Written by Keith and Jill Anderson on Sunday, January 11, 2015
Today is a hard day to put into words. We started the day heading out to a country church to worship. When we arrived, they were very welcoming and they began the service, even though none of the Haitian church members had arrived yet. We all enjoyed the passion they have for Christ that was so apparent in the way they spoke – whether in Creole or in English. It was very clear that the church is not a building, but rather the people, as the walls of the church were bed sheets and the roof palm branches.Arriving at church on Sunday
After the truck ride back to Pignon after church, we stopped for lunch at a restaurant in town. We filled the place with our group! They have 1 thing on their menu – rice and beans with a side of chicken leg. They only had enough to serve 8 meals right away, so we shared what they had and waited for the rest of the food. It was a pretty classic Haiti experience – and maybe a good picture of what the people here experience on a regular basis. They aren’t sure if there will be enough food to go around for everyone. But of course, we all knew we had food to eat back at the dorm if we didn’t get any rice and beans for lunch.Eating at a restaurant after church
This afternoon we visited the orphanage and we all enjoyed playing with the kids there. The guys took on the younger boys in soccer (because the older boys would’ve beaten them J). They had a great time running and playing together. We also brought hula-hoops, jump ropes and the parachute to play with. Many of the kids there stole our hearts with their smiles. While we were there, Jennifer, the “mom” of all 42 kids at the orphanage told us that we might see a 5 year old girl at the hospital as we were planning to stop there on our way back to the dorm. She told us that the little girl was the younger sister of one of the girls at the orphanage, and she didn’t expect her to live long.At the orphanage, loving on children
We headed out from the orphanage, and stopped at the hospital to sing and pray for the patients there as we had planned. We walked in the main entry and stopped to sing a few songs. Then we split up and went to give packets of personal care items to each patient. After giving those to them, we prayed with and for the patient. We saw a mom with newborn twins lying next to her on her bed. The babies were so small and precious.
We gathered again and sang farther down the hall, and then went into the rooms on that side of the hospital, which included the room with the children in it. There were probably 6 children all in that room – along with their parents or family members there caring for them. After praying with the mom of a little boy, I looked to see who else might still need a care package, and I saw the little girl Jennifer had told us about at the orphanage – the 5 year old girl dying of AIDS. Her breathing was very shallow, and her eyes were dim. I gave the care package to the man sitting by her bed and asked if I could pray for them. It was hard for him to understand, but after trying to ask a few times, he nodded. I prayed for the little girl and her family – and that God would hold this little girl in his hand. The room was becoming full with the rest of the team, and many congregated around her bed. Lucia called for a nurse to come to her bedside because she noticed that her IV line was kinked. The nurse acted rather apathetic to Lucia’s request, but they tried to ensure she was getting the medicine she needed. As we left the hospital, our hearts were heavy as we knew this little girl was dying. We loaded up in the truck for the trip home, and just as we were leaving, we saw the little girl’s mom and uncle coming out of the hospital, her mom wailing. We were privileged to be there for some of the last moments of this little girl’s life on earth.
It’s been an evening of lots of emotions and tears for all of us. For us personally, we have a 5 year old little girl at home and it’s so hard to think about the reality of the situation and conditions in Haiti. Lucia has been a great help to all of us as we’ve talked through all we’ve experienced today. It’s interesting as we look back on how the timing of so many things came together for us to have this experience. It’s so apparent that God is in control – even in such difficult circumstances. Just after our time of sharing tonight, Christy heard from Jennifer (from the orphanage). Jennifer had been with the little girl’s mom and wanted us to know that they appreciated our presence at the hospital. She also wanted us to know that the funeral will be tomorrow, and there will likely be very few people there. As we’ve tried to figure out how we can bless this family during this time of grief, Christy talked with Jennifer about possibly helping to pay for the funeral expenses or something like that. But those expenses are already covered. So Christy asked if our team sharing a song at the funeral would be appropriate, and Jennifer said that it is an honor to have music at a funeral, and there is nothing planned. So our team is planning to sing at this little 5 year old girl’s funeral tomorrow. And we’re praying that God will use this situation in His plan for all of us.