Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Heartbroken but Hopeful


Okay, I'm already home from Haiti and just now blogging about it. I'm sorry....but in my defense every moment was filled with either ministry or much needed rest, so I'm just now sitting down to give words to my mental processing. Plus, it was absolutely crucial that I pour every last bit of my attention and energy out on the sweet babies that I met, so keeping up with my blog wasn't the first thing on the agenda, ya know?

The Babies:
Their sweet smiles, kisses, hugs, and the overwhelming beauty of their little voices singing praises to our King has transformed me in ways I can't even begin to figure out today. Oh, but one of the sweet, sweet joys of being a daughter of the King is that, though I'm home, I'm going to continue to learn and grow from every moment. I'm going to continue to praise my God for his tender mercies in sparing their little lives from the earthquake and sustaining them daily, though the odds against them are great.

The Church in St. Marc is part of something called the "Haiti Collective." It is an organization that supports 13 churches throughout all of Haiti. These 13 churches are all in impoverished areas, devastated in the wake of the earthquake. They also each provide for 100+ orphans each day. Each church in the Haiti Collective will provide the orphans housing, clothing, and daily meals. The Church in St. Marc, among others, has had to disperse the children among church members because the orphans' housing crumbled in the earthquake.

In this community, you have church members with 2-5 random children sleeping on their floors, possibly switching around daily. Then, during the day they will go to the church for their meals. They spend the rest of their days walking among the trash in their alleyways, seeking fresh water, braiding each others hair, kicking around bottles for soccer, and getting into mischief. There aren't resources for constant supervision, but there is definitely a village mentality among the women to look out for any of them that are just running around.

All of that being said, there are so many orphans in that small community, it is difficult to make sure individuals are being cared for. That's where Iscott comes in...

Daily when the children would leave us after spending all morning singing, dancing, and loving on us; they would go to where they stayed at night and put on a fresh outfit for the evening services. Most of the children left us and came back with a clean, fresh outfit on. While we couldn't follow each one of them (they run through these alleyways like little mice) to check on their living arrangements, when they returned with these outfits on, it was a clear sign that they had a place to sleep at night and store their things.

Iscott would leave with the others, but return in the same outfit day after day. The rest of the children must have rinsed off most days (they smelled normal) while Iscott returned every day with the stench of the garbage around us on his head. I would just hold him and kiss him, a silent battle to show him that I loved him as he was. I wanted him to feel so loved and wanted.

He would hardly say a word, it took two days to see him smile and repeat my name. Oh but what joy filled my heart when he started to open up to us. I saw other boys pick on him for being shy and quiet and I went out of my way to build him up and make him feel so special. My favorite memory of him is when we were taking a group photo with all of the kids. So many of them in such a small space. They were all wiggling around trying to find a spot and sweet little Iscott got lost in the shuffle. He got squashed between these two children and I called out his name and reached for him. He looked at me and smiled and I just jerked him up and held him. It was the sweetest moment of my life since accepting Christ. In that moment he was mine. I wanted to protect him from every ounce of darkness around him in that city.

It would be an understatement to say that I was simply sad when I walked away from Iscott on Sunday. My heart was ripping out of my chest. I have never felt like anything was mine so strongly before. I, for the first time, felt the sting and pain of a mother's worry. "What will he eat tomorrow?" "Where is he sleeping tonight?" "Will Amos and the other older boys pick on him today?" "Will he have fresh water tomorrow?" "Will he be safe?" "Will anyone tell them they love him?"......all of my questions have the same horrifying answer....I don't know. And as I sit here bawling like a lunatic in Spencer's Coffee Shop, in safety, clean and clothed, wishing it were him here instead; I'm reminded that as much as I want safety and provision and love for Iscott... the Lord wants it more. Only He can and will do it. He loves Iscott more than I ever could. He has watched him grow since he was born and will continue the good work He has started in him. He will hear my cries and surround him with love and acceptance. He will make him...in peace both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make him dwell in safety, Psalm 4:8. That is a peace I can dwell in and I'm so thankful that my God has begun to break my heart for what breaks His.

I want you to read this and be encouraged and challenged to pray for and help these orphans in St. Marc. All of this has been said before. We've all heard these stories of people being challenged when they see poverty and pain first-hand. Oh but may we never grow used to these stories. May we never cease to be moved by the needs that are present in these dark places. I encourage you to pray that the Lord would break your heart for them as well and that our hearts stay broken until he returns or calls us home. Let the breaking of our hearts move us to action and prayer.

There are so many more things to break down as I work through what I've experienced in such a short amount of time. Today...all I can think about is Iscott so I ask you to pray for him by name. Pray that the Lord would protect him and provide for him. Pray that he would grow strong in the truth of the gospel and be loved by the members of his community. Pray that he feels special and known.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Wear and Tear of Patience

Seriously, find me someone who is good at being patient and I'll sing a different tune, but as of now I am sold on thinking that patience is a struggle for everyone in their own way...

One thing I've realized about myself is that I can rock out initial decisions. I have been able to see the Lord provide superhero style strength when decisions need to be made in my life, but it's the day to day struggles that really cause some wear and tear.

The big pictures I get. For example, I can make the decision to move to a new city, make personal goals, or set boundaries in relationships with an absolute clarity and sureness; but.....(and but is the key word) remembering is difficult. Remembering that new cities mean a beginning stage of loneliness I forget, remembering that goals take consistency and self-control I forget, and remembering that boundaries with those we care about cause fears and insecurities while we wait to see how things play out, once again, I forget. Thus my patience begins to wane and the initial strength evolves into an annoying weakness.

