In my most recent post below, I mentioned that I had lost the first Haiti trip update...well I stumbled upon it and published it. It is 2 below this one. Who knew there was an automatic save on drafts? Apparently not me. Learn something new every day.
I feel weird blogging. I think its because I feel like it can rob me of vulnerability only God should have access to. But the Lord knows my heart in this and I feel certain he wouldn't mind me blogging. :)
I have an updated note on facebook about my last trip to Haiti at the end of May. I tried to write a post up here about it, and ended up deleting it on accident and got frustrated. So I figured it wasn't supposed to be posted(that's my excuse for letting the frustration win). :) Among several tasks, one thing we accomplished while there, was purchasing the bunk beds mentioned in my previous blog post, with the help and support of many many people. A big thanks to all of them/you out there.
As the Lord continues to provide for the major needs of Orphanage on the Rock(OTR), I am reminded that according to James 1:17, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change." I love this truth and characteristic of God.
The needs of OTR have been on my mind and in my heart for months now, as I have taken on the responsibility of fund-raising for some of their most basic needs(food, etc.)...
As time goes on, more desires from Willio and the orphanage arise. They desire new books for school, uniforms, money for summer school apprenticeships, etc. I often get overwhelmed with the desire to provide all these things, and more so with a doubting/frustrated heart. I have recently pondered the fact that it is not my role to provide anything for anybody, I am just a middle man, the messenger. There is much responsibility with being the middle man, but no pressure to create the message/gifts, etc. that the Provider is responsible for getting to the middle man in order to deliver it. There is much peace and freedom for me in this realization. I am only responsible to ask the Provider what the gifts/messages are and where they are going. Sometimes, I don't even have to ask, but rather just answer the question of "Am I willing?" It is my role to be a faithful, willing servant of the Lord and a cheerful giver.
Also, if I can be completely vulnerable and honest... due to what I've read and the perception of Haiti, I fear that I(and those who help me) will get taken advantage of. No matter how much homework you do, or how much you think you are not naive, there is always the chance that you will get "robbed," deceivingly. This fear has been a struggle for me. So, my prayer is that God will continue to faithfully provide me with necessary discernment, wisdom, and faith to carry out the tasks at hand with OTR. I neither want knowledge nor fear to hold me back from demonstrating God's love to people in Haiti. I am working for the Provider, not those who are receiving provision. Once I, the middle man/messenger have accomplished that which the giver of good gifts has told me to do, it is out of my hands and control. Obedience is required of me, not fear. I am compelled to help God's people who are in need, particularly orphans...and nothing should stop it. I am praying for faith to trust God to show me what to do, and know that He will provide the means and protect my heart/his ministry accordingly. I am sharing this, so that if you are a believer in Christ Jesus, you will also pray these things for me.
God is good...
CAN ANYONE TELL ME HOW TO PUT PICTURES WITH MY BLOGS...NOT JUST ON THE SIDE OF MY PAGE(I'm technologically challenged) ? :) THE TOP PICTURE GOES WITH THIS POST, fyi.
I returned from Haiti a couple of weeks ago. We were able to get bunk beds for the kids at Orphanage on the Rock in Ouanaminthe, Haiti. It was great, they loved them...and so did we! No more sleeping on the floor. The scripture that continues to pound my thoughts from the very get go of finding out that we raised the money for the bunk beds is...
James 1:17 "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change."
Praise God for providing good gifts. I am often overwhelmed by the goodness of God, from the giving of his son Christ Jesus, so that I may have life...to a much needed, simple, 2 hr conversation with a friend that leaves me challenged and encouraged to be a child of God and all that it entails. Not just some good gifts are from God...EVERY good and perfect gift is from my heavenly Father. I praise God for the good work being done in Haiti, and for the simple goodness He provides me with day in and day out.
The Haiti trip I just came back from went great. We got a lot accomplished with the kids and community of Ouanaminthe,Haiti. Many art projects were done to put on things that will sell here in the states to raise money to build a school for the kids (see the referenced link to this post for more on education in haiti).
I, along with others who love the orphans and community of Ouanaminthe, will be raising money to buy the 33 orphans bunk beds to sleep on. They are sleeping on the concrete floor right now, sharing donated sleeping bags/sheets with each other. Beds are a luxury in this community it seems. Willio, the pastor and orphanage father to the kids informed us that he didn't have a bed until he was 22 years old.
While we still come up short with funds to adequately feed the orphans each month, I feel like buying beds for the kids is a "quick fix" and can be accomplished rather quickly with donations from generous givers.
If we should received more funds than necessary for the beds, it will go directly into the food budget, which is about $660.00 a month (about $20 a month per kid, just for food).
