Monday, May 19, 2008


Here it is folks... hot off the presses! ( laptop!)

enjoy :)

please send me your email address if you need a readable version! this one is smaller than i expected it to be!



Fundraising for Summer Camp in Merger...

this is a copy of the letter that was sent from the director of IOG to all our wonderful supporters in hope of raising the money needed to provide the mid day meal for the month long summer camp.


Institute of Grace is a US registered Non Profit Organization founded in 2001 to help improving the lives of the Children of Haiti. The Institute provides primary, secondary and college level Education in Haiti from the time the Institute was founded to present. Also, the Institute offers an annual Youth Summer Program for ages 5 through 18 starting July 1, and ending August 1 each year. This year our annual Youth Program will start on June 23 and end on July 23. The Institute is seeking to raise $9,890 to provide a free lunch every day to at least 500 children. The Institute really needs your financial support this year for the success of this Summer Program. Any contribution will be greatly appreciated. Please, make check payable to Institute of Grace. Your check can be mailed to our mailing address (1221 Van Buren St. NW #202A, Washington, DC 20012). All donations are tax deductible. Below, is a breakdown of our budget to run the Summer Youth Program.

Youth Summer Program Proposal for year 2008
Meats & Spices $3,000
40 Bags of rice 2,000
5 Bags of bean 300
3 Bags of sugar 150
4 Cases of Herring 160
4 Bags of Cornmeal 200
2 Cases of oil (6 gal ea) 100
8 Bags of Charcoal 180
Beverages 1,000
Stipends for teachers, cooks & Helpers 2,500

Total $9,890
Thank you for your support and a prompt donation to our request.


Jean Filostin
Executive Director

Sunday, April 6, 2008

the little dirt road to Grace in Merger... and running...

letters have gone out - fundraising is underway! and God is good!! which makes me hopeful!
i have been teaching Sunday School almost every week at North Shore Chapel since i have been back, and its great the things you can learn from teaching. i am constantly surprised at how engaged the children are in learning about God at such a young age (they are pre-school aged!) And also thrilled to be able to worship in such a different way. I sometimes think i miss the service i am used to attending, and find it hard to really connect with God without that. But Sunday School is amazing me week to week - because in teaching I am worshiping, and experiencing God in a way I never have before. And it is so liberating to throw your arms up, sing a little rhyming song, and go to God as a child! (I recommend everyone try it at least once!)
I have already started to receive some really generous donations, and the dream, and plan of Merger is manifesting itself! God is doing big things, and I am loving just watching it unfold! I have also in research on the web been able to find some really rad organizations that are doing great work all over the world. one of them is called SunOvens, you can check them out at, but they provide solar powered cooking ovens! It's a fantastic idea because there are large problems with the way we cook now. The cost of buying charcoal or gas for cooking, and the environmental strain of deforestation (due to the burning of trees for production of charcoal) and well as the pollutive (real word?) gases emitted through cooking are all reason enough to explore these solar ovens that can be used to bake, boil, and steam just like a regular cooking surface, or oven. I have been in contact with them, and the ovens are initially a little pricey -but in the long run i think it pays off! its a long term goal of mine to get one! there are also a lot of great stories about work being done already in Haiti with these ovens on their website.
I wanted just to blog a little bit about what we are doing down there, its a bulleted list for easier reading!
- I will be moving in June, and there will already be a Electrical team down in Merger waiting for me! they are laying the wiring for the generator and inverter we are still raising money for!
- the summer camp starts the 20th of June, there will be a small team down there for part of it running some fun programs.
- HOPEFULLY (still praying) a construction team will be down sometime in August to build desks!
- clinic and school open September 1st!
- somewhere in there I think my momma is coming to visit!
- and hopefully we will have a few more visiting teams, God has already provided great prospects, we just need to keep praying!

prayer notes...
thank you all so much for your support and prayer, i just would like to ask that you continue to pray for perseverance as everyone at IOG works to get the last planning and fundraising done - so that we can have a successful opening!

nikki :)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I am forever behind blogging schedule!!

I KNOW, I KNOW, I KNOW!! I stink at this blogging thing!
partially because when I am in the US I think my life is rather "mundane" and I love it, but who wants to read about that...and partially because my life is soooo crazy busy - my mornings run into nights, and time escapes me. I am thanking God for the last three hours of solitude in the Dunkin Donuts on campus that is closed because of Spring break...but still has wireless! and cursing how behind i am and how crossed my eyes are going!
anyway...the newest project in my life is my current volunteer position with Institute of Grace - they are a non-profit organization based out of Washington DC that currently runs a orphanage, school, seminary and guest house in Delmars and is in the final stages of building a new health clinic and primary school in Merger Haiti. The Merger site will be the first EVER clinic and school in Merger. There are about 100,000 people in Merger, and 80% of them are under the age of 24! A geographically close, personalized and affordable education is hopefully going to be a huge benefit to the community.
I will be serving as the "director of Merger Primary school" and "mission team liason" - - they are large, scary, yet exciting shoes to fill - especially when I look back on the last month of being 23 and at my upcoming college graduation. It is so easy to feel inadequate - but my ever compassionate and wise pastor once told me..."just look at the people Jesus used in the Bible...they were not educated, or even necessarily well equipped...but all you need is God - and He can make you equipped"
its a great feelign to know that because God has revealed this awesome plan to me...he will give me the means to live it out - as long as I stay tuned in.

