My name is Bianca, and I am a high-school-aged student from north Texas. I have been homeschooled all my life, and I accepted Christ as my Savior when I was 6 years old. Since that time, I have been baptized and the Lord has helped me grow in my faith in many ways.
I took my first missions trip to the mountains of Mexico when I was 10 years old. That trip had a big impact on me, because it opened my eyes for the very first time to the extreme poverty that exists outside of America.
My first trip to Haiti (my second missions trip) was in July 2012. I wasn’t expecting to be impacted the way that I was. Nothing could have prepared me for seeing the poverty in a third-world country. God used the children of Haiti to break my heart. They LOVED our team and just wanted to be with us constantly. Many of them come from difficult home-life situations. Most of them are being raised by a single-parent, or a relative. Sometimes the only meal they eat in a day is a plate of rice and beans given to them at the mission compound where our team stayed. Many of them cannot attend school because their families cannot afford to pay.
When I came home from Haiti, I felt burdened by God to see an orphanage built on La Montagne. I am choosing to have faith that if this project is truly of Him, He will make it possible. It’s His project, not mine. I’m only blessed with the opportunity to be a tool in His hands.
My goal in life is to serve my Creator in whatever capacity He calls me. Right now, I believe with all my heart that He is calling me to do something more for the people of Haiti. My passion is to bring hope to the children there!
I am blessed to be the oldest of 5 children; 3 girls and 2 boys. My parents have been happily married for 23 years. Mom and Dad have a big passion for missions, and have encouraged my siblings and me to go on short-term missions trips. They have challenged us to do hard things, and to not let anyone look down on us because of our age. (1 Timothy 4:12.) They are very excited and supportive of Hope Hill Orphanage!
To learn more about our family, you can check out our blogger family profile, and take a look at our family blog.
Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere with a 40% unemployment rate. 80% of the people live below the poverty level. The country is just a bit smaller than the state of Maryland, with a population of about 9.8 million people. The median age is 21 years old (The United States is 37 for comparison.) Bacterial diseases due to unclean water are widespread. Cholera, malaria, typhoid fever, and hepatitis A are just a few of the diseases plaguing the country.
The number of children under 5 years old is 18.9% (1.3% in the United States.) The literacy rate (those over age 15 who can read and write) is only 53%. Roughly half of the population practices Vodou, a form of witchcraft. The needs of this country are great!
*Facts taken from: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ha.html *
La Montagne is the name of the mountain range in southern Haiti. Hope Hill Orphanage will be built in the little village of Bello. Our missions team rode by bus and van from Port-Au-Prince approximately 3 hours south to the city of Jacmel (located on the southern coast of Haiti.) Then we rode in the back of pick-up trucks up the narrow, winding roads for an hour to reach Bello.
|Just outside Jacmel city, we had to cross a river delta in order to get up the mountain.|
|A typical mountain road, minus the steep curve. :-)|
The people on La Montagne live off the land as much as possible, because it takes hours to walk down the mountain if they can’t afford to hire someone to drive them. On the positive side, unlike many of the larger cities, La Montagne is very pleasant weather-wise with cooler nights and breezes coming off the Caribbean Sea. The natural beauty on the mountain is stunning, with views of Jacmel and the sea.
Why “Hope Hill?”
Hope was a common theme throughout my time in Haiti. The shirts we wore on our last day in Haiti said “La Montagne de l’espoir” which means “The Mountain of Hope.” When I was brainstorming names for an orphanage, “Hope on a Hill” came to mind, because we had prayed over a plot of land on a hill during our time in Haiti. The missionary’s sister had owned the land and hoped that one day an orphanage would be built there. When I mentioned the name idea to a friend of mine, she suggested shortening it to “Hope Hill” and the name stuck!
One reason I like the name “Hope Hill” is because my hope came from a hill called Calvary. Jesus Christ gave me hope when He died for my sins on the hill of Golgotha outside of Jerusalem. I want the children of Haiti to know that they can have hope through a relationship with Jesus Christ, the source of our hope!
Update (March 14, 2013)
On February 17th, Hope Hill became an official partner with an organization based outside of Houston, TX called “A Child’s Hope.” You can read more about the partnership in this post and what it means for Hope Hill.