Thursday, November 14, 2013

Bringing God's Love to Haiti

I know it has been a very long time since my last post. I have much to catch up on, but am so busy, there just isn't time!!

Below you will find our letter asking for support for our upcoming mission trip. Back to Haiti! Thank you in advance for remembering us in your prayers!

Mat 25:40 – Truly I say to you, as you did it to the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.

Dear friends and family,

We are very excited to tell you Grace Church of the Islands is sending a medical mission trip to Haiti in January.  Andrew and I  have signed up to go.  We have a deep conviction to help these people who had so little and now have even less.  If you have never been blessed with a mission trip, you can still fulfill Jesus’ command to help by sending others.  Would you please help by sending us?  The cost is about $1300 each, some of which is paid by Grace Church.

As you may know, I went on a mission trip to Haiti in 2010 and was there for the devastating earthquake.  After such a harrowing experience, I was determined to go back to help.  Grace Church’s next mission trip was to the island of LaGonave, which lies between the two westward –facing arms of mainland Haiti.  Hope for LaGonave ( is a non-profit organization helping the destitute people of this island.  All donated funds go directly to support; there are no paid positions in the US.  They have started four schools (dirt-floored reed shacks) and five churches. 

This is Climando Occean.  Our family has sponsored him for several years, paying for meals, medical check-ups and teacher salary.  He has two brothers and a sister, loves school and soccer.  He could be our kid.  Children on LaGonave who don’t go to these schools have to find work to support their family.  Before attending this school, these children had never seen a picture book.  The only meal they eat each day is provided by the school.

I was blessed to meet Climando on that mission to LaGonave.  He is quiet and thoughtful, and shyly hugged me.  Earlier this year, we received a heart-wrenching letter from HFLG about Climando.  Although he was a very good student, he had failed his last tests.  When asked why, he said he had failed on purpose because he didn’t want to leave the school.  As we understand it, he is back at school, praying there will be opportunities to continue his education.   His silent plea is such a touching testament to Jesus’ effectual love demonstrated through those who are helping the people of LaGonave.

Thank you for considering helping!  We are very excited for the trip, to see Climando again, and provide much-needed medical attention as well as spiritual support .

Rom 10:15 – And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”

Saturday, August 25, 2012

New Beginnings

It has been over a year since I posted. :( And what a year it's been! I actually have 3 drafts that never made it to posting...not sure exactly why.

I could take pages and pages to catch you up, but I don't think you care about the details. The bottom line is, God is good! He has taught us much about faith, faith, and more faith! Through each trial of the past year, we have come out believing more and knowing more, the deep deep love of Jesus!

I want to write a blog, but I seem to have trouble knowing where to start each post. So today I will talk just about where we are. We have started our homeschool year, with all it's usual bumps and bruises. Why, after about 8yrs of homeschooling, the children still grumble and moan about school, I do not know...but alas, they do. I am starting a new job in a couple of weeks, my schedule will change, so we are a bit anxious about how that will affect school, activities, etc. I find myself getting a tight stomach about how it will all work out. Someone reminded me today that God truly does work things out every time. And that He works it all out for our good, and His glory! So why do I worry?! I don't know!!

I'm looking forward to my new job...I'll be returning to Neonatal, my first love in nursing. I have been away (raising my own babies) for 10 years! So I will be the new/old nurse in the unit! I'm so excited to love and care for those tiny miracles again, and I'm a little nervous about the new venture. I'm leaning on the Lord, though, knowing that He goes before me, preparing me for those I will encounter, as I care for the tiniest of His children.

We are planning for the start of a new BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) year. This year we are studying Genesis! It means "beginning". How appropriate, as this season in our family is the beginning of new things. My dear husband has started a new job, and I will as well. The kids start a new school year. I am grateful to God for his faithfulness and grace through this past year of trials. I look to Him for the blessings of this next chapter.

May we all feel God's presence wherever we are, and may we feel Him calling us to Himself.

