West Tennessee Haiti Partnership

John’s Reflection-“Baby Margaret”

​I had one of those ‘ah ha’ moments while on our last trip to Haiti that is bothering me. I can’t get it out of my mind and I would like to share it with you. During this trip I took several members of our group upstairs in the school to see ‘Drew’s kids’. These are the children at St. Vincent’s who are most severely handicapped. Most of the children had actually gone to class, but baby Marguerite Vincent was there. Marguerite is now close to 4 years old, so she is really no longer a baby, but for those of us who were there when she first came to the orphanage about 3 years ago, she will always be ‘baby Marguerite’. Baby Marguerite was baptized during that trip by Ollie Rencher and Father Sadoni with Allie Russo and John Robert serving as Godparents. Marguerite was born with hydrocephalus (water on the brain) and came to the orphanage just before the earthquake. We all think of the earthquake as a terrible thing and it was, but with the extra medical help that was available after the quake, Marguerite was able to have surgery to get 2 shunts to help control the spinal fluid and relieve some of the pressure on her brain. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been any notable improvement since the surgery, but she is well cared for by the staff at St. Vincent’s which is no small feat since she is bed-ridden. So after that first introduction of Marguerite to the group, I noticed Edie Street holding and rocking her at the top of the stairs. I asked her to bring her downstairs – I thought it would be nice to get her out of her room where she spends all her time. We took turns holding her and loving her. While Edie was holding her and singing to her she seemed to really enjoy it. So I asked her if she knew FrèresJacques and she started singing it. Marguerite just broke out in a huge smile which left no doubt in our minds that she recognized the song. She did this every time we sang it and we sang it a LOT. Here is the problem that I am having and it’s one that I don’t have an answer to but have been praying about since I got back from Haiti…what if baby Marguerite can actually recognize some things and we are not giving her enough stimulation to let her develop? The type of physical and mental stimulation she would need is found in only the best physical therapy rehab facilities and we are fighting hard to just feed the children of St. Vincent’s and give them clean water. I would love to be able to provide a Physical Therapist, and rehab Therapist to all the children that could use it. I actually believe that there are children that are in wheelchairs now that with the proper therapy could come out of the chairs and have use of their legs again . There is no certainty that she would get better, only God knows and He will reveal His plans in His time – not ours. All the children at St. Vincent’s can use a lot more help than we are currently able to give them, but with the Holy Spirit’s help and your donations, we can and will continue to make a difference…1 child at a time. There is no doubt in my mind that the children of St. Vincent’s live and breathe the love of God. They show me that love every time I am there.

Sent in by John Mutin
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