Back to journaling our Haiti trip. It's been on my heart and mind since we left.
The kids, especially.
From the outside looking in, these precious ones have nothing. They live in a poor country.
In an orphanage.
Most don't have their 'own' clothes or toys.
They sleep on simple beds without favorite stuffed animals or special blankets.
It breaks my heart to think they are still there. While I have come home to 'normal', that IS their normal.
But when you move from the outside and get closer, you see something here. The joy. The evidence that they are loved. And it speaks volumes. In these dire circumstances, these kids know peace--a peace that passes understanding. Passes my understanding for sure.
I am not minimizing their needs. The physical and practical ones, or even more the deep need to have a family. There is obviously brokenness here. There is pain that I'm sure is just under the surface. I may have found it if I stayed a little longer, or even if I could have communicated a little better. I so wanted to scoop them up and bring them home. To tuck them in at night, to show them the love of a family. I am struggling with that thought on a continual basis.
However, the people taking care of these children are teaching them LOVE. Love of people, but more importantly LOVE of Christ. And you can see it. And feel it.
And when you sit down and put them on your lap, or pick them up, or play a game, you see something else.
Kids are kids. No matter the circumstances.
They love to sing songs and be silly, giggling between sweet sing-song words.
They love to be seen as special and individual.
They are resilient.
Despite need and poverty. I wonder if it may be better that they don't really know anything different.
They try new things.
And they love big, even when they know it may be for only a short time.
This orphanage was about 20 minutes from the complex where we stayed. It is supported by them, but isn't quite the same standards as the one on property.
This place looked grey, dim, dirty, and poor.
Until you look into the faces of the people who make it a home.
The women who give their days and nights,
their energy, their love,
You look at something that looks so rustic,
yet, you see something so precious.....CLEAN water.
As simple as it is, a warm, safe place to rest their heads at night.
And, a place to learn. Because education is a privilege. A privilege that gives them hope. Hope for a future.
These sweet ones will be forever in my heart and mind. They truly seemed joyful. They seemed cared for, but what will that look like in a year? In 5 or 10? Will they grow up to be strong, confident adults in their community? The needs seem so huge. Impossibly huge. I fear for them, for their hearts, for their futures. What the future will hold, we might not know, but the One who holds the future does. And I have to hope in that.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.