Sunday, March 2, 2014

New Life Special Needs Kids Score an “A+”

This month, two pediatricians, a pediatric dentist and the top pediatric heart surgeon in the state of Mississippi, screened all of the children at New Life including our precious, special needs children. We were so happy when they said after thoroughly examining our handicapped kids, they could not be in any better shape than if they were here in the U.S.! They asked how we do such a good job, as there were no skin break downs nor frozen joints and were impressed with their overall health and well-being, down to the cleanliness of nails and toes!

These professionals were a part of three teams that arrived immediately after I returned to Haiti from a brief trip to the states. We held a dental clinic and heart clinic with both teams screening all of our children as well as some children in the tent cities, other orphanages and our own employees and their children. We were truly humbled at the reports from both the dentist and doctor. With the exception of just a few minor things, their teeth were in exceptionally good condition and most had no plaque as well. The dentist was shocked to see this and was extremely happy and surprised. He left us a list of who to follow up with for fillings and gave a slide presentation in the church. It was great!

One of our wonderful, frequent guests has taken a special interest in our handicapped. We appreciate so very much her heart for these special needs children. She is assisting us with the costs associated with hiring a quality physical therapist and we have finally determined who we feel is the best physical therapist for our children after scouting out the possibilities. In January, before leaving for the states, I had contacted several, and had asked our pediatrician for his recommendations. I found many who wanted a job, but didn’t really have a heart for the kids. No one really turned up that seemed to be what we were looking for. I had my mind on one I had heard of for sometime that lived close by and had a good reputation. We interviewed them this week and it seems to be a good possibility that this will be the person we are looking for. 

We had also revamped the special needs children’s schedule to include a full-time nurse, a schedule of more juice, snacks and water at regular intervals, a time under the mango tree walking them and also in the afternoon, laying them all on mats and doing range-of-motion exercises with them. The extra assistance from the wonderful team members has been a blessing, giving these children much needed one-on-one-time and lots and lots of love

We know we have to strive here to do better and better and are far from our goals, but it was a great week. Our Medical Director, Dr. Steve Schroering is coordinating the follow up with the medical teams and we also interviewed a local dentist that is able to do complete care here on our property. The pediatric dentist wants to bring more dental teams, allowing us to help the community around us and many poor children. 

In one week, other team members along with our construction boss and Haitian workers, put in a huge septic system and the bathroom addition to the toddler’s house. This progress is bringing us closer to placing the children there as it was impossible without the availability of water. A big thank you to all of them for their diligent, hard work!

The strategy is to complete the toddler’s house as soon as possible. This will enable us to place the handicapped kids in a bigger room while renovating their current rooms, keeping them as far as possible from the dust. We also must complete the boy’s showers that our construction boss has been working on, as the small bathroom for all the big and small boys is overrun and looks like a disaster!

Things are moving forward. It's a lot of work but a joy to see it getting done. I appreciate all of the help and love. I hope this progress report gives you a better picture how much of a difference you have made.

Thank you again, as your love and gifts are helping us to move forward in our vision to make the lives of all of these children better. 


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Welcome Back

Yesterday was so great with a hundred loving arms to welcome us back to Haiti, but today brought us back down to earth quickly. This fast paced  day began with our normal three hour Monday staff meeting with administrators and leadership. It felt like we had things together until I looked at the to-do notes I had gathered from the meeting. It included all of the challenges from the children's school , upcoming events for soccer teams, uniforms needed, all the kids that need new shoes, others that need clothes, kids who have been sick, one in the hospital and others going to the doctor this week. Then we discussed new policies and procedures to enhance quality care and training. We are planning new special nourishing menus for the special needs and sick   children. After this, we made plans for Christmas. We will be inviting children from another orphanage and giving each of them a gift and treating them to a nice dinner as we did last year. We planned dinners for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's Day as well as a special employee dinner.
Pastor Seide proceeded to expound on all of the financial needs that require immediate attention such as the $1,200 bill due today for diesel fuel to hold us over for two weeks. In addition to this, government taxes are due now too. Later, we went through the entire orphanage and kitchen double checking cleanliness and hygiene and making necessary changes. Then, we valuated the needs of the medical outreach in the tent city that we are assisting with. All of this happened before noon! Thank God that we have a wonderful heavenly Father  who gives us His grace and strength each day and for all of the hugs here that help  make each problem fade away---at least for a while. 
Love has no borders


