So as I get ready to head back down to Haiti next week I find that there are some people I haven't had the opportunity to share what my exact plans are....so here is a short post to introduce the current path I am on:
I will not be returning to The Hands and Feet Children's Village, though a wonderful ministry where i made some amazing friends, God has set my feet in a new, though related, direction. I am
moving down the road a bit to work with HaitiBaby and SurfHaiti and by work with I mean, help start these
two new ministries. My main focus will be the Infant Rescue and
Recovery Center...or so the plan is, I find that in ministry - and I assume this is true anywhere- you must be flexible and ready to shift where God opens doors, so I am happy to lend my skills to any area of ministry these organizations require them.
One of the tragedies in Haiti is seeing parents,
specifically mothers, who give up their children to an orphanage because
they can't afford to feed and clothe their baby, or the infant requires
some special medical care that she is unable to provide. I am told that one in every
four newborns in Haiti die in the first year for lack of nutrition,
love, and medication. HaitiBaby will be a temporary home where babies
can be loved and
cared for while each mother also receives the love and care she needs in
order to be able to someday care for her own child, as God intended.
Our purpose is to empower mothers by helping them find a way to make
through learning skills, or marketing and utilizing skills they already
possess. Often this will include providing meals, vitamins, and shelter
for the mother while giving her time to "prepare a nest" where she can
baby. We are concerned with orphan prevention whenever possible...and
when not possible, due to death or abandonment, we will care for the
infant through the first year of their life and then find a safe, loving
place for each child to live and grow.
SurfHaiti is another ministry I will be participating
in. This organization teaches street children to surf and through
surfing hopes to teach skills necessary to succeed as an adult; skills
like showing up on time, and being consistent are skills that will help
them find and keep jobs as they grow and mature into adulthood. It also
facilitates the distribution of water filters to surrounding
communities. 80% of the ground and surface water in Haiti is
contaminated and this clean water initiative brings clean drinking water
to communities that have never had access to it before. We also have a
pharmacy/clinic that we are setting up in order to provide for medical
mission teams that come down and need a place to work out of.
As these ministries grow and begin to expand in many directions to reflect the need and opportunity to create long term ministries that will hopefully create true solutions and not create dependence upon charity, I look forward to sharing with you all more.