Advent is here and with Christmas just around the corner, this is a spiritual time of gratitude, generosity and love.
As pastor of First United Methodist Church in McKinney, Texas, I know how quickly the holidays can fill our calendars and our thoughts. That is why I am asking you now to please plan a special gift to Grace Children’s Hospital this blessed season.
Sally Lefevre, a 32-year-old Haitian factory worker and mother, sought care at Grace Children’s Hospital (GCH) in Haiti as a last resort after enduring unexplained back pain for several years. Suffering progressive weakness in her legs, she needed a walker just to get around. Despite seeking care at another hospital and even resorting to alternative treatments by a witch doctor, her condition only continued to worsen.
A leading public health expert, Dr. Josette Bijou has spent 50+ years selflessly serving the people of Haiti. Internationally recognized for her work in the public health sector, she has been a driving force behind significant strides to improve the health and quality of life in this fragile but resilient country.
Polene and her children, ages 10 and 5, live in a tent community in Port-au-Prince. Meant for temporary housing after the catastrophic earthquake of 2010, tent cities are still common throughout the city. Polene’s family and neighbors live in harsh conditions without clean water or toilets, and the scrap metal structures are what they call home.
A thirty-minute drive from the nearest city, across a rough terrain, and through a river (four times), lies the rural and isolated community of Jolitrou. Before International Child Care, locals had to walk 4 hours each way to the nearest hospital and once there, many times were told to come back another day or denied health care completely. Once ICC partnered with the community to create a clinic, the infant mortality rate dropped significantly and many lives were saved.
When Gregory Adrien came to Grace Children’s Hospital in 1998, severely malnourished and crippled by Tuberculosis, it’s no wonder he quickly learned to regard the staff and other children at Grace as his family. Now, almost 20 years later, he has a family of his own.
When Grace Children’s Hospital first started in 1967, it was as a small Tuberculosis clinic in Haiti with a goal of treating and healing 100 children. Now in its 50th year, the hospital is celebrating the accomplishments of treating not 100 children, but well more than 100,000 children, while also educating the public about how the battle against Tuberculosis is not over.
When Rev. June Franck of First United Methodist Church of McKinney, TX heard about Grace Children’s Hospital’s 50th anniversary, she felt called to help the children of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Read more to discover her 50for50 idea.
He is risen.Three words carry the entire weight of our Christian faith. If Christ did not rise again, then He was not Lord, and He did not overcome the world and sin.
By creatively using the number 50, we can each raise support to give hope and health to the children of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Looking for ideas? Here's some to get you started.