I have wanted to write about this for weeks, but it seems like the words couldn’t come out. My sentences were incoherent and my thoughts were spinning…
People who have visited here always make comments about how they can see how easy it would be to all of a sudden have a house full of 20 children. Our kids we work with come from a multitude of mostly terrible situations…restaveks, orphans, abusive situations…and after these peoples comments about having a houseful of children, I normally smile and chuckle a bit and then say my prayer of NOT wanting that…my mind spins with the amount of therapy, healing, prayer etc went into two children…
Having two children from restavek backgrounds has been a challenge enough, and we seem to have arrived in a beautiful moment where their past is their past, and God has grown these two girls into beautiful, healing and blossoming children.
But God knows OUR stories and OUR journeys WAY before we do.
A little over a year ago I received a call from a Pastor we work with saying that he was really worried about some people that had just moved near him. In his words, “These people are VERY poor and they have nothing, can you come see if you can help them.” As I got off of the phone with this pastor who lived in between a tent and a hurricane broken house, my mind spun with his comments. I felt like I was in the MIDST of poverty already, so for someone to call me who already LIVES in poverty and express that they were worried about someone in poverty, I couldn’t imagine how it was.
As I arrived at the place where these people were, I saw two incredibly thin children with oversized t-shirts living under a tarp. Their mother and father were dead and they were living with some “relatives.”
God knew that meeting these two children would only be the beginning.
As Respire enrolled them in school since they had never been before, I knew that I would be able to watch and monitor them more…but I had no idea what kind of relationship HE was starting.
Over the next 6 months we grew in relationship with not only the children but also the people “taking care” of them.
It wasn’t until a knock on the door in January changed everything. You can read the whole story in a previous blog as it was fresh in my mind here. But basically the 12 year old girl was kidnapped and brought to a Voodoo Temple. Her 10 year old brother divinely led us to her.
As she began living in one of Respire’s houses, a few weeks later the 10 year old boy, her brother, went missing.
Our hearts broke as we had only a faint idea of where he might be. Josh and I prayed daily for his return and then as ONLY God can do….He rescued this precious boy. You can read more about that story here.
With both of these precious children living on Respire Grounds we began praying fervently about these children.
After much prayer and support, we have…God has, grown our family.
I am so blessed to have a mother that is so supportive and encouraging, and friends and family who trust what Christ is doing in our lives here in Haiti.
And most importantly, I am beyond blessed to have an incredible husband who is a natural parent and is such a good Daddy to so many. In his words, “6 months of marriage and we aren’t adding kids we’re multiplying :)”
The healing that needs to happen is huge. We can definitely use your prayer. Although their bodies are free, their minds are still in a battle that ONLY God can heal. Please pray with us for protection, courage and healing. Voodoo, oppression and demons are VERY real here. It is a long process to understand and work through the things that our children have seen, heard and experienced. We have been HONORED to see that God has already made remarkable changes and can only imagine the incredible plans that God has for these beautiful siblings.
Johanne (JoJo) 12