Monday, April 30, 2018

Love by the Numbers by Laura V Hilton ends May 7




Please Welcome Laura V Hilton to my blog this week. Laura is generously giving away a copy of her book, Love by the Numbers. Read on down to learn how to enter. 


Story Behind the Story – Love by the Numbers

Caleb was a minor character in couple of my Amish books – I think he first made a by name appearance in Amish Wanderer and Christmas Admirer. A minor character. Lydia was a very minor one-time appearance in those stories, too, a girl who happened to be in the room with Bethany and Susanna at a wedding. (This story is stand alone!) But I knew when Caleb first saw Lydia that they would end up together by the way he reacted to her presence. I wondered what their story was.
March and April is tornado season in Arkansas (and in many other states) and in 2011 we had a bad one. I was out and about that day, driving to the county seat with my five children, and there was something in the air. It was heavy, hard to breathe, and the sky was black off to the west. I’m sure I broke speed limits racing to Melbourne, and then home again so we wouldn’t be out in the storm.
Later that afternoon, tornado sirens went off. One went over our house – even from the basement we could hear the sound of a train roaring overhead. Scary. And still thanking God it didn’t touch down. Highland, Ash Flat, and Evening Shade, Arkansas were hit hard. Buildings completely gone. When we drove out that way later in the week there were pickup trucks in the tops of trees. Other things in odd and unusual places. I always wondered how they got the treetop pickups down. I would’ve stopped to watch if I’d been out there when it was done. I did hear that some of those trucks weren’t damaged at all. Unreal.  My two sons and my husband both helped with clean up and my oldest son went with a crew to Joplin, Missouri, to help with clean up there.
There has been other occasions I’ve been out in tornados. Once I was in the Walmart parking lot when a tornado went through a town west of it. We could see the funnel touching down from where we stood. It did hail when we were on our way home, praying our house was still standing. It was.
On a different note, in 2016 my oldest son came home with a kitten. She was the sweetest thing ever, and he named her Rosie. Sadly, I was highly allergic to her. I couldn’t even be around the children after they played with her. They’d have to go change clothes and wash their hands, otherwise I couldn’t breathe. Rosie was full Siamese, blue eyes and all, and she was so adorable. I allowed my son to keep her in the shed. I was about four chapters into the story when Rosie found some poison (I think, not sure) and died. We all cried.
Also about the time I was writing this, a very dear friend of a lot of writers died. I told my street team I was going to name a character after her, and was told a lot of writers would be. I agreed. And a lot of their books were released already. But Aenti Judith in this story is named after Judy Burgi. I still miss her and pray for her family. 
One of the verses my daughter had to memorize in Sunday School was 2 Corinthians 4:8-9.  ‘We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.’ Perfect for the faith message in Love by the Numbers!  I love how God always provides the perfect verse for my characters’ faith messages. I’m pretty sure this verse is one I never memorized, and I never would of thought of it on my own, but God put it in my daughter’s lessons for Sunday School, so she had to memorize it – and thus I did too since I help my daughters learn their verses every week.
I hope you’ll enjoy the story!

Because of Him,
Laura V.  Hilton



Love by the Numbers   
After her fiancĂ© dies in a buggy accident, Lydia Hershberger is invited to Jamesport to manage her Mennonite aunt’s gift store while her aunt and uncle are on a mission trip. While there, Lydia gets acquainted with her aentie’s best friend, Bethel Bontrager, and her grown son, Caleb. Lydia is surprised to find herself drawn to handsome clockmaker, Caleb Bontrager. But in spite of an instant flame of attraction between them, he doesn’t seem interested. In fact, pesky Caleb treats her like he doesn’t even like her.

Bright and sparkly. That’s Caleb’s first impression of Lydia. He’s always been attracted to sparkly things. In fact, his affinity for those things, and the trouble they can cause, are exactly why he’s determined to change his ways and settle down. With Lydia’s aentie gone, he is handling the books for the gift shop and is forced to spend too much time in her presence.

When God offers Lydia a second chance at love and family, will she take it? Or will the secret Caleb harbors cause her even more heartbreak? 






Love By the Numbers

By Laura V. Hilton



Chapter 1

He was gorgeous. Simply gorgeous.
Lydia Hershberger leaned around the cash register and picked up the glassful of spilled hard candy sticks. Aentie Judith’s kitten knocked over as she dashed past. She half-paid attention to arranging the candy. Her focus was fixed on him. She tried not to gawk but...
Wow. He was hot.
Tall. Sandy blond hair. Milk chocolate brown eyes. Clean-shaven.
He removed his straw hat as the door closed behind him, then glanced around the gift store. As his gaze moved in her direction, she quickly looked away. Wouldn’t do to be caught staring.
But she couldn’t resist a peek back.
He seemed to freeze when his gaze caught hers. Or hers caught his. Held it.
And… He scowled.
What?
This man, one she didn’t even know, glared at her? She had the right to be behind the counter of Aenti Judith’s gift shop while she was in, um, wherever she was, on a mission trip. Any other time, she could’ve spouted the information without thought. But not while she stared into the most incredible milk chocolaty eyes ever.
Were there any leftover solid chocolate Easter bunnies in the store? She needed one. Now. She glanced toward the clearance rack, but it was devoid of candy of any type.
Her gaze snapped back to him.
“You.” His voice emerged as a growl.

