Wednesday, August 17, 2016


The sounds, smells and sites of Haiti are all too familiar as this is my second mission trip to Haiti, but today I experienced a place I've never been to before and that was "Dare's Special Needs Orphanage." This morning, I was given the opportunity to serve there and it was an experience like none other. When I arrived, I was greeted with many beautiful smiles. My heart became heavy and my eyes started to tear up when I saw many forms of disabilities the children there had.  Some were worse  than others ... some could talk or walk and some couldn't do either. At first, a sweet woman who works there handed me this adorable little girl who couldn't sit up by herself very well.  She had a glowing smile and I massaged her arms for awhile until I gave one of my team members a chance to  hold her. Then, suddenly a precious little boy (who was sitting next to me enjoying a snack) got my attention and wanted me to hold him. He just knew how to steel my heart as we exchanged smiles and he gave me a kiss on the cheek. After sitting with him awhile, he started to get antsy as he heard music start to play, so I picked him up and we found many of the children singing and clapping to the worship music playing (thanks to our leader Grace.) He absolutely loved it.

After the singing, I pushed him around in the wheelchair and he had a blast, as I pushed him and saw others being pushed.  He would light up with smiles and all the children would laugh and smile at each other and to us like they had no care in the world. It was truly beautiful. It wasn't until the time I had to say my goodbyes that I almost completely lost it in tears.  I felt like my heart was ripping out of me as this little boy grabbed me so tightly that he never wanted to let go.  He gave me a few kisses on my cheek and then said "I love you, I love you, I love you" in Creole.  I said it back to him and then and one of the caretakers walked over to me and gave me the biggest smile and tightest hug as she whispered to me, "Bless you."  I quickly gave one more smile and kiss to this little boy and got back up on the tap tap feeling overwhelmed knowing God used me to touch this boy's life in so many ways in such a short period of time, but also just awed by the fact that the boy touched my heart in ways he will never know.

In Haiti, children with disabilities are viewed as a curse, but Dare's is a place of love and hope that gives these children a chance to be loved and cared for, and more importantly they are God's precious children and perfect in His eyes!

~ Brianna

A Day with Children

Today, our team was separated into two different groups ... one group went to a special needs orphanage.  However, we were in the group that was fortunate enough to go to the Home for Sick & Dying Children.  The scene was a little chaotic when we arrived.  The children that were feeling well enough to get out of their cribs were running around, playing and wanting to be held.  The many children were tended to by a handful of nuns and staff.  Malnutrition seemed to be one of the biggest issues.  Several of the children were half the size they should be or even less.  It was hard to just hold them when you wanted to do so much more to help.  The only thing we could do was hold them and love them.  They just wanted to be touched and noticed.  Some of the babies laughed and smiled, while others had no expression or they looked so sad.  At one point, Hannah was trying to comfort four babies at once on her lap, and with her loving touch, they all fell asleep on her.  It was hard to say goodbye to the beautiful children, they all cried when we put them down to leave.

Later in the day, we visited Papillon aka The Apparent Project that provides Haitian parents with employment so they can provide for their families; otherwise, some of the parents would have to give their children up because they couldn't afford them.  We got a tour of the production area where they hand-make all of the products.  Then, we had the opportunity to shop in the store and buy their beautiful creations.  It felt good to know we were helping all these parents support their families.  It was another wonderful day in Haiti.

~ Joann & Hannah (mother & daughter)