On returning from a week in Haiti, I find myself thinking about my new friends. I was fortunate to serve with a great team from ACF, Mission Discovery and Heritage Christian Church in Peach Tree City, Georgia. During our last meeting, Stan Horrell asked us to consider what we're taking home with us.
My immediate thought was the names and faces I met this week. Sweet sweet kids with beautiful faces, some in nice orphanages, some in rougher orphanages, some in dusty villages, some in a tent city near where we stayed. Each one I met left me thinking, what does it look like for them when the sun sets. What are they thinking when their head hits the pillow each night? Does their head hit a pillow, do they have a bunk, are they going to have a meal to eat? Basic questions with uncertain answers.
The other question that haunts me is who loves on, who encourages the least of these? Who puts a hand on their shoulder and says:
"You did a great job", or
"Everyone has a hard day, buddy, don't let this one get you down", or
"You know what, I'd love you no matter how you well you did" or
"I saw you help that little girl this morning and sure was proud of you."
Beyond food, a place to sleep, safety, isn't our deepest need to know we are loved, that someone cares, that someone sees us and wants to help us? I can only imagine when food, shelter or security are scarce that our deepest need only intensifies.
I'm taking home the faces of some sweet kids I have the privilege to hold, pat on the back, hug and look into the eyes of this week. Let me introduce you to a few of them.
Meet Stevenson with Jon Addington. My friend Chelsea introduced me to him. He's quiet, polite, athletic, smart and a great looking kid who dreams of becoming a doctor someday.
Meet Dadu. He lives in a tent city close to the Port au Prince airport. He's a sweet kid we remembered from last year when we visited his tent city. He lit up when I shared a picture of him with us from a year ago. It clearly touched him to know he was recognized. He stayed right beside us our entire visit and wouldn't let go of our hands.
Meet Donelz (the older of these two - to my right). He lives in an orphanage, in a large house (maybe 3500-4000 square feet), with 104 other orphans. Donelz is one year from being done with his classical education (high school), but needs money to take his year end tests, so he can advance to his final year. We're working on that for him, but I was overwhelmed with how kind and well spoken he is as we visited.
Meet little Stevenson. This sweet little boy lives in a village out in a hot dusty town, just outside Port au Prince. We had the chance to sit together for about an hour this week and he barely said a word. After about 45 minutes and giving him my hat, he finally trusted me with 2-3 words...in Creole. Wish I spoke the language.
When we see their faces, our immediate reaction is to try and figure out what we can do right now to help these guys and girls. While space, time, language and adoption laws might keep us from making any instant impact, we have a Father in Heaven that sees every one of these kids. He knows their deepest needs, their dreams and desires. And best of all, He cares about all the details of their lives.
"You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in Your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book." (Psalm 68:5 NLT)
"The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the LORD holds them by the hand." (Psalm 37:23-24 NLT)
Here's what we can do - we can lift up these boys I have introduced you to and others you might know like them, to our Father in Heaven. Carrying their burdens to Him makes a difference. Pray with me. Pray these children turn to and trust in Him. Pray these verses to the LORD and ask Him to make these truths real to these sweet children. And if you want to do more...then do it! Go! Give! It doesn't matter if it's Haiti, Nicaragua, Uganda, Mexico or the United States. Seek out the fatherless, hold these kids, look into their eyes and share the Great News of Jesus. Be the hands and feet that tell these little ones that He loves them, He cares about them and He sees them.
"But how can they call on Him to save them unless they believe in HIm? And how can they believe in Him if they have never heard about Him? And how can they hear about Him unless somebody tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent. That is why the Scriptures say, "How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!" (Romans 10:14-15 NLT)