Living by God's grace,

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Spring 2011

Well, let me start off by saying that I know it's been forever since I posted...we've been busy! ;)

Spring in Savannah is usually really short, but this year, God has graced us with some respite days before the HEAT descends. Don't get me wrong, we've had some 90 degree days, but we've also had some unseasonable 70 degree's nice!

We started the Spring with a little trip I like to call our Northern Journey! Who goes North for Spring Break? Apparently the Gibsons do! We spent two weeks touring the East Coast, visiting friends and family. We started by driving up to VA to visit with my cousin David and his wife Julie. Their three kids were such awesome companions to ours, that we momentarily considered moving to Hawaii with them!! ;) We did come to the realization that eventually they would start acting like siblings and bicker bicker bicker! But it was a glorious 4 days of sweet sweet time with family!

We then took the scenic Cheasapeake Bay route up to CT to surprise my mother for her birthday! We really did surprise her, which was so fun. I really thought that we (and not just those under the age of 13) would give it away, but we didn't. The trip was planned months ahead, so it was a bit tricky to keep the secret. It was so nice to see family and friends we hadn't seen in a long time. The weather, I might add, was less than spring-like, that's for sure! We were in winter clothes the whole time in VA and CT! In fact, we even had snow one morning, which the kids totally enjoyed playing in! It was just enough to make snowballs and snowangels, but not too much for our Southern wardrobes!!

We left CT and travelled down to NJ to visit Andrew's cousin, Cynthia, her husband Brian, and their three kids. The kids had never met, but got along famously from the get-go. It was so fun to see them all play together. We also got to see the house Andrew grew up in, and visit a great twin light house. (The name of which is escaping me at this moment...) There was a great view from the lighthouse, of New York City, a bit foggy, but we could see the skyline at least.

We headed home, with a short stop in SC to visit some "old" friends from Charleston. It was such a sweet time of fellowship. It's amazing to me how some friendships remain so strong and precious though we are separated by so much time and distance. Oh yes, and it was a beautiful, sunny 80 degrees in SC!! Thank goodness, we were finally able to warm up! The night before we left for Savannah, there was a thunderstorm with large hail stones. So we really got a wide range of weather patterns on this journey.

Travelling is always fun, nice to get away and relax a little, but we really did miss home. It's so great to be back...gnats, pollen, and all!

In Christ,
Danielle <><

Monday, March 28, 2011

Haiti 2011

Well, let me start by apologizing for taking so long to write this. I don't have a good excuse. It took me a good week to get back on track, and then life got rolling again. Anyway, it's not because it wasn't a good trip, nor because it didn't affect me!

All things considered, it was an uneventful trip! I can say that because my last trip to Haiti involved a 7.0 earthquake. So, anything compared would be uneventful, right? Haiti is quite a place. As Dr. Kornblatt, one of my traveling companions keeps saying, it's not a trip for the faint of heart. He also says that Haiti is a place that attacks all of your 5 senses the moment you step off the plane. He is right. It's a tough place to look at, to listen to, to smell, to hear and to touch. It is mostly a place of stark contrasts. And I think we almost might not see the beauty if it weren't for the hard things.  God's creation is so good, and Haiti is no exception. However, it is very apparent what sin and corruption can do to God's beautiful creation.

Here I am on the beach our first morning in Haiti. We arrived in Port Au Prince in the late afternoon on Friday. After the usual chaos that is baggage claim (it's actually improved a bit since last time) we rode with Chad, a missionary friend, to his family's guest house, about 30 miles up the coast. From the moment you get into a vehicle in Haiti, you can feel the Lord's hands on you. We take for granted in our country, the fact that people will generally stay on their side of the road. There are so many rules that we obey here, and we can trust that most everyone else will do the same. Not in Haiti!! And I think that the Lord gives missionaries called to Haiti a special element of danger and risk-taking, so they won't be afraid to drive there! From what I can tell, there aren't any road rules in Haiti, just honk loudly! The Haitians say, you don't need brakes in Haiti, just a horn! Anyway, we arrived safely at the Guest House, a beautiful, quiet place very close to the beach, beautiful views. The Guest House was a great place for us to rest up for our adventure on the island of LaGonave.
We boarded a ferry after breakfast that would take us and all our medical supplies over to the island of LaGonave. (I can't post all the pictures here, but if you'd like to see them all, you can check out my facebook page.) The above pic is of the mainland just after we pulled away from the wharf. Funny story about the wharf, we waited about 3-4 hours for the ferry to leave, waiting for them to fill up enough, I guess. In Haiti, there really aren't any schedules.

