Interview: Susie Krabacher, Co-Founder and President of Mercy and Sharing, a Haitian Children’s Relief Organization

If you are looking for a solid organization to donate to this holiday season, please consider donating to Mercy & Sharing. Read the interview below and you will see why I support this one of a kind organization.  Please feel free to email Susie with any questions. You can leave a question in the contact section of Mercy & Sharing’s  website.  Thanks so much.

Recently, I had the distinct honor to meet Susie Krabacher, co-founder and president of Mercy & Sharing, an organization dedicated to Haitian children’s relief. Susie is a relentless advocate for children, and was the recipient of the prestigious 2000 International Humanitarian Award from the National Association for the Advancement of Haitians in Washington, DC. Mercy & Sharing believes in equipping children with the tools and skills they need to become productive, responsible citizens. Go here to read about Mercy & Sharing’s 2014 Gala for Haitian Children’s Relief. Thank you Susie for taking time to do this interview.

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Can you explain in detail all the work you are doing with Haiti’s children through your foundation, Mercy & Sharing?

The main focus of Mercy & Sharing is to rescue children who are not picked by any orphanage in Haiti. 99% of orphanages in Haiti do not accept children with disabilities. However, 50% of the babies with a handicap can become functional and completely normal [with] medical intervention. This is what we do. Then we raise these little Haitian heroes in their own country with the highest level of education in Haiti. [Students helped by] M&S [are] consistently in the 99-100% [range] of passing the State exams. The Haitian average is 22%. All of our children are introduced to leadership programs. Many will lead their country in the future. We do not avoid teaching values and all the children pray to our Heavenly Father for themselves and each other.

Do you have any short and long-term goals for Mercy & Sharing?  If so, what are they? 

I would like to see financial stability. I would like to have every program annually funded. We have challenges in keeping every program operational from year to year. This is always on my heart. I am always looking for faith-based partners who will join me in this great privilege of serving the poor and saving children’s lives.

How many times a year do you travel to Haiti? How are you able to remain safe?

I try to maintain a schedule of five weeks in the U.S. to raise funds and every sixth week in Haiti. Mercy & Sharing employs 212 local Haitians to run our 11 life-saving programs.

Let’s say someone wants to donate to Mercy & Sharing. What urgent, immediate needs do you have right now?

Any amount is a blessing. Keeping all the programs open is such a challenge. We serve 5,200 Haitians every single day. They get clean water, or their children get an education in our schools. We often provide the only meal they get per day. Our clinics offer care to entire villages. You can’t put a value on keeping people from suffering. But the best part is when they get hope from knowing about Jesus. We can ease the suffering but we get to spend eternity with them if they know him.

I understand all the proceeds from your book Angels of a Lower Flight go to Mercy & Sharing. Where can one can purchase a copy of your book?

The book can be purchased at Amazon or you can always order from your local bookstore. I would love to sign anyone’s copy and answer questions. I am now writing book two. Again, all names will be changed!

If you would like to learn more about Mercy & Sharing and make a donation, please visit its website. You can also follow Mercy & Sharing on Twitter and Facebook.

Mercy & Sharing 2014 Gala For Haitian Children’s Relief

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Nicole Weaver & Susie Krabacher Co-Founder of Mercy &Sharing

The other night I attended a most amazing event: my first Mercy & Sharing Haitian Gala. Mercy & Sharing is a one-of-a-kind organization whose mission is to provide care and education to abandoned, orphaned, and disabled children in Haiti.

I first learned about Mercy & Sharing after reading the book Angels of a Lower Flight: One Woman’s Mission to save a Country…One Child at a Time by the organization’s CEO, Susie Scott Krabacher. I read it in one day and immediately became Krabacher’s number one fan. Her story touched me so deeply that it moved me to action. I made the decision to support Mercy & Sharing financially.

Susie’s story made me stop to think that we do not have to let life’s curveballs define who we become in life. Having been sexually abused by her grandfather from age four until eight, Susie made a sound decision to not let her past impact her future in a negative way. She used her pains as a way to reach out to other children who had struggled with the same lack of self-worth that she had.

