We want to share a scenario with you. Something that is an everyday occurrence here…just to give you a little picture:

We borrow the QCS car in order to get groceries. As we sit in traffic along Delmas, an extremely busy main road in Port au Prince, we see children walking amongst the cars in the traffic, weaving in & out of the slow moving cars. They have on worn out, mismatched shoes, or shoes that are too big or too small for their feet, sometimes they don’t have on any shoes at all. They are fragile looking with a sense of eagerness & desperation in their eyes. Some usually carry a small worn cloth that is typically blue but you can barely see the color of it because of how filthy the cloth is.

An initial first reaction…perhaps… “what on earth are these kids doing in the street among all of this moving traffic!!??. Where is CPS, where are their parents & families!!??” And then my mind flashes to some memories I have of the states…

I remember that in the states many people (including myself) would take the time out to stop and pull over & help a dog or other animal in the middle of a street or highway that was obviously in distress. My children & I have rescued many lost or hurt animals along the roadsides in Idaho over the years. We usually were fortunate enough to nurse them back to health & find their owners or re home them into new homes if they were animals that had been purposely “dumped” which seemed like the case a lot of the time. Once I saw a boy that looked to be about the age of 8-10ish or so riding a bike alongside a 3 lane highway in Idaho, (the next exit was about a mile away & it was dusk!). I was in the fast lane & couldn’t believe my eyes & didn’t have time enough to pull over, so I immediately called the police on my cell phone. I knew they would take care of it & make sure the boy was safe…

But this is Haiti. A completely different country & culture.

One would logically ask what the reason is for these kids in PAP to be in the streets? Their hope & reason for being IN such a busy street?! Food, money, hand out, something to do, anything. Being amongst the moving traffic at the busiest parts of the main road ensure them of a better chance at a hand out or even making some money.

They are hungry. They look starving. The whites of their eyes usually seem to have a permanent reddish, pinkish color to them. They hold out their hands, come right up to your window & peer in… & if they know you, you see a beautiful smile & hear an enthusiastic~ tap, tap, tap, from their little fingers. They start wiping your car down with the dry, filthy rag. They are quick & want to make it shine. When the traffic moves, they do not retreat back to the side of the street but walk along your vehicle as to not let you get away. Sometimes they run to keep up, while keeping their faces desperately placed right at your window & say “Mwe grangu , Mwe grangu”… “I’m hungry. I’m hungry.”

Some people let them wipe a bit of their cars down & hand them some coins, some people hand them something just because & have them move on, some people (most it seems, including us sometimes) have to say & motion a firm “No” because they have nothing to give, don’t want to, or can’t, to every single needy person or child on the street that needs food or money.

These are some of the street kids of Haiti. Their are many of them. They do not have the means to go to school, let alone have a decent place to call home. Their is no government Child Protection Services to call. The police here see them in the streets everyday.

This was one of the things that we had a hard time (& still do) adjusting to, accepting & witnessing on a regular basis. Seeing this just does something confusing to your heart & soul. Something we don’t even know how to explain. Is it a normal thing here? Yes. Do you get used to it? Well, No. But you have to accept it.

Here are a few pics to give you an idea. The boy in the blue shirt is our little “friend” named Franzee. We can always count on seeing him & he always seems to find us if we are going up Delmas. When we know we’ll be heading in one of the 2 places where the kids hang out the most, we like to take some fruit, yogurt or other food to be able to give them. The pictures speak for themselves.

Franzee & his friend They excitedly went to the side of the road to eat! "street kid working" on busy Delmas road same boy "resting" right on the center divider of Delmas...quite common...

Thanks to all of you who are helping us to be here.

Serving Christ in Haiti,
Denise & family