Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Afternoon Treat


Sonice, enjoying a cup of ice cream (her first ever!) at the Quad. She's come a very long way from the scared, unresponsive little baby on the brink of starvation we took in a year and a half ago - another life made possible by Espwa.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Fr. Marc Update - Home Sweet Home



After a successful surgery and a good prognosis, Fr. Marc returned home yesterday to a very warm welcome. The Espwa family gathered to greet him, sing a few songs and say a few words (and then let him go home to rest, of course!)

We are tremendously grateful to God for FM's safe return and good health. Thank you to all you who have kept and continue to keep him in your thoughts and prayers.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

New Chickens



Say hello to our newest additions!

Today we added thirty new layer chickens to the chicken coop; this expansion of the egg project will help us provide more supplemental nutrition and protein in the children's meals and strengthen our self-sustaining approach to agriculture. It's been made possible by generous donors, the leadership of Cameron from CO, and of course the young men who care for the chickens and operate the egg project day-to-day. Great work!


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Happy Birthday, Matante


Today was the big 75 for Matante, the head house monitor and spiritual mother for everyone here. She's an amazing, godly woman who is at the heart of the Espwa mission.

Thank you all you have done and continue to do, Matante! Happy birthday!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Vigil

Happy Easter! After a long journey through the wilderness -in many ways-, here we are.


Fr. Fred Charpantier, an Oblate from town, celebrated vigil mass for us last night - the biggest mass of the year and a beautiful service. It was a great help to have him cover while Fr. Marc is in FL.


And what's an Easter Vigil without a baptism? Or two, or three - or twenty-two, as the case was.


And something to be very joyous about: Miliste, conducting here, is a graduated Espwa student on his year of service to the Project - he's been very active on the Liturgy team and volunteering his free time to organize and revitalize the student choir. In fact, every day this week they've been practicing for hours at a time - and it showed. Magnificent singing, guys! Very proud.

Easter peace to you all.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Fr. Marc - Update

Hi all,

Just wanted to let you know that Fr. Marc's surgery was successful and he is now recuperating out of the hospital. Thank you for your prayers (please keep them coming!), and for continuing to keep the children of Espwa in your hearts.

Have a blessed Good Friday,
Griffin

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Strike a Pose

I went into the girls' village the other day to find all the babies up and about and in a playful mood. They were all eager to have their photos taken, and what's more I think the girls have been teaching them how to pose for the camera. See for yourself:


Sonice is always ready to take a photo. She did some rapping, too - what a hoot!



Jamesly definitely picked this pose up from his sisters.


Jackson, doing the ol' hold-your-back.


Danielson looks like he's doing something out of Power Rangers, and I think that's Mishkinda down there in the corner. When he first came here, Danielson was outright scared of people - he wouldn't leave his bedroom without crying. Even months after that, he's still kept a very flat affect - zones out, doesn't seem to process, doesn't interact... so seeing him smiling, active, crawling around, playing games - it's encouraging and amazing. He's not cheerful all the time, but it's progress - proof that Espwa is a healing place. Wanted to give a shout-out to all the visitors who spent time with Danielson, who have been a part of this story.


Hebreaux, who the kids call "Big Belly," goes with the traditional smile. Good choice, BB.


His twin brother, Hebredson - looking and acting more like his sisters (Samana and Carelene, also here) every day.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Palm Sunday

Here we stand on the brink of Holy Week, with Good Friday and Easter drawing closer. The culmination of the penitential season we've spent the last forty days journeying through.

For me, Lent has always been a time to reflect, to strengthen our relationships and acknowledge our vulnerabilities. This year, I've entered into that mystery of vulnerability in a very concrete and unexpected way – and not one that I would have chosen for myself.

Last week, after experiencing some very troubling symptoms, I was diagnosed with a tumor in my bladder. I'm currently staying in Florida as I prepare to go into surgery this coming week, which we hope will be able to remove all of the growth while leaving most of my bladder intact. After post-op healing and recovery is complete, I will be returning straightaway to Haiti and my Espwa family, but I don't know how long that time period will be.

This came up very suddenly, and the news was upsetting, even shocking. But it is only another hurdle in the race and I am convinced it is not insurmountable – there are many things that give me confidence: the goodness of God, the prayers of my friends and supporters, and the quality of medicine available in the United States.

In this time, I ask that you keep not only me in your prayers, but all our children – as well as those responsible for shepherding them and leading Pwoje Espwa forward.

Blessings,
Fr. Marc

Thursday, April 10, 2014

More Faces


Reunited: Jacky and his baby brother Jackson - since Jackson stays in the girls' village with the other toddlers, he and Jacky don't often get time together. Here they're spending some time in the Quad to catch up on sibling bonding. 


TiMarc shows off his design skills. Good design instincts, no?


Little Sonyce (shy that day) and Laurencia, growing up too fast.


Samana and Lourdemie, practicing selfie poses.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Marco


This is Marco. He showed up at Espwa today, timidly asking for a place to stay. He says he's from Port-au-Prince, his mother died, he never knew his father, and he was just put out of the house where he'd been staying. He has no one and no place to spend the night.



After meeting Fr. Marc, Matante, and our childcare staff, Marco went down to stay in the village while we inform child social services and find out more information. 
To respond to situations like this is why we exist. It's nice to get that reminder in this season of reflection.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Global Health


Last week we were visited by a wonderful group of nursing students and faculty from CO, specializing in global community health. Although they were only here for a few days, they did a lot for the kids - checking all the residents of our younger houses for skin conditions, infections, fungi, and mites. They're nasty-sounding things that get passed around quite a bit in a big population of rough-and-tumble little kids living close together. 


They also shared some very sweet moments with the children, like "Doctor" Tanise here.


This is great new because with better knowledge of the problem, we can formulate a response to make those blisters and rashes a thing of the past. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Around We Go

video

Here's the Merry-go-Round installed in the girls' village. This is a little video clip of the girls singing a thank-you song, it's one of the cutest things I've seen in a while.

By the way, for those of you who can't get the video embed here - or who would like to share with their friends and family - there's a Youtube link:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uZyEQ2oPiA&feature=youtu.be