Sunday, August 11, 2013

Summer  at new life:  Making an impact

Wow! Do you ever wonder what you are going to do with your children throughout the summer? Try having 130 with even more being added! Like mom said, there's always room for one more! Of course she had no idea the word 'more' to us would be hurting and dying children and that each one is a gift from God to us. But who ever dreamed that God would use this summer to make missionaries out of some of our children and THEY would be doing some of the rescuing... Several have come in recently with critical circumstances or in critical condition such as a three month old who was brought in from the mountains by an elderly grandmother. The child's mother was dying and Venexion was shriveled up in terrible malnourished condition. Or ... Nuvivce, a sixteen year old mother that the police brought to us who lived on the streets. She had been taken advantage of trading sex for money to purchase food. She was paid 100gds or $2.40 cents. Then there was Tito, a seven year old from the mountains that had no real food and forced to drink water from a water hole. The mom, out of desperation, latched on to someone to feed her children but he never accepted the child as he has two of his own and Tito faced a lifetime of possibly being a slave child. The mother desperately cries not wanting her child to continue to be rejected just to provide food.
We really can't relate, can we? However, it's all around us every day! The precious part of this story is about what is happening to our children after the many years of pouring Gods love into them and that love flows through them into others and they become missionaries themselves. This summer our children are being used by God to change lives. Ten of our 24 children came to us after being pulled out of the mud slides nine years ago after a terrible hurricane wiped out homes taking hundreds of lives in Gonaives. Today, they are young men and women who we took on our tap tap loaded down with food and clothing. They left for a months vacation to be with and bless their families that still remain..Some came as only three years old and had no idea of their roots. Now bringing His love, they were greeted with open arms from their families through the pastor there that rescued them. They will come back soon for school with the exception of a couple of them that are now older and have families and homes of their own. We will continue to provide schooling for them as well as trades as long as they respect and obey the rules. School begins here on Sept. 2nd so we are beginning to prepare here now. They have one more week and we are hearing good reports from most. Others, of course, miss our home and are looking forward for that tap tap to show up and bring them back. There's no place like home!!

Secondly. While teams came to New Life, many of our children would climb on the tap-taps and trucks with the teams loaded with food and supplies, taking an active part in distribution to orphanages and tent cities as well as teaching Vacation Bible School. This went on for weeks. Many children here at NL participated in fun, games, movies.VBS, a fun filled beach day and waters sports, water balloon war and a big Bar-B-Q yesterday. Now, as I said in the beginning of this email, this is also something that will make you so proud of our older boys. After much prayer, planning and packing, they were off to the mountains and villages where we work in Pestel. George Patten serving with New Life, was doing some preliminary work getting ready for our teams this coming trip. The boys offered to go. We let them know they would be climbing mountains in the heat, bringing and distributing supplies, doing census in Pavion NDTi Plain, preparing for IFJ to distribute water filter buckets, medical teams, feeding programs and helping the village of Perla and Malcouchin to build a road for our teams and building supplies to be trucked in. We will also be building a feeding center in Caye LaSalle and building water cisterns where we have been already feeding children some healthy and high protein food, giving worm medicine and vitamins each week. They presently have to haul clean water long distances and cook and eat under a old brush building. That will soon change. We have several teams joining us and participating. Malnutrition, diseases and death are high in these areas. We will also be setting up weekly clinics there so we know God is hearing our prayers and the cry of His people.

