"Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you." James 1:27Widows - Alone in this world, but highly favored by the King
-The Good Book
During our very first day of ministry in Haiti, we walked around the streets ministering and inviting people to an Easter revival service. Part of our group ran into a widow named Annalise. She was very old and lived in a house that was partially torn down by the earthquake. She told them her story of how she slept on the street for the first few months after the quake. She had a self sustaining business before the earthquake, cooking fresh meals everyday and selling them to folks on the street, but now, she lacks the money to get started again. As they spoke to her, she told them about some cysts she had on her abdomen. They were noticibly large and painful so the crew gathered around her and prayed.
Then they went on with their walk.
That night as we gathered to talk about our day, Aaron (one of our students) and Sophia (our AIM Project Leader) both shared a burden to return to pray for her again. So the next morning as we headed to a tent city, we stopped by her home to pray with her. We talked to her for a few moments, and then we shared our burden to pray. As Sophia placed her hand on Annalise's abdomen, an astonished look came over Sophia's face...the cysts were completely gone! Sophia ran her hand all over this woman's stomach area and the cysts that she felt so clearly just one day earlier had completely vanished! It was a true miracle! Annalise smiled and said, "God has been working on me!" We made several other visits to Annalise as the week went on and at the end of the week, Sophia went and bought a large amount of rice, beans, and oil. Enough for her to begin her business again. God used us once again to care for those he loves. What an honor.
Orphans - Children of the Most High
On Wednesday afternoon, we spent the afternoon ministering at an orphanage. We acted out a Bible story, we sang songs with them, and played organized games. And then things got personal. This orphanage was the home to 20 girls. There used to be 60, but there former orphanage was completely destroyed by the earthquake. (Obviously, this earthquake affected everyone in this city) The place they were living in now, wasn't very safe either. We asked the girls to give us a tour of their home and the director of the orphanage took us from room to room. It was devastating. The girls slept in 3 rooms, but only 2 rooms had beds, the other one had only a stack of pillows in the corner. Their play area outside was stacked with rubble and half fallen walls.
After our tour, we went outside and sat together playing games and talking through our gracious interpretors. One little girl, Nunez, walked hand in hand with me through our tour and when I sat down, she crawled right into my lap. We sat quietly for a long time as I stroked her back. Soon, I looked down and she was asleep on my chest. It was one of the sweetest and most humbling moments of my life. I didn't have the power to take sweet Nunez out of her situation. I couldn't rescue her. But I could be the hands and the touch of Jesus for a short moment in her life.
The orphanage director told us a story about Nunez. He said that after her mother died, her father felt incapable of taking care of her. He planned to kill her, but he told an friend and the friend begged him to take her to a pastor. He decided that he would let his friend have her, and the friend delivered her safely to the pastor/orphanage director. Her life was saved.
All of the girls:
Some living conditions:
Part of our team plans to go back to the orphanage to help rebuild. We were also fortunate enough to leave several sleeping mats, sleeping bags, water bottles, towels and pillows at the orphange for the children. They should all have something to sleep on now! Thank you Chaffees for making that possible.