Cries, laughter, fevers, dirty diapers, hard work, and an array of emotions filled the day. First stop of the day was a home to sick and dying babies. I refer to myself as “baby illiterate”, never having spent much time around babies or small children, I had my reservations; nonetheless, I fell in love. Rooms were filled with tiny children and babies, each one looking for attention and love. There were many filled with the energy and sparkly eyes of a child that seems to be healthy and well; others seemed to be in a constant state of discomfort, trying to breath as their lungs gurgled with phlegm, “baby fat” was nonexistent and bones protruded. When sharing our words of the day (each evening group members share a one word to depict their day or a part of it), words ranged from ‘sorrow’ to ‘comfort’. As difficult as it is to see these babies and young children struggling it is comforting to know that God provides – parents came to visit their children, Haitian caretakers never stopped moving, and mission groups were able to give love and support.
Next stop was Missionaries of the Poor -- a home for physically and mentally disabled children and adults, another eye-opening experience. Again, that array of emotions was present throughout our time there. I was assigned the glamorous task of clipping toenails and fingernails, which I found I genuinely enjoyed, spit covered fingers and all. There were boys and girls with such twisted limbs I was uncertain which ways I could move hands and feet. I went to the bed of each child and felt heartache as I carefully clipped each nail (not many are fond of having their nails clipped). There was also great joy that filled the compound, seeing many children dancing, music playing, games, bubbles, and the excitement of wheelchair rides.
Today was another day that I will be forever grateful for, experiencing the engagement and love of God from the group members and the Haitian caretakers.