HELO Orphanage in Haiti

God Smiled and Laughed as Divine Intentions Met

They say, “if you want to make God laugh, tell God your plans.”  God did a lot of laughing during our week in Les Cayes and with the energetic youngsters at HELO.  Our team was charged with the delightful task of teaching embroidery, which we expanded to include counted cross-stitch as well.  Ingrid Stock, Sue Barker and Shirley Anderson came prepared with practice samples and canvas for bookmarks, plus larger projects - towels and aprons.  In addition to miles of embroidery floss, our traveling dental hygienist came with plenty of dental floss, tooth brushes and paste.  Cheryl Remsbecker was the official tooth and gum evaluator.  As filler activities, we had soccer balls, jump ropes and, a Janet Lewis idea,  any number of fabric markers to decorate T-shirts carefully counted and sized for each child.  These were our big and little goals and we figured God was mighty pleased.

God laughed.  The children were beginning school during our week with them.  They were flying high! We discovered the sewing3 energy level of our children and recognized ours to be somewhat less.  Organization was paramount and that included timing.  Isn’t “timing everything?”  God taught us first to appreciate the Caribbean clock.  We slowed down.  We did teach a bit of embroidery…like dangling a carrot, we enticed a few of the older girls and some boys.  (We were equipped with a photo of Rosie Greer with his needlepoint projects surrounding him…an encouragement to the boys.)

God smiled as our team learned came to love kids who crawled all over us or sat quietly to listen to a story.  As usual, new friends were a welcome fascination and long-time buddy Sara a major source of joy.  God smiled even more broadly as the tiny daughter of a woman working at Home One, terribly frightened of blan, was pictured by mid-week, betzaida_kiss sharing a pucker and then a kiss with Kristin Casey.  The photographs of this exchange bring happy tears.

God smiled as our dental hygienist dropped thoughts of caring for 50 mouths of teeth and took over the care of one little boy.  Having a son with autism, she recognized signs in Abraham that alarmed her.  Incidents that houseparents, M/M Vilnor, described led Cheryl Remsbecker to say that she thought the boy was having seizures and could benefit from medication.  Arrangements were made and Cheryl accompanied Madame Vilnor to the pediatrician to abraham__Cheryl explain her suspicions to the physician.  The result was a diagnosis of epilepsy and dispensing of medications to help Abraham live safely.  Other issues were raised and are being addressed thanks to discarding original plans and dealing with the need at hand.

Indeed, God’s hand guided us through our week, laughing away our plans and smiling as more Divine intentions were met!

Shirley Anderson, 10/25/12

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Rear:  Cheryl Remsbecker & Sue Barker; Middle: Ingrid Stock, Sara Kennedy, Elisabeth Kennedy,Shirley Anderson; Front: Kristin Casey and Janet Lewis