Haiti God Moments: Dorothy's

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

As you all know, Dorothy's orphanage holds a very near and dear place in my heart.  I absolutely love her, the work she's doing, and all of the kids.  It warms my heart every time I get to hug Dorothy's neck or bend down and scoop up an armful of her kids.  I love it there.

This time around, however, our trips to Dorothy's were different than the past two trips to Haiti.  Because we were not staying at her place, we did not get to see the kids as much as usual.  While I missed seeing the kids as much, I found staying at Jim & Debbie's allowed me to return more rested and energized.  I was much more open and ready to play with the kids this go round.

It was also really incredible when we pulled up to Dorothy's house the first day.  This was the first time mom got to experience where I had been staying and working over the last year.  As soon as we got out of the car, you could hear the kids screaming "Cassie-Allyson!! Cassie-Allyson!!"  Mom thought it was cool, but I found myself giddy with excitement to go see them.  Cassie and I ended up rushing out to the backyard so we could wrap our arms around the kids.  I completely bypassed the guests in the house, and forgot to show mom, Amy, and Amanda around first.  Those initial moments, seeing the kids for the first time in 7 months, and them screaming with excitement to see us is a feeling you can't describe, you just have to experience.  I eventually went back in the house and introduced mom and met the guests.  One of the ladies inside introduced herself to me and asked my name.  When I said my name was Allyson, she goes "Ooh!! You're the Allyson the kids keep asking for!!"

And my heart melted.

They don't just remember me when I pull in the driveway.  They ask for me by name even when other guests are there.  Cassie put it best when she said in that moment she realized that the kids love us.  We both know how much we love them, and we hope and pray we can make an impact on their lives and provide a loving support to them, but it wasn't until that moment, that we both really understood for the first time that they do truly love us.  We have impacted their life, in a positive way.  They love and miss us just as much as we love and miss them.

Love.  It's such a powerful thing.

I experienced this moment again when it came time to leave Dorothy's on the last day.  I had been dreading saying goodbye to the kids, as it is always hard for me.  This time however, I was holding back tears all morning.  When I went outside to say goodbye, Johnny ran, jumped in my arms, and just hugged me as tight as he could.  When I couldn't put off goodbye any longer, I whispered to him "mwen renmen ou" (I love you in Creole).  His head popped up and he grinned and said I love YOU!

And my heart melted again.

He understood.  Not only did he understand but he responded with the same love.

It was in that moment that I got a glimpse at how big God's love is for us.  I recently read a book called Kisses From Katie, about a young girl who moved to Uganda to do mission work.  Right before we left for Haiti, I watched this clip where she shared about how she understood how massive God's love is through the adoption of her children.  She said that while we are not direct biological children of God, like Jesus is, He still loves us just as much as he loved Jesus.  In that moment, where I found myself loving this child as if he were my own, even though he did not come from my body, I understood how big God's love is.  He loves all of us just as much as he loved his very own son, Jesus.  What an incredible and inspiring love that is.  Katie verbalizes it better in this audio clip:

It never ceases to amaze me at how God shows His love for us.  He did it in so many ways this past week, but when Johnny looked back up at me and said he loved me, it was as if God himself said I love you. Just as you love this little boy, I love you even more.

"See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him." -1 John 3:1 

"I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty." -2 Corinthians 6:18
(Me & Johnny being silly.  January 2013)

What an incredible God we serve!

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