Unique Experiences

The plan was to return to the same clinic location as yesterday…but, this is a mission trip, and on all mission trips you must be flexible and willing to change plans at the last minute.  So, at the last minute, we went to a club 🙂

That’s right….a disco club made of tarps and wood, in the middle of a tent city!  I guess people still need their entertainment to keep a sense of normalcy and for a time of escapism.  However, we didn’t dance the day away;  the owner graciously let us transform his club into a clinic.  Under hanging Celine Dion cds, we treated dehydration, open wounds, and lot’s of children’s coughs.  The joy of clinic came in the form of a beautiful baby girl less than 24 hours old!  She had been born the night before right there in the tent city…take a minute and imagine that if you can… no nurses or medical professionals.  No medications or sterile equipment.  Just dirt floors and friends and family.  Her visit to the clinic was the first time any medical professional had even seen her baby.  Can you even fathom that being your only option?  I can’t.

After the clinic, we had an experience that left the cheeks on my face hurting from laughing and my other “cheeks” hurting as well.  “Tap-Taps” are Haiti’s version of public transportation, and are, by far, scarier, more thrilling, and more fun than any rollercoaster you’ll find at six flags.  ok, “fun” is subjective…but it’s definitely got its terrifying moments. The most effective way to describe the tap-tap is to just show you…(warning: those who suffer claustrophobia may experience feelings of suffocation and anxiety upon seeing these photos)

Traveling over rubble roads, steep hills and weaving through thick, chaotic traffic threw our bodies into each other, like a sick game of bumper cars…without the bumper cars.  It’s really difficult to explain in words on a blog…let’s just say that it’s not something I would want to do very often.  But we laughed so much by belly ached….haven’t laughed like that in a long time.

The afternoon ministry had some of the most emotional moments of the trip so far.  The orphanage for disabled children is one of those experiences that make you sit back and question, “Why?”  with great sadness.  Yet, at the same time, there was such deep joy in the children that it is hard to mourn for them.  About half of the children had no visible disabilities.  They greeted us before we even exited the bus…jumping around, waving, showing their wide smiles.  As each one of us stepped off the bus, the children would run and cling…and I mean CLING…hard to our legs and arms, begging us to hold them.

The severely disabled kids sat in a back room, semicircled around a small tv set broadcasting a French soap opera.  The children’s eyes stared expressionless toward the walls and floors.  They were silent, except for the occasional scream or grunt.

Neglected.  Abandoned. Ridiculed – these children (ages 1 month to 17 years) have not had an easy life.  This orphanage is truly one-of-a-kind…a Christian woman found compassion in the “unlovable” and “worthless”.  She has devoted her life to finding Haitian children who have been tossed aside, and she brings them in and treats them as her own.  The workers, too, have literally given up everything to help the children.  There aren’t enough workers to rotate shifts, so the women live with the children 24/7 with one day off per week.  They love the Lord and their love is evident in the lives of the children, who smile and laugh and who are clean and well dressed.

After spending some time just holding their hands or rubbing their arms (which the kids LOVED – most of their expressionless faces would transform into the biggest smiles you’d ever seen and they’d screech with joy), we gathered around them, sang worship songs, and then prayed for them and the workers.  The sweet presence of God filled the room.  There was peace.  Tears began to run down the faces of the missionaries, realizing just how special these children are and how blessed this orphanage is by God.

We are forever changed.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Karen Phaneuf
    Aug 06, 2010 @ 12:25:46

    Hey Lindsey & Harriet–Thanks so much for the updates–you are in my prayers–I’m so grateful that you are willing to help these people. God bless you. See you soon!


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