We have recently gone through a very subtle but very necessary and important transition at All Things New. I want to first describe what we have accomplished, why we have accomplished it, and how it is different than what we thought we were going to do when we started All Things New 2 years ago. After that, I will share with you what our big transition has been and why it is important.
The first thing is that we have very successfully begun building a team of Haitians that can help us take care of our children. At this point, we have 15 employees at All Things New. We have a cook, 3 tutors, a driver/translator/mechanic/anything else, a haircutter, 2 people who live on campus full time, 2 women who sleep at the orphanage, a laundry woman, an orphanage assistant (whose job description changes almost daily), and 3 security guards. The longer we are down there, the more trustworthy people we meet, and we have been able to put together a top-notch team.
The next thing is why we have made these hires and put this team together. We have done this because we have 34 children who need to be taken care of, and 4 adults is just not enough. To truly take care of our children, we needed help in many areas. We needed direct help like the caregivers we have on campus, we needed our children to feel safe so we have security 24 hours a day, and we needed help making sure All Things New ran well so we have people who help Jessica and I accomplish the work we need to accomplish. While we still have a long way to go, these hires have been wonderful and we believe our children are loved and cared for more now than ever.
As I mentioned before, where we are now is much different than where we thought we would be when we started 2 years ago. We actually thought that by now we would have land and would begin building to get our kids to a new and better facility. GOD has showed us so much over the past few years, and this is just one way that we were wrong. Facilities are not the most important aspect of running an orphanage. What good is plumbing if our kids do not have people there to help them get dressed and brush their teeth in the morning? What good is electricity if we don’t have someone guarding our home and keeping our children safe? And that is what we thought when we first came down, that our first goal should be purchasing land. But what I see now is a group of children that are growing, maturing, and even thriving in conditions that seem inadequate for that to happen. In the midst of that, GOD taught us something about how He operates. He taught us how important peace, hope, safety, and love is compared to comforts and material things. Our children needed to be cared for first, and this is exactly what this team is doing…Caring for our children.
So here is the transition that we are learning how to deal with. At first, our only job was to take care of children to the best of our ability. To love them, hug them, play with them, encourage them, discipline them, etc. But now, while that is still part of our job, a new job has arisen over the past few months that will help us do our old job better. We now have to transition into providing the tools and environment needed for our employees to succeed. We have to become managers/bosses/employers. And to make things even a little more difficult, we have to do this in a different country, with a different culture, and with a different set of laws that govern how we have to interact with and manage the people who work for us. This is going to be a learning process, and anyone who is reading this with managerial experience, please feel free to offer advice, suggestions, or even resources that may help us as we navigate this new aspect of our lives and jobs. Our employees are incredible, they are trustworthy, and so far they have far exceeded what we hoped they would be. But with a growing organization comes growing responsibilities.
Please be in prayer for us as we continue to make All Things New what GOD wants it to be. Just so you know, we are still in the process of fundraising for our capital campaign which includes land (which we could be ready to buy soon), buildings, and all of the other things you see on this page of our website. This is still a very important part of the future of All Things New, and we are very thankful for any money you have donated to this cause. But in the mean time, we will continue to do what is best for our children and we will probably still make a couple of more hires this calendar year. So if you are already sponsoring a child or giving to us on a monthly basis, please keep it up and please tell all of your friends. We will continue to do whatever we can to help our children succeed and you are a huge part of what we are doing.