11.29.2011

By Heather ...

Where there is faith, there is love;
Where there is love, there is peace;
Where there is peace, there is God;
And where there is God; there is no need.

I love this quote by Leo Tolstoy. It describes the heart behind all that Heartline Ministries does in Haiti. Did you know that because Heartline operates on so much volunteer ministry that 90% of what you give is spent on the ground in Haiti?

Amy and Heather are running the Topeka to Auburn half marathon (January 21, 2012) again this year to provide housing for one year to a young Haitian mother. It is amazing to know that for $800-$1,000 dollars we could provide a home to a mother like this one http://livesayhaiti.blogspot.com/2011/11/hold-me-god.html This half marathon is the one in our area that is always nearest the anniversary of the devastating earthquake in Haiti. The day of the half marathon is most likely going to be cold and windy and, as always, very hilly, but last year none of that mattered. It was an amazing experience to run knowing that it meant money was heading toward giving babies and families in Haiti the best start possible in life. And that it was going not to just deal with the orphan crisis but to prevent it.

Please consider donating any amount by using the Chip-In widget on this page. This insures that your donation goes straight to Heartline. If each friend of mine on facebook donated just $5 we would be providing housing for a year to 3 young mothers. The cost of one grande vanilla mocha could combine with others to give a young mother and her baby a place to live safely for an entire year.

Thank you for your consideration,

Heather and Amy

12.11.2010

Introducing: Starr, Diamond, Janell, Lisa, Charmaine

Hello Friends!

Thank you for taking the time to come to this web site and read about what we’re doing here. We (Team 2) are currently training for the Disney Princess ½ Marathon. We are so excited about this race! Running a 13.1 mile race is not easy but it’s exhilarating! Pulling together to help women in a 3rd world nation isn’t easy but it too is exhilarating!

Can you imagine what it would be like to go through 9 months of pregnancy and not have the adequate nutrition for you and your growing baby? Then going into difficult labor and delivery on a dirt floor all by yourself? No electricity. No clean water. No midwife. No doctor. Imagine if there was a complication. These are everyday things for some women in Haiti and many of them lose their babies because of these circumstances. BUT we can help! All of us together pulling our resources can help women have healthy pregnancies, labors, and deliveries. That’s exciting!

ALL of team 2 has personally been to or lived in Haiti. We’ve have worked in the facilities that help the woman of Haiti. We’ve held their healthy babies, handed out pre-natal vitamins, and nutritious food and even assisted in classes to teach these amazing woman how to be healthier moms and care for their sweet, tiny babies. We have seen where your hard earned money goes and how it makes a difference. While we train for our ½ marathon we will be focusing our thoughts and prayers to this effort. Please help us raise the funds to keep Heartline going. We ask that you give whatever monetary donation you can to help us reach the goal. Every amount you give goes to help a mother and baby in need. For those of you who have ever given birth KNOW how hard it is, even in perfect conditions. For more info on the women’s program at heartline please go to- www.heartlineministries.org or you can search the archives of this blog.

With 5 of us running our goal is only $6,500- That’s only $100 per mile per person. WE can do it! It’s a small goal that will go a long way. Thank you so much for your support!

(From the Princess ½ Marathon website- http://espnwwos.disney.go.com/events/rundisney/princess-half-marathon/)-
“There comes a time in every woman's life when she must blaze her own trail. A time when she has to run, not from an evil stepmother, but to her moment of glory. A day when the true princess inside of her shines through. The time has come for you!”

How better to raise funds To empower women than a race that supports it? Get excited! This is going to ROCK!

12.06.2010

Introducing Team: Amy and Heather


We, Amy and Heather, are running the Topeka to Auburn half marathon January 15, 2010 to raise money for the Heartline Teen Mother's Home. We hope you'll support us and help this effort be a success!

Click here to see this post to learn more about the young women the Teen Mom's home is serving. Read through the posts on this blog to read more about the lives of women in Haiti.

The official website for the half marathon reads:
'The first eight miles of the course are on paved asphalt streets and roads; the next four miles are on country roads and the last mile plus is back on asphalt. The course start is at an elevation of 1013 feet and the finish is at 1084 feet, but with continuous ups and downs throughout most of the route the elevation difference seems greater...If the course is not daunting enough, the conditions the day of the race may be. The unpredictability of Kansas’s weather is a certainty, even during the middle of winter. With the course traversing mainly north to south and with a predominately north or northwesterly wind, there is usually a tail or side wind...Paved roads are generally manageable, but the country roads can often become a sloppy mess or may be mostly ice covered.'

And can you believe we are both SO excited for this!

We encourage you to share this - link to this on facebook - or email it to friends and family with personal words of encouragement to pray for the run and/or sponsor us (per mile or a set amount). A half marathon is a little over 13 miles. Knowing that the few girls at the home now are a pilot project for bigger and better things, think of what you could help instigate with just a few moments of your time.

Heartline is an amazing ministry. When the earthquake hit last January, my missionary friends who had lived for years in Haiti were quick to recommend Heartline as a trustworthy ministry.

The Chip-In widget will insure that your sponsorship goes directly to their organization- it is on the right side of this blog and is noted as Amy and Heather's Chip-in. Heartline Ministries will receipt you for your gift. This organization is one that pours all resources back into the Haitian people, economy and infrastructure."

Please sponsor us today!

