The Beauty of a Little Smile

I don’t know how I managed to catch this little fella with anything other than a smile on that sweet little face.

He was happily playing in the dirt the first time I noticed him.

His joy was contagious.

Sometimes seeing people who have so little and are so happy
challenges me to the core.

When he was giggling and smiling and tracing circles in the dirt, he had bare feet.

I’m glad he was blessed with a pair of shoes yesterday.

And glad he knows how to be happy either way.

“But Jesus said,

Let the children come to me, and don’t try to stop them.

It’s to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.”


I Have Three Gabillion Stories to Tell You

Guys and gals! I mean it! I have three gabillion stories to tell you. We had our first shoe distribution today in a township not too far from the Muizenberg section of Cape Town called Overcome Heights. It’s a very poor area where some 6,000 people just showed up and built a settlement in three days because just before elections the government made some sort of promises that would have affected people living in that area. I don’t think they made good on those promises, but anyway, that’s not the story, I’m just wiped from a long day, so I’m rambling.

But one real story is, a bunch of kids were blessed today, with a message of hope, with people who care about them praying for them and washing their feet, and with a new pair of Crocs.


Yes, Crocs. Not the fake imitation ones either. Sorry, was that redundant? Crocs committed 1 million pairs of shoes to Samaritan’s Feet over a four year period, and 1,000 of those Crocs are here in Gordon’s Bay for us to bless people with. Ahem, with which we can bless people. I didn’t want to end that sentence with a preposition, but y’all I’m tired. My southern is coming ow-wt! Dern!

You have probably guessed that because I’m so tired, I’m not going to try to tell you all three gabillion stories right now.

But here’s one.

I saw this little boy today waiting in line just outside the area where the kids enter and hear a message of hope.

I was really sad at first because I saw that he had bare feet, and I didn’t think he had gotten in line in time. There were so so many little feet. Little little bare feet! There are always more feet than there are shoes. But I wanted this little one to get a pair of shoes!

Much to my delight, I realized he had a little strand of bright blue raffia around his wrist. The blue raffia was the magic solution when we’d forgotten yarn and we needed a way to count how many kids would be getting shoes. We’d tie a bit on their wrists and then remove it after they’d received their shoes so they couldn’t come back through.

So I rejoiced when I saw that he was going to get a pair of shoes today. Yay!

And then, I happened to catch him again later…Here he comes to have his tootsies tickled and receive a new pair of shoes!

In the end, we were running low on small sizes, and he got a pair that was a little big for him. See below? We passed them along to his mother and he’ll probably be sporting them tomorrow anyway.

It is tough to know what a drop in the bucket those shoes were. It’s estimated that 300 million people around the world go shoeless every day.

If you have time, please take a second to give that number a second thought.

You back? Okay good.

Mother Theresa once said, “If you can’t feed a hundred, feed one.” Today, among the many, there was this one.

And this one.

And this one.

And on behalf of “these ones,” I want to say thank you, Crocs South Africa, and thank you to those of you who have supported our ministry or Samaritan’s Feet. From the bottom of my heart, and from the bottom of many feet, many, many thanks.


YOU, yes YOU, can help in Haiti!

Hi dear ones! I am excited to share with you about this opportunity, because I hope some of you folks in the North Carolina, or USA area will answer the call!

Our dear friends Frank and Sharon Dees run a wonderful missions organisation back in NC called Youth On Mission (YOM)and they are organising trips to Haiti in the next few months to help with the relief efforts there. I personally don’t think you could sign on with a better couple of folks to be a part of a life-changing experience to touch lives and be a blessing in an incredible time of need.

Before you switch off or click to another post I just want to encourage you — yes, you — to consider that this could be a possibility for you. Your boss might actually give you the time off work to go and be a part of this. (You won’t know until you ask). Your church might be willing to do some car washes, bake sales, etc., to raise the funds to help you be a part of this. (You won’t know until you ask.) People might even offer to help take care of your kids. Your professors might say it’s okay to miss a few classes. So before you say n-n-n-oooo think about the possibility of saying yes. Rich Mullins used to say, “If you ain’t called to stay, you’re called to go!” (That might be my paraphrase…but think about it!)

