a need for change

Sleeping at the Pierquet's
Taking a nap at the Pierquet's

Too often I find that people ask me, “How are you?” and my response is, “Ustala, no adlichna.” (Translation: Tired, but great.) I don’t like this reality, the one that finds me always falling asleep on the metro, cursing the alarm on my phone each morning when it begins its all-too-cheery song, and walking through a fog the rest of the day.

I’m convicted by the fact that we each are given 24 hours a day, and I am not very good at managing those hours.

My “to do” list seems daunting, and it makes my dream list seem completely unattainable. How will I ever reach those things when I barely keep from drowning today?

Recently I had the following conversation with someone older and wiser than I.

“Stephanie what do you want?”
“I don’t know what I want.”
“I think that’s your problem.”


However sitting and considering the question I find the problem is not that I don’t know what I want, the problem is that I know but am clueless how to get there, what to do about it, how to make it reality. And THAT makes me frustrated.

So in the midst of my deadlines, meetings, plannings and parties this week I am working on changing that. I love what I do, but I recognize I’m not getting any younger.

First step… time management. (I’m certain you will hear more about how many times I’ll fall on my face learning this one.)

What do you find is the best way to manage your time and take active steps toward your dreams in the midst of an all too busy life?


(On a side note: I’m not convinced that my constant state of tiredness is completely due to lack of discipline, but I am certain it doesn’t help. I am hoping to get some bloodwork/tests done soon that whole needle business keeps me procrastinating though.)

Son of God Orphanage CLOSED!!!

A year of investigations and evidence collecting led to five days and 12,000 signatures petitioning for the Son of God Orphanage in Carrefour, Haiti to be closed. Friday the cries were heard and action was taken.

It’s nothing short of a miracle that this happened so quickly. For those who prayed and voiced your concerns for these orphans, Thank You! You helped make this reality.

You can read the article here.

I am not a fan of how the Haitian government handled the closing. From pictures you can tell that they were not gentle by any means. This isn’t how the transition was supposed to happen, but the most recent report is that the children are safe and in the hands of people who care.

Praise God for rescuing these precious children!


Carpathian Celebration

Polyana in the Carpathians
The view from my hotel room

It was one of those trips I didn’t even want to go on. I felt like I should want to be there and I knew I needed to be there, but it was resentfully that I boarded our evening train last Wednesday.

I like trains, just not Ukrainian ones. I like spending time with the staff and students, just not 24/7 for days on end. I like traveling, but I’m just tired.

We stayed at the Continental Polyana (that would be a REAL hotel!). My roommate, Inna, couldn’t be a better person with whom to share a room. The view was filled with mountains and the fiery colors of fall foliage.

The conference is held annually by CCX and called Bible and Life. It is mainly geared toward our Christian students and the topics for level one cover some of the basics such as the Lordship of Christ, the importance of quiet times, and evangelism styles. We had seven students from Kyiv join us for the conference, all girls of course.

I had many great conversations with various students as we walked along paths outside and enjoyed the beauty of God’s creation, but the highlight of the weekend occurred Saturday evening.

I arrived at our session and one of my fellow volunteers, Caleb, was waving his arms at me and saying, “Steph, over here! Hey! Over here!”

(Side note: Caleb is like the little brother I’ve never had. He gets great joy out of annoying me.)

I just thought Caleb was being… well… Caleb. Turns out that he had exciting news to share. Our dear friend, Natalie, came to him over supper asking several questions. She then asked him to pray with her to receive Christ!

Natalie is one of several students we have specifically been praying for in a focused way this entire year. Needless to say it was a joyful evening!! This alone more than made the conference worth it.

Please take a moment to celebrate with us and to pray for Natalie as she steps out into this new life.

Petitioning to Close Son of God Orphanage

It’s been a couple of weeks since you have heard from me and probably you would expect me to first post about the happenings in Ukraine (and yes I do have things to share), but currently this is a more urgent matter.

Esther from Son of God orphanage
Esther (April 2010)

You may remember that I spent a couple of months last year in earthquake ravaged Haiti.

Recently we have discovered that one of the orphanages, Son of God, has been abusing  and trafficking children and organs, among other crimes.

I cried when I first heard about it because not only is it unbelievably horrid conditions and crimes, but I’ve been there. I have photos of children from that orphanage. I remember Esther, Windy and that dispirited little conqueror whose name I never learned.

Below is the official press release and ways to help. (taken from sethbarnes.com)




This press release just went live. Feel free to share it with your networks and/or post it on your own blog:

Haitian orphanage accused of abuse & trafficking children

Haiti orphanageAfter continued visits to the Son of God Orphanage in Carrefour, Haiti, six charitable organizations (Adventures in Missions, Bridgeway Church, Timberline Church, Children’s HopeChest, Journey Community Church, and Respire Haiti) have challenged the global community to force the hands of international leaders in the closure and investigation of the facility.

According to eye-witness accounts, the children at SOG are alleged to have suffered severe human rights abuses at the hands of the director of the orphanage, Maccene (Max) Hyppolite and his family. Despite consistent delivery of relief for each child, including food, clothes, and medicine, the children have continued to suffer from malnourishment, curable diseases and parasites, as well as complete neglect of acute medical conditions. A recent account included a one-year old baby who was severely burned and not treated until almost two weeks later.

Police conducted a successful sting operation after numerous individuals had been solicited by Hyppolite to purchase children. In July of 2011, Max Hyppolite was arrested while attempting to sell one of the orphans and he is currently in prison for child trafficking in Port au Prince.

Despite the arrest, continued accounts from as recent as October 13th, 2011 indicate that the situation has only become worse, and to date there are 53 children who have disappeared and are unaccounted for. The orphanage is currently being run by Hyppolite’s wife, who not only continues to say she does not know the whereabouts of the children, but has allegedly threatened the lives of the relief workers who have sought assistance in from the Haitian government organization, IBESR (Institut du Bien Etre et de Recherches). Given the sharing of information from IBESR to the Hyppolite family, cause for speculation has arisen regarding the government’s involvement in the trafficking of the children.

The six organizations have worked together with change.org  to bring this issue to light. They have asked the global community to give these children the voice that has been  stolen from them in hopes of world leaders recognizing the human rights violations occurring and the immediate call for the closure and investigation of the Son of God Orphanage in Haiti.

Ways to get involved: