A Broken Heart

When the plane got closer and closer to the ground I was a little overwhelmed. From the very beginning the poverty was evident. Seeing homes made out of sheets of metal and scraps was so sad to me, and then the craziness of the airport made me nervous! The luggage was thrown into piles on the ground, it was crowded, and the desperate guys trying to carry our luggage and asking for money was all a little intimidating. As soon as I saw the Coreluv truck, I remembered why we were there. I was just praying that all of Haiti wasn’t as chaotic as that airport, and it wasn’t. Then as we left the airport I started to ask myself, how can one place be so distraught and poor, and another place not so far away (home) be so blessed and wealthy? Why are the streets so horrible with trash everywhere? Yet, I loved all of the things that make Haiti what it is . . . the tap-taps covered in scripture, the women carrying baskets of everything on their heads, the children playing soccer in the streets, etc. My heart broke for this country that had a government that could care less about their disaster-stricken streets and buildings.

As the week went on we went to Raboto to help at the feeding center, I had not prepared myself for this experience. I knew this was the poorest community in Haiti and that this was the only meal these children would get each day, but saying that and actually seeing that are two very different things. I was so overcome by emotion when the children started getting there and waiting patiently for their food, that I just stood there and bawled my eyes out. Once I finally composed myself, I started serving food. Afterwards, this beautiful young woman came up to me and handed me her tiny baby. This baby looked to be about two months old (although the children in Haiti were always older than I guessed), he had a shirt but was naked other than that, his little nose was covered in snot, and he was coughing constantly. I will say that he was the most adorable little baby ever. His mother was pointing to him, pointing to me, and saying something over and over. I called Kinson over and asked him to interpret. Honestly, I was scared to death that she was asking me to take her baby with me. Instead, she was asking me to find food for him, because he didn’t get any. She had two other children with her as well, but they were able to eat. Kinson told her that the food was all served, and I felt my throat tighten up. I looked at my husband, Josh, and somehow managed to choke out, “find him some food.” He found a spoon and literally scraped a spoonful of rice off the table that had spilled in the serving process. I tried to feed this tiny baby the rice by using my fingers because he could not eat from the spoon. I think he might have gotten 3 or 4 pieces of rice down, and the rest just fell out every time he coughed. My heart was broken because all I could think was that this child would not make it. The orange tint in his hair, the yellow color in his eyes, and the fact that he was sick made me think that his life was not looking too promising. I left that day with a broken heart, and I will never forget that baby and the desperate look in his mommy’s eyes. I just pray that when I return to Raboto that I get to see that boy again and know that he is alive and well. I pray that God will use his little life for something big.

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