They told us the hike would be around 35 minutes. It was supposed to be a nice, uphill tread to the top of the hill where the orphans lived. But let me tell you, inside we weren’t feeling very “nice” or “pleasant”.
The sun beamed intensely on our faces causing sweat to drench our clothes. We complained. We drug our feet. We stopped time after time to drink from our “heavy” and “inconvenient” water bottles. Finally, heavy breathed and frustrated from the long walk, we arrived at the gates of the orphanage.
Somberness immediately filled the air. Separated from the outside world, the place was extremely desolate, barren and surprisingly quiet. And in turn, our attitudes and our hearts were immediately silenced.
Little children, whose faces should be shining with giggles and innocence, just laid on the rock steps as flies swarmed and the heat intensified. Immediately we were stirred. A kind of stirred which weighs so heavily on your heart, you must do anything and everything possible to change this scene.
A young boy, around the age of 10 approached me and sat by me on the steps. His big brown eyes gazed up into mine and the brightest smile began to fill his weary face. Samuel, as he introduced himself as, leaned against my shoulder and grabbed for my hand. He just held it and kept squeezing it a little tighter every few minutes. After a little while of sitting and trying to preserve energy in the heat, his sweet faced looked desperately at mine and politely motioned for a sip of water.
Remembering I only had a little bit left and still had the hike down ahead of me (and the fact that the little water I had left would not suffice for every child at the orphanage), I shook my head no.
Not long after that, we learned the two barrels which hold their water had been empty for at least a day. Sporadically, a truck will make it’s way up the hill to deliver water but the orphanage is never told when they will receive water and it is usually only every 15 or so days. These children, the most vulnerable piece of the Kingdom, had been without water for over 24 hours and on a good day will be given half of a boiled egg and a handful of spaghetti for dinner. We began handing out a variety of little gifts we brought for them and watched as a few of them were disputing over even just a toothbrush.
After distributing the gifts, one need still stood out amongst the rest. These orphans on the hill were still in dire need of water. Of all things, water is something I am always assured will be easily accessible wherever I am. Water is something I would never even think to bring to give out. Burning on our hearts and knowing it was one of our only options, we all began pouring our water bottles into their mouths. “Ahh” was the sound that filled the air when the children opened their mouths to receive water. It was like Christmas morning for them. Many of the children held out their little frisbees we had handed out to catch the water as if it was gold.
Unfortunately, our water bottles eventually ran out and the problem continued. The hike back to the village was very different. We were silent. We were sobbing. We were stirred to do something more. The next afternoon we were able to fill the two barrels which will last them a while but not forever.
Special note: The wires connecting the pump to the electricity were stolen twice. In order to prevent theft this time, the plan is to dig a deep trench into the hard earth and rock, and cement the wire into the ground.
Although Mercy International does not run this orphanage, our hearts are heavy for what we saw. This is a Haitian run orphanage and in need of help.
We estimate it will cost $2500-$3000 to purchase, ship, bury and secure the new 600 feet of wire to the pump. In addition they will need approximately $300 per month to purchase and deliver propane to run the generator in order to pump the water. If the Lord burdens your heart with this great need for these precious children, please donate toward the Orphan Fund. Simply note “Orphan Fund” on your donation. Thank you!
And above all, please, please pray for these little ones.