When you ask God Why…….

Since I was saved just over 10 years ago, I have not found myself in serious question as to the
“why” of much.  My family has suffered some very tragic losses, and through the mourning I have been able to always find peace in the Lord.

This week has been a very hard week.  First I am going to rewind to New Years Eve, so January 31st 2017.

My dad called both my sister and I that morning, and for whatever reason both my sister and I missed the call.  Later that afternoon he tried again.  At about 3:30 I answered the phone to hear my dad describe some pretty scary events that were happening in our family home with my mom.  She was delirious.  Seeing things that were not there, and having conversations with no one.  I was in Perham at a friends house so I was very close and went right over.  The things my dad was describing scared me into thinking that my mom had suffered a brain injury, or a stroke…  After some conversation she agreed to go to the emergency room in Perham.  While we were getting into the car she recalled falling down the stairs that morning (going from inside to outside) and hitting her head on the stairs when she landed.  Now I was even more fearful.  She had been sick for 10 days prior and the day before (the 30th) she was finally well enough to have a Christmas celebration with our family.  She seemed tired, but normal.

We were brought right in to the ER, the nurses assessed her and the doctor ordered a CT scan of her head and neck right away.  Blood was drawn immediately also.  There was no waiting, no question that she was going to get the care that she needed.  Her scan came back normal, so no head injury was suspected.  We waited for blood work and urine samples to be tested to try and learn more about why she was seeing a half squirrel/half rabbit in the corner of the room… and a little pig with a straw hat on the counter top.  When the blood work came back the doctor informed us that she had very concerning results.  Her heart enzymes were elevated, and her kidneys were not functioning properly.  She needed a bigger hospital that was more equipped to dig deeper into cause and treatment.  An ambulance was called and she was transported without wait to a larger hospital about 2 hours away.

My sister and I followed her up and stayed with her during her intake and additional testing.  When we finally left that night we left in peace, knowing that the professionals had a good take on what was happening and how to treat her.  She was hooked up to fluids to flush her body and get her rehydrated from having the flu for so many days.  She stayed in the hospital for 3 days.  Her hospital room was private, with a couch and a reclining chair.  On the wall hung a big screen TV and a private bathroom was in the room.  The nurses cared for her on a regular basis, aids brought her water and juice, hospitality made sure her room was clean and brought her 3 full meals a day.  By the end of the first full day the hallucinations disappeared and she was on her way to being healthy.  Her meds were evaluated and dispensed as needed.  My mom is home, she is alive.

Wednesday January 3rd. An accident involving a moto occurs.  On the moto is one of our translators mother.  One of our builders Mother in Law.  Our assistant directors very close friends mother.  She has a traumatic head injury and is in need of urgent care. Our Director and Assistant Director Rodnald and Rithza tell me at 5:00 that they have just spent the entirety of the day trying to find a hospital to take her.  The first hospital they went to turned them away, there wasn’t any available beds.  The second hospital they drove her to assessed her and told them there was nothing they could do for her, they needed an ambulance immediately to get her to Port Au Prince and to a specialty hospital.  They did give her a bed, but didn’t do a thing for her.  They did not help to facilitate transport, or help to find a hospital that could or would take her.  Rithza tried calling an ambulance service in Haiti only to find out that the transport would cost $150, and needed to be paid up front.  The family did not have $150.  They also knew that she needed an MRI and this was going to cost anywhere from 200-400$… IF they could get her someplace that would take her.

Thursday January 4th.  The hospital that Venilia was in kicked her out.  The same hospital that told us that we could NOT transport her that only an ambulance could the night before, is now insisting she leaves.  The desperate family drives her north to another Hospital. Phone calls were made in advance and this hospital said they had room and would take her.  An hour and a half drive later with a critically ill, unconscious patient, and they are turned away yet again.  The trek to Port Au Prince is made..  They go to a good hospital in Port Au Prince that a scan and care could be given, but they were yet again sent away.  Dying, unconscious, critically injured patient in tow.  With no money they take her to a general hospital.  They accept her.  Although the do not have a bed, so she was laid on a sheet on the dirty, cold, concrete floor.

Friday January 5th.  It is determined that we can go to a specialty radiologist clinic and have an MRI done for $278 dollars.  7:10, Grace Malnutrition Clinic, and Children’s Lifeline came together in record time to make sure that this need is met, and the money is sent from our village in La Digue to the clinic in Port Au Prince.  The lab knew that the money was coming but refused to do the scan until the money was there.  The money arrived at 2:30 in the afternoon, and they are told “sorry, we are closed”.  Ven is taken back to the general hospital where just a few short hours later she passed away.  A dirty, undignified, helpless death.  While I believe that her brain had died 2 days before based on the symptoms and bodily actions, it doesn’t justify the manner in which she was cared for by the numerous health care facilities in Haiti.