We have plans to set up these programs in four villages ASAP but have been concentrating on building a malnutrition center in Joligebert. Surely we thought some of the boys may back out but they did not. It just fueled them. So we thought we would make it a work and spiritual camp that we may repeat each year . They would minister to the village young people and hold soccer matches. Wow! Loading the truck was a circus as they stuffed so much food and clothes to give away. It looked like tons of bags of rice that God had provided, their own suitcases that weighted a ton and looked like they would be there forever rather than three weeks! Food, drinks for the road, and gallons of water. We asked them to leave all electronics behind at New Life in order to fully concentrate on God and the task. They gave them up willingly--radios, earphones,etc. YES! it was a real circus as there was no place to sit and they should have loaded everything on top! OK! Unload everything! Reloaded to the top. Dear Lord, is this any indication of what the next week would be like? One and a half hours in the hot sun hoisting everything on top. Finally, they were off and so excited! I was exhausted but excited for them. We prepared well with Pastor Lenis' family who would house and cook for them. But were we really ready for what would change their lives forever? Please read the next email we will send ASAP to see what God is doing while I go now to prepare the clinic at NL to receive the two children that have been sent here that are in serious condition and time is against them so I can't wait another moment. One is badly burned and another from Pavion dying of malnutrition. Please keep them in your prayers and the workers also.

Miriam and all of us at New Life.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Beautiful things are happening here at New Life Children's Home in Haiti this summer.

We have teams staying with us and serving in the community. There are so many orphanages in desperate need and we have been able to send volunteers to bring food and to spend time showing God's love to them. It is such an encouragement for the children in those orphanages to know that they are not forgotten and we are so humbled to be used by God as an answer to their prayers for provision and our prayers to be used by Him. It reminds me of that children's song... The blessings come down as the prayers go up! God is good.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Wow! What a day!

clean2cleanYou all would have been so proud of our boys. Each Saturday is a work day at New Life. The kids are assigned chores to do inside and outside. Some of their responsibilities include working in the garden, cleaning their rooms, washing clothes, cleaning the special needs kid's areas and wheelchairs and tending to the fish tanks. It's always a busy day, but last Saturday was really different. We try to keep our kids involved in community service and reaching out to others as often as possible. The girls are encouraged to get involved in the distribution of food to other orphanages and tent cities. Last Saturday, the boys were able to reach out to the community.

clean3My mother served the world and raised her kids the same way. She is one of the most compassionate and loving people on the face of the earth. I can remember the many times that we took food and clothes to the poor and cared for the sick. It was a way of life for all four of us. Mom would scrub people's floors all day for money to take a bus to the Good Will store to buy clothes for every poor child she knew. She made sure that in the winter they had warm clothes and a jacket. We served iced tea and water to men working in the street, the postman and the old grouchy man down the way. She said that there is good in everyone, if you look for it. I can almost hear her sweet compassionate voice as we show the same love to others through our children here in Haiti. "Put yourself in their place. How would you feel?"

Well Mom, today you would have been proud of your 20 great grandsons as they loaded the truck with a pressure washer, cleaning supplies, mops, and scrub brushes and headed out to clean our local police station. It was long overdue for sure and we all felt compassion for the conditions they had to work in. After all, they have been there over the years to protect us and others. Jean Rony led the team and they gave it their all! The policemen were so happy. They couldn't believe anyone would do this for them. It didn't take long before a police officer from another town stopped clean4by to ask if we could go there too! Back at New Life, others prepared hot dogs and drinks and baked beans to take to the police station. Everyone ate including the few prisoners, and they were so grateful. The boys worked with such joy. We heard the the truck's horn letting us all know that they were back from a hard day's work. I was amazed at the big smiles across each face, as if to say, "We're home Mom, we did it! We not only made you proud, but we are proud of ourselves for a job well done." It is amazing how we are encouraged when we serve others.
We love you, Miriam and all of us all of us at New Life

Love has no borders ...You have never really lived until you have
done something for someone who can never repay you.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

April 2013
mango treeIf you walk in our baby room at New Life Children's Home, you would be attacked with love as they all run up to you, arms open wide for hugs, that is unless they are eating mangos. They are such happy children. This is mango season and a mango doesn't even get to fall to the ground here with over 100 children.  Usually you can hear all kinds of sounds in the baby room but now it's quiet as can be and this takes total concentration as these seven are enjoying a moment of joy. Sticky Yes! Messy Yes! But is it ever good.  Now how about that hug??? Someone please pass the wipes! 
The Mango Tree has been at New Life since the beginning. If you would like to see a slide show of the mango tree please click on the link below. The music by the singers at New Life.
Blessings to all, Miriam
Love has no borders ..You have never really lived ..until you have done something for someone who can never repay you

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Subject: Excitement at New Life!

Kids are kids everywhere.  We've been so blessed with several guests coming to spend Christmas with us. We spent the last few days, bagging and distributing food for a tent city, visiting orphanages with food and surprises. The excitement on the kids’ faces is more than heartwarming.  We were so surprised to have a visit from social, services, about eleven people, some dressed up like Santa, passed out chips and candy while our kids sang with them.  We spent a full day   this week working our way thought tons of traffic, and roadblocks to shop, for the special, dinner tomorrow for everyone. Even though our Christmas tree looks like it had malnutrition, it's beautiful, as the kids did some personal decorations. Our children spent the day cleaning inside and out, excited about tomorrow. You would think someone really special is coming, and it's not Santa! We invited our PAPPY SAM who for years had lived at New Life and been a Loving Pappy, and Grand pappy to our children. He loved them so much and then God called him to help struggling orphanage hours away. We invited Pappy Sam and the orphanage of fifty children to join us tomorrow where we bagged up extra goodies that teams brought, that our children will give. They also made special cards for pappy Sam. We’ll have the Christmas story together in the church after lunch, present their surprises, and then have SLIP AND SLIDE fun, and end the day with hot dogs at night. What a blessing. Thank you everyone who have made this so special for all of our children. Tonight, they are building an outdoor fire for a fun time with music and SMORES, MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM ALL OF US...From All the children and staff.  Blessings, Miriam

Love has no borders...You have never really lived...until you have done something for someone who can never repay you....
Miriam Frederick

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Today was truly a special day! Although all that we do at New Life is Christ centered, God began to speak to me months ago about our children being baptized. I continued to pray about it and this week we had a team from Georgia that God sent to fill that gap from Covington Baptist Church. We purposed that we would spend Sunday, Monday and Tuesday services to prepare them and thoroughly teach them being sure of their personal relationship with Jesus. Today we loaded the school bus and two other vehicles, of guests and drove to a beautiful spring where twenty two of our children were baptized. It was a day to remember. We celebrated with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and juice. As much hard work here as goes into their daily care, there was something so special about today, as each one confirmed their personal relationship with their Lord that gave us such a sense of joy and peace. I think of each sponsor and person that gives and prays for them how this is the greatest give of all to all of us, and picture how heaven must stand still as God watches one by one these children who came in so broken and sick, now made totally whole committing their whole lives to Him. We are meeting with the others with special classes who will soon follow.

Miriam Frederick, New Life Children's Home  

Love has no borders

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Every day at New Life seems to bring new joy. Although each day is special with so much activity and so many children, this past week has been awesome. A few nights ago, just before devotions, Jean Rony, one of the boys who grew up at New Life and now works with us, put some upbeat Christian music on the loud speaker. As I sat with Lovence and others holding on to me, I felt like God said, "just STOP and LOOK and LISTEN!" The joy was unspeakable. Almost every child was singing or dancing. Some were having fun playing ball, the special needs kids all sat lined up in their wheelchairs, doing their best to sing and rejoice. The nannies began to dance around with a baby in their arms and the toddlers were wiggling their little hips and arms with every beat while other kids were chasing each other playing tag. It was as if time stood still as I absorbed the fun and laughter that the kids were experiencing. I remembered the many horrible conditions that these children came from. Most arrived here traumatized with battered emotions. The sounds of laughter and fun that I was experiencing was the result of God's love being poured into these children through the daily devoted care that so many faithful people provide. One of the reasons that these children are thriving is because of the time and unconditional love that many wonderful teams visiting New Life are pouring into them. Tonight, as each Friday night, the kids ate popcorn and watched a DVD together. Tammi, a faithful sponsor of ours, had provided a special meal for them to make it extra nice as they celebrated birthdays. I sat there and whispered a prayer as I watched each child. Thank you God for your love, and thank you that New Life is a HAPPY PLACE !

