Category Archives: Haiti

Proceeds from Portraits go to Vocational Scholarships in Haiti

(I apologize for the lack of photos in this post; my website is having issues uploading them at the moment. But you can check out photos from my last trip to Haiti in Haiti – Part One and Haiti – Part Two. I never quite got around to blogging the other parts I had in mind, so this is what it is for now!)

A few months ago, I made a quiet little change to my portrait business…you may have noticed it if you poked around last fall. All proceeds from portrait sessions will now benefit vocational scholarships for young people through Hope for a Village in southern rural Haiti. (When a scholarship is completed it may be sent towards paying for Haitian doctors and nurses at our community pop-up clinics.) This area was hit by Hurricane Matthew in October 2016, but is an area that I have been to a few years ago and will travel to again in the future.

In Cotes-de-fer, Haiti, young adults make plans for their city. They do things like create their own trash removal system to keep the streets of their town clean. That was the story that partly inspired this change in my business. It was the answer to my asking God, “How can I use my skills to help in a tangible way?” For several months I pondered the idea of doing a family portrait event where the proceeds went to HFAV, but He had something BIGGER in store.

The first scholarship will be to send a local woman to a skilled birth worker training program that’s already in place, Midwives for Haiti. I’ve been told by my friend Missy, the Hope for a Village founder who is originally from Cotes-de-fer, that many of the school teachers in the area are actually trained as nurses! Medical school is paid by the government as long as students agree to live in Haiti (and not leave for other Caribbean islands or the US, taking their medical skills with them). However, there aren’t enough jobs to go around to all the students when they graduate medical school. On my last trip, I met a tiny lay midwife, her sun baked by the sun and her bones tired from traveling many miles to get to all the births in the area. At that time, she said she was the only midwife still working births. It’s possible there was a “lost in translation” moment, but our translator said she was doing 8 births a week. A WEEK!!!

The need for more midwifery skills in the area is great. The options for families were either use the one local midwife, go to the small clinic in town, or go 2 hours to the closest [just okay-quality] hospital. It is 4.5+ hours to the best hospital in the country if you have a major issue. (And even then, it doesn’t mean you’ll get care….AND you’ll have to purchase all your medications and supplies at the random street vendor/pharmacy next door before they’ll treat you…) Recently there was a hospital built by a ministry, which opened at the beginning of December. The cost to deliver a baby is highest at hospitals, followed by a clinic, followed by a community midwife. If you have absolutely no money, you’re looking at giving birth with maybe your mother (if she’s still alive) or your sister. And that poses some major risks if something goes downhill (not to mention some risky old wives’ tales surrounding birth and breastfeeding practices). A trained birth attendant can save lives in this country!!

That’s one less baby without a mama…one less heartache for a family….

I knew with the circles I run in that I would be able to connect her and other interested women with educational opportunities. I just didn’t know what that would look like until now. (On that note, if you are a midwife who would like to come with us on a trip to that area to teach continuing education classes for nurses, PLEASE message me!)

To be honest, I am booked quickly as a doula/birth photographer and my calendar stays as full as I want it at this point. Not to overuse the phrase, but I’m really, truly blessed to be going to births and helping families or documenting their incredible birth stories! I felt like this was the direction God wanted me to take the portrait side of my business for the time being. So what does this look like in a practical sense? After cost of the product and a percentage of basic business expenses, the rest will be sent to Hope for a Village, earmarked for a particular scholarship or medical missions trip (to pay our Haitian doctor & nurse friends for helping at the free clinics we do for the most needy in the area). My model of creating art for your walls stays the same. Just because this is essentially a fundraiser for a non-profit doesn’t mean I’m going to cheapskate what I believe is an important thing – a physical, tangible, high-quality, printed piece of artwork that you will enjoy seeing in your home. It also means that I’m sticking with what I love to shoot: anything babies, maternity, & family. Just because the proceeds are for charity doesn’t mean I’m going to shoot an event or your dogs. Sorry, but it’s true…I used to do little stuff like that & enjoyed it at the time, but I don’t anymore. I really want to focus on creating this type of art involving families. It also means it will remain an investment to hire me. I am making you custom artwork. Yes, my prices may be higher than everyone and their sister’s husband’s cousin’s friend, but they are worth it. The quality products I’ve located through some special companies are amazing and the ART that is on them is created for your family to enjoy for generations.