GIVEAWAY: To enter the giveaway answer one of the two questions or both! Don't forget to leave your email addy so we can contact you should you win. 


ABOUT LAURA:
Laura V. Hilton is an award-winning, sought-after author with over twenty Amish, contemporary, and historical romances. When she’s not writing, she reviews books for her blogs, and writes devotionals for blog posts for Seriously Write.


Laura and her pastor-husband have five children and a hyper dog named Skye. They currently live in Arkansas. One son is in the U.S. Coast Guard. She is a pastor’s wife, and homeschools her two youngest children.

When she’s not writing, Laura enjoys reading, and visiting lighthouses and waterfalls. Her favorite season is winter, her favorite holiday is Christmas. 


CONNECT WITH LAURA:

twitter: @Laura_V_Hilton

Purchase my books:






Monday, April 23, 2018

Shadows of Hope by Gerogiana Daniels ends 4/30


Journey Through the Darkest Hour
by Georgiana Daniels 


Shadows of Hope has been called gritty, raw, and emotionally compelling. Readers have said it made them think and made them cry. Some have even said it took a while for them to process when they were finished reading.

The thing is, I never set out to write an emotional story. I’m not that person in real life. You’re more likely to find me leading the conga line and using one too many smiling emojis.

So what happened? God, I suspect.

What started out as a simple story of a wife discovering that her new friend is the person her husband was having an affair with somehow mushroomed into infidelity, infertility, betrayal, and loss. In theory, way more than a character could handle.

Yet somehow like real life.

Have you ever had one of those seasons where all the trials you’re going through are so enormous, so vast, that it literally drops you to your knees?

Yeah, we’ve been there too—those moments when you can’t fathom how you’re going to make it through the rest of your life and all you can do is pray through the next ten minutes.

When we lost our young son-in-law to a rare and incurable condition, we entered into the worst time we could imagine. Despite all the prayers and intervention, it appeared God did not answer. But truly, He was not indifferent to our pain. We learned so many things as we traveled through our darkest hour.

From our son-in-law, we learned how to suffer well—to love God and love people to the end. We learned how to band together as a family with God holding us. And we learned that faith and hope are real, even when life looks a lot different than we ever thought it would.

I suppose that’s part of the human experience. At some point everyone will have to journey through their darkest hour. The question is, what will their faith look like on the other side? Will they fall away because they feel like God failed them? Or will their faith be refined and purer than before?

That is my prayer for Shadows of Hope—that readers will see a woman who journeys through her darkest hour with God and comes out stronger on the other side.

How has God refined your faith through trials? 


GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment and answer the above question to be entered to win Shadows of Hope. Don't forget to leave your email address and let me know if you are a feedburner follower for an extra entry.

BIO: Georgiana Daniels resides in the beautiful mountains of Arizona with her super-generous husband and three talented daughters. She graduated from Northern Arizona University with a bachelor's degree in public relations and now has the privilege of homeschooling by day and wrestling with the keyboard by night. She enjoys sharing God's love through fiction and is exceedingly thankful for her own happily ever after.


BACK COVER: Crisis pregnancy worker Marissa Moreau suspects her husband is cheating, but little does she know how close to home her husband’s infidelity hits. College student Kaitlyn Farrows is floundering after a relationship with her professor leaves her pregnant. Soon she lands a job and a support system at the local pregnancy resource center and things seem to be turning around. But when Marissa and Kaitlyn become friends, neither one knows they share a connection—Colin, Marissa’s husband and Kaitlyn’s former professor. When their private lives collide, the two women must face the ultimate test of their faith and choose how to move forward as they live in the shadows of hope.

Buy links:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
ChristianBook

Monday, April 16, 2018

When God Sends Us Help by Carrie Fancett Pagels plus HUGE Giveaway!



Carrie Fancett Pagels


When God Sends Us Help

In my new release novella, “His Anchor”, heroine Sadie Duvall has reached the end of her rope. She’s prayed for God to help her. Her mother has died, her father is missing from the lumber camp that employed him, and she’s caring for her younger siblings. But when her nasty boss withholds her pay and insinuates how she might “earn” her keep – Sadie flees.

