ProVision Foundation in cooperation with Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church has established a Haiti Relief Fund which will involve funding the organizations listed to the right and will balance immediate relief and ongoing development funding as more assessment and strategy is solidified. Additional trusted organizations may be included in the distribution of this fund if deemed appropriate and helpful to the overall effort. Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church is handling the gifts for this fund.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Reflections on Baby Isaac's Life

The following is from Lance Robinson:

Many of you know that I have been in Haiti and the Dominican Republic over the last two and half weeks working with our partners involved with the Haitian earthquake relief efforts. What you may or may not know is that part of the way through this time my participation in relief efforts went from playing a small role in the food distribution and medical relief of thousands to an unexpected focused effort to save one.

While delivering food to an orphanage, we came across baby Isaac. Six-week-old Isaac was very sick and he grabbed my heart. A nurse who was a part of our team made the decision that he needed immediate medical attention. With the blessing of the orphanage director, Isaac was swiftly transported to a medical clinic and I became his custodian in helping him receive medical care. At that point, my journey became exclusively, albeit briefly intertwined with his.

Isaac passed away yesterday, February 6, 2010, after giving it a good fight and despite the best efforts of many caring people. I have been working in children-at-risk issues in many countries for years now and have had many children and their stories affect me. However, the intensity of attempting to save Isaac’s short life, within the larger framework of the untold sufferings of Haiti, has had a profound impact on me, my family; and as I am continuing to discover, many others as well.

I feel I was almost thrown into Isaac’s saga, so the lessons that follow are not about what I was able to do but what was confirmed in me as I moved through this time with Isaac. At the very least, Isaac’s s

tory is a reminder that the claims of justice and love mean very little unless they affect someone tangibly. It also reminds us that often times the best efforts at love and justice are small and focused. His life has been a beautiful illustration that whether we are fighting for the justice of thousands or fighting for the life of one, it’s worth it.

I thought I would pass on a reflection I wrote about halfway through my time with Isaac. At minimum, I hope the story of his life will move you to consider that his story, one of an orphan suffering in the third world from lack of adequate health care and basic needs, is multiplied into the millions. May Isaac move you to consider what you can do on behalf of the millions of orphaned and vulnerable children worldwide.

I would also like to ask, that if Isaac’s story moves you to act or give that you drop me a note to let me, my family and our organization know how his life has had impact.

Wednesday Morning Reflections, January 27, 2010:

As I just rubbed Isaac's back he jolted and I reflexively said, "It's okay bud, someone's here with you."

I've been trying to figure out my role with him. Dad? Maybe. Lots of unknowns still with this. Custodian through this medical crisis? Yes. I am here to make sure that he's properly cared for.

But what if the worst happens and he never pulls out of this? Then why all this? Why drive him wildly across the dusty countryside of Haiti to a disaster response medical clinic? Why have him cared for by experienced doctors who have converged here from all over the world? Why hop on a military chopper with him and rush him to the best hospital we could find in Santo Domingo? Why do blood work, hook him up to monitors, pump powerful antibiotics into him, etc?

The thought came after I touched Isaac and said that someone's here for him that in a profound sense every single human being has value; and everyone of us, just like Isaac, needs someone "there" for us whether we realize it or not.

Perhaps to give this to someone even when you are not sure what good it is or role you are playing is precisely the way God wants us to love. Perhaps I will only be here for Isaac for a short part of the journey or if his journey is short. Perhaps it’s for the long haul. Perhaps I'm supposed to be this for Isaac and perhaps he's teaching me something about love.

The frustrating part of this is the finitude of the human perspective. We don't always know our role in the story. I certainly don't understand the massive amounts if suffering and "aloneness" that has been going on all over Haiti and it angers me. It makes me question God or wonder if he's the being we think he is or even wonder if he's there at all.

At the same time I find myself praying. Praying that somehow in some way those who were trapped or continuing to suffer will at least be given a touch from God to somehow experience that they are not alone. This is my prayer but my realistic side recognizes that this may not be the case. People suffer and die alone all the time. Then I find hope calling me to believe this for them in eternity. And love calls me (and all who say they follow Jesus) to incarnate this love to those that come into my journey. Love also calls me/us to stand for justice for the vulnerable and oppressed.

I truly wish that I could resolve the mysterious tension of not understanding the sufferings of this world and the anger and cynicism that it brings with the simultaneous life-giving and joyful narratives of love, justice, hope and compassion, beauty, truth and grace. The latter spurs me to want to challenge this present order of things through trying to live out these life-giving stories with presence, hope, grace, justice and love.

I want Isaac to sense someone is there for him and at this stage of life that is perhaps all that it is for him—a "sensing". But for the value of his life, and for as long as our paths cross, I can be that for him.

I think that's what we all need. From God and from others to know or believe someone is there for us however long our lives are and whatever twist and turns they take.

This is to me the message of the incarnation: To show us a God who is loving and present amidst the often times dismal, inexplicable chaos around us. To give us a hope that someday this will all be made right. To love, value and be present with us for who we are no matter who we are—especially little Haitian orphans. Today I choose to believe someone is here for you Isaac and for me as well. Despite the "why's" I choose love.

Lance Robinson


Equitas Group


  1. Hi Lance, I don't know if you remember me from years ago at CTI when I worked with Terry. I wanted you to know that the story of Isaac touched me deeply and I'll share it with others. I'm glad you were there to care for him and show him love. Kathy Coleman Wood

  2. Sure, Kathy, I remember you and I so appreciate hearing how Isaac's story is impacting others. My additional hope is that his story will illuminate the struggles of so many other orphaned and/or vulnerable children just like him, both in Haiti and around the world. Thanks so much for your words.