Drs. Don & Mary Jo Calebaugh relate this touching story from Haiti
A couple of years ago, I wanted to buy a motorcycle. My wife said I could if we sponsored a couple of kids through International Child Care Ministries. This was a no brainer for me: for $42 a month for both kids, I could go riding.
Our next task was to go to the ICCM web site and pick our kids. After viewing lots of available kids, I said we should pick two children from Haiti since it was closest to the USA and we might someday get there. My wife looked at me doubtfully.
Shortly after the Haiti earthquake, my wife and I (both physicians) were urgently asked to join a 9-person Haiti Medical Disaster Relief Mission trip to a small hospital in Dessalines, Haiti that is sponsored by the Free Methodist Church. The medical members of the team came from all over the USA and we all were humbled by the support help of our respective hospitals. We were able to procure thousands of dollars of medicines, supplies, and surgical stuff, plus two new oxygen generators to be taken with us to Haiti. The airlines waived the weight and baggage limits, and the 9 of us arrived with 44 suitcases packed with medical supplies for the hospital.
The work there was hard and difficult but fulfilling. At lunch on day, I was sitting next to some Haitian visitors from a rural area. When they mentioned where they were from, it sounded familiar and indeed, it was the area where our sponsored kids lived. We had taken our documents and photos from ICCM and when we showed these pictures, they not only knew our kids, but would bring them to us the next day.
They arrived the next day on a “tap-tap” (a pick-up truck with seats) along with their school master. We all had a great lunch together. We learned about the local environment, living conditions of the family and the children’s schooling. We gave our kids some Yankee ball caps and Payday candy bars and had some pictures taken.
We know for a fact that International Child Care Ministries is real, it works, and the funds go right to the kids and school programs as advertised. With so much money going into Haiti and not knowing where it winds up, when asked how people can help Haiti, I tell them to contact ICCM and support a couple of kids. The money goes to support the kids, their families and their Christian education.
When my wife and I left for Haiti, our local newspaper interviewed us as to what impact we expected to have on this medical relief trip. We knew the situation was immense, but we reflected that we needed to give our help, face to face, one patient at a time. So it is when sponsoring a child: one-on-one, one child at a time.
Our love and support to the Haitian people,
Don and Mary Jo Calebaugh, MDs
Binghamton, New York