Her good deeds have made it possible to help educate the forgotten, feed the hungry, house the neglected, show mercy and dignity to the abused, and empower a new generation to hope and sustainability in my native Haiti.

Twenty years later, Mercy & Sharing is still going strong. The gala was held to raise additional funds to help reach more abandoned and disabled children from a vulnerable state of being hurt and broken and provide comprehensive care until they become independent and thriving.

I am Haitian American and I was deeply touched by people’s generosity. At the gala one person purchased a Peyton Manning-signed jersey for $1,500 dollars. Another purchased a Ty Lawson-signed jersey for $2,500. At a high school teacher’s salary, I can’t afford to make these types of donations, but nonetheless, I was left in awe at how kind and generous some people are.

If you would like to donate to Mercy & Sharing, please visit their website. Thank you!

Interview: Ruth Hull Chatlien, Author of ‘The Ambitious Madame Bonaparte’

I have a lot of respect for authors who can write historical fiction. It takes a tremendous amount of research to write in that genre. Ruth Chatlien has written a compelling story that won gold in the Readers’ Favorite International Award Contest. I am beyond happy she accepted my request for an interview.Ambitious_Mme_Bonaparte_cover

Can you tell me about yourself?

I’m a native of northern Illinois who has worked in educational publishing as both a writer and editor for 25 years. I’ve also published several short stories and poems in literary magazines. My husband is a writer too; in fact we met in a writers’ critique group. We were critics of each other’s work for three years before we ever starting dating. Having this vocation in common really helps us to support each other. I’m also a breast cancer survivor. I was diagnosed in December 2013 – the same month that my novel was published – which made for a real emotional roller coaster at the end of last year. Fortunately, we caught it at an early stage, and I finished treatment on March 21, 2014. The beginning of spring will always symbolize new life for me in an extra way from now on. In addition to writing, I’m passionate about gardening, knitting, art, football, and my dog Smokey.

What inspired you to become a writer?

I started my first novel when I was 10 years old – so long ago that I don’t remember why I did it beyond a love of stories. That first novel was historical fiction about forbidden romance and patriotic spies during the American Revolution. I finally finished the 120-page manuscript when I was in high school. After college, I spent 30 years writing literary fiction. Finally, a few years ago, I decided to go back to my first love: historical fiction. The best way to describe why I write is that it feels as though characters come up to me and say, “If you don’t tell my story, I will die.”

How long did it take you to acquire the skills to become a writer?

It’s a lifelong process. I majored in literature in college and took several writing courses. After I graduated, I kept writing on my own, and I joined the writers’ group I mentioned earlier to get feedback on my work. I don’t believe there is a point where you can ever say, “I’ve made it. Now I’m really a writer.” As soon as you start putting words to paper, you’re a writer, but then you have to work at getting better your whole life.

How many books have you written?

As an adult, I’ve written four novels and one young adult book of biographies. Two books have been published: the young adult book, Modern American Indian Leaders, and the most recent novel, The Ambitious Madame Bonaparte,which is based on the true story of the American beauty who married Napoleon’s youngest brother, only to have the emperor become an implacable enemy.

Some writers go on long walks; others keep a journal, write at a café, or listen to music. What do you do for inspiration and unleashing your creativity?

Going for walks definitely helps me. We live about a block away from an old cemetery that has marvelous avenues of trees. I put the dog on a leash and go there when I have to think things out. I also play out scenes in my head as I’m weeding my garden. Having a physical activity to focus on seems to help clear out the cobwebs. And of course, I talk things over with my husband. Usually, when we have to drive somewhere more than an hour from our house, you’ll find us talking about our work.

What are you working on now?

I’m writing another historical novel with the working title of Captive Summer. It’s based on the true story of a white woman taken captive in one of the most brutal Indian wars in U.S. history.

Where can readers find more information about you and your books?

My website.

The Ambitious Madame Bonaparte is available from Amazon and most other online retailers.

