Happy New Year Fond Blanc! We Have Come So Far!

paulThe new Fond Blanc Foundation website is a sort of new beginning for all of us involved in serving the children in the Fond Blanc orphanage.  As excited as we are about all that is to come, this is also an occasion for me to reflect back on how far we have come.

Pastor Jean Claude took me on my first visit to Fond Blanc in the summer of 2010. On that first visit, I remember the boys were playing with a small Matchbox car. The scene sticks in my memory because there was just the one car – actually it was the only toy anywhere at the orphanage at that time! The way the boys all shared in the fun with that single small toy was an early sign for me of the spirit with which the children handle poverty and adversity. Rather than enjoy what we have, we in the U.S. can become obsessed by notions of all that we think we are entitled to. Unburdened by notions of entitlement, the children in the orphanage were able to derive real joy from what little they did have.

Among the many things they did not have was food! In spite of Pastor’s heroic efforts, in was not unusual for the orphanage to go a full day without food. Food had been temporarily plentiful after the earthquake, but those food supplies were declining as the world’s attention moved away from Haiti and on to the next disaster. We did what we could about food, but this was a time for me to learn about the power and provision of God.

I had to let go of any notion of my own resourcefulness, and begin to trust the power of God’s strength. On matters of God’s provision, there could be no better teachers than the 54 children in the Fond Blanc orphanage. Coming from nothing and having nothing, the children still possess an innocent joy for life. They know they are loved, and they rely upon the Lord in a way that can sometimes be hard for affluent Americans to manage.

So, trusting God to provide, we pushed ahead. I was enthralled as the Lord dropped one answer after another right in front of me and right on time. It was as though steppingstones were simply appearing under my feet as I walked briskly forward.

First, an orphan ministry appeared, introducing our first church partner and providing valuable expertise in matters where I was truly out of my depth. About the same time, I met a missionary who has been serving in Haiti for decades and happens to live near me. He came alongside me and has sustained me with his energy and friendship to this day.

Other volunteer groups came and built shelter and a dry place to eat. Along the way, one visitor to Fond Blanc took it upon herself to raise funds so the children could have real beds. I know she was a bit shocked by just how richly God blessed her efforts!

The scope of the challenges at Fond Blanc was sometimes overwhelming, but the Lord responded by introducing a new key partner. This organization now brings hundreds of volunteers to Fond Blanc each year. At the orphanage, we have reveled in this deluge of volunteers whose time, talent and treasure continue to make substantial change to living conditions for the whole community.

Next, one remarkable young lady decided to put her entire life on hold so she could come and live with the children full time.  Her decision just reconfirmed the powerful ways God is moving in that community. At that point, we began to realize that we had to reorganize under the banner of the new Fond Blanc Foundation just to manage all the blessings of assistance that God continues to shower upon us in Haiti.

These few paragraphs of recollection cannot do justice to all that has been accomplished by those who have served the children of the Fond Blanc orphanage. However, the most important part of the journey has been our collective walk with the Lord. Along the way, the Lord has simultaneously stretched us and drawn us into closer relationship with Him. We are stretched by the enormity of the tasks, and we are drawn nearer to Him through His love and joy that we experience in that place, not to mention the continual affirmation we are afforded by His amazing providence.

In my gratitude and enthusiasm, I may occasionally gloss over the fact that Haiti can still be a very challenging place to get things done. However, anytime I feel stymied by some circumstance, I only have to turn around for a moment to appreciate just how far we have already come under God’s gracious provision and Lordship.

We will begin the New Year with an ambitious agenda for the Foundation that is, frankly, well beyond our resources at present. But we have been blessed to have come so far, and the Lord continues to sustain our efforts. We hope you will join us on the journey in the new year, first with your prayers, then through your donations, and also just by walking alongside us through this blog and on our website.

Happy New Year, and may God continue to bless Fond Blanc!

Paul Young

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