive in the US at Ft. Lauderdale or in Miami then we can use any airlines available to travel with the children to their destination. If you can help, please give us a call at 1 (800) 409 -7948 or email us at

Thursday, February 15, 2007

**NEW** Angel Missions Haiti Slideshow

We are proud to present our new slideshow. This has been a labor of love for me and is an attempt to show all who are interested what our mission truly is. The slideshow has both beautiful and haunting pictures of the daily life of children and families in Haiti. The music is authentic and is song by a group of former street boys who are now members of the St. Joseph Home for Boys in Delmas. We thank them for their permission to use their beautiful music. The photos have been taken by a variety of people, but we'd like to say a special thanks to my friends, Troy & Tara Livesay. Troy has generously allowed us to use many of his photos in our presentation. He is an incredible photographer. As missionaries in Haiti with Children's Lifeline International, Troy & Tara see firsthand the dire situation many Haitian families are in when they need medical care for their children.

The video is hosted on the Vimeo site and this link should take you there. If you have problems viewing the slideshow, please just let us know so we can help. Thanks for watching!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A Glimpse of Haitian Life

Great News for Berny's Family!

We are celebrating another successful surgery for little Berny. On Monday February 12th, Berny had surgery for his cleft palate. It was successful and he didn't have any complications. His host mom was able to bring him home yesterday and he will be with them for a bit of time to recover. He has had numerous surgeries to fix this congenital defect. The first was done when he was a small baby to repair his lip and we are hoping his troubles are soon over. We rejoice with his mom & dad who are in Haiti and are anxious for this little man to return home. The doctor thinks he will be able to return to his parents within a few weeks!

A big thanks for Dr. Hagerty, Dr. Olivia Palmer and the staff at Roper St. Francis in Charleston, South Carolina!

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Be there and they will come...

It is amazing that in a country with very little infrastructure, a sketchy telephone system and no public transportation that people seem to connect when they need to. During the week Vanessa and I were in Haiti, we saw this happen over and over. While we do have a cell phone that we use when we need to, most of the time we must depend on word of mouth to spread the news that Angel Missions is in Port-au-Prince. We let it be known that we will talk to any family that has a child who needs our help and those we've helped in the past quickly let others know what we are trying to do to help the children. Over the 7 years she has worked in Haiti, Vanessa has built an impressive network of individuals, doctors and supporters who believe in this mission. Now with Angel Missions being separate from Three Angels Children's Relief, we are depending on these folks to find children that need us.

As the week progressed, each day brought more families to St. Joseph's Home looking for us. The director at Angel House called us a number of times to let us know there were parents there looking for us. Doctors and orphanage directors sent us a number of new children. We tell them that we will do what we can, but that it depends on the doctors and fundraising. We are honest if we think we cannot help a child. It is hard, but it does happen.

All in all, we now have 12 new children on our list. It was obvious that God was telling us this week in Haiti....just be there and they will come...

Now the work really begins...we have all these children and must get visas, healthcare airfare and families arranged so that they can come to the US. We know that to make this happen, we must trust God and have faith in His love for these little ones. In the next few days, I am going to post stories of the children in our care and a bit about their lives in Haiti. Along with the pictures, I will let you all know what help they need and what help we need to make this happen. Please help us by spreading the word to others about our mission and prayfully consider how you might help!

Wednesday, February 7, 2007


Our new blessing is here! She is so beautiful. Her evaluation appointment is February 15th and at that time they will schedule her for surgery. Her weight is really good so I expect she will be ready to go. She should be able to go home in just a couple of months and get back to her anxious mama! We are already dreading the day she leaves, but know her family is missing her. We also got to see Berny yesterday (he is back in the US for his palate surgery) which was such a treat. He is so big and handsome now. I'm off to get the kids dressed for sledding, but wanted to let you in on our joy(:

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Resurrection Dance Theater

There is definitely a perk to staying at St. Joseph's Home for Boys... the dancing. These young men have formed their own professional dance troupe over the years and have traveled all over the world performing. They have been to the states, Europe and South America. Their dancing is amazing and I used up every last minute of tape I had in my video camera trying to capture some of it to take home to my guys. The show was in their open air dance theater on the 4th floor of the house.
St. Joseph's is an amazing place and it is wonderful to see how someone stretching out the hand in God's love can truly transform lives. Michael (Founder) has helped hundreds of children in the three homes he has established here. One home specializes in caring for disabled children and one of the stars of the dance show is Soni, a young man with cerebral palsy. His story is so inspiring and there is even a children's story book written about him.

Here are some photos from the show:

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Georgie, originally uploaded by Basketmom.

beautiful eyes, originally uploaded by Basketmom.

karate guys, originally uploaded by Basketmom.

school girl, originally uploaded by Basketmom.