LiveBeyonder Spotlight | Carolyne Steiner

  By: Carolyne Steiner, LiveBeyond Haiti Operations Coordinator

By: Carolyne Steiner, LiveBeyond Haiti Operations Coordinator

I've been to Thomazeau, Haiti, four times in 15 months. My heart has been broken.

The first trip...
I cried almost every day. I was completely undone by the sight of extreme poverty and extreme evil. I cried seeing where Sheila lived, knowing she is abused, neglected and raped. I cried when I heard that 15-year-old Fanold's mother had abandoned him to move to the Dominican Republic. I saw the pitiful shack where he lives in the pitiful village he calls home. I cried when I saw how little Annette was locked in a windowless shack and treated like an animal, actually worse than an animal. She can't speak, but only makes animal noises. And she was so very dirty, and so very hungry and so very thirsty. And while we are feeding her and cleaning her, and she is gulping down as much water as she can, the villagers are sneering at us, hating us, because we are showing her kindness. To them she is cursed, an outcast, not human. My heart was broken.

The second trip...
I'm undone again. The Kè Pou Timoun kids and Johnny's Kids were so adorable, lovable and fun... and so very skinny and malnourished, and small... and starving. They are starving for food, love and Jesus.  I loved those kids.

The third trip...
Now I'm heartbroken and very angry. Sheila looked so bad—She had gotten sicker and can she possibly be any skinnier? For three days we went to her village—to her shack—to bring her back to the LiveBeyond base to clean her, feed her and let her sleep—sleep in PEACE without fear. We bathed her because she was covered in her own feces, because she was too sick to help herself. There was no one in her village who would have pity on her. The next day, we bathed her again, put her in clean clothes again, fed her again, let her sleep again. Now I'm really angrywhy does she have to sit in her own feces day-after-day? I prayed for Sheila to be saved from her wretched life.

The fourth trip...
Sheila is gone. I knew that before I arrived. She had gone to be with her Merciful Heavenly Father. Now there is no more pain or sorrow for Sheila.

But I'm undone again. The Kè Pou Timoun kids were so adorable, lovable and fun...and a little less skinny, less malnourished, and less hungry. My heart sang to see their bright happy healthier faces. They are still hungry for hugs, love and Jesus. I'm crazy about those kids. I can see Jesus in their faces.

I had the supreme privilege and honor to travel to the villages with the Haitian maternal health nurse. Her job was to check on the newly born babies and their mamas. My self-appointed job was to hold those precious tiny babies and pray over them. What an honor and a joy. But my heart was broken again. Not one of the new mamas looked like she was older than 18 years, and none of them were married, and all of them live in hovels. Sweet Heavenly Father have mercy on them. But, because of the good care those young mamas are receiving through the maternal health program at Live Beyond, the perinatal mortality rate has been reduced by 66%. Those mamas had beautiful living babies. I prayed over each baby that he or she would rise up to be the spiritual leaders in their villages, that they would be the ones to be Jesus to their neighbors. But for now, I can be the hands and feet of Jesus.

So, I have to keep going back to Thomazeau, I have to keep helping the work at LiveBeyond, keep being the hands and feet of Jesus, to keep getting my heart broken. There is so much work to do for God's Kingdom in Thomazeau, Haiti. He needs your hands and feet to do it.  Won't you please join us?

By the way, I just arrived to Haiti on Wednesday and have joined LiveBeyond's staff!

Carolyne Steiner and her husband, Mark, are from Jackson, Tenn. They recently accepted positions to join LiveBeyond's staff and will live in Haiti 70% of the time. Carolyne is our Haiti Operations Coordinator.