Tuesday, April 28, 2015

bike rides, snow cones & a date with jillian.

big title, i know- you guys there has been so much going on in my life. today has been the first day when i have a "lazy" day, so i can put everything here- for all of you to read. i love my readers!

we have been bike riders lately. russ will get his kids on their bikes & next thing you know i hear lyla saying, "mrs. evanda". heart melts & then i am like cory get your bike. i love having friends as neighbors, makes my heart happy! we rode our bikes to get a snow cone the other day which is like a 3 mile bike ride if you just go their & back, but we rode around the neighborhood & then rode there. lets say 4 miles one day. it was so fun & the snow cone lady even took our picture to put on her Facebook.


saturday night i put a pot of pintos on to cook through the night & they turned out so good. my friend dockery say my instagram post & next thing you know he is over having a bowl.


mmm. i love them. so much.

sunday was like the perfect day, i love those days that you just think about over & over again. we went to church, came back home & ate these pintos, hung out with dockery & then my parents stopped by to say hi. we sat on the porch in our eno & just enjoyed the day. russ came by again & next thing you know we are riding our bikes again all over town- probably about 5 miles, maybe 6. after being in the sun all day, i got a craving for ice cream so we drove everywhere looking for a cone, but its sunday & everything is closed. ingels had what we needed. so we come back home sit on the porch & then i got a video call on imo from guytho- he was at CAD & i got to video chat with all my sweet kids at CAD including these two.


love those kids so much. june is right around the corner. i pray for these kids every single day. please join me in praying for these kids! God is so big & can open really BIG doors.

if you would like to donate to CAD you can do so here
all proceeds go to CAD to get water, & support better nutrition!

yesterday was my last day filling in at my old job, which i am thankful for because i am going to buy my ticket for my june trip tomorrow! i got to have one of my favorite coffees yesterday- twice.


dancing goats is so good- if you find yourself in decatur ga please go here. get the caramel latte hot or iced.

i met up with jillian after work and we went to mac mcgees

i had a cheese plate & she got bangers & mash. i am irish & i enjoy irish food & the conversation from a life long friend. we always have the best talks & friends like her are never replaceable. 

love you jillian- jillyvans foreva!

also- she is planning a really awesome fundraiser for CAD in August & i cannot wait to give you guys more details. 

other than all of this i have been searching for grants everyday on the computer, writing sponsor letters, & planning lessons for the girls at CAD for the june trip!

hope your week has been well so far.

love you all

evanda




Saturday, April 18, 2015

pour it out.



i have been thinking about a lot of things lately, mainly this phrase that i used to hear my pastor say from the church i grew up in,"pursuit is the proof of desire"

i always think to myself, is what i desire what i am pursuing? are my desires lining up with God's word & what he has called me to do. i finally have that feeling that those 2 things are lining up. i have so much peace lately about the road that i am on, it is like for so long i was going after things that i wanted, or i thought i wanted & i was never happy, never fully satisfied. peace is an amazing feeling, it is just like a wave washing over you- all the doubt just drifting away & your eyes are opened to truth. i get this feeling when i am in haiti, when i am playing with kids, when i am spending time with my brothers & sisters there, when i am at CAD seeing all those beautiful children's smiles & when i am here working on fundraising which can be so aggravating at times, or when i am looking for grants for hours everyday & emailing people about helping these kids get water & better nutrition. even in the times when i feel so empty & like doors aren't opening as fast as i would like them too, i still feel peace. i KNOW that God works everything out for the good of those that love him. those times when i feel empty is a positive thing because the lord can fill me right back up so i can keep on giving. you don't want to spend your life filling yourself up & never giving yourself away right? it is so amazing to know when your pour yourself out he is right there ready to fill you back up, ready to pour out his grace on you, let you sit in his presence & be thankful for all of those times he pulls you through. 

i am reminded of that song "fill me up"




when i get in those places where i am filling a little empty i listen to this. i want to be filled with the things of God so i can turn around & empty those things into someone else. 


