Matthew 25: 35-40

"I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me." -Matthew 25:35-36

"Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." -Matthew 25:37-40

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Life is a Blessing

After spending some time in Port-au-Prince Haiti, I have a new appreciation for my life. On August 12th, 2009, I stepped off the plane. The scorching hot Caribbean sun hit my face, and I could hear the resonance of drums beating in the distance. It was not a regular airport with shopping outlets every 20 feet, Starbucks, and several different restaurants to pick from. There was no one in sight to guide the traffic, and I had more luggage than any of my traveling counterparts.

Trying not to look like an obvious minority, I walked judiciously in the direction of the flow of traffic. In the corner of my eye, I noticed a woman walking next to me. I could tell the baby in her arms was getting heavier; she was tired. When the woman stopped for a break, I offered my help and without hesitation, she dropped her baby in my arms. From the looks of the woman, she was dehydrated and so was her lethargic baby. I remember feeling so strong and healthy next to her. With my 50 pound back pack and book bag in tote, I carried the child to our mile long destination. I helped the woman through immigration, we parted ways, and I never saw her again. Right then, I realized this was just the beginning of my experience in what seemed to be another world.

People filled the parking lot and grabbed at my bags in hopes of a tip from the American Girl. "Thank God," I thought, as I heard someone calling my name. A commotion was coming from outside. Amidst the people reaching through the bars, was a man who knew my name. He said, “Lacey, Lacey, I’m with Barbara Walker! Do you want to talk to her?” I said, “Sure!” and he handed the phone to me through the gate. It was Barbara Walker; I was so excited to hear her voice. She said, “Lacey, load your things and get in the truck, Lucian will take you to the village.” I loaded my luggage, and as we traveled through the streets of Port-au-Prince, I found myself speechless.

Watching the homeless people everywhere was a humbling experience. Some of them walked along-side the vehicle tapping and looking through the glass. I remember seeing a child come out of a culvert, as if he lived there. To be honest, between the filth, garbage, and smells I didn’t know how long I could stay in this unbelievable abject poverty.

As we arrived at the orphanage, I noticed the old cement buildings lacked room for the children to run and play. The ventilation was poor, and the low lighting didn’t help the sadness I saw in the eyes of the children. Although it still amazes me how a simple kiss on the cheek would bring a smile in a split second, a painted image of sad faces still lingers in my memory. I believe every child longs to feel loved and wanted, but how is that possible in a place with not enough care-givers? It was not long until I realized that the children in the orphanage had it pretty good compared to the children coming in from the streets. By helping these women and children, I felt needed; I became a happier person. Soon, the days turned into weeks, and the weeks turned into months.

How do all of these children end up here?

She screamed all through the night, after many hours of sweat running down her face. With the desert heat and dust intensifying her discomfort, the pain was inescapable. She clenched her fists as tight as she could and pushed one more time – with a sigh of relief, the new mother cried out uncontrollably because the baby she watched growing inside of her frail body was finally here and alive. As the tears continued to blur her eyes, she examined little toes, fingers, and every small detail of her beautiful baby girl. She was perfect. With nowhere to go and not even a quarter to her name for clean water, she knew it was time to let go.

Barbara Walker facilitates adoptions for orphans and children whose mothers cannot afford to care for them. Hungry, skinny, and exhausted, new mothers come from miles in search of better lives for their children. I still cannot imagine being faced with that kind of a decision. To give up my own child due to money issues, health care, or anything for that matter, would certainly feel like a death. The thought of never seeing my child again would be unbearable. I often wondered to myself, “How could they?” While living in Haiti for six months, I watched several women give up their babies. Surprisingly, I could clearly see the happiness, joy, and relief in their hearts. Now, I realize it is only out of pure love that they give up their children for adoption.

Due to a lack of education, many of the nannies I worked with in Haiti did not understand the importance of nutrition and good hygiene. This made it very difficult for us to prevent the spreading of parasites, scabies, giardia, and other diseases. Seven percent of children die before the age of five in Haiti(UNICEF).

Although visiting Haiti proved to be a culture shock and very overwhelming for me, I will never forget the genuine friendships I made there. The Haitian women taught me some valuable lessons: love without ceasing, forgive quickly, never give up, work hard, and most importantly - there is more joy in giving than receiving. I have a new appreciation for my life, my family, and my God. Every day, I thank God for our freedoms in America, but that’s another story.

UNICEF, 2009. At a Glance: Haiti. 31 May 2010.
Children loved their daily vitamin juice!
Roseberly, Lovely (such a good little helper:), Baby Ian, and Justus!


  1. Lacey, you really need to write a book!!! It's amazing reading about your story. I can't imagine doing what you did. I am so grateful that the Lord could use my sister in the way that He has! I know the people of Haiti will always be in your heart and you in theirs.

  2. I agree with Sheila. I felt like I was reading a book! The Lord has given you a gift in writing. Thank you for sharing your experiences from Haiti with us. May God continue to bless you in all that you do.

  3. Thank you again Lacey for being there for our adopted daughter when we couldn't. You were a bright spot in her life during a time of incredible sadness and loneliness!!! It is an honor to know you and your family!!! Even though we only spent a couple of days with you, we miss you!!! Keep writing!!! Love from Michigan!

  4. I Love this blog and what you all are doing. Carry on with this great work!

    Love from Patricia, Spain.

  5. Lacey,
    It is special for me to be able to experience Haiti...even if only through your words.
    You have an incredible love and passion for people. I believe God has and will continue to do his special works through you.
    Blessings, Marj

  6. Lacey, you are by far the most beautiful girl I know of. And quite possibly, the most beautiful girl I've ever briefly met.

  7. Lacey, just an angel in the earth! You had to be in that moment, so, you was.

    Love you, Evi

  8. Thank you, Evi! You are a blessing to many people. It was no coincidence that you were there during the time of the Haiti earthquake, as well. I miss you dearly! *Hugs* Not only from me, but all the little children.
    God bless you, Valeria, and baby Simon! Love, Lacey


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