I want to thank so many of you for already asking questions, ready to give. I will have more details on this project as soon as I find out how much the beds will cost, and how many we will be purchasing. One thing to consider when purchasing beds is space. Please continue to thank God for providing for the orphans thus far, and ask Him to lead us as we implement measures to better care for them.
By God's grace, may his work be accomplished in our lives.
The Beginning: When Audrey(his mom, my sister in law) was pregnant with Zachary I hoped that God's plan for them was to keep them healthy in this phase of life...and God did. I would feel Audrey's stomach all the time when she announced that he was moving. I LOVED it when he responded with movement of any sort and would sometimes kiss her tummy(in a non weird way, haha...we are extremely close) as if I was kissing his sweet self.
The News: I was sitting in my living room on Monday Oct 26, planning on getting stuff done since I was going to work the next day. I saw my aunt on skype and was chatting with her when my mom called and said Audrey was 4cm and she and Brian were headed to the hospital. This was around 1:30pm. It was kind of funny I found out through skype(I was talking with my aunt, my mom called her and she said outloud what mom was saying on the phone) that they were heading to the hospital, I guess Brian told mom she could call everybody but Karen and me because he wanted to call us...who knew! We laughed about that later.
I slammed my laptop shut, jumped in the shower(which I normally take at night but had planned on running first that day)got dressed, packed a few pair of clothes to head to the hospital and off I went...only to realize when I was in my car heading out of the driveway that I had no idea how to get to Rex hospital, haha!
I did all that and was in my car with no directions in approximately 37 minutes. I was in such a hurry for one because I was so stinkin' excited. For two, I told Audrey awhile back when she asked, that she could use my laptop while she was in labor...this was their only request from me so I was gonna make it happen and was SO happy they asked!
The Hospital: I found my way and was the first one to get there from our family. I hurried up and found audrey's mom, audrey, and brian sitting in the room. I dropped off my backpack, complete with my laptop, dvds, and some popcorn(for brian, haha) and gave him a hug. It didn't take me long to realize she was in active labor when I went to love on Zachary(aka Audrey's stomach) and as I was 2 inches away, audrey in her sweet voice said softly but firmly "wait!" and that's all it took. I know pregnant women(I'm an L&D nurse) so I respected that, and then her parents and I let them be as the cord blood lady came in to ask questions.
I talked with Audrey's parents outside of their room for about 10 minutes about common labor stuff/process and then we decided to just go to the waiting room. This was the last I saw of Brian and Audrey before Zachary. I did try to go back and see them and when I knocked on the door, the nurse outside said Audrey was showering. But I knew I heard another voice, only to find out later that Katie(audrey's sister) had snuck in for a few while I was with their parents walking around to find coffee. I'll try to fast forward a little and leave out some pretty pointless details...
So the families started piling in(and aunt Jill brought us all some Dunkin doughnuts!)...
Katie, audrey's sister, is pregnant herself and she was on edge for the majority of audreys labor, knowing her sister was in pain while laboring, etc. By on edge, I mean she did not like being on the other end of having a baby, the waiting part(she has a little boy)! None of us did, really. I found her at one point(when I got tired of not knowing myself)pacing the hallway hoping her sister was okay. I remember thinking and I think I said to her that Audrey is not only the sweetest, soft-spoken, most gentle person I knew, but also one of the strongest people I knew. Not sure if it helped her, but it helped me not to worry about her myself, haha.
Zachary is Born!: Katie, Karen, and I were all sitting on a hard-ish type bench staring at the elevator for at least 2-3 hrs waiting for Brian or someone to get off and tell us we could come see our first Nephew! We watched the numbers go down from floor 2 like it was our job...and no one ever came. I asked the security guy if they had moved rooms and he said yes and gave me the number! I immediately told the family I knew he had been born and apparently they were in room 320. The real number was 323 but I wanted to beat them all and selfishly love on him myself so I purposely told them a different room. But I knew they would find out sooner rather than later, so it was more me trying to be funny...I only told Katie the real room number, I knew she was equally as excited as I was, we were such proud, excited aunts! We found out around 9:30pm that Audrey had delivered. Brian called mom and said we could all go up.
HAHA, it makes me laugh thinking about it. Katie, Karen and I b-lined it to the elevator and politely told our families that we could not wait for them, therefore we were the first ones in the room. We were greeted at the door by Brian holding Zachary swaddled nicely in a baby blanket and Audrey just as beautiful as ever in the bed. I loved on bubba(Brian) and gave kisses to Zachary(and then audrey), not wanting to seem selfish in asking to hold him, knowing I might not have first dibs considering there were a bagillion of us there wanting him...