3 days.  3 days she suffered while all of Haiti health care chose money over life.  Not one facility took value in her life.  In the lives she touched, supported, and loved.  Not one.  My mom is given immediate, intentional, kind and loving care.  My friends mother is thrown away like todays trash.  She wasn’t any less loved by her family than my mom.  This, this has made me ask why.  What is your plan with this Lord?  Why was she valued so much less, when she is loved just as much?  Why does someone who loves the Lord and her family deserve to die such a terrible disgusting death?  Then it moves bigger for me.  Why does a country that has SO MUCH do nothing but COMPLAIN all the time.  Health care is expensive, health care isn’t available, our government doesn’t care about the poor.  I call BS.  (and forgive me for the language, but I am wound up)  Do any of you have any idea how well you have it?  I went a full year (2017) without insurance.  I was still given care.  I have a ginormous bill to pay but guess what, I was NEVER turned away. I had the option to be treated and billed later.  My husband has a debilitating auto immune disease, the medicine without insurance for him was $5000 a month.  Guess what, there are people and companies and organizations that care and he had his medicine every month for $50.  Available and without prejudice.  How can so many people whine and complain about such abundant blessings.  Can any of those people please be forced to see what it could be like? Why.

I am deeply hurt and saddened by what happened with Madam Venilia.  A 57 year old mother, grandmother, wife, sister, friend.  I pray for her family, for peace in knowing she is in a glorious home.  I pray that if they do not know Jesus that they will find Him so that they can be reunited one day with her.

I am also mad.  So while I usually have encouraging scripture and photos to help you get through these blogs, tonight I just do not. I have photos of Venila dying on the dirty floor but they do not show her in the way that she lived her life.  Can you pray for me?  Can you pray that I will have peace and understanding in this tragic awful situation.  Can you pray that my question to God, why, can be turned into a teaching moment and the veil of confusion be lifted?


Blessings to you and yours.  Please offer thanksgiving for the blessings you have.

Give Thanks in All Circumstances

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

So much to give thanks for.  Four of us traveled to Haiti on August 4th to deliver 84 backpacks for students in need.  It was humbling that so many people provided for this need.

When possible our assistant director would give the back pack to the parent or care giver of the child, so that the parent could be the one gifting the child.  When this wasn’t an option it was always Rithza who would distribute the back packs, not the white person.  Each back pack was given with a prayer and a praise to the Lord.  We will do a back pack drive again next year, if you are interested, please message us and we can get you details.  You can send them any time of the year, and we will distribute in August of 2018.

You might not realize what a blessing this backpack and supplies are to these children.  The kids might not go to school because a lack of supplies.  The parents are responsible for paying a tuition, buying books/materials, and a uniform and shoes.  This is a great expense to parents, especially when a family has several children.  Thank you to God for laying it on the hearts of the people who blessed these children with these backpacks.

Ruth 2:12

May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.

When we arrived in Haiti we were also met with many praise worthy surprises!  We love our Director and Assistant director so much, they are in a constant state of giving!  They were able to keep these two HUGE surprises from us, and were so very excited for us to see!

Surprise number 1.  Remember the smaller piece of property we purchased, next to the larger piece that we call the widowage…  Let me show you what it looked like when we purchased it.

Pretty right?  Well we have done things here since we purchased it.  Ronald had the garbage cleaned up in a day.  We built a latrine on the property first, and it has sat barren ever since.   Nothing built or grown on it.  NOW:

Now we have a FENCE!!!  This is wonderful!  We have been praying for the means to build this fence, so that we could utilize this property for growing and gardening.  Without a fence we can not plant anything without fear that goats or sheep will eat it all.  Ronald is such an amazing steward of the money.  If the exchange rate varies and there is left over when he converts the payroll from American to Haitian Gourde, he saves it.  And now because of this we have a fence and can begin to grow on this piece of property!  This food is used for our widows and the neighbors.  The abundance is then taken to market to sell, to provide for urgent needs of our widows.  God is so good, and we are so blessed by the people invested into this ministry.  Before we left, it had even been planted with plantains.

Surprise number 2.