Have you ever asked God to help you and then he sent you people who you didn’t want to accept assistance from? I think we all have. They might be annoying folks, or people who have never previously helped, or even from a nonbeliever who we’re surprised has been moved by our plight to help.  Well, Robert Swaine is that person for Sadie! He chased off the man she’d thought would become her husband. Never mind that Robert was her first “crush” and never mind that it turned out he was right about her sweetheart’s true character. Big sigh for Sadie.

Robert is Sadie’s BFF Maude’s young uncle (he’s not yet thirty) and Sadie has known him since she arrived on Mackinac Island years earlier. But he crushed her young spirit when he proposed to another islander. He’s been mostly gone since then, as a captain and owner of a shipping fleet. But now he’s back and all helpful, kind, and funny. And he’s tugging at her heartstrings. So of course, Sadie feels like she has to take things into her own hands!



Isn’t that how things work out sometimes? We ask God for help. He doesn’t send us the exact help we want. Then we decide we can fix it ourselves. Oopsy! Wrong move. I love this song “Broken Things” by Matthew West. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwKuz8a8Jnk
God can use the broken things, the broken people, the misfits in life, to help in His plans. And Robert Swaine is a broken and angry man. His mother left requirements in a codicil to her will that have infuriated him. Not only are his niece and nephew affected but he, too, must limit his life if the terms of his mother’s will are to be honored. And his brother-in-law has come out on the short end of the stick. Robert has spent a year trying to restore his own physical health after his beloved sister’s death. Now he’s “stuck” on Mackinac Island for a while, sorting things out. Now in her early twenties, Sadie Duvall isn’t a young girl anymore but a beautiful young woman who definitely needs his help. But she resists until her back is up against the wall.

A ship’s captain who doesn’t want to be stuck on the island, a young woman desperate and looking for ways to save her family. God has put these two together for a reason. Now will Sadie see what is right before her eyes?

Giveaway: An autographed copy of First Love Forever.  We also have a Rafflecopter giveawawy going on all through April. 
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Be sure to enter to be one of the winners of the MANY great gifts we have!!!


Bio and links for The Captive Brides Collection:
Bio – Carrie Fancett Pagels, Ph.D.

Carrie Fancett Pagels, Ph.D., is the award-winning author of fifteen Christian historical romances, including ECPA bestsellers. Twenty-five years as a psychologist didn't "cure" her overactive imagination! A self-professed “history geek,” she resides with her family in the Historic Triangle of Virginia but grew up as a “Yooper,” in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula. Carrie loves to read, bake, bead, and travel – but not all at the same time! You can connect with her at www.CarrieFancettPagels.com.

Blurb: His Anchor by Carrie Fancett Pagels
1894 – Mackinac Island, Michigan: Robert Swaine, a ship captain, returns to Mackinac Island where his first love, Sadie Duvall struggles to support her siblings. Will she anchor him to the island he has vowed to leave behind?


My Pinterest page for “Love’s Anchor” in First Love Forever: https://www.pinterest.com/carriefpagels/his-anchor-a-novella-in-first-love-forever-collect/







Check at your local Christian bookstores, e.g., Lifeway, to see if they have copies, too!


Monday, April 9, 2018

Dreams of My Heart by Barbara J. Scott ends April 16th




Please welcome Barbara J. Scott to my blog. Barbara has graciously offered to give away a print or ebook copy of Dreams of My Heart, her historical romance set in Montana Territory in 1875. Be sure to read the bottom of her post on how to enter.


My Ozarks momma always used to say, “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.” I wasn’t very good at following her advice. Impatience was my middle name.
Since the time I was a little girl, I wanted to grow up to be a writer. My grandmother wrote her first novel at the age of seventy, but I certainly wouldn’t be that old before I published my first. Grandma would even save up all her Writer’s Digest magazines for me to read when we drove from Dallas to Independence, MO to visit her. Yes, I was learning the craft of writing at the tender age of eight, so I knew it wouldn’t take me as long as her to write my first book.
In school, I excelled at every writing assignment, worked on the school newspaper, and my English teacher wrote “Keep writing!” beside my yearbook picture at the end of my junior year. In college, I got a job at the local newspaper, writing obituaries, then Lions Club stories, weddings, features, and by my senior year in college, I was an editor, supervising several reporters. I wrote magazine stories in my spare time but published few. Surely though, even working forty hours a week, I’d finish my first novel by the age of twenty-one…at the latest.
Don’t count your chickens before they hatch. I was thirty when I wrote my first novel, Love’s Golden Dawn, but it’s never been published. I still have a copy stashed away in my file cabinet.

Marriage, work, stepchildren, illness, job loss, and a whole lot of life came between me and my writing. How long did I have to wait, for Pete’s sake?
In the mid-1990s, I partnered with co-writer Carrie Younce to write two bestselling spiritual warfare novels for Thomas Nelson—Sedona Storm and Secrets of the Gathering Darkness. But I shared the credit. It wasn’t my novel. It was our novel. God needed to whittle down my pride.