Then the rest of the family came in and we all analyzed his adorable, most perfect and beautiful self and were overwhelmed with excitement. We were all there for a few and then people started to fizzle out(it was getting late) and just my immediate family and audrey's immediate family stayed around. We had much much waiting before we finally got to go back in and hold the sweet fella for a few. It was worth every bit of waiting to hold him, for the 10 minutes I got. I LOVED HIM SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH. He was just beautiful. I'm not bias, haha...I've seen ALOT of babies, and he was gorgeous.
Work: I debated for awhile onMonday about whether I should call out of work on Tuesday, and looking back I am SO glad I did. I went home with mom and dad that night and we went back up to the hospital the next day...and I got to hold Zachary AGAIN for a little longer(not nearly long enough of course though)! Katie and Bobby had stopped by for a few and they left shortly after we arrived. We played pass the baby for a little bit :) He was SO precious. His little foot at one point had become all dis-raveled in transit from one family member to another and was sticking out when I was holding him. My mom went to put it back in, and I said no...I wanted to see his little foot and leg. I loved it, and I am glad I got to see his little precious feet. I eventually covered them back up, I wouldn't let my little fella get cold!
That is all I have of my memories of Zachary. There are a lot more details I left out and I could add more to the story, but this is all I got for now...and its really long.
I am very thankful to have had the time I did with Zachary, many of our relatives never got to meet him or hold him. I feel so so grateful and miss him so so much. I loved him a lot. He will forever be my first nephew.
Well well, where to start? I'm sure most of you reading this know a little of what is going on right now. If not, here's what's up:
My nephew, Zachary Nathanael Wiggs, was born on October 26th to the most amazing parents ever(not just cause they are my kenfolk either), and passed away unexpectedly on October 30th. We have no reason, no disease, no mishap and nothing/no one to blame his death on, which can be hard to comprehend at times. I have resolved to accept it as God's plan and sovereign will for Zachary's life.
I obviously have had many thoughts go through my head the past 5 days as I digest and deal with not only my enormous hurt and grief, but my brother and sister in law's pain and the rest of our family's pain. I might as well share them with you...
I want to address my faith in this post, the next one will be all of the wonderful thoughts and memories of Zachary I have and had when Zachary was born, etc.
Many people say it is okay to "question God". I put this in quotation marks because the wording can be taken in 2 different ways and I hold an opinion that says only one is okay(for now at least). I believe to question God is not okay. From personal experience with hardships in the past, I unfortunately chose this path once before, and hated it. I believe to ask God why in a sense of "Lord why did you let this happen?" is to question God's character, authority, and in essence, allows a small amount of doubt to creep in. In my experience a couple of years ago, satan grabbed that little bit of doubt and drug me down, I questioned my faith and everything else I had ever been 100% sure about. It was awful, and only by God's grace did I get through. If you are a child of God, He will not let you go. He continued to bring me to his word, and it was my daily bread, even through doubting. Sry, got off on a tangent, but that explains why I don't know that asking God "why?" in that sense, is healthy. Give satan a foothold when he's already out to "steal, kill, and destroy" you, and you are in for a tough ride.
Tell me what you think about the previous paragraph....I wrestle with a lot of thoughts and continue to run to scripture with my questions, you might have insight or answers I've not yet been shown or given...or perhaps if you know me, you can suggest I reword this paragraph to make more sense to communicate what I believe. :)
The question I believe is okay to ask God is "What is your purpose in this Lord? Because surely you do not willingly bring affliction upon your children(lamentations 3). Your word says you are loving, full of compassion and slow to anger. You must have some purpose in taking Zachary's life that will bring you glory and fame?" That is what I am thinking. God created us to glorify and praise Him. He is all knowing and His ways and thoughts are higher than my ways and thoughts(Isaiah 55:8-9). When Job questioned God, God responded..."where were you when the foundations of the earth were formed." hmmm The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord.
That last paragraph was hard to write. I believe and trust in God and His Word. But that doesn't take away the pain and the fact that I am still hurting, really really bad. My heart hurts so bad I cannot explain it. I ask those questions and wait in expectation for God to reveal His plan and purpose in all this. May I have opportunities through my precious Zachary to share God's name with others and how Jesus Christ rescued me from eternal death.
Death came into this world because Adam and Eve chose to eat the fruit God forbid them to eat. This is the first occasion sin entered the world, and we(decedents of Adam) have been sinful ever since. BUT, Death has been conquered by Jesus Christ on the Cross and this gives me the hope that I will see Zachary again one day, because I have trusted that Christ paid for my sins on the Cross and has given me eternal life, even when this earthly life is over.
If you have questions about any of this, feel free to ask me, I ain't skeered. :)
whew, I feel so scattered right now...more to come on my experience(s) with Zachary, my precious, sweet, beautiful nephew...