The Heart of Haiti
It’s always a privilege and brings joy to our hearts here at Hope Force International [HFI] when volunteers make the journey into “our” village of Sous Savanne, Haiti. We kicked off our 2016 Volunteer Teams with a team arriving the last full week of February. It was a great team of five from the Cincinnati, Ohio area, joined by a couple from Wisconsin. Two team members have served with us in Haiti multiple times, while the others were new to Haiti. It was rewarding to have three nurses on the team, enabling us to have a health care component with community health education in two different schools.
One of these schools was ECCA in nearby Mellier, and the team had a wonderful time teaching and playing with the kids. This is the school we so love and respect as they live out their motto: “Educate to Serve – God and the Community”. We are still in process of raising funds to continue rebuilding the school that was destroyed in the earthquake six years ago.
Two team members are sponsors of children in the Child Sponsorship Program (CSP). They have met their sponsored child before and looked forward with anticipation to their return to Sous Savanna to be reunited with their child again. The entire team also participated and assisted in the food distribution, which is part of the CSP. The program plays a vital role for the children enrolled, helping to provide their tuition fee for school as well as a monthly food supplement.
Below are the stories of three of the team members...and their words speak for themselves. We hope and pray this will motivate and inspire you to either sponsor a child in Sous Savanne – or if you already sponsor a child, to come and visit your child June 11 – 18 as part of a week-long trip designed specifically for our Child Sponsors. It’s not too late to sign up now!
At first after I had received my sponsored child photograph, she was simply a child in Haiti receiving my monthly commitment through Hope Force International (HFI). After meeting Widerline for the first time, the child on the photo came to life. Her smile and hugs touched my heart to keep me coming back. I needed to get to know this little girl more than ever. I have just left Widerline and her family for the third time and I’m already yearning for the moment when I can get back to be with her. The love and bond we have created is one that will grow for years to come.
I have had the pleasure to travel to Sous Savanne four times. On my second trip I was moved to sponsor a child in the village through the HFI program. Sponsoring a child in the village has been one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. To have the privilege to be a part of my sponsored child’s education and upbringing has been a true blessing. To travel to Sous Savanne and sponsor a child from the village is an investment that keeps giving. They are a blessing to us as much as we are to them. There is no doubt the money we give and the work that Hope Force is doing is truly God’s work.
Prior to coming to Haiti, I would have considered myself well- educated on the subject of poverty and world hunger. However, once I set foot in the village of Sous Savanna, I realized I knew absolutely nothing. To see the living conditions that the people of Sous Savanne endure on a daily basis was shocking to me. We walked the village every day and spent time with families that were sponsored...and those that were not. To be able to put names with faces and truly spend time with the villagers really allowed me to connect on a deeply personal level. I felt a connection to God for the first time in years. Not only was this a life changing experience from a spiritual perspective, but the way I choose how to live my life in the States will be forever changed.
Poverty and hunger are no longer just words to me. Poverty and hunger have a face with a name and a story that I will never forget.
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