I did not take one picture today, with my camera. I did however have many images etched, and even burned in my mind.
Nothing could have prepared me for what I saw today.
We visited another orphanage today outside of Port au Prince. Pretty much everything good about yesterdays orphanage did not exist where we were today.
I’ll resist listing all the horrible realities I witnessed today. I will share one moment though. Well, it ended up being more than a moment, but a decision that was made in a moment.
Many of our team members were out on the ‘balcony’ playing with about 30+ kids, waiting for the remaining 40+ kids to be finished with their schooling for the day.
Looking into a ‘bedroom’, the doorway loosely covered with a hanging sheet, I see a naked 3 year old wandering about. No caregivers in sight, I take the opportunity to approach her. Big smiles.. I look around for diapers.. none. Ok, how about a dress? No luck. My eye catches a large pile of clothing on another ‘balcony’ out the other side of this room. Are these clean? Yep, I think so, and find something that’ll do.
Heading back into the room, my eyes glance right and lying flat, in a shaded corner, on a thin mat, is a little boy, unclothed, shaking in the corner.
Wait.. this cannot be. It is. I go grab a teammate, because emotionally I’m about to lose it and I need help with this one. We get him dressed and grabbed one of the older boys who speaks English to give us some answers.
This precious one cannot move his arms or legs, (or any part of his body) they are rigidly bent in position. He cannot hear or speak, but appears to respond visually. The older boy tells us this is where he stays. Not today! Today we will hold him. His name is Luke.
We took turns holding him till he fell asleep and then placed him on a new ‘clean’ mat indoors.
At our team meeting tonight there was much discussion about Luke. We plan to investigate getting him into another facility, that can care for him. We may get no where, but we will work every connection and resource we have here.