I Chronicles 16:24 “Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous deeds among all peoples.” (NIV)
On a chilly morning in early March a few weeks ago, a small troupe of volunteer missionaries from the Carlisle area boarded a plane bound for an orphanage in Haiti. The flight took them over some beautiful water in the Atlantic Ocean and lush, green countrysides in route to their destination. Haiti is a country on an island south of the United States; an island shared by the Dominican Republic. The people of Haiti are some of the poorest people in the world in part due to the fact that they are victims of corrupt politicians who have skimmed funds that were to be used for the benefit of the people. Add to that periodic catastrophic weather and unfriendly neighbors, the result is a poor country with lots of vulnerable children who really need help. That’s where Freedom Global Outreach and our volunteer missionaries come in.
According to the Freedom Global Outreach website, their mission is “rescuing and caring for orphaned and abandoned children in Haiti. There is an estimated 430,000 orphaned or abandoned children in this nation, many who are used as childhood slaves. We’re (Freedom Global) in Haiti because we want to provide rescue for as many of these children as we possibly can for God’s glory. The need in Haiti can be desperate,” says Dave Lock, Founder of the organization. Haiti has a population of about 10 million people. The unemployment rate is over 40% with a literacy rate of only 48%. There are many, many people in need. They operate three orphanages in Haiti; one for boys and one for girls in Jacmel; and one for girls in Port-Au- Prince.
Ezra 10:4 “Rise up; this matter is in your hands. We will support you, so take courage and do it.” (NIV)
The orphanage relies on volunteer help from teams pulled together typically from churches who travel to Haiti to assist in the work of the orphanage. The small team from the Carlisle area included Jessi Wilson (MZ) and her son Matt (age 11). The work assignments for the volunteers vary according to the needs at the time, but range from helping in the clinic, the orphanage, or any of the grounds included with the facility. Jessi has gone to Haiti three times, and her duties were different every time. During the first trip, she assisted in setting up the medical clinic which helps to keep the children healthy. On the second trip, she helped to paint homes in Jacmel, organized and completed several projects at the clinic including helping to build closet cubbies for the nurses and played with the children in the orphanage. This last trip was spent working on some of the indoor and outdoor furniture used by the facility. The volunteer teams help Freedom Global use as many of their assets as possible to directly help the children. If the volunteers wouldn’t assist with these jobs, the organization would need to pay someone to do them. On every trip, the volunteers play with and teach the children of the orphanage. That interaction is invaluable on many levels. Monthly sponsorships help to cover the cost of schooling and the daily needs of the children, as well as helping to pay for the nurses and doctors at Heaven’s Angels Pediatric clinic.
Isaiah 52:7a How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news…” (NIV)
With its focus on bringing the Gospel to many children who would otherwise not know the Good News of Jesus Christ, Freedom Global Outreach means hope to these Haitian children. Jessi and Matt are grateful for the support they have received from their sponsors who made this trip and the previous two trips possible. Matt says his favorite thing about the trip was “getting to play with the kids in the orphanage. I would like to be able to go back (to Haiti) again someday.” Who knows, others of us may be willing and able to do the same someday thus helping to touch even more people with the love of Jesus Christ.