I wrote another novel on my own. It was rejected. That manuscript languishes in cyberspace. Then I ghostwrote non-fiction and work-for-hire gift books after that. Lots of words. No credit.
I stopped counting chickens before they hatched altogether. By 1998, I was employed as a full-time editor for Christian publishing, working for Honor Books, Zondervan, and finally Abingdon Press as the senior acquisitions editor honored to publish several authors you know who have gone on to publish multiple novels and winning lots of awards along the way. They were my baby chicks.

I no longer needed to see my name on the front cover of a book, but I thought when I retired at the age of sixty-two, my dreams of publishing a novel would come true. Like the Israelites, I had wandered in the desert for forty years, witnessing the miracles of God, and then I caught a glimpse of the Promised Land. I would now have time to write.
No, I didn’t. I still needed income and continued to freelance edit book manuscripts for other authors. I even did a stint as an agent for WordServe Literary during that time. And I wrote a novella to be included in the Sleigh Bells Ring collection of Christmas stories.
I gave up on my dream. Evidently, I didn’t have anything of great import to share in a novel, or I would have published a book long before this. Then one day, I heard the peeping of a baby chick—a story that wouldn’t let go. Fully formed characters told me about themselves. Soon a swoon-worthy hero, Texas cattleman Buck McKean, and a feisty Irish heroine Kate O’Brien trying to hold onto her dead brother’s homestead in Montana Territory wanted me to forget all my failures and sit my bottom in the chair to tell their story.

That day, I decided to write for the sheer joy of putting words on paper and let my God-given gift have full rein. Once I polished up the manuscript, my dear friend and agent Greg Johnson shopped the novel to every major Christian publisher—to editors I knew on a first-name basis. Even though I was told they liked me and my writing, they didn’t have room on their lists. Someday, I thought, I’ll publish it myself. Then Greg called and asked if he could send the proposal to Miralee Farrell at Mountain Brook Ink. I said yes, she said yes, and Dreams of My Heart released in both paperback and ebook on Amazon April 1, Easter Sunday.
I’m sixty-nine years old, almost as old as my grandmother when she published her first novel. As my momma always used to say, “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.” But I would add, “Never lose hope.” God has a plan and a purpose for your life. Sometimes it just takes quite a while to hatch an egg.

What dreams of the future do you carry in your heart


GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment along with your email address to enter and win a copy of Barbara’s novel Dreams of My Heart!

Can a Reluctant Bride and Her New Husband Fall in Love
Despite Their Wounded Hearts?



Plucky Irish immigrant Kate O’Brien struggles to hang on to her brother’s homestead after his death in a suspicious cattle stampede. If she’s unable to pay off the loan that paid for her ticket to America, she will be forced to marry the banker’s rogue son, Rafe Hamilton.
When Kate is attacked by a drunken gang, salvation comes in the form of a total stranger—Texas cattleman Buck McKean. He drives the men off her ranch and spends the night in her cabin to keep her safe. However, his act of kindness poses a profound threat to her reputation, and the two marry to prevent the impending consequences.
Kate makes it clear to her new husband that because of the abuse she suffered at the hands of her stepfather, she’ll never allow another man to control her life. Left at the altar in Virginia City, Buck has made his own vow never to give his heart to another woman.
When Kate asks Buck for the unthinkable,
her choice endangers both their lives.
Can God mend their hearts and save their love?






About Barbara: After a career spent acquiring and editing books by numerous bestselling Christian authors, Barbara Scott has returned to her true love—writing. Barbara and her husband Mike live in the Nashville area, with their two Chihuahuas, Riley and Sissy, both rescued from puppy mills. Reading, writing, and research are her passions. Want to know more? Connect with Barbara at www.BarbaraJScott.comhttps://www.facebook.com/BarbaraJScott01https://twitter.com/BarbaraScott01.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Hello Haiti and Good Bye Haiti And Giveaway!


I want to thank all of you who have followed our Haiti mission trip! And a HUGE THANK YOU to Sarah Robertson for doing such a great job journaling while we were there. 

I thought I'd give you a couple links that might interest you. First EBY! This video is done by our pastor's youngest daughter (Kevin and his family have decided to become full-time missionaries in Haiti). Toward the end of the video you will see a about 10 seconds of sweet Eby! Beka has done about 4 videos if you'd like to see what is like for an American kid new to Haiti. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKFMPDcXfuA 


Here is another short video with a short clip of Eby!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHqhzJ7FFa4


Here is a Facebook link to Parakaleo. This is an awesome nonprofit organization. My daughter-in-love and Kevin Falde started Parakaleo. Every penny given goes to the people. Every one who works for Parakaleo volunteers so that all donations reach the people in need. It is one of the few organizations that can say that. Parakaleo means to come along side and that is what we are trying to do. Help the people help themselves. 

https://www.facebook.com/ParakaleoInternational/

Here are a few pictures of my family in Haiti.




