After a delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs, pancakes, and the best oatmeal and fruit in the world, we were split into two groups. Half went to Gertrude's House (home of children with special needs and also orphaned children) and the others went to the Home for Sick and Dying Children.
What fun we had at Gertrude's! School was in session when we got there, but we were still able to hold and play with some of the little ones. The kids there range in age from infant to older teens with various needs. One little one came to the orphanage just a few weeks ago with burns over much of her body. She had also lost four fingers on one hand. I was blessed to be able to hold her for most of our time there. Other children were busy playing sight word bingo, swinging on the playground, jump roping, and listening to one of the interpreters sing and play the guitar. We were able to stay most of the morning and enjoy every minute of their laughter, energy, and hugs.
The other group spent time with very sick children, children who were not as sick, and also orphaned children. Many spoke of holding babies, changing diapers, and playing with some of the older ones on the playground. I heard many of them speak about how most of the children looked much younger than they actually are. But everyone who was there felt they were blessed so much more than the children they held and loved for that short amount of time.
We came back to the house for a quick lunch and then were off to the General Hospital. The hospital was in the heart of Port au Prince, so it took a while to get there. The traffic amazes me; there seems to be very few stop lights and signs, and it feels like mass chaos at times. When we got to the hospital we needed to wait to get visitor badges. While we were waiting, one of the patients came to greet us. She was probably 8-9 years old, and her stomach was so swollen it was hard for her to stand straight. It makes one feel so helpless at times to see such need, and feel like there's nothing that can be done about it. At the hospital the parents are expected to bring their own food and supplies for their child and their was only one nurse to each room with at least 12-15 cribs. Some of the parents had a piece of cardboard and a sheet on the floor next to their child's bed to sleep on. We passed out some of the supplies that we brought, such as diapers, toys, coloring books, and children's Tylenol. The parents were so appreciative of what was given to them. Most were very willing to take a break from parenting and let us hold their sick children. The little girl I was holding was about the size of a 2-3 month old baby. I was very surprised when she started to cry and I saw she had all of her teeth leading me to believe she was over a year old. She was so tiny not weighing over 10 pounds.
Again, a long ride home in the tap-tap with much traffic. For dinner we had pizza, ice cream, and cupcakes to celebrate Lizzie's birthday!
One of my favorite bible verses kept coming to mind today:
25:40 "And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did
it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'
All of us feel so blessed to have spent time with the least of these!