I am in serious need of a vacation. Knox Co. spring break is next week. I have a "real job" with "real work days." We don't get spring break. Boo! UT had their spring break a week or so ago. I didn't get a spring break then either. Boo!
The good news... in August we:
along with them:
Are going here:
To see this:
And do lots of this:
And I can't wait. Until then, I will just dream of St. John every night!
That is GIGI! Today at 8pm our precious Gigi will turn 81! Here are 18 interesting facts about Miss Gigi since she says that she is not turning 81 but 18!!!
1. she still clogs weekly 2. she practices her clogging while Granddaddy hikes in the mountains 3. she has weekly lunch dates with her "boyfriends" 4. she has 10 biological grandchildren and 4 that are the lucky ones that married well and got Gigi as a grandmother 5. she LOVES the Braves 6. she is older than her hubby, but shhhh don't tell 7. she is the one who gave Amy her awesome sweet tea recipe 8. she will become a great-grandmother in August (nope not me Cousin Jenny is due August 25th) 9. she had 3 boys that kept her buys 10. she loves Dane Bradshaw 11. she is an amazing dancer 12. she has made each grandchild (married in too) an afghan 13. she loves to ride her bike at the beach 14. she loves to give cards and always picks the best ones 15. she makes the BEST brownies that Andy and I fight over 16. she is involved in the lives of all of her grandchildren and tries to come to all events that we are in 17. she splits meals with Granddaddy (especially the pizza at Sullivan's - with jalapenos on the side) 18. she is an AMAZING grandmother and we are so lucky to have her in our lives!!
Gigi, I hope you know how much you mean to Andy and I. We love you so much and treasure the time that we get to spend with you. Your joy and laughter is infectious. We were so happy to come and have dinner with you and the family last night to celebrate you. Thank you for loving us all so well. You are so special to us!!!!
Tonight Andy and I have a birthday party to go to. Our family is meeting together to celebrate this wonderful and sweet woman, Gigi. Maybe I can get her to fill out a questionnaire for her real birthday tomorrow!
We love you more than you know. Check back tomorrow for your official birthday post!
As I reflect on my trip to Haiti and re-enter the “real” world again, I am hearing myself and those at home asking: Was your trip successful? Did you make a difference? These are very difficult questions to answer, for I know that God measures success differently than the world measures success. “Did I touch some lives?” Yes, I know I touched many lives by giving a small measure of hope through physical touch, medication, encouraging words, prayers, or even a moment of shared laughter.
Compassion takes on a whole new meaning in Haiti. I was able to enter the darkness of others in pain and sadness; to be where people suffer. I saw people who lost their entire family and have nowhere to live. I talked to families who live in fear of the aftershock earthquakes (which currently measure more than 50 – several of which occurred were while my team was there). These families are afraid to re-enter their homes and therefore, are sleeping outdoors on the ground. I treated numerous patients suffering from diseases related to crowded conditions, malnutrition, and lack of clean water. Post-traumatic stress was a common thread with nearly everyone I spoke with. Basic medicines to help with sleep were a welcome relief from the constant reality of the tragic conditions.
I was asked to help at an “outdoor” hospital where patients were crowded together under tents in ninety degree temperatures to recover from broken bones and amputations. Doctors, nurses, physical therapists and people from all walks of life were working together to provide care. I will never forget the sight of an American nurse trying to read from a Creole Bible to a young Haitian university student. He had just learned that the surgeons would not be able to save his second leg and that he that would soon be a bilateral amputee. A dehydrated paramedic started an IV on himself in an attempt to continue to work with his patients. The stories of sacrifice and hardship are unending.
My contribution was like a drop of rain in a bucket . But with the accumulated effect of thousands of volunteers, a drop of a rain can become a shower of hope and love. That is what I see happening in Haiti.
Someone once said, “When God is going to do something wonderful, He starts with a hardship. When He is going to do something amazing, He starts with an impossibility.” I believe that God is using the impossible in Haiti to do amazing things for His kingdom. I experienced firsthand what it looks like to see a church swelling out its doors as people seek God. God is in this for the long haul.
Please continue to pray for the people of Haiti and that more will hear the call to go and serve.
Christ has no body on earth but ours, Ours are the only hands with which He can do His work, Ours are the only feet with which He can go about the world, Ours are the only eyes through which His compassion can shine forth upon a troubled world. Christ has no body on earth but ours. Teresa of Avila
Bill and his team from East TN.
The destruction in Haiti. A hillside of fallen houses.
A woman in the "hospital" still smiling. Amazing.
An adorable child drinking water.
Transporting patients in the outdoor hospital.
A house falling down.
The outdoor hospital. Tents are filled with patients.
Dr. Bill working in one of the clinics.
This was the college age boy that Dr. Bill spoke if in his story.
This nurse is reading to him from the Bible for comfort.
As I have said in my previous post. We are so proud of our Dr. Bill/Dad. You are one of the most amazing men that we know and we are so honored to be a part of your family. Your generosity and kindness is a witness of Gods love for people everywhere. We love you more than you could ever know. Keep pushing us to be better people, keep showing us Gods love though your actions, keep loving us the way God loves us. Thank you for being you.
I will tell one story and it shows Bill's heart and understanding of the things that matter. I, Cameron, tend to put value in things. Not normal things like our nice TV (although I do love our TV) but in silly things like a shirt that holds memories or my favorite blanket. When we were over at the Amy and Bill's house on Sunday and we were able to see all of Bill's pictures from his week in Haiti he had one that showed where he and his team slept. When she pointed out his bed I said, "I knew that one was yours, I recognized that towel." Then Amy said, "that will be the last time you see that towel, he left it in Haiti." My mouth dropped open in shock. "You left it... in Haiti," I said. "And he left his Young Life shirt too," Amy said. I thought about it all night, not because this towel really meant anything to me. It was a towel that for as long as I can remember was with us at the lake or beach or any trip that we took where we would be near water. It was just a thing that reminded me of the Broome Family for some reason. The thing is I didn't go to Haiti. All I could see is a few pictures of what happened there. I didn't get to see first hand of people in pain, people crying and most of all people coming together to help other people. We have it so good here in Knoxville, a warm house that I feel comfortable will not fall down, running water to take a shower, doctors that are close and available to see me consistently with medicine to help me with whatever ailment I have, and family members that are close by. We are rich here, even those of us that struggle. The people of Haiti don't have any of this. They live in fear of another earthquake causing buildings to fall on them. They don't get to take a shower whenever they want. They have kind doctors coming by, but they don't have one doctor that is their doctor, with medicine that they so desperately need. Many of them lost family members and some lost everyone. It is hard to imagine what they are all going though.
I am so proud of Bill for leaving things behind. He told us that he is not sure what will happen to that towel or to his shirt, but I know that someone who needs it, will get it. Bill is a man that is always willing to give to others. Whether it be though his knowledge as a doctor, or a hug when someone needs it or the shirt off his back. He is a giver and we are lucky to know him, and if you are reading this, then you are probably one of the lucky ones that knows him too!