As I’ve been sorting through pictures from VBS this year, I can’t help but smile as I see photo after photo of happy kids, basking in their carefree summer days and having so much fun together. I also can’t help but see great hope written on their faces – made all the more powerful when you know how much it has taken for this smile to grow.
These are some of their stories.
Less than a year ago, Faith* was living in squalor with her father who, despite his best efforts, had no means of providing for his little girl. She often ate only one meal a day and remembers the pain of an empty belly. Life was very hard. But today, she’s getting three healthy meals each day, going to school and most importantly, knowing the love and security of a family.
Elliot* lost his mother in the 2010 earthquake, and with her, his entire security. Although his aunt took him in and tried to care for him, she already had 10 mouths to feed. Life was very desperate. But in December, 2014, Elliot was able to come into a new Home of Hope that was opening and things started to change. He now is no longer the extra mouth to feed, but a loved child with a mother and father who are making sure he is cared for and loved.
Clive* lost his father when he was very young, and his mother was left to raise seven children alone. They lived in desperate poverty often went hungry. Clive’s mother knew that she would never be able to provide any kind of a future for her little boy. But today, in his new Home of Hope family, all of his needs are met, and he is growing in the love of a family who are pouring into his heart and his future.
Valerie* came from a large family and although he tried, her father couldn’t seem to make enough to provide for all of his children as a farmer. Things got harder when his wife died. Knowing that his daughter could be raised with a mother and father who loved her and were able to provide for her was more than he could ask for.
Molly* is HIV+ and her desperately poor parents (who were HIV+ as well) knew they could never provide for their daughter, especially given the extra medical attention she needed. Without the proper nutrition and environment she needed, Molly was often very sick and continued to get weaker. But when she came to LSM’s Home of Hope family for HIV+ girls, things started changing dramatically. Not only does she feel better because she’s receiving the medications she needs, but she is also surrounded by a family who loves her and is equipped to help her become all that God has created her to be.
When I think about these stories, I see more than a cute moment captured during a fun week together. These pictures are powerful reminders that God is changing things in Haiti – and he is doing so one precious child at a time.
The transformation in these pictures is not possible without you.
*names have been changed for privacy