OK, so I said a while back that I'd explain who the Schmidts are, and why I'm in Haiti helping them. So far I haven't gotten a chance to do that, but now I'll try to, and also to say a little something about the children.
Tom and Ginger Schmidt were missionaries in Haiti for about seven years. They came home “for good” in '99, but after the earthquake felt called to return and open a home for disabled children- specifically those that had lost limbs as a result of the quake. They came back, found a piece of property, and now have the four children. My understanding is that another little girl should be coming some time in the near future, but I haven't heard anything about that since we got here, so don't know when that will be. Betty is for adoption- though this is not the Schmidts' policy- they are caring for her for someone else. They believe that Haiti needs to be changed from the inside out, and to do this the children must be raised in the fear of the Lord. Of course, the Schmidts know that they alone cannot make the children Christians, it has to be God working in their hearts. But the biggest problem in Haiti is undoubtedly Voodoo. The people are held in bondage to it. They are afraid to go out too far to fish because they think the water spirits will get them. If a mother has twins, they are afraid to let them both live. If a handicapped child is born, they view it as a curse from the devil whom they serve, and will throw in on a garbage heap to be eaten by rats and die. I know that I'm being graphic here, but this is what the Haitians believe. How can a country with these beliefs grow? That is why they need the Gospel so desperately, but simply sending missionaries isn't enough. The upcoming generation must be taught to love and honor God, and that is why what the Schmidts are doing is so important. These children are being taught about God- they are included in family devotions in the morning and often evening, they are prayed with before meals and bedtime, and they have the example that we are setting them. They may not understand much at this point, but the Schmidts are trusting God that these things will have an effect on their lives. One thing that is always included in the prayers is that each child will come to know the Lord.
Although I understand why people would think it best that the children be adopted out of the country, and though I would certainly have no problem with that in the case of these handicapped children, I appreciate the Schmidts long-term vision for raising a godly future generation to change Haiti.