haiti march 2018

We had such a blast this past week in Haiti.

Because of so many generous people, we were able to bring close to 600 pairs of shoes from Ellie’s Shoe-be-do. 17 huge checked bags!

We passed out the shoes in three different areas in Haiti. Each distribution went so smoothly (probably the best ones yet). The recipients were sweet and thankful, which is a great testament to their leadership (even once we ran out). We choose to pass out the shoes through local ministries, because those pastors and ministries are truly the hands and feet each day in Haiti. They are making such an impact! It is so inspiring. We were just happy to see a glimpse of what they do and help bless those in their ministries/area with some new shoes.

My personal favorite parts of the trip included seeing my girls serve so willingly and selflessly. Ellie and Kira were amazing. I also loved meeting so many new Haitian people and hearing their stories and loved seeing some old faces and dear friends. And last but not least, I always love spending time with the precious children at Wholehearted Home and Grace So Amazing Home.

We were also able to bring some of our Grace Fellowship family along this trip, which made it extra special!

Here are just a few images from our time.

Thank you to everyone who donated shoes! Included Rachel Shoes, who is always so gracious and gives us new shoes each year.

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summer fun

We had so many great adventures this summer! From trips to Chicago, Miami, Legoland, and Haiti to just getting to live at the lake in between, truly priceless memories! I am so grateful we can have our summers all together.

Summer…. do you have to come to an end???

haiti june 2017

We just got home from an amazing trip to Haiti with our girls!

The majority of our trip was spent with our family at Wholehearted Home. We love them so much and it was extra special to see our children playing together. Luke was able to do driving lessons with the older boys and also work on the new donated bus a little. I did some organizing. Ellie and Kira played hard and helped with odds and ends as well. We even had a night where we made a little fire and ate s’mores. We spent a lot of time laughing, playing, praying, singing, dancing… so fun!

We also distributed the shoes the girls collected in a few different areas (630 of them). One of the villages we went to had some disabled and elderly residents, so the girls went and hand delivered shoes to them. We even met a woman who was 102 years old! I have never met someone that old! And we were also able to give shoes to start up businesses for three women. They can keep a portion from the shoes they sell and be able to buy more inventory. This will be a way for them to make an income for their families! Thank you again to everyone who donated shoes and a special thanks to Rachel Shoes for their continued support.

I loved that we could stop and visit our friends in the mountains and their orphanage, Grace so Amazing.  And we were also able to visit a church planted by our friends at HCM and Luke and the girls visited HCM’s new surgicenter. 

While there is still so much pain and hardship in Haiti (honestly, it is overwhelming and discouraging at times), it was a blessing for us to witness so many amazing things God is doing there. I encourage you to partner with these organizations who are literally changing so many lives. If you have any questions on how you can get involved, let me know!

I am very proud of my daughters. They served those around them and loved on them freely. They slept and lived with no AC in the summer heat. And they worked hard to make sure shoes went to those in need.

Here are a few images from our time.

We are thinking about planning another trip in the next year. If you are interested in coming along, let us know!

update

Yikes. It has been awhile.

I am sorry! Life got busy.. and blogging became harder. But, I am hoping to be back more and more in the next coming months!

A quick catch-up on life for us…

We still have this cutie.

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He has been with us for 6 months now. Time surely flies. We are still uncertain of his future.. but we are trusting God has a wonderful plan for his life. God has used this little man to teach our family so much. Going to four children was a super hard transition for us, but I believe those hard times have brought us closer to God and to each other.

We have been sneaking away to the lake house as much as we can. It has become such a retreat for our family. The time we spend there is so precious.

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And we just got back from an amazing trip to Haiti. Ellie did her annual shoe drive and we were able to bring over 500 pairs of shoes! This was her first trip with us. It was so special. I will be posting more images and details from this trip soon. Here’s a little peek.

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haiti- july 2015

I am way behind on blog posts. So sorry! It’s been a busy, but very blessed summer.

I promise I will catch up soon. I have lots to share.

