Monday, July 11, 2011

Haiti Day 4

We knew going into this day that the orphanage would be vastly different than Thagimi. There would be many more kids at this one and this one has been established for 35+ years. It's funded by a church in the US and they do have support financially (at least much more than the other). However, the great emotional needs of this orphanage were just about more than I could handle.  These children were more like prison inmates, in the sense that they are in survival of the fittest and hierarchy and institutionalized.  Their basic needs of food, water and shelter are being met, but more than that, it's just not there. (in my opinion).

It ranged from organized chaos to mass chaos throughout our time there. This is Mark playing with some of the older boys.

 This was the scene when we arrived and came upstairs.  There just isn't enough of us to go around. At any given moment you'd have anywhere from 2-10 kids on top of you and touching you.  It was great to be able to love on them, but it certainly felt like there was NOT enough time and enough of me.  It was heartbreaking.  They needed physical touch like nothing I've ever seen.
 This little guy wanted Jeff's glasses and hat.  He didn't keep them, but was pleased to take a picture :)
 Beautiful smiles still shine through! I love this about these sweet precious people!
 I told this little girl over and over how beautiful she was and how much I loved her and Jesus loved her. I hope she heard and that it penetrated her heart.
 This is my friend Rodney.  His story is amazing.  He has overcome SO much in his 21 years of life.  His testimony is one that will have you in tears for him and yet tears for the power of God in his life at the same time.  God has a mighty plan for this young man.  I can't wait to share more of his story, I just need to get permission first. There are hopefully plans for us to be able to help get him to the States to study Medicine.  He wants to learn and go back and serve the people of Haiti.  The sweet thing he's holding is one of the cutest little girls ever, and she just happens to be a twin!  Rodney LOVES them both so much.
 Precious baby wanting tender love.  Look at those eyes.
 These are the walls (with razor wire) that these kids never get to leave.  It is really heartbreaking.  There are still some 20ish year olds that have lived here their entire lives.  They do not leave because there is nothing for them outside of those family, no jobs, no food, no shelter.
 Making fun with what they have!
 Precious precious little girl.  She never had pants or shoes the entire time we were there.  And the cement was VERY hot.  Their little feet must be used to it.  Because she walked around mostly alone a lot of the time.  (of course when she wasn't in one of our arms).  She is amazingly gorgeous.
 This little boy just broke my heart.  He needs a mommy.  He needs tender compassion, love, hugs and kisses and to be told that he is special.  He was very clingy to me and this was while I was attempting to do the salvation bracelets. He did NOT want me to put him down, so I put him on my back for as long as I could hold him there and do the bracelets at the same time.  He has sweet cheeks and tender eyes.
I hurt my back incredibly bad at this orphanage while I jumped rope holding a 4 year old little girl.  I don't know what I was thinking, but to this day, my back still hates me.  So I sat down to get out of the sun and to rest my back...that's when the children swarmed.  It was a welcome rest and I loved getting to hold them, but hated how they had to fight over who was in my lap. It was heart breaking.  I learned "pataje"quickly which means SHARE. I had to say it a million times.
Here is that sweet baby who found a leftover plate (empty) but with residue from food.  She kept that plate with her for a long time and licked every inch of it.

Nathan hanging out with the boys.  I love that this sweet boy at the top just needed physical touch and so he just hung his arm over Nate's body and the little guy next to him just wrapped his arm around his.  Their needs on the outside are being met, but man, us BEING there is what THESE kids desperately need.
This sweet little one hugged me tightly as I was leaving.  I was smiling on the outside and screaming on the inside.  I hate walking away.
This is a boy.  He was precious. He had this bag that he kept with him. It had a pair of flip flops in it.  I think it may have had more by this point, but at the time I snuck a peek, that was all it had in it. You would have thought it was a million dollars by the way he protected it.  And yes, that is a wool-like pink sweater on him in the 110 degree weather. :(  And I am pretty sure those pants are about size 12 months.
The tough boys.  Oh the hardships they've faced.  I hope that they know that they are prayed for and cared about and loved by the Lord and precious in His sight (and mine).  Oh to be back...I can't wait to go again.
She made the rounds....we couldn't resist her :)