ROMANS 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.



so cheers to truth, cheers to God so graciously pointing my heart to desires that are his own. lets be thankful for the days when we fill empty because we know it is an opportunity to let the lord fill us up with joy, with his mercy, with his grace, with his love, with a thankful heart, with forgiveness towards others, a chance for him to mend our hearts where they have been broken, a chance for him to soften our hearts towards the needs of others. 

we truly have so much to be thankful for, lets put off complain & truly start thanking him for every little thing that we have.

bondye beni ou,

evanda




Saturday, April 11, 2015

CAD orphanage.

 i am sure you  have seen my pictures, heard me talk, & seen posts about CAD. this orphanage is home to around 75 children of all ages, with smiles that will melt your heart & these kids have personality for days.


we spent most of our time there this last trip seeing what their needs are & just spending time with them. this is one of the first places i went to on my first trip to haiti in december of 2013 & one special little boy stole my heart. wilderson mauro. don't get me wrong, they ALL have a special place in my heart, but this young boy is a huge part of my life, like i have such a connection with him to the point i KNOW the lord put us together. 


    The God of peace will make me complete in every good work to do His will, working in me what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ. (Hebrews 13:21)



when i first met him he was so shy, so quiet & wouldn't even tell me his name. 



i remember when we were there in 2013 we stopped by before we left & my heart was already sad to leave: well wilderson was outside when we pulled up & when i got off the bus he said my name. he remembered me. that meant so much to me just as much as when we remember theirs. when i go in june i am taking hello my name is stickers bc i am determined to remember each & every one of them. 




one day we drove to the DR & picked up hot dogs, pineapple & then we went to some store to get marshmallows & found some mangos on the way. that same day wendy's group had taken them to the museum so we knew it was going to be a really fun day for them. we pulled up & the kids went NUTS. they were shouting & so excited! they were yelling, "yes, yes yes" ... it was all i could do to not cry, i am sure it was the same for DD. something so simple means so much. we get out of the car & the kids were jumping all over us. the kitchen ladies were so nice to cut up all the fruit, put all the hotdogs on sticks, & put all the marshmallows on a tray for them. they had built a little fire & had sticks ready- IT WAS SO CUTE!

here is a little video of them singing around the fire before we cooked hotdogs. you can see how loud wilderson is & i LOVE it. 


video

they loved the hot dogs & their faces with the marshmallows made me laugh so hard. wilderson was so unsure, i am literally laughing just thinking about it. 

what was crazy was the fruit. i thought guytho & DD were going to get trampled. it was funny & made me sad at the same time. i mean guys, we take so many things for granted. FRUIT! they love it & we are going to make sure they get it. like i have said & will continue to say if you would like to sponsor these kids monthly for nutrition $50 can do so much. please email me or Facebook me if you would like to help. 


we have church that sponsors for them to have chickens. they built a coop this past january & this is an amazing source of protein for them. YAY for chickens. 



love these faces.








the kids loved the carnival day. they had games & won prizes- SO MUCH FUN. 

wilderson played a basketball game & won & then handed me what he got. its so cute bc anytime he gets things he puts them in my book bag like i am supposed to watch over them & i LOVE it. 


video

he is really good at almost everything- art, beating me at tic-tac-toe. HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN! i thought that was an easy game? he just laughed at me. 


i cannot wait to see these kids in june & i am already putting some stuff together for them. we are taking up journals & disposable cameras to take. we are thinking of doing a study for the week & have them write in the journals & i am going to teach a photography class for them. i have been wanting to do some photo stuff with them for a while & this is the perfect opportunity. lets cultivate dreams & creativity!

please pray for everyone involved in missions around the world, wether it is in the states or in another country. one day at the time is what i have to tell myself. 

God will instruct me and teach me in the way I should go. He will guide me with His eye. (Psalm 32:8)

if you would like to donate to my next trip you can do so on my gofundme account

cheers,

Evanda



Friday, April 10, 2015

when passion & calling collide.

it has taken me some time to get around to writing this post, mainly because i needed to line words up with my heart & because when you come back from a mission trip your emotions are nuts & i cannot put a pen to a paper much less put it out there for the world to see.

for those of you who don't know me- i am not an open book with my heart. with the deep things. i tend to keep those to myself or for talks with the lord in the shower where the hot water can wash it all away. i build these walls for protection & the lord works so hard to take them down a little at the time. i have been in this personal struggle since my first trip to haiti - december of 2013. i knew from the moment i decided to go that it was going to mark me in a way that i would truly never be the same. it was true. i am trying to put words into the feeling i had & still have to this day- its like if you are a singer & you are getting ready to sing in front of a lot of people for the first time, you are nervous, you are excited, you are scared, you step out on the stage & start singing & its like you know that is what you are supposed to do. like nothing is better than that moment. or when you try sweet tea for the first time. lol my heart has never been the same. little kids who hold your hand & look into your eyes wanting to be loved. they are searching for the lord & through a language barrier & sometimes horrible conditions you can hold that little child in your arms & cover them with kisses & hugs & not say anything at all but show them so much at the same time. love conquers all.


