My husband and I had been missionaries for several years. We thought we were doing exactly what we were supposed to be doing…fulfilling our calling. However, on February 8, 2012 everything changed for us. We were faced to accept a reality that we were not prepared to face. Children were dying of starvation two houses down from where we lived.
That morning was not different from any other day following the January 12th earthquake. We were making ourselves busy with reconstruction efforts, preparing to teach in our Bible School and feeling good about our ‘humanitarian’ efforts to help the people of Haiti heal.
Just as Ron was about to pull into our gate after a long day, he noticed a group of people crying in the middle of our road. He drove around them and pulled into our yard. He was hot and tired from a long day so he asked someone else to go check on the group of people and find out what was wrong.
A few minutes later that person returned with the full story. The group of people were from an orphanage that had moved into a house just down the road from us. They were crying because a little boy had died that day. A little boy had died of malnutrition two houses down from us.
Our first reaction was disbelief. How could this happen? But when we reached that house we could not deny the reality. Seeing the bloated bellies and discoloration of the children’s hair are images that will never leave us. We knew we had to do something. On that day, February 8, 2010, we began a feeding program that continues to this day. It has grown to include several orphanages. In Haiti, there exists far too many orphanages that are under-funded, poorly managed or mis-managed to the point that children are suffering. It became our goal to make sure every child in our neighborhood had something to eat every day. We began to ‘fill the gap’ for the under-funded. We provided cooked meals directly to the children to help those in the poorly or mis-managed orphanages.
We have grown to love the children. Now it is about so much more than just making sure they have eaten today. We visit them often. We invite them to come play at our house. We sit and hold them, sing with them, and laugh with them. Now, we are fulfilling our calling.