|Posted by OH4F on May 26, 2012 at 9:55 PM||comments (0)|
Some might ask why we are doing this…but the question should be: Why we must, as a community, work together!!
It’s not about OH4F, nor about Haiti, nor about Coreluv International, not even about which church you attend or not. It’s about God, who shows and manifests Himself in many different ways. We don’t want OH4F to be about “us,” our desire is for OH4F to be about giving honor and glory to the King!! And OH4F came about as a true desire to advance His Kingdom here on this earth. OH4F’s vision is for our communities to work together to do just that. OH4F is simply an avenue, an opportunity to engage people in our communities and churches to go beyond themselves, something we as human beings find so hard to do… to rely on God instead of ourselves. Of course, our passion is for orphan care, but God is using OH4F as a pathway to build faith of people in our community, also! We’ve seen evidence of God at work in Haiti and wanted to join Him there. And it might be hard and seem daunting at times, but it’s also exciting to experience God in such a way that we’ve not before. That’s why we must work together as a community, as a body of believers and those who are teetering on the edge of not knowing if they should believe who God says He is! So you could say that our desire is not for OH4F to be about “what we are doing” rather, we want to involve our entire community, so that all who want to, may see and experience God and believe who He says He is and what He will do.
|Posted by OH4F on February 8, 2012 at 9:40 AM||comments (1)|
Here is an article that appeared in our local newspaper:
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Ever since traveling to China to adopt their daughter Gracia, the Aron McReynold’s family has felt a calling to help other less fortunate children in the world. In December of 2011 Aron, wife Laura, and their 7-year old son Gabriel traveled with The Global Orphan Project to Haiti for a five-day trip to provide assistance to orphaned children.
According to their website, The Global Orphan Project, or GO, is an orphan care ministry that is headquartered in Kansas City, MO. Their goal is to mobilize churches to help care for the most desperate children of the world. They work at establishing orphanages and villages all across the world. GO was founded in 2003 by Mike and Beth Fox and was formally knows as C3 Missions. The name was changed in 2010 to Global Orphan Project, Inc. They currently provide assistance to children in Africa, Asia, Central America, and Haiti.
The McReynolds family flew to Port au Prince, Haiti, then boarded a bus that took them to Gonaives. In Gonaives, they visited three orphanages. The children there welcomed them with open arms.
“The children wanted to be hugged and touched. We sang together, did craft projects, held them in our laps, taught them English, and played games like UNO with them. Gabriel showed them his magic tricks and they loved it,” said Laura.
“We played a lot of games with them as they loved to play soccer. Their fields were nothing but rocky dirt and some played without shoes. They used sticks placed in the ground for a goal. It was a very small goal compared to our style of goal. It didn’t seem to matter to them if they scored or not. They just loved being able to play,” Aron explained.
Aron noted the size of the goal made him realize that American life goals typically are large and we want them quickly achieved. In Haiti that is not the case. The goal is just to play and enjoy life, Aron said, “it’s not about the scoring.”
While in Gonaives, the McReynolds witnessed the poor conditions of this third world country.
“Only when we went did we see the great depth of needs in Haiti.” Laura said. “Poverty affects them desperately. They walk for miles to carry water and use tiny creeks for washing and cleaning.
“You could see they were desperate for food as they begged us for food and money while we were driving,” Laura explained.
GO provided transportation for the McReynold’s family and a bodyguard named James. Volcy, their translator, also assisted them.
“I had a difficult time trying to explain to the children the rules for a game we wanted to teach them. We had Volcy there to translate for us and that really helped,” Aron added.
In the orphanages that the McReynolds family visited, some children slept in a boxcar. It held about 20 orphans. Half of them had beds and the others slept on the floor. According to Laura this is very nice for their standards. The children also feel very fortunate to have a school to go to in their orphanage. The school consisted of a tent and tin building.
“We take for granted the luxuries that we have in our homes. Running water in our house is a great blessing,” Laura said.
After attending Sunday church services in a village called Philadalphia, the family drove back to Porta Prince and flew home.
“When we went to the church people were already there and the place was full but since they knew we were coming they ushered us up to the front. We were told this is a sign of honor and respect. The church didn’t even have a real roof. It was just held up by sticks. That didn’t seem to matter to them as they were dressed up in their very best,” Laura explained.
During the service little girls came to sit on their laps. They had barrettes in their hair, frilly socks and pretty dresses on. Throughout the service the congregation sang songs like “Great is Thy Faithfulness” and others. Laura attempted to give her Bible to their bodyguard James. He didn’t seem to mind that it was a pink Bible. What concerned him the most was that the Bible was printed in English and he couldn’t read it.
“The pastor found out about this and even though the church is so poor that they don’t even have Bibles to pass out he managed to find one to give to James before the day was out,” Laura said with a smile.
As the family began their flight home on Monday they all realized that they had a lot to process about their experience.
Laura asked Brad, their group leader, about what it’s like to return to America after experiencing life in Haiti.
“Brad told me that it’s not evil to have blessings like we do in America. It’s a matter of what you do with those blessings. It’s whether you hang on to your treasures or if you have open hands to help others,” Laura explained.
That advice and going to Haiti has helped Aron and Laura realize what was missing in their lives. Haitians worship regardless of what they have and as Aron and Laura began to journal about their experiences and what they have learned while in Haiti they feel led to give back their blessings to help others. This is how Open Hands 4 the Fatherless was created.
“We want to provide love, food, protection, and hope for the children of Haiti,” Laura said.
Open Hands for the Fatherless will partner with Global Orphan Project and be church partnered. It will focus on children that are living on the street and have been abandoned.
Plans are to build a dormitory for orphans to sleep in so that the children can have safety at night and a roof over their heads, a school, latrines, a kitchen, purchase agricultural land so that food can be raised, and provide water and a water purification system. Medical examinations will also be provided for the children.
The kitchen will be designed so that it will be able to feed approximately100 children. The school will be built so that 250 children can attend and allow for children from the area that live with their own family to attend as well.
“Only 20% of the children in Haiti can afford to go to one year of school. An education is coveted there. The young girls that we met wanted us to teach them English as they know how important it is to help them get a job some day,” Laura explained.
Additional needs will include clothing, schoolbooks, Bibles, food, and a salary for the mammas and nurses that will live there to take care of the orphans. Mammas are the women that will live on site to provide the love and care that the children so desperately need.
Aron and Laura know that it could take a year to start construction, as progress is very slow in Haiti as there is little to no organization in the country. Fundraising has already started though and 100% of the commitment will go to orphan care.
The McReynolds family also want to build relationships through the project as they plan to organize two to three trips a year to Haiti in an effort to bring love and supplies to the children. They want to spend time doing activities with them and spread the gospel.
“The story of Haiti does not end with despair or lack of hope. The people there are so vulnerable, but their faith is strong and people will realize this as they go and share their faith with them,” Laura insists.
The McReynolds realize that a commitment of this magnitude won’t happen without assistance from others and they want people to know that they can get involved.
“Anyone can go to provide love and activities to these children. They crave touch and someone loving them. Most of them don’t have adults to make memories with,” Laura added.
To donate time or money to help the children of Haiti visit www.oh4f.org .
|Posted by OH4F on December 30, 2011 at 5:00 PM||comments (0)|
Dear Friends and Family,
I pray as you read through this site, God will touch your heart! There were so many things we want to share with you and invite you to join in what we feel God is doing through OH4F and Global Orphan Project!
Take time to read through the "About Us" section to learn how OH4F started! I pray you will see God moving and stir your heart to respond to the call to care for the orphans of Haiti!
God bless you each and special people to us,
Laura and Aron