when i was 8 the passion for serving people started. the passion for loving people in a way i was too young to understand.  i would tell my mom that i wanted to get a plane & fill it with food to feed all the kids that didn't have anything. i wanted to adopt kids. i wanted my own orphanage. i wanted to go on trips & help people- i just wanted to serve. i never cared about how much money i could make, going to a big school for years to get some degree. those things did not matter to me at this age & really if i am honest they don't now. sometimes the world can creep into your mind, into your heart & make you think the things you wanted at such a young age were just daydreams. those dreams when you are young birth passion in your life. sometimes you are blessed like i have been & i found my passion. i knew my passion when i was young & let it slip away. i let the world fill me with worry & doubt creep into my heart.  i am 29 years old & i am finally answering the lords calling on my life to serve in haiti on a more full time basis. on paper it seems crazy bc cory is the only one who works, but the Lord is our provider. he is always faithful & always on time. when he calls you to something you say "here i am lord" -- it's a beautiful thing bc my passion & the lords calling on my life have literally collided in the most amazing way this last trip. he spoke to me clear as day, & i remember that voice. i remember it was the same voice that would speak to my when i was 8, it was the same voice that told me to dream big & to always put others first. he knew me from the beginning.

Psalm 139:13-16

13 For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.[a]
Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
    the days that were formed for me,
    when as yet there was none of them.


"THE TWO MOST IMPORTANT DAYS IN YOUR LIFE ARE THE DAY YOU WERE BORN AND THE DAY YOU FIGURE OUT WHY"

-Mark Twain


Matthew 6: 25-34


25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.


what will i be doing in haiti you ask?
meeting the needs of the people. 
 right now we are working to get very important things done at CAD- an orphanage very close to my heart. they are in desperate need of water & nutrition. at this time they do not have water on their property & they are in need of sponsors for nutrition monthly. if this is something that you would be interested please let me know. we are looking for  people that would commit to  give $50 a month, $100 a month- whatever the lord puts on your heart. it is a charitable donation & you can write it off. 
to break some things down if one person gave $50 a month these kids could have eggs everyday. eggs you guys- PROTEIN. fruits & vegetable are not something they have every day & for them to be healthy they NEED these things. i will fight for these kids to have whatever they need to be healthy & strong. i will fight for them to truly know the lord & know that HE is their provider. PLEASE consider giving up eating out once & using that money to feed these kids for a month. such a little amount can do so much. i have huge dreams for this orphanage & haiti. i am constantly praying favor them, praying that God provides & knowing that he is making himself known more & more by people showing his love towards them. i am praying that we have divine appointments with people that can help us get things done! the people i am working with have such a vision, they are just normal people that are answering the call to serve & we are working together to get things done. 
if you would like to sponsor me on this  path the lord is calling me on- please let me know & i will tell you how. i am looking for monthly sponsors, once  a year donations, or if you would like to sponsor a certain day of the year- that is fine too. please pray that the Lord opens HUGE doors for these kids. water, you guys... something we can turn on the faucet & have a drink whenever we want too. i cannot tell you how many tears i cry just thinking about these amazing kids. tears of sadness sometimes but happy tears bc i get to help make a difference in their lives, YOU can help make a difference in their lives.
as soon as we get water it will open the doors for so much more. we want to start implementing some self sustaining there, growing crops! this alone will filter into so many things, teaching them to take pride in what they do, it can be food they can eat, it teaches them discipline etc.
i want them to know they can have dreams. they can have vision for an amazing future. most of these kids have no parents, parents who cannot take care of them, & some children have been abused. 
i want art classes, music classes, sewing classes, photography classes. i have so many things i want to do. so many things that WILL HAPPEN. like my friend & brother, guytho, says, " If you say in the name of jesus, it will happen". 
so pray with me,  pray about committing monthly to these kids to help them have better nutrition, pray about sponsoring me on whatever level you can- prayer or financially. there is also the choice where you can go to haiti yourself & help on a trip. you can meet these kids that i love so much. 



i will be going back june 10-20, i will be there the first week of july, october & december. 

