Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sweet Babies!

 We have 6 babies at Tytoo Garden's Orphanage ages 10 months to 2 yrs old. Each baby is uniquely made by our Father, and  has his/her own story. :)

Meet Lovena:

Lovena just turned 2, but is going on 13! Wow! This girl has personality! Lovena was brought to Tytoo on August 16, 2012. She was very malnourished, both of her parents were teenagers, and they were unable to provide for Lovena's needs. Lovena had a difficult time connecting with the caretakers, and didn't take a bottle when she first came. But as you can see, Lovena is a healthy toddler now. She still is a little sassy, but her smiles make up for it. :)

Steve; our Dennis the Mennis:

Steve's dimples melt everyone's heart, and get him out of trouble ALL the time! Steve's father wanted to have him admitted to Tytoo, because he couldn't care for him, due to no job, and no money. Steve was living an 8x8 room with no mattress and no belongings. His mother's  whereabouts were unknown. So Steve became part of the Tytoo family in January of 2012. Steve's father lives in a nearby village, and visits him occasionally. Steve is a happy 2 yr old boy with MANY friends here! 

The Twins; Kella and Kelly

Kella and Kelly were admitted to Tytoo with their 17 yr old mother in November 2012. The girls weighed a little over 15 pounds at 18 months old. Because of their severe malnutrition, Kelly and Kella's immune system has a difficult time  fighting off even a common cold. But thanks to Medica Mamba (a peanut butter packet with lots of nutrients) the girls are finally plumping out. Kelly and Kella's mother is no longer staying at Tytoo, because of her lack of obedience to our rules, but she does come to see her daughters almost weekly. It has been a joy seeing God heal these fragile bodies, and shine through their smiles! 


Chris also came to our gate 2 months ago very malnourished and sick. His mother wanted to leave him here, but with much encouraging she agreed to stay at the orphanage with him.  After a week of eating 3 meals a day, receiving lots of hugs, and getting medicine and Medica Mamba, 1 1/2 year old 
Chris was showing signs of improvement. However, Chris's mom was still uninterested in taking the responsibility of caring for her child, and decided to leave him with us. Because we knew that Chris's mom didn't want to care for him, we couldn't bear to make her take him. God has definitely brought significant healing to this little boy! The twinkle of life is in eyes, and he is always full of smiles!

Kerina Hope

Kerina is 10 months old and was left sitting outside our gate 2 months ago. Kerina appeared to be very healthy, clean and well cared for when we found her. Her mom was no where in sight, and didn't return for Kerina until 3 days later. By that time a judge had already placed Kerina in  Tytoo's custody. Kernina's mom was not interested in bringing her home, but wanted us to know that Kerina has family. How a mother can abandon her own child like that, I will never understand!  Kerina's giggles and spunky personality has won the hearts of many here... Including mine! 

Needless to say, the babies at Tytoo are precious and are pretty darn cute! However, with babies ..comes expenses.  Our budget for diapers, wipes, lotion, shampoo, powdered milk, formula, and food for just the babies is $1,000 a month. If you would like to provide care for these SWEET BABIES financially, you can give to:
Touch of Hope
205 Old Mill Lane 
Rock Rapids, IA 51246
(With TYTOO BABIES in the Memo)
With love,

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


About three weeks ago a baby was left outside the gate of our orphanage. The security guard found her sitting all alone, with no caregiver in sight. I picked up the little girl, who appeared to be about one, and put a diaper on her. I couldn't believe a parent would just leave such a beautiful child all by herself! And this child was dressed in nice clothes, her hair was braided, she was smiling, and looked healthy. So it seemed as if this baby was being well cared for.
After waiting an hour for mom to come back for this child, Casi, a Haitian staff at the orphange, and I went to the courthouse in a nearby town to get abandonment papers for this baby.  But before we left, we needed to give this child a name. We gave her the name HOPE. How fitting! In such a 'hopeless' situation, I knew that God was going to bring so much 'hope' to this precious child! 
Casi explained to the judge how Hope had been abandoned at Tytoo orphanage. The judges response was that this child is lucky that she is not dead! Needless to say, we got abandonment papers for Hope, and she is now in the custody of Tytoo. :) 
Two days after Hope was in our care, her mom came. Mom did not want to take her child home, but came to tell us her name, and that she had family. The baby's real name is Karina(we call her Karina Hope) and she is 8 months old. Mom said she has 3 other children at home and doesn't have money to take care of Karina.  We told mom that she can come visit Karina at the orphanage. We didn't encourage her to take Karina back, in fear that she would just abandon her somewhere else. 
Karina  is seriously one the happiest babies I have ever known! Her smile and laughter bring joy to everyone around her.
Karina Hope

