Barlow Family - Haiti



The WHOLE crew


Ted & Rebecca


Tania Grace


Ana & Oliver











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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Entries in Life in Haiti (28)



Life can change in a moment's notice.

I haven't the heart to rewrite another version of this current saddens my soul at the moment. 

So I am just going to post a LINK HERE to an important announcement that we sent out today.

If you want the short version:

We no longer work for Apparent Project.

While we've had a million thoughts & emotions related to this abrupt & unforseen turn of events, God has granted us perspective & peace for the moment. We are sad without a doubt & a little confused.

PRAY for us.

PRAY with us.

We need clarity, guidance & provision -

we have the same attitudes,

the same hearts,

the same calling,

we have a home that is paid for the next 10 months,

a car,

a community,

a life

& a vision that we've been given here...

that we have just finished preparing for...

and we don't intend to make any SNAP decisions ourselves. 

I'm thankful to my cousin who tagged us in a facebook message earlier today with this scripture:

He will rescue the poor when they cry to him; he will help the oppressed, who have no one to defend them. He feels pity for the weak and the needy, and he will rescue them. He will redeem them from oppression and violence,for their lives are precious to him.

Psalms 72:12-14

He had no idea of this announcement, but the passage has been a salve of encouragement today as we pondered on our next steps. It confirms that we have been on the right track in seeking to put action into areas close to His heart. More importantly it reminds us that HE is the one in charge of the needs here in Haiti. We hope to be able to continue on here, but rest assured that HE has a plan either way!

Read today's announcement letter HERE.


Back in Haiti - day 5 - travel

It's always fun to have visitors here from the states. It seems to get us out of our ordinary routine typically & helps us have a little bit of much needed fun. While we've only been back for a few days, the last few months & weeks have been pretty stressful and after a last minute trip to TX before returning we found ourselves here flat out! With the board members here for a week, we've put most of the unpacking & organizing aside to show them around, spend time getting to know each other better and talk about the future of Apparent Project

This weekend we are all on a brief retreat together at Club Indigo up on the Cote de Arcadins, one of our favorite places!!! I've never lived somewhere where you could leave home and find yourself in such a starkly different, absolutely breathtaking and magical place in a little over an hour (depending on traffic!).

So yesterday we took our group downtown into Port Au Prince to tour the city, stopped at the iron market to shop and headed up the coast and out of the bustling city for the quiet and rejuvenating northern coast. Unfortunately our trip took more like 3 hours due to an epic Haitian BLOKIS. I don't know if I can do justice to how these situations happen, but they are usually the result of a minor stoppage that becomes monumental because impatient drivers tend to start adding lanes to get ahead on both ends and then you have to wait for 5 lanes going in each direction to reduce to one or two at the slow down again in order for anyone to pass in either direction. It WAS one of THOSE days!

Hugo & I chilled in the back with the luggage trying to keep cool & drink enough water to replenish what we were perspiring off. Have to say that I felt a little like a kid again - sleeping on the floorboards of our old Chevy II on a road trip - while napping on the bench seat in the way back, reveling in the freedom from seatbelts here. Finally we broke free & Ted shuttled us on up the coast with his refined Haitian driving skills. 

Tomorrow...we'll share a little more of the BEAUTIFUL side of Ayiti!



Back in Haiti - day 3 - normalcy?

Yesterday we finally got out and about to do some of our errands.

First order of business: finding a different Freezer/Fridge set up for this house. The kitchen is much smaller & we have no more housemates, so it was time to downsize our big chest fridge. So we are selling our current freezer & bought a 4 & a 5 cu ft chest freezer, to replace it. We have had no freezer at all since our regular refrigerator was killed by our bad power last year!

Let me try to explain why I am calling them all "freezer"...with our power set up we are always trying to live using less energy. There will invariably be days, maybe even weeks during the year where we have NONE! Running a generator is expensive, noisy & limited, so we try to live as much off the grid as we can so that it won't affect us as much. One of our near-future plans is to get solar power set up so that our batteries are used less & continually filled during the day. That means that we would be much better off with our basic power needs in the case of no electricity for a longer period of time.

