The children come to the party in their best clothes.
Haiti (MNN) ― Starving children enjoyed a Christmas party complete with food, gifts, and a Gospel message this season. Despite difficulties with obtaining supplies, the party was a great success.
"Not everything got in, but we did have enough for a really, really great party," said For Haiti With Love's Eva DeHart. "We cannot import from the Dominican Republic anymore, so we couldn't get the frozen chicken that we usually use. So they found a calf. We literally killed the 'fatted calf' this year and served them beef with their rice and beans. It became a special treat because that's something they just don't get in their regular diet."
Unfortunately, FHWL did not have enough food to feed all of the hungry people.
"The only sad part is the number of people who were still outside the gate who we didn't have enough food for, because everybody is so desperately hungry," DeHart lamented. "They couldn't have cared less about the gifts this year; they were just after a meal."
The children also enjoyed a two-hour church service this year, in which they participated by singing and dancing. They heard the Christmas story and sang Christmas music, and some of the children did dances and solos.
"The church service part of the Christmas party lasted over two hours this year before they got around to the food," DehHrt said. "The message was strong and powerful, and it reached outside the gates because of the speakers. So the message touched everyone within hearing distance."
Dehart said that the children responded well to the service.
"They did keep wanting to sing," she said. "And they were encouraging [the preacher] to keep talking to them. They were as hungry for the message as they were for the food, I think."
The children are desperately hungry, not only physically but also spiritually.
"The thing that the Christmas party normally does is it's an uplifting glimmer of hope," DeHart explained. "When you're living in the middle of what they're living in now, without hope they would all be committing suicide. But if you can give them a taste of hope that things can be better, they hold on to the hand of Jesus and see that we can make it all better together."