The second home on the Widowage is started!  Now, the fact that the money was raised was not a surprise, but getting to Haiti and seeing that the construction has started!  Tears.  Now, I know that the question is “Why block?  Where is the sand bags?”  I wish I had an answer that made sense, but I don’t.  We LOVE the earth bag homes.  We pray that we can continue to build them. HOWEVER the village does not like them.  When we build a house we always hire locals to do the building.  We do not want to bring a team down to do this work and take away the opportunity to work from the locals.  The locals are totally opposed to building earth bag homes.  When Ronald looks for workers he finds NO ONE!  Some of the reasons they give are “They won’t stand up”  “We don’t know how to build one”  “They are not safe” .  It doesn’t matter that we have positive proof that these things will not happen, or that we have Haitian trainers to teach them how to build them.  Stubborn, prideful, entitled.  Those are the words that come to my mind, and yes it makes me MAD.  Makes me what to say fine, figure it out yourself then.  Makes me want to throw my hands in the air and scream that I AM DONE.  But, it is not about me, and the Lord does not want me to give up.  What it is about is the widow that needs a home and how are we going to provide that.  I have made a deal with the villagers that every other house we build will be an earth bag house, and if they want the work they are welcome to it, or we will just have to continue to hire the Haitian trainers to come down and build them as we need them.  What I am hoping is that now that we have a sand bag house and a block house standing side by side, that they will see the differences in deterioration, feel the differences in temperature, and not wishing for but a fierce storm might be the difference.  Pray for this please.  Pray for the villagers hearts. Pray that they will see that work is work regardless of myth or rumor.

By the time we left Haiti on the 11th the house looked like this:

And this is the finished product.  We are just waiting for the funding for paint:

Now.  This is where the story begins, and where your prayers are needed the most.

We had a widow set to move into this home.  In June we had moved her out of her dilapidated shack that was not safe or even rain proof to a rental that we had until the end of August.  We prayed that the funding would come in to finish the house on the Widowage before the end of August and IT DID!  Praise God…..  We have been supporting this widow with food for her and her grandson for 2 months.  When we started having conversations about what to expect when she moves into her home on the property things went wrong…  very very wrong.  You see, we have a contract for our widows to sign and agree to terms before being allowed to move in.  This contract was written after years of compiling and praying.  We have to put God and his law first, and the protection of the widows and children next.  In this contract it is very specific that men can NOT live on the property, and if men visit it has to be a pre arranged approved visit, with visiting hours established.  Our widows grandson is 22 years old.  He is a man.  He can not live on the property.  Our widow can not live without him.  Our widow has 7 grown children that are living and one of them offered to let the grandson live with her so that our widow could still be blessed with a home, and our widow refused.  The other issue is the 7 grown children, who live in the shadows and do not help provide for or take care of their mother, until there is food that is.  As soon as we would bring monthly rations to our widow, all 7 kids would show up and the food would be gone.  We explained how we were not honoring God or our supporters by letting this happen and our widow would not agree to stop.  She had choices and options presented to her and she chose, on her own, that she did not want to move into the home on the widowage.  Flabergasted?  Just a little.  After a meeting with her children (only 2 showed up because we did not offer food for the meeting) we agreed to find a room for our widow to rent, and that we would pay 1 year of rent for her.  That is it.  We gave the children the responsibility to feed her from now on and after the 1 year of rent they are responsible for her 7:10 is not.  This sounds harsh, I know.  I wish you knew how hard this is on my heart, but we really worked for hours with this family to have a different outcome and it just didn’t matter.

Where are we now?  Now we have a completed house that is waiting for a new occupant.  We are praying that the Lord will show us who should live here.  We have established new guidelines for even putting a widow on the list of possible occupants and the Lord is in charge of the rest.  Will you please join us in prayer? Psalm 17:6 I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.   Pray for our hearts at 7:10 to not bleed when the first person comes to our door and needs a home.  Pray that we will be diligent in following the new guidelines and take time to pray about the people coming to us.  My love language is gifts.  I want to give everyone everything they need, and often I jump the gun and do not pray first to make sure that this is what the Lord wants not just what Tanja wants.  It has been a hard lesson to learn, and I hope that we are there but will need your continued prayers to stay there.

Other prayer needs:

Upcoming Missionary Conference with Southbrook Baptist Church.  Pray that Rodnald and Rithza will be granted their visas to visit during this time and speak at this conference.

Tires for our Nissan in Haiti.  We are praying for $800.00 to purchase 4 new tires for our truck.  This truck is really the lifeblood of what we do, and right now it is not safe to drive with the tires it has.

Dwire’s support to come in to move to Haiti.

The spiritual attack on our staff in Haiti.

The health of our staff in America and in Haiti.

The new school year that is starting.

Thank you for your continued prayers.  Much love.



An article I just read told me to blog instead of Facebook post… I am not sure how I feel about that, but I will try to be more active here with my blog also…

Life in Haiti is hard.  It is harder than I could have ever ever imagined.  It is physically draining and even more emotionally draining.  My love is made stronger every day, yet my heart cracks a little more at the same time.

