Saturday, April 2, 2016

I Remember

April 2nd 2008 - It was 8 years ago today. I remember the very second I stepped off of the airplane into the heavy heat of Port Au Prince, Haiti. I don’t remember feeling instantly at home, quite the opposite. I felt overwhelmed and scared. I remember wondering what in the hell I had gotten myself into. I thought that month would be the longest of my life.

In reality that month flew and when the day came for me to travel back to the airport I was relived to be going home but I was scared and overwhelmed in different way because I knew, my heart was forever captured to this place and my journey was far from over.

April 2nd 2008 was my first day in Haiti, but it was so much more...

September 28th 2010 - I met a 12.6 pound, 18 month old little boy named LynsMy Laurant in an orphanage who stirred my heart in a way that was different than I had ever known before. I had no idea that in that split second that I became a mother.  LynsMy gained weight in my care and I found myself thinking about things in a totally new light. As the days progressed and he started to call me mama the world took on a new meaning. Everything changed. He became my son. I held his hand as he transitioned from a scared, broken little baby to a strong, loving little boy. He was everything I had dreamed of, until those dreams came crashing down. The truth was, he wasn’t mine. He was theirs. And when the time came to give him back I thought I would never breathe again. But I did, and I am. LynsMy was malnourished in Haiti, but he was so much more…

October 30th 2011 - On a small side street in Leognae, Haiti I came across a tiny little bundle of a baby called Migureline. At 12 months old she weighed just 9.75lbs. She was the sickest baby I had ever known. I spent hours with Migureline on a moto taxi and on foot, searching for help that was refused at every turn. Finally, I returned home, to love and hold her while we waited for Heaven. 2 days later, at 10:18pm Migureline finished her fight and went to Jesus. Migureline was the very first baby I ever lost. Migureline was malnourished in Haiti, but she was so much more…

March 3rd 2012 - A 9.8 pound 16 month old little girl named Wilna came bounding into my life. She was fragile and precious and she craved love, which she found in the arms of my dear friend. Daily I watched the sacrifice of servanthood that Lauren willfully gave as she cared for Wilna and loved her in full abandon. April 15th 2012, I stood next to my friend at the fresh grave of her daughter and tired to explain something I didn't understand. Wilna was malnourished in Haiti, but she was so much more...
 
October 17th 2012 - 12.2 pounds and 20 months old. "I" came through the gates of an orphanage where I was serving. He was frail but feisty and his story broke my heart. I loved him from the second I laid eyes on him. I was in awe over his strength and his fight. I was in awe over his first smile. I was in awe over his recovery. "I" was malnourished in Haiti, but he was so much more...

November 30th 2013 - It was her first birthday when I met 10lb Christella. I encountered her outside of an orphanage that had just turned her mother away, refusing to admit her sick baby girl. I was busy, I almost didn't stop. But something caught my attention and I turned around. Christella became the first baby that I sucessfully treated for malnutrition in my home and she was the sister of the son I had no idea would become mine. Christella was malnourished in Haiti, but she was so much more...

October 25th 2015 - I met 11 year old Sandra. Sandra weighed 31lbs and was barely able to walk or speak. She had lost all of her hair and had a terrible parasitic infestation. Sandra had been malnourished for almost all of her life and her body had reached a breaking point. Sandra was days away from death but with the miracle of medika mamba she was able to recover and is now home and thriving. Sandra was malnourished in Haiti but she was so much more...

January 29th 2016 - 23 month old Youvika was 9.02lbs. She had not had anything to eat or drink for 3 days. 6 hours after arriving at my gate she died, 26 days before her second birthday. Youvika was malnourished in Haiti, but she was so much more...

March 3rd 2016 - 12.76 pound, 17 month old Jacky was the happiest baby I had ever seen. I don't know why. His life was filled with pain and hunger but still he smiled. Jacky got well. He grew big and strong. Soon he will go home to his family, but not before leaving a massive impact on ours. Jacky was the first child in our home after I came out of the hardest season of my life to date.  Jacky was malnourished in Haiti, but he was so much more...

March 20th 2016 - On a tiny airstrip in the remote village of Jeremie I met a baby girl named Ketia. She was perfection. 10 months old, just over 6 pounds. A warrior. There isn't much that I can say except that I loved her, with all of my heart. I got to hold her for 5 glorious days before she flew to heaven. Ketia was malnourished in Haiti but she was so, so much more...

April 2nd 2016 - I have been waiting for weeks for exactly the right time. The perfect day to share my dream and my heart. Today it’s here. Today every one of these stories is weaved together into a program that is my heart and soul. The Espwa Berlancia Malnutrition and Family Preservation Program! You can read all the details here.

In order to see this dream become a reality it is time to open an inpatient center with enough room to house all of these babies and their parents. My goal is to see this center open and ready to start serving the community by July of this year. It's a big dream but I believe it is possible, but not without help!  We have found the perfect property with all the space we need just blocks from my current home. This new space will allow us to house our entire program in one compound, including our ongoing prenatal program!

I have set up a gofundme account that explains all our our fundraising needs, broken down in to the steps that will allow this to happen during the timeline I hope to stick within. Please, take a moment to go check it out HERE, donate and share. Together we will see this dream become a reality and we will see babies live and families protected. 

I know there will be so many more of these precious ones who come into my life. More faces of babies that I will joyfully send home with their families and more faces of babies that I will tearfully lay to rest until I am finally able to join them in eternal paradise. This journey is 8 years old but it is far from over. In fact, in a way it feels like it is just beginning. I pray that the things I have learned over the past 8 years will lend me wisdom and that I will daily find the strength to keep fighting, in joy, alongside these families.

Today is my 2,922nd day in Haiti but it is so much more...

You can join us in this fight by becoming a monthly supporter of the Malnutrition and Family Preservation Center

Subscription Options




No comments: