"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this; to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
~James 1:27

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Life is Full of Goodbyes

Thursday dawned with a tinge of sadness. This was our last full day in Haiti. We would be leaving for home early the next morning. We had to make the most of today because our time was coming to a close. I was so excited to be going back to Pastor Murah’s orphanage that day. I had missed them on our day away. I had missed my Michkaina and Magdalia.  And today was going to be a fun day! It was party time. We were ending our time with the children by having a Children of the King party. What a perfect way to end our time together- by letting them know that they are the beloved children of our God and King. 

When we arrived at Pastor Murah’s, Magdalia and Michkaina immediately found me. I was so happy to be with my girls again. They made me feel so loved and special. They didn’t even know me, but all they wanted to do was sit on my lap and hold my hand and give me big hugs. They showed me what unconditional love feels like. And all I can pray is that for the 3 days I spent with them, that they felt my unconditional love too. Because I love them with all of my heart! I can feel the tears coming even as I write type this.

Fighting over who gets to sit on my lap. It's a good thing I have 2 legs :)

We started off our party by passing out paper crowns to all of the children. No Prince or Princess is complete without a crown. Some Bible verses about how they are children of the King were read showing God’s ultimate love for his children. I hope and pray that these children are able to realize that God loves them and that He is with them always. We played pin the tail on the donkey and we even had a piñata! The piñata was a big hit, though it was slightly dangerous with blind folded kids swinging a stick that was taller than them around. Luckily no one got hurt. We made sure that everyone got a turn. Every time the piñata fell, we hung it back up until it was completely destroyed and kids were scrambling for candy. What a treat for them! It was so special to just sit back and watch kids be kids. Kids who have been through unimaginable things, things no child should ever have to go through. And here they were just laughing and smiling and playing with pure abandon. It was heartbreaking knowing that I would be leaving soon. What if I never see my Haitian babies again?

Sweet Naomie sat on my lap every chance he got

Pin the tail on the donkey

A very dangerous but fun time with the Pinata

Magdalia and I with a friend

When it was time to leave there was barely a dry eye around. I hugged my Michkaina and my Magdalia and held on tight. I don’t know if they knew what was going on or why I was crying. But they just hugged me tight and looked at me with sad expressions. I hugged my Dede and my Naomie.  Bedna, one of Pastor Murah’s daughters, who is close to my age, came and asked me if I was leaving tomorrow. When I told her yes, she just hugged me and we cried together. Isn’t amazing how you can grow so close to a person you can barely communicate with in just 3 days of being together. 

My Sweet Michkaina- I didn't want to let her go!

Saying goodbye to my new friend Bedna

These people became my family- the people in my group and the Haitian people. I went to Haiti to love on children, to be a blessing to these children who have nothing. But I should have know that I was me who would be blessed, me who would be loved on. They gave me everything they had to offer- their love, their hugs and kisses, their smiles and laughter, their joy. And I am the one who has been blessed. Blessed to be loved by the beautiful Haitian people. Blessed to know that you can still have joy when you have nothing. Blessed to have been a part of this trip. And that is why I have been changed. That is why I have to go back to Haiti as soon as possible. Because Haiti has touched my heart and I will never be the same.

Pastor Murah's entire family- they all live together with the orphans

Michkaina is one of Pastor Murah's grandaughters :)

Part of our amazing team! Getting ready to head back to the US.


  1. Hilary it must have been such a blessing for you to go to Haiti! You were such a blessing back I am sure! Love you and miss you my friend...xoxoxo

  2. I love this post! I can just feel the love you have for the children and the pictures of the party just reflect how much fun it was!

  3. Oh I just love it. Praying for you. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. What an amazing, heart wrenching experience!

    much love,