Once God gave me the grace to push through the hard stuff on Day 1, I came to that humbled and surrendered place of simply saying, “Lord, Here I am. Use me as You wish.” And He did.
The day was spent distributing gifts to the orphaned and at-risk children whom we minister to on a regular basis. First, we went to the Good Shepherd School in Marigot, which is in a rural village 30 minutes from Jacmel. Grace Fellowship Church in Atlanta, GA had sent several hundred shoe box gifts over a few months ago. We had planned to have them bring a college team over in early December to give out the gifts and build a food storage depot for the school since we have a feeding program there, but we had to cancel the trip at the very last minute because of the rioting due to the fraudulent election.
So, Fenel and I were the ones that had the opportunity and privilege to give out the gifts to the children there. We had a blast giving and the children had a blast receiving. They were so happy!! And that made us so happy. I also had the opportunity to share with them about looking to Jesus, who is the greatest gift that God has ever given us. I encouraged them to see the small gift that was given to them as an expression of God’s love towards them. We all had a wonderful time. It was a reminder of the verse in the Book of James that states “Every good and perfect gift comes from above, from the Father of lights, who does not change and has no shadow of turning at all.” In addition to giving the shoe box gifts, there were a few kids who are part of our sponsorship program and had sponsors give us extra money to buy gifts for the sponsored children. So, we called those children aside and gave them their additional gifts. They were so excited!!! It was just such a blessing to be able to bring joy to each child.
After getting back from Marigot, we visited with the kids that we have sponsored in Jacmel through Jean Franko’s church. We had purchased gifts for all the kids in the program, and we also had some of the sponsors send gifts for some of these kids as well. One of the families is a woman who is caring for 6 or 7 orphaned children, most of which have been sponsored. So, we visited with her in her tent…I mean, her home. That’s right. This woman is living in a tent with 7 children who are not even her own kids. Wow!!! That is amazing. So, I shared with this woman about what it says in James 1:27…”True religion that is pleasing to God our Father is this, to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” I thanked her for doing her part of fulfilling James 1:27 and shared with her about how we are trying to do our part by getting all these orphaned children sponsored. She was so happy to hear about getting most of “her” children sponsored. These kids now have the opportunity to go to school consistently, to eat nutritious meals consistently, to get medical care consistently, and just to be well cared for consistently. What a blessing this sponsorship program is to so many!!
So, we gave out the gifts that had been delivered or purchased for these sponsored kids. The kids were so happy!! They were happy about the gifts, but they were also just so happy to hear that they have a person in the states that is committed to praying for them regularly and providing opportunity for them in so many ways.
That’s what the sponsorship program is all about: opportunity…a most precious commodity in Haiti. So, thank you to all of you who have sponsored a child. Your investment is making a HUGE difference. We are in the process now of hiring a young Haitian guy who will serve as a spiritual mentor to all of the children that are part of the sponsorship program. He will meet with the children and the family regularly to pray with them, do bible study, provide encouragement, etc. I am so excited about this.
The day was extremely long and we did not get done visiting with all the families until evening. But what a blast it was being able to walk through these little tent cities and other broken down areas and bring huge smiles to children who have been invested in.
That was the end of day 2. More to come…