I leave tomorrow morning for camp – taking a group of my middle schoolers with the Messiah’s House Youth to Sky Ranch in Van, TX. Then at the end of the week, I’ve got some elementary kids going to Agape Camp at Hidden Falls Ranch. Going to be an exhausting Spring Break week, but lots of fun. Figure I better blog some more about Haiti while I can (and have the energy).
Here’s me and my great new buddy, William. He’s a quiet, sweet, strong little guy. William, who’s nearly 6, is the only child of the Comfort House who was not born HIV positive. However, he was born without an anus and was abandoned when he was 3 months old as a result. When asked to take him in, the Comforts agreed. He’s since had corrective surgery and does pretty well. He’s incontinent (I have a soiled pair of shorts left in Haiti to prove it ;)) and has cataracts in both eyes as well. Ray and Trisha hope he can have corrective eye surgery sometime soon. This little man is really special to me. I may miss him the most.
7 year old Christian is a mess. He’s very bright and social and thoughtful. My expertise of nearly 7 years of working with kids tells me he would be diagnosed as ADHD here in the States. He’s a bundle of energy, and always full of life. He was born HIV positive, abandoned, and actually shared a bed at the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Port Au Prince with William. His counts are not at the point where he needs AIDS medications yet, but Trisha – based on his health and behavior over the last year or so – seems to feel that may be soon. Continue to pray for this awesome little guy.
Lulu. He’s a 6 year old little charmer and major mess. You can probably tell from the picture. He’s full of kisses and hugs, and also full of fire. We were playing catch one afternoon, and some of the local kids peered over the fence surrounding the compound. He grabbed a handful of rocks and yelled “Ale (spelling?) Ti Mouns!”, which means go away kids! He sounded and acted just like Ray, only without the rocks. That was his own idea. Lulu was raised by his older brother for the first 3 years of his life after his mother abandoned them. He came to live with Ray and Trisha at age 3. He’s learned English quickly and is an awesome little guy.
4 year old Darlensky. Yes, I did consider smuggling him back to the US in my backpack. And yes, he is as sweet (and mischievious) as that picture indicates. Ray and Trisha have had him since he was 4 months old. They say he’s been smiling since they got him. He’s been on AIDS medications since that time, but the only “medical” problem with him they’ve had is bed wetting. We discovered this on Saturday night, the evening we were left in charge of all of them. I had the priviledge of pulling his sheets of the bed. Very pleasant experience. Darlensky about broke my heart when we left. He gave me a big kiss on the cheek and said, “You’re not ever coming back!” as he cried. I promised him I’d be back. Because I will be. I told him I was going to wach him grow up. Because he is.
Marissa is 3. She turned 3 on February 14. That’s the birthday Trisha gave her. No one knows her actually birthday. She was thrown from a car window and abandoned as a baby. Ray and Trisha also got to give her a name, which is officially Marissa-Rae Comfort. She’s a quiet, shy, rather somber little girl. But she loves to be held and cuddled. She loved Paige and Lori very much. We got to hang out some too – she wanted me to carry her around quite a bit, and I couldn’t turn that face down.
2 year old Romise (pronounced Woh-meece) was taken in by the Comforts after the earthquake last year after living in the hospital. Her mother died of AIDS, and her grandmother could no longer care for her. Unlike the other kids, Romise’s Grandmother still stays in contact with the Comforts and loves her very much. Romise and I share a bond – she rode in my lap on her journey from the old house to the new place. I’d like to think she’ll always remember me because of it. Probably not, but she sure is cute, so I’ll imagine that she will.
Nadia. She’s 8 like my little girl. She’s been through so much in her young life. She’s a bright little girl who’s job in the family is helping Ray cook the food – which is very impressive. She endured abuse from an older brother, and you can see the fear in her eyes on occasion. I had the opportunity on Sunday morning to let her sit in my lap while I told her how safe God’s lap and how strong God’s arms are, how He’ll hold her and protect her. I wanted to know her Heavenly Father was safe. That she was going to be ok. She sat in my lap and wept. Me too. It was one of those things I won’t ever forget. I pray she doesn’t either. She’s been on AIDS medication for several years, and has responded great. Nadia is such a quiet little leader. Keep praying for her, that she’ll grow up and into a remarkable woman. I know she can!
So those are the kids. They each stole a piece of my heart, and I can’t wait to see them and pick them up and spin around and play catch and laugh and cry with them again. Like I told Darlensky – I will be back.
Hopefully I have the chance to share about the trip soon.