The act of love has been part of me since I was a young girl. I was just that little girl that loved her baby dolls, her siblings, her friends, her family, dance, school, and even the color pink. I have just always loved!
That certainly did not change when I moved to Haiti either. I might have been put in a different country, but the love is still the same.
When Papito and I were first brainstorming the idea and vision of "Footprints of the Son," love was the first thing that came to mind (and, I don't mean the love we have for one another...haha.) We asked ourselves, "how does one show love?" We realized that we didn't just want to love the children of the ministry, but their families as well. We wanted to encourage, teach, and assist the whole family dynamic. We quickly knew that God was fostering this vision, and He was going to give us much work to do. We also knew that with being obedient to His purpose for the ministry, He was going to bless it and create beauty within it. Perhaps what we didn't know was that while we loved, we were going to be loved as well...
Medjina and her family: They just get so excited when we come to their house and visit. One time Medjina got so excited to see us that her mom had to stop feeding her because she wouldn't swallow out of excitement! She needed friends...and we are her friends.
Woncito: When I first met Woncito, he screamed. He thought I was coming to take him away from his wonderful and precious family. I quickly told him "I love you and because I love you, I will come back another time when Mommy and Daddy are home." I came back after 3 days, and he greeted me with a smile! He trusts me now, and he knows I love him, but more importantly he knows I love him WITH his family!
Anchilove and her family: The love was instant on both ends. They are one of the poorest families when it comes to material things that I have ever met, but through thick and thin, they are a family. The appreciation that this family has for us is simply breathtaking. We deliver formula and cereal two times a week (along with clean drinking water,) and EVERY time they are so grateful. They see their little girl thriving, and they are not taking the help for granted.
Mackendy and his dad: The love between Mackendy and his father has made my heart melt. This dad has gone to extreme measures to make sure his little boy has the very best when it comes to his medical needs. He has traveled hours upon hours to get the colostomy bags Mackendy requires. The relief on his dad's face was evident when we told him that we were going to accept his little boy into our outreach program. This means that we will help with not only Mackendy's medical, but also his education.
Evans: Our happy butterball! Evans has a large extended family that adores him, but the love was shown through Woncito's mother. She knows Evans, and told us about him after we had been helping her family out for over a month. She asked Papito, "do you think you could help one more out?" The rest is history..
Katiana: We have yet to meet Katiana's family as they are never around, but we adore her. We tell her constantly that she was made perfectly by our great God, and that she has purpose! She is shy and often sad, but she knows we love her! We see her often and can normally get a smile out of her by just a little wave from afar.
Gerin and his mom: Love is sacrifice is the perfect way to explain this relationship. Gerin is 14 years old and cannot communicate his feelings or emotions except through yelling. He has difficulty sleeping and self soothes through rocking and hitting his face. His mother is the only one that can comfort him, and the only one Gerin trusts. This is love in a realm most don't even understand.
Kervins: We received a call from Haitian social services on Kervins asking for assistance for his young mother and him. The mom lit up when we encouraged her to trust in the fact that he was born differently but shows great potential. We told her he can and will do everything God has in store for him! Encouragement can go a long way and speak volumes!
Ange-derlie: 7 year old beauty that is nonverbal, but shows huge potential for educational growth. She has parents that have poured into her life, and have not had another child in order to focus on their daughter. They are devoted to give her every bit of energy she deserves and needs.
Baby Junyson: Perhaps the greatest act of love so far has been with baby Junyson. He has already gone to Heaven, but it was worth every bit of love we poured out on him and his family to have him in outreach! He will remain in our hearts forever. We have also been so blessed by the gratitude and love of his family. They have thanked us numerous times for doing everything we could regarding his medical care, nutrition, etc. The hardest part, but most humbling was when his dad said, "and you didn't stop there...you helped us give him a private and proper burial so he wouldn't have to go in a mass grave." That put the meaning of love in perspective for me. I always want to be able to love like that!
"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." 1 Corinthians 13:13
Thank you to everyone who enables us to love here in Haiti! It is the greatest gift you could give us.