Problem was - there wasn't much of a home to welcome us to. Food was scarce. They slept either face down in the dirt or were fortunate enough to sleep 3 wide on a metal grate or broken wooden door stacked on blocks and covered with a sheet. The clothes most of them wore, hung from their little bodies.
They would relieve themselves in a 10 foot hole, dug by their own hands two days before we arrived. The "facility" is covered by two boards and surrounded with rocks for "safety."
Their water comes from a hand dug well. A dirty bucket is dropped by a dirty rope into a dirty hole. Up comes dirty water.
Some were sick. Some were hungry. All of them pulled at our hearts and brought tears to our eyes.
They generally have one meal a day, usually a bowl of rice with a few beans cooked in. It's piled high and must last until evening the next day.
Some had plates, others ate from tin cans with jagged edges.
In short - it was heartbreaking. It's heartbreaking seeing them malnourished and sick and half naked. It's heartbreaking knowing that they sleep on the ground and at times go days without food. Our hearts broke. Yours is probably breaking too.
I was determined to help.
I returned home and within a week had a group of friends who were willing to pay their own way to return to Haiti to help these children. We had money, materials and dreams of coming along side this orphanage to establish a long term relationship with them.
We built thirty bunk beds, invested thousands of dollars in materials, food, cooking supplies, salaries and clean water - and we walked away - without a thank you - without a wave good bye - without a "Bondye beni ou" (God bless you) from the leadership.
It was a confusing trip. Yet - it was a great trip. It made me realize once again why we go to Haiti - not for an ego boost or a pat on the back. We don't go seeking a "thank you" or an "at a boy" from the leaders. We go for the children. We go for those Jesus called "the least of these." Their smiles make it all worth while.
Please continue to pray for our involvement with this orphanage. I know God has a plan and loves these dear children. We are still ministering there and praying that God's perfect will will become a reality. Please pray for the Pastor, who is under a great deal of stress and responsibility. He lost his wife in the earthquake and has gone through many sufferings. Pray that God would lighten his load and return joy to his spirit.
|Grateful for a bed to sleep on. No mattresses this time.|
|The next morning we found that the children had moved in!|
|The proud owner of a new bunk bed.|
For the least of these,
~Pastor Rick Mann and Jim Faller (Fairview Baptist, Russell Springs, KY)
~Michael Brewer and Mike Morgan (Willow Ridge Church, Lexington, SC)