A Voice in the Night: Silent Abuse, The Early Warning Signs That Could Save Your Life, by Erin Ireland

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www.erinirelandwrites.com

 Thank you Nicole for inviting me to your blogging world.  I have much to say about the treatment of others, and I’m very happy to be here today to share my knowledge of abuse with those who may need help.

Hopefully the excerpts from A Voice in the Night will shed some light on the content of these pages and move those in need to use:  A Voice in the Night: Silent Abuse, The Early Warning Signs That Could Save Your Life, as a guide to finding their safe ground to dwell upon.

After reading A Voice in the Night, one will hopefully find and realize their value to society, and rights as a human being.  It is meant for all who read this book to obtain the ability to demand respect and have learned to accept nothing but. Knowing your worth, taking what you deserve, and learning to love yourself will be the tools you use to experience a new and abuse free life.

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Chapter 1

How We Determine Abuse

 

Excerpt

These essays are intended to build awareness of the beauty and brilliance that exists in all of us and to show that no one has the right to try and strip us of that.  This isn’t so much a book about how to find happiness. Rather, it’s simply about recognizing you are entitled to happiness and about shedding relationships with people who would deny that entitlement.

 

Chapter 2

What is Abuse?

Excerpt

Abuse is complex and rarely recognized as abuse by those who deem it “none of their business.”    Like it or not, we are our brother’s keepers, and when another is in need, we could all do more to be there to do what we can. At one time or another in our lives we will all need some help from someone other than ourselves.

Abuse is not only the act of inflicting forceful blows to the body. Abuse is about the suffering degradation, belittling, humiliation and lack of concern for another living being.

 

Chapter 3

Know you are abused

 

Excerpt

Put your feelings first and foremost in your mind before you consider giving anything to a mate. This is a good practice to help you see if you are in fact receiving your entitled respect. You need to be in tune with your emotions and know you deserve at least as much as you give.

Your abusers can make you feel as though you are imagining these vague abusive things. When you reach a point of not being sure of your own feelings, then you have abuse that is teetering on silence and could become a permanent acceptance on your part. Your feelings will be the red flag that alerts you to someone treating you incorrectly.

We live in our heads thinking maybe we are just so sensitive we can’t cope with what we should.  Know what you feel, and know that if you are coping with the situation, you are laboring in this relationship. Abusers put a lot of effort into distorting the truth and making us feel guilty or making us feel we are imagining things. If you feel you are being taken for granted, then you probably are being taken for granted. If you feel a little disrespected, then you probably are being disrespected. Trust in you.

Chapter 4

When is it OK to Swallow What Makes You Unhappy?

Excerpt

If you can hear that inner voice gnawing at you, you can save yourself a world of heartache, because animalization of humans takes place more readily than most people are aware of. How many times have you thought, “How come he/she can’t see that I’m feeling used, that I’m feeling unloved, that I’m tired, that I’m in a desperate need to have him/her share some of my burden? I’m in need of someone to talk to, someone who can feel my concerns.”

How many times do you feel you are holding all the weight, because your mate is pretending to have more to do than he/she is honestly supporting? When one mate is expecting the other to carry the load, that mate simply expects their mule to get the job done for them. Relationships that lean heavily on one person to keep them together usually suffer in a number of ways.  Happiness is definitely out the window simply because there is not enough sharing, and respect is missing from the relationship. No respect = no real love.

Chapter 5

How Abuse Begins Early On

Excerpt

These personalities impose authority over just about everything. It has to be the way they think; it should be according to them. These are mates who will reduce you to feeling insignificant and worth very little as they will in their minds, always do everything better than you.

These are criticizing petty people who will most likely ruin your life if you succumb to their controlling craziness. They will complain about the refrigerator not being organized right, to the hair you left in the bathroom sink.

They will build in their minds that you are ruining their life because you haven’t dried a dish and put it away. They are abusive and can bring you down emotionally. Walk away from these personalities. They are toxic.

Excerpt

Some teenagers are just accepting to the possessive behavior because they are attracted to the boyfriend or girlfriend and want to be included with their peers with having someone they can call theirs. Teenagers can learn to accept abuse if it is not pointed out to them. They can start down a road they have never been on before allowing their new mates to control them and question their every action and relationship with others. They don’t seem to give it thought that even their parents don’t control them this much.

