FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) - A group of Frankfort pastors will travel to Haiti on Monday to dedicate an orphanage to God.
“Children First: Love and Hope,” an organization created by Frankfort residents that helps children in Haiti, is sending the pastors to its orphanage in Croix-des-Bouquets, near the capital of Port-au-Prince. The group will return to Frankfort on Friday.
The pastors, Tom Troth, Kris Grimes and Steve Stutzman, are from churches that are members of the Franklin Baptist Association. FBA Director of Missions Jeremy Weaver will join them on the trip. The group is being led by Jim Miracle, vice president of Children First.
Children First President Bill Nallia said that the pastors’ goal in Haiti will be to open the new portion of the organization’s orphanage and dedicate the building in God’s name. Nallia said the group will also spend time working in the orphanage and the village.
Children First’s new dorms will house 32 children. When the orphanage is full, it will be able to house 80 children and provide them with running and purified water, food, basic needs, access to learning a trade and more. The building, which employs 15 Haitians, also holds adult Bible studies.
Nallia said he hopes that when the pastors return from Haiti they inspire others in their congregations to take mission trips to the area. He thinks that when the pastors witness the issues Haitians face first-hand, they can share their accounts and encourage others to take mission trips with Children First.
Nallia has spent over 20 years of his life doing mission work and first went to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. He saw a news report about the devastation and said that “it grabbed me like you couldn’t believe.” He gathered a group from Buck Run Baptist Church for a mission trip to help with rebuilding.
An incident that had the most impact on Nallia during the trip was when the group learned about 64 children living on a dirt lot. The children were eating rice and beans only three times a week and were drinking water that tested positive for feces.
“You should have seen them when we made enough rice and beans for them to have a full meal,” Nallia said.
After the group returned, it decided the best way to help directly Haitian children was to open an orphanage to house them. Children First began working with orphans about 4½ years ago, Nallia said. Before his arthritis worsened, Nallia went to Haiti three times a month.
Nallia said that everyone needs to go to Haiti for at least a week because it will change their perspective of the world and their own status.