I'm torn with what to say! Yes, I can give stats on Haiti's population, staggering unemployment rates, numbers of orphaned children, diseases, etc. but I feel that there is so much more to express than stats. Long before I became involved with orphan care, Haiti was always a country I knew in the back of my mind that was poor. I knew it was a third world country, I knew it suffered from extreme poverty. I knew there were plenty of orphaned children too. But, my heart was never stirred by stats. Even when the earthquake hit in 2010, I heard stats, and still, my heart was not stirred. So why now? In every season of life, an individual is ready to "hear" certain things, and other times not. I believe God has opened our hearts to orphan care in the world, one thing lead to another, and we are suddenly advocating for the great needs of the Haitian children. It didn't mean anything to me previously because I had no connection to Haiti. As soon as I went on our first vision trip, mine and my husbands, and our 7 year old son's hearts were stirred.
We saw first hand the depth of the needs of the country, which can't be fixed unless God makes it happen. The needs of the people and all the needs of the children were overwhelming. We saw how poverty affected personally the lives of the Haitian people. We saw how people walked the dust-filled roads with or without shoes for miles to carry heavy 5 gallon buckets of water to use. We saw how people used the tiniest creek of water for bathing, drinking, and laundering and scattered their clothes to dry all across the grass--no personal dryers there. There were no bridges to cross creeks, we drove through them ourselves to reach an orphanage. If the road was broken, our bodyguard got out to fix it with logs nearby so we could pass through in our bus. We saw how desperate for food Haitians were, everytime our bus stopped, the elderly passing by and children flocked to the opened windows to beg for money.
You might be one of those people like me, who previously or currently have no connections to the orphaned Haitian children, and the staggering stats didn't cause a wave of compassion in your gut. Yet, somehow, through the mysteries of our God, you are brought here and you're reading this, and I believe it's for a purpose. You might be brought to Haiti just to fill a small space, a memory for a child with a loving adult that otherwise might not have existed.
So why not find out what God has in store for you in Haiti? What do you have to lose? Come join OH4F! We invite you to "love on the kids, and see what God has for you!"
-- written by our co-founder Laura McReynolds