One of the joys of working for an international organization like Food for the Hungry (FH) is that I read constantly about places I’ve never visited. They come alive for me via reports, proposals and e-mails from distant colleagues.
Yesterday I visited a place that has a special place in my heart, called Lespinasse. It’s tucked deep in the mountains of central Haiti, far from the crowded jumble of Port-au-Prince.
Three years ago this month, Lespinasse was the first FH child sponsorship center we opened after the January 2010 earthquake. I remember talking about the decisions and praying that our quake-traumatized staff could bear the stress of opening new centers. Their dedication remains one of my most memorable examples of what the human spirit can accomplish with God’s help.
We opened the centers with activities that would help protect children. When disasters strike, children are more vulnerable to all types of abuse, including child trafficking and domestic violence.
Today, that commitment to the children continues. I watched as Remy, FH staff member and children’s ministry coordinator, led the children through a craft project, a rousing chorus of “Father Abraham” in Haitian Creole, and a boisterous contest.
Activities like this are fun, to be sure. But when we give children a place to play, a place where people notice when they are absent, we protect them. Children who are isolated are more likely to be trafficked or abused. Through your sponsorship, staff like Remy can identify children who need a protector.