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2 posts categorized "Haiti"

May 29, 2010

A Little Girl Named Magdala

My close friend and partner in crime against poverty is in Haiti right now. Seth Barnes asked me to post this so all of you could pray and help the children his team is ministering to. Have a great Memorial Day Weekend!

Down muddy, potholed streets, behind a high wall is the Son of God orphanage.

 We walked through the building and into the back courtyard, 126 orphans sat in rows doing school under a tall Zaman tree. In 2002 Dr. Maccine Hyppolite saw a group of orphan children near his house. He took them into his home. Word got out and the orphans kept coming.


An engineer declared that his three story building should be condemned, but Dr. Hyppolite feels it's solid. "Just a little rebar and concrete to reinforce the beams and it will be OK." As we walked through the building, an orphan girl smiled at me. Something in me said, "Go talk to her." I grabbed John to translate and asked her name and age.


"I'm Magdala and I'm ten. I've been here three days." I asked her if she had parents and I thought John translated, yes. At that I felt a little relieved - my mind doing some strange triage, parceling out the compassion, "OK, I'm off the hook here. If God had a special assignment for me, she'd be a pure orphan." And I moved on.


The orphans, eager for adult attention, crowd around you and play all kinds of hand-slapping games. One little boy clutched my pants. I told one of the orphanage workers that I was impressed at how he reached out for affection. She said, "That's my boy. His father died in the earthquake." I wasn't quite sure how to respond - be sad for her, or affectionate toward her boy as he sought to fill his father gap.


Later, unable to shake the feeling that God wanted more out of me with Magdala, I went back and asked her a few more questions. She said, "After both my parents died, my aunt took care of me. And then she brought me here." It hit my spirit for some reason. Four years ago God told me to make room for his orphans in my life. And we have a lot of them in Africa. So, what did this interaction with Magdala mean?


I asked her if I could pray for her. She said yes. I prayed a blessing. I prayed protection. I imagined what her parents would say if they were still living. I felt God's care for her and my eyes began to water. And I said amen. And then goodbye. And I walked out of the orphanage still wondering.


I do know this for sure: God loves his children and he wants us in their lives. We may see 126 orphans under a Zaman tree. He sees Magdala.


If you'd like to help me support Magdala, please go here & if you give, mention her name in the "note" field. I'd like to pray for her and provide for her education.

March 02, 2010

Our First Sponsored Orphanage in Haiti

We have been praying about what role Children's HopeChest needs to play in Haiti. Our goal is to have projects and community sponsorships with a number of orphanages and walk with them for years to come as they rebuild. We want to be with them long term not simply help with emergency aid. The story of our first orphanage is below. We already have a sponsor and these children are already receiving the help they need. If you are interested in your community being engaged in Haiti, please click here to learn how to TRANSFORM an orphanage, then email me about your interest at [email protected]. We're thankful to Telecom Decision Makers, Inc., for being our first sponsor in Haiti. This story comes from my buddy, Seth Barnes' blog.

When the earth shook with violence in Leogane, an orphanage of 46 girls erupted in screams. A house mom threw her body across the three nearest girls as the walls and ceiling collapsed on her, taking her life, but saving the girls.

Two of them escaped, but one named Mange remained stuck in the rubble next to the house mom who had sacrificed her life.

Trapped in the rubble, Mange cried out: "Please don't leave me here to die! I don't want to die this way!"

Two young boys from the church heard her cries and began digging. The structure looked like a concrete pancake, but they dug and cleared a hole through. Mange was saved.

All 46 orphans gathered together, but now they had no house mom. Eighteen-year-old Geesula sprang into action. Not only was she the oldest of the group, but she had been around longer than all but one of the other orphans. Geesula now became the protector of orphans. The surrounding community came in and stole all their remaining food, but Geesula saw to it that the girls were safe.

A month later, Geesula continues to be housemom for her 45 orphan sisters. She knows what the girls need each day.

Before the quake, the orphanage was part of a foundation that included a bakery, guest house and medical clinic. All of those collapsed and their vehicle was demolished.

This orphanage needs your help. They have lost everything and aren't supported by any big church or organization.

There has been enough death in Haiti. Now is the time for life. God is giving us an opportunity. While orphans live in tents and we still live in houses, God invites us to do more. Like those young boys who dug out Mange from the rubble, lives are saved when we hear the cries of the poor and hurting and respond.

Right now, living conditions are very primitive - tents and no electricity. Rainy season arrives next month, so there is no time to waste. The time for Haiti is now and the time for Haiti's orphans is today.

if you want to GIVE to Haiti, please Click here and mark your gift: "Haiti's Orphans."