Some of you may know that back in February my wife and I went to Haiti on a mission trip through Northwest Haiti Christian Mission (NWHCM). It was an amazing time where we had the opportunity to serve the people of Haiti. There was an eye team that was down there at the same time and so we had the opportunity to see some amazing things. Kim witnessed a cataract surgery and we both had the opportunity to witness an ocularist, Joe Legrand, give an elderly Haitian man a fake eye. The smile on this man’s face was priceless.
We also spent a lot of time in the Miriam Center, which is a part of NWHCM for special needs children. In the Haitian culture any child with a birth defect or deformity is considered cursed and often tossed away in the garbage or along the roadside. The wonderful people in the Miriam Center have taken these children in and cared for them. Not just that but they have also begun to change the culture in Haiti to help parents to understand that their child is still lovable. Autumn and Stephanie have done an amazing job of teaching parents how to help their children to overcome these obstacles with therapy.
One day Autumn was talking with my wife and I about how she would love to make PVC walkers for some of the kids who couldn’t walk, so that they could learn to walk or even just stand. So she showed us a picture on her phone and Kim and I took that picture and helped make them into a reality. I had no idea what I was doing, nor did I learn any of this in Bible college. I was just willing to be used and to help. When they put Gildene, who is the girl in the picture and the first kid we made a walker for, in the walker for the first time I heard God whisper in my heart, “you just helped the lame to walk.” I was so overcome with emotion. It was awesome!
My wife and I made a half dozen more walkers before we left and fell in love with Gildene, so much so that we began to sponsor her. We love seeing updates about it and it was amazing when they posted a picture of her standing on her own up against a wall. To think that had we not been in Haiti when we were and had we not been willing to do whatever quite likely Gildene would not be standing on her own now. If you would like to see more photos you can see them here.
I say all of this to say that I am looking forward to those same opportunities when my daughter, Hannah, and I go to Guatemala November 1-9. We are going down with Faith In Action Ministries (FIA) and planning to go up into the Mountains/Matesana & Pinalito area. There we will go to some of the mountain villages and help them with their homes/huts, build stoves for them to cook on, also to help with FIA’s mission base there. They also have a coffee grove there where they hire some of the local people to farm it. As a coffee snob I am looking forward to seeing where the blessed bean comes from.
If you would like to help support myself or my daughter to go on this trip you can make a tax deductible donation on our church’s website at: riv.cc/MissionTeam. The trip will cost us about $1750 a person and we have some of our money that we have put in to it, but not enough to cover it. So if you could help us we would really appreciate it. You can use a credit or debit card. Just make sure you choose either my name “Todd Porter” or “Hannah Porter” in the drop down menu to make sure it gets applied to our account. If you can’t afford to help us financially I totally understand. We would appreciate your prayers. This is Hannah’s first trip and my first time leading a foreign mission trip. We are both really looking forward to the opportunity to bring hope to the forgotten people of Guatemala.