We returned to New Hope Children’s Home last week to visit with the kids. It seems like each time we visit, we have other things going on and we don’t get to spend a lot of time with the kids. We decided this week that we would be devoted fully to the children. We took costumes with all the accessories to have a dress up party. It was so much fun! We took two children at a time, a boy and a girl and let them dress up. We took their picture with a Polaroid camera so that each child would have a photo of themself as a princess or superhero. We then sent the couple down the stairs together to meet the other children who were anxiously waiting their turn. For me, I think the greatest part of the trip was hearing the voices and laughter and looks on the faces of the children downstairs as they walked down the steps with their costumes! I could listen to their sweet, excited voices of laughter and screams all day! We thought the dress up party was over until we let the children come into the room and rummage through everything and dress into whatever they chose. Now this is where it really got fun! They went wild trying on everything they could fit their little bodies into! We decided to just get out of the way and let them do their thing!
The next day we went to the beach and enjoyed a day in the sun. They sure do love the water. It was fun to see Pastor Fatton out in the water with everyone. I enjoy seeing the way he plays with the kids and is more than just a caretaker to them. The children love him and respect him and you can see it with every interaction.
We also went to the park and had an Easter egg hunt.
Thank you to everyone who donated costumes, candy, or games for us to bring. It truly brought a lot of joy to their lives. Thank you to Focus One Ministry for joining us this week and having a heart to help our kids.
With every trip I take, I try to take something back with me. I always ask God to show me something while I’m there to keep me going and keep me focused on His work. It’s easy to come back home and forget all the wonderful things we saw and experienced and all the work that needs to be accomplished. I don’t ever want to forget. I never want to get lazy, but all too often it does happen. As I was flying home, I was reflecting on the week and on the precious lives that we get the pleasure of knowing. I remembered looking into the eyes of each of our 21 children and seeing queens, and kings, and superheroes, and doctors, and nurses, and businessmen, and presidents, and mothers, and fathers, and college students….. We have been so blessed to know these beautiful little people. We are blessed to be a small part of being able to take them away from their lives of hunger, abandonment, and beating; their lives of poverty and hardship. Their lives they used to think didn’t matter. But now each child has a sense of meaning. Now each child has the ability to see that they matter. They have a family now in each other and their needs are met. I remember the first time we visited New Hope Home. The children wanted to tell us their stories of where they came from and how they ended up in their previous orphanage where Fatton found them suffering. Their stories were gut wrenching, sad stories that I don’t want to share. But one thing I saw as they shared their stories with us was the support of the other children. A child would tell their horrible story of the life they were rescued from and the other children sitting and listening were experiencing the pain as they told their story. After telling their story, the child would sit down and the other kids would gather around them and hug and support the child. It looked like a support group. I was seeing a “house of healing” in this home. They were healing each other of their wounds by their love and support, even though they were only 5 years old.
We have been all over Haiti and other parts of the world and helped orphanages. I’ve never seen children the way these children are. Usually you can’t get through 15 minutes of an activity without someone crying, someone shoving another kid, or someone taking away a toy that they feel belongs to them. As I reflect back on the week, I never once heard a cry. I never once saw a shoving fight or a kid taking a toy away from the other. In fact, I saw more sharing and giving than anything. I saw more laughter and hugging and loving on each other. We have helped a lot of people through our organization with resources, healthcare, education, and money. Sometimes we may look back and think we might not have made the right decision or believe that our money did not go where we felt it should go. And sometimes we think maybe what we are doing is not really helping much. Sometimes I feel it could all be a waste of time and money. Are people really being helped when they come to our clinic and get treated only to get sick again next month? And if we did help them, did we really even share the gospel with them? Of all the questions that run through my mind on an average day and all the things I battle with, there was one thing I felt God impressing on my heart as I flew home. I felt Him saying “Well you did get this one thing right!” (with His great sense of humor that I believe He has!!)
I want to thank everyone that supports this home. Your support changes lives. You give these children a future and a hope. I hope you see how valuable you are in the success of these little lives. Through your help, we were able to pay for the rent on the home the children live in for another year. Through your help, the truck that was purchased for the home last year has enabled Pastor Fatton to start a new church in the country that has church on Sundays and a school Monday-Friday. He wouldn’t have been able to do this without your help. Your support matters. Your support helps people and changes lives. Thank you!