Tent city orphanage?!
There has been an amazing team of five men this week at new life. After last week’s team of 45, it has been an interesting change, but that’s how it is here, nothing is ever the same week to week. Today they went to MSC (Haiti’s ‘Home Depo’) with Miriam; they bought about ten fans and a few other things for New Life including an AC unit for the office! I don’t have an office here, but I know I’m going to start hanging out in one soon!
In the beginning of the week I went with Miriam to an orphanage in a tent city out in Corai with the team. The children there are sleeping in battered tents on a hard dirt floor, the wind from the night before had knocked most of the tents over. There are about 23 kids in this ‘orphanage’; it was one of the most difficult experiences I have had since being in Haiti.
There was one girl in particular who really captured my heart; she was quiet and lovely. She walked around holding my hand and when I picked her up it was moments later she was sleeping in my arms. I carried her around for 15 minutes when Miriam told me I could lay her down inside one of the tents and let her sleep. She must have known what I was thinking, or it was written all over my face because after Miriam told me where I could lay her she followed it up with ‘she can’t come with us, go lay her down.’
In the tent was a tarp on the dirt, when I walked in a lady put down a blanket on top of that. I couldn’t just lay her down and walk away, so I did the only thing that felt right…I laid down with her, in the dirt, on a tarp with a coloring book as a pillow and my arms wrapped around her little frame. I closed my eyes, counted my blessings and said a prayer for Daphka.
Miriam came in and helped me up; she knew I couldn’t do it alone. I wanted so badly to take her with us, to hug her and hold her, but it wasn’t the right time. I had to leave her, sleeping on a coloring book and a tarp. I would have stayed there all night with her, just to hold her and let her know someone loves her, but I had to walk away.
From there we drove back toward New Life to see the house that was recently rented for the children of that very tent city orphanage! Its right up the road from New Life, it has a huge yard filled with mango trees, a swing set, and soft grass for children to run and play on. It needs a lot of work, so it’s a good thing there are a lot of teams coming to New Life. Those little ones need a home and some love, I can’t wait to see it happen!
My visit to the tent city orphanage was tough and heartbreaking, I left feeling broken and helpless. My visit to their future home was uplifting and exciting! I can already see them running around the yard and filling their little bellies at the dinner table! I just can’t wait for that day to come!!!