It was the third day of my initial trip and we had been to a few orphanages, but this day we went to Jubilee to assist with a feeding program. I was excited and nervous at the same time because I had seen the video from the time Mike went to Haiti. In the video I saw the worst devastation I had ever seen in my life. I did not think places like this really existed or I knew they existed but I had decided in my head that they were only in the movies. When we got there I saw smiling faces. Some of the children were naked but they didn’t care. They just wanted us to hold and play with them. That was heart wrenching because when you looked at the conditions they were living in, this should not have been a happy place.
Most of the guys that were in our group went into the feeding center to set up for lunch; we were to provide each child with one plate of rice and beans. By the time I got in there the room was completely full with kids. There were kids sitting on laps of other kids; the floor was covered. I even saw kids sitting under the tables. They all sat patiently knowing their only meal of the day was being prepared. Before eating, one of the leaders calmed the room and the kids started to sing. What an amazing sound! They were worshiping the Lord and continued with a prayer. We started passing out the food and as I was handing out the food it happened…the moment that changed my life forever. I saw a small child, if I had to guess I would say 12 -18 months, sitting on the ground completely naked and covered in filth. I made eye contact with the child and he just smiled at me and reached his hand up for a plate of food. I passed the food down to him and he grabbed the plate and spoon and started eating. In that moment I realized this child is too young to be eating on their own let alone walking to a feeding center and sitting quietly for their only meal of the day. I lost it and I started crying in the middle of everything. I saw my husband trying to pass me another plate of food. He saw me crying and I pointed to the child. When I looked back at him he gave me this look and said, “I know, this is the worst thing ever, but you have to be strong for them. They need us; just keep going.” That was exactly what I needed to hear. I sucked it up, cleared the tears, and kept serving all the kids until there was nothing left to serve. We continued playing with the kids unit they all finished eating, helped clean up and then we left. I realized that day that Jesus loves us all. It doesn’t matter our situation, circumstance, or place of birth. Jesus wants us all to have an opportunity to get to know His love. I also came to the realization that we all need a father. Whether an earthly father or one through the Lord; a father is a mentor, a teacher, and a defender. Sadly there is no one to defend an orphan because they have no earthly father. So I know that it is our duty to defend the orphan because if we don’t, then no one will.
Posted on Thu, July 26, 2012
by Shelly Avery filed under