During my time working here at Maison, I have been keeping a running list of things that need to be replaced. I am working hard on repairing what I can by repurposing discarded materials, but some things have to be purchased. We had a Pfamily meeting and have decided that we want to try and replace the mattresses for all of the older children at the orphanage. The babies and toddlers beds are still in good shape.
I will never forget the day that Rhiana and I saved enough money to buy a new bed for ourselves. We had been married over ten years and all of our beds (and the kids) were hand me downs. I stopped by IKEA in Atlanta, GA on the way back to Nashville after a run of shows with the band. I (with the band in tow) bought a king sized bed and strapped it to the roof of the van. That trip home was insane! There were severe thunderstorms for the entire ride. We pulled off the highway and bought a tarp to cover the new purchased bed. We stopped time and time again to fix the tarp that was being blown off by the ripping winds and rain. That 4 hour drive took almost 8 hours, BUT I made it home with my first ever – brand new bed. Once it was set up – the entire Pfamily jumped in and I don’t think we moved for 2 days! It was so comfortable, we slept through the night, and eventually our back pain disappeared. It was amazing that a new bed could make such a difference.
Now, let me paint a picture of the sleeping arrangements for the kids in the Orphanage. They have 3 bedrooms out back with handmade bunk beds. Do not imagine bunk beds that you see in the States. These are simple platforms. On top of the plywood platforms, each child gets a mattress. Now, these mattresses are not king, queen, double, or even twin size…..they are baby crib sized. Even the 12 year olds sleep on the baby mattresses. Sure, those conditions and rough, but what really broke our heart was the condition of the mattresses.
Almost all of them are so old and worn out that the cover is completely gone. All that is left is the foam which breaks off every time that they are moved for cleaning. Many of them have split into two or three pieces and the Nannies try to hold them together with a fitted crib sheet. I can only imagine how uncomfortable that must be knowing that pieces could seperate in the night leaving no support.
Due to lack of funding, Maison has not been able to afford new mattresses although they know it is a problem. The water alone costs $1000/month if that helps you get an idea of budgeting restraints.
It’s not right and we are going to do our best to do something about it. We have found a connection that MIGHT be able to get the mattresses for about $50 each. That is AMAZING news considering the same ones are on sale in the States for $54.00.
That is huge because normally every product here is 30-50% more expensive due to the fact that everything is imported and you can’t get things shipped here easily, if at all.
We are asking for your prayers. It will be a challenge to locate that many mattresses and then there is the logistics of getting them to the Orphange. I have faith that we will pull this off! Stay tuned for more updates on this project and thank you in advance for your prayer support.