Its our second day here (first full day serving) in Haiti. The plans changed, we were supposed to split into two groups, one to deliver water while the other was going to go to the home for sick and dying children. What we ended up doing was Team 1 went to a special needs orphanage and Team 2 went to the home for sick and dying children. Around lunch time we all got back together and went out with the water truck and made two stops in addition to spending time at the Haitian Initiative.
As you walk into the special needs orphanage, you hear the sound of laughter. Laughter. In an orphanage in one of the poorest counties in the world. As the gate opened, we were greeted by one of the happiest residents, he was a young man who was displaying a beaming smile from ear to ear and wearing a cool pair of shades. He said, "Welcome! Welcome!" as he hugged the first of us. We were warmed by his hospitality when he started to feel along the wall to find the next person. He was blind. I didn't realize just how much perspective can influence a person's attitude until I visited that orphanage. The joy of the children rubbed off on us just as much as they did themselves. Some of the children were so severely disabled that we were told they can never sit up or stand. What a blessing to be able to pick these kids up and show them the world. The visit was filled with singing, dancing, holding, and kisses on our cheeks. This stop will by far be engrained into my memory for years to come and I know it will bring a smile to my face every time I think of it.
When we arrived at the home for the sick and dying children we were greeted by the most amazing sisters and staff you could ever ask for. They wasted no time pointing us to the rooms that were filled with children awaiting our attention. When we walked in at 9 in the morning there were countless mothers cradling their children. Even with all the mothers, there were still plenty of children for us. One of the most heartbreaking times was when the visiting hours were over and all the mothers had to leave their bawling children alone in their cribs. When it came to lunch time we were blessed enough to be allowed to help with feeding the children. Some of these kids were hardly two years old and were holding their own bowl and were feeding themselves. There was one young girl in particular, her bracelet said she was two years old and as I was walking by all the children, making my way passed the cribs I saw this smile that instantly grabbed me. This was the most precious little girl that I have ever seen. Words cannot describe the emotions that overwhelmed me each and every time this little girl smiled, which was a lot! She had this little toy that when you flipped upside down had colorful balls sprinkle down through these little barriers and every time you flipped it upside down she showed us her beautiful smile. We will be seeing a lot this week but her smile will be forever imprinted in my head.