Oh, Haiti. You are eye-opening and heart-aching yet, you are so beautiful and hopeful.
Once again you have stolen a part of our hearts.
My husband Luke and I have fallen in love with this country. We were able to visit again this past week (and my mom was able to come for a portion of the trip as well… that was a great treat).
I feel like since I have returned, I can’t stop thinking and replaying the week in my head. There is just something about this place that floors me. Moves me. INSPIRES me.
I wanted to give you a little glimpse into our visit… and maybe even inspire you to get involved with some of things going on there.
First, a few facts on Haiti.
– Haiti is only slightly bigger than the size of Massachusetts… but still has close to 500,000 orphans.
– One in seven children will die before their 5th birthday! My daughter just turned 5 a few weeks ago. That means that out of the 14 children in her preschool class… 2 would have not survived.
– The average Haitian survives on 3 meals a WEEK.
– Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.
– Haiti is an incredibly complex nation, with no easy answers.
– But yet, there is hope in Haiti. Some things are changing. God is moving and working.
Here are some images to look back on our time… and at the end, a few video clips I shot as well.
While in Haiti… we get to work with some awesome organizations. I want to share a little about them with you!
We are blessed to be able to stay at Haitian Christian Mission. This place is incredible. They minister to thousands through their churches, schools, medical facilities, and other programs. I got to see their child sponsorship program first hand this trip. Thousands of children are benefitting from it. The sponsorship provides uniforms, schooling, and a meal.
We have also been able to witness entire villages transformed by new wells or new homes from HCM. And their medical facilities are able to provide thousands of people with care they wouldn’t receive otherwise. They even have a maternity hospital to deliver babies! So precious!
Click here to learn more about the different ministries they offer.
Here are some of the sponsored children at school.
And this image is from a trip across the lake to bring much needed food.
Another organization Luke and I have fallen in love with is Play it Forward. It is a sports ministry with both soccer and basketball teams. The local children are sponsored to play in these leagues. Uniforms and equipment are donated and plans are being made to build proper fields in the near future. It’s just one more way we are able to reach more people in the community.
And last, the family at Wholehearted Orphanage. We adore these children and the house parents Marcelin and Lucia. We are also so excited for the future of this orphanage.
Like I had mentioned before, Haiti has so many children in need of a home and family (almost 500,000 orphans). The need for accountable orphanages is huge.
I have visited many orphanages before… many of them boardroom style (with over a hundred children sharing space all together and orphanage workers- mostly women). I am not saying these orphanages are bad, I know they are doing what they can to provide for and love children.
My experience at Wholehearted Orphanage has been so different. They truly act as a family unit. With both a house mom and dad. You can read more about the children and parents here.
Their plans for the future are exciting! They have property and are set to start building soon (as soon as the rest of the financial support is raised for phase 1).
The new facility will have more of these family style homes with 12 children and two parents. I love that! Please head over to their blog and website to learn more about how you can help and donate (perhaps you can even do a fundraiser in your area).
I love these girls… they are so precious to me!
This is the house mother, Lucia. She kept telling me that we are sisters. Love her!
And, a little shout out to One World Futbol for donating 4 balls for our trip. They went in to some great hands 🙂
I know that Luke and I can’t wait to return to this country soon to see more growth, get involved, most of all… to reconnect with the precious people we have met there (our haitian family).
Thanks to everyone for your prayers and support.
Let us all live out generosity and love in our communities, around the world, and with our lives!
Here are just a few video clips as well….