Monday, May 26, 2014

Reflecting back on serving at the Home for Sick and Dying Babies

Here's a post that Pam Pine wrote about her experience serving at the Home for Sick and Dying Babies a few days ago. 

Haitian Home for Sick and Dying Infants – Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

Today part of our Bell Timber Group went to the home for sick and dying infants.  I was surprised by two things from today’s visit; first, that so many of our group wanted to participate in this opportunity and second, that it was one of the easier things we have seen so far.  I had said from the start that I wanted to do this, but a huge part of me was very concerned about how difficult this service would be. When we arrived in the tap-tap there is already a line outside of women, some waiting to get in to see the child inside and some with children in their arms waiting to see if their child can get the care he or she may need.  You can see the despair on their faces.  One of our interpreters/security experts goes to the door to knock and you can see all of them trying to see if they can enter with us.  It was hard to walk by the line of women and not allow them entrance to see their own children.  Once the nun lets you in, you walk down into place that seems to be at odds with the sights surrounding it: white, clean, quiet, well organized, and calm – shutting out the chaos of the world that really exists.  Your heart races a little and you begin to prepare yourself for what you are about to see.  After walking thru a small examination room you enter a courtyard were there are mothers sitting in a row visiting with their children.  You then walk into the first ward were there is row after row of small cribs most with an infant just waiting to be held.  You are not sure which one to start with until you just seem to eventually grab one.  They are sweet and very loving, the truth is all the service is going to your own heart.  The feeling of total unconditional surrender to them is all you can do.  After the first ward you can enter the area where there are more ill and fragile infants (some with IVs).  This is where the tears you have been fighting can no longer be contained.  The little weak faces and sweet eyes are hard to resist.  You must stay in the ward with these children, it is hot and the air weighs about 20 pounds.  None of it matters – you are in bliss, the rest of the world washes away and all that exists are you and that wonderful blessing in your arms.  At the end of the row there is a very sweet little boy who is quietly weeping for someone to hold him.  Jeremiah comes in and I direct him to the crying boy.  He scoops him up and immediately the crying stops, all is well and right with the world for this young soul.  After quite a while Jeremiah was going to move on to hold another infant and this first little boy was NOT happy about it.  

Sunday: Church at Grace Village and work projects with the teens

Our last day in Haiti! We had a wonderful morning at the church service in Titanyen, the village where Grace Village is. It was so great to worship with the kids and the elders that we have really come to know and love this week. It was incredibly moving for many us! After church we went back up to Grace Village to serve for a couple hours. A big group of the guys worked with the transitional teens, who are aging out of Grace Village and being mentored with job, life, and household management skills. The guys worked with them and taught them how to build a table and a shelf, which will be used for some of the family style housing donation distribution. 

Saturday: day at the beach with kids from Grace Village

Here are some pictures of Saturday when we took the kids who live at Grace Village (orphans) to the beach. What a beautiful and fun day! It was fantastic to laugh and play all day long with them.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Friday continued... more pictures from Gertrude's Orphanage plus the kubota

Here are a few more pictures of our time at Gertrude's orphanage, plus the work that Shawn and Brian did to rebuild the kubota's engine at Grace Village. Thanks for following! Pictures from Saturday at the beach will be loaded tomorrow!

Friday: Water Trucks in Cite Soleil and Gertrude's

Here are some pictures from yesterday (Friday, May 23). We spent the morning delivering water to Cite Soleil again, which is the poorest slum in Port-au-Prince. We then we to Gertrude's, which is an orphanage for special needs children as well as a few able-bodied children as well. We played with the kids and worked as fast as we could to repair the many broken wheel chairs and cribs.  Ed played beautiful music on the guitar, which had the kids dancing! They may struggle to walk, but they can carry a beat and dance in their own beautiful way! Shawn and Brian went on their own back to Grace Village to repair and rebuild an engine (they'll give you more details than I can provide!) They got it running and are going to finish it up on Sunday. Today we are bringing kids from Grace Village orphanage to the beach. It'll be a wonderful day!