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In Haiti: Moments of Joy

In Haiti: Moments of Joy

“But Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them! For the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’” -- Matthew 19:14

Feed My Starving Children Board Member, Kieran Kelliher, recently took a Food In Action trip to Haiti, distributing food at Love a Child. He's the director of finance for the Chicago Bulls. 

While we are all focusing on the recent devastation in Haiti resulting from Hurricane Matthew -- and rightly so -- I find it important to reflect on moments of joy given to us by God’s grace.

One such moment happened on my trip with FMSC staff to Haiti.

Our group visited Love a Child a bit over a week prior to Hurricane Matthew making landfall, where we had the opportunity to help with Love a Child’s food distributions and other operations, visit some of their schools and partners in more remote locations on the island and spend time with the children in their orphanage.

The time we spent with the children at their nightly worship service, or helping them learn to ride bicycles was a welcomed opportunity to connect with those children that Jesus so cherishes, and that we aim to serve.

We learned during the trip that these Haitian kids had never experienced a water balloon fight.

During the last afternoon of our visit, the FMSC and Love a Child staff filled a cooler of water balloons from the well on the compound and brought many of the younger kids together just outside the food distribution warehouse.

One of the Love a Child staff quieted the children and explained in Creole that we had a surprise for them; she then pulled a single balloon out and threw it on the ground just short of the kids, giving them an initial splash.

I thoroughly enjoyed the quizzical looks from the kids, even as some of them took a step or two back as they did not yet understand the game.

The Love a Child staff then threw open the lid on the cooler and told the kids it was their turn, and the sense of hesitation from these children pivoted instantly to the thrill of the game as they swarmed the cooler.

This was a striking moment of pure, unfettered joy as these kids soaked each other that afternoon.

As the balloons began to run out, some of the younger kids simply jumped in the large cooler to immerse themselves in the leftover water.

While these kids were lost in the moment, I was overwhelmed with a strong sense of thanksgiving – that something so simple that required little work could bring these children so much joy.

This memory will stay with me as I continue to reflect on that week, and I pray that these children may one day understand how much they taught me about God’s vision for his kingdom here on earth.

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