In exactly four weeks, I will step onto a plane to head back to Haiti. Along with my backpack, DEET and passport, I’ll carry with me an assortment of shoeboxes, lovingly filled by individuals who have agreed to pray for particular children in a particular slum called Carrefour.
I’ll also have within me a host of emotions. If you’ve read my blog long, you know that it has been over a year since I trekked with a team, through the Dominican Republic, to Port au Prince for earthquake relief work. You also know that I experienced a modern miracle.
While serving orphans, I met a child. (How many relief-worker stories begin this way?) Markenley had eyes that seemed numb to the misery around him and yet, when I drew him out with my camera and attention, I found a bright, 10-year-old boy with a smile that transformed those eyes into ones capable of hope and joy.
We spent the day together and, after our team headed back to our camp of tents, I couldn’t get him out of my mind.
This is why I believe that was true: God, with His perfect wisdom, placed Markenley squarely in my path and in my heart. My life was meant to change – and it has. So was that boy’s – and it is.
I won’t rehash the wondrous story that has led us to today, since many of you have heard it before – but, if you haven’t, I urge you to read the other posts on this site. It won’t take long – and you will see the unmistakable Hand of God at work. (Does that give you the same joy and awe it does me?)
It includes all of the drama of searching through the tent communities of Carrefour for a child who had snuck into an orphanage seeking food – it was a year before we found him! My trip on June 19 will not only reunite us, but he will spend the entire week with us as we serve Haiti!
I still pinch myself… during the past couple of months, I’ve had conversations with Markenley’s relatives and learned some of their story. Like so many in Haiti, it isn’t pretty.
Finally, it is time for action. I’m heading there with a team of doctors from Arkansas who will be providing medical and post-traumatic psychological care to several communities. (We met, because they read about Markenley on my blog!) I’m excited that, on our last day, we will take him to play at the shore.
I know already that it will break my heart to walk to that plane after a week together to return home.
As I see it, it’s up to God what happens then. Jim and I would happily pursue adoption. If that is not what seems best for Markenley, we will enthusiastically seek enduring ways to be supportive to his family and community.
I’m sharing this with you for several reasons:
I need prayer. Clarity is critical because, if adoption is next, we will need to launch the process soon. Haiti has specific age requirements for children and adoptive parents and time’s a wastin’ on both sides of that coin.
And, yes, I also need additional funding. Jim and I are determined to pay as much as we can alone but, in order to minister effectively there – including rebuilding walls, if possible, that help to support their broken space – I need help. I have created a Paypal link just for Markenley – you will see it at the top left of this page.
In any case, I just want you to know that, in a few weeks, some pretty amazing stories will likely show up on my blog. I would love for you to pray along with us and get excited as we watch God’s plan emerge.
If you have been praying for a particular child and want to send a shoebox of gifts, now is the time. (I have about 20 children who never received prayer partners, if you want to jump in.) Because I have to pack efficiently, all boxes must be to me by Sunday, June 12.
Thanks for joining me in this journey. I’m certain I couldn’t do it alone. God’s presence is all around me – of that I’m convinced – and knowing that I have a circle of friends who also care deeply makes all the difference!
Thanks from my heart!