Photo by Grant Merritt
My son Michael just returned from his second trip to Haiti. Last summer, he, his bandmates from Chasing Canaan, and several other people went to Les Cayes to help the Bighouse orphanage there, as part of the First United Methodist Church of Shreveport's Haiti Initiative. Les Cayes is about five hours away from Port Au Prince. At that time, they held vacation bible school, built cubbyholes and desks, fixed some beds, got the well fixed, took all the kids for blood tests (zero of the 80 or so orphans were HIV positive, which was great!), and loved on the kids. When they returned home, largely under the leadership of Britney Winn, the church started a sponsorship program, which provides daily meals to the kids and continued doctor visits. In the year since, teams have returned several times, and have built latrines, a dining pavilion, a playground, and other things needed for the kids. Britney Winn was hired by FUMC Shreveport to be their Haiti missionary, and was in Les Cayes in January when the earthquake happened.
Britney started blogging, partly as a way to update the sponsors, back in October. She is so eloquent about her visits to Haiti since then, that I think it's best to just refer you to her blog, http://britneyseesthekingdom.blogspot.com/ . This year the team put up videos at http://www.youtube.com/fumchaitiinitiative . Last year's videos are at http://www.youtube.com/user/haitimission2009 . The blog and the videos help me understand why my 22 year old son has gone, and will continue to go back, and put me at peace about any dangers he might encounter there. I'm glad he went, and I'm glad he's back safely in Shreveport.
I was able to go out to DFW Airport on what was supposed to be Michael's layover there last night, and brought him a burrito from his favorite restaurant, Chipotle, which they don't have in Shreveport. I really enjoyed his stories about Vacation Bible School and other experiences there, and it was good to give him a hug before he left again. The Dallas area had some bad weather last night, and his flight was cancelled, so he and the team rented vans and drove back to Shreveport, and to a different world than the one they just left.