Today the team will be heading to the Capitol. We will be doing a prayer walk around their palace/white house. When we arrive I can’t believe that the palace is still in ruins. Their president doesn’t even live here because of the damage. I keep thinking it is 2 1/2 years after the earthquake and their capitol is still in need of major clean up. I think of the United States and how quickly we would react if our White House was damaged so badly the president couldn’t live in it. I don’t think it would take 2 1/2 years to repair it. I wonder if this affects the morale of the people? I would think it would have to. We begin to pray that God would make a way for Haiti to be able to repair its capitol. We pray that God would provide for their needs of proper housing and for the basic necessities we so oft times take for granted. We pray that God would reach down and lead people to a relationship with Him. That the people of Haiti would turn to God. That they would cry out to Him to heal their land.
As the team continues praying. People approach us asking for money. It felt like the story in Acts when the lame man asked for alms and Peter said, “I don’t have a nickel to my name, but what I do have, I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk!”The Message. The team offered to pray for people and some accepted. We didn’t have money to offer but we had the Spirit of God and love. It was an amazing thing to witness.
We continued walking around the area near the palace/white house. There was trash piled on the sidewalks and people still living in shacks and tents right across from the palace. Even after being in Haiti for 7 days I still have a hard time believing that this is normal every day life for so many here. I am overcome with thankfulness for what God has blessed me with. Our prayers for the people of Haiti continue. We continue on and see more buildings still in ruins and the back of a shopping area. There are still piles of debris and trash everywhere. It certainly doesn’t look like Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C.
After the prayer walk we head to the Iron Market. This will be our last chance to do any shopping during our trip. We carve out an hour before heading to our last orphanage visit. The team really wants to go back to Trudy’s Kids and take toys and play with the kids before we leave.
After our shopping hour we load back into the truck and head for home to pack for the orphanage. After 7 days I find my eyes still drawn to the traffic, the trash filled streets and the tents and shacks that so many call home. I haven’t gotten used to it yet. Sometimes when I am riding in the back of this truck taking in the sights, smells and sounds I feel like I am part of a movie. It is like my mind is saying this can’t be real. People can’t really live like this but then I quickly realize it isn’t a movie it is real life for so many in Haiti.
We get back home and quickly pack for Trudy’s Kids. We are anxious to spend time with these precious kids. When we arrive the kids are outside. They seem to have more energy today and are ready to interact with us. Missionary Brian tells us that during our first visit the kids were waiting to eat and had not eaten an actual meal since the previous day so they were more interested in getting food than interacting with us. This breaks my heart. I can hardly get my daughter to quit playing to come and eat. Here these kids who don’t get the chance to get new toys or play with people very often couldn’t focus on that because of their hunger. But, today they have eaten and they are ready to receive toys, love and attention and the team is ready to give it to them. It is time for hugs, jumping rope, balloon animals, piggy back rides, princess crowns and blowing bubbles.
Some of the team members have brought diapers and clothes for the kids. Once again we find children completely naked. The team begins to put diapers on the kids who need them and dressing the children with no clothes. It is such a sweet sight to see the transformation. This little girl looks like a little princess.
We come prepared to give the kids vitamins and worming medication. They line up on a wall and we begin giving out the medication. We have also brought supplies to help treat other minor conditions. The team finds a little boy with a significant condition on his ear. He sits so quietly as Karla Hamm begins to examine him. I look down and notice he is only wearing one shoe. I reach out my hand and he puts his little hand in mine. I am fighting the tears. I am glad I am wearing sunglasses. I think of all the times I have held my daughter’s hand at the doctor’s office. I think, this poor little boy doesn’t usually have anyone’s hand to hold. In that moment I am so grateful to be the one who is holding his hand. Adam Ruiz and Ashley Beckham also begin treating kids with skin conditions. Unfortunately it can’t all be fun and games. I see the little boy who has the skin condition over most of his body who was eating alone the other day. Today he is smiling and playing and I smile. Today is a good day.
Our remaining time is spent playing with the children. It is so wonderful to see them smile and to hear them laugh. They are so happy with what seems so small. Kids are so great at focusing on the moment and living in the moment. As adults we tend to worry about what is coming. It amazes me that these kids, who have to live a daily existence without loving parents, in deplorable living conditions and without proper nutrition, are focusing on the fun at hand. They are not focused on what tonight will bring or what tomorrow may hold. They have joy, happiness and love right now so they are choosing to savor it and to enjoy it. So thankful for the lessons these kids are reminding me of. The Bible tells us in Matthew6:25-34 NIV-
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Surely if these precious orphans can find joy in their day I can find joy in my day. If they can set aside worry then so can I. I certainly hope when I return home the above verses become my daily life. Be encouraged. God loves us and He cares for us. He has everything in control.
It is time for us to return home so that we can pack and prepare for our clinic tomorrow. This will be our last clinic. I can’t believe the trip is almost over.