Amber, our Champions For The Poor coordinator, shares more about her first trip to Haiti.
By Amber Noe
My fondest memory of Haiti stands with our visit to FSUD Orphanage. The children, boys and girls of all ages, patiently looked on as we arrived, smiles on their faces and curiosity in their hearts. They were eager to interact and show us what they have learned in school.
The kids had cleaned their dorms prior to our arrival, displaying their donated stuffed animals like prized trophies upon their little beds. I thought of them clutching these toys for comfort in the dark of night and wondered if they feel the loneliness that must surely come from a life without their parents. I was comforted in knowing that the orphanage’s caretakers are there to look after them and do everything within their means to provide for these children, through the help of sponsors.
The love between the home’s leaders and the children was so endearing and overwhelming that I could feel it resonating within the very heart of the orphanage, right through its walls.
The orphanage classroom is built on a second floor area, accessed by twisting stairways. Two dark, dusty rooms greeted us with their somber presence. As I walked across its floors, reading the chalkboard lessons from the prior day, I could feel the flimsy, plywood ground give way just a tad with each step. The day was peaking, bright and hot, in the Caribbean sun, yet inside these thin walls, there was nary a light to shine upon the little desks strewn about in dust. The school is in desperate need of renovation. The caretakers are trying their best to garner support for their orphanage, but they need help.
I thought back to the children of L’Ecole Marie Clarac, and prayed that these orphaned children will soon receive the same great blessing of having a safe place in which to learn. I wept as I watched these tiny souls, smiling, singing, and playing with us. I dreamed of a better future for them. How could I see this reality and not be moved?
I heard someone say, “When you fall for Haiti, you fall hard.”
Truer words couldn’t be said. I fell hard for those children, dreaming of a better tomorrow and for those families praying for safety. I felt the spirit of hope within every smile, every tear, every face I encountered. The plight of the poor is forever written within me and a piece of my heart will forever remain within Haiti.