***It's International Orphan Month***
"I always questioned if I was called to adopt, but then I realized no child was ever called to be an orphan." David Platt
At a time when we begin to think about the holidays and our families gathering for Thanksgiving and Christmas, please remember that November is International Orphan Month. The irony of the date is not lost at God’s Littlest Angels.
Our mission is to care for the most vulnerable children in Haiti. The numbers are staggering when you consider that at least 30,000 children are living in orphanages in Haiti today. More than half of Haiti’s 11.2 million population live on less than $3 a day. It’s almost difficult to grasp the level of poverty in this country. What does a parent do when they can’t care for a child? What options are available?
Malnutrition affects 65,000 children under five years old. Not to mention if a child has medical needs that are extensive and beyond the parents’ capabilities, there are few options.
Children come to Orphanages for many reasons...
These are all the conditions and factors we see at GLA. These are the types of children that come through our gates. One in eight infants in Haiti is born prematurely, and the biggest causes are parental malnutrition, chronic food instability, and other maternal conditions. Knowing the conditions that children are born into, it becomes clear why an infant or child is dropped off at an orphanage.
This month we are shining a bright light on orphans. Children move into orphanages for many reasons:
- Severe Neglect – Meaning children have little or no food, have bad living conditions, or are abandoned by their parents.
- Extreme poverty – often, after one parent dies, the other parent is not physically or financially able to care for the child.
- Working parents – a large number of parents leave or abandon their children at an orphanage while they go to work in a foreign country to make money.
The underlying message is we cannot care for this child. In Haiti, poverty can drive a parent to leave their child in an orphanage. In 2021, over 86,000 Haitian children under five are projected to suffer from severe acute malnutrition.
GLA has been in Haiti almost 30 Years
GLA has been a grassroots ministry in Haiti for close to 30 years and that we have been able to provide care, love, and the heart of Christ is a testament to GLA’s commitment and conviction to serve the most vulnerable children in Haiti.
At times, it has been a difficult with periods of heartache and heartbreak, but God has provided His strength all along the way. When we have questioned the ministry, the goals, and the path forward, God has provided His provision and grace to show GLA the way.
This year has been no different. As one of the poorest countries in the western hemisphere, Haiti’s inflation hit new heights. Again, God provided. We welcome the orphans that come to our gates with open arms and provide the necessities of life, medical care, food, love, and the love of Christ.
As we begin to plan for Thanksgiving and the Christmas season, please know as our partners, supporters, and prayer warriors, you are the family to these orphan children. You are their support and comfort, and strength. They may not know your name, and you may not know them, but your steadfast love and commitment for these children is how they grow and thrive.
Our Christmas project this year is the “Stars” project which is focused on creating a home; a home for these orphans, a place with stability, security, food, love, and fun. As you sit around your holiday table, say a little prayer for the children at GLA and all the children in Haiti. Your prayers are heard and felt all throughout this ministry. As David Platt said, no child was ever called to be an orphan.