This February was our 9th trip to Haiti. We had a team of 11 head out on February 18th but the surprise snowfall caused us to miss a flight (the first time that has ever happened), so we did not make it to Haiti until the 19th.
For years we have talked about wanting to take a medical team to be able to better evaluate and treat the kids, this year, God set that up. It started with a conversation at a park after church with a Physicians Assitant who also then recruited a fellow Doctor to join us in Haiti. Later, a man trained in the A.R.T. approach to treat dental cares also joined the team. With their help, we were able to provide check-ups to all the kids at our orphanages and fill many cavities.
We found 3 out of the 4 orphanages to be growing and doing well, the fourth was a little more disappointing. The kids there were losing weight. It was very discouraging to discover but we were glad for the data we have been keeping to track their growth. It turned out that the man in charge of delivering the food, wasn’t giving them all the food he should have been and also the director was feeding too many adults and not leaving enough for the kids. We built a relationship with an American couple in Haiti last year in hopes of providing better oversight and communication throughout the year. They have since completely taken over the food distribution and are sending two ladies with food daily to cook for the kids at the fourth orphanage. So, a sad situation with hope!
This is why going is important to us. We want to make sure the kids are being taken care of and are doing well!
An encouraging story also emerged on this trip. One of the orphanages, LMT has always been more of a challenge to go to. The kids were always fighting and behaved poorly. Last year on the beach day we put them on the bus with Agape, the best-behaved orphanage in attempts to influence them in a good way. It worked! The director of LMT saw how well Agape’s kids were and said he could do better. His kids were 100% different this year! It was much more peaceful at that orphanage and made our time there very enjoyable.
The highlight of the trip was, of course, the beach day! We were asked if we were going to the beach within minutes after arriving. This is the only time all year they get to go to the beach, it is like Christmas for them. It takes two packed buses, 500 hot dogs and bags of chips, 35 gallons of drinking water and over two hours one way to get to the beach, but the looks on the kids’ faces were priceless!
Our client family makes it possible for us to feed these kids and change their lives. To learn more or become more involved in giving or going, go to www.operationgohaiti.org