One of the trips we were able to take this summer was to one of our favorite places in the world, Haiti.

This trip my mom, dad and two of my younger brothers came along. It was such a blessing to have them with us!

We spent lots of time with the family from the orphanage. And we also worked on their property. It was so exciting to see the progress there! If you haven’t checked out what they are doing, please go and visit the website here.

We also were able to bring much needed items to some of the refugees that have crossed the border from the DR. Special thanks to those who were able to donate toothpaste, toothbrushes, shoes, clothes, money, and more. It made a great impact. I would love to talk soon more about this whole process going on in Haiti.. and maybe how you can help more in the future!

But for now… here are a few photos from our time there.

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needs for haiti

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We are planning another trip to Haiti in few weeks and we are looking for some items to bring with!

Here’s the list of the things we are looking for the orphanage and surrounding areas. We can accept donations until July 3rd.

If you are willing to help please send me a note at capturedjen@gmail.com

Thanks in advance for anything you can do! And if you don’t have time to pick something up, you can always give financially so we can get the items before we leave!

*    Peanut Butter   28oz.
*    Jelly   14-16 oz.
*    Canned chicken  10-12 oz.
*    Canned tuna        10-12 oz.
*    Cereal
*    Liquid hand soap  8 oz.
*    Diapers size 3-5
*    Baby wipes
*    Parmesan cheese grated
(ex. Kraft)
*    Maple Syrup
*    Salad dressing
*    Toilet paper (6-9 rolls)
*    Paper towels (2-4 rolls)
*    Dish Soap
*    Powdered coffee creamer
*    Disinfectant wipes (ex. Lysol)
*    Sponges
*    Bar soap

Gently used or new shoes of all sizes

Gently used or new clothing….

Sizes-

18 months girls

3t girls

8-14 girls

8-16 boys

Mens Small/Mediums

 

 

march visit to haiti

Luke and I just returned from another great trip to Haiti.

We love our family there. There is just something about that place that warms our heart and fills our soul.

This time we were able to bring all of the shoes Ellie collected for her shoe drive. Just over 200 pairs! Boy, did they go fast. And a special thanks to WPTV for sharing about the drive and to Rachel Shoes for donating 50 pairs of new sandals. Make sure you scroll down to see how happy these kiddos were to receive these! I think we are going to make the shoe drive an annual thing.

It’s always a blessing to spend time at Haitian Christian Mission. They have so many exciting things going on there from the hospital to the school to new businesses booming. It’s awesome! They are even building a new surgical center next to the hospital. If you are a teacher or involved in the medical field.. you would LOVE to come a visit this place! Really anyone would…

We loved getting to spend time with Thony who runs the Play it Forward program. The teams are growing and the lives they are impacting is incredible. You must go and learn more about this program! Sponsoring a child to play sports is so much more than you think.. it’s three meals a week, discipleship, and the opportunity to travel and be on a team. See how you can get involved!

And last but not least, we spent time with our precious family at Wholehearted Orphanage. We were able to celebrate Easter, birthdays, and just spend some quality time together. We also stopped by the property to see the progress! So awesome to see the wall started and a drill now going in. Please go and check out the site to learn more about this orphanage and their future plans. It will be an amazing home for so many orphans… and a chance for them to live in a family environment. Incredible!

And I know I am really plugging these organizations…  but it’s only because I believe in them so strongly. I have seen the impact they are making. And your money… it can go SO far here.

For example.. the well being put in at the orphanage… the cost was $7500. Sounds like a lot.. but it isn’t when you think of how fast that money can go here. There, that well will change lives. It will provide water for the community around the orphanage. People walk miles with buckets to get water right now…this will completely change that for them. So exciting!

Just think, pray, and consider what you can do to get involved! Maybe it’s taking a trip with us… maybe it’s donating money or goods… Whatever it may be, I know your time, money, or prayers will be well spent.

(Speech over 🙂 )

Here’s some of the images from the trip…

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2015. yowsa.

