Nearly ten years ago, I was a camp counselor for a small group of Junior High students from my church. All week long, during the evening session, Compassion International would have a table set up with pictures of children from different impoverished countries. The purpose of C.I. was to entice you to adopt one of the children by sending money on a monthly basis to pay for their education and other necessities.
The last night of camp, the girls in our youth group talked me into adopting one of these children for the youth group. We decided that part of the offerings we collect would go to the monthly fee. A few of us stood at the table, picking up one packet after another, trying to decide which child would be the one for us. After some discussion, we agreed on a little girl from Haiti.
Her name was Mirlandia. I think one of the reasons the girls liked her was because her name was easy to pronounce and remember, compared to some of the other ones. She was 6 years old and had these beautiful, haunting eyes that seemed to stare right into your heart. Her bio gave little information about her except that she liked going to school and help her mom with work around the house.
We would occasionally send Mirlandia notes and artwork from the group and she would in turn send us letters telling us more about herself and always thanking us for our prayers and being a part of her life. I always wondered what it would be like for her to live where she did. I also wondered what it would be like to meet her in person, knowing that really wouldn't ever happen.
I write this today because I can't help but think about Mirlandia and the tragedy that has struck her small island. To be honest, I haven't thought much about this young girl since I quit my job and we left that church, but I'm thinking a lot about her now. She would be nearly 16 years old now. What has the last 5-6 years looked like for her? What does she look like? Where was she when the quake(s) hit? Was she hurt? Is she alive? What does her life look like now?
I will never know the answers to these questions, but as I pray for the people and situation in Haiti, I include a special prayer for Mirlandia and her family. May they feel God's mercy and love during this time. Won't you join me in this prayer.