Note: A team from Soma Austin Community Church just returned from a Help One Now trip to Haiti. This post is from Andrea Carroll, one of the members of that team.
My husband, Chris, and I have sponsored a boy named Anson for a while through Help One Now. Anson’s photo has lived on our refrigerator along with a few letters he has sent us. We knew he liked soccer and things that flew like helicopters and planes. We also got the coolest, handmade Christmas card ever from him which stayed displayed well past the holiday. His notes and cards were reminders around our home to pray for Anson, and they were also displayed so that any friends and visitors in our place would see them which would possibly help bring the subject of child sponsorship up for discussion. We continued to enjoy sponsoring Anson, but we never thought we’d get to meet him in person much less go to Haiti.
Recently, I got to take the opportunity to go to Haiti with Help One Now and my church. Meeting Anson was not the only reason I wanted to go to Haiti. I was excited to meet and fellowship with these great local leaders we had heard about for so long. I wanted to see some of the progress we had supported, and meet the beautiful children we had seen in so many photos. When asked why I was going to Haiti I would respond, “Why Not?! Why wouldn’t you go?”. However, I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was also super hopeful that I’d get to meet Anson so I started asking around to see if we would be visiting the orphanage, Yahve Shamma, where Anson lived. It turned out that we were going to be there twice during the trip. I was going to get to meet my kid! Wow! I was going to get to meet Anson!!!
Leading up to the meeting I was pretty nervous. What was it going to be like? What was I going to say to him? How would he interact with me? I was excited, anxious, happy and terrified all at once! The first day our group headed to Yahve Shamma was to meet Pastor Gaetan and learn from him. When we entered the orphanage, the children were in school so we quietly walked by their classes where teaching was in session. We saw, first hand, how well the children were being taken care of. They were getting their education and they were healthy and happy. We were able to play with a few of them during their recess, picking them up one by one and swinging them around.
We sat with Pastor Gaetan and heard about the progress at the orphanage, what his hopes and vision for the children were, what their current challenges and needs are, and we were able to pray with him. It was inspiring and encouraging to hear Pastor Gaetan speak about Yahve Shamma and hear his vision of seeing the children through secondary school and then on to trade schools and universities so that they can grow up to better Haiti. Meeting this Godly man, his family, and the people taking care of Anson was a great comfort. He is one of the many inspiring, faithful people in Haiti being wise stewards of support and using it to change the future.
Read Part 2 of this story!
If you would like to sponsor a child in Haiti, please visit our Haiti child sponsorship page at HelpOneNow.com.