Sunday, December 8, 2013

Day 5 - Isaiah's Orphanage

Grace: Age 11

Today we went to Isaiah's Orphanage. At Isaiah's we did a play for the children about how Jesus was born. Everyone bought Christmas presents for all the kids at Isaiah's. All the children loved there presents. The presents had a church outfit for the child and had a pair of nice shoes. We bought little rubber band bracelet making kits and taught the kids how to make bracelets. For the play we had props. We had angel wings, halos, and a baby Jesus. We let the children keep the props to share and play with. We had a lot of fun at Isaiah's Orphanage today.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Day 4 - Elderly Christmas Party and much more

Most days when I am in Haiti, it feels like there have been 2 or 3 days of stuff all packed into one day.  Today was no exception.

We started the day off by heading out to Titanyen to pick up a few elders and bring them to Grace Village for the elderly Christmas party.  We stopped at Izna's house first.  Last time I was in Haiti, we moved her to this house.  It was so nice to see that her house was so tidy, her new mattress was still there (we've had problems with her alcoholic son stealing her things) and that she was excited to go to the party.  However, she need to change to get ready for the party.  So I helped her change and we were off.

Next stop, Edmond's house.  We were happy to see him outside getting a shave.  No shaving cream or nice razor here....just a straight blade.  We decided he needed some time to finish getting ready for the party and that we would send someone else down to get him.

At Grace Village, we all got to be reunited with friends we've missed....the Imslands, the long term missionaries, Ross and our Haitian friends we've grown to love.  The school kids were on a break, so our kids jumped right in getting to know them on the playground.

The party started with a Christmas Pageant that our kids did a great job at.  During the play, we sang Christmas Carols and the elders recognized the tunes and sang along with us in Creole.  They loved the play.  Next came the food....a delicious spread of traditional Haitian foods.....rice, fried chicken, pasta salad, veggies, a spicy coleslaw, fried plantains, a creamy pink salad.  Then came the Christmas gifts....each received a water pitcher, jug or insulated food carrier.  They were so excited and we had so much fun passing them out.  And no party would be complete without cake!  We ended by singing some songs together and praying.  It made my heart so happy to bring and share such joy with these beautiful elderly that have seen so much in their long lives.

One of the most touching moments of the day was when Cadet, one of our newer translators, pulled me aside.  He told me how doing things like this bring him so much joy.  He said that he so often sees people, like our elders, that have so much need.  He always wants to help but does not have the resources to help them.  He was so grateful that he could a part of helping the people of Haiti that he loves so much.  One of the favorite things he said to me was "If you could see inside my heart right now, you would know how much joy I have".  How great that we are not only blessing these elders, but every person that gets to be a part of the day.....and that in turn blesses me beyond belief.

After the party, when the children had finished school and lunch, we were able to deliver letters to them from their sponsors and help them write a letter back.  How great it is to see these kids each get something special to know someone far away is thinking and praying about them!

After saying goodbye to old and new friends (my daughter now has a Haitian best friend :) ), we headed back to Port au Prince.  Arriving at the guesthouse, we had only 5 minutes to freshen up before heading out for pizza at a restaurant in nearby Tabarre.  Although, what should be nearby, seemed quite far during a crazy rush hour.  The restaurant was run by some long term missionaries who open the restaurant on Friday and Saturday nights only.  It was quaint and beautiful and the pizza was delicious!  The kids had their own table with Wilson, Maxim and Elisa and fought over who got to sit next to Wilson, whom they have each grown to love in just a few short days.

The day was still not over!  Once we arrived back at the guesthouse, it was time for some promised salsa dancing lessons from Jean.  The kids loved it!  They cha cha cha'ed and even learned some pretty fancy twirls and dips!

After showers, we all finally collapsed into bed after 10pm!  Oh my, what a long but amazing day in Haiti!!!

Thanks again for all your prayers for our trip.  Our kids have been amazing.....such positive perspectives on Haiti, there has been no sickness, and we've felt so protected all week!

Sharon Mitchell (with my daughter, Siena)

Thursday, December 5, 2013

My very first water truck stop...

Today we brought water to people in Cite Soleil.  When we first got there, I was super excited. There were other kids everywhere. They were very cute. Right away, I started playing hand games with a little boy who was probably around 8 years old. Afterwards he brought me to his older sister and we started playing the same hand slap game. My mom was next to me the entire time, and within a couple minutes, we were surround by the brother and sister, and a bunch of their friends. Almost all of the people surrounding us were teenagers. The big sister, she seemed to be the leader of the group, and she very happy, always laughing, asking questions, and touching my hair. She taught me more hand games, and we played them faster and faster. Then my mom surprised her (I think everyone else too) by teaching her a new hand game. We played hand games and with each others hair until it was time to leave. When we left, she told me in French Creole that she liked playing with me, and gave me two huge hugs. I really hope to see her again some day.

