Archive for January, 2010

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

I want to adopt. What next?

One of you commented about orphans in Haiti: “I just want to take at least one of those babies in my arms and into my house until order is restored, or even for the rest of their life.”

I can tell that many of you resonate with that desire to help, to be involved. You’ve written things like:

These kids have been through so much. I really hope red tape doesn’t get in the way of them starting over in new families quickly!
If there is ANYTHING we can do… We would love to share our family with these kids!

I would love to try to adopt one of these orphans. I am just not sure how complicated the process is.

We have been planning on adopting in a couple years, but would love to accelerate that process if we can help care for these kids, but where do we start?

My wife and I have been seriously considering adoption for some time, but we don’t really even know where to begin.

If you come across any information regarding the adoption of these children, I would be very grateful to be informed.

Here’s the best information I’ve found. Please follow all the links to get the full picture.

This comes via the Christian Alliance for Orphans. I recommend that you bookmark their site and subscribe to their blog to stay abreast of the news about orphans. They’re one of my main sources for this kind of information.

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Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

One day changes a life

Thirty years ago today, my husband preached his candidating sermon at Bethlehem Baptist Church. It was amazing to us that an old, established church like Bethlehem would consider a man who had never been a pastor before and had preached only a handful of times.

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Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Some will see him soon, face to face

Dr. Steve Nelson is back home in Quito now. He wrote this email as he was leaving Haiti after 10 days at the Baptist Haiti Mission Hospital in Fermathe, near Port au Prince.

Day 11, Jan 25, 2010

We have been listening to generators for the whole time we have been in Haiti … at least during the hours that we were working. I don’t know when the lights will get turned on in Haiti again, but they aren’t yet.   The Haiti International airport is no exception.  We are in the airport … full of generators … waiting for the flight back to Florida [and then to Quito].

We are going to miss our Haitian friends … both the patients in the hospital and the ones who worked alongside us the whole 10 days.  With many of these fellow workers we didn’t even manage to exchange much in the way of words … just gestures and smiles.

You were praying for a new way to get patients up to the hospital last time and while we were hoping for something slightly more comfortable than a truck, it was indeed a truck we settled for.  They came four at a time – closed femur fractures most of them  – receiving 11 new patients for surgery that next day. Five came the following day as we finished up some of the cases that had been here since the beginning but that we had put on hold until we had the hardware to do things right.

We did rounds this morning and then headed off down here to the airport.  Word was four more closed femurs were on their way to the hospital.  This pace could go on for weeks as hospitals unload those cases they can’t handle in-house.  Samaritan’s Purse is committed to the long haul here and four more new medical people are on  their way in to arrive this afternoon. They will replace our orthopedic surgeon and anesthesiologist that are moving out with us.  Pray for more Family Practice docs and nurses.

I went through the wards and said goodbye to my patients last night. Brave little kids with amputations and fractured limbs and pelvis … the most hurting ones squeezed out a smile anyway, while the ones that were feeling better had a glowing one fixed on their beautiful faces already.

We didn’t get the stories of these folks … except here and there … there just wasn’t time (nor translators).  Still, stories we read later will fit correctly/sadly with the faces and folks we remember.   One amazing thing about being here is we haven’t seen the news about what is going on here … the big picture that is.  “The forest for the trees” I guess.

The Billy Graham people told us this morning that amidst all this pain and chaos, amidst all this suffering and loss, about 70 people got a good look at the loving, compelling face and person of Jesus and decided to follow him.  Some of those 70 might get to see Him face to face in heaven soon.  There are lots of complications to come.  We lost two young men this week to pulmonary emboli after successfully treating their injuries.   More will follow, so it’s a joy to add these 70 to the equation regarding why this is sooo  “worth it”.

We are now in an airplane headed to Ft. Lauderdale. People will be talking basketball and super-bowl … or is that over already?  My oh my what a change this will be.

Thank you for praying.

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Monday, January 25th, 2010

What you need to adopt from Haiti

Many of you have asked about how to go about adopting from Haiti. Dan Cruver of Together for Adoption asks a question in return:

The day will come when the adoption process will open back up in Haiti; and when it does, what Haiti’s orphans will need is Christians who imitate the patience of their Father in heaven. How many of us who are now interested in adopting a child from Haiti will still be interested when the adoption process finally opens back up?

Please read the rest of his article. You may find it discouraging. Or you may discover that God is using Haiti to awaken desires in you and that now he wants to redirect those desires toward other children in need.

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Sunday, January 24th, 2010

Healthy eating on the road

I’ve been thinking more the last year about eating healthier. Oh yeah, and not just thinking about it but trying to actually do it.

So here’s some advice about eating something besides chips and Twinkies during a road trip. I think it’s serious. But maybe not everything for one meal.

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Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

Let me brag on my son


A poem by our oldest, Karsten, is featured in a review of Cave Wall , a literary journal (page down alphabetically to C). Part of the review says:

Karsten Piper, has a knack for striking visual descriptions. In his poem, “The Jaw Harp,” he describes a man on the street playing a harp:

He plucked a shining harp
like nails and teeth untying knots.
His ancient throat-stone bobbed
beneath his collar, and ductile notes

spilled out among his fingers,
each chasing the one before,
before it echoed over the cliffs, away.

This type of language is so physical and real, and is a recurring quality throughout this issue.

I wish I were a student in one of Karsten’s classes at Minnesota West Community College. It’s a sweet thing for a mother when her children surpass her.

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Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

Adoption or orphanage?

There is no easy solution to the orphan crisis in Haiti. It would be wonderful if every child could be placed in a loving, godly family. But until that day–which may never arrive–each child needs loving, caring people who care for him or her. That would probably be in an orphanage.

Orphan’s Matchbox is the blog of the Christian Alliance for Orphans. A recent post there expands on the thoughts I was trying to express about care and family.

No matter how else God is inclining you to be involved, please pray for these children.

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Friday, January 22nd, 2010

On-the-spot report from Haiti

Email from Dr. Steve Nelson, part of the medical team from Quito, working at the Baptist Haiti Mission Hospital:

I’m listening to beautiful Haitian music roll up from the hills below us.  Amazing … the people in Indonesia were singing the night after the earthquake too.  It both soothes and brings tears through the day in the hospital too as we move from ward to ward.  Seems everybody in Haiti knows how to sing.

A certain semblance of order has begun to show itself at the Haiti Mission Hospital … long days, welcome reinforcements and a increasingly steady supply of materials have allowed us to get through nearly 100 surgery cases and most of the patients that crowded the floors and hallways of the hospital when we arrived.   The last surgery for today will probably be done by 8PM … a welcome change from the midnight schedules we kept the first few days … especially for our anesthesiologists who are obligatorily invited to ALL surgeries.

Still … it’s an eerie and surreal sort of calm because we know the town that borders the bay of Port au Prince that we can see from our compound still teems with untreated and in some cases unfound victims of this incredible tragedy.  We are trying to open lines of transport from those areas of the city and from those hospitals where their surgeries have been limited to amputations  .. limited by the sheer numbers of patients … limited by no electricity, no equipment, no sterilization.  Meanwhile those that need surgical interventions other than amputations lay outside unattended, many dying of infections before they are ever seen.

Samaritan’s Purse will try to continue to equip and man this hospital and figure out ways to get patients here.  In some ways … and of course relatively speaking … it is paradise here … cool in the evenings, high enough to be above the malaria zone, and safe from the increasing unrest in the center.  We could proabably handle 20 or more new cases a day figuring that 90% of them would have to go to surgery. We just need to figure out how to get them here.  Ten trucks over a road that rocks and rolls for an hour an a half when things are open … six if not. Or … two helicopters and ten minutes.  Come on military!!   Many of those patients after surgery and a few days of observation could go home and come back later for follow up procedures which would open beds (or floors) for more transfers. This pattern could go on for a long time … it appears Samaritan’s Purse is comitted for the long haul.

Pray we make the right decisions for the most people.  Pray for the Billy Graham Evangelism team that is here trying to make sure each person has a chance to hear eternal life-providing Good News before and during our attempts to restore life and health in this realm.  We are averaging about one death a day (two today) so there is lots of sorrow and tears to deal with too.

Thanks for holding us all up so strong and tender with your prayers.


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Friday, January 22nd, 2010

Walking and riding through Port au Prince

CNN has posted some amazing panoramic videos of Port au Prince. Use your cursor to turn left or right to see the damage along the way.

Walking through a market and tent village

Riding in the neighborhood of the presidential palace

Riding through a mixed business/residential neighborhood

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Thursday, January 21st, 2010

What is an orphan in Haiti?

In a country like Haiti, that even in the best of times has so many needs, some of the children in orphanages do actually have parents. But for many reason the desperate parents are not able to care for their children.

Now the earthquake has created a multitude of new orphans, children whose family is nowhere in sight and no one knows yet who they are. Some children will be reunited with parents or other family members, but others are truly orphans with no surviving family members.

The latter are the ones we should be thinking about when we encourage adoption. It would not be right to whisk children away from their own language and culture without making a tremendous effort to locate their family. Imagine yourself the mother or father or grandparent of a child who just disappears. Is he dead? Has she been sold as a prostitute? Think of the grief and agony for the rest of your life, not knowing.

One category of Haitian orphans are children who were in the process of being adopted. Secretary of State Clinton says,“[We will] do all we can to expedite the travel of children who were in the line for adoption who have a legal permanent home, guardianship, waiting for them.” These are children who had already been cleared for adoption before the earthquake.

Now we should pray:

1. for a network of able people striving to reconnect “lost” children with their parents.

2. for loving care for the children as they wait and then perhaps discover that their family is dead.

3. godly homes and loving hearts open to adopting those who prove to be true orphans.

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Thursday, January 21st, 2010

Happy 1st birthday, Dianne Audrey Piper


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Thursday, January 21st, 2010

Better better better flow chart

I’m not much for organization. And flow charts don’t speak my language.

But here’s one that makes sense to me–the Hey Jude Flow Chart.

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