My dad and I recently took a trip to Grand Goave, Haiti with Lifeline Christian Mission. Only a few weeks before leaving for Haiti, our church had a child sponsorship drive and Lifeline had several of their available sponsor children's pictures on the table. I chose a little girl that I was immediately drawn to but when we arrived in Haiti we learned that she had moved away and I would be unable to meet her. I was absolutely heartbroken.
Christy, who led our trip alongside her husband, recommended that we choose a new, local child who they could immediately begin to look for. My dad and I took a look at the board. Nobody immediately jumped out at me the way that my original sponsor child had. Nobody felt like The One. I told Daddy to choose. He pointed to two girls he felt pulled to and after looking at the two of them I pulled Rood Phania's picture off of the wall and took it to Christy.
By the next afternoon we had received word that Rood Phania had been found and that she would be at the compound that day! I raced to the waiting area, shaking in anticipation but trying not to get my hopes up as great as they had been the first time.
Finally, after so much waiting, after so much heartbreak, Rood Phania's name was called and a beautiful 3 1/2 year old little girl walked up with her mother and right into my arms. My darling girl kissed me right on the lips and rubbed her tiny little hands in circles on my cheeks. My heart swelled, tears filled my eyes, and I silently thanked God for the series of events that had led this little girl into my life.
Through the translator we began to learn more about Rood Phania and her family. Rood has one older brother and one younger. Her father was a teacher but is currently unable to work. Her mother, Annette, was a vendor but as the money dried up, she lost the ability to purchase more goods to sell and they found themselves having to move in with a friend of the family in order to keep going. When I asked the translator if there was anything specific that Rood needed I listened to her speak to Annette in beautiful Haitian creole and then she looked at me and said, "She says they need a house."
I had learned a lot about life in Haiti and what it meant to sponsor a child by this point. After two mornings building a house for a local woman, I knew the details behind the Haitian people needing homes, what it took to get one, and the amazing job that Lifeline was doing in building homes. A Lifeline home is a simple 12 ft by 24 ft two room home that costs roughly $4,800 in American money to build. To qualify for a Lifeline home, the family has to have the ability to purchase or rent land on their own and the funds have to be raised and turned in prior to the start of building. Rood's family has land but the land is empty. All it needs is a humble little home.
With Rood Phania in my arms in Haiti, I silently vowed that I would do whatever it took to get my little girl a home. I went to Haiti on a mission and I came home with an entirely new one.
So here's to you, my darling girl.