All I see are sad eyes and 200 of them staring back at me. Psalms 127:3 says “Behold children are a heritage from the Lord” and Proverbs 20:7 says “The righteous man walks in his integrity; His children are blessed after Him.”
Those are the two verses that keep ringing in my ears as I try to reconcile the 200 sad eyes following me as I walk into the infant room at Home for Sick and Dying Babies. I know that God has not forgotten these children. But why are there so many and only a few workers attending to all of them?
My goal immediately became loving on as many of these sick babies as possible during my 2 hour visit. Others in the group simply could not detach themselves from the 1-2 sick babies they were attending to. I was especially drawn to a frail baby in the corner who looked as if she had been burned. She seemed to be in a lot of pain as she just kept murmuring and moaning softly. Some of her family was there with her because I don’t think she had much time left.
We spent the next 2 hours holding, singing, feeding, and loving as many babies and toddlers as possible. It was a gut-wrenching experience that I will never forget and I don’t think I will ever be able to get the memory of those sad eyes out of my head. Even though this was a heart breaking day, I also don’t want to ever forget those precious babies as they taught me an unbelievable love and connection that I will hold in my heart for days, months, and years to come.
The needs of children here in Haiti can feel overwhelming. Small acts of kindness seem as though they cannot even touch their real needs.
Today Jonas, our translator, shared with me his perspective. He said, “Every drop in the bucket counts.” And then he repeated it and it really struck me. He helped me to see that every act that demonstrates the love of God fills a huge bucket in time. Yes, the need is overwhelming for one person to meet. But when many choose to put one drop in a bucket the result can be unfathomable.
If I’m really honest with myself I have an ongoing need to experience love that is real, genuine and constant. These children, in a beautiful way, reach out and even demand to be seen, held, nurtured, cared for and shown affection. Seeing this differently gives me joy and hope as I see myself as a “drop in a bucket.”
-Lisa and Karen
Bonjou from Haiti!!! Wow, what an amazing, beautiful, joyful, loving and spirit filled country! I was immediately overtaken with the beauty as we were close to landing the plane Monday afternoon. The mountains were calling me- the clouds just hovering over them was one small reminder God is here. As the plane got closer, it became even more surreal that I was actually in Haiti and experiencing it for my first time. The houses and roads amazed me- they were everywhere!!! I couldn’t believe the sight I was seeing. We landed, entered the airport, and just around the corner, was a group of lively, friendly men playing maracas, drums and guitars. It was so up beat and lively that it stopped me dead in my walk. They looked at me, smiled with huge smiles and kept playing. That was a wonderful greeting into the country. My heart was warm and I was ready to start the week and explore this wonderful country.
Today is day #3- We loaded the Tap Tap (which by the way is a an experience in itself) and started our morning visiting Haiti Design Co- there we were able to tour the company and see the process of how they make the goods, shop, and then we all made bracelets. The ladies there were so genuine and enjoyed helping us make the jewelry. Lots of smiles and laughs!! After that, we were given breakfast tacos and THEE best fresh fruit mango/banana smoothie I have ever tasted. This was the good life- we were enjoying time together and taking in the views from the top of the store. The palm trees and mountains with all the homes were splendid. I keep saying to myself that Haiti is so beautiful and it’s amazing how a place of such poverty and sadness can be such an amazing place but beauty is here and God is ever so present. Next on the agenda was Papillion / Apparent Project. Here we did some more shopping and enjoyed a story of the background and how it became about. Local sourcing is the way for these places- the Haitians make all the goods and they enjoy doing so for us. They thrive and continue because of us who buy and support them. The views from Papillion are just as those from Haiti Design Co. They take my breath away and make me feel so happy inside. The beauty here is a reminder to me that God is ever so sovereign and loving. I was on cloud 9 and really feeling excited. Little did I know in just a few short minutes, my whole world and perspective would be turned upside down….
One by one, I grabbed babies out of the cribs to hold and snuggle, sometimes just to let them lay and stare in the distance, but the physical connection was what they longed for. Touch. Affection. Love. All of the things these precious babies, made in Gods image and for His glory, are craving and need. We were able to love and snuggle these babies for 2 hours- not long enough- but we did all we could. It’s indescribable the feelings that were in my head. I was hurt, confused, mad, angry, sad, heartbroken. You name it, I was feeling it all. We had to say goodbye- the hardest of it all. Putting one baby down to only see it look up at you with sad eyes, screaming and crying for more affection. Move on, they say. Just pick up another. I couldn’t grasp that and the severity of it. We had to do it. We had to let them go and be left there without life and love. We hugged and loved them as best we could and that was all we could do besides pray.
Jesus tells us to love one another and be kind to one another. I found that I really don’t know real love. Love is Haiti. Love is the joy here in the Haitian people. Love is the eyes of the children who look into your soul and just take you in. Love is sick and dying babies who are craving attention and affection when they have nobody. Love is being present and taking the moment in. Love is being quiet and holding a child who needs to just sit or sleep. Love is letting a little girl climb your back and sitting on your shoulders. Love is emotion.
Deuteronomy 31:8 says "It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed." God was before me today and He knew that I was going to need to be broken to see the true Haiti and what it is. He went before me like a consuming fire and knew that I needed to be broken and see the reality of this life. He is most ever present tonight as I write this . Yes, I am mentally, emotionally, and physically drained but what I witnessed today was nothing short of a miracle. Jesus calls us to do hard things. He will walk us through them and bring us through for our good. Tonight, I am thankful for Love and Jesus, who showed me what real love is. Tomorrow is a new day and I can’t wait to see what God has in store! Love to you all!!!!!
Romans 12: 12 and 15 "Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep."