Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Gratitude from Sans Fil

Today our team was moved as we spent our time showing compassion to those at Home for the Sick & Dying Children, Gertrude's Orphanage for Special Needs Children, and finally Sans Fil Home for the Sick & Dying Adults. After my "wake-up call" that I blogged about yesterday, I was very excited to visit the adults at Sans Fil. Also, I had recently read a couple of books about Haiti that talked about the facility so I was anxious to see it for myself.

Sans Fil has two floors ... one designated for men and one for women. Beginning with the women, our team went room to room visiting with the people, giving them massages, and rubbing them with lotion. Each room was filled with several iron-framed beds where sick people lay gazing at us as we entered. I loved seeing their faces beam as one by one we showed them love and attention.

During our time at Sans Fil, one man named Edison really impressed me with his delightful personality despite his circumstances. Edison was laying within the last men's room I visited. Upon entering the room, I noticed that it was almost empty. However, I spotted Edison laying in the back of the room next to a sleeping man so I decided to introduce myself and asked if he would like a hand massage with lotion. He smiled as he answered, "Wie (Yes)." We continued to talk (with the help of a translator) and I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation. He told me that he is 40 years old and suffers from tuberculosis. He shared about the concern he has for his two children whom he cannot afford to send to school anymore since becoming ill. He also stated that his relatives live in Cape Haitian (several miles north) and they cannot afford to visit him. Finally, he expressed his gratitude to the Americans who do come to visit him. He told me that he loves them, and that he prays for them daily. This statement really affected me since I realized without Americans and others serving in Haiti, this man may never receive a visitor!!

As our time together was nearing an end, Edison told me that he would like to begin praying for me too, and then I struck a deal with him. I told him that he could pray for me as long as I could do the same for him. Once again, a smile lit up his face and we actually shook hands on the deal. He ended our visit by asking a heart-felt question, "Can you tell your sisters to come visit me?" I replied, "Sisters?" and thought does he know I have two sisters? The translator said by sisters, he means others in America. I reassured him that others will come and told him to just keep a look-out for Americans wearing those "Healing Haiti" shirts. I could tell that my response comforted him. I love the Haitian people, their self-less concern for others, and their unending gratitude for help they receive.

(Out of respect for human life and dignity, no pictures were taken at Sans Fil.)

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