Amy & Heather

1.05.2010

To our support-team:


We are approaching race day and we are ready! Thanks to you supporters we have reached and surpassed our $60,000 goal and we are ready to run! So many of you trusted us, believe in the women's program and gave money toward our ambulance. We thank you!

Most women in Haiti deliver their babies at home without a skilled attendant. Many moms and babies die because no one was there to get them life saving help. Our program seeks to educate women, give them prenatal care and prepare them for the safest birth possible. In an emergency situation we will be able to get them to a hospital quickly. As you read in one of our earliest posts we had a mom who delivered her baby in the dirt while trying to get to us. At night there is no public transportation so women deliver at home. What a difference having an ambulance vehicle will make!

If you visit Haiti you will be amazed at the number of overcrowded orphanages. Many of these kids are from moms who died in or around the weeks of childbirth. Our program aims to change that. Our goal is safe pregnancies, safe birth and intact families!

Thank you for trusting us! We runners thank you and we will be thinking of your donations as the miles pile up and we are hurting! Your donations will help us to make it to the finish line! Thank you for giving to a program which aims to help women who are powerless to help themselves. Thank you for caring! Thank you for investing in a runner and investing in the women of Heartline!

You gave for them - we will run for them! We all cross the finish line and win!

Beth McHoul

To the Runners

Here we are runners, just a few days from the race. You did it! Your training is done, you're tapering down and you've gone beyond what you thought possible! Some of you are first time marathoners. When you cross that finish line you will be part of an elite group of people who have run 26.2 miles. Very few people can run a marathon or a half marathon but you can! Most amazing to me is that you are doing it for someone else. Women who are poor, powerless, and don't have a voice. You are running so that they are guaranteed a safer birth, a ride to the hospital if necessary, a ride to and from home.



There are no words enough to thank you. You are making all this possible. People have supported you, given money and are cheering you on to the finish line. Crossing the finish line at a marathon is a life changing event! You will be stiff, sore and beyond happy!

Thank you for reaching out to your communities, friends, churches and family to support us. As I look over the list of supporters I marvel at how many names I do not recognize. That's because so many of us reached into our communities and got support from other folks. Folks we don't know who are now a part of our success in Haiti! I am amazed!

Thank you for running and making this real! Our women would thank you but most of them don't even realize what a marathon is. They are running one of their own daily just trying to survive and get through the day. For the women of our program - their lives just got a little easier! We owe you a huge thank you!!

Run well!

Beth McHoul

12.22.2009

Our Program is for Admarie, Fenise, & Jina





We're waiting anxiously with Admarie (first photo) and Jina (last photo) for the arrivals of their babies. Both of these beautiful ladies are due at the end of December. Please be praying for safe deliveries of their little ones.

Fenise (middle photo) had a healthy baby boy on Thursday, December 10th. She named him Stevenson. Mom and baby are doing great. Due to her involvement in our program Fenise is receiving life-saving medical attention that she would have been unaware she needed had she not joined the Prenatal program.

Because Fenise will now be in the Early Childhood Development class, her spot in the Prenatal program has opened for a woman on our waitlist. We're excited to have an opportunity to meet and serve another woman this coming Thursday.

We are also so thrilled to share that we are only approximately $5,000 away from the $60,000 goal. With your help, we will soon be able to go to the dealership and order our emergency transport vehicle.

Please consider sponsoring any one of the runners for $1 per mile ($26) or $3 per mile ($78) or $5 per mile ($130) as a year end gift to Heartline Ministries ... in reality it will be a gift to a Haitian woman who will be cared for and loved by our team on the ground in Haiti. Thank you so much.

We wish you a very Merry Christmas from Port au Prince.

The Heartline Team

12.18.2009

Update


We have received the $10,000 matching grant from the Texas college graduate. We have also been promised $20,000 from one donor toward the transport vehicle. This puts us at $49,292.20 as of this moment. (The meter reflects the current goal.)

This is exciting news! It puts us over 65% of goal with 21 days until the marathon weekend and 30 days left to reach our goal by January 18th, 2010.

We hope that you'll share this site with others and let them know how they can help. We only have 10K left to go! Thank you for your concern for the women of Haiti and for getting involved and helping us reach our goal.

The Heartline Team

12.15.2009

Pictured above is the most common mode of transportation in Haiti. These trucks run all over the city and countryside and are called - kamyonnet or tap-taps. The system works well - if you're not in a hurry. When a woman is in labor she needs to flag down one of these trucks and hope that she gets to her destination in time. If you are looking for a ride after a certain time of day it may be impossible to find one. The truck stops very frequently and the time it takes to get from point A to point B can vary greatly. Can you imagine being in pain and riding in this for an hour or more?

We are very pleased to share that the 10K matching grant from the anonymous college graduate has been received. Thank you to each of you that have given and helped us get to this point. The meter does not reflect $11,200 in donations. We will update the totals soon and let you know where things stand. We have not yet reached the 60K necessary to move forward and purchase the ambulance vehicle. We have a month left to raise the funds before the group of 15 runs the races in Florida. Please consider helping us by sponsoring a runner. Please pass this on to your friends and family who might be looking to give a charitable donation (to a GREAT cause) at the end of the year.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

This story is not uncommon in Haiti, we thought you might like to read about life in Haiti from the perspective of another ministry doing work here. We hope our efforts and our birthing center will reduce situations like the one described in this story.

