Monday, October 22, 2012

What a difference a year makes!

Wow!  One year ago today a traumatic but necessary event occurred in Haiti that not only had my attention, but much of the world too.  I was part of a consortium of people working  to close a corrupt orphanage which was housing children I loved who were being severely mistreated.   It took almost a year of effort and a sting operation to get that place closed.  It was one of the most emotionally gut-wrenching experiences of my life to have to 'wait' while evidence was gathered and investigations launched and children like 6 year old Kettia wasted away to 25 pounds.   It took a lot of hard work and was mainly done by some friends of mine, but 1 year ago today a bus arrived at the front door of that evil place and removed the children.

Everyone had their parts to play in prayer, advocacy...but in the end, the real credit goes to our Lord:

God in his holy habitation is a father of the fatherless and a champion of the widows. Psalm 68:5

 The LORD preserves the strangers; he relieves the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turns upside down.  Psalm 146:9

Though the moving day was traumatic for the kids, it was necessary.  The staff at this place were trafficking children and kids were being physically and sexually abused.  The trauma eventually gave way to relief when the children realized they truly were safe.  40 of the girls were moved to an existing orphanage of 40 girls (making for 80 girls).

I was privileged to spend a month with them right after this time to help them during this initially frightening transition.  There were also many major medical needs to attend to with the malnutrition, scabies and staph infections. In addition, the new facility had only 1 bathroom available for the girls, which was a pit-type toilet in a dark dirty corner, and no water available for washing hands near it.   But despite the challenges- laughter, smiles and eventually better health returned.  There's still a long ways to go, but I trust there are still those who care.  Right now we have 40 girls we are looking for sponsors for ($32 a month), so let me know if you or your family or a church group or motorcycle club...would like to help. 

20 of the boys were moved to a 'religious' orphanage of 400 children which though better than the previous orphanage,  is still not a 'safe' place.  Charges against the head priest were filed and published in the newspaper regarding rape of some of the teenagers.   Wendy, who wants us to adopt him (still not legal to do so), tells me when I visit him that he and the other younger boys are being beaten up daily.

Corrupt government officials make it difficult for me to see Wendy and the other boys, but God is on our side, so I persevere.   It is costly, but what is the worth of one life?  Twenty lives?  In God's accounting, these orphans are of infinite value, so I know that for even one He would spill His blood, so certainly I can suffer some financial losses for their sake.

 My prayer is that by Christmastime David and I can return there to reassure them that they are not forgotten and forever loved.  If you have free miles to give or any way to help us get there and bring some supplies, please let me know.

“You and I and every single human being in this world is a child of God, created in the image of God, created for greater things, to love and to be loved.  That is why today we have so much suffering in the world because we forget that we have been created for greater things, 
 that we have been created to love and to be loved.   
How do we love God? Where is God? 
Jesus has answered:
 “Whatever you do to the least of my brethren, you do it to me.”

As I often say to people who tell me they would like to serve the poor as I do, ‘What I can do, you cannot. What you can do, I cannot. But together we can do something beautiful for God.' Mother Teresa

No comments:

Post a Comment