This is my oldest son Joshua holding Eby. He's going to make a great daddy!!
Hannah, my daughter-in-love at the baptism holding sweet Eby. She's going to make a great mommy!
Here are my 3 guys in Haiti, Joe, Marcus and Joshua all working on the electrical. Doesn't it look safe? It was until Joshua fell through the table!
This is Kacie  talking with Josue who is interpreting for her.

Me and my sweet Eby!


Sara, Clifford (I love this kid!) and Sarah your journal/blogger!
This is one of our interpreters, Gilly. He is the sweetest guy and such a heart for the Lord.
This is Marcus. My son-love helping wire the church on the side of the mountain...Literally! I'm one lucky lady to have such great kids.
Hubby at the hospital lab yep that is the lab. My hubby is the medical lab tech when we go to Haiti. He was a MLT back when we first married and everything was done manually. Little did we know that God had a plan for that.
Okay so Josue is not really my family. But he calls us mom and dad and we call him son. He is my interpreter when I get one. Josue also graduated from seminary and is a pastor in Haiti. 
This is Joshua again with Marcus in the background. This is one of the ways we get around in Haiti.
I'd like to know what they are saying! Hannah and Kacie, two girls who stole my heart.

Remember the side of the mountain? This is my hubby hanging out the window over the edge of the mountain. And Pastor Prahl, Hannah and Sarah's father holding his leg. Hmmmm

This is my daughter! She's one of the PA's that come. 

This is my hubby and high school sweetheart. He's helping with the river baptism.

This is my Hannah again. She's one of the nurses that come. We are at the hotel in Caye Jacmel the night we arrived in Haiti and before we headed up to the mountains. Hannah's birthday and two ice creams! What's a girl to do!


This is me and Emelie, one of my closest friends and also our pastor's wife who are now missionaries in Haiti. Every day is a bad hair day in Haiti.



Next month I have a new release! A medieval novella set once again at Rosen Craig!

GIVEAWAY: And don't forget to leave a comment with your email for a chance to win choice copy of one of my books and choice of format!





Tuesday, April 3, 2018

GIVEAWAY and Hello Haiti! Wrapping it All Up!


Wrapping it All Up!

by Sarah Robertson

I’ve arrived at the end of my entries from my Haiti Journal for this missions trip in 2018. It was a whirlwind week, and I will forever be thankful that I had the opportunity to go again. God provided in a miraculous way that my mind will never be able to fully comprehend. I do know that we serve an amazing God!

At the end of the week, I asked a few members of the team what word they would use to describe this week’s trip. Obviously it’s impossible to summarize the trip in one word, but they each came up with one word that God kept bringing to their mind. For one it was “thankfulness”, another “grace”, someone else said “gratitude”, and also “faith” and “love” were mentioned.

As I reflected on each of those words, I’m drawn back to the word that God brought to my mind...faith. This was a week where as a team we stood in faith that God was going to bring that medical bag along at the right time, that God would give wisdom in dealing with Eby’s life, that our faith in WHO God is and WHAT He can do would be strengthened and encouraged. God allowed us to have exactly what was needed to help Eby. From the diapers that Debbie Lynne used to pack fragile items, to the liquid infant vitamins that had been randomly brought along, to the clothes that Emma had outgrown that Eby could wear, to the infant catheter kit that Hannah was fairly positive she wouldn’t even need, God guided our hands and hearts from Stateside to Haiti.

Krissy said that word that she would use to summarize the trip was “thankfulness”. We don’t get to choose what home to be born into or what country we live in. But whether God has given us a home in the U.S.A or a hut for a home in Haiti, as Christians we are called to be thankful. “In everything, give thanks...” not always easy, but God has equipped us to do exactly what He has called us to do. We can each be ordinary people used in extraordinary ways for God’s glory.

Emelie chose the word “gratitude”. She commented that she was grateful that she can be used in a small way to be a part of what God is doing in Haiti. Wonderful friends to come along to Haiti and share in helping people less fortunate than we are causes the word “gratitude” to come to mind. Emelie said that she is grateful that God chose for us to be able to see Eby get better every day. The first day when we brought him home, she said she was so scared. All night she was awake and praying, and over and over again she thought she heard Hannah coming to tell Kevin that the baby was gone. Gratitude wells up within us as we realize that because God brought Eby into our lives, the grandmother and granddaughter accepted Jesus. While it’s all a bit overwhelming to process, she is grateful...as am I.

Love- that’s the word that Debbie Lynne used to summarize the trip. She chose “love” because of several reasons. One, she fell head over heels in love with a little boy named Eby. Secondly, the people brought her much joy and showed great love to her. Thirdly, she fell in love with Haiti and its people all over again this year.

Each one of us chose a different word to describe our missions trip, but all these words point back to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Although we are all different and unique people, we have a common bond in Jesus Christ. Together we can serve in unity, with compassion, at making a difference in this world for Jesus Christ.


I’m sure that you are looking for some updates on a few of the people that I mentioned.

1)Eby
Obviously this boy stole a piece of our hearts this week! He went back up the mountain on Tuesday with the team members. Eby has made such great strides in his progress. After the medical team left, Eby smiled that day-go figure! Eby snuggled with the team members that week, smiled and laughed and starting walking regularly again! Some of his family arrived at the mission house on Wednesday to see Eby. On Friday, Pastor Kevin presented the grandmother with three choices for Eby’s continuing care. One, she could take him home. Although that wasn’t recommended for the best of Eby’s health, it was an option. Secondly, Eby could stay in Seguin with Nadine, one of our cooks, do that she could feed and give him medicine. If Eby’s health declined, the pastor could take him down to the hospital. Thirdly, Eby could go down the mountain with the team, and stay with Amenci. She would take care of him and get him to the nearby hospital if needed. The grandmother chose the last option. She made a decision that was probably very hard to make, but she knew it was best for Eby. Amenci , our Haitian cook, lives in Jacmel. She would take Eby with her for the next six weeks until the Faldes come back in mid-March. When the Faldes return to Haiti, Eby will return to his family. This way Eby will be able to finish his medicine, get extra food, and become stronger. Amenci has told Pastor Kevin that Eby’s favorite thing to do is play hide and seek! He has become stronger, and he acts like a two year old! Eby’s mom came to Jacmel to see Eby, which is a big deal. I’m sure that mama had to put quite a bit of effort into getting from Chota to Jacmel! Some of the construction workers that had worked on the mission house stopped by Amenci’s house to get an update on Eby. They couldn’t believe that the little boy standing by her was the same boy that had been at the mission house! Yes, we serve an amazing God!

2) Fenel is the name of the young man with the broken femur. He was able to get the X-rays done, and they were given to Dr. Philippe to look over and see what can be done. That’s the lastest update in that situation.

3) The girl with the lump in her neck- she did not have the HIV virus. It’s unclear about whether or not it is actually tuberculosis. She went down to the hospital without the pastor, but didn’t actually go into the hospital. (I don’t know what that was about) She will be going down this Friday with the Pastor from Chota to see about test results.

So those are three people that you can continue to pray for along with the young man with low iron. When Emelie returns to Seguin, she will test his iron levels. We are praying that these levels will have greatly improved.


A few fun memories from the trip:
1) One night was had hot tea at our supper meal. I usually enjoy hot tea, so I poured about half a cup. I took a big sip, and it was so not yummy! There was nothing to do but to swallow the gulp I took. Pastor Kevin came along and asked if the tea was good. I replied, “no”. He was surprised that it wasn’t good, so he poured himself a cup, took one sip, and made a face. He proceeded to pour the rest of his cup back into the pitcher! We don’t want to waste food in Haiti, and since Pastor Kevin did it, I poured mine back into the pitcher too! My dad had come to sit by me, and he had a cup of tea. I smirked and asked how it was. He replied, “Not good, but I don’t know what to do with it.” I told him to just pour it back into the pitcher, to which he did also! When in Haiti, we don’t waste anything. Since no one seems to be too concerned about germs, I’ll let someone else drink my portion of tea!

2) Remember the day that we had made Eby a bed under the table during clinic? Joe and I had started up the hill before everyone else with Eby and his stuff. The rest of the team tidied up and locked the door (actually it was screwed shut for safekeeping). As they started up the hill, Emilie suddenly turns around and head down the hill. “We forgot the baby!”, she yelled. Umm...no, dear, it’s been a long day, but the baby is safe! It did create a laugh as the team climbed the hill!

3) Germs-what are those?! Serving utensils are more of a suggestion in Haiti than necessity. It always takes me a little to get into the routine of just using my eating utensils to also serve myself food. But no one in Haiti seems overly concerned about germs, and life goes on. Faith is very germ conscious, and the first night we had a big meal at the hotel. After the meal, the waitress put the leftovers in a box for one of the Haitians to take home. The expression on Faith’s face was quite funny as she watched the waitress use several peoples food utensils to put the leftovers in the box! Oh well! Here we are- home again!

Thank you to all those who read my journal entries, commented on what you read, and were interested in this trip. It makes it easier to write knowing that I have friends that will enjoy the entries with me.



