It wasn't until my time in Haiti this summer that I got to see first hand the vision and be apart of how it plays a role everyday in Haiti. Last summer when I went to Haiti, it was more about experiencing things and watching over the team and there was a lack of explanation of the purpose in each of the programs that the mission runs. This year- it wasn't only explained but lived out and seen.
Their vision is to Rescue, Restore, and Redeem the village Saint Louis du Nord, Haiti... but also all of Haiti to better impact the world.
A Story of Rescue- Moses, Wiskens, and Caleb
Moses was found my the river in Haiti... fitting for what he has been named. He was malnurished and his hands and feet were cut. Madam Rober who runs the girl's oprhanage at the mission has adopted him. He lives with her and is loved on daily by Madam, as well as anyone who he encounters at the mission.
The stories of Wiskens and Caleb are similar. Wiskens was left near a garbage can around the mission malnourished and Caleb was left at the gates of the mission. He has been nourished and loved on. Now he is also walking through the help of therapy at the mission.
Caleb and I:
Here is a video of Caleb walking:
There are stories of rescue every week in Haiti... are going into our lives daily with open eyes? Do you have open eyes to rescue... willing hands to restore... and open arms to redeem?
A Story of Restoration- DenDen
I would consider DenDen the deputy of the Miriam Center and quite frankly the mission as well. With the tag team of Gilbert they are the sheriff and deputy and run the show, let's be honest.
In 2010, DenDen came to the mission and he couldn't walk. Six months after being at the mission through much love and physical therapy, he was able to walk with a walker. Today DenDen walks all around the mission. DenDen is a 17 year old miracle of God. Miracles do exist and you see it in DenDen's spirit and energy. He is always happy and ready to say hi to you. He was poured into physically and emotionally and because of that restoration he is thriving.
Are you willing to share the love, grace, and relationship of Christ with those you encounter? People have shared love and poured into DenDen, who will you pour into and restore through relationship?
This is DenDen:
DenDen is on the left. When asked to take a photo, he does that pose... every time. I asked him who taught him that... his response: me. As in himself. This photo is from the day that I had the wonderful opportunity to work with the mission as a photographer and meet each of the 46 children and capture a picture of their beautiful smiles and souls that will soon be shared with the world.
Jesus can redeem EVERY single life. We are called to pour into a society that is rejected and we can do this be demonstrating the love and mercy of Christ. We are called to accept others and give them value. We have to give them the power to be redeemed through Christ.
Stories of Redemption- What does it look like?
Do you have an open heart? What does it look like or mean to redeem? Do you see a situation and say, I'm not okay with this?
Rosevenor is a little girl in Haiti that lives in the village near the mission. She is albino. She is made fun of and teased. The mission heard of her as they wondered through the village and our white Americans look like her. The mission has begun building relationship with her and her family. It's not okay for her to be an outcast because she is a child of God.
Redemption also does not mean that you simply give a hand out or give a child a dollar because you feel bad or sad. There is no long term solution if you just hand someone a dollar. We have to partner with them and give them the value and dignity of what is means to earn a dollar and the value of it and it is not asking for a handout.
One thing the mission continually does is build relationship. One primarily is the bracelet bandits. These are little boys who wait outside the gates of the mission. As you walk through the streets of the village they come along side you and want to hold your hand or be your best friend... they want you to buy a bracelet. However, the mission now has a program in which they can give involved in bible study and programs and incentive is they are given bracelets and business... this also eases the pressure of the Americans to buy bracelets or feel forced to or knowing that the relationships built with the boys are not based on greed or neediness.
You see the impact this makes when this summer one of the boys we built a relationship with greeted us with such love and he did not ever hassle me. Instead he asked about people from last year's trip and then he built a relationship with one of the mom's on our team... our team Haiti mama. He made her bracelets for me to give to her... about 20 of them out of love and respect... he didn't charge me a thing or ask for anything. He wanted her to know he loved and missed her and valued her... my favorite was the bracelet that said... "I love you my mom!" If that doesn't melt your heart... I don't know what does...
We CAN make an impact... we have the ability to rescue, restore, and redeem.