Matthew 25: 35-40

"I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me." -Matthew 25:35-36

"Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." -Matthew 25:37-40

Monday, February 21, 2011

Order tickets now!

Order TICKETS NOW by calling North Country Inn and Suites at : 1-888-300-2196 All major credit cards accepted! Take advantage of purchasing your ticket(s) early and you will qualify for our great give-aways: 1) Four Dinner Tickets to the Chanhassen Theater, 2) Four Passes to Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America, 3) Four Moose Mountain Tickets for Mall of America, AND 4) One two-night stay at White Bear Inn, White Bear Lake. Sponsored by Wild 102!

Please Join us for great, new music by Ashlee Hewitt and her Nashville Band on March 5th! Both concerts will be held at the Roseau School, Roseau, MN.


7 p.m. concert $25

2 pm. concert (recently added) $10

Monday, January 31, 2011

Building Project at Ruuska Village

This is what the building will look like that YOU are building just by attending the Haiti Benefit Concert Featuring Ashlee Hewitt!!! A special thanks to those who are making this event possible: Roseau School Students of the National Honor Society, Roseau School Student Council, Badger School Students of the National Honor Society, Greenbush-Middle River Honor Society,Warroad School Students of the National Honor Society, Lancaster Covenant Youth Group, Impact Student Ministries, North Country Inn and Suites, Border State Bank, Central Boiler, Polaris, Mattracks, Wild 102, and KQ92!

Call this number to donate by credit or debit card. 1-888-300-2196.
If you would like to send a check, send to:
"Haiti Benefit Concert"
Border State Bank
PO Box 40
Roseau, MN 56751

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Haiti Benefit Concert

I’m excited to say that we have a confirmed date for a Haiti Benefit Concert which will be held at the school gym in Roseau, MN on Saturday, March 5th at 7 pm and an additional concert will be held at 2 pm. Please join us for a night of great music by my sister, Ashlee Hewitt, and her Nashville Band! One hundred percent of ticket sales and donations will be used to rebuild a Ruuska Village orphanage building, which was destroyed during the devastating, January 12, 2010 Haiti earthquake. We are also excited to have my dear friend, Barbara Walker, who is the owner of Ruuska Village and adoption facilitator as a guest speaker. You may feel like you already know her, if you have been following my blog! :) If you are interested in making a donation or purchasing tickets please call the North Country Inn and Suites: 1-888-300-2196. Cost of General Seating is $10 and Reserved Seating is $25. Our goal is to raise $14,000, which will completely cover the cost to rebuild a two-story building that will be used to house children and orphans waiting to be placed in forever families!

I’m happy to announce that through Barbara’s hard work and dedication, 84 children were placed in permanent homes in 2010! I am planning to return to Haiti this April along with two of my sisters, Ashlee and Mallori Hewitt, and our friend, JoyAnn Pankratz! It is so hard to believe exactly one year has gone by since the Haiti earthquake - it seems like just yesterday. As the thoughts of the earthquake flood my memory, I can hear cries of children, the roar of the earthquake, and I can still feel the tremors. It has been a day filled with overwhelming emotion for me. Going to Haiti was an experience I will never forget, and I am still in awe of the fact that God chose to protect me and all the children and workers within Ruuska Village.

People have said to me on several occasions, “You know, Lacey, it takes a special person to do what you did over there. I could never do that!” But, I don’t look at it like that. I am just an ordinary person whom God chose to use for something special. I had fears, reservations, and anxiety, just like anyone else would have experienced. In fact, doctors, missionaries, and humanitarian workers, have been volunteering in third world countries for years and years. It depends on how you look at it; I spent six months living in Haiti - that is a far cry from living 30 years in Haiti, such as Barbara Walker has! My stay was definitely challenging at times, but I would not trade that experience for anything in the world! It changed my life, opened my cultural eyes to both the diversities and commonalities between peoples, and it enabled me to stop thinking only about myself. I truly believe that when we put others first, it allows us to experience true happiness, thus it is not a “selfless” kind of love. To see an infant that has literally given up on life smile for the first time in days, develop an appetite, or feel love for the first time because both his physical and emotional needs are being met, is an amazing and very overwhelming experience, which I cannot begin to explain. Please mark your calenders for an event that will make a lasting difference for the children at Ruuska Village. I hope to see you there!

Marie Grace (now with her family in Argentina!) and Me Emanuel, Justus, and Jennika Tearing down a building at Ruuska Village after the earthquake. Ruuska Village before the earthquake. Barb and the MN crew.
Nannies of Ruuska Village

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Life is a Blessing

After spending some time in Port-au-Prince Haiti, I have a new appreciation for my life. On August 12th, 2009, I stepped off the plane. The scorching hot Caribbean sun hit my face, and I could hear the resonance of drums beating in the distance. It was not a regular airport with shopping outlets every 20 feet, Starbucks, and several different restaurants to pick from. There was no one in sight to guide the traffic, and I had more luggage than any of my traveling counterparts.

Trying not to look like an obvious minority, I walked judiciously in the direction of the flow of traffic. In the corner of my eye, I noticed a woman walking next to me. I could tell the baby in her arms was getting heavier; she was tired. When the woman stopped for a break, I offered my help and without hesitation, she dropped her baby in my arms. From the looks of the woman, she was dehydrated and so was her lethargic baby. I remember feeling so strong and healthy next to her. With my 50 pound back pack and book bag in tote, I carried the child to our mile long destination. I helped the woman through immigration, we parted ways, and I never saw her again. Right then, I realized this was just the beginning of my experience in what seemed to be another world.

People filled the parking lot and grabbed at my bags in hopes of a tip from the American Girl. "Thank God," I thought, as I heard someone calling my name. A commotion was coming from outside. Amidst the people reaching through the bars, was a man who knew my name. He said, “Lacey, Lacey, I’m with Barbara Walker! Do you want to talk to her?” I said, “Sure!” and he handed the phone to me through the gate. It was Barbara Walker; I was so excited to hear her voice. She said, “Lacey, load your things and get in the truck, Lucian will take you to the village.” I loaded my luggage, and as we traveled through the streets of Port-au-Prince, I found myself speechless.

Watching the homeless people everywhere was a humbling experience. Some of them walked along-side the vehicle tapping and looking through the glass. I remember seeing a child come out of a culvert, as if he lived there. To be honest, between the filth, garbage, and smells I didn’t know how long I could stay in this unbelievable abject poverty.

As we arrived at the orphanage, I noticed the old cement buildings lacked room for the children to run and play. The ventilation was poor, and the low lighting didn’t help the sadness I saw in the eyes of the children. Although it still amazes me how a simple kiss on the cheek would bring a smile in a split second, a painted image of sad faces still lingers in my memory. I believe every child longs to feel loved and wanted, but how is that possible in a place with not enough care-givers? It was not long until I realized that the children in the orphanage had it pretty good compared to the children coming in from the streets. By helping these women and children, I felt needed; I became a happier person. Soon, the days turned into weeks, and the weeks turned into months.

How do all of these children end up here?

She screamed all through the night, after many hours of sweat running down her face. With the desert heat and dust intensifying her discomfort, the pain was inescapable. She clenched her fists as tight as she could and pushed one more time – with a sigh of relief, the new mother cried out uncontrollably because the baby she watched growing inside of her frail body was finally here and alive. As the tears continued to blur her eyes, she examined little toes, fingers, and every small detail of her beautiful baby girl. She was perfect. With nowhere to go and not even a quarter to her name for clean water, she knew it was time to let go.

Barbara Walker facilitates adoptions for orphans and children whose mothers cannot afford to care for them. Hungry, skinny, and exhausted, new mothers come from miles in search of better lives for their children. I still cannot imagine being faced with that kind of a decision. To give up my own child due to money issues, health care, or anything for that matter, would certainly feel like a death. The thought of never seeing my child again would be unbearable. I often wondered to myself, “How could they?” While living in Haiti for six months, I watched several women give up their babies. Surprisingly, I could clearly see the happiness, joy, and relief in their hearts. Now, I realize it is only out of pure love that they give up their children for adoption.

Due to a lack of education, many of the nannies I worked with in Haiti did not understand the importance of nutrition and good hygiene. This made it very difficult for us to prevent the spreading of parasites, scabies, giardia, and other diseases. Seven percent of children die before the age of five in Haiti(UNICEF).

Although visiting Haiti proved to be a culture shock and very overwhelming for me, I will never forget the genuine friendships I made there. The Haitian women taught me some valuable lessons: love without ceasing, forgive quickly, never give up, work hard, and most importantly - there is more joy in giving than receiving. I have a new appreciation for my life, my family, and my God. Every day, I thank God for our freedoms in America, but that’s another story.

UNICEF, 2009. At a Glance: Haiti. 31 May 2010.
Children loved their daily vitamin juice!
Roseberly, Lovely (such a good little helper:), Baby Ian, and Justus!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Home for a week...

... and it's going pretty good! The children are adjusting fine. They are so very happy and enjoying such simple little things like running water, lights, and pretty clothes in their dresser, which the girls love to fold and rearrange. They also love to change their clothes several times a day, and I don't have the heart to stop them. It's just too much fun. I think popcorn is their favorite American food so far. Ice cream is not a big hit. But it's okay, we don't eat much of it anyway! I normally don't let the children jump on beds, but when Katyna, Walker and Carley were having so much fun jumping on and off into a pile of pillows, I just enjoyed the moment listening to their squeals of delight. I think Katina said, "MOM, I FELL!" with her cute little accent and beaming smile about 20 times. They started referring to me as Mom a few days before they actually started calling me Mom. Another delight to my soul. Sam and Jennika go out every morning to help feed the horses. Sam particularly, has taken a liking to the snow. The weather has been great and nice enough for him to wear off some of his bottled up energy outside. ;-) The older boys are having great fun with their two new brothers. I think the girls are still having a hard time believing the children are actually home, and here to stay. ~Kelli

Cousins Hudson (2), Gracie (1), and Katina (4)Cousins Aliyah and Hudson
Jessica, Katina, and Hudson, a.k.a. Tom-Tom Whitney, Katina, and Hudson Whitney and Hudson Hudson, Whitney, and Jess Easton a.k.a. Sam (4)