Thursday, March 31, 2016

Heartbreak in Haiti (Part 1 of 2)

Only a few weeks before leaving for Haiti, our church had a child sponsorship drive. Several tables were set up with pictures and information about different children needing sponsorship around the world. Lifeline Christian Mission, the organization we traveled with, had a table and pictures of several children living in Haiti near the Grand Goave compound that we would be staying at. My dad told me to choose a child and with a quick glance through the pictures, I laid my eyes on her. She was the one. I knew it. Her name is Fednerline.

Fednerline is six years old and if you ask what it was that led me to pick her, all I could tell you is that she was the one. We were choosing her early enough that they would get our papers turned in and we would have the opportunity to meet her when we got to Haiti! At this point in my preparation for mission work I was completely doubting my decision to go. As excited as I had been only a couple of months prior, now I was completely doubting God's choice to send me there. I sent my plea up to Heaven, "God, I'm going to be obedient. I'll go like you told me to but I'M NOT HAPPY ABOUT IT!"

Choosing to sponsor Fednerline was just what I needed to reset my heart to prepare to leave. My mind and heart were consumed with the idea of meeting her, touching her, holding her, kissing her. She wasn't just a face of a child in a faraway world who I would cut a check for once a month. She was a real little girl who I was going to hold in my arms.

We arrived in Haiti late in the evening on Monday and the plans were that the next day, our first full day in Haiti, we would all get to meet our sponsor children. I excitedly bagged up the gifts I had brought for her and headed over with my dad to wait for her name to be called.

As the names of sponsor children, their sponsors, and the translator they would get to use were called I slowly became anxious as the seats filled with sponsor children and their families began to empty and Fednerline had yet to make her way up front to meet me. My heart raced faster and my eyes began to fill with tears as I realized that my Fednerline, the little girl who had given me the last bit of strength I needed to get on the plane, wasn't there.

Sitting alone next to my dad, looking around at the smiling faces of American sponsors hugging their children, it was all that I could do not to burst into uncontrollable tears. We waited a little bit longer, just in case, before we quietly stood up and began walking back to the dorms, a bag of size 7 dresses and a grey teddy bear hanging like dead weight on my shoulder.

To learn more about our work in Haiti, visit Lifeline Christian Mission's website here!