Following is a guest blog post written by PovRes friend and volunteer Lynn Kirkner.
The earthquake that hit Haiti in 2010 first sparked my first interest in going on a trip there. I had heard of so much death and destruction and wanted to help in some small way. I joined my friends at Poverty Resolution who were headed there to do just that—help. Once there, we headed right for an orphanage filled with children ages newborn to fifteen. Many of these children had lost their parents in the earthquake and some were dropped off by one remaining parent because their mom or dad could no longer take care of them. We spent a week building a school and painting their cinderblock dorms. What a difference a coat of paint can make in the lives of children who have so little.
We built relationships that week, too, by playing games with them, holding a Vacation Bible School, playing soccer, and just sitting down and talking with them. A hug, a smile, and time braiding their hair all meant so much, not only to the children, but to all of us, as well.
This trip opened my eyes to unfathomable poverty so close to home. The thing that made the biggest impression on me was how happy the children were in spite of the fact that they literally owned nothing. No games, no toys no television, no video games. Okay, well, I’ll correct myself…they did own a soccer ball. J These children were not only happy, but they legitimately had JOY! They had more joy than most American children I know. They had Jesus in the truest sense of the word. They loved Him, relied on Him, had peace in Him, praised Him, and were filled with joy because of Him.
The trip to Haiti changed my perspective of my own life. It opened my eyes. I was compelled to go back, over and over again. The people there have become my friends. Thankfully, we will spend eternity together.
Lynn has taught PreK at Open Door Christian Academy for the past 20 years. She is the Captain at Hartsville Vol. Fire Co., where she has been a volunteer firefighter for 32 years. At the Bucks County Prison, she teaches a weekly class aimed at helping the inmates make better decisions. Her favorite roles, however, are being mother to 3 beautiful girls and grandmother to a precious little boy.