Last night I kissed goodbye a sleeping Julienne, her 10 month old, 11 pound body restless and struggling. As I walk away from her, I do not know what her future holds. Malnutrition and sickness are a devastating combination, and her body is well aware of that. But what I do know is that Real Hope For Haiti has a place for her, and will fight for her. Like countless others, including the 50 babies and children who surround her at this moment, she will be fed, loved and cared for.
It is impossible to quantify the impact of RHFH on those that it serves. I was asked to share with you my experience here, and I don’t know where to begin because these experiences are interwoven into my very being. I just spent a month with RHFH, and there is so much that I could write about this month alone, but each experience builds on the last. Every time I return, I remember. Some memories are full of life, and make my heart sing. Others still hurt deeply.
Here I learned what desperate poverty looks like, both physical poverty and poverty of spirit. I learned about sacrifice as over the years I have watched others work without complaining and at all hours, to fill every need that walked through the gates. My faith has been tested and strengthened, encouraged by the example of trust and reliance of everyone at RHFH in all circumstances. I watched as children, with horrific stories and faces of starvation, regained their lives and personalities. And over the years, I’ve watched those same children grow up and thrive. Each time I return and see them, a little taller and a little stronger, I remember where they started and am in awe.
As think over the years that I have known RHFH, there is so much I’d like to share. Maybe I should talk about the children who are now cared for in local foster homes, many of whom were abandoned and have disabilities. I could tell you about the ones who get to go to school, thanks to sponsorship, or about the thousands of lives saved in the cholera treatment center. Then there is the clinic, with hundreds of patients treated and wounds dressed each week. And the list goes on and on. How do you sum all of that up and put it on paper? I don’t know that it can be done.
In so many ways, RHFH does exactly what its name claims. It offers real, tangible, practical hope both in this life and the life to come. Lives are saved, and quality of life restored, on a daily basis and all to the glory of God, as His name is praised in good times and hard. Through struggles and unknowns, RHFH meets the needs of the poor and starving with open hands. It has been a privilege to witness this over these years, this past month, and will continue to be as God allows in the future.
Thank you, Real Hope For Haiti, for being God’s hands and feet to the Haitian people!