While on LaGonave, we stayed in a guest house run by a Haitian lady named Mme. Fifi. This was an adventure! Let's just say there were "facilities" but I use that term loosely! Anyway, it was our base for the next three days. On Sunday we rode up the mountain for about 2 hours to our first clinic. It was held after the church service, in the church/school. After church, Pastor Ben took us on a 4x4 Mule ride around the island of LaGonave. What a beautiful place, like a paradise, until you see all the trash on the beach. So sad. It's fun to drive around there, like a roller coast that last a lot longer than usual! And without safety harnesses, etc. :) What a wild ride! The houses along the water are much the same as anywhere else in Haiti. One room shacks, with lots of people living in them. All the little children come running out when they hear a vehicle, and start shouting, "Blan, Blan!!" which means white, when we drive by.

We spent the next two days doing much the same thing, without the fun ride around the island. On Monday, we saw two groups at one school, because the other school was too difficult to reach by truck. This is definitely a relative thing...since the roads we DID go on were too difficult to ride on by our standards! But thankfully, God's standards are not ours, and He guided our truck up those mountains with ease!

We handed out bags to all the children and adults that we saw. Bags with hygiene items in them, toothbrushes, toothpaste, skin cream, tylenol, tums, vitamins, and small toys for the children. Everyone we saw also got worm medicine. Intestinal worms is so rampant there because the lack of clean water. We also saw a few people with colds, bronchitis, ear infections, high blood pressure, and some other ailments. It's amazing how much we can take for granted the fact that we can just go to the doctor when we are sick. That is just not an option in Haiti. Some of these children had had fever and earache for a week. Imagine your child being so uncomfortable, and not even having tylenol to give them?

The school we went to on Monday is the school where our family's sponsor child attends. I was able to meet him, and hug him and tell him that we are praying for him and his family. He was very sweet, shy, and a little overwhelmed I think. It would be a neat blessing to be able to go back and see him again, to see him grow. It makes it so real for us now, when we think of him and pray for him, that we can put a face and a place with a name.

On Wednesday, we headed back to the mainland on the ferry again. This time, it left pretty much on time, and we were able to watch the sunrise over the mainland, beautiful. It's such a gift to be able to still see God's beautiful creation amidst all the suffering and hardship in Haiti. It reminded me that God's mercies are like the sunrise, new every morning. We spend the rest of Wednesday, with Pastor Ben and his family, at a beachside resort. It was breath-taking. For a few minutes, I almost forgot where we were.

Our trip home on Friday was smooth. It was soooo good to be home. First on the agenda for me was a nice tall glass of water...with ICE! (Ice in Haiti is hard to come by.)

Overall, this was a great trip! As my friend, Brian says, not a trip for the faint of heart! Haiti is a rough place. Why did I go? Because God called me to. :)

Thank you all for your prayers and support!

Keep praying for the country of Haiti, for the people of Haiti, that Christ's love will abound!

In Christ's Service,
Danielle <><

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Who's up for an Adventure?!

I am! I think...I'm really finding that Satan is trying to dampen my spirits! I leave in 6 days for Haiti. This trip is going to be quite different than the last. (Earthquake excluded this time, I hope :) ) It is a medical trip again, but that's where the similarities end. We are going to a different place this time. We are joining up with some folks for the Hope for LaGonave mission. We will fly into Port Au Prince, then take a ferry over to an island in the bay. That island is called LaGonave. On the island, which is very mountainous, there are 4 churches scattered around. Each church also has a school. One of the main points of this mission is to educate the children. They also receive food and medical care while at the school.