So why and how could a mother abandon such a beautiful girl?! This I DON'T understand. But as Karina fell asleep in my arms the first night she was here, God told me that he has not abandoned Karina. He will ALWAYS be with her; He has not forgotten her(Isaiah 44:21). This gives me HOPE.  I have hope because God knows Karina by name(Isaiah 43:1). I have hope because  God has plans to give Karina HOPE and a future ( Jerimiah 29:11). I have hope because Karina is God's child, and she has the best dad ever! (1 John 3:1)

I would like to tell you that Karina's situation is a rare case in Haiti. But in fact, it is more common for a mother to want her child to be raised in an orphanage, where she knows her child will be fed, have clothes, and an opportunity to go to school, than for the mom to care for her child at home with maybe one meal day, a dirt floor to sleep on, and no money for an education. 

This week 4 mom's came to our gate, wanting us to take their children. These are difficult decisions for us to make...especially  if the child appears to be malnourished and sick. So I ask you to pray first for parents to would want to and be able to care for their children in our community. Second, I ask you to pray for the directors and I to have wisdom on what do to when mom's want to give us their children. And as for me, you can pray for strength when days are hot and exhausting, for God's  presence to surround me when I need a friend,  and for the love of Jesus to overflow through me constantly. 

My prayer for Karina and children in similar situations as her is Romans 15:13, "I pray that God, the source of HOPE, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident HOPE through the power of the Holy Spirit."

With Love,

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

God Cares

It has been a little over a month since I have been in Haiti. I honestly thought I would have had more time to read, keep in touch with friends and family and spend time with God, but each week has had it's own crazy adventures!  I was SO incredibly thankful that my mom and 4 other ladies were able to be with me my first 10 days in Haiti...especially my mom!  I was able to show my mom where I would be living for the next few months, and introduce her to my Haitian friends.  What a blessing it was loving on the children at Tytoo Orphange with her and seeing her servant heart as she served the children and people in Haiti. Thanks mom..and ladies for making it an enjoyable transition to Haiti!  
My mom and I in my new apartment!

After dropping off my mom at the airport in Haiti and said goodbye, tears trickled down my cheeks. It hit me that I was NOT just on a week long mission trip this time. I would like to say that my transition to Tytoo Garden's Orphanage has been an easy one, but living in a 3rd world country has been a bit more difficult than I expected. Here are just a few changes in a my routine: Bugspray has become my new perfume of choice, anything with ice is my favorite drink, grocery shopping is an ALL day, FUN day outing ( I get to buy ice cream and diet coke!), people who speak English are my best friends, and seeing pigs tied to a tree is normal.  :)

My job at the orphanage is to oversee the caretakers of the  35 children at Tytoo, and provide structure and activities for the children. The children are on a summer break now, so we need to make LOTS of changes with the staff.  Please pray for wisdom on how properly train the staff, and for understanding as the language barrier is a struggle.

Last week, after an exhausting day helping care for four 2 year olds, trying to figure out the schedule for the caretakers of the children,  and having children in my personal bubble ALL day, I laid on my bedroom floor and just cried.  My heart longed to see my family and friends. I wanted to talk to them, laugh with them, and just be near them.  As I told God these desires, He spoke to me in a song, called "Fountains", by Jon Thurlow. Here are some of the lyrics that gripped my heart:

"Cast all your cares on me, because I care for you. I care for you.

All your fountains are in me, and I have everything you need, just keep coming back to me.

Those who call upon my name, they will not be put to shame. Just keep coming back to me.

So come to me if you are weary, and I will give you rest, I will give you rest.

My yoke is so easy, my burden is less, my burden is less.

Cast all your cares on me, because I care for you, I care for you."

As I listened to these words, I heard God saying that He cares for me, because He is my   Father who ALWAYS loves me.  He takes away my stress, and burden of providing good care of orphans in a 3rd world country, and gives me  TRUE rest. My Father simply wants me to COME to HIm.  I also heard God say that just as I longed to be near my friends and family that know me and love me, the fatherless children at Tytooo have a deep desire to be with their mom's and dad's. The difference is that I know that I will see my  mom, dad, and siblings again soon...these children have no idea when and if they will will ever see their parent's or family members again.  Some of these children have been abandoned at the gate of our orphanage, some have come from homes of abuse, and some come from parent's who can't afford to feed them.  The comfort that I can bring to the beautiful faces here, is that God our forever Father cares passionately about them, just as he cares about me....just as he cares about you.  Our Father's love is unending and lasts FOREVER!  My prayer is that the children at Tytoo will see and feel this limitless love from God through me and truly know that God cares about them. 

2 of the younger kids: Lovena and cute!

These kids LOVE posing for photos!

"Cast ALL your cares on God, because He cares for you."
1 Peter 5:7   

Thank you all for your prayers and support!  You mean so much to me!

With love,