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What We Find Is Not Always As It Seems

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It was an extremely hot and muggy day, approximately 2 weeks after Hurricane Matthew blew through the south of Haiti in October, 2016. Patchouko and I were trekking through one of the neighborhoods served by Accolade for Saving Lives (ASL). Our objective when we set out this day was to assess damage to the ASL […]

The Wise Man Built His House Upon A Rock

0 One of the Accolade for Saving Lives program families is getting a two room home. They have been living in a one room structure with little to no roof and a dirt floor. They are ingenious in making things work, for example the door is hinged on with the soles from old, unusable shoes […]

In The Eye of The Storm


Yesterday was a “bad” day. We all have them regardless of our aspirations to hold true to ourselves and our convictions. My “bad” day didn’t likely look like anyone else’s most recent regret and it didn’t hold any life altering diagnosis, death or tragedy. However, it was rotten and left a horrible taste in my […]


Working Hard Wishing For More. . .Wings?

She was working so hard, hopping from branch to branch. Up, down, over, across. The flutter of her wings caught my eye from the sun room yesterday. It was my time to take several minutes of quiet.  I was attempting to quiet my racing mind as the to-do list, my own mental “wish I could do” list, finally turned into  “God, what do you have for me to do?”

There she was, the busy cat-bird, choosing just the right branch to build her nest. Watching a bird build her nest from start to finish has always been something I would love to experience. I only had a few minutes, but what a blessing to catch the beginning! I laughed out loud as I thought through the magnitude of her day’s task. She landed on the chosen branch with what looked like yarn in her beak. Oh, how I wished I could reach out and help her secure it to that branch. How is she doing that with only a beak?! Oh – she dropped it. My little bird friend didn’t appear to be the least frustrated when she hopped down to pick it up and start over again. . . three times. Was she wishing for a second beak, maybe a wing with grabbers, as she began to weave the yarn around the branches and – oh, my goodness, she is weaving it through itself, too!

I thought of the many times I’ve said, “If only I had another hand” instead of “God, thank you for the two hands you have given me”. I’m not sure if birds are capable of complaint, or even know the feeling of dissatisfaction. What I can tell you is that this cat-bird was determined. A nest was going to happen and it would be on THAT chosen branch.

Right next to the lilac tree is a bird house. This bird house was in place when we acquired this home 4 years ago and has had a family in it every spring. Today the babies are so insistent on feeding two of them are hanging partially out of the hole and screeching. Momma sparrow is patiently gathering food, returning to the nest over and over again. I see no impatient, ruffled feathers. She is not scolding them, but dutifully going back and forth, back and forth until their needs are met. A beautiful mom!

A search around verified that it was not only our baby birds making so much noise in the backyard. Turns out our overachieving cat-bird is a perfect mimic. These two lovelies have been imitating the screeches of the tiny baby birds, only from their large breasted big bird bodies!! No wonder the cacophony was nearly deafening 😉

I had a little more motivation to get up early enough this morning to check on their progress. I didn’t find a complete nest, but my new feathered friend was still here. I didn’t disturb her to see if she was still building in that same crook of the lilac bush. She was singing her heart out today. The babies were still in the bird house and the neighbor cats were not in sight. I pray I am not home on their day of flight training. . . not sure my heart can watch if the kitties smell that out!

I am tired. It’s ‘a good tired, a fatigue from good, hard work. Could I possibly be as tired as a tiny creature hopping about as the cat-bird was? Maybe. However, I did not have the lilt in my step that she had this morning! When I need home furnishings I do not have to build them with a single beak. Am I grateful enough for that?  What level of energy does it take to fly, to gather enough food for a nest full of hungry mouths, all almost as big as you now? I found myself empathizing with these two little bird moms 🙂

Thank you, God, for blessing me with just enough quiet time to appreciate the intricacies and wonders of your world. Thank you for challenging me to find gratitude in all things. Most of all today, thank you for showing me the benefit of living right in the moment and living the moment in its fullness to your glory.


Happy Anniversary Accolade for Saving Lives!


Lord, I Lift Your Name On High. Lord, I Love To Sing Your Praises!

Praise God for Patchouko Antenor’s faith in response to God’s call! Praise God for instilling in him the boldness, courage and conviction it took to step out in faith. Praise God for his mother, who prepared this man to speak deeply and intimately into the lives not only of young men, but also the lives of their families. Through her responses to the challenges of single parenting in Haiti, Patchouko’s mother instilled pride with humility, love and compassion along with a measure of confidence. You are not your circumstances – you were created to be more!

Two years ago I had a conversation with Patchouko about his vision. “I see these boys in the street, Tricia” he said. “Most people here are afraid of them, or they don’t notice them at all. It is as if society has thrown them away, given up on them. I don’t see that. I see hope. I hear God asking me to do something, so I am doing what I can with what I have.” “We will be different,” he said. “Not a safe house, but a program that brings families back together, that shows the families how important they are.”

Today I give a shout out to Patchouko and all of the staff at Accolade for Saving Lives. We have been privilege to watch the relationships develop, to see growth in faith, love and support in pain and suffering, community support through Hurricane Matthew, pride in employment, home improvements, empowerment through business loans, education for the boys, parent meetings and worship with families on a monthly basis, and the list goes on and on.

Kudos to the families of the ASL staff and leadership that allow their loved one to serve. A life of service is not an easy one, but as this team is experiencing, God’s economy is one that we cannot understand. You simply cannot out give HIM. HE heaps rewards in many forms upon those who sacrifice for His children.

Luke 9:46 “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For he who is least among you all – he is the greatest.”

CLIMB was founded in 2015 after the Spadings had served in several different capacities in varying regions of Haiti. Out of these experiences rose a great desire to love and empower Haitians that know Jesus and are working to spread His love and improve the lives of those around them.

Our goal is to empower gospel focused, visionary Haitians to develop models of sustainability that allow them to do the work God has placed on their hearts.