Note: H.E.L.P. founder Chris Marlow is leading a team on a pilgrimage trip to Haiti the week of February 10-17. Dan King, one of the members of this mission team, is sharing his experiences here on the H.E.L.P. Blog.


Chris Marlow called for me to come over to where he and Pastor Gaetan were standing. I knew instantly what he wanted, because we were standing on the site of the playground that’s being built at the Yahve Shamma orphanage.

This is a special project for me.

A little over a year ago my son was asking about the gift catalogs that many non-profits send around the holidays so that you can send something to someone in a poverty-stricken nation. These are important things like goats and chickens, things that help them essentially survive.

My son was visibly stirred, and wanted to do something about what he was feeling inside.

That conversation led to looking at other projects. One of the places we went to consider what we could do was the Garage Sale for Orphans website where we discovered a special project unlike any other that we’ve seen. And as soon as he saw it, my son knew that this was the one that he wanted to work on.

We were going to help build a playground for orphans in Haiti!

So we set out to have our garage sale, and ended up raising a little over $1,300 towards that project. Since then several others have jumped on-board and have helped to raise the remaining money needed to complete this project.

And now I find myself standing on the site of this playground as they begin work on it, and Chris tells Pastor Gaetan about my son’s heart to have this playground built.

I reach out and put my arm around the shoulder of my new friend Gaetan, and he is so moved my my son’s heart that he simply leans in and rests his head at the top of my chest. In that embrace I could sense that words simply weren’t enough to express the gratitude that he had for a boy with such a huge heart. I also sensed relief. The kind of relief that comes when God answers a prayer that you know you couldn’t make happen on your own.

The field is rocky and uneven right now, but they’ve begun the work of leveling the ground. By summertime there will be a large playground set, a small soccer field, and a basketball court.

After playing with the kids all day long in the rocky driveway in front of the school tents, I am even more proud to know about the work being done on the other side of the property to provide a safe and fun place for these beautiful children to play.

My son will be happy to see this project completed soon!