Not Just a Playground
Children love to play, and the little ones at My Father's House orphanage are no exception. Toys are a rare commodity in Haiti, however, so they often get creative with empty plastic bottles, stones, and rope! Seeing the need for an area in which the children could play, Pastor Predestin—the director of the orphanage—was able to work with longstanding partners from the United States, who were able to coordinate a team of volunteers to travel to the facility for the purpose of aiding in the construction of a playground. Imagine the elation when the children discovered that the playground would include two slides, a climbing wall, monkey bars, and more!
Upon closer inspection, however, it was discovered that two large buckets that contained all of the nuts, bolts, and brackets necessary to complete the project were missing from the pile of materials that had been delivered to the orphanage earlier that month. Resources in Haiti are scarce, and there were questions as to whether or not the project would be able to move forward, after all. Many phone calls and prayers later, however, God answered by supplying all of the missing materials and then some; along with a jackhammer to help break up the concrete more quickly! How amazing for the children to witness firsthand God’s love for them through His provision!
The children watched intently each day, and the excitement was almost tangible as first one piece of the playground went up, and then another. It was truly amazing to see both adults and many of the children eagerly volunteer to help however they could. One of the men at the orphanage worked tirelessly to break up concrete, and many of the older boys were able to assist with multiple tasks like hauling away broken concrete and helping with the heavy lifting. Younger children clamored to hold the bags of nuts and washers, and enjoyed handing out the pieces as needed. Still others pitched in with the actual construction by tightening bolts. It was difficult to stay off of the equipment while the concrete dried, but thankfully the hot Haitian sun sped up the process! By Thursday morning the playground was nearly finished, and the joy was evident as they were finally able to play on what they had worked so hard to complete.
Pastor Predestin's mission at My Father's House orphanage is to "first show the kids the love of God, then tell them the love of God.” The playground is now another tool that he can use to help meet the physical needs of the children that God places in his care—both those living at the orphanage, and those that attend school there—as he also reaches them for Jesus. What a testimony to the surrounding communities of God's provision and care!