After returning from Haiti in March I had a lot of healing to do. My heart was broken and it effected many aspects of my life. The emotional drain on me was almost too much to handle. But, God did not take me to Haiti, break my heart for His people and then leave me to wither away. He broke me and then He started putting me back together, one day at a time.
In July of 2010 an opportunity arose for me to participate in an orphan care trip to Haiti. With support from my husband and children I packed up and headed back for an eight day trip of ministering in a Carrefour orphanage. I was very excited about this trip because we were going to be staying in the community that we would be working in, which was much different from our first trip.
When we arrived in Haiti we were taken to a nice little apartment on the streets of Carrefour, Haiti. The house did not have running water, air conditioning or even a toilet. However, we were living among the Haitian people and we would have the ability to build trust and true relationships.
Bucket showers with cold water, a cockroach infested outhouse, warm water to drink, sleeping mats on the floor, dripping sweat 24 hours a day......most people would be very turned off by these things (they are not my favorite things in the world either ;) However, it is hard to explain, but these things brought a sense of comfort over me.
I woke up the first morning excited to see what God had planned for us. I could have never imagined what I was about to walk into. We loaded up our day packs and walked down the street to the Son of God orphanage. Walking along the rocky, trash lined street I began thinking about the little faces that I was about to see. Would they be happy, hopeless, joyful, desperate. I could feel the anxiety building inside of me as we got closer to the orpahange. I was trying to be strong for the two college age girls that were on the trip with me. We approached a tall, green gate that closed the children off from the outside world. Our AIM leaders led us through the gate and into a small courtyard. "This doesn't look too bad", I thought to myself. Then, we walked into a very tight, dark hallway. I immediately got a chill down my spine as I felt a sense of evil. I cannot begin to explain this feeling, but it is something that I will NEVER forget.
The dark, tight hallway led to a larger courtyard. We came through the door to see children sitting everywhere! Most of them had a look of pure hopelessness on their faces and were either naked or crying. I saw huge, swollen bellies from lack of nutrition, open wounds seeping with puss, babies sitting on a filthy ground with no diapers on. It was a sight that I could have never been prepared for.
Our white faces brought lots of attention to us. Some of the kids clung to us for attention while others hid behind bigger kids out of fear for the unknown. Most of the children simply wanted to be held, snuggled, given attention.....things that all kids yearn for. As I snuggled a precious little baby in my arms I couldn't help but notice a little boy sitting on a bench across the courtyard from me. I didn't know what it was about him, but I instantly felt a tug on my heart when I looked at him. Maybe it was his big, swollen belly. Or, his bones protruding from his skinny body. Or, maybe it was his huge, empty, brown eyes. It wouldn't be until months later that I would realize why this little boy made my heart ache.
I handed the baby off to one of my friends and walked over to this fragile looking little boy. I said "Bon Jour" (the way to welcome people in Haiti) and I received no reply. After a few minutes of trying to get some response from this little guy I decided to just leave him alone. After a few difficult hours at the orpahange it was time to leave for the day. The sense of evil and darkness that I had stayed with me for the rest of the evening.
The next day we arrived back at the orphanage and I found myself looking for the quiet, sad little boy from the day before. Each day after that was the same. I felt a desire to seek him out and try to break through the wall that he had built around himself.
During our last day at the orphanage I spent the whole time sitting by the quiet, mysterious little boy. As I sat and watched the other missionaries play games with the children I felt a light touch on my hand. As I looked down I saw a tiny, dark hand laying on mine. I slowly took his hand in mine and we sat quietly. As my time came to an end at the Son of God orphanage the children began singing a song of thanks to all of us for coming. I sat there with tears streaming down my face and the next thing I knew the little boy, whose hand I had been holding, climbed up into my lap and began to sob. For a brief moment I just sat, holding this fragile little boy in my arms.....never wanting to let go!
Leaving the orphanage that day was one of the hardest things that I have ever had to do. Something about that little boy had made it's way into my heart. Something about him was different from all of the other precious kiddos at Son of God. Every ounce of my being felt a love for that child.......his name was Makendy.