12.09.2009

Our Program is for RoseMarie

With a smile like this, it is tempting to believe that life is happy and easy for Rose Marie. She is generally cheery despite many challenges. Lately, things have gotten pretty tough. Her smile is not shared nearly as frequently as it was when we first met her.

Rose Marie has faced many obstacles in recent months. Her pregnancy has been precarious and her living situation has become worse than that.

For the last six weeks Rose Marie has been coming each day to eat at the Women's Program house. We started doing this after her blood pressure began to climb. It is not uncommon to take her BP and find it 170/100 and sometimes higher. The goal has been to help her get enough protein in her diet to avoid preeclampsia.

She has faithfully made her way to the house each day to eat boiled eggs and a vitamin fortified rice mixture. She is checked every couple of days for other signs and symptoms. She has been referred to Doctors without Borders, they sent her home until she goes into labor. We're doing everything we know to do ... especially praying.

Rose Marie has two other children that live with her mother in Mirebelais, about two hours north of Port au Prince. In Haitian culture it is very common for children to be raised by relatives and for families to split up. Rose Marie's sisters no longer offer her a place to sleep, there are problems between them that they seem unwilling to work out. Their small houses are already over-crowded.

Rose Marie finds herself without a permanent home and no plan for caring for herself or her baby. Each night she hopes a friend will let her sleep under their roof. Her pregnancy is so high risk that the very few jobs that she might be able to find are dangerous to her health at this time.

This week Rose Marie shared with us that the father of her baby lives in the USA. He was here for a brief visit earlier this year. He might come back to visit again in late December. She is not sure. His sisters don't want him to care for Rose Marie or the baby. They are trying to convince him that this is not his child. They don't want her to move in with them at the house he provides for them.

She went on to tell us that she just wants to "give him the baby", and that if he is not going to help her she won't be able to keep the baby. Her mother has all that she can handle caring for the other two children. This week there was a fight that led to her getting punched in the face. The people holding her belongings threaten to throw them in the street, the friends say she can only stay a few more nights. She is trapped and feels alone.

As she explained the situation further she began to cry. She wants her baby to be born healthy, but she feels uncertain of everything, including her ability to provide for herself or the child due in January.
Rose Marie's situation is especially difficult in that there are not a lot of great options or solutions. Many women end up having their baby without the help of the father, but most are not homeless. Our program exists to love the women and meet them right where they are. We know we cannot provide housing, food and clothing for every woman in need. But we can provide vitamins, education, counseling, encouragement, a listening ear, moral support, a kind word, a hug, some food, some medical care ... and prayers.

Please pray with us for Rose Marie and her unborn baby.

(Written By T.Livesay)

12.07.2009

Serving in Simone Pele

These little girls stand in the doorway of an average looking home in Simone Pele.

Heartline Ministries began going into this community last summer and started doing prenatal class in September. We are now committed to doing a monthly outreach to the pregnant women of this community. Our goal is to offer teaching that may make a difference in their lives and the lives of their babies and to spend just a few minutes each month giving them the love and attention they so need.

Meet Heartline Runner, Tara Livesay


The Disney Marathon is the second marathon in just a few months for Tara. It will be her fourth total. She ran the Twin Cities Marathon in October raising money for Medika Mamba, a high protein food for malnourished kids in Haiti.

Tara went from training for one marathon to training for another without skipping a beat. She is energetic, takes care of 7 children, works in the Heartline Women's Program and works for World Wide Village. Tara is known for her open and honest blog about the Christian experience and life in Haiti.

Tara is passionate about life and the women and children of Haiti. She and her husband Troy have 3 Haitian adopted children, 4 bio-children and are taking care of their Haitian niece until she goes to her home to her adoptive family in MN. Busy does not begin to describe her day-to-day life.

Tara trains on the roads of Port-au-Prince. She is a committed runner who runs under extreme circumstances. Not even malaria kept her from training. Tara cares about the women we serve in Haiti and wants the best for them. Like many of them, Tara was a teen mom who relates to these women and wants better for them.

Running a marathon is one way we can serve the women of Haiti. Help us help them! Please sponsor Tara Livesay today!

12.03.2009

Our Program is for Nicole

Nicole is in our program for the second time. We love her, but she is work. Although she is in her early twenties she is more like a teenager. She is always needing attention and finding new ways to get it from us. If she doesn't have an ailment she'll think of one. She reminds us to pray for her in case we forgot.While everyone else sits nicely in their chair Nicole lies on the floor during class. Her drama keeps us rolling our eyes and laughing. We do love her and are disappointed that she cannot deliver with us due to a previous c/section with complications. She is more than disappointed. She asked us over and over again to change our minds.

Nicole agrees wholeheartedly with us on the benefits of breastfeeding and brags that her little guy is smarter because of it. Since she is second time around in the program she knows the score.

Nicole was not happy when she got pregnant for the second time and begs us to pray for her husband to get a job. She and her little family live on the edge. They are in an intact family, the husband clearly cares for his family but has no work and little hope of finding one. Nicole took the entrance exam for our sewing program but failed.

Pray for Nicole as she is in the hospital for her second c/section today. We will celebrate with her when she returns with her new baby. A baby born into a family with so little. A baby whose mom is almost a baby herself. But, our program is for Nicole, our program provides her some love and attention. When Nicole comes with her baby in a few days we will do a newborn exam, offer support and encouragement and send her home with a gift bag of baby goodies. But not until we pray for her and her family.

