In spite of the title of this post I am quite opposed to the emotional manipulation that Christians often use to get money. So don’t consider the title of this post a manipulation. It is simply the description of a need. This weekend, we are going to have a special offering for the orphanage in Fedja. You heard Paul and I talk a little bit about it this past weekend and you have seen some photos of it on the blog. You will see some more photos and images about it this coming weekend as well.
Like I said, I don’t like the tactics of manipulation that are often used by those who are trying to help the poor. So let me give you some basic facts about life for the kids in Fedja. There are currently 37 children that live at the orphanage who are housed in a fairly new concrete building with intermittent electricity. They have a bathhouse adjacent to the dormitory with showers and toilets. They do have running water of a sort. That is, the water runs out of large tanks on the roof that are filled regularly. If someone wants a hot shower they do well to take it in the evening while the water is still warm from the sun’s rays.
The children are well cared for. Although, they do not have much when it comes to toys and clothes. Their caretakers, all young 20-somethings, watch over the kids well and teach them as best they can. The children are talked to, held and comforted. In spite of their circumstances these kids seem remarkably well adjusted with the older children caring for the younger.
One problem that this orphanage faces is that there is not a strong church associated with it. Throughout the countryside of Haiti churches provide holistic care to their people. Not only does the pastor oversee the spiritual health of his congregation by preaching, teaching, marrying and burying he also manages school teachers that teach children within the walls of the church building. These same pastors often oversee orphanages and schools for children with special needs. In addition they often help get food to people in their church who are hungry. They direct resources to people in need throughout their communities.
(Fedja is a village just outside of the city of Mirebalai, northeast of Port-au-prince.)
Fedja’s orphanage is without this kind of support for the time being. GVCM (Global Vision Citadelle Ministries) is trying to correct this problem and has an individual assigned to the task. However, it may be several months before a viable church is at work in Fedja. The best way for the orphanage to stay in business is for this church to be established in its neighborhood with the assigned task of caring for the children and their caretakers.
In the meantime the kids there need some extra help. None of the children are starving to death. There are, however, days when the kids don’t eat enough. Last Saturday night we collected a sizable amount of money. This money, along with whatever we collect during our special offering this week, will go to provide food and supplies to the kids in Fedja during the interim.
This may just be a kairos moment, a time appointed by God for Wheatland to be a special blessing to these little brothers and sisters.