Farewell to Haiti

Wow!! It never crossed my mind that I would welcome the new year in thousands of miles from home serving on the mission field, but here I am. It’s officially 2013 and I’m in Haiti. I can’t help but think God was very intentional regarding my location for the first day of the year. My hope is 2013 will be filled with opportunities for me to serve in a missions capacity.

Tomorrow I board a plane for Texas, and I am sad to leave. I truly love Haiti and it’s people. I was told once that there is healing in my smile.  I’m not really outgoing, but it’s easy to smile. What I found amazing was how easily a smile can change someone’s countenance.  Every single person I smiled at smiled back, and not one of them had seemed to welcome my presence before I smiled. One lady was sitting in a crowded tap-tap just scowling my direction. I fixed my smile on her and watched in awe as she shrugged as if to say, “okay you win” and smiled back. Tonight at the grocery store a man kept staring at my feet. I caught his eye and smiled. He immediately broke into a grin and even asked how I was doing. I think I’ll continue this practice stateside.

Loving on orphans is definitely where I’m most comfortable. I try to show them all attention, but inevitably I always end up bonding strongly with one or two.  Yesterday I walked by the toddler room at bathtime; all those cute little kiddos, running around soaking wet and naked. One of them just stood there scowling. He would not smile. I kept trying to change his countenance, but eventually ended up in tears, overwhelmed that a child who’s barely three could carry so much sadness. Fortunately he’s matched with a family. My prayer for Hugo is that soon he’ll be with his forever family, and the sadness would be replaced with joy.  Then there’s my most favorite, not quite six month old Baby Q Tip. His real name sounds something like Gerbil, but he earned the Q Tip moniker because of the fluffy little tuffet of hair on top of his head.  He has soft, chubby cheeks, beautiful dark, smooth skin and the sweetest little grin. He has such a peaceful disposition, he fell asleep in my arms three times. He’s been at the orphanage most of his short life and is not yet matched with a family. I left tear stains on his cheeks as I laid him in his crib and kissed him good bye for the last time.  My prayer for him is that not only will he be matched quickly with a family, but that the process will be quick and he won’t have to spend two years waiting to go home with his forever family.

Haiti, I bid thee farewell, but will carry a piece of you in my heart always.

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