Yesterday we had the opportunity to visit our 3rd orphanage called Stephen’s Orphanage. After our song and story we were able to spend time playing with the kids. At one point Pastor Stephen asked me if I wanted a tour of the orphanage. Obviously I readily agreed. We started our tour by visiting the “kitchen”. It was simply a couple of pots over some sticks outside along one of the back walls under a tree. One of the cooks immediately pointed at my shoes because she didn’t have any. At this point Pastor Stephen asked me if I could pray for the orphanage, and ask God to open the doors so that help could come. They don’t have enough food or vitamins. The kids don’t have shoes. None of the kids had more clothes than what was on them (their rooms were completely clean – no stuff). Several of the kids didn’t have pants or underwear.
After the prayer Pastor Stephen asked me to remember him and to pray for the orphanage. As we walked away from the kitchen I asked him where the kids slept. He immediately took me to the two boy rooms. They had enough beds for all of the boys but 7 of the beds didn’t have mattresses. We then visited one of the girl rooms. All of the beds in this room had beds, but this led to a 20 minute conversation between Pastor Stephen, JoEllen, and me. He began to tell us about all of his worries and how he has trouble sleeping at night because he doesn’t know how he’s going to provide for these kids. Their only food source is Lifeline, which brings them 5 meals a week (lunch Monday-Friday). That’s it! They had no other support coming in. Breakfast, dinner, and the weekends are up to them. As you can imagine the orphanage tries to spread out the food a little more than they should.
Before we left the girls room Pastor Stephen took some time to tell us about his calling. Even though it’s difficult to care for these kids he told us he couldn’t do anything else. It is his calling from God and he will be obedient. He concluded our talk by saying, “Don’t forget me. Pray for us and I will pray for you and your families back at home.”
Obviously there are MANY orphanages in Haiti exactly like this one and we can’t make a difference in everyone, but can we help this one? Let’s keep this in our prayers. Pastor Stephen, we will not forget you.
Several of our students were greatly impacted at this orphanage as well and I’m sure other blogs will come later.