    James 1:27
    27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
i know this is a long, but i had a lot to say. thank you for letting me share what is on my heart & for celebrating with me on this new adventure. 

if you have any questions you can Facebook me or email me at evanda.estes@gmail.com

in christ,

Evanda 


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

haiti march/april 2015 part 2.

i have no idea how many posts i will be writing but here is my next go at it.





 part 2. 

one of the days we were there we got to visit real hope for haiti.

one word- AMAZING. 

my friend christina has been working there about a year, & we were so excited to take some donations & see what this place was doing. to all who gave baby clothes, tuna, little toys, bottle nipples, & baby spoons- they went to this incredible place to help so many little ones. 

 its hard sometimes to visit places like this, bc your sad & think to yourself "how does this happen" 
but you also see so much good. the good is what i try to walk away with. we got a tour of the ICU room with all the little bitty babies, we saw where they kept medicine, the ER & let me tell you that place is so well organized. it is inspiring to see these people & know how many families they help. they take care of malnourished babies & they take care of adults as well. when dd & i were doing the walk through i was blown away by the file cabinets, lol i know that seems crazy, but i have seen so many things unorganized that it makes me crazy. i LOVE being organized & when you are dealing with children, patients or whatever its so important to have information in some kind of order. i can't remember exactly what the numbers went too- but i remember like 122 thousand patients- it was probably more. i am so happy we got to see this place. we went to the room where babies are getting a little better & spent a little time with them, but not as much as i wanted. we went to the er & a little one had just passed away & that was really hard. i didn't take any pictures there bc words are better in this situation. 

if you are looking for someone to support that is doing something truly incredible PLEASE consider supporting this amazing place. 

you can visit there site here & read everything about their team, how they got started, follow their blog & read just about anything you want to know. the site is very to navigate.  

this is a little piece i took from the website:

The purpose of the clinic is to meet physical needs as RHFH understands this to be a Biblical mandate. It is RHFH’s desire that any work we accomplish to meet individual medical needs will allow us the opportunity to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The clinic is an outpatient clinic in rural Haiti that is operated by Real Hope for Haiti. It provides a variety of medical services to the surrounding communities. These services include, but are not limited to, health care education, preventative medicine, prenatal care, primary care (including treatment of infectious diseases, hypertension, diabetes, malnutrition, etc.), limited emergency services, minor surgeries, wound care, as well as limited lab services. The clinic also dispenses medicines required for the treatment of the illness that is presented. If the clinic is unable to treat a patient due to the complexity of the case or lack of resources, the clinic refers the patients to a larger regional health center. The acting director of the clinic is Lori G. Moise, a registered nurse in the state of Indiana. She works as a nurse and provides the emergency and wound care to patients and is also responsible for managing the organizational aspects of the clinic such as hiring staff, monitoring staff performance, generating patient reports for the Haitian Government, corresponding with supporters to keep them aware of the needs, researching and applying for grants, and educating herself to better serve her patients. The clinic also employs four Haitian nurses to perform general consultations and provide patients with health care and nutritional education. In addition, the clinic also employs numerous support staff who assists in the clerical and organizational aspects of the clinic.

praying for this clinic, praying the lord gives them strength, praying for favor & that the lord meets every single need they have. 


                                            “A ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for.”


― William G.T. Shedd

much love,

evanda






Monday, April 6, 2015

haiti march/april 2015 part 1.

going to break up my trip into a few blog post bc there is so much to say.

part 1.

this trip was really different than the last two i was on. usually i am in a group with about 20 other young college students & adults. this time- 2 people. dd & i recently became connected & found out that we are really kindred spirits, i was so excited at the chance to go to haiti again i literally jumped at the opportunity. it was so great getting to know her & finding all the things we have in common.  i love you so much dd & i am so thankful for your heart for haiti.





this trip was about making connections for future trips, seeing what needs need to be met & spending time at one of our favorite places- CAD. between the 2 of us we took about 8 bags which we were super pumped about, we had to pay for the hotel, the car to rent, gas, all the things regarding food when we got there for the kids, so it was a lot of researching & having people check on things for us (thank you christina). the place we stayed out was on the lake & kathy who's family owns it is one of the sweetest people you would ever meet. one morning she brought her cousins daughter out, shayla, & we got to have some baby time. this girl is gorgeous. seriously.




the hotel was pretty nice & the staff was so welcoming & sweet. when we were talking to kathy she said it was so important when people are in haiti doing mission work to have a place to come back to where they can just let it all go. it really is an emotional process if you have been once or 14 times. so much need & often you feel like you aren't doing enough. i have been keeping the verse below close to my heart.

