After moving to the Houston area from Redding, California, some very distant dreams started to revive inside of me. Dreams of walking through mud slums with an acoustic guitar. Dreams of holding abandoned babies. Dreams of bringing hope to a place with little hope. I can now say that those dreams are not so distant. Not only were those dreams fulfilling and life-giving, but they were completely heart wrenching. They shifted my entire world.
In January, I went on a Coreluv trip to Haiti. I had never been to Haiti or even out of the States. After arriving in Haiti, I could not express in words what I felt walking out of the airport. While driving to Maissade, I saw kids playing on the side of the streets with nothing but rags. They were laughing, smiling, and playing as kids do. I asked myself “How do these children smile when they are surrounded by so little hope?” When arriving at our first Coreluv Children’s Village in Maissade, I was able to see some familiar faces. Faces that were once on my computer screen are now looking back into my eyes with huge smiles. Grabbing my arms to try to peel off my tattoos, running their hands through my hair, gathering around me to listen to me play my guitar and sing the Father’s heart to them. They loved every piece of who I am without knowing who I am. The expression of love they show completely shifted my view of what I thought love to be.
The next day, we started our route to our Myan location. While on that drive, God told me to look out on the land and to take it all in. I looked out and saw beauty in the midst of so much pain and brokenness. I saw His luv over the land.
When we arrived at the children’s village, children who attend our school were grabbing me and pulling me to show me all of their classrooms and backpacks. I started to feel overwhelmed and my eyes started well up with tears. These children have never met me, yet they care so much to show me the things they care about. They were loving every minute of pulling me in every direction to show me what they love to do.
We spent most days in the village and that’s the only place I wanted to be. I started to have a connection with many of our children. One, in particular, was Maniys. Maniys and I were playing on the basketball court together and in a moment, My heart was completely wrecked. He grabbed my hand, asked me to take him with me when I leave, and proceeded to tell me how good of a Dad I would be. Up to this moment, I was keeping it together. I started weeping in the middle of our basketball court with all of our kids around me and telling me “it’s gonna be okay.” The only thing I could do is grab Maniys and hug him. I felt a love I had never known on the basketball court that day. A child who doesn’t have an earthly father understands what a good father looks like. The expression of love Maniys shared didn’t make sense to me.
The love our children are being shown is teaching them how to love. They love with no borders. Maniys didn’t tell me I would be a good Dad to get something from me. He told me because he understands the Father’s love. With your help, we can share these moments of how our kids are not only affected by us, but we are affected by them.
Luv, Dustin Antle
PS. Today, on Valentine’s Day, would you consider giving LUV? Our Coreluv team has faith that we can reach our goal of $14,000 by the end of TODAY with your help! Be a part of the movement that is Giving LUV HERE!