Chapter6

Are You a Child or an Adult?

 

Excerpt

You may think, “Maybe my life isn’t so bad.” Maybe you have all the material things you want. Maybe you are willing to trade your respect for the comfort of material things or the presence of a mate. All of this would be your choice of course, and who would even know or care for that matter? The concern for yourself should be far reaching the material comforts you are enjoying now. Mates who want a beautiful woman, an arm-candy man, a mate that is there to do everything for them whatever the reason for the parent /child relationship, it will most likely end if you reach an impasse where you cannot provide what the parent part of the relationship is demanding years down the road.

 Chapter 7

Why is Abuse Tolerated?

 

Excerpt

One of the worst tolerances I have read and studied about would be the forced marriages of the many religions that span over 50 or more countries today. Many of these religions practice this abusive behavior against women.

 Excerpt

I want the world to know what I have read, and what these women suffer.

Excerpt

If a woman in one of these families refuses to marry the person she is promised to at birth, she shames her family. Her family then feels justified in killing her for that. At best they beat her up, and abuse her, then shun her, cut her off from family, and isolate her from all that she has known her entire life. It is quite devastating for these women /girls.

Excerpt

They believe their choices are slim to none for having any freedom in this life. If her family chooses not to shun her, they will lose honor in their community, which evidently is more important to them than their child

Excerpt

It’s devastating to these girls for their mothers to tell them they must do whatever their husbands say, and if they are being beaten, they should be better wives, try harder to please and maybe he won’t beat them as much. Wow! What a Mom.

 Excerpt

I don’t understand how a mother can tell her child she is dead to her if she doesn’t submit to a life of horror with some abusive monster she promised her to 15 years before. Then there is the horrible “female circumcision” of many cultures that is administered and continued by women! The suffering of these children is unspeakable, and inhumane, better to never bring a child into such a culture.

 Excerpt

Believe in yourself. You are right when you think, I can’t bear this life of loneliness and abuse. We all deserve freedom. No one is happy without freedom. No one ever!

Excerpt

If your mother wants to speak of shame on your family, she may want to think about the shame she has brought on her own soul when she has deserted her child. Know you are right in your feelings of wanting to escape, and remove yourself from such abusive people.

The world is not perfect, but it has better than that to offer you.

 Chapter 8

The Power We Possess Over Physical Abuse

 Excerpt

My message to you is: Wake up! Wake up! Wake up! All who are being physically abused, you have the power within yourself to end it. It will NEVER get better if you are being abused physically. You must get out, and you must take responsibility for yourself.

Getting help starts with you first. Stop making excuses why he/she hurts you. There are no excuses for hurting you; none that you can utter or justify anyone hurting you, unless you are physically hurting them to begin with. Then that would be a toxic situation that you need help for, and the both of you would need to part immediately.

 Excerpt

There are those who would not agree with fighting back as that would be just more violence in return, but in my opinion, some of these abusers understand nothing else. In spite of how I feel about giving them what they deserve, getting out is your best bet and your safest option.

 

Chapter 9

When We Enable Our Abusers

 

Excerpt

If your mate is permitted to rule you in the beginning, they will take baby steps to eventually own your every move. Following like a puppy dog you enable your mate to have all the say, all the control. They will eventually manipulate you into a position where you may not even have your necessities any more, let alone something you wish for.

 Chapter 10

Making the Break

 

Excerpt

Then there may be the suicide threats—the I can’t live without you crap. If I leave him and he kills himself, how will I forgive myself crap. It’s crap not because I am insensitive to your feelings about his threats, but because it’s a way for him/her to manipulate you into doing what they want. They know if they blame you, you will most likely feel guilty and again be controlled once more to do what they want.

It’s not your responsibility to keep this person from committing suicide because they are too selfish to recognize they can’t have everything they want. Suppose we all went around threatening to commit suicide if others didn’t give us want we wanted? Would the world care about our selfish demands? I don’t think so.

