One of the benefits of serving with MAF in a small country (Haiti being about the size of Vermont) is that we live in the capital city and are surrounded by other like-minded organizations. This gives us the opportunity to serve other believers not only with the airplane but also with other resources.
Our family recently hosted a team of university students and staff to do just that. We spent two weeks pouring out our time, energy and finances to transform the common room of an orphanage for young Haitians with disabilities into a more functional and aesthetically pleasing space.
Disabilities in Haiti are strongly stigmatized; parents with a disabled child often feel that they have been cursed. To get rid of the curse, they get rid of the child. Others love their children dearly but can barely afford to feed them, much less pay for regular medical care, physical therapy, and other expenses related to having a child with special needs. As a mother, this breaks my heart.
It was very much an outpouring of our faith as we removed furniture that was falling apart, painted walls and murals, hung shelves, built a new work table and a concrete couch, installed a new fridge and water cooler, played with the kids and chatted with staff.
On our last day, we sat with the orphanage’s house moms and thanked them for blessing us with their inspirational, tireless love for the residents. They thanked us for blessing them with our work, and then we prayed together. As we all bowed our heads, there was this transcendent moment as we came together in prayer—God is the God of those of us who have, and who have not; He is the same regardless of our skin color, nationality, or occupation, and we can all serve Him, regardless of the circumstances of our lives. Praise the Lord!