This afternoon we got a tour of the orphanage. It’s like an oasis in a desert. Everything is so clean and modern for these 60 plus children and 40 staff. They have a French custom that when you greet someone, you kiss them on the cheek. I think I’ve already gotten about 100 kisses!
I learned at lunch that when the parents of a Haitian child dies, the next of kin takes them on, not as their child, but as a slave child called a restavek. That child is literally treated as a slave for that family. They cook, they clean, they eat only after everyone has (if there’s any food left) and they aren’t allowed to interact with the other kids. In one of the pictures I’ve posted, you’ll see one slave child they brought into the orphanage the day before Christmas. This girl had never seen a toilet, a Christmas tree, held a book, or had a full plate of food. She’s doing great.
Afternoon trip to local village, Latont:
I just returned from one of the most amazing scenes. Love a Child reaches into several villages in the area. One village sits on a large lake. We went to their monthly food distribution this afternoon. Each family (1000 families) gets a coupon and they meet in the school/community building/church that Love a Child built. They have a worship service led by a voodoo witch doctor, Joel, that was converted to Christ who is now the village pastor. After that each family is given one box of food and then they celebrate.
I was deeply moved seeing these people give thanks to God for his provision once a month. I was convicted at my lack of thanks for his bounty he gives me each day.
After the food was distributed and we went outside, I watched the tender process Sherry went through to prepare a five year old slave child, John Edwardo, to leave the village and go to the orphanage. The aunt washed the little boy and put on new clothes given her by Sherry. Then Joel, the village pastor, laid his hands on him as if to consecrate him as he prepared to leave. The entire village seemed to tag along as we went to the truck. Then (see the picture) John Edwardo had a sending off party at the truck.
It wasn’t over, though. When we went to the village we took four of the orphans with us to help John make the transition. When we arrived back at the orphanage they showed him his room, his bed (he’s probably never slept in one), how to flush a toilet, and then ushered him out to something he’d never seen before, a swing set. The boys tenderly showed him how to swing. I then saw a slight smile of joy on his face. It was like this little boy was getting a taste of heaven. Coming from poverty, pain, and hunger these other boys were showing him an abundance of joy and provision that was all his.
I wonder if heaven will be like that. Will we have someone give us a tour of all the joys heaven will offer?
After dinner each night the orphans have an hour long worship service. I stepped in and felt tears come into my eyes as I heard these children sing to the one who was now their father.
I’m signing out for the night.