Friday, February 28, 2014

Compassion Haiti 2014 Day 3

Here we are! The day we had been waiting for. We were going to meet Andy! I felt excited and nervous all at once! What if he didn't like us? What if he was disappointed? What if we didn't have a connection?

Yvonne called our name and we got up to go meet Andy. He came with his older sister, and a staff member from his project. Andy had to travel 3 1/2 hours to Port au Prince, and then spent the night there and then made the 1 1/2 hour trip to us. This was his first time spending the night away from home.

When we saw him he went to hug me and I could have started crying right there. He was smiling and was so happy to be there. We were off to a good start!

 He loved swimming in the pool. There are a lot of children in Haiti who haven't ever seen the ocean or have gone swimming in a pool before. We spent most of the morning at the pool. Nate even borrowed some shorts and got into the water. For those of you who know my husband, the water isn't his most favorite thing. He doesn't know how to swim. But this precious little boy was worth it.

This was our translator, Frankie.
 During lunch, I asked Andy what his favorite toy was to play with. He told us that he doesn't have any toys. That took us so off guard. I should have realized that because the two homes that we visited had no toys in them. But still…no toys? The thought seemed so foreign, especially coming from America where we have an overabundance of toys and entertainment in general.

So Nate then asked Andy what toys he would like to have. Andy replied that he would like cars, trucks, and machines. I had gone shopping for him about a month earlier. I wish I could say I had prayed about what to get him, but honestly, I had just gone down the aisles and picked out what I thought an 8 year old boy would like to play with.

Nate went upstairs and came down with Andy's bag. I found him a CARS book bag at Target. It was the only one left. He unzipped it slowly and started pulling things out.

Love their faces!
He pulled out a Jesus Storybook, written in Creole. He had a tablet and new crayons. He pulled out an Arizona Cardinals T-shirt. And then he pulled out 5 matchbox cars and a lego set that made three different kinds of heavy machinery. I felt so humbled at the kindness of Jesus, that he would allow us to be the catalyst to answer this dear boy's wish. That was an amazing moment.

All smiles!

 Our time was coming to a close, so we asked Andy to draw us a picture of his home. After he drew a picture of his home, we took turns drawing a picture of ours.

Here is a picture of our whole team with our sponsored children

Just before saying goodbye
We then prayed for Andy and his family and then it was time to take a big group photo and then say goodbye. The day was already over! Saying goodbye to that little boy was one of the hardest things I have ever done. It was so hard to let him go. We knew what he was going home to. The unfairness of it all seemed to hit us. Why him? Why does he go home to no clean water, electricity, no bathroom? Where supplying the basics takes up most of the day? And then, why us? Why do we get to live in a nice home, with clean water at five different spigots, a dishwasher, refrigerator, and three bathrooms?

And as we watched him get in the van and drive away…it hit me. God designed it this way on purpose. He not only blesses us with what we have, but He also allows us, desires us, to be His Hands and Feet. To take what we have and share it with those around us. Its our responsibility.

Yes, we could take Andy home with us and his physical surroundings would be improved, but that still doesn't help the problem. But Compassion does. Compassion equips these children with the tools they need to rise up above their circumstances and to make a difference in their country. They have a pride in their country and a strong desire to see Haiti become a better place. By sponsoring a child in Haiti, you are helping equip the next generation of leaders in that country. And not just leaders, but Believers. That is amazing.

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