The Story of the Children | A Guest Post by Alicia Grant
October 31, 2013
Alicia Grant, Vice-President of New Reality International, visited Haiti recently for the purpose of intercessory prayer. She writes here of the children, so near and dear to her heart and to the heart of God.
The familiar sights and sounds greeted us as we drove down the uneven pitted road. The lush countryside rushed past and I imagined once again the ceaseless potential for this small tropical country, hidden beneath all of the impoverishment of body and soul.
My thoughts then turned to the children and my heart quickened at the thought of seeing those precious twenty-five faces in just a few more minutes. It had been months since I was able to see their beautiful endearing smiles, feel their little arms wrap around my neck, or hear their joyful songs to Heaven, praising their “Good Papa God”. There are very few places where LOVE abounds more than in the small rented home full of orphaned and abandoned children from the local community of Trou du Nord, Haiti.
Sadly... pain and tragedy abound as well. The tragedy comes, not from their current living situation, but from the depths of pain they have already experienced over the course of their young lives. And there are so many more just like them who are STILL living through the same horrors.
The first 25 children will soon be able to move into the first two “family homes” being built in the Children’s Village. But there are 80+ more community children on the “Waiting List” still experiencing the fear and terror of being ALONE on the streets. We can’t wait to be able to build them a safe and loving place as well.
As I recalled the memory of first meeting the community children, I grimaced and felt the acute pang of helplessness return.
Our Haitian partners had asked the children on the waiting list to come meet us. As we looked across the group of children staring back at us, the contrast between “our 25” and the others on the waiting list was painful. Our 25 children, though living in a rented home without running water or electricity and many walking about with holes in their shoes, had something the other children could only dream about -- they were safe. We were struck by the stress, fear and tension on the other children’s faces. They looked as if they carried the weight of the world on their small backs. One thing even more troubling was the lack of Hope in their eyes.
The Committee explained to them why we were there and how we would be working alongside the Haitians to build them a Village. Their dark eyes just stared blankly at us, without the slightest flicker of BELIEF. When we talked with them it got even worse. “Restavec...” “Restavec...” “Restavec...” Our translator repeated the phrase over and over as he translated each of their stories to us. “Restavec.” We knew it meant each of these kids had been sold or given to relatives in the hopes they would be given a better future. Instead they were used as house servants and often abused unimaginably.
As they reluctantly shuffled out the door, I felt like a mother unable to go into a dark place with their child. I knew these children were literally lambs going out to the wolves. That is, until we can do something to stop it.
When people have asked why I’ve gone into a situation that seems nearly impossible to fix, I tell them -- I cannot imagine NOT doing it. We will NOT give up on any of these kids. We will hold their hands and walk with them out of the darkness, into a place of brilliantly shining Hope. God’s grace is blessing us so we can do this, and we do not take this responsibility lightly. We believe HE has a greater plan for each of these children, greater than we could ever imagine, and we are honored to even be a small part of His vision.
THAT is why we do what we do at NRI. None of us are “paid.” All of us have only one goal: To rescue as many children as we can out of danger, despair, and shame. We want them to know a NEW REALITY in their hearts and their lives and their communities. One day, we want to see their entire nation breaking free from the bonds of fear and oppression.
As we drew closer to the little rented home, I could hear the children laughing. And it affirmed, once again, why I was there…
"You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful Light."
1 Peter 2:9
--- Please consider joining our effort to give these children a new reality. You can donate securely through our website, pray for God's power to be poured out on us all, and tell a friend about Project 7. Thank you.