Chapter 11

How to Find Help for Yourself

 This chapter is all about resources to get out and start a new live

 Chapter 12

A Time for Healing

 

Excerpt

If we wish to be successful, we must think successfully. Picture what you dream, and picture it as if you were actually retrieving it. If you can dream it, you can have it. Step forward to grab it. It’s in your reach if you make the effort. If we thrust forward to conquer our fears then we will not be afraid. If we know and believe we are strong, we will be strong both in our own minds and the minds of others observing us.

If we let go of the horrors that have happened to us, we will be free of those horrors. If we take up our given ability to thwart the negative then we will possess positivity. If we have a positive personage, we shall reflect our happiness from within.

 Excerpt

Realize that you have made the right decision. Allow yourself to cry. You have the right to cry and mourn what you have lost, but also remember what you have gained.

A Word from Erin:

 I hope these excerpts from each chapter will have shed some light on the content of this guide to having a better life.  You are a person who is quite capable of making a new life for yourself.  Believe in you.  If you do, you will be strong.  You have gifts that no one else possesses.  You are a human being meant to do kind and wonderful acts towards the world.  What you have suffered will now become your tools to improve the life of others.  God Bless all who read these pages and prosper from their message.

The reviews so far have been excellent

 To Purchase this Book

Amazon http://tinyurl.com/pxsyhmt

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Erin’s web site

 About Erin Ireland

Erin Ireland writes for those who feel they have no voice.  She is a woman who has spent many years observing the abuse of others.  Her experiences have been many in the direction of others who suffer in silence with isolation, controlled obsessions, verbal abuse, Superior attitudes, deceit, jealousy, physical, and sexual assaults, and many more indignities suffered everyday by beautiful people.

Erin Ireland has suffered a great deal of abuse in her own life, and writes from her heart when explaining what she feels is an inappropriate act against another.

Her passion for the subject of abuse runs deep, and reflects in her sometimes overpowering expressions of what she would like to change in life for you. She wishes for all to come to her website, feel welcome, and hopes that all will find some refuge and enlightenment there.

Erin Ireland is a nom de plume, in order to protect the innocent.  She will always speak her mind and the truth for the betterment of all those who seek answers and comfort.  She has written a book Titled, A Voice in the Night: Silent Abuse, The Early Warning Signs That Could Save Your Life.   This is a book to help others bypass the long suffering that can be eliminated if they can learn to view the traits of an abuser early on.

She is writing for others to see the light.  Erin hopes for them be a lamp unto themselves.  She wishes for them to find there safe ground to stand on, before they have spent their entire lives wondering: what it is that they have done to deserve such demeaning treatment? Abuse is a conditioning that can be unlearned. Every human being is entitled to an abuse free life.

 

BOOK REVIEW: RESCUE ME BY VAL SILVER & TEAM RESCUE

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Rescue Me by Val Silver and Team Rescue is the most wonderful book I have read this year. It baffles me that people can be so cruel to animals. The book left me in tears and feeling very hopeful that there are decent individuals willing to take care of abandoned and abused dogs.
In 2007, I adopted a dog from the local shelter from my hometown of Denver, Colorado. One thing I later learned is most people do not adopt older dogs. I immediately fell in love with Deniro. Deniro looks like a fox because he is mixed with Shiba Inu and sheltie. Oh my, lucky for me, everyone passed him up for a much younger dog. Deniro is still doing well and is a great dog. The following section from the book rings so true to me, because it explains very well what Deniro has done for my family and me.

Dogs are masters of creating emotionally safe space just by being themselves. This is very difficult to put into words, but it is as if something deep within our souls resonates with their energy, their unwavering unconditional love and unbridled joy in our presence, their undivided loyalty, and complete trust in us. Dogs make us feel special, and teach us by example to relish simple pleasures and live totally in the moment. They teach us there is only now and only who you are, who you are with, and
what you are doing right then – and what could be better than to sniff the wind and be in
the company of those you love?