Blessings: Miriam

Sunday, April 8, 2012

New Life Children's Home: update

I can’t believe I have already been at New Life for four days. I’ve experienced many emotions and situations I have wanted to share – but time always slips away. As usual, as soon as we drove away from the airport here in Haiti I felt at home. Once inside the gate at New Life a peace came that I can’t describe. Children rushed forward to welcome Renee and me. It was such a wonderful feeling being hugged by so many at once that I nearly lost my balance. Yet that night I unpacked my three bags and laid the beautiful dresses in any space I could find. I just couldn’t wait to show them to the girls. We were able to spend some time with Miriam before she began packing to leave the next day for the States.

Stories were told at dinner about the number of tarantulas that had been seen about, with one person finding the “visitor” on her pillow. I’m not normally afraid of spiders, but tarantulas would definitely NOT be a desired roommate! I can handle the geckos on the walls now – but not sure what I would do with a spider of that make and model! So – the first night while preparing for bed, I would have to admit to having the heebie-jeebies! Neither of us slept the best, despite no spider sightings, but we did have a wonderful, cooling rain.

Our first full day was spent with getting reacquainted with the kids and enjoying every second. In anticipation of our upcoming art auction “Hearts for Haiti” in early August, we set the older boys up with canvas and paint and told them to “express away” – as there are many of them with amazing artistic talent. The painting table was placed in the shade and it seems like the table has been occupied for three full days, as the boys come and go creating beautiful Haitian scenes. We are truly excited to bring home their personal art and anticipate that they will receive rave reviews and donations to help us/Impact for Jesus purchase water filtration systems for the people in the mountains who have NO clean water source. Other people staying at New Life are already expressing the desire to purchase the art. MY joy comes from watching them paint. I asked through translation if they enjoy what they are doing. All heads shook in agreement. Someone said that he was thankful that we liked their work and it made them feel good about themselves. YEAH! You can’t put a price on providing a way to promote self-worth. They try to suppress their smiles when we praise them. A clean work sight is NOT their gift, however… We were able to meet the four new babies who arrived since we were here in February. A room for babies has had to be created, as there are now five children less than a year old. The older girls have stepped up to the plate and help the nannies with all the many things the babies require. The most wonderful news is that the four most recent children were all suffering with various disorders, but now after medical care, nutritious feedings and loving attention 24/7 – they are thriving and greatly improved.

You may remember my dear little girl Rosena, who we brought back to New Life in October from the mountains. Suddenly she seems so big and mature compared to the babies. I’ve been told that she “runs the show” and makes her desires known. After spending about 10 minutes with her I found myself following her little finger that pointed to where she wanted to go. She shakes her head “no” without hesitation if you get off course. Another highlight of Thursday was having the girls pick out a new dress for Easter. The beautiful dresses that I brought were made by a woman named Bonnie Oliver from Elmhurst. A group of young Moms who meet regularly at Wheatland Salem donated bows, ribbons, and other needed items. So once the girls picked out their dress – tried it on – and got five of us ranting and raving about their beauty, they selected a hair accessory. It was such fun to see their excitement, too!

Thursday night we had a downpour that cooled down the temperature, making it a bit easier to fall asleep. But rain always makes me think about the half MILLION people who remain in a tent city. I doubt they look forward to the rainy season which has come. This will in turn add to the cholera problem and once again people will die of a treatable disease all because they have NO clean water. I don’t think many of us know anyone who struggles with no water on their property, let alone a local well. Thousands walk miles each day to get water – only now it’s contaminated from raw sewage! NO spider activity – day two – I am no longer jumpy and preoccupied with creatures. GOOD FRIDAY was just that. We had lots of fun with the kids all day. I got beat at about six games of UNO and tried not to show my competitive side which can be pretty whiney. We decorated foam crosses so they could each have one for their own. They had the new kite flying high in the air which competed with another kite in the sky flown by someone down the street, only the neighbors kite had shredded black plastic for the tail and was home made. The kids got so excited trying to get their kite higher and higher.

