I am Jeremy Young. I am 12 years old and in the 6th grade. I went to Haiti because I was born in Kenscoff, Haiti. I lived in an orphanage in Kenscoff until just before my 4th birthday, and my family decided to go on this mission trip to visit the country where I was born.
I am Haitian and this trip meant a lot because I enjoyed being with the orphans. They were loving and nice and we got to play together. We played games with the orphans. One of the games was called Jackie Jackie. Another game we played involved someone dancing in the middle of a circle of people, and when they were finished they would pick someone else to do a dance. It was pretty much the Haitian flirt.
God showed me that I should come back to Haiti in the summer or winter and say hi to the orphans. I would also like to help Ryan who works with the organization Haiti G.O., and I would like to visit my birthplace in Kenscoff.
My name is Andrew Young, and since adopting our youngest son Jeremy from Haiti in 2009, I’ve felt that it would be good to return at some point. I wanted Jeremy to be able to experience and see where he was born. We also valued the opportunity to serve together as a family.
We were able to experience many things, including walking through the market that involved people hustling and bustling, and everyone with great intent to sell their items. We were guided by Renaldo, a 15 year old at the orphanage and more of a leader, who took great care in watching over Jeremy, making sure he felt important. It was neat and I could see Ronaldo’s leadership, with whom Jeremy liked to walk in the front alongside.
It was very unique walking through the market. At times there were four people touching you at the same time and also someone was pushing to get through. It was very busy. Live animals on your left and right. Maybe a donkey, too. Chickens tied to the back of motorcycles, food being prepared. Large buckets of rock salt and rice. Nearly every kind of item was being sold.
We then met 30 women who are a part of the Haiti Bead Project, a ministry that provides jobs for many woman in Haiti. They were learning how to make the beads better and cleaner so they would sell better. We also got to play with the kids of this orphanage. I met Gary, Renaldo and several other older boys who live in the orphanage and help with the orphanage. It's almost a given that the older you get the more responsibility you have. My new friends and I played a card game together that evening.
In addition to all these things, we met Pastor Louie, a 75-80 year old man, who was an orphan himself. He was cared for by the founding missionaries in this area, and now he pastors a church and orphanage that we would visit later in the week. He also runs the small medical clinic at the church where we were staying. He wanted to serve the Lord, and he has dedicated his life taking care of his people. It was inspiring to see how he didn’t allow a difficult circumstance to dictate how he lived out his life of service.