Update on Life and Flights!

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Yesterday I drank Strawberry Basil Tea and sat with friends in the cutest little place, talking and laughing while they drank Cucumber lemonade, Strawberry Basil Lemonade, and Blueberry Pomegranate  Lemonade. Yum. 

Last night my sisters played their first volleyball game of the season. They won.

I ate Thai food for the first time with wonderful friends for girls night! . I like the idea of Thailand, a lot. 

I folded flyers and wrote return labels with Alyssa all night. Then we talked about God, human trafficking, and the story of Noah. 

I woke up to a Sheltie (dog) and he's so cute. He belongs to the Barkemas.

Alyssa and I longboarded, and made plans for surfing tonight with Sharon.

I baked cookies and took them to school for my sissies and their friends.

Came home and here I am!

The reason I told you this...

No reason really except I am thoroughly enjoying yesterday and today off from work. 

AND I'm enjoying my last month here before I leave for the Land Down Under. I am taking the time to stop and let God's blessings in my life pour over me and leave me refreshed and ready for what lies ahead. I'm nervous, yes, but so excited! I got to Face Time with Michelle and she definitely helped calm my nerves. She told me all about the base, the people, the food, what to pack and bring, etc. So so nice to hear how awesome it is from someone I already know so well who is there. I will be so grateful to see a familiar face there. Anyways, I feel like this is the most serious post I have ever written. Maybe not. But I have been SO emotional right now, which is so not me. My poor family and boyfriend. Speaking of boyfriend, he went back to college and I really miss him! This is just a taste of the next 6 months. I hope to see him this weekend. Anyhooo...

I only have 27 days left here in the states before I take off. That's not really a whole lot of days, ya know?! Do you want to know my plans? Cause while I was procrastinating all those Haiti posts, a plan was set into motion and it's a perfect plan, really. Fashioned by none other than the Almighty Himself! :)

I will fly out of the Tampa Airport at 7:34pm on September 25th. I will probably cry and cry and hug Mom and Dad and sibs and Jack and tell them to not let me go, but I will go and I will be fine. 

I will land in LA at 9:40pm, LA time. Which is 12:40am FL time, fyi.

There in LA, I will meet up with two girls who are doing the Compassion DTS in Australia with me: Haley and Abigail. I am SO excited about this part! Not only meeting some of my future DTS mates, but also getting to know them on a 15 hour flight! No boredom yay!

The three of us will board our flight in LA and take off at 10:55pm LA time. Which will be almost 2am my time. I hope their first impression of me isn't that I'm a total zombie. Cause I probably will be!

We will fly across the world for 15 hours in seats all together (YAY) and we will talk and sleep and get to know each other and eat a meal and be so confused about time. So so confused. 

And then we will land in Sydney, Australia on September 27th, at 6:55am. Here's some cool stuff. Annie will arrive about 30 minutes before we do, and Laura, Alexa, and Katie will get there an hour after! We wil be picked up by Emma and take a train ride to her house which she so graciously opened up to us to stay for a few days before the DTS starts. It will be so nice to get used to the major time change and do a little sight seeing beforehand. 

On October 1st we will all take a train together right into Newcastle, where we will be picked up and taken to base! We will settle in, meet everybody, hug, be excited, squeal, etc... and the next day, DTS begins

And so that is all I have for now :) After that I'll let you know what happens! I am so super excited and feel so blessed with all that has come together, from the financial situation, to travel plans, to Charla letting me use her giant rucksack for packing, it's all been great. 

Please continue to pray for me! I can always use prayer! 

ALSO.. Here is my final fundraiser info:


Please join us got an open house night of praise and worship with coffee, desserts, and a silent auction. 

All proceeds will benefit Vanessa's YWAM journey to Newcastle, Australia with Youth With A Mission, and then into the Nations serving God in Thailand, Eastern Europe, or anywhere else God may be calling her!

WHEN: Friday, September 7th, 7pm.
WHERE: Bahia Vista Mennonite Church.
SILENT AUCTION: Handmade Amish quilt (Valued at $500), paintings and jewelry by Vanessa. Silent Auction will begin at 7pm and end at 8:330pm. 