Isaiah 1:17 Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.

sometimes i would go & sit by the lake & thank God for every little thing i have. i would pray that things that really don't matter in the grand scheme of things wouldn't matter to me. i prayed that the lord would change my heart for the better. i prayed that he would bless me with people in my life that are furthering the kingdom. i prayed that he would help my heart to not break when i left- that one really didn't work too good, but my friend ronda said it best when she said i had better resources here to help them in the long run. i carried those words with my every day after she said them. 



this guy fed the fish every single morning. i love this picture, its like he's being washed by the water.


the fish would swim into this contraption bc they knew they were going to be fed & pretty soon they would be too big to get out lol, so they ended up on a plate at dinner. 



this guy above is fegens. i learned so much about him this trip. i already knew he was great with kids, but this trip proved it so much more. i love his sweet spirit & how he was willing to help us in anyway he could. he is also dd's fiance which makes him so much cooler. anytime we needed water- he got it. he led the kids in songs, & the kids LOVE him. he drove us everywhere. every.where. lol. we had the worst car trouble while we were there to the point where we  were just like OH MY GOSH! so annoyed. he fixed everything for us- took the car where it needed to go, he translated for us, anywhere we wanted or needed to go he made sure we got there. thank you fegens.




grimix or gibson whichever you prefer. thank you for hanging out with us almost everyday. you are a special young man & i am praying that the lord directs your path to greatness & you would be a blessing to so many people. 


junior, THANK YOU for the paintings & my special little duck. you are the kindest guy & i am so thankful to have a brother like you. have fun in brazil & i am glad that bag could be of good use to you. i will see you soon i am sure. my mom loves her painting. 



GUYTHO! i love you so much. cory & i both do. i am so glad you were with us everyday & i am still sad you didn't come to jacmel with us. thank you for being such an example to those kids. they all look up to you so much. i pray for you often & i KNOW that the LORD has amazing things planned for your life. thank you for translating, thank you for helping us all week, thank you for all the good talks, thank you for taking pictures for me- THEY ARE SO GOOD! i cannot even tell you how proud i am of seeing you praying for that little boy who wants to be a preacher. he is in your life for a reason & you never know what that prayer can do. like you said- if we say in Jesus name- its gonna happen. i love your heart to give. you give everything away & the lord sees that. always put the lord first. 


sam! so good to see you & get to know you better. even if you love politics & government so much. thanks for taking us to jacmel- it was gorgeous & i think it is so important for people to see the beauty of haiti. i forgive you for ordering fish that made me sick lol. i can't wait to see you soon, take care of that sweet fiance of yours. she is the BEST.


christina, you are a treasure. i cannot even express how amazing real hope for haiti is. at first you want to be sad & wonder how in the world babies could be that small, how parents couldn't take care of their little ones, but then seeing how you change lives every day is so inspiring. i am so happy we could bring things you guys could use & i look forward to bringing stuff to them in the future & loving on all those kids. they are so sweet. i cannot wait to share more about what real hope for haiti does, it is truly amazing. 


loved meeting this sweet lady. sometimes i feel like the lord has blessed me with this gift to see truth in people. i guess sometimes that can be curse bc you get disappointed a lot, but not with this lady. she is a gem & the lords presence is all over her. she has the sweetest personality but i love that she gets things done. thank you for praying with us, thank you for your love for haiti, thank you for putting these lives before your own. thankful for you. i cannot wait to get to know you more & work with you in the future. 


i can't wait to write about part 2 sometime this week. there is so much to say. there is so much to do. i feel so restless when i get home, like i a missing out, but i know that the lord will always make a way for me to be in haiti. i want to share more thats on my heart, but there is just too much right now. i figured i would get the easy stuff out of the way first lol. be sure to check in on the blog in the days to come on more about this trip & ways you can help!

cheers,

mrs. estes