Home for the Holidays: A letter from international director Melissa
Dear Imagine Family,
Last week, I was able to make a trip to Haiti for the week of Thanksgiving. I hope you will all understand that for the safety of myself, our staff in Haiti, and our children, I needed to do this as quietly as possible. It is still very unsafe and unpredictable in Haiti right now with the ongoing political instability. We had a short window of time to work with Haiti Mama to reconnect our children with their families for Christmas. Because school is not in session nation-wide, and because gang activity in Haiti has made orphanages a target, we decided as a team with our on-the-ground partners at Haiti Mama that the best and safest thing we could do for our kids was to make sure they could spend Christmas with family safely within their own homes. While there, I was able to work closely with our staff and their social work team as well as our children’s families to help ensure a safe homecoming (with the resources they need) for the holidays.
Some of our kiddos, reunited with family.
With all of the change in Haiti and within our own operations (shifting from ‘orphanage mode’ to ‘family empowerment’ mode), Imagine leadership has taken time to decide on the needed restructure of daily operations and staffing of Imagine Missions in Haiti. During my time in Haiti last week, I was also able to implement these changes and have important in-person conversations with our Haitian staff.
I will tell you it was a very emotional week, but I could see God working through every step. In the coming weeks you will receive by mail an outline of Imagine Missions’ restructured operations in Haiti and the plan for each of our children and their families.
I will ask for you to be praying for each child and their families. Pray that as they reconnect that God will help them adjust and know in their hearts that where they belong is together. Pray that they are able to form special memories together as they celebrate the birth of Christ, just as we are able to with our own families. Pray that Imagine Missions can accurately identify and provide the social services that each family needs to be successful and stay together long-term. We believe firmly in God's word and that He wants each of us to be with family (Psalm 68:5-6). Together, Imagine Missions and Haiti Mama will be striving to make sure that no family has to make the heart-breaking decision to give their child away.
Imagine Missions is in the process of raising money to purchase two reliable vehicles to implement these social services that will make it possible for children to stay safely and successfully with family. Know that we are so thankful for every one of our Imagine family members that has faithfully trusted this new direction God has taken us. Thank you for your financial support and your prayers to make it possible for us to love entire families rather than just individual children this holiday season and beyond.
Love, Melissa Young International Director