Hope to see you there! 

That was verbatim from my super cool flyers! Speaking of flyers, I need to go address and stamp more to send out! Holla if you want one :) 

Love you all! Have a great day. 

xoxo Vanes.

p.s. I GOT AN IPHONE and INSTAGRAM. It's love and will be oh so convenient to communicate back home while I'm gone!

Follow me: vanessaraewittmer
Only if you want.
You want. 

Haiti 2012: Days 5 & 6

OKAY. We're gonna wrap up Haiti today, like really. 
Day 5 and 6. 

{Wanna see 1, 2, 3, & 4?! Look no further. Hereherehere, & here. You're welcome}.

Nothing significantly significant. On day 5 we finished up the kitchen (yay!) and hung out with the kids around the mission house. Then around 4 we headed up the road to the Visa Lodge to swim!! 
Such a treat. Submerging ourselves in cool water when it is 90+ degrees out?! Yes please! We also went to the Boys orphanage to see them one last time and to say goodbye. It's always SO hard to say goodbye to them. 

Garret with a sweet girl whose name I just can't seem to remember!
This boy told me his name was Timalice (That is how he spells it. He wrote it for me). Like, tamales. And now that I see this photo, I see his shirt says Timalice too. So it may not have been his name, and he probably is still laughing with his friends that he got us dumb Americans to  call him Timalice, whatever that may mean. Or, that really is his name. Who knows. He was so much fun though! Such a sweetie. 

This is Michelo. I'm sure you've seen him already. But I really love him. He was so so cute. His smile was pretty much infectious. And by pretty much I mean it really was. 
Linose :)

This is Felinda. She is truly on of the most beautiful girls I have ever met. Not only on the outside, but the inside as well. She has such a servants heart. The day that us  girls cleared out the corn field, she came out without being asked and worked her butt off. Seriously. She asked for nothing in return. How often does that happen here? People rarely will help out, without being asked, for absolutely nothing in return (except we gave her some water, hugs, and lots of love). 

Sweet Rose. "Wose," as they pronounce it.


Anne wrote this in chalk and then asked me to come see what she wrote. Jetaime means 'I love you" in French, so I have been told. This melted my heart. Even though we speak different languages, we all speak the language of love. 

Sisters, Anne & Rose. Their mom is Rosemene, my deaf friend. Their baby brother is Michael. I wish I had more photos of him!

Shelsie, Felinda's little sister. Absolutely LOVE her. She has become one of my favorites over the years, (they're all my favorites!) but especially Shelsie. It's been great seeing her grow up, and even though she isn't very little anymore, she still loves to sit on my lap and give hugs. She also likes to try to teach my card games. It literally took the whole week for me to finally 'get it' and when I finally though I did, I was confused yet again. 

Drew and Kayla

This is Zachary. He grew up in the orphanage, and his sponsors are my parents good friends, Jack and Candy Knepp. I have told Zachary before that I know Jack and Candy, so every time I see him he asks about them. This time he asked me to take a photo of him with his bike to show to them. I think it is so neat how we can send money over to support these boys to a better life, education, and necessities, and they SO appreciate it. If you are interested in sponsoring a boy or girl at one of our orphanages, visit  here.

Um. These are ten day old pups we found under the van. Kinda gross, but at the same time cute. Its sad though becasue we know they will grow up to be skinny and diseased. 

And so concludes the trip to Haiti! I hope you enjoyed it. Sorry the posts were so lonnnnnnng and drawn outttt and few and far in between. I'm a working girl with a social life, people! Not really. But. I'm going to be writing more, I promise!! I was just procrastinating cause I knew I had to edit all those photos and that this would take for ever. And it did. Blogging isn't easy. I get that. But I like it and I'm ready to get the ball rolling because I LEAVE in 29 DAYS!

Be back soon with a YWAM update. You don't have to say it, I know. Finally. 

Haiti 2012: Day 4

Welcome to Haiti day 4! We are getting there.... slowly but surely. I want to get the last few Haiti posts out of the way cause I have some big time important YWAM news!! :) 

(pssst. Find days 1, 2, and 3 herehere, and here!)

