Children of the Promise, HAITI

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Note from Jan

Working with Dept. of Homeland Security to get more of our adopted children cleared. They are GREAT! Pray that all will get clearance from DHS, USCIS and the Haitian Prime Minister.

Cash Wise was huge sucess!! (Article from West Central Trib.)

 Rodchield Jean-Baptiste, a 3-week-old baby from Haiti, is held Friday by Laure Swanson of Willmar. The baby drew a lot of attention from the people making donations Friday. The baby is in the U.S. for medical care and will be returning home. (Tribune photo by Ron Adams)

Ezekiel (Zeke) Bonnema, of Willmar, helps Friday with the organization of donations to the Children of the Promise orphanage in Haiti during a donation drive at Cash Wise Foods in Willmar. A semi trailer was waiting outside of the store for donations to be loaded. Ezekiel (Zeke)is the grandson of Bud and Jan Bonmema, of Prinsburg, who founded the orphanage 10 years ago. (Tribune photo by Ron Adams)

  Thanks for all who gave!!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Note from Daryl

note from Daryl in Port-au-Prince. "Plan right now is a flight with the 3 children for Canada on Saturday morning.....spending the night at the embassy on Friday night. Pray that the flight stays for Saturday morning and isn't delayed."

***Praise God that Daryl is down there! Pray that all goes well and they all have strength for the next couple of days!!***

Drop off at CashWise 11-7.

Attention Willmar Readers. There will be a Drop Off for Donations 11am-7pm FRIDAY Jan 29th... @ Willmar MN CashWise

Bring or buy items for Children of the Promise.
There will be a list there and a trailer to pack !!!
Let's see how fast we can fill it up.
Thanks for giving generously!!! 
*** Thanks Lulu Beans for making this happen
& Cashwise for allowing us the space!!***
(also if any one is willing to help during any of that time just come on over :)

Cash Wise (in Willmar,MN)
Friday Jan. 29

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Note from Jenny in Haiti

Whenever our children leave to join their adoptive families, all the kids and staff throw a big going away party for them and get prayed over by the other children. With children leaving so quickly and unexpectedly there wasn't any time for a party. Jenny wrote this about what happened when so many children left on Sunday.

Jenny wrote this:"Every night I go to bed thinking that the next day cannot be any busier than the one I just had, and then the next day hits. And it is somehow crazier than the day before. On Sunday, we loaded up Chelda, CD, Owen, Eli, and Ti Eli and sent them off to the airport. We had serious doubts if immigration was going to let them leave. I was having a very hard time dealing with the uncertainty. After sending them off, I went out to the baby house to give the rest of the kids their snack.

The Lion crew is down to 7 kids now, and they all sat down at their table for snack. One of the boys asked where Owen was and if he was coming back. I told them that Owen was going home to see his mommy and daddy. They asked if Chelda was going home too. I told them yes and they all started clapping and cheering. Then Woodson looked at me and said, "Nou bezwen priye pou li". Which means, "We need to pray for them". Then he said, "Jenny, you do it". So we prayed for them. We thanked God for them and prayed that God would let them go home today so they could see their mommy and daddy. It was a moment I will never forget. I knew in that moment that God was listening, and He would answer their prayer."

Note from Robin

Since the earthquake, we have had 9 kids go home to their adoptive families. 3 children have left on medical visa's and we hope to have many more children unite with their adoptive families. Thanks for all your prayers, but continue praying as we work on getting these other children home safely.  We'll keep updated.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Jenny and Jamie in the NEWS

Note from Jan

Kali from Senator Klobuchar's office called. Because the flight came in later last night and into Bradenton, they (not sure if it's immigration or Health and Human Services) felt they did not have enough time to process the families. Therefore, they are supposed to take the children to a safe place until they process everything. Unfortunately last night this was was done in a manner detrimental to the children and parents. They are working with immigration, Health and Human Services and others to make sure that this does not happen again. They want parents to be prepared to be at immigration for a time to make sure they can finish the processing. Kali's office also wants to be kept in the loop of when and where children are flying in to also prevent this from happening again.
Regarding adopted children that still need to get into the U.S. This afternoon President Preval was meeting with Hillary Clinton and other U.S. officials to determine what forms or information that Haiti should have regarding these children that are leaving. Haiti would like information on the children that leave. This is not stopping the adopted children from leaving. It is simple a "pause". When Kali asked how long of a pause, she was told "not a week".
Kali has the entire list of our adopted children from every state. So does Maura from USCIS. When we start getting parole letters for our children to leave the country again, we will try to work ahead with our planning so that Kali and the others are prepared for their entry into the U.S.
Agape Flights has been a huge blessing to COTP to get our children out. The flights have been donated. Yesterday it was one pilot who was a passenger and escort to all 5 children.
We will continue to work together.
Please pray that more children will be released this week straight to their adoptive parents. That 3 kids who need medical help and don't have families could get out.
A helicopter was supposed to have landed this afternoon at COTP bringing in injured children from Port au Prince. We need the adopted children to get out to make room. We could use any people with medical backgrounds to help us also.
keep praying,


You can watch the video clip of the story also on that same site.

