Looking Back: How ATN Got Where We Are
Giving Tuesday is November 30, and this is a huge date for All Things New every year. This year, we are relying on you to help us get the word out. We will be taking part in the Facebook matching again, we were successful in this matching for the past 2 years, so make sure you make your donation count...twice. Our biggest ask is for as many people as possible to create individual fundraisers for ATN on that day and share it with your friends and family. More info to come, but we wanted this to be on your radar as we are relying on a big Giving Tuesday this year!
I mentioned in the previous blog that we have been working on a "vision recasting" time within our organization. Part of that recasting includes looking back over the years and seeing how GOD has brought us to this place at this time.
Part of what we are doing includes putting together a timeline of our organization and how we went from the 2011 to now. How we started in plywood shacks where our kids were eating 1 meal every day and their basic needs were not being met to now when we have 30 employees, the kids are eating 3 meals + snacks, and some of our kids are less than 2 or 3 years away from graduating high school (something that less than 1% of the population accomplishes).
What we noticed is that from the time we moved to Haiti in 2014 all the way really through 2016, we were building the infrastructure of All Things New. We were hiring Marjorie and Lener, our House Moms, security, and Gina. In short, everything we were doing, though we did not know it at the time, was building our organization to the point that we could make it through what is going on in the country right now and for the past 3 years.
If we did not have Gina, there is no way that Jess and I could have adopted our children and stayed in America while the process completed, but Gina has handled things in Haiti for us...very well.
If we did not have Lener, who we trust as much as anyone we know in the world, we would not have been able to get food and supplies for our kids or money from Western Union when things got difficult.
If we did not have our homes, on the end of highly protected and secure streets in the middle of neighborhoods, our kids would be greater targets.
If we did not have our House Moms, we would be worried every night about who was caring for our kids.
If it were not for our tutors our kids would not be on their way to graduating. If our security was not in place, we would worry all the time about things getting stolen, our kids trying to sneak out, or people trying to break in.
The funny thing is that creating this infrastructure was not in our initial plans. In fact, our first goal when we moved to Haiti was to save enough money to buy land and build new buildings for the kids...Luckily GOD had other plans.
I remember hiring Marjorie as our cook when we were still living up the mountain. We did not want to hire anyone because we were saving money, but we realized that our kids were not eating like they should because the people who were supposed to be cooking were just not doing it.
What a great hire. Then we hired Gisele to do laundry, and to see the way it changed her life and her family's life to have a job made us realize we were not doing the right thing saving all of our money for buildings, we needed to bring on people to provide the care and nurturing that our kids need while at the same time providing food and school for the family's of our employees.
It was not our plan, and at the time it seemed like we backed into it, but it turns out it was GOD's plan all along. He used that time of building our infrastructure as the biggest blessing in the history of All Things New.
If we had not reevaluated our plan, and then gone to our board who completely supported us and helped us formulate and formalize a real plan, we would be in trouble right now.
If we had built those buildings and bought that land, our kids would not be as safe as they are now. There is no way we would have afforded the employees that we hired, the orphanage would have been more exposed, and the way Haiti is right now, I am not sure we would have been able to operate All Things New.
Instead, we have incredible employees and safe housing...Our kids are safe and well taken care of, and it has a lot to do with that decision back in 2014 to hire our first employee...Marjorie.
We are at a crossroads again, and we are recasting that vision for the future of our organization. Our kids are getting older, their challenges and needs are changing, and we are adapting with that. It can be a difficult and fear-inducing process if you let it. But here is something great...
We have GOD on our side, and we know He is leading us again. Just like He lead us years ago, we are praying, we are studying His Word, and we are relying on Him to lead us again, and we cannot wait to see where He takes us.
Looking back on our past gives us great hope and confidence in our future, He is a good and big GOD.