If you’d like to book your own session, please visit the packages page for more information.

 

This. Is. Haiti. Part Two – A Heart Full of Love

Real Stories of Faith, Hope, & Love in Haiti

Part Two: A Heart Full of Love

“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)…”

Ephesians 2:4-5

I had been to Haiti once before with another organization that our church supports.  Both Matt & I had gone on the same trip (in 2007) and we both knew God was going to have us come back.  We were 100% prepared to move there after we got married, although we didn’t really have a solid idea of what we’d be doing.  We stepped out in faith & did the things that God asked us to do….but things just didn’t work out & doors were closed.  We were so confused because we thought we had been doing what God asked…yet it all seemed like a test.  A few months later, we found out we had a baby on the way, and during the course of my pregnancy/birth, I became passionate about sharing healthy birth with moms (particularly new moms).  Two years later I became a doula.

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Momma with her 10-month-old baby at the clinic in LaSous, a rural area outside of Cotes-de-fer, Haiti. Haitian babies are FAT! (And I mean that in a good way – babies are supposed to be fat!)

Lots of life changes had happened since that first trip!  With that, I finally knew more of what God’s plan for me in Haiti was: Change birth to glorify Him and to share with the moms that they are loved by the most magnificent Father.  The details are still being revealed to me along the way, but I dream of this happening all over Haiti.   (If you aren’t aware, Haiti has the worst maternal death rate in the Western Hemisphere; it is a 1 in 11 chance of dying from childbirth during your lifetime.  Eleven.)  [Sorry, I cannot remember where I found that statistic a few months ago, but will update it with a reference if I can find it.]

Then I met Missy a few years ago when my father-in-law (a pastor) told me she was holding Haitian Creole lessons for people in the area who were interested in traveling to Haiti. Missy is originally from Cotes-de-fer and moved to the states when she was a teenager.  She eventually got married & moved to Branson, where she became an nurse.  At that time, I told her I’d thought about opening a birth center in Haiti where women could have a safe, clean place to give birth, attended by a loving & well-trained midwife.  She also mentioned that she wanted to open up a clinic and a birth center in her hometown area.  But we didn’t really talk much else about it at the time, other than the possibility of working together on that in the future.

Fast forward a few years and Missy told me she was planning a second medical mission trip to her hometown.  The idea with these is to see people who may otherwise not seek out care, and to get de-worming pills to as many people as possible….but Missy told me she had also been thinking a lot about the birth center lately.  And I had been, too!  God was really laying this on our hearts at the same time…so after some prayer & talking with my husband, I decided to step out in faith and go on this trip.  Even though we were the most tight financially than we ever had been before & I had absolutely no extra funds at the time, nearly all of my travel costs were donated by supporters who felt the tug on their hearts. (Thank you all again!)  I loved that I would be getting the real experience of this country by going with someone who was born and raised there.  It seemed like I’d get the inside scoop on life in Haiti & more easily be able to find out information that I really wanted to know, but lack the language skills to ask (like about midwifery care in Haiti).

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Dr. Freed and Missy attending to a patient at the LaSous clinic.

While I was on the trip, I realized how unique of a position God had put me in…a photographer, with her camera, in the middle of the Haiti that HE knows….living with a Haitian family for a week; getting to chat in part-English/part-Kreyol with new acquaintances; hanging out with them in the evenings; learning some really detailed stuff about Haitian culture & everyday life; seeing beautiful sights in this area…..none of that is portrayed in the media.  So I am ever so grateful that God crossed my path with Missy so that I could share these photographs of the land He created and the people He loves.

