CHRISTMAS MISSION 2012
During our Christmas Mission trip to Haiti we welcomed 13 month old Katrina Jeanjack (DOB 11/23/11). Her father left shortly after her birth, and left her mother to care for her and her three siblings on her own. She is severely malnourished, and her siblings cannot attend school. Her mother supports them by selling produce at the local market about 10 miles away, walking with whatever she is selling on top of her head. We met her during the toy distrubution; she heard we were giving out food so she came with her children even though they do not attend the school; just to get a meal for the day. Our hearts were broken to see the condition of the baby; we offered to help. We were able to offer give baby formula, cereal, and pediasure. We were able to instruct on how to feed the baby, and will be helping her with providing her with food for the baby in the future. Reflections from 2012 Mission Trip We all had an amazing trip. While there were many heartbreaking sites, there were many so many blessings! Here are some experiences of those who were able to go. Ryan’s Reflection (18 years old: To step outside of one’s comfortable life in the United States, and to embrace the way of life of the third world nation of Haiti; that was the task that lay before me. I found it to be very challenging; having grown up my entire life in America, adopting the customs of Haitian life was no simple assignment. But God calls us to do things that are hard, because it is then that we can make great strides in bringing people closer to Him. The biggest downside of the trip was, in my opinion, seeing children still walking around houses without clothes after we had given out all the supplies that we had with us. This experience showed me just how desperately this country needs the basics for life, even clothing. The best part of the trip by far was seeing the grateful smiles of the children who received a small Christmas present, which consisted of a plate of fish spaghetti, a toothbrush, toothpaste, flip flops, a small toy or two and a few pieces of candy. While in the U.S. it was common for kids to be fully clothed, there are many children in Haiti who are considered lucky to have one pair of clothes. Every time we tried to help someone by giving a few dollars, or giving a mother and her child something to eat, the news spread like wildfire that we had the resources the Haitians need so desperately; flocks of men, women, and children would rush to us, begging for anything to help them in their struggle through life. The problem with this was we had enough resources for a small portion of people (relative to the number of people seeking our aid). Providing food, medicine, clothes, flip flops, and toys to children and a few adults when we could spare, is only a temporary fix. I believe there is a more permanent solution that American missionaries can assist in helping the Haitian people climb out of the poverty hole. if we can train a few people in each community to become leaders who will cooperate with each other, then each community will slowly become more self-sustaining. These leaders would hopefully focus on finding real solutions to the major problems they currently face: waste disposal, food distribution, health and sanitation, road systems, building structures, clothing, and getting people to work real jobs for real businesses. Ashlyn’s Reflections (college student): The mission trip to Haiti with the founder of The Children’s Garden of Love and Faith along with myself, my mom and her brother was one of a kind. I didn’t really know what poverty was until I went on this trip. It was devastating to meet moms with children of all ages malnourished. I was so thankful that we were able to help some of the kids and moms by giving them food, supplies, toys and many, many flip flops. I was honored to give my own flops away to a woman at the market who had nothing on her feet and the marketplace was a dirty and rocky place. I felt sorrowful that we weren’t able to give them more supplies, but we gave all we could that we had with us. So for that, I know that God is pleased with us. I thank God that I was able to go on this trip and I have a good feeling that God will guide me unto another mission trip. I want to give a big thank you to Dadline and my mom, the Coordinator of the orphanage, for organizing this trip! Enid’s Reflection: Seeing hundreds of people standing, sitting, walking around aimlessly just outside the airport in Port au Prince; that was my first impression of Haiti,, and I later realized that many of these people had little else to do since they do not have real, consistent jobs, so they spend hours watching people from all over the world roll big suitcases out as several baggage men scramble to help load the luggage in hopes of getting the equivalent of one US dollar. As we traveled to St. Louis, we passed through many small towns. In these towns we learned that some people set up small vending shops alongside the roads, and others may spend an entire day just sitting on a doorstep, watching cars, motorcycles, and people move about through their daily routines. This is a problem because people need to be actively working in an occupation that will help provide income for their families. It was one thing to see it on TV, but it was so much more saddening to see young boys and girls without shoes on their feet, and some even without any clothing to wear. Most of the people have to use the nearby streams and rivers to meet their bathing needs, and in some cases this water was very dirty, with pigs, goats, and other animals wading through. We gave toys, food, flops, toothbrushes, and toothpaste to children who attended the school we have been in contact with. The news of our arrival must have spread to other children in the village, because we ran out of all of our supplies, despite rationing out very carefully and bringing a few extra supplies. There must have been at least fifty children still waiting in line when we gave the last of our toys. Many of them put their hands out to us begging for something, anything really, that might be of some comfort to them. I wished I had more food, shoes or toys to give them. God put the desire in my heart to make a trip to Haiti to help these people, and I am thankful that he has blessed me with this experience. And with God’s grace and blessing we will make another journey to help the struggling nation of Haiti get back on its feet.