As it is we have power from the city for about 8 hours every night. This charges our battery banks & then during the day we can keep food cold in the fridge & use our laptops/internet & fans! We have found that you can use a special thermostat to convert a chest freezer into a fridge. The reasoning behind it is that cool air drops, so when you open a chest freezer the warm air pushes the cold air down and keeps it inside, unlike in an upright, where the cold air pours right out! Also, freezers are typically better insulated so they stay cold longer. Some sites documented using only 8% of the energy that it took for a regular fridge, so a 92% kwh reduction. This means our fridge will be able to work on solar power once we set that up too!

Here is our new set up:

It was also a lift to my spirits to just go out & do a normal thing like shopping for those items & also some groceries. At our local hardware store, MSC, we ran into a couple of "friends" which immediately renewed my sense of community here and of belonging. They have recently had a stint in the US & left a young adult daughter behind as well, so it was sweet that God placed them in our path for a few minutes of brief conversation. Tara is also a midwifery student working in a birthing center here, so we had a chance to chat about that as well. It was a fleeting moment of semi-normalcy, in a place where when meeting up with friends, getting out to the store & shopping around town are NOT a daily occurence! Spending the day out helped lift the struggle in adjustment to the confinements of our life here, which had hit me hard upon arrival. 

In a recent blog post, Tara wrote

 "I submit to you that pain is a part of life. Goodbyes are a part of life.  Disappointment is a part of life.  Messing up is a part of life. Starting over is a part of life. LOVE and sacrifice are a part of life.They are worth the pain. Love washes over these things, love lights the path when things get dark or scary or very, very sad. Love gives you courage to do hard things."

read more on adoption & imperfect parenting, here...

I am so thankful for the other expats/missionaries that we know here who understand. It is an encouragement & reminder of God's faithfulness to us all.

So, in addition to our fridge set up, we also found a NEW best friend!!!

Meet "Winter" our first ever air conditioner. She is portable and refreshing, as our new place has very little breeze. We've made a very short list of items that we felt were imperative in staying here for the long haul & this was definitely one of them.

For Hugo's ever expanding fan base out there...he continues to do great & every day proves himself by far, to be the sweetest, easiest dog that we have ever owned! He's a little joy & delight to everyone that meets him & hasn't found an enemy yet. Here is the little traveler all crashed out:



a new year & a note...


“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”  Isaiah 43:18-19 (niv)

To start, a side note on the verses above...I just want to be clear that in my mind it is not meant to infer that HAITI is a wilderness or a wasteland as some might say. Haiti is a land of infinite possibilities and amazing resources, not the least being it’s beautiful, resilient, hard working and often faith-filled people. The wilderness and wasteland I would refer to is my life, our lives…, and how God is using His work to redeem them. He is changing us at the very core and slowly creating beauty, love, patience and kindness out of selfishness, pride, greed and cultural blindness. It is a lifelong process to be sure, but He has been running us through a new training course and the lessons are fresh and sometimes painful. We do our best to keep up with the learning curve that He has us on!

I have no doubt that 2014 holds even more in that realm, but wanted to share on everyone’s behalf how our year is shaping up so far...

Right now we are feeling VERY blessed to have had time together here in California with family & friends. MAINLY with each other!! Ana & Oliver were here for a week and we got to lavish love & share fun memories with them that are rare and treasured. ALL of us but Olivia, spent Christmas together and the days surrounding it. Keep Olivia in your prayers as she continues to work through her healing process in a sequestered program in Texas. It has allowed no contact with her since August, but we pray is making an indelible change for the good in her life.

What is coming up for the rest of us?

Ana & Ollie head back to Germany on January 5th. They will find out within the coming year where they move to next and are hoping to be based back in the US one day soon.

Ted leaves for Haiti on January 6th for 2+ weeks, his return depends on his increasing responsibilities there and the move to our new living quarters near Apparent Project.

Tania Grace has decided to return to Texas where she she feels more “at home” right now and will be looking into pursuing a CNA position there instead.

Tynan & Emma are both starting new jobs here in California in the next week. We are working hard to form a “base” here for them to explore their futures from, within a network of support. Pray for all of us during this transition as Haiti remains more like HOME for them, separation still seems a little daunting, and they aren’t sure yet how much they will be able to come & go.

I (Rebecca) have 3.5 weeks left of my nursing contract here and am torn between taking a REAL break for a week or so, visiting others before returning, or just heading straight HOME after being gone for the better part of 6 months! I am BEYOND grateful for the additional support that has been coming in to stabilize our focus on ministry. As this refresher comes to an end, it looks like my work will be FULL TIME for Apparent Project, back in Haiti for 2014. (BIG smile!)