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Beautiful sunset from the hill above Cotes-de-fer.  Image is for sale (print & digital) – please email for more info.  Proceeds benefit Hope for a Village projects in Haiti.

Missy has been ever-so-patient with me asking so many [weird] questions about Haitian culture & language.  I tend to think on these rabbit trails but she graciously went along those trails with me!  And I started to see more & more of her heart as I got to know her on this trip.  While walking through the downtown area of Cotes-de-fer one day (and yes, it is PERFECTLY safe to do so in this town), Missy pointed out the church where she had accepted Christ as her Savior.  When we got back home, I asked to hear more of her testimony.  When she was a teenager (13-ish), a friend invited her to go to this church.  Near the end of the service, the pastor invited anyone who wanted to accept Jesus as their Savior to come down to the alter to pray.  Missy felt a warm sensation in her heart, like she was being tugged to the front to respond to the message….so she went & prayed and accepted Christ as her Savior.

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Missy attending to a young neighbor during a housecall in the home of our hosts, Missy’s parents.

What follows is a story full of God’s grace, love, and leading in Missy’s life.  And I could see how that was reflected again in this trip.  For example….We were very late in getting to the airport the morning we had left.  I’m talking 5:25-am-flight-well-over-the-speed-limit-praying-desperately-to-God-something-would-be-delayed-running-to-the-gate type of story here!  Unknown to us, a plane had come in late the night before and the flight crew had to have a mandated rest period, making them arrive at the airport a little while after we did.  After running to the gate, we had a few minutes to breathe when we realized God’s little arrangement had already taken place & they hadn’t even boarded yet!  Because of that delay, Missy ended up being on the same flight as me to Port-au-Prince.  (Previously, we would have split up at the Dallas airport; then her flight was going to be an hour ahead of mine into PAP).  While I thought I would have been fine by myself, it did make things easier & more enjoyable to have a travel buddy through the rest of the airports and into the PAP airport.  (The new airport is really nice & more organized, compared to before the earthquake.  They have a wonderful little band playing music for you when you get off the plane!  It was very festive & welcoming!)

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Missy attending to a young patient at the clinic in LaSous.

It was little things like this (more of which will be sprinkled throughout the upcoming stories on this blog) that gave us the confidence that God’s hand was on this trip.  I saw the grace of God that Missy reflected onto the people around her, no matter what their circumstances were….I saw His love in her heart as she conversed with her patients during checkups at the clinics & housecalls….I saw how He led her through some sticky decisions that had to be made during the trip…I saw her heart for children poured out upon them.  And I saw all of that grace, love, and leading reflected in the legacy of faith she instilled in one of her four beautiful children, Stephanie, who also came on the trip.  Steph just finished her first year of college & is also going into nursing – this was her first time in her mother’s homeland.  I really enjoyed getting to spend time with her and see the never-ending smiles and the absolute LOVE for children that shone from her heart.  (When I asked her back in the States what her favorite part of the trip was, it was not really a surprise to hear: “Hanging out with the kids!”)

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Missy & Steph wading in the water at the beach in Cotes-de-fer, Haiti

After a few days and a few very interesting conversations with the locals, I started to sense the big picture of why our group was there (and why we will continue to do these clinic/de-worming trips). I know without a doubt that God loves me.  He doesn’t love me because of anything “good” I have done.  It is through my faith in Jesus as my Savior.  It is one thing that is extremely hard for many of us to grasp sometimes.  It defies society and many cultural beliefs (as it did at the time it was written), yet it is so simple: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”  (Ephesians 2:8-9)

But not everybody knows how great God’s love for them is!  He showed me on this trip that this is the case with many of the people in this area of Haiti.  It’s the case in my city, yes, but this is just another place where God wants me to be & wants me to share that fact with the people I meet.  God has many different means of ministering to people….a quick flip through the Bible can prove that.  I’ve noticed He mostly works through me by giving me chances to form personal relationships with people, forming trusting bonds with them, and simply sharing His truth or what He is doing in my life.  Yes, it is a type of ministry that takes time, and it may not be one of these impressive numbers-oriented things you see in a missionary statistic sheet or something.  But it works for the other people in this world whose hearts God created to also work in relational ways.