Please help us reach the goal and chip in ... for Nicole and others like her.

BY Beth McHoul

12.02.2009

Teaching on Breastfeeding, by Esther D.

Simone Pele December


11.30.2009

Updates


We have 18 days left to meet the generous match offer made by college graduate from Texas. Thank you so much for giving! We have $3,508 left to raise to receive her 10K match. PLEASE share this with your Sunday School class, your Bible study, your friends and co-workers. We are anxious to help our anonymous friend in Texas be able to give her match. What a blessing!

Please be praying for the ladies in our program. We have one young mom with HIV that is due in the coming week, prayers for a safe delivery of a healthy baby are appreciated. We have another mom that is too high risk and probably needs a C-section, she is especially "needy" and not very happy about the c-section. We also have a mom of 4 who had a blood pressure of 172/128 last week - and is only 32 weeks along. She was told to go straight to a hospital after she left us. Someday soon we hope and pray we can give them a ride when we send them for emergency care.

To pray for them by name: Fenise - Nicole - RoseMarie

11.27.2009

Our Program is for Natacha

By Beth McHoul

Natacha has been in our lives for a long time. She was orphaned at the age of 10 when her dad drowned. He was one of the many victims on the commuter Jeremie boat that sank several years ago. (Click here to read about that tragedy.) Natacha's mom died prior to her father but Natacha isn't clear on what happened. "It was voodoo powder", she says.

After their father died, Natacha and her little sister Nedeje went to live in an orphanage in Port-au-Prince. As a troubled teen Tachi was asked to leave the orphanage. Not unlike other troubled teens here and in the USA, she got pregnant.

Natacha delivered her baby girl in a small hut without a skilled attendant. She really loved her little girl but as a teen without support or teachers, she had no parenting skills and no way to provide for her daughter. She first came to us asking us to take her daughter into the adoption program. Her daughter was placed into the children's home and Natacha ended up staying with us and has never really left.

Tachi and my daughter Morgan became best friends over the years. They mixed their conversations with Creole and English giggling and acting like teenagers together. They love each other still and look forward to visits in Haiti a couple of times each year. Natacha has been employed at our boys house as a night nanny for a number of years.

About a year ago Natasha announced that she had a boyfriend. I gave her the purity lectures and warnings. I am a mother figure in her life. I hoped she could be spared more disappointment. I prayed she would make wise choices.

Here is an orphaned girl with huge losses in her life. She lost both parents, grew up in an overcrowded understaffed orphanage, gave up her first born child, lost her best friend to the States, and is not on speaking terms with her little sister. After such losses - of course she would be victim to a smooth talking boyfriend who said he wanted a family. He told her he would marry her but he wanted her to have "his" child first. She caved. She believed him.Our daughter Morgan came home for a visit earlier this year. Tachi whispered to Morgan that she might be pregnant. Morgan cautioned her to get married, do things right, it would pay off later. But it was too late. The pregnancy test came back positive. Natacha was full of hope, full of thoughts of family, being a wife, being a mother, making up for past losses.

Week by week we took care of Tachi in our program. Because she is fluent in English and works at the boy's home she is well known by many and a favorite of a lot of the Americans. People care about her.

As we feared, her boyfriend tired of her and found a new girl. He didn't even wait till the baby was born. At her last prenatal appointment she sat looking at her round belly and said, "He has a new girl. I hate him now." We felt that anger, disappointment, and hurt with her.

Early Wednesday morning Natasha called me from the boy's home to tell me she was in labor. Five hours later she was holding a 8 pound 8 ounce baby girl she named Esther Jane. Esther is Morgan's middle name.

We can only imagine her struggles. She's older now, she's 23, she is capable of raising this child.

In a life full of losses may little Esther help heal a wounded heart.Men are not dependable in this culture. Although this particular dad has a job it is unlikely he will be involved or help. Natasha will do this alone. But, she does have us, a community that loves her and will help her. And we will continue to point her to the one who is are true source of help and love. Our true help comes from Jesus Christ!

Please give a gift today. We need your help. Your donation allows us to grant these women a hand up, some dignity, and specifically allows us to offer them a safer option should they need emergency help. Thank you for helping us help them.

11.26.2009

Meet Heartline Runner, Kim Rhodes

When asked about herself Kim wrote:

"I'm 33, From Greenville, SC. I have been married for 12 years to my husband Dave. I am a mother to Emma who is 7 and Izzie who is 3 and Frankie who is 2. We (with other people) run a ministry called- www.wayfarer.tv

The reasons I am running this: In high school I took a trip to Haiti that changed my life. I've always wanted to return. In May of 2008 I returned with a team and met Troy and Tara Livesay who then introduced our family to Heartline and to Maranatha Childrens home. We are now adopting our son Frankie from Heartline.

I'm just a normal mom who's heart beats for our local ministry here in Greenville, for Haiti, for adoption. This is just one way I can help support some fabulous people in Haiti who are doing amazing Kingdom work and having impact. So often I feel like "what can I do to help?" and well, sometimes you just get hit in the face and realize there are so many things you can do. This is one of them. And in the process this allows me to be part of something bigger than myself."

