The second day of our trip we woke up in the hospital in the D.R. and crossed the border to Haiti to Batey 41, which is a village my church provides a salary for a minister. They have a building that is used as a school and a church. They have 115 students for next year and the full time missionaries provide clean drinking water for the students, otherwise the village does not have a clean water supply.
The full time missionaries gave us very useful advice that I had to use when I got there. They told us we had to push ourselves down and let love flow out of us. When I stepped off the truck and saw all the children who ran up to us, some without shoes, some without pants, but all without a full belly, it was hard. I did shed a few tears, but I had to remember that I was not any help if I just cried. When the children asked for water, it was very upsetting that I could not give them mine, but when I held them or played ring around the rosy with them I knew why we were really there. The Pastor just beamed as the children sang “Jesus Loves Me,” “Frère Jacques,” and many others in Creole. These songs I just recognized the tune. The smiles on their faces were just priceless. At this point I wondered who was ministering to whom.
A doctor from the hospital and one of our teammates, Susan Treadway R.N., held a clinic while we played with the kids. They treated patients with burns, parasites, malaria, diarrhea, and prenatal care. It was a very successful day but very heartbreaking to see such poverty. I think I have always been thankful for the privilege of medical care, but now I really am! If anyone has infertility problems, I am sure they do not have the privilege that I had to receive adopted embryos. People who are infertile must just suffer in silence.
The next day we crossed over the border again into another village they call Batey 40 (they are named from how far they are from the capital). I could tell at once the adults in the village were a bit hostile and not welcoming. The children wanted to be loved on and in fact one older child wanted to be held so bad that when she was told no that she was too big, she jumped into the arms of one of my team mates.
This village had a bit better homes and more of the children were clothed, but they were lacking love in their hearts and inter peace. I even witnessed a fight that broke out over a lottery ticket! What lottery tickets are sold in such conditions!?!
The overall feeling of this village was “give me, give me, give me.” However, I am sure not everyone was like this. I was blessed to witness a child asking, my fellow teammate, Malyndia for help for his baby sister. Malyndia got me and Melissa the Missionary to walk with her back to the hut where his mother was and his baby sister. The baby had been having diarrhea and throwing up for a few days. We prayed over the baby and Malyndia left the mother her water to give to the baby. While I was in the home of this family, it was very humbling. It was nothing like I had ever seen in my life. All of what I was experiencing was overwhelming and hard to take in.
As we loaded up in our trucks, with the engines running a few people handed the people out water. The trucks were running just in case a riot broke out. I am happy to say one did not, but I did see a few of the adults shooing us away as we left. The differences between the two villages were like night and day regarding their attitude. Both of these villages make a living by making charcoal and taking it across the river to sell. As you can see in the pictures, the living they make is very little.
Seeing this environment makes me not only appreciate my life but the privileges I have living in the US. I am happy to say that one of these privileges is the best health care in the world and that includes embryo adoption.