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Communiqué #055


to the PEOPLE of HAITI

November 26, 2008

With the month of December fast approaching, the time of reflection of what has been accomplished in the last year begins to formulate in my mind. Successes in Haiti are not the same as in the United States. With one stride forward, many times, four strides back are a result. Regardless, I must focus on the little successes to keep from becoming too discouraged.

° ° ° During the Last 12 Month Period ° ° °

° thirteen mission teams came to work with the ministry here °

° one of our mission teams also began working in the Jacmel area °

° three of our boys were adopted into the United States °

° two of our boys and one of our girls are in the final stages of adoption °

° two new boys and one new girl have entered the orphanage °

° one little girl of our community traveled to the U.S. for life-saving surgery °

° two girls returned to Haiti following surgery and recovery in the U.S. °

° one toddler from the community was adopted into the United States °

° construction began on a school building on the little island of Ile-a-Vache °

° 93 students in the Les Cayes area received financial assistance to attend school °

° A cow was added to our agricultural program of goats and chickens °

But to keep those “successes” in perspective, I cannot forget the multitude of school children who were turned away because there was not enough funding for everyone. There was the heartbreak of a baby returned to his family after life-saving surgery in the United States, only to be rejected by the mother after a few short weeks. In addition, several children and adults came to me for medical help. Some of them are on a waiting list for help. For some it was too late for medical intervention. For others, death came while waiting for medical care. Adoptions have become more and more difficult and, at the present, we have had to put adoptions on hold at the Children of Israel Orphanage. Requests for shoes, clothes, medicine and food needed to be denied when we had none of those commodities to offer. The aftermath of the multiple hurricanes that hit Haiti in 2008 continue to have long term economic effects on the people of Haiti – lost homes, lost crops, lost livestock, lost jobs, less electricity, higher food prices, higher fuel prices (also accompanied by a shortage of food and fuel).

How does Haiti continue to survive? How do the Haitian people continue to rise in the morning and put one foot in front of the other? What gives them any kind of hope?

For me personally, how do I not give up and just move back to the comforts of the United States? How do I feel that I have made any difference when I touch the face of a child who I know will die from either starvation or the lack of medical care?

Sometimes it is the simple things that keep me going. As I sent off one of “my” hydrocephalic babies and her mother on an airplane to Port-au-Prince for her life-saving surgery, I bent down to kiss her goodbye. Her little hand reached up and caressed my cheek. I just about melted! Indeed, this little hand was the touch of God! It gave me hope!

When I am ready to “pack my bags”, a friend emails me to let me know that I am being upheld in prayer. Words of encouragement and reassurances of prayers REALLY do sustain me!

God is the ultimate encourager!!! What better boss could one have than the One who is the Advocate and Sustainer of the poor and orphaned? I am NEVER working alone! He is there as my shield against the storms of life! It is in Him that I must draw my strength to carry on!

Thank you God for ALWAYS being there for me!

Nora Léon

Missionary to Haiti & the Dominican Republic Until next time ………….

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