Hope



We are home.  While we arrived with a lot less actual baggage, the weight on our hearts is more than all the bags we carried into Haiti.  It’s a good weight, though, because it reminds us to continue to pray for the beautiful children we met and all the work that was done.  We trust that God is wrapping His arms around them and protecting them each day…as was the message we delivered along with their new beds.
We (the Rameys) were beyond blessed to lead and serve alongside this team.  What we experienced and witnessed God do with each team member, child, translator, staff person and many others on this trip was exciting and hopeful.  We cried, laughed, cried more, and laughed more.  Our lamenting and laughter reminded me of the verses in Lamentations 3:21-24:
“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:  The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.  The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore I will hope in Him.”
We even sang the hymn “Great is Thy Faithfulness” in our church service on Sunday.  Our English version along with their Creole version reminded me that God’s faithfulness is for all of us.  And through our heartache and hope, God knows it in every language and for all people and is faithful to provide in our time of need.   
We want to thank Sweet Sleep and every person who supports this ministry and supported the team members who served on this trip.  YOUR SUPPORT DOES MATTER! We want to share all the ways each one of you were in Haiti with us…
If you financially supported Sweet Sleep and the provision of beds and Bibles to this orphanage…
Know that the children giggled with excitement and beamed with pride as they opened their Bibles and sat on their new beds.  Many even sang “Tonight’s Gonna Be A Good Night.”
If you donated supplies…
Know that the children smiled constantly as they colored, made crafts, played ball, and received a band-aid for their scraped knee. The love of Jesus was in every detail and every team member who shared these activities with them.
If you supported Chet and Mary Virginia Frist…
Know that these children were constantly reminded by MV that Jesus loves them.  She took great care in making sure every child was acknowledged and hugged.  She made sure every caregiver and staff person received a gift and knew we loved them too.  Know that Chet modeled a Godly man to them.  “Rambo”, as they called him, physically helped build beds and stairs, but he would also stop to hug children and be present with them.  Their marriage reflected a positive loving message to these children they probably rarely get to see. 
If you supported Jim Osment…
Know that Jim’s quiet strength was a rock for not only the children, but for our team.  Jim is not a man of many words, yet each word was worth gold.  I watched him walk hand in hand with a little boy named Moise, who probably had never experienced that kind of love before.  He cried along with us (Todd and Laura) and told us he loved us when we had to say goodbye to our boys on the last night.  His fatherly acts of love and kindness were representative of our Heavenly Father. 
If you supported Katie Osment…
Know that Katie took great care in photographing every sweet moment with the children and team.  She captured these memories for us to hold in our hearts and pray over forever.  And she would put her camera down to play basketball with the older kids or to hold a baby.  The children knew she genuinely cared about them.
If you supported Kristi Marshall…
Know that Kristi provided a voice of justice and compassion for the voiceless.  With every tear you knew Kristi was shedding it in prayer for the hope of a child.  She would sit one on one with a child or hold a baby for hours to make sure they knew she cared about them.  She provided prayerful and scriptural encouragement to our team and was truly a woman of faith and passion for the poor and fatherless.
If you supported Heather Schnoor…
Know that Heather bonded on a very deep level with some of the older children in the orphanage. She listened to them, asked them questions, and genuinely wanted to know more about them.  She taught them songs and even pulled off every fake nail she was wearing and put them back on (yes, with the glue in her backpack) to demonstrate to the older girls how they worked.  They giggled with delight and probably have never had anyone be that present with them.  They looked up to Heather, and she was truly Jesus to them.
If you supported Kelly Stanley…
Know that Kelly demonstrated the love of Jesus in ways she did not even realize.  She was just being herself – completely comforting and real.  Children were always asleep on her.  She took pipe cleaners and tied up a little girl’s straps on her dress, because they kept falling.  She took the lead at the children’s “Worth Day” party on the last day to remind them again about the message of their beds and God’s love for them.  And her mission did not end in Haiti.  She was seated next to a man on one of our flights home who had just recently lost his wife.  She provided a presence of love and compassion for him as she listened to his grief.
If you supported Mackenzie Jackson…
Know that Kenzie’s fire and passion for the Lord was demonstrated constantly in her passionate prayers, devotions, messages, and hugs.  God is truly using Kenzie’s life story as a testimony to His promise in Jeremiah 29:11.  He is giving her hope and a future that she passed along to everyone in her presence.   If Kenzie was near you, Jesus was near you.  The children adored her…and so do we!
If you supported the Rameys…
We are humbled and blessed by you.  Know that your support gave us strength to lead and work with our team.  Because of your prayers, we were able to hold and hug our children and see the next stages of our adoption unfold.  And we were reminded of how each one of us participates in caring for the fatherless.
This team truly demonstrated the message of Sweet Sleep and the call in James 1:27 “…to visit orphans and widows in their affliction…”  Our warm and compassionate host at Bethel Guest House, Dr. Jacob Bernard, shared often how much he appreciated Sweet Sleep and our team and even awoke early to pray over us and send us off at 6am on our final day.  Two of his daughters, Argentine and Stephanie, served as our team’s translators.  However, their service went far beyond translating as they jumped in to help build beds, do crafts with the children, and support our team.   Miss Claudette, Dr. B’s wife, greeted us with daily smiles and hugs.  Like Dr. Bernard, his family, and so many others, we felt your prayers and support.  We thank you for supporting and empowering us to spread the good news of Christ.
Sleep Sweetly,
Todd and Laura Ramey

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