So here is day 4! We were still working on day 4, which was Thursday. I decided to go with the painting group to the boys orphanage this day, instead of staying back to help on the kitchen. I was anxious to see the boys! 

They are always so sweet and so much fun to play with! There are about 25 of them, living at the orphanage, ranging in age from about 12-18 right now. This orphanage is not the adoption type, it's the type where they boys stay here until they are adults. The orphanage provides food, clothing, an education, a great environment, and love. It's also cool because these boys have grown up together. They are like brothers. And the orphanage teaches them great life skills to raise them up to become leaders, pastors, doctors, engineers, etc so they can help their country!

 Justin & Louisuis. Louisuis just happens to be one of my favorites. (They're all my favorites!) But Louisuis has a special place in my heart. My parents and siblings and I have all been to Haiti and the orphanage at different times, and we all love Louisuis so much- he tells me that we are his family. This time around, he made me cry when he told me, "I am coming to Sarasota Florida. When I am 22 years old. Merlin (my dad) will be my papa." Oh, my heart!!! He is 11, so only 11 years to go..! I hope he doesn't forget his plan!

 Steve, Alyssa, Jean Hubert, and Kayla


 The dogs here are sooo so sad. Skinny, diseased, stinkay... and they all look the exact same. 

 Biford and Ricardo. Ricardo is an amazing artist, or as they say in Creole, 'atis la'
 Justin 'Beiber' and Kendol sitting on the front steps of the orphanage. We painted it this blue-green color.. I love it! It was bright orange. 

 They love when we bring candy :) 

 This is Dave! He isn't an orphan, and he doesn't live at the orphanage. He lives in the neighborhood near the mission house, and he always was around to hangout with. While they didn't have school this summer, he was usually stuck with nothing to do, because he couldn't find work. So, he hung out with us a lot, came to the orphanage to help paint, helped mix concrete, etc. He is awesome! I would say he is about 16 or 17- I don't remember which- and his English is great! He always helped translate. I remembered him from when I had been in Haiti in 2010- I called him Micheal Jackson because he has pretty much mastered the moon walk and all those other sweet moves

They sat around this table singing and making beats (I feel so white right now, saying 'making beats'). They had a book of English phrases, songs, etc, and One one page it had the lyrics to Justin Beibers 'Baby,' and on the page next to it as Celine Dions 'My Heart Will Go On.' I guess these are the most popular songs in English? It was hilarious to hear them sing the second song.... Oh my I died laughing. These guys are awesome. 

 This is Bernard. When the Earthquake happened, he his foot hurt very severely and spent a lot of time in the hospital. It was great to see him back with his brothers having fun, and not letting his injury get to him at all. You would never know he had been hurt. I think- but am not sure- that they had to amputate part of his foot. He is one awesome guy. 

 Notice the Blazer's jersey... that's from my high school :) I always love to see the boys wearing shirts that are familiar to us, knowing they got them from us and love to wear them!

 This is Woobens. He is always at the orphanage playing with the boys because his grandma works there. He is sooo cute, probably about 4 or 5. 

Erika and John. John wants to be a pastor, and his love for Jesus is so evident. All over his cubby in the boys bedroom, he has written things like, "The blood of Jesus covers all!" and, "Oh! God, how I would love to live next to you!" 

Sooo that was day 4 I guess! We probably stayed at the orphanage until 3 or 4 in the afternoon, then went home. Then we did the usual- play with the neighborhood kids, eat dinner, have worship and devotions, play some more, shower, go to bed! I think it was this day that we walked down the road from the mission house to buy some pop. In Haiti they do have bottled pop, but it is cheaper to buy pop in glass bottles. It's also more fun to do it that way, and you get more pop for your 50 cents! They have this stuff called fruit champagne, and it's like orange soda or something, and just SO delicious! We went down and bought 10 bottles for 5 dollars. What a deal :) They were about a liter each, too!

I will hopefully be back very soon with the final day, day 5. Thanks for sticking with me thus far.
How bout you have a Thursday so wonderful that it doesn't seem like even FRIDAY could be any better. How bout that?!?

Yeah, I don't think that's possible either.

xx, Vanes.
xoxo Vanessa