In that moment, I knew that we, as a family, would cross the border and find a way to help our Deaf brothers and sisters in other countries. However, I had and still have no idea how that will happen. While we are stateside, we've been commited to sign language courses and learning more about the Deaf culture. We've been networking with people in the Deaf community to find resources available to those in the Dominican and Haiti.
On our most recent trip to Haiti, I met Judeline. She lives in an orphanage that one our pastors runs. They think she is 17-years-old. She usually has a smile on her face as she helps make and serve food to the children in the Nutrition center. She has a friend who is mute and they have created their own sign language. While they have no formal training, I could understand their signs because they are so close to ASL. To talk with her I had to speak Spanish to the pastor, he translated into Creole to the girl who is mute who would then make some signs for Judeline to understand.
I stood in amazement at her courage and strength and walked away with incredible heartache. How could she be 17 and only be able to truly communicate with only one other person? As I write this I just watched my 20 month old sign to her sister to put her cochlear implant coil back on her head before she gets in trouble for playing with it. I'm not sure at this point that I can even put in words the incredible pain I feel for the Deaf in the third world who are many times without resources and advocates. I can only commit that we will do the best we can to make sure that they don't go unnoticed or unheard.This young lady (above) is a child in Arcenio's orphanage in Haiti
This little girl helps earn money for her family by begging at the border crossing. She is plagued by a skin disorder as well as skeletal issues. Such suffering, unfortunately, is common place in Haiti. A team member from Nashville prayed for her healing. Please join him and us in that prayer for this little girl for God's glory.
One of the children in our nutrition center in Haiti.