Rescue Me should be in the home of every animal lover. I love that the authors give a large portion of the proceeds to help homeless dogs in need. I encourage all to please spread the word about this amazing book.

Book Review: ‘On Dragonfly Wings’ by Daniela Norris

ondragonflywings300ppiReading Daniela Norris’ book, On Dragonfly Wings: A Skeptic’s Journey to Mediumship left me in a state of shock. I am a believer in Jesus Christ and God, and do not believe in communicating with the dead. I believe when a person dies, his or her spirit returns to God. I also trust what the Bible teaches that there are good and bad spirits. I also believe that some people allow themselves to get possessed by bad spirits. Even though I do not agree with all the information presented in On Dragonfly Wings, I have to give the book a five star because Ms. Norris is an excellent writer. The story is in my opinion, well written. Normally I would not have read a book of this nature, but her writing style drew me in right from the start.

Earth-bound energies are rarely attached to healthy, happy people, because their energy field is less open than people who are addicted or generally vulnerable. Another reason to get yourself in good shape emotionally, physically and spiritually! The best way to be rid of spirit attachments is not to get them in the first place. This means a healthy lifestyle and a positive attitude.

Ms. Norris hits the nail right smack on head with the above passage from her book. Yes, indeed, evil or bad spirits will only possess those who are weak and leave an open door for the ultimate deceiver, Satan to take over and control them. The true God, our heavenly father do not control us, he affords his children free will at all times.
Another section in the book made me stop to ponder quite a bit:

Once in bed, my mind was buzzing. I was too thrilled to fall asleep. I clutched my bent spoon and fork and could not let go of a thought that accompanied me through most of that night: If metal can really be bent with the power of energy, by pure thought, imagine what else the power of the mind can achieve.

In the above section, Ms. Norris sat through a session where she learned how to bend spoon and fork. My first reaction is what is the profit of this? The only logical conclusion is just another tool, God’s arch enemy, Satan uses to fool people into thinking they are more powerful than God almighty. The one redeeming lesson I gained from reading On Dragonfly Wings: A Skeptic’s Journey to Mediumship, is it has made me more resolute in my faith in God almighty, and that the dead are dead until Jesus Christ returns. I believe, the dead should left alone to rest in peace until Christ returns to gather all believers.

Book Review: ‘Luthier’s Apprentice’ by Mayra Calvani

 

Mayra Calvani’s newest novel, The Luthier’s Apprentice drew me in right away. The suspense and anticipation in the story kept me turning the pages. The main character, 16-year-old Emma, finds herself immersed in  the mystery of her her beloved violin teacher’s sudden disappearance. Emma joins forces with her best friend, Annika, and Corey Fletcher, another of Monsieur Dupriez’s students, to investigate his disappearance.

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I really enjoyed the way the author used a mixture of paranormal fantasy and science fiction elements to pen this story. The Luthier’s Apprentice provides the reader with a slew of excitement without being too scary.

Mayra Calvani is an expert when it comes to storytelling. The characters are well developed, and it is easy for the reader to get a real sense of who they are. She is a master with her descriptions of each character.  I especially like the following description:

The woman’s ash blonde hair rose high above her head, entwined with tiny sparkling amethysts. Black liner and shadow deepened her sultry, heavy-lidded gaze, turning her violet eyes into murky swamps. Her beautifully drawn lips glistened with purple lipstick. Her tall, statuesque figure was wrapped in a purple velvet cloak lined with fur. Like on her hair, amethysts glittered on her neck, ears, wrists and fingers. “Like what you see, Monsieur?” the woman drawled.

The words “murky swamps”  and “drawled” paint a vivid picture in my mind of just how evil Mr. Dupriez’s captor is. The author uses these types of description throughout the novel, and this is what drew me in and captivated my attention.     I am fluent in French and enjoyed immensely the French the author used throughout the story. The usage of French and Italian phrases added a special appeal to the story.

Mayra Calvani’s short novel is  must read for anyone looking to read a well penned, fast paced, paranormal novel.

Lastly, Ms. Calvani cunningly leaves the door open for a sequel. I can’t wait, I hope it is published soon.

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