As mentioned, the House of Hope has welcomed two visitors from Canada (Beth Reitz and Heather Patterson) who are staying for a couple of weeks. Beth is Jenny’s “little” sister and Heather is a friend. We are very excited to be back and always feel welcome and loved when we are here.
Canada has not been the only country that has visited the House of Hope. There have also been a few gentlemen from the United States who have come for a few days to take care of some much-needed repairs on vehicles, wiring and plumbing. We really appreciate their help and willingness to keep us up and running! You don’t appreciate how much you rely on things like lights, water and reliable brakes on a vehicle until there are problems.
Life after the earthquake continues to unfold. The House of Hope has begun to receive children who lost their parents in the earthquake and have no relatives who are able to care for them. Two young boys flew up from Port-au-Prince with Beth and Heather last week when they arrived. Magloire (14 years) and Carlo (12 years) are cousins who will be staying at the House of Hope for the foreseeable future. When we first met them at the airport in PAP, they were very afraid and sad. They seemed so small and lost. I’m sure the thought of flying on an airplane with two white women whom they had never met, and leaving all that was familiar to them, was a frightening thing, indeed! We did start to become friends, though, when we gave them a sandwich, a drink and some Cheezies. The boys seemed to enjoy their first ride on an airplane, smiling the entire way, and they have settled in so well at the House of Hope. All of the other children have made them feel welcome and they are already part of the routines and life here. They look happy and confident…very different than the two scared little boys that we met just last week. The House of Hope has made a huge difference in their lives in just a few short days.
Another new arrival to the House of Hope family is little Carly who is 15 months old. Her parents were both killed in the earthquake while she remained buried under the rubble for several hours. A neighbour managed to pull her to safety and get her the care that she needed. Little Carly had 2 broken legs and several cuts and she has spent the last several weeks in a hospital in PAP. Carly arrived at the House of Hope on Sunday and, understandably, she was very unsettled. She must have had a dad who was very involved with her care because, at first, she would go to boys much easier than girls. Once again, the entire HOH family has gone out of their way to make her feel welcome and coax some smiles out of her. Everyone from the older kids to the younger ones can be seen carrying Carly around or offering her toys. 3 days after arriving at the HOH, Carly is much more calm, more settled, less anxious…and the smiles are not so hard to come by. The HOH family is now Carly’s family and, from our perspective, they all take this very seriously and really know how to “be” a family.
While the arrival of more children is a happy event around here, another happy event is the arrival of tubs of supplies. After the earthquake, many people began to send things in anticipation of the increasing needs that were expected. Today 35 bins were opened, sorted and organized and there are approximately 100 more, at least, that have yet to arrive. The water has been too choppy for the bins to be unloaded at the dock, so we are all looking forward to calmer waters.
Every day is so busy around here. We are amazed at how things just get done. Everyone knows their chores…everyone knows the routines…everyone understands that they are all part of one body and when one of them hurts, they all hurt. When one of them is happy, they all share in the joy. Never is this more apparent than during devotions or church services. Every single person has been affected by the earthquake in some way. There has been much sadness, but there is also great joy. When we listen to all of these young people singing at the top of their lungs, we are reminded of how great our God is and how He is worthy to be praised both in the midst of joy and in the midst of sorrow.
Please continue to pray for Jenny and Linda as they minister to these precious little ones in their care. Pray for wisdom in handling the many, many things that happen each day…from dealing with “parenting” issues to water issues and everything in between. Pray for strength…physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Pray that they would be encouraged in loving and caring for these young lives in the name of Jesus.
While there is so much more that could be written about (as I said, a lot goes on around here every day!), those are the high points of the last little while. Keep checking back for Jenny’s amazing updates in the future!