The "author" of this article didn't know Eli was taken away at the time. We've let him know that now and we're following up.

Note from Robin

There has been so much happening the last few days. Things are not looking good for Haitian adoptions. Please please just pray!! Last night we had 5 of our kids leave and now 2 of them are being held in "protective" custody 3.5 hours away in a GROUP HOME. One of these little boys has to take medication every day and we only packed a few days worth. The family was going to take him to the doctor right away. We have two more babies flying out this morning.
Daryl has not yet gotten to PAP. His charter flight keeps getting pushed back. He is now scheduled to arrive tonight as long as everything is still a "go". He is still going to try get to the embassy, but we have been told they are no longer issuing any humanitarian parole's. He may get turned away right away without even trying. PLEASE pray things change. If he gets turned away from the Embassy he is going to try get to CAP to help out there. We have some people stateside that are still trying to help get all our kids out. We just don't know what is happening with any of it.

Send to all your prayer warriors you know!

Note from Robin

Any minute we could have up to 20 more injured kids land at our property via helicopter! We need to get these kids out who have families to make room for the PAP kids!! (about 11:00am central time)

Note from Jan

Hallelujah--many, many working all day and 5 kids are enroute to Florida with Agape Flights! I can't even tell you how wonderful this is. Pray for the rest...2 more scheduled for tomorrow. (monday 25th)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Note from Jan

Please pray! We have USCIS clearance for 7 more children. Agape is sending a small jet to Cap-Haitien this morning. We want and need Haitian immigration to not only agree to their departure but to feel good that they are helping their children. And safety for ALL.

Prayer Requests January 23, 2010

· Joy in the midst of sorry and tragedy!! Children of the Promise has had 9 children approved to go home to their adoptive families!! We have also had 3 babies leave on medical visas. This has all happened in the past couple of days. 5 of the children are already in the States and 7 will hopefully be leaving Haiti in the next few days.

· Pray for approvals to be granted for the rest of the children at COTP that have adoptive families.

· We have many people working hard for those approvals to be granted. Pray for all the people involved. Daryl is in Miami tonight and will hopefully be flying to Port-au-Prince tomorrow morning to go to the US Embassy to work on obtaining more approvals for children to be united with their adoptive families. He is flying on a chartered plane that is supposed to leave tomorrow (Sunday). However, they are still working on getting a plane. Please pray that a plane will be found and that they will be flying to PAP tomorrow so that Daryl can go to the US Embassy right away on Monday morning. Pray for safety in his travels and for success at the US Embassy. There are also people working hard in the States for these approvals – pray that they will continue working hard and be persistent in their efforts.

· Please be praying specifically for the nannies working at Children of the Promise. Many of them have lost family due to the earthquake. They are going through a very rough time right now. It is also very hard for them to see all “their” kids at the orphanage leaving. They are so happy for the kids but you can see on their faces that it is tough on them.

· Caleb Charles was one of the babies that left on a medical visa yesterday. He is in Ohio now but is very sick. Please pray for his health. Caleb has an encephalocele that needs to be repaired.

Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:21-23

Saturday, January 23, 2010

7:45pm Central Update (1-22-10):
Today probably covered every emotion known; joy, frustration, anger, sadness and relief.

This morning two of our volunteers, Brenda and Dave, were leaving for the states on Lynx Air. We received permission from Homeland Security this morning for Gavin to accompany them to the U.S. He needs reconstructive surgery or he will not survive long. The people from the Dept. of Homeland Security were working very hard to get clearance for two more babies who have to get to the U.S. for major surgeries.

Brenda, Dave, and Gavin all left for the airport with our Rebecca Miner, RN. About 45 minutes before the plane was supposed to leave Haiti we received word that Rodchield and Caleb Charles could leave. Rodchield is 2 weeks old, has club feet and other issues, Caleb Charles has an encephalocele that needs to be repaired. Jamie Groen quickly left to take them to the airport hoping to get these two babies on the same flight with Brenda and Dave. In the meantime, we were told that Agape flights would be able to take out any of our adopted babies that had paperwork clearance. We tried frantically to get approval for a lot of children. We only were able to get one child cleared, but there were no vehicles to take him to the airport. The father took a motorcycle to get himself and new son to the airport to leave with the Agape pilots.

While this was happening, the Haitian immigration authorities at the airport were refusing to allow our medically fragile babies leave on Lynx since they didn't have Haitian approval (passport). Rebecca and the pilot convinced the Haitian immigration person that they legally could leave based on President Preval's permission (he must have missed the memo).

The 2nd Agape plane stayed the night in Cap-Haitian and the pilots are staying at our place. Government offices are trying very hard to get permission for more of our adopted children to leave. The pilots will wait around with the hope that they can fly some of our children out to FL tomorrow.

So many people are working very hard to help us. Remember them as well as our children and the Haitians in your prayers.