The current "Oh No, God please help" list for Merger...
1- money... I need about 24,000 dollars over the next three years to be able to live down in Haiti and complete this task
2- construction team...that can help create benches, desks, and blackboards for our classroom
3- nurse...a long term, or semi-long term nurse willing to work in the clinic for free!
4- food!...part of the school day, and part of our summer project (which starts in July! ahhhh) is providing the children with one meal a day. which means i need food grants -

there is a lot to do and i am hugely overwhelmed... but God is tricky...and i am overwhelmed and excited, and scared and prepared, and unsure yet provided for ...ALL at the same TIME!
please help me pray for my "oh no" list...
and visit the IOG website: for more info.
our fundraising website: to help out
and our volunteer website: if you want to come visit!
please also refer your friends, or anyone else you know who might be interested in serving.

i believe it takes a village to raise a it must take A LOT of villages to raise A LOT of children! :)

Monday, January 7, 2008


Monday night was the last study night for almost all the kids. Tuesday was the last day of exams before winter vacation. All except Kattia, Argentine, Stephanie and Alex, who didn't finish until that Friday. I was not much help with the math, or sciences... not really my strong point!
but we had a few really productive English study sessions, and it was nice just to have a bunch of the girls all in my room sitting on the floor and helping one another.
As an end result all but 2 of the boys passed, and I am not positive about the girls...but it may have been a 100%...need to check into that though. But what smart, and driven children we have!!!
It makes me proud to see their report cards, even though I did very little to help them succeed - I still feel as though they have jumped a large hurdle and I am proud of the work that they did!

First Day Feelings -

December 17th, a Monday I am scheduled to leave Boston at 5:30AM... and of course I am freaking out about being late because of bad weather - and my forever loving and understanding family leaves Salisbury at 2am to get me to the airport... of course I was early. I am thankful they understand the anxiety and deal with me!!
when I left Boston it was cold, and snowy, and recovering from three back to back days of snow... at 12:30 that afternoon I landed in PAP, it was about 85 degrees and sunny.
As the plane pulled onto the landing strip a sudden weight was lifted from my shoulders, it was not like the first time I had flown in and was nervous and unsure, this day I was confident, excited, and felt like I was returning to my second home!
When I got in the airport, it was nice to speak Creole and be able to ward off the unneeded porters looking to help me with bags, and it was nice to be able to understand the immigration agent, but I was reminded of how nervous I was the last time I made this trip - when I knew I was walking into a situation where I knew NOTHING!
to walk outside and see Lamarres smiling face was amazing.but walking down the hill to Bolosse.... seeing the boys on the roof, waving outrageously, screaming "Nikki" I felt complete. Then to walk into the girls courtyard, and have them come running and screaming (ok...we were all running and screaming too) and jumping up and down, and hugging, and kissing. It was an amazing feeling. I was thinking about mothers, when they give birth to a beautiful little baby after 9 months of waiting and longing to hold them.... then the moment that they are in your arms for the very first time. I imagine I wont understand that feeling until I am there, but I can imagine its like every wish or desire you ever had, every need every void, was filled by this beautiful God gift. I think going back to Haiti, feeling like I am really where God wants me, seeing the children after 4 months, and jut being able to finally hug them....its a God gift too. and I thank God for the understanding of unconditional love that he has given me through this experience, from which has grown a never before understood respect for my mother and Noah.

it's not all roses going back though - for some unexplained reason I had a handful of teenagers who wanted nothing to do with me, and although I forced hugs, kisses on the cheek, and a Bonswa, the relationship is a little bit lost. In time, and without explanation it worked itself out - they are talking again, we had some great conversations later on in the trip. Another new found respect for my parents...dealing with teenage attitudes! Even the most amazing teenagers, feel lost, scared, lonely, and grumpy, and have not the means to express it - so it comes across as attitude!! Thank you mom and noah, a million times for teaching me patience, by example.

prayer point I learned from this experience: pray that God will reveal His plan to others and that they may receive it - because the fullness and gratitude are amazing gifts. pray that God continues to work in the hearts and relationships of the kids, that they learn to trust, connect, feel love, and in turn learn to reciprocate love. The sad truth is that many of the hfc kids have histories that few could endure, and they are wounded, the good news, that God has provided them with amazing healing, strength and perseverance