Kim ran the 200 and 400 m dash in high school but had never been a distance runner. This last January a friend asked her to train for and attempt a half marathon. Kim agreed because she just finished having children and had not gotten her heart rate up in over 10 years. She wanted to do it for herself. Kim said, "Training for it was hard but we did it and in April I completed my first ever Half Marathon. I never thought I could run that far." Kim went on to say, "After that one another friend asked if I would train and run one with her. In a lapse of insanity and forgetfulness I agreed. This time I wanted to do it for SOMEONE ELSE I really struggled training for this one. A few times I did not think I would live up to my commitment to her. I'm so not a natural runner and it's hard for me to train. But in the end we did it. Never thought I would do one half marathon let alone 2 in one year."

Kim said she had all but retired her running shoes when she heard that a bunch of folks were running for Haitian women and Heartline Ministries. Kim said, "This time I am running for a PURPOSE. So I will humbly join the current list of marathoners and attempt one last push for a half marathon. To help raise money for a VERY GOOD cause and bring awareness to a ministry that is changing the lives of woman in Haiti. Now that is something to run for."

Kim hopes to run a strong half marathon and beat her personal-best time and then be the biggest fan cheering on all those running the full marathon.

PLEASE sponsor Kim Rhodes ~ Thank You for your consideration!

Meet Heartline Runner, Shelley Tlucek

Shelley Tlucek was asked to share a little bit about herself ...


"I am 43 years old and live in Tabarre, Haiti, with Byron and our five youngest children. Our two oldest children are in college in the U.S.

Beth helped ease me into running when we arrived in Haiti 3 1/2 years ago. I have been following Jeff Galloway's 32 week program in preparation for the Disney World Marathon, and plan to complete the marathon through running/walking intervals. The favorite part of my training has been the 'alone' time which it has given me with Byron.

Beth, Tara, and Lisa have committed their time, energy, and compassion to the women of Haiti - and I am honored to support them as they endeavor to change Haiti one family at a time."

This will be Shelley's first marathon. Please help us reach our goal and sponsor her by chipping in!

11.25.2009

Meet Heartline Runner, Lisa Hojara


Lisa Hojara is 46 years old, married to Ted, and has four children. Her hometown is Fort Lauderdale FL ... with a very worn path to Haiti. The Hojaras lived in Haiti helping with two ministries for much of 2008 and 2009.

Lisa says,
" There is only one explanation to do something so crazy at this age, as my son has reminded me... it is my passion to make a difference in the lives of Haitian women....and children....
I never ran more than 4 miles before July of this year.....I am living proof anybody can do anything they set there hearts and minds to. And of course if Beth says I can do it!! I believe it...she has been my inspirtation, my mentor and my good friend"

Lisa is setting her sights and goals to conquer this marathon. She is running with a purpose....remembering every step, is one step further in changing a life. She is excited to be a part of the running team, she believes that together, we can make a difference.

Please sponsor Lisa Hojara
for her first Marathon this January, and help her show love to a Haitian woman.

11.24.2009

Our Program is for Angena

Written by T. Livesay

Recently I wrote the following:

We're hoping to raise money for the vehicle that we so desperately need, we're hoping to bring attention to some of the needs in Haiti. But more than that we are hoping and praying that along the way many of you will begin to follow these stories of strength, endurance and redemption - each woman we serve has a story to tell - each woman needs our love and prayers.

Sometimes when working in a place like Haiti, it can be easy to get overwhelmed by the needs. This is especially true when so many of the people we meet share a similar story and a similar LARGE need.

It has been our goal to get to know each woman in our program and to glean a little bit of her story - to take the time to understand specific details about her life and her situation. We want to know more about them than, "they are poor". Whether we can help in each situation or not - we truly desire to know about the ladies and their lives.

Today I want to share Angena's story of strength and perseverance under difficult circumstances.

Angena is 28 years old and has four children. They are Angelo, 6 years old, Erna, 5 years old, Woodson, 22 months, and Rose Gerlande, 5 months.

Angena first entered our prenatal program in late 2007. At that time we were still very young and in a development stage. She was given prenatal vitamins for a couple of months and her baby boy was born healthy at home in February of 2008.

Angena had attempted to benefit from our sewing school but unfortunately she was unable to keep up with the requirements. It was very difficult for the sewing school director to make a decision to remove her from that class.

After that, Sheila (sewing director at the time) took a special interest in looking out for Angena and attempting to find ways to support her. Angena continued coming to the Early Childhood development classes with her new son, Woodson.

In our program we cover many topics. Some of the topics we teach about are: parenting, bonding, public health, hygiene, breastfeeding, STDs, birth control, and first aid. Some of the teaching is fairly basic and aimed at changing long-held cultural beliefs, and misconceptions due to rumor and superstition or lack of education. (For instance, most Haitians believe if the mother has a cold, she can pass it to the baby through nursing and she will not nurse her baby while she has a common cold.)

Many (if not most) women do not have a lot of power when it comes to choosing to say no to intercourse. Because of this lack of power women find themselves pregnant over and over at a young age. Often times by the time the baby is born the father of the baby has moved on to a new relationship - leaving the woman to fend for herself and her baby without help.

Teaching about birth-control is very important for this reason. We hope to empower the women by giving them at least a few options to try to reduce unplanned (and mostly unwanted) multiple pregnancies. We cover the health benefits for spacing children and we offer them a couple of family planning/birth control methods.

Despite our best efforts and Angena's plan to use birthcontrol, she found herself pregnant again just 8 months after Woodson was born. Angena was devastated. She told us that her husband lives and works in Santo Domingo and just comes home occasionally. He sends money from his job when he can. She is left in Port au Prince to handle the children alone.