Letter from Jamie Groen (field director in Haiti)

I just wanted to give you all a bit of an update on how things are going here. First off, we are all still fine here, even after another earthquake. Most of us here did not even feel this one. From what I have heard here, this one did not cause a large amount of extra damage. Most people in Cap did not even know it happened.

We seem to be doing a hundred things a minute here right now. I don't think that Jenny or I have taken much of a break since quake happened. However, we sleep well at night and definitely feel that God is moving us beyond what we think we can do into what He knows He has enabled us to do.

I've made the comment a few times that everyone else in the world probably knows more about what is going on in Port than those here do. Jenny and I have had little time to look at the pictures or read the stories. Those living around us do not have access to computer, tv, or any picture media; so they know very little as well. We only know what people coming up from Port are telling us. We rejoice when family members have made their way out of the destruction in Port, but shudder at the stories that they have to tell. Few of those who made it here are without injury. But living family members are still showing up, so we praise God for that.

Currently, we are working on several key things. Our main work is with our kids. You have probably heard reports of kids getting out of the country. So far, none of our kids have gotten out, but we are working on it. It is our hope to get all of our kids with families to the States with their families, if we can clear it with the American Government. Our greatest fear is that tougher days are ahead here in Haiti, and that the adoption process may take a long time to get up and running again.

We have not yet received any new babies. We've seen a flood of people coming into Cap from Port, but have seen few children. We are hearing that orphanages in Port are taking kids in by the 100s. We believe the issue right now is safe transport. It is not safe to travel from Port to Cap, so moving babies is not a good option right now. We are still preparing for more, but do not know when this will happen. In a nation that has likely just tripled or quadrupled its already huge orphan population, we will no doubt feel this affect of the quake.

Fuel and supplies seem to be moving into Cap at the moment, which is a really good thing, but we are still trying to stock up just in case. We are also mobilizing to help those in our area who have been affected. Our community has committed to supporting 10 people from Port who have made their way up here, more are likely soon to come. They will be staying in a nearby school. The community donated some basic needs (clothes, toiletries, etc), and we are providing some supplies and all the food. It's amazing to see some of the outpouring of people here. The community around us is in absolute poverty, and yet they are giving to those in great need right now. Some of these people will not be able to eat in 2 weeks because they have taken in family from Port, but in their minds there is no other option. Family trumps hunger, so you just spread what you have a bit further.

I've been amassing some food that we can give to some of these families when they start to run out. We are getting to know who has received family and who are in the biggest needs. The community is organizing much of this and letting us know who is in the biggest need. We have been blessed with many generous donations in the states, and we are trying to reach those in the greatest need here. We will continue to use these donations into places that God is leading. We thank you for all your support and generosity!

Jamie Groen
9:45pm Central Update (1-19-10):
I have no idea how to describe this week. What has happened in Haiti seems apocalyptic. I wonder how similiar it is to Japan in 1945.

It seems with desperation setting in and level of uncertainty rising, that the earthquake may have been the easier part to survive.

Reports came to us that diesel could rise to $60/gallon. Price of food seems to be blood, and relief is in slow motion.

In spite of all the "scary" news I have to say how impressed I have been with many of the people. Man on the street saying"our buildings are all down but God is raising us up, Praise be to God". The spontanious reaction at the time of the earthquake has been to worship and acknowledge God. More footage of people helping each other, than looting. A lot of personal sacrifices for strangers.

Children of the Promise has no damage to the property. we are about 90 miles from the epicenter and the people there did feel the quake and days of aftershocks. Missionaries would describe the aftershocks as lasting for minutes and many people getting motion sickness from rocking for hours after the initial shock. Everyone knows someone that will not be back and stories of God's protection on those spared.

On the day of the earthquake our own Antonio spent most of the day in the airport trying to get to an adoption meeting in PAP. The weather kept him grounded in Cap Haitien so he was unable to make the trip. The people he would have been with had their building destroyed and was seen many times on CNN. The staff he would have been with did not make it. Antonio would have been there with one of our babies.

Pierre usually spends Tues. afternoons in a class with other Campus Crusade employees. He was out of the country on other training on Jan. 12. Eleven of his friends had attended class that day.

The migration north is in full swing. We have been asked to sponsor 10 families in our village of Lagossette. We are trying to get a good food supply on hand but very little is available.

We are trying to send basics back to PAP. They (not officials) want to charge us $1000 U.S. to have a truck with security to go to the American Embassy. It makes me upset, but if the tables were turned, I would hope others would spend the money to get food and water to us. I guess the question is, do you trust God to provide, or trust the money to help you out. Lets go with the God option.

Jan was supposed to fly to Cap Haitian on a chartered plane on Thursday. They were going to help us as we try to evacuate some of the babies in the adoption process. We had preliminary permission to do this, but events are constantly changing and by this afternoon, the flight was cancelled. I do not say that for us to worry. These kids need out of the country now, more than ever. Please pray that we can get our babies safely to their adoptive families very soon.

We are planning on filling a container in Willmar. It will be baby supplies, food, more beds, and medical suplies. Please check back for more information on this event.

Thank you for your support of Children of the Promise and the people of Haiti.