The motto for our mission team this week as been this:
Hold Haiti In Our Hearts
Today, I held Haiti in my arms.
Her name is Floriol. She is six months old.
She stole my heart from the moment I stepped into the cinder-block structure that houses the intensive care unit and nursery. There were about 15 toddler beds and 10 metal cribs lined along the walls and in the center of the room. Floriol was in the second row of cribs sitting up and sucking her two fingers. As I scanned the room, I saw the pain in each child’s eyes and then I saw the tubes in their arms and knew the prognosis is not good.
Floriol’s eyes met mine and I will never be the same.
I asked one of the volunteers (also a missionary) if I could approach her crib and she said that I could hold her as well. Sweeter words have never been said.
I couldn’t get to her fast enough. I had to wiggle my way through a maze of toddler beds and around a Haitian mother breastfeeding her newborn before I finally reached this precious Child of God. The most amazing thing happened when I stood at the side of her crib: she looked up at me and immediately lifted her arms as if to say,
Please, please hold me. Please love me. Please comfort me. Please tell me you love me and care for me. Even if you cannot take away my pain or improve my condition, comfort me in this moment.
Tomorrow is our last day at the project site and our last full day in Haiti. I’m ready to go home and see my Husband and talk with my family and friends about this experience, but it is already breaking my heart thinking about saying goodbye to my Haitian friends.
It was difficult leaving Grace Hospital, but I know this is not the last time my passport will be stamped in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. In fact, there is an agriculture program that UMCOR is starting with rural farmers and it includes crop production, livestock, and land and forest preservation. It is a program that I’m very interested in serving. After today’s visit to Grace Hospital, don’t be surprised if I am a nursery volunteer in the future for the sole purpose of rocking and nurturing these tiny children of God.
There are so many opportunities for mission work in Port-au-Prince, find your place and you will be blessed.