Angena desperately needed our encouragement and support. We encouraged her to start coming to prenatal class again . She re-entered the prenatal program in November of 2008. For the next 27 weeks we were able to see her on Thursdays. Each week were able to remind her that she was not alone and that we cared for her. Angena was able to receive prenatal vitamins that allowed her better health throughout the pregnancy.

At times Angena was very depressed, and understandably so. During those low times we were careful to pray for her even more and to remind her that we care and will continue to help her whenever possible.

On June 13 Angena delivered a healthy baby girl. She had her baby with the help of a friend in her small home. The father of the baby was still out of the country, as he was for the entire pregnancy.

Since late June she has been back in the Tuesday Early Childhood Development Class. The benefit for her is to meet other Moms and to learn better ways to raise her kids. She is supported by people who love her. She is able to have her kids looked at by a missionary nurse when they are sick. This saves her a lot of money that the "village doctor" might charge to guess at what is wrong with her child.

I think it is easy to fall into thinking, "Why did she get pregnant again? Doesn't she learn?" Some might even think, "Well she got pregnant - it is her fault she is so poor." While a small portion of her situation *might* be a direct result of her own choices, the fact is MOST of her life circumstances have much more to do with the culture and country she was born into.

Our program does not exist to fix Haiti or change Haiti's culture. We won't do that successfully no matter how hard we try. We can change a few misconceptions. We can make a dent here and a dent there in long-held incorrect beliefs. But we won't always succeed in convincing our Moms to use birth control or to plan ahead or to breastfeed their newborn.

Our program exists to love and serve ladies that "don't learn" and that have incredibly hard challenges with very little hope for an improved living/financial situation. Our program exists to show mercy and grace and love to the forgotten and to be to them a little bit of Heaven on Earth. We hope that by feeling unconditional love, they might desire to know the unconditional love of the Father. We pray to that end.

Jesus came not only for me and for you, but for Angena. He loved the prostitute, the unclean, and the serial mistake-makers. He did not give up on them or turn away. It is for this reason that we won't turn Angena away. We hope and pray she does not have another pregnancy again in 2010 - we're doing what we can to educate her about that - but if she returns to us, we will love her and serve her and see her through another pregnancy.
In January, fifteen of us will run with endurance for the women of Haiti who live every day with great courage and endurance.

Please help us share their stories by passing this blog address to your friends. Because - we are hoping and praying that along the way many of you will begin to follow these stories of strength, endurance and redemption - each woman we serve has a story to tell - each woman needs our love and prayers.

11.23.2009

Meet Heartline Runner, Kristen Howerton


Kristen Howerton is 34 and lives in Orange County, California.

When asked to tell us a little about herself, Kristen wrote, "I am married and I have three kids: Jafta (4), India (3), and Karis (6 months). I spend most of my days chasing them around. We are in the process of adopting #4 (a son) from Heartline. I am an adjunct professor of psychology at Vanguard University, and on extended maternity leave from my job as a marriage and family therapist. When my kids are sleeping I waste a lot of time blogging. I am also a big fan of musical theater."

Kristen considers herself a new runner. This will be her first half marathon. She said, "I am a new runner, or not really even a runner at all. I'm hoping to pull this thing off with a mix of walking and jogging. So I guess I'm a wogger. I've been wogging for about six months. Prior to that I was pregnant. At that point, I was a waddler. So I guess wogging is an improvement."

Kristen decided to run the half marathon because the 5k was full and she really wanted to help raise money for Heartline's Prenatal Program. Kristen said, "I am a big fan of the work Heartline is doing and more than anything I want to support them."

When asked about her personal goals for the half marathon, Kristen replied, "To stay upright."

Please sponsor Kristen Howerton for her 13.1 mile race in January, she need your support!

Update on Matching $

We have $8,201 more to raise to receive a generous donation of 10K, made by a 22 year old college graduate in Texas.

36: Amount of chip in donations since the $10k matching challenge over 4 days
333: Average needed per day over the 30 day challenge.
449.67: Average received
1798.67: Amount received since the 10k challenge was made

If you have questions about our ministry or programs please leave a comment or email:

bethmchoul@yahoo.com or tl7inhaiti@yahoo.com

We are looking forward to another great week with the ladies in our program. Tuesday we will work with approximately 35 ladies with babies 12 months and younger. Each and every one of these ladies came through our prenatal program in the last year and they are now working hard to care for their baby and make wise choices. The ladies are being given encouragement, acceptance, teaching and love - all things that are hard to come by in their culture.

Check back on Tuesday evening to meet one of the young mothers in our Tuesday Early Childhood Development Program.

Please consider chipping in!

11.22.2009

Meet Heartline Runners, Nydia & David Miller

Nydia Miller is a wife, a mother and a runner. She is 43 years old and resides in Pennsylvania. Her husband Jon was introduced earlier, in this post.

Nydia has been running for many years but joined a running group seven years ago. She has run one half marathon in September 2009. This will be her first full marathon. Nydia said, "The reason I decided to run the marathon is to expose more people to the amazing work that Heartline Ministries does in Haiti."

Nydia and Jon have 5 children; two Haitian born children that joined their family through the blessing of adoption. Nydia is a full time student studying Elementary Education and a work at home mom. She says that with distance running, school, and raising five children - the only other hobby she has time for is "Watching our children enjoy life. That "fills me up" like nothing else".


