Monday, December 3, 2012

The Least of These

Over a year ago I took my first trip to Haiti with Samaritan's Purse. This trip opened my eyes to how much need there was it this devastating country and service, we as Christians, could really be doing for the world. What is even more interesting is how much more this second trip opened my eyes to the needs of children in Haiti and the role I can play in helping to fulfill those needs.

Of course like most trips I take, this one was not any different. Hannah and I met in Haiti last year helping to rebuild an orphanage in Leogane, the epicenter of the earthquake in 2010. My heart melted the day I met the sweet children, of what is not called the Greta Academy. Back then it was still known as the Lamb Center ran by two former orphans adopted by an American. By chance, Hannah and I were both from Tennessee and we kept in touch after the trip. The children at Greta Academy stayed on my mind a lot after that trip.

I prayed for them, I plastered pictures of them on my computer, but it was still not enough. I wanted to see them, to hug them, and be able to show God's love to them. I knew one day God would allow for an opportunity for me to return. Just a couple of months ago, I saw Hannah was raising money for shoe for the orphans in Haiti and I chipped in. A few days later I saw she had raised money for 50 pairs of shoes. She mentioned needing some "helpers" to take supplies and clothes down and I jumped on the opportunity. I had been struggling with my job situation and this trip became one of many that popped up in a matter of a few days. I knew is was God opening doors for me to serve. He had been preparing me for this over the last year.

So there I was, my truck packed to the brim and driving away from all the amazing people I had just met in Mobile. I drove back to my parents house dropped off all my junk and headed to the Chattanooga bus station to meet Hannah. We decided to test out this idea of riding the Megabus (which is awesome btw).

From there Hannah and I took a bus to Atlanta and flew to Ft. Lauderdale, slept in the airport and after almost 24 hours of traveling made it to Leogane, Haiti. I was back; completely excited and exhausted.
The Greta Academy Now..almost done!
Hannah is moving to Haiti for a year in January and she needed to take some supplies down and also check out her home for the next year. We were able to bring 2 suitcases full of clothes for one of the orphanages. I am hoping to take down lots more next year in April.

Day 2: I was back at the Greta Academy! I couldn't believe I was actually getting to see those sweet faces again. The building I helped with went from a few batter boards to being almost completely done. I couldn't believe that either. Hannah and I spent the afternoon with the kids just loving on them and playing around.

The same day we stopped by another orphanage Hannah had worked with in the past. This one was in much worst condition. There were 26 kids and most seemed malnourished with swollen bellies and skinny arms. They were all so sweet and it was hard to see them that way.

Day 3: Hannah and I got a car which gave us much more mobility than riding around on tap-taps and motorcycles (which made me nervous to begin those things are crazy and pretty dangerous). We stopped by an orphanage that morning to drop off some clothes and then after being inspired by the Kings and Queens video by Audio Adrenaline, I wanted to stop by the Hands and Feet project to check out their ministry and look for possible projects with them for the future. We had no idea if they would even let us in their complex, since one, the didn't know us and two, we just showed up unannounced.

Fortunately, they did let us in and we were able to talk with Angie and Michelle, two missionaries with the Hands and Feet Project. They were very warm and welcoming. We talked for a couple of hours about their ministry and the role they play in the children villages there in Haiti. After a wonderful and encouraging morning, we headed for the beach for lunch. We then stopped by to visit a sweet lady who couldn't walk (Hannah was able to get a wheelchair for her!) She was so sweet and it was such a pleasure meeting her and family. It was a successful day full of great conversations, wonderful people, and potential ministry sites.

Day 4 and 5 were very similar to our second day. We were able to stop back by the Greta Academy and swing by an orphanage with 110 kids. The needs at this orphanage were just as great. Tattered clothes and dirt covered these children melting my heart even more. This trip was much more eye-opening as Hannah and I discussed the needs to the country and the orphanage issue.

She mentioned how most of the children were not true orphans, but had parents who were unable to take care of them or could not afford for their children to go to school, so they were abandoned to orphanages. The issue of this country is not the number of children without parents but the number of parents unable to care for their children. Haiti does not need more orphanages but a way out of this problem of family. A country with little to no foundation in God or family.

I would love to find a way to empower these parents to be able to take care of their own children. To feed them, clothe them, and send them to school. I pray I will open my eyes and heart to the hurt and needs of this cause. I want God to break my heart for what breaks His.

Haiti needs a platform to build their country up through faith and fear in our Lord and through Christian family as seen in Deuteronomy 6:1-3, "These are the commands, decrees and laws the LORD your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the LORD your God as long you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. Hear, O Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the LORD, the Gd of your fathers, promised you."

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