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Monday, April 2, 2018

GIVEAWAY and Hello Haiti! Mission Trip Day 8

by Sarah Robertson

We are wrapping up this week of the missions trip with a day of rest and recharge-kinda. The nurses and P.A.s on the medical team decided to take Eby to the clinic here in Cay Jacmel. Perhaps they would have some insight or ability to inform us of something we don’t already know. Eby is improving every day, but his energy is definitely lacking. He’s also very uninterested in life. Nothing really excites him or changes his face into a smile. He does let us know that he’s not interested in taking medicine, but even then he doesn’t really scream or cry. He just kinda whimpers and tries to turn his face away. It’s really sad.

Anyways, off to the hospital we went-another walk! While Eby is very light for a two year old, he does get heavy eventually. Hannah, myself, Debbie Lynne, Faith, Kacie and Eby, arrived at the hospital before the others. Kevin can’t seem to go anywhere without getting distracted by someone who knows him from childhood, knows him now, or someone who is curious about all these white people with a dark Haitian baby!

Hannah was able to figure out enough from the person at the table to get Eby checked in to see the doctor. Or course we didn’t know the moms name, Eby’s date of birth, and a bunch of other questions, but Hannah could at least get Eby’s name on the list. Eby was called into the nurses room before Kevin and the others arrived. The nurse weighed Eby and took his temperature. Keeping in mind that we are at a hospital, I found the way that the nurse took Eby’s weight was interesting. Hannah and Eby stepped on the scale, and then I held Eby while just Hannah stepped on the scale. I mean, it works, but it’s not the way it would’ve happened in the States. I held Eby while the nurse took his temperature. Another mom and child came into the room, and the mom and child stepped on the scale. The mom stepped off and handed her baby to Hannah while she weighed herself. Yes, things are done a bit differently around here! Eby was running a low grade fever, but he’s been doing that off and on for the last few days. After the nurses room, we had to go back in the waiting room and wait our turn for a consultation with the doctor.

Meanwhile the rest of the team showed up which was a good thing because Hannah didn’t think she could manage a conversation in Creole with the doctor! While we were waiting in the waiting room, the lab tech person knew Kevin. Kevin explained that Joe was interested in the lab, so Joe got to have a hand on look at the lab-which didn’t seem to be a lot to see!

Earlier I had walked out of the clinic to see if I could see pastor Kevin and the others coming down the road. Someone recognized me and tried to talk to me, but that didn’t work out! He looked very familiar to me, but I couldn’t place him. And since I don’t know the language, I just kept on walking. However a bit later I realized that I recognized him as the pastor from Chota. He had come down to the clinic with a few people that we had recommended to come to the hospital. I just couldn’t place him since he wasn’t at Chota! The young man who had broken his femur had come down as well as a young woman who has a large lump on the side of her neck. Parakaleo had said that if these two people wanted to get their injuries looked at we would help pay for their care.


Okay, back to Eby’s story- it was Eby’s turn to see the doctor. This was a very tiny room and since I’m not a medical person, I didn’t try to squeeze in there! It was already full with two nurses, two P.A.s , Kevin, Eby, and the doctor! The consultation did not take very long, and at the end of it the doctor said that he would like a pee sample. He asked Hannah if Eby would pee in a cup. Umm...no. He’s wearing a diaper, and he was recently changed. Hannah asked if the hospital had an infant catheter kit to which the doctor replied they didn’t have one of those! Oh wow. So we have two infant catheter kits up the mountain at the mission house, but the hospital doesn’t have one?! Hannah said that she was sure that Eby doesn’t have a U.T.I infection so she wasn’t too concerned about getting a pee sample.

We went off to the lab for the next step. I’m not a huge fan of needles and small children, so I didn’t offer to hold Eby. I have memories of when Travis had low iron and sitting in a lab with four kids four years old and under while the lab tech tried to draw blood-no thank you! I did stick around to watch some of the procedure. A few things that I noticed were that the lab tech didn’t wear any gloves or wash his hands first. Then he pulled the alcohol cleansing pad out of a container, used it, and put it back in the container! Hannah said that he used a straight needle on Eby’s arm, but she was impressed as he did get the blood drawn. Joe went to he lab with the lab tech while we waited.

While we were waiting we heard some information about the two people from Chota. The doctor told Kevin that the lady with the lump either has HIV virus or tuberculosis. If it’s HIV the lady would know today, but the test for tuberculosis couldn’t be ready until Wednesday. The young man with the broken femur was told that it was broken in two places. He would need to go to the hospital in Jacmel as the X-ray machine is broken at this hospital.

Joe told Hannah that Eby’s iron levels were low so that might be contributing to his lethargy and lack of interest in life. Eby also needs more protein in his diet, yes- as does the rest of the country! The doctor prescribed some medicine to which most of Kacie and Hannah said “no” to taking. We have medicine for possible infection, and both girls said that they weren’t comfortable in giving cough medicine to a two year old...especially when it came in a bottle without a label or dosing instructions!

