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Mission Trip 2011
So the first stop on the property was the warehouse. Feed My Starving Children donated boxes of pre-packaged bags of rice with soy protein. (Picture on right)  As a small non-profit organization, we completely depend on sponsors and individual donors for financial support in running the feeding program.  So these boxes are another miracle for OIH, to be able to feed the increasing number of children, sponsored or not, that find their way to the OIH property.  The food that Feed My Starving Children provided OIH has lifted a huge burden off from OIH. 
 
We completely understand the sacrifice(s) that sponsors make monthly and we are very thankful to those who enable OIH's work to continue.  As a sponsor myself and seeing how lives are changed with the $25 monthly donation, it's worth every cent. 
 
The second stop for the morning was the multi-purpose building, completed by 2010.  The building was converted into a medical clinic for a week during our stay.  It was completely empty when we walked inside. The ingenuity of creating tables out of leftover plywood
and home-made cinder blocks was very humbling.  We made the best of what ever materials we had.  We were especially grateful for all the donated medical supplies.  As we organized and laid them out, we realized how much these medicines meant a lot to the OIH children and people in the community. 
 
Natalie, Todd and Alma were the main medical staff and the rest of the team assisted in the best way we could.  Jean, Brian, Jackson (Jean's brother) and Jhon-Love helped with the Creole translation.
 
Jhon-Love is a non-OIH sponsored teenager who lives in Bombardopolis.  He was curious about the missionaries in town.  He knew a little bit of English and helped with the translation during the medical. 
 
Jhon-Love attended school but stopped because his family couldn't afford it. He became one of DeShawn's friends in Haiti.  He and a few
of the boys were enthralled with the rubics cube that DeShawn brought.  I remember DeShawn begging Alma to buy him the rubics cube.  It was the "cool" toy among his peers and he "had" to have it. To our surprise, DeShawn gave his rubics cube to Jhon-Love.  He also gave away his sneakers and most of the clothes he brought with him.
 
"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it."  -Proverbs 22:6, NKJV
 
By the time we left Bombardopolis, we were down to our flip flops and a few clothes.  But I'm jumping ahead of the story.
 
The third and last stop was the old OIH center where the school is located.  The walk is approximately a quarter of a mile from the multi-purpose building. 
 
 
Walking around the neighborhood is another one of my favorite things to do in Bombardopolis.  I enjoy meeting the locals and greeting them, "Bonjou."

My dust-covered flip flops and feet are evidence of an awesome day spent getting to know the people and the surroundings, being followed by the children that know my name and sometimes even an escaped bourik
, a donkey.  On my walks, even just between OIH buildings, I take with me a backpack of goodies, goldfish, starbursts, raisins, fresh almonds and a few clothes to give away. As all kids do, Haitian children prefer the sweet treats more, like starbursts, than raisins or nuts, but I still try to sneak in the healthy treat.  "Ou vle?" is the phrase that I came up with to offer treats.  Èske ou ta renmen gen kèk?” is probably the correct phrase. 

On our way to the school, Alma and Natalie were behind the group, busy taking pictures of the poul, a chicken, that crossed the road. Kabrit, or goats, can be heard from the nearby fields.  Some of the
properties are fenced with thorny bushes to keep people or stray animals from getting in their yard.  A few of the goats have a stick that hang down from their necks, tied with a rope or string.  This prevents them from getting through small spaces in fences and eating people's legim, or vegetable, garden.

Half-way to our destination, we ran into people we knew.  I recognized a couple of them, including Michael.  At the corner, prior to turning into the steep street where the school is located, is the house of one of the OIH board members.  His wife always greeted us with a smile when we walked pass by their house.  The OIH sign is nailed to a leaning post on the same street corner. (Picture on right:  Jean, Alma, DeShawn and Pastor Paul)            

As we continued our descend to the school (Picture below), we saw Wilgis' grandmother selling vegetables by her house on the side of the street.  Wilgis, also known as Tigis by his friends, is OIH-

sponsored. He is actually being sponsored by my friend Denise.  Tigis lives with his grandmother and father.  He is full of life, loves making everyone laugh and can out run most of the kids. Meet Tigis.      

It was fairly quiet when we finally arrived at the school ground.  The children were in the classrooms and apparently had been looking forward to our arrival.  We first saw the youngest group, the pre-kindergarten/ kindergarten class.  Sitting so properly and quietly in their uniforms, we couldn't help ooh and ahh at such a lovely sight.  I recognized immediately Loveka, Kerenh's sponsor girl, the twins Wildina and Wigina, Likenson's beautiful brown eyes, and the little boy who greeted Jean and me with "Good morning brother and sister" in Creole in Feb 2010. 

As we entered each classroom, seeing the familiar faces of the children made the trip so worthwhile.  Yodee (Picture below), Raytha's sponsor boy, was all smiles.  I wished she was with us to
see the transformation of this lovable boy.  Recalling the condition that he and his brother Samuel was in when they first arrived at OIH, it's hard to believe that he's the same boy. Yodee and his older brother were left locked in their house by their mother who had abandoned them.  The reason(s) why they were left behind could be attributed to the mother's hopelessness to not being able to take care of her children.  It wasn't until a few days later that the neighbors discovered them in the house on their own with nothing to eat.  

Yodee is definitely not the same boy I first met back in 2008.  He was very shy and he hardly smiled.  He wasn't accustomed to wearing clothes so he was always removing them.  His stomach was distended, evidence of parasites.  But when I saw him in March, his transformation blew me away.  We all hugged Yodee.  We couldn't wait to tell Raytha of the wonderful changes. His cheeks were filled, stomach size was back to normal and he kept his clothes on the whole entire time.