Susan thought of bringing fingernail polish.  IT WAS A HUGE HIT!  I think more than anything they loved that they got attention singled out for one moment.  It was so ridiculous it was hilarious trying to paint their nails though.  I had at minimum 5 hands, if not 17 in front of me at one time.  But I finished each of their 10 nails with as much care as possible.  Half the time I could barely see who's I was actually doing and the girls would yell at me when I would start doing a little boys hands.  I think they (boys) didn't have a clue what it was, but whatever it was they wanted it.  Makes me sad.  They just need so much.  They also LOVE playing with white people's hair.  I kept mine up but let the play with my pony tails.  Alex got the full fledged hair do for most of the time.  The girls loved it and she was so patient to let them do it. *I learned the last time I was in Haiti when my hair would literally break off because it's so fine with how hard they pull to make it tight.
This little girl is probably about 4 and is wearing a JEAN JACKET as her shirt.  It's also probably about a 18 months and is way too small for her.  I just can't imagine.
Michael who played Goliath in our David and Goliath story/demonstration was a huge hit! He was a great addition to the team.  He's a middle school teacher and a father...what a combination at an orphanage trip! ;)
This little boy was heartbreaking. He cried nearly the entire time we were there (and the same was said about their prior trip there with a different group).  No one even tried to console him from the orphanage except a few of the older girls (by older I mean like 9) and occasionally for moments he would stop.  But it broke my heart. He didn't want anything to do with any of us white people.  He would just cry more.

These are two of the TNM translators and they were phenomenal!  We were trying to hand out bubbles (like the size you get a weddings) and it was mass chaos to the extreme. There was fighting and outrage and it was intense.  After that we decided to give the orphanage the rest of the things to pass out once we were gone.  We gave out jump ropes and soccer balls and Frisbees and within minutes they "disappeared" so we just played with them.
This is their "play" area still within the walls.  It's on a slope and uneven paved cement.  I just can't imagine never having grass under my feet or open fields.  Walls and gates and razor wire. This is their lives every single day with no hope to ever leave.
This sweet baby is 7 months old.  She was very stiff legged and that made sad.  I tried to get her to smile and she would somewhat crack a semi-grin every now and then, but I think she was very tired. I put her to sleep within 10 minutes of this picture.
Look at her sweet face though....isn't she precious!?
This little girl came upstairs with a plate of food. I guess they don't have a "dinner" time together or anything.  This was like 3 in the afternoon. I am guessing it was probably her dinner though.
Jeff finally got this little guy to smile. I have NO clue what he did to do it, but for a moment he wasn't crying and bonus he smiled.  That was awesome.
I didn't want to lay her down, especially because it was loud and seemed unclean and she was big enough to roll out of that type of crib. I am thankful that they take care of their needs, but man, I just wish we could do more to make their lives better, not for a few hours, but for their lifetime.  They need forever families...this is NOT how they were intended to live.
Once again, the time came when it was time to say goodbye.  They climbed the wall and stuck their hands to wave goodbye. I hate it.  Leaving is so hard.  I know that groups come and go probably "often" but I want to go back. I want them to know they matter to me.  I want to feel like I made a difference to them, for them and you can't do that in a week, much less ONE DAY, even less only 4 or so hours.
It was an exhausting day here at this orphanage both physically and mentally/emotionally.  It was a new and different experience than the day before and MUCH processing was required.  I don't know that I will ever fully be able to wrap my mind around the lifestyle that these abandoned children know.  I am, like I said before, thrilled to have been given the opportunity to love for moments, but it just wasn't enough.  They need so much more.  

1 comment:

Hannah said...

Just catching up on your Haiti posts,! Looks like a FULL trip. I'm so glad you were able to go. I'll pray for your continued readjustment to being back at home, as I'm sure the processing of all you experienced in Haiti will still go on for a while. Can't wait to read about the other days!