Regarding her personal goals for the marathon, Nydia says, "My goal is to cross the finish line with my wonderful husband Jon by my side. It is going to be a blessing knowing that every mile we complete is to help the women and children in the Women's Program. How much more encouragement could we ask for?"


Jon and Nydia's son David is running the Disney Half Marathon on Saturday, January 9, 2009.

David is 15 years old. He decided to run the half because he knew that he and his parents were doing it to benefit Haiti.

David is newer runner. This will be his first half marathon.

David is a sophomore in high school. He enjoys playing basketball and is also very involved in his church and youth group. He said he likes going to the local Good Will store and shopping for crazy tee shirts.

David is anxious to raise money and awareness for Heartline Ministries and the women of Haiti and to travel to Florida with his family to compete together and cheer one another on. David would like to finish his half marathon around 2 hours, give or take a few minutes.

Please consider sponsoring one of the Millers running for Haiti this January.

11.19.2009

Our Program Seeks to Serve and Love

We are running for them:


This photo above was taken before today's class. 17 of 20 women had arrived when we took the picture. We have ladies ranging in age from 15 to 40, giving birth to their first , and all the way up to their 8th child.

At the end of our appointment with the women we always pray for/with them. If we forget, they remind us. The last photo of the girl in the white dress is Nicole. She came in today and plopped herself down and said "You guys need to pray for me every day." We laughed and agreed with her and got busy doing that.
They need our prayers and we are constantly asking the Lord how to show them His love in every decision we make and every action we take.
We will continue to share our experiences with these beautiful ladies and tell their stories.


Thank you for reading, praying, and giving.


The Heartline Team

Also, check back here to meet the last five runners that have not yet been introduced.

11.18.2009

Please Help us - December 18th we need to be at $18,052 to receive 10K more

Hi Heartline Team,

I want to offer a $10,000 match towards the Heartline ambulance. I am so excited about what y'all are doing in the women's program. Thank you for being the hands and feet of Jesus to these women. I love y'all's unique approach and the way you love the women and serve them. And more than anything I love the women of Haiti and agree that they deserve the best care that can be provided to them!

I graduate from Texas A&M University on December 18th and my Dad offered to get me a car as a grad gift. I have a perfectly good and actually really nice car so I asked instead if I could have the equivalent amount of money to donate to the causes of my choice. My Dad said yes but only if I took time to really pray about where God wanted that money to go and where it would most glorify Him. I have prayed about donating to the purchase of the ambulance for a few weeks now and after reading the last few posts I know this is exactly where God wants this money to go to glorify Him.

I am so excited for all that Heartline is doing right now and can't wait to continue to follow the journey on the blogs! So, I will match up to $10,000 raised by my graduation date of December 18th when I receive the money. I mean honestly I want to send the check no matter what but I want to motivate others to give also! I so badly want y'all to reach that goal!!! The ambulance is such a necessity and I know God will provide!

love in Him,
Anonymous Graduate from Texas

11.16.2009

Our Program is for Joranne

Labor and Delivery
Joranne is a vibrant, beautiful, spunky 21 year old woman. From the first day she joined the program she became one of the "stand-out" ladies. She always has a great smile and peppy attitude when she comes for prenatal class.

We all agreed that being able to see her baby come into the world and help her with it would be an amazing privilege. We were happy to look ahead on the calendar and know that by November when she was due, we would likely be able to deliver her baby.

Joranne has never been pregnant before. Unlike the vast majority of first-time moms in Haiti, Joranne received consistent pre-natal care and lots of attention through 7 months of her pregnancy.

On Saturday evening she called Beth to let her know she had been having contractions for three hours and was getting a ride over to us. She arrived and Jonna, a midwife staying in Haiti to work with us for 8 months, began to assess things and help Joranne get settled in for a night of laboring.

Lisa and Beth and others that were there to support took turns sleeping. Vivien (an EMT living in Haiti for 9 months) and Jonna handled all of Joranne's needs during the night.

Morning came and people who had not yet slept got a nap while others jumped in to help. We continued to help her through each contraction, to encourage, to pray, and to monitor.

Giving a Haitian woman an opportunity to labor while surrounded by love and help (and great back rubs) is an important part of what we offer. This experience is nothing like what they would experience elsewhere in Haiti. It is truly unique.

Around 10am Joranne's baby started showing a few signs of distress. The baby's heartrate decelerated and the midwives began to be a little bit concerned, but they also knew she was close to delivering.

At 10:35 Jonna, the midwife acting as primary for this delivery, told Joranne that she could push. A few minutes passed and Joranne was able to begin pushing with each contraction. At that point Lisa, another midwife, was getting fetal heart rates of about 70-80 beats per minute.

Lisa told Vivien to be ready for a baby that might need resuscitation. It was calm but incredibly intense for the next six minutes. We could see the head and we knew she was just a push or two away from delivering, but we did not know how the baby would fare. We prayed aloud and individually as Joranne pushed.

At 10:45 Joranne's 7 pound 7 ounce son was delivered and he started crying instantly. A collective sigh of relief was breathed by all in the room. Thank God for another safe delivery.



