The poorest country in the western hemisphere is still recovering from the 2010 earthquake and 2012 hurricane. Immediately after the disasters, big organizations came in and distributed tents and food and medicine. Most of that has ended now, but the suffering continues. The big aid organizations did not see Tania's children's home. They lost their house in the earthquake, but somehow obtained a little piece of land. A fairly solid, but very small house was quickly raised-- concrete walls and a tin roof. Now 15 children and one mother with her baby live in one room. Though few possession were evident and water for any purpose has to be carried for a ways-- the children were clean and reasonably dressed. None seemed to be unusually thin. Their hair and eyes held the brightness that is quickly lost when nutrition is poor. Their living standard was incredibly low, but the house father was at least feeding and clothing them. My first thought was that Allow could not be the donor for a home as poor as this one. Our children in other countries live very simply, but not as low a standard as this one.
I offered my hands to pick up Tania, the little girl in the photo. Not only did she accept and let me take her, but she grabbed me around the neck and held me tightly. In that moment, the decision was made. I would return to the US and do what I could to make her life and that of the others better. The man responsible for these children is a fellow believer struggling in amazingly difficult circumstances and the Lord has placed them in front of my eyes-- and in my arms. I do not know Tania's story. The information on the children has not come from Haiti yet. I know that she is an orphan-- but she is with people who care for her. I know that she lives in a crowded room-- but she is safe. Her clothing was torn, but it was clean.
Haiti was mostly what I expected-- hot, poor, chaotic, dirty, busy and somewhat dangerous. But the people are very dear. The Lord has a people called out for His name from this little country. They mostly walk where they go. They eat rice and beans. They carry their water. They speak French and Creole. I hope we can help these children by meeting some needs, providing some education, seeing to their discipleship and watch them grow into grounded witnesses for our Lord. It means more recruiting for sponsors. It means more trips to Haiti. It means more paper work. It means more obligations. We are going to do it. And we already love it.