Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things. - Philippians 4:8
Last night I really just wanted to take some time and vent. I wanted to share about the pain and suffering I've been seeing and hearing these last few days. I wanted to just be mad and share it with you in hopes that maybe someone out there would feel anger too. But I had no power last night so I kept it to myself and said I'll do it tomorrow. And I was about to do it again until I read the verse above and it completely changed my attitude towards what I've been feeling.
Yes, I'll share those moments with you, but I hope to share them in a way that doesn't come across negative but in a way that I and you can thank God for.
On Tuesdays I tutor our younger kids in our sponsorship program. Our tutor class is right in the community where our kids live and as I stood in the class waiting for our students I could hear screaming and my only thought was "Someone is not a happy camper." As norm for our younger kids we need to get them so off I went on a walk until I came to an abrupt stop from witnessing a child being disciplined. My heart dropped as I realized where the screaming came from. Instantly my North American mind set kicked in and all I could do was walk away before I made a wrong choice. You see in Haiti, physical discipline is completely normal. Yes, I could have stopped it. But the thing is I wouldn't have just stopped it, I probably would have made it worse. I can't just show up and start telling these parents what is right and wrong. This was a teaching moment for me. I cannot educate these parents on other ways to discipline until I educate myself first on why they feel they need to do it that way. I am not going to accept it but I will not be that person who walks in and thinks I know all because I come from a different land. I took this as a teaching moment.
Tuesday is also a day for some of our older kids to get tutored. One of boys couldn't concentrate and was complaining of a headache until he just couldn't handle it anymore and tears flowed down his face. This was so unusual for him I thought. I rubbed his back, gave him some water and excused him from class. He just sat outside and it hit me. He's hungry! We asked what he ate that day... nothing. It was already 3pm. What about Monday. ..nothing. Last meal he ate was on Sunday. Here I have a 11 year old who hasn't ate in two days. What was I to do? Obviously, get him food. I just happened to have uncooked rice in my truck. So we filled a bowl and set him off home. I'm so thankful that these children are so honest with us. I'm thankful that in those moments God already has a plan set in place for when these times arrive.
Wednesday comes and off we go to our community. We are visiting one of the families when these two little girls show up. Their hair is so yellow and hard and broken. We meet Leina Jules and her sister.We see the malnutrition. We know that they need help. Mom and Dad are together and have three little girls but no jobs to provide for their family. Leina Jules should be in school, but she's not. We agreed that our organization would not take on any other sponsor children unless absolutely necessary. She is now a part of our program. We can't always help every need but we are so thankful that with the help of people like you, we can send these kids to school, feed them and help lift burdens from families.
Next we have one of our teenage sponsored girls with sores all over legs. It painful just looking at them. I could just sit and be upset and sad that she has to deal with that while I lay in a bed right now. Yes it upsets me but I also am thankful that I can look for help from other people here in Haiti and hopefully get rid of the sores and have her legs healed. Remember God is our healer, he can do this with or without me. I'm okay with either.
And last and the most painful one for me where I'm still left confused and honestly still trying to find something praiseworthy of it. Our boys Ricarduo and Richard. We received a call saying Mom has been in the hospital for the last few days and they are not sure whether she is going to live. The hospital has made her leave because she has no money and now she is laying in a church right now waiting to see if her time has come while her boys stay at home with their auntie and have no food to eat. Ricarduo who still needs to gain weight has no food to eat. My emotions are so involved that it scares me to become more involved. The pain of seeing them come and go is too hard to bear, but to know they are hungry is so much more. Is it wrong of me that I didn't rush to be the "rescuer"? I'm asking God why? What? When? Who? Where? I hear nothing. I need to know that the choices I make in this situation is the one God is telling me to make for myself, for our family, for those boys.
Yes, God is always praiseworthy. And I know in the end I'll understand. So even though I don't understand right now, I'll understand that God is good all the time.
Be in prayer for all these children and so many.