WHO AM I??
Hi all! To friends and family that stopped by to read my campaign..... HELLO and THANK YOU!!! For those of you that don't know me, my name is Melissa Fightmaster and I work as a Pediatric Certified Occupational Therapy practitioner in a school for children with special needs. The students range from 3 to 21 years old, with a variety of diagnoses (physical disability, developmental delay, Cerebral Palsy, etc.) I truly care about these children and have learned so much from them; they never fail to make me smile! I LOVE my job, and know it is what God has called me to do. He gave me a deep love & respect for the special needs population, and a passion to work with them. I live by the verse "...Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near." Philippians 4:5
WHERE AM I GOING??
This June God has called me to travel to Haiti with Kimmy's House; a non-profit organization that specializes in special needs orphan care globally. In Haiti, Kimmy's House partners with Northwest Haiti Christian Mission, an organization that has worked for over 30 years in Haiti spreading the gospel, providing food, medicine and education for poor Haitians. Kimmy's House funds the care, medical and therapy support for the special needs orphans at The Miriam Center, in St. Louis du Nord, Haiti. My team and I will be in Haiti doing God's work from June 17 to June 27, 2013.
WHY AM I GOING??
I believe in things I call "God Winks". Things that happen in my life that leave me without a shadow of a doubt that God was a behind it.... Haiti will be one of those BIG God winks in my life.
One Sunday my church was having a mission trip convention, where all of the different mission trips around the world that were sponsored by our church came together in one room to invite new people to consider serving on a mission trip. My little sister has a dream to go to Africa, so I decided to go to the convention to find information for her. I came across a table with the picture of two boys hugging each other (the one you see on this site) -- I felt drawn to it.... At the table was a woman named Shannon who founded her organization, Kimmy's House, for her daughter, Kimmy, who has Down Syndrome. She asked me if I was interested in mission trips, and when I explained that I was looking for information for my sister, she asked what my sister did for a living. When I told her, she responded with "well, we actually need people who have training working with children with special needs." God wink. When I told her where I worked, and what I did, she lit up! She knew exactly where I worked, because she almost enrolled Kimmy at my school. Shannon handed me a brochure, and asked me to consider going... I prayed about it. A LOT. About a week later I contacted Shannon and reminded her of who I was. She remembered and told me that God whispered to me to go to Kimmy's House mission trip table. I believe it.
Children with special needs have always had a special place in my heart, I just never could have imagined all of the amazing doors He would open for me to be closely connected to this beautiful population... God is calling me to Haiti for His purpose, and I am answering the call.
WHAT I WILL BE DOING:
"Imagine being hidden away, invisible, and unknown in your community because you are “different”. Most people who know you see you as a curse, a mistake, and a shame. Some love you and cherish you deeply; they just don’t know what you need or how to best care for you. They are scared, hopeless, and desperate."
This is a reality for many people around the world.
In many countries, children with special needs are misunderstood and seen as a burden or a curse. These children are labeled as worthless and unwanted, and as a result, they are neglected, abandoned, or orphaned. They are faced with countless obstacles that prevent them from fully participating in the social order of their community. Children with special needs in developing countries are often INVISIBLE -unseen and hidden away because of fear, shame, lack of education…" (www.kimmyshouse.com)
I could not have said it better myself. The special needs population is one of the most marginalized groups of people in the world. God gives certain people a compassionate heart towards this beautiful population. I feel blessed, as one of those people, to have been given so many opportunities to love and advocate for them. Only God knows why He has given me this newest opportunity. All I can do is trust in Him, and how He will use me in Haiti.
While in Haiti, activities will include playing, singing, games, crafts, loving, hugging and holding the orphans. I will also have the chance to work in the nutrition program, senior home, birthing clinic, and prison ministry. During our visit, we will also have an opportunity to worship with the local church in St. Louis du Nord, as well as be exposed to the sights and sounds and taste of Haiti! We will also carry down supplies that will be distributed to orphanages, medical clinics and churches in Haiti.
Kimmy's House mission is 'to partner with Jesus Christ to impact the lives of orphans with special needs around the world by providing quality physical, emotional, spiritual, and educational care, and to teach their communities to value them as God’s children'. Although I won't know until I am in Haiti what exactly God has called me to do, my desire is to allow God to use me to impact others for Him, and to allow Him to change me at the same time. God is transforming lives through special needs orphans around the world. I am humbled to be joining Him in His work.
WHY I NEED YOUR HELP:
I'm excited about the opportunity and experience that lies ahead. I hope you see the value in what will be accomplished during my time in Haiti. As you can imagine, a trip like this requires financial support from a number of people. In order to go on this mission trip I need to raise $3,000 by April 17, 2013. If you can assist me through your financial support, I would be very grateful. The money I raise will go towards my vaccinations & medication (Malaria medication and antibiotics) airfare, travel insurance, food & lodging for 10 days. If I am blessed enough to raise over my goal, I will be donating the extra amount to Kimmy's House, which will directly benefit Northwest Haiti Christian Mission. Either way, your contribution will be used to support the work of the ministry.
Other Ways You Can Help
Over the next few months prior to us leaving and while we are in Haiti, please pray that:
- My trip gets fully funded!! That means that will need $500 raised by March 17th, the remainder of my airfare (~$850 minus the first $500) by April 1st, another $500 by April 17th, and the remainder of the trip cost total by May 17th. (My campaign ends April 12th, and I will receive the monies from Indiegogo May 1st.)
- That I will be mentally, spiritually, emotionally and physically prepared for this trip.
- God would keep us safe on our journey.
- The mission trip team will work well together.
- God would prepare the hearts of those who we will share with in St. Louis du Nord.
Spread the word!!! Please consider sharing my campaign with friends and family!
Whether you feel led to contribute financially or commit to prayer (or both), I truly appreciate your support. I can hardly wait to be doing God's work in Haiti.
While I am gone you can follow my trip on the travel blog. Please visit the website at www.kimmyshousetravelblog.wordpress.com