Thursday, April 22, 2010

Orphanage Visits

Orphanage visit day. Since it’s impossible for us to go to talk to the Director of IBESR herself, we’re interviewing other competent and ethical facilitators to compare notes. Today we visited Dixie Bickel at God’s Littlest Angels and Dr. Jacob Bernard at New Life Link. Both houses are in the mountains above Port-au-Prince on the way to the city of Kenscoff.

Dixie is an American who came to Haiti with her husband John over 20 years ago. Most of her grown children now live in Haiti at least part time to help with their ministry. God’s Littlest Angels provides a variety of services to preserve families and help the surrounding community as well as doing adoptions. We spent some time reminiscing about the terror of the earthquake. For Dixie, like most orphanage directors, the fear for her own life was secondary to the concern for how to feed dozens of children when the world has fallen down all around you.

The day before the earthquake, for reasons then unknown, Dixie’s driver said he wanted to buy 12 big sacks of rice. They normally buy far fewer, and Dixie told him to only buy the normal number. But he felt compelled to disobey her wishes, and he bought a dozen. When the earthquake happened, Dixie’s children had enough rice to fill their bellies for weeks, if nothing else.

The US-bound GLA children were airlifted to safety in Miami, and Dixie is diligently working to complete the adoptions of those bound for France.

We next visited Dr. Jacob Bernard at his guest house in the mountains. The beautiful five story structure was miraculously undamaged, but New Life Link orphanage was destroyed with no loss of life – another absolute miracle. Dr. Bernard has brought all of the children to live in the guesthouse while he rebuilds right nearby. He never wants the children miles away from where he lives again.

Lucy and her team went to heroic efforts to assist Dr. Bernard and others with evacuating children from Haiti right after the earthquake. It was a real pleasure to see how delighted he was to see her again.

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