When my mom and I were surrounded by all the teenagers, I was a little scared at times, because it was intimidating. Jonas stayed close to us most of the time and my mom asked him how to say shy in French Creole, and then she told them that I am shy. At the same time, I was more happy than scared, because they were so happy and welcoming, and glad to have us all there. They loved touching my hair and braiding it and curling it with their hands, and I really felt special to have all that attention. I felt famous. It was hard not understanding anything they said, and I wonder if they felt the same.

They made me very happy because of the happiness they showed, even though they don't have all the "stuff" that I have. God was shining through their smiles, so brightly. I can't wait to see them again some day.

- Rachael Anderson, age 10

Do something

Yesterday our agenda was changed.  Sometimes it irritates me, but I know He has a plan... Today He showed us a bit of that plan.

We went to General Hospital and in one of the pediatric rooms there was a boy that looked to be 2-4 years old.  Severely malnourished.  We talked with the mom who said that he has severe diaherra and vomiting.  Just thought to ask a few more questions about the color of his poo, wondering if it might be cholera.  Yes.  And He was not being treated.  No meds, no fluids.  He will die.

There is a song by Matthew West that talks about the injustice in this world and in it he asks why God doesn't "do something" about it.  He said "I created you"!

If not us than who...
If not me and you...
Right now.  It's time for us to do something.
If not now then when....
It's time for us to do something.

So, I messaged a friend of mine that works with malnourished kids and asked her to help.  At 10 pm last night she called a sitter and jumped on a moto taxi to "do something".  She did.  She went to the hospital, found the child, and said that they had put it on antibiotics and fluids. Praise The Lord!

While she was there, another baby was put in her path that she is going back to help today.

Do something.  What does that mean to

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Day 1 - Gertrudes and General Hospital

Today's blog is a compilation of different experiences of a few of our kids......

From Grace, age 11:
Today, we went to Gertrude's. I met two little kids, a boy and a girl. I do not know the names of the two children. The first kid I held was the girl. She was one of the most adorable girls I have ever met. The table she sat at had tiny periwinkle crocs under it. the little girl absolutely loved to take the crocs and put them on the table. One of the ladies that worked at Gertrude's did not want the crocs on the table. The lady would always come over and put the crocs on the ground but then, the little girl would put the crocs back on the table. I just wanted to take the little girl and cuddle up with her she was so cute. Next I held the little boy. I held the boy at the very end. When I saw this little boy I thought I was going to cry. The little boy was just standing there. I picked him up and loved him as much as I could. The little boy was tired. After a while the little boy laid his head down on my shoulder. I was so happy that he felt comfortable doing that. When it was time to leave I cried. I did not want to leave I wanted to stay and love all the kids. I was so touched by all of those kids who all they wanted was love. I had a great time at Gertrude's and I can't wait to go back.

From Siena, age 11:
Today, we met a lot of children at General Hospital.  I met a blind girl that had been abandoned at the hospital.  The workers there said that she didn't have a name.  I gave her a name....Abbie.  She was cute.  When we first met her, she was crying hard but didn't want us to pick her up.  She would push our hands away.  My mom finally just picked her up and she stopped crying right away.  When I talked, she heard me and put her hands out for me.  I was a little nervous to hold her, but when I did, she laid her head on my chest and put her arms around my neck.  It was cute.  She was a normal little girl, but because she was blind, she had been abandoned.

From Griffen, age 12:
At General Hospital, my mom and I found a little boy.  He was laying in a little crib in an unusual way.  His legs were up in the air and to the side.  His arms were up by his head and he was very stiff.  At first we touched him, loved him, talked to him.  We found out that he was abandoned and he didn't have a name.  He had thrown up and had a mess on his ear.  But my mom picked him up anyway.  We cleaned him up and fed him some water in a little bottle and he was very thirsty.  I got to hold him and sit with him.  It made feel very emotional because he didn't get held or loved much.  His body was very still and he was hard to hold, but after a little while he started to relax in my arms.  It made me happy that he relaxed, but sad that he doesn't always get to relax in peoples arms.  Because he didn't have a name, I named him Star.  Star is the perfect name for him because he looked like a star when we first saw him in his crib because of how is arms and legs were positioned.  He was also my little star.  There's also the story of the starfish and how helping just one makes a difference for that one.  Today, Star was the one that I made a difference for.