Saturday, November 24, 2012

Baby's story

Many of you have been wondering, "What happened to the baby that was 18 days old?, Did the family return the next day for a meeting?, Does she have a new home?".  I am so thankful to tell you that story ended well.

The following day I waited for the family to return.  It was an hour past the time they were scheduled to arrive, and I hoped they were on their way.  My heart leaped for joy when I heard they were walking up our hill with the baby in their arms.

I met them, and we began our meeting together with another organization.  The night before I was calling a few surrounding orphanages that care for infants.  None of them had space.  Thankfully, one of them called me in the morning and said they can care for the baby!  I was so thankful that this little angel would have a safe, loving environment to live in.  One that would be able to provide her with formula, diapers, and comfort.

One of the girls at Grace Village crocheted the baby a bonnet.  She is wearing the bonnet in the picture above.  I am so so so thankful that this baby is being cared for.  It is devastating to know that when one lives in poverty, one often does not have the means to provide for their children.  I am so thankful that this family reached out for help.  This family desired for this baby to have a future.  When we asked the family, "What is your hope for this baby?.  The woman responded, "For her to live".

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Bourik! (Donkey!)

What a morning!  I have been wanting to ride a donkey since I moved to Haiti in July.  Well, today I did!  The saddle was hand-made out of wood hammered together.  Padding was placed between the donkey and the saddle.  The padding consisted of some old rags and clothing.  The bridle was made of a thick twine.  There were 2 giant, woven saddle bags that are typically used for produce purchases at the market.

I ventured up a road close to where I live.  The scenery was beautiful.  The mountainside was green.  I passed many people on the side of the road.  Some washed their laundry in large buckets at the well pump.  Others, carried 5 gallon buckets of water on their heads back to their home for cooking, bathing, and cleaning.  Many yelled, "Blan", which means white person as they waved and smiled.  Some giggled as I laughed and greeted them on the donkey.

Some children ran after the donkey to catch up to me.  They encouraged the donkey to keep walking by saying, "Oui" and making a clicking noise with their tongue.  They laughed as the donkey increased in it's pace.  I laughed too.  We all had so much fun.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

18 days old

I was told there was an emergency at the gate.  I didn't know what to think and wondered what kind of an emergency.  The security guard came to me with our translator and needed me to follow them to our gate's entrance.  There stood a man with the look of desperation filling his eyes as he held a tiny baby wrapped in blankets. There was a woman with him.  They told me they were the baby's aunt and uncle and that the mother could not care for the baby.  The man tried to give me the baby.  I prayed for wisdom and didn't know what to say or what to do.  I wondered if I held the baby if they would flee.  I stepped back from them and waved my hands in a way that would tell them I would not hold the baby.  (But, I wanted to hold her.) These people were desperate for help.  They didn't have the means to care for the baby that was 18 days old and hoped that I would.

When I saw her, my heart broke.  Her body was frail.  Her skin was thin against her bony limbs.  
As I walked up the hill to our house, I prayed more...and again asked God for wisdom.  Would we be able to care for an infant?  She is so weak and may be in need of an IV or medical attention...would she make it through the night?  Should I turn them away?  If God brought them to our gate, He must know how we can help them.  But how?  What does that look like?  I longed to love her and care for her.  I was ready to take her in.  To stay up with her all night.  To watch over her to be sure that she was still breathing.  Could this be her last night?  If I didn't take her in, would she be cared for at home?  Would she be left on the die?  Many thoughts raced through my mind.       

I sent our orphanage director to buy diapers, formula, and bottles.  I asked the family to wait while I made a few phone calls.  They agreed.  They sat patiently for hours as I called a variety of people who could help guide me in making decisions.  I served the family dinner and invited them to our evening church service.  After much prayer, numerous phone calls, and counsel from other orphanages, a decision was made.  We would invite the family back to Grace tomorrow for a meeting to decide how we can be of assistance to this family.  I don't know what the outcome will be, but I need to trust God.  As I looked in the woman's eyes, I saw compassion for the child, I saw a deep love, a desire to hold onto hope, a longing for what is best for this baby.  She agreed to return to our orphanage tomorrow for a meeting.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him and He will make our paths straight."

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Weddings in Haiti

The bride and the groom pulled up to the church in separate vehicles and waited in them until they walked down the aisle.  The sun was hot and the sweat beaded on their foreheads.  The bride was dressed in a beautiful white dress with a veil over her face.  She carried a lovely bouquet of white flowers.

The groom wore a beige suit with a white glove on his left hand (He removed the glove when it was time to exchange rings).  Music played as the bridesmaids slowly danced down the aisles.  It was beautiful.  We sang hymns and the pastor read some Bible verses.  A choir sang and a band played.  Many people were taking photos.  One man had an i-pad and was using photo booth to take pictures.  He used all kinds of special effects.  After the wedding, we drove to a building down the road for a reception.  The pastor led the guests in a prayer and we all sang a hymn.  The best man gave a speech too.  There was a delicious buffet of Haitian food including rice, beans, cabbage salad, vegetables, and fried plantains.

There was even a tall cake decorated with red flowers.  The bride and groom shared champagne and cut the cake together.

It was a beautiful celebration and I was amazed at how many similar traditions there were to an American wedding.  It was also fun to learn about Haitian wedding traditions.