Lingerfelts minister to orphans in Haiti
Jeff Lingerfelt accompanied his 15-year-old daughter, Annie, on a trip to Haiti, recently.
“We went to help build a new school there,” said LIngerfelt.
They were gone for nine days having left February 27 on the long and eye- opening journey.
Lingerfelt has a friend who works with Feed My Lambs Ministry based in Bermuda. The idea for the Feed My Lambs project came to Phillip Rego in 2008. He woke up in the middle of the night and felt that he was being called to help the people of Haiti in their disaster relief effort. Four hurricanes had hit the island in the fall of 2008. In three years time, an orphanage, and a school have been built. The project also supports a clinic and many people.
When the Lingerfelt family heard of the need to help build a new school for the orphans, Jeff and Annie signed up to go. For both of them the sight of the abject poverty was a learning experience.
“We drove by a creek on the way from Port au Prince to the orphanage about one hour away,” described LIngerfelt. “Both people and animals were bathing in the creek. Some people were drawing that same water for drinking.”
While in Haiti, they saw mothers making mud cookies for their children to eat. The cookies are made from mud, oil and salt and the children gladly eat them. They are truly hungry.
“Kids that were age 12 looked like they were six or eight,” said Lingerfelt.
Annie worked with these kids. She helped take care of the orphans, feeding, bathing and playing with them. School for the orphans is only a half day. This group of kids has hope because they are fed and cared for by the orphanage. For some their parents have died. For others, their parents gave them up to have a better life than they could give them. Some of the kids will never see their parents again.
“The kids are so loving,” said Annie, as she took up the story.
“These kids are eager to learn,” she added. “They all want to come to America.”
A middle class seems to be non-existent in Haiti. The very rich, 11 families, control the country, according to information that Jeff learned.
The orphanage is a good place for the children to be because outside funds support it and they have their own generator and their own well. These children are well-cared for.
Most families in Haiti live outside during the day. They cook their meals over an open fire when they have food to prepare
The new school is being built by local workers so tthey can earn an income. It is being constructed of cement blocks molded one by one and then laid for walls. The workers earn about 75 cents an hour. Unfortunately, gas costs $8 a gallon and the workers make about that much per day.
“I was just humbled by this experience,” said Jeff.
He helped with painting the orphanage and constructing bunk beds for the kids.
“I did whatever they needed me to do around there,” said Jeff.
Annie, who had been on a mission trip to Nicaragua earlier, knew she wanted to help when she heard about Haiti. Her first impression from the airplane was devastation everywhere. She enjoyed working with the kids, and they cried when she left. She knows that the older kids will help take care of the younger ones, as she witnessed when she was there.
As for Jeff, he would like to take a group of medical professionals to Haiti to help sometime in the future. He also would like to take Rugby youth to Haiti as volunteers.
This experience had a profound effect on his life and he wants to continue to help. One way he can do that is by spreading the word.
Anyone who would like to help support this project can contact: Feed My Lambs Ministry, c/o P. Rego, 665 E 70th Ave., Unit 3, Denver, Colorado, 80229. One child can be supported for $45/month. They are also working on bigger projects, like their goal of getting a water purification treatment plant at a cost of $25,000.
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