Barlow Family - Haiti

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The WHOLE crew

 

Ted & Rebecca

(Haiti)

Tania Grace

(Texas)

Ana & Oliver

(Germany)

Tynan

(California)

Emma

(California)

Olivia

(Texas)

Syndie

(Haiti)

 

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In Prayer, For...
  • the orphans in Haiti
    a smooth moving process
    calm during the transition
  • our kids -
  • Tynan & Tania in college
  • Ana working in Germany
  • Twins' homeschooling
  • the future "additions"
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If you donate here you will not get a tax receipt. Please click the links above if you want to donate through World Orphans.
Saturday
Oct182014

Entering a new “dimension”…effective 11/1/2014

SO, one of the BIGGEST challenges of overseas life, we’ve found, is communication.

Another is isolation.

Beyond that we face a stronger sense here of limited resources…

  • funds

  • time

  • proximity

  • energy

  • relationships

  • encouragement 

We enjoy & need ALL of the above! 

Facebook, Squarespace blogs, Newsletters and Twitter have been fabulous tools for BROADCASTING what we are doing ministry-wise, personally, and as a family in general. They are also helpful for sharing thoughts, events, pics and chat sessions with family members & friends. However, we have to dedicate quite a LOT of time to planning, writing, posting and UPDATING the latest news regularly.

With a busy 6 year old underfoot, me (Rebecca) in the midst of midwifery studies 50 hours a week now & Ted’s 40-60 hours of field/office work we have had to seriously weigh up time management factors along with our current resources & “needs” as human beings, christian workers, family members, and friends.

This is what we realized...

  • Broadly used social media is playing a different role than we hoped.
  • It is probably more of a drain on all of the above than an improvement.
  • Our personal & ministry support of all forms has been through truly engaged (daily to annually) family members, friends & co-workers.
  • We are not comfortable BROADCASTING...personal events, experiences, and needs...or the lives and stories of our Haitian friends...with the general public anymore.   

What we honestly don’t desire right now (or ever) is:

  • to spend extra non-interactive time on electronics
  • our Haitian friends’ privacy to be invaded or stories exploited in the name of “help”
  • to feed informational consumerism instead of tangible engagement in ministry
  • personal information to be turned into “gossip” 
  • one way communication
  • a growing sense of isolation in “observing” normal life from afar
  • a mile long FB chat list of individuals that we never interact with
  • our youngest to learn that life revolves around a laptop! 

We DO desperately need:

To SIMPLIFY during busy times & STRENGTHEN “real” and positive relationships, even from a distance. 

To share meaningful personal time with family & friends in some interactive (probably media based) form regularly.

SO, here is the HARSH part...

...we are going to take a VERY BOLD step & actively shut down any social media pathways to the general public and those we are not interacting with personally….over the next few weeks.

What does that look like?

We WILL still be on facebook/twitter as individuals.

Our family page will be shut down by the end of October.

If you would like to remain “friends” please send each of us a quick message saying so.

No communication from you in the last year directly by any mode or between now & the first of November, means...don’t take it personally...but we must unfriend you at that time.

BLOG POSTS may be limited or even eliminated. We'll see what time allows in the coming months.

We WILL continue to send occasional NEWSLETTERS out.

The idea is that when they arrive, we'd love to hear a reply & catch up on YOUR news as well!

You will receive one ONLY IF you send a brief reply to the most recent one and notify us that you would like to continue receiving them OR have responded personally at least once in the past year. 

Does this mean that you have to chat with us daily or weekly or monthly??? No, not really. We are just looking to be more engaged personally with you over the course of the year in some way.

We sincerely hope that you understand this phase of our overseas life & work right now and will be an active part of our circle of friends & family that laughs with us in joyful times & shares strength, wisdom & encouragement during the hard ones. We love and cherish you either way!

As always...there is a standing invitation for the use our guestroom in Haiti as well!

Have a blessed weekend - Rebecca

Friday
Sep192014

My husband, My Hero...! Happy Birthday, Ted.

