I would like to share something that happened last summer on one of our small group mission trips.
We had two men with us from Southeast Missouri doing a little building project. The men had been working so hard so we decided to take a little break and enjoy some of the beauties of Haiti.
We drove up the mountain to Petionville, this is a very nice part of Haiti, kind of a suburb of Port au Prince. If you have money in Haiti this is where you probably live. There is a little more grass, nice buildings, stores and such in Petionville and looks a “little” more like “home”. However, its still the poorest country in the western hemisphere.
We drove to a little park where they have benches, a basketball court, trees and lots of grass. Its very beautiful. We all piled out of the truck: Jonathan, myself, Kerby, Kerlandy, Wayne, Matt, Moise and Fritson. We thought we would take a nice little walk around the park.
Little did we know God had his hand in us being at that park at that very moment and we met an amazing little boy, John Mark.
Just a few minutes after we arrived at the park this little boy came up to us. He asked Jonathan if he had a coin (very common with street kids) and was just standing there smiling ear to ear. You have to be careful handing out anything to children in a public place because before you know it you are surrounded. The little boy kinda hung around smiling and not really saying anything.
In Haiti the kids play a game with rubber bands and Kerby had some. I asked him If I could see them and asked the little boy if he wanted to play.. and boy did he.. He was GREAT…We played for a while then the kids played with him.. He was just too cute.
It was funny I noticed that people were stopping to watch us play the game. I don’t think they ever seen a white woman playing before. Before you knew it he had ALL the rubber bands and we had NONE! He was good!
After a little while I asked Kerby to ask him where he lived. He said here. Kerby said where, he said in the park. He slept in the park by him self, no parents!!! No one! I asked Kerby to ask him if he ate today. I think he trusted Kerby because he finally answered and said NO… That’s all I had to hear. I asked Jonathan for some Haitian money and me and Moise was off. I was bound and determined to find this boy some food.
We walked all the way around the park and finally found a lady selling rice and beans with sauce. She didn’t want to sell to me because she had no meat. I said that’s OK I’ll take it. Just a few steps more and we found a man grilling hot dogs and got one of those too.
We also got him a bottle of orange juice and brought it all back to him. He bowed his little head and prayed over his food. And he was so excited about it, he could hardly eat for smiling.
He quickly ate the hot dog and drank the juice and his little tummy was already pooching out. He closed the box to save the rest of the food for later (or to sell). They do what that have to in order to survive.
It was time we move on as hard as it was leaving him there all by his self. As we were all loading in the truck here comes that little boy, food in hand ready to get in the truck too. He wanted to go with us. He told Kerby that he needed parents and that he was going too.
This broke my heart to leave that little boy in the park, all by himself. If I could have brought him home with me that day I would have. There are hundreds of little boys and girls just like him in Haiti. Some are fortunate enough to be able to live in an orphanage or with family members. Some not so much and have been turned out to the streets. They are knows as “Street Kids”. These children are often abused by society, and seen as only a problem. All I seen was a sweet little boy, just looking for someone to love him and feed him. I know I can’t “SAVE” the children of Haiti. What I do know is when we left that little boy that day he had a smile on his face, a full belly, extra food to eat or sell and an arm full of little simple rubber bands he won from a crazy white woman.
Please say a prayer for all the children who don’t know where their next meal will come from. I would love to see John Mark again and try my hand at the rubber band game one more time.