TO MY PARTNERS in MINISTRY
to the PEOPLE of HAITI
July 28, 2006
July 22, 2006 followed a night of heavy rains. The new day, however, brought comfortable temperatures and sunshine. The setting for our marriage in the gardens of Haiti Verte provided a beautiful wedding environment. Due to some muddy areas on the bridal path, I could be found leaving my mud-clad sandals behind and proceeding to the ceremony in bare feet! Even when gentle rains sifted through the mesh of the tent that covered the wedding party, our spirits were not dampened. In fact, we considered the raindrops as “showers of blessings!” The sun reappeared in time for photos with family and friends who mingled among the various flowers and tropical plants! We counted our many blessings of that day – one of which was the presence of Léon’s 103 year old grandmother! Another was that of the children of the orphanage singing at the ceremony!
The reception at the auditorium of S.E.E.D. Ministry was a short, simple affair. Cupcakes and cold beverages were served. Candy treats were given to all in attendance. Léon and I were easily able to arrive at the wharf for our 1PM departure to our honeymoon destination on Ile-a-Vache. Long walks, white sand beaches, ocean breezes and good food would greet us there.
While on the island, we had the honor of visiting a nearby orphanage for handicapped and disabled children, that is run by a Franciscan nun. Each child has a sad story. One infant carried the scars on his neck where the mother had sliced him with a knife, just after he was born, in hopes of killing the unwanted baby. A child, with water on the brain, clapped with glee even though the weight of his of head made it impossible for him to sit or stand. A boy of ten lay motionless in a baby crib, his limbs stiff and unmovable, following a fall that resulted in him being in a coma for the last ten months. We saw smiles and tears. We saw heartache and pain. We saw children who craved to be touched, to be talked to, to be loved. We saw a dedicated nun, who has spent the last 25 years caring for the multitudes of children that she could not turn her back on.
Léon and I returned to our room at the resort with heavy hearts. Oh! How much we take for granted! Shortly after our return from the orphanage, I caught Léon talking to the mirror. When I looked at him with a questioning look, he said, “I was praying to God! There is so much need. I am willing to help. I just pray that God gives me the resources to do what needs to be done for children like the ones we just saw.” It made my heart leap! Another beautiful reason that I love Léon! He has such a tender heart for the poor and suffering! Together, we hope that God can use us to help the children that we had just visited, along with the many, many others who are in need!
Our honeymoon time passed all too quickly. Soon we were back in Les Cayes, ready to start our new life together. It was good to see the children of the Les Cayes orphanage again after our short absence. It was our reminder how God has blessed the lives of these children. We see happy and healthy children, who previously had faced an uncertain and short life. Yes! With the help of God and our faithful prayer warriors and ministry supporters, we will be able to help improve the lives of many more children in this heartbreaking land!
Missionary to Haiti & the Dominican Republic Until next time ………….