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Welcome to my blog! I'm so excited to share with you! Thank you for your prayers, your support, and your encouragement. It means a lot to me, the other volunteers at Children of the Promise, and especially the dear little ones I get to work with. :)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Lovelie's house.

It just started to RAIN. Normally, I don’t think too much about the rain and unlike most Haitien’s who might wait undercover for 45 minutes or even an hour I don’t hesitate to keep going about my business even if it means getting a little bit wet. What’s a little water?

This evening though, the rain is prompting me to blog as I remember my visit to Lovelie’s house a week ago.
Lovelie is an amazing little girl who according to her mom has been sick since infancy with one maladi after another. After seeing her living conditions, recognizing her lack of nutrition, and hanging out with her siblings that share some of the same skin infections and speak with the same small voice, rich with post-nasal drip, I can understand why she frequently falls ill.

I first met Lovelie and her mom at COTP. They had sat for literally hours on a bench in our receiving area while I ran around giving meds, getting juice prepared for our kids, handling some emergent diarrhea, making ORS, putting Cholera prevention posters up in the baby house… I can’t remember exactly what delayed my getting out to the gate to talk to Lovelie and Louise that morning but the point is that she waited...patiently. Even after they were finally sitting in our pharmacy I was called away to some other task. I offered an apologetic half-smile and promised to hurry back. She responded with pa pwoblem, m we ou barace anpil, m’ap tan ou.” “Don’t worry. I see you are very busy. I’ll wait for you,” she said with an inviting smile.

Trust me, this woman can smile!
I liked her instantly and my respect for her grew tremendously in the coming weeks. The day of our first meeting it was clear that Lovelie was going to need medical attention beyond what I could provide. We were able to help pay for her to go for consultation and analysis at the local hospital. On subsequent visits however, Louise and I we were able to talk candidly about her life and family and most pressing, her need for food to feed her 6 children.

"Li fe’m mal. Yo suffri anpil." “It hurts me,” she says shaking her head and looking at the ground. “They suffer so much.”

She wants to work and she thanks the Lord that she is strong and capable. “Don’t you see? I am tall. I am strong. I can work. If I had a little money I would do commerce. I would sell thing in the street in front of my house.”

Not wanting to pass up an opportunity to help a mother so willing and physically able to make things better for her family, I asked her how much she would need to buy the items needed to start commerce. After she listed the price of oil, matches, little sachets, and a big bag of rice I realized that, with only $20 USD to spare, I didn’t actually have the resources needed to get business off the ground. It was right about here, that I wished we had some solid microfinance-small-business-loan program in place. I realize that my gifts alone are not sustainable. But...Louise decided she would gladly accept these initial funds and buy what items she could. She thought maybe she tried to sell something that didn’t have as high an overhead as selling small bags of food.

Before she left I searched COTP for give-away food. Pudding, a few boxes of oatmeal, and fruit loops were all I could find. Not necessarily nutritious… but Lovelie tells me that the pudding was delicious.As it turns out Louise was only able to buy a portion of the supplies needed to begin commerce. She is keeping her purchases safe in her home in the meantime. And the pudding box is serving as a side table…Last week Louise came to ask me whether I liked avocados. She was hoping to bring me some at some point but wanted to first be sure I would accept the gift. She also offered me a chicken. She tells me it’s a skinny chicken though, so I should probably keep it for its eggs, rather than its meat. She invited me to her home and we set a date for Friday afternoon.

Here’s the tour.

Small, hey?

There’s a lot of potential for this family. Yes they have very little. But not nothing.
And yes… I did overhear her husband say that the kids hadn’t eaten yet today and did she have anything to give them? Answer: no. But I believe there is hope for tomorrow.

Louise is a smart woman and with the right tools I know she will be able to create a better life for her family. Her main problem at the moment is that the minute she earns/finds/receives even the smallest sum of money she is faced with a myriad of tough choices.

Should she pay pending school fees? Buy new books?
The director at her children’s school had told her that morning that her children were not allowed to return to school until she purchased new workbooks for them to replace these that are torn. But hey, at least her kids were in school this year, even if they don’t have an opportunity to return.

Hospital fees? Her husband needs a cardiologic exam as an undiagnosed heart condition keeps him from leaving the home or even standing for long periods of time.
But at least her husband is there, alive, kind, supportive, and a good father.

Clothes? Soap? Shoes?
Food for her children? Supplies for her future business?
There are other things she could consider that would be nice, but don’t take priority over the above-mentioned items such as cement to rebuild this weather torn home or a second bed. I was told that when it rains the entire family of 7 (1 child not pictured, 1 child lives elsewhere) is obligated to share the small bed. Rather this, then on a flooded floor.

It’s early in the morning now as I finish this entry and it's been raining all night. I can’t help but think that Lovelie and her siblings are probably cold and might even be wet. And I can’t be certain when they had their last meal...

But it’s a
Family. Together.
And the kids are happy.

And they live in a good area.
With the goal to rebuild. Better.
Yes, there’s definitely hope for my friends Louise and Lovelie.

Please pray for these friends of mine and others in similar tough situations. Thanks!

1 comment:

  1. I have a confession. I haven't really been following your blog because it is so hard for me to read. I look at it in big chunks, and then just break down in tears and feel so helpless. I'm sure you have those feelings everyday. It's hard enough for me when one of my kids dies at work (which only happens a few times a year); you have people dying around you everyday. I just don't know what to do, other than pray. I would really like to start supporting you, too. Love you Amy...keep on serving and trusting God for everything you need.