Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Countdown to Haiti

If you recall, my trip to Haiti last May was abruptly cut short when a teammate fell ill. When I returned to the States after only two days, it felt like leaving the battlefield while the war was still going on, leaving my four other teammates to face it alone.

I knew upon my return that I would be going back someday; however, I had no idea it would be only six months later. In nine days (November 6) I will be travelling with One Vision International and a team of nine ladies to spend five days with 120+ Haitian orphans.

These are the same beautiful children we were with in May, now situated in a better location. I say "better" because that's what I've heard, but I am eager to see it for myself. Given their former housing, I know it wouldn't take much to count it a step up. From one commode to two ... it's already an improvement.

Since my trip in May, One Vision has purchased the land and dug the well on the site of the future orphanage. Some day, hopefully soon, these children will have a vastly improved life with proper housing, adequate bathroom facilities, a church, a school, and grass to run and play on. With each donation, they move closer to making it happen!

On this trip, our team of ladies, will specifically be building relationships with the women who serve as caregivers for the orphans. This team of 15+ ladies work tirelessly to cook two meals a day for the children (no small feat when you consider they are doing so on an open fire with one, maybe two pots), teach lessons to the younger ones, keep the facility clean, and do everything else you might imagine such a position requires.

On Sunday and Monday, several of our team members will be taking these ladies to our hotel to enjoy lunch and a relaxing afternoon. We will provide facials, manicures, and pedicures for the ladies, make lovely beaded necklaces, and then share in a time of Bible study. We hope that this will help cultivate trust between the ladies and the One Vision teams who come in throughout the year. We pray that it will open their hearts to the Gospel.

The rest of our team members will be staying at the orphanage to spend time with the children. Each day we will be having a special time of Bible study with the teenage girls. On Saturday and Sunday I will be leading this time. These girls live in a culture that offers them little respect, little privacy, and little hope. As I recall my own teen years, I can't imagine how difficult it would be to grow up in such a place. We hope to share truth from Scripture about how God has created them, how He loves them, and how He offers hope.

I am so excited for the trip, thankful for the wonderful team that has come together, and eager to see how God will work in and through us on our journey. Thank you for your prayers for us, for the children, for the caregivers, and for our families while we are away. I look forward to sharing about the trip here when I return! (For more information about how you can donate to this orphanage or sponsor a child, visit http://www.onevisionintl.org/.)

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