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Micheline, a neighbor girl whose incredible smile absolutely lit up her face every time she saw us, especially Stephanie!

And I love that providing a much-needed clinic gets that opportunity to build a repertoire with one-on-one contact.  We had over 600 opportunities during the course of this trip to show God’s love to people in various ways, including towards Haitian doctors, nurses, and community leaders who also may not know the love of God or need to be encouraged in the ministry that God has called them to.  I look forward to hearing of lives that are changed not just physically but also spiritually as we start forming deeper bonds with people on successive trips.  Eventually my husband & I hope to take longer & longer trips, maybe even moving there after retiring.  I could definitely see us living in the Cotes-de-fer area!

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Some team members setting up the pharmacy for the health clinic the next day.  Left to right: Rebecca (me), Steph, Dr. George, and Nurse Nadya. (George & Nadya are residents of Cotes-de-fer and run the clinic. They just married each other this summer!)

God wants the whole world to know how much He loves His people and what He has done to reconcile this world to him through Christ.  Christians are called to reflect the light of Christ and be the body of Christ to everyone, everywhere.  I love that our backyards stretch beyond our comfortable houses with 24/7 electricity and running water, and that our God cannot be confined to a box as small as our hometown!

This. Is. Haiti. Part One – Welcome to Cotes-de-fer

Real Stories of Faith, Hope, & Love in Haiti

Part One: Welcome to Cotes-de-fer

My heart is overflowing with a good theme;
I recite my composition concerning the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.

Psalm 45:1

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From the beach of Cotes-de-fer, Haiti.  This image is for sale (digital & print formats).  All proceeds benefit Hope for a Village projects in Cotes-de-fer.  Email rebecca@purecaptures.com for details.

The plane from Miami to Port-au-Prince was probably the most cheerful bunch of passengers I have ever been with.  They clapped when the plane touched down.  🙂  A few waved their hands in the air to say, “Thank you, God!” [for the safe landing].  I tried my best not to start bawling like a baby when I looked out the window, but I was so happy to be back that I did let a few tears out.  Seven years is too long to leave part of your heart without saying “bonjou.”

We were driven from the airport in Haiti by Missy’s cousin, Renauld.  (Missy is our trip coordinator, was born & raised in this town, and is now a nurse living in Branson, Missouri.)  It was evening when we drove through the main city & its suburbs.  I was so glad to get out of the city and breathe fresh air again.  Like any major city in America, there is a lot of smog.  The acrid smell of charcoal lingers throughout certain parts of the city at certain times of the day, and this was one of them.

I did not take any pictures in Port-au-Prince or its suburbs.  I just didn’t feel a need to take them….plus I knew from that previous trip that pictures from inside a moving vehicle rarely turn out well!  But I sat there smiling like an idiot, taking it all in.  It was definitely more shocking the first time around…this time, I felt very comfortable.  There were still things that made me laugh, like two people and three huge bags of charcoal all on the same motorcycle.  There were still things I don’t see too often (if ever) here, like a huge sow & her piglets rummaging through a trash heap.  There were still things that made me cringe, like a kid with only flip flops jumping over an open sewage canal.