Our team will go around to the different church/schools and give medical care to the children. We will hand out vitamins and other medicines as needed. These children are sponsored through families and individuals who donate $30 a month. Think about how much you spend each day, gas, food, heat, water, electricity, comfort! For $30 a month, these kids receive a Christian education, nutrition, medical care. That difference between them and us, staggers my mind.

Our family has taken on a child to sponsor. We picked Climando because he belongs to a family a lot like ours. He has a mom and a dad, two brothers, and a sister. So their family makeup is the same as ours...only that's where the similarities end. They live in a one room house with dirt on the floor. His parents work in the fields. They have to walk to fresh water. I am so excited to hopefully meet Climando and his family while I'm there. It will be amazing to put a real person with the name and picture we have. I will be sure to take pictures, as well. I understand he loves soccer, we can relate to that! I pray we can also share our love of Christ!

Well, I'm working on packing, I have my battery-operated fan packed! Please pray that all the details will continue to fall into place. Please pray for Andrew and the kids while I am away. I am so grateful for our friends, family, and church family who have donated $, time, and prayers to make this possible!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Danielle <><

Sunday, January 30, 2011

My baby is 7!!

Where does the time go? I know everyone asks this question, but it doesn't make time slow down. It seems like time goes faster and faster as I get older. Maybe it's because I feel so blessed in the here and now, that I often don't want things to change. And because things naturally change, I resist it.

Anyway, Anne is 7 today! I really can't believe it! Seems like yesterday that we were so excited to finally have some pink in the house! She has been a joy since day one. The boys treat her like a princess, which has been such a great lesson for them. I've been learning about the glorious difference between girls and boys, and I praise God for it! We've always called her Princess. Not in the spoiled, "it's all about you" sense, but in the "you belong to the kingdom of God" sense. We are all fearfully and wonderfully made. And God intends us to be princesses and princes in His kingdom. I pray that Anne will always know her Lord, Jesus. I pray that she will always feel the love of her earthly father and mother. As I pray this for all my children, and for you today as well!

Happy Sunday, everyone!

In Christ,
Anne's Mommy <><

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Friends by Grace

This week I was really feeling the grumps. I went to the chiropractor on Monday and he asked me how I felt. I said, "I'm grumpy, I'm fat, and I hurt!" He said, "It's the weather!" No, this wasn't just a blow-off. He was right. It's been grey and unseasonably cold here for a few weeks now. The sun seems to come out for a few hours, just to tease us, then it's back to grey and cold. (Now, if you live North of Savannah, don't get mad at me, I know it's colder and greyer up there!) Anyway, I think I'm a person who really doesn't do well in this kind of weather. It really seems to affect my mood. I also tend to get more headaches when there is stormy weather, something about barometric pressure, I think.

Anyway, this post isn't about complaining. It's about how God sends us friends to perk us up. I was praying early in the week about my mood, I hate to be grumpy and down all the time. Well, God answered me in the form of friends this week. On Wednesday, we had plans to meet some friends at a park to play football and have lunch. My friend called in the morning to tell me that the park was wet and muddy, and the forecasted sun seemed to be covered by clouds. So we decided to move the party to the Gibson house. What a blessing! It was just so nice to talk, about important stuff, and unimportant stuff. It's not like we solved any problems or anything, but it sure felt nice to just talk and laugh. I don't know, I guess other people can just give you a different perspective. Make us feel like we're not alone in this thing called life.

On Thursday, another friend came over, bringing lunch for me and the kids! What a sweet time of fellowship we had. I just really felt God's arms around me through my friends this week. He knew just what I needed, right when I needed it!

My prayer is that I can be those arms of Christ to my friends!

Have you hugged your friend today? :)

Danielle <><