mericans are charitable souls. Everyone will agree that it feels good to help someone who truly is in need and uses the charity they receive not only to survive but also to better themselves. Many people find it difficult to give because they are not sure if their donations ever make it to the intended source.
I asked the Homer News to publish this article because I would like to ask you to help a group of 54 children who are in desperate need of not just the basics but also an opportunity to learn a craft, which in turn will allow them to one day to feed themselves and their families.
Food, medical care, clothing, a place to sleep and opportunity for education and training are all things that we in America take for granted every day.
In July, our daughter Christina (Tina) Falcone returned from another missionary trip to Haiti. Tina currently works as a youth pastor for First Baptist Church of Burleson, Texas, where she now lives. Together with other missionaries she has traveled to Guatemala with “Living Water Outreach International” to drills wells. She recently revisited Haiti where a group of young missionaries of her congregation sponsored the Good Samaritan Orphanage, located 2 hours east of Port Au Prince. The orphanage currently houses 54 children, many of whom have been orphaned because they were abandoned by a parent who did not have the means to feed them or their parents died of sickness or in the earthquake a few years ago.
During Tina’s last visit to Haiti in July, the children were sleeping on concrete floors and did not have shoes nor medical care. The only cooking stove they had to cook the water they consume broke. Since her last visit, money was collected and the pastor was able to buy a new cooking stove and mattresses. The group was also able to purchase 60 pairs of shoes and school supplies.
It needs to be mentioned that social or welfare programs such as food stamps, “food pantries” as we know them in Homer or cash benefits and medical care do not exist unless donated by churches or other organizations from outside Haiti. There are approximately 700 orphanages for the nearly 1 million orphans in Haiti. To adopt a child is a four-to-five-year long process. The government of Haiti does not provide funds to run orphanages, nor does it provide a public education system for the poor. Job training for the poor is non-existent, again, unless it is sponsored and funded by missionary and volunteer groups coming into the country.
At this point the children of the Good Samaritan orphanage have a place to sleep and someone who provides simple meals that consist of rice and beans on a daily basis.
As necessary as food is, it is equally important that the older children are given the opportunity to learn a craft that will one day give them the means to earn a living.
Tina reported how much hope the children have and how eager they are to learn a skill or craft. At this time her group is trying to raise funds for items such as a non-electrical sewing machine (to be purchased from Threads of Hope), carpentry and mechanical learning material as well as more basic medical supplies they will take on their next trip. Items such as blankets, clothing, powdered milk/eggs and formula are other items the orphanages need.
Those of us born in America or in other wealthy countries are truly fortunate. In America, there is something for everyone and opportunity, if sought, abounds. For those reading this article who have experienced poverty like the people of Haiti do, you are blessed to be in a better place now.
Unfortunately, we cannot help all the children of all the orphanages in the world, but we can give the 54 children of the Good Samaritan Orphanage in Haiti a hand. Until the next stage in their lives when it is time to leave the orphanage, they need our help to get a fair chance in life, a chance for survival just as we have here.
Please help Tina and her missionary group by making a small donation to the Alaska USA account “54 children # 1989202” between now and Dec. 31. Every cent of your donation will go toward this cause for their next trip scheduled for the spring of 2016.
To all other missionary groups, please continue your work and ask us to help out.
And last but not least, it is important for all to know that missionary work is unpaid and cost involved with travel and food is paid for by the missionaries themselves.
Please send your prayers and good will to the children of the Good Samaritan Orphanage. Thank you for your donation.
Tina Falcone is the daughter of Inge and Alex Clark who work and live in Homer. Tina currently works as a youth pastor for First Baptist Church of Burleson, Texas, where she now lives. Tina can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.