There were 142 people on this trip to Haiti! That’s a lot of folks! My granddaughter, Haleigh, and I were the two in the 142! I entered Haleigh’s name in a drawing at our family camp last summer. Her name was drawn! So her way was mostly paid for! Haleigh is the first one standing on the left! I’m not even in this group picture because it was taken after the goat team #2 left. But that’s okay, we were here in spirit!
I have so much I want to write about that I’m having trouble sorting through my mind to make this meaningful! I think I’ll start with the Haitian people. They are wonderful, by the way! I have so many great Haitian friends! But even the ones I didn’t know always had a smile for me! Way back in 1971, when Jerry and I were there, Jerry named it the Land of Smiles! And it still is that today! Haitian people have the brightest smiles, even though many are hungry, many are sick, many grieve because of losing a loved one or more than one in the earthquake, five years ago.
Speaking of the earthquake, two friends from Michigan, had gone to Haiti to work on some projects. Two hours after they arrived at the guest house the earthquake happened. They were both killed along with a missionary and a Haitian watchman. They are all buried at the mission compound. I was honored to visit their burial site and take a few pictures. Jeanne Munroe, Merle West, Eugene Dufour, Sr., (I have forgotten the watchman’s name, sorry.)
We visited two orphanages. The first one is in Port-au-Prince. It’s a fine orphanage, doing good work with lots of support. Girls were given sewing lessons. Their first lesson was to make the cushions you can see on the chairs! They did a good job! This was a class outside for the older kids. When they turn 18, by law they must leave the orphanage. These kids are being well-trained! I don’t know the name of this orphanage.
The second orphanage was in the mountains. Heart of God – Haiti Orphanage. They weren’t expecting us and weren’t quite sure what to think of us! But these kids are fortunate to have a place to live. They used to have to walk down the mountain on a trail and then carry pails of water up the mountain to the orphanage! How clean was the water??? Now, thanks to some generous folks, they have a water system with a faucet! Running water…clean water! These children lined up to sing for us! “Jesus Loves The Little Children, All The Children of The World. Red and Yellow, Black and White…” “Our God is so Great, Our God is so Good, There is Nothing Our God Cannot Do…”
I, personally, know of eight different orphanages in Haiti. There are many more, thank God. There is still so much need. As we were riding, a pastor was riding with us. His English was very good, thank goodness. We had a good visit. I told him I hadn’t seen evidence of Voodoo this trip like I had on my two previous visits. He, sadly, assured me Voodoo is still there. He pointed to a man leaning against a building and said he was a Voodoo priest. Then he smiled and said the priest’s young son is being sponsored by a family in the Free Methodist International Child Care program! That means, besides receiving financial aid, his son and probably the whole family, including the priest, is being prayed for regularly! God answers prayer! I’m now adding my prayers for this man and his family!
We drove into the mountains to treat goats owned by Free Methodist families. This was our goat team, plus our good Haitian friend, Julo, who was taking this picture! Bonnie, Anita, Lars, Linda, Ali, Marv, I can’t remember the last man’s name! I’m so ashamed! This goat didn’t like his hooves being trimmed! We gave each of these girls a cloth doll! The goats were brought to an area behind this Free Methodist Church. Inside the Free Methodist Church. This smiling man is the pastor of this church.
There is so much more I could write about, but this is getting long so I’m going to just stop! This ends my second installment of my unforgettable trip to Haiti.