Polk youth make mission trip to Haiti

Published 11:14 pm Thursday, November 19, 2015

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Return to raise funds for orphanage, drinking well

In July of this past summer, Lori Lookadoo and Jamie Kilgore got the opportunity to take five Polk county youth on a trip for a weeklong stay in Jacmel, Haiti. The youth included Jackson Hughes, Kennedy Hughes, Baileigh Fisher, Weston Fisher and Hunter Kilgore. The group was met at the Port au Prince airport by a Haitian driver who took them through the three-hour trip to Jacmel, where they would spend the next week.

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Neither Jamie nor Lori had been out of the country before and had no clue what to expect upon their arrival. Culture shock would be a minimum description of what they encountered. There were people filling the streets and small, concrete houses back to back as tight as they could be. Within 30 minutes of their arrival, it was apparent that although there were small concrete houses, there were some homes that were made of mere tarps and sticks. People just sitting hopelessly on the sides of the streets trying to sell what they can. Things looked pretty desperate at a first glance of Haiti and the needs within the country were great.


During their time in Haiti, they stayed with House of Abraham orphanage director, Fenel Bruna. Fenel started House of Abraham in hopes of raising up world leaders within the country of Haiti in order to change Haiti through positive leadership. His hopes are to someday have orphanages all throughout Haiti to ensure children homes where they can grow and someday be world changers. One of Fenel’s greatest concerns is that the children from the mountains are being sold into slavery. The parents are told they will be given jobs in the cities but in reality, they are used as slaves. Fenel wants to stop the abuse of the children of Haiti.

Lori, Jamie and the Polk County youth spent days at House of Abraham playing with the children who presently reside there. To date, there are presently 13 children who live at House of Abraham. The House of Abraham residence is located on the side of a remote mountain in Jacmel. Fenel presently resides 30 minutes away from the orphanage because there is not adequate accommodation there for his wife and himself at this time.

Every day, Jamie, Lori and the youth would travel with Fenel to the orphanage to share time with them playing soccer and many other things. While there, Fenel took them on a tour of the property that was given for the orphanage and the hopes and dreams of having a self-sustaining residence for the children were expressed by the director.

It was apparent that their basic needs aren’t even being met at this time and came as quite a shock to our Polk County residents. One main need that stayed continuously on their minds was the need for water. Water is pumped into large cisterns and is delivered through gravity to the house. Besides water being scarce, what is found is not safe to drink. Lori, Jamie and the youth were instructed to not get it in their mouths or eyes at all.

While traveling from the host house to the orphanage, they had to cross over a creek, where everyone came for their water needs. Small children would be carrying buckets and containers in order to carry it back to their homes. Some children would walk miles a day down the mountain in order to get the water their family would need for the day, taking hours both ways. Moms would have small children in tow while on their water route. The water they would collect would be the same water that people were bathing in and cows were standing in. The water people used to wash their clothes in was the same water they used to cook for their babies from. There were no other sources. There were many people in the stream all throughout the day, leaving it constantly stirred up and dirtied by many baths and livestock.

This became a burden on Lori and Jamie’s hearts. Being without water should not be a condition someone has to live with so they came home with a heart to be world changers. Lori contacted mission agencies in Haiti about having well drilled for the orphanage and the two remote discipleship areas they served in while there.

The thing about this third world country is that nothing is cheap there so wells cost more there than they do in America. One organization offered to go drill one well for a contribution of $5,000, which they would meet with $6,000. It is on Lori and Jamie’s hearts to raise money for these areas they were able to be a part of while in Haiti. Their one desire is to raise awareness. It changes things when you hold children that are starving, children with orange hair due to malnutrition, who stare off in space because they are hungry, children who hold onto their peanut butter sandwiches that they were given so they can take it back to their families while they watch the other children eat.


Jamie, Lori and the youth that attended would love opportunities to come and share their experience with any groups who may be interested. Raising awareness is the beginning of being instrumental in changing lives. They are desperate for clean water and Lori said that when they asked Fenel how they can help, he requested for people to pray for them.

Contact Lori Lookadoo at 828-817-9434 or Jamie Kilgore at 828-817-0994 if you are interested in having them to come speak or in making a donation to the well fund they are raising.

– Submitted by Lori Lookadoo