There are No Orphans of God in Haiti
Spend some time with those that have little and you will find there are no orphans of God in Haiti.
Once the ladies were done visiting the women’s ward in the hospital we were led to another ward in the hospital. We crossed the open courtyard to the infant ward, where there was a lady tending to the children. The first half of the room was full of cribs with young children that the woman, who we had found out was only a volunteer was doing her best to keep them from crying. Naturally the first instinct of many in our group was to want to comfort the children any way they could.
In the back part of the same room in the ward there were a few family members gathered around their children. We had noticed that some of the children had no family, so we asked the volunteer. She shared with us that the children were dropped off by their parents, who since they could not afford the expense would not be back. The children in turn would remain at the hospital in the ward until they were fetched by the government and transferred to one of the many government-run orphanages.
Looking into the eyes of one of the children in the cribs, my heart began to ache and tears welled up in my eyes. I told my wife I needed a moment and I stepped back into the open courtyard to get some air. The reality of the environment started to fill my lungs, between the sights, sounds and odors I began to weep. I was not prepared for this kind of environment on our trip. Nothing every could have prepared me to see my own mortality in the eyes of a small child.
Granted the circumstances were different, the hospital was not like the one I had spent time in, yet the choice was the same. I was shown the same humanity and evidence first-hand of the decision my own parents had made. Growing up in a hospital after being orphaned then in foster care it was always something that I felt made me different from others. Now I was faced with the sad crying eyes of many other orphans that faced the same fate if not worse.
After I had regained my composure and no longer distracted by the rats that played about in the courtyard, I returned to the children’s ward. Shortly thereafter we were escorted out of the hospital and back to the tap tap by our security detail and translators. Riding through the streets of Port-au-Prince no longer had the same excitement for me as my broken heart remained a bit back at the hospital. Lights of the streets glistened off my tear soaked cheeks as I tried to contain my emotions in the darkness of the tap tap.
When we returned to the mission house for the night, I finally understood what everyone had been telling me all along. I was warned before ever stepping foot on the plane to travel to Haiti that she would break my heart. I found myself humbled with not only a broken heart but a smashed one that would never be the same. Rather than being the stoic, unemotional man who had arrived in Port-au-Prince a couple of days before. Now I had joined the ranks of the “He-Man Crybabies Club”, and proudly so.
As we prepared to leave Haiti the next morning I came to grips with the pain that had haunted me for many years. I had found a way to face my own past, deal with my own anger. It only took me to spend some time with people hundreds of miles away that had a faith I could only hope for. Spend a couple of days with people who want nothing more than to know that you care and you too will have your heart softened if not shattered.
There are No Orphans of God in Haiti
This journey has been a learning, growing and unknowingly life changing. If I were able to share anything from my mission trip experience. It would not be the pictures, videos or even these posts, it would be that if you ever have the chance to go on a mission trip …. go. Allow your heart to be open whether local or abroad to serve those that need our help. Help those that would never be able to repay you in turn. Face your fears, allow yourself to be broken and molded in a way you never could imagine. Might even end up like me, ready so ready to go back and allow my heart to be broken all over again.
I hope this Mission to Haiti series has been enjoyable to read, I would love to hear about your own mission trip ministries. Please comment below if you have one to share.
About Charles Johnston
Charles is a Christian, husband and father of fur-kids who shares his walk with others in hopes to help other's along the way.