Tuesday, May 14, 2013

haiti: the sweet children

every morning, we would wake up, and drive to an orphanage. i wanted to sleep on the way there, but the scenery, the people in daily life, and almost killing everyone on a motorcycle was too fascinating and too scary. i often found myself bargaining with myself. you need to see all this...you'll sleep tonight. 

(20 second clip of driving. enjoy the music we were listening to.)

the make shift shops, the skinny animals eating whatever they could find, the trash everywhere.  part of me wanted to get out and shop, but it was too dangerous and we had things to do. 

in the van, english was being taught to the bodyguard. hot (insert pretend touching a hot stove) and cold. brrrr! cold sounds cold in any language. 
 and michael jackson played in the background. or sometimes 90's praise music. i found both surprisingly comforting... there was some common ground here, however strange it was.
(this is what it was like pulling in to see the kids)

when we got out of the car, we were surrounded by children instantly. a lot of the time, we just held with them for long spans. they knew if they got down, you'd get snatched up by someone else. nothing was their own. not their clothes or their food or their new friends.
 i loved this little boy wearing flannel pajamas in 140 degree heat index. no complaining. 

layne had these exact pajamas when he was younger. i caught myself seeing layne in him. but this child had no parents.
do not cry. they have already experienced enough sadness. so we just sweat together. and hugged. and played. 

 and they sang for us with their angel voices. i'm not sure if i've heard anything sweeter than orphans singing to Jesus and dancing. hallelujah....hallelujah
i'm them too. poor and hungry and needy for Jesus. singing for mercy.

 it just changed me. i had to go see them and hear them and smell them and be hugged by them to be changed. i knew God would do it, he always does when he asks you to do something that makes you scared and uncomfortable. he shows up, like He says He will.

they waited patiently to hear some simple lessons in the afternoons. they heard: 
jesus loves the little children. 
jesus will never leave. 
jesus doesn't care if you're rich or poor.
jesus wants to be your friend.

we brought toys, markers, bubbles, balls. 
we brought fun and carefree and childhood.
 what a treasure to be the hands of generous co-workers, small groups, and friends who gave items for the kids before we left.
their faces... you should have seen their sweet faces.

we taught them baseball. it was a foreign concept. literally. they tried to kick the baseball a lot, but it was fun and we were all laughing. you don't need to know the language to laugh together.

i can still hear them laughing. and i want to go back. i need to see this over and over again.

i'm going to post more this week. it's picture overload but i want you to just catch a glimpse of what i saw. maybe if you see a little bit of what i experienced, you'll want to go too. or you'll want to let your money go for you. it's too much to see and hear and then do nothing.


  1. photo overload me, girl. don't hold back.
    praise jesus for the gift of meeting these sweet ones and becoming their friend.


    p.s. gonna watch both clips again. but you probably figured, boo.

  2. so much love.

    i'm so glad you were able to experience this in a way some of us never will {but all of us should}.

    because this COULD be us.

    i prayed for you every time a new instagram pic popped up on my feed from you!!

  3. oh my goodness. i want them all they are so precious.

  4. Thanks for sharing, I am heading there in November with my sister. Definitely nervous and excited, all those mixed emotions when you have no real idea what you got yourself into.

  5. These are some of the most beautiful pictures you have ever taken, Jami.

    Heart strings. Pulled.

  6. The photo of the little girl who turned to look at you during the lesson... I'm stuck there. Those eyes. I often fear for my children in this world- what if I'm unable to protect them. Sweet motherless child.
    This post hit me hard. Thank you for sharing.

  7. These are some of the most beautiful pictures you have ever taken, Jami.

    Heart strings. Pulled.

  8. I went to Uganda, Africa almost two years ago and it was a dream come true for me to meet these sweet little kids that forever changed my heart. but I want to return 100 time more than I did the first time! I have to go back!! your pictures are beautiful!

  9. Thank you so much for sharing this :)

  10. Hi! I've been your blog for a couple years after randomly finding it. I love reading about your experience in Haiti. I've been living in the Dominican Republic since 2006. I've met many Haitians who live on this side of the island, even though I haven't had the opportunity to go there. There are several similarities between Haiti and the DR. I've been here for this long because of God's grace. He's drawn me so much closer to Him during my times of frustration and discomfort in this culture that's different than my own. I've also learned to love the way the people are so inviting, joyful, and relational. I can't wait to hear more about your experience meeting brothers and sisters in Haiti! Dios te bendiga!

  11. I want to go. Just as you said "i need to see this over and over again." I've seen it once, and oh how I want to see it again. Thanks for sharing!

  12. My heart swells to see this. What an awesome God we serve!
    xo jess

  13. love this. thank you. :)

  14. life changing book! http://www.amazon.com/When-Helping-Hurts-Alleviate-Yourself/dp/B003L1ZXJS/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1368637550&sr=8-2&keywords=when+helping+hurts

  15. Question - did you travel with your DSLR camera or a smaller one? I'm traveling for a mission trip this summer and I want to take a camera but am needing to pack light. I'd like your thoughts! Thanks.

  16. Jami, thank you for these posts about your trip. I only wish I could have been there too.

    Les Prouty, Haiti Orphan Project

  17. ami, thank you for these posts about your trip. I only wish I could have been there too.

    Les Prouty, Haiti Orphan Project

  18. Oh, and I have linked to you on our website.

  19. God is using your photography and story-telling skills to soften hearts for these sweet children and the country of Haiti and to remind us that God is bigger than our own backyards. Mine is just one of many many hearts. Thankful for what He is doing through you!


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