Rescue

Danita and Brittany continue to rescue desperate children in Port-au-Prince.  Three more children were airlifted to the Danita’s Children facility yesterday, including this little boy.

He has lost an arm, and is in a cast from the waist down.  Brittany says they found him living in a tent outside a makeshift hospital, where he has been since the earthquake killed his father and injured him.  When they found him, he was crying and saying the house was crashing down on him.

Here are photos of Danita, with him and the other rescued children preparing to leave Port-au-Prince.

Karris and Brenda were waiting to receive the children when they arrived in Ouanaminthe (where the plane lands on a grass runway).  Karris has described how touching it is to see their kids accept, love and comfort the new arrivals.  Four year old Lubenson (who is himself an amazing rescue story http://www.danitaschildren.org/the-children/room-for-one-more/lubenson ) saw the little amputee boy and said to Karris in Creole “Mwen fe li souri anpil,” which means “I’m going to make him smile a lot.”

Love Wins

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Perfect Unity

Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.   Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Colossians 3: 11-14

Love Wins

Remember

I’ve blogged twice before about the injustice and utter absurdity of the Haitian adoption process.

https://practicingresurrection.wordpress.com/2009/12/13/pawns-in-a-game/

https://practicingresurrection.wordpress.com/2009/08/16/stand/

In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, the US government announced that it would allow Haitian orphans who are already in the adoption process to travel to the US on humanitarian parole visas, to be with their adoptive parents, without the necessity of Haitian passports or visas.  Thank God this good sense finally prevailed, and it is a pity that it took a tragedy like this to make that happen.  Many of these American parents had been waiting years to be united with their children, despite having long satisfied all the obligations of prospective adoptive parents.

Hopefully the US will now proceed to the next logical step, which is to allow US parents to bring  Haitian orphans out of Haiti without the necessity of going through the Haitian bureaucracy, which is now in rubble in Port-au-Prince.

In the past few days, I have been stunned to see organizations like World Vision advocating an immediate moratorium on Haitian adoption.  And Haitian bureaucrats are declaring that no more Haitian children will be allowed to leave the country.

There were nearly a half million orphans in Haiti before the earthquake.  The destitute Haitian people were unable to care for these children and the Haitian government didn’t even try.  To this sea of orphaned and abandoned children must now be added the hundreds of thousands orphaned by the earthquake.  Where will they live?  Who will feed and protect them?  Who will educate and love them?

Sadly, even in this tragedy, those innocent children remain pawns in governmental games. 

The beginning of a solution is obvious.  Once a child in Haiti has been determined to be an orphan or to be abandoned, that child should be eligible for immediate adoption to any American parents who have already satisfied the U.S. screening process and been deemed fit to adopt.  Those parents should not be required to submit to review by Haitian authorities–a corrupt, incompetently managed procedure that takes years to complete.

I am encouraged by the fact that the world is now focused on the plight of these children.   Just this morning I noticed that the lead article on cnn.com is about restavecs, the hundreds of thousands of Haitian children kept in slavery there.

Let’s hope that the world doesn’t forget these children once Haiti is no longer in the headlines.

Love Wins

Safe

An update from Haiti.  

The first three children, two of whom are amputees, were flown out of Port au Prince to Ouanaminthe yesterday morning and are now safe at Danita’s.

At two a.m this morning a bus full of children arrived, from two orphanages destroyed in Port au Prince.  Karris sent this message:  “A bus arrived tonight at 2:00 a.m. full of children from 2 orphanages that collapsed in Port-Au-Prince. The orphans were living in tents and we got to tuck them into their new beds tonight…they are some …of the sweetest and grateful children I’ve ever met.”

And here’s a picture of one of the orphanages, sent by Brittany.  All of the kids made it out alive, but they’d been sleeping outside ever since, and they were out of food and water.  Now they’re safe and sound.

 

Love Invades and Love Wins.

Break

This will probably be my last Haiti post for a while.  I have an extremely busy few weeks coming up at work, and I’m not likely to have time to blog.  Until I do, I’ll just be rolling out some things I wrote before the earthquake, which I’d moved aside.  Haiti will still be on my mind, and hopefully I’ll still be doing what I can to help Danita’s mission and the other Haiti projects I’m working on, but I likely won’t have time to blog about it for a while.

Danita and Brittany are still in Port au Prince.  Only a few weeks ago Danita was here at White Flint Farm.  It’s hard to imagine a starker contrast than that between our farm and the ruins of Port au Prince.

The folks in Ouanaminthe are ready to receive the new kids, the first wave of whom should be arriving soon.  The beds and bedding are set up in the church at Danita’s, where the new children will live until better quarters are constructed.  The children there now are excited about having new family.  The already overworked staff are cheerfully preparing for a major increase in their workload.  As I see what these amazing people are doing, it makes me feel honored to know them and to have a small part in helping.

Johnny’s surgery went well.  What a brave, tough boy.  Here is the x-ray of his broken femur:

Johnny was in the is condition for many days, with no medications and with a cast on his ankle.  Evidently no one had noticed that his femur was broken.

Some folks at CNN have been extremely helpful to the mission, procuring donations of mosquito nets and other vital supplies, and helping Danita locate needy kids amid the choas of Port au Prince. They have been a blessing.

Many volunteers have come to Ouanaminthe to help and there are now more than enought to handle the current situation.  But even now Haiti is beginning to fade from the headlines and as that continues it is likely that the surge of volunteers will drop off too.  We expect that there will be great need in the months to come.  And of course all these new kids will need sponsors. 

It is important to keep in mind that all of Haiti is suffering from this earthquake, even if not suffering physical damage.  In Ouanaminthe, for example, the price of charcoal, fuel and food has doubled since the quake.  For people who could barely keep their families fed before, this is a major crisis.  At the Lambs of God orphanage they have quit using the generator, in order to save money on fuel.  So now they have no electricity. 

I know that several of you regular readers of this blog have stepped up to support Danita’s Children.  I think that is awesome.  And I’m sure many of you have done so without me knowing about it.  I can say, without hestitation, that you’re making a difference in the lives of some really deserving children.

I’ll close with suggestions for some other ways to stay in touch with what is going on in Haiti. 

Dr. Jen Halverson is an American physician doing amazing work at a makeshift clinic, and somehow finding the time to keep up a blog.   http://sleepydoctor.blogspot.com/

Troy and Tara Livesay are missionaries in Port au Prince, whose post-quake efforts have been heroic.  They too are keeping a blog.  http://livesayhaiti.blogspot.com/

Karris and Brittany, two of the missionaries at Danita’s Children, both regularly post on facebook and that is a good way to keep up with what is going on at Danita’s Children.  Friend them:  Karris Hudson.  Brittany Joy Hilker.  They also both blog, although not frequently.  But when they do, their posts are amazing.  http://www.karrishudson.blogspot.com/  http://www.brittanyinhaiti.blogspot.com/

May all the love and attention the world is showing for Haiti persist for a long time.

Love Wins