Saturday, March 19, 2011
A Piece of Paradise...
Last week, I had the opportunity of a lifetime. I visited the Northwest Haiti Christian Mission which is home to the Miriam Center for children with special needs. It took about 9 hours by truck to get to the mission, but it could have taken 100 and I would have been just as happy on my arrival.
The landscape is beautiful and the buildings are colorful, but the children of the Miriam Center are what make it paradise! I only had a couple hours in the evening with the children before they went to bed on my first day, but in those couple of hours, I learned so much about each of them. Ti Willy is the silly one, Jean Kerry is the exercise machine, Moise is the adorable emotional child, Rachel likes to be held, Den Den is the leader, Peterson is the teeny tiny one, Emma is the precious sweet one, etc. Each one is different. Each one is special. Each one is a priceless gem!
I couldn't wait to get up and spend the whole next day with the children of the Miriam Home. There were 32 children in two rooms. Some were singing, some playing instrutments, some playing with legos, some trying to climb on me, and some just sitting with smiles on their faces. I loved all these children instantly, but there was a group of children that I was immediately drawn close to. They were the eight or nine children that were laying down. Many of them reminded me of Jean, and my heart just fell for them. There was Emma, Jimson, Andy, Lunide, Peterson, Henry Claude, Jessica, Rosalie, and more. I knew God wanted me to spend time with them. I knew I was there to love on them. I was there to pour His love unto them. I was there to comfort them, hold them, and pray over them. This was the purpose of my trip.
One by one, I would pick them up and carry them around the facility. Many of them so fragile and sweet. I knew they loved having another heartbeat alongside of their's. They were content and calm when held. It is these moments that I never want to forget. That quiet time with each precious one. I quickly realized that they were pouring love unto me and not vice versa. My heart was open and vulnerable.
The heart behind the happiness of these children is Courtney Pierce. She is a missionary who I've become friends with over the last year. She oversees, manages, and advocates for the Miriam Home. Courtney fights for these kids to be seen, heard, and loved. She spends every day being their advocate. She is their Mommy and they love her! We shared a lot of time together, and we just shared our similar but different stories. We talked about "our" kiddos. We agreed that they don't belong to us as they are certainly God's masterpieces! We agreed that it is simply a honor to even be part of their world. We know that we have both been brought together for a great purpose. We stand on the same platform that advocates to make the "invisible visible." We are blessed!
My time at the Northwest Haiti Christian Mission and Miriam Center was short, but had much impact on me. It was a priceless experience, and it was a lesson in how BIG our God is! Although it will require it's own blog, a tiny piece of this great trip is credited to Peterson. I kept going back to this teeny tiny little boy. He weighed 15 lbs and was almost 5 years old. My heart was breaking for him. When I went to bed at night, I just cried for Peterson. I knew God was stirring something, but I could only sob. I said, "Lord, please reveal your purpose for me, please tell me why you have allowed my heart to break into two." God quickly showed me that Peterson was to come home with me to Danita's Children even if it was temporary. Courtney felt the same way, so within just a couple days, little Peterson and I were on a journey back "home." It was hard to say goodbye, but it felt right to have Peterson coming back with me. I knew God had orchestrated the whole thing because it would not have been possible in the natural.
Tonight, little Peterson sits next to me on my bed while I write this. I look forward to sharing more about him, but for now I will just end with saying I have tasted a piece of paradise!