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I was joking with some friends yesterday… that yes, we made it folks!

2015, the year to which Marty McFly travels into the future. But, no flying cars or dehydrated pizza here.. haha.

Still, isn’t it crazy we are already in 2015? I feel like it really has been hitting me that I am getting old. A mom, three kids, a business for 8 years.. yikes!

Life has flown by. And while I have been incredible blessed to do and experience so much in these 30 years… this new year holiday has given me an urgency to strive to be more proactive, productive, and intentional about my time.

2014 was a crazy, amazing year. Luke and I were talking a little about it yesterday…

We started off the year with my little sister getting hitched and my little brother having his first child. So fun to see my Lawler family grow! Luke and I were able to travel overseas to Costa Rica, Haiti (a couple times), and Mexico. I was spoiled rotten for my birthday this summer by my husband. I unfortunately caught a virus called Chikungunya this summer as well… which was a struggle for months, but praise Jesus that’s over! In July we rented a lake house for 3 weeks as a family. It was an amazing time. While we were there this summer, we went and viewed a property. We fell in love.. and by God’s grace it ended up being something that fit our savings and budget. Craziness. So in September, we bought our first lake home. Which we lovingly call, The Schartner Lake Shack. I am going to post about some of the things we have been working on at the lake soon. So stay tuned for that. This place has been incredible for our family. Having a get away and a place to just be together is amazing. In November we were officially asked if we would like to adopt our foster son that we had with us for over a year and a half. We, of course, said yes! And he was officially adopted in December. And then just last week… we were able to refinance our home and officially close on that. With the new rate we received, we were able to shave ten years off our mortgage. Incredible! I also finished my business year strongly as well… and God has used my business to teach me so much about Him and how He provides just when we need it.

In the midst of so many blessings… there were still times that were hard. Luke and I are still learning how to love each other better and to grow in this thing called marriage. Believe me, I have not perfected being a wife.  And, I am also still learning and growing as a mom (Parenting can be so hard sometimes, holla if ya hear me moms). I lost some dear friends this year that went home to be with Jesus. Luke also lost his dear grandmother. We had moments where we really had to just look up and trust. I think those moments have grown our faith and in the end I am thankful for them.

2015… who knows what you have in store.

I do know.. that He knows the plans He has for us… and His plans promise a future and a hope (Jer 29:11). So I am ready for whatever it may bring!

 

 

why there’s a big place in my heart for haiti

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Get ready to meet some incredible people that I have the privilege of being friends with.

I was able to introduce them to my my sister and her hubby Derrick  back in June (you can see some images of our trip to Haiti in this post). While they were there they put together this amazing video explaining more about Wholehearted Orphanage and what it is they do.

Please take a minute and watch this. These people are so precious to me! They have inspired my husband and I in so many ways to live our lives differently.

I am working on getting a dinner here in South Florida together for anyone who may be interested in learning more about these incredible children and this orphanage. You may be able to help in so many ways! Believe me! There’s something that everyone can do. So stay tuned for the details on that.. and if you would like to sign up to receive the info once I have it.. please send me an email at capturedjen@gmail.com or leave a comment here on the post!

 

Wholehearted Orphanage from Wholehearted Orphanage on Vimeo.

places i love: haiti

My husband and I are so blessed to be able to go to Haiti a couple times a year.

To read about our previous trips click here and here.

Here are some photos from our recent travels there. Some are shot on film, some digital.

And scroll down to the end to meet some of our favorite children on the planet!

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And here are the beautiful children at Wholehearted Orphanage. Please go and check out their unique family-style orphanage and see how you can get involved with what they are doing.

Makenley

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Lumarc

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Rikenlo

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Kika

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Farah

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Ronaldo

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Magdala

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Narlene

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David

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 Gigi

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Esther

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We love these children so much and have been so blessed by them each time we visit.

The amazing house parents that care for them, Marcelin and Lucia have also become our dear friends. They are actually who inspired us to become foster parents ourselves!

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Until next trip!