I returned from Haiti last week and wanted to give you all an update. One of the main purposes of the trip was to make good on a few promises I made to the children at HaitiChildren Village orphanages. On my last trip we had a children’s meeting in which the kids talk about kid stuff. We talk about everything from silly to serious things. On our agenda last week were the following topics:
- The older boys feel like the littler boys don’t respect their space. And they want to draw a line down the middle of their dorm room so the younger boys have to stay on their side. Ugh! I guess I knew that was coming. The little kids want to copy everything the older boys do. I find it adorable, but it can annoy one if it were all day, every day. So we are putting some rules in place that will give the older kids a little space to read and study in peace and quiet.
- The children at the orphanage asked to visit another orphanage on my last trip. So last week we visited an orphanage of 35 children in a remote area near in Bon Repos. The children from both HaitiChildren and the orphanage in Bon Repos were very shy at first so the grown-ups stepped away to see if they would interact more freely. Wow! They started talking and within fifteen minutes it was clear they were going to be great friends. They asked lots of questions about their lives and school and the food they eat. During the ride back to the orphanage we talked about their new friends. They asked if we could invite them to come eat and play with us at our orphanage. I was delighted that they made new friends. But I was very proud of our children when they showed such concern because the children at the other orphanage did not have a kitchen or enough beds. Our children suggested that we ask them all to come live with us. So, so precious and sincere. I answered that we aren’t able to do that. I took the opportunity to explain how the people who support each of our children work very hard to make money so that they have a good home and plenty of food and medicine when they are sick. We talked about how, when they are grown-up, they will work hard to make money to care for themselves and help others just like all of our sponsors do for them. They had lots of questions like; “What will happen to us if our sponsor goes away?” I told them that I will ask you all to never go away.
- Some of the children wanted to come along on a trek up the mountain to the villages where many of our the elderly in our orphan sponsored “Widows Meal Program” are dwelling. We were very sad that one of the widows had passed away a few days before. We delivered the medicine needed by 2 of our friends who suffer from epilepsy.
I spent a few days in meetings with some wonderful Directors of Catholic Relief Services who have been so supportive of HaitiChildren. Then I met with the US Ambassador, Pamela White, who is working with the Government of Haiti to rebuild the “General Hospital” or the University Hospital. I met with our Medical Director, Dr. Leslie Agenor regarding some of the upcoming surgery requirements for some of the children with special needs. I had a meeting with the women of the Williamson Community to keep them updated on HaitiChildren’s work in the community. The meeting took a very serious tone, when 5 of the 20 women who attended spoke about a solicitor in the area who was encouraging women to give up their newborns to an orphanage in Port-au-Prince. Very disturbing. Possibly more on that later.
I am back home and trying very hard to raise funds for this year so that we continue to do the Lord’s work in Haiti. We have been so blessed by your support. The children and staff pray for you all every day and every night. That is one of the most amazing thing to me. They always ask questions about you all. Thank you, deeply for giving them someone to love and pray for.
From the Heart,