Though our time in the States was short, it was also jam packed with events, opportunities to catch up with people that we love and many, many meetings. We want to send a BIG thank you to those that were able to come to our Sponsor Pot Luck earlier this month. It was a great opportunity to share what we have been up to and where we are moving as an organization in a more intimate setting.
The second big event that occurred this month was our Charity Auction 'Raise the Roof', organized by the BBOH Ambassador team and several amazing volunteers (shoutout to you Anna and Deb!!!). The event was our first in the metro Detroit area which made some aspects more challenging. Yet, the turnout was amazing! We had 75 people attend the dinner and silent/live auctions!!! And the event raised over $12,000... AMAZING! Thank you to everyone that worked on this project, attended the event and donated to support our mission. It was a humbling experience to be surrounded by so many people that believe in what we are doing... THANK YOU!
For part of the time that we were home Dr. Angel Valdez was in Michigan with us, bouncing from meeting to meeting. We want to thank everyone that had us over for a meal, took the time to see us and speak words of encouragement into our hearts. We hope you know how much those opportunities mean to our family.
Now that we are back in the DR, we are getting settled into the swing of things. Ben started school this week and so far is enjoying it (no tears this year.... knock on wood). With Dr. Angel still in the States (he's in Boston visiting family) things are a bit slow which is a huge blessing allowing for some rest and a slow transition back.
As always, thank you to those who sponsor our family monthly, allowing us to pursue this life of service. We [literally] wouldn't be able to do it without you! We are still in need of sponsors to reach our monthly goal so if you feel the tug on your heart please consider becoming a sponsor and joining the mission in this special way. We are always willing to answer questions or help in any way. Please click here for more information.
By: Kailey Stutzky, BSN RN
BBOH Colleague and Supporter
Dr. Angel, Francois, and myself made our way to Port au Prince with our dear Nelson and his father a little over a week ago.
The drive with Nelson and his dad was an adventure to say the least. The drive itself feels like you are on a rollercoaster… for three hours…. The best way I can explain it is if you have ever been on the ride at Michigan adventures.. Mouse trap?!?! The one that makes you feel like you are going over the edge but then you make a quick sharp turn and continue along the track… well that is what this road is like.
We finally made it to Sister Lluvia's house where Nelson was welcomed with open arms by both her and the seminarians. He will be living in downtown Port au Prince and will be given the opportunity to go to school for the first time in his life. Our time spent with Sister that day was brief because we needed to make it back to the border before it closed.
I have been very torn about this whole decision to take Nelson out of his home once again and bring him to another place to live. There would be days where I would be so ready to get him out of the situation that he was living in but then other days I would feel so sad that Nelson would be taken away from his family. I had been praying a lot, really trying to make sure that what we were doing is God’s will and not just us.
After seeing him with Sister I felt the biggest sense of peace. It was exactly what I needed to know -- that we were doing the right thing. Nelson felt right at home as soon as we got there. Within 10 minutes he started acting exactly like I remembered him in Palo saco. We were playing a hide-n-seek type game and he would look at me with this shy smirk. If anyone knows Nelson, this is his signature look!!
While happy to receive Nelson, Sister Lluvia was also very honest and direct about our responsibility to help provide for him. Since she does not have an orphanage for boys there is no program that he directly falls into. Therefore, we are tasked with the responsibility of covering his school supplies, uniforms, and pay tuition. He will also need clothes, shoes, hygiene products, etc. That day we dropped Nelson off he only had two outfits. And one pair of shoes that were incredibly small. While in the States Adam and Jess got approval for BBOH to set up a specific savings account deemed "Children's Advocacy Fund" which will collect donations for Nelson (and eventually other children as well).
Please consider donating to this fund and helping us cover Nelson's school fees and basic necessities. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org for specifics on how to donate.
UPDATE: I had the opportunity to Skype with Nelson a few days ago and he is doing SO GOOD. He thanked me for taking him to Sister's and said that he is very happy there....a beautiful confirmation that we did the right thing given the circumstances and resources available. Thank you all of your prayers over the last couple of months as this story unfolded!
We are Catholic lay missionaries serving along the border of Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
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