This past weekend I had some friends come in on a mission trip. Four of them were on a team I led back in 2012 and whenever they come I always try to spend some time with them. This year, two of those people brought a team from their church and THEY led their team! I used a “Mission Day” for work and spent all day Sunday and Monday with them. They came through their church, Servants Heart Fellowship in Peoria, Ill.
I was nice to catch up and spend time serving along side old friends. We went out to the orphanage that was previously supported by an organization I worked for, but I fear no longer has any support aside of Servants Heart Fellowship (SHF). I am impressed with their dedication and resilience. It can be difficult to work with Orphanages and different organizations in Haiti, but if you are willing to take the time to pour into relationships, then you might run the risk of actually making a difference.
SHF pours into relationships. They pour into the brother/sister team who started the orphanage. A father who lost his wife and didn’t know how to care for his children. The sister who lives in the states and is doing her best to help our this father and so many other fathers and mothers who find themselves alone. The pour into the hearts of children and teachers. The goal is not adoption, some times the goal is surviving. This “orphanage” is more of a school, a boarding school if you will. SHF is in it for the long hall. They are committed to relationships and partnering with a family who are making the most to survive-at best.
I had a great Mission Day and enjoyed loving on the kids with the rest of the team. It was nice to be a part of what they are doing. The men on the team made desks and the women did some really fun crafts and a vacation bible study during the week. I even got to step in use some of my super-power-teaching-skills (Because I happen to admire all teachers everywhere and think it’s sort of a super power to impact lives in a way teachers do) the day I was there. I also got a beauty treatment, some people color their hair, I prefer to have a team of specialists pluck the greys from my skull.
Thanks for letting me spend the day with you SHF! Missing you guys already!
Disclaimer: I know there are many books and opinions of how orphanages can and should be run. There are books and opinions on how missions can and should be run. Heck, there is a big book that tells us how life should be, but the truth is, sometimes we get it wrong. Sometimes we have days when we get it right and some times not so much. Opinions and views differ and although I appreciate those differences, I’m asking you….don’t rain on my parade! GREAT job SHF!!!
Sunday afternoon I was not around and Julie was invited to the women’s group of Tabarre weekly meeting. On Wednesday we started training with our 20 new women at RG, many who are from the Women’s Group of Tabarre.
When Julie showed up she received a warm welcome. While talking to Jolina who has been with RG since its inception she was informed of an orphanage in the area with 29 kids who are in dire need of help. It is Haitian run and Haitian supported. A few of our new women are involved with this orphanage as they took in their children when their families were unable to provide for them.
After receiving their first pay check a few of the new staff members took the money and gave it to the orphanage to help pay for food. Jolina asked Julie if she could help in support. Julie who to date refuses to take an American salary is unable to donate any more money to more causes.
However, Jolina and the women in the group came up with the idea to approach the staff at the RG shop, explain the needs of the orphanage and see who would consider donating a bit of their salary each week to the orphanage. Many of our current staff do give to the orphanage weekly, but it was amazing that Claudette- who hadn’t even worked a full week was so thoughtful and generous.
When Julie told me this story I was in complete awe of the selflessness and compassion of our artisans and the women in the group. This shouldn’t be a big surprise, not a day goes by where the resilience and love of our staff ceases to surprise me. They are loving, compassionate, beautiful people and I am so blessed they are all a part of RG, not to mention my friends.
I am not sure what the rest of the staff will decide to do, but I will update when I hear! Please pray for our staff, the people of Haiti and children everywhere who are not living in a true home.