If you sponsor a child through our Orphan Care Sponsorship (OCS) Program, you might already be familiar with Meredith Chen.

Meredith is our OCS Coordinator, but she is so much more than a member of our staff; she is an inspiringly passionate advocate for Three Angels and the children in our care. We could not be more pleased that she is on our team, and we’d like YOU to get to know her better too. Here’s her story…

Meredith’s Story

“In 2013, I was making plans to join a short-term mission trip to Peru with my church. As the deadline neared to turn in my application, everything seemed to be shaping up nicely— except for one thing: ‘Haiti’ kept popping into my head. I had never wanted to go to Haiti nor even thought about it. I learned a friend (from church) was taking a team to Haiti around the same time as my planned trip to Peru, and I could not stop thinking about it. I finally had to tell my husband, ‘I know we’ve been planning for me to go to Peru, but I can’t help but feel like I’m being called to go to Haiti.’ We agreed to pray about it and follow God wherever He would lead me. By the following week, after much prayer, research, counsel, and asking many questions, we changed my plans from Peru to Haiti, where I would serve at Three Angels for the very first time.“

“During that first trip to Three Angels in 2013, I was overwhelmed by what I saw and the accompanying emotions. There was so much to take in— the school, the orphanage, the medical clinic, the farm, the language, the people, the roads full of traffic and people and noise, and the crushing poverty. I had prayed on the plane trip down for God to give me His eyes, ears, and heart to reveal much to me during this trip… and He delivered! But now what? I had been, seen, and experienced, but what was I to do with it? I could not unlearn what I had learned. I knew I had to keep this new relationship and connection with Three Angels going— not out of guilt, but out of love.”

Coming home. Oh, the first two weeks were rough. I did the ugly cry daily over the craziest things! Grass. Yes, grass. I’d see bright, green, freshly mowed grass all around my suburban neighborhood, just to look pretty, and I would weep because in Haiti I never saw any grass for kids to play on and enjoy. Church. Yep, had to sit outside to watch the service. We had way too many decadent features inside a fancy building, and they all distracted me. School. Our school at home was filled with resources, space, and opportunities, and still people complained. It was just too much. Re-acclimating to our first-world environment was difficult after that trip and the next few that followed. It’s easier now than it was, although I’m not sure if that’s a good thing, but I do try to be mindful of my perspective as I shift between these worlds.“

“One thing that helped me readjust to home from that first trip was knowing I had an action plan to continue to help Three Angels. I brought back boxes of Bijou jewelry (paper-bead jewelry crafted by local artisans, largely poverty-stricken single mothers and widows) to sell to friends and family. Each opportunity to sell handmade Haitian jewelry was an opportunity to share my story about Three Angels. It was such a thrill! Not many of my friends and family had a connection to Haiti, but now they did. Every sale meant a job and income for the Haitian artisans I’d met, and every sale was an opportunity for family preservation and orphan prevention. It was not a handout, but rather a hand-up. A win-win!”

“During my second visit to Haiti, it became clear I was ready to partner with Three Angels on a deeper level. A friend of mine happened to be Three Angel’s Student Sponsorship Coordinator, so I began to help her. When I heard there was an opening for Orphan Care Sponsorship Coordinator, I knew that as a mother of three young boys, this would be just the right size commitment for me.”

“As Orphan Care Sponsorship Coordinator, I welcome each new sponsor with a letter and sponsorship card. I travel to Haiti every year to help the children craft special hand-made gifts for their sponsors, which I personally bring back with me to the US to mail out. A second gift— usually a special photo to showcase the child’s growth and development— is sent out around Christmas. The gifts are simple, yet very sweet (in my opinion.) My own family sponsors through this program, and we display these gifts in our home and pray for our special Haitian little one daily.”

Celebrating birthdays at Angel House!

“We are so grateful for the amazing people who sponsor these children! With their help, we can provide our orphans with round-the-clock nanny care, food, clothing, medical care, toys, and everything else you can think of— rent, utilities, drivers, cooks, laundry, etc. Caring for these little ones takes a village and a budget; for $49/month, our sponsors fill the gap until these orphans go home and become part of their forever families. This can take a long time— usually about three years— so it’s critically important to have the support and prayers of many.”

“I find my job to be very rewarding, and part of the reason is because it offers everyone an opportunity to participate; not everyone will adopt, but anyone can help to care for an orphan. I know that when I ask someone to help care for the children of Angel House that it will bless them too!”

“Occasionally, I have taken others with me to visit Three Angels (as short-term mission teams.) It’s so exciting for these visitors to meet the children they sponsor, and it’s equally exciting to see people choose to sponsor a child that they meet there, face to face. While it’s great to choose a child online and to read about their progress, meeting them in the flesh and knowing them is such an extraordinary experience. As a team leader, it’s a joy to watch all of these connections come together.”

Crafting a gift for his sponsors!

“On my most recent trip in June 2019, I taught the nannies how to help the children at Angel House craft gifts for their sponsors (and if you are a sponsor, you already got one of these in the mail!) I honestly think the nannies had a blast with it! Each child got to sit with their nanny (whom they’re most comfortable with) to create darling pieces of art. I also had an opportunity to interview most of the nannies, and it was incredible to learn so much about these lovely women. Normally, I don’t get to interact with them very much because of our language barrier, but this time the interpreter sat with us for each interview so I could get to know them, and they could ask me questions as well. It was evident these amazing ladies all love their jobs, and they love these precious children as their own. Many of our nannies have been with Three Angels since the very beginning.”

“Two of the boys at Angel House had birthdays during my visit, and we had a party with cake, singing, and dancing. The children were thrilled with this party and so was I! You will be happy to know that we do the same for all the children at Angel House on their birthdays. Haitian Mother’s Day also happened to fall during my visit, so there were extra cakes and songs for all the nannies as well.”

“On this trip, as well as most trips, my luggage was filled with urgently-needed donations for the orphanage, school, clinic, and guest house. One bag was almost completely filled with gifts for children at Three Angels Academy sent by their sponsors, and I felt like Santa Claus delivering gifts to dozens of children!”

“I enjoy getting to expand my exposure to Haiti with each trip. Last year, my team and I took a day trip to a Haitian museum, and this June I had the opportunity to dine in some Haitian restaurants. I love spending time at Three Angels, and I want to learn and experience more about the people and country as well. In case you cannot already tell by now, I love to share my story! I love to bring back Bijou gifts because it creates an opportunity for Haitian jobs and it allows me the opportunity to share more about Three Angels.”

“I’m so grateful I followed that nudge from the Lord in 2013. I’ve continued to go back one or two times every year since, with the support of my family and friends. I pray I’m doing nearly as much for Three Angels as it has done for me.”

“Please join me in praying for God to move through Three Angels, and pray that He will supply more sponsors for these little ones. And consider joining us for a visit in Haiti soon!”

XOXO, Meredith Chen

If you’d like to become an Orphan Care Sponsor, click HERE to get started.

Write to Meredith if you’d like to know more about sponsorship or about joining her for an upcoming trip by clicking HERE.