Today is a day I will never forget for the rest of my life. God broke me wide open.
Our team went to visit an orphanage. We walked into large rooms filled with toddlers and babies. Some were crying, some were sleeping and some were laying there looking around. This is their life. The thought of a baby being in an orphanage is a strange thought to me because it feels so natural to be a mom and want to nurture and love. Some babies have parents who come to visit. There were several moms there braiding hair and holding their kids. One mom went around and nursed kids who weren’t even her own. We had the opportunity to walk around and pick up babies and take them outside and just hold them. Some cried when we walked by and put their little arms up in the air wanting to be held. Today is a day that I wish I had 50 arms. I would have held them all if I could have. The downstairs is where the sick and dying babies are. I was terrified to go down, but, because of that, I knew I had to. God had a plan. I held a few babies. Many would just lay there and look around not doing the typical things a healthy baby would be doing like squeezing your fingers or rolling over. One baby was lying on her side in her crib and I walked by to lay my hand on her back to give her some affection. She barely turned her head and looked up at me and then quickly back down as if she didn’t have hope. That was the feeling I got. I immediately started to cry feeling so awful for not being able to do more for her. It’s a helpless feeling. The next baby I held had my attention right away. She had the sweetest eyes and cherub face. I just wanted to love her up the second I saw her. She was getting a shot and started crying. But she couldn’t even cry that hard. It seemed like too much work. She continued to cry and I picked her up. She flopped like a rag doll onto me wrapped her arm around my neck and head on my shoulder. I brought her outside and held her, rocked her and prayed for her. I kept wondering what was wrong with her. Where was she living before she came here? What was life like for her before the orphanage? She was a sweet little 14 month old baby who ripped my heart open. She soon fell asleep after I picked her up. She didn’t move a muscle after. I held her, patted her back and fanned her to keep her cool. She was so sweet. One of the sweetest little faces I have ever seen. Soon all the kids were being fed lunch but she still stayed sleeping. One of the helpers came out and I motioned to her that she was sleeping. She left and came back with a standard metal bowl with rice and black bean juice. I layed her little head back and took a spoonful of food and held it to her lips. She instantly woke up. I fed her on my lap and she started babbling. She then soon started to lift her arms up toward a large wooden pole and saying mama…mama….mama. She finished eating and it was close to the time to leave. I walked with her some more and every woman that walked by she held out her arms….mama….mama…mama. I was told it was time to go and had to put her back in her crib. It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. Let her go. Walk away from her. She started crying and tried to help herself up onto her knees to pull herself but she was too lethargic to do it. I was completely heartbroken. I cried the whole walk back to meet up with our team. I sat down, and cried some more. I couldn’t stop. I cried tears for her for being there. I cried tears for feeling bad for leaving her. I cried tears knowing that I followed God’s lead when he asked me to step outside my comfort zone to help out a baby who needed me. The tears just would not stop. No one had to say anything. We all felt the same way. We soon held hands and started to pray. We all cried and asked for strength.
We all deserve to be loved, to be held, to be touched, to be comforted. We were made to love and be loved. I pray that for one hour I did just that for this little girl. To be the hands and feet of Christ who loves us all was a true honor and blessing today.
Our next stop was an orphanage for special needs and handicap kids. Kids of all ages. Kids in wheelchairs, kids with deformities, kids who couldn’t speak. Many kids in Haiti who are handicapped get dropped off on the side of the road by their parents. Thank GOD for people like this lovely lady who runs the orphanage to help their precious little souls. It too was lunch time here and we had the opportunity to feed the kids. Some of the older and higher functioning kids could feed themselves. I got to feed a little boy who was approximately 8 years old in wheelchair. What a treat! God put the right kid with me to come full circle for my day. Every single bite I fed him he would laugh. Not just a smile. A laugh! I had an entire bowl of rice and black bean juice and every single one was the same. He couldn’t talk, but he could laugh. One time he bent over and gut laughed so hard he wasn’t making any noise and his shoulders were shaking because he was laughing so hard. The best part of the whole thing was that he snorted at the end. What a great pair we were. We were both cracking up. He made my day complete. Such joy. Such happiness. I often refer to the quote, when we put Jesus first, Others second and Yourself last, you find joy. J.O.Y. God truly showed me that today. I will forever be changed by these experiences today. I knew I was going to broke. I just didn’t know how. Sweetly broken. I surrender.
Ke Bondye Beni’ou
(May God Bless You)
Healing Haiti Team Member