So....that being said, I need to work on the playing out of decisions in my life. I'm not entirely sure how to do that...but I'm going to try. I want to remember that anything good and sanctified is worth waiting for. It also helps to know that any strength I have isn't my own, and the weaknesses are continually being molded. Praise!

"If the Lord Jehovah makes us wait, let us do so with our whole hearts; for blessed are all they that wait for Him. He is worth waiting for. The waiting itself is beneficial to us: it tries faith, exercises patience, trains submission, and endears the blessing when it comes.

The Lord's people have always been a waiting people."


Sunday, June 10, 2012


Every time I'm home in the summer and fall, my dad builds a fire in the fire pit and we all sit around and listen to the Horse Whisperer soundtrack (which is an amazing album for any chill summer nights). This is honestly one of my absolute favorite things we do as a family. We don't talk much (which you know is incredibly difficult for me...), we dont need to, we simply sit and enjoy one another's presence.

I never want to take these moments for granted. I want to always remember what a blessing it is to sit with those that consistently love and accept me, and just be.

The embers are different each time but their purpose is always the same, they bring us all together from our own worlds for a while.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Hubba Hubba...

It is more than evident in my everyday life that I would have absolutely flourished in past time periods. Let's be real, after The Notebook came out I bought vintage outfits, twisted and pinned my hair, and wore heels (which I rarely do) and lived in the 30's for a good month or so. I love junking (furthering my love for collecting treasures of the past), old movies are my jam, old music is my second jam, my heart awakens in an old house with 12-15 ft ceilings and gables, and I will always be attracted to Paul Newman in his hay day and Robert Redford in "The Way We Were" (not just because their names are Hubble and Katie.....wherein, if that were my story, I would undoubtedly say the phrase "hubba hubba" to my man every day, obviously...)

All of this being said, I went to the drive-in last night with some friends. First of all, I adore my friends and love laughing and living life alongside them. I also love the idea of an inflatable mattress in the bed of an F-150, in true redneck fashion. Secondly, it needs to be said that while I enjoyed Madagascar 3 and Men in Black 3, my overall favorite moment was the vintage "Welcome-to-the-drive-in" clips that played before the movies; you know, the ones with the dancing popcorn and soda? Now this, this is what drive-in's in the summer are all about.....the atmosphere. It's a taste of old Americana that I adore. Any moment where I feel like I'm being taken back in time (including my trip to Graceland 3 years ago) will definitely become logged in my memory as a favorite moment. That being said, I'm heading to the square. If you drive by, I'm the one with the cute dog and vintage ensemble staring at the arches on the buildings....gawking no doubt.

-Katie Ro

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Wandering Nomad

So...I'm looking for a place to live, which I really enjoy. I enjoy the search, it will actually be a bit of a let down after I settle on a place because it really is like a treasure hunt to me. I have this ideal of exactly what I want but it could only be found in the Shire, which is problematic, so I'm settling for second bests. I've looked at apartments, houses for rent, houses for sale (terrifying) and met a lot of cool people and their gigantic dogs.

I'll keep you updated on the progress made towards ending my nomadic ways and finding somewhere to hopefully stay put for a bit.

Let me know if you know of any places I need to see!!!

-Katie Ro

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Retreats and Returns

I really struggle with commitment to hobbies and interests....story of my life. That being said, I'm back from another blogging sabbatical. I take them every once in a while when what is in my head is too weird to type onto a screen, now that I am pondering things that are somewhat sane (a total cop-out for forgetting about my blog) I shall return to the art of social media diaries once again.

So I've been told by multiple people lately that I should have my own reality tv show. While it is flattering to most people, I am self-aware enough to understand the true reason why the ratings may quite possibly prove to be in my favor.....I am a basket case.

Every single day of my life on this earth has had at least one odd occurrence happen. I'm not talking normal things here; I'm talking interactions with crazzzzzies, animals that run me off the road (instead of the other way around), forgetting things in places that I don't even remember going, having in-depth conversations with drug dealers who live on my street about why I choose not to be an investor, etc... All of this being said, I think I'd be on board with the idea, but maybe not for the reasons of most. Fame and fortune I dont really care about, seeing my life on a screen and being able to know for certain that I didn't dream half of my life....that's what I'm talkin about.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A River Runs Through It

I'm sorry if words are misspelled or misplaced but I've been crying for about an hour. A friend of mine told me I should read "A River Runs Through It" by Norman Maclean. I had seen the movie so we talked about it for a time and then I decided since fall break was coming up I would take the time to read it (haven't had many leisure reads since school started). It was worth it.

I feel, as a woman, I wasn't able to dive into the depths of the male understanding of life, nature, and the relationship between brothers as much as a man may be able to. Not that I don't ponder those things at equal depth, just in different ways. That being said, even though my mind doesn't work in the same way as Norman's, it adapted throughout the book and parts of me came out to meet these soul awakenings that I hadn't encountered before. This work is a "beautiful" mix of natural, spiritual, and familial elements that wake you up from some urban slumber. Sometimes a reading overwhelms me, I call my friends and tell them, then write it down somewhere.....welp, here we are....

I'll probably post about this again, I need to process.....

"I am haunted by waters." -Norman Maclean

-Katie Ro