But this blog series is not going to be about all the horrible things there are in Haiti. You will not see pictures of dirty, starving children with huge tear-filled eyes.  You will not see pictures of trash heaps or houses that [we think] are run-down just because they’re made of sticks and corrugated metal.  Too many people in this world want to talk about how wretched & poor this country is.  If you pay close attention, some of them even get some kind of sick joy from talking about those things.  God tells us over and over again in Scripture to take extra care of the poor.  But while extreme hunger DOES exist (just as it does in America), not everybody in Haiti is starving.  While healthcare needs ARE great, many of them are being met by local doctors & nurses (“dokte & enfimye”) at local clinics like the one in Cotes-de-fer.  While education is NOT easily available to everyone, more and more schools are being built – even some “free” public schools in the works.  It does little benefit to Haitians and to ourselves if we talk about Haiti in a way that assumes we are superior just because we have more things.  It breeds pride, and pride has shown itself to be our downfall over and over again throughout history.  (To clarify: Pride is the downfall of ALL of us, no matter what culture or religion).  Instead, if we humble ourselves and turn to the wisdom of the ages, Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthymeditate on these things.”  It IS possible to think upon the good things of Haiti in order to address the problems….not for, but alongside its people.

 

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Looking West at dusk down the main road of Cotes-de-fer, Haiti.  This image is for sale (digital & print formats).  All proceeds benefit Hope for a Village projects in Cotes-de-fer.  Email rebecca@purecaptures.com for details.


When we first drove into Cotes, it was dark & very late at night, and I had no idea how beautiful the scenery was surrounding the town and within the town itself.  All we could see were millions of stars and a stretch of the Milky Way Galaxy, so much brighter without any light pollution.  It wasn’t until the next day (and on the morning that we left to go back to the airport) that we saw the true majesty of this area.  At first you start driving through mountains, then past a lovely lake & salt flats (all of which look amazing paired with a sky that is ALWAYS beautiful & colorful).  You come into the Cotes-de-fer area from the west.  (The town is in the South-East section, right down on the “arm” of Haiti.)  There is a long stretch of the road where you are driving at sea level, and the ocean is clearly visible to the south.  On the other side, a flat plain & then some gentle mountains.  Everywhere there are banana and coconut trees (“cocoye”).  When you get close to town, you cross a new bridge over the river where people are often washing clothes, bathing, or taking their cows & donkeys to drink.  The road is then lined with banana trees on either side, making for a nice shady walk to the downtown area.  Almost all the roads to Cotes-de-fer have been worked on so that it is a much faster drive than two years ago.  Much of the downtown area is also paved, and they have a new town square.

 

Haiti-Ayiti-Cotes-de-fer-town-square

The new & colorful town square of Cotes-de-fer, Haiti, at dusk.  This image is for sale (digital & print formats).  All proceeds benefit Hope for a Village projects in Cotes-de-fer.  Email rebecca@purecaptures.com for details.


In the evenings, when people are finished with work and the sun has started to cool off, they have dinner and then hang out on their front porches, visiting & enjoying each other’s company.  Around the square, there are light poles with solar panels on top, which lights up the playground & soccer area until 10 or 11 at night.  (One evening we attended a church service at the pavillion & benches, led by Haitian missionaries from Port-au-Prince.)  There is a new police station right here across from the square (which we toured one day), making it easy to keep an eye on the activities.  Not that there is much crime here….I always felt very safe no matter the time of day.

The town is close to the beach.  It is a little rocky here, with rounded stones in many shades of gray.  A little ways down the road (if you drive) there is a majestic place to enjoy the day on the beach, along with several hotels & resorts in progress.  (Saving that for a future post.)  My second-to-last evening, I just HAD to go down to the beach to get my beach-at-sunset pictures because the light had been amazing all week in the evenings.  We took the kids who lived next door to LouLou & had a lot of fun collecting shells & taking pictures in the water.

 

Haiti-Ayiti-Cotes-de-fer-beach

Waves, rocks, & driftwood on the beach at Cotes-de-fer, Haiti.  This image is for sale (digital & print formats).  All proceeds benefit Hope for a Village projects in Cotes-de-fer.  Email rebecca@purecaptures.com for details.

Several people I talked to this week just couldn’t believe I thought this place was so pretty.  But it truly is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been (the other being Grand Teton National Park in the US).  Like anywhere, I suppose if you live somewhere you just get used to the way it looks.  You just have to get to the right places to find the pretty views!  (And this wasn’t even half of them….)

