When we first moved here I was naively under the false impression that an orphanage is where orphans live. I am not sure how I came to that crazy conclusion. Possibly the NAME of the place! But in Haiti, sad to say, an orphanage is NOT typically filled with orphans. It turns out that the much more common definition of orphanage is a great way for self serving Haitians and other foreign nationals to earn a very good living exploiting children whose parents are very alive but are happy to let someone else raise their children and use them as a fund raising tool through the internet and even in person.
|Jaxon in a rare calm moment|
|Sissy Joe in her Luau outfit for Jacy's Birthday|
|Judah is not having a 'happy' day|
|Luke is an amazing teenage missionary. He has taught me so much.|
Our plan is to be able to get these children adopted without charging orphanage fees. Other creches in Haiti if they have legitimately adoptable children they often charge at least $12,000 - 15,000 USD for orphanage fees per child being adopted. Our plan is to allow donors to continue to pay to keep the Mission running and adoptive parents pay the legal fees and government fees for the adoption but nothing directly to us. We are in the process of Justice being adopted and are working with another missionary that is working on adopting 4 children and that will give us more exact understanding of the whole process. In the mean time, we are enjoying investing in the little ones we have. We also support a couple of different orphanages from St. Marc to Montrouis that are not legit but the kids need food, and clothes, and school. And we get to try to change the system one step at a time. We constantly get calls from groups that came to Haiti and gave thousands of dollars to an orphanage here only to find out later it was a shell and now the people are disenfranchised and disappointed. But that is why we are here. To be light in darkness. To be a voice for the abused, helpless, weak, and oppressed. We don't get angry- too often-or frustrated- excessively, instead, we become more and more determined. We pray for more diligence. More patience. More wisdom. More insight. And more opportunity to see people set free from the bondage of deciet and manipulation.
We have had some amazing teams come down to help us lately. I can't tell you how encouraged we have been. God is really covering us with blessing. We are planning to go to the Dominican Republic next week in our bus with the family and our leadership staff. We want to check out possible places to get some boats for our fishing ministry as well as other supplies. We are also going to do a leadership retreat and let my family have a couple of days of refreshment. I will let you know how that goes. Joy could use it and so could her husband.