Our team visited the village of Jan Jan where we have Global Fingerprints child sponsorship. The trip included a ride through a dry river bed amidst lovely scenery of mountains and lush greenery. Dave Matthis from ReachGlobal once referred to this place as "the land that time forgot". My husband Jeff and I and Julie Dreyer were able to meet our sponsored kids there which was such a thrill. We had translators standing by so we could have a conversation and learn more about our kids. What a privilege it is to see our kids in the flesh instead of relying on a still photo. Our sponsorships help children to stay in their families and support their school fees and provide for healthcare and other needs. This keeps families together vs the desperation so many parents here feel that results in bringing their children to orphanages, thinking they'll receive better care. Up to 80% of children living in orphanages in Haiti have at least one living parent. One of the Global Fingerprints kids , Nora, has taken a shine to Jen Blevins from ReachGlobal and immediately latched onto her today. She insisted we all visit her home up on the hill. We were surrounded bya gaggle of kids as she led us to her "house" which is really just supposed to have been a temporary structure that was built by Samaritan's Purse after the earthquake in 2010-about 10X15 . It houses Nora and her 5 siblings and her mom. Nora went inside to change into a fancier outfit but came out in her undies and orchestrated the other kids in setting up enough seating for all of the "öld people". This included a long wooden bench and several plastic chairs borrowed from the neighbors. We were taken by the hand and led to sit down. When Nora came out dressed in her fancier outfit, she immediately directed the kids to help move us more into the shade to get out of the sun. It is very evident that this is a culture of hospitality which is passed on to even the young ones. It is so humbling to see that even those who have so little want to honor their guest with the best they have to offer. One little guy who was naked from the waist down latched onto me and held my hand while scampering barefoot across rocks and rough terrain like a little mountain goat. These children are so beautiful and loving and were such a blessing to us today. In the evening, back at the guest house, the neighborhood kids came over to play games with us and practice their English. Many are teens or young adults and in typical fashion blared pop music and sang along to Miley Cyrus or other artists us oldies aren't familiar with! We learned Dominos which is very popular here in Haiti. Luckily, the losers did not have to wear clothespins on the face which is common practice here! Men playing in the public square do losing to the extreme and the loser wears a cinder block on rope around the neck! Other groups played cards, Uno, cornhole and ladder golf. We had a party atmosphere going on! As we reflect back on our week here, we feel affirmed that our partnership with Tingue is on the right track and that we have received God's blessing on the sewing production which is so encouraging. Progress here is slow. Haitii has definitely taught us how to wait on the Lord. We have also learned to curb some of our "Martha tendencies" and be more like Mary who sat patiently at Jesus" feet. We definitely want to teach and share skills but at the end of the day, the relationships that are built allow us to be the hands and feet of Christ. It is so important, as Christians to have a global worldview that includes our brothers and sisters around the world. We have much to learn.
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