Today was another "stretch" day for many of us. We went to Gertrude's Home for Special Needs Children, and loved up some of Port-au-Prince's most needy. The morning was spent playing and wheel-chairing them in the sunshine, communicating through smiles and touch, feeding and loving them. It was hard and uncomfortable, given the severity of their handicaps, their needs for love, and their inability to communicate or even do very much for themselves.
Perhaps it was good this day was our last, as our earlier experiences this week undoubtedly helped prepare our hearts. These were some of God's most vulnerable children -- and some of us felt vulnerable ourselves, unsure of how to deal with the depth of their issues. During reflection time tonight we discussed how important it is to recognize and respond to that vulnerability. The more vulnerable we are, the more we can lean into Him! These children blessed our hearts with their squeals of laughter and shy, sweet smiles.
The experiences that we have had this past week, with our seven daughters from Mounds View High School, have been unforgettable to say the least. Seeing the sweet Haitian eyes yearning for love, arms stretched high, bloated tummies, lack of adequate clothing, hungry and thirsty for more. More of the things that we take for granted in our everyday lives. Waking up in the middle of the night thinking about the little ones with empty buckets in hand, gesturing for help fill it. Then the hose stops and the water truck starts and we are signaled to move on to the next stop. How can these realities for many impact us every day going forward? How will our daughters be impacted by this trip within their areas of influence? What will become of the ones we leave behind? Our prayer for all of us is to listen to that small voice from within that prompts us to following that nudging, to reach out to another in need, to share the love of Christ. May we all respond more lovingly to those around us and consider this as a gift we shared together.
~ Julie, Lisa & Judy