Friday, May 18, 2012

Respire Haiti! Wow, What An Amazing Ministry!

Wow, Wow!!! Respire Haiti and Megan Boudreaux!! 
How do I put into words everything that God is doing in this ministry and for these kids? 
Megan, above in the red tank top, is a young, ambitious, 26 year old girl who acquired a heart for Haiti a couple of years ago. She packed her bags and moved to Haiti completely on her own with a vision and a dream to help the children in the Gressier community. 
Megan is one of the main reasons we traveled to Haiti. My daughter, Lauren (on the right), heard about Megan and her ministry and saw a need that Ordinary Hero could help with...SPONSORSHIPS. 
Megan has organized and built a new school on top of a beautiful mountain for the children of Gressier. It is truly amazing to see! BUT, she still needs folks to lock arms and sponsor a child for school in order to share the load of the expense to run the school. 
So we traveled to Haiti and are bringing awareness to Megan and her ministry as one of our featured Ordinary Heroes! You can read the story of our visit in this post and also CLICK HERE TO SEE THE CHILDREN AVAILABLE FOR SPONSORSHIP. Email for the password.  
 We arrived and Megan started us out on the walk up the road to the school. She is amazing to watch. She is completely fluent in the Creole and everyone in the community knows her and loves her. As we walked she stopped at different homes to stop in and check on how they were doing. Kids were also knocking on her door constantly needing medical attention. I watched her stop what she was doing, jump up and wrap a terribly burned leg with ointment and bandages, along with other wounds of the kids. 

 We also stopped at a corner building that she took us in and shared her dream of turning it into a bakery/cafe which will help support her school. Above she is pictured, left to right, with Jessi, who lives with her and helps her during certain times of the year, Rita, who helps run Respire Haiti and helps us with the sponsorships, Megan, and Kyle the builder, who is helping with the school, cafe and also the building needs of her home and future clinic. She has a great team around her who all have their whole hearts in this ministry.

 Megan has more energy than all of us put together, and I quickly learned why. The land she owns with the school is literally up a mountain. She climbs that thing sometimes 4 and 5 times a day going back and forth from there to her home. She said it used to not even have the road but Samaritan's Purse came in and cleared the road to the top for her. 

 We got up early in order to meet some of the kids as they arrived for school. We met a couple of them on the walk up the mountain. They are adorable in their uniforms which Megan had made by some of the local Haitians. 

 And up to the top we went. Whew! It showed how out of shape and spoiled us Americans are. 
Oh, and did I mention the blazing heat! :-) 
But, man! Once on top of that mountain, the cool breeze hits you and you turn around and are surrounded by the most beautiful scenery! You have the ocean in the distance on one side and the beautiful mountains on the other. It truly is breathtaking, 
which is what Respire (pronounced Res-per-ae) means. 

 Once on top you see one school building on one side that the children meet in, and on the other side you see another one in progress. People are hard at work doing some very hard manual labor, laying each stone and placing each concrete block to complete this young girl's God-breathed vision for these kids. 

 We popped inside the classrooms to meet the children. 
It was a beautiful sight. I learned that most of these children weren't going to school at all, living in the mountainside, and were still displaced from the earthquake before Megan came along. 

Now here they are and here is your opportunity to sponsor them. There will be info below on how you can do that and make a huge difference in their lives while helping to relieve the financial burden for Megan and Respire Haiti. 

 They are soooo precious! 

 This class of older boys were such gentlemen! They stood to their feet to greet us when we walked in. 
Also, check out the view that the children have of the ocean in the distance through the school window. 
Kyle the builder thought of everything from the view to how the breeze would blow through
for these kids. It is really neat to see! 

 The school has 52 employees. These women are some of the cooks. They prepare a meal for over 300 kids every day during the school week and also have a feeding program every Saturday for the kids. 
The kids come to school and meet for a couple of hours and then have breakfast prepared for them every day. They take a break for breakfast and recess and then back to work. 

 It's always so neat to sponsor a child! Morgan had chosen her child to sponsor off of our list before we arrived. While at the school she spotted him and got to meet him. 
 I know from personal experience that when sponsoring a child they become like family to you. 
God chooses you to make a life changing impact in their lives and 
you gain a life long new friend. 

Our goal is to let every child there know that they have a sponsor and that they are loved and have someone praying for them. We don't want any of them feeling left out. 

This little guy captured my daughter's heart and she found her new child to sponsor. 
He had such a sweet spirit! 

 Deborah got to meet the little girl that she had chosen from the list to sponsor. 
She is a doll and now knows that someone out there loves her and is helping her. 

 There are still many, many kids in this school that need a sponsor. 