In this case, we were blessed with a healthy baby. Had he come out needing more medical attention than we could provide it would have been our responsibility to find him help. If you read the post prior to this one, you know that medical emergencies are extra difficult in Haiti. The roads are bad, the traffic is worse, and there is no "911" option. In emergencies (and there will be emergencies) we need to be ready to move and we need to be ready to move fast. We need a vehicle ready for use at all times that is equipped with oxygen, IV fluids and other life saving medical supplies. We need to be ready to give these women the best care possible.

Not to be ready - is to offer them less than they deserve. And that is wrong.

We cannot fix the lack of infrastructure in Haiti. We cannot make most things better for them. We cannot control a lot of things. But we can be prepared to take really good care of women while they are in labor and delivering their babies. We SHOULD be prepared to do that.




More on Vehicles

On Sunday there were 6 at the Buxman house, 11 at the Livesay house, 5 at the McHoul house, 11 plus at the Tlucek house ... all needing to get to church about 40 minutes from the area we all live. (These are the four households that work with Heartline full or part time.)

We were already begging for rides and trying to find vehicles to pick a few up and help out. We all usually have one working vehicle (per family) and we're always stretched to figure out transportation. We swap and trade and jockey to make it work.

On Sunday we needed a vehicle to stay at the Women's Center and ready to make a hospital run if need be. This meant a large group of people needed to stay home so that the vehicle could stay ready for emergency transport. The vehicle that was there was not sufficient. It was not outfitted with medical devices - it was better than nothing, and all we had.

If the question has crossed your mind, "Why do they need such an expensive vehicle?" I want to address that. I am a frugal person by nature and I get why you might wonder that.

We (our family) bought a vehicle 16 months ago. It is a 2005 with few miles on it. It has had three major issues, all three related to the fact that it is not a sturdy enough vehicle with high enough clearance for the roads that Haiti offers. Each time there are issues it takes about two to four weeks to locate parts and another week or two to get it fixed. At this moment Beth has been without her truck for 12 weeks due to issues finding parts. I don't share this to whine about it, I share it to explain the reality of vehicle maintenance in Haiti. Nothing is convenient or easy here.

We need a very reliable, sturdy, high-clearance, totally outfitted vehicle that we can count on. We truly never want to find ourselves in a situation where we lose a lady because we were not as prepared as possible to deal with a problem.

I know if someone I love had a major medical emergency, I would want more than a half broken down jalopy to get them to the hospital, if at all possible. The lives of these women are every bit as important as the lives of the people I love. A reliable vehicle that will serve 100's of women for years to come is a necessity.

We're so hopeful that we'll receive the funds to both buy and outfit the vehicle (60K does both) - we're available to answer your questions.

Please help us reach the goal by sponsoring our efforts. The Chip In button on the right is one way to donate, you can also mail a check to Heartline in Washington.

Thank you for helping us help them!The Heartline Team

(Written by T. Livesay)

Linking You

A long-time friend of Heartline Ministries wrote a post sharing a little bit about the reality of emergencies in an undeveloped country, like Haiti. Please go here to read it. Also, please check back this week for many new stories here.

Run well,

The Heartline Team

11.15.2009

Our Program is for Marie Lucie

Marie Lucie is 22, poor, single and without resources. She has been faithful to our program for months now. She arrived Thursday morning in labor. Like most first time moms she was sure she was almost at the end and the contractions surely couldn't get any worse. We knew we were in for a long day and night when we saw that in reality she was not very far along.

Thursdays are always busy with 20 prenatal women, women wanting pregnancy tests and anyone else who shows up at the gate. We leave exhausted on Thursday late afternoons. When Marie Lucie came in in labor at 9:00 AM we knew we were in for an extra busy day.

A 15 year old pregnant girl from Simone Pele showed up wanting to get into the program. Another lady wanting to give her baby for adoption. Another with a four day old who she hadn't breastfed at all since birth. This gal had delivered at home since her labor went quickly so she was not with us for us to instill in her the things she had been learning in our program. Breastfeed right after the baby is born, we teach and teach and teach that. We were all burdened with heaviness at the sight of a failing baby and a mom who didn't seem to understand that baby needed to eat - continuously! We have taught this a hundred different ways! How could this mom have missed the message? Discouragement filled the room. A visitor, Gaylene, sat with mom for hours teaching her to breastfeed and how to care for her baby.

Our attention was now elsewhere. Women needing prenatals. Busy midwives, Staff doing their jobs, filling in paperwork, feeding moms to be, checking vitals, making sure women had their vitamins. Dealing with the heartbreaking issues that face these women daily.

Marie Lucie labored through the day. Women with bellies almost as big as hers poked their heads in to offer encouragement and check out their future! Marie Lucie informed me when her labor was taking hours too long and that all our other women had delivered quickly. She wondered aloud why she was different? False rumor!

Finally the house emptied except for the several of us involved in the birth. What a team this young girl had. We labored with her, walked with her, prayed with her, helped her and finally caught her baby. Her family could be heard praising Jesus from where they waited on the front patio of the house when they heard a healthy baby had been delivered. It was our own little cheering section. As if in direct contrast of the morning's event when her baby was born she declared "I have to breastfeed him right away like Madame John taught us!" We all cheered and the discouragement of the non-compliant mom in the morning lifted. This girl listened in class and put it to action. A baby boy off to a healthy start!

Several hours later Marie Lucie left for home with a 7 pound 4 ounce baby boy. A victorious event for us all. In January many of us will be running for Marie Lucie and many more like her.