On a recent trip to Haiti, Alan Hunt,vice president for advocacy, met a 4-year-old child named Samuel. After spending time with Samuel and learning his story, Alan's "trip strategy" to guard his emotions changed. Samuel's story by Alan Hunt:
At one of our Haitian partner churches I learned that Samuel was conceived by the rape of his mentally handicapped mother.
His Christian grandmother would not allow her daughter to have an abortion and made the commitment to care for Samuel. Grandmother, her five children including her handicapped daughter and little Samuel were doing okay until the earthquake completely destroyed their small home.
They are now forced to survive in deplorable living conditions in a tent camp. Their home is little more than fifty square feet of tarps over a mud floor with no ventilation except through the entry. The heat inside is stifling as are the smells of unsanitary living conditions that are the result of no water or electricity amongst a sea of closely built tents and hundreds of families in similar circumstances.
Despite the circumstances of his birth and his fragile family, Samuel is a bright little four year old who climbed onto my lap with a child’s word book. As we turned the pages and he made sounds as I pointed to the images I could not help but marvel that God had not forgotten this precious child.
It suddenly dawned on me, as tears filled my eyes, how deeply God cares about Samuel. If God cares, then how could I possibly not!
My “guard my heart” strategy was instantly changed into a “break my heart” prayer.
Lord, help me understand how deeply you care for all the Samuels of the world. Break my heart, Lord for every child. Help me understand your love and draw on your power so that I can effectively do my job. Forgive me, Father for thinking that guarding my heart was a good strategy.