I should mention that when I first came down in the morning Rene’, Frenzy, and Fedner were all at New Life – even though they had the day off since it was Good Friday. Little Patty, my Godchild, Rene’s daughter was with them as a surprise. She was dressed so cute and her hair was braided to perfection. She had a cute little purse on her should so I asked what was inside. First she pulled out a little dress I had brought for her and I was so touched that she had brought it with her. But then she pulled out her nightgown, followed by a clean pair of “un-dees” and last – her toothbrush! Rene’ was so surprised and he laughed and laughed. Patty shared that she was spending the night with me. She calls me her “mother-in-law.” She had a great day playing with all the children who were SO great with her. She loved having all the room to run and play. As the afternoon came to a close it was time for her and the guys to go home. Patty was told that until she learned English she couldn’t stay with me because I wouldn’t understand if she needed something. Her demeanor immediately changed and I thought my heart would break. She left by giving me a tight hug, but was very mad at her “Papa.” Too cute!

Friday’s dinner was the tradition – fish. The children had fish as well. At evening devotions I asked about 10 questions to the children to see what they knew about why we call it Good Friday and what took place on that day over 2,000 years ago. I was very impressed with all they knew and I wasn’t able to stump them. It was a good opportunity to discuss what Christ asked of his disciples, why He had to die, and the importance of not just asking for forgiveness – but to make an effort to change our ways to avoid further sin. It was a humbling and blessed time for me, as well. It seemed everyone had a “good Friday” and the children’s day ended with a movie and popcorn - a Friday night tradition.

Earlier in the afternoon a team came with suitcase after suitcase of treats to make 300 Easter Baskets! We all put our goodies together in the most organized way possible. The diverse amount of candy and little toys was unbelievable. Can you even picture the size of the pile of 1,700 filled plastic eggs?

End of day three – No longer even thinking about tarantulas… Today we had a busy morning as Renee and I went to Pastor Smith’s church to witness Frenzy getting baptized. He invited us to come and we were honored to be present for the event that had deep meaning to him. We told him he is officially our “little brother” now! When we returned the filling of Easter bags was underway. Wherever you looked in the dining room was an Easter bag. We got the job done by lunch and all the bags counted out and divided so that tomorrow three different orphanages will have the fun of receiving a bag filled with all kinds of goodies. The group sponsoring this generous offering is called My Neighbor’s Children. Their generosity also includes the provision of a huge Easter dinner tomorrow for the three orphanages, New Life being one of them. They spent several hours at the open air market this morning purchasing all the vegetables and such. They even had a man come up to the car hoping to sell them the head of a cow! I guess that really added to the experience.

The day has now come to a close, at least for Renee and me. The heat has a way of wearing you down. (Or maybe I should speak for myself!) The children just finished evening devotions and are about to watch another movie tonight as a treat. We talked about the reasons Christ was crucified last night and tomorrow we will celebrate His victory over death. I explained to the children on Thursday that when people come to New Life to visit, they should realize that the visitors are sent by God to give them HIS love! They should look at this as an answer to their prayers – as when they pray for God to help them, love them, and provide for them – HE sends people to do just that! The people who come most generally are responding to a call from God. They represent God’s love and God’s response to their prayer. THAT’S how God can work – through us! I assured them of my love for each of them – but suggested that they feel the love of God through me and others. AND – at the same time, they can give that love to each other just as God asks of them. Wouldn’t that be some kind of kingdom on earth – if we all practiced loving each other unconditionally?

May each of you have a wonderful Easter celebration and thank you for your prayers as we continue to spread His love from our end on the world. I can assure you He is giving that love back to us 10 fold.

Patty Meyer