There are days when I float around from problem to solution, from Bellevue Mountain to my house and all around in between…going in constant motion trusting, talking, listening, working, solving, planning, playing and everything in between…the days here are busy, long and beautiful…but then sometimes there are days that stop me right in my tracks…these are the moments where even the busyness and chaos of Haiti comes to a complete halt…these days STUN me and God uses them to reel me into a child’s life and situation so closely and deeply.
With over 350 children in Respire Haiti Christian School we desire to know the living situations, past and present of each child. This is a slow but steady process that is both extremely beneficial but many times extremely emotionally taxing…
Often days after school I am invited to a child’s home to come and meet their parent or caregiver, it is encouraging and a moment to both learn about the family and to speak truth over the child and the family.
One afternoon, one of our 6th grade girls asked me to come to her home. Her beautiful smile and outgoing personality are truly one of a kind. At 16 years old, she had an extremely striking grace and presence about her. She just started our school in October and her disposition is so pleasant.
We discussed me coming to visit and I asked who she lived with, as she proceeded to tell me that her mother and father had both passed away, my heart dropped hoping that she was not in an even more troubling situation…as she went on to explain that she lived with her Godmother who she said was a gentle and loving lady, a sigh of relief came as I felt somewhat comfortable with her living situation.
As we set out to walk to her house, we made the usual pass through small trails, ravines and peoples backyards…then we arrived. She invited us in…I stepped in to her plywood house and just as I entered my heart stopped. An elderly man lay on a small pallet on the ground, skin and bones, hardly breathing. Trying to keep from showing surprise or panic, I calmly asked who he was. As she looked lovingly in his direction she said it was her grandfather who is sick, he won’t eat, he can’t walk…my mind raced as to how I could help, how could I fix it, how could he get better. As I saw him struggling to breathe I looked over at my friend Rita who was with me, as I begged her with my eyes and quietly voiced my desire to help…Rita swallowed hard, looked down at him and looked back up at me. She said so gently, “I don’t think there’s anything we can do, he’s dying.”
Even with her words, my mind continued to race, I couldn’t believe that this joyful little girl came home every day after school to her grandfather slowly dying in their one room house. As I asked her questions about him, she openly shared his story with tears in her eyes and tenderness in her voice.
Leaving there without a way to help this man was so incredibly difficult, but yet there was Peace as to why I was brought here…
As this precious little girl walked us out of her home, she grabbed my arm and pulled me back…she looked up at me with fear and sadness in her eyes saying that she couldn’t pay the fee to take the national exam (since we follow the national curriculum students have to pay for each national test they take)…I smiled and said that she needs not to worry, Respire Haiti takes care of the fee. Her beautiful smile lit up and she hugged me tightly, thanking me over and over again….I thought of how, without God and HIS perfect plan, I never would have met this precious girl, I stood in awe for a moment with this girl, thinking of how ONLY God knows the specific needs of EACH of His people…ONLY God so omnipotent, leads us to EXACTLY where we need to be.
I pulled her away slowly and said, Don’t thank me, God is the one who brought me here, He has you in His hands and is making all of this happen. She smiled again and said she knew that and said, “Mesi Bondye.”
I KNOW the situations of each of my students at my school are challenging. I KNOW that even after seeing their situations with my own eyes that I can hardly relate. But, what I also KNOW is that God has given me a voice to fight for them. To SHARE THEIR STORY and to ask YOU to Share their stories as well.
As we continue building Respire Haiti Christian School I am CONSTANTLY reminded that we are NOT just building some buildings. We are building a FUTURE. We are building OPPORTUNITY. We are building…HE is building… HOPE for these children.
Sponsoring a child at Respire Haiti Christian School is sponsoring a child who has most likely lost at least one parent if not both…and who is living in a difficult situation…and who has NEVER been given this opportunity before. We desire to continue to support, love and encourage children like this 16 year old girl through college. If you are interested in sponsoring a child, please click here!