Next came the billing part- how much would Eby’s labs and doctor consultation cost? It came to a cost of $6.50 U.S. dollars! While I like the low cost aspect, it’s a little worrisome about all the things that they couldn’t check for in Eby’s blood because they don’t have the proper equipment. It is what is is though!


Pastor Kevin said that we would borrow a dump truck to take the young man from Chota and his mom to the hospital in Jacmel so that the young man can get his leg X-rayed. As we’re getting ready to do that, the doctor remembered that the hospital in Jacmel is closed this week. Say, what?! Yes, apparently there is some type of festival going on this week so the hospital is closed until Friday! Who closes a hospital?! Such is life in Haiti!

It was eventually decided that we would go to Jacmel anyways to eat lunch and so that those who wanted to get souvenirs could do so. We went to a restaurant in Jacmel that the Faldes had been to before. It was a pizzeria place, and those aren’t found very often in Haiti! The owner and her spouse had grown up in Haiti, moved to the States, ran a restaurant for 18 years, and then they moved back to Haiti. The restaurant was very clean and tidy, and the pizza was was good-especially for American pizza in Haiti! Hannah ordered chicken wings for Eby as we weren’t sure that he would be crazy about pizza. He has never seemed to be too delighted with our American snacks. However, he was hungry and he kept eating the pizza as fast as I could cut it...UNTIL the chicken arrived! It was the first time I’ve seen his body shift in focus. He didn’t smile, but he sat up straighter, leaned forward, and reached out his hand for the chicken! He gave me his pizza pieces and started chewing those chicken wings! Eby can clean chicken bones, let me tell you! He eats the whole thing right down to the bone, including the gristle, fat, and tough meat! This child knows that when food is available, he should eat! He is going home in a few days, and I don’t think that food is plentiful at his home. We are going to try to get his family a few chickens for eggs or maybe a goat. The pastor in Chota and Pastor Kevin will work together to figure something out.

After lunch we walked down to the bay in Jacmel. This is the same bay that we can see from the mountain top in Seguin! It’s about 22 miles as the crow flies or a 3.5 hour drive! A few people bought some souvenirs, and then we headed back to the hotel.

Morning would come early for all the team members that are heading back to the States. Some of the team members have a 9:00am flight so we are leaving for the airport at 3:30am. Hannah, Josh, Faith, and I don’t leave until 2:00pm, so we have a while to wait at the airport.

We did sit around the table tonight talking and visting with each other. Hannah gave Eby his medicine and wrote some notes for those that would be continuing with his care. It was a tearful good by for me even though Eby certainly didn’t show any emotion! The team has done everything they can to help give him a boost in growth and a strong chance for survival. Now we must say goodby and continue to trust in the Lord. Even if I never see this sweet boy again, I will never forget him. I wish I could’ve seen him smile and have some life in his eyes, but I can only give him a gentle hug, kiss his sweet cheeks, pray for him, and head home.


We headed back to our rooms to pack our bags, get a few hours of rest, and be ready to leave at 3:30am. This week has been exciting, exhausting, full of adventures and memories, and I am ready to go home! God provided above what I needed for this missions trip, so I was able to leave some money with Pastor Kevin to help cover hospital care for someone, a goat or chicken for Eby’s Family, or whatever the need might be.

I am happy to be headed home to my husband and tribe. We may not have a lot of money by American standards, but we have food on our table, a roof over our heads, a vehicle to drive, hot water, electricity, and so much more! I’m going home with a heart full of thankfulness, a desire to serve God where I am, and a renewed strength and faith in the God that I serve. My heart yearns to return to Haiti next year, but only God knows what a year will bring forth. So for now I will strive to walk in the Spriit, serve where I am, and love God fervently.

God is so good to me. I am so thankful to each of you who prayed for me, financially supported me, helped out with our tribe while I was away, loved on my kids, and encouraged me to go. I am so blessed!

I don’t want to close up these journal entries to Haiti without saying a very special thank you to my husband, Roger. I don’t know of very many men, if any, that would encourage their wife to leave the country on a missions trip for ten days while they stay at home and keep everything running! I am so blessed by Roger’s faithfulness in the little things that are also big things like playing with our kids, working alongside them, taking them to church, having Bible time with them, being an honest and hard worker example to them, and leading by example in their lives. From the bottom of my heart I want to say “thank you” to Roger and “I love you”.
Love,
Sarah

I’m not quite done with theses entries. I have one more coming that will be a follow up on Eby, the boy with the broken femur, and the lady with the lump on her neck. I also have a few funny memories that I want to share, and well as some specific lessons that God taught me.


GIVEAWAY:

Be sure to leave a comment each day this week for lots of chances to win choice of my books and choice of format! Don't forget to leave your email address each day so I can contact you should you win! Good luck! Ends 4/9