Lori was recently on a Mission Discovery trip to Port au Prince, Haiti. She visited the HOLD the children school in Capva. This is her story of the experience.
“When our bus rolled up on the Tent City, I was anticipating a day of playing games, holding children, my heart opening up to each child that wanted attention from me. We went in the school and children requested each of us to take seats by them; they made room for us to be near. For some there was singing the Haitian Creole ABC’s, while others were shown math lessons. There were questions about families and names, and which mission member belonged to whom. Their little faces lit up when they found out my daughter and I were visiting together and we looked alike in so many ways. It was as I expected and more. We were loving on the kids but they were loving us right back.
Later we went outside to play with all the children who were not enrolled in school, either because they didn’t have sponsorship or maybe something else. These children went from person to person seeking a connection either in a game, a song, a hug, or a smile. Each child touched me in some way. It was an amazing experience. That is when I made eye contact with a little girl, about 8 or 9. She look as if she was standing there for me and we both smiled. She walked over with her baby sister(1) in her arms. I managed to say bonjour, name?, and I told her that she and her sister were belle, which I was told meant beautiful. She handed me her sister and I just sat and held. We tried short hand conversation, while children braided my hair. The littlest sister eventually slept in my arms. The lower half of my body went numb from sitting on the hard gravel. I wasn’t getting up for nothing and missing this one conversation in love and holding this baby.
At some point later, my hair was done and the surrounding children had moved on. I turned to get up and caught the glance of the third sister, about 5. She had been standing behind me the entire afternoon. Never saying a word, just watching as I held her little sister and talked to her big sister. She was very quiet and my guess usually an observer. After my day there, I went and looked at other team members photos. She was always standing right behind me. I already knew the other two had taken my heart, but she did also just by being patient and honoring of the connection. I loved her for everything she was and is.
Our group was then invited to go for a short walk. As we passed by the girls’ tent, the oldest ran to who I assume was her mother, pointed me out, and they waved. I smiled and waved back, an honor to have been introduced. We walked for a while, all of us holding hands and me carrying the baby. I felt such a bond as the girls looked up at me and told me certain words in our surrounding. Sometimes they just looked at me to see what my face was saying on its own. I wondered how I would say good bye. My day was full. My heart was full. Then I received the best gift. The two girls, both staring up into my eyes every step, sang to me, “God is so good, God is so Good, God is so good, He’s so good to me!” I no longer had control of my tears as they dripped down my face. The oldest girl hugged me and waved good bye. I have no idea what was happening but that she was gone and I couldn’t imagine not seeing her again. We were told it was time to leave. The middle sister never let go of my hand. She walked me right to the bus. Crying, I handed her sister back. I hugged her and we said good bye. In my entire life, I’ve never wanted so much to make something better. To make a difference. I cried on the way back to New Life. I wanted to spend my time helping those girls. But we wouldn’t return. As soon as I found out that there was an opportunity to sponsor children from tent city, I was online looking for their faces. I knew I was supposed to be there for them. My only option was to send out emails to everyone connected to this site, this group, to those girls. After a week or so they were identified and I am now able to be their sponsor. I feel like they are sponsoring me. I feel like I am receiving so much by being given the opportunity to send them to school, help their family, perhaps give them medical care or food. I have been blessed by the presence of three little girls.”
Lori is very excited to sponsor the girls, Mosalinda, Mirlanda & Viala at the HOLD the children School in Capva. These three girls touched Lori’s heart and she followed God’s leading to do something about their circumstance. More importantly, she is providing a life changing opportunity for them. That is what HOLD the children is about; providing opportunities for lives to be changed; the child and the sponsor.