Haiti-Ayiti-beach-at-sunset

Looking south towards the beach in Cotes-de-fer, Haiti.  This image is for sale (digital & print formats).  All proceeds benefit Hope for a Village projects in Cotes-de-fer.  Email rebecca@purecaptures.com for details.

Come back next week to see more pictures & read more stories in Part Two.  In the meantime, please share the real beauty of Haiti with your friends using Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc.

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1 comment

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Delayed Trip – and Changing Birth in Haiti

We had a minor setback last week with the Haiti medical missions trip.  It has been delayed to the end of July due to the health issues of one of our team members.  (July 24-31)  He had to have some additional tests done the day before we were supposed to leave & they didn’t want him traveling until they knew what was going on.  We needed a doc or nurse practitioner registered with the Haitian government to get medications into the country, or else the meds had the chance of being seized by customs.

BUT!!  When calling around asking certain individuals if they knew anyone interested in coming last-minute in his place, I discovered that a lovely midwife I know is finishing up her nursing doctorate on traditional midwives (hope I remember that correctly, but it was along those lines).  She does a lot of work with the Amish around here in Missouri, working at a rural clinic and helping the Amish midwives with certain skills.  (The Amish midwives serve in their own communities and are not bound by state laws about midwifery, so they may or may not have had much formal training for sticky childbirth situations that a CPM/CNM may have had in their apprenticeship or midwifery college training.)  And that saves lives in childbirth!  So she definitely wants to be involved in the long-term project of the building of a birth center/clinic through Hope for a Village.  (And her knowledge about the topic will be crucial in the development of training programs for traditional community midwives in the Cotes area/country, which is part of my personal dream to see in Haiti – which has the worst maternal mortality rate in the Western Hemisphere.)

So this is much the same thing that I want to be a part of in Haiti, because the big difference in Haiti is that the closest hospital can be many hours away, and you aren’t always guaranteed care or the supplies needed for a complicated birth….and with maternal-infant health in developing countries, I suspect complicated pregnancies/births/post-partum periods are at a higher rate than here in the U.S. due to poor nutrition and things like carrying extremely heavy loads at young ages.  (Check out the last video on this list about a side-effect of that very thing – “A Walk to Beautiful.”  Other great videos on there too that you can watch from Every Mother Counts‘ website.)

Now the midwife wants to come on the new dates we have (which is really exciting for the above reasons, plus I just love her!), and I think our trip coordinator said another doc can come – two extra sets of hands to do checkups at the clinic in Cotes-de-fer.  🙂  I was disappointed about the delay at first, but now I am even more excited to have this midwife on board the team!!  God works in crazy ways sometimes!

I recently watched this video that really taught me a lot more about maternal-infant health in developing countries.  Please take the time to watch it.

Dead Mum’s Don’t Cry from Matt Price on Vimeo.

The main idea of this film is that maternal mortality rates won’t be changed unless the people in the country value women.  Between this film & a fantastic, eye-opening, challenging book I’ve read recently called “When Helping Hurts,” I feel like I have a clearer purpose of why ministering to the women in Haiti is so important.  In the book, Steve Corbett lists several comments from all over the word about poverty – from people who are IN poverty.  (Originally described in a three-volume series of books called “Voices of the Poor.”  Listen to this:

“For a poor person everything is terrible – illness, humiliation, shame.  We are cripples; we are afraid of everything; we depend on everyone.  No one needs us.  We are like garbage that everyone wants to get rid of.” -From a person in Moldova

“When one is poor, she has no say in public, she feels inferior.  She has no food, so there is famine in her house; no clothing, and no progress in her family.”  -From a person in Uganda

“[The poor have] a feeling of powerlessness and an inability to make themselves heard.” -From a person in Cameroon.