 I love the older kids! This young guy has been chosen for sponsorship by someone at home in the States and got his pic taken with me. 

 As far as I know, this young man has not been chosen yet. There are plenty of the older kids that I don't want to be forgotten. We don't even have a list of the kindergarteners because they all have sponsors. There are plenty of the older kids that still need sponsors. The older children are the ones that grab my heart because they totally understand the life that they live and understand that they need a sponsor to carry them through to their dreams. 

 Melodie met her little guy that she is sponsoring. So sweet! 

 We got to hang with the kids during their recess time. They are learning English and our team got to participate in an English class with them and help them learn. It was one of the highlights of the trip. 

 They made jump rope look so easy that Lauren thought she would give it a shot! Well...
Not so much! She couldn't quite get the hang of it. :-) 

 Ryan made lots of new friends on this trip.
 He was the cool guy carrying around the cool video recorder. 

 The kindergarten building is not complete yet so they are meeting underneath a big tent. 
 They are the cutest little things ever!! Their uniforms are bright yellow. Megan says that way it's easy to spot if a little bumble bee starts wandering off. 

These kids will melt your heart! 

 Another totally awesome program they offer for the kids is a SOCCER program. 
We got to pop in on the soccer tryouts that were going on. 

 Josh is an American that is there helping with the soccer program. 
Ryan got some awesome video of him telling about the program. 
We hope to get them all new soccer equipment donated. 
We noticed that several of the boys didn't even have soccer shoes. They were trying out for the team in their socks. They need uniforms, cleats, balls, and all that good stuff. 
They also need water for the boys to drink during practices and games. 
It's not easy to have water handy on top of that mountain. 
If you have soccer equipment you would like to donate or have money you would like to donate toward the soccer program you may contact or CLICK HERE to donate toward the need. Just be sure to put 'Respire Haiti soccer program' in the memo line. 
 We were out there on top of that mountain as the sun was setting. 
I was watching these precious boys flying a homemade kite, made out of plastic and sticks
on top of that mountain, laughing and playing and finding new freedom and joy on this beautiful land. 
 These two above made friends quickly with Lauren and Alice. 
The kids are so full of love and simplicity. 
 This young boy came running across the lawn with his rubber piece of tire he was playing with. 
These kids find joy in the smallest things. It really puts things in perspective
coming from America where so many kids expect so much and yet still want more. 

 So let's continue to pray for Megan and her ministry. She is just one young girl making an extraordinary difference for kids in Haiti. She is truly an Ordinary Hero! 
One thing that is soooo important that I will touch on more in a future post is that a lot of the kids that she has brought into her school are Restaveks. Restaveks are child slaves. There is an estimated 
300,000 of them and it is something that is hardly ever discussed. These are children that are orphaned and they are taken into homes by the locals as their slaves and treated as such. 
Megan is on a quest to free the Restavek kids and this school and these sponsorships are the start of it. 
To read more about Restaveks and how Megan is helping, CLICK HERE to visit her blog. We hope to bring more light to this dark way of life for these kids living in Haiti. 
Megan has taken in two children into her home, herself. Here she is below with her friend who helps her around the house enjoying some of their new Blessing Bags. 
Thanks to all of you who donate the Blessing Bags. 
They are always so great for the kids in these third world countries and we will always take them on every trip we take no matter where we go. 

If you would like to see a list of the kids to sponsor in the Respire Haiti school and program, 
please CLICK HERE. 
You will need to email for the password. 
We are honored to partner alongside this amazing young girl and all the awesome things God is doing to bring her dream to life for these kids. We are hoping to have every kid in the program sponsored quickly. We are also planning a trip in the fall that you can join to meet your sponsored child as well. Exciting things to come. More info on that soon! 

There is also one last square of land on top of that mountain that is available for purchase. She has hopes to purchase it and put a church up there with a clinic. 
The cost is $55,000 for the land. She, and we, are believing that the money will come in for it. 
If you would like to donate toward the land purchase CLICK HERE and put 'Respire Haiti land purchase' in the memo line. 100% of your donation will go toward the purchase of the new land and is tax deductible. 

So there you have it! Lots of opportunities for you to get involved and help this awesome ministry. 
Child Sponsorship, Soccer Equipment, Land Purchase, Prayer, Support. 

We were totally blessed to see all the awesome things we saw in Haiti along with all the amazing Ordinary Heroes that run them on this trip. We look forward to returning with a team to offer more aid and support in the future. More info on that to come. 
Megan's story along with other featured Ordinary Heroes from this trip will be posting soon in a brand new video featuring all the awesome people we met on this trip! Get ready to be blessed! 

Thank you, Haiti, for blessing our team and opening our eyes as much as we could bless you! 

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