Haiti healthcare is less than stellar.  I know that America has problems… in fact I am one of the americans with a problem, I have no health care insurance.  But in Haiti… it is bad.  I could talk for hours on just what I have seen.  I could talk for hours more on what others have seen.  Let me just tell you that there is no appointment making in Haiti.  You go to the clinic/hospital and you sit.  Sometimes you sit all day, and still do not get seen by a doctor.  This last trip in April I spent countless hours in clinics and hospitals, with no end results.

Many of you have kept up on Facebook, but for those of you that do not know, 7:10 has been working with a 12 year old young man named Renand. He has been blind and suffered with pain and infection in one eye for as long as he can remember. We tried to get him help in January with no help.  In April he was the main focus of the trip.  After I had returned home from my trip in April I received a phone call from the eye specialist in Haiti (english speaking) to tell me that Renand has cancer of the retina, retinoblastoma

As much as I prayed for a diagnosis and for pain relief, this was not what I wanted to hear.  This young man is living with his older sister, who struggles to take care of her own children and add Renand to that.  He goes to school every day, walking well over a mile there and back.  He is full of light and kindness, why?  why cancer?  why God…?

Renand needed surgery, he needed his eye removed.  After the call was made, and the decision to have surgery was made, we sent out a call to action.  This was going to cost money that 7:10 just didn’t have.  We have faithful donors, and we appreciate that immensely….  this surprise just was not in the budget.  The Lord provided and we were able to raise 920$ in just 24 hours.  Renand had surgery the next day, and spent 4 days in the hospital.


Hospitals in Haiti do not provide personal care. Any medicine, toiletries, food, bedding… all of this is provided by a family member tasked with staying with the patient.

Renand went home and the next day he was in tremendous pain and had a terrible green ooze coming out of the eye socket.  Rithza brought him to the local Lifeline clinic and was advised by the doctor to get him back to the hospital.  He had an infection.  It was to late in the day to go, so the trek back to Port-Au-Prince was made the very next day.  After arguing with staff about whether or not they would even see Renand (his follow up wasn’t for days, and he was early!!??) He was finally seen (hours later).  Gauze that was used to soak up blood during the surgery was left in his eye socket and was incredibly infected…

Infected ooze coming out of Remands eye

Just 48 hours after the removal of the gauze and more antibiotics, Renand is eating and feeling much better.  He is ready for his follow up appointment.

2 days after antibiotics, and the removal of the infected gauze.

10 days post op and it is time for Renands post op visit.  While there is no scheduled time for Renands follow up, there is a scheduled day.  Another trip to Port-Au-Prince, and another all day outing.  Renand is cleared to go back to school and told that when he starts treatment (which we assume will be chemotherapy) he may be to sick to attend school next year, so he should work very hard to finish this year strong.  BUT no pathology results are back, so we have no treatment plan. We are told we may not see pathology results until next month? (Something else I dare not question because there probably isn’t an answer)  There are two types of retinoblastoma, and depending on the type will determine the treatment.  We are praying that the results (where ever they are, all I can imagine is a rotting eye sitting somewhere not getting tested) will show that this is the non invasive type, meaning it is the type that stays put in the eye and doesn’t spread.  If it happens to be the type that spreads we will need more scans of his brain to see if and where it has gone.

Renands mother has come down out of the mountains to stay with her daughter and stay with Renand during his recovery and hopefully through his treatment.

This is Renands mother and his nephew sitting on the porch of the home they are staying in.

God has been with us through this. This is the receipt for his surgery. This is just over $400.00 US dollars. Thank you Jesus.

Psalm 103:2-4 

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,

While we wait for the pathology results please continue to pray for Renand.  He has a very long road ahead of him.  We are making sure to provide healthy food for him, all of his medicine, and transportation support during this.  If you feel led, we will need financial help to continue his care.  You can do that by clicking HERE

One need that we are praying about is a bed for Renand.  The picture below shows how and where he is sleeping right now.  While I have never gone through chemotherapy, I have heard that it is miserable.  We would love to provide this child with a comfortable place to lay his head while he is enduring treatment.  We can do this for $200.00, again, you can do this by clicking HERE and commenting that your donation is for his bed..

Isaiah 41:10 

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous hand.  

Please keep Ronald and Rithza in your prayers.  They are coordinating all of Remands care, and trying to run the foundation.  It is never ending for them, and need to be lifted up continuously.  Also, pray for me.  I have so many questions, and no answers.  My Why seems to throw me for a loop all the time.  Why is God seemingly throwing these children at me, when I haven’t gone looking or asked for Him to show me the sick children.  What am I supposed to do with this?  What is His will for me?