There are other comments…feelings of inadequacy, thinking that you are always going to be poor, you are trapped, it is your destiny, and you will always be deeply ashamed until the day you die.

Contrast that with the American perspective of trying to help the poor – give them THINGS.  Give them food, give them clothes, give them healthcare, give them STUFF.  But when it’s not coupled with encouragement/prayer/telling them God loves them in an effort to repair their broken vision of self, God, & society…..then it does very little to help.  Yes, those physical things are needed, but there is SO much more to it than most of us ever realized.  They need to be told they are beautiful.  They need to be told they can be a good & loving parent to their children (and practical ways to do it).  They need to be told they are creative & smart & can find clever ways to develop a business that supports their family.  They need to be told they are made unique in the image of a God who loves them.  (Likewise, there is SO much more in this book & I really recommend you buy a copy, read it, practice it, and lend it out to every person you know involved in ministry or non-profit work for the poor.)  Taking this into account & the economic research done by Corbett & the group at The Chalmers Center (for which Mr. Corbett works), building REAL relationships over a period of time & loving people can change lives.

Imagine this: When a single, pregnant teenage mom begins to trust another woman who encourages her; helps her wade through the information & decisions she needs to make surrounding pregnancy, birth, & parenthood; and helps her have a good, safe birth experience.  And THAT (at least in the U.S., but I suspect similarly worldwide…we’re all just people…) – THAT increases breastfeeding rates, promotes better bonding with her baby, & reduces the rates of abuse & neglect.  (Not to mention in unsanitary conditions, saves lives of babies who would otherwise be fed bottles cleaned/filled with dirty/contaminated water mixed with formula – and also not receiving the antibodies of breast milk that increases the baby’s immune system.)

With the support & love of this woman/en into parenthood, that new mom in turn will encourage her child as she/he grows up, breaking the cycles of abuse.  When she is repeatedly shown & told the truth of God’s love, she will grow to have the confidence that He loves her no matter what, that she is complete in Him, she won’t try to fill a void in the arms of a man who abuses her (or gives her the confidence to speak out against the man who raped her, as is too often the case).  She will instill that truth of love in her child, and she will feel empowered to come up with a creative business endeavor to support her family.  Her very loved child will continue the trend, as would each person whose lives they touched in turn.

If each of them continued to encourage at least three people in their lives in the same way….then those people spoke the truth to at least three more….then those to three more….You see where this is headed?  The confidence in God’s love to create businesses = money earned = more money spent at other people’s businesses = economic development & physical needs met all across the country (and specifically, healthier pregnancies/births/Post-partum periods with reduced risks) = decreased dependence on foreign aid.

People who have a clearer idea & respect of God’s IMMENSE LOVE for all of His people, including the daughters who are made in His image. Respect for mothers = motivation to CHANGE BIRTH in Haiti.

Self-sustainable.  A country changed.  People made new.  All from love.

For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.  -Colossians 1:19-20

Rebbeca, I am so excited for what you are doing for the women of Haiti! How fantastic that the midwife will be coming with you now! It’s so exciting when God lines everything up just so. I will look forward to hearing reports and updates from you!

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Eliminating Distractions

Just wanted to let the wondering minds know that I am temporarily deactivating my Facebook account at the end of this week – and all the distractions that come with it during the months leading up to my Haiti trip. (Read more about it & DONATE or PURCHASE a limited number of portrait packages here!)

This is so I can focus on God, my family’s needs, and to prepare spiritually for the trip. Matt is an admin of the Pure Captures Photography’s Facebook page so I might log on to his account and post when there are new updates on this blog about the trip, but I feel like God doesn’t want me to rely on social media for this fundraising effort. Yep, it’s totally opposite of what all those business blogs out there tend to say about using social media to further your cause, but this is what God wants me to do for a season, so I’m going to do it! The most detailed updates will be here on this blog, so check back. And I will be using good “old-fashioned” emails, phone calls, and face-to-face time to let people know what’s going on.

K e e p   I n   T o u c h