Today we went to one of the homes for disabled children which is not in my comfort zone at all. However, once I got past all of the things that made me uncomfortable I was able to just focus on the kids and trying to make them smile. My favorite part was when we took the kids in wheelchairs and wheeled them under the parachute. Their faces just lit up.
We also went to the school/home for deaf children and I had known some English sign language so I communicated as much as I could. We brought out the whiteboards and the teenagers started to teach me sign language and it was amazing to learn and watch and communicate with these kids. They loved teaching me and I loved learning.
I fell even more in love with Haiti this past week and I can’t wait to come back. This week the Lord has taught me that I need to spend more time just loving on the people who are dear to me and still loving on the people who don’t love me. I just wish I could bring everyone I know to Haiti so they could experience the amazing culture, people, and sights I have fell in love with.
Today we had the great opportunity to visit two orphanages. The first orphanage was for deaf children. Having both the language barrier of Creole to English and speech to sign language it was challenging to communicate with the kids. However, we made it work with white boards and a few words in sign language. We played sports, played on the playground, and just had a fun time at the orphanage for the deaf children. It was amazing to see God work through the language barriers we faced today.
The second orphanage we visited was an orphanage for kids with special needs. Caring for children with special needs in Haiti is a challenge because they take so much time and attention from the parents, which is why a lot of them end up in orphanages. The kids with special needs were filled with so much love and joy. We played with bubbles and soccer balls and the kids just loved it. My favorite part was sitting with the cutest little girl who wanted to blow bubbles so bad but she could not blow. She would hold the bubbles up to my mouth and I would blow them for her and her face lit up with the purest smile I have ever seen. Today I saw even more of God’s love and grace from all the children we visited.
Today I played soccer with a boy in a wheelchair – he was quite good.
Our team visited an orphanage that takes in children with special needs in Haiti. My new friend’s legs would not support standing or walking and one of his ankles would not bend, but he could trap and kick a ball better than most. He did not speak, either by choice or bad luck, but we communicated no problem with looks and glances. We started with a small ball because of course I underestimated him. But it was clear quickly he was bored with my plan and wanted to move up to a real soccer ball. And he did not want me to kick it right to him, he preferred a change – I loved it! When he could not reach the ball with his feet while scooting around in his chair, he would simply slide down in his chair to extend his reach. It was inspiring to watch and a joy participate.
We are so quick to judge and rank in the US by appearance and assumption, myself included. Today I am thankful God again reminded me he is the creator and sustainer of all we see and do. And his gifts are often given to those we would not expect. Look around this week for hidden and unexpected gifts.