In This World You Were Loved

Good morning HaitiChildren family.

I am in Haiti as I write to you.

The funeral was precious, and Jean Michele finally is with the Lord.  He wore little white gloves and a beautiful suit. It was his first suit.  He was 23 years old and was so mangled by a disease that he never reached even 4 feet. I miss him deeply

That said, as usual, the spiritual warfare is ravaging this place and the war never stops. However, our little church is strong and Spirit-driven. I’m sad to say I missed most of the service Sunday due to manifestations in the street that blocked the roads. The church is such a beautiful respite for the poor and once lost. I long to be more like the members of this church with their joy of being together to worship. They walk such a long way in the nicest clothes they own, usually someone’s throw away clothes that came on a boat from Miami. They worship on their knees with tears and songs of praise, despite not having any air conditioning or songbooks. They leave church slowly and always want to be the last to leave.

The kids are growing and are becoming less shy. They adore each other and yes, they argue. Usually about who gets to go on the excursions to the beach or to Port-au-Prince for pizza and ice cream. The Fitzgerald family purchased a bus for that orphanage that carries 30 people, so we must take turns. Each time I come to Haiti I take the kids on an adventure, usually every other month. I coordinate it this way, so everyone gets a chance to spend time with me. It is really amazing to see how polite and generous the kids are. They always make me some sort of gift or surprise while I am visiting.

During the funeral, just before I was to speak, I lost my composure and slipped quietly out of the church to wipe dry my tears. I sat down on the steps with my head in my hands when felt a hand on my shoulder. I assumed it was one of the employees but when I looked up, I saw one of our boys, Junior. He gave me his hand and helped me up and wiped my tears away with his hands. We walked back into the church together and I went on to the podium. The kids are together every day of their lives. They eat, sleep, play, go to school and church together. I cannot fathom how they must feel when one of their brothers or sisters are buried.

Today we are going to have a talk with the child psychologist who works with the children. Only four months ago their brother Berlin lost his battle with sickle cell anemia.

Many of our little brothers and sisters have illnesses that we are told cannot be cured and many have legs or arms that do not work. All the kids meet once a week and sometimes more during the hard times. The little ones share about how they are afraid of ghosts since the cemetery is not far away. The older kids tell stories of dreams they have about the ones who have left us. The older girls cry and hug each other. I cry privately. I wonder what was the last thought my deceased child had. Were they afraid? Did they see their angel? Will they tell Jesus “in this world they were loved?”

Two times in four months I have laid a note atop my child’s body. “In this world, you were loved” and then I close the small coffin once and forever.  In Haiti, it is not uncommon for a casket to be unearthed and resold, it has happened to us. If an evil person does this I want them to be haunted by those words. And when Jesus comes back, I want every one of our children that raises to eternity to have that letter in their hand. Can you imagine if you got to heaven and there was a little child that ran up to you as you arrived saying “Were you the one that loved me? Was it you?

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