It’s amazing to think that the best day of my life happened 15 months & 1 day before I even took my first breath. The faceless woman who labored to bring my husband into this world 50 years ago today didn’t have him in her plan, but his Father in heaven sure did!!! And the world is a better place for His gift...

THEODORE:

From the Greek name Θεοδωρος (Theodoros), which meant "gift of God".


I take him for granted way too often, but today I am just missing him terribly and sharing this tribute.

he·ro

 noun \ˈhir-(ˌ)ō\

: a person who is admired for great or brave acts or fine qualities

: a person who is greatly admired

: the chief male character in a story, play, movie, etc.

                                                     Merriam-Webster

Hero

A hero or heroine refers to characters who, in the face of danger and adversity or from a position of weakness, display courage and the will for self-sacrifice—that is, heroism—for some greater good of all humanity. Wikipedia

By all definitions, you see, my sentiments are absolutely TRUE.

In the aftermath of the recession & a forced career shift, he chose not to seek his own wealth and happiness, but the path of helping others who were in greater need than he had ever imagined.

He has worked tirelessly on behalf of at-risk children and families for over 3 years now in Haiti and his shoulder is at the plow still as he follows the path his Father has laid out for him, abroad. It isn’t easy, but it IS making a difference.

He wouldn’t see it this way, but the sacrifices that he makes every day are astounding.

At this very moment he is making several:

-          He is working 40-60 hours a week under the Haitian sun overseeing countless projects that are slowly changing the landscape of poverty, everything from fish hatcheries, to schools, a special needs orphanage, medication distribution and more are under his eye at the moment.

-          He is caring for a sweet & spunky 6 year old, who adores her papa.

-          He remains in Haiti, while I am away tending our big kids' needs.

-          He’s dealing with an extended separation with the needs of many others in mind, but primarily for the sake of processing the adoption of his youngest child.

-          He is providing the physical & emotional support, for me to start midwifery school in a few weeks. All the while, with the future of Haitian nurses, midwives, and the precious LIVES of mothers & their babies in mind.

-          He drives to school, grocery shops, pumps water to flow through our house, keeps electricity running, attends parent/teacher conferences, medical appointments, and even does LAUNDRY…

I know for a fact, there are things he does, that I never know about, to help make our lives possible there and to promote the well-being of others.

I LOVE and admire this man!!!!

It feels so miniscule to only be able to offer this tribute on such a MONUMENTAL day…and from afar.

Please join me today in THANKING GOD, in CELEBRATION and by offering words of joy & encouragement to MY HERO…my husband.

HAPPY 50th BIRTHDAY, Ted Barlow!!!!

I LOVE YOU and am so BLESSED by you…

I hope and pray to share the second "half of a century" more walking the journey and adventures of this world with you!

Monday
Aug112014

another NEW day...

Today is Syndie's FIRST DAY at her new school...

                                       the first day of her first FULL year of school ever!

God in His mercy has provided the GIFT of a fantastic private education for her through our friends at Quesqueya Christian School.

She will be learning in English, but her teacher who has lived here for MANY many years speaks fluent Kreyol as well, so she won't be completely lost. We are still speaking Haitian Kreyol mainly at home. However, she announced a few days ago that she doesn't want to speak Kreyol or English... she WANTS to speak KRENGLISH!!! in exactly that language. We're ok with that too!

This ends up being a DOUBLE blessing for us, as it allows Rebecca the concentrated time to get her Midwifery Program studies @ FNU done this year as well.

Pray for Syndie, Rebecca, Emma & Tynan as they each continue their studies this year.

Thursday
Jul312014

Writing our names in the land...?

This post is a heartfelt response that came bursting forth as I read this recent post by our friend Elizabeth Trotter, who lives & ministers in Phnom Phen, Cambodia. If we had been given more than 3 weeks together and didn't have SO much to process during our shared experience at Missions Training International on cross cultural preparation for life overseas, we may have been destined to be bosom friends....so much in our hearts is similar.

SO, before going forward review her post HERE at "A Life Overseas":

How do you write your name in the land?

So what sustains you in your host country? How do you plant yourself in the place God has called you to serve? When the earth under your feet seems to crack, when your life is dry and scorched, what do you hold on to? When the soil starts to disintegrate and your well dries up, where do you go?

When no rain falls, when the crops wither away, and there’s no harvest, what do you do? What is your anchor, and where are your roots? Where have you put your signature?

How do you write your name in the land?

Being a fellow homeschool mom, I remember us reading & studying Sarah Plain & Tall AND Skylark and watching the movies when my kids were little.

It's SO true...and something I would have NEVER thought I would ever have applied that story to in the future. Back then I could never have dreamed that we'd be living in a 4th world country, in HAITI...where life is HARSH and complex.

I've just spent the past 5-6 weeks working with moms & babies in a more remote area here. The hardship & DANGER of childbirth for these women has broken my heart afresh...and yet they hurl themselves forward into motherhood just the same, sometimes by choice, quite often even against their own desires. But they are BRAVE and STRONG in the midst.

I've been helping train the FIRST ever postnatal nurses at this hospital to provide follow up care, catch lethal infections, identify breastfeeding issues that could lead to malnutrition, water borne diseases in newborns & death. We've discussed postnatal treatment for the rampant hypertension here...and it's already working. Babies have been referred to higher care that would have been unidentified & gone home & died.

So while what often DOES sustain me IS the beauty of this land...YES, I am a palm tree lover too and the SKIES, the mountains, the sunsets...nature has always FED my soul.

My answer is found though in the eyes of a mom looking down at her new babe...and praying to God for safety. In feeling the arms of a malnourished child grasping my neck as if holding on to life itself, as I sing to her. In the soft touch I must give to a family member who has just lost their loved one. 

THIS is where & HOW - despite being completely overwhelmed at times by the raw & unforgivable sides of this country - I DO find myself writing my name in the land...

And then of course, Haiti has indelibly marked our lives as well:



Monday
Jul282014

it's official...back to school this fall!

I'm finishing up my last week with Midwives for Haiti for now...Illa & Juslene are just doing a fabulous job with the new postnatal care program!...& our last midwife/volunteer for the near future leaves this weekend too. It's been an amazing experience and I'm grateful for the way that MFH welcomed me into their community and let me walk alongside them and use my skills in helping the Haitian nurses provide much needed maternity care here in Haiti.
I look forward to see what comes of our relationship next!!
My time here has ALSO been a fabulous precursor...
                  to a pretty exciting email that arrived a few days ago from:
Dear Rebecca,
Welcome to Frontier Nursing University!  I am pleased to inform you that you have been accepted to Class 130. ...We look forward to having you join us on this exciting journey. 
SO, I am now officially enrolled in the MSN+DNP Midwifery program!!! 

BIG,

exciting,

looooong awaited,

little bit scary.

super fantastic

NEXT STEP!

I want to also publicly thank LakePointe Church in Rockwall, TX for their support in getting me started on this personal & spiritual calling, especially in relationship to Haiti...and all that God will use it for in the future!

I'll be applying for further scholarships through the school & several maternity care organizations, but if you are interested in joining me on this journey through prayer, financial or physical needs support, see this ministry page for MORE details.

It may be a GOD thing...but one of our volunteers last week is going to be one of my future instructors @ FNU! She and the other midwife here currently, have both been such an encouragement as I look forward to the somewhat daunting task of moving into this new role.

Seeing the ENORMOUS need for even the most basic women's/maternity & newborn care here in Haiti & knowing that it is only one of many such countries...is the other factor that URGES me forward on this new adventure. I'll be posting several related needs in the coming months...from volunteers, to stateside clinical midwifery preceptor sites, to medical supplies and reusable diaper/peripad donations.

  

 Feel free to contact me (rebecca@tenmilliontoes.org) if you're interested in partnering to help provide safer births for ALL Haitian moms & babies.

Orphan Care Prevention!!