We went and I can say it was one of the most impactful and joy-filled moments in my life. As we climbed out of our vehicle, we had former gang members waiting for us. They were there to protect us and were happy to see us again.Read More
Welcome to the Java Relief stories site where we talk about our passion of helping children at risk worldwide. Wake Up Do Good!
We love a vacation with a purpose.
This was a vacation and not a mission trip, but we often approach vacation thinking about opportunities to reach out to the community and get to know the locals, so before we left I connected with a ministry called Hope Haven. A new shelter for children at risk that was built in an old strip club. The staff and volunteers at Hope Haven provide a literacy program, individual and group therapy, hot meals and a safe place for neglected and abused children.Read More
Ever since the first thought of Java Relief, we’ve wanted to offer coffee from Haiti. With a connection from EcoCafé Haiti, we’ve found that might be possible. So on December 31, our family flew to Haiti to find a quality bean, and of course, to visit the children in the orphanages and Cité Soleil. With our amazing friend Luken, as our driver and translator, we rented a 4-wheel drive and started off on what would be a true adventure!Read More
Pastor Cenor shared the current needs of the orphanage. He showed me his freezer and refrigerator that were broken down. He said, "We have no way to keep anything cold for the children. No milk, no meat." If that's not bad enough, they also need a new washer. Right now they're doing all the laundry by hand. Can you imagine? Laundry for 24 children plus Cenor's family. That's a lot of laundry!Read More
"My pimps would let me sleep whenever we didn’t have customers. It’s the worst thing to be woken up from a nightmare only to have the real nightmare continue. Or when you hear the other girls getting beaten or slapped or cussed at while their bodies and souls are crushed in two."
This is from "Hope". The young lady that we introduced you to in December. Java Relief is supporting her and her young children so she can continue to live in safety and freedom.Read More
Trafficked at 6 years old.
A few weeks ago, we were made aware of a young lady who we will call “Hope.” We’ve changed her name and certain details and locations, because she is in extreme danger and needs to remain anonymous. We want you to hear a tiny bit of her story– her horrific and shocking story – that is true.
Java Relief, providing breakfast for 50 struggling teens during December.
Last week Java Relief met with the team at Waconia Learning Center where 40-55 teens from Waconia, MN, and surrounding cities attend school. These teenagers may struggle with depression, anxiety, drug abuse, poor living conditions, probation, pregnancy, foster care, things that can make it difficult to attend high school. At WLC, these students are able to learn in an atmosphere that works for them with very small class sizes and emotional support.
What a Blessing! Thank You Java Relief Supporters!
These faces captured many of your hearts and because of that, because of you, the campaign to raise money for Jehovah Rapha House, a home in Haiti for special needs orphans, has been a huge success! Thanks to you, Java Relief sent $4000 to Don Shire Ministries which runs Jehovah Rapha House! Yes, $4000! We are amazed how many of you were moved by their story and wanted to help, and we are thankful. Praise God!Read More
Beauty in their brokenness.
In Haiti children with mental or physical disabilities are generally shunned and many are abandoned. Voodoo says to get rid of the child while many people believe they are evil and that the child is punishment on your family. But God says something else. He sees beauty in their brokenness.
Being a pastor in Haiti is a dangerous profession. When a pastor is seen with Americans, he or she can be targeted by would-be criminals because it is assumed that the Americans have given the pastor money. After Pastor Dare had been with Americans, he was followed and someone broke into his home. He tried to tell the robber that he didn't have money. He apparently didn't like that answer and shot Pastor Dare in the neck. Miraculously, the bullet went straight through without rupturing any major veins and missed his spine. God had spared him!
Our story of adoption starts with the pain of infertility.
Almost every young person thinks they will become a parent someday. After Steve and I got married and decided to have a baby, things didn't go as we always thought they would. Testing showed that I had a medical issue that could keep us from having a biological child. Month after month was a reminder of shattered dreams... Actually, that's not even true. Every day was a reminder of shattered dreams and a reminder for me that my body couldn't do what it was created to do. Never knowing when something would put me back into the pit...seeing a baby at the mall, learning that someone had their 5th baby, hearing a celebrity had a baby they didn't plan on. It is heart-wrentching. People who haven't gone through infertility offer advice... "Just relax" or "Go on a vacation", like its not a medical issue. People who don't know ask, "When are you two going to have children?" or "Isn't it time for you to have children?". Night after night crying myself to sleep asking God, "Why?" Steve did his best to offer support but even he didn't understand the depths of my pain. Doctor appointments, surgeries, medication, and finally! Our pregnancy test is positive! Shale was born on April 25, 1998. Our first child! The best day!
We knew we couldn't just leave them behind.
The pain hit my heart as we flew out of Port Au Prince, Haiti. I looked down and saw the city, knowing we were headed back to our easy life in our comfortable home in our safe town. Luken's words kept ringing through my ears, "Here, children sleep where pigs sleep". My heart broke for the children we had met living in the rubbish that makes up part of Cite Soleil. We knew we couldn't just leave them behind.
We had been with children in extreme poverty before; different slum, different country. Maybe it was the accumulation of them that made this departure harder. I'm not sure. But I did know I couldn't just return to our normal.Read More
It took us three attempts to get into this city.
The first try, our trucks were stopped by a road block that a gang of teenagers had constructed out of logs and tires that they had pulled across the road. There were riots throughout the city protesting the high gas prices that day. We didn't realize how dangerous it was until we got back to the U.S. and googled the images that showed vans being tipped over and set on fire.
The second attempt was close. We picked up a gang leader (who is needed for entering the city) who jumped in the van to escort us into Cite Soliel. As we drove into the first sessions of the slum, a friend of the gang leader ran up to us waving his arms to get away. We learned later than there was a gang war going on and that there was gun fire.Read More