Saturday, March 12, 2011

Urgent Prayers!

I just got an email from Riny (my Jubilee partner and our house mother) in India and am asking for everyone's prayers please:

She writes,

"Government officials are going through all the orphanages in Kerala, Now checking started in Malappuram, today we got this information from Priyanka Jose and in the news channels also the news was reported, the government found that so many orphanages are running with the support of foreigners and the authorities are not taking proper care of the children and money which they are receiving is miss used, the Government want to find these kind of orphanages and the orphanage which is running in rented houses, they are strictly going to stop the children's home which don't have own property they will give only few months within this months if we could arrange building which is our own then we will get the Government registration, otherwise they will ask us to stop the orphanage, please pray for this matter."

Riny and Joseph are excellent with keeping a record of all the money they receive and use, and they by no means are using the support for anything but the children. Unfortunately many orphanages in India are not like Jubilee, so we are also at risk.  She writes about a Government registration, which we have already, but only in part.  To be fully capable of running an orphanage we must own our own land and house, and at this time we are in a rented home.  She also writes about Prinyanka Jose; he is a government social worker that we work alongside.  He is a wonderful man and loves what we are doing at Jubilee.  Thankfully he is on our side and willing to do anything he can to help us.  Not all orphanages run with foreign support will be closed.  First the officials will inspect the home, interview neighbors, children, village officials, etc.  Jubilee, along with Riny and Joseph are thought of very highly in the surrounding area and we are known to be the best orphanage with honest, loving, God fearing care-takers.  We are confident that this is in God's hands, but I am asking for your prayers that Jubilee will not be effected by this new law.

Thanks so much, Carie

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Safe and sound!

I am happy to say that I made it to India safe and sound. It's hard to believe that I've already been here for a week! I guess the time flies when you're busy :).
Getting back in the routine here is easy since I feel like I never left. The one difference is that we now have a house full! And I can honestly say (without partiality), that these kids are the sweetest, most joyful that I've ever met. Each one has his or her own quirks and together they create a beautiful picture of what a family looks like, in it's truest sense.
Much of this first week has been spent getting to know the kids and giving them the chance to get to know me. Language is always a hinderance, but with kids, actions often speak louder than words. Since the kids are in school a lot of the waking day we spend our evenings playing games, singing songs, studying (I help with English), and a number of other things. Riny and Joseph have a great routine set with the kids. I jump in when possible. Unfortunately the power has been out for several hours so Sini and Siji's (the 2 year old twins) routine is a little out of sorts and they have been a bundle of tears. Though they are occupied at the moment with tickles from Anitha which is keeping them happy. I love the noises here, cries and all. 

Yesterday was a special treat. Our village has been playing host to a week long, district wide, cultural program and competition. To give the kids in the area a chance to see the different programs, all the school children were given a day vacation. We also took our kids to the event. It was pure chaos! I think everyone from 100 miles around came to see the program yesterday. But I must say a little chaos is worth it to see the beautiful dancing and singing. And for anyone who has seen Bride and Prejudice I am pleased to say I was able to witness the Snake Dance first hand!
Today was a busy day with no power, no water, and no gas for cooking, but as always God provides the abilities and strength to get our work done. I will sleep well tonight! That's it for today. I'll leave you with some pictures of the kids this week and will be back next week for updates on the kids and the day to day happenings.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A gift idea...

Christmas is just around the corner and this year instead of waiting in line on Black Friday consider giving your friends and family a gift that gives back!

Last year I had some friends give a donation to Jubilee in honor of their loved ones, and I hope to make it a recurring tradition this year, only bigger and better!  Our Paypal link makes giving simple and easy for you and for us.  If you'd like, I will also provide you with a donation letter to give to your loved one.  So start Christmas shopping today with Jubilee!

On a side note, I leave for India in a week!  So much to do, so little time...

And Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Baker's Dozen

And by baker's, I do mean buns.  And by buns, I do mean in the oven!

Yep, Riny is pregnant!  Now my typical first reaction to this news would have been sheer elation, but considering that we just took in 4 new kids, the news came as a bit of a shock.  It's been about a week since we found out and now that it's sunk in, we're excited :).  I mean who doesn't love babies?!

Though along with babies comes sickness (at least that's what I've heard.)  Riny has been very very sick.  Most days she cannot get out of bed, which makes it tough to take care of all the kids.  Joseph is great, but all the work is hard on one person, especially when there is also lots of work outside of Jubilee to be done.

Pray for Riny and Joseph!

It's been so difficult to hear about all the new kids, about the pregnancy, the sickness, the good news, the bad news, and not be there.  I mean I'm there in spirit in everything, but not being there, well it stinks!  I'm incredibly thankful to have been in the States when my grandmother needed me.  But she is doing really well now and with her blessing I'll be headed back to India soon.

December 1st to be exact.

I cannot wait!  

I cannot wait to meet all the new kids.  I cannot wait to spend Christmas with Riny, Joseph, and the kids.  I cannot wait to be back to life at Jubilee.

However, my excitement does not mask the fact that I have tons to do in a few short weeks.  And I know that Thanksgiving will definitely take a nice chunk out of my planning, packing, and preparing for not only my departure but also the next several months.

Pray for my sanity!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Out with the old, in with the new

A tremendous thanks to all of you who made donations last week.  With your help we met and exceeded our goal!  We were able to purchase beds for the new kids, linens, clothing, shoes, and even a couple extra things like...the washing machine!!!

This my friends is our old washing machine.  (Insert bucket of water and bar of soap.)

Drum roll please...

And this is our new washing machine!  Or at least one that looks a lot like this :)

I wish I could have been a fly on the wall Saturday morning when everyone got up early to witness the inauguration of the new washing machine.  Riny, Joseph, and all 12 kids gathered around to see that baby in action.  Riny could not have been more excited to tell me about it.  She says it even dries, a.k.a. the "spin cycle".  Clint told everyone, "I want to meet the man that made such an amazing thing!"  They are too cute!  

Although our immediate goal was met, we are still in need of monthly sponsors for all 4 of the new kids.  If you would like to partner with Jubilee and sponsor a child check out the sponsorship page to the right or message me with questions you might have.  

Once again, thank you so much.  It would not have been possible without your support!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

a full house

Meet the beautiful new faces!
Back row: Subi, Subin
Front: Siji, Sini

How stinkin' cute are they!  Like I said in my previous post, Subi is 7 and in the 2nd grade.  Subin is 6 and in the 1st grade.  Siji and Sini are 2 years and 3 months old.  After their mother died, their father didn't know what to do with the children; typically in Indian culture there are few single fathers.  The landlord of the house they were renting kicked their father and all the children out after their mother died.  He said that since their father wouldn't be able to work now because of the children, he wouldn't be able to pay rent.  For 2 days their father, with the 4 children, wandered the streets looking for someplace to go.  He seriously considered selling Siji and Sini to pay of his debt and pay for a place to live.  It was a desperate situation and we are incredibly grateful that the government got involved.  It scares me think what could have happened to those innocent little girls.

Thankfully we don't have to worry about that now.  They are safe and sound at Jubilee.  Being so small, none of the children quite understand what has happened to their mother, and as for their father they don't question his whereabouts.  From what the social worker discovered while talking with neighbors of the family, the kids and their mother, sad to say, are much better off without his presence in their lives.

It has only been a few days that the kids have been with us, but I hear they are doing very well.  Subi and Subin are happy to have so many kids to play with, and have already started school.  Sini and Siji are a handful, as most toddlers are, but are sweet and adjusting well.  Riny tells me that despite their age they are still only bottle feeding and not potty trained at all.  She and Joseph have already begun working with them and we pray that they are fast learners :).

We are still in need of sponsors for all 4 children.  If you are interested in being one of them don't hesitate to contact me.  Thanks so much and God bless!   

Monday, October 4, 2010

caution: God at work

So it all started last week during Riny and my usual skype chat.  She mentioned, in passing, having read an article in the newspaper about a family of 5 kids who had recently lost their mother and the father was looking for help.  The latter part of the article mentioned an orphanage in a nearby town that had jumped on board quickly to take the children and help this family.  These articles are a regular occurrence in the paper, and we were happy to see that there are people ready and willing to help.  We moved on from the topic and neither one of us thought about it again....until the phone call came.  I'm not exactly sure of the order of events that came next but I'll try to make it as clear as possible.

The phone call that came was from a Governmental Children's  Advocate a.k.a. Social Worker.  The Social Worker said that he was working alongside the family from the paper and was hoping to come and speak with us (Riny and Joseph) about the likelihood of Jubilee taking the kids.  Apparently the orphanage from the paper has no legal documentation and was pretty shady.  Riny called me a.s.a.p. for a conference call and we decided to take the kids.  (I mean really, who would turn them away!)  The situation has been a huge testament to us at Jubilee because the Social Worker searched all over our district and the surrounding areas and everyone from the Police Dept. to the City Mayor said that Jubilee is the best place!  They raved about how wonderful Riny and Joseph are with the children, and said that I wasn't just one of the foreigners who sends money but that I genuinely care about what's going on.  I mean crazy right!  We try and keep a low profile since we are not 100% government certified.  We have our paperwork complete and approved to run a "Charitable Trust" but to be registered as a "Charitable Orphanage" we need to own land, and as of now we rent.  The Social Worker told Riny and Joseph never to worry about our rented house because, "Mother Teresa started in a small, rented house, and you know where her society is now."  Words will not do justice to explain how we feel about the outpouring of love from everyone.

So now the kids!  The youngest baby girl was adopted soon after the article was published.  A loving couple who couldn't have children were excited to find her.  The remaining children are Subi, a 7 year old girl; Subin, a 6 year old boy; and Siji and Sini, 2 year old twin girls.  They have only been with us for a couple of days but seem to be adjusting very well.  Being so young, none of them really understand everything that's been going on but I am confident that Riny and Joseph will help them to understand and are already caring for them as their own children.

As not to bombard you with info, I will end this post here and tell you the story of the children tomorrow.  I will leave you with this, if you can, PLEASE PLEASE MAKE A DONATION!  We are not equipped to take care of 4 more children.  The kids came with the clothes on their backs and that's it.  They need clothing and shoes, and we need beds and linens desperately.  I am also trying to buy Riny a washing machine.  We do all the washing by hand, and believe me it's not easy!  With 12 kids, 3 of which are under the age of 3 (and no diapers in India), you can imagine what a wonderful gift a washing machine would be!  Check out the Paypal donation button on the sidebar or message me for questions.

Thanks so much!