Apparent Project remains dedicated to sharing Christ’s love in tangible ways and fulfilling God’s commands in the area of orphan care by keeping families together. Our focus remains on strengthening at-risk and impoverished children and their parents through job creation, small business development, training & mentoring. We hope to expand the reach and impact of our work to the areas of prevention and restoration as we move forward. Providing services such as good maternity care, safe deliveries, and family stabilization are all on our planning and development list for the coming year.

Prayer and support are not only vital to our work in Haiti but also to us as average, everyday people. We all need relationships that connect us to our daily journey through life and we don’t know where we’d be without the love, support and anchoring that you provide...even when it’s from a distance. The ministry that we do in Haiti truly isn’t possible for us without the foundation of our faith, family and friends!

May God bless YOUR coming year in as many ways as you have blessed us -

Rebecca {for us all}



Back down the Rabbit Hole…. the realities of our “other world” life.

Tomorrow we leave on another a short trip home to Haiti to address some of our responsibilities there and to introduce Tania Grace to our home abroad.

Why are we still in the US??

Several reasons have led us to remain here...

1) Our support has been coming in steadily at about 40-50% of our budgeted needs.

2) Transition for Tynan & Emma into “normal” life back in the states for a while.

3) Rebecca is preparing for her midwifery program by working in L&D this contract.

4) In order to gain funds to upgrade our electricity situation.

5) Spending the holidays with our older girls, Tania & Ana and our grandson, Oliver.

The complexities of a life of Haiti...bring unique challenges.

To explain these 5 points a little further…

We are able to bare-bones “exist” in Haiti on 40-50%, but it doesn’t allow for regular vehicle or household maintenance costs, utilities, travel, evacuation & health insurance or next year’s rent. Without those needs addressed, we had to send Rebecca to the US to work and cover/provide them. We are also looking at moving to a new housing situation for 2014, low cost US based insurance, providing short term housing and other creative ways to address the support gap.

Coupled with Rebecca’s need to have her US maternity and birthing skills refreshed, it seemed like a good option for her to take a job for 2-4 months, before starting her training. This has turned into one 2 month contract in postpartum & one 3 month contract in Labor & delivery. She should be ready go after such a substantial refresher AND hopefully there will be a little extra to stabilize us until our support reaches 100% again.

The electricity issues remain a big factor in Haiti.  So, we are having to make some longer term investments that allow us to sleep better, reduce stress, spend less time addressing power problems, and ultimately be more effective in our ministry there. Our fridge is no longer working AT ALL during the day unless the generator is running.  We can’t conceivably run the generator all day at $5/gallon of gas, to refrigerate our “island” priced food supplies. So we are hoping to put in a basic solar powered system and switch over to using a chest freezer with a thermostat that converts to fridge temps. It should take 90% less power & run fine on solar throughout the day! It will also mean that our batteries won’t be drained for nights without power, so we can sleep through the night with our fans.

Lastly, extended time in CA addresses our family's needs. While Tynan & Emma have been fabulous helpers in Haiti, we have all realized that after 2 years there, they need some time doing the things that other kids their age are doing...getting jobs, driving, having a “social life”. They have also expressed not wanting to have to do that at the expense of separation & lack of support. This was a main reason for extending their furlough & remaining nearby while they navigate this period in life. It allows time for them to decide their future plans either here or abroad. At the same time, our oldest, Tania Grace, has just moved back to No. California, so we are providing some “family” stability, encouragement & support for her as well, while she settles in and starts a new career. In late December, Ana & Oliver will be in the area for a visit, so nearly all of us will be together for Christmas!!

With our big projects still in development, a lot of our work can be done from here at the moment. Rebecca is planning & grant writing for the birthing center. Ted is continuing to develop other areas of Apparent Project’s ministry reach in both the US & Haiti. There is some organizational transition and planning for 2014 that we will participate in with the Seattle-based Apparent Project team & board members in December & January as well.

Please keep us all in your prayers this holiday season as we seek to follow and glorify God… in this ministry... with our family… in the US & in Haiti… in English, Russian, German, French & Haitian Kreyol… and above all as the unique individuals that He has made each one of us to be!!