Suitcases packed for trip to Haiti.

Suitcases packed for trip to Haiti.

A  small group from Cedar Rapids is preparing for a trip to Haiti. The exact destination is the Ebenezer Glenn Orphanage in the town of Dessalines, which is north of Port-au-Prince.

For one group member, this trip holds a bigger meaning. Several years ago, Molly Grafft was one of the babies at the orphanage. “My parents were interested, so they came by the orphanage and they picked me out of different children…and here I am,” Grafft said.

The 26-year-old Grafft has visited the orphanage a couple of times, but this is the first time she’s returning as an adult. Grafft told KCRG-TV she feels very lucky. “I am blessed to even be here, to be alive, because if I was back there — I had come down with a staph infection that they had found out when I came (to Iowa).  I know that if I was still in Haiti, they wouldn’t have had the medicine for me to probably survive,” Grafft said.

A few members of the St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church are taking part in the mission trip. They spent part of the weekend packing several suitcases full of supplies for the children. Molly’s older sister, Megan Lewis, helped organize the trip. She said it’s powerful to see the place where her sister comes from and to help other children. “One of our trips in the past was to redo the kitchen they had down there, so we are taking some cooking supplies for that. I think the team this time is going to be working on a roof for the baby dorm,” Lewis said.

Grafft said her family has adopted several children from different places, including three came from the orphanage in Haiti. The group leaves next Sunday and will be gone for about ten days. Some of the church members try to go every year.

By Jill Kasperie, KCRG-TV