Here are the details from Frank:

Good afternoon, I pray that you are all well. I want to let you know about opportunities for you to directly help with the current relief and recovery efforts in Haiti. I will be traveling with our International Mission coordinator Bob Adams and a team of 12 volunteers into Haiti the week of February 27. The team will work with YOM’s partner ministry SCORE International, which has a served in the Dominican Republic for 20+ years. Below is specific information on where we will be serving and what we will be doing.

The level of interest and desire to help has been amazing the last several days as God has brought about the right partners and opportunities to go and assist in whatever capacity the Lord allows. The small contribution that our ministry can make is summed up in our mission statement:

“Youth On Mission exists to meet spiritual and physical needs by equipping and mobilizing short term mission teams for the purpose of sharing the love of God through His son, Jesus Christ.”

This is why we exist and what we seek to do every day. The disaster in Haiti is another opportunity for all of us, as the body of Christ, to meet these spiritual and physical needs by sharing the love of God through his son Jesus Christ. I pray that we will all assist in whatever capacity and by whatever means we are able.

YOM will recruit another team for the week of March 6-12. This is the second week that I will be in Haiti after our initial group returns to the U.S. Please continue to pray for the people of Haiti and YOM as we seek what our part in this will be going forward. Please let me know if you have any questions, thoughts or concerns that we can help with.

March 6-12  – Trip Cost: $1,300 per person

1. $500 NON-REFUNDABLE deposit is due at registration to secure a spot. Tickets will be purchased at the time of registration; therefore, no one is registered until the deposit is received.
2. Spots will be given on a first come first serve basis; we cannot hold spots without at deposit.
3. Final balance is due by FRIDAY FEBRUARY 19

Cost includes: Airfare, meals, lodging, ground transportation, insurance, and supplies. Application and notarized Medical Release form must be completed by February 19. Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by a parent.

Ministry Locations:
You will travel to one of the following ministry cities during your trip at the discretion of our partners on the ground. You will not be able to choose which city you go to. As of 1-22-10, most ministry is currently based in Jimani.

1. Port au Prince (PAP): In PAP we are working with an orphanage that sits right beside the runway for the airport. Teams will use the orphanage as a base camp to distribute supplies and provide medical help.
2. Jacmel, Haiti: this is a town on the southern coast of Haiti, about 30 miles south of PAP. Jacmel is not getting relief teams because of the difficulty of reaching the location. SCORE is working with the Mayor of Jacmel and we have a building that we can use for our base camp there.
3. Jimani, D.R. This is the town right on the border of Haiti. Refugees are flooding out of Haiti and coming to Jimani. A local hospital there has offered to let SCORE International use an entire floor of the hospital to work with the refugees. This will be a location where medical teams can provide much needed relief.

Tentative Trip Schedule:
Saturday: Fly from USA to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. SCORE will pick you up at the airport and take you to a hotel in Juan Dolio, Dominican Republic.
Sunday: Purchase food, water, and medical supplies. Travel to your ministry city.
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday: Work in your ministry city. (Medical clinics, food and water distribution, etc.)
Thursday: Travel from your ministry city back to Santo Domingo. Stay in town of Juan Dolio that night.
Friday: Fly home to USA from Santo Domingo airport (SDQ).

What to Bring:
Pack light! Bring two to three changes of clothing. $100 or less of spending money will be plenty unless you are bringing extra cash to buy donation supplies with. Sleeping conditions may vary in your ministry city, so be prepared to sleep on the ground or in rough environments. Most common items needed on the trip include: flashlight, sunscreen, towel or wash cloth, snacks or protein bars, bug spray, sleeping bag or tent, and toiletries. Also, it is a good idea if everything you bring for your own needs fits in a backpack.

How to Sign Up:
Call YOM @ 1-800-299-0385 or email or visit our website (

Send in the paperwork via email or fax as soon as possible. YOM needs full payment for your trip by FRIDAY FEBRUARY 19. We accept Visa and MasterCard, and check.

Safety Concerns:
As of right now our people on the ground do not foresee and safety concerns in the Dominican Republic. This is why we feel it is best to bring teams in through the DR and stage the trips from there. As the groups go into Haiti, we will have a security envoy that will travel with them. The situation on the ground changes day by day and safety in Haiti is never guaranteed. We will do our best to keep you posted about the safety level of the teams in Haiti

Health Concerns:
There are no required immunizations at this time. You can refer to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website for up to date information about shots and immunizations. (

Yes, passports are required to fly into and out of the Dominican Republic as well as travel between the DR and Haiti. If you do not have a passport and want to get one with an expedited service, try The 2 day service costs $200 (plus the regular passport fee of $135). At checkout, enter the promo code HAITIHQ to get 50% off of the service fee, making it only $100.

Extra Nights:
We have had some inquiries about people wanting to go on a Rapid Response trip and stay for longer than the 7 day / 6 night trip that we have planned.
If you would like to go and then stay an extra week, we can do that. The price is $50 per person per night for any extra nights ($350 for one extra week, $700 for two extra weeks, etc).
Please understand that when the team leaves their ministry city on Thursday morning that you will have to return with them to Santo Domingo.
We will not be leaving anyone in a ministry city or in Haiti in between the trip dates.
You will return to a ministry city with the next team on the following Sunday.

Ultimate Goal:
The ultimate goal of our Rapid Response Mission Teams in twofold. We want to go and provide physical and medical relief to those in need, but more importantly we want to share the Good News of Jesus Christ and meet their spiritual needs.

Frank Dees
Youth On Mission, Director

(Caroline here) Well, guys and gals… I think that sounds like an amazing opportunity! If I wasn’t halfway around the world here in SA I would really be keen to jump in! If you are interested or have more questions, I would definitely suggest touching base with Frank or visiting If you decide to go, please let me know! We (me and hopefully your fellow readers) will keep you in prayer during the trip, and I would love for you to guest post on the blog about your experience when you get back! Please pass this post on to anyone you think might be interested!

Hope for Haiti

I thought I’d share this website with you in case you haven’t come across it yet. At the Hope For Haiti blogspot, there are lots of cool giveaways, you can win some great prizes, and each dollar you contribute goes toward relief efforts in Haiti AND counts as an entry for whatever prize you’re hoping to get! Perhaps one of each? There are some adorable accessories, scrumdiddlyumptious-looking cookies, advertising spots, photo shoots, web design packages…a little bit of everything. I highly recommend checking it out! Just click here:

Our Hearts are in Haiti

As I’m sure many of you have been feeling, my heart aches as I see all the destruction and devastation resulting from the earthquakes in Haiti. We don’t have TV at home, but when we’re at the gym I’ve been watching the news footage constantly, and it is such a strange and unsettling and surreal feeling to stare at the little TV screen on the Elliptical, see the hurting faces of so many children and adults, and just keep working out as if it’s just another day. I’ve been praying for the people who have lost loved ones, the loved ones who are trying to find each other, the survivors still in the rubble waiting to be found, and those hurting and waiting for medical attention, for someone to touch them, to help them, perhaps even just to tell them it’s going to be okay. May the Lord bring peace in the midst of chaos, rescue and reunion, and restoration.

I’ve also been thinking a lot about the Haitians overseas, seeing the expatriate actors and politicians of Haiti who are around the world pleading for people to help, to give, and to go. I remember that I’d only been out of the country for a few months when Katrina hit back in the US, and my heart ached to see “my people” suffering so much. I remember praying for my sister when she travelled down to New Orleans to help. I remember how sad I was to see the devastation, the sorrow, the anger, the outrage, the blaming, the places where it looked like things hadn’t come together as they should have…things that even looked a lot like chaos. It is hard to be far away watching and feeling like you’re helpless to make a difference. To the Haitians living abroad wondering if your family is okay, waiting to hear some good news, perhaps heavy-hearted to be far away and unable to help, I’d like to say hold on to hope, and if you believe in prayer, keep praying. I hope you find encouragement in knowing that people are thinking of you, and praying for you, too.

I hope we can continue to pray, to give and to go. I have a lot of respect for Compassion as a ministry agency, so I’m attaching their link below, in case you’d like to consider giving to help the relief efforts in Haiti.

Lord, please be